Sunday, June 29, 2008

Recycled Glass Jewelry

Beautiful necklaces crafted from recycled glass from Viva Terra; The Bottle Rim Necklace made from recycled bottle rims and the African Bead Necklace - made from recycled glass beads from Ghana.
Found on Etsy, the Circus Lariat Necklace - hand crafted from vintage glass beads; Selene Ring - flawless white sea glass gem; Dreams Necklace - crafted from tumbled sea glass, mixed with a vintage bead and lead free pewter.
Also found on Etsy, this beautiful Middletown Necklace - the amber piece of glass is surrounded by turquoise; Mojito Earrings - genuine lemon lime sea glass attached to hammered sterling rings.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy Friday!

I found these lovely photos courtesy of Traditional Home. They are all weekend living / second homes. I dream of the day my husband and I can afford a "vacation home." But before that happens, we need to actually buy our first home...

I love this simple, clean lined bathroom; especially the free standing tub. The open shelving stacked with fresh towels and jars is a great alternative to closed cabinets...that is if you can keep the clutter to a minimum.

This is one of my favorites...even though the walls are painted in black lacquer, the bright contrasting white fabrics and bold pops of color keep the room fresh and full of energy.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finding Inspiration

I'm on week four from officially being laid off and I've hit a wall...up until now I've been super motivated to get my business off the ground and have been working day and night putting it all together, planning, obsessing, designing, etc...but today woke up feeling overwhelmed and uninspired. I'm starting to go a little stir crazy in my apartment and kind of miss all my girls back at the office (which no longer exists - went out of business). So, to put a little wind back into my sails, I created a design inspiration board for a future project.
This is how begin creating a design concept. It usually starts with a "lead" fabric - something with a pattern and at least two colors. From there, I decide which direction to take the design and begin pulling in other elements, magazine tears, paint chips, etc.
The lead fabric I used to inspire this concept was from Scalamandre. I mixed in a subtle blue fabric, a white linen and a textured neutral. I kept the paint colors soft and neutral and to add some interest, threw in a natural seagrass wallcovering (maybe for a ceiling, trimmed with white crown moulding?).
Beautiful dining room concept. Comfortable, relaxed and cheerful.

Master bedroom concept - fresh, soothing and relaxing - the ultimate retreat.

Chandelier and accent mirrors to use either in the dining room or bedroom.

What inspires you? Whether you're an interior designer or just in the creative field in do you begin a project? Please share your thoughts, ideas, comments, etc.!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Color - How much is too much?

I love using color in my designs, especially when it comes to paint. I think a lot of people are "afraid" of color so they opt for neutrals or white to keep it safe. However, I do think there's a time when too much color can be overwhelming and while the photos may be nice to look at, could you really live in a space with so much color?
This space feels good to me - a nice punch of turquoise used as an accent to add an unexpected burst of color.
This dining room feels soothing and relaxing. I think I could live with it.
I love this cheerful kitchen, especially with the unexpected chandelier hanging over the island.
Not a fan of any shade of purple...this space is pretty but I would tire of it very easily!
Love the lime and pink - don't know how long it would last before I'd think of changing it...
What's your take on color? Is there such thing as using "too much" of it? I suppose it depends on the individual and what they're comfortable living with. Let me know your thoughts!

Photo Credits: Domino Magazine

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Giving Back Tuesdays

The 29-Day Giving Challenge - "Give a little each day. Make a big impact." Give one thing away each day for 29 days and see how it impacts your life to focus on giving...

I was visiting the blog FifiFlowersDecor and read about her commitment to take this 29-Day Challenge. As soon as I clicked on the link to the website, I immediately felt a conviction to take on this challenge. I have been spending so much time focusing on myself, dealing with the fact that I was recently laid off and focusing on the business I'm launching; I feel this challenge comes to me at the perfect time. I'd like to step outside my comfort zone and busy schedule, even if for a few minutes, to focus my energy and heart on someone else. I couldn't find a reason NOT to take the challenge - I felt there wasn't any excuse to not give a little more of myself, every day for 29 days! So, I begin my 29-Day Giving Challenge today. If you'd like to give it a try and join me, you can begin anytime you're ready. Click here to get started!

Here are the can start your own personal 29-Day Giving Challenge anytime; your 29 gifts can be anything - money, food, old sweaters, smiles, your time, kind words or thoughts; you can share your journey with others in several ways, one being through the community network where you can post your personal experiences and read other's here to read more about the rules. I'll post updates periodically about my progress and how this challenge is changing my life :) And please let me know if you've decided to take on this challenge as well! I'd love to hear your experiences and stories!
Image Credit:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Outdoor Pillows from West Elm

Beautiful, bright outdoor pillows from West Elm! I've been searching for the perfect pillows to spruce up the wicker chairs on my balcony and I think I've found them. Now I have to decide which ones to purchase...I'd like to have them all!
cabana print outdoor pillow - available in 2 colors.
blue thistle outdoor pillow in light turquoise.

What's Hot from Casamidy

According to this month's issue of Elle Decor, Casamidy's boldly enameled metal tables are it! I checked out their website and fell in love with so many of their pieces. They are based out of Mexico and have a fantastic product line. Here are a few of my favorites. Above: Almidi Star Tea Table.
Almidi mirrors - available in different shapes and colors.
Featured in the What's Hot Section of Elle Decor was the Almidi Arch Table, available in several different colors, with a glass, leather or mirrored top.
Fantastic large scale Symi Lanterns and the Panier Lantern, which is available in different sizes, the largest being 48"R!
The Jarral Dining Chair - so unique and unlike any dining chair I've seen! And how beautiful is the Wing Chair?! Sophisticated with a bit of a rustic twist.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Interested in Advertising With Us?


