Make Ribbon Pillows for the Holidays

Holiday Ribbon Pillow - MattandShari.com

How about creating a beautiful ribbon pillow by weaving together beautiful holiday ribbons? It makes for lovely décor or even a special gift. Anyone who knows me well knows that pillows are one of my favorite accessories, any time of the year.  I think holiday pillows are particularly festive – especially when they are hand-made…

Rustic Birch Tree Napkin Rings

Birch Napkin Rings

Birch tree napkin rings seem like a fall to winter item to me, but if you have rustic style decor in your home, Shari seems to think they’d be fine all year-long.  Well, that sounds even better to me because once I make them, I really would like them to be used! Birch tree napkin…

Stress Free Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

Stress Free Thanksgiving Candles - MattandShari.com

If you are looking for stress free Thanksgiving decorating ideas, these simple suggestions on keeping it natural will add pizzazz to your holiday décor without driving you crazy! Make it Natural! If you have a backyard full of pine cones, colored leaves, branches, bittersweet and the like, a Natural theme might be just what the…

Autumn Centerpiece in a Muted Palette

Autumn Centerpiece with Eucalyptus - MattandShari.com

So often at this time of the year we see an autumn centerpiece and wreath in “autumn” colors of gold, red and brown.  This combination of colors is beautiful for the season and I’m definitely not knocking it. However, this year I wanted to try something different for my autumn centerpiece. I started with a…

Design and Color Trends for Fall

Fall Trends Gray with Color Accents - MattandShari.com

Usually, when the seasons change, so do the color trends that you see in stores for home furnishings, clothing, and accessories. Well, this fall, there are about 6 or 7 colors that you find in just about everything. This is good to know if you are getting ready to make any decorative changes around your…

Mini Homemade Ghosts for Halloween

Mini Halloween Ghosts - MattandShari.com

These adorable mini homemade ghosts are perfect for all sorts of Halloween decorating. Use them on shelves, in centerpieces, even on the kitchen or bathroom counter to spread the Halloween spirit around the house. You can have some homemade ghosts too and here’s what you’ll need. Materials: Three small craft blocks, about 2 ½” cubes…

Floating Jack-O-Lanterns are Spooky Fun

Floating Pumpkin How To - MattandShari.com

This is a great photo of floating jack-o-lanterns from flickr.com. It’s a photo that is hard to take, so I’m borrowing an expert’s! Some floating jack-o-lanterns are hung from trees, but we decided to stake our floating jack-o-lanterns in the ground with black painted stakes that become invisible at night! Here’s how to make some floating…

Halloween Ghost Made from Gauze

Homemade Life-size Ghost - MattandShari.com

Have you ever seen a ghost?  I have, it’s a Halloween ghost.  In fact, there’s one lurking on my front porch right now.  No, I’m not a psychic or a medium.  I’m just someone who loves Halloween and all the scary decorations that go along with it. When I suggested to Matt that I’d like…

Framed Leaves Decorate for Fall

Framed Leaves in Glass - MattandShari.com

Of course we all know that real autumn leaves can be preserved, but if you don’t have the time and are looking for a way to bring the falling leaves inside, you can make your own leaves (in colors and textures that appeal to you and your spaces) in no time at all. Here’s what…

Fall Wreaths with Unique Touches

Gathered Burlap Wreath - MattandShari.com

It’s pretty tough to come up with great new ideas for fall wreaths every single year.  That’s why being open to the classics is a good idea! However, I’ve snapped some shots of what is new and interesting in fall wreaths as I’ve been out shopping. I’ve seen new ideas in color, shape and content….

Fall Birds are a Natural Home Accent

Fall Birds - Sequined Owl

Do you remember the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Bird’s”? Well, that’s NOT what I’m talking about here! This season, why not bring fall birds into your décor. I mention this because they are everywhere, in nearly every home décor product, and in so many different species, you can choose your favorite! Owls Owls have been…

Applesauce  – A Healthy Homemade Treat

Homemade Applesauce - MattandShari.com

If you’ve never made applesauce before you MUST do this. It is so easy, takes only a few minutes, and tastes fantastic! Choose apples that are soft so they cook down quickly, like Braeburn, Cortland, McIntosh, Fuji, Golden Delicious, and the like. You will get the best applesauce if you mix up the types of…

