Happy Thanksgiving, newsworthy, client happenings and black Friday possibilities!

I've got a lot to get to but first --- Happy Thanksgiving!

I need to get off this computer and start brining my turkey asap. If your hosting you may want to check out my post on how to set a simple holiday table -- here!

Just found out the Philadelphia Inquirer is going to interview one of my all-time favorite client's for it's Sunday Haven home section. Very exciting!
Here's the kitchen the Inquirer will be writing about:) You can read more about this project here and here or wait for the article!
 Here's what I've been up to this past week (according to my iphone anyway)

Checked on the progress of a total reno for a fun, fabulous and young family... here are some pics

LOVE this gorgeous window

paint color is nimbus Benjamin Moore

Some of their beautiful lighting was installed all from Visual Comfort.

This is probably my favorite lantern of all time --- I use it a lot -- I just can't help myself:)

I've also used it here about a year ago

 you can see more of this room HERE

The lantern below was chosen for it's versatility.

We're going to start with it hanging semi-flush to the ceiling but eventually we're placing a large circular entry table in the space and we'll lower the lantern to give it a more formal appearance.

Like this

Another one of my favorite sconces. I love it's simplicity and modern lines.

Here's the kitchen in progress

And their new modern master bath
On another note...

We installed these classic yet beautiful navy curtains in a family room I've been working on...

We also added a gorgeous navy textured wallpaper in this home.

F. Schumacher
More pictures to come later as these spaces develop!!

Or if you want more... check out my feed on  Instagram. So much more going on over there!

 And last but not least I wanted to share some items I've been wearing and loving... possibilities for some black Friday shopping!!

This fur vest

I layer this over a black turtleneck...

525 America

These leather leggings ON SALE!!!

And the most most FAB, WARM (yes, warm) coat


That's all for now!
Thanks for reading!! xoxo

Ready for Spring?

I will never be so prepared for a season
as I will be for this upcoming Spring.
In fact I did a bit of spring shopping for "winter into spring"  staples.
You know ... what the fashion world calls "transition wear".
So I have to find my new spring uniform or the go-to outfit I'll shamelessly wear everyday.
The Schoolboy Blazer
 I'll wear it with this great fitting jeweled baseball tee
(go up a size - it runs a bit small)

Oh yea I'm buying two because I love the fit.
Do you ever do that?
I'll pair it with my skinny jeans and boots on cool damp days
and these flats on warm spring-like days.
Tory Burch
By the way I can't get enough of nude shoes.
I have a closet full of them ... wedges, flats, heels, They have to be of the pale nude shade variety and not that dark carmel shade.
Not sure why.
Oh, and one more must-have item from JCREW.
The tippi.

It comes in a million different colors, has a great fit and is the perfect weight for a spring sweater:)
Speaking of spring shopping I hit up Skirt in Bryn Mawr because I wanted to try the new Mom's Organic market in Rosemont (I highly recommend visiting the juice bar before you do your shopping).
Here's what I found....

Great Spring Bags!
These lavender numbers
This one from Tibi
Tons of stripes. Everyone's spring staple...
By the way crop tops are boss for spring. Just so you're in the know.
I think they were the rage in the 90's too?? It's such a don't for me ...but if I were to do this is how...
And can't forget the statement necklace

If you want to see more of what Skirt offers for spring scroll down on their facebook page here! These girls know how to throw an outfit together!
My next stop?
Coco Blu in Wayne. LOVE that store --it's such a pretty store  filled with gorgeous fashion.
I told you I WILL be prepared for this Spring season.
Also, am heading to the St. Katharine of Siena Fashion Show tomorrow night featuring some incredible fashion from
Louella in Wayne.
Join me why don't you?
For more information go here.
Let's go broke together!

Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest!

And like my page on facebook or subscribe to my newsletter
on the upper right hand side of this blog or you may not get my posts:(

Things I'm all about this week

So I'm working on a family room addition with the nicest cutest family ever:)
This is our fabric scheme
This blue colorway is so fresh and fun...the trellis fabric will be used for window treatments and the other two for large and luxurious pillows.
How cool is this light fixture and bead board ceiling the homeowners chose for their new space?
So lucky to be working with yet another client with fabulous taste:)
Will keep you posted as this room develops!!
Remember this dining room wallpaper?

