Friday, May 12, 2023

Tips for Choosing the Best Area Rug for your Room

I recently purchased a home that is, what I call, an aesthetic fixer upper. I say aesthetic because the bones and layout of the house are great; the inside needed some love! I have been working through elements and rooms of the house.

We installed all new flooring (post coming soon about that) and now we are in need of some area rugs. There are so many choices out there for area rugs! It was a bit overwhelming at first, but I learned a few things along the way and wanted to share my tips on how to select the best area rug for your room. 

Choosing an area rug is more than just picking out the color or pattern; an area rug is a great way to enhance the beauty and warmth of a room. It can add texture, color, and style to any space.

Determine the purpose of the rug.

Before you start shopping for an area rug, you need to determine its purpose. Will it be used to define a seating area or to add color and texture to a room? Will it be used to protect a high-traffic area or to add warmth and comfort to a cold, hard floor? Once you know the purpose of the rug, it will be easier to narrow down and select the right size, material, and design.



Choose the right size.

The size of the rug is an important factor to consider. A rug that is too small can make a room feel disjointed, while a rug that is too large can overwhelm the space. As a general rule (and personal experience), the rug should be large enough to fit all of the furniture in the seating area, with at least 6-12 inches of space between the rug and the walls.


Consider the shape.

Area rugs come in a variety of shapes, including square, rectangle, round, and oval. The shape of the rug you choose will depend on the shape of the room and the furniture arrangement. A rectangular rug works well in a long, narrow room, while a round rug can soften the angles of a square or rectangular room.



Choose the right material.

Area rugs come in a variety of materials, each with its own unique texture, durability, and maintenance requirements. Some popular materials include wool, cotton, silk, jute, sisal, and synthetic fibers. Wool is a popular choice for its durability, natural stain resistance, and soft texture. Cotton rugs are easy to clean and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Jute and sisal rugs are durable and have a natural, earthy texture, but they can be difficult to clean. Silk rugs are luxurious and have a soft, silky texture, but they are expensive and require special care. I personally went with a wool / jute blend for my area rugs. They have some softness because of the wool, but living on the coast, still provides that coastal vibe I was looking for. 


Consider the color and pattern.

The color and pattern of the rug can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of the room. If you have a neutral color scheme, a bold, colorful rug can add a pop of color and interest to the space. If you have a colorful room, a neutral rug can provide a calming balance. When selecting a patterned rug, it's important to consider the scale of the pattern. A large, bold pattern can overwhelm a small room, while a small, intricate pattern can get lost in a large room.


Think about the texture.

The texture of the rug can add depth and interest to a room. A shaggy rug can add warmth and softness, while a flatweave rug can add texture without being too overwhelming. When selecting a textured rug, it's important to consider the maintenance requirements. For example, a shaggy rug can be difficult to clean and may not be suitable for high-traffic areas.

Set a budget.

Area rugs can vary widely in price, from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Before you start shopping, it's important to set a budget and stick to it. Remember to factor in the cost of a rug pad, which can help extend the life of the rug and prevent slipping.


Don't forget about the rug pad!

A rug pad is an essential accessory for any area rug. It helps to prevent slipping, extend the life of the rug, and provide additional cushioning.
P.S. I do not receive a commission on these links, I just really like the products and companies! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Dining Rooms Inspired by Beach Living

 A beautiful dining room is warm and welcoming for gatherings with friends and family as well as a quiet weeknight supper. Below are a few trends for spring 2022. 

P.S. I do not receive a commission on these links, I just really like the products and companies! 

Rattan Furniture 

Clean and airy, rattan provides a light beach house vibe to your dining room without feeling heavy and overwhelming.

   Serena and Lily


Dining For Small Spaces 

For small space areas such as bungalows and condos, go with a smaller table that includes a leaf insert for entertaining family and friends. 

Another option for smaller spaces is a corner seating area and table. Neutral tones with pops of color, such as aqua cushions, give it a coastal feel without being too loud or overwhelming the room. 

It could also double as extra storage; the benches in this one hold dinner accessories such as napkins, placemats, table runner, etc. (I love multi-functional!) 



Pops of Color

I like neutral pieces, but throw in some flamingos and pops of bright pinks and coral and you have a fun Florida-inspired dining area! 

Soften the Surroundings 

Covering the dining room chairs is a great way to bring cohesion to the dining room - especially when the chairs are different shapes and/or colors. The pendant lighting is clean and subtle; the photos can be your own framed photos of the beach, which adds a personal touch to the room. 

Monday, February 7, 2022

Little Touches to Make Your Home Feel Like a Beach Home


Growing up in Florida, a beach day was always a fun day. When I bought my home, I wanted to bring those beachy, coastal vibes into my home décor. Here are a few tips and ideas to bring elements of the beach into your home. Enjoy!

P.S. I do not receive a commission on these items, I just really like them and the companies!


Shells Key Holder

Each day, a little bit of the beach is there when you enter and exit your home. Plus, it is great for organizing – no more, “where did I put my keys?”

   Sanibel Shells Key Rack from Bella Coastal Decor


Surfboard Mudroom Coat Hanger and Wall Hooks  

What else says beach like surf boards and flamingos. A surfboard entry way wall rack and flamingo wall hook can give your home a beach vibe and keep the entry way organized.  

