How to Choose a Rug Size + Favorite Rugs

Hi everyone! I took an unexpected blogging break for a few days-- we went on a youth group retreat with our church this weekend, so between packing for that, going on the retreat and then recovering from it (teenagers really take it out of you!) I have been exhausted. But I'm back and ready to bring some great content this week.

I received some awesome feedback and post suggestions in my reader survey a few weeks ago. Thanks for participating in that, by the way! One of the post topics I had suggested the MOST was how to choose a rug, pick the correct size rug and what rugs are my favorite. Rugs are one of the BEST ways to change the look of a room, right there with paint and window coverings, so I thought I should break up the topic into two posts. Today's blog is all about how to choose a rug and the correct rug size for your room. The second post will be all my favorite rugs, at all different price points, so stay tuned! 

This post is pretty content heavy, so if you're here for the pretty pictures, just keep scrolling...I won't be offended ;)  However, I did a bunch of research and digging back into my interior design school notes and found some great resources and information for you on choosing rugs. I use these same tactics when choosing rugs for my client's homes. You can see an example of one of my client's living rooms on Instagram today. 

Let's dive in!

Diagnose the Room:

1. What's the function of the room? This will help determine the type of rug you get. Below is a description of some of the most common rug materials.

- High traffic vs. low traffic: If this is a high traffic area, you probably don't want to get a rug that will pill easily, isn't easily cleanable, or has a high pile (pile height refers to how thick the rug is).

- Dhurries & Kilims: These types of rugs lay pretty flat to the ground and are usually wool or cotton. They are durable, cleanable, usually reversible, and work in a bunch of different spaces. Under the kitchen sink, bathroom, entry, living room, etc. Additionally, these typically bring a burst of color and pattern to your room.

- Natural Fiber: If you're looking to bring a neutral, casual and textured look to your space, a natural fiber rug (like jute, sisal or seagrass) is a great choice! These are to be used indoors, and not recommended for rooms with moisture, like the bathroom or laundry room. They are relatively easy to clean and durable as well. These are usually pretty affordable, make a good high-traffic rug choice, and works as a great layering rug.

- Wool: There is nothing more magical than an amazing wool rug. Because of the natural oils that wool rugs produce, this type of material is stain resistant! Instead of a liquid seeping into the wool, it typically will bead up on top for easy cleanup. This variety is usually hand tufted, knotted or loomed, so because of that and its durability, wool rugs can be a moderate - higher price point. These make great choices for high-traffic areas. The main draw back of a wool rug is the amount of vacuuming needed at first.

- Synthetic: Using materials that closely mimic natural fibers, synthetic rugs are made using man-made materials like acrylic and polyester. These rugs are probably the best for high-traffic areas of their affordable price points and because they are typically treated with resins to extend their life.

2. What shape rug do you need? Is it going in a long and narrow room? Under a round or rectangular table? Next to the kitchen sink? In a bedroom or living room?

Designer Tips:

- As a general rule, rugs should be touching a piece of a furniture, and not floating in space in the middle of the room. This makes the design of the room feel intentional, not haphazard. It also visually unifies the space, creating a vignette. Keeping this in mind will help you decide on a size for the room. More on size below!

- Visualize the shape and size of your rug by taping it out on your floor before purchasing. Live with it a few days to see how you like the size and placement.

-  Don't be afraid to layer rugs! A smaller pile, natural weave lays nicely under a cowhide or shag.

- Have carpet in your room, but still want to add a rug?! Go for it! Just be sure the rug pile isn't too crazy high, so there is no chance for tripping ;) You'll also want to avoid putting a solid color rug on top of carpet, especially if it's the same (or close to the same) color as the actual carpet. Pattern, or at least texture, in a rug can really help increase the visual interest of your space, instead of the rug blending right into the carpet.

- Rugs naturally create "zones" in your home, so if you have a large bonus room or even family room and are in need of creating designated spaces, use rugs to do this! One rug under the family room sofa, chair and coffee table clearly differentiates itself from the playroom zone in the same room, that has a round rug under a play table.

