Another Look At Hip, Casual Chic: Phase 2

 

(First of all…..I am SO sorry for the delay in my blog posting.  I’ve been too slammed with work to breathe so I just couldn’t get it done.  But, I promise I will try to do better!!!!)

I got lots of questions from my last blog post on hip, casually chic furnishings and decided today I would post the rest of these beautiful pieces today.  Relaxed, casual furnishings that say……..come over here and wallow on me…..and yet, all with that vibe that says….. I’m not just comfy – I’m hip, I’m cool and I’m fabulous”.

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How would you like to flop down on this comfy sofa?

 

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And you could just kick your heels up on this fabulous rustic table. No fuss here.

 

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Love these casual pillows…….see what I mean???……Nothing prissy…..just casually chic and hip.

 

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Change the personality of your chairs with the look of burlap like these chairs.  Don’t they look great? And, I like them paired with this little table and oversized lamp.

 

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And how about this dining table and chairs?  As casual as it is it still carries a vibe of elegance.

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I really like this gray with the cream.  A modern edge paired with the traditional curves and rustic accessories.  Very cool.

 

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And all this rustic “stuff”……so fabulous.

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This great chair and ottoman exudes personality with the distressed finish and burlap cushions.  And I really like it on the sisal rug.  Unexpected and great looking.

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Mmmmmm…..fabulous chandelier.

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Love this!

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Another simple “farm” table with burlap chairs.   Notice the two distinct styles of these cabinets behind them and how this table can swing either way…..contemporary or traditional.  That’s what makes this look fun and hip.

Casual chic…..hip, fun, cool – and dare I say it – oh, so savvy!

Happy Decorating!!

Amazing Murals For Children’s Rooms And More

 

One of the coolest things I’ve stumbled onto recently as a designer is a website called Murals Your Way.   They offer incredible murals you can purchase for just about any space in your home or office.  I have highlighted the children’s rooms below, but the fun thing is you can do any type of space: kids, adults, office space, etc.  You have got to check out their website here.  They offer options to customize the size of your mural to fit your space from their preselected images – and they have lots and lots of great images to choose from.  But, what’s even more exciting to me is that you can upload your own images and have a wall size mural made.  I mean….. how cool is that????

Check out some of these wonderful children’s murals below and see if they wouldn’t invoke a certain feeling of enchantment for your little one.

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A Walk In The Woods

At The Sea

Clouds 3

Natures Harmony

Raceway

Reef life

Sharks 2

To The Rescue

How much fun would these be for your kiddo?  Personalizing their space with their own unique interest. Fun, fun, fun!

And, what about these cityscapes for an adult space:

New York cityscape

New York City

chicago cityscape

Chicago

 

Or these beach scenes:

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This night beach scene above.

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Or this relaxing daytime beach scene. 

How relaxing would it be to walk into a room with a wall size mural like this to greet you?

And, don’t forget, in addition to their selections you can upload your own.  Maybe a favorite vacation spot or a funny picture of your family or friends. Think of the fun you could have!

Happy Decorating!

Wow It Up With Color And Style

 

If you love color, but are afraid to decorate with it for fear of making a mess of things, take a look at some of these colorful spaces below.  Great ideas here for color and bling and just the right mix of the two.  This might be just what you need to step out of that box you’re in and “go for it”.  Full out decorating…..just the way you like it.  No holding back…

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How are these rooms for bringing on the happy vibe with color?

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Don’t they just make you want to smile? Such fun colors!

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Throwing this red and the red and yellow shams to this otherwise neutral color scheme adds just the right punch.  No need to put the color in the large scale pieces here. Just having all the accents in a bright cheery red does the trick beautifully.

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I’m actually loving the drapes around the chests.  I think that looks really cool.  And notice this time it’s yellow with neutrals. 

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Love the cream and bling against the yellow wall.

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And, how about this gentle teal pop on this table with cream colored chairs and cream accents.

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Isn’t this blingy wall hanging fab?  What an impact?

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Mmmmmm…..such a happy space!  How can you not smile when you walk into this room?  Notice all the furniture is cream, all the accents are orange?  But, what you see when you look at this space is orange, orange and more orange……just with accessories – none of the seating.  Keeping the seating neutral and using your accent pieces to bring in the color….very smart thing to do.  If you grow weary of the orange at some point – it’s much cheaper to replace the accessories than all the furniture.

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Classic black and red always works.

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Yellow on cream……bright, happy.  Love it.

Hope you got some great ideas here.  Now have some fun and go for it in your own space!   If you need some help pulling it all together or if you are interested in any of the pieces you see here let me know!

Happy Decorating!

