Thursday, November 22, 2012

And the winners of the giveaway are ..........

I am excited to announce the winners of the recent giveaway brought to you by Nicole White Designs.

I used to draw the winners and here they are! The two lucky winners who will be receiving an item of their choice ($80 and under) from Nicole White Designs online store are

Rachael Hardison


Mary Beth Hamilton.

Congratulations to the lucky winners! I will contact both of you soon. Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway. There will be more fantastic giveaways coming your way, so don't forget to check back regularly! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guest post- How to achieve a period look in your home!

This post is brought to you by Edel Flood.

If you are not a fan of the modern minimalist look, it is well worth considering taking your interior design scheme in a wholly different direction. Should you fancy create a really homely, cozy space, turning to looks of the past can really give you some inspiration. To help you get started, I have put together a few tips on how best to achieve a period look in your home.

Pick a theme

First things first, you should try to pick an overall theme for your property, such as a particular period you like the look of. A Victorian style, for example, is good if you want to have a fairly ornate finish, while those hoping for something a little bit simpler and more practical-looking might prefer to opt for Georgian.

Choosing a broad theme like this means you can achieve a more coherent look, but remember you do not need to be overly prescriptive about this. Yes, do decide on an overall style, but feel free to include bits and bobs from different time periods, as well as add your own twist. This helps the room look as if it is developed naturally over time.

When adding small features like this, remember to keep them small - you do not want a large, modern bookcase, for example, in a room with a period dining table, because the styles would end up fighting with each other.

Choose the right accessories

Not all of us have the time, money or inclination to re-do the house from top to bottom. So, if you want to add a little period style without spending thousands - or weekend after weekend redecorating - you can just pick out some key accessories.

Wood - and polished mahogany in particular - is one of the defining features of period designs. And because it is so durable and practical, it's a great place to start.

Fortunately, there are lots of options when it comes to solid mahogany furnishings - and by that I mean you can find items for pretty much every room in the house. This is good news, because it gives you the freedom to create a more unified look throughout the home.

Of course, what you buy will depend on which period you have opted for and which rooms you are decorating, but let's look at the living room as an example. Mahogany coffee tables are a useful small accessory, while wood-framed mirrors, open bookcases and traditional chairs can all help create the right atmosphere.

Another thing to remember is that lamps were often used a lot in period properties, so maybe pick up a few to sit on any mahogany tables you buy.

Reproduction or antique?

Whenever you are making changes to your house, price is always going to be a key concern - especially when you consider how easy it is for budgets to go out the window. When creating a period look, the temptation is to go for antiques. If you are able to spend a large amount, this can be great, but there is also a lot to be said for reproduction furniture - and not just that it can save you money.

It is also often in better condition, which gives your home a more polished look, while you can also request customised pieces to fit the space you have - or any particular design quirks you have in mind.

Play with colour

As a final note, do not be afraid to play with colour. This is a really simple way to add your own personal touch to a period-style space, as well as achieving a blend of classic and modern. So, let your creative flair run wild!

If you have any handy tips on simple ways to add some period style to your home, leave us a comment and let us know!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giveaway- Win an item of your choice ($80 and under) provided by Nicole White Designs store!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Today, I have an amazing giveaway for you, thanks to my lovely sponsor, Nicole White Designs.

Nicole White is the President/CEO of Nicole White Designs - Interiors/Events, a full-service boutique interior design and event planning company, dedicated to transforming the spaces and lives of clients. Recently, she started her own online store offering stylish furnishings and home decor to the public. In her store, you will find thousands of beautiful, unique and sophisticated home furnishings from furniture to rugs in a variety of styles and budgets. 

Nicole has decided to give away two items from her online store to two lucky winners! Yes, you heard right, there will be two winners in this giveaway. Each winner can pick anything (any one item) valued at $80 and under from her store. How fabulous is that? 

Below are some of the fantastic products (valued at $80 and under) that you can get from her store!

To enter:

You must be a resident of the United States and follow these 3 simple steps:

1 - Be a follower of Mix And Chic via Google Friend Connect.

