for the love of texture: 24 decor pieces perfect for fall

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Now that school is fully back in session, my brain is starting to think fall and holidays (eeek) even though it still very much feels like summer in NC (and the heat will likely continue well into October). As a stylist and social media person (ok, influencer..but that still feels strange to say about myself) it’s quite common to start planning ahead for our content and editorial calendars. And I’m excited because fall is and has always been my favorite! I love to snuggle up with a fire going, drink mulled wine, wear layers, bake pies…I sleep better when it’s cooler out and honestly, I’m just a bit happier. (being hot makes me grumpy).

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Getting back to the topic at hand….in the spirit of getting ready for fall (and because all the stores are already there), I thought it would be fun to round up some amazing home decor with a focus on texture because every room needs a bit! Texture adds warmth, richness, softness, balance, character…all things that make your home feel comfortable, lived-in and collected.

So please enjoy some organic, textural fall-inspired goodies below!

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style play: vintage + chic

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pouf (similar) / marble table lamp / buffet (similar) / throw / storage basket (similar) / faux fur rug / circular mirror / basket planter (similar)

One of my (most) favorite things about my job is that I get to test out different styles of home decor in my own home and share them here on the interwebs. It’s a pretty cool little gig I must say and I pinch myself sometimes that it’s my actual job, job!

It’s waay less glamorous (but very fun) than most think, but that’s a topic for another day….

As far as my style goes, I will always be drawn to a collected look with a strong emphasis on mixing things up because good design is all about the mix, no matter what style! Try your grandmother’s Mid-Century credenza with a set of Industrial lamps. A modern sofa with vintage art. A Scandinavian table with a Persian rug. It’s more fun and interesting to not always be matchy-matchy (unless that is your thing…then live your truth, my friend!)

Today I’m teaming up again with my friends at walmart.com to share a style mix that is both timeless, elegant, charming while also being a bit modern. I used a few pieces I already had on hand with a few new pieces from Walmart to style this sweet + simple little vignette in our bonus room.

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I love the quality (think real marble!) and the fact that the pieces I got play nice with the rest of my decor. I found those gorgeous glam marble table lamps and that rad circular mirror and paired them with a Mid-Century modern-inspired buffet that I have had for years (vintage Home Goods..haha). Add some life (of course), throw in some books, some storage and a bit of texture and call it a day!

Simplicity at it’s finest. And marble will always always have my heart.

I’ve put together a little shopping guide to get this vintage + chic look in your own home and it’s all from walmart.com! I love how they are stepping up their decor game and now offer a ton of different brands with competitive pricing, free shipping on orders of $35 or more, free returns and you can shop online and pick up in your local store. The quality is legit and the offerings are awesome so go check em out!

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This post is sponsored by Walmart. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting content that keeps Sunny Circle Studio going!

What life insurance looks like to me

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So...do you really need life insurance?

If you would have asked me that question in my 20’s, I would have said….”maybe”…”I don’t know”… “probably not until I get much older”… which I would venture is pretty typical for single folks. But when I became a parent, I started to feel the real pull of adulthood with all of the responsibilities, financial decisions, worry and anxiety about my loved ones’ well being and their future paths in life. And to be fair I am a special kind of worrier. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 20 and my dad to a heart attack in 2013 and have always struggled with a fear of the worst for me or my family.

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About the time my dad passed (and a year into parenthood), I started to really think about planning for unforeseen circumstances for my family. It’s a dreadful thought, but what if something happened to me or my husband? Obviously, these aren’t really discussions one wants to have but it’s important to be prepared for that unlikely event. In addition to researching things like power of attorney and creating a will, I looked into term life insurance, which I found was a great, affordable way to help protect and care for the people you love if you were no longer around.

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I had heard about Haven Life Insurance Agency from some friends as well as some of my fav bloggers and was curious so I visited Haven Life’s website and right off the bat I was able to get a term life insurance quote. I had recently started my own small business and wanted to better understand my life insurance needs because of the recent change in my financial situation.

For me, a 39-year-old woman, in excellent health, with two kids – a 30-year, $500,000 Haven term life insurance policy issued by MassMutual was estimated to be $44.87 a month, which is very competitive (I checked a few other places including my own banking/car insurance company). Haven Life has modernized the process of buying term life insurance so that it’s digital, simple, dependable and still affordable. And, they are backed and wholly owned by MassMutual, a leading life insurer.

Haven Life’s site is intuitive and the application process was simple, straightforward and, yes, kind of enjoyable. They want to make “life less hard” which is evident in their Trustpilot reviews that rave about their friendly and helpful customer support team. If you’re on the fence because you think of life insurance as something that’s complicated or a hassle, don’t worry. Haven Life’s experience removes those barriers. Also, remember, the younger you are the more affordable coverage will be. If you are curious and need more info, their website covers everything and I found this Cup of Jo Q&A including Haven Life to be very helpful! The interview gives you a more in-depth look at how much life insurance to purchase and when you should get it.

And I hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane with the Wheeler family. ha!

