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Going Dark

School has officially started in Northwest Arkansas and I'm on my way to putting up the kids water table and pulling out the Cinnamon Cider by Aromatique.      

Inevitably with cooler weather on the horizon I desire richer color and layers.  I'm drawn to rooms that pull you to the corner chairs with plaid wool blankets and the promise of a fire in the fireplace if you stay for a late afternoon coffee.    

We are in a design season of light, light and more light.  "There is nothing a fresh coat of white paint can't fix!" type of mentality and that is great and usually true...  beautiful and when executed correctly, just as cozy as a paneled den.  

What is feeling fresh to me at the moment is going dark.   

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Color stands out so well against the darkness.  

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The back of the shelves are painted the same as the walls and the Wedgwood collection truly pops against the dark.  

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This butler's pantry... cabinets, trim, walls.  I'm a white kitchen lover but this is swaying me.  

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Windows become more of a focal point surrounded by dark.  

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Subtle changes in color stand out more.  

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The dark walls illuminate the surroundings so beautifully.

There are several ways you can go about it.  Commit to just the walls and leave your trim light.  Grass cloth is a gorgeous addition and adds a depth and texture that is hard to achieve with paint.  Or, my favorite, is to paint it all dark...trim, walls, cabinetry, bookshelves.  You'll see your artwork in a new way, your furniture will show differently.  Even your lampshades can be an impact against the dark.  Every space needs dark and light.  Consider transforming one room in your house by going dark.  We are all a little drawn in by the darkness, right?

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services, please contact katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **       

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One Headboard, 2 Beds

Does anyone else hoard magazines?  That's too broad... not every magazine that comes through the mail, but the good ones?  I have yet to toss a House Beautiful or Southern Living.  Others I just tear out the pages with relevant items.  The excitement when they start arriving in the mail for the next month... actually flipping pages.  I just don't get the same thrill with online publications.  

Anyway, this weekend I took some time and had a fresh look at a Manhattan apartment that Amanda Nisbet designed.  It was featured in the March 2014 House Beautiful "Art of Color" if you have it on your coffee table still.  

This snippet of a bedroom. 

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   It is the only picture I've been able to find of it so far but what I really love is the single, long headboard uniting the twin beds.  Based on the fact that this is in Manhattan, the scale of the nightstand between them and the fact that she used one headboard for both makes me think this is a very small bedroom.  Another element I love is the fabric, Brisbane by Missoni.  Nothing boring, forget the solids, forget a monochromatic color scheme but go bold.  

A fresh look for a small room.  Do you love the idea or hate it?  

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services, please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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Textile Tuesday - Hermes Scarves

Fashion classics.  Pieces of art.  

Gorgeous framed.  

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If you need an inspiration point for a room, pick up a scarf.  It doesn't have to be Hermes but it wouldn't hurt.    

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Their scale and the artwork alone, developed by numbers of different artists throughout the years (since 1937), are perfection for statement making. 

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When is comes to making a room special it isn't the "big box" finds that are going to draw the eye, it is the unique find.  The creative use of something.  The unexpected.  

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Keep a lookout for vintage scarves.  Something with depth of color. When unfolded it has interest and add one to your gallery wall... it will richen any space you add it to.  

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~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services, please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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Staircase - Against the Norm

In this world of mass production, especially in new construction homes, it is hard to make a new home uniquely yours.  We tend to accept the few options a builder presents and think we'll just make it our own with a new wall color and a great furniture arrangement.  Let's think about some of the impact areas of a home.

The kitchen.  A fireplace.  The staircase.

The staircase.  

It is usually located in a prominent area of the home.  It is usually part of the first impression.  You can't redo a first impression.  Why not put some extra thought and money into this architectural element that has forever been one of the more exciting architectural pieces?  

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It doesn't have to be crazy special.  But doesn't this staircase feel special?  All it took was a little extra thought, a darker stain and you walk in thinking... this is good.  

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Or maybe you do go custom in a big way.  This is a pretty standard entryway in a lot of new construction.  A peek of rail.  Why not make that small amount of open staircase memorable?  The marble risers aren't too bad either.  

