How would you #spinthatstyle? Last month the fine folks from Porch + hayneedle.com asked me to put my personal spin on a living room space using the room below as inspiration and products from hayneedle.com. The inspiration space reads as Mid Century meets Neo-Traditional and has gorgeous architectural details, texture and fabulous modern touches throughout. It leans toward a relatively neutral color scheme with warm wood tones, shades of cream and gray, with black and white abstract art pieces, and an occasional pop of pink and gold in a few of the accessories.

By keeping the color scheme relatively neutral with minimal accent colors, the design for this space focuses on the materials and finishes of the pieces themselves and the furnishings remain simple with clean lines and solid colors.

My space lacks architectural detail of this nature, but there is no reason why a similar feel can't be achieved, regardless. Through the use of a color scheme that is slightly more bold and furnishings that provide a level of interest where the space itself would otherwise be lacking, I was able to put my personal spin on the inspiration style in a way that is decidedly more eclectic but entirely fitting to my personality.

To see where we started with this space, check out the living room portion in this article. It has essentially stayed exactly like that since I updated the art back in December of last year.

And now... It is decidedly more bold and absolutely more modern and I managed to keep many of my vintage pieces in this space since they are from a similar era as many of the details in the inspiration room. Yahoo for that, not to mention it's the only room where my boys don't maul everything on a daily basis, so it's a great place to put the pieces that I want to see, but that probably shouldn't be jumped on and crashed into.

All of the items in this space were things I already had, except for the items that I chose from Hayneedle to help bring a bit of the inspiration room into my room.

While my space is much less neutral and a lot more bold, I stayed true to the textural layers and basic colors along with a similar time period for my pieces in comparison to what is found in many of the inspiration room details. Using only a few new items, I transformed this room entirely and basically shopped my own home for the rest! This is certainly a testament to the fact that you don't need to spend like crazy and buy custom pieces to make changes that you love.

Naturally I had to up the ante where pattern is concerned since I wasn't working with that fabulous fireplace and wood paneling. All in all, I adore how this space turned out and I will be leaving it as is until the next time I need to rearrange things - if I'm lucky this won't be till the holidays... then again you just never know!

To see how this space was interpreted by my fabulous gal pals from the DIY Playbook and the Blissful Bee - check out the article One Room 3 Ways over on Porch! I love how different each space is and that each of us had an entirely different take on the inspiration space along with different pieces to work with as a jumping off point. These two things alone result in amazingly different outcomes and that is pretty fabulous!

This project was created in partnership with Porch and hayneedle.com. Thank you for supporting those folks who help bring fresh new content like this to The Design Confidential. I heart you guys!

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

I’m back after a crazy busy weekend to share the story of how four pieces of art transformed two rooms and made one gal a very happy girl. If you’re just joining me on this adventure, you can read all about this project here and here. I partnered with my bff's at domino magazine and Minted to curate a collection of pieces from their new exclusive collection of art and to transform a wall in my home that needs a little love. Well, there are no shortage of lonely walls in this crazy house, but I chose to focus on two in particular that have been a work in progress for far too long.

It wasn’t easy choosing from this gorgeous group of prints, but there were several that seemed like they would fit right into the mix I already had and would feel like they had been there all along, only better!

I am also super duper excited to tell you about the amazing prize one of you might win... but first, let's get back to the gorgeous things that happened here this past weekend! 

Let us begin in the Living Room, shall we? 


Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

My living room wall began like this... I only showed you a small portion of this wall because the remainder is very vast and was very lonely and sparse feeling.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

And then it all came together to look like this! Yahoo... I added two gorgeous prints, Inner Light from Kristi Kohut and Sand from Melissa Douglas, and they gave this wall a more modern and youthful look and certainly brought the happy to this space!

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

I made you guys a little animated view so you can see the pieces come together. From start to finish this space now feels full and complete with art that is unique and special. But of course I didn't stop here....

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

Gazing upon this temporary gallery wall bummed me out every single day so I decided to take on the enormous wall I began in my Master Bedroom several months back, and gave this space a bit of special as well.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

The transformation here is pretty significant, especially in person. I added Marbled Wake by SylvieCeres Designs and Organism 1b by VeryMarta and they make me smile every time I head upstairs. It feels pretty special to have these pieces in this space.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

The animated version of this cute puzzle is so fun. You guys, it feels so grownup to have real art by real artists on my walls. Everytime I complete a project like this I have that moment of 'why didn't I do this earlier' and I hope that some of you experience this feeling too... So join me in a challenge of your own and get on that lonely little wall you have ignored for far to long! To make it that much more fun, we will be giving one of you lucky folks some art to make a gorgeous gallery wall of your own! Share your adventure with us using the hashtag #dmhappywalls and be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential @dominomag and @minted on instagram as you share your journey toward cute walls.

