Amazon Prime Day Deals

It’s hard to resist the opportunity to share some of my favorite things! I mean if it’s design and it’s on sale, I should share it!

Yes the links are Amazon affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase off the link. I always appreciate any and all support!

Let’s start with my favorite mattress. Now not only do we sleep it on it, but our daughter designed it and it’s from her company. Yes I know that makes me partial but if I hated it I wouldn’t sleep on it. Honest. We had a TempurPedic and now own the Revived Mattress and I hate traveling now because I don’t sleep until we get back home. Check out the best mattress in a box around and it’s made in the USA and support a young woman with her business.

Next product I can’t live without - my Instant Pot. Seriously it has helped me out so much especially when I’m behind in making dinner. I can throw a chunk of frozen meat in the frozen pot and we can be eating 30 minutes later. Crazy good!

So thankful for these strips - so many people can’t hang art work on the walls of their apartment, lease building or dorm room. Now command has come to the rescue to help us still put that amazing art work on the walls!

Well, you need something to hang with those command strips am I right? So many amazing pieces with the Stone & Beam and Rivet lines with Amazon. Check out just a few of my faves!

If none of these ideas inspired you - check out the Everything’s Gravy storefront on Amazon here -

https://amzn.to/32qQF9Y

We are updating the list this month and hope you find lots of amazing things!

And if you’re not a Prime member you’d better get signed up!

https://amzn.to/2jTHn4P

Beauty in a Functional Item

I recently had the opportunity to sample a product from a company named Fusion Gates. The gate can be used to keep pets in a safe spot or a baby from climbing the stairs. These gates come in a variety of sizes and additional panels to be customizable for any size doorway.

But any conversation about gates doesn’t usually include beauty. This is perhaps the most exciting factor of the Fusion Gates baby and pet gates. In addition to a variety of finishes, there are also customizable screens that can be slide in the top of the gate. Creating a beautiful piece of art in the doorway instead of just a simple gate.

Screens can be changed and removed, or the tempered plastic look plastic insert can be used. Unique design feautres also include a one-finger finial latch opens the door easily in both directions as well. And while there were a lot of pieces, the instructions were easy to follow and assembly was a snap!

Here are some pictures in our home, but definitely go to their website and check it out for yourself!

Negative space and Marie Kondo

Post Christmas and New Year celebrations bring about the natural desire for order. This pull is strong and happens every year. Each year I get the itch, to clean out closets, get rid of extra plastic cups, small appliances and other things that have the tendency to clutter up my space. I do try to maintain this through the year so that it’s not quite a marathon come pre-spring, but inevitably there are some tasks that just need to be handled. 

I have tried different methods through the years, Fly Lady, Stephen Covey, and KonMari, and each have their pluses. As a young mom, the hourly emails from Fly Lady would help me remember oh yes, I do need to move the wash to the dryer. Or I better defrost some meat now at 11am, or we will eat nothing tonight or we bust the budget for take-out.

Stephen Covey helped me plan out my day in 15-minute increments. Man I still love this honestly. It looks like SO MUCH TIME when there are all these empty blocks on my page. Even if I write Laundry in 4 blocks in a row, it just looks so much more impressive.

Marie Kondo wrote her book a couple years ago and is seeing renewed success now that she has her own TV show. Tidying Up allows her to enter someone’s home and she gives them assignments to get rid of the clutter, organize what remains and bring a sense of peace back into their lives.

I watched an episode recently while folding my own laundry and was struck by how sad I felt for the couple. Only married about 5 years with two small children, they were in a state of overwhelm and a growing sense of distance from each other because of the burden of their clutter. They really didn’t even realize that the reason they were growing apart had to do with the stuff around them, but as they removed items, involved their children in folding and putting away laundry, and found things they had forgotten like mementos from their wedding day, they discovered that indeed they still cared deeply for each other and wanted to be happy in their home together.

So I admit it, I cried. I felt emotional watching, because I remember what it’s like when the kids are young. You are just trying to keep up. The laundry never ends, someone always needs to eat, and a good night’s sleep is just a dream. My heart hurt because they had no system in place to deal with life and the negative effect it was having on their family.

