Few areas of interior design/decorating create more uncertainly than choosing the right paint colors. Yes, it’s only paint and yes, it doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it certainly costs time and we would rather not make a poor choice.

We know what hues we like and don’t like, but there are so many factors that affect how we feel about a color once it’s on the wall. Add to that the thousands of choices available to us and you have the ideal formula for overwhelm.

Fortunately, Freshome.com has put together a list of best tips on how to pick the perfect paint color for your interiors.

Paint colors

The perfect paint color is fundamental to your interior design. Image: Mary Bona – Design Find

 

Let’s face it: Picking the right paint color is important. There’s no denying the shade we pick to adorn the walls is a fundamental part of any interior design project. In fact, it’s often the element the rest of our aesthetic choices are based on.

That said, choosing the ideal shade is far from easy. There are so many options available and each one just a little different than the last. For many, it’s almost impossible to figure out where to start.

We’re ready to put this age-old problem to rest, once and for all. We’ve compiled a list of our best tips on how to pick the perfect paint color for your interiors. Use these suggestions the next time your home needs a fresh coat of paint and we guarantee selecting the shade will be a quick and painless process.

textile inspiration

Use textiles as inspiration. Image: McCroskey Interiors

Buy textiles first

Usually when we talk about textiles, they’re considered a finishing aspect of the design, so this advice may seem counterintuitive. However, one of the easiest ways to make sure your paint coordinates well with the rest of the room is to use fabrics as your design inspiration.

Think about it this way: If you pick the paint first, you might find yourself limited to only a few fabric options that match your wall. But if base your color palette on an existing product, you’re far more likely to find a coordinating shade of paint. If need be, most home improvement stores will even mix a unique shade for you.

With that in mind, start your design projects by building off a single piece that catches your eye. Patterned items are particularly good options because they often incorporate multiple shades and can be used as the basis for your entire color scheme.

paint color transition

Paint can help your eyes transition from one space to another. Image: Peterssen/Keller Architecture

Work with neighboring spaces

Odds are, you’ve experienced a house where the paint choices were truly overwhelming. As you walked from room to room it may have felt as though there was nowhere for your eyes to rest, as though the home was too busy for its own good.

Most often, this feeling occurs when homeowners try to do too much with their design. They’ll give each room its own distinct style and color scheme while forgetting to account for the fact that their home needs to feel cohesive.

Paint can be that unifying element. Before you decide on a particular shade, consider how it will look with your existing interiors. The colors should work in harmony. While this tip is especially important to follow when working with open concept spaces, the effect a color has when transitioning between more traditional rooms should also be considered.

paint color lighting

Consider how different lighting will influence your shade. Image: Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc.

Factor in lighting

Like it or not, the way in which a room is lit can have a huge impact on how the room looks. Each light temperature pulls out a color undertone, which is why rooms often feel vastly different at night than they do during the day.

With that in mind, it’s crucial to ensure you’ll be happy with a color regardless of the time of day. The only way to know for sure if a color meets your needs is to test it out for yourself. It’s an easy process, but it does require a little work.

Once you have a color in mind, ask to have a sample made up for you at the local home improvement store. When you take it home, paint a few, small sections of paint on each wall. Then, check in on them throughout the next day. If you’re happy with how the color looks in both natural and artificial light, you’ve found a winner.

paint finish

The finish you choose will have a big impact on your final product. Image: Niki Papadopoulos

Don’t forget finish

Many people tend to overlook the fact that paint color is about much more than the shade itself. Finish is another component that can alter how your finished product looks. Be sure to take this into account before making your final decision.

