Tag Archives | Decorating Tips

Book Review :: Home Decor Cheat Sheets

How high should you hang a chandelier hang above the dining table? What paint finish should you use a kid’s room? What size rug should go under your bed? When it comes to decorating the questions can be endless, but there are definitely some design dos and don’ts I adhere to. Some of these “rules” are easy to remember, but it’s always nice to have a cheat sheet or illustration to reference. Over time I have pinned, cut-out and dogeared pages in decor books, but have never had one single source. So I was thrilled to receive a copy of a newly released book, Home Decor Cheat Sheets by Jessica Probus that contains 300+ colorful, easy-to-understand images aimed at teaching you everything from furniture placement to bathroom lighting tricks, window styles to  how to make a floor plan. I’m loving the practical nature of this book and is a resource I’m looking forward to using for years to come. Decor lovers, you are going to want a copy of this helpful book. It would also make a perfect housewarming gift!

Home Decor Cheat Sheets // Book Review // @simplifiedbeesofa styles // home decor cheat sheets // book review

Just like the completion of any home, the cheat sheets in this book are meant to be used as a process not to be tackled in one day or even one year, but consulted as needed over time to make the kind of slow, purposeful improvements that turn a few walls and some well-hung curtains into an actual home. – Jessica Probus, Author of Home Decor Cheat Sheets

gallery walls // home decor cheat sheets // book reviewtile patterns // home decor cheat sheets // book review

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Read full story By on July 13, 2016 in book, book review, decorating small spaces, Design Tips, furniture, gallery wall, interior design, lighting, pattern, Tips/Tricks

Book Review & Giveaway :: The Little Book of Big Decorating Ideas

Recently I received a copy of Country Living’s The Little Book of Big Decorating Ideas. Indeed it’s a little square book measuring only 7 x 7 inches, but don’t let the size fool you. This pint sized edition is loaded with big inspiration. It features a hand-picked collection of the magazine’s best advice (and how to instruction) on ways to organize, decorate or add a personal touch to your space. There’s even a chapter for gardeners giving smart secrets for growing lush, abundant landscapes. This book would make a fabulous house warming gift!

Little Book of Big Decorating Ideas REVIEW

With over 280 ideas presented, it wasn’t easy narrowing down my faves …  but here’s a few that caught my eye!

driftwood cabinet pull for fridgeblack painted china cabinetart wall from book illustrationsDIY toy barnyard animal candleholdersdiy wallpaper dressershadow box ribbon collectionDo you remember seeing this fun idea at work in the decorator show house equestrian bedroom?

Little Book of Big Decorating Ideas GIVEAWAY

I enjoyed reading this new DIY decor book and think you will too. The publishers have agreed to give one lucky Simplified Bee reader their own copy of The Little Book of Big Decorating Ideas!

Here’s how to enter to win:

  • Simply leave a comment on this post (provide your email if I don’t have a way to contact you).
  • Extra Entry – become a new follower of Simplified Bee’s BlogTwitterPinterest or Facebook Page.
  • Extra Entry – mention this giveaway in a blog post, Facebook link, tweet or pin an image from this post, then leave a comment letting me know.
  • Please post a separate comment for each extra entry.

Entry period closes at midnight PST on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be announced on the Simplified Bee Facebook page on Thursday, June 27, 2013.

Best of luck and happy decorating!


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Read full story By on June 19, 2013 in book, book review, decorating small spaces, Design Tips, DIY, Features, Giveaways, interior design, Tips/Tricks

Coffee Table Decorating and Styling Tips

ken fulk coffee table decorating ideas
{Designer Ken Fulk}
Tucked between sofas and chairs, the coffee table can help a space achieve equilibrium. Although known as a staple in living or family rooms, coffee tables are also found in other areas of the home such as bedrooms, offices and sunrooms. Regardless of the location, decorating a coffee table’s surface is an essential element in completing  the room’s overall look.

