Finishing Touches For Your Holiday Decor | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Sterling, Virginia

 

an antique pin adds the perfect amount of sparkle.

Some holiday decor is perfect just as it is.  But others call out for embellishment. These blue and green cones are adorable as they are.  But this year I decided to add a bit of ribbon and a few ornaments to make it more interesting.

before.

before.

Winding around a few pipe cleaner ribbon and adding a few ornaments and an antique pin made these simple cones come to life.

after.

after.

Look around your house at your decor.  What is calling out for a little extra bling?

-Meredith

 

Time To Put Up Christmas Decor! | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Loudoun County, Virginia

Now that Thanksgiving is a few days behind us it’s time to drag out those bins and boxes from the attic, basement, and crawl spaces and get decorating for Christmas!  I am so impressed by some of you who have already begun and perhaps even finished!  Well done!  Now you can simply relax and enjoy the season – or should I say now you can go and tackle the other thousands of things that need to be done this month!

unpacking my bins of decor.

I usually need to clear away some of my regular home decor to make room for all of the things that are coming out for the holidays.  I pack them up in the empty Christmas bins and until it’s time to take down Christmas.

Being well prepared will make your decorating go smoothly and save you trips back to the store.  Head out to Home Depot, Walmart or Target and load up on a fresh batch of cords, hooks, and lights.  I bought all of the above this year and it was so nice having them on-hand instead of running all over the house and stealing an extension cord from a spare room.

Use a foot controlled extension cord.

I also treated myself to a few foot-operated extension cords.  They can be used for Christmas trees as well as any lights you have put up around your house.  I use a foot cord for my banister lights too.  They save time and prevent a sore back, especially when you have as many lights as we have in our house.  It seems to take forever to unplug them all!  Now I just go around and click all the buttons with my foot and the lights are out without me bending over and fumbling for plugs inevitably hidden far behind the Christmas tree!

craft wire is a necessity when building custom garland.

It’s very helpful to also have a plethora of wire and wire cutters, and wire ornament hangers in different sizes on hand.  As you build your garland for your mantle and banister, or you go to adorn a wreath with ornaments, having a spool of thing craft wire and/or ornament hangers that are long and pliable, allows you to dress your wreath quickly and you will be confident that the ornaments and ribbons will not come loose.

Have fun creating your beautiful holiday home!    -Meredith

 

 

Christmas Decor Already? Sorry Thanksgiving! | Meredith Ehler | Holiday Decorator | Fairfax County, Virginia

 

one of my Christmas trees.

I have to formally apologize to Thanksgiving because I started my Christmas decorating a week before the day of thanks.  It has been a whirlwind of decorations, open and half empty bins lining every hall, glitter in every corner of the house, and each morning awaking with claw-like, sliced-up hands (arranging those boughs is painful work!)  But it is all worth it!  As a Christian I try to be thankful every day for the gifts God has given me so it was easy to pack up those turkeys early and break out all the bins!

my dining room table-scape display.

It is always exciting to see how the house shapes up.  I have 3 decorated trees, 2 decorated chandeliers and tons of lights and ornaments adorning every surface.  I can’t wait to share details of this years decor.  Please “like” my facebook page or subscribe to the RSS feed on my blog so you don’t miss a post. -Meredith

my dining room chandelier.

Photos courtesy of Goodhart Photography.  http://goodhartphotography.blogspot.com/

 

Let The Holiday Decorating Begin! | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Potomac Falls, Virginia

The holidays officially begin with fall and Halloween decor these days.  My philosophy is there is never too much blingy holiday decor!  Here are a few pictures of some of the vignettes I have around my house.  I have walked you through a few ways I approach decor.

Sparkly Pink Pumpkin.

These are right off the shelves of Target and TJ Maxx but when I add the fresh roses and candy corn garland it becomes a vignette.

My Entry-way.

I only changed a few things here.  I added the orange damask fabric, a few pumpkins, and draped a fall garland from Michael’s over my painting.  I store the sea shells that are usually displayed near the picture frames in the drawer until spring.

