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Lesley @ The Design File
Indianapolis
Recent Activity
I've been so neglectful about posting but I knew I wanted to show you this simple video from StyleAtHome.com, the online version of the great Canada-based decorating magazine. I'm sure lots of folks have opinions about how throw pillows should be arranged - or not really arranged - on a sofa. But many of us aren't quite sure how to get that decorator look. This video provides some great tips: Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2013 at TheDesignFile
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Crate & Barrel is out with its new Clean Slate collection, a grouping of organiational and cleaning products. Not suprisingly, it's an effort to make the everyday stuff we all use look as stylish as the furnishings and accessoreis we choose. Crate & Barrel labels the collection above "artisan brushes" that are handcrafted in Germany by the Redecker family. "Distinguished by the finest craftsmanship and the integrity of all-natural materials, our curated Redecker collection will serve you and your family for years and generations to come," Crate & Barrel says of the collection. They are pretty handsome, much nicer than the plastic-handled tools I'm typically using. I also like the new MAX modular chrome shelving system, which combines utility with a sleek and modern style.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2013 at TheDesignFile
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I spent last night at my friends’ annual St. Pat’s dinner, which was delicious as always and put me in the spirit. So I thought I’d offer up a few green rooms – and I don’t mean eco-friendly – to get you in the spirit too. I admit to using very little green in my own home. I have a few green accents in our master bedroom. But I do love the color – in all its varied shades. So check out some of these examples of great green rooms. The room at right is from MyHomeIdeas.com. It is green, green, green – probably too much for most of us! But I do love those striped chairs, the painted coffee table... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2013 at TheDesignFile
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I got this photo of an adorable kid’s room in my inbox today from Land of Nod. I thought it was so cute! There was a version for girls as well. But frankly, I thought this was plenty gender neutral and much cuter. So what would this set you back? Here’s how I have it figured: Twin oceanic quilt = $229 Oceanic sham = $29 Evergreen and blue rug, 5x8 = $349 Fish throw pillow = $24 Rare sightings wall art = $78.95 (on sale) I could’ve been a container wall organizer = $49 Pop of color pendant shade plus cord kit = $49 + $39 This garland is shaping up in orange = $10.95 Total = $857.90 So it’s pretty salty (ha, ha, get... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2013 at TheDesignFile
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I remain so bummed that IndyStar.com no longer allows other websites to embed its photo slideshows. It means I can't show you firsthand some of the great home tours The Star does. But the Broad Ripple home featured on Sunday was just too hard to pass up. So I'm showing you these thumbnails in hopes that you'll click on over to the IndyStar to see the full-size images of this great home. Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2013 at TheDesignFile
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I love when two of my favorite things come together and that’s what happened today when designer Nate Berkus launched a new line of fabrics at Calico stores. The new collection includes lots of browns, golds and grays with some great patterns that seem ready to be soft neutrals in any room. It includes 24 styles and – with all the colors – more than 100 different options. Berkus says that fabric is the first thing his firm’s designers reach for when they begin a project. "It adds depth and texture in a way that no other medium can. It's critical to the way we build a space." The Nate Berkus collection starts at an affordable $14.99 a yard – although you’ll find choices that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2013 at TheDesignFile
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Have you been looking for a way to sample some upholstery without a long term commitment? Then my upholstery guru – Shelly Leer at ModHomeEc Studio – has the perfect option for you. Shelly has added a one-day, button-tufted ottoman class on Jan. 26. She calls it a “light, one day workshop.” You bring a yard of fabric and a 3-inch piece of foam. You leave with a fully upholstered ottoman that is 17 inches by 22 inches wide and has four wooden legs. ”This one day workshop will provide you with the knowledge, skills and techniques you’ll need to design and create ottomans, benches and footstools forever,” Shelly says. “These make fabulous wedding, house warming, baby nursery, holiday or birthday gifts. Knowledge is power.”... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2013 at TheDesignFile
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Merry Christmas! Wow. We’ve been through 24 decorating tips to get ready for the holidays. But I promised 25 and I’m going to deliver. So today – Christmas day – I figure at least a few of you are trying to throw together a last minute centerpiece. Never fear! Tip #25 on our list of decorating ideas for the holiday is making a quick and easy centerpiece. The Southern Living/ MyHomeIdeas.com photo at right is a perfect example. This is just a couple footed pedestals or bowls loaded up with tiny wrapped gifts and a bit of greenery. Just pull out the smallest gifts from under your tree – you know, the gift cards and the jewelry boxes – and use them for your centerpiece.