{Designer: Tobi Fairley}

It may seem elementary, but artfully styling a coffee table takes careful consideration.  It’s easy to plop down some coffee table books, fresh flowers and a tray, but it may not be pleasing to the eye. When selecting items to decorate the surface, keep in mind basic principles of design including scale, balance, rhythm and harmony. Taking these design principles into consideration, here are some tips for decorating a coffee table:
ideas for styling a coffee table{Designer: Palmer Weiss}
Evaluate Scale. Take into consideration the scale or visual weight of your coffee table and the other furnishing that embody the space. The example above, by interior designer Palmer Weiss, incorporates a round glass coffee table, which has less visual weight than the surrounding furnishings. To compliment the table’s scale, shape and material, Palmer selects three groups of items; a decorative plate, fresh flowers and a couple books – all heavier in visual weight than the coffee table itself. Notice the coral & white fresh flowers subtly pick up on the pillow’s hue – this is not an accident. The floral arrangement also adds height to the grouping without blocking the view of the TV, fireplace or guests’ faces. The round plate picks up on similar colors in the space, but more importantly repeats the circle patterns throughout the space. The magnifying glass placed on the coffee table books adds a touch of whimsy and that magical third element to the grouping. One design trick, which Palmer uses here, is to arrange accessories in groups and multiples of three.
tips on decorating a coffee table
{Designer: Hillary Thomas; Photo credit: Patrick Cline via Lonny Magazine}
Strike Visual Harmony. Designer, Hillary Thomas also used a trio of compatible items to create a harmonious look on this square coffee table. Again, fresh flowers in various shades of pink and red pick up on pair of ikat pillows {keep plants. A small round tea light breaks up the straight lines of the table and adds a romantic touch. {If you have small children or pets, please be careful when lighting candles on a coffee table – for safety reasons candles should be kept out of reach.} This time a pair of coffee table books are grounded with Foo Dogs. The Asian figurines compliment in style, texture and color the garden stools placed in front of the sofa.
{Designer: Tobi Fairley}
Achieve Balance. In the formal seating room above, designer Tobi Fairley creates a symmetrical balance by placing matching chairs, side tables and table lamps on either side of the sofa. The pair of books and glass art accessories selected to decorate the coffee table breaks the room’s formal symmetry, creating visual balance and interest.    
how to style a coffee table designer
{Designer: Hillary Thomas; Photo credit: Patrick Cline via Lonny Magazine}
Above designer, Hillary Thomas using a large square tufted ottoman as a coffee table in this family room. A contrasting black lacquer tray is the perfect accessory to unify and showcase other decorative items. The asymmetrical arrangement of the stone horse figurine, book and succulent plant creates a visual balance. This informal balance can be difficult to achieve for some and there are no set of rules as to what is right or wrong. Many times it requires patience and plenty of trial and error to get it right.    
styling a coffee table ideas{photo credit: Thibault Jeanson via House Beautiful}
Create Rhythm.  Here designers, Hattie Wolfe and Abby Rizor place a large Indonesian bowl on a stout wooden coffee table. While some may argue the scale of the bowl is too large, it works not only because the repetition it provides in color & texture, but its contrasting round form creates rhythm in the space. I am not sure how this bowl was acquired, but showcasing treasures from your travels is always a wonderful way to make a space personal and act as a great conversation starter.
What do you think are the most important design principles to keep in mind while styling a coffee table?
Are you looking for more design advice on styling your home? If so, you may enjoy reading: 

Tips on Decorating the Fireplace Mantel,  
Tips on Styling a Bookcase Like an Interior Designer or  
Tips for Styling a Living Room.
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Read full story By on March 9, 2011 in Design Tips, home accessories, interior design, Interiors, Living Room, living rooms, Tips/Tricks

Tips on Decorating the Fireplace Mantel

Even when not in use, a fireplace is a natural focal point in a room that can’t be ignored. Decorating the fireplace mantel is a wonderful place to incorporate your room’s overall design scheme. Determining what décor is going to be showcased and how is often a challenge for many homeowners. Here are a few tips to help you determine what look is right for your space.

