Thursday, December 25, 2014

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

I am thrilled to announce the winner of the recent giveaway brought to you by Pillows By Dezign!

I used to pick the winner and here it is! The lucky winner who will be receiving a $150 Pillows By Dezign gift certificate is 

Linda Bradshaw!

Congratulations, Linda! I will email you soon. Thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway. Happy Holidays, my lovelies!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reasons why shaggy rugs are perfect for winter!

The days are drawing shorter, the night is ever longer. As soon as we enter our homes, we throw ourselves in front of the fire, wrapping our cold fingers round a mug of hot chocolate. On one hand, winter can be a wonderful time; crisp, clear days, maybe the odd flurry of snow but, it can also be grey, wet and miserable.

To offset this greyness and dullness, we turn to the sanctuary of our homes, making them feel and look cozy. Of course, the answer is not just to pump the central heating up to full volume or having a roaring fire in the grate for 24 hours a day, it is about the textures within our home. The fact that we like to sink into the soft, enveloping sofa, wrap ourselves in blankets and just generally feel cocooned within the walls of our home.

But, is there ‘something missing’? Do you look at your lounge or dining room and just feel that it needs something else? Here at the Rug Retailer we know what it is and we have the answer to your conundrum- a range of perfect winter shaggy rugs from which to choose!

Warming up the look and feel of your home

So you have a roaring fire, the central heating is on, the front door is shut against the howling wind and rain, darkness has fallen and, after a long day at work, you are ready to curl up and wallow in warmth, both physical and emotional. Your lounge, dining room, bedroom needs to look and feel the part but if you are stuck as to how to make your home appear cozier and warmer, here are a few ideas.

The shaggy rug

They have impressed people for decades. And they are still impressing people today in the 21st century. Available in a variety of colors and materials, it is no wonder that the modern homeowner is taking another look at the modern shaggy rug and winter seems to be the perfect time to introduce it in to the home.

Satisfying- giving your home an even cozier feeling for the winter months is easy when you know how! The key is to add textures and layers, two things that shaggy rugs do as soon as they are added to a room. What can be more satisfying than the sight of a well-placed, well-sized shaggy rug in a room? We suspect that it is the only thing is the satisfying feel of the rug, especially under bare feet in front of a roaring fire.

Comfort- Winters in the UK can be cold, very cold in fact. But they can also be dull, grey, damp and incredibly wet. Wind howling at the front door is not uncommon and when you have come in from the cold after a hard day’s work, or have survived the crush of the Christmas shopping crowds, you want comfort.

This can be anything from sinking into the sofa, hot chocolate in hand to sinking in to a warm bubble bath; whatever you choose to do to warm you chilled bones and aching feet, it is all about restoring the feeling of comfort and well-being.

A decorated lounge, a roaring fire and accessories, such as throws and cushions that you can sink into, all help in restoring warmth in the mind, body and soul. Who cares if the howling gale is knocking at the door as you are delightfully ensconced in your warm home, your feet warmed and caressed by you shaggy rug.

Colors, design and sizes- The versatility of shaggy rugs lay in the very fact they there are so many colors to choose from, so many designs and so many sizes from delicious small ones for by the bed, to huge rugs to act as a center piece in the lounge this winter. Mixing and matching patterns is also something that your home can benefit from this winter; why not try it?

BUT, are they really for every room in the home?

Many people assume that they only fit for the bedroom. And this may be true for one particular style. The style that we all associated with the 1970s, the fluffy woolly variety that shed its fibers over time; delightful to touch and either light in color (or dyed all kinds of shades) were not considered robust enough for the main areas of the home.

But, there is a new style of shaggy rug and this is a slightly different material, giving a slightly different look; with their fibers pulled and sitting proud, these rugs are slightly easier to keep clean too. They will take the vigor of the vacuum (nozzle only, not the rotating main power head) and can also withstand quite a lot of footfall traffic.

Shaggy rugs are a popular purchase and we think once you have one this winter, you will understand why too. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The art of decorating with art work!

Dressing up an empty room or bare walls sets a tone to the atmosphere of the house. Starting with a piece of art is a great way to introduce color and complement the rest of the furniture. And best of all, adding art work is a great way to reflect your values.  

Make a statement  

Hanging an overscale art work draws people in and can define a room. Display China plates on the wall or on floating shelves to create a vintage/retro display. Or if you have bold colors of plates, that can add a pop to the room.

