Halloween and Thanksgiving Decor Ideas | Meredith Ehler | Decorator | Washington, D.C. Area

Ironically, as I write this Halloween and Thanksgiving decor post, I am prepping to take it all down and start installing Christmas!  Yes, it’s time in my house to get into the Christmas spirit and begin decorating so that I have time to service my holiday decor clients.  I really look forward to spreading the holiday cheer in my clients’ homes beginning in November.

Please enjoy these pictures of my whimsical approach to Halloween and Thanksgiving holiday decor.  I hope you are inspired to decorate a little more festively this year!  To see my Silver and Black Halloween Dining Room click here.

IMG_3274Every holiday I decorate the chandeliers around my house.  This chandelier is from Ballards. I love this precious face.


I like to incorporate my children’s artwork from Halloween and Thanksgivings past.



The gold lights are actually Christmas lights from a Martha Stewart line years ago.


I usually pack away a few decor items in each room to make room for holiday decor.  That really allows for my decor to pop.  I packed away any items that had a feeling of Spring or Summer.


The canvas above was a hand-made birthday gift from my daughter.  She painted my favorite Bible verse for me, Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing”.  Please note that it is covered in a layer of gold glitter!



I love this duck dressed and ready to trick-or-treat! It is one of my favorite gifts from my husband. -Meredith




Closet Makeover Services | Meredith Ehler | Image Consultant | Fairfax County, VA

Can you use a closet makeover?  If you answered “Yes!” you are not alone.  I recently received a comment on this very blog from a woman named Jill.  She was inquiring about my closet services and hoped to have me out to her home to organize her closet.  After exchanging a few emails we scheduled an appointment and I met her at her house.  We got right to work.

my closet.

my closet.

Jill has a great sense of style and knows what colors and styles look great on her so we didn’t spend too much time on those topics.  We spent most of our time analyzing the clothes she has and loves, discussing their condition and new ways to wear them.  Some clothing got sent to a “dry clean” pile because I may have detected a spot or stain.  Some got sent to a “charity” pile.  These items were ones that she no longer is enjoying yet they still have life left in them.  That way she can bless someone less fortunate with her still-wearable clothes.

The clothes we were left with were those that she still enjoys wearing and that still look great on her.  We organized them in a logical way in her closet.  I recommend hanging items in “like groups”.  I put her tanks and blouses together in order of sleeve legnth, color, and whether it’s for work or play.  We started on one end with tanks, then short sleeves, then long.  We hung her “work only” clothing in one area.  As some shirts could be work on both occasions, those were hung with her everyday shirts.  The end goal is that when she is getting dressed she can ignore the “work only” clothing and go straight to the everyday clothing.

We stored out of season clothing in a corner of the closet so that the first clothes she sees are those that she will wear most often.  She had a great hanging accessory organizer.  We purged that as well as a shoe bin.

My goal is always to leave my clients with a new happy place…their newly organized closet.  My wish is that each morning their closet greets them like a new best friend waiting to meet them for coffee.  I want getting dressed to be effortless and accessorizing a breeze.

I just heard from Jill and she is enjoying her new closet.  She said she enjoyed having me and may have me back as the season’s change to do the same thing to her winter wardrobe.  Did I mention she is smart too?  -Meredith



Ekster Antiques Barn Sale – One of a Kind Home Decor | Home Decorator | Meredith Ehler | Northern Virginia

Looking for that perfectly chic and unique piece for your home?

Check for dates of the next Ekster Antiques Barn Sale.

march barn sale 091

I first found Ekster about nine years ago when it was a quaint home-decor shop in Leesburg.  Now, located a few minutes further west, on a ten acre farm, Ekster has transformed into a destination that promises to fulfill the dreams of even the most persnickety shopper.  Filled with antiques from near and far, and one of a kind eclectic pieces, you will no-doubtedly find that perfect piece (or pieces) to compliment your decor.  And you may even pass a friendly goat or a chicken as you shop.

