Project Design Now Reveal!!

The time is here… the reveal of two different spring mantels for Project Design!! You may have seen several of us bloggers hinting on social media {#ProjectDesignNow} about our spring mantels. We have styled them two ways and today is reveal day!! I want to thank Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home and Cindy of Rough Luxe Lifestyle for including me in this fabulous group!


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Our mantel is located in our family room and it’s always fun to make some changes and switch it up every now and then. Here is a full look at Option 1…

Spring Mantel Option 1…



mantel 2


mantel 3


SMP Living 5


SMP Living 3

All Photos above by Sarah Heppell Photography

For mantel option 1, I went with a mixture of vintage and new and meaningful pieces with modern accessories. Starting from the right side, the “B” signifies the first letter in our last name. That is placed in front of a special print from the etsy shop, Pretty Smitten. The print says Be Smitten Every Day. I love its message and that pretty rose quartz background! I like to layer and add texture on mantels, so this beaded jar adds some interesting pattern and is unique. I also like to add round shapes to a mantel, so the clock was an old Target find and does just that. The mini windsor bench holds a special place in my heart, as I found it at an antique market when Mike and I lived in Germany. I will never part with it! And good old Zeus is next to the windsor bench. My kids named him and he is a great find from Target. I often put real ferns and small plants inside, but today- it’s one of the faux succulents that Target carries. {I am seeing a pattern here, that I shop at Target often!} :)

Spring Mantel Option 2…

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For mantel option 2, I also went with a mix of vintage and new. Starting with the right side again, I included the same “B” accessory from the first mantel. That is the only thing I kept for this option. I layered it in front of a spotted print I found at Target. I was so glad I scooped that up when I did, as about a week later, it was gone! I have always loved a hint of animal print somewhere, and this reminded me of cheetah spots. I found a green glass buoy from Home Goods. I like that it reminds me of the water and spring and summer activities. The rope detail adds some texture and interest. The ’round’ element that I love to add to mantels is now seen in both the buoy and this Federal mirror, which was a Christmas gift from my mom. It is the Ken Fulk Federal mirror from Pottery Barn and I love the vintage vibe it brings to the space. Not to mention that stunning aged brass! Adding a mirror to the mantel has been fun, as it reflects our ceiling pendant. The blue and white urns were antique shop finds. I decided to put a faux palm leaf from Pottery Barn inside the smaller urn, to bring a touch of nature to the mantel. I could also switch it out for fresh flowers, if I could remember to keep fresh water inside!

So there you have it! My spring mantel styled two ways! Which option would you choose???

Here are some tips to changing up your mantel for spring, or any time of the year:

Mantel Styling Tips

Add meaningful pieces and a mix of vintage and new to bring a collected over time style to your mantel

Layer pieces in front of each other and stand back every now and then to access what you have and what you need to add

Add different shapes, such as a round mirror, clock and mix that with a square or rectangle frame

I hope this got you ready to add some spring touches to your mantel! Now it’s the fun part… let’s check out the amazing bloggers who have transformed their mantels! They are such a talented group of ladies and I have been thrilled to be a part of this with them. Show these ladies some love:

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Soft Spring Colors and a Fun Announcement!

It is no surprise that I cannot wait for spring weather and to see the flowers start to bloom. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the green grass finally start to peek through the snow, after a long winter. So I was pretty happy that the chosen colors that are all a buzz this winter, just happen to make you think of spring! A while back, Pantone announced their color of the year, but this time, including two colors. Pantone’s colors of the year are Rose Quartz and Serenity, such soft and delicate shades.