English China: A Personality Of It’s Own

 

With all the wonderful choices in dinnerware available to us these days there is no limit to the look and style we can choose for entertaining.  And, while a more clean, uncluttered contemporary vibe is going strong there’s still just nothing quite so classic, dainty and girly as good old fashioned bone china. Wonderful, colorful patterns in purples, pinks, reds, yellows – all mix and match pieces that work well within their own set or mixed with each other.  Even women who tend to drift away from girly flowers and prefer a more contemporary look in their dishware can appreciate the beauty, quality and integrity of bone china.

Pansy Chintz Bone China from England

I don’t know how many people are familiar with the history of bone china, but it actually starts with a man named Josiah Spode. (You may have heard of Spode china?) Spode was born in 1733 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, which is world-renowned for its ceramics and porcelain. When he was just 16 or 17 he apprenticed with Thomas Whieldon, one of the area’s finest potters.   From there he worked for other potters and also co-owned factories with other potters until 1767 when he formed the Spode factory on his own. It is the oldest porcelain factory to remain in business at the same site.

Romantic rose Tea Set and Dishes

Do you know why it’s called china?  Porcelain is an ancient ceramic material perfected by the Chinese.  It’s commonly called china simply because this is where the material originated.  There are three types of porcelain – hard paste, soft paste and bone china. Interestingly bone china is the toughest of porcelains and actually does contain bones.  In 1800, Josiah Spode II artfully created bone china by adding bone ash to the formula for porcelain which resulted in the hardest, most durable porcelain available.  Bone ash comes from pulverized and burned bones of animals.  Hence the name bone china.  Cool, huh?  Don’t you find that interesting?   I know I do.  Bone china remains the standard for porcelain manufactured in England. 

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I’ve been collecting pieces for years.

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What’s fun about it, aside from it’s natural beauty, is the ability to mix and match almost any of the pieces together to create a multitude of beautiful combinations.

sanra rose dessert plates

Victorian Rose Tea Set and Dishes

 

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So dainty and feminine.

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This set has more of a French personality than English.  Love these colors.

Violets Bone China

Bone china remains a popular choice all over the world.  It’s great for wedding showers, baby showers, book clubs,  tea with friends……anything that has to do with girls!

A wonderful thing to collect, it’ll always be "en vogue” and it will always maintain it’s value.

Happy Decorating!

 

Distressed and Delightful: Savvy Furniture Finds For Your Home

 

One of my favorite looks in furniture is distressed and painted pieces.  I’ve done posts on them before, but wanted to share these fabulous finds at one of my “to the trade” sources.  I’m looking at some of these pieces for a couple of my clients right now as well as for a good friend of mine so they are fresh on my mind.  At the Dallas market this year they had some fabulous new pieces mixed in with the old and I must say there’s not a dud in the bunch.  I love them all.  Here’s a look:

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Aren’t they fabulous?!

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Two of my fave’s the sideboard above and the armoire below.

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I just ordered one of these armoires in distressed black for one of my clients.  Can’t wait till it’s here.

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Aren’t these great.  I love ‘em all!  I have my eye on one of them and it’s on my list of “must haves” for my hallway upstairs. 

Let me know if one catches your eye!

Happy Decorating!

Thoroughly Modern and Magnificent

 

Do you like clean, sleek spaces?  No clutter, sparse accessories?  Do you like straight lines, or sexy sleek curves, Lucite finishes and chrome?  Well, then your style is no doubt modern and magnificent. Just like these pieces below.  How fun would it be to have some of these pieces in your home?

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All white in these sleek styles creates a clean, fresh and very modern space.  (I’d probably throw in some colorful fresh flowers on the table or maybe a colorful vase just for fun.)

No fuss, no clutter…..just classic modern.

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And, basic black is always classic as well as seen in these spaces below:

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This bar set above reminds me a little of the Jetson’s.  (For you younger folks – that was a great cartoon back in the day.)

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Images by Eurostyle

If you are a thoroughly modern Mr. or Misses I hope these pictures have given you some inspiration and ideas for your own home. 

Keep it simple, no frills, no clutter…..but keep it tastefully done so that it comes off inviting and appealing…..not hospital like.  Just because it’s ultra modern doesn’t mean it can’t be welcoming and inviting.

Happy Decorating!

Fun Furniture For The Funky Hearted

 

At the Dallas market in January my designer friend, Kristi, and I stumbled upon quite a few new lines of furniture, bedding, accessories, etc.  It’s always fun and exciting to find new sources to share with our clients.  We saw everything from contemporary to traditional to transitional. 