This post is sponsored by Haven Life Insurance Agency. All opinions are my own.

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC 042017 [OK1] and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527.


One vintage dresser, two different styles

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My love of vintage furniture is no secret. Especially the Mid-Century Modern variety. All that warm teak goodness, the clean lines and the beautiful simplicity just makes my little heart flutter. I love a good estate sale, vintage/antique stores and of course thrifting for treasures in person but I had not done much online shopping for vintage, apart from Craigslist and Facebook. Until now. Enter Sotheby’s Home, which is an online consignment marketplace offering timeless pieces and the best selection of vintage and antique furniture, decorative objects, lighting, contemporary art, prints, accessories and more.

I had the chance to team up with them to style this amazing Nils Jonsson highboy dresser in two different ways. Let’s get into it!

Classic + Casual Style

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I wanted this version to feel classic but also fresh and current so I paired the dresser with that amazing ornate vintage portrait and balanced that with clean and modern accessories like the ladder, books, vase and my mid-century inspired table lamp.

Minimal + Scandi Style

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For the second look, I wanted to channel some Scandinavian vibes with lots of white accents and clean lines. The black and white print mixed with the simple round mirror and cascading greens are a nice contrast to the warm wood from the dresser.

I love how versatile the dresser is! I feel like I could style it in a million different ways and by the way – it’s also constructed beautifully and in impeccable shape! They don’t make them like they used to!

Consignment is a stylish way to recycle and consigning furniture lengthens its life and maintains its value over time beyond its first (or even second) owner. Sotheby’s Home believes mixing old with new and re-purposing beautifully crafted pieces gives character and depth to any space. I can totally get behind that movement!

This post is sponsored by Sotheby’s Home. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting content that keeps Sunny Circle Studio going!

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5 ways to add coastal charm to your landlocked bedroom

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Even though I live 2+ hours from the beach and visit a few times per year, I am always trying to channel the coastal vibes at home, regardless of the lack of sand and water in my backyard. It’s such a peaceful and happy place to be and one that I also draw lots of design inspiration from.

And it’s easy to understand why coastal style is so popular – the natural textures, soft blues and greens and casual breezy vibes can help make your space feel like a vacation home. And who doesn’t want that?!

After falling hard over the Drew Barrymore home collection a few months back, I had the chance to team up again with the lovely folks at Walmart to add some coastal charm to my bedroom. Walmart has really stepped up their design game this year so I had no trouble finding beautiful and affordable pieces from their home line.

I thought it might be fun to share my ‘coastal design process’ with a few quick and easy tips. Let’s get into it!

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1 / Incorporate natural textures

Coastal decor would be incomplete without the texture of natural fiber. Whether it’s jute, sea grass, bamboo or rattan, mixing in woven materials connects the indoors with the outdoors and brings a casual and easy breezy feel to the room. 

2 / Play with patterns

For an eclectic and collected look, don’t be afraid to mix things up with your rug, duvet, curtains and soft textiles. The trick is to stick with the patterns in the same color family—blue is an obvious choice for a coastal vibe—and layer geometrics, florals, or stripes of similar weights and tones.

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3 / Choose a calm and cool color palette

To keep your bedroom feeling fuss-free, light, and airy use plenty of white (or a light neutral) on your walls, ceilings and furniture and accent with different shades of blue and grey to break things up a bit and add depth and visual interest.

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4 / Keep it classy with nautical-inspired accessories

Opt for a beautiful piece of statement art, some driftwood on top of a stack of surf-inspired books, sea glass beads or sea grass storage baskets to add that textural charm without going too kitchy.

5 / Let the light in

Natural light is pretty much the best interior accessory you can add! Choose sheer curtains to get that light-filled, airy vibe we all love in coastal homes.

I do very much enjoy coastal design but I also love to mix styles up so I say choose things that you love and make your heart sing!

I rounded up some of my favs, all available from walmart.com!

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This post is sponsored by Walmart. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting content that keeps Sunny Circle Studio going!

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A cozy, collected living room in the heart of Raleigh, NC

One of my favorite things about this job is being able to help people love their homes more. And it doesn’t have to take a long time or be overly complicated or expensive (although it can be a more elaborate process). Take this latest living room I recently got to style. The house is in a gorgeous historic neighborhood in downtown Raleigh just dripping with charm so half of my job was already done! The home owners were hosting an event and reached out to me to help spruce up the living room for the party. It really wasn’t bad but just needed a few layers of style and a good dose of editing.

Here is what the room looked like when we arrived:

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The room was kind of a hodge-podge of sorts. The owners are really cool and interesting people with great taste in art and literature and had tons of quirky treasures from their travels and life in other cities. We kept a bunch of their pieces and added a few new things to create a eclectic mix of styles that cohesively live together.

Let’s take a little tour!