Combination of pieces

Framed or unframed accessories that you do not often use such as jewelry, a bangle that is just sitting in your jewelry box that you never wear, or a big statement necklace that is not you- these pieces can be hung against a wall or put it in a shadow box frame and leaned against a wall along the top of a shelf to boost interest to the space.


Grouping framed art work in different shapes and sizes can be as artful as an art gallery. Allow 2 or 3 inches of distance between each other, I find works best.  


The off-center placement of hanging art work can add a little fun to the space, who does not want that?

Let there be light

By adding a light fixture to highlight your art work, you increase the impact of the art by making it 'the focus' of the room. This can also change the mood of the room. By browsing different examples of classic picture lights, you can see a few different ways to achieve this.  

Art of reflection 

Using a mirror on the wall not only gives the illusion of making a space look larger, it can reflect another area of the house that makes everything connected.  

Create a story  

A mix of photographs or postcards can make a room inviting and serene.  

Do-it-yourself projects  

Children's paintings, DIY canvases, DIY typography prints, are a great way to add a dab of whimsical personality. It serves as a collage of rainbow colors that can emphasize a room. DIY projects are also easy on your wallet. A good reference for interior inspiration is Brit + Co.

Collective objects

A collection of treasures from your travels can be showcased on bookshelves, coffee table, consoles, or end tables. It also supports each item uniquely serving as a reminder of the beautiful places you have visited.

Art of contents

Paintings will add color to the room. Sculptures will add texture and with this combination, it will harmonize the content of the space. With the right balance, it should not look busy or cluttered, it should be pleasing in the eyes. Finding the right art work that suits your personality may need a little bit of patience, but it is worth it in the end.

Search for ideas online or scout your local thrift stores, flea markets- you can find inspiration anywhere. Once you find it, adding that art work to a space definitely enhances the ambiance of a home.  

What are your ways of incorporating art work in your house?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Festive Christmas wedding ideas!

No matter where you are in the world there is a lot to think about when planning a wedding if you want to avoid getting lost in the clutter of the holiday season. Between Christmas and New Years, your guests will be all partied out, so we have put together some tips to ensure that you get the feel of your nuptials just right to keep everyone smiling.

The décor

The biggest recommendation we have for you is to avoid being too Christmasey. That means no tinsels, no elves, and definitely no Santas! This is not your living room, this is your wedding. Taking the season too literally when deciding on the theme of your wedding is not the wisest idea when everyone is heading into reindeer overload.

Instead, take cues from the landscape and the spirit of togetherness:

- Consider touches like communal tables, better suited to smaller groups. This is the perfect idea for an intimate wedding of close family and friends.

- A Christmas tree is not entirely out of the question, as long as you are careful with decorations. Consider neutral tones (or not decorated at all).

Snow can also add a magical touch to any outdoor ceremony if you can perfect the timing. The effect can also be added to by the addition of crystal tableware during the formal dinner.

Fairy lights can add extra sparkle to outdoor receptions, but we recommend keeping the lights in one neutral color.

- Candles will add a touch of warmth and intimacy to your wedding, especially in the latter parts of the evening following a sit down dinner.

- You can also get creative with centerpieces that incorporate mistle toe, cranberries or pine.

If you are live in a hot climate, choose a venue that combines both outdoor and indoor activities. For example, Bell City boasts garden terraces that can be incorporated into the theme. Alfresco areas for locations that are hot during Christmas open up more possibilities. 

Consider having the doors open during the reception to promote better air flow. You can even scent the air with cinnamon and clove to enhance the feel of the event - this is a fantastic touch that many people forget to consider.

For some last minute extras, why not include a few festive tunes for the dance floor, or add quintessentially festive flavors to the menu. Spiced apple, cinnamon, orange and chocolate are usually a hit on any day, but especially relevant now. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Product review- Sparkle & Dine Kate Spade Inspired Glam Table Styling Kit!

With the holidays fast approaching, things can get pretty busy with a whole lot of planning, shopping, decorating, cooking and cleaning to do! If you are hosting for the holidays this time around, things can get even more stressful especially when you do not have time to shop for table decorations. Fortunately, there's Sparkle & Dine to help you dress your table beautifully in a foolproof way! 

