Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christina Strutt's best tips for the holidays

The holidays are meant to bring family and friends together. It is a time to share warm meals and good conversation, cozy blankets, soft flannels, and warm fires to snuggle up to. Bitter cold days filled with snow, and naked trees are an unmistakable sign to head indoors and secure your spot on the couch with a yummy cup of hot cocoa. Preparing for the holidays can be a hectic task but it doesn’t need to be a chore. Back in October I offered up the Holiday survival guide with my best tips and tricks to get in gear, and recently had the chance to talk with Christina Strutt, of Cabbages and Roses, to find out her best tips on holiday decorating and making your festivities homey.

Friday, November 5, 2010

True design therapy equals getting a Harley

photo
Nike

As most of you know I lost my beloved Nike back in late August. For twelve years he was there through it all. The moves, the up’s and downs, and just a true companion. I could never imagine the loss I would feel until he was gone. I had thought about it and I knew that someday it would come, but I always pushed it to the back of my mind figuring I would worry about it when that day came. Little did I know that day came all too fast and in the blink of an eye his health deteriorated and in a flash he was gone.




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Do you need decorating assistance? Want your home to be filled with warmth and joy?
Contact us about our design services.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Guest rooms: Your ultimate guide to the essentials


What is it about the word luxury that appeals to us? Does it personifies fulfillment and satiation in all things that satisfy us? Or is it the epitome of magnifigance? I recently started working with a branding company and they asked that very question: What does luxury mean to you? The more I thought about it the more I realized it really has very little to do with money; which is what most people associate with the word luxury. Back in September I wrote a post on this very subject. One of my favortie lines from that post, “Luxury is not about money, it is about the simple pleasures in life that influence your mood.”

Friday, October 29, 2010

Festive tablescape: A how-to guide to smart Southern style


Each of us, whether a professional or a homemaker, has our own distinctive style. We all design and arrange our homes to showcase our personalities that are shaped by our lives. These personalities may be subtle or strong, but the backbone of a home’s style is built on experiences and memories. At the heart of all Southern homes is the table, in particular the dining table. Here a family gathers to pray, share a meal and discuss the blessings of each day. When mama assembles the family to eat it is a deeply respected and honored experience. It is also a way to entertain  our closest friends. The South is deeply rooted in tradition, and nothing is more important than friends and family. Nothing. Ask anyone who is a true Southerner and they will agree that the family meal is as sacred as going to church on Sunday.
{Click here to read more} on the new blog!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Artful living through design

Ever wonder why a designer room has that special look? Why a room that we design has bold choices, dramatic paint and risk factor? As designers we definitely take risks that every day people may fear to do, but our biggest weapon is the sources we use. I tell my clients all the time that I am only as good as the people I surround myself with, and the vendors I use. When I travel to Highpoint my goal is to meet with existing vendors and connect with new sources that are charming and special. These sources are not available to everyday people because they are ‘to-the-trade.’ I am sure that every industry has this, but our livelyhood depends on remarkable things that are distinct and exceptional because without them we cannot achieve extrordinary results. Sure we have many tricks up our sleeves to make your space individually yours, but it doesn’t hurt to have product that makes us look like super heros! Here are a few of my favorites from Highpoint on it’s way to our showroom.


Click here to read more...

Highpoint trends by designer Amanda Burdge




This year traveling to Highpoint Market was more fun than ever. Market not only helps me see upcoming trends and recognize new ones, but most importantly it gives me the opportunity to connect with other designers. Being able to sit down with them allows me to talk shop about top design trends and current swings in our industry. It is also a great way to discuss popular buying habits in different regions. For instance, talking shop with one of L.A.’s hottest designers, Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen I learned that her shop cannot keep Swedish antiques and vintage finds in stock. Maria Killam, an expert at design and color and author of Colour Me Happy rarely sell’s an antique because in Vancouver the style is very sleek and modern with great pops of color, her specialty. Kim Grigg from Knotting Hill Interiors is a luxury Interior designer who is an expert at combining inexpensive finds with beautiful treasures for a beautiful layered look unique to her and South Carolina. Each area has a unique buying focus, but High Point Market always sets the tone.
Here are some items that we all agreed were going to make a big splash in the upcoming year (click here to read more)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Colors you need now for instant holiday glamour!