The furniture below, however, doesn’t necessarily fit into any of those categories.  It could be called Funky Chic maybe??? Or Casual Funk????? Maybe Traditional Funk With a Twist???  Not quite sure it can be pigeonholed.  But it sure is fun to look at.   And you can actually glean some fun ideas from these pieces and apply them to a more toned down look if the super funky just isn’t “your thing”.  Take a look and see if you can picture these pieces in your own home:

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Talk about furniture fit for a king:  The oversized curve, bright lush fabrics and colors, the gothic shaped back.

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I love all these colors and patterns together.  Maybe on a more traditional or transitional piece?

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How about the fleur dis li’s on the bottom of the chair.  Very cool.

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And, of course, an oversized ottoman to complete the look.

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How do you like this sexy, corset back chair?

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I like the blue tufted buttons on this brown patterned fabric.

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Another sexy chair with a great pattern mix.

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And what about this for a head board? So shagodelic.

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But, look at the cool vibe it gives off with this chandelier and zebra rug.  And, don’t overlook those shaggy lamp shades!

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These pieces aren’t nearly as funky, but the room lends itself toward a little funk.  It would be kind of nice to have these chaise lounges to wallow in and watch TV.  Don’t you think?  Add the mirrored cubes and the leopard ottoman and voila!

A little glam, a little funk…..a lot of fun!.

Happy Decorating!

A Little Book With Our Dinner & Wine: A New Twist On “The Book Club”

 

My friend, Barb, came up with a great idea for a book club about a year ago.  (Well, actually, I think she got the idea from somewhere or someone else) But, a group of her girlfriends decided it sounded like fun and we’ve been doing it ever since.

I should have a lot more pictures than I do (sorry!), because there have been so many wonderful books and dinners.  Here’s the gist of it:  You read a book that either somehow centers around food or has references to food in it.  Then, whoever the hostess or hostesses are, center the decorating theme and the menu around the book.  Everyone pitches in with sides and desserts and, of course, we always have an ample supply of wine. (Can you even do a book club without wine?) We get together for a great meal, great wine, great company and, of course, we discuss the book.

Our most recent book was called “Out The Summerhill Road” by Jane Roberts Wood.

 

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It’s a story set in Texas and based around a group of girlfriends who have been friends since high school.  Much older now, they gather together weekly to play cards and visit.  (There are murders and other interesting things that happen, but they always revert back to their traditional card game and their friendship throughout the story.)

So our book club hostesses went all out with the game theme and decorated everything with something that pertained to games and cards.  The food was a typical meal of finger foods and soups common with bridge clubs and such.

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They had this beautiful daffodil arrangement on top of a large “card” placemat on the appetizer table.  We each got to take one of the daffodils with us to use as a bookmark for future books. (One of the characters in the book is an avid gardener which is what the daffodils represented.)

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One of the girls brought yummy “bridge mix” to munch on. It was addictive.  Notice the container on the far left…..looks kind of like a domino….hence the game theme.  Get it?

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A fabulous salad.

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Yummy finger sandwiches.

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A sweet tray.

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They got these great giant cards from Party City that could be used as placemats or as a decoration like this.

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Notice the coasters?

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This is a horrible picture of the wonderful table.  My camera battery was dead and I had to use my IPhone.  Sorry for the lack of quality, but hopefully you can see how cute the table was.

In addition to the food shown here we had an incredible chocolate cake and two types of soups.  Both delicious! I brought the leftovers home and fed my family on them for a couple of days.

Here are the soup recipes:

Pablano Chicken Chowder

1/4 c. olive oil
3 large carrots, diced
2 large onions, diced
5 stalks celery,diced
1/8 c. minced garlic
2-3 poblano (pasilla) peppers,seeded and diced (wash hands after handling the peppers)
1 t. salt
1/2 t. white pepper
1/4 t. cumin
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 T.chicken bouillon granules
3 qts. chicken broth
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, minced
3 c. grilled chicken,diced
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. hot sauce
1 c. heavy cream or half n half

Heat oil in stockpot. Add carrots,onions,celery,garlic,poblano peppers,salt, white pepper,cumin,and thyme. Sauté 7-8 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add chicken bouillon, chicken broth and cilantro-cook for 10-12 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add chicken,stirring frequently until heated through.
Shortly before the chowder is done, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook 3-4 minutes but do not allow to brown. Ladle 1 c. hot liquid from stockpot into skillet, whisking constantly. After first cup is incorporated, add another 2 cups of liquid one at a time. Mix well. Pour mixture into stockpot, whisking to blend. Cook 3-4 minutes stirring frequently until chowder begins to thicken. Remove from heat, Stir in half n half and hot sauce. Enjoy. Soup freezes well.

BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP


1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup onion chopped
1 cup carrots, grated
1/3 cup uncooked rice
2 T. butter
4 cups water
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 can Rotel tomatoes (I used the mild.)
1 1/2 to 2 cups Velveeta cheese, cubed (can use some Velveeta and other cheeses, also)  I used about 3/4 cup Velveeta
because it melts easily and added some cheddar and 5 cheese Italian blend.  I think you could use any kind that is your favorite!
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tabasco
salt and pepper to taste (I did not add salt because of the condensed soup.)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 cup sour cream
Mix broccoli, potatoes, rice and water in a soup pot.  Simmer 25-30 minutes.
Sauté’ onion in butter.  Add onion, carrots, celery soup, Rotel tomatoes and cheeses.  Add salt
and pepper, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and chopped parsley.  Heat, but do not boil. 
Add sour cream and sherry at the end of warming.  I have not tried to freeze this,
but don’t see why you couldn’t, even if the sherry and sour cream have
been added, since there is not much dairy involved.

 

These soups were fabulous (as was everything else).  You really should try to make them for your family one day.  As always we had a great time eating, drinking and discussing the book.  Makes for a really fun night – a release from the daily grind.

If you like to read, eat, have wine with friends (and, seriously, who doesn’t?) you should think about forming your own dinner/book club.

Happy Decorating!

The Power Of Red

 

If you want to give your place some pop and pizzazz try sprucing it up with color.  A color like red for example.   Nothing screams fun, hip, cool like the power of red.  You don’t have to overdo it.  You don’t need a lot of it.  Just a few strategic pieces in your space can “kick it up a notch”, as Emeril would say.  Take a look at some of these great pieces by Sherrill.

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This fun bookshelf would look great up against the wall or as a room divider to help separate a space.

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This table would not only look great, but it can do double duty as an end table, and a file or storage cabinet.

catalog_image_displayCA88BUZB - cube tables

These cube tables are small, but packed with lots of punch in the color red.

catalog_image_displayCABB58RW-red tv console

This cool TV console table has tons of wow!

catalog_image_displayCAJ2Y86Q-black with red

If you want a touch of red, but would like to tone it down a notch how about this black table base with a red surface.

catalog_image_displayCAK0SPIG-red barrel table

And this leggy drum table has a sexy, fun vibe in the color red.

So if you need to add a little “punch” to your space think about adding a pop of red.  Though Sherrill is a fabulous, quality line of furniture that I would highly recommend – if it’s out of your price range there are a multitude of less expensive sources out there to find similar pieces.

Like this piece from Pier One for only $179.00 on sale now:

pone red console

 

Or what about bringing red in with this rug from Amazon for $59.00:

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Other great stores to check for similar pieces are Target, Homegoods, Marshalls – all great resources for inexpensive pieces. 

So, now that you know budget is no issue when it comes to giving your space that pop and power of red – think red and have fun with it!

Happy Decorating!

Doors That Dazzle!

 

We all know how important curb appeal is – the importance of a nicely manicured yard and fresh paint on the trim.  But, sometimes we forget what a huge impact a simple front door can make.  We’ll repaint or stain our original door over and over or simply neglect it altogether.  But, how about giving your front porch a face lift and an entirely new personality with a new front door? You would be amazed at the transformation in your front elevation that a beautiful front door can create. There are a great many styles to choose from – styles that range from simple to over the top. Here are a range of beautiful styles from a company called Entrada Doors. 

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Iron and glass.  How snazzy is this for an entrance into your home?

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Double doors serve double duty in making a great impact.

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I love the arch top on these doors.

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If you want to tone down the look a bit then simplifying the iron and glass and adding the clavos might be a way to personalize the door to suit your style.  (That’s the little diamond shape iron embellishments you see on the bottom.)

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This wooden door has several extra details:  Clavos, glass w/iron grill,                  v-groove design in the wood, arch top. Absolutely beautiful.

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A closer look at the window and iron grill.  Cool, huh?

Clavos

Clavos.  Many companies offer round clavos as well.

V-Grooves

You can have a solid wood front or you can have the v-groove which is the etched grooves on the panel.  I prefer the v-groove.

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For those who prefer a simpler look – the door above and below might suit you better than all the ornate details.  No iron, no clavos, no v-groove.  But, still beautiful.

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Notice the eyebrow arch here instead of the full arch.  Simple style with v-groove and heavy iron embellishments.

If you are a fan of the ornate and the “out there” you might like something like this door below:

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So take a look at your front door and ask yourself if this addition might be just what your front porch needs. But, be careful to choose a style that suits your house – not one that looks as if it doesn’t belong.  

Don’t over-simplify if an ornate door is what you need to wow up the entrance.  And certainly don’t over do if a simple style suits your home’s style best.

Happy Decorating!

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