In a nutshell, Sparkle & Dine provides stylish and elegant table-styling kit in a box. This brilliant idea is conceived by Stacia Marlow when she helped a busy friend plan a Thanksgiving feast for 24 people. Armed with tablescape-planning know-how and a list of meticulously curated products, she sent the links to her friend. With Marlow's assistance, her friend's party was a huge success. She said, "I wish I could buy all of these table decorations in one box." And that's how Sparkle & Dine was born!

Inspired by fashion and entertainment, Sparkle & Dine brings designer fashion to your table offering stylish and well-curated table runners, centerpieces, charger plates, cloth napkins, decorative accents, place card holders and place cards for your next hosting event! 

Some of the fabulous pieces offered on their lovely website!

I really loved that all the hard work of styling a gorgeous table had been done for you. The best part is there are the a variety of purchasing options available. You can select a whole set of styling kit, built your own kit or shop for individual pieces, how wonderful is that?

For this collaboration, I was sent the Kate Spade Inspired Glam Table Styling Kit to try! I received a set of 6 place settings of the following pieces and an additional 6 place cards (not shown).

I love my new Sparkle & Dine Kate Spade Inspired Glam Table Styling Kit! They are so chic and beautiful. This kit has all the great basics for easy layering with its bold, neutral color palette. I think they are quite versatile too. By incorporating these pieces and adding a few more decorative accents to fit your event's theme and occasion, your table will look polished and pulled together. I really like how convenient they are! Use this kit to impress your guests and loved ones on different occasions such as birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversaries, ladies' brunches, bridal showers, Christmases and so on.

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

Let me show you how I styled my dining room table using my fabulous Kate Spade Inspired Glam Table Styling Kit!

What do you think of my tablescape? Personally, I am so thrilled with the outcome! I had so much fun styling this table using the kit and pulling the whole look together! Since the holidays is just around the corner, everything on this table will be staying. Woo-hoo, I have checked another thing off my holidays to-do list!

Don't forget to stop by Sparkle & Dine to check out their other elegant offerings!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Guest post- Your guide to antique furniture styles!

Antique furniture has become hugely popular in the past few years due to its ability to fit into any style of household. They can become a great accent to any home. Antiques are known for their historical connection and are available from thousands of antique dealers across the country.

However, what many people fail to realize is there are many different styles of antique furniture available in the market today. Here is your guide to the different styles of antique furniture available:

Wooden antique furniture

Wooden antique furniture adds a homely, warm feeling to any household. With the use of wooden furniture around the home, it is much easier to decorate accordingly and it adds a richness and appeal to the home – which is perfect for the winter months.

Asian antique furniture

Many more people are interested in purchasing Asian antique furniture than ever before. The popularity has risen due to its intricate and delicate design work and great quality. Much of the Asian antique furniture currently available was originally made for the royal families of Asia and therefore carries a great historical meaning.

Asian furniture is available in chests, mirrors, beds and antique sculptures.

Walnut antique furniture

Walnut antique furniture is popular due to the fact the wood lasts longer than more traditional materials. The range of finishes available in walnut furniture varies also- from that of oil to gloss. There are also different styles of walnut furniture, ranging from neo-classical to Grecian.

Victorian antique furniture

Victorian antique furniture is incredibly unique and has a style of its own. It is rich with influences from the neo-classical and Tudor periods. Many pieces of furniture were created in the style of the Gothic and were made from wood in order to keep an English feel about it.

However, whilst the designs were ornate and unique, the colors available were limited as chemical dying had not been mastered at this point. English oak was a huge favorite during this era and most Victorian antique pieces will be made from this.

Pine antique furniture

Pine antique furniture is now more popular than ever before due to its versatility. The color of the wood is light and ages well. Pine is often found in simple yet practical pieces of antique furniture including: chairs, tables and bookcases. Pine antiques are also popular because they can be easily mixed with non-antique furniture because of their coloring and styles.

Oak antique furniture

A vast amount of antique furniture on sale today will be made from oak. Oak is predominantly used for bedroom and study furniture due to its sturdy nature. It is worth remembering though that any antique furniture made from oak may be extremely heavy and difficult to lift. The color of oak also comes in a medium hew with a distinguished grain to it.

Mahogany antique furniture

Mahogany antique furniture is perfect for any homes due to its dark color and sturdy nature. Mahogany furniture has the ability to remain intact for decades to come due to the materials it is made from. All antiques made from mahogany are considered a great investment due to their ability to remain in fantastic condition no matter their age.
When purchasing antiques, the materials and terminology used is important to understand in order to ensure what you are purchasing will lead to a future investment. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Our guest bedroom revealed with source list included!

