Dorm and Apartment Decorating

So you have a daughter or son heading off to college or their first apartment this fall.

Remember those days? Just spent last weekend with a college roommate and loved reminiscing about the good ole days. It's probably what inspired this post:)

 But back to the subject at hand...I have many clients and friends who fall into this category and I've  been asked by several for advice on decorating and bedding for college dorms.

Last year I designed a college room and loved how it turned out. 

May have hit the books a bit more if my space looked this.

You can read more about this room here.

So here are some fun items I found for a dorm, first apartment or even a teen's room...

First up check out this website

It's basically a room in a box. Like a bed in a bag but waaaay better.

Here is an example of what comes in the box
And here is what it looks like in the space

Fun, right?  They have several colors and patterns available.

Need art for above the bed or desk?
They have that too

So go check it out!

Some other bedding I found perfect for this group
is from one of my faves Urban Outfitters

And we can't forget IKEA the sweedish king of dorm decor

Have fun decorating!

Happy New Year, chair lust and budget-friendly decor

Happy New Year! Hope your holidays were both fun and fabulous. Back to reality today and I'll have to admit I'm sooo ready.
Everyone's sharing their New Year's resolutions so I thought I'd weigh in here. Why not? Bare with me. I only have two:) and then we'll get to some decorating stuff.
My first resolution..
 Pay more attention to the important things in life.
Years ago when I was working as a publisher of a magazine I was in NYC and was rushing to meet my boss across a crowded  hotel lobby. I was running late for a very important meeting.
As I reached my boss he had a big smile on his face and said "Do you realize that you literally just bumped into Nelson Mandela"?
Whaaat? As I was racing across the lobby I bumped into an older gentlemen and stopped to say sorry and we made some small talk. And I went on my merry little way.
I had no idea I had just rubbed up against greatness.
I turned around and stared across the lobby. My boss was right. It wasn't until I stepped back and took in the whole scene did I realize what was going on. It was a life lesson. Sometimes we need to step back and survey the whole situation to realize what's important in life. (I have been thinking about this moment a lot since his passing).
Okay, onto number two --- more concrete and way less impressive.

Try to eat vegan-ish.

You are what you eat. End of story. I've been vegan in the past and I'm telling you I never felt better when I ate better. Eating real, unprocessed food gives you more energy and helps you think more clearly. If think clearer and have more energy,  you have more time to notice the important things in life. See the connection??:)
Okay, moving onto a MUCH lighter subject.

Current room obsession. It's the color I'm in love with.

Feel free to discuss.
Have I shared with you that I have a full-on serious chair addiction?

My current chair loves include the below. I have access to them for very reasonable prices and am jumping at the bit to place them!! Anyone, anyone?

 Thoughts????? Do you love as much as I do???
 Last but not least...
Stylish for both your home and your wallet.
Lands End Bedding

I would buy the duvet only and zhush it up with:
 White shams with navy trim, add a large fancy monogram and call it a day for a simple clean look...
 Possibly Schumacher's chaing mai pillow or a rich velvet in an emerald green or hot pink... oh the possibilities!
I don't know but this could be fun!

Land End

Stumped on how to freshen up a room inexpensively....
Here's a hint .... black and white looks chic in ANY room.
Trust me on this.
 $10 ikea

Texture = absolute must.

Faux sheepskin pillow

Land of Nod

Table lamp from Land of Nod - yes you can add "children's items" to your grown up rooms!

Land of Nod

Thanks for reading!!! XOXO

How to make your storage stylish!

Merry Christmas to you and your family... I hope everyone had a fun-filled and safe holiday!
Back to biz over here. Although I LOVE Christmas the amount of stuff my family accumulates in one single day is both silly and sinful at the same time.

The days after a holiday and in particular Christmas has me asking how am I ever going to get back to neutral? It's a crazy disorganized mess over here. And I'll be honest I like my churches gothic, my wine red and my house somewhat organized.
So I thought maybe there are some others out there who feel the same way so I thought I'd gather a few stylish storage options out there for us who want to get it together before the new year hits us:)

And actually whether you celebrate Christmas or not the new year is a good time to get organized. Am I right? 

So after you do the

Take note of what you have left to put away and
you'll need to buy some of these for storage

Serena and lilly
serena and lilly
Baskets of Africa


Best way to increase storage space? Go up!
So you will most likely need ....SHELVING

My fave - the IKEA Expedit
If you 've never used --- you must. Here is what they look like

Here's how you can make them stylish  and functional...


To quote the Beastie Boys... She's crafty...
On it's side used as a window seat .... I would add a cushion of course:)
As a part of your kitchen banquette
And I'm pretty sure you can get this whole look at IKEA
 Need some ideas on how to store all of those decorations? You can read this post here from Organize and Decorate Everything.
Last but not least you may want to read this pretty awesome article with some great organizational tips.

You can read it here

P.S. My Christmas purge this year may include a call to 1 800 got-junk.  Anyone ever use this service before?? I'd love to hear!

Thanks for reading!! xoxo



Just a sprinkling of modern

House of Turquoise


all images via pinterest

Did you notice a theme?
Did you pick up on what I was puttin' down?

Would you like to add just a touch of modern to your room without breaking the bank? Are you afraid to commit to this trendy look? Yep, me too.

Keeping that in mind, here's a roundup of reasonably priced peekaboo furniture pieces that you can add to your teens room,  traditional dining room/living room or stodgy old desk to make it a bit more funky get-down:)

Did you see in some pics above even just one piece of this furniture makes a HUGE impact:)




coffee table
coffee table

coffee table

Acrylic décor

Advantages to ghost-like furniture

1) Pretty indestructible
2) Goes with every color scheme and can be used in every room
3) Can take your room from stodgy to funky in a matter of minutes

What do you think?? LOVE or just too trendy?
I'm kinda digging it ... you?

