House & Home

The Perfect Rug For Summer

Arrow-Black-Lifestyle-dhurrie_1800x.jpg

After a long winter, summer is the time to lighten up on the layers and freshen up your home! When it comes to home decor, that means storing away heavier wool and knotted rugs in order to make way for lighter, more breathable fabrics. As stated on My Domaine, lightweight rugs are “a great way to maintain an inviting atmosphere in your home during the summer months when warm temperatures make the thought of stepping on plush wool unbearable.”

That’s where Dhurrie comes in: the hand-woven rugs by Avocado Decor are 100% cotton and the perfect lightweight rug for summer; Yet they're versatile enough that they work in colder months too, if you don’t want to switch your rugs out when the temperature drops. Best of all, they’re machine washable, so they’re a breeze to clean in those busy summer months when your home is getting a lot of foot traffic.

Amanda’s House Of Elegance has tons of beautiful, warm-weather friendly Dhurrie rug options. Read on to see some of our favourites below…

Dhurrie Arrow Blue (Available Sizes: 2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 2x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Arrow Blue (Available Sizes: 2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 2x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Bev Dusty Pink (Available Sizes: 2x3, 2x8, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Bev Dusty Pink (Available Sizes: 2x3, 2x8, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Bev Sailor Blue (Available Sizes: 2x3, 2x8, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Bev Sailor Blue (Available Sizes: 2x3, 2x8, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Fusion Ice Blue (Available Sizes: 2x3, 7x9, 4x6, 2x8, 3x5, 5x8), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($27.95 – $189.95)

Dhurrie Fusion Ice Blue (Available Sizes: 2x3, 7x9, 4x6, 2x8, 3x5, 5x8), Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($27.95 – $189.95)

Dhurrie Bliss Blue 7x9, Amanda’s House Of Elegance    (Special Order Only)   ($286.95)

Dhurrie Bliss Blue 7x9, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only) ($286.95)

Dhurrie Geo Aqua (Available Sizes: 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($68.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Geo Aqua (Available Sizes: 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($68.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Geo Black (Available Sizes: 2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Geo Black (Available Sizes: 2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Lozenge Blue (Available Sizes: 2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only)   ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Lozenge Blue (Available Sizes: 2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only) ($27.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Lozenge Grey (Available Sizes: 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($110.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Lozenge Grey (Available Sizes: 4x6, 5x8, 7x9), Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($110.95 – $286.95)

Dhurrie Saddle Stitch Ivory (Available Sizes: 2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only)   ($27.95 – $189.95)

Dhurrie Saddle Stitch Ivory (Available Sizes: 2x3, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8), Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only) ($27.95 – $189.95)

Trend Alert: 4 Ways To Decorate With Macrame

Image via  The Glitter Guide

As stated on Country Living, “macramé may be best known for its bohemian run in the '60s and '70s, but the textile art form of knotting and hitching is believed to have originated in the 13th century and was all the rage in the Victorian era.”

The fringe trend, originally popular among hippy and grunge folk is now making a major comeback. You will find macrame dominating social media—especially Pinterest—in the form of macrame plant hangers, macrame wall hangings, macrame pillows, and more. Macrame’s “hippy” origins cause a polarizing split in opinions within the interior decorating community—you either love it or hate it—but we believe that there are ways to incorporate the fringe trend into your decor in small doses; So you can add a bohemian touch to your home decor no matter what your style (more on that below!)

With all the buzz surrounding macrame, you may feel inclined to find yourself some DIY macrame tutorials. But for those of you who would rather save on supplies (and time!) and/or those who are not natural DIY-ers, there are still plenty of beautiful, pre-made macrame products that you can use to decorate your home ASAP (no crafting required!) See below for a list of some of the macrame offerings here at Amanda’s House Of Elegance, and learn how you can incorporate them into your home decor…

Image via  Matchbook Mag

Image via Matchbook Mag

4 Macrame Decorating Ideas

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1. Macrame Hanging Planters

Love it or hate it, macrame hanging planters are a classic example of 70’s decorating. These versatile planters can be hung in windows or in corners to add a little greenery to your space with a bohemian touch.

Bonus: Many interior decorators have begun opting for faux plants in their interior designs—so feel free to decorate your hanging planters sans commitment with a faux plant option! You can find tons of faux, bontaically correct plants here at Amanda’s House Of Elegance (see below for suggestions!)