As promised last week, I will be sharing my thought process behind the design of our guest bedroom and will also include the complete source list today! 

Before we move along, I want to thank Kimberly and the wonderful people at Arhaus again for providing me this gorgeous bed. Without their generosity, this sad little bedroom wouldn't be getting a makeover. I also want to thank Donna from Fabricadabra for providing me the fabulous ikat pillow coversIf you like to catch up on previous installments, please click here

When we moved into this home, the room was painted a pale yellow. There was nothing offensive about the color but after a few holes were patched, the room was in desperate need of a new paint job. A few years ago, we need to get this room ready for guests so I painted the room first. The color I picked was a light neutral gray, a color I figured would work well with whatever design I come up with down the road.

To be honest, I was not planning to make over the room within a few months. Instead, I was planning to transform it a little by little due to budget constraint but when a great opportunity presents itself (thanks Arhaus!), my plan changed and I decided to go for it!

Before the start of the makeover, I already bought a pair of inexpensive green night stands from Target last year. After a bed was selected from Arhaus, I went into full design mood. The beautiful green nightstands and the gorgeous bed was the starting point of the whole makeover. 

This was the plan I came up with in the beginning!

Interestingly enough, I managed to stick to my overall design plan but in the end I decided to add a few more pieces to create a more layered look. My goal is to create a fresh and inviting room with a whimsical, playful touch. I also want the room to feel sophisticated, chic and luxurious. This room was done on a small budget with a few splurges.

(Warning: photo overload)

With the bed and nightstands already picked out, I went online to look for table lamps for the room. There were many wonderful options online but most were out of my budget and some didn't have the scale that I wanted so when I stumbled upon the gorgeous, luxurious looking and inexpensive lamps at Target, I decided to get them.

However, my local Targets didn't have the large lamps anymore so I had to order them online. I really wanted the large versions so the lamps wouldn't look out of place next to the tall bed. I also like that the shape of the lamps mimicked the curves of the bed. 

Next, I went online to look for window treatment for the room. Since the space is so small, the only place to put the bed is the wall with the windows. Using regular panel curtains would be impractical in this situation so getting a pair of roman shades is a natural choice. I have always wanted a roman shade with a ribbon trim and a bedding with a thick band so I selected a similar color for both to create cohesion and continuity!

For the pillows, I picked the yellow ikat covers for a fresh look. Since the bed is placed against the window, I can't hang any artwork above the bed. I really wanted something whimsical so I selected a leopard lumbar pillow (a pillow I have been wanting for a while) as the final pillow mix! 

Would you believe I have had those flowers for a few years already? They were silk flowers. I cut the long stems and trim the leaves to create the arrangement I wanted. My initial idea was to get real flowers for the room but I didn't see any flowers that I really like so faux flowers it is!

I have always wanted a cloche but they are usually quite expensive. I found mine on clearance at Target so I snapped one right away! When I bought it, I wasn't sure where I would be using it but it looked great in the room so it stayed. 

I have been a collector of beautiful boxes in recent years so when I found this adorable golden poodle box for less than $5 at HomeGoods, I purchased it right away. I think the poodle box looks great inside the cloche, it was fun and absolutely unexpected!

The faux fur throw was a last minute addition because I really wanted the room to feel more cozy and layered. I went to a few brick and mortar shops and online to look but ultimately, this one won me over because it's absolutely gorgeous and had the luxurious look I was looking for! 

I like that it referenced the color and design of the leopard pillow right from the start. This throw was a splurge and I wouldn't have mind one bit if it didn't shred so much. I was quite bummed because I can't return it since I got it from a flash sale site. I love the look of this throw so much but I will have to put it back in its original bag after the photo shoot. :(

I always knew I wanted to make a design statement on the niche wall so I painted it a dark navy blue to carry the blue accent color in the room. To make the wall niche really pop, I wanted to incorporate something three dimensional and chic so getting a gold taxidermy was an easy choice.

To enhance the niche further, I knew I wanted a pair of lighting on either side of the niche. Wall sconces were the first thing that came to my mind but after considering the cost of hiring an electrician and the cost that went into rewiring and etc, I threw the idea out of the window. The next best option is to get a pair of candle holders.

