Where to Invest

Have you ever wondered which pieces in your home you should save on, and which you should splurge on?  In fashion, they always say to invest in the basics…a little black dress, work staples, black pumps, etc…and avoid splurging too much on the trendy stuff.  So is it the same when it comes to home decor?

In this post, designer Alexandra answers that question.  She suggests you splurge on your sofa in the living room, window treatments in the bedroom, and chairs in the dining room.

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So far, our biggest decor splurges are (or will be) the wallpaper in the dining room, our window treatments, a new basket chandelier in the foyer, and our master bathroom.

Are there pieces you splurged on invested in in your home?  Where did you really try to cut corners?

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Coffee Table Book Love

I’ve never been an avid reader.  I’m envious of the people that can sit down and finish (and enjoy!) a book, but I’m just not one of them.

That’s why I love coffee table books!  I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to this love.  I can sit and go through every page, or thumb through as I have the time and patience.  Plus, we all know how easy it is to style with books!

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In my opinion, there are a few staples that every well-decorated home should have…

1. The Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd

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“An internationally acclaimed interior design sensation, Miles Redd is known for his quirky brand of cozy glamour. This lavishly illustrated volume features a diverse selection of his unique interiors, an inspiration to anyone interested in spirited, eclectic design.”

2. Domino: The Book of Decorating by Deborah Needleman

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“Domino: The Book of Decorating cracks the code to creating a beautiful home, bringing together inspiring rooms, how-to advice and insiders’ secrets from today’s premier tastemakers in an indispensable style manual.”

3. The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman

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“Over the years, founding editor in chief of Domino Magazine Deborah Needleman has seen all kinds of rooms, with all kinds of furnishings. Her conclusion: It’s not hard to create a relaxed, stylish, and comfortable home. Just a few well-considered items can completely change the feel of your space, and The Perfectly Imperfect Home reveals them all.”

4. Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney

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“’Thank you,’ wrote a reader to Design*Sponge creator Grace Bonney, ‘for teaching me that houses don’t have to be frumpy and formal. They don’t have to be matchy-matchy or rigidly modern. They can just be comfy and unique and reflect who you are, no matter how small your budget or space.'”

And then there are some that I am just dying to get my hands on…

1. Glamorous Rooms by Jan Showers

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“Glamorous Rooms showcases the elegant eclecticism of renowned designer Jan Showers’s interiors, including many projects unpublished until now.”

2. The Age of Elegance by Alex Papachristidis

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“One of today’s eminent tastemakers, Alex Papachristidis is known for arresting, elegant interiors that meld classical motifs with a modern perspective and sophisticated details. This volume pays homage to Papachristidis’s refined sensibility and celebrates Alex Papachristidis Interiors’ twenty-fifth anniversary.”

3. Fifth Avenue Style by Howard Slatkin

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“In this gorgeously illustrated volume, Slatkin, an interior designer and founder of the iconic home-fragrance and lifestyle brand Slatkin & Co., opens the doors of his legendary Fifth Avenue apartment and invites readers to accompany him on an intimate tour.”

4. The Welcoming House: The Art of Living Graciously by Jane Schwab

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“The owners of the acclaimed stores and decorating firm Circa Interiors present eight stylish, beautiful homes blending comfort, beauty, and function with classic Southern hospitality. A house with an open door is like a friend with an open heart: inviting, generous of spirit, and constant at the core.”

5. The Find by Stan Williams

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“In The Find, Stan Williams and some of today’s most clever style makers, including Simon Doonan, John Derian, and Real Simple’s Kristin van Ogtrop–all diehard devotees of New York City’s Housing Works–show not just what to look for, but also how to look at an object to identify a great piece.”

I’m ashamed to say that the only one of these I have in my collection is Design Sponge.  But you have to start somewhere, right?

What are some of your favorite coffee table books?  Do you have a good collection going?

To Paint or Not To Paint?

What’s your take on painted closets?  Our master closet is ready for paint, and I just can’t decide if I want to leave it white (as in a blank slate) or do something a little more bold, like one of these.

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I’m still drawn to whites in the closet, but worry it might be a little boring.  But then I also worry about the light reflecting off painted walls and making clothes appear different than they actually are.  Is that just crazy talk?

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We’ve decided to go with Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue in the master bedroom, which will look something like this:

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So what do you think?  Paint the closets, or leave them white?  If I paint, what color?

TV in the Bedroom – Yay or Nay?

Lately, I’ve seen that this can be a pretty controversial topic.  And honestly, I’ve gone back and forth several times.

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In theory, I would choose not to have a TV in the bedroom.  I always have had one until our most recent move, and I’ve learned to really love being able to unwind with a magazine or my iPad in bed before turning out the light.

But here’s my hang up.  I’m a scaredy cat!  I’ve lived by myself before and have never had a problem staying alone when Charles is out of town.  But it has proven impossible for me to just turn out the lights and go to sleep when I’m alone in the house.  I know it’s just in my head, but every little creak and moan sounds like footsteps or door-knocking.  (And you know that’s only going to get worse when we move into our 112-year-old house!)  Having the TV on, even on the lowest volume, just helps to drown that out.  Even though I know it’s a bad habit, I’ve never had trouble sleeping with the TV on when I’m alone.  Luckily Charles rarely has to travel for work, but it’s still something to think about.

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I’ve read all of the articles, like this one, about why it’s a bad idea to have a TV in the bedroom, and I have to say–I agree.  But will I be able to get over my fear of strange noises when I’m alone?

(And before you say there’s ways to hide the TV…I’ve seen the options, and I really don’t want a big chunky piece of furniture in the room just for the sole purpose of hiding the TV!)

What’s your opinion?  Would you put a TV in the bedroom?

Colors That Say Something

When it comes to color choices in your home, do you buy into the meaning behind the colors, or just pick the prettiest one you see?

I recently found this chart outlining the psychology of color choices for your home and thought I would share it with you.

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Have you ever read your horoscope? Or even a fortune cookie? Our minds have a great way of taking words that would otherwise be completely random and somehow making them fit into our lives.  I’ve always wondered how almost 600,000,000 people that share the same astrological sign could all have the same horoscope and it magically applies to them.  I think the key word is vague.  Keep these readings vague, and the reader will easily find a way to apply it.

So really, I think you could spin these color meanings into just about anything you want.  Lately, I’ve been loving greens, especially “foliage greens!”  Does this mean I’m fertile, healthy, and balanced? Not completely.  But it does symbolize new beginnings, so that seems appropriate.

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We’ve also chosen a lot of pastels for the bedrooms in our house.  According to the chart, these colors give off calm and soothing feelings, which I think is fitting.

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As far as the office, I think we’ve hit the nail on the head!  We’ve chosen a navy, which could mean confident, professional, and thought-provoking.  So you should probably expect a lot of ingenious thoughts and inventions to come out of this room. (Ha!)

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What’s your take on the psychology of color?  What colors are you drawn to?  Do your favorite colors represent your personality?

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