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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So your guests are coming tonight – or maybe tomorrow morning – and you really want to add just a few more touches to your holiday décor. If you’re like my friend Keith, that means putting at least a tiny touch of something in every room. It’s a great idea and keeps the holiday spirit alive all through your space. But who’s got the time now to do anything complicated? Not me and probably not you. Tip #24 is to put small, simple Christmas vignettes throughout the house. These are not ideas that will take your home from undecorated to holiday cheer. These are tips for adding a special touch here and there that will take your decorating to the next level. One of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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So today’s tip is not so much about decorating as it is about capturing images of your holiday decorating. Maybe that’s a cheat on my part but I wanted to write about it and so here we are! To me, photographing your decorations is almost as important as putting them up. After all that work, you want some evidence that you did a beautiful job. So here’s the most important part of the tip: Turn off your flash. I drive my family and friends crazy with this. But it was something my great friend Andrew – a professional photographer – told me years ago and it’s something I practice now in nearly all situations. The flash on your camera – particularly those on point-and-shoot cameras... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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I attended a beautiful Christmas party this week and was struck by a fun use of wrapping paper that prompted today’s post. Ellen has a great kitchen with some upper cabinets that have glass doors. Inside, she typically displays a collection of floral plates. For Christmas, she added some holiday dishes but thought something was lacking. Then she saw a roll of wrapping paper she thought would be a perfect backdrop and she used it to line the inside of the cabinets. The paper has a white background and features branches with berries in an extremely simple but striking pattern. Can you believe I didn’t take a picture? I am so mad at myself. So you’ll have to trust me: It was beautiful. So that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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Are you doing some last minute wrapping? Are you running out of boxes or looking for something a little more interesting? Then you need Tip #21: Get creative with your gift wrapping. Earlier this month, we talked about using natural elements to make your wrapping a little prettier. But this tip is more about being creative with the kinds of containers you use and the wrapping itself. I love the idea at right from Sunset and MyHomeIdeas.com. Jewelry or other smaller items can be wrapped in white tissue paper, tucked into jars and the lid wrapped with blue felt. A ribbon and tiny ornament finishes off the look. Below are two ideas from Better Homes and Gardens. A green take-out style box – available at... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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Ahh! I’m behind – and at the most crucial time, just days before Christmas. So let’s get down to it. Today we’ve got Tip #20: Use branches to enhance your holiday décor. In the Better Homes and Gardens photo at right, several branches tucked into in a vase have essentially become a little Christmas tree. My favorite part of this vignette is actually the red ornament placed in the vase. It’s a great pop of color. Plus, those cute tiny ornaments are adorable. There’s a similar example below Cottage Living and MyHomeIdeas.com. Frosted vases with painted branches make up the centerpiece in this gorgeous dining room. A few crystal ornaments and stars make these branches just sparkle. The great thing about branches is they’re so... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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A quick way to give your home a holiday kick is to switch our your art and photographs with Christmas-themed works. Slip some holiday photos into the family frames that line your hallways. Use the prettiest Christmas cards you received last year or this year to spice up picture frames or small art frames. Or buy holiday-themed posters to replace your larger art. You’ll be surprised what a big impact the changes can make in your décor. Plus, when the holidays are over and you return to the original photographs and art, it will be like you have something new again. That’s why replacing your art with holiday themes is Tip #19 in our list of 25 decorating tips for Christmas. The frame above right... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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There are few things that create a nicer mood for the holidays than candles and there are so many things you can do with them for Christmas. That’s why Tip #18 in our series about holiday decorating is to use more candles. Of course, candles are fabulous on a mantel or as part of a centerpiece or even as luminaries along a sidewalk. And they’re easy. So let’s look at some photos for inspiration. Personally, I love to see candles tucked into a firebox. For years, my chimney was unsafe and therefore I couldn’t light a fire. So I filled the firebox with candles and just loved the look – although mine didn’t look nearly as good as the example above from Better Homes and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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Have you started thinking yet about how you’ll set your table for Christmas dinner? If you’re anything like me, you stay with the same general color schemes and ideas in most years. But I’ve noticed a lot of pretty holiday tables in colors that are not what you naturally think of for Christmas. So Tip #17 in our series of decorating ideas is to try a new color scheme for your Christmas entertaining. I used to collect willow ware and absolutely loved it but I never thought of using on my table at Christmas. But look how pretty this blue and white transfer ware plate looks on an otherwise typical red and white holiday table. This photo is from Southern Living and MyHomeIdeas.com. Blue and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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Sometimes the nicest holiday decorations are the simplest ones – like adding a pillow to the sofa or an easy chair. So that’s Tip #16: Change out your pillows for Christmas. I must admit that this is something I never do – and I have no idea why. My mom always has beautiful Christmas or wintery pillows in her home and they look just great. And when I visit other people’s homes at Christmas, I’m always delighted by a sweet – or sometimes even funny – Christmas pillow. I love the pillow at