CHARMING ATLANTA HOME TOUR of Ayla Gurganus

Remember that amazing story on the pop-up flower shop in Atlanta? Well, we are back with more Soulflower love & this time it’s better than ever. Welcome to the stunning home of Ayla Gurganus, Soulflower owner & lead designer. Step inside this charming Atlanta home with amazing light, amazing decor, and so much love its unbelievable. She talks all about bringing a minimalist approach to design, creating a home your guests feel comfortable in, and the importance of fresh flowers. Plus some more amazing home advice.
stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelpstunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelpHELLO!

My name is Ayla Gurganus & I am 29 and live in Atlanta, Georgia with my husband and pups where I own Soulflowers (ps – remember that fabulous story on the pop-up flower shop? That was her! See it again here)

stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp stunning atlanta home tour via lauren kelp

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR SPACE?

Absolutely it’s the kitchen.

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WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Curating home décor that really matches my aesthetic & having to wait for the perfect piece. Sometimes I can rush into buying something just so the space is filled and in the end I am always unsatisfied.

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HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO ARRIVE AT SUCH A COHESIVE STYLE? WE ARE OBSESSED!

Total trial & error. I am a big fan of purchasing and selling pieces if they aren’t working out for the space or if you aren’t as in love with it as you thought.

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YOU SEEM LIKE SUCH AN AMAZING HOSTESS. WHAT IS YOUR SECRET FOR GOOD HOSPITALITY?

Creating a space that is really authentic to us makes hosting that much easier. When you are comfortable in your home & get excited about the space, it’s fun and special to share with others.

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WE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP, DO YOU HAVE ANY UP YOUR SLEEVE?

Always set the table. Buy linens & use them. Today it’s much easier to buy paper plates and just toss them when you are finished, but there is something really nice in preparing for a dinner…even down to the silverware. And, always, always, always have fresh florals J

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DESCRIBE YOUR INTERIORS STYLE & WHO INFLUENCED IT:

I wouldn’t say that I have a particular style that I have been influenced by. I am a big fan of white. Many people steer clear of white because it supposedly shows imperfections or dirt, but I find other colors to be just the same. I recently have become a huge fan of minimalism in the home – if you don’t need it or use it, give it away. The coffee table doesn’t need a book on it, it can be bare and I think there is beauty in that.

I also love ceramics, brass, and raw wood. I try and use meaningful pieces that we’ve been given or have found and incorporate them with modern accents. Our bathroom mirror was actually part of my husband’s grandmother’s vanity set! We took it apart and attached two out sides to make our work for the space. It’s sister hands in our hallway. It’s an older piece but with a modern brass light fixture from Schoolhouse Eclectic, it fits right into our aesthetic & is so special to see every day.

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Photography by Sarah Ingram
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3 STEPS TO A BETTER BED TIME

IMG_3915Natalie here! Today I’m talking about nighttime routines and why it’s so important to have one. Do you have a nighttime routine? Are there consistent things you do every night before you go to bed? Personally, I go through phases where I have a nighttime routine that’s really healthy and then phases where I completely abandon it. When I’m not on top of my nighttime routine, I typically notice a pretty dramatic slump in my overall wellbeing.

When I work with clients that are perpetually stressed I always start by taking a look at their morning and nighttime routines because what we do first thing in the morning and right before we go to sleep can have such a great impact on how we feel in general.

The good news is, creating an awesome nighttime routine can help you sleep more deeply, wake up feeling rested, and even improve your mood and productivity throughout the entire next day.

When creating a nighttime routine it’s important to start where you are instead of setting overly ambitious goals. Don’t let a nighttime routine intimidate you. A good routine can look so many different ways, there’s no one way to do anything!

Here are three steps to creating a nighttime routine that works for you:

HAVE A CONSISTENT(ISH) BEDTIME:

Going to bed around the same time every night helps your body get into a natural rhythm with sleep. This can help with insomnia and it can even make it easier to become a morning person! I say consistent (ish) because we’re humans, and it’s important to leave wiggle room for life to happen. Remember it’s never about being perfect, it’s just about doing what’s best for you in the present moment.

GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE BED:

This one can be challenging for most people, especially because a lot of us fall asleep, Phones in hand, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Signing offline 30 minutes to an hour before bed gives you a chance to disconnect from the outside world and allows your nervous system to calm down. If you’ve ever laid in bed with your mind racing when you should be sleeping, too much social media at night could be the culprit. Get offline and do something that soothes your mind. Maybe read a book, drink a hot cup of tea or listen to some relaxing music. This might be the most challenging tip I’m offering, but it’s also probably the most potent. If this sounds overwhelming start small and work your way up to doing this daily.

CREATE A NIGHTLY ROUTINE THAT FOCUSES PURELY ON SELF-CARE:

This can look like lighting a candle or incense before bed, taking time to meditate, and it can also look like applying moisturizer to your face or body. There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s really just about spending time doing something that feels good to you.

Applying these tips will help you sleep better, and feel more centered and grounded throughout the day. Who doesn’t want that? Cheers to peaceful nights and more restful sleep!


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WEEKEND PARTY PLAYLISTS Labor Day weekend, anyone?

Well all know that music can absolutely make or break a party. Whether it is a dinner party with friends, a big backyard hang, or a weekend celebration – music is totally the unsung hero of any event. Don’t have time to curate the perfect party playlist in between cooking, cleaning, and all those last minute details? Of course you don’t. Avoid playing DJ during the event (or even worse, having that one friend take over….it’s okay, we all have one) try out these four perfect curated party playlists. Looking for an ambient anthem vibe? Yep, we’ve got it. Need something more sophisticated but not sleepy? Got that too. Trust us, if it’s one thing we know – it’s how to throw a party!

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THE DINNER PARTY HERO

This is one of all time favorite playlists. Perfect for the evening dinner party where you just want to sit back, relax, get a little tipsy and catch up with friends. This playlist is packed full of feel good rhythms that you can’t help but bob your head to. No one will want to change this station because it’s got a little something for everyone. Cat Power, Otis Redding, Dawes, and Johnny Cash – how could it get any better than that?

UPBEAT ANTHEM WEEKEND

This guy is perfect for the weekend house party. Grilling out in the backyard, people mingling throughout the house, everyone just doing their own thing & having a good time – this is the playlist you want. It’s upbeat and full of remix tracks and positive vibes & keeps any party going. Plus, if you are hoping hour house party turns into a dance party, this is a pretty good warm up playlist.

PARTYBARGE TUNES

This is also a fan favorite in our office. It’s the perfect playlist for drinking on a boat, hanging out on the lake, or sitting poolside. Curated by #TeamSia, so how can it not be amazing? Pop baselines and catchy hooks make this playlist super fun and a total mood booster. It’s also a really fun playlist to dance to — just saying!

ULTIMATE WEEKEND HANG

Throwing a party, having some drinks with friends, or just hanging out on the porch – this playlist is the ultimate weekend hangout mashup. While there isn’t anything too mainstream on this playlist, there is a good mix of tunes you’ve heard of stuff you can’t pronounce.  If you are looking for a little bit of lounge music that isn’t lame or Miami-esque, this is it!


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WHAT IS REIKI?

learning about reiki and holistic health via lauren kelp


Friends! Courtney here. Have y’all heard of Reiki? It’s basically a modality that is used to find inner peace, restore balance, and create comfort – something many of us strive for – am I right? We’ve tapped into it here in the studio and got a chance to interview the wonderful and inspirational Tori Washington, a local yoga master and Reiki guru. Since we’re all about exploring new art forms and methods for taking the pressure off, we’re excited to be able to share Tori’s thoughts, feelings, and intimate insight into this organic approach to health and wellness!reiki and holistic health via lauren kelp

WHAT IS REIKI?

Traditionally, Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation, and healing. This life energy is administered by light touch of the hands and promotes healing for the whole body so that includes our mind, our emotions, our physical body and our spirit.

ARE YOGA & REIKI SIMILAR?

We are physical bodies, but more than anything, we are energy. Reiki is translated to mean “universal life force energy.”  There are many translations for yoga – one being “yoke,  join, or concentrate” – so yes, Reiki and yoga can work together.  Blended they are powerful. We often start with the physical (a yoga practice) and from there, for many, the journey begins.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOLISTIC HEALTH?

