DIY Artwork | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Sterling, Virginia

After months of searching for just the right piece of art to put over my mantle, I decided to give up – and paint my own!  Sure, there is plenty of beautiful home decor out there but to find the perfect size, shape, colors, subject, design AND be at the right price point can be frustrating.    I never found anything that spoke to me in my price range.  So I got out the paint and brushes and just started painting.

The good news is that it turned out pretty well.  And if it hadn’t then I would have just painted over it and tried again.  This painting began as a typical print that you see at any home store.  I got this one at Home Goods in the clearance aisle.  It used to be very bright colors: blacks, reds and blues.  I bought it for the shape and size.  It’s 36″ x 36″.

My family room is blues and browns so that is where I started.  I got out a bunch of paint and began painting big broad strokes to cover all of the former design.  I wasn’t sure what I would end up with so I just kept painting, blending different colors randomly.   My faith is very important to me so I ended up painting a cross using all the colors of our decor.  I love the way it turned out and most of all I love that it was cheap and customized just for our house and our style.

Consider turning your trash into treasure.  If you have a painting that is no longer suiting your decor, consider doing the same thing yourself, or finding a daring friend to do it for you.  Check out more amazing trash to treasure ideas at my talented friend’s blog: www.trashtotreasure.com.  Or like her Facebook page Trash To Treasure.  -Meredith

 

Make Your Wardrobe Grow | Meredith Ehler | Fashion Stylist | Loudoun County, Virginia

 

A long-term client of mine is starting a new business venture and she hired me to come into her closet to style her wardrobe.  I discussed her new position with her and we determined that her new position calls for her to be chic but not trendy, conservative but not boring, feminine but not flirty.  Tasked with the job to style a few fabulous outfits from her current wardrobe, I went to work.

We started each look with an item I call an “anchor piece”.  The anchor piece is the item of clothing around which all other pieces of the look are chosen.  This can be a person’s favorite piece that they wear all of the time like a basic blazer.  It can also be an item that has a lot of style or personality but doesn’t get worn often because it’s not clear how it should be styled.  That means a waste of money, which I hate!  So I was determined to utilize all of her strong, anchor pieces, whether they be her favorites or just pieces that I knew would make a statement.

Take a minute to take a close look at your own closet.  Identify your anchor pieces.  Make sure clothing is clean and that there are no visible signs of wear and tear.  If there are, take them to a dry cleaner and or tailor to see if they can be freshened up or fixed.

This goes for jewelry as well.  I love costume jewelry because it is a quick and affordable way to add style and trends to your personal style.  But costume jewelry can often show wear and tear after just a few wearings.  I did ask my client to pick up a few great jewelry pieces like a pair of silver and a pair of gold large, slim hoop earrings, a few cuffs, and fun statement pieces like a large, whimsical ring, to up the “diva ante” on an otherwise conservative outfit.

Needless to say she was thrilled and she felt like she had a new wardrobe.  I left her with these photos, snapped with her phone, of each pairing so that she could see them easily and get dressed without stress.  -Meredith

Save Money By Hiring A Closet Organizer | Meredith Ehler | Fashion Stylist | Sterling, Virginia

Meres House-13 copy

Am I the only one who cleans out my kitchen pantry only to find that I have 4 bottles of ketchup?  When I am disorganized I tend to buy too much of one item because I can’t see that I already own a few.  The same thing happens in my closet because when i am disorganized I forge to wear the things I can’t find which is a waste of time and money!

my closet.

my closet.

Prioritizing yourself, your closet and your wardrobe can ultimately save you time and money.  Each time I organize a closet, the client feedback inevitably includes, “I had no idea I had so many pairs of jeans”, or “I had no idea i had so many necklaces….”.   When a client can stand at her closet and look in and see her clothing organized by item and color that means they can choose a well styled outfit quickly and easily.  They can see their entire wardrobe all at once, which means items will have a better chance at being used and enjoyed, making the most of your money.

Organized Necklaces.