In honor of the new collection, I’m hosting a $500 giveaway with domino and Minted! Just hop over to check out the 75 new pieces and then comment on this post with an art piece you might choose, should you win. Then click here to enter the sweepstakes. Good luck!


The Design Confidential in Partnership with Great.ly and Styling // Gorgeous Great.ly Gathered Goods with Vintage Fiber Art  Lamps Table Art Plants

I had the distinct pleasure of working with and styling for some of the amazing Makers from my Great.ly Boutique and the even more distinct pleasure of getting to see, touch, and feel a few of their pieces in real life. I am completely over the moon for these pretties and utterly blown away by the stellar quality of each and every one of them. As a gal who considers herself something of a Maker as well, I am always so excited to see the handmade genius of others come to life. Quite honestly the sheer amount of talent that is currently represented in my Living Room is off the charts at this point. I feel pretty lucky to have the privilege of gazing at these beauties, up close and personal, for the time being... It is quite the treat.

Cloud Planter // Emanate Jilly Cup in Blue // This is My Beetles Poster Print // Handwoven Petel Pillow Black + White // Block Cushion Cover Black

Fiber Art Modern Candle Holder Ceramic Cup and Ceramic Planter for The Design Confidential in Partnership with Great.ly and Styling // Gorgeous Great.ly Gathered Goods with Vintage Fiber Art Hanging Ceramic Crochet Planter Ceramic Cup Candle and Plants
Candy in Ceramic Cup for The Design Confidential in Partnership with Great.ly and Styling // Gorgeous Great.ly Gathered Goods
Art Prints Pillows and Neon for The Design Confidential in Partnership with Great.ly and Styling // Gorgeous Great.ly Gathered Goods

Cloud Planter // Emanate Jilly Cup in Blue // This is My Beetles Poster Print// Handwoven Petel Pillow Black + White // Block Cushion Cover Black

The ceramic and crochet Cloud Planter is just amazing, and adds such fabulous interest to this spot. The Emanate Jilly Cup in Blue has a couple of hidden design gems that make this multi-functional cup a total knock-out. As a huge fan of the Beetles, but not such a fan of the traditional band poster, this print is perfect. The Handwoven Petel Pillow has a gorgeous understated pop of neon that you absolutely must see and admire up close, it is to die for, and the bold graphic Block Cushion is just a show stopper... You might have seen these pillows put to good use in my Indoor / Outdoor House Bed Playhouse and Lounge, they have become my new favorite duo. A bit like a pair of styling and decor super heroes... and I kinda love them!

Ceramic and Crochet Hanging Planter and Vintage Portrait for The Design Confidential in Partnership with Great.ly and Styling // Gorgeous Great.ly Gathered Goods
Pencils in Ceramic Decorative Cup for The Design Confidential in Partnership with Great.ly and Styling // Gorgeous Great.ly Gathered Goods
Beatles Print Pillows and Brass for The Design Confidential in Partnership with Great.ly and Styling // Gorgeous Great.ly Gathered Goods
Ceramic and Crochet Hanging Planter for The Design Confidential in Partnership with Great.ly and Styling // Gorgeous Great.ly Gathered Goods

I absolutely love that each and every one of these items is handmade and that the purchase of them supports small businesses and Makers around the world - quite literally. I think this is such an important thing in this day and age of mass production. I hope you will take a gander at what these amazing folks are capable of and how their creative genius manifests. It is just lovely.

Cloud Planter Made by Margie Rahmann of My Very Own Eye Goggles// Emanate Jilly Cup in Blue Made by Jill Rosenwald of Jill Rosenwald Studio // This is My Beetles Poster Print Made by Traci Yau of 45Wall Design // Handwoven Petel Pillow Black + White Made by Ibrahima Wagne of Petel Design // Block Cushion Cover Black Made by Ellie Bradley of Xavier & Me


I promised you guys yesterday that I would be posting tutorials for handmade holiday decor and gifts for the next few weeks, and true to my word I am excited to share this project with you guys that could easily be considered both and would make a fabulous gift for someone special. It's not precisely holiday-ish, but that makes this all the more exciting to give (or receive), since you won't be giving a gift with a shelf life of no longer than the holiday season! If you just need a pretty backdrop for your holiday decor, this might be a good option!

Watercolor is one of those mediums that is adored by just about everyone, and with a simple two toned color scheme and an abstract pattern, you really can't go wrong. If your gift recipient decorates with blue, then by all means this would be fabulous in blue and white. Or maybe pink is more their jam... no problem, this beauty would look amazing in practically any color under the sun. It's virtually foolproof to create, you truly need absolutely no painting skills to do this project. Shoot, you could even let your kiddos give this a whirl and give your piece that extra bit of meaning and heart! It will at the very least make your kids feel like veritable Picasso's, that alone would make this an easy project to get excited about.

 The materials you will need for this will vary depending on the size you want to make your painting and whether or not you want it framed or unframed. I recommend framed if you are planning a larger piece like the one I did here (30"x24"). 