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Gah, I’m a sucker for built-ins! Especially ones like this that have so much charm. We pulled everything off the shelves and started fresh, adding back in the books (we color coordinated them for a more streamlined look), family photos, art and then layered in all of their amazing treasures and added the greens and flowers for a finishing touch. It’s really all about the edit when it comes to shelves as things can get cluttered quick!

pro tip: remove your book covers for a visually cleaner look on surfaces and styled in book shelves

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The biggest impact, style-wise came from that amazing rug! My client wanted more color and as soon as we rolled it out, it was like kismet in that room – the perfect blend of color and pattern that really complimented the space. Rugs are pretty much everything in my design book!

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They already had a ton of vintage pieces (that mirror!!) so we added those modern chairs for a nice balance of old and new. I already had a pair in storage and have loved styling them in my own home as they are so versatile, stylish and affordable!

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Project like these are so much fun! And I love when clients trust me and let me do my thang! Find the things, style the things and then take all the pictures to document the things so I can share them with you guys here!

What do you guys think? My client was thrilled and so happy (which is just THE BEST) and really so was I so it was a win-win!

I rounded up a bunch of the sources below in case ya dig it and want to shop it!

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Roundup: 30 amazing vintage portraits all available on Etsy!

lumbar pillow / coverlet / stripe + tassel pillows / clock / bedding / wallpaper / bed / art from left: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

There has been a real surge in popularity over vintage portraits in the last couple of years and I have most definitely fallen in love with this trend! And honestly, I hesitate to use that word (trend) because it implies a fleeting sense of popularity. I think vintage art in general is classic and automatically gives a room soul and character. And plus you really do get lots of ‘character’ from these paintings since they are all of random people of all ages from various decades in the 20th century. Total conversation starters!

Here are some fantastic examples of others using vintage art:

image via  Gray Benko

image via Gray Benko

image via  Francois et Moi

image via Francois et Moi

image via  sfgirlbybay

image via sfgirlbybay

image via  Emily Henderson

image via Emily Henderson

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I spent a couple of hours scouring Etsy for all of the vintage treasures and I found quite a bit. There is a TON from Ukraine (not sure why) and other places but it’s all vintage and all available to buy now!

Enjoy these 30 options!

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Design Crush: monochromatic rugs

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rug / coffee table / sofa / ladder / pillows from left: 1 | 2 | 3 / bar stools / pendant / floating shelves / art from left: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 / woven pendant

There is something so dreamy and well..delicious about a monochromatic design situation. It’s oh so chic, tonal, relaxed yet sophisticated and calming to the eyes. It also just feels so warm and inviting! Multiple layers and varied textures of one color can add depth and dimension and give the room soul! And don’t we all want that?!

While I am a big fan of the overall monochromatic look, today, I’m talking specifically about rugs. I have found that in my living room, I like to air on the side of a more neutral rug to really ground the space and chill things out. I have tried many rug iterations in years past and the subtle hues and tonal patterns just feel right. Plus I have a good bit going on in here, not to mention this is the room that we spend the most time in so it needs to feel calm.. sorta. I had the chance to team up with Ben Solemani and test out one of their gorgeous rugs in my living room and it made friends very easily!

I chose the Performance Double Diamond Moroccan in the silver/fog colorway and it’s just the dreamiest and softest rug! It looks like an antique Moroccan carpet but is made of hand-knotted high-performance fibers that look and feel like wool but resist stains and moisture. (and no shedding too..yay!)

Ben Solemani had SO MANY beautiful options to choose from that it was hard to narrow it down! Just for fun, I rounded up all of the ones I almost ordered below!

Enjoy that monochromatic goodness!

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This post does contain some affiliate links meaning if you purchase something you've clicked on, I will get a small commission. I only promote the products I truly love!



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A bold + classic + whimsical + coastal + modern powder room

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vanity (similar) / matte black pulls / storage basket / floor tile / wall tile / faucet / hand soap / towel ring / mirror / sconce / art / wallpaper / hand towel

Lots of adjectives flying around today! ha!

So truth be told…I love designing bathrooms and I especially love designing powder rooms! You can make a big impact in a relatively short time period because it’s a small and manageable space. For our particular powder room, we didn’t make any changes to the footprint, but just stripped the dated tile, pedestal sink and old toilet in favor of graphic (& amazing) wallpaper, classic and modern design finishes, lots of matte black and a little bit of whimsy thrown in for good measure.

I had the chance to team up with the lovely folks at Build.com to dream up this happy little powder room and bring it to life! Build.com has a fantastic selection of home improvement products including trending and traditional styles, unique finishes, and new technologies at really competitive prices all in one place!

Before we get into the good stuff, let’s see the before pics:

It’s not that bad but just not my style and I really wanted some storage in the vanity. And also a new toilet that didn’t always need to be plunged…(my kids looooove toilet paper) ..

The space is a tiny little 5’ x 5’ dark square (with no window) so I felt it was my responsibility as a designer to spruce her up a bit and add some style and excitement! ha

So, now let’s get into a few details!