Well pieces similar to these will be arriving soon!
Love the combination of traditional dining furniture with fresh and modern wallpaper!
Will share pictures upon arrival.... I know such a tease aren't I?
This lovely lavender fabric scheme has been presented to another client and selections have been made!
And you guessed it ...you'll have to wait and see ... oh the suspense!
Okay let's talk about you guys and how you can add texture to a room without spending a lot of $$.
My favorite accent pillow
West Elm
Mongolian Lamb pillow

So fun and soft! It's a perfect way to add texture to a chair or sofa for fall. Pair it with your favorite throw and it will become your favorite spot in the room!

Speaking of fall I'm obsessing over adding one of these winter coats in pale pink to my closet.

Saw the double-cloth lady coat in RETRO PINK on page 6 of the new JCREW catalog and I love it paired with camel or olive green.

I can't seem to find the image of it on the net or the website??

Would you wear a pale pink winter coat or is it just to toddlerish?

Thanks for reading!! xoxox


Things I'm all about this week

There's just a smattering of summer left and I'm savoring every last bit of it... how about you?

I've been on vacation and will be for the next few weeks, hence the lack of posts:)

So while I'm here I thought I'd share some summery things I'm all about this week...

These crisp navy and white towels from One Kings Lane

This great abstract from Michelle Armas also on One Kings Lane


I'm holding on to summer as long as I can so I thought this soft neutral makeup look would be perfect while I'm still sporting a tan.

You can watch Cara's video here on how to achieve it. Of course it's a bit heavy handed for me but I always tailor it to my own look:)
Serena & Lily are having a crazy awesome sale check it out here
This shower curtain
This sconce
This stool
and my favorite baskets are 50% off
WHAAAAAT??  Don't miss it.
This fun and summery powder room featured on Sadie and Stella .. you can see more of it here.
designed by Natalie Clayman
I know I'm not supposed to say this three letter word (fall)
How about this crazy cool rug for fall.... how cozy??

These Kate Spade flats are animal-print perfection.

Kate Spade
Here's a great summer into fall look by JCREW

And of course this on trend jeweled-tone perfection for fall by Tory Burch here and here.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy what's left of your summer!! xoxo

Things I'm all about this week...

How cute are the royal couple with their new baby?

I mean seriously???
Look at them.
And Kate's hair?



You can get Kate's similar polka dot look here or here.

Thin lips? Whaaaat??... yes, I have thin lips. But not any more... not since I watched this video. Check it here.
on your phone? click here
I wore this dress over the weekend. LOVE. It's soooo pretty and it was on sale to boot. Score one for me.
I'm obsessing over this wallpaper that was featured by Beth Connolly on Chinoiserie Chic.
I don't know what's beyond that entry I just know I want to live there. It's navy and white perfection.
I managed to throw these flowers together for my goddaughter's christening this weekend.

Fun and girly aren't they?
 You can never go wrong with white and various shades of green and pink. All of these flowers came from Produce Junction and cost $35 in total. Love that place.
Also coveting my friends fire table from RH
Fabulous, right? I want to roast marshmallows here. Among other things.  If you want to pull the trigger on it go here.
And these jeweled-tone pieces for fall?
tory burch
Yep, I said fall.
Thanks for reading!! xoxo

Line 'em up! A great idea for container gardening ...

I don't know about you but when I design my container garden I usually think in pairs. Two planters together with a bunch of colorful flowers or boxwoods.

Entrance at our beach house rental
This year I'm going to create a more elegant feel and use multiples of the same container with the same plant in each. Say what? Check out the below images.

It's almost like creating a living wall or border on a patio or a deck.  This look would also be pretty amazing lined up around a pool or on a porch too. I'll be honest I'm so drawn to this look ... I just love it!




via Proven Winners

The best thing? You don't need fancy or expensive planters.  In fact, I really like containers with clean simple lines for this look because the impact is all in the numbers.

Here's two I have contemplated:

home depot

Thoughts? Do you like this look?? Too simple for you??

In other news...
In my weekend bag -



Did you notice a pattern? Why all jcrew? 30 percent off today of course!!

Oh ...and I found out the secret to making the best homemade lemonade on one of my favorite blogs Design Mom! You should check it out here!

Have a GREAT weekend and thanks for reading!!

Father's Day is on my mind....