I saw a Holistic Therapist when I was younger and she changed my life.  In many ways, she saved my life.  I battled with anxiety and eating disorders as a teenager into my early 20’s. My relationship with food was really distorted and the way I treated my body stemmed from a lot of deep-rooted pain.  She was the one person who didn’t try to prescribe me any medication.  She was the only person who reminded me that I have the ability to tap inside and heal myself.  I had to connect with the pain in order to transform it and it’s hard work.  Instead of running from it, I had to get to know it. I quickly realized that this is a never-ending journey and it’s an honor that I get to show up every day and do the best that I can.  It’s part of our life’s work.  So holistic health to me, shifts the conversation from “how do I fix this?” to “how can I heal?”  It’s accepting that the answer will change many times throughout your life.

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WHAT ARE SOME MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT REIKI?

So many! I’ve heard people chalk it up to magic, some people think it’s dangerous.  That is from a lack of knowledge and understanding. Reiki has electrical and magnetic qualities that can be measured. There are now logical tests that can account for this type of energetic healing or therapy.

IS REIKI BECOMING MORE POPULAR?

One thing I know for sure is that people are looking for more.  There’s a level of dissatisfaction with our current system of medicine.  On an instinctive level, people know that there is something more to draw from.  At the root of every physical pain is an energetic blockage, a story, something that they are holding onto and need to let go of or transform.  It starts deep within.  So as a whole, I feel a tremendous shift occurring. People are looking in the mirror and realizing that they are not just a physical body. They can feel it. When you notice that, you’re much more open to different forms of healing because now it’s not just about healing the physical. We are much more complex than that.  We are much more powerful than that.  I see the future of Reiki enhancing the way we approach medicine.  It will give birth to a new way of healing – one that is more effective, less expensive, and draws on our own personal power.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR?

I will say that right now in my life, for the first time, I feel that I’m on the right path with this. It hasn’t been something that I have always had a handle on. My fiancé always makes fun of me because if ANYTHING comes up on my skin or I have a weird feeling in my stomach, I immediately jump on WebMD and look up all the various ways I could be potentially dying.  It’s ridiculous! And ultimately, it’s a crutch.  So I have made a HUGE commitment to myself to come back to that place of remembrance – I am on a healing journey and it’s going to look different every day.  So I’m simplifying everything. I’m healing my relationship with food which I now view as medicine. I’m trusting the intelligence of my own body and I’m learning so much.  Stay tuned, I’m definitely along for the ride on this one!

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WHY IS REIKI SUCH AN IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR LIFE? 

Sitting down and closing my eyes for the sole purpose of healing by tuning into someone’s energy is the most infinitely loving thing I can do as a human on this earth.  It is the link between my heart and someone else’s – it’s love and recognizing we are all made up of it.  It’s acknowledging that we are all connected and in this together. It’s rebuilding your personal power to heal not only yourself, but the relationships in your life because of it. Practicing energy healing…  I don’t really know how else to describe it… there are no words for how important it is to me. But it’s the link.  It’s the link to everything that I am.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE HOW OTHERS FEEL AFTER EXPERIENCING REIKI AFTER ONE SESSION?

 AWAKENED.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST TAKEAWAY FROM PRACTICING? 

Ah, so many takeaways – my heart bursts just thinking about it. I almost never refer to it as Reiki and always use the words ‘energy healing’ because as my practice has evolved, I definitely incorporate some of the traditional practices, but I’ve also blended in my own unique rituals.  So energy healing is how I describe it.

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Tori will be hosting several “Yoga Outdoors” events through her studio Yoga Six – Lincoln Park this summer. (She always offers energy healing in her classes!) She’s also co-hosting a yoga retreat with Angie Starz right outside Cuba’s colorful capital, Havana, in April 2017!  


*Disclaimer:  Neither Tori nor Laurenkelp.com is discrediting western medicine and the amazing work that doctors do. Tori is speaking strictly from personal experiences and we are happy to share them with y’all!

THE CASE FOR THE COOKING CLASS cook your way into heaven

LKChoppingBlock26Y’all! We had the opportunity to take a cooking class at The Chopping Block the other day & if you live in the Chicago area & haven’t done this yet – we highly recommend! While you can choose from a variety of courses based on different seasons & taste palates, we went with the hands-on Wine & Dine class & Oh – Em – Gee – it was spectacular & nothing short of a reminder of why food is our favorite.