Rug Layouts:


1. All furniture on a large rug.

2. Edges of furniture on the rug.


1. Under the entire bed.

2. Under the edges of the bed.

3. Rugs on either side or at the foot of the bed.



1. Rectangular table: rectangular rug

2. Round table: round rug

3. Round table: rectangular or square rug

4. Oval table: rectangular rug

5. Square table: either shape rug!


1. A long runner down a hall.

2. A round rug, if your foyer affords that shape (especially nice if it opens to a staircase)

Choosing a Rug Size:

Here are a few guides and visuals for you when choosing a rug size. I was going to make my own guide, until I found that World Market has a really great one!

This is a great little cheat sheet for how to choose a rug size for a few rooms in your home, thanks to Ballard. I just combined all the charts onto one handy graphic for you!

Choosing the correct size rug is stumping, so I hope you found these tips helpful! Interested in seeing my 24 favorite rugs?! Check them out here. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I'll answer them in my post tomorrow!

Happy Tuesday!


Valentine Day Gift Ideas for Him

Gift giving (okay, and receiving!) is definitely my love language! There is little that makes me more happy than going to pick out a friend or loved one something I know they'll love. Birthdays, holidays, and even Valentine's Day are such fun times of the year for me, because hunting down the perfect gift is something that brings me great joy. If you missed my Valentine's Day gift guide for the ladies, you can check out that post here. It's FULL of gift ideas for your wife, girlfriend or your best friends.

Today I'm highlighting Valentine's Day gift ideas for the guys. I love putting together something special for my husband. It will be even more exciting this year since we're married! Here are some of my favorite picks and ideas below:

DETAILSfit bit / watch / slippers / coffee cookbook / north face fleece / travel case / s'well water bottle / plaid flannel / cologne /

Speaking from experience, guys are hard to buy for, so I put this gift guide together with what I know for sure my guy would love. I got my husband this exact S'well water bottle for Christmas and he LOVES it. He drinks way more water now and takes it everywhere. It keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12. $35 well spent! I almost wish I had gotten him the largest size instead of the medium.

If you live in the midwest like we do, it's still a great time to gift a fleece or warm sweater. There are tons of great options out there, but I love this North Face 1/4 zip sweatshirt. It comes in a bunch of colors, which is always nice! Speaking of clothing for guys, a classic flannel button up is always a safe gift. I don't know about you, but I love my husband in a plaid button up and red is extra cute :) If your guy is a great outdoors person, check out tons of great clothes and shoes for that here.

A few other noteworthy items are this YSL cologne that I got my husband on our wedding day (ladies, trust smells amazing!) and this make-your-own-coffee-at-home-book. In fact, if you've got a coffee lover on your hands, here are some other gift ideas you may like:

Other Valentine's Day gifts for him:

- Chocolate! Who doesn't love that?!
- Their favorite beer. I love going to World Market and picking one of these up to include in his gift.
- Make him dinner (and have it be a surprise!)
- Make him breakfast in. I'll be making these delicious oven pancakes!
- Make your own coupons for activities you know he'll love to do together (ie. see a movie, go bowling, go to a brewery, etc.)
- Frame a picture of the two of you for his desk at work
- Write him a handwritten card. (My husband has kept all the cards I've written sweet!)

What do you get for your guys?! Do share...I haven't quite landed on what I'm doing yet, though I have ideas!


Our Home Decor for Winter

The day after New Years Day, we took down our Christmas decor and spent a few hours cleaning our little abode. The week following, I spent a bit of time putting back up some regular decor and left out some of our more "winter" decor. Have a peek around!

This little ledge is in the stairway up to our living space (our front door is downstairs, then you walk straight up a flight of stairs to get to the main living space).  I use it to display some little pieces, books and plants. My favorite thing is my Gather sign by Feather and Birch.