As you walk the property, drinking in the beautiful pastoral scenery, the barn and other buildings on the property shimmer with crystal chandeliers that hang above the comfortably staged tables.  Perfectly aged urns from France line the barn’s exterior, each one more beautiful than the last.  The surroundings always leave me inspired!

march barn sale 032

The visionary behind Ekster Antiques is owner Caroline Verschoor.  She has an innate way of putting together the perfect mix of old and new, shabby and chic, and comfort and glitz.  I asked her to share her approach to her business with my readers.  It is obvious Caroline hand picks what she sells, this is not a warehouse sale, this is an exquisite boutique…in a barn.

Lucketts 2013 008

Caroline explains, “For me, things have to exude something, whether it’s art, or a piece of furniture.  I would never just “throw” a cabinet on my sales floor, tag it and sell it.  No, the cabinet I purchase is well-thought-about, i.e. Would I buy it? And if I did, where would I put it, and how would I display it.  So, when I set up, I place the cabinets on walls, and I create a scene (a mise-en-scene In French) which would include the antique books one might display in such a vignette, and other collectibles.  I then put sofas, chairs and a table in the middle with books and candles and horns and other great finds, as if it appears that the people who were in that room just minutes ago, just got up and will be back shortly.  That is my thing”.

lucketts fair 021

“I really buy each and every piece with my heart, not with my wallet”, says Verschoor.  You will quickly see that this is true, even if you are visiting their tent at Lucketts, one just wants to be enveloped by the surrounding decor.

Caroline invites all of you to come and experience this one-of-a-kind place for yourself. “For me, my barn, or whatever building I am working from, becomes my canvas, and I completely immerse myself into it, until every direction I look, I see all the hard work paid off, and the picture finally perfectly pieced together” .

Ekster Antiques is located at 38532 Pheasant Hill Lane, Hamilton VA 20158.  Mapquest should get you there or see their website eksterantiques.com for a map and directions. Children are welcome (the bunnies, chickens, mini goats and dogs would love some company).  See you there!  -Meredith


Accessorize with Ease! | Meredith Ehler | Image Consultant | Loudoun County, Virginia

Organized Necklaces.


How is everyone doing?  I hope you are ready for another challenge!  We are organizing our jewelry today!  Let’s dive right in and start detangling!

I love the look of a perfectly coordinated outfit, right down to the rings on your fingers.  But accessorizing can be a hassle, adding extra time to your morning routine trying to find the mate to an earring or realizing that the scarf you wanted to wear is crumpled up in the bottom of your scarf drawer.  If things are out in the open and arranged nicely it’s easy to add accessories and to give you a polished look.

I use belt and tie racks to arrange necklaces and scarves.  They hang items without getting tangled or wrinkled.  And I can see them all at once so I can grab one and go!  I put silver/cool toned necklaces on one side and gold/warm tones on the other which saves me time while I am hunting for just the right pieces.

Jewelry hanging organizers are great for earrings, rings, bracelets, pins and hair accessories.  I color coordinate each side as well so that means I only have to look in one area for what I need.

I recommend you make a special place near your kitchen to place your most worn jewelry, either a corner of a drawer or maybe a cute tray on a counter.  I put ring holders near all the sinks I frequent for hand washing so my rings are not misplaced or washed down the drain. Having ring holders or cute, decorative trays to hold your jewelry makes it easy to find your fave’s and they will never be misplaced.

Remember, purge and get rid of the pieces you don’t use or need anymore.  Donate them to someone who will treasure your treasures!  -Meredith


Ditch Your Old Makeup! | Meredith Ehler | Life Stylist | Loudoun County, Virginia

My brushes at a shoot with Goodhart Photography.

My brushes at a shoot with Goodhart Photography.

Treat yourself to a more organized life!  This is our third post in our organization challenge for 2013.  You are doing so well!  Don’t stop now.  Keep baby-stepping forward.  If you are just joining us now, you can easily jump in.  Just start where we are and when you are done with this step, go scroll down and look at the last posts.

We started by purging up to 10 items from our closets.  And then donating them to a friend or someone in need.  The second challenge was to dare to look under your bed.  Cleaning our the dark corners of our lives really frees us.  Peace is our goal!

Organizing our makeup is our next challenge.

