Posts tagged home decor
Using Pillows to Transition a Room
This post is a part of the Wayfair Homemakers network. I was compensated for this post, but the selections and opinions are my own.

1. Home Pillow 2. Map Pillow 3. Owl Pillow 4. Pink Spots Pillow

When we first moved into our house thirteen years ago, we purchased the most comfortable couches we could find for our living room. The full couch and loveseat are so overstuffed that they fill the room almost on their own. I selected the most neutral tone I could find so that the couches would work with whatever we wanted.

I love these couches. I also hate them. And I'm ready for something with more style and equal comfort.

Our living room is now our art room, and I have big ideas for built-ins, striped walls, and modern furnishings. Right now, though, I have none of those, nor the budget to to make them happen so I'm making incremental steps to transition the room from tired and traditional to something creative and unique.

Pillows are an easy way to transition a room from season to season and now they helping me build my vision for this space with brighter tones and a little humor and playfulness. My friends at Wayfair have a great deal for you, too, if you're ready to start planning your remodel or redesign. The three we have had added a new sense of energy and are setting up the palette for our Christmas tree this year, too. Can't wait to show you that one!


They almost never run coupon codes, but the Wayfair Homemakers get to share this exclusive code!  The code is good for 15% off and is good from now until November 24th. The code is: WFPTP15

Let's spice up our homes, a little bit at a time.

Have a bright weekend, friends!

xoxo, MJ




Giveaway with DLK

Helllooo, friends! I missed you. I missed you so much that I really feel like I have to make up for our time apart. How about a little present to make it up to you? No, no. How about a big present?

I'm teaming up with some best buds (Joy of Frock Files, Melissa of Lulu the Baker, Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia, and Kim of Design Life Kids) to give away a $150 gift card to Design Life Kids! Yes, mm hmm. Happy about it, too. Design Life Kids is a new online shop for all things modern, designed, and fun. Kim has packed her store with home accessories, kids couture, and fantastical gifts that you'd feel good wrapping for anyone on your Christmas list.

What would I buy? I've narrowed it down to my top six gift picks. What would be yours?

  1. Je T'Aime Triangle Tee
  2. Playful DIY Craft Book by Merrilee Liddiard (one of my favorites - see my fangirl post)
  3. Arne Jacobson Cups
  4. Pasta Amore Pillowcase
  5. Dot Wall Decals
  6. Allo! Lemon Tee


Our giveaway runs until Friday morning at 12:00am (midnight Thursday). I really want you to win. Here's what you gotta do:

* Leave a comment below with your favorite item from the shop.
* And for bonus entries....Like DLK on Instagram
* Regram one of our Instagram images.

xoxo, MJ



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Staying Stylish at Home
This is a sponsored post by Kleenex Brand. However, all opinions expressed are my own. I've used Kleenex for many years and carefully selected my favorite designs. I'm excited to share these new additions with you.


Hi friends! I'm partnering with the folks from Kleenex to show off some great design and celebrate 90 years of Kleenex. As a designer, I've appreciated the ways that Kleenex has brought fresh color, clean patterns, and innovative product design to consumers. When I got my first place, a 2BR apartment, I recall fishing through stacks of boxes at my grocery store, in search of the electric daisy design to add some life to my dull apartment bathroom. Maybe old habits die hard because I find myself using Kleenex patterns still to add some interest to our spare bathroom decor.

Two years ago, my husband and I decided to expand our home's capacity to welcome guests, and in so doing, expanded our basement to include a guest bedroom and bathroom while also enlarging the kids' playspace. The bathroom usually serves as a space for the kids to clean up, but also functions as a guest bath when friends or grandparents stay with us. And since I'm also prone to decor attention deficiency (yes, I just made that up), and I love to switch things up by reusing items we have in other parts of the house. So, we decided to keep it neutral. The bathroom has no natural lighting so I find the an injection of color set against the white surfaces really helps keep the space bright.


