Do or Don’t: Carpet

I thought the idea of carpet was dead. Wooden floors or even tile are what predominately appear in bedroom floors nowadays.  So why did I recently find myself carpet shopping at Home Depot?

Six months ago my hubbie and I (along with some amazing help from family) ripped out the nasty carpet in our master bedroom and replaced it with beautiful engineered hardwood floors. We splurged! It’s gorgeous and has changed the look of our room, but it was expensive and REALLY painstaking as a DIY project.

We still have the gross, stained brown carpet in our office and guest bedroom which I’m DYING to get rip out.  Unfortunately, we can’t afford to go with wood floors in these rooms so I reluctantly settled on carpet. Although it’s nice and soft on your toes, I’ve always had a problem with carpet. It stains easily, collects dust, can feel dated (depending on the color), and absorbs smells.

Over the last few weeks I started researching carpets online and visiting carpeting stores to see what’s out there. I quickly started to realize WOW the options for carpets are so much more extensive than I realized and most of it is GORGEOUS!

I know you don’t believe me, but let me show you what’s out there and how you can use carpet to make a statement in your room.

Villanova Residence - living room traditional living room

First of all, this room is gorgeous! The patterned carpet helps tie everything in and is the one of the main statement pieces in the room.

Same room - different look eclectic dining room

Oh, the drama!! I’m loving this dramatic, decorative carpet in this dining room.  The carpet pulls in all the colors and makes this dining room ultra fabulous.

Master Suite and Bath Collection traditional bedroom

I’m kinda jealous that I didn’t think of this for my master bedroom. Don’t get me wrong; I love my hardwood floors, but this carpet just fits this room so perfectly. It makes the room!

Greenwich Residence traditional bedroom
Although this is still to0 wild for me, I do like that they paired this bold carpet with more classic pieces like the tufted headboard, elegant lamp, and wooden dresser.
Great Rooms traditional living room

This is a bit more classic, but still a bit “out of the box” from what I’m used to. I really love the patterned carpet or “sculptured piles” as it’s officially called. This is actually the style I’m going after for our rooms.

What do YOU think? Do you still feel carpet is dated or have I opened your eyes to a whole know world??

Someone’s at the door! Be prepared for surprise guests.

Before I got married, I lived with my parents. Yes, I’m one of those people. I know to some it might sound really strange, but the way I was raised that was the proper thing to do. There is even a saying that goes something like “From your parents home to your husband’s home” which is basically the tradition that I was raised to follow.

Anyway, now that I have my own place (with my hubbie) I LOVE when friends and family stop by and I am able to play hostess. Those skills are new to me and are still being refined and perfected. I thought I’d share with you a few tricks and tips I’ve learned along the way.

Anyone care for a refreshment?

Recently my husband’s best friend and his girlfriend were in town for the weekend. I had fresh sheets on the bed, towels laid out for them in the bathroom, extra toothpaste and brushes just in case, but I made one critical mistake…I forgot to restock our wine! As we prepared for a night out I offered some wine to our house guests, but only had some left over from a few weeks prior. I poured the wine into glasses and watched as everyone puckered their lips in disgust after tasting some old, sour wine. I was NOT a happy hostess!

Since then I’ve made sure to always have at least one unopened bottle of red and one unopened bottle of white wine to offer my guests. I’m not a wine snob so I always pick up a bottle of wine either on sale or that I have a coupon for – usually it’s a bottle of Yellow Tail, Barefoot, or Robert Mondavi Private Selection.

Another delicious and refreshing option is lemonade. Keep a pack of Crystal Light in your pantry, mix it with some water, and serve out of a beautiful pitcher. Garnish it with some sliced lemons, strawberries, or mint leaves. It cannot get easier than that.

Sweet, refreshing lemonade

Sweet, refreshing lemonade

Who’s hungry?

I’ve learned that the key to be a fun hostess is to not stress out. I know that sounds silly but so often I get consumed with making sure everything is perfect – refilling drinks, making sure I have enough munchies out, checking in on food I may have cooking or baking, etc. After my guests are gone I often times feel like I spent more time running around than chatting with my guests – and that definitely doesn’t make me a good hostess.

To avoid this running around, and stressing about what I’m going to serve my guests. I try to have items in my pantry that are ready to serve. Here are a few ideas from my pantry to yours…

Who doesn’t love some creamy hummus and soft pita bread to munch on as you chat with friends? My favorite hummus to keep in the fridge is made by Sabra. They have various flavors – my favorites are Original and Garlic. Turn on the oven to warm up your pita so it’s nice and soft…or serve it straight out of the bag to save on some time and start enjoying your company.