right, which I found at Better Homes and Gardens. BHG has instructions for making this “believe” pillow here. I also like the cute reindeer pillows in the photo below. They add to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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Yesterday, we looked at ways to make your own stockings for Christmas. But what if you don’t have a fireplace to hang them on? Never fear. Today we’ve got some ideas for that problem too. Tip #15 is make a faux mantel – or something like a mantel – for your stockings. Roughly half of American households have a fireplace or free standing stove, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. That means half of Americans need a place for their stockings! But finding an alternative doesn’t have to be hard. Check out the idea at right from Better Homes and Gardens. You can get detailed instructions for this DIY mantel project at the BHG website. But you can find readymade, unfinished shelves at... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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No fireplace at Christmas is complete without stockings and yet I’ve struggled over the years to find some good ones. So Tip #14 is to make your own stockings. This is a goal of mine this year, although with the month slipping away, it might become a great idea for next year. Regardless, my research yielded some stocking projects worth sharing. At right is a Better Homes and Gardens stocking made of felt, which is a popular choice for this kind of project because the material doesn’t unravel and therefore the edges don’t have to be finished. That makes it easier not only to make the stock itself but also to decorate it. You can get the full instructions for this felt stocking at the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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It may be a little bit late in the month to focus on decorating your Christmas tree but – if you’re like me – you’re a little behind. And I couldn’t let our holiday decorating series go by without a couple more Christmas tree-related posts. So Tip #13 is to give your Christmas tree a little oomph with some dominant décor. I love the way this burlap garland gives the tree at right a strong look while making room for plenty of smaller ornaments. I want to be clear. I’m as crazy as anyone about pulling out all my favorite ornaments – old and new – to put on the tree. I actually get emotional when I get out my old ceramic Snoopy ornaments and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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Today I’m writing about something I’ve never actually tried – making a wreath. But I love wreaths and I’m particularly drawn to unusual ones, the kinds that aren’t made with greenery. So Tip #12 in our Christmas decorating series is creating an unusual wreath. I love this candy cane wreath from Better Homes and Gardens and it looks so easy to do. I mean, that’s easy to say for someone who’s never made a wreath, but, it doesn’t look bad, right? Take a foam wreath form and glue on lots of mini candy canes. Add some ornaments and a bow! OK. So it probably isn’t that easy and the result might be a little bit sticky, but I still love it! I also really like... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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As we get closer to Christmas, we’ll be doing some posts about decorating your holiday table because, well, I just can’t get enough of that! We’re going to start with the simple stuff. Tip #11: Have a little fun with your Christmas napkin rings. OK. This may seem like a small thing to dedicate an entire post to but I think of napkin rings – or other napkin décor – as jewelry for your table. So obviously you can choose gorgeous napkin rings from a store and set a beautiful table. But, it’s so easy to be creative at Christmas time. Check out the photo at right from BHG, which is so simple and so beautiful – a ribbon tied around a napkin with two... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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A great thing about decorating your windows is that you get a double impact. You can generally see your displays from inside your house and outside – although that can also be challenge. The key, I think, is to keep it simple and stick with basic color schemes so you’ll end up with something festive and fun. That’s why Tip #10 is decorating your windows for Christmas. Lots of people decorate their windows but they often stop at garland around the inside trim and a candle on the sill. But there’s so much more you can try. The photo at right is one of my favorite examples. A few ornaments, some sprigs of greenery and a length of store-bought garland – more like a string... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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I bet your mailbox – you know, the one outside your door, not the one on your computer – is filling up with holiday cards. It’s so fun to get cards from friends and see their family photos and read their notes. But what do you do with them then? It feels like a sin to just toss them in a drawer – or worse yet, the trash. But how do you display them all? That’s Tip #9 on our list of holiday decorating ideas. The key to effectively using Christmas cards is to take advantage of their beauty and make them part of your décor. In the photo at right, cards were tied to branches in a vase on a table. Simple and pretty.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2012 at TheDesignFile
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I plan to spend at least part of today wrapping gifts – in part because I think the Christmas tree just looks better with presents underneath but also so I don’t fall behind. This year, I want to use some natural elements on my gifts and so I browsed the web for new ideas. That’s why Tip #8 in our series of Christmas decorating ideas is ways to give your gifts a natural look. The image above from HGTV is so many ideas wrapped into one. One of the gifts is wrapped in craft paper, which also makes for a natural look. Then there’s the simple ribbons, the pinecones, feathers, and evergreen sprigs. Even the palette is perfect! ]And although it’s not a natural element,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2012 at TheDesignFile