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I am feeling the rose quartz much more than this periwinkle blue {I’m a navy blue girl} and I can see it paired with so many fun colors and used in so many ways…

On a single door…

pantone 3

Via Pompeli

On drapery panels and paired with brown…

pantone 4Design by Anne Hepfer via Style Me Pretty Living

With emerald green, which is my favorite…

pantone 6Design by Katie Kime via The Decorista

And you can definitely add it with my favorite blue- navy…

cwtvia Caitlin Wilson Textiles

And speaking of spring just around the corner, I would love for you to join me this Friday, March 11th for a fun spring mantel series! I am teaming up with a very talented group of ladies for the next installment of Project Design, #ProjectDesignNow. We will be showing you ways to style your spring mantel and we will each come up with two different versions! Follow along on social media with the hashtag, #ProjectDesignNow and gather some great inspiration from these amazing ladies…

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Here’s a little sneak peek into one of my spring mantels, photographed by Sarah Heppell Photography
{With a little rose quartz in the background of this Pretty Smitten print!}

E – Design {Recreating the Master Bedroom}

A while back, I created a master bedroom e-design for a client combining modern with traditional, chic with rustic and fun colors, such as lavender and emerald green. When my clients moved, they wanted to use as much of the design elements as possible for the new bedroom. We had to make a few small changes, so I thought it would be fun to compare the designs and see how items can transition from one home to the next.

The Original Design Plan

OB-Bedroom Chic


Dresser & Gallery Wall

OB-Gallery Wall Mock Up

Original Floor Plan

floor plan

Do you remember when I wrote the post on this bedroom being photographed? To refresh your memory, here it is all complete, with photos by Danielle Benham…

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All after photos by Danielle Benham

The new master bedroom has a much different layout, so we made some changes to the furniture placement. Originally, the desk was a second night stand. With the new house, there is not enough room next to the bed for this wide desk, so we included the same second night stand, which was luckily still available. The desk will fit in the space, but in a small reading nook. I think it will be really pretty, as it will face out to a wall of windows! The tall second dresser will not fit in this space, so I suggested adding it in the closet. Here is the new design:

New Design Plan

OB-Bedroom Chic

The Floor Plan

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Won’t that reading/desk nook be fabulous?!? There is so much natural light in this space. I can’t wait to see it all come together! We are going with the same wall color, Halo by Benjamin Moore, which she loved. We kept the bedding, but included a different pillow option, to switch things up. We had to select a new chandelier, and I love this Stiletto option from Shades of Light. The woven x benches will now go at the foot of the bed, as opposed to on either side of the dresser. All in all, we were able to work with almost everything the way it was. And that’s a refreshing thing to realize!

Make sure to come back next week for a fun blogger series I am excited to be a part of!

Why This Works

Welcome back to another installment of Why This Works… a series where I show a designed space and talk about why it works so well. Today is interior designer Caitlin Moran’s gorgeous, eclectic, bohemian inspired dining room. This image below was taken from her feature in Lonny and is a true show stopper. Take a look!


why this works

image via

I have always been a fan of neutral spaces with pops of color and this room does that to perfection. The color comes through in the abstract wall art, the area rug and table setting. This style of seating has really grown on me lately and I love it! The low profile works so well for this modern look and the rustic simplicity from the table is a great balance. And let’s talk about that statement chandelier for a minute! I have written in past posts about using lighting that almost seems too oversized for a space. When it seems too large, it is actually just right! And I love the texture this fixture brings into the room. I am also a huge fan of layering rugs to add depth and interest. {And in this space, color and pattern, too!} It is a wonderful way to make a rug that would be considered too small, work so well. I love the mixture of the window treatments, with the sheers and patterned panels. They provide function and style, which is a win win in my eyes! The wall sconce is large enough to be functional, but doesn’t compete with the art work and chandelier. And a vase of fresh flowers is the best way to complete any room! All in all, this space works!

What are your thoughts???