If it's a classic Normal Rockwell (I love this one, "Freedom from Fear"), I think the paisley works well. Showing off colorful donut paintings from my daughters? I like the saturated tones in the floral pattern. And a simple still life is set off so nicely by the geometric designs.

Which would you choose for your space? Check out the Style Studio to see an abundance of other possibilities...

xoxo, MJ

P.S. And... if online quizzes are your guilty pleasure (ahem, right here), take the "Catwalk or Kleenex" test which to see if you can guess if the design was high fashion or Kleenex. Just taking the quiz enters you into the sweepstakes (which will get you to NYC with 5K). Hurry over - sweepstakes ends today.


Bring on the color, Pantone

Happy week, dear friends! Around these parts, it's cold with over a foot of snow on the ground, and it's a monochromatic lover's wonderland.

I am, however, a color fanatic. As much as I want to ooze passion for the shades of white and gray, I just can't. And my spirit is itching for the tones of spring and new life.

Pantone puts out color sheets for every season and many moons ago they posted their colors for spring 2014. When I first saw them, I brushed them off (who needs color suggestions?), but the more middle tone steel gray I breathe in, the more I realize how much I do need it!

So, today's post is just a bit of eye candy for you, to gaze upon the rich palette of colors that await us. And, if you're a bit like me, you'll sneak in these saturated hues before everyone else to offer a breeze of hope and spring! Please forgive the hearts, I'm still in a Valentine-kinda mood.

Placid Blue / Violet Tulip / Hemlock / Freesia / Celosia Orange / Cayenne / Paloma / Sand / Radiant Orchid / Dazzling Blue


What color are you gravitating towards these days?

xoxo, MJ

Design Improvised and Haeley: 12 Blogger Christmas
Welcome to Day 8 of the 12 days of Blogger Christmas! I adore celebrating the tremendous work of talented people so thanks for indulging me in all this fun!!


All 12 ladies featured in this series make blogging look effortless and today's designer, artist, publisher, marketer is no exception. Haeley is the mastermind behind Design Improvised, and she's always filled with good ideas and approachable design (who can resist a pom pom balloon?)


Design Improvised is really just a natural extension of all the things I have loved doing for as long as I can remember. Even when I was working 60+ hours a week as a management consultant, my favorite thing to do on the weekends was to clip ideas out of my home magazines and use them as inspiration for DIY projects around the house. I left consulting 4 years ago upon the birth of my first daughter and started the blog shortly after that as a way for me to catalog some of the projects I’d done and share them with family and friends.

I knew I really wanted to stay home with my daughters while they’re young, however it was also really hard for me to give up my professional identity and goals. In many ways, my blog has filled that gap by giving me something to continue to grow and evolve while serving as a creative outlet. 


Design Improvised focuses on easy, accessible home decor & entertaining projects that make a big impact. As a mom of a two-year-old and a four-year-old, I have very small windows of time to work on projects. Almost everything I make can be done in under an hour for under $20. I use simple materials and avoid power tools (unless you classify my beloved glue gun as a power tool!).


Design Improvised's projects have been featured on Apartment Therapy, Daily Candy, Babble, and Better Homes and Gardens among others. In addition to writing at Design Improvised, I contribute to The Land of Nod and Hayneedle blogs. 


Pom Pom Balloons - this particular project went viral and continues to be the most popular DIY on my blog. It is at the essence of what my blog is all about - simple projects that make a big impact. Who would've thought you could hot glue pom poms to a balloon to transform them, but it works and you can whip them up in minutes before a party!

My Craft Room / Office Reveal - after spending years crafting at the kitchen table, with my craft supplies taking over most of the living space, it was a dream come true to get my own dedicated craft space upon our move to a new home this summer. I had dreamed up what this space would be like well in advance of the move, and it was so fun to see it come to life. My girls and I are in there daily making a mess, and I love every minute of it.

