Our Fall Mantel + Decorating Tips

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I spent mine with this girl and this one here in Michigan. We went to an apple orchard (and drank the most delicious cider around), I assisted Ashley photographing a wedding, and did some exploring in a cute down town area of the town. It was so fun to spend the weekend with such sweet friends. I'm still on vacation here for two more days and can't wait to share more of my trip. What'd you do this weekend?

Today we're diving fully into Autumn with our Fall mantel (I think I settled on that spelling of the word. Thoughts?! It's always spelled differently!)  We kept it simple and did some stacked books, white pieces, touches of mercury glass (and you'll see some touches of gold in a DIY tomorrow!), owls, candles, and the cute Fall orange hue. After the images below, I'm dishing on my tips to style a well-balanced mantel. Enjoy!

(sneak peek of tomorrow's DIY project!)

Lantern: Pier 1 Imports, Mercury Glass Owl: West Elm, Candlesticks: thrift store, Chalkboard Print: Dear Lillie, White Square Artwork: Pottery Barn, Bird: Pottery Barn, Owl: Home Goods, Clock: Vintage.

Tips for your mantel:

1. Height is key! Ground the mantel with something in the middle and work off of that piece. For us, it's this white square artwork hung above the mantel. Then, I layered that with other items of varied heights. The white bird and candle sticks are the two tallest items (at opposing sides of the mantel), filled in with shorter pieces in between.

2. Balance with color. Most pieces are white, but are anchored with two items of a rich, dark wood-- the clock (my great grandmother's clock) and the frame on the chalkboard print.  Putting these two pieces on either side of center makes the mantel feel balanced, also pulling in browns from the brick fireplace.

3. Decorate using vignettes.  What a confusing word, right?! Really, all it means is decorate in groups.  I will explain our vignettes from left to right.  The lantern with the candle and the mercury glass owl serve as the first, next is the candle stick pairing, then comes the chalkboard print layered on top of the white piece hanging on the mantel, along with the pumpkins (in a set of three-- very important to decorate in odd numbers!)  The bird, owl and clock are the next grouping and the books with the jar of tangerines is the final pairing. I call these vignettes because they should be placed closer to one another, forming a relationship between the items. This helps you avoid the items looking randomly placed on your mantel. You don't want your decor in a straight line across the mantel!

4. Every mantel needs: texture (candle sticks, picture frame, white square artwork), something fresh (either flowers, a plant or bush, or in our case, tangerines!), and some books.

Hopefully these tips helped a bit. Did you start decorating for Autumn yet? Do share your links to your mantel below! Come back tomorrow for a gold DIY project.

Happy Monday:)
PS. There are still a few advertising spots open for October if you're interested in promoting your blog or business! Email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns(dot)com for more info.

Advertise in October!

While I'm soaking up my last few days in Michigan on vacation, I hope you're enjoying your weekend as well!

I'm now accepting sponsors for the month of October! If you're interested in promoting your blog, etsy shop, or business I'd love for you to email me so we can chat about ways to show your stuff off to MND readers. There are lots of fun things coming up in the Fall here (Fall crafts, recipes, outfit posts, and the launch of my interior design website!) so it's a great month to sponsor! There are two ad packages you read about over here, perfect for different budgets. 

Email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns(dot)com if you'd like to see my media kit with blog stats, packages and pricing.

Go enjoy your Saturday!


DIY Fall Flower Arrangement

I'm such a fan of flowers; you all know that by now :) My mom has always kept fresh flowers in the house and I just love it. Now while I would love to go to the flower mart and bring home exotic, gorgeous flowers to make my own arrangements each week, that's just not going to happen. We usually pick up a bouquet of flowers at Trader Joe's, so when we get home, I take the arrangements apart and figure out how to make it look better :)  I'm going to show you how to take a plain, grocery store bouquet and turn it into something a bit more special for Fall. 

Step 1: Find a vessel and tape off four quadrants. This will help you position the flowers in the vase.

Step 2: Take apart the store-bought bouquet and separate flowers by color.

Step 3: Begin with the main, or largest flowers. In this case, I wanted to start with my sunflowers. I placed one in each quadrant. Be sure to cut your flowers at an angle.