I'm also displaying my calendar from Carleigh Courey designs. They're 30% off now!

I got a few new coffee table books for Christmas, so I'm displaying them here. One is Lovable Livable Home and the other is The Year of Cozy.

On the other side of the ledge, we're displaying a beautiful floral piece of art I found at a thrift store and one of our engagement pictures, along with these candle sticks. I love the warm tone of the wood!

Our bookcase holds some more books, a little snowy town scene (couldn't seem to put it away at Christmas, since we get snow here for a few more months!), tulip vases, a birdcage I found at a thrift store, my husband's record collection and a cute hellebore plant I found at Trader Joe's!

Bookends found here.

Our dining buffet said goodbye to our poinsettia and hello to a new fresh plant!

Tulips are a year-round favorite!

Our side chair and pouf took the place of the Christmas tree ;) And our lamp got to come back in the house, after being stored in the garage during Christmas.

I just love the way our new drapes  (on sale now!) look in the living room, especially with the patterns of our pillows. So thankful we got some gift cards to Pottery Barn so we could get a few new things for our first place together, including the drapes.

So that's how our apartment is looking these days. I'm excited to hopefully add some Valentine's Day touches soon!

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who took my reader survey! I received so many kind comments, great questions I can't wait to answer, and lots of helpful feedback as well. Thank you so much for reading this little blog of mine! I'm really excited to make this the best year yet for my blog content-- including a lot more how-to posts, content heavy posts in regards to decorating (budget decorating included!) and more. Though I am an interior designer, this is a lifestyle blog so I will still continue sharing a variety of topics related to decorating, interiors, my own home, client projects, fashion finds, and I even got a few requests for easy hair tutorials. Of course, as I expected, you all want to hear more from me personally; about life, marriage, and lots of other topics, so I'll be answering a lot of questions and trying to make a better effort to get more personal here. It's scary stuff putting yourself out there for the world to read, but being vulnerable is always fruitful. If you missed the reader survey, you can take it here. Finally, thanks for entering the giveaway! I have emailed the winner!

Happy Wednesday!


Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Her

Can you believe we're only a few weeks out from Valentine's Day? I know a lot of people think this is a dumb holiday, and I sort of agree, but it can also be really sweet if you think about as a day to intentionally show those you care about that you love them! Every day should be like that, but we have a special day every year to devote to making others feel loved. With this being our first married Valentine's Day, we're embracing it. My husband is planning our evening and I'm really looking forward to it! Whether you're celebrating with a spouse or significant other or with your best gals, I've found a bunch of sweet gifts for the occasion.

DETAILS | drop earrings / coconut and mango candle / blush watch / iphone peony case / ruffle cold shoulder blouse / valentine's day socks / 52 lists for happiness book / posies body & hair oil / marc jacobs perfume

I just LOVE the idea of this 52 lists for happiness book. The book helps you generate a ton of lists, all pointing toward joy and thankfulness. And the cover is gorgeous! A candle is always a great gift-- I don't think you could have too many. I often use this day to give little soaps, bubble bath or oils to my girlfriends as a way to pamper themselves. This is also a great time of year to gift perfumes. I don't think I've ever loved a perfume more than I love the one I have right now, so that's why I included the Daisy Eau So Fresh perfume.

I found a few other things I think could be really cute gifts, too! Guys (all 4 of them who read my blog), listen up! This would be a sweet puzzle to do together then frame and hang in your house:

If you are a tea or coffee lover like me, a thermal mug like this (especially one that's called "Hot Stuff") is a perfect gift! Free tip to the men: fill the mug with chocolate and a gift card to the nail salon and we'll love you forever. #amirightladies 

This gift is a great idea for your wife or girlfriend OR for your best friends if you're celebrating galentine's day! You know Sprinkles Cupcakes? (THE best!) Well, they made a red velvet lip scrub. I need!