{The fact that I have two back to back posts of Why This Works is not lost on me! Sorry for the lack of posts lately! I will be back soon to share some completed e-designs.}  :)

Why This Works & Bridge Street Segment

Welcome back to another installment of Why This Works… a weekly series where I show a designed space and dissect the details, to explain why the designer chose what he/she chose and why it works! Today’s space is a project I designed last year for a local client. I speak about it often on this blog, because it was such a fun project to work on. This project is also near and dear because I love the true talent that shines through in Sarah Heppell’s photography skills! She truly made this space shine with these after photos. As you may already know, I named this project Vintage Gem, because of the gorgeous architecture of the apartment and the details they left in tact during the renovation of the building. Also, my client loves a mix of vintage and new, so the name was a great fit. In past blog posts, I never truly dissected the details of this space and explained why certain pieces were chosen and why. So let’s do that here, today!


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Amber B Design, Photos by Sarah Heppell

When I walked into this space for the first time, I was immediately struck with the gorgeous brick walls and stunning high ceilings. It is a compact space with a combined living and ding area, but the high ceilings and architectural details make up for that. I wanted to compliment those details and not compete, by selecting light and neutral furnishings that allowed the apartment’s details to be the main focal point. The furniture and accessories were the supporting cast. Another trick I like to use is to select a few large, oversized accessories, as opposed to several small pieces. It’s a great visual trick that allows your eye to be drawn up to appreciate the room, giving the illusion of more square footage. When I installed the large blue table lamps and floral art work on the buffet, your eye was brought up instead of down and the space appeared larger. You could admire the brick more, even though we added pieces in front of it. Also, the dramatic wall clock was added behind the sectional. Upon first glance, it’s massive size could appear too large for some. But this clock instantly pushed the walls back and made the room feel bigger. I like to tell clients that if an accessory piece appears too big, it’s probably just right. It can take time to train your eye to like larger accessories. Luckily, my client was right on board and also thought the space felt bigger. In this room, I also wanted to use a mix of different wood stains and metal finishes. Especially with this vintage style, our goal was to create a space that looked as if it had been collected over time and not to match too much. So, the light stained buffet is near the dark stained dining table. Brass candle sticks on the buffet are near a bronze side table and pewter base coffee table. My trick for mixing metals, is to stay within the same ‘shine’ family. In this room, I wouldn’t have brought in a shiny chrome. All of the metals are buffed and matte, which is why they can work together. I like to separate the mattes from the shiny. And last but not least, I like to add various textures and fabrics into a space to create a layered depth. The jute, natural fiber area rug is paired with a leather chair, linen sofa and cotton pillow covers. That will add layers and depth to a space, making it feel warm and collected.

So that’s a little sneak peek into why I chose what I did for this space! I was thrilled to be able to talk about this design today with Sistina Giordano from Bridge Street. She is always wonderful to chat with and it was a fun segment. To see the video clip, visit HERE!! Thank you so much to Sistina and the entire News Channel 9 team for having me!

{Before and After} E- Design Reveal!!

Before and afters are always so much fun to share! This particular client is near and dear, since we have worked together on most of the rooms in her home and even some spaces in her daughter’s home! She has always been one of the most supportive, sweet and gracious clients that I have had the privilege of getting to know. We worked on both her office and guest room during the same period of time and the guest room will be revealed today! We actually swapped the two rooms, as it made more sense to convert the office/hang out room to a guest room. It is in closer proximity to the shared hallway bathroom, which would be great for guests. So the before pictures will show an office, while the afters are all about the guest space! Here we go!


office 1

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The Design Plan


OB-E Design Retreat

My client wanted a serene, delicate retreat. Her daughter will use this guest space when she visits, so the pink and green color combination was right up her alley! We kept the bedding and walls neutral and added color through the art, pillows and accessories.


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I am thrilled they are so happy with the design! I love the whimsical cloud like ceiling fixture and the way the colors from the pillows work with the gorgeous art. Painting the doors a dark color makes standard doors feel more custom, which is always a fun trick. There are striped ottomans that double as storage, at the foot of the bed. That is so helpful in compact spaces. It is always fun to see an e-design project from beginning to end. Thank you so much to my client for sharing these with me!


