Living Room Decorating Ideas Under $100!

I love how changing 3 things in a room can make such a big difference - yeah, just THREE. An American friend of mine, Tina Fussell from the blog, is now living up in Denmark and loves to do DIY projects and to decorate on a budget. Recently she wrote in with three quick changes that she made to her living room that I think made a pretty big impact -- all for under $100!

BEFORE (below)

AFTER (below)

"This cabinet was just washed out and too country for our home here in Denmark. This was one of the few pieces I brought from the States, so I was in a near panic about painting it because it was going to be hard to replace a solid wood piece, but I love the result! I'm so glad I didn't let fear stand in the way!"

Before (above) Tina also decided to change up something else in the space, "I didn't like all the little things on the side tables in our living room and it just didn't feel pulled together." So this is what she did...

After (below), "By pulling the tables to the center, we have a place to prop up our feet, but also somewhere my little guys can race their cars!" But that's not all, Tina decided to change another element in the room...

Before (below),"This wall just felt a bit blank and out of place. The chair was too big for this room and couldn't recline the way it was suppose to. The table was full of too many little messy things…"

After (below),"I created a new piece of art and exchanged the chair for one that was a better scale. Shopping in my own home, buying a can of paint and a canvas, and moving things about gave me a mini room makeover for less than $100!"

What a great job Tina, thank you for sharing this! What a difference shopping at home and a fresh can of paint can make!

(images: tina fussell)

South African Design at West Elm

I love that has partnered with Elle Décor magazine to bring South African design to America with sixteen lovely collaborations with artists and designers who live and work there. I love this! You can - everything is simply divine.

I particularly love the elephant lamp by and the ceramics from who describes her style as, "Happy and uncomplicated." So, so pretty, right???

What do you think of these gorgeous, colorful designs? I am smitten!

(images: west elm)

Ombre DIY: Dresser From IKEA

Hello friends! In February I talked about the ombre trend (here) and now in June I still find myself really loving it. That is why when this image arrived in my inbox I couldn't resist posting it.

I love this! And the best part about this look is that all you need is a dresser and some paint - pretty easy to come by and in most cases, this can be an affordable DIY project. in Sweden recently painted TARVA, their new dresser, in tones of apricot and I love it. The color scale from powdery pink to saturated coral makes it an instant eye-catcher!

The easiest way to get the colors right is to simply work off of a paint card at the home store and buy the shades on it in the color that you like the most and paint them in the exact order on your dresser drawers as they appear on the card, from lightest (on the top) to darkest (on the bottom). If the colors seem too light from one shade to the next, skip and paint every other shade on the card instead for more intensity.

Would you try this at home? I would in a red hot second!

(photo: Patric Johansson)

National Stationery Show Highlights

Hello, it is here with a few of my highlights from the National Stationery Show. Two weeks ago I was doing some work on the east coast and had an opportunity to stop by the National Stationery Show in New York for a couple hours. Holly and I thought it would be nice to share with you a few of the designers and business owners I met there. I must say there were so many extraordinary booths yet I was only able to talk to a handful of people. I hope you enjoy checking out some of these inspiring folks if you haven’t already!

I have seen the work of Tammy and Sarah before but it was wonderful to see it all displayed so beautifully at the show. Their booth was just stunning. I wanted to stand in it all day! The Banquet line is known for its’ intricate yet clean graphics with a playful focus on wildlife. I may have to get one of their prints for my son’s bedroom!

I spent a long time examining the unique work of Stephanie Housley of Coral & Tusk. All her work is embroidered and her designs are so sweet and fun. The Coral & Tusk product line includes wall hangings, pillows, cards, softies and more. Any of the pieces could brighten up a corner of your home! There is lots to see on her website!

I enjoyed meeting Suann Song in her booth at the show. She is launching a new line called Ready Made, which will be available this summer. I loved all the library card references with cute pockets!

Sesame Letterpress had a really elegant booth with a pretty grey background and white frames. Together this provided the perfect backdrop for all their colorful letterpress designs. I loved all the coasters and gift tags, as they would make beautiful hostess gifts! They are also coming out with a gorgeous line of journals in really bright jewel tones.

Susan Connor’s booth caught my eye as I have admired her work online over the past few years. She is launching a pretty new Foodie line with coordinating kitchen towels and recipe cards. The recipe cards can be housed in a neat wooden box with a gorgeous hand scripted looking label.

I have been a longtime fan of the East of India line having purchased some of their products in London a couple years ago. They carry beautiful ribbons that make any wrapping look instantly charming. I also love all their mini boxes of stationery items: little pencils, clips, thumbtacks, twine and tags packaged perfectly. It is exciting to see that all these wonderful items will now be available in North America.

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing a few of my favorites. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

(images: leslie shewring)

Sweet Paul in Germany

I am on the run today but simply have to shout out my blogger friend who not only has the English edition of his magazine in stores across the United States, BUT he now has his magazine in German and is sold over here - I found this copy on the newsstand around the corner from my house and snapped a few photos for you with my iPhone. Check it out...

I am SO PROUD of Paul but equally proud that Germany is so keenly interested in lifestyle publications more than ever and are really embracing foreign publications more and more - we even have Martha Stewart Living magazine in German now since the beginning of this year.

It's so inspiring for me, an American living in northern Germany, to see some of my favorite people from the states over here. It makes home not feel so faraway now. CONGRATS PAUL on this amazing adventure you are on! I wish you massive success with you, your brand, all of it.

Sweet Paul magazine is sold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on newsstands everywhere so make sure you pick up a copy!

(images: holly becker)

Marthe Armitage Wallpaper

I first found out about London-based artist a few years ago but when I saw her work in a hotel in London I nearly fell down. I love what she does and thought you might too. Here is a snap that I took with my iPhone to show it in-situ to whet your appetite, the rest I've combed from other sources on the web. Enjoy!

Marthe creates and hand prints her wallpapers using lino blocks in her Chiswick studio and now I'm wondering if this means I can eventually see it in person and watch her in action? I have to look this up to see if she even welcomes a studio tour. I find watching people doing their thing incredibly inspiring. Here are some of my favorite wallpaper patterns from her collection.

You can buy these gorgeous papers over at .

At beautiful in London.

Wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL.

Now I totally want this print in my home!

(images: first photo from me, all other photos via , , and lovely .)