LKChoppingBlock08Here’s a quick breakdown of the four-course meal we made from start to finish:

  • Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus with Tarragon Aioli (like, whaaat, homemade aioli!)
  • Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs 
  • Risotto with Sweet Peas & Parmesan
  • Rhubarb Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

We were blown away by all of the above, especially the aioli (made with zero mayo!) and the rhubarb cupcakes (um, yum). Have y’all ever eaten rhubarb by itself before? They are strong & sour but oh so good! The cream cheese frosting was sweet & divine & the cupcake itself turned out fluffy & heavenly – & it’s all because of Chef Erin Patsiopoulos. She taught us how to mix cake batter & determine cake doneness like a true pro and totally deserves a big shout out for that (Thank you Chef Erin!).

LKChoppingBlock25Here’s the recipe for all my fellow fruit-in-dessert lovers!

RHUBARB CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 1½ cups of all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ rhubarb, stalked trimmed & cut into ¼-inch cubes
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 to 1½ cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 & line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. Measure the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light & fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in vanilla extract.
  3. On low speed, add the flour in two batches, alternating with the sour cream. Stir in the diced rhubarb.
  4. Fill the muffin tins ¾ full and bake for about 25 minutes (or until cake tester comes out clean). Set aside & let cool.
  5. While the cupcakes are cooling, use your electric mixer & beat the cream cheese, vanilla bean paste, and butter (from cream cheese frosting ingredient list) in a large bowl until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy & smooth.
  6. Once cupcakes are cooled, ice 'em & serve 'em up!

Chef Erin also got us more familiar with spring produce, cold-emulsion sauces (for the aioi – we used egg yolk + extra virgin olive oil!), determining meat doneness and working with arborio rice for the risotto!

LKChoppingBlock11All in all, the food was fantastic, the tips & tricks were superb, and Chef Erin was phenomenal. She taught us the tricks of the trade with enthusiasm & made the experience as memorable as it was delicious. The Chopping Block is truly your one-stop shop for learning new, sensational recipes and picking up uber-amazing, super useful kitchen supplies. We hope you explore their classes & have as much fun as we did!

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Photography by Aimée Mazzenga

ARTIST PROFILE | SARA BERKS your favorite home décor find

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA

What’s the best advice for an aspiring creative? Sara Berks, founder of a MINNA – an ethically made home textile brand – simply states,  “keep going,” which could be the most pure & unvarnished answer we’ve ever gotten to that question. And that’s who Sara is: an honest artist with an utterly beautiful talent for traditional craft techniques. Admiring her cultural perspective and a minimalist aesthetic, we are so excited to share Sara’s story as well as her handmade, woven home goods with y’all!

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNATELL US YOUR NAME & A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF:

Hello! My name is  Sara Berks and I live in Germantown, NY and I am the Founder / MINNA.  MINNA is a line of ethically made textiles for the home. I started MINNA about 3 years ago as an exploration in tapestry weaving. I now collaborate with artisans in Mexico, Guatemala and Uruguay to produce hand-woven pillows, rugs, blankets and kitchen textiles.

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA

 WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Music, the Bauhaus, minimalist art, finding patterns in everything (life, visually, stories), my partner.

AS A CREATIVE PERSON, WHAT DOES “BEING CREATIVE” MEAN TO YOU?

 Looking at things differently. Making things. Trying to figure out how things were made.

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?

That’s a hard question, because in reality, not everything, every day, can be inspiring. Some days are really long and hard and arduous, and filled with boring or difficult life tasks. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to look for inspiration or just be satisfied with what is in front of you.

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNAHOW DID YOUR PASSION FOR TEXTILES START? WHEN DID THIS BECOME A FULL-TIME DREAM?

I have a background in Graphic Design and after several years of feeling un-inspired and un-fulfilled in the design world, I left my full-time job to freelance and take time to see if I could find something I truly loved and cared about. I’d always had an interest in textiles, and started to explore that further. I fell in love with weaving and decided I wanted to start creating functional textiles. I knew I wanted to pursue artisan craft production and that’s something I’ve become very passionate about.

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA

WHEN YOU GET IN A CREATIVE RUT, HOW DO YOU GET UN-STUCK?

I tend to have many projects going at once, so usually if I’m stuck with one, I jump onto the other. Some may call this ADHD, but I think it’s just how I’ve learned to function.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THE ASPIRING CREATIVE?

