HGTV Dream Home: Inspiration for 2017

One thing I look forward to every New Year’s Day is the unveiling of the HGTV Dream Home.  I like to watch to get attainable (they use materials from every-man retailers like Lumber Liquidators, Wayfair and Cabinets to Go) design ideas to implement in my home or to inspire new designs for clients.  I really like that over the past few years HGTV remodeled existing homes vice building anew as they always used to.  This year’s home was a stunning remodel converting a Contemporary-Spanish-ish home on St. Simons Island, GA into a Modern-Low Country beauty.

They did away with a previous yellow stucco in favor of a white cedar shake siding and bold black trim and shutters.  The entry way and several other access points were converted from dated archways to expansive double doors.  Finally, the brown architectural shingle roof was changed to a lovely metal roof complete with an adorable cupola to give it an authentic Low Country look.  The conversion looks great, and close up shots reveal gorgeously finished wood front doors, but from a distance I’d maybe like to see a front door with a fun color maybe a vibrant mango or coral, especially since this is a seaside community.

HGTV Dream Home Before (Photo: Joe Loehle)
HGTV Dream Home Exterior, After (Photo: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography)


The interior designer, Brian Patrick Flynn, wasn’t afraid to take a few risks in the interior and achieved bold looks without looking totally whacko.   This large scale bust portrait at first glance has an air of traditional to it, when in reality, with her bandana and earrings, she’s a bit irreverent and lets you know her owner has a sense of humor.

HGTV Dream Home Entry with Quirky Art (Photo: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography)



















This living room is a great mix of styles, Southern, Rustic, Glam, Cottage…. which could easily have gone awry, but instead looks relaxed and collected.

HGTV Dream Home Living Room mixes styles without looking chaotic (Photo: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography)


Ok, I’m a bit conflicted on the kitchen selections.  I really like the drab khaki-grey toned shaker cabinets as they remind me of the early 2000’s Martha Stewart drabware everything.  Totally a great fit for a Low-country home and a great alternative to the bright white cabinet of 2016.  But oh, the green subway tile AND green counters AND green hardware?  I get the earthy vibe it’s trying to elicit to keep in touch with the swampy, Spanish moss covered setting…. but it’s a bit much for me.

HGTV Kitchen with 2017 trend in cabinets (Photo:Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography)

























I’d change out the counters for something like this and the hardware for something in black, like this one below.

River White Granite as a more neutral alternative


Almost black oil rubbed bronze might be hardware with more style longevity























This Master Suite design is spot on.  The blue shade is calming but rich and vibrant and I think taking it onto the ceiling was the right decision (maybe without the bright white can lights, though).  I think we’ll see a resurgence of the traditional heavy drape in 2017 too, and Brian Patrick Flynn does them perfectly here, keeping the color light and style classic.

HGTV Dream Home Master Bedroom mixes calming blues (Photo: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography)


Usually home gyms are utilitarian and stark.  Why not exercise in a space that has a bit of style so that even if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing you can at least enjoy where you are?  Cork floors are a smart choice for the occasional dropped weight and are forgiving on the joints, not to mention looking classy.  The mullioned antiqued mirrors are also a great choice that make this look more like a real thoughtful room in the home than just an industrial utilitarian space.

HGTV Dream Home Gym to workout in style (Photo: Tomas Espinosa)


I wanted to be sure to share this guest bathroom from the HGTV Dream Home.  Is it the most spectacular bath in the home? Nope, not at all, BUT I think the setup of this bathroom is very similar to bathrooms in many American homes – it’s small, has room for just a single vanity, and has a standard tub – yet it still looks fantastic.  Some takeaways for what you could copy, rather than a regular shower curtain, use real drapes and take them from ceiling to floor.  Remove that frameless contractor grade mirror and replace it with a uniquely framed mirror and don’t be afraid of a bold color, especially if your fixtures (sink, tub, tile etc.) is white.  You could do those 3 things for under $200 and totally give a new 2017 look to your bathroom.

HGTV Dream Home small bathroom with big style (Photo: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography)

























Finally, one of my favorite spaces in this home is actually not in the home at all, it’s the backyard and pool area.  Much of the style isn’t because of any intentional styling at all but rather due to the landscape designers decision to leave lots of foliage, including that lovely dripping Spanish Moss.

HGTV Dream Home pool and arbor (Photo: Cristina Wedge)


HGTV Dream Home backyard lush with mature trees and Spanish moss (Photo: Tomas Espinosa)


Haunted Halloween Decor

Halloween is huge! It seems like all major retailers carry Halloween decor items for both indoor and outdoor.  And it’s more than just those wispy cotton spiderwebs that look great for a minute until it rains or the ‘ol standby DIY sheet ghosts.  Halloween decorations today are thoughtful, imaginative, chic, and wonderfully creepy.  Here are a few favorites that will spook up any home.

So, I’m not sure if this first one from Grandin Road is cute or creepy.  Cute because its dogs, but creepy because obviously it’s supposed to be dead dogs,  so there’s THAT… nevertheless it makes for a scene that would garner a lot of looks for your front lawn.

I’m a sucker for black and white, and while this porch scene by Jill at Create.Craft.Love is simple, it also has class.  Even those without a DIY “bone in their body” might create this sophisticated porch.

raven inspired halloween porch

This one would be fantastic all lit up at night, so start scouring sales at the hobby stores for all those funkins and battery operated tea lights.