   -Be a follower of Nicole White's blog via Google Friend Connect.  

   -'Like Nicole White Designs' on Facebook.

Leave ONE comment below letting me know you have done all the three steps above. 

For additional entries (an extra entry for each of the following) (optional):

2. 'Like' Mix And Chic on Facebook and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

3. 'Follow' Nicole White Designs on Twitter and leave a separate comment.

4. 'Follow' Mix And Chic on Twitter and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

5. 'Follow' Nicole White on Pinterest and leave a separate comment.

6. 'Follow' Mix And Chic on Pinterest and leave a separate comment. (If you are already following, please leave a separate comment to let me know as well.)

7. 'Follow' Nicole White Designs Inc on Houzz and leave a separate comment. 

8. Mention this giveaway on your Facebook status (include a link back to this post and leave a separate comment.)

9. Tweet about this giveaway (include a link back to this post and leave a separate comment.)

10. Bonus question: Let me know what item would you pick if you win this giveaway. Please include the link to the item and leave a separate comment.

The last day for entries is November 21, 2012. The winners will be chosen by and announced on Thursday, November 22, 2012. Good luck, everyone! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Guest post- Hiring An Interior Designer Versus DIY!

This article is brought to you by Karen Landsky.

The excitement of renovating a room or entire living space is undeniable. Perhaps you have a vision in your head for what you want your home to look like, but you are not sure how to bring this vision to life. Perhaps you know you want the space to look different, but you are not sure what your options are or how best to begin.

Many aspiring do-it-yourselfers often adopt an attitude of “how hard could it be!” and launch in, unaware, until they get past the first layer of primer that the answer is “…much harder than it looks.” Of course, there are components that must be factored in to deciding whether to do a project yourself or hire the experts – and there is also a happy medium that can often be reached in the presence of budget, time or availability constraints. The key to a successful home renovation lies in the planning phase. Whether you are planning to simply update your bathroom vanities and change the paint color, or you want to completely flip your home, learn how to decide whether to hire an interior designer or take the project on yourself.

Setting The Budget

The initial part of the planning phase must revolve around your budget. It is great to have big dreams and a concrete vision for what your new space could look like, but your budget is what truly determines the scope. Even if you have aspirations to conduct a do-it-yourself project, this is when you may want to consider hiring an interior designer as a consultant for the budgeting and planning phase. Often, you can get a professional to come in and consult with a flat hourly fee, and they can help you to assess what materials,as well as what the time value of your labor will cost you, per  piece of the project. If you plan to do the project yourself, you can also use the consulting fee time to pick the designer’s brain for ideas and use their expertise to help you foresee trouble spots up ahead. For instance, a designer may let you know about websites where you can find great deals on fixtures and furnishings at lower prices than what you would pay in a retail store environment.

Starting Your Project

Once your budget is set, you will have more control over how and how quickly your project progresses. If you are considering a do-it-yourself approach, this is where you should select one small piece of the project – maybe redoing your vanities and retiling the floor – to get your feet wet, so to speak, and see how you like it,in addition to how easy you find it to be. By taking on one small contained part of the project, if you discover in the midst of your efforts that it is harder than you originally thought it would be, or it is taking more time than you have, you haven’t ripped apart your whole house yet and you can still call in the pros to help.

Be Flexible

If you have done a remodel or redesign project in the past, you may come into the job with some expertise and information under your belt. But for the first time do-it-yourselfer, there is no substitute for giving it a try to know whether this approach is for you. The best approach is to simply be flexible. Be willing to keep some parts of the project for yourself, such as shopping for fixtures and installing the easier ones yourself, and then outsource other more complicated parts – such as electrical rewiring and plumbing renovations – to professionals. Usually, the best tactic to a home redesign is to split up the job, as your budget permits, doing the renovations, piece by piece, to be sure that each room gets done to your total satisfaction. Remember, this is your home and you both want, and deserve, to enjoy your beautiful new residence!