The first step is to select décor that will convey the kind of feeling you want the room to have – formal, casual, clean lines/minimalist or eclectic/busy. You will need to work with the fireplace’s existing architecture and decide if you’d like to enhance it or subdue it. Another important consideration when decorating a fireplace mantel is to keep the design balanced and proportional.

Symmetrical design is the most popular way to decorate a fireplace mantel. Formal rooms typically follow symmetry when arranging mantel décor, but it works in a more casual setting as well. In this master bedroom above, the fireplace mantel by Norman Davenport Askins is symmetrically decorated with British 19th century botanical prints centered on the wall and antique Chinese vases on either side.

Symmetry is easy on the eye and conveys a sense of calm throughout this formal living room designed by Dana Lyon. The fireplace mantel is also symmetrically designed with original artwork flanked by candlesticks.

Dallas, Texas-based designer Shannon Bowers created a gorgeous living room in a neutral palette collection of European furnishings and accessories. The Louis XV inspired limestone mantel is also decorated symmetrically. The large mirror is in perfect proportion and nicely balanced by vases of fresh pink roses.


An asymmetrical layout is another way to arrange your mantel. It conveys a less formal and more rigid feeling, yet still requires balance to achieve an aesthetic design. Objects on both sides of the mantel can vary, but should still be proportional – in the center you may have a mirror with a set of smaller candlesticks on one side and a single taller vase on the other.


The fireplace mantel (above) in this Normandy-style house in Atlanta decorated by Suzanne Kasler demonstrates an asymmetrical design. A dreamy mixed-media work on wood and Plexiglas by Dusty Griffith is centered over the fireplace and is flanked by a tall candlestick and smaller crystal figurines. The powder blue pair of 19th-century painted bergères in the Louis XVI style are divine and further emphasizes the room’s fireplace focal point.


Designed by Stephen Shubel, this living room’s fireplace mantel is also asymmetrical. Gorgeous 19th-century girandoles sit on either side of the mirror by Two’s Company. Alone these items would be symmetrical, however Shubel brilliantly adds a pair of seashells on one side and a small bird figurine on the other. On another note, the walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Bridal Pink and perfectly balanced by the deep browns in the room. I particularly like the Hanna chairs in leather flank from Oly.


Another option is to create an eclectic mantel by displaying décor of varying size. If this is the look you are trying to achieve, it is still important to arrange the objects to ensure it has balance and flow.

In this contemporary sitting room designed by Eric Cohler, the mantel decor is busy, but inviting. It showcases an eclectic mix of art and photography in various sizes and frames. The small sculpture centered on the mantle is a critical element that balances out the frames. This busy style works here because the room already has lots of visual activity throughout, like the Han dynasty figurines atop the gilded bookshelves. Cohler also brings some old world charm by adding an antique English fireplace grate. I must say, the macassar ebony klismos-style chair by Hinson & Company is fabulous!

This mantel in this casual living room designed by Cristine Gillespie is also eclectic. The 1930s Eiffel Tower model on the mantel is from Indigo Seas. Gillespie and her sons made the small silver one from an Erector set and magnets.

Some fireplaces may have little or no mantel. This is most common in contemporary design. If you do not have a mantel simply hang art or a mirror centered above the fireplace to draw your eye up. However, you may decide to keep the space bare especially if you have a stunning stone fireplace that you don’t want to detract from. In either instance keeping the mantel decor minimalistic will convey a sense of calm and order.
In the contemporary living room by Shirley Parks Design (above), artwork was hung off center and a pair of simple white vases were added to balance out the look.
Before hanging artwork or mirrors above your mantel, it is best if you play around with different designs to find what arrangement works best for you and your room. Have fun with it!


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Read full story By on September 18, 2009 in Design Tips, home accessories, interior design, living rooms, mantels, original artwork