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Sew an Apron with Pockets

Sew an Apron - MattandShari.com

Aprons with pockets make so much sense, but I never see anyone wearing them.  What’s the problem?  They are super easy to make, so you can have one that you love in a couple of hours, and you can make them to fit YOU! Here’s how. Materials List: 1 ¼ yards of your favorite washable…

Finishing Seams Saves Them from Fraying

Flat Felled Seam

Any time you sew a home decor project like a drapery, shower curtain, bedspread, etc., you have seams. Seams are made up of a stitch line and raw edges of fabric. It’s the raw edges that need some care so your project holds up over time and washings! Also, if the project won’t be lined,…

Cloth Napkins are Elegant and Easy

Apple Pattern Cloth Napkins

You might not call my “apple” cloth napkins elegant, but they certainly were easy and you can create any ambiance you like by selecting fabrics that portray the look or feeling you are going for. When you select your cloth napkin fabrics, make sure they are of an absorbent fiber like cotton. Materials for 2…

Cloth Napkin Folding Ideas

Three Napkin Folds

Little is as impressive as the results of napkin folding on your dining table. Your guests will marvel at the unique origami shapes you are capable of creating. Relax though, they are easier than you think, but let your guests think otherwise! How about starting your napkin folding expertise with the bird of paradise?  Here’s…

Terrariums Can Update Indoor Greenery

Terrarium in Cloche

Easy-to-make miniature landscapes, or terrariums, make for interesting accessories in just about any room in your home. They seem fitting for all seasons of the year, but it’s during the winter months that the green is so welcome! It doesn’t take much time or money to fill your home with these tiny gems.  Just follow…

Diary of a Dream House – Part 4: Hiring an Architect

Architects Drawing

Once you have a builder selected, and your budget in order, the next most important person on your team is your architect. He or she is the one person who is going to take your dream and make it reality. So, it is extremely important that you and your architect think alike…or even better, they…

5 Ways to Update a Room

5 Ways to Update a Room

You can accomplish any one or more of these methods to update  a room in a single weekend if you really put your mind to it. Budget is no excuse – some cost very little or nothing! Skill is no excuse – anyone can paint. And don’t even mention time…if you want it badly enough,…

Diary of a Dream House – Part 3: Determining a Budget

Determine a Budget

How do you determine the budget when you are building an entire home from scratch? Well, here are some tips to get you started. Let’s Start with What NOT to do. The excitement of building a home of your dreams is something I wish everyone could experience.  The thought of knowing you can create it…

Beer Barrel Bar Question

Beer Barrel Bar

Here’s a perfect opportunity for all of you creative folk to help out a fan who is stumped. Konnie has this Beer Barrel Bar that belonged to her husband’s parents from a bar that they owned, and Konnie’s father refurbished it for them, so both Konnie and her husband have sentimental feelings towards it. Konnie…

Diary of a Dream House – Part 2: Selecting a Builder

Dream House 2 Construction

When it comes to selecting a builder, gosh what could be more important?  Use these tips to select the guy or gal who is going to make your dream a reality. Remember, you are going to spend many hours with this person and you want to have a great working relationship and a comfort level…

Diary of a Dream House – Part 1: Purchasing the Land

Dream House 1 The Property

As an interior designer, I have always wanted to plan a house from start to finish; certainly for the experience, but also as a test of my accumulated knowledge and skills. Can I build a house that functions perfectly for my family, projects the essence of who we are, and stay within budget? I sort…

Tips to Make Moving Less Stressful

Use Rollers When Moving

You’ve packed your Moving Day box, right? Well if not, you need to read these moving day tips! Moving tips need to start at the current house and then “move” to the new house, so here goes… Packing the boxes! * Don’t over pack boxes.  It’s better for your health to take more trips and…

5 Ways to Brighten a Room with Little Natural Light

Brighten a Room with Color

If you are living in a home with little natural light, you are probably looking for ways to brighten a room or two, short of putting in bigger windows. Well, we have 5 ideas that can help you to maximize the natural lighting you do have to brighten a room, or all your rooms! 1….

