Monday, January 25, 2016

Target Items I Love - January 2016

There is no denying that I love Target and this includes more than just the home decor section too. They have great prices on bread and cereal and snacks. I love their $1.00 bin area as you come into the store - talk about impulse!

I thought I'd share a few of my favorite items at Target right now - half of which I own and the other half are so darn good I need a project to buy them for.

Clockwise from top left: 

Delightful room spray

Enjoy!! Any favorite items that you've seen at Target?

(Not sponsored just love <3)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Blue Paint Colors I've Used and Loved

One of the most frequently asked questions that I hear are color questions and wondering what paint color would look good in a specific room. So I thought I'd do a post on a few of my favorite blue paint colors and break them down as to why they work.

First, a few tips to keep in mind when selecting color...

- There needs to be a WHY - why am I selecting this color? A paint color should be a portion of the color palette that you're using in the space and should mingle with the rest of the elements in the space.

- Color needs context. Before I select a paint color for myself or a client, I look at the existing room (floors, furniture, trim, lighting). From there I can make a determination as to what color might be a good fit for this space.

- Test, test, test, test, test. Always always test your color in large portions (preferably on a separate board that you can move around the room), but if you can't do that make sure that your walls are primed first before testing. If you test your paint color over an existing paint color you're going to get a false read. Testing is also important so you can see how the light affects the color throughout the day. The color is going to look very different in the morning than it does in the evening.

And now on to the good stuff...

Sherwin Williams Rainstorm
My Habitat project is the boldest I've gone with blue, and it worked for the space. My room was in the back of the house and for the hours of the open house I knew that the sun would start to be coming around and would be perfect for this color (I had to cross my fingers that we wouldn't get rain because I needed that natural light to make the most of this color).


My color palette for this project was rich jeweled tone colors inspired by a painting that I had found. I knew that this blue would be perfect paired with the crisp white trim throughout. I cannot imagine this room any other way :) (**Note that I could not change the flooring in this room at all, so that carpet would not have been my choice.)

Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue 
This is one of my favorite paint colors to date. We used this color in our first house when we repainted our kitchen. And yes there was a second time because the color was all wrong the first time. BM Wythe Blue was oh so right....ahhh...I miss this kitchen so much.
This paint color was beautiful in our kitchen. See how nice it looks against our cabinets and floors. It looks crisp and clean. It's a really great blue-green that pairs well with warm colors.  

Benjamin Moore Glass Slipper 
I'm noticing now that all of my light blue paint colors all have some green in them. This is the lightest blue that I've used but I love that it has the slightest bit of green in it.


It's a sweet color and looks great with the soft pale pinks and whites that I've used in my daughter's room. I would not use this color in a main living area. It doesn't have enough warmth to it for my taste, but I could see it working well in a bathroom or sunroom. 

Sherwin Williams Quiet Moments
Another blue-green with more green to it than Wythe, but also pairs so nicely with warm accents and crisp white trim. I recommended this color during a color consultation appointment last year. My client had beautiful furniture, but the dated wall application needed an update.

You can see the difference in this before and after below. By updating the trim and wall color, my client's piano, existing furnishings and floors all look so nice together.





And there you have it...a few of my favorite blues. Do you have any favorite blue paint colors that you love? Do share!

If you have any questions please feel free to comment or e-mail me at hollygruszka@gmail.com.

**For anyone in the local Philadelphia area, if you're interested in working together please send me an e-mail with any questions you might have. You can also find me at some of my favorite social media hang-outs: Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Quick Look at Our Winter Mantel

Our winter mantel is probably the least amount of styling effort I've put in but it's also one of my most favorite looks I've done in this spot in our home for a few reasons.

I wanted the mantel to be very simple for the holidays: a plant on either side, a few pieces of milk glass for consistency, and some sparkle (and candles of course). I really loved having the plants on the mantel.



I've removed most of the holiday items (with the exception of the sparkle garland that I love - I got the little disco balls at Impact for $1.00 and strung them to some twine) and I've added another plant. I don't know what it is about plants but they bring so much to a space. Maybe the symbol of life, growth and the accomplishment of watching them grow is what I enjoy. And I think plants are a great way to beat the winter blahs.

There are a few random items up there but I'm really enjoying this look. And the left side needs a little help but it's 95% there.

I had done a fireplace mantel styling post a while back and glanced at my tips that I gave. My photo above meets each of the criteria on my cheat sheet below :)


Enjoy your weekend! 


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Look for Less - Jewelry Display Case

My organization posts have been wildly popular which is so much fun and a different change of pace for me. Thank you for all of your feedback on these!

Because my jewelry organization post was such a hit, I knew I had to share this scoop with you that I discovered the other night.

Remember my display case that I had shared with you the other day?

My exact display case from West Elm isn't available any more but they have a similar item right now and is $49.00. 

When I was checking out Target online the other night I found a display case almost identical to the West Elm display case and for less $$ that I had to share with you.

The Target Threshold version is only $14.99.

Also keep in mind too that if you're interested in a piece like this to keep your eye open at flea markets and thrift stores. I found the cutest small glass case last year at Impact for $1.00.

Happy weekend to all - and thanks so much for reading this week! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

My Favorite Storage Bin

I love to share new products that I see and love - especially those that I actually use in our home.

And since I've been on an organizing kick, I figured I'd keep up with that theme :)

This storage bin from Target is one of my favorites. It's the Room Essentials Y Weave storage bin.


Why do I love it so much?

It's super durable and can be easily wiped clean (hooray - great for kids!). 