    Surfboard wall rack from Wayfair


   Pink Flamingo Wall Hook from Bella Coastal Decor


Kitchen Beach Décor

The beach has so many fun shops to browse and find really unique things. However, I was looking on Instagram when The Vintage Home Studio popped up with these super cute Crochet Kitchen Bar Mop Towels. I have several patterns – they spruce up the kitchen and also make great gifts. A great beach accent in your kitchen – and super functional!

    Source: The Vintage Home Studio


Fillable Lamps

Fillable lamps are a beautiful way to display your found beach treasures for many years to come. They come in different shapes and sizes to fit your décor and space.


     Fillable lamps from Lamps Plus


Memory Containers

Different types of glass containers are another great way to display your seashells and instantly provide beautiful and meaningful beach accents in your home.

   Seashells and Sunshine Days

    Pink Candle from QVC

   Hurricane lamp: Antique mall find


Bathroom Sea Life Décor

Maybe you just want one room or area of the house to have a coastal, beach vibe - the bathroom is a great place! I love these sea turtle towel holders – I have them in both bathrooms. The hand towels are a nice accent in your main bath or the guest bath.


    Sea Turtle Cast Iron Hand Towel Holder from Bella Coastal Decor



     Tranquil Sea Bath Towel from Bella Coastal Decor

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Simple Tips For Getting Organized

I like to organize. When everything has a place, it seems my home has a good vibe as well as being neat and clean. Organizing also helps clear the clutter in my brain. When I am organizing something, I am thinking about the task at hand, but it also mentally helps me find solutions to other things in my life. But organizing can be overwhelming – you might think, "Where do I begin? I need to organize this room, that room, this closet, that junk drawer..." Below are some simple tips to help you get started.

 Tip 1: Get your mind right.

Pick a day and set time aside to focus on the task at hand. If you just ‘think’ you will take Saturday morning to organize the kitchen cabinets, trust me, something else will come up. Put it on a list, a calendar, something that commits the time to that task.


Tip 2: Layout the plan.

I like lists – lots of lists. Lists for my lists. Make a list of all the rooms, closets, drawers, storage areas, fridge, and freezer – everything that needs to be organized. It may be a lot, but do not let the list overwhelm you; we are going to tackle it in small sections. Which one on the list is the smallest? Maybe it is the junk drawer, a small pantry, or maybe the bathroom cabinet under the sink. Pick the small one first – here’s why: once the small sections are completed, they provide a quick sense of accomplishment and will keep you motivated to keep forging ahead with organizing your home. The success of the first one will feel so good that you will be motivated to continue to the next organizing task.

Tip 3: Get in the Groove.

Anyone who has watched me organize knows that I organize to music. My choice of organizing music: Disco. Seriously! I queue up Spotify and my brain and mood start get pumped. Find some good upbeat music and put it on while you organize – trust me, it helps!

Tip 4: Empty and Execute.

I have tried different approaches to organizing, but the most effective way I have found is to empty the space. Empty the junk drawer; empty the closet, the pantry, the utility closet, whatever it is, take everything out. Once complete, clean the area. Even a small drawer can gather dust and other odd dirt-like things. By cleaning the area, you will have a good foundation to begin your organizing task. Clean space means you don’t want to put junk back there.

Create three areas for the following: Discard, Donate, Keep. Have a box set aside for those items you would like to donate. Have a paper bag or trash can/garbage bag near your discard pile. The pile designated for keeping – take an assessment; you may need some baskets, cloth storage boxes, or maybe rubber bands to gather small items or keep similar items together. Once you have sorted everything, it is time to place the keep items back in the space. Personally, if I am doing an area with shelves, I put items that I keep, but don’t use much on the top shelf. For example, something seasonal – you do not use it all year round, but is a keeper for a certain season, it goes higher up. The items I reach for on a daily or weekly basis are easily available on lower shelves.

Organizing does not have to be overwhelming – with the right plan, beginning with the small things, you can organize anything. In the next blog post, I will take an example from my life – I will be organizing the utility closet!


Friday, January 7, 2022

2022: Let's Take a Different Approach to New Year's Resolutions

New Year, New motivation, New attitude, New..... What does the new year mean to you? For some that I have spoken with, 2021 was not that great - the range of issues they have struggled with is broad. But with the new year in full swing, they have made comments like, "it can only get better from here...", "I am feeling optimistic...", and even "this is my breakout year." All see a new year, in some form or another, as a way to hit the 'refresh' button - clear the cache in computer terms. 

Straight up: I do not like to say 'resolutions' - it feels so rigid and burdensome. So when people ask if I make new year's resolutions, I say - Nope! But I do make Goals. While the beginning of a new year is a time to reset and realign your goals, the beginning of a new year is also a time to reflect on goals I set last year. Did I achieve them? Did circumstances redefine those goals - or make them not relevant anymore? Was there something that held me back from achieving those goals?

Where and who do I want to be in 2022?