Creamy Hummus and Pita Bread

Creamy Hummus and Pita Bread

You can’t go wrong with a fruit and veggie platter. Grab whatever you have in the fridge – grapes, strawberries, celery, or carrots –  and style it really nicely on a serving dish or bowl. Your guests will appreciate this healthy, fresh snack.

If you’re craving something warm try grabbing something that’s freezer friendly. Buy it, freeze it, and pull it out whenever you’re ready. How about trying healthy, yummy edamame or a satisfying bowl of meatballs? Both are great to store and easy to heat up and serve.

Popcorn! This one is a bit unconventional as a snack to serve your guests at home, but I’m sure you’ve seen that this snack, done right, can be super healthy! Try Jolly Time’s Healthy Pop or Smart Balance’s Smart ‘n Healthy both are healthy options.You’ll see that your guests won’t be able to keep their hands out of the bowl and leave feeling full and satisfied.

Light, airy popcorn

Light, airy popcorn

Do YOU have any suggestions of snacks that work in your home? What do YOU serve surprise guests?

Favorite Posts of the Week – 2/27 Edition

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! I’m so happy March is upon us…it’s my favorite month of the year. The weather is just gorgeous in Miami, there are lots of fun outdoor events to attend, and I get to celebrate another birthday!

Let’s get to my favorite posts from the week of February 27th:

My home office gets a lot of use. I occasionally work from home, and frequently do some late night work from there as well. We’ve done a decent job decorating the room in greys, whites and pops of green. However, after seeing this office – described as heaven’s front office – I’m thinking of doing a white-out redo! Check out Virginia’s blog – Live Love DIY – to see more of this redo, and check out the back of the office chair.

Heaven's Front Office by Live Love DIY

Heaven's Front Office by Live Love DIY

When I was planning my wedding I learned how important lighting is to help set the mood for the night. Up lighting in a color that helps accentuate your color scheme ties the whole room together. Monogram lighting is like the cherry on top. I personally didn’t have monogram lighting, but that’s only becuase I hadn’t seen this one featured on Style Me Pretty. How cute is this?

Monogram Lighting

Monogram Lighting

I’m fascinated by furniture referbs. My sister-in-law, Fit Chick on the Fly, recently completed a gorgeous project for her master bedroom that I’m hoping she’ll post soon, but for now here’s an amazing dresser refurbished for a baby nursery. I love the lace feature on the drawers and it seems like it’s SUPER easy to accomplish. Just lay the lace down and spray over it!!! Check out the full story on The Stories A & Z and little B.

Lace Dresser for Baby Nursery

Lace Dresser for Baby Nursery

I’m kinda over the rustic wedding trend. I guess it depends on the setting, but for the most part I’m desiring to see some super luxurious, glam weddings. This week Style Me Pretty featured an elegant wedding themed after Alice In Wonderland that really caught my eye. The tablescape created for the reception was so elegant and colorful. The lighting, mostly candlelight, creates an ultra romantic vibe.

Wonderland Inspired Tablescape

Wonderland Inspired Tablescape

I love this cake featured on Hostess with the Mostess! My birthday is coming up so what if I make my own super girly pink cake? I think it’s a great idea!

Easy, girly pink cake

Easy, girly pink cake

Check out my latest pins here.

Red Carpet Inspiration – Trends from the Oscars

My favorite dress from Oscar night wasn’t even worn on the red carpet. Katie Holmes’ Oscar after-party look blew me away! Seriously, how gorgeous is her Elie Saab navy dress? She stunned at the Vanity Fair party the night of the Oscars and so it went under the radar, but it’s my favorite dress of the evening.

I love everything about this dress –  the embellishment along the top, the belted waist, and the flowy skirt. It is stunning.

Katie Holmes Dazzles in Navy

Katie Holmes Dazzles in Navy

Of course, I’m back to my old tricks and want to see how I can recreate some of the key elements of her style on a tighter budget.

Cocktail

What do you think about this cocktail version? It’s embellished at the top with a beaded feather pattern, is cinched at the waist, and has a flowy skirt. Pair this with a cute silver or black belt and I think we’ve done a great job of recreating Katie’s look for a less formal occassion.

Rebecca Taylor Beaded Feather Dress

Rebecca Taylor Beaded Feather Dress

Formal

How about this dress as a formal version of Katie’s dress? I love the cinched waist, flowy skirt, and even the ruched top – but I am longing for that beautiful embellishment that we see on Katie’s dress. Unfortunately, I haven’t found an evening dress to recreate Katie’s look exactly, but I still think this BCBG Maxazria version does a great job – plus it’s in that hot coral/orange color we’ve seen on Michelle Williams this award season.

BCBG's Amber Strapless Evening Gown

BCBG's Amber Strapless Evening Gown

Can YOU find a formal option to better recreate Katie’s Elie Saab look? Let me know in the comments!