It comes in a variety of sizes, which we have a few of scattered throughout the house. We have the large bins (shown above) in the girls rooms for books and also one down in the family room for books. And then I also have a few smaller ones on our main floor for small coloring books. I plan on getting a few other of the extra small size for drawers and art supplies. 

They're very inexpensive. The large size is on sale right now for $10.19.

And it's white which can seamlessly blend into the home (hence why I have so many of these). I also love the classic basketweave pattern too - it's a nice design that I won't tire of any time soon.

Do you have a favorite storage bin that you've been using? I'd love to hear about it.

(I also did a round up of storage containers specifically geared toward children a few years ago. I like going back to old posts like that to see those products some of which are still available too which is nice.)




Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Place for Everything - Jewelry Organization

Thanks so much for your support on my post yesterday about working with a designer. I hope to do more business posts in the near future as I think people are interested in learning more about the design business and I think transparency is key.

Today I'm talking about organization and so far this year the theme in our house has been "a place for everything" - meaning that every item that we see should be put away somewhere, stored, or removed if no longer being used. We live in a very modest house so storage is a huge challenge for us.

Included in our lack of storage is our master bedroom. It's small and one day we hope to do an addition but for now we make it work. We have one very small closet that isn't the most functional, and then we share the top of this dresser below. My side is on the right and Steve has his items on left. Most of my side is dedicated to jewelry and other everyday items.

Prior to this photo below my side of the dresser was a hot mess - I had some receipts, old credit cards, random pieces of jewelry scattered, etc. Believe me when I say it wasn't pretty :)


This past weekend I cleared everything off of the dresser and dusted first (whew!).

Then I got rid of any pieces of paper and anything that didn't need to be on the dresser (this area is designated mainly for jewelry).

I went through all of my jewelry and put any pieces that I don't wear on a regular basis into a small clear storage bin that I can easily access. All of my favorite pieces and pieces that I wear each day are in the large glass storage case that you see on the right. I love that I can see everything in this case. The pieces are in a place but still visible to enjoy. This one is from West Elm and doesn't appear to be available but this glass storage case is similar.

I use the acrylic cube in the back for bangles and larger bracelets. This one was given to me when I toured The Container Store grand opening in King of Prussia a few years ago. I love that you can use it for a variety of things.

The small ceramic bird vessel is used for my stud earrings. I can get at least 10 pairs in there which is exactly what I need. This little bird was given to me by Marianne a few years ago. (Side note: If you haven't seen Marianne's work, I would highly recommend taking a few minutes to glance over her website. She is extremely talented!)

And that little sushi dish is kind of a catch-all that I had gotten up in New York years ago (I've never actually used it for sushi - remember to think of other ways to use things :) I love that it's pretty but can also be used for quick storage.

And there you have it - my simple jewelry storage system that works for me. How do you organize your jewelry? I have a few other projects in mind that I'd like to try but for now this works great. Ideally, I'd love to get my earrings up on some sort of storage system on the wall but for now I'm satisfied with this system.

Would love to hear about your organizing projects that you've worked on so far this year - what has been working for you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

3 Reasons to Work With a Designer

No pretty pictures today just thoughts :)

I'm happy to report that my design business continued to grow in 2015. I met with several new clients and worked on some exciting projects - both big and small. I thought I would share a few thoughts with you and maybe even break this down into a few posts as I reflect on business for me and what I've learned.

Today I'm here to share my top reasons to work with a designer and why it is in your best interest to hire a designer if you've been thinking about it.

Whether you are ready to embark on a major renovation, redesign a space, or need some help picking out finishing touches, choosing to hire a designer can help you in several ways.

We have a large book of resources and contacts available to cater to your space and needs.
Our job is to customize a plan for your particular space and tap into resources to fit your needs. We work hard to build relationships with artists, contractors, carpenters, electricians, etc. We know that your taste might lean more toward traditional, but we also want to use our resources to open you up to new ideas and concepts. It's a great feeling to introduce a pillow or fabric to a client as inspiration and seeing them light up and say "I never would have chosen that but I really like it".  Hiring a designer will help you discover options that you may not have found or thought of on your own.


We love being that extra set of eyes that you need to evaluate your space.
We are trained to think of a room from a technical/space perspective first and foremost, and then move to the fun-okay-let's-start-this-party decorating details. We're going to make recommendations and give you ideas that will help you love your space even more. Our creative minds are filled with ideas to share with you. We can also tell right away if that "neutral" paint color that you chose for your walls is not working - and we will tell you. My job is to be honest and candid and I will always offer suggestions and constructive feedback to improve challenging areas or places where you're stuck.


We will give you choices and assist you in making decisions.
I find one of the most common pieces of feedback that I get from new clients goes something like this "I walked into _____ and I saw a lot of really nice things that I liked, but I got so overwhelmed (and a little scared I would pick the wrong thing) and I just left". I've heard this many times actually and it's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. It makes total sense - the retail world is overwhelming and there are a LOT of products out there that can make you "oooh" and "ahhh". When this happens to you, this is when you need to consider using a designer. A designer will give you a plan or some options. We look at the big picture and narrow down your choices for you - done and done. I love being able to simplify the decision-making process for clients.

I'll be back soon to talk more business and have a few project updates for you.

If you're interested in working together, please visit my services page and contact me with any questions. I've also added a new Testimonials button that I'm continuing to add to with lovely feedback from my clients.

Happy New Year and I hope to blog a little bit more in 2016 by sharing more of my projects.