Here are the options you can choose from:

  • Flat finish: This is your least shiny option. It comes off as modern and sophisticated, but it doesn’t clean well, so it isn’t the best choice for kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Egg shell finish: Low luster, the finish looks decorative and is often used in dining rooms.
  • Satin finish: This is the most popular choice and works well for high-traffic areas like hallways.
  • Semi-gloss finish: Will give the room a subtle shine and is fairly easily cleaned. It works well in kitchens and baths.
  • High-gloss finish: This will give the room a shiny and polished look, but is stain-resistant and easily scrubbable. It works best in kitchens and baths.
paint color

Paint color plays an important role in interior design. Image: International Custom Designs

Choosing the right paint color is a key part of the success of a design. However, for many of us, the selection process can be incredibly difficult. After all, there are countless shades of paint on the market and their slight differences can have a drastic effect on your final product. There is hope. Consider the advice in this post to be your ultimate guide to picking the perfect paint color every time.

Do you have trouble selecting paint colors? Or do you have a tip of your own to add? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being

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You find yourself in the paint store, looking at thousands of paint chips and feel overwhelmed. You wonder how on earth you’ll ever find the right one.

Interior designers work with paint colors on a regular basis, and with experience come to rely on hues that work. We call those go-to-colors—colors that are tried and true.

Here are 12 designer picks that could be just what you’re looking for on your walls. I’ve personally used #’s 3, 5, 6, 9, and 12 and they were perfect choices for the spaces where they were used. Most importantly, my clients loved them.

 

What do you think? Did any of these paint colors spark an interest?

As always, buy a sample and try the color on a large swath of wall to be sure it’s a hue you love. Check it during the day and after dark before painting an entire room. What you thought was the perfect greige could end up looking pink!

Until next time…

Blessings from my home to yours,

Nancy
Dedicated to helping you design spaces that foster happiness and well-being

 

Images courtesy of Good Housekeeping

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Saturated blues have been a trending color choice for a while now.
 
However, if you think of navy blue, you won’t think it’s trending; indeed, it’s a classic and always popular. In fact, the color blue is the most popular color around the world and by all cultures.
 
There are many reasons why you might consider saturated blues as a color choice—particularly if you’ve been in the “light and airy” camp for a long time. Why you ask? Here are some reasons:
  • Saturated blues offer richness, warmth, and depth in a room.
  • They’re serene and peaceful creating a soothing environment.
  • Deep blues offer a feeling of warmth in winter and coolness in the summer.
  • In a small space, they impart a womb-like feeling which is comforting.
  • Saturated blues are tranquil colors and maintain a dark richness of tone without becoming overpowering like black might.
  • They pair beautifully with warm-colored wood and warm metals like gold and brass.
  • They’re an excellent companion to neutrals such as gray, white, and marble.
Take a look at these photos and see how saturated blues have been used in various rooms. Also listed are the paint companies and their color names that have used in each space.
 
BLUE NOTE 2129-30 by BENJAMIN MOORE
Transitional Living Room by Dineen Architecture + Design

What makes this especially fresh-looking is all of the white that’s partnered with the rich shade of blue.

 
COMPASS BLUE M QS-54 by BEHR
Transitional Home Office by Custom Design & Construction

The deep blue is used only as an accent wall. Again, there’s a lot of white present. Plus the mirror and the light fixture reflect light that is bounced around the room.

 
HALE NAVY HC-154 by BENJAMIN MOORE
Beach Style Bedroom by Landing Design

Lots of white again and note the warm,light-colored flooring.

 
HAGUE BLUE NO.30 by FARROW & BALL
Transitional Bedroom by Lindsay Pennington Inc.

You just know you’d enjoy sweet dreams in this bedroom. You’d feel like you’re getting a big hug. Notice that white is used on the bedding, wallpaper and window coverings. Also, the mirrored side tables reflect light.

 
DEVINE MACAW by DEVINE PAINTS
Traditional Kitchen by Meriwether Inc

Devine Macaw is used on the cabinetry and millwork in this kitchen. Along with the white and warm honey wide-planked flooring, you would not quickly tire of this combination.

 
DEEP ROYAL 2061-10 by BENJAMIN MOORE
Beach Style Bedroom by Dianne Davant and Associates

Tell me you wouldn’t love to spend time in this living room. The deep blue walls, along with the crisp white furnishings and rug, only enhance the view of the sea outside the window.