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The Vanity

I knew I wanted to keep all the elements clean and modern so I chose that simple white 24” vanity* with a marble top (I’m always forever your girl when it comes to marble) and paired it with the coolest (and sexiest) matte black faucet you ever did see! I got the chance to tour the head quarters of Delta Faucet last year and see that matte black beauty in person and knew I had to use it for a project! I also swapped out the pulls that came with the vanity for a modern, rectangular and you guessed… matte black option from Emtek to compliment the faucet. Matte black is what’s good!

I love the clean lines and also that extra bit of storage that I was lacking with my old pedestal sink really makes a difference in this small space.

*Unfortunately they seemed to discontinue selling this vanity right after I ordered it :( Build.com has a ton of other options so I found this or this or this that could also work nicely.

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The Tile

In keeping with my theme of modern and classic, I chose a timeless hex marble tile (with white grout) and paired it with a 2 x 8 subway tile in a more modern vertical stack design (grout is Excel whisper grey). I love how it feels old and new at the same time!

The Wallpaper

I have actually loved and admired that wallpaper (and all of the things Farrow & Ball are doing) for many years now and was thrilled to be able to use it in my own home! The paper itself is stunning – so high quality with this amazing subtle texture that gives the room dimension and most importantly, style and character! And I love the playful and somewhat eclectic pattern..some people see waves (me), some see trees, some see cupcakes (my daughter)…what do you see?

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The brass accents

I have mentioned my love of matte black (which is fairly recent) and would be remiss to not mix in some brass (OG love) in the design. Because matte black and brass go together like bacon and eggs! The brass in the gorgeous oversized sconce, the rounded mirror and the frame on the naked lady art add a layer of warmth and soul to this tiny space.

So that about wraps things up! I truly love how it all turned out and I hope you guys do too! I rounded up all the sources below in a handy little graphic in case you are interested!

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This post is sponsored by Build.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting content that keeps Sunny Circle Studio going!

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Design crush: Unison Home

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striped rug / wall paper / console table / mirror / basket / striped bowl / pendant / dining chairs / table lamp / round mirror

Today I want to introduce you to one of my go-to favs for beautiful modern design: Unison. They have a beautifully curated collection of modern and high quality products for the home – things ranging from bedding, amazing case goods, textiles, ceramics and dinnerware. It’s like a modern artisanal home decor lover’s treasure trove!.

To celebrate my love, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favs from their collection styled in my own home and finish it off with a round up of sorts. Plus, there is a little 20% off coupon code at the end of the post in case you wanna do some shopping. :)

Now, let’s get into it!

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chairs / rug / chandelier / tulip table

One of my fav things I own in this world are those chairs! Is that sad? …maybe. They make me feel like I’m sitting in a charming Parisian bistro sipping on a cappuccino with a fresh croissant, reading the paper and enjoying life! ha. But seriously, they are amazing, wonderfully well made and have really held up beautifully against my messy family! I could not recommend enough if you are in the market!

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Their dining category is pretty amazing and chalked full of so much warm and modern style. I love the simple shape and artisanal feel of the Hasami gloss tea pot and their mugs are my fav for morning coffee! Other standouts include these simple + elegant soup bowls, stoneware dinner set and these adorable little glass tumblers.

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Scenes from my holiday table last year…all the warm and cozy!

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Now let’s talk about that bench! The wood tones, the modern lines, the soft close doors and leather pulls…it has it all! And I’ve got my eye on the other pieces in that collection too! It’s all SO GOOD.

Trust me when I say you will want to check them out and if you happen to see something you like (you will) can you use the code SCS20 to get 20% off site wide!
(excludes sale items and gift cards. Cannot be combined with other promotions. Ends 7/31/19)

I’ve also rounded up my favorites from above in addition to some more goodies in a handy lil’ graphic below!

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6 simple tips to add curb appeal

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Today I’m talking about that very important (and at times overlooked) thing called curb appeal. It’s the first impression of your home which can go along way especially if you are selling (we are not, just taking pride in our home). We spent a couple of weekends this spring sprucing up the exterior of our home. Nothing major – just lots of mulch, fresh flowers and shrubs, a lot of power washing, weeding and shit ton of sweat and mosquito bites (no joke..I had 40 on just my legs). And also some simple + modern decor to top things off! Well, because I’m a designer and I have to decorate all the things!

I’ve teamed up with my friends at Home Centric to share 6 simple+easy+maybe slightly obvious (ha) tips to level up your curb appeal. Let’s get into it!

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1 / Clean it up

And power wash that sucker! We are hanging on to very dated and slightly damaged masonite siding that I would love to upgrade (one day), but you would be amazed at what some power washing can do to brighten and freshen! I hired a local company to do it and it was so worth it – like a brand new, freshly-painted house at a fraction of the cost!

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2 / Get pruning & mulching

Trimming back shrubs and over grown trees, pulling weeds and laying mulch (like a ton of it) will transform your yard and take your curb appeal to the next level! It’s relatively cheap but hard work so get ready to sweat!

3 / Dust off the gardening tools and get planting

Plants and flowers add contrast, layers of texture and give off all the welcoming vibes. They can also highlight and accentuate exterior features like a walkway or seating area and frame visual points like windows, porches and entryways. We framed the front of our house with simple boxwoods and azalea bushes because they are easy and hardy! And remember to choose plants and flowers based on how much sun light your home gets as you want to make sure your new friends are happy and healthy!