Goals allow you to reflect over your entire life - personally, professionally, mentally, emotionally, financially, physically, socially, etc. We are multi-dimensional, not a one-note song. Reflecting on who you are as a whole person - not just your career, for example, can help you re-center on what is important to you. Take time to be quiet and reflect on this. 

Make your goals SMART goals. Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Time-specific.

I have found making SMART goals is the key to achieving those goals. And, for me personally, it really makes me stop and think about the goal I am setting for myself. 

I have linked some great articles and resources for helping you make goals can be found below. What are some of your goals? 

It is time to set those goals and go after them! Let's do this! 


Meier, J.D. How John Maxwell Sets Goals.

Stahl, Ashley. This New Year's Set Goals, Not Resolutions.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Container Gardening: Small Space With Big Results

Growing and tending a garden – it has always been very rewarding for me. I usually grow flowers, specifically, hibiscus given I live in warm, tropical Florida. I enjoy caring for them and watching the results. I few years back, my brother started a vegetable container garden – in Brooklyn, NY. He has a great apartment with his own private rooftop space. He would post pictures on social media and I was amazed. It got me interested in starting my own container garden and growing my own food.  

Your plants do not mind which container they grow in. There are many choices on the market – terracotta, ceramics, and even barrel containers. They come in neutral colors to very eye-popping colors. Choose what works best for you. The only criteria: it should have at least one hole at the base for the water to drain. A larger container will allow you to grow a greater variety in one space, which may save porch space (think of putting several herbs together in a pot versus small, single pots) or something smaller for better manageability.  

Depending on your space and personality, the container is your choice. But choosing the right soil is a key to success. Container plants need soil that allows the roots to grow easily, fast draining, yet moisture retentive. Consider a good organic potting soil with compost. Compost is a great nutrient base for your plants to thrive. Part of the fun of container gardening is watching and taking care of your plants. Watch the moisture level and know your plants – do your plants need more water or do they like a drier environment?

I like a good organic fertilizer. I live in a small townhome community and while fish emulsion is great for plants, it may not be great for fostering good relationships with neighbors due to the initial smell. I did find some odorless lobster and kelp plant food from a company called Coast of Maine. It had good reviews and I liked the sustainability of the company working with the lobster industry. I used it according to the instructions and my plants have enjoyed it very much!

My back porch faces the West, which means it gets pretty warm and sunny back there in the afternoon. In the hot months of July and August, I move tender plants under the awning to avoid the intense heat. My hibiscus and palms, however, love it and thrive. A little research on your plants and which direction your container garden faces goes a long way.

Grow Something You Enjoy Eating or Looking At
One of my favorite things to make is salsa. Before I conquered growing tomatoes, I started growing my own jalapeños. It is true what people say – when you grow it yourself, it just tastes better. There is nothing better than making fresh salsa and picking the jalapeños straight from the plant. Jalapeños were a great starter plant for me and yielded a wonderful crop. This year, I decided to grow tomatillos and cherry tomatoes in addition to jalapeños and herbs. I even grow catnip – I clip and dry the leaves, crush them up to really activate the oil, and my cat loves it!  

What do you enjoy eating? Bell peppers? Cucumbers? Tomatoes? Maybe you enjoy flowers that attract birds and butterflies, sunflowers or roses. Whatever you choose, when the conditions are right, the possibilities are endless. Jump in and give it a try!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Working Remote - Is it Right For You?

Get up. Get ready. Drive the traffic. Every day in the office. The daily grind, right? Not so much anymore. More and more companies are moving to employees working remote, whether full-time or part-time. The shift is also being seen in potential candidates making working remote part of their criteria for job selection with a particular company. For example, I have an incredibly talented friend who is a UX Designer and one component in her criteria in searching for a UX Designer role is the ability to work remote full-time or, at minimum, part-time. Sound odd? It is becoming more common than you think.
  • Working remote is trending – and here to stay. Last year, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remote, according to the survey of more than 15,000 adults. That represents a 4-percentage point increase since 2012, a shift that meets the demands of many job seekers. (1)
  • Remote workers feel more productive. According to a survey conducted by TINYpulse, 91 percent of remote workers believe they "get more work done when working remotely," compared to only 9 percent who feel they do not. (2)
  • Remote workers have a better work/life balance. A Staples Advantage survey says that more than 80 percent of respondents who work from home say they now maintain a better work-life balance. (3)
If you could work remote, or if you already do, where would you live? That is the question – the opportunities are endless, right? Maybe you would stay in your current neighborhood or city, maybe you would move to an area that had many activities that supported a positive work/life balance. Do you dream of working remote by the ocean each day? With our beautiful beaches in North Florida and St. Augustine, it is an easy goal to achieve.

1.     Chokshi, Niraj. (Feb. 15, 2017) Out of the Office; More people are working remotely, survey finds.
2.     Lipman, Victor. (May 2, 2016) Are Remote Workers Happier And More Productive? New Survey Offers Answers.
3.     Come Recommended. (June 12, 2014) Survey Says: Telecommuters Happier, Healthier, Better Balanced.

Tips for Choosing the Best Area Rug for your Room

I recently purchased a home that is, what I call, an aesthetic fixer upper. I say aesthetic because the bones and layout of the house are gr...