 
OLD NAVY 2063-10 by BENJAMIN MOORE
Contemporary Bedroom by Noz Design

Crisp and clean perfectly define this bedroom. This is a favorite saturated blue because even though  a dark color, it still has a lightness to it which is accentuated by the white bedding and window coverings.

 
IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR 1666 by BENJAMIN MOORE
Transitional Bedroom by Martha O'Hara Interiors

It looks cold outside this bedroom window, but warm and cozy inside. Once again, the white that is used keeps the deep blue walls from feeling too dark.

 
AF MYSTERIOUS by BENJAMIN MOORE
Transitional Bathroom by Guggenheim Architecture + Design Studio

If you’re considering trying any of these saturated blues, test it first on a large swath of wall. You need to see it in the space it will be used and in all light, both natural and artificial.

 
As always, it’s only the perfect color if you love it!
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you create spaces that foster happiness and well-being
 
Photos via HOUZZ
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Last week I shared 8 ideas for welcoming spring into your home and I find I’m still stuck on a spring theme. Maybe its because it continues to be cold and rainy and if I write about it enough, maybe it will arrive sooner? LOL!
 
This week I’m going to write about color and what could be more spring-like than a hue called “Easter Lily.”
 
This beautiful, sweet-scented flower is actually a summer-blooming one, but its been cultivated to bloom early. Now we enjoy it at Easter—hence, we refer to it as the Easter lily.
 
The lovely milk-white flower with its blush of yellow-green center epitomizes spring and the qualities associated with this season—rebirth, love, joy and beauty.
 
Could we even ask for anything more?
 
Take a look at these photos and see what you think. You may decide that “Easter Lily” is the perfect color to bring into your home.
 
Traditional Landscape by The New York Botanical Garden
by Jennifer Ott Design
Besides “Easter Lily,” here are a few other colors that are equally soft and soothing.
 
Farmhouse Bathroom by Phinney Design Group
This pale wall color with its warm undertones perfectly complements the yellow undertones in the furniture and wood flooring.
 
Contemporary Bedroom by Student Cribs
This attic room has a skylight but no windows. Painting the ceiling white and the walls a soft and mellow yellow allows this space to still feel light and airy.
 
Farmhouse Bedroom by Gale Goff Architect
Painting the ceiling white and the walls a pale yellow , allow the wood beams to stand out even though they’re both light hues. Bringing in the blues echoes the sea beyond. Who wouldn’t want to wake up in this light-filled bedroom?
 
Traditional Kitchen by Cushman Design Group

The warm soft yellow on the walls and the yellow undertoned wood floor soften the cool stainless steel appliances.

Farmhouse Porch by Shannon Malone

These porch walls could have been painted white, but they would not have the warm glow that this very subtle creamy hue offers.

 
There are so many colors that partner well with “Easter Lily” or any other milky-white and creamy hues. Think of sage, soft leafy greens, or greenish-grays.
 
Happy Spring! Happy Easter!
 
Blessings from my home to yours…
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
Photos via HOUZZ
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I chose them first because Pantone is the industry standard and their color choice of the year will show up in many other industries like fashion, cosmetics, cars, and home accessories.
 
However, all of the other major paint companies also offer their color choices of the year as well.
 
Yes, this is marketing, and no, it doesn’t mean you repaint your home every year with an “in” color.
 
Rather, think of looking at trending colors with the possibility of seeing new ideas for color you may not have ever thought of using.
 
Let’s take a look:
 
Jennifer Ott (http://jenottdesign.com), San Francisco based color specialist put together a graphic showing some major paint companies’ color choices for 2017.
 