Still trying to figure out why feedburner isn't working on the new blog. Here is our latest post. 
To visit the new blog 
Color is such an intrinsic part of the holiday season. When fall leaves begin to change, the colors of warm cinnamon, spice, and umber envelop us with familiar things. It is no surprise that people love fall. When the warm temperatures quickly turn cool, we gravitate towards warm earthy colors that provide us comfort and bring us back to the routines that we are accustomed to. The holidays deliver to us rich traditions that remind us of joyful memories spent with our families and friends and each year our rituals begin: the decorations get unpacked, the recipe cards get pulled, holiday cards get sent and the decorating unfolds.

This year I wanted to embark on something new. As a designer I am an expert at creating stylish and updated homes, and I wanted to approach this holiday season with this same frame of mind.  I teamed up with Lori Sawaya of Color strategies to talk shop about how you can create stylish and updated holiday decorations with new colors in a way that still honors our favorite season but giving your home a fresh take on an old classic.

One of the biggest trends in fashion this fall was deep plums, with splashes of yellow. I loved this combination and wanted to sit down with one of my favorite colorist to find out why this combination works, and how we can incorporate it into our existing holiday decor for a fresh take on Christmas 2010. Listen below to my conversation with Lori Sawaya, color expert:


Click here to Listen to our podcast:

Purple & Gold~Indulgence and Joy!


How are you going to incorporate this new combo into your decor this season?
Tune in next week to learn how we incorporated this new color combo in our Festive table scape post.

AB HOME Interiors holiday photo shoot 2010

Next week will be our final post for Mrs Bliss’ holiday workshops. We are delighted to bring to you my tips on:

Festive Tablescapes-A guide to true Southern style.


We had the opportunity to use Christina Strutt’s, (the owner and CEO of Cabbages and Roses) beautiful linens to show you how to get true Southern style.
Christina will be offering up her top holiday tips and I will be offering up some of the best tips to set your table with Southern grace with a little AB HOME twist.
My staff and I had a blast doing this photo shoot (see a sneak peek above) and I cannot wait to share all the fun. Be sure to follow our blog and leave a comment because we will be raffling off several
of the goodies from the photo shoot, styled by Amanda Burdge (moi) and staff of AB HOME Interiors, and photographed by Christy Bryan of Waldorf Photography here in Nashville.
Dont forget to follow the Holiday Workshop Train with our host Mrs Bliss!

Mindy Lockard Getting your stationery wardrobe ready for the holidays + a giveaway
Pemberley Collections Creating a Fall Centrepiece
The Entertaining House Cocktails to Kick off Your Holiday Season
Lily Lemon Tree In Vogue at the Tailgate Party: The Height of Chic on the Twenty Yard Line
Tatertots and Jello Thankful Garland
Lucky Life Parties Setting Up Bar and Food Stations
The Daily Basics Creating Fun Holiday Traditions – Memories You’ll Love
Housewife Bliss The Art of Wrapping

Do you need decorating assistance? Want your home to be filled with warmth and joy?
Call us about our online design services.
We offer an array of services to meet your design needs whether you live in our area, or out of state.



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Friday, October 15, 2010

Fabulous holiday florals-Essential tips for the floral impaired




If you are like me you know nothing about flowers. But I know what is most important, they are gorgeous, smell great and I ADORE getting them. Other than that, my expertise runs out. As I grow into this blog, and share my own tips, I have realized that many people are just like me; lazy and just too busy. They want the best, but don’t always have the time, or patience to achieve results that Martha bequeaths onto us. My motto in life GO BIG OR GO HOME, and keep it SHORT, SIMPLE and STUPID-(all while making it look fabulous) are words that I live by. I demand simplicity and I demand things to be easy and effortless.
But the designer in me still wants Martha results, just without all the work!