Need some new PJ's? A good time to hint you like these pants and this top. I love PJ Salvage brand...they're pretty true to size, but I did get an XS instead of a S in my Christmas pjs from them this year. They fit a bit better, since pajama pants tend to stretch out a little.

Major brownie points to the husbands out there who go with this idea. My love language is "gifts" and "words of affirmation", specifically in hand written form...ha! SO if my husband did this alone on Valentine's Day I would cry tears of happiness. This is a cute little book that has fill in the blanks, for you to write in what you love about your spouse. Gift this to your wife with all the blanks filled in and she is promised to melt. At least I would ;)

A great idea for your girlfriends are these cute heart of gold mugs! Even if you're in a relationship, it's always fun to celebrate your bffs, too!
Another awesome idea for the guys to get their ladies! Date Night In (we got this for our wedding) is full of fun recipes to make together at home. Get this for your girl and cook her a recipe in the book on Valentine's Day if she's the type who wants to stay in :)

Lastly, whether your a guy looking to turn up the romance or a bunch of girls hosting a panty exchange (this is a really fun thing to do on Valentine's Day!), the verdict is in. These are absolutely the best panties. Soft, last forever, lacey, come in many colors and are on sale. What more could you ask for?! I prefer the low rise. (Just noting this is the first time I've ever posted intimates on my blog. Insert emoji face with rosy cheeks!)

More gifts for her:

- Flowers!
- Chocolate
- Gift card to the spa or nail salon
- Gift card to favorite coffee shop
- Night away with her best friends
- Dinner and a movie out
- Cooking dinner for her in

Okay ladies, what did I miss?! I'll be back with some gift ideas for the guys later in the week.


The Short List 1

Hi friends! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. We had so much fun on date night this Saturday night at a Murder Mystery dinner. I can't wait to tell you all about it soon! Today is my first post in a new monthly series called The Short List. Here I'll be giving you the scoop on what we've been up to lately-- what we're reading, watching, eating, etc. Hope you like it!! If you want another topic covered in The Short List, just comment with it and I'll add it in next month!

What We're Watching: Hands-down our favorite show on right now is This Is Us. We just started it this month and watched the first 10 episodes in about 10 days. It is SO GOOD. And also, I cry nearly every touching! We also can't wait for Designated Survivor to come back in March.

As far as shows I watch by myself: Nashville and Project Runway (this season it's with little kids and I'm always blown away!!) Of course I also watch Fixer Upper :)

What I'm Loving: A few things!

1. Our ticket sales for The Bloom Workshop open TODAY! We're coming to Northern California, Traverse City, Chicago, Grand Rapids and Dallas! It's a really fun lineup and I'd love to meet you at an event or two.

2. TULIPS! I'm so glad that these blooms are available year round. Especially loving that they're $4.99 at Trader Joes!

3. I finally got around to buying gallery wall frames for our wedding photos! I can't wait for them to arrive and get them up on the wall. Thankfully we had gift cards to Pottery Barn, so we got these beautiful frames in the gilt color!

What I'm Wearing: It's cold here. Have I mentioned that lately?! ;) So I spend most of my days in leggings with sweaters. And honestly, sometimes pajamas. #noshame

I wear this sweater at least twice a week (it helps that I have both black and gray ;))

What We're Eating: I'm really trying to be a better cook for my husband! He's so nice, even when I burn chicken, he eats it. I shop mostly at Trader Joes because of the price point, the small scale of the store (I hate those big super stores!) and because they have really tasty food. If we're in a hurry, I love Trader Joes Orange Chicken. I make it with rice and broccoli. I also made chili and cornbread this month, along with cranberry chicken and rice recipe. One of my favorite meals to make and take to friends houses is flank steak tacos in the crockpot. So I made that for a friend who just had a baby! On New Years Day I made my mom's famous egg was delicious.

If I'm being honest, cooking isn't my favorite; probably because I haven't mastered it and that bothers me! PLEASE share crockpot recipes with me!! Those are so easy and delicious.