Add Some Flowers!

Just when we thought spring weather was around the corner over here, it started snowing today! It doesn’t show any sign of letting up, so I thought it would be fun to bring spring inside. The best way I know how to do that, is with a vase of fresh flowers. Flowers instantly warm up a room, any time of year. I am always drawn to the flower section of our grocery store, because I know what an impact they make to any room in your home. When I had our home and Project Vintage Gem photographed, I added some fresh flowers to most of the spaces. Boy did that make a difference! That and the wonderful photography talents of Sarah Heppell. :) So, here’s a round up of rooms that bring that spring time vibe, even if it’s freezing cold where you are!!

Our Home

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flowers 1

{hydrangeas and tulips are always my go to flowers of choice!!}

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flowers 3

Project Vintage Gem

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sconce 1


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Amber B Design, Photos by Sarah Heppell

So if you are in need of some spring or you just want a cheerful change, add some fresh flowers today!!


Why This Works

Welcome back to another Why This Works series post! I am sorry this is a day late. I have been working on a fun local client install, that I can’t wait to share. We are almost finished with the master bedroom and I have been giving little sneak peeks at the progress on instagram {amberbdesign}. More info to come, soon! On to today’s room… this living room was found on line, at Better Homes and Gardens. It is the home of the blogger at An Urban Cottage and it has the perfect blend of modern and traditional. There are so many things that work in this room. Take a look!

why works post


What first strikes me is the warmth and charm that this space has. I love the taupes, grays, blues and greens that can be found in the room. The added texture with the natural fiber rug brings that welcoming vibe into the space. It has that traditional charm, with the plaid chair fabric and the convex mirrors, yet also brings in a modern style, with the graphic wall art, ikat pillow and streamlined sofa. The glass coffee table allows you to feel as though the room is larger and it visually does not take up any space. You can tell there are meaningful pieces added in this room, with the vase full of paint brushes,the antique fan and distressed boxes. Adding personal mementos and accessories with a story bring that warmth to a room that is so inviting. And to top it all off- my favorite way to bring a cozy atmosphere to any room… fresh flowers!! For me, this space works.

What are your thoughts?!?

What Do You Love About Your Home?

I love that question, because it gives us the opportunity to really think about what we already LOVE about our home. So often, it’s easier to think about the to do lists and the ongoing thoughts of what we want to change, instead of realizing what we already have in front of us. My friend Lisa, from the blog Shine Your Light, asked me to participate in her weekly series called Shine Home Love. I was asked to choose a favorite spot in my home and talk about why I love it! Stop by her blog to see what room I chose and why. Here’s a hint…

I love our hand written wall with an inspirational quote for our kids…

family room

And I also love our slip covered chair from the good old college days!

slip covered chair chair

Stop by Lisa’s blog HERE to read the post!

Bonus Room E-Design Plan

I am excited to reveal the design plan today, for a client’s bonus room! You may remember this client from her first home, HERE. We worked on a few of her rooms in her first home and I even got a chance to see the real estate after photos. Now with her new home, she’s looking to make one bedroom do double duty and have it as a play room for her kids, as well as a guest room. Let’s get right to the design plan…

OB-Bonus Room Chic


I just love that this space will be colorful, neutral and have loads of texture and function. There will be spaces for toy storage, creative play, a place to display art work and even a day bed that conforms to a double bed for guests! There will be a lot packed into this space and you get to see how it’s laid out in the floor plan, below…

floor plan

Amber B Design

Do you see how the walls pop out with two windows? Those are the dormers in the space and will soon be spots for new built in seating, wall sconces and ledges for books! Eeeek I can’t wait! The room has dramatic slanted ceilings, which we will make more visually pleasing with Hygge & West’s Daydream wallpaper in Green. Ohhh so lovely!! I look forward to showing you the process along the way. Thank you to my amazing client for allowing me to show the journey! Stay tuned…