Saturday, January 29, 2011

The "Picture" Tree...

One of the great things about being a design consultant for Willow House is that I get to visit some beautiful homes. Last night was no exception! The home of my hostess was absolutely stunning. From the moment I walked in the door, I could tell that my hostess put so much thought and care into every design choice that she made, from paint color and texture, to fantastic window treatments. It was such a pleasure for me to just walk through her house and ask her about some of the choices that she made. It was clear that she wanted a space that felt warm and lived in and one that was a reflection of her family. My absolutely favorite piece in her home was this "picture" tree. She created this by placing long branches in this black urn and attaching pictures of her family using tiny clothespins. I fell in love with this idea instantly. What a whimsical, yet classy way to display family photos!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Putting my husband to work...again!

My head is constantly filled with new ideas about ways we can upgrade our 1970's colonial style home and I am always enlisting my husband to do the project. Luckily for me, he is the son of general contrator and VERY handy! Recently I was at a friends party and they had just finished a renovation of their kitchen and their family room. It was a beautiful upgrade but the thing that really caught my eye was that they had installed a french door leading to their basement. Their home is similar to ours and this little change really opened up their space. I came right home and convinced my husband that this was such a little fix that could make a big impact. So, we were off to Home Depot where we got a great deal on an unfinished french door. My husband, being quite the handyman, installed the door knob and of course we realized we needed to upgrade our other door knobs as well. One thing always turns into something else! But, I think this project is going to turn out perfect!

Tracy's Tip: Upgrading door knobs and hardware in your house is also an inexpensive way to change the overall look of your rooms. It can really make a big impact without spending much money or time on the project!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Valentine's Day Idea

Okay, so I know I said this blog wouldn't just be about Willow House products, but I have to share this idea with you! I recently bought from the outlet these red teacups. You get four teacups for $9.96. Well, I was quite happy when I received these today because they will make a perfect gift for teachers for Valentine's Day. (Having been a teacher, I always love to give just a little something to show how much I appreicate all they do for our children.) I plan on either filling mine with some tea bags, or maybe just Hershey's kisses and then putting them in a cute Valentine's Day treat bag! You could also just fill them with a few pretty pens or pencils and they could use it on their desk. Anyway, I am just already thinking ahead to Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Grey is the "New" Beige

As you can see, grey is the hot new trend in home decor right now. They say that grey is the "new" beige. I have to say, I have fallen in love with the color. A good friend of mine recently painted the walls of her family room grey and it looks incredible. As you can see by the photo below, there are lots of ways to add color and make objects pop against the subtle grey tones. This particular photo was taken at a Willow House product demonstration so there are lots of Willow House products in this room. But, you can also just get a sense of how the designers transformed this room using grey and green. I am already trying to think of what room in my house that I can transform to look like this!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Design Trend My Son Loves!

When my Willow House fall catalog came out, I was a bit unsure about these glass domes. But after several product demonstrations, as well as these domes plastered all over the newest Pottery Barn catalog, I realized they must be a hot design trend. I must say, I now love them! I have seen everything from books, cupcakes, plants, and cookies under the domes. But one of the neatest ways that I have seen these domes used was when I was doing a home tour in Newtown, PA and in one particularly beautiful home, the owner (and incredible decorator) showcased her son's latest Lego accomplishment! My son was very impressed by this and I found another unique way to use these domes!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Welcome to my blog, The Design Novice! Today is my very first post and I am really excited to share with all of you my love of design and home decor. I have always enjoyed flipping through pages of design magazines and I am an avid HGTV watcher. But , these habits unfortunately don't qualify me as an interior designer! (Just a slave driver to my husband who has graciously been willing to tackle all of my projects!)
After years of being a stay at home mom, I realized it was time to start making some money again so I thought long and hard about how I could still have time for my children (my top priority) yet also try to incorpoate something into a job that I was passionate about. Well, a friend invited me to a Southern Living at Home party and well...home decor, entertaining, and parties...this seemed right up my alley!
Begining in January of 2010, I became a consultant for Southern Living at Home which became Willow House in August. I now sell beautiful design and entertaining products and I have a great time doing it. (Check out my website .) Now, I don't want you to think this blog is all about Willow House and me trying to just sell products. Sure, there will be lots of pictures of Willow House products and ideas of ways that I have decorated using these products, but there will also be posts about my experiences in all other areas of design, espcially how to transform spaces without breaking the bank. (We recently did some upgrades on our kitchen without spending very much money at all!)
I think that your home should absolutely reflect your personality. Don't try to be someone you are not or let someone convince you to decorate in a style you don't feel comfortable living in. It's taken me a very long time to figure this out and I still am working on it -thus the title of this blog...The Design NOVICE. But, I am really becoming serious about this little passion of mine and if I do have readers out there, maybe you can help me on my journey of one day becoming a design EXPERT!