What's on My Desk: This week I'm working on a baby boy nursery design + a modern/industrial home office. Here's a peek of that. We're currently deciding between a few comfy chair options for the corner of the room.

SOURCESL desk / leather swivel chair / small desk / chair / rug / everly / irving / tyler

Looking Forward to: I'm going home to California in a few weeks to dog sit our family golden retriever, Hope, while my parent's take off for a Hawaiian vacay. I can't wait to see her and be in some warmer weather!

What We're Reading: My husband and I have started reading at night together a few times a week and it's been really sweet. It's fun to be together doing the same thing, but reading different books and then sharing thoughts.

He's reading Speaking of Jesus and loves it. I'm reading How We Love and it's so interesting. It's one of the best marriage books I've read, because it gives you really great insight into why you might be how you are in your marriage, due to your childhood experiences.

That is what's on my short list this month. Comment answering some of the prompts below! I'd love to hear what you're up to as well :)

Happy Monday!


Friday Finds: Tees with Details

Happy Friday! Do you ever just wake up and not really feel like putting a ton of effort into your outfit that day? But you still want to look cute? I rounded up my favorite tees with a little extra detail for you today... and most of them are under $40-50! I love simple pieces that error on the feminine side. A top with ruffles?! Get in my closet ;)

I also love simple sweaters or tees like this gray one that can be paired with vests, cute jackets, worn with jeans, leggings or even skirts! You can find the vest on sale here.

Alright, here are all my favorite simple tees with some extra cute detail!

Would you wear any of these?? I sure would; especially THIS one for spring and summer. And it's on sale! I also just want to note that the LOFT is having a 50% off sale and their sweaters are SO cute! Use code NOEXCUSES.

Have a GREAT Friday and weekend!

PS. Don't forget to take my reader survey and be entered into a giveaway here!


2017 Design Trends

Today I'm dishin' on a few design trends I think we'll be seeing a lot of in 2017! Let me know in the comments what you think of them and if YOU would go for any of them :)

1. Geometric tiles.
This trend will be seen in backsplashes for the kitchen and bath, floor tiles, and more. This works great in eclectic, modern, mid century and even some traditional and farmhouse (hexagon flooring, anyone?!) styled homes.


I was recently picking out some backsplashes for one of my design clients and found all these goodies:

2. Monochromatic design.
This is a color palette in which you stick with shades (color + black) and tints (color + white) of the same hue. In this example, they went with black, gray and white, which is always a really effective and modern look.

Design tip: monochromatic spaces need a lot of texture to keep the room interesting!

Here's a more warm, beige monochromatic palette from one of my favorites, Barbara Barry:

3. Natural wood.
Cathedral ceilings, wood beams, butcher block counter tops, exposed wood columns, natural wood floors (wide planked!), and of course, shiplap.

An example from Fixer Upper:

And another example with natural wood shelving, which adds great texture to the kitchen!

4. More White.
The white on white on white trend will certainly continue in 2017! There are more white cabinets and lots more white walls to be seen. The great thing about this trend is that it's actually really classic looking and can point towards a variety of different styles. Modern and sleek or a farmhouse examples below:


5. Use of bright green.
A la Pantone's Color of the Year, "Greenery".

In home decor:

In weddings:

6. Texture. 
Especially velvet and raw / honed surfaces.


Concrete countertop:

7. Marble everything!
Coasters, countertops, cutting boards, bookends, water bottles, laptop case patterns, even a SUITCASE pattern! You name, it's done in marble and it's everybody's favorite.

8. Smart home features and apps. 
This shouldn't be surprising! I bet a lot of us have been using technology for a while to operate certain features in our homes. This includes products like the Nest Thermostats (we have one and love it!), Sono's Speakers, Amazon Echo, home security systems, remote controlled shades, etc.

So which trends do you like best? If you can't get on board with trends in a big way, try adding a few things in a small way! Shop the wood, marble, velvet and green looks below:

Happy Thursday! PS. Don't forget to enter my giveaway here!

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