Monkey Mask under glass.

I pack away items and knick-knacks that appear to springy or summery.  That way the color palate is more monochromatic and harmonious.  There is usually a bird statue under the glass, not a monkey mask.

My Husband’s Office.

Adding a bit of your personal style to things is what makes holiday decor work.  There are no rules, just incorporate a few holiday items into what you already have out.  I just added the ceramic pumpkin and orange blossom branches. -Meredith

Bold Paint Color – Bold Accessories | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Northern Virginia

My dining room is really coming together.  I just love the way all of my accessories have come together.  The accessories are not exactly subtle! But the end result is just how I wanted it!   How about that paint color?  Paint sure does make an impact.

Before

 

After!

Someday I will reveal all of my secrets.  For now, suffice it to say, the items I have used are from a variety of stores that may surprise you.  Others are from TJ Maxx and Marshalls, my favorites!  Be daring both in color and your accessories.  Bigger is better! Have fun and experiment with different styles.  Get out of your comfort zone!  Decor is supposed to be fun and reflect your personality.  Make sure yours does!  -ME

 

Table Centerpiece Ideas | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Northern Virginia

I am always changing the decor in my house.  Some part of my house is changing every few weeks.  My latest table centerpiece, however, has stuck around for a while because I love it.  I thought I would share it with you.

my kitchen table.

My design starts with the most reflective surface there is  - mirrors!  I love sparkle! Anything that glitters makes me happy!  I started with simple mirror panels from Lowes. They come in a pack of 10 or so and are about $12.  They are so versatile.  The beveled edges give it a high end look.

a package of mirrors are the base.

Go shopping in your cabinets!  When I go to a clients home I always ask if i can see the cabinet where they store their wedding gifts they never use, or to show me that tray they got from Aunt Edna and have no idea what to do with.  Inevitably that item becomes the inspiration piece for what I end up designing for them!  My inspiration piece was the blue tray I got from my mother-in-law for my birthday.  It was too pretty to put away in a cabinet.

a peacock Christmas decoration from my mom.

From there I added a few of my favorite knick-knacks.  They don’t necessarily make any sense together which is why I like it.  It’s whimsical and fun.  The items I used were from my own collection of stuff.  Yes, I do have bags of fake fruit and peacocks and antique silver candlesticks just laying around in a storage closet.   But if you don’t, items like these can be found at places like Pier-1 and Michaels, and the Herend china items are found at Neiman’s.

my favorite Herand bunnies. they stay out all year round.

Have fun, and comment or send me pix!  I would love to share your masterpiece on my blog!  If you are local, have me over  - or let’s Skype!  Message me or find me on facebook on my homefashionbeauty.com page.  I am excited to help you build your beautiful home!

the final product.

-Meredith

HFB’s FAQ’s | Meredith Ehler | Stylist | Northern Virginia

Readers often ask me for advice about home, fashion and beauty.  I thought I would share a few of their questions and my answers in case you have the same ones.   

doing hair, makeup and styling for a shoot with Goodhart Photography.

What is my favorite mascara?  Anything MAC, Diorshow, Lancome Definicils, or CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion.

How do I keep my eyeliner from wearing off during the day?  Line your eyes with an eye pencil and then “set” it with a similar or darker shadow.   Use a thin, flat, liner brush, with stiff bristles, to draw right over the liner with shadow.

How do I decide where to hang pictures on my wall?  Eye level.  That being said, eye level for a person that is about 5’10″. I recommend hanging photos or smaller pictures in a cluster.  When one small thing is hung by itself it feels out of place, even if it’s a small wall. Honestly, some walls should be left empty.  White space is ok!  Too many small things being hung everywhere is distracting.  Your eyes need a place to rest, white space is that place.  Art and pictures look wonderful when grounded to something else, by hanging similar things with it in a cluster or when a big item is hung over a table or couch.

