As we crack open a brand new year, full of possibilities and opportunities, I love to look at the decorating trends designers are promoting for the coming season. Every year when I go to the big home furnishings markets to scout for furniture and accents I want to order for Nell Hill’s, it’s fun to see what’s new and hot and exciting.

Looking forward to the design trends in 2015, lots and lots of looks are big right now, and designers are venturing out in many different directions, experimenting with color, styles, shapes and textures. Just about everything seems to be in, and there is no one look they are all touting, which I love.

Holly Blalock, the vice president of marketing with CR Laine, is one of my favorite trend makers. So I want to kick off the new year of blogs by sharing her design forecast:  (more…)

What decorating projects and plans do you have in store for the new year? Are you renovating a key space like your kitchen or bath? Redecorating a well-used room, like your bedroom or family room? Hoping to add a bit more personality to an area that feels blah or unfinished, like a laundry room or rec room? I like to make decorating-related New Year’s resolutions every year to spark my creativity as I make my spaces more lovely. Want to join me? A few Nell Hill’s designers and I share resolutions for making your home more beautiful in 2015:  (more…)

The holidays are a time of magic, and mania, aren’t they? We are all so busy making merry, shopping for gifts for loved ones, baking and cooking, and entertaining, that we risk running ourselves ragged. Take a moment to stop and refuel yourself. Here are my top 5 refresh strategies:  (more…)

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From the beloved bronze figurine that stands proudly on my mantel year round to several silver serving pieces I use when I entertain, some of the most precious treasures in my home were gifts from friends and family. These pieces are special to me not just because they are lovely, but because they reflect the love of the gift givers, who took time to study what kinds of things I like and hunt for just the right thing. Want to pick out special holiday gifts for those you hold dear? Here’s how:  (more…)

Setting a stunning table for  the holidays is high on my Bliss Chart. Whether I’m in the mood for simple and serene, or shock-and-awe, I love approaching my tabletop like a canvass, ready to tell a story that entertains my guests. This year, I’m building a tablescape that I can easily transition from winter holidays to just plain winter so I don’t have to take it down on December 26. Here’s how you can do the same: (more…)

When it comes to decorating your fireplace mantel for the holidays, it seems like people have two perspectives. Some see this long piece of wood as a stage for their masterpiece. But to others, it feels more like a gangplank because decorating this key focal point is intimidating for them.

Let me just underscore that decorating should never be stressful. Just the opposite! So to alleviate any mantel mania you may feel, or if you’d like some new tips and techniques for creating a fresh holiday look, here are the 3 simple steps for success we follow at Nell Hill’s when we build seasonal displays on our mantels and chandeliers:  (more…)

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You would think a girl who went to a Catholic high school dressed in a plaid skirt every single day for four years would shudder every time she saw a tartan. But while things like algebra and American revolutionary battle dates have long since faded into the mist (sorry, Sisters!), one thing from high school has stayed with me: A deep and abiding love of plaid. And, this simple equation: winter decorating + plaid accents = a home that’s rich and beautiful. Here are four ways to wear a bit of plaid in your décor this winter:  (more…)


Depending upon my schedule and energy level, some holiday seasons I am all about creating a huge holiday statement on my front door. Other years, not so much. If you’re pinched for time this year, or would just rather spend your decorating energy making magic with your indoor décor, call on the power of the wreath to give your front door a festive air in a flash. Wreaths have come of age. No matter what your bliss, you’ll find a wreath that helps you express your style this holiday season. Here are a few of my favorite looks:  (more…)

Decorating my Christmas tree is the most magical moment of the holiday season for me. There is something so exciting about taking a plain pine and turning it into a shining star, the visual and emotional epicenter of your home’s hymn to the holidays. Want to take your Christmas tree to new heights? Here’s how:  (more…)

Ready to deck the halls for the holidays? Before you start, arm yourself with my three can’t-live-without-them holiday decorating essentials: Picks, sticks and ribbons. We use these no-fail tools as the base of just about every holiday display we create at Nell Hill’s, whether it’s a super simple centerpiece or an over-the-top mantel treatment. Here’s how you can use picks, sticks and ribbons to make your displays magical this year:  (more…)