A Dorm Room With Style

It is getting to be that time of year when college students head back to their dorm rooms! Why not make the space feel like a home away from home, with style and personality?!? I was on News Channel 9’s Bridge Street today, discussing this same topic. When you think of empty dorm rooms, you think of spaces lacking interest and personality. I hope to change your mind today, with some simple and creative ways to bring your personal style into the space.


Lauren Loves

Lauren Loves

The image above shows Lauren’s great cube shelving unit that can instantly add storage with style. This can be used in a dorm as a room divider, or placed against the wall. You can add baskets to store sweaters and school supplies, as well as fun accessories and photos of your family and friends.

i heart organizing

i heart organizing

Jen’s blog is a great source for any organizational project and I loved everything about her above desk space, right down to the stack of colorful books on the floor! This vignette is so fun and easily adaptable for a dorm setting, too. You can add a bulletin board above the desk for exam reminders, personal photos and magazine clip outs with your favorite inspirations. Use this board as art and add as much color as possible! {And if you are not able to drill into the walls for this install, Command Picture Hanging Strips are perfect for this!} The one I brought to Bridge Street can hold up to 12 pounds and as long as you follow the instructions and give the strips some time to cure to the wall, you’re all set!

urban walls decal

Urban Walls

Do you want to add some color and personality to your walls without damaging the wall surface? The removable decals from Urban Walls are perfect. They give the look of wall paper without the hassle and clean up. There are so many patterns and styles to choose from. The decal above is the watercolor polka dot design in blue and they would be so whimsical in a dorm room setting. You can add them in a specific pattern, like in the above image or scatter them sporadically in a corner around the bed.

If you are headed off to college or know someone who is, I hope this provides some inspiration for you! Also, keep in mind these would all be amazing ideas for your own space at home as well as a rental apartment! You can check out my Bridge Street segment by visiting the site HERE.

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!


spring mantel image


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…

Spring Mantel 005

Spring Mantel 007

Spring Mantel 008

Spring Mantel 009

Spring Mantel 011

Spring Mantel 021

Spring Mantel 013

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:

spring mantel image

My Top Home Accessory Picks {And Basement Sneak Peek!}

A room truly does not feel complete without the accessories. They definitely make the space and take it to the next level. For me, a room feels completely finished when there are layers of pattern, art and texture. It is through the careful editing that a space fully comes together. I thought it would be fun to round up my favorite accessories and pieces that work with any home and style. Every room pretty much needs one of these pieces!  :)

X Benches or Small Ottomans

Whether by themselves or in pairs, x benches and small ottomans look great under consoles, at the foot of a bed, under a large piece of art or mirror and to use as a foot rest. They are such a chic and practical option for almost any room. Plus, you can add a pop of color to the space by upholstering them in a fun fabric.
Poufs are similar to small ottomans and x benches, in that they can also go anywhere! I love seeing them in a family room or nursery. They are great for resting your feet, a small seat for playing games or a step stool for a child. The above nursery shows how they can add great texture to a room with a sweater like fabric. 
Abstract Art
Whether your home is modern or traditional, any space would look stunning with abstract art. It gives an edge to a room and shows an eclectic, fun style.
Sculptural Accessories
Our Living Room
Accessories with a fun shape add texture and interest to a space. They can be layered on top of a few books to add depth and dimension.
Do you have any favorite accessories to add to the list???
And now for a sneak peek {via instagram} of our finished basement… The carpet is installed and we are loving the new space!
Our basement

The carpet is a light sand color, which is hard to tell in the picture. I can’t wait to snap some real after shots soon!
Have a great day!!

Accessories – The Final Touch

Since I started my blog last January, I have a newfound appreciation for accessories. There are so many great ideas out there for shelf styling, creating small vignettes and styling in general! I used to focus primarily on the larger pieces in the room, such as all of the furniture. Although that’s extremely important as well, the accessories bring the space together, making the room look polished and unique. I thought I would share my favorite accessory groupings from pinterest, and then show some of my own that I have been working on in our home! So here goes:

Source: hgtv.com via Simple on Pinterest

And here are my attempts at accessory styling in our home:

It’s fun to mix different styles and patterns when grouping accessories. I also love the look of a large collection grouped together- it makes the accessories look cohesive and pulled together!

How do you group your accessories??