Martha Stewart is the queen of Halloween (I figured that was nicer than making some witchy remark), but seriously her empire is crazy imaginative when it comes to Halloween and in my opinion nobody does it better. This wreath is so simple and would be so easy to create, such a great idea, I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before.  Duh, it’s because I’m not Martha.

And the indoor version also by Martha, a great contradiction of spiders, flies and snakes with pure white roses.

For a party or special event the ripped cheesecloth  draped over the sofa and bats on the wall is spooky and fun.

The Best Room Ideas for Halloween halloween decoration ideas The Best Halloween Decoration Ideas Room Decor Ideas Room Ideas Room Decoration Halloween Halloween Decoration Ideas Homemade Halloween Decorations 13




















This foyer idea is genius and so cute.

Our Indoor Decor ~ Withering Heights Inn (New for 2015)-coatrack.jpg:

And a final smart and classy idea from Martha.  You could do a silhouette of just about anything spooky.

What are your great ideas fitting for for a disturbing Halloween decor?

Discount Dozen: Pendant Lights under $100

I have always been fascinated and wowed by all of those Pinterest posts of crafty people that DIY light fixtures from all kinds of junk. Mason jars, wine bottles, toilet paper tubes, you name it, pinners can make a light out of it, by just buying a “simple pendant light kit at your local hardware store”.  Ok, now, I don’t doubt that it can be done and while I’m willing to invest time in home projects, I’ve just never gathered the motivation to DIY a light.  Perhaps it’s because there are so many great inexpensive options out there already.  Here’s a quick discount dozen lights, with great style that I’ve found for under a hundred bucks. Heck, 5 of them are under $55!



  1. Progress Lighting Mesh Pendant $83.60
  2. Ikea Stockholm Chandelier $99.00
  3. ET2 Starburst 1 Light Globe Pendant $52
  4. World Market Wood and Glass Pendant Lamp $89
  5. Bella Coastal Elsa Mini Pendant Light $98
  6. Threshold Crosby Collection Small Pendant Light $31.49
  7. Lamps Plus Lite Source Tendril Mini Pendant $91
  8. Allen and Roth Brushed Nickel Art Deco Mini Tinted Glass Bell Pendant $47.98
  9. World Market Brass and Wood Glenn Pendant Lamp $69
  10. West Elm Fanned Paper Pendant $69
  11. Ikea Ottava Pendant $34.99
  12. Threshold Mercury Glass Globe Pendant $53.99

Copper …for More Than Kettles

Metal accents are an important part of any home design. Trends in home metallics seem to shift about once per decade. The 80’s had bright fake looking brass, the 90s had chrome, the 2000’s had brushed nickel, and the 2010’s saw brass making a resurgence in its brushed form.  Now I’m starting to see copper all over the place.  I’m glad that this may mark the end of the brass era or at least calm it down a bit, I was never able to get fully on the bright gold bandwagon.  Copper, however, is a metal candidate that I can fully endorse. It can add a bright highlight in a range of shiny pink, peach or orange or a more dulled and worn green, blue or bronze color after exposure and patina.  Here are some great items to add to your home to keep up with the copper trend ranging from the minimal investment in a Target clock to fully committed farmhouse sink.  Links to items in the list below.



  1.  Baltimore Pendant
  2.  Card File Pull
  3.  Fountain Cove Modern Antique Faucet
  4.  Metal Copper Stainless 2×6 Tile
  5.  Lassen Line Candle Holder
  6.  West Elm Copper Flatware 
  7.  Threshold Wall Clock
  8.  Copper Rim Spirit Decanter
  9.  Kembla Copper Farmhouse Sink
  10.  Marble and Copper Cheese Knives
  11.  Strata Showerhead
  12.  Progress Brookside Outdoor Wall Sconce

Falling for Wreaths

I don’t know how it happened but after I got married and moved away from home one of the first design elements/ DIY projects I became obsessed with was creating a really killer front door wreath.  At the time, I was creating wreaths left and right, for my own front door, for family doors, for every season and holiday.  It’s been a while since I whipped one up but I still love ogling front doors and what people decide to adorn them with. A good wreath can enhance a beautiful door, or hide the flaws of an ugly door, or just happily welcome a new season.  So today I’m sharing some of the best fall wreaths I’ve seen out there lately.  Since it’s the first day in a zillion when it’s under 90 degrees here in Northern Virginia, I feel like it’s finally ok to swap out my summer wreath for the fall wreath on my own door and maybe even make a new one.  Which one would you create this autumn? Click the image for the sources.

The post where I found this one said it could be made from feather dusters, which I think would take forever, but it sure does look great.

















I love the addition of purple to these next two wreaths, it’s a little bit unexpected for fall and adds a lot of interest.





































This one, with a more traditional autumn color scheme has a wonderful cascading effect.  I might opt for a more rustic looking ribbon since I think this perfect ribbon would look like a mess if exposed to the elements (and by elements I mean wind, rain, and the neighborhood kids yanking on it).



















This one with mini pumpkins by  On Sutton Place is adorable.













This simple vertical swag by Stagetecture looks simple but gorgeous, and a phenomenal stone wall doesn’t hurt either.






















And finally a few cuties that make the best of raw natural elements and display them perfectly.