Ecletic Home in Kenya

I have to admit – I’ve always loved African style and decor. In fact, I have a pretty extensive collection of African masks and trinkets from all over. I just love the exotic woods, materials, and textiles, and when I came across this gorgeous Kenyan home in 79 ideas via Marie Claire I just had to share it. French Interior Designer Marie-Paule Pelle decorated the space with items collected throughout her world travels and seamlessly blends the styles of the vast country of Africa and other exotic locals across the globe. From African, to Arabian, to Moroccan, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Indian influences, Marie-Paule Pelle created an absolutely stunning, eclectic space!

- Images courtesy of Marie Claire via 79 ideas


Alternative Guest Book Idea

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned yet but I am fully and completely – 110% obsessed with Etsy. You can find some of the most beautiful, unique things on there – most of which are one of a kind, or handmade. I recently stumbled upon this adorable alternative wedding guest book from Etsy seller CeladonHome. I’m absolutely obsessed and only wish I would have seen this before my own wedding!! I’m now determined to find a way and a reason to purchase one of these lovely 3D pieces of artwork… because it’s just too gorgeous not to!

What a wonderful way to actually put a purpose to a wedding guest book! Now it can double as beautiful artwork in your home!

Vera Wang LOVE

Leave it to the ever fabulous Vera Wang to just about corner the wedding market. She just announced a new line of engagement rings, wedding bands and solitaire jewelry that will hit stores in late 2011. The Vera Wang LOVE collection will be available exclusively in Zales stores throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and beginning this fall. Keep a watchful eye out for this collection… it is bound to be just dripping with gorgeousness!

Gorgeous Kitchen by Marie-Laure Helmkampf

If I could dream up my perfectly styled kitchen – it would be this one by French Interior Designer Marie-Laure Helmkampf. I love her clean and simple aesthetic, and ability to seamlessly mix textures with a beautiful ease.

In her own words, Marie-Laure is “always trying to find balance in the spaces: a balance between functionality of the place, light and proportions, this in order to achieve harmony and a timeless style.” Very well said Marie-Laure!

Timeless, classic, and modern – all at the same time! In my opinion there is not much better than a beautifully designed and styled space!

DIY Burlap Banner

As I search through my daily dose of wedding images, I often come across those adorable banners that are used as props in various wedding photos. I fall in love with them more every time I see them! Unfortunately, I was unable to make or purchase one in time for my May wedding, but when we scheduled a Newlywed Session with our wedding photographers, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to create this lovely banner for our shoot! So… here’s how I did it:


‘Tulip’ Soft Fabric Paint in Matte Linen (I also purchased in white)

‘Tulip’ Fashion Glitter in Crystal

– Natural Bristle Fabric Paint Brushes (3 pack, any brand)

Darice Craft Designer Jute

Burlap Fabric

– Wide Cream Satin Ribbon

– Ultra Fine Point Black Sharpie

– Letter stencils, or cardstock and scissors to create your own

– Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks or Needle and Thread

Step 1: I started the process by finding an inspiration image that I fell in love with. This particular image is from Etsy seller funkyshique

-Image courtesy of funkyshique

I just loved the lower case font, natural burlap, and bows! From there, I started purchasing supplies and set to work.

Step 2: I purchased the paint, brushes, glitter, ribbon, cardstock, and jute from my local Michael’s Craft store, and then went to JoAnn Fabrics and purchased 3 yards of Natural Burlap fabric. (I already had my trusty hot glue gun and plenty of glue from years in design school.)

Step 3: Once I had the supplies purchased, I looked online at various banners and decided I wanted something a bit different… so I went with the phrase ‘happily ever after.’ I decided to split the banner in two, having ‘happily’ on one string, and ‘ever after’ on the other – similar to the inspiration image.

Step 4: In my Michael’s run, I couldn’t find the perfect letter stencil so I decided to DIY the stencil as well. I scoured the internet and my personal font collection for the perfect font. Once I found one I loved, I then set up an 8-1/2″x11″ 300dpi file in Photoshop where I crunched as many of the letters in ‘happily ever after’ as I could into the file. You can also do this in a Word file if you don’t have Photoshop. I printed the letters onto a thick cardstock and meticulously cut them out.

Step 5: I measured and cut on plain computer paper a triangle ‘stencil’ that I used to cut the burlap triangles. I measured it to be about 9″ long from top to bottom, and 7″ long across the top. Exact sizing and measurements are completely up to you!

Step 6: I took my Ultra Fine Point Black Sharpie and lightly traced the letters onto my freshly cut burlap triangles.

Step 7: I then took the ‘Tulip’ Matte Linen Colored Soft Fabric Paint and mixed in the ‘Tulip’ Fashion Glitter to give the letters a nice sparkle. Then, I cautiously began painting the letters in – backing them with a scrap piece of computer paper so that the paint didn’t bleed through.

Step 8: I applied a second coat of paint to make the letters pop more. I then let the letters fully dry and assembled them in the proper order to see how it would look.

Step 9: After the letters completely dried, I took the Jute, measured and cut it into strips so that all of the letters fit with about 12″ of excess on either side. After having the jute measured and cut, I took my hot glue gun and wrapped and glued the burlap triangles around the jute strips, using approx 1″ of material… and Voila! One adorable burlap banner for our photos!

-Images courtesy of The Brand Studio

In a perfect world, I would have used my satin ribbon to tie bows on the ends of each banner like the inspiration image, but ran out of time before the shoot – nonetheless, it came out wonderfully and looks amazing in our photos!!

So, this a really fun and easy project and an overall great way to customize your wedding, newlywed, or anniversary photos!! Happy creating!

BHLDN Wedding Separates

It is my opinion that no one does wedding separates better than the lovely and extremely talented Monique Lhuillier (but then again, I’m kind of partial…) Well, these brand new BHLDN separates are pretty darn gorgeous… and are a fraction of the cost of a Monique dress! Once again, the designers over at the Anthropologie owned BHLDN hit it out of the park! Don’t you just love these flirty, romantic, feminine pieces? And what a great way to make that all important change into a seemingly brand new ‘second’ reception dress!

And just think… this is only BHLDN’s first stab at separates! I’m sure there is much more prettiness to come!

Beautiful, Romantic DVF Dresses

With summer coming to an end, I’m deeply saddened thinking about having to put away all my lovely dresses. To be honest, there is little on Earth that I love more than beautiful, flowy, romantic dresses… and Diane Von Furstenberg certainly does dresses right. Aren’t they lovely??

- Images courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Now… I only have to try and find an excuse to purchase these lovelies…