Linking up with Kim at Savvy SouthernStyle

Thanks for reading and if you need to make your home more funky fresh and modern.... contact me here kraussteph@yahoo.com

Bookcase styled three ways... part 3!

Last and final version... get ready for some serious color!

Kinda crazy with color, right? But fun, no? In this version I tried to spread the color around the display along with some neutral pieces to counterbalance all the color.
Remember 90% of this stuff was the clients own. I did purchase the pink border pillows and the white sheepskin throw. You can read about the other two bookcase styles here and here.
If you like this look and want to achieve it in your home check out the previous versions and add these:
Pink border pillows  - Caitlin Wilson Textiles
White sheepskin -Ikea or
you can use this pillow from West Elm.
Pink tinted wine glasses - here
Moss handbag - Valley Forge Flowers
One last observation... I mixed metals in this display. Are you horrified? Don't be. I thought it worked. Brass table and brass nail heads on the chairs and mostly silvery accent pieces in the bookcase--so don't worry about mixing metals in your own home.
Want to learn the secrets to styling your bookcase? You'll have to wait until my next post:)
Like this post? Share it on facebook and forward to your friends!! Thanks so much  for reading!

Little bits of this and that.

That's how I was feeling this week ... kind of all over the place. Ever feel that way?

Let's start with the early part of the week I helped fellow designer, Stephanie Shaw of Stephanie Shaw Designs style a clients daughter's room for a photo shoot that will be featured in her design portfolio.

Stephanie is an unbelievably talented designer and so fun to work with! Here's a sneak peak of her room ...

I love how she paired teal and orange together in this desk area. And that Ikea acrylic chair? I'm diggin' it at just $79.

 If you'd like to add some pops of orange to your life, try these...

lulu and Georgia rug


c wonder

c wonder

Jonathan Adler
z gallerie


Loving these for projects I'm working on


Simple, clean lines





And fancy-shmancy...


The allium just bloomed in my garden. Pretty, huh? I talked about how easy they are to grow  here.

Bought these at Whole Foods. Just love peonies, don't you?
pink peonies

white peonies

Go out and treat yourself to a bouquet today- you deserve it!
I  saw the Great Gatsby.
 Not exactly what I was expecting but it was incredible. Total thumb's up. Just love Leonardo DiCaprio and the movie made me want to chop my hair off again.
 Check out these looks.
Daisy Buchanan
Jordan Baker --Daisy's friend
So chic, right?

Have a great holiday weekend!

If you are looking to spruce up your home for summer send me an email ... I'm totes avail (that's totally available) to chat!

Ten Things I'm Pondering ... in no particular order!

#1  C Wonder Gold Serving Pieces

I introduced them at a little soiree I was hosting and now I'm addicted! And like us they are much better looking in person. 

C Wonder
They looked so pretty with the gold and white chevron runner and white funky bowls my table was sporting.

paper source



#2 Mothers Day

I'm treating my mom to this beautiful Know Me Journal.

Know Me Journal

My kids are forever peppering my parents with questions like What sports did you play when you were growing up?, Where did you live?, What were my great-grandparents like?  I could go on and on.

So I'm going to arrange a nice sleepover over at the grandparents house (wink, wink) and my mom can answer all of these lovely questions for my kids.

Perfect, right? An oral and written history of my mom's life ... documented memories perfect for all of us to keep and cherish forever.

By the way, these journals are written by an amazingly talented local Wayne woman named Gretchen MacMurry MacKenzie. You can read more about her here. My own words could never do her inspirational story justice. Trust me on this:)

In addition, a portion of all journal sales goes to charity. You can read about that here.

#3 A Caftan 

Too much? Maybe a little too Mrs. Roper?

Looks comfy but I don't know if I could pull it off... probably not.
India Hicks
Lilly Pulitzer
Society Social

#4 Table Lamps




Both Circa
I can't go wrong with either of these beauties can I?

#5   Meal Delivery Service

Too extravagant, right? ...  maybe?

After I wrote the post on moving to a plant-based diet here. I've received several emails from readers recommending Real Food Works in Conshohocken, PA.

You can order as little as 5 meals per week and they offer gluten-free and all natural meals.  Their website says...

"The ingredients in our meals are 100% from-the-earth. Read: if it grows naturally, it's in. If it's made in a factory, it's out."

Kinda Heidi Klumish wouldn't you say?... Natural food in, processed food...YOUR OUT! Aufwiedersehn! (in a German accent with a double kiss --of course).
Definitely something to ponder. Learn more about their meals here.

#6  Spring Cleaning 

I have a confession to make.  I'm absolutely petrified to clean my electronic devices like my camera and computer screens. Does anyone else share that same phobia? Why is that? 

Well, I'm going to take the mystery and fear out of it for all of us. Check out Design Mom's tips for cleaning all things techie here.

#7 Books

These books for my nieces. This first one --- just because it's Audrey. And I love all things Hepburn. A classy friend of mine gave it away as swag at her daughter (Audrey's) birthday party and it was just perfect -- like Audrey herself.

And this adorable book from the same author here.

#8 This Bar Cart

She'd be great for entertaining this summer. All sassy and brassy and holding lots of alcohol. Makes me smile just thinking about it.

Society Social

#9 This Ikat Topper
Two Penny Blue
You can buy it here at Two Penny Blue.  
#10 This Gossip Chair
oomph online
Just because it's cooky and pretty at the same time!

And I mean, really? How would you converse with someone in this chair?

Have a GREAT weekend! If you need to refresh your home for spring and summer shoot me an email at kraussteph@yahoo.com. More information on my services above!