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4 / Dress up your porch

The front entry is the focal point to your home’s curb appeal and should also reflect the home's interior, so choose pieces that represent your personal style. I like to keep things fairly simple decor-wise on my front porch – nothing too fussy or overdone but still very warm and welcoming. I already had the rockers (similar style) but found that lovely organic coffee table from Home Centric and layered in some softness with a couple of striped throw pillows and a breezy throw (also from Home Centric) for cooler evenings. Simple and easy!

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5 / Don’t forget the details

Upgrading elements like your door hardware, lighting, planters, door bell and house numbers will add lots of style and interest to your home's exterior. These little changes make a huge impact and give off all of the welcoming + happy vibes. And speaking of welcoming, don’t forget to freshen up the mat! I love layering color and pattern on top of texture and those outdoor rugs I found from Home Centric are just the right mix!

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copper planter / rocker (similar) / coffee table / striped pillow

6 / Add window planters for extra charm

This is more or less another detail (see tip #5), but deserves an extra call out! Technically I have deck planters but it’s the same idea and I absolutely love the charm these natural baskets add and we are lucky enough to have a double porch for double the impact! We filled them with sun-loving plants and flowers like petunias, sweet potato vine and creeping jenny. And yes, I do water them regularly but I love them so much that I don’t mind the extra work!

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Now sit back, relax and enjoy the view from all of your hard work!

And in case you forgot, here’s a quick graphical re-cap to save and pin if you are into it!

Happy summer, friends!

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This post is sponsored by Home Centric. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting content that keeps Sunny Circle Studio going!

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A lush and modern summer patio space built for relaxing

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umbrella / steel chairs / coffee table / rug / sofa / wood stump table / pillows / throw / copper planter / string lights / tray / stoneware planter

Turn on the twinkle lights, pour yourself a glass of Rosé and come take a little tour of my refreshed patio space! If you saw the post from last year, not that much has changed from a stylistic perspective. Still the same greys, blues and whites but I made subtle improvements in the form of more modern and durable furniture and more life in the form of plants (like a ton of plants!)

In all honesty, I’d love to start fresh back here one day. Rip down the 30+ year old deck that we painted grey a few years back. Cut down some trees (they are HUGE and produce a ton of mess and debris) and potentially build an entertainer’s dream outdoor space! I’m thinking some really cool tile, a built-in grilling and dining area, plenty of space to relax and of course a pool! That last part ain’t happening as my husband does not want a pool of any kind so maybe i’ll instead put in a stock tank pool and call it a day. haha. the dream continues…

My philosophy has always been to make the best of what you got (and can afford) so I’ll continue to dream about an amazing outdoor space and in the meantime, enjoy the space I currently have!

Let’s dive into the details!

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The space isn’t all that big (about 13’ x 13’) so we’ve always just used it as a seating/grilling area. It’s nothing too fancy, but it suits us! I love love those powder coated steel chairs from Blu Dot that we added! They are super lightweight and comfy, perfectly modern and most importantly will withstand the outdoor elements! There are a ton of old trees in our backyard that love to sprinkle their leaves and sap all over everything! boo

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Just a little cutie, her daddy and some grilling hot dogs…

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Let’s talk outdoor rugs. Are you for ‘em? Against ‘em? Think they are pointless? haha. I’m really torn! I love the warmth and character they add, but it is a major pain in the arse to move them around constantly depending on weather patterns. But I love this one from All Modern, as its super lightweight and easy to clean and fold up. Plus differing shades of blue and textures mixed with stripes will always have my design heart!

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Technically that gorgeous little bebe coffee table from Blu Dot is not ‘outdoor’ but I just loved the simple design so much and knew it would be perfect in the space! It’s petite and extremely well made with a real marble top. I’m here for anything marble, friends! It’s design magic. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to store it out here but it’s just so good that I’ll make a special case for it outside. The bottom is powder coated steel so that counts a bit, right?

My favorite part about the deck/patio/outdoor space is our new modular sofa from Outer! It’s pretty much the coolest, most beautiful, well-made piece of furniture that I own to date! Plus the design is smart and has built-in covers to protect the sofa against those pesky elements! And you know I got em based on this whole blog post! ha.

Here is the sofa with the covers on:

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How cool is that?!

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The one other thing I did differently this year was add lots and lots of plant babies and a bunch of string lights! Gives the space so much life and charm and the combination of all of these little updates makes me very excited to have Rosé and grilled hot dogs out here all summer long! haha (but, seriously)

I hope you enjoyed this little space and if you are curious to any of the sources, I got ya covered below!

Happy summer, ya’ll!

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This post does contain some affiliate links meaning if you purchase something you've clicked on, I will get a small commission. I only promote the products I truly love though!

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My newly refreshed and reorganized pantry!

