Thursday, November 16, 2017

Our First Custom Holiday Cards

I have to confess that last year in the thick of the baby-stage, I did not send or hand out a single Christmas card. We barely put up our tree and went to see Santa. Sometimes it's just about keeping your head above water, and that's honestly ok! And still, I think our home will not quite be Pinterest-Christmas-worthy this year, BUT what I did decide to get done was our very first custom Christmas cards. I admit to feeling SO organized now that I have these in my hands ready to drop in the mailbox and it isn't even December yet!

We designed our cards this year through Minted, one of my all-time favorite sources for artwork (I have several pieces in my home, my favorite one you can see here). I had never used them for holiday cards before, and the truth is it made everything so easy that I think I'll never be turning back. The step-by-step process is so quick once you have your images ready to upload, the only tough part is selecting a design from the 100's of gorgeous templates, fonts, and colors (this part took me several days to choose)! And Marcus was hamming it up for my camera so I had to choose from the dozens of cute photos of him as well ... there were some GQ moments (left) and then some plain toddler-craziness moments (right):

I love how our cards turned out. I decided on a simple layout which included a little dose of real foil-pressed gold on a classic Christmas-red backdrop to match Marky's vintage style pajamas. And the French phrase! Perfection for our little half-French family. It has that certain je ne sais quoi, non?

And the major LIFE HACK - Minted will save your address book for you so you never have to enter it again. Envelopes arrive with free pre-printed recipient addressing so there is literally nothing left to do but stuff them and send. I chose to leave a message inside the card that is personal enough for family to enjoy reading, but general enough that we could still hand the card out to neighbours and co-workers. One tip that I would encourage you to do is make sure to have every friend or family members' name on your list for the printed envelopes (even if you don't include an address & are not sending it by mail!); it looks so put-together just to have their names printed there. And maybe label one for yourself to keep as a memory with the year printed on it as a keepsake! I think I'll do that next time because I can tell this is going to be a special yearly traditional for us now.

Have you ever tried printed custom holiday cards?

You can receive 15% off Holiday cards with the code BEMERRY until Nov 21!

*A huge thank you to Minted for sponsoring this post, all comments and opinions are my own.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Southern Style Now 2017 Showhouse

The Southern Style Now Showhouse opened this past weekend, and it has been a lot of fun following along on social media. What inspiration! You can see a full list of the designers involved on their website here, and find images through instagram using the hashtag #southernstylenow. Let's take a look at a few moments that I was drooling over:

My favorite room, you ask? This stunning bathroom by the talented Kevin Walsh:


Friday, November 3, 2017

Metrie's Option {M} Curated Trim Combinations

I am thrilled to be partnering with Metrie again to share their recent launch of Option {M}. Metrie, a family company founded in 1926, is my absolute favorite source for high quality moulding & millwork - I have personally used their product extensively in my own home and it's usually the first thing to get compliments when guests arrive.

The idea behind this new line is a carefully curated selection of interior moulding and door combinations falling into six style categories: Shabby Chic, New Traditional, Modern Farmhouse, Country, Vintage Industrial, and Bohemian. This is a fool-proof way to find your style and ensure you have all the pieces that meld and fit together without having to do the grunt work yourself.

After searching through the 6 Option {M} style categories, I resonated with the delicate, curvy, and ornamental appearance of the Shabby Chic combination. The term shabby chic was coined by The World of Interiors in the 1980's and showed heavy influence from 18th century Swedish (Gustavian) painted design, French Chateau decor, and the time-worn antique collections of Provence. There is an emphasis on the use of linens, and the furnishings are selected for their appearance of natural age and patina.

Now here's the fun part - I've gathered images and 5 key take-aways on how to get a sophisticated Shabby Chic space to inspire you. With the reveal of the Shabby Chic combination, Metrie is giving away a fabulous Uttermost lamp as a luxury prize to one lucky winner this week, and at the end of the contest, a Grand Prize of a virtual design consultation with celebrity designer Amanda Forrest and a $1000 Wayfair gift card!

All you have to do to enter:

1. Follow Metrie on Pinterest
2. Create your dream Shabby Chic space with Option {M} on Pinterest, like I did here. We want to see how you would put this amazing trim and door combination to use in your own home!  (Please click here for contest details)
3. Once you've created your board you can fill the entry form

5 Ways to Create the Shabby Chic Look

1. Contrasting Paint & Trim

Paint the mouldings and millwork in a contrasting color, like a soft grey, to highlight and bring the eye toward the architectural details. Because we don't all have 15 foot ceilings and perfectly weathered original wood beams, we may instead opt to add architectural details through smart and thoughtful placement of mouldings and trim. One thing you can see in the majority of these rooms is that the trim is highlighted by being painted a contrasting color like a soft grey in an all-white space. I think in it's own French Provencial way, this perfectly lends to a sophisticated shabby chic look:

I adore the example below of a time-worn chair rail - placed for it's original intention, to prevent chairs from damaging the walls:

2. Mix relaxed & glamorous

Mix furnishing of relaxed and casual linen with ornate gold mirrors and chandelier sconces. This achieves a balance of rough and smooth textures, old and new, shiny and dull, rustic and polished - all key features of a shabby chic space.

3. Antiques, antiques, antiques.

I probably cannot emphasize this one enough. You can't achieve an authentic Provencial look without them. And this doesn't have to be a design factor that breaks the bank either. Just think of it as the perfect exercise in persistent and patient Craisglist hunting!

Of course shopping the Paris flea markets for the perfect antique pieces would be a dream:

4. Balance curves and straight lines

Balance the delicate soft curves of the millwork and door panels with straight lines in the room by adding accessories such as the rectangular mirror below or chinoiserie panel screens:

5. Add accessories with authenticity

Add weathered accessories and piles of worn books from flea markets. Again, these objects are something to keep an eye out for, so that you achieve an authentic, 'collected over time' look.

Swedish Gustavian clock; Chinoiserie panels; Antique mirror; Shabby chic dresser; Christopher Spitzmiller lampMasonite moulded panel door brought to you by Metrie; Metrie 2 1/2" Chair rail worn books as mantle décor; 1st dibs Louis Style painted settee

Be sure to check back for the announcement of the winner, I can't wait to see what you guys come up with on your Pinboards! Bonne chance everyone!

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