Step 4: Add in your next bloom. I added in my coral roses to the front of the bouquet, placing one rose in one quadrant and two roses in the next. 

Step 5: Fill the middle of the bouquet with the bunch of magenta flowers. Make these taller than the flowers at the front of the bouquet.

Step 6: Add in a little freesia to different areas of the arrangement where there appear to be "holes". To make it look effortless, make some stems longer than others, and even draping over the edge of the vase.

Step 7: Add in your greenery and leafy accents.

There you have it! I think it looks a lot more special than a simple grocery store arrangement {even though it's still not an amazing bouquet we could make with a trip to the flower market!}  These blooms are sitting pretty on our new bar cart/butcher block piece for the kitchen. Do you have a crush on fresh flowers like I do?! Do you have any flower arranging tricks?

Happy Thursday!

Fall Shoe Faves: Walk This Way

1. Leopard Steve Madden // 2. Brown Tory Burch // 3. Cream Tory Burch // 4. Black Asos // 5. Striped Madewell // 6. Bow Madewell // 7. Bootie Sole Society // 8. Magenta Sole Society 

My favorite season of Autumn is here, which means it's about time to reevaluate my closet and possibly add in a new pair of shoes or two. Fall is all about the neutrals, leopard, leather details, studs, stripes, and booties (which I will hopefully be getting soon!) I particularly love the bows that Madewell added to their sidewalk flats this season. Little ankle straps on flats are also quite popular this year, which I adore. It seems like a simple feminine detail, and I'm all about feminine details.

These are my Fall shoe faves-- what are your favorite shoes for the season?
Enjoy your Wednesday!

New Bar Cart / Kitchen Island

A funny thing happened the other day. I took my mom to a showroom to buy a sofa and we walked out with a new piece for our kitchen instead. Well, this certainly isn't a sofa! My dad was pretty surprised :)

We've been wanting some extra counter space and an area to place appetizers when we host family parties and get togethers. This butcher block island definitely fits the bill! It will sit on this wall off the breakfast nook and then we can pull it over to the kitchen if we need more prep area, etc.  It is doing wonders for the space. It's funny how you can leave a store with something so perfect for a space in your home, when you didn't even know needed anything there!

The red framed picture will be changing soon. I have these gorgeous herb prints coming in the mail and can't wait to frame them and get them in place. Operation update my parents house is moving right along :) And now for that sofa we still need...

What do you think?
Enjoy your day! I'm flying to Michigan today to visit my BFF. Hooray! Later this week I'll be showing you how to create the bouquet above, by only using grocery store blooms.
PS. You can also catch me over at Attempts at Domestication sharing some travel tips for the wonderful city of Seattle!

Life as of Lately








 Hope you had a lovely weekend, friends! I decided to link up with Jenni for her Blogtember series, sharing what I've been up to in my personal life lately!

Life has been moving at the speed of light, it seems, and I've been staying busy doing some freelance design work for two designers in my city, working with a few of my own clients, e-design clients, and putting finishing touches on my website! Here are a few of the things I've been doing as of late...

1. I had a delicious tea and cookie brunch with Caitlin last week. 
2. Last Monday I accompanied Crystal on a Rue Magazine photo shoot at the SF Fairmont, shot by Emily Johnston. (My dress is from here!)
3. One of the amazing chandeliers in the penthouse suite at the Fairmont.
4. My mom, grandma, and two Aunt's took a day trip to Half Moon Bay yesterday. We indulged in dessert at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. SUCH a stunning view.
5. We love our new garden stool for our bathroom from Lulu & Georgia. I take a bath about 2 nights a week, and it's perfect to move near the tub and set my sleepy time tea on.
6. Hope tore her ACL a few months ago, but it has significantly repaired itself over the last few weeks. We had to keep her from jumping up on beds, the sofa, and couldn't even let the poor pup run. So sad! When I wasn't looking, she snuck up on my bed. I can't handle her cuteness.
7. Happy Fall, y'all! (Yep...I just said that:)) Our mantel is decorated and I can't wait to show it to you soon!

Follow me on Instagram for more of my life lately. And let me in on what you've been up to lately in the comments!

Happy Monday!