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glass canisters / mesh drawers / can storage / wire baskets with wood handle / clear storage bins / wire stackable basket

Man, I love organization! It’s the key to family happiness in my book. Well, maybe not the key but in my opinion – it ranks high. When a space is clean and organized, you are damn straight that sparks joy! And I’m not the biggest fan of the process of getting there (I’m extremely impulsive at times and want it to be beautiful right away) but I love the after and the sense of calm and peace I get.

I recently made some changes in our kitchen to make the space more functional, simplified and organized. I’m trying to be more intentional about how I live in my home, while also making minor updates to the aesthetic of it all. Because, style matters! Our pantry was a good place to start - from both a form and function perspective. It was a bit dingy and my previous attempts at organization from a few years back had quickly fallen into shambles because..well…life! Here is the way it looked about 4 weeks ago:

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We didn’t change much structurally – mainly we tore out the shelves that were already there and added tile, an electrical outlet for my baby microwave and white oak shelves. My husband thought it was silly to tile a space that essentially stayed closed off for most of the time, but I love the added detail and surprise you get when you open those doors.

And if you are wondering if I love having the microwave tucked away in the pantry, then the answer is yes! I did worry slightly that it might be inconvenient to downsize and move it farther from the main kitchen area, but so far it’s been really great! I only use the microwave to heat up coffee and the occasional frozen meal so it ended up being the perfect solution! And no issue with smell either! I highly recommend this setup if you have the right space and need for it!

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As always, Buster is sniffing around and in the way while I’m trying to shoot one specific space. lol

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My goal was for the pantry to feel like an extension of the kitchen with timeless finishes and simplicity. (more on my kitchen refresh soon!) In addition to changing the way it looked, I paired down and tossed out old and expired food and corralled all of our staples into their own containers (as much as possible). The goal was to create an accessible and organized system for all the things we use on a regular basis.

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I also wanted the pantry to be organized in a way that I could realistically manage it. When I tackled it back in 2015, I purchased so many glass and plastic containers and put all the things in containers. Many of them went unused or became stale (I never have luck storing cereal in containers…maybe I have the wrong containers…) so I wanted this version to be more livable and accessible. Nothing too fussy or perfect!

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mmmm…Topo Chicos! (the best and fizziest mineral water ever if you have not tried one!)

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That is one clean and sparkly pantry, don’t ya think?! I love the way it turned out and will likely continue to tweak the designs and arrangement to our needs.

Come back later in the week for some organization tips on getting your own pantry to spark joy!

And, if you are curious about sources, I’ve rounded everything up below!

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A big ol' roundup of goodness from Serena & Lily

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If you follow me or know me, you know I heart the beach. Like I could live there (and wish I was there right now) and dream of one day owning a home there (maybe an Airbnb rental…that is probably the only way I could afford it..lol). In this dream scenario, the house would be a calm and peaceful sanctuary complete with ocean views, a pool (of course!) and fully furnished + styled with S+L!

A girl can dream!

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And I love what Serena & Lily stands for… ‘living well begins at home’ and I whole-heartedly agree! I’ve been a loyal customer for years and I come back again and again for their style, quality and timelessness even before I started this styling and blogging adventure!

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Until the day comes that I’m ready to make my beach house dreaming a reality, I have loved incorporating their beautiful and timeless pieces in my own suburban home (and client’s homes!) to channel those above mentioned beach-y vibes! Things like lighting, bedding, pillows, wallpaper and all of the rattan I can handle and recently beach towels! Like the softest, thickest and most luxurious beach towels that are making my bathroom feel like a coastal vacation, all in land-locked Raleigh, NC!

I love it all (I really do) but I narrowed it down to 18 of my favorites below.

Happy shopping, friends!

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This post is sponsored by Serena & Lily. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting content that keeps Sunny Circle Studio going!

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15 pieces of caned furniture that will make your heart sing

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If you love love love caned furniture, this post is for you! I’m pretty much obsessed! Like I want to buy all of it and just hoard it! It’s timeless, casual, light, airy and so very very charming and I’m pumped that I keep seeing more and more of it pop up!

credenza | frame tv | planter | floor mirror

For a quick history lesson: Caned furniture has been around for a long time (like centuries) but it became especially popular thanks to Thonet. His No. 14 chair from 1859 revolutionized the furniture industry by creating a light and airy design that was both inexpensive to produce and transport. It’s been well-loved ever since!

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counter stools | round table | rug | vase | caned chairs | chandelier

Enough of my amateur-hour history less and on to some modern and amazing caned furniture! I rounded up a mix of price points and styles from various online retailers and styles all with that beautiful caned goodness!

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This post does contain some affiliate links meaning if you purchase something you've clicked on,  I will get a small commission. I only promote the products I truly love though!

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Styling with the new (and very good) Flower Home collection from Drew Barrymore

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So truth be told that I am a huge Drew Barrymore fan since the E.T. days and I feel like we could be friends IRL… haha…I wish. In addition to all of her amazing films, she has always had this warm personality and effortless style that I have always admired. And it makes total sense that she would also be a great designer! Now this is not a post about my love and affection for Drew, but rather a post about her new amazing Flower Home line available at Walmart! Yes, I said Walmart!