About the Author:  Karen Landsky is a California-based professional interior designer. She enjoys blogging, speaking and consulting for others who dream of a fresh new look for their home space. She suggests using to her clients. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A product review- NOVICA!

I was absolutely thrilled when I was contacted by NOVICA to do a product review recently. Having seen several of their reviews and giveaways around the blogosphere, I am quite familiar with their amazing and unique handcrafted products!

In case you have not heard about it, NOVICA is one of the leading fair trade artisan websites, working with National Geographic to give talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and provide access to the world market. You will find thousands of top fair trade corporate gifts, accessories, jewelry, apparel and home decor items on their website.

With a generous gift certificate from NOVICA, I started shopping for my favorite items for this review. Frankly, I was quite undecided with what to purchase given that they are so many beautiful items on their website. After much consideration, I picked a pretty cotton blouse and a stylish leather bracelet.

I was immediately drawn to this lovely cotton blouse for its vibrant colors and gorgeous hand embroidered details. 

The color palette on the floral embroidery is well chosen and provides a wonderful contrast to the blouse.

Check out the different color options!

This was the trendy dark brown leather bracelet I picked. I love that it is adjustable and it fits around my small wrist perfectly.

The leather bracelet comes with this charming gift box.

Overall, I am pleased with both products from NOVICA. Both products are well made and the workmanship is impeccable. The 'Tangerine Floral' cotton blouse is beautifully sewn, lightweight and the cut is flattering for all body types. The 'Double Wrap Brown' leather wristband bracelet is made of rich dark brown leather, has a modern minimalist design and looks stylish.

*I received this product to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Check out other fabulous products from NOVICA!

Check out other featured Novica items below: 

Currently, NOVICA has a new program where consultants can host at-home parties that both support artisans worldwide and allow them to earn credits toward products. If you are interested in this program, please visit the FAQ page for more information. 

Do you love NOVICA products as much as I do? Which product are you most drawn to and why? 

And the winner of the giveaway is ..........

Announcing the winner of the recent giveaway brought to you by Shabby Apple.

I used to draw a winner and here it is. The lucky winner of the cardboard $50 Shabby Apple gift card is

Congratulations to Melancholy Smile! I will contact you soon. Thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway. There will be more fabulous giveaways coming your way, so don't forget to check back regularly! Have a fantastic day, everyone!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Guest post- 10 Inexpensive Ways To Update And Renew Your Decor!

This article is brought to you by Sam Peters.

Having moved into a new home, I have been looking for a few great ways to update the décor and give my new home a contemporary look without breaking the bank. After some casual research, here are some ideas I would like to share.

1. Copycat furniture

Look through several of the leading décor magazines and cut out pictures of favorite furniture or room design. Paste the pictures to the wall in front of your desk and make your weekends into a garage sale hunting spree. Look for items that can give you that decorated look you want for a fraction of the price of regular designer furnishings.

2 . Rearrange furniture

Get the new look you want by rearranging your existing furniture. This is a free alternative to buying new accessories and furniture.

3 . Paint to get the look you want 

A coat of paint is the real inexpensive way of getting the new look you want. Take the photo of the room you like and have the paint shop identify the color you want.

4. Add new cabinet knobs and pulls to the bathroom, laundry room and kitchen. 

5 . Sew up some fun pillows to get the luxurious modern look you want.

6. Add a few floor and table lamps to small focal points in the room.

7. Add candles to tables, nooks and table and chair focal points. 

8. Add baskets to a coffee table to place all those remotes in. Add dried flowers and fragrances to these and place in the bathroom and other areas. 

9. Pick fresh flowers from the garden and bring them into any room. Flowering tree branches also make nice greenery additions. 

10. Look for those put-away vases and accessories to add that beautiful touch to your new home. You might have the perfect item in a storage area or put away in the back of a closet.

These are just a few ways of updating your home décor, giving it that fresh modern look you have always dreamed of. You just need to be patient, shop around and find individual pieces on different shopping excursions. As long as you are diligent and always learn ways to refine your financial management, staying under any budget would not be a problem. Make it into a type of scavenger hunt and you will be very pleased with the outcome.