43” Macrame Plant Hanger by Canfloyd, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($47.95)

43” Macrame Plant Hanger by Canfloyd, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($47.95)

Macrame Hanging Planter w/ Beads in Natural, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($22.95)

Macrame Hanging Planter w/ Beads in Natural, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($22.95)

Macrame Hanging Planter w/ Beads in Grey, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($22.95)

Macrame Hanging Planter w/ Beads in Grey, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($22.95)

Macrame Hanging Planter w/ Beads in Black, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($22.95)

Macrame Hanging Planter w/ Beads in Black, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($22.95)

13” Potted Lavender, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($21.95)

13” Potted Lavender, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($21.95)

5” Ceramic Vase in Blush, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($16.95)

5” Ceramic Vase in Blush, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($16.95)

5” Ceramic Vase in Brown, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($16.95)

5” Ceramic Vase in Brown, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($16.95)

Beaded Hanging Macrame w/ Planter (Blue), Amanda’s House Of Elegance,  ($20.95)

Beaded Hanging Macrame w/ Planter (Blue), Amanda’s House Of Elegance, ($20.95)

Beaded Hanging Macrame w/ Planter (Green), Amanda’s House Of Elegance,  ($20.95)

Beaded Hanging Macrame w/ Planter (Green), Amanda’s House Of Elegance, ($20.95)

Assorted Herb Picks, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($9.95/ea)

Assorted Herb Picks, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($9.95/ea)

Wisteria Mini Vine, Amand’s House Of Elegance  ($20.95)

Wisteria Mini Vine, Amand’s House Of Elegance ($20.95)

Fern Pick, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($9.95)

Fern Pick, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($9.95)

Eucalyptus Plant, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($9.95)

Eucalyptus Plant, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($9.95)

Senecio Pick, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($8.95)

Senecio Pick, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($8.95)

Lavender Bundle, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($12.95)

Lavender Bundle, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($12.95)

Image via  Domino

Image via Domino

2. Macrame Wall Hangings

Macrame wall hangings are a great way to dip your toes in the macrame trend while staying true to your own personal style, since there are lots of design variations to choose from; Some are all macrame, while others mix in metal elements and geometric shapes for a more modern look.

Macrame Wall Decor w/ Ball, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($25.95)

Macrame Wall Decor w/ Ball, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($25.95)

Macrame Wall Decor in Black and Beige, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($45.95)

Macrame Wall Decor in Black and Beige, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($45.95)

Cotton Macrame Wall Hanging in Natural, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only)   ($50.95)

Cotton Macrame Wall Hanging in Natural, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only) ($50.95)

Wool Macrame Wall Hanging in Natural, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only)   ($86.95)

Wool Macrame Wall Hanging in Natural, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only) ($86.95)

Wool Macrame Wall Hanging in Grey, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only)   ($86.95)

Wool Macrame Wall Hanging in Grey, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only) ($86.95)

Macrame Dreamcatcher, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($63.95)

Macrame Dreamcatcher, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($63.95)

Image via  Kembali Home

Image via Kembali Home

3. Macrame Pillows

Macrame throw pillows are another great way to test the fringe trend in your home without committing to a macrame hanging planter. They add a carefree, bohemian vibe to any bed styling.

Moreover, natural (read: cream/off-white) macrame pillows are a great decorating option for minimalists: For those of who stick to decorating in monochromatic, light tones (think black and white and shades of grey) in their home, the texture of macrame adds depth and warmth to a space to help avoid it looking too flat or cold.

See below for some macrame-inspired pillow picks…

17x17 Macrame Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)   ($55.95 each)

17x17 Macrame Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2) ($55.95 each)

24x24 Fringe/Bubble Beige Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)   ($88.95 each)

24x24 Fringe/Bubble Beige Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2) ($88.95 each)

18x18 Cream/Natural Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)   ($57.95 each)

18x18 Cream/Natural Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2) ($57.95 each)

17x17 Black/Natural Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)   ($46.95 each)

17x17 Black/Natural Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2) ($46.95 each)

26x26 Gold Knot Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($80.95)

26x26 Gold Knot Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($80.95)

20x20 Soft Lines Natural Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($50.95)

20x20 Soft Lines Natural Pillow, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($50.95)

4. Macrame Candle Holders

Macrame candle holders are a subtle way to inject a bohemian vibe into your table styling—especially for your summer entertaining! Alternatively, you can use these in an interior vignette to add a natural element to your existing home decor.