To find my perfect candle holders, I went online again. I had a few picks before getting my most favorite candle holders, a vintage pair from Etsy. I couldn't be more thrilled. They had some imperfections (color wise) but I was fine with it. I think they really enhanced the niche wall area with its bold, fancy door knocker look!

I knew I wanted to get hot pink candles so that would tie in with the pink leopard lumbar pillow. It was really hard to find individual candles online because most sites sold them by the dozen. I finally found these pretty pink candles on an Australian website.

I have always like anything quartrefoils so when I saw them on West Elm, I knew I had to incorporate them in my guest room somehow. They were so popular and were out of stock when I ordered it so I had to wait for them to restock. 

There's one of the reason why the makeover took so long to complete. Besides using the mirror as decorative accents in the room, I wanted them to hide one of our high electrical outlets. No more eyesore anymore!

I really love this artwork I picked for a review so I incorporated it in the room!

After the room was completed, I felt the entrance area looked a little bland so I picked up a paint brush and painted the door using leftover paint from the niche wall. I really like how the dark blue door contrasted against the light gray walls! 

I wanted to spray paint our silver knobs in gold but hubby mentioned that it might ruined the mechanics of the knob. Since we bought an older home, we inherited quite a few gold door knobs so with the help from hubby, the silver hardware was promptly replaced with the gold.

This is another artwork I picked for the same review. I love it for its vibrancy and the colors worked really well in the room, so it stayed. 

I have searched high and low for beautiful brass/ gold coat hooks for the room. In the end, I selected this pair for its stylish and playful look!

Some people have asked me if these two fashion artwork were from my living room and the answer is yes! When I put them above my living room fireplace mantel, they were intended as stand-ins. Now, they were replaced by a beautiful white deer head. Do you see my fascination with faux taxidermy here? I really like them for their beauty and sculptural quality!

This waste paper basket was an unexpected purchase. It was on sale and the color worked so I went for it!

I have had the topiary for a few years and while playing with the styling one day, I decided it had the height and look I wanted for the room so it stayed!

This clock was another unexpected purchase. I stumbled upon it online while I was looking for something else. It was colorful, whimsical and inexpensive so I decided to get it. Some people reviewed that the clock was a little wonky so I went to the a brick and mortar store to get it!

Our guest bedroom in all its glory!

I never intended to purchase a rug earlier because of budget restraint but ultimately got one when I spotted this huge rug on a sale. I like that it added another layer of visual interest in the room!

Everyone loves a good before and after so let's take a look at the before and after pictures, shall we?

















I hope I didn't bored you with my long-winded thoughts about this space. Now, let's get to the best part, the complete source list for every purchase you see in this room!

The sources:

Wall paint: Gentle Rain from Behr

Niche and door paint: Planetarium from Behr

Roman shades: $495 (on sale) from PBTeen

Bed: Sponsored from Arhaus

Down sham pillows, shams and duvet cover: $249 (with discount) from Crane & Canopy

Down comforter: $39 (applied discount) from Amazon

Ikat pillow covers: Sponsored from Fabricadabra

Pink lumbar pillow: $165 from Zhush

Organic sheet set: $99 (on sale) from PB Teen

Table lamp bases: $39.99 each from Target

Lamp shades:$25 each (discontinued) from Target

Nightstands: $79.99 each (color discontinued) from Target

Cloche: $12.99 (discontinued) on clearance from Target

Poodle box: $3/$4 from HomeGoods

Vase: $4.99 from Ikea

Silk flowers: $5 each (discontinued) from Pier 1

Boxwood topiary: $13.90 at Meijer

Clock: $24 from Anthropologie

Deer head taxidermy: $60 (with applied new card discount) from Z Gallerie

Candle holders: $22.50 each from Antiqued Angel

Candles: $1. 21 each from Party Swizzle

Throw: $194 (with a discount) from Gilt

Rug: $178.80 (on sale) from RugsUSA

Quartrefoil mirrors: Free (early Christmas presents from hubby) from West Elm

Waste paper basket: $41 (discontinued) from Wisteria

Artwork (fashion ladies): $29.90 each from HomeGoods

Artwork (Awakening): Free (in exchange for a review) from RedBubble

Artwork (Aspects of Whitby): Free (in exchange for a review) from RedBubble

King wall hook: $20 (on sale) from Fab

Queen wall hook $20 (on sale) from Fab

I hope you enjoy checking out my guest bedroom. Thanks again for all your kind comments last week! I really appreciate it.

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services.