September Sponsors to Love

Hi friends! I hope you're enjoying your weekends so far on this Saturday morning. I'm popping in to show off two of my favorite ladies. These gals are not only stunningly beautiful, they're also extremely talented and have such big hearts for people. Read on and go say hello!

Hi there! I’m Paige, the founder of Kindred OAK, and designer of OAK clothing. I am also the wife to a soon-to-be med. student and momma to a toddler. Needless to say, things get a little crazy around our house from time to time. Kindred OAK is a great place for mommas to spoil their babes, as well as themselves, with comfortable, trendy, one-of-a-kind clothing. We also have a great selection of women’s clothing, appealing to those of you wishing to find a new store to transition from your “high school look”, but not quite ready to dress like your mother. ;)
My clothing line, OAK is all designed and handmade by me, and mostly inspired by my little babe, Nixon. This little shop has been an unexpected blessing, and I continue to fall more and more in love with my passion each day that it carries on.  Be sure to follow along with me on Instagram to see “behind the scenes” of this little journey of mine!

Use code Michaela15 at checkout for 15% off your order! {Pssst--Michaela here! There are so many cute things right now. I love this dress, this scarf and this top.}



Well, hi there! My name is Nicole and I’m a wedding and portrait photographer based in Northern California. I am absolutely in love with my hubby, Jeff and our fur baby Turbo. In my spare time you can find me redecorating my home, thrifting for a good quilt, reading any book by Jodi Picoult or sipping on grande green tea lemonades from Starbucks. I’m also really into sun flares and yummy candles. If you like those things too, we should probably be friends and if not..we can discuss why you should over coffee ;)



A cute new boutique and a photographer?! These are ladies I want to be friends with :)  

I'm now accepting sponsors for October! If you'd like to promote your blog or business, please email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns(dot)com to inquire about packages and pricing.

Go enjoy your weekend!

I Heart: Cozy Interior Spaces

It's Friday! I have 4 days until I'm in Michigan visiting my friend Ashley and her new baby boy. I just can't wait! I'll also be visiting with our other friend Ashley {I'll be the odd one out on the name front ;)}

Today I'm showing you a bunch of cozy spaces. After looking at them all, guess what they all have in common!

 Images Via | 1-4 // 5

Don't they all sort of remind you of Fall?! Even though for some odd reason, it was 90 degrees here in California both yesterday and today, the leaves are still changing and the night air is crisp. Fall is sure coming! {Truly, whether it likes it or not, it's coming to my house this weekend with our fall mantel!} 

These interiors evoke a cozy, inviting and homey feeling. The textures and abundance of wood materials say "welcome" and "stay awhile". I'd be delighted to stay awhile in any of the above rooms! Who's with me? 

Have a great weekend, friends! What are you up to?
PS. I'm now booking October sponsors! Email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns (dot) com for more information on how to promote your business or blog on MND.

Client Update: Colorful Apartment

A few months ago I showed you a client's e-design I had been working on and it was so fun to hear your feedback! Kristina, my adorable client, is a college senior at my alma mater, Seattle Pacific University. I was thrilled to help her with her first apartment, so you can imagine my excitement when I received a few sneak peek progress photos of the design. It's coming along quite nicely I must say. To refresh your memory, here was the living room design: 

Here is the "progress" entry and living room rug:

My crafty client found this dresser and gave it a fresh coat of paint, then hung the mirror above it, as seen in my design. I think it creates the perfect entryway.  Now here's the bedroom and bathroom design:

And here's the bedroom progress:

I just can't get over these adorable polka dots for the wall. TOO CUTE. And especially perfect for a college apartment that you can't paint. How's that for some renters/apartment dwellers decorating?! I love every ounce.  The living room is going to be equally as adorable, as Kristina just put together a great entertainment center on the TV wall. I can't wait to show you more! Thank you for sharing, Kristina!

Enjoy your Thursday!
PS. If you're interested in e-design services, email me at hello@michaelanoelledesigns (dot) com for more information! 

Just Pictures


Photo credit | one, two, three (sneak peek of a photo shoot coming soon!)

Linking up with my girl Jenni from Story of My Life today to bring just pictures.  I love these pictures because they remind me of the beauty of the season to come! I love how Fall feels. Bring it on :)

Happy Wednesday!

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