Glass Hurricane with Natural Macrame Cover, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($28.95)

Glass Hurricane with Natural Macrame Cover, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($28.95)

Recap

Bottom line: Macrame is back and better than ever thanks to innovative artisans and designers who are marrying the old and the new, using time-honoured techniques in inventive ways. So if you haven’t jumped onto the modern-day macrame train, now is the time! Come into Amanda’s House Of Elegance today and find the perfect macrame piece to compliment your decor!

How To Host A Stylish Summer Party

Image via  Camille Styles

Image via Camille Styles

There really is nothing better than an al fresco dinner party, and we at Amanda’s House of Elegance are thankful that warmer weather has finally graced us. In the spirit of the summer entertaining season, we have complied a list of tips for hosting a stylish summer party from the cocktails, to the meals, right down to the decor (of course!)

Read on to find out how you can effortlessly host a summer soiree that is as equally stylish as it is entertaining!

Summer Entertaining: Rules To Live By

  1. Keep It Relaxed: Stay true to the carefree spirit of summer and keep your parties intimate and relaxed, rather than over-the-top spectacles.

  2. Let People Sit Where They Want To: In keeping with the above point, assigned seating is the antithesis of relaxed and casual dining. Ensure a welcoming, laidback vibe by allowing your guests to sit wherever they please.

  3. Don’t Be Afraid Of Eclectic Decor: We’re not saying to throw your personal decor style out the window, but don’t be afraid to incorporate a bold, summer colour palette or eclectic accents into your summer entertaining, which are on-point for the season. We especially love Bohemian-style pieces (think Moroccan lanterns) and tropical-inspired accents. Tip: Make sure your colour story is cohesive across all of your outdoor decor.

  4. Serve Seasonal Food: Think homemade dishes that you can serve “family style” with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Try one of these 30 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes from Country Living (check out Cookie and Kate for summer recipes if you will be having any vegetarians at your table!) Tip: Stick to one “theme” or style of cuisine for your menu to elevate your gathering.

  5. Remember these 3 Words: Streamlined, Stocked, Self-Serve: As stated on Martha Stewart, “The ideal drinks setup is streamlined, well stocked, and self-serve. Case in point: A batch of freshly squeezed lemonade* will please practically everyone. Ice it down in a four-gallon stainless-steel dispenser and no one will get stuck manning the bar. Kids can help themselves; adults can punch theirs up with vodka and citrus and herb garnishes, which double as decor.” Tip: Don't forget to update your cooler: “an oversize resin Champagne bucket has all the appeal of a galvanized steel one” as said on Martha Stewart, but it will look much more chic!

    *Editor’s Note: …or any fresh juice!

Image via  Camille Styles

Image via Camille Styles

Metal Flamingo, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($67.95)

Metal Flamingo, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($67.95)

Distressed Metal Wall Flowers, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($25.95 Each)

Distressed Metal Wall Flowers, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($25.95 Each)

Tips For Hosting A Stylish Summer Party

Make A Statement With Your Table Decor

Summer entertaining al fresco calls for durable serveware and linens, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style. Look for ceramic plates and flatware, hefty (read: unbreakable) glassware, and colourful tablecloths and napkins that are easy to clean.

Want an simple outdoor table decor hack? Summertime offers such a colourful bounty of stone fruit, garden vegetables, and berries; So let the menu double as décor: show off fruits and veggies in beautiful serveware pieces — think tiered stands and hand-crafted bowls — to make your food display-worthy. Guests will love the edible centerpiece!

For bonus style points: Echo the natural surroundings with organic-shaped decor, wooden accents, floral prints, and statement-making centerpieces. Our picks for centrepieces that won’t wilt in the heat are palm leaves and dessert blooms like succulents and cacti. But don’t think you are limited to real plants when it comes to decorating! Many interior decorators have begun opting for faux plants in both their interior and exterior designs — so you can enjoy tropical botanicals in your dining decor sans commitment with a faux option! You can find tons of faux, bontaically correct plants here at Amanda’s House Of Elegance.

Tip: Serving trays are your best friend when it comes to outdoor entertaining. You can fit a serving tray with tasty hors d'oeuvre (or even bubbling flutes for toasts) and disperse them amongst your guests. Alternatively, you can corral pretty drinkware or other serveware in trays (which double as decor).