In honor of father's day these rooms come to mind

All images via pinterest
Masculine with just a touch of feminine detail. Love them all!
I'm also thinking...
About a small project for my daughter to make for her dad -- an adorable card for father's day.

You can learn how to make it here at Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Need a gift for dad? How about...

jcrew swim
US Open Paraphernalia (especially for all of us local peeps)

jcrew T
Customized Nike Sneakers-- I'd like to design a pair myself!

How about a DIY? Perfect for young kids...

Buy a small pack of canvases from Michael's and acrylic paint in a cool color along with a coordinating sharpie.  Have your kids write their name, year and stamp their hand or footprint on the canvas --- perfect for dad or grandpop's home office!

Not digging any of these?

Check out this month's Real Simple magazine for more ideas!

Needed to take a break from the bookcase situation will be back next week with my secrets to styling!!

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Let's take it inside shall we?

I've had several reader requests (okay, three people asked me after a few cocktails this weekend) to do a post on fireplace mantle styling.

Not always on my radar in May, but let's be honest a fireplace is usually THE focal point in a room so what goes above it ... well, it's gonna make a statement. 

I see it this way. There are two camps -- those who love ...

#1  Symmetrical design above a fireplace which is one large piece and maybe two objects flanking the piece on either side (objects can be sconces, vases, topiaries, hurricaines, etc.)


splendid sass

house of turquoise

#2  And those of us who like asymmetrical design with lots of layering of art, accessories and collected objects.

So your first step is to look at the above images and decide which style appeals to you most, stick with it and go from there.

Now, let's tackle the symmetrical style first.

My one rule of thumb here is to make sure your statement piece is BIG. HUGE.  We definitely don't want any dinky pieces hanging up there looking all lost and lonely.

If you look at the below examples you can see the art or mirror is filling up most of the space above the fireplace.


Also, if you want to flank the main piece with flowers or accessories on either side remember scale is important. We must never use objects that are too puny or too small:). Remember, they have to hold their own weight with the piece they're standing next too:). 

Okay moving on to asymmetrical design. Here you start with one large piece, but there are no set rules. Just use objects you love of different sizes, shapes and textures and layer them. You may have to step back from your work a few times to make sure it looks cohesive.

I actually like the example above to demonstrate. I would start with one large piece and would layer two pieces of art of varying size and shapes (always work in odd numbers). Then I would layer working from the middle out --adding objects and vases from tallest to smallest like above. Or below where they placed the smallest objects in the middle and worked their way out placing the taller objects on either end. Either way looks fab.

Here's other fun ways to style your fireplace for summer since we won't be lighting any fires anytime soon:

These are just magazines and books turned with their pages out and layered on top of each other.


Coral and Shells

 And this ...  I'm not really sure what this is?  But it looks cool.

So, I hope I was able to resolve your decorating dilemma and give you a little help on styling your fireplace.

I also want to add a big thank you to everyone who has sent me emails, stopped me on the street, at yoga and in car line letting me know they read my blog. Words can not express how thankful I am to all of you and your kindness -- so keep these ideas coming and thanks for reading!! Hugs to everyone.

OK, back to Bizness...

Random Thoughts

JCREW gone and done it again. Love this.
I think this line is all sold out -- all that's left is the sweater in this print. Such a tease.
Moving on, 

We're friends now, right?

I need to let you in on a little secret that has changed my life (well maybe not changed my life, but I feel a whole heck of a lot better about myself!)

I've been trying to change to a plant-based, real food only diet -- whaaaat???? Trust me it aint easy. And, I know its not revolutionary but I swear it's truly amazing!

After the holidays I was looking to do a cleanse not a Gwyneth Paltrow serious cleanse. Just a cleanse that little ole me could do and still eat real food. And I stumbled upon this book.


I'm not going to bore you to tears with the science behind this book and I am not a nutritionist I can only tell you that eating this way gives me way more energy, helps me think clearly, sleep better and has knocked off a few of those stubborn pounds too.

I use this book only as a guideline and try to eat as many fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains (basically anything that is grown from the ground) and stay away from anything that is processed.

Have any of you guys tried eating this way? Anyway, give it a try -- see what you think... curious to get your feedback.

Until next time!

oh, and don't forget to like me on facebook, follow me on twitter and sign up for my blog via email on the upper right hand side of my website. Thanks!! xoxo

Who Lives Here?