I had the chance to test out a few of my favorite pieces from the new collection and it’s very, very good. And affordable! And well made! All the good things! So with my seal of written approval, let’s walk through some of the decor items I purchased and (very easily) integrated into my home.

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I think the star of the collection is the art and all the color! And artwork can be tricky but I have found it’s one of the best ways to add style and personality to a room and that hilarious Human Dog print takes the cake! Talk about personality! And it’s big and already framed! I also debated on the Spotted Love Dog print as well and kinda think I might still get it! I love the sweet quirkiness!

I really love velvet but don’t have enough of it in my life so I decided to grab that gorgeous ceramic table lamp with the velvet shade. It’s soo pretty and I love that delicious velvety pink against the white walls in our bedroom!

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I love adding pops of pink (clearly) and that English Rose Abstract Wall Art had my name all over it! I literally hung it all over my house trying to find the right spot and it worked everywhere! I just love it!

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Moving into my office, let’s discuss that amazing (and very very study) Wood Leaner Mirror! It’s beautiful and well-made and just classically beautiful. I’m actually always looking for good floor mirrors and this one was the perfect mix of clean + simple style and affordability! Honestly, I would have thought the price point ($198) would have been much more for the quality!

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The final piece I purchased was the lovely little Vintage Palm Decorative Vase. I love all the color and details and it has that artisan hand-made vibe going on which I am VERY INTO!

All in all, the collection is very very good! It’s warm, sweet and high quality (just like I imagine Drew to be!) Since I couldn’t get everything (lol), I rounded up some of my fav pieces from the collection that are all available to purchase from Walmart!

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Head on over walmart.com and shop the whole Flower Home Collection – it’s all very lovely, well-made and best of all affordable! And there’s free shipping on orders over $35!

This post is sponsored by Walmart. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting content that keeps Sunny Circle Studio going!

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5 tips and tricks to style open shelving

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sconce / mortar & pestle (similar) / copper colander (similar) / cereal bowls / soup plates / turkish towel / cabinet knobs / toaster / framed art / tall tumblers / salt & pepper grinders / shelf brackets

Ah, open kitchen shelving…dreamy, right? (I think so). Open shelving can make a kitchen feel bigger, more open and add a layer of style and personality that upper cabinets just can’t do (don’t get me wrong..I also love beautiful cabinets too). We just finished installing ours and it was the biggest hurdle convincing my husband that they could be practical, functional and also beautiful. That’s the magic unicorn right there! To be fair, it’s kinda intimidating displaying all of your kitchen stuff loud and proud (especially because we all have ugly crap in those cabinets…looking at you, old tupperware containers….) and there is also the issue of dust and grime (these are all things I considered). Ultimately though, it is possible to achieve beautiful open shelf design without sacrificing storage and I’m so glad I made the switch in our kitchen!

I teamed up with the lovely folks at Home Centric to bring you 5 tips to create shelves that looked pulled together and stylish, yet also practical and usable:

1 / Organize & style with functionality in mind

Yes, open shelves are a design statement but they should also be functional (at least in my kitchen). Everyday essentials like plates, bowls and cups should be at arm’s reach, while the more decorative pretty items (and less used) can be placed on the top shelves.

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2 / Balance is key

Just like anything decor-related in your home, balance is vital to achieving good design. You don’t want your shelves to feel too cluttered and heavy, so make sure you keep your color palette consistent and group things together (usually in sets of 3) so your eye gets a chance to rest and relax. I love how those copper colanders take up a good amount of real estate without being too busy. And don’t forget to vary the scale of your objects for visual impact!

3 / Mix it up

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again..lol) – good design is all about the mix! Don’t be afraid to mix metals and bring in natural wood tones for an effortless and collected look.

4 / Layer in accent pieces

Once you have your everyday items in place, use the rest of the shelf space to add a bit of style and personality. Try leaning a beautiful piece of art or adding a few cookbooks to the mix. And you can never go wrong including some life onto your shelves in the form of flowers or a pretty plant with lots of movement.

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5 / Play with color + neutrals

Open shelving setups are usually at their best when grounded in soothing neutrals like warm whites, natural woods and subtle textures. I found that teak mortar & pestle at Home Centric and I love the organic shape and texture it brings to the mix. But don’t forget the color! Try adding pops of color from decor accents or even fruit in a pretty bowl! This will help to create balance and make the neutrals stand out a bit!

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sconce / mortar & pestle (similar) / copper colander / cereal bowls / soup plates / turkish towel / cabinet knobs / toaster / framed art / tall tumblers / salt & pepper grinders / marble style bowl / shelf brackets

So that about wraps it up for today. Nothing ground breaking here, but I hope you found my tips helpful especially if you are stumped with how to style your shelves. Just remember to keep it simple above all else and have fun with it!

In case you need a handy little graphic guide, I got ya covered below!

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This post is sponsored by Home Centric. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting content that keeps Sunny Circle Studio going!