One of the basic principles of design involves the idea of negative space. Not filling every nook and cranny or square inch of wall space with stuff. We do this in our homes by bringing in too much stuff, and not removing the things we no longer need.

A good rule to follow is for every item you bring in, you must remove one back out. Keeping up with this ensures that you stay on top of the clutter monsters that threaten to make life miserable.

Hygge in Your Home

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The concept of Hygge is on the forefront of the latest trends in Home Furnishings. The problem is that it’s incredibly hard to explain! The Danish word pronounced “hue-guh” references a feeling or moment of feeling cozy and special. There’s not a direct translation of the word into English, but the closest word to convey its meaning is cozy. Bringing the feeling of happiness to our homes and living comfortably is the idea of Hygge.

As fall approaches, hygge is once again important. We are rapidly approaching shorter days and crisper nights. The feel of fall can be found in warmth by the fire, hot chocolate and warm wooly socks. A cozy blanket and fluffy pillow can transform a small area into an inviting nook ready for reading, snuggling or watching cartoons on Saturday morning with the kids.

 

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My daughter is heading out to college and creating an attractive and warm home environment for her to come home to is on the front of my mind. As I anticipate her weekends home in the days ahead, I’m already thinking about making her room ready for her and planning her favorite meals. This is the idea of hygge. The comfort and coziness of home and an inviting environment. Sometimes you can find that by adding some color and texture with wall art.

 

The warm colors and texture of this wall hanging add a depth to any room.

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Applying hygge to your homes can be as simple as adding some new fluffy blankets, soft fleece and jersey pillows and cotton textures on our walls. Warmth involves colors of the season also – red, yellow, brown and tan.

Minimal and clean, the environment is peaceful and something that more and more people are searching for today. Our homes especially should provide that for our families. In between hectic schedules and school assignments, peace and comfort provide an inviting backdrop for our families and they will long to come home. While the additions of accessories and other pieces can add up financially, they don’t have to. A piece of art here, a blanket and pillow there, a home cooked meal and friends who come and stay because they feel welcome are all you really need.

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Evergreen and Ever popular Farmhouse trends

Creating an inviting environment for our families is perhaps the most discussed goal among parents today. Warmth and comfort rank high on the priority list because we all want a haven to come home to and to enjoy with our family. Keeping with current trends doesn’t always lend itself to warmth and comfort, but one very popular style remains strong in retail.

Farmhouse!

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A quick Google search pulls over nine million options for farmhouse decorating. Referred to by many as the Fixer Upper effect, this trend markets well and appears to remain strong at both the markets and the retail level.

 

Ease of placement appeals to us for several reasons. Some home trends are just inherently difficult to pull off. Jewel tones and large geometric patterns, which are also hot for 2017, can be difficult to pull together well.

Mixing and matching styles and layers without great effort is a relief to a busy mom, or a tired dad. The fabric textures are easy to combine, burlap, and neutrals all go well without anything standing out as ostentatious.

 

Creating a comforting environment is another great reason to lean into the farmhouse trend. We look forward to relaxing and unwinding at the end of the day and a home that invites us to relax is what we all desire. It doesn’t matter if we are away at a job for the day, or running carpool, or grabbing the groceries, having a place to decompress and put our feet up is just what we seek from those comfortable pillows and fuzzy throws.

 

A home that has plenty of baskets and storage for toys when the children are little, makes it easier to clean up in a hurry when company is coming. As our children age and move out of our homes, a welcoming home for our adult children to either reside in as they work and go to college, or come home to during the holidays is easy to achieve in this particular trend.

So while it is super fun to try out the new and latest trends, those décor secrets that have some staying power can be a blessing. Having the Farmhouse look still remain strong at the furniture markets, means that the retailers will keep those items stocked much longer. This is a huge benefit to you the consumer. If they are still showing strong at market, you will still be seeing them at the retail level.

So as you seek to make your house your home, remember the MOST important part of your home is the people who live there. Home should always revolve around our family and the popular farmhouse trend can keep us comfortable together.