Then see how they’ve been used in various rooms.
 
by Jennifer Ott Design
 
“Shadow”—Benjamin Moore
“Violet Verbena”—PRG Paints
PPG Paints
“Byzantine Blue”—Glidden
Glidden
“Cloudy”—Olympic
Olympic
“Kettleman”—Kelly Moore
Kelly-Moore
“Poised Taupe”—Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams
“Honey Glow”—Dunn-Edwards
Dunn-Edwards
Final Thoughts About Color:
 
  • If you find any of these trending colors of interest, it becomes much easier to find furnishings and decorative accessories that co-ordinate with the favorite hue because it is trending.
  • Colors hold psychological reasons as to why we hate, love, or even feel neutral about a specific hue. It’s not necessary to know why; it is important to know how it makes you feel.
  • You always want to choose colors that make you smile and feel alive. It’s an important part of creating a happy home.
  • Incorporating a trending color doesn’t mean painting it on all four walls. It might mean just using it on a ceiling or bringing it in with accessories that represent the hue.
  • In the final analysis, you are your own trendsetter. You decide what’s “in.” If the colors you choose make you feel good, then they’re the perfect choice in your home.
What do you think? Do any of these 2017 colors create an emotional feeling—good, bad, indifferent? Let me know in the comments.
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
Photos via HOUZZ
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Are you feeling the need for “refreshment, rejuvenation, and reassurance” in 2017?
 
According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the PANTONE COLOR INSTITUTE, their color pick for the new year ahead may help you do just that.
 
After the tumultuous, complex, and political environment of 2016, perhaps we all could use some “Greenery” in our own home.
 
This bright, energetic, and fresh shade of green reminds you immediately of the new baby leaves that burst forth in the spring.
 
“Greenery” is not the flat, dark, and dull avacado green that many of us lived with in the 70’s. It’s a happy hue that makes you think of hope and a new start; just like spring when the days become longer, brighter and the dark days of winter become a memory.
 
In Feng Shui, the meaning of green is calming, balancing, healing, relaxing, and tranquil. These are exactly the feelings we want to experience in our home. So perhaps, it’s easier “being green” than we think. After all, green is a color that nature has blessed us with and, as nature does, connects us to ourselves and one another.
 
Take a look at how these interiors have used “Greenery:”
 
 
Used here in a kitchen/breakfast area. I would advise being very sure you love and can live with this color before using it in a tile which can’t be replaced as easily as a coat of paint or a pillow.
 
 
A very complimentary color with the warm-hued wood tones used in this kitchen.
Really pretty when used with a fresh, clean, white and a touch added in the bed pillows. It’s also interesting when the color is placed on the ceiling instead of the walls.
 
Again, paired in this bathroom with lots of white.
 
Consider using in small ways such as done in these window coverings, the orchid on the table, and the decorative object on the fireplace mantle.
 
 
“Greenery” is a color that complements all of the natural shades of nature.
 
Paint brands that are similar to Pantone’s “Greenery.”
 
So what do you think? Is 2017’s color of the year one you could embrace in either small or more daring ways in your home? Let me know in the comments section.
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
Photos via HOUZZ
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If you look at a white color chip, you’ll most likely describe the color as white. Easy.
Now look at a collection of white colors and it’s a different story. None of them will look exactly the same. You’ll see subtle differences.
The fact is there are hundreds of different white hues all having slightly different undertones.
So how on earth do you choose the right one for you in your home?
Take a look at these photos and the paint colors used in each room. The pros choose them because they always work and they will for you, too.
SIMPLY WHITE-BENJAMIN MOORE
A modern, clean white. Works well with grays as chosen here for the trim color.

