Friday, September 28, 2012

DIY Fall Decorating Projects

Feeling crafty this weekend? Try one of these fun DIY projects to bring a little bit of the fall spirit into your home. I don't like to go overboard with seasonal decorating - just a touch here and there with a pretty wreath, some candles and pumpkins and I'm all set. What about you? How do you decorate for the new season? Have a great weekend!!! xoxo - Julie 

 5. Chevron Pumpkins (I'm totally gonna try this one!)

 6. Fall Wreath (found this one on Pinterest and can't track down the DIY instructions...looks like dried / fake berries with felt flowers?)


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Guest Blogger: Brendan of BAD

I hope you're all having a great week so far. Today I'm happy to introduce guest blogger Brendan from the fabulous blog BAD (Blog About Design), where they cover design, architecture and fashion. It's filled with  interesting and inspiring posts - please stop by and say hello when you have a moment! Brendan is covering one my all time favorite designers in today's post - Kelly Wearslter. Enjoy!

Hello Belle Maison readers! Brendan here of (BAD) Blog About Design. I'm thrilled to be posting for Julie today. This space featured in Elle Decor and designed by the lovely Kelly Wearstler has a brilliant mix of stones, metals, and colors. What makes this kitchen so fantastic is that it doesn't look like the typical kitchen. Wearstler used unconventional materials to give the kitchen a glamorous, stylish look. I love how Wearstler used both lighter and darker tones throughout the space. What do you think of the space? When I saw this space I thought to myself...What are some great pieces that carry a similar vibe...

The Isabel Marant dress really captures the whole space. It has a great texture and really strong color, perfect for fall. The Fallon necklace is the perfect amount of glamour and shine to any look. In addition, the necklace has those lighter and darker tones as does the space. The Derek Lam skirt has that great retro, funky flare that is seen in Kelly Wearstler spaces. Which piece is your favorite? Thanks Julie for having me!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hurry! Last Chance to Order from Modern Chic Home

My online store will officially be closing on October 1st (which I blogged about here), so hurry and place your orders now! Click on the banner below for more info and the discount code to receive 20% off your final purchase. THANK YOU for your business and Happy Shopping :)



Monday, September 24, 2012

Quote of the Week

"Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony." 

— Coco Chanel

 {IMAGE SOURCES: 1 | 2 | 3}

Happy Monday! I hope you enjoyed the weekend. I just wanted to say thank you for your supportive comments and emails about Friday's post. I caught myself second-guessing my decision to close my shop a few times over the weekend, but your encouraging words reminded me of why I decided to go forward with it! Lots of love and gratitude to you all :) xoxo - Julie

Friday, September 21, 2012

Changes Ahead...

I don't share too much about my personal life here on belle maison, primarily because I don't want my blog to be a place where I unload my problems...but today I need to share a few things that are going on in my life. Maybe some of you have had similar experiences and can relate. (You may want to grab a cup of coffee or tea for this's a long one!).

As many of you may know, I had a baby back in May - a sweet little boy named Luke that I'm absolutely in love with. When it was just me and my husband, I had all the time in the world to blog, run my online store and work with design clients. But with a baby in my life now, things have shifted and I've had to make some major changes to accommodate my "new" lifestyle. Working from home and caring for my son full-time (aside from either of the grandmas babysitting once a week), has turned my world upside down, to say the least...not in a bad way, just in a different way. Any sort of routine I had before has gone out the window which has been a struggle for me to accept - especially with me being all "Type A" personality! I have a hard time letting go of control and a hard time asking for help - a combination that has left me in over my head more often than not. But with a baby, you're kind of left with no choice than to let go of some control, unless you're superwoman, which I've learned I am NOT.

One reason I waited 5 years into my marriage to have a baby was fear of the very thing I'm talking about - having the life, marriage and career that I worked so hard on, change. The thing I didn't realize, and couldn't have known until I experienced it first hand, was that it would bring change but in a wonderful way. My priorities have shifted and what once might have been super important to me has taken a back seat or become less significant. Luke is my number one priority now and being the best mommy I can be is what really matters.

Now, I'm not saying you can't have children and a career - women do that every day! I'm just saying for me personally, I've had to re-prioritize and shift things around so that I can still do what I love (interior design & blogging) and raise a family without sacrificing my sanity.  All that being said, it's with a tinge of sadness but also some relief that I've decided to close my online shop, Modern Chic Home. When I launched the shop nearly 3 years ago, I had a different agenda and was able to stock, pack and ship out super unique and fabulous items (all on my own, BTW - no assistants, no employees). Eventually I transitioned into carrying vendors with products that could be "drop-shipped" directly to the customer so I wouldn't have to spend several days a week packing orders in a warehouse (which allowed me to continue working with clients and keep up the blog). Things started to slow down early this year and with all of the competition out there (especially with big names like Amazon and Overstock), it's really hard to compete and stay relevant. I've gone back and forth about this, prayed about it and discussed it over and over with my husband.