Abrahams and Group, NYC

Florals are something I cherish. After my husband and I got married he became good friends with a local florist and I was lucky enough to receive fresh flowers on a weekly basis.  I prized their beauty and relished in having a kitchen island adorned with fresh flowers. Once we moved to Las Vegas my days of receiving fresh flowers on a weekly basis stopped and I was forced to live with out them. Still wanting Martha results without all the work I learned how to wing it, and found that florals were not nearly as intimidating as I had thought. And despite not knowing most of their names, my color and design background served me well and allowed me to make fabulous florals. Read more

Sunday, October 10, 2010

How to decorate your mantel in 10 minutes or less


Hey everyone. For some reason my google connect follower thingy is not working on the NEW, FANCY more PROFESSIONAL wordpress blog. Funny that the good ol' blogspot blog never lets me down....so unprofessional that google! SO, until I can get it fixed I will post an excerpt here of any new posts that go up on the "other, more professional" blog with a link taking you to the post, so you don't miss an ounce of good content from me. 
Happy Sunday!

As with any fall, this is our busy season. I work non-stop, seven days a week frantically trying to get everything done until December. Happens. every. year. And every year I wonder how on earth I will get through it all. Ironically enough, January is our slow season and every year I wonder how on earth I will get through it. I swear I can be such a designer sometimes! The good news is somehow, some way, it all comes together and we get through to the New Year, which we kick off with big plans, stars in our eyes, and tons of yummy left overs. But until then, here are some great tips on holiday mantels that are easy to assemble and easy to tear down when all the adoration of the holidays and eggnog has worn off.
Using items you have:
1) Take ornaments that you already have and string them through some decorative ribbon and hang on your mantel. Take existing hurricanes and fill them with decorative ornaments, acorns, nuts, or candy canes and use them to hold the ornament garland. For added glow, throw in some beautiful votives that will cast a magical glow when lit in the evenings. Click here to read more

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Come visit us at our new blog!

It's official, we have made the move to wordpress! Our goal with the new site is to offer you the best tips, tricks, and decorating tools to make life easier. Our motto- Stupidly easy, fabulous look, without all the hard work! Love that!


Click the pic above or here to link to the NEW blog!!


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Monday, October 4, 2010

October the best month ever,... I hope!

Ok so I finally bit the bullet and I am moving to wordpress. HOLY C-rap! As I told Katie, the beloved, patient and endearing Katie of Lemoncherry blogs




"I am having a bit of separation anxiety. I love my little blogspot blog. I feel like I am graduating highschool and being kicked out of the house. I think I will have you take it live after this weekend when I have had a chance to spend more time on it."..........And MOURN the death of my childhood!!!!!!!!


Ok, so I am being a bit dramatic, yes, yes I know this. But this blog has grown tremendously over the past year and a half and done so many great things for me, and like any good friend I am abandoning it now that I have outgrown them and hit it big.


GAAA! Ok so I am growing up, moving out, and as I collect my last few things here at my old blog be sure to visit me at my new home. To get me through these next few weeks I will need my friends support to help me get through this ridiculous apprehension. Then again there is always Vodka......Ah.. my beloved and dearest friend who keeps me warm and soothes my anxiety as I approach a nervous breakdown. 


My new home is not quite together yet. I am still building, repainting, and don't mind the boxes thrown everywhere as I unpack. But feel free to visit me and swing by to say hello. I have plenty of booze to go around, and I have stocked up on red plastic sippy cups from costco for everyone to enjoy a glass.


Click on pic to take you to new blog!


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Friday, October 1, 2010

Designers Challenge 101: Top tips for decorating like a pro on a budget

So if you haven't heard, (with my big mouth it almost seems impossible,)  we are having a challenge today! 7 designers, one room, 7 different ways. The participants included in today's challenge are:


Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Designs
Kelly Berg of Arte Styling
Kelly James of DesignTies
Dayka Robinson of  Meditations on Life and style 
Kathy Passarette of Creative home expressions
Amanda Burdge of Abhomeinteriors.com
Susan Snow of  Movingdesignz

Please make sure you visit everyone's blog today to see what all these talented individuals did with their rooms!