13x19 Placemat by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - With Purchase of (1) Pair of Matching Pillows, Below)    ($22.95 - Set of 2)

13x19 Placemat by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - With Purchase of (1) Pair of Matching Pillows, Below)
($22.95 - Set of 2)

13x19 Placemat by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - With Purchase of any (1) Pair of Matching Pillows, Below)    ($22.95 - Set of 2)

13x19 Placemat by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - With Purchase of any (1) Pair of Matching Pillows, Below)
($22.95 - Set of 2)

13x19 Placemat by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - With Purchase of any (1) Pair of Matching Pillows, Below)    ($22.95 - Set of 2)

13x19 Placemat by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - With Purchase of any (1) Pair of Matching Pillows, Below)
($22.95 - Set of 2)

White Leaf Plate (14x20) by S&C, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($30.95)

White Leaf Plate (14x20) by S&C, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($30.95)

White Leaf Plate (6x15) by S&C, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($30.95)

White Leaf Plate (6x15) by S&C, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($30.95)

Capiz Shell Tray, Set Of 4 (Food Safe for Nuts, Candies) by S&C, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($20.95)

Capiz Shell Tray, Set Of 4 (Food Safe for Nuts, Candies) by S&C, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($20.95)

Split Leaf Philodendron Stem, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($8.95)

Split Leaf Philodendron Stem, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($8.95)

Potted Cacti Garden, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($56.95)

Potted Cacti Garden, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($56.95)

Lavender Bundle, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($21.95)

Lavender Bundle, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($21.95)

5” Brass Plated Metal Planter, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($20.95)

5” Brass Plated Metal Planter, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($20.95)

Seating Is Key

Dinner outdoors can and should be just as accommodating and comfortable as one you’d host indoors. Opt for comfy outdoor dining chairs with cushioned seating whenever possible (make sure they’re clean and presentable!); Or if your aesthetic is more rustic than there is nothing wrong with classic wooden chairs or even metal dining chairs if industrial chic is more your style. Whatever your aesthetic, outdoor-friendly throw cushions go a long way to make your dining seating both inviting and comfortable (ditto for outdoor benches). Moreover, throw cushions are a great way to add character and depth to your outdoor decor, so feel free to play around with texture and colour.

Tip: Use throw cushions as an opportunity to establish continuity in your decorating scheme by carrying over the colour palette from your dining table through the rest of your outdoor space. For optimal effect don’t be too matchy-matchy and try pattern mixing for a laidback, Bohemian vibe (just make sure to stick to the same colour palette and create contrast by pairing large-scale patterns with smaller-scale patterns to avoid visual busy-ness!)

20x20* Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)    ($44.95 each)   *Also available in 14x20 and 11x20

20x20* Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)
($44.95 each)
*Also available in 14x20 and 11x20

20x6.5 Bolster Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)    ($42.95 each)

20x6.5 Bolster Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)
($42.95 each)

14x20* Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)    ($33.95 each)    *Also available in 20x20

14x20* Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)
($33.95 each)
*Also available in 20x20

20x20 Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)    ($46.95 each)

20x20 Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)
($46.95 each)

11x20 Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)    ($29.95 each)

11x20 Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)
($29.95 each)

20x20* Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)    ($44.95 each)   *Also available in 14x20, 11x20 and 20x6.5 bolster

20x20* Outdoor Pillow by Ninety-Five & Co, Amanda’s House Of Elegance (Special Order Only - Minimum Qty 2)
($44.95 each)
*Also available in 14x20, 11x20 and 20x6.5 bolster

Use Lighting To Set The Mood

When it comes to outdoor entertaining in the summer, it goes without saying that when the sun goes down lighting is king in setting the tone of your gathering and your decor. Not to mention you will need ample lighting for safety reasons (nobody wants a twisted ankle!) so don’t forget to generously factor in well-placed lights into your decorating scheme.

  • Lanterns do double-duty as stylish tabletop lighting and can also illuminate any path that needs brightening (we strongly recomend using LED candles for lanterns!)

  • Don’t forget a backyard classic: hang string lights between trees for extra coziness (we recommend using battery-powered, outdoor-safe bistro string lights for illumination sans outlet).

  • Of course, you can use candles or even torches to create a warm and inviting environment for your guests (just keep a close eye on them!)

Cobi Style Fabric Lantern in Pink, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($34.95)

Cobi Style Fabric Lantern in Pink, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($34.95)

Stainless Steel & Glass Lantern with Wood Handle by S&C, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($178.95)

Stainless Steel & Glass Lantern with Wood Handle by S&C, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($178.95)

Lantern in Mint, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($13.95)

Lantern in Mint, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($13.95)

Metallic Lantern with Jute, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($22.95)

Metallic Lantern with Jute, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($22.95)

Glass Hurricane with Natural Macrame Cover, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($28.95)

Glass Hurricane with