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Again, not much open stairway here but what is available is special.  Walking into this foyer gets you excited to see the rest of the home, right?  

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This is so, so good.  One thing to consider is whether you have small children and the marketability of your home should you need to sell.  This doesn't endanger little heads trying to get through and classic enough not to scare away a less creative mind.  

I know this isn't a real estate blog but whenever you are messing with the design of your home be it cabinet choices, paint colors or even the hardware on your bathroom cabinets you're messing with the market value of your home.  An appraiser considers some of the more obvious things but what sets your property apart from your neighbors are the aesthetic choices.  Make them valuable.  First impression, again.

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Again with the Chinese Chippendale style but painted and paired with a traditional, substantial newel.  

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Nothing too crazy here other than some extra attention to detail.  You don't have to live in an older home to have the substantial, sturdy staircase that your kids can slide down the bannister on without snapping it.  I love the narrow distance between each baluster.  

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Now, this is obviously not a standard subdivision home but what you can take away from this is thinking outside the box.  This amps up a space in a dramatic way but is very doable.  Instead of steel, frame out in wood.  Even instead of glass use a substantial plexiglass.  Short of wiping handprints or puppy dog nose prints very livable.  I especially love this on the balcony overlooking the double-story living rooms people love.  

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I love this idea.  This is totally DIY and what a statement. 

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To make a home yours don't ignore the architectural elements that seem intimidating.  Don't just look at the builder grade options presented during the building process.  It is worth it.  Do it for yourself... you're climbing those stairs everyday. 

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services, please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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Friday's Five

1.  Absolutely loving the color palette Beth Mathews Design pulled together from the movie "Moonrise Kingdom".  Check out her other palettes!  I mean... "Troop Beverly Hills" anyone?

2.  Paint by number inspired wall decal from Land of Nod.  Considering this for the large empty wall in my playroom.  How fun would it be on a nursery wall?  

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3.  Katie Grace Designs is so, so excited to be working on Riffraff Dallas!  Make sure to follow katiegracedesigns and riffraffdallas on Instagram for sneak peaks and updates.  It's going to be amazing y'all!

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4.  Love the extra special detail on these curtains.  A great way to customize not-so-custom curtain panels.  

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5.  Beautiful inspiration for bold fabric on your windows and keeping everything else calm.  

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Wallpaper Wednesday

Wallpaper can actually be very forgiving when it comes to strange angles in a room, or in the case of some older homes, walls that are less than perfect.  I love how Katie Rosenfeld papered her daughter's room.  

The tiny print isn't too busy for the low angles and reads as a texture rather than a print.  

Another great tip to take from this bedroom are the window treatments.  It can be hard to know what to do when you have windows at different heights or even sizes.  Notice how she has consistency in the bamboo shades and used the same fabric for a cornice on the taller window and curtain panels on the lower window.  In some cases your desire is to disguise the height discrepancy but here she embraced it and treated the windows individually but with the same materials.

Sometimes paint just won't cut it and wallpaper can be your answer!  Small bedrooms are a great place to use wallpaper.  She kept the rest of the big items simple, including the window treatments.  Don't be afraid to commit in a small space or let odd angles discourage you.  

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services, please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **    

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Lighting Love

West Elm is a great source for inexpensive lighting.  They have introduced some new items this summer and I am loving their simplicity and high end look!  Check out some of my favorites:

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Telescoping Table Lamp - Adjustable height is so, so good!  On sale too for $119.00
Mid-Century Glass Pendant - 3 pendants to one fixture for $249.00
Eclipse Chandelier - Love the handblown glass globes; this also comes in a tiered style $349.00
Waterfall Chandelier - My FAVORITE by far.  Reminds me of the somewhat pricey Restoration Hardware fixtures.  This is such a statement and how amazing in a rustic room?!  $799.00

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services, please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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A New Look at Hide

Kyle Bunting has taken decorating with hide to a new level.  We've seen the more traditional look of a hide rug.  We've seen metallics used to glam them up... synthetic versions and faux zebra.  But nothing as exciting as what Kyle Bunting is bringing to the drawing board and the best thing is you don't have to live in Texas or Colorado to pull it off.  