In the end, it's time to let the store go...for now at least. I have strong faith in God and feel in my heart He has other plans for me and my family. I'm still going to be working as an interior designer and most importantly, I'll still be blogging :) I actually have plans to re-vamp the blog (can anyone refer me to an amazing person to re-design my current layout?), in addition to bringing you better content and inviting more guest contributors - I want to continue connecting with my fabulous readers by sharing my passion for as long as I am able!

Sorry for the super long post - for those of you who are still reading, thank you! I sincerely appreciate your support and kind words, always. You're the reason I continue doing what I do! Next week I'll be announcing the official date Modern Chic Home will be closing (if you have a current order with me, no need to worry  it will ship out as planned). Have any advice or experiences to share? I'd love to hear any and all thoughts on this! Thank you and have a fantastic weekend. xoxo - Julie

The little love of my life :)


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Color Pop

Painted walls and fabric are great ways to introduce color into a space, but another fun way to add a pop of color is with a vibrant piece of painted furniture. We often go with the usual furniture finishes - stained walnut or espresso, black, white, natural, metallic...why not mix it up and add that one unexpected painted piece in bright lacquered orange or deep turquoise? I'd love to add a bold painted side table to our living room! What about you? Do you have any fun painted accent furniture in your home?

[IMAGE SOURCES: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7]

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DIY Project: Ikat Plates

Today is busy, busy! I'm trying to catch up on emails, client projects and take care of my 4 month old son Luke (pretty much impossible to do it all!) for lack of time to do a proper blog post, I'm sharing with you a DIY project that I absolutely LOVE and want to try one day. The project is from Pantone's MyColor blog, where I'll be a guest DIY blogger in October (more details on that later). Click on the link below for details on how to create your own set of beautiful hand-painted dinner plates!

[DIY Ikat Plates courtesy of My Color blog. Click here for step-by-step instructions]

Monday, September 17, 2012

Quote of the Week

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 

— Leonardo Da Vinci

 [IMAGE CREDITS: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]


Friday, September 14, 2012

{9} Reasons I'm Looking Forward to Fall

It's almost "officially" fall and I'm starting to get excited. Summer is my favorite season of the year and I always have a hard time transitioning into fall, but the weather we've been having here in southern California of 90 - 100 degrees with heavy humidity is killing me! I'm soooo ready for cooler days and all of the other fabulous things that come along with the fall season. What are you looking forward to most?  - Have a great weekend! xoxo - Julie

 1. Cozy evenings by the fireplace

 2. Autumn decor - simple accents to bring in the colors of fall

3. Hearty comfort food, including delicious homemade soup

4. Candles to create a warm ambiance

 5. Thick scarves and leather jackets

 6. Makeup that's a little more dramatic

 7. Cooler days and multi-colored trees

8. Delicious and sinful desserts, like this Pumpkin Caramel Blondie

 9. Entertaining family and friends with a beautifully decorated dinner table!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Inspiration Snapshot: Cheerful Home Bar

Hello and happy Wednesday! Today's inspiration snapshot caught my eye via Pinterest. It's such a bright, cheerful space, isn't it? It belongs to Julie Totten of Poppies and Posies; she bought the cabinet at Junk in Brooklyn and gave it an update with a bright glossy coat of paint. It makes the perfect home bar set-up and I like the layers of shelving above, mixed with barware and decorative accessories. The lemon tree adds a nice touch as well!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Interior Styling: Branching Out

Styling a space is all about adding the details and finishing touches that literally make the design. Without those special accents, a room looks unfinished and, well, boring! In addition to books, interesting objects and accents, plants and natural elements always add a special touch. One way to add drama, height and texture is with a big vase filled with tall branches. I notice time and time again how often designers use these simple yet dramatic arrangements, which can be placed on a counter top, entry table, on the floor, on cocktail table and so on. Popular branches include manzanita branches, cherry blossoms, driftwood and curly willow (here's a good shopping resource I found online).  I love the idea of spray painting a bunch of branches a bold color like turquoise or coral (see an example of DIY painted branches in the first image). I have a lonely vase on top of our cabinet in the living room and now I know just what it needs ;) Have you tried this?

Well, now I'm off to meet my sister and 12 year old niece in Hollywood to attend the red carpet premiere of The X Factor - my sister scored some free tickets so we're going to make a day of it and do shopping, dinner and then attend the event. Looking forward to getting out and taking a break from being mommy all day to my sweet little 4-month old, Luke. Should be fun!

[IMAGE CREDITS: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ]

Never Forget
I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge today, September 11th. I cannot believe 11 years have passed since that horrific day - I remember it like it was yesterday. I still cannot believe the tragic events that took place here on American soil. I took this picture last year while my husband and I were in NY and they were building the memorial center. My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones and to those that died saving lives. We have come a long way since that day, but there will always be a little hole in our hearts as Americans.