Please clean out your drawers, bins, baskets and Kaboodles!  It’s time to get rid of anything that is crusty, discolored, or has an odor that should not be there.  Make up has a shelf life and once it is expired it can be unhealthy, growing bacteria that you do not want to come into contact with your face.

As you go though your makeup consider this – dry products last longer than liquid or cream products.  I always encourage clients to ditch their mascaras once they no longer seem moist and smooth.  If your mascara is cakey and dry then it is past it’s prime.

If you use applicators that come with the products they should be washed whenever the makeup buildup prevents the makeup from going on smoothly.  If at all possible, I recommend you trashing them and treating yourself to a makeup brush instead.  Weather you have a Target, Ulta, and makeup counter budget, you can find a brush that works for you.  Check out my previous post on how to keep them clean:   Makeup Brush Care.

Look for anything that appears to have changed color or texture or smell since you bought it.  Don’t worry about how long you have had it.  It’s more about the condition it is in today.  I have had some eye shadows for years and some mascaras only last a few weeks.  Good luck and invite your friends to do this with you!  Please click below on the Facebook tab and share this post on your Facebook page.  We need to encourage each other. I would love it if all us girls were getting more organized together!  Especially the teens and tweens!  Leave me a comment so I can hear how this is going!  -Meredith


A More Organized 2013! | Meredith Ehler | Life Stylist | Loudoun County, Virginia

New Year – New Closet!  Stay with me friends!  We can do this!  Each week I am going to encourage you to address another part of your life!  Even if your home is not cluttered, everyone can use a nudge to re-organize some part of their life.  In my last post I encouraged us all to remove a few unused items from our closets.  I hope you all gave it a shot.  Getting dressed each morning in an organized room or closet is such a great way to start the day!

This time I encourage you to clean under your bed!  I know, it can be scary!  But if you are someone that stores things under your bed I want you to revisit that dark and dusty space and clean it out a bit.  This week take a few minutes to pull things out and sort out the items into 2 piles:  keep and donate.   Try to get rid of about 25% of what is under there.  Store the rest back under the bed.  Utilizing under the bed space is a wise use of space but it needs to be cleaned from time to time.  Hopefully knowing there is now less stuff under the bed will help you sleep even better tonight!

Take what you don’t need and donate it to a friend who could use a treat, or give it to a person in need.  Well done everyone! Check back next week so we can keep up the great work!


New Year – New Closet! Life Stylist Meredith Ehler Has a Challenge For You! | Meredith Ehler | Fashion & Life Stylist | Northern Virginia

my closet.

Happy New Year!  I love the feeling of a fresh start, where hope springs eternal! Ideas of revamping your life abound!  Yet, the reality of implementing them can be elusive. That got me thinking.  The things I have had success with in my life are those that I gave myself to completely.  I thought that this year I will attempt to serve as your Life Style Coach!  I want to walk you through the steps of organizing and re-designing your life, well, the parts that you would like to make more organized and more stylish that is.  With a coach at your side I believe that you can reach those stylish and organized goals that you have for yourself. And I want you to start with baby-steps.

The best place to start is in your closet.  I want you to have an “ahhhhhh” feeling when you open your closet doors.  Many of you dread each morning because you know you have a closet full of clothes yet you have nothing to wear!  Your closet should be a blessing to you!  I want you to open your closet and be at peace because you are able to easily find a flattering, well fitting outfit that you can accessorize with ease!

my closet.

So, if you are ready, I would like to give you your first assignment.

This week, take a few minutes and remove 1-10 items from your closet that you no longer enjoy.  There is no peace or joy when your closet is too full or it contains items that no longer serve you well.  I want you to let go and get rid of 1 to 10 items of your choice.  I suggest you use ask yourself “does this item bring me joy?” (it could be a shirt, a pair of shoes, an old sweater, a necklace you never wear, etc).  If the answer is “no” then I am asking you to let it go.  Consider giving it to a friend, a church or charity that could use the item(s).  It feels amazing to know that the next time you go into your closet it will be less crowded, and that you will have blessed someone in the mean time.