   Yes, the above is entirely made of hide, dyed in the richest greens and sewn into that incredible pattern.  Who couldn't find a home for this?

His work speaks for itself.  The creativity to transform something most people would never consider using in their homes or place of business into something that becomes desirable and a piece of art is refreshing.      

It can be elegant and subtle.  

Or a statement piece that defines a room.  Either way, the luxurious feel and the craftsmanship are outstanding.  

His work isn't limited to the floor.  Gorgeous wall installations, pillows and furniture have entered the picture.  

Here are some more of my favorites.  

All images from Kyle Bunting's site.  Browse and drool over the endless designs and colors.  The world of hide is your oyster... seriously.  

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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Textile Tuesday - Black & White

Loving these black and white prints by Quadrille Fabrics that just arrived!  Nothing can anchor a room better than a little black thrown into the mix.  

Clockwise from top right:

Wildflowers II
Lascaux
Island Ikat
Sahara
Cecil

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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Traditional Master Bedroom Rejuvenation

This client has a beautiful home with traditional taste that needed some updating.  

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The walls and trim are painted Antique White by Sherwin Williams.  The owner already had one of the blue chests so a second chest was purchased for balance.  The botanical prints are from Etsy and custom framed.      

Custom headboard and bedding in neutrals with hints of blues soften the room.  Custom curtains in linen.  All fabrics from Fabric Gallery.  

The bench is a custom piece and doubles as storage.  

Oushak rug in soft tones anchors the room.  The dresser was the perfect size but a dark finish so it was painted and slightly distressed.   The secretary was the owners.  

Flea market chair with a custom monogrammed slipcover.  

There is a beautiful sitting room off of the bedroom where the owners spend a lot of time.  The his and hers chaises were recovered in matching fabric to unite them despite their different sizes.  Table was also already owned by client and from Restoration Hardware.  A soft sheepskin rug keeps things cozy in front of the fireplace.  Chandelier is from Encore in Springdale.  Lamp found at Coming Home Interiors in Little Rock.  Mirror found at Cantrell Design Center.

Traditional bedroom in timeless fabrics and finishes.  A soothing space that can easily evolve as desired.  

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! ** 

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Summer Style

This holiday weekend represents the epitome of summer.  Let's celebrate summer style with these beautiful rooms that capture the spirit of summer.     

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Bright whites, painted wood ceiling, casual washed fabrics and nautical stripes.  

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Blues and more blue, throw down a bold stripe rug, mix up your coffee table decor and a nod to paneling with this faux wood wallpaper by Nobilis.  

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More white, wood and blue.  Casual slipcovers, floor cushions and pops of tomato red call you to relax in this Malibu living room.  

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A tropical print balanced by linen slipcovered chairs and a natural fiber rug.  Painted woodwork keeping things light and bright.  

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This entire home is beach house perfection.  More bright whites, painted wood and rattan.  Slipcovers, casual fabrics and simplified decor.  

Summer decorating calls for restraint and considering what you're using the room for.  Bring the outdoors in, lighten up and don't be afraid to pull some outdoor furniture in.  I love using an outdoor dining chair in a breakfast room.  What is more sturdy than furniture designed to be pounded by the elements?  You don't have to own a beach house to have a home that speaks summer.  

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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Lifestyle - Tory Burch

I love seeing designer's homes whether they are in the fashion business or interior design world.  Someone's personal space is, or should be, a true reflection of themselves.  Getting a glimpse at what they have chosen for themselves is intriguing.    

We all have our favorites that we feel represent "our style" the best.  Mine is Tory Burch.  She is classic with a twist, refreshing, doesn't shy from color but can do neutrals that make you never want to wear anything but khaki and white and I fall in love with every collection season in and out.  Her home(s) are no disappointment.    

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I love that she lives in what she projects into her clothing lines.  Take a traditional silhouette but make it relevant with pattern, color or texture.  These rooms are timeless and that does not translate into "dated".  

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Are your guests surprised when they walk into your home?  We all have a personal style in the way we dress and the way we live.  Those are likely very very similar.  Find that style and surround yourself with it.  Take pride in your living spaces as you do your daily appearance.  If you love it... live in it!  

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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Love it? Have it.