Keep going.

WE ARE IN LOVE! WHERE CAN WE GO TO FIND OUT MORE?

Check out my website or my Instagram.

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA


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SUMMER IN THE CITY

IMG_7397This is our second summer as Chicago residents and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface on fun places to eat, drink, and explore. So, last winter the hubs and I decided that this summer was going to be all about trying new spots, exploring neighborhoods, and making our way around the town!

IMG_7292A few weekends ago, we grabbed a few bags of Soy Vay® Popped Rice Clusters (the perfect on-the-go snack) & hit the streets. The husband is a big fan of their Spicy ‘n Sweet flavor, but I think Ginger ‘n Sesame and Thai Style Peanut are the way to go. If you like their Soy Vay® sauces, then you’ve got to try these new Popped Rice Clusters!

Throw them in your purse or backpack, and you’ve got a yummy little snack (not to mention light & perfect for summer) to help keep the adventure going.
IMG_7377So, what are your summer adventure plans? Are you going to explore your city like us? Take a bike trip along the coast? Maybe go camping with some friends? I want to hear! Summer is all about getting out there, shaking the dust off our regular routines and having a little fun – I can’t wait to get inspired by your fun summer plans!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Soy Vay. The opinions and text are all mine.

HOME TOUR | CARRIE WALLER of Dream Green DIY

Andrea Pesca-3Meet Carrie Waller – our latest home tour obsession  & the creative maven behind your favorite internet spots. Whether you are drooling over one of her fabulous features for the Glitter Guide or upgrading your space with one of her brilliant DIYs, Carrie is definitely someone you want to hang out with. Now that we’ve gotten a peek at her space, the girl crush has escalated to full-on love 😉 See what we mean below! 


Carrie Waller-22 HI! TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

My name is Carrie Waller, I am 30 & I live in Waynesboro, VA where I am the Founder of Dream Green DIY, Features Editor for Glitter Guide, and Freelance Writer.

Andrea Pesca-2Carrie Waller-02WHEN PEOPLE WALK INTO YOUR SPACE, WHAT IS THE FEELING YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE? 

I would love for people to think that they stepped back in time, and that we truly honored the era of our 1960s home. We just moved into our mid-century A-frame ranch last year, and have spent our free time working to really spruce things up, but to also pay homage to the original details of our home. The previous owners actually built the house back in 1962, and lived here for over half a century—we’re only the second owners! I often think about how they might react if they walked back into the space that we’ve created from what they left behind. I love to imagine that they’d be proud that we kept the original mid-century flair and personality intact.

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WE ARE OBSESSED WITH YOUR BASEMENT – TELL US ABOUT IT!

Thank you! I think that the expansive finished half of the basement in our house really sealed the deal when we toured the home last September. That said, a large room poses its fair share of challenges—namely layout. We have tried a number of different configurations in the last six months, and finally settled on a multi-zone layout. We’ve got a little movie-watching lounge area with a digital projector in one corner, a record cabinet and stacks of vinyls for easy listening off to one side with bean bag chairs nearby, and a more traditional living area with seating and a television near the fireplace. We were able to make the large space feel cohesive despite its multiple personalities thanks to a running bohemian-inspired color scheme throughout the entire room. It’s a great space for entertaining and relaxing any day of the week!

Carrie Waller-17Andrea Pesca-10WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR SPACE?

That we are finally living in a single family home. I have spent the last decade moving from apartment to apartment, and my husband and I most recently lived in a cookie cutter townhouse. Although we have loved every space that we’ve lived in, this home feels really special. Sure, there’s no telling where life will take us and what opportunities or challenges will crop up in the future, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this rambling old ranch will be our forever and ever house.

Carrie Waller-07Andrea Pesca-1WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Taking things slow! I’m a perpetual impulse designer, so I’m trying to break my track record with this house by taking things one room and one design decision at a time. I have to keep reminding myself that we’ve only been here for six months, and that we need to really live in the spaces to know how they need to work for us. Right now, my biggest challenge is definitely patience and waiting to see how the design unfolds organically and intentionally.

Carrie Waller-08Andrea Pesca-7IF YOUR HOUSE HAD A SPIRIT COCKTAIL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Something simple but significant

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WE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE?