Whether your business is big, small or brand-new, placing an ad on Belle Maison will help direct more relevant traffic to your site and give your business more exposure. The majority of our readers are women looking for affordable home decor resources, inspiring ideas, DIY projects and decorating on a budget. We welcome the chance to work with you to promote your business to our readers!

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**Belle Maison welcomes businesses that are related to home decor, interior design, art, real estate, jewelry, and fashion. All ads must fit in with the design aesthetic of Belle Maison and are subject to approval.

Window Treatments

When it comes to window treatments, I like to keep the designs simple and elegant. I mostly use side panels which add just enough texture and fabric to soften a window. I also like roman shades. I'm not a fan of swags or valances or anything that obstructs the view beyond the window. Window treatments should enhance a window, not overpower or hide it. Here are some sensational ideas for dressing up your windows...
Panels that I designed for a master bedroom. I used the patterned fabric as a 20" band at the bottom of the panel.
Another one of my designs. I used this exquisite (and very expensive!) Osborne & Little fabric to create an elegant look with a lot of contrast.
From West Elm, the bi-color silk window panel. I like how they paired it with a shear panel! My favorite part is the hardware - the over sized wood rod is fantastic! Wide Stripe Drapes from William Sonoma Home. Made of silk taffeta and 49"wide, these panels are so sophisticated and elegant.
A super simple jute/poly roman shade from West Elm.
The bi-color silk window panel from West Elm in a different colorway (show above in ivory/flax).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wallpaper - In or Out?

I was at Pottery Barn the other day and overheard the sales guy telling a woman all about wallpaper making a "comeback." The woman seemed so surprised and I think it's because wallpaper has been given such a bad wrap over the last decade...with the over-the-top floral designs in awful colors and wallpaper borders displaying pieces of fruit or teapots or grapevines...whatever the case, I feel in general, there's a bad association with wallpaper (click here to view some very "scary" photos of wallpaper actually hurting a space rather than helping it!). Well, I would definitely have to agree with the gentleman at PB because wallpaper is coming back and it's here to stay! The trick is to think outside the box in terms of it's application! I found some truly inspiring photos of how wallpaper can transform a space from blah to wow!

This geometric pattern adds interest and depth to this space. The bold contrast adds drama and interest, making this room feel very special.

The beautiful geometric pattern above the crisp white wainscoting really makes this foyer a special space.
I'm loving the very subtle striped wallpaper. Instead of painting this room just a soft blue, the designer chose to add more interest with wallpaper and it makes the room that much more fabulous! Tip: to save some $$, tape off sections of your wall and paint alternating stripes yourself - get as creative as you want with 2 or 3 colors and play with different sized stripes.

Wallpaper can be beautiful when used on the ceiling. Shown above in a subtle metallic finish, the wallpaper looks like tin ceiling tiles and adds a classic elegant touch to the space.
I love stripes!!! They can add so much to a space, creating a bold statement like the chocolate and white stripes above. A subtle stripe is also a nice way to add pattern and color.
Photo credits: Thibaut, Schumacher, Romo, Design Public, Anna French, Domino Magazine, and York Wallcoverings.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I've been tagged by the wonderful blog That Girl Designs! Here are my answers...

Here Are the Rules: Answer the following questions about yourself. At the end of the post you pass on the questions to 6 other bloggers and list their names. Then write them a comment telling them that they've been tagged and ask them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know that you've accepted the challenge and refer to your post.

What did you do 10 years ago?
Well, I was graduating high school about this time. And as I prepared to head off to college, I had NO CLUE what I wanted to do or took 2 years to figure it out! When I found out that I could earn a BA in Interior Design, I went for it! I loved and hated every moment of the 4 years it took to get through it!

Five items on your to-do list today:
1) Get up at 7:00am and hit the gym for 45mins.
2) Laundry (it's a never-ending task!)
3) Write at least 2 new posts today on my blog
4) Finalize the written content for my upcoming website and design business "belle home studio"
5) Either work on my business plan a little more OR lay out by the pool in the wonderful SoCal sunshine...maybe I can swing both?!!

Snacks I enjoy:
I love munching on hummus and pita bread, brie cheese (I could live on that stuff!), yellow apples, cinnamon toast crunch (dry or with milk), watermelon, and ice cream (anything chocolate!).

What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Hmmmm...something I've thought about before! Who hasn't?! First I'd pray that God wouldn't let my life fall apart (I've watched the specials on TV about people ruining their lives). I'd love to help out my family,by paying off mortgages / cars / debt., etc. and give them money. I'd donate to church and charities - there's nothing more gratifying to me than helping others in need. I would travel around the world, and then some, with my wonderful hubby Ryan. Maybe we'd live in Italy for a while, then hop over to Paris where I could do some much needed shopping at all the fancy designer shops! I'd also open my own design studio in a loft over looking the ocean and build an art studio for my husband so he can paint his heart out...okay...I could keep going but I think that covers enough for now!

Places I would live:
Italy (I already covered that), Manhattan, New York, Victoria, B.C., Corona del Mar, CA (in a big house right on the edge of a cliff over looking the ocean) and Hawaii (vacation home).

Bloggers I am passing the challenge onto are:
I think pretty much everyone who’s blog I read has already done this, but here are three bloggers that I've been enjoying lately and would like to pass this on to: Seams of Thought, The House that A-M built and Fifi Flowers Design Decor...I hope they'll be up for participating!