Moroccan Poufs have been all over the place for a while now.  They are flexible seating and are perfect for kids and in nurseries or throw two under a console in your foyer.  For whatever reason the price of them is all over the place too.  Overstock has, what appear to be, identical poufs to Serena and Lily's.  

Serena and Lily's Moroccan Leather Poufs are priced at $495.00.

Overstock.com priced their's at $129.99.  Short of higher quality photography I can't tell you what the differences are but whatever they are.... are they worth around $370?  Not in my house!  

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** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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Friday's Five

We meet again, Friday.  We hope everyone has a joyful weekend planned and finds a way to add a little beauty to their surroundings!

1.  I could do an entire Friday's Five or Twenty from Priley Lane.  Gorgeous, simple pieces in any shade of lacquer you want or go stunning with a linen.  You can keep it traditional with a stain or throw on a magenta skin.  This is a design it yourself situation so the world is your oyster!  Statement pieces at affordable prices.  

2.  These slip covered indoor/outdoor dining chairs from Pottery Barn.  GREAT price on sale for $119.00 and loving the sleek feel for an outdoor dining area!  

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3.  I pinned this as inspiration for my upcoming kitchen remodel (open shelving and no upper cabinets please) and linked over to the blog Cote De Texas.  This is part of a great post on how to buy a timeless home.  Check it out... great tips for what to avoid in new construction as well as what to look for in older homes.  Very good  information!

4.  The Self - Inking Rectangle Stamp from Mark and Graham.  Really anything from this site could make an appearance but who doesn't love stamps and who doesn't love another way to add a monogram?  Or the arrow... or the clever hearts.  

5.  Fabulous and pristine Milo Baughman chairs found this week!!  If you're interested in them email KGD at katiegracedesign@yahoo.com.  

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services contact Katie Grace Designs at katiegracedesign@yahoo.com **

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Kravet & Diane

I love it when fashion designers dabble in collections outside of their fashion houses.  Diane von Furstenberg has an amazing collection with Kravet that launched this spring.

 Personally, I've always loved her.  She took a simple wrap dress in the 1970's and turned it into a staple wardrobe piece for every woman (seriously any woman can and should wear her wrap dress).  She takes patterns and color to the next level.  I still have my first Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress hanging in my closet circa... well let's just say high school.  

The colors in this collection are rich and the patterns are signature.  

It isn't entirely "in your face" though.  Here are my favorites for a more toned down room:

And then there are the trims...  

Check out the entire collection at Kravet.  The solids, textures, silks and even microfibers are gorgeous!

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services please contact Katie Grace Designs at katiegracedesign@yahoo.com **

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Seeing Red

In today's world we are inundated with the latest and greatest.  There is an urge to always upgrade or refresh.  The design world is, of course, running on that concept too.  It is easy to change out and relatively inexpensive to do so with so many affordable options out there.  

But, what if you committed to something bold?  I don't mean neutral with pops of your latest favorite bold.... but actually took a room and committed to it.  Let's say.... RED.      

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Red is a color that provokes a reaction whether you're wearing a red dress, driving a red sports car or considering it for a wall color.  A little red goes a long way, I get it.  

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I'll admit I have a house full of safe rooms.  Safe in that I can easily change some pillows out, throw down a different rug and switch out a chair to completely change the look.  The rooms that I remember and left saying "I loved that space, didn't you love it??" are the ones where I was enveloped in them.  In their color, their furniture, the textiles... You can probably say the same thing.    

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Not bashing neutrals or saying they are not well thought out and beautiful, statement making rooms but why not take a rich color and go for it?  Don't water it down but saturate with it?  

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Reds have been such a dining room dominant color that seeing a living room drowning in red lacquer is fresh, exciting and sexy.  

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  These rooms are inviting.  Who wouldn't be tempted to stay awhile?  

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To warm things up, as if red isn't already doing so, don't shy away from layers of pattern and color.  The red can handle it.  The red wants it.  It actually tones it down.  

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Mr. Todd Romano.... you know what I'm talking about.  I can't stop using his work as examples.  

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Throwing a dining area in the mix to show you I'm not restricting bold, saturated, Chinese red to living rooms.  Let's get basic and just go with the primary colors in this room.