How do I choose the right paint color?  Start by choosing swatches of paint that you like.  I recommend hanging them on your wall and making notes about how much you like the color during different times of day.  For example, I may write directly on the swatch “good in A.M.”.  Then at night I will check the swatches again and comment if I like it in the “P.M.”.  Then after a few days I will see which I liked the most at different times of day.  Colors look very different in different light.  You can also paint a small sample onto a piece of poster board. This works great because you can move the board around the room and see how it looks in different exposures of light.  Most stores sell samples of paint and Benjamin Moore sells pre-painted poster board of some of it’s most popular boards.

Am I supposed to buy and wear neon colors just because the stores are pushing them on us?  No.  Trends come and go.  Only buy it if it speaks to you.  It’s always fun to buy one piece of the current trend to add to your wardrobe.  But don’t buy too much.  You don’t want to look like a fashion victim!  And the trends don’t last so don’t invest too much money in the trend.  Save some of your money for the next trend which will be arriving soon!

Do dry shampoos really work?  Yes.  They come in different formulas.  I have used the dry powder form.  I sprinkled  it onto my scalp and then gently massaged it into my hair. The powder gets absorbed by any oils in your hair and scalp and your hair no longer looks shiny.  I have heard the spray formula works well.

-Meredith

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter’s On It’s Way – Easter Decor | Meredith Ehler | Home Decorator | Fairfax County, Virginia

Easter is special to me because it is a celebration of my savior Jesus’s resurrection.  It is fitting that Easter decor is so life affirming.  The holiday itself centers around rebirth and new life.  I love seeing sparkly pastel colored bunnies and eggs shimmering throughout my house.

With the change of every season I work in items that reflect the time of year.  I remove some items that I keep out all year long and replace them with holiday decor.  Like this overhead picture of my Pottery Barn mercury glass pedestal bowl.  I usually have decorative crystals filling the bowl.  For Easter I replaced them with hand-decorated antique eggs.  My husband’s great-grandmother hand decorated them almost 100 years ago!  I treasure them!  But if I didn’t have them I would be putting adorable finds from HomeGoods and Pier one in there instead.

My kitchen table centerpiece.

Some of the items like the Herend bunnies and the painting of the 3 crosses on my mantle stay out all year round.  The mercury glass votives are out all year as well. I just added the bunnies and flower-covered eggs.

My mantle.

This display is out all year.  Again, I simply added a few bunnies.  

My kitchen counter.

As my children age I cherish these last few attempts to keep Easter egg hunts alive.  This year their uncle and aunt are taking them to the White House Easter Egg Roll.  What a coup!  Each child gets to take home a keepsake, decorative egg.

Glittery eggs dangling from my Easter tree on my kitchen counter.

Add a bunny and some eggs anywhere in your house.  You do not have to pack things away, just find an empty space and add some festive decor.

Precious ceramic eggs I decorated as a child.

This cross is out all year long but it has special meaning at Easter.

A handmade cross from Charleston, SC hangs on my kitchen wall.

Happy Easter!  -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

 

Your Closet/Your Favorite Boutique | Meredith Ehler | Wardrobe Stylist | Sterling, Virginia

My closet client had a closet full of treasures!  When I arrived it was in disarray and when I left it looked like a boutique!

My client’s main goal for hiring me was to feel peace again when she looks at her closet. She got her wish!  Her closet is now organized in categories, just like a boutique, making getting dressed a joy!  Watching a closet go from piles of clothing to your favorite place to shop is so rewarding.  I am confident my client will enjoy peaceful mornings waking up to this closet!

After (just a few bins left to fill)

We started by organizing the loose piles of clothing.  Then we went through the hanging items.  We sorted everything into piles for different purposes.  Some clothing stays in the closet, some goes into personal storage for either the next season or the next size you plan to be.  Other clothing is set aside for charity donation and yet others are for consigning.  Some go to the cleaners to see if set in stains can be removed and if not successfully cleaned they will not be allowed back into the closet.  Some clothes that are stained or damaged beyond repair go straight to the trash.

Below is a before picture.

Next stop, her dresser drawers!   -Meredith