Organized Necklaces.

When you know what you have – you know what you need.  My clients can shop with confidence knowing exactly what they own and what they may have over purchased or where they may have gaps in their wardrobe. I always gently encourage my clients to donate any items they are no longer enjoying, either because it no longer suits their style or because they have too many of one item to get enjoyment from each.   Based on the items that still work in their wardrobe I make suggestions on what to add, giving my clients confidence that the money they do spend in the future will be on the right pieces. My recommended future purchases will round out their wardrobes, maximizing the items they already have and enjoying getting dressed with ease.  -Meredith

 

Hire a Decorator for your Holiday Decor | Meredith Ehler | Decorator | Northern Virginia

 

Finishing touches, as tedious as they can be, make all the difference.  I just spent the day at one of my favorite client’s houses and decorated her beautiful home for Christmas.

We love our holiday decor here in Virginia!  I was honored to make this beautiful home even more festive.  After an initial home visit and consultation, I shopped for my client for all kinds of holiday goodies!

Just adding a touch of red berries makes plain old garland look rich.  The berries are on what is called a “pick”.  Everything I shopped for was on sale 60% off 2 weeks before Christmas, which is crazy, so I bought up everything I liked.  The picks were 32¢ each!  A bargain!  And I LOVE a bargain!  Adding pine needle picks or real branches from a live tree finish the look of any table top or mantle.

I layered my client’s dining room table to make a beautiful table-scape.   We started with her own tablecloth, bunched up to give it more life.  On top of that is a beautiful gold thread embossed table runner, topped off by diaphanous tulle.  I love using wired ribbon to add height and depth to a display.  I leave it just as it comes off the roll, in it’s naturally curled state.  I just twist and turn it as I release it.  Beautiful glass garland hanging from her chandelier adds a bit of shine.

Don’t forget to layer.  The homeowners beautiful table cloth has gold thread running through it giving off a bit of shimmer.  Her plant and candles placed on top make the perfect setting for her new birch tree Santa.  Don’t ignore the cute baskets that house knick-knacks around your house.  Toss a few branches and ornaments on the top to make them pop.  Have fun decorating and know that there is no such thing as too much Christmas decor! -Meredith

 

 

Change of Season – Change Your Closet! | Fashion Stylist | Meredith Ehler | Loudoun County, VA

Turtleneck season is over!  Time to get all of your winter clothing out of your closet and into storage.   A closet clean-out is in order.  Take some time this week to bring in your spring and summer clothing.  When your closet is organized and it’s easy to find the right clothing your day will start off beautifully!

Here are some quick tips to get you started:

  • Remove all heavy weight clothing from your closet.
  • Inspect each item, looking for stains, tears, hems that are pulled.  Take any items needing attention to the dry cleaner or seamstress before storing.  You want to store clean, fresh clothing.
  • Store off-season clothing in a guest room closet or in garbage bags or storage bins.  If you don’t have storage bins consider sliding bins or bags of clothing under your bed until you need them again.  Some bins are shaped just to fit under beds.
  • Inspect all spring and summer clothing for stains, tears, hems that need mending.  Launder all the clothing so your closet is full of clean clothes.
  • Before moving in your clothes, consider giving your closet a good cleaning as well.  Vacuum and dust all the corners and even your shoes!  they can become dusty if not worn often.
  • Consider investing in the felt hangers that are all the rage today.  You can find them at TJMaxx and Marshalls and any large home retailer like Bed Bath & Beyond.  They hold clothing well so that it won’t slip and they are slim, allowing you to fit the most clothing in without hangers adding bulk.  They also come in fun colors which makes hanging your clothing a bit more fun.
  • Lastly, move in the newly laundered, pressed, tailored and dry cleaned wardrobe into your clean closet and enjoy!

If you don’t have time or find yourself stressed out, consider hiring a me to come and do it with you or for you!  As we are putting your clothing back into your closet we can even coordinate your clothing in new ways to make your wardrobe seem new!  -Meredith