The point is, don't be afraid to do something bold.  Taking risks is what makes someone walk in and become interested.  The spaces that stay with you are the ones that made you look at them and not just exist in them.  Maybe it was a shock of fabric, maybe it was the antique piece or maybe it was the fearless use of color.  Don't restrict red to a picture frame or flower on a pillow.  Consider a room in your house that you can create excitement in and don't forget about Red.

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in design services or E-design services please contact Katie Grace Designs at katiegracedesign@yahoo.com! ** 

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Jute's New Look

It is unofficially summer and I'm officially looking to lighten some things up until fall.  Rugs are not necessarily the most inexpensive change but the difference it makes is just shy of completely new furniture.  Jute and natural fiber rugs have come a long way and are one of the more affordable options out there.  You don't need a beach house to make them work and.... you can layer all over them.  I've pulled some favorite jute rugs and inspiration photos to show that you don't have to stick with the coastal look or even the classic and clean Pottery Barn look.  I love the contrast with more traditional, formal furnishings.  Think of them as a neutral base and don't be afraid to throw something else on top.  Use them as your room size rug and then define seating areas with a smaller oriental or cowhide.  With the ones below they can stand all on their own...  

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** If you're interested in Design Services or E-Design Services please contact Katie Grace Designs at katiegracedesign@yahoo.com! **

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Pillow Sale!!

Before we get into our "pillow talk" you should head over to At Home In Arkansas' blog and check out Katie's post!  It showcases some of her favorite repurposed pieces and is great inspiration before a weekend opportunity to peruse flea markets yourself.     

So, since it is that time of year, as in sales all over the place... we decided to put all pillows on sale also!  I kind of have this rule of thumb that I won't buy anything unless it is on sale or from a flea market (if the husband asks then I can claim it was on sale or secondhand).  If you have that same mindset then you now have permission to buy some good looking pillows!!  They are all custom made from high end fabrics with nice zipper closures for easy removal.  Nothing like a new set of pillows to transform your sofa and get it through another season without feeling the itch to replace.  Check out the Shop and keep a look out for a few new additions later today!

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in design services or E-design services please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information!**

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Twin Beds

There is something about walking into a bedroom that has twin beds.  I'm not sure if it is the symmetry I'm drawn to or the way you feel like you can be a bit more playful with twin beds.  Child's room, guest room, vacation home... 1950's master bedroom.  Two is better than one? 

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When designing your next bedroom don't look over the flexibility of a twin bed set up.  Don't let the size of a room discourage you either.  

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There is something so tidy about a pair of beds with matching linens.  

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Don't even get me started on how fun a half-tester above each bed is.  

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Two is definitely better than one!

~ Meghan 

** If you're interested in design services or E-design services please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information!**

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Friday's Five

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1.  At Home In Arkansas was so kind to feature Katie Grace Designs in the latest Color Coordinated series on the blog!  You'll recognize the home because we have featured most of the projects here.  It is a great example of Katie's work and how she incorporates pops of color, vintage pieces and your personality to create a welcoming and beautiful space!   

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2.  Loving this product called Stikwood!  Check out the kitchen makeover on Swoon's blog to see how is transformed the space and how easy it is to install.  Love the breakfast nook makeover but how fun would it be on a nursery ceiling?  

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3.  The Grand Opening of Euna Mae's in Springdale, AR was this past weekend and the shop does NOT disappoint!!  Amy has a beautiful blog and with her shop we can now try (I repeat try) to recreate her recipes and home making skills in our kitchens with gorgeous dishes, cookware, bakeware, cookbooks, aprons.... you name it!  One of the reproduction Jadite pitchers came home with me among other items.    

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4.  These gorgeous folding chairs from Anthropologie are on sale right now!  Kitchen?  Sunroom?  Desk chair?  How fun!

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5.  Monogrammed linens are a special touch and a great hostess gift.  Now that the weather is warm let the entertaining begin!  Don't come empty handed and leave your host with a thoughtful gift.  The above, from Leontine Linens, are gorgeous but a less expensive option can be found here.  

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in design services or E-design services please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information!**

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