Praying for our friends in Boston. Please keep everyone safe today.

Take a gander at my curated collection of  
There-is-no-way-children-or-dogs-live-here rooms

all images via pinteerst

Am I white or am I right?

I would love to have an all white house with painted wood floors. Doesn't it look so relaxing and serene? sighhhhhh ... someday.
I would need a full time staff just to keep up with the mud and grime that would plague me, and honestly, ... aint nobody got time for that.

But I do want to let you in on a little secret about these spaces ... in reality, most of these rooms don't even look like these rooms.

It's kind of like celebrities before and after a makeup artist gets a hold of them. Most of the beautiful rooms we see in magazines are photographed and styled by serious professionals (see some below).

Scott and Emily have worked at Martha Stewart Living and countless other place on styling photo shoots -- not sure who the other guy is???

Before a magazine shoot, stylists and decorators come in and remove clutter, change out rugs, add accessories, side tables etc. And the photographers -- well they can transform any room into a work of art with lighting and their mad photography skillz. It's basically like airbrusing for your home!

Feel better? No?

Do you know there is an entire website dedicated to poking fun at the way stylists arrange a room for catalog/magazine photo shoots?

It's called Catalog Living ... a glimpse into the exciting world of  the people living in your catalogs. Check it out here. Total silliness.

Stuff I'm loving

This Flooring

Could my love affair with dark hardwood floors be over?



I don't know these are looking mighty good to me. Pretty french oak flooring ... possibly in a distressed grayish finish? I've been seeing it all over the shelter magazines.

MUCH easier to  maintain ... would hide the dirt ... the dog could do 360's and I think it would actually make the floor look better??? What do you think?

This outdoor fabric
Windsor Smith for Kravet

Lisa Mende Design


But I could be biased...

My chairs
This Throw

But this is always on my list so you can just ignore it.

This necklace

These Plates

This Book

This Hair



Speaking of hair, I have a confession to make I have frizzy, curly uncontrollable locks. I love them but every once in awhile I feel the need to get my hair straightened.

I go to Salon Ziza in Ardmore to get a process called Lazzio (not sure of spelling) so that my hair is summer-ready. Gone are the days of waiting three days to wash your hair to get that sleek smooth straight hair -- its only 24 hours now.

They do an amazing job -- also, wait -- are you sitting down? Salon Ziza offers a rewards program where you can get a shampoo, express conditioner and an amazing blow dry for $20! Yep - doesn't get any better than that my friends. Now there are specific rules that apply in order to receive this discounted price but call them and they will explain. BEST DEAL IN TOWN!

Ok, bye for now -- next time we are going to discuss outdoor rooms-- so fun!!

Let me introduce you to the most beautiful carpet ever

So excited about this!!!

Whaaaaaaat? Why so happy about green weeds?

No my friends in a few weeks they will look like this



Allium are stunning when planted in bunches or when freshly cut.
 Allium and peonies. Does it get any better?

The good news? Anyone can grow allium -- even me with no green thumb whatsoever. They're also perennials so they come back every spring. And here's a bonus -- deer won't eat them because they're basically just big flowering onions.

"Hello? yes? This is 1985 calling. I'd like my headband back."
The bad news? They have to be planted as bulbs in the fall. Don't worry -- come September I'll remind you to order the bulbs and tell you exactly how to plant them so we can both admire our work together next spring. Deal?

Impressed? Don't be.

This is impressive.
An entire town square made to look like a carpet made out of flowers . Begonias to be exact. Takes place every other year in August in Brussels. These people plan the design a year in advance and it takes over 600,000 flowers to make it happen.
Simply Spectacular
You can read more about it here.

So what can you do right now to create your own carpet of flowers? Run to your local market and buy either tulips (no deer) or daffodils (if you have deer) and plant them in bunches (odd numbers preferably). Plant near your entry or walkway -- and then sit back and enjoy your view:)

Not a gardner? How about some allium inspired art for inside your home?

You can buy it here

How about some Allium-inspired shoes?... just kidding!!!

But, really I did just get these and I love them! I will be sporting them this weekend fur sure. Comfortable, stylish and they will add some serious height.
You can buy them at JCREW.

 Enjoy the nice weather this weekend!

Need a little freshening up at your home or even a second opinion on your design choices? contact me at kraussteph@yahoo.com