Outdoor Spaces

As the rapid descent of another school year barrels down and summer break hangs just over the horizon, the warmer temperatures and longer days turn our thoughts to spending time in the Great Outdoors. This is the prime time to spruce up our outdoor spaces before the weather gets too hot. Over the next few weeks, we will all likely be on the lookout for those things that can make our backyard patios and decks a little more comfortable. Being motivated by wanting to spend time outdoors enjoying our families, we can be excited about the trends that are happening for 2017.

Perhaps the biggest trend this year is the expansion of our living space outdoors. In other words, the outside patios, decks and backyards are being treated more as an extension of our indoor dens and kitchens versus just being an add on or many times an afterthought. Bringing elements of our indoor comfort and style outside extends the flow of our homes.

While fresh cushions for the outdoor furniture, and pillows can go a long way to creating a comfortable outdoor space, even little touches can make a homey atmosphere outdoors. Wind chimes, bird houses, and yard art add whimsical touches that make us smile.

Your outdoor walls shouldn’t be bare either! Just like you wouldn’t leave your walls bare inside, don’t forget a few accent pieces for your wall, just like this colorful butterfly or galvanized metal clock!

Creating an inviting outdoor space enables our family and our friends to enjoy the simpler pleasures of just hanging out together. Whether we are enjoying the extended daylight hours around a dinner table or roasting marshmallows over a table fire pit, we can create an inviting outdoor space that will keep our children and their friends coming back for more by using a variety of colors and some of the same trends that are popular indoors. The vibrant blues and greens popular for our indoor decor are now combined with new fade resistant and acrylic fabrics to make your outdoor spaces pop too!

Planters, baskets, and other accents can add just the right look and feel to your outdoor space bringing a little of the inside to the outside.

But remember more than anything we can do to make our spaces more comfortable and inviting, we should strive to make our homes happy places where anyone who visits or lives there knows they are welcomed and loved. 

Pantone Color of the Year vs. 6 more weeks of Winter!

I wasn’t too happy when Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and predicted another six weeks of winter. Collectively all the parents sighed. I personally preferred a different groundhog’s point of view. General Beauregard Lee’s prediction in Georgia is for an early spring.

I know. Groundhogs don’t really predict the weather—it’s just a fun and silly tradition we Americans and Canadians have been playfully observing since 1887. But just the idea of six more weeks of winter can be depressing, especially if you are a parent and feel like the kids are cooped up and need to be outdoors.

The thought of spending more time indoors because of additional weeks of winter, prompts many of us to think about making our homes more inviting. One option is to think of a new coat of paint. Each year in December, Pantone releases a brand new color of the year for the following year. This year for 2017, the color is Greenery. Spring feelings can’t help but bubble up with this fun hue. Bring the outdoors inside and brighten up your living space with a trendy color on your walls, or use it as an accent. Feelings evoked by fresh starts are always welcome in the midst of a gray winter.

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Based in the neutral hues of nature, Greenery combines with endless shades of almost any color. Greenery joined with other neutrals is very trendy this year as well, and it coordinates well with bright or deep colors, or even metallics. Just because greenery is a fun cheery shade doesn’t mean you need to repaint your entire house though!

 

Adding this pop of color in a small workroom, laundry room, or maybe even on an accent wall in a bedroom would be a fun contrast to an otherwise neutral palette. These small changes might be just the shot you need to help endure till Spring.

 

Another big trend this year will be attention to texture. Instead of incredibly smooth surfaces from prior modern trends, you’ll want to add items that will encourage variety. I’m not just talking about pillows and fluffy throws either, even sofas, rugs and wall accessories are getting the texture brush. Texture adds depth and dimension and a warmth not previously seen.

Don’t despair though, this doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money. We are parents after all, and spending money on the home sometimes takes a back seat. Adding fluff to your décor or some textured wall art doesn’t mean every piece needs updating. Adding a piece here and there is actually better.

Less is still always more. Lastly, when you are in the market to purchase a big item like a sofa, remember to go with a more neutral palette. You can change the décor of your sofa throughout the year with an assortment of pillows—a much more economical option for your budget than changing out your sofa every few months.

 

It’s amazing how even small changes can make your house feel more welcoming to your guests—and even more importantly, to your family.

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