Dining Room Benches for Less

Dining room benches are all the rage right now.  But have you seen the prices?!  They’re almost as much as a table.

I was given a fun challenge last week by my friend Carey to find an affordable dining bench for her new Emmerson Table from West Elm.

She only has four chairs, so wanted to put a bench on one side of the table to round out the seating.

Great table, love that reclaimed wood:


 Via West Elm, The Emmerson Dining Table


But hello!  Those West Elm benches are $500 each!

So, I set out to find a few benches that would look great, at half the cost.

This “Reclaimed Weathered” one is great from Overstock, at only $210:

weathered reclaimed look

Via Overstock, Reclaimed Weathered Bench, $210


But some reviewers reported their clothes got caught on the wood.  And also it might be weird to try to perfectly match the West Elm table.  What if the wood looks way too different?  That’s the thing with going budget – there are almost always random issues you need to look out for.


I thought I’d try to go in a different direction.

Loved this metal Peacock one.  It would look terrific next to a reclaimed wood table.

Loving the price at $225!


Via Overstock, Tabouret Peacock Metal Bench, $225


I think this next one might be my favorite.  It looks stumpy but it’s actually quite large and lengthy at 60″.  Perfect for a 72″ long table.

The best part?  This bench is only $150!  And that includes shipping!

Powell-Furniture-Turino-BenchVia Wayfair, Powell Turino Bench, $150


There’s one more I love from CB2, but it’s a little short for a 72″ table.  Great look though, right?  It would look fabulous next to a shorter table.

And why stop at dining room?  This would look amazing in an entry way:

dylanb ench Via CB2, Dylan Bench, $129


All these benches make the $500 West Elm benches pale in comparison, right?

With all the savings, I’m hoping my friend Carey splurges and hosts a fabulous dinner party (hint hint).

For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

Fall Wreath Ideas

These pretty Fall wreaths are really inspiring me this week:


moss wreath


 How fabulous is that moss with the burlap bow?  I’m pretty sure those are fake pumpkins.


paper wreath


 The paper wreath is – of course! – via Martha Stewart.  It’s actually probably not all that hard.  You know the drill – get an old book, rip out the pages, use a leaf stencil.  It’s a cute look.



berry wreath


LOVE the fake berry look and what a beautiful chocolate colored ribbon.  This is so easy – just CLICK! and buy on Etsy.

leaf wreath Via

 Totally DIY (and cheap!) wreath.  Use fake leaves you can buy at Michaels.  The whole thing probably takes 15 minutes.


Any favorites?  I hope I can get my act together enough to get a wreath on my door!  Happy Fall, everyone ~

For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

My Quest for the Fake Furry Stool

I’ve been meaning to tell you about this forever.  Did you happen to see the incredible living room redo in O Magazine about a month ago?  (Emily Henderson redid this living room.  Isn’t it great?)





Out of the whole room, the thing that really grabbed my attention was that fake furry stool.  What a FIND!!  A great little accessory that  adds some whimsy and design presence.

Imagine my joy when I learned it was from Target.  Brought to us by none other than one of my decorating heroes, Nate Berkus.

faux fur stool

Faux Fur Stool

Well, I’ll tell you, this Fake Furry Stool is not easy to find.  I mean, I scoured every Target, I looked online every day.  NADA.  But then my friend Megan found it.  Score!  Megan you are the best!

It’s living in my son’s room (for now!).


photo 2


The moral of this story is…well, there really is no moral of the story except that Target is truly amazing for inexpensive decorative accessories, and if you happen to be at Target and you see this fake furry stool, TAKE IT.


photo 4


For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.

A Perfect Console Table in Four Easy Steps

When I posted this photo a few weeks back, I got so much love on Twitter and FB it was a bit staggering (of course, this isn’t even my photo!  My friend Jen took it!).

hamptons designer showhouse

Okay, for the record, I can’t blame you for going crazy over this vignette.  It really sings, doesn’t it?

But then it occurred to me – hello, people, ALL of us can re-create this console table look!   Decorating doesn’t always have to be a MYSTERY.  I’m happy to report that there is a formula for a perfect entry or hallway console table…

and here it is, in 4 Easy Steps:

1) Pick a simple Console Table.

2) Put something big on the wall and center it (like a mirror).

3) Add two tall, sculptural lamps.

4)  Put something cool underneath (like cubes, benches, or baskets!). 


That’s it!  Four easy steps and you have design genius.

I just got so excited, I quickly drew what I’m talking about:

photo-5 copy



Now let’s see this “Four Step Formula” in action.   Ready?


This one is straight forward.   Console table – Mirror – Lamps – Benches!  Next!



See?  Here it is again – Console table – Mirror – Lamps – Benches. Check!






Once you have the formula down you can, of course, start to riff.

No tall lamps around?  These guys used sconces to compensate and add some height to the vignette.  Brilliant.



No lamps, period?  No problem.  Achieving height with orchids and art, leaning big mirror on wall, and placing two stools underneath the table makes the formula complete.




More improvisation below.  Majorly beautiful.




So, are you inspired enough to try it?   Do you have a hallway, entry way or dead wall space that is begging for some furniture?  I swear, if you pulled together a console table vignette using the “Four Step Formula”, people will think you hired a professional designer.  

See more Console Table Magic here.

For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.