The Color Green is an Ideal Wall Color

Color Green 2

One of the most prevalent colors on our planet, green offers a wide variety of hues, making it ideal for walls. It is a secondary color, meaning it is created through the blending of two of the primaries; in this case blue and yellow. So, greens with more yellow are going to be the olives,…

The Color Orange Works Best in Small Amounts

The Color Orange 1

If you want to use the color orange in your home, you need to understand all of its nuances. Orange can range from a subtle off-white to apricot, bittersweet to brown. It is a secondary color in the spectrum being created through the mixture of red and yellow. What this means is that whether it…

5 Essential Products for Spring 2014

Spring Products 2

Spring has definitely sprung, and we’ve collected a variety of Spring home essentials that we think will really get your home in shape for the warmer months. It’s time to take off the heavy throws and velvet pillows to lighten and brighten your home, just like this pretty room photo using bright pinks and spring…

The Best Interior Paint Colors For Your Home

Designer Colors Secret Garden 10

All designer’s have their tried and true paint palette. And why not?  They’ve been specifying color for years.  They know what works and what doesn’t, so why not benefit from a designer’s experience? Since I’m a designer who has had years of experience selecting paint colors, I thought you might appreciate a list of the colors…

Answers to 10 Popular Decorating Questions

Designer Questions 7

As you can imagine, I get asked design questions all the time.  There are those that stand out because they are asked most often.  Believe me, there are more than 10, but let’s just get started with these. 1. I have an open plan in my home but want to change colors, where do I…

My 10 Furniture Must Haves

Must Have Hostess Chairs

They say experience is the best teacher and now that I have it, I’d have to agree. I have lived in nearly 20 different houses or apartments over the years and I now know what pieces have stood the test of time. There are certain versatile items that can be used in nearly every room…

Double Lamp Shade is Stylish and Unique

Double Lamp Shade

It took a bit of time but I have fallen in love with the variety of printed lamp shades out there. I have several in my home and they are a great way to update a lamp, and your room as a result. Then, the other day I spotted this double lamp shade. It was…

Awesome Old Fashioned Easter Eggs

Easter Egg with Chick

Did you know that the original PAAS Easter egg dye was invented by an American named William Townley? “Mr. Townley owned a drug store in Newark, New Jersey, where he concocted recipes for home products. In the late 1800s, he came up with a recipe for Easter egg dye tablets that tinted eggs five cheerful…

Best Vegetarian/Vegan Cookbooks

Best Vegetarian Cookbooks

…according to me! That’s right, I use quite a few vegetarian cookbooks in my kitchen and I’ve recently done a series of articles on these five with recipes included. If you missed the series, here’s a recap to spark your interest! I’ve been mostly vegetarian and sometimes vegan for the past 5 years or so….

The Vegan Cook’s Bible’s Black Blondies

Black Blondies

The Vegan Cook’s Bibleby Pat Crocker is a cookbook I purchased for the amazing amount of health information it has.  There are over 120 pages of intense information about how a vegan lifestyle can affect your health along with how certain foods benefit different body systems. There are 60 pages following that list all the…

The Vegan Table’s Elegantly Simple Stuffed Bell Peppers

Vegetarian Cookbooks 7

Choosing a vegan cooking style is a choice that requires dedication, perseverance, and determination.  I tried this for a while and found that I really wanted eggs, butter and milk in my recipes. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it and find it to be just the right fit for your health goals and conscience….

Cooking Light’s Baby Arugula, Pear, and Gorgonzola Salad

Vegetarian Cookbooks 5

Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarianshould be a staple in any vegetarian’s kitchen. Even if you only occasionally go meat-free, like on Meat-Free Mondays, this cookbook will give you over 150 delicious recipes that celebrate the idea of dining without meat. What is nice about his cookbook is that the recipes included cover vegetables of…

Vegetable of the Day’s Summer Beans with Lemon and Almonds

Vegetarian Cookbooks 3

Vegetable of the Day by Kate McMillan is my newest cookbook, and it is by Williams-Sonoma so you know it has to be good! There truly is a vegetable recipe for every day of the year! Not surprisingly, there are 12 chapters titled by the month, and each one begins with a full spread calendar and…

Unique Water Shut-Off Position

Water Shut-Off Valve Placement

I took a photo of this in my friend T.J.’s model home, because I thought it was such a smart idea. I have spent many agonizing hours trying to paint around, tape around, wallpaper around, and upholster around the water shut-off under the commode. You’ve done this haven’t you? You try laying on the commode,…