Dress Up Birthday Party - I love planning our girls' birthday parties and I try to make them special events without going over the top with the decor and budget. My daughter Stella's recent 4th birthday dress up party is a great example of my favorite type of party - filled with simple DIY touches that don't break the bank.


I would love for Design Improvised to be considered one of the top sources of inspiration for achievable, easy DIY projects that anyone can do! However, I’ve never really considered growing my blog as an end-goal in itself, I’ve always seen it more as a means to an end. A couple years from now, I’d like to be working full time again, but in a role that lets me combine my business background with my creative passions. If Design Improvised can open up opportunities to do that, I will consider it a huge success!

I would love to continue to grow my readership, make enough income from blogging to cover my girls' preschool costs, and carve out a few more hours each week towards DIYing!
P.S. I'm once again joining in 30 days of sketching Elizabeth, Nicki, Kim, Melanie, and more will be posting their sketches on Instagram, #30sketches, and I'll be sharing mine in the post script throughout January! See all of the sketches over here on Pinterest.

P.P.S. Tomorrow I'm bringing to you a women of style, great taste, huge talent... and the cutest pup on the internet!

On the eighth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design Improvised.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Bring Joy.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Minnow + Co.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design + Life + Kids.

On the third day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design Stitch Go.

On the second day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Trouvé Magazine.

And Lulu the Baker !

Craft Date: Burlap Placemats

Hi cuties,

Happy week to you. It's the last full one for September, and it's time to get your fall on. So far we have three oversized pumpkins on the stoop, a wreath on the door, and 3 large bags of apples hanging out in our kitchen. We're just beginning to crack open the wonder of autumn.


My pal, Renee, and I decided to get crafty last week, and we were choosing among some ideas we'd seen around the interwebs. Choices: yarn words, burlap placmemats, or concrete planters

With all the supplies ready at hand, we opted for.... drumroll please... the burlap placemats.


Renee was our shopper and purchased all that we needed (though it wasn't much) from the local craft store. Wanna do this craft date with a buddy of yours? Here are the simple ingredients:

  • 3 yards of burlap - we made 10 placemats out of this amount with plenty spare.
  • Paint - we had a variety of colors but opted for the black since it made the biggest statement against the brown texture
  • Scissors
  • Sharpies or stencils
  • Fray stop or clear nail polish
  • Patient friend (not required but makes it much more fun)

First we measured the size of a standard placemat and decided to cut ours to 14" x 18".

Renee has a beautiful home and even more beautiful children (three under the age of 4), and I'd like to take just a moment to thank her for hosting me and for putting up with my very crooked cutting of burlap.

We worked at her dining room table, and I laid out the fabric to get the best cuts. Inevitably the burlap would stretch and pull in one direction or another, and nice straight edges were no where to be found.

But! Never fret. Burlap is forgiving, and for this project we wanted to create a fringe... so we had a little wiggle room (and some repairing trims to do).


Burlap cut to size... To create the fringe on the placemats, pull one string on each edge until you achieve the desired length you'd like.


Next step adding the design. We both wanted words. Renee went with the names of her family members (except for baby E who might not yet appreciate burlap). I went with words of thanksgiving.

These dried really quickly, and we added some fray stop to the border. Simply turn the placemat over and trace along the entire perimeter.


We've been enjoying our new placemats since last week, and the kids have been intrigued with their words at each meal. I love the bit of texture and some homespun goodness all tied together with a fun friend project.

Renee and I had so much fun we're making Craft Date a quarterly gathering. We're currently sketching out the winter project (got any ideas you wanna toss our way?)!


Also the idea of a Craft Date sparked a collaboration with Kim over at Design + Life + Kids. We'll be doing a project next Tuesday for Craft Date... one from the idea files last week... those amazing milk carton concrete pots. If you're dying to make some too, send me a message!!

Have a project on your mind and need a pal to get you motivated to create? Leave an idea in the comments or send me an email at, and we just might be able to set up a craft date, near or far.

Because it's just more fun to do it together.

xoxo, MJ

PS. Renee, you're the best.