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Mother's Day Gift Guide 2019

Mother’s Day is exactly 1 week away so call this a last minute gift guide in case you are looking for cool and design friendly gifts for the mama’s in your life! These are all things I either own, want to own or am buying for others and just make really nice and thoughtful gifts. I rounded up 16 lovely little items and highly stand behind them as excellent gifts. Or, treat yourself!

1 / That crossbody bag is just about everything and officially the cutest!

2 / I have this coconut milk bath and use it regularly when I soak in the tub. It smells good enough to eat!

3 / The happiest little floral still life.

4 / A wonderful book celebrating incredibly talented women.

5 / Love these delicate floral earrings

6 / This hat would be excellent for a day at the beach!

7 / I’m always a sucker for polka dots and love this silk bandana

8 / I’m a huge Glossier fan and this soothing body cream has the most heavenly scent!

9 / I just bought this lovely dried floral wreath for my front door. Love the colors!

10 / Cute brass key fob!

11 / Love the message on this tote bag

12 / Forever in love with pom pom throws

13 / I have several plant babies from The Sill and this Monstera planter combo is my favorite!

14 / Cute ‘mama’ themed brass script ring

15 / I have been eyeing this modern vase for a while now. Love the shape!

16 / I can never have enough marble inspired items in my kitchen. Love these mixing bowls.

This post does contain some affiliate links meaning if you purchase something you've clicked on, I will get a small commission. I only promote the products I truly love!

9 large & affordable vintage rugs

Rug (similar) / Bar Cart / Dining Chairs / Round Mirror / Planter / Table Lamps / Curtain Panels

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is where is the rug from?? And it’s usually in reference to the vintage (or vintage inspired) ones. They are trendy and yet traditional and more importantly, timeless in the most spectacular ways! They tell a story and and give a room ‘soul’. I’m slowly amassing a collection and I ain’t one bit mad about it!

There is one tricky thing about them though, and it’s their sticker shock. They are an investment! Especially the larger ones which can carry a price tag into the thousands. And I totally understand the fluctuation of prices is dependent on a lot of factors like color, size, age and wear. Typically the newer the rug (says from the 1960’s or 70’s) the cheaper.

You can find a mix of prices if you look hard enough though and it just so happens that I have been on the hunt! I specifically searched (mostly on Etsy) for larger vintage rugs that were around $500 and I found a couple of great options!

So to keep brevity in mind (because who reads?? lol) I have rounded up 9 options for vintage rugs on the larger and more affordable side.

E N J O Y !

hover over each image to get the link:

This post does contain some affiliate links meaning if you purchase something you've clicked on, I will get a small commission. I only promote the products I truly love!

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A happy and very comfortable outdoor oasis in the heart of Nola

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Well guys, I’m back in New Orleans! Well, technically I was last month but today I’m excited to share this very fun outdoor space I designed for my favorite New Orleans people, Nola Happy Home. In case you were wondering..it’s their backyard.

We partnered with the lovely folks at Article to transform their deck and backyard into a place you can relax, sip morning coffee, hang out with friends and just enjoy the beauty that is New Orleans! If you aren’t familiar with Article – they make and deliver beautifully designed furniture with an emphasis on quality and attention to detail at fair prices.

Before we get into the details, let’s take a quick look at the space before:

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It was a blank canvas with good bones, but just needed some layers of design goodness to match the interior of the home. Plus, New Orleans is lovely in the spring and my clients wanted to have an outdoor space for their enjoyment as well as that of their Airbnb guests. Makes sense to me!

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We wanted the space to feel modern and lux, but also relaxed and easy because you are in New Orleans baby! We started with those glorious Aeri wicker lounge chairs as they are the perfect marriage between modern and boho. Also, they are very, very comfy! My client and I enjoyed many cups of coffee and glasses of wine curled up in them in the mornings and the evenings.

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We paired the chairs with that incredible Urba Sectional which is so well made and beautiful. I love the texture on the arm mixed with the warm tone in the wood legs. This sectional is serving me a perfect mix of styles! None of the piece we chose necessarily match, but they coordinate and are happy together, which is my ultimate goal when designing spaces.

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We added the amazing (and very sturdy) Tana Stool for an additional place to put your beverage. I love the shape and the tones in the wood are stunning! Rounding out the pack is that clean and simple Nebu Coffee Table for a sleek modern pop. It’s low profile and easy to move for cleaning purposes (or re-arranging purposes) which was another bonus!

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The backyard was small and covered in a lot of wood from the deck so we wanted to bring in some greens and flowers to give the space some charm and tropical atmosphere. New Orleans is very lush and green and we wanted to tap into that!

And speaking of atmosphere, we draped cafe lights and outdoor sails over top of the lounge area to give a bit of shade as well as charm and style. Remember…lots of layers!

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It’s just a space you want to be in (and drink in)! I feel like the pictures speak louder than my words so I hope you enjoyed a couple of extra angles in lieu of lots of explanations!

As always, I’ve rounded up the sources below to get the look!

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