You have one week!  Please post your results!  I will continue to walk with you and challenge you in different ways this year, all with the goal of a more stylish and organized life!  Remember, baby-steps!  We have an entire year to reach your goals!  A new, more beautifully dressed, less stressed you awaits! -Meredith


Christmas Tree Personality Quiz | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Northern Virginia

Every Christmas tree has it’s own personality.  What is your tree saying about you? Are you simple and traditional, with one real tree covered in a mix of red and gold balls and children’s homemade ornaments?  Or are you modern and flashy, throwing caution to the wind?

Traditional, Whimsical or Avant Garde?

not so traditional.

No longer does a tree have to be draped in red and green.  Bright pinks and purples are found in every style of holiday decor from ribbons to garland.  I like each of my trees to have their own unique look.  I like them to stand our from a crowd!

golds and pinks on my tree.

Traditional trees are cozy and often remind us of our childhood.  Trees laden with homemade ornaments, tinsel and glass balls are the quintessential picture of a perfect Christmas.

Faux or Real?  We had real, live evergreen trees for years.  But it soon became clear that a fake tree was in order.  We love to have the house decorated for over a month and we have had at least one tree topple over.  As the weeks pass the tree drys out and eventually cannot withstand the weight of the ornaments.

our fake trees look the same in January as they did in December.

Faux trees make an extended Christmas possible as they will look the same in January as they do the day you put them up in December (or November as in my case).  However there is a huge trade-off.  No longer will you have the smell of fresh pine wafting through your home.  Many families treasure their annual jaunt to the Christmas tree farm to cut their own fresh tree.   Well, all except my friend’s son got poison oak from that excursion! Poor guy!

Are you a Single-Tree or Multi-Tree Kind of Home?

this tree is in my sunroom.

Having multiple trees may mean you are a hoarded of all things Christmas like me so the multiple trees become a necessity because all of my ornaments simply won’t fit on one tree!  Or it may mean you just love having a cheery reminder of the amazing celebration of Christ being born in every corner of your home.

a Christmas tree made completely of ornaments.

Now matter what kind of holiday decor you put up I hope you will enjoy all of  your blessings, and reflect upon reason for the season.  -Meredith


A Christmas Tablescape – Step by Step | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Northern Virginia

my centerpiece on my dining room table.

Here is another way to dress up your table.  I used a sleigh full of antique ornaments as my centerpiece.  You can use anything you like!

my table.


find a box.

My daughter’s Christmas present arrived in this box on this very day.  It was the perfect height to start building upon.

drape it.

Drape the box with linens.  I used a white table cloth and covered that with a sheer patterned fabric.  Choose fabrics that work with your color scheme.  You can also use a few yards of fabric, just tuck under the edges.  My sheer fabric is not finished on any of the ends.

layer it with fabric.

another layer.

I top off the 2 layers with a layer of tulle.   It’s an inexpensive fabric that adds a lot of dimension.  This actually has a bit of silver shimmer in it.

add your focal point.

I added my sleigh and 2 urns on mirrored platforms.

antique ornaments fill the sleigh beautifully.

Try using a tray or platter you already own and top it with something beautiful.  You could fill a tray with candles surrounded with pine-cones as a centerpiece.   Or fill a glass bowl with ornaments and place it on a tray layered with fresh pine branches.  -Meredith


More Christmas Decor! | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Loudoun, Virginia

It’s such a blessing to be welcomed into the home of a client to decorate their home for the holidays.  In this case my client is also my friend, Kelly.  Her home is gorgeous!  The decor is so beautiful and welcoming.  Adding Christmas decorations just makes it that much prettier.

Kelly purchased whimsical characters from our favorite store HomeGoods.  That place is dangerous!  They are bursting at the seems with adorable Christmas decor.  That elf is the cutest thing I have ever seen!  I had to highlight her on the beautiful piano.  I also put pre-lit garland topped with some of the garland that coordinates with the adjoining living room, which helps the decor flow from room to room.

The mantel sparkles with mercury glass votives flanked with colorful Santas.


I love that there are so many shades of yellow, green and red available today to use at Christmas.  This runner on her black table is a bright pear green.  It works so well with her decor.  Keep linens like this out all year round.

I hope your home is filled with warmth and cheer this Christmas season.  -Meredith