WHITE WISP- Benjamin Moore

Rustic Dining Room by Urbanology Designs
Has a slight gray undertone that keeps it from feeling too cold.
POINTING- FARROW & BALL
Traditional Living Room by Lisa Tharp Design
A warm white, yet it won’t appear too yellow.
DECORATOR’S WHITE- BENJAMIN MOORE
Aptly named, this white has long been a designer favorite because it’s a true bright white that works well with any color it’s paired with.
PURE WHITE- SHERWIN-WILLIAMS
A bright, warm white. Works especially well for those of us who experience the often gray days of the Pacific Northwest.
CHANTILLY LACE- BENJAMIN MOORE
A cool, crisp white that won’t appear too yellowy.
SWISS COFFEE- BENJAMIN MOORE
Don’t you just love the name of this color? A true warm white that will also never come come off as too yellow.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS:
  • Always paint a large area of color on the wall. A little paint chip is just too small to get a true idea of the hue.
  • Always check the color in natural light, across from a window if possible, in order to see the true color.
  • Always choose high quality paint. It will pay you back many times over— both in how the end results look and how much longer it stays looking fresh.
  • Always test your paint choice in the room where it will be used. A space that receives northern exposure, for example, will look very different than one facing south.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
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Would you decorate with the world
A few weeks ago I shared the story of the official World’s Ugliest Color. (“Want to Know the World’s Ugliest Color?”)
My personal belief is no color is truly ugly; it’s how you use it, how much of it you use, and what it’s paired with.
If you simply look at a paint chip, you may have an initial negative impression.
But when you see it in a room with other colors that it’s paired with plus the lighting, texture,and  sheen, the hue you initially found distasteful can become one that you see entirely differently.
Color expert, Jennifer Ott, took the challenge of showing how this “ugliest color” Pantone 448C could be used to show it might not be so ugly after all. Take a look and see what you think.
This still may not be a color you would choose, but you have to admit it’s not as blah as it appears in the paint chip.
And that’s color magic!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Via HOUZZ
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Choosing color is a subjective exercise.
There are certain hues you love at first sight and others not so much.
As an interior designer, it’s my joyful job to help you choose colors that please and that you want to be surrounded by. So this choosing is always done in a positive way.
I recently, however, came across an article about a shade that research says is absolutely the world’s ugliest.
I have to say the experts called this one correctly. It really is not very pleasing
Written by Caroline Picard for Elledecor.com, have a look.

Colors can conjure up a lot of associations, but apparently only one specific hue has the power to “minimize appeal” and “maximize perceived harm.” That’s right — researchers pinpointed the world’s ugliest color, and it’s been lovingly described as “dirty,” “tar,” and even “death,” just to name a few associations.

Pantone 448 C, also called “opaque couché,” may get a bad rap, but this sewage-tinged hue actually has an important mission. Out of the entire rainbow, experts chose the green-brown shade to discourage smoking. And one look at this swatch will convince you of its habit-breaking abilities. It’s not for the faint of heart, but here it is:

Disgusting, right? Back in 2012, the Australian government hired research agency GfK to spearhead the new package design for all tobacco products. But instead of the marketing firm’s usual goal, they had to accomplish the opposite. Every carton had to look as unappealing as possible.

It took three months, seven studies, and more than 1000 regular smokers, but the researchers finally determined the most offensive color to print alongside new graphic health warnings. Also in the running? Lime green, white, beige, dark gray, and mustard.Dark brown came in a close second, but its rich (and chocolatey!) undertones seemed too appetizing — similar to medium olive’s “classy” associations.

After finding a clear winner (or loser, in this case), the government first announced the hue as “olive green.” But after an urgent letter from the Australian Olive Association, they changed the nickname “drab dark brown” — no hard feelings, olives?

Thanks to Australia and GfK’s colorful breakthrough, other governments are also adopting the shade. Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France recently passed “plain packaging” laws of their own, with mockups featuring the same exact hue. Perhaps opaque couché might get a better reputation for all the lives it could possibly help save.

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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There are any number of reasons why you may choose to rent rather than purchase a home.
You may be downsizing and simply don’t wish to have the burdens that come with home ownership. When the sink leaks, for instance, you’d rather call the manager or owner and the problem is fixed—no muss, no fuss.
Or, you may be building a home and need a place to live in the meantime.
Or maybe you or your parents are moving into an assisted living complex.
Again, there are many valid reasons why renting an apartment or home is the best option. However, there can be challenges. One of them are restrictions as to what you can do with wall decor.
Your apartment is your home and however long you reside there, you want it to reflect your taste and who you are in the world. You don’t want it to look and feel temporary.
So how do you satisfy your design dreams and also the rental owner’s rules?
Freshome offers 13 ideas that can help you with this design dilemma so everyone wins. Take a look.