I have a running collection of party supplies that I keep on hand at a moments notice (think: patterned paper plates, celebratory napkins, striped paper straws, confetti in all shapes and colors). By having these things at the ready, I am able to welcome people over for a fun impromptu celebration anytime without the stress of having to go out and buy party supplies! Oh, and vintage glasses. Always buy the fabulous vintage glasses you see at antique stores and estate sales! There’s no prettier way to serve a cocktail than in a retro glass.

Carrie Waller-23 Carrie Waller-06WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE IN YOUR HOUSE?

Choosing my favorite piece would be like asking a mother to choose her favorite child—it’s impossible! I love every single piece of vintage furniture, glassware, art, and textile we have in our house. They all tell a unique story and remind me of times like when my husband and I went to that little converted farmhouse antique store in Covesville, or when my sister and I braved the ratty old thrift store at the beach to uncover hidden treasures. Our collection of retro secondhand furniture and accessories are much more than just “things”—together, they’re a collection of palpable memories that are priceless to me.

Carrie Waller-35Carrie Waller-05WHO INFLUENCED YOUR INTERIOR STYLE?

My interior style is unabashedly retro and mid-century, with a hint of bohemianism thrown in for good measure. I love the sleek lines and edgy patterns of the 1960s, but also can’t get enough of the layered textiles of the boho aesthetic. I get a lot of inspiration from designers like Emily Henderson, Justina Blakeney, and Amber Interiors.

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Photography by Andrea Pesce & Carrie Waller

WHY PLANTS & PEOPLE MAKE THE BEST PARTNERS 3 reasons why plants are our favorite friends

15+Gorgeous+Ways+to+Decorate+with+PlantsHi y’all! Courtney here. With summer just around the corner, it’s time to renew and redecorate! And while it’s easy to think of this as adding a new side table, replacing a wall hanging, or simply reorganizing – there’s one thing that tends to be an afterthought when sprucing up your spaces – plants! My house is filled with them. Seriously, they’re everywhere. Not only do they elevate the appeal of my home, they also supply an array of health benefits that help me breathe, think, and – ultimately – live better! Here are 3 reasons to embrace the art of indoor gardening.

1) IMPROVED HEALTH

Humans and plants coexist and rely on each other for sustenance, right? So it only makes sense that bringing in succulents (they practically take care of themselves so – naturally – they’re my favorite) or beautiful blossoms into our home is a huge benefit to our health. As natural humidifiers, plants breathe moisture into the air which helps ward off cold and flu symptoms while preventing dry skin, dry lips, dry coughs and sore throats. They also improve our air quality by taking the carbon dioxide from air to produce the oxygen that we breathe. What’s the lesson here? Use plants to filter out harmful compounds, keep the oxygen flowing at night, and feel refreshed in the morning!

SIDE NOTE: NASA researchers have conducted extensive research on air quality – and recommend one potted plant per 100 square feet of indoor space!

2) INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY

The increase in oxygen levels from photosynthesis not only reduces our carbon footprint, but it refreshes the air – leading to a boost in creativity and concentration, higher mood levels, and a more relaxed and serene aura. Think about it – adding pockets of green to your work environment could be the missing key to getting your creative juices flowing, feeling less stressed, and improving your overall work performance. (I suggest ornamental plants!)

PLUS – A University of Michigan study proved that being “under the influence of plants” can increase memory retention by 20 percent. I’m telling you, this works. I work both thoughtfully and quickly and I have my collection of cacti to thank for that.

3) VISUAL CHARM

Here’s where the decorative element comes into play! Have interior brick walls and/or sharp corners? Soften the look by adding plants to contrast these hard surfaces. Be creative when choosing your plants, think both small and big, also – proper scaling is key! Place a taller plant in the corner and use a smaller one as a centerpiece. Looking for a creative way to spruce up that ugly bookshelf, countertop, or window ledge? Plants are your best accessories for creating beautiful vignettes! They also make for fabulous housewarming gifts and party favors. Try a plant exchange for your next girls night or neighborhood get-together!

If I haven’t convinced you that indoor plants supply the best design initiatives and numerous health advantages, I don’t know what will. You’ll have pops of natural, earthy colors in your home (or office!) and get a breath of fresh air (literally) every time you walk in the door. I can’t think of anything better. Happy planting!


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