  • Frame in size of choice (I purchased mine from Target for $30).
  • Poster Board, Canvas or Watercolor Paper in coresponding size (I actually used the frame backing and skipped this).
  • White Acrylic Paint - this will act as a primer for your poster board or canvas
  • Watercolor paint in your choice of color
  • Paint Brush

You will want to paint your poster board, canvas, watercolor paper or frame backing to give it a good priming. Poster Board is a nice thickness but it tends to have a bit of a sheen to it that makes it difficult to use with watercolors unless it's primed so be sure to not skip this step. It also helps tremendously when you are painting on canvas. 


Set up your palette. You can use any type of plastic shallow bowl or plate and simply add a bit of water and your chosen color. You want your water to appear fairly opaque (not see through) so you will add a decent amount of color to it. If you can't get enough saturation, you can also add a drop or two of craft paint or acrylic paint. It will work in a similar way.

Lay down your general pattern or shape. I began with my darker areas and added color in a relative wave shape, running all the way across the bottom and up one side and part of the top on that side. I used applied my color in a horizontal messy pattern at first and then switched to a circular pattern, only to switch back later to a a horizontal application. You will be able to feel it out as you go and do what feels most natural to you. 

Keep in mind that the idea here is to have the outside edges be the darkest, working your way to a lighter shade near the middle or inside edges of your shape. You will want to 

You can layer your color to darken where necessary and honestly just slap it on there. You don't have to worry about keeping a 'wet' edge since we are basically working with water, so if you need to fix something along the way, you can!

Once you have your darker section applied in the shape you want, you will dilute your paint puddle by half and basically apply this lighter shade just above your previously painted section all the way around the inside edge.

You can vary the shape of this inside section from the outer section, so it isn't too uniform and looks organic and realistic (for whatever it might be). You can see in the images above and below that I didn't keep the exact same shape going and made it just slightly different.

Project Image

Last year I didn't put up my standard big tree in the living room, because I simply didn't have time. I was frantic the entire month of November preparing for a live tv segment I was doing, for my local News 10 channel. Throw in the actual holidays themselves (Thanksgiving hosted at my house) and my monster mash boy Blake's birthday (also at my house) and you have one frazzled mommy blogger on crack. Ya true story...

The segment I did was on budget friendly holiday decor and I created 3 mini trees each decorated in a different color scheme. Once the segment aired I was so burned out on holiday decor that I quite literally brought the trees home and plopped them on my dining room table... all 3 of them... and I ended up loving the mini tree on the table set up so much I repeated it this year for no other reason than that I wouldn't have to rearrange furniture to fit the ginormous tree of yesteryear! yahoo...

This mini tree in shades of green is what we used for our main tree and where I put all of our family gifts. Of course I am neurotic about my decor so all of the gift wrap matches the tree... I even used a few unconventional items for wrapping this year including an old map and some fabulous printed wrapping paper I found here. It really brought the whole spread together nicely, which you can see in the images, and gave the gifts some fabulous visual interest. yay...

Stay tuned for more holiday decor from this year to come, and my holiday card to all of you (late of course)... what can I say... 

Being a brand new mommy of 2 boys has put my schedule so far behind that it will very likely take me until the end of the first week, of the new year, to finish sharing all of our Christmas adventures, but hopefully you don't hold it against me. #newbornbabymamadrama

Project Image

I finished these fabulous cubby shelves (plans for them can be found here) a while back, but haven’t had a moment to snap a few pictures to share. This build is so fast, it literally goes together in about an hour, even if you have the worst selection of boards ever…which I did, thanks to my screaming, fussing, tantrum throwing monster mash of a boy. He is so distracting at the worst moments, like while I’m trying to make sure I am not purchasing warped, curved, or wavy boards..which apparently I was! 

Having faulty boards makes a build so much more difficult to perfect, I can assure you.  Getting it right the first time around would have been highly preferable with this particular project too, since most of it is dependent on one type of board, a 1x12. Since you really only need to purchase a couple of boards total to build this plan, if one or both of those boards are problematic, the entire build is problematic. But sometimes going back to fix the error isn’t an option and honestly my complete lack of patience, more often than not, means I will give it a go anyhow and just end up with a frustrating experience overall. Word of advice…leave the kiddos at home if you can (which I never can, so if you can, I’m jealous)! Ugh. you may regret it if you don’t…just sayin… Misshapen Boards = Monstrous Build All in all, it worked out moderately and I don’t notice the flaws that much, which were rather major in this instance.  Just need to pile it full of stuff! Problem Solved! I actually had a board that was wider on one side than the other by almost an inch! But to a glancing eye, not noticeable…just don’t look too closely.

Estimated Cost 

Under $25

Length of Time 

About a week off and on given the *ahem* problematic boards I purchased... 

Lumber Used 


Finishing Technique 

Oolong Tea by Martha Stewart for Home Depot in Eggshell Finish with a double coat of wipe on poly in Satin finish.

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