Removable wallpaper

When most people think of wallpaper, the first word that may come to mind is “permanence”. Not a great move if you’re renting. Removable wallpaper, however, swoops in to save the day for renters, and maybe homeowners with commitment issues. Gone is the terror of peeling off tiny bits of thin, dried paper. This modern decor tool goes easy-on, easy-off in countless modern prints and patterns. Your landlord will be none the wiser.

tapestry modern wall decorating ideas

Image: Nanette Wong

Hang a tapestry

Tapestries aren’t just for bohemian interiors anymore. While there are plenty to be found with intricate medallion designs, there are also countless choices to fit any decor style. Geometric patterns or abstract prints compliment contemporary style, while printed outdoor images, quotes, and minimalist designs bode well with more modern settings.

wall curtain wall decorating ideas

Image: hooray blog

String a curtain

If a tapestry just doesn’t fit your style, a curtain might do the trick. A simple, solid drapery softens the room without adding too much fuss. The mounts won’t do much damage and, in a pinch, tensions rods would do the trick. We personally love this look behind a bed.

gallery wall decorating ideas

Create a (shelved) gallery wall

Want the trendy gallery wall look, without the mess of drilling a dozen holes in the wall? Consider using floating shelves instead. Sure, you’re still putting a few holes in the wall to install the shelves, but you’re also able to change up your selection at any time without new holes. Look for floating shelves with a small outer lip to stop slippage. Otherwise, use some wall putty to hold the frames in place.

Frame a statement piece

A large piece of art doesn’t have to weigh you, or your walls, down. Hanging a poster or large photo has to do entirely with what it’s framed in. Find a lightweight poster frame, or alternative method — like these wooden bars, which leave the poster intact and give any artwork a clean, crisp look.

big mirror wall decorating ideas

Image: bloglovin’

Add a mirror

You’ll need a mirror anyway, right? Go big with a framed floor mirror, which can be found relatively inexpensively. Not only will it take up a considerable amount of your wall space with zero holes, but it will also help reflect and create light throughout your apartment. Again, wall putty is your friend here.

DIY copper shelves wall decorating ideas

Image: homeedit

Go green

A little green can go a long way. Dress up your walls with some of your favorite houseplants, whether by hanging a pot from a ceiling hook or placing a plant stand in front of your bare walls. The open shelving from your gallery wall also gets a lively upgrade with a plant, as shown above.

Stick on a decal

Wall decal stickers are widely available online and offer something for everyone. Whether it’s adding a shape like stripes, stars or polka dots, channeling nature with trees and leaves, or writing out your favorite quote, there are an endless number of styles and designs. Think about size and placement. Decals come in sticker or wall-cling materials, both which are a breeze to remove when the time comes.

neon sign wall decorating ideas

Image: Z GALLERIE

Flash some Neon

An eye-catching statement piece doesn’t have to be enormous — it just has to be eye-catching. Neon signs are just that. Grab a vintage one of your favorite brand, or find a new one with a fun saying or image that will have everyone talking.

Be crafty with washi

Heard of washi tape yet? It’s the Japanese version of masking tape. Made from rice paper, it doesn’t leave the residue of the stuff we have stateside. Even more appealing, it comes in a massive variety of colors and patterns. Hanging your pictures, prints and other paper goods with a piece of washi tape for an easy gallery wall, or create your own geometric mural with it.

Get organized

Use your spare wall space to get organized. From cork boards to calendars, get your style on while staying on schedule.

 

large wall map wall decorating ideas

Image: Lake Jane

Map it out

Maps aren’t going out of style anytime soon, and we say the bigger the better. A vintage style adds class to your space, while more classic styles can accommodate any decor style. Hang it like you would large art, and you’ll be seeing the world from the comfort of your couch. Bonus points if you flag the places you’ve traveled.

Hang it up

Calling all trendsetters. Displaying your favorite clothing and accessories with this trending wall decor. Hats are big this year (in fashion as well as wall decorating ideas), but sweaters, scarves, even jeans could hand decoratively on small nails for a look that’s ultra-chic.

What are you favorite no-fuss wall decorating ideas? Reach out to us in the comments or on social media — we’d love to hear from you!

Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
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