The goal was simple:

Take an average family room and design, space plan and furnish it, with only six thousand dollars. Seem like a lot? According to cost helper the average design of a family room in 2010 costs $15,000. So my goal was to slice that in half, and show you how the pros do it.
Each one of us had three weeks to work on it. Find as many great products as we could, and design a fabulous room on a shoestring budget. The purpose of these posts are not only to show you that design doesn't have to be super expensive, but also that a budget does work,
 if done right! 

The room:



My Inspiration 

I wanted the room to have a  young and youthful feel. A throwback to the late sixties, with a modern AB HOME twist. Strong pops of color with tons of functionality, I wanted the room to feel alive, robust and hip. Perfect for entertaining with family or having cocktails with friends.

So how did we do it?
1) Select the furniture: We set aside roughly half the budget to the furniture. All of the pieces below are vintage except the sofa. Vintage simply means they are old, but not old enough to have a big price tag. Anything less than 70 years old is vintage and anything over 70 is considered an antique, cha-ching!


Pic 1: Rosewood Storage cabinet, 1960's danish. We used this as our bar cart to store our booze, mixers, and utensils. $495, Century Modern Dallas, TX.
Pic 2: Lane 1960's side tables x 2 for each side of the sofa. Etsy, $220
Pic 3: Clear glass cocktail table in front of sofa and chairs. Calligaris All modern $632.25
Pic 4: 1950's Barrel lounge chairs $675 s/2. Century Modern
Pic 5:  Karlstad sofa $379. IKEA

2) Select accent pieces with personality, and that speak to you: We estimated about $1500 for accessories. I wanted items that were fun, colorful and a throwback to my childhood.

Pic 1: Green open edge depression glass bowl for cocktail table. $18.00, Etsy.
Pic 2: Vintage smith corona Typewriter for book shelves. $60, Etsy.
Pic 3: Dansk Danish modern Plastic cans for bookshelf. $30, Lushpad
Pic 4: Quill mirror for above fireplace. $699.90, Horchow
Pic 5: Gold floor lamp, Arteriors, AB HOME $499

Some additional items we used:

 Hollywood regency Ceramic Ram heads $48, Lushpad.


 Vintage Ameoba ottoman $145, Lushpad.

 Vintage Electrohome table radio $195, Lushpad

 Vintage 1970's copco yellow trays x 2 $14.00, Etsy.

 Porcelain Julie lamp AB HOME, $439.00.

1956 Stromberg Carlson rotary phone $50, Vintage Swank



 Koldby cowhide rug $199, Ikea.

 Renate Ljuv pair of draperies $19.99, Ikea
                                                           top 3/4 of drape

 Ritva Pair of draperies $19.99, Ikea
                                                           bottom 1/4 of drapery
Du verre Pomegrante hardware 


3) Once you have pieces in mind check your budget:
Add up the items you have found and determine if you have everything you need to complete the room. If you have found an item on sale, as we did, that savings can be added elsewhere. Don't forget to set aside money for any additional costs such as shipping, and tax. Keep a binder with all costs, photos and dimensions for future reference if an item becomes unavailable, or you need to buy something for the room in the future.

4) The Extras: We came in at roughly $5400 with the items above, so we decided to buy a gallon of Benjamin Moore's Fiesta yellow paint and paint the cabinets. 
And we were lucky enough to find white glass tile on sale at Home depot, so we decided to install glass tile on the fireplace wall as an added extra. We were delighted with the results!

The results:



I am giddy with excitement about this challenge and cannot wait to hear everyone's responses. Be sure to take a moment to see everyone's results and let us know what you think! Don't forget all of us are available for online design services. If you have a design challenge, strict budget and need some help, be sure to contact one of your favorite designers to get you through like a pro!

Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Designs
Kelly Berg of Arte Styling
Kelly James of DesignTies
Dayka Robinson of  Meditations on Life and style 
Kathy Passarette of Creative home expressions
Amanda Burdge of Abhomeinteriors.com
Susan Snow of  Movingdesignz


Don't forget to follow us on twitter!

And become a FAN on our AB HOME facebook fanpage!



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Handcrafted Halloween- How to get spellbinding decor

Designers Challenge 101
Top tips for decorating like a pro!

Don't forget this Friday we go live with all our decorating tips, tricks, and how-to's for decorating on shoestring budget; do it like the pros!


 Below is a list of all the designers participating: 

Traci Zellar of Traci Zeller Designs
Kelly Berg of Arte Styling
Kelly James of Design Ties
Dayka Robinson of Meditations on Life and style 
Kathy Passarette of Creative home expressions 
Amanda Burdge of Abhomeinteriors.com
Susan Snow of  Movingdesinz

Ok great, so what does this mean for you? All seven of us are decorating the same family room with a six thousand dollar budget in mind. The idea is to see how the pros take a few thousand dollars and make a room look fabulous, when done right! We will be showing pictures, products used and much more so tune in and be sure to see all the great ideas!

Now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast....


Is it me or were we just celebrating the New Year? I cannot believe that Halloween is just a few short weeks away. Fall has approached us at warp speed and it is time to get decorating! October is the best time to send shivers of delight throughout the house, and prepare for another holiday filled with ghouls and goblins. Here are some of my favorites!

Get a heads up on this Halloween:


Super easy to make. Hollow out the bottom of an eggshell, or mold from clay. Spray on an antique white paint for a base coat. Then paint with crackle paint (like Delta cream coat.) Buy little hats from a craft store, and glue on an orange nose made of felt, or paint one on. Take a sharpie and paint on a ghoulish grin and you have yourself little monsters. With a hot glue gun you can glue string on them and hang them from chandeliers, over archways, and make fun mobiles with then to hang on the porch.

Stencil your Pumpkins
Have a favorite poochie and want to show him off? Better Homes and gardens has pumpkin-carving stencils for a Happy Howloween! Click here to get yours!



DIY creepy crawlies
Everyone knows that half the excitement of trick or treating is the presentation of the entrance! Add a wicked web of scary delight by using black clothesline. Use one large eye hook to secure bottom of the web and use tacks to build and secure the design. Add a big black spider from a craft store and for extra fun add baby creepy crawlies (every craft store has them) all over your front porch, pillars and plant beds.

No carve Pumpkins for the lazy at heart (me)
Take old paint from around the house, Black sharpies (add a little painters tape to help get a straight edge if you like and I recommend doing this before you dip into the sauce) and you have a plethora of decorated pumpkins. This is great for unused fireplaces, table buffets, porches, and mantel decorating.



Another quick and easy way to decorate pumpkins is with tacks, and ribbon:


Candlescape your way through fall
Grab the kids and the hubs and take a stroll around the neighborhood. Gather up acorns, pinecones, seeds and plop them into a mason jar. (make sure the mason jar doesn't  have vodka in it for those who read my previous vodka post!) Insert votives of spiced orange, chai, cinnamon, and vanilla to create the smells of autumn and a beautiful holiday candlescape.


A pillar of harvest
Take pumpkins and stack them into a topiary. Start large on the bottom and cap off with one thats a little smaller. Remove the tops of the bottom two to secure pumpkins placement. You can also take a steel rod or landscaping stake (both from a hardware store) to hold them more securely. For added fun take the painted pumpkins from above and stack into fun colored arrangements. Put onto an old pot and use for a festive tablescape, fireplace decoration or porch decor.

Spooky candy
This is a great way to use what you have and update for the current holiday. Take existing apothecary jars, or vases, fill with candy and decorate with craft paper a haunted jar of BOOO!



I love the fall season and everything it brings. This fall decorate your home with everything that reminds you of home. Fragrant candles, yummy candy, harvest decorations, good food, and of course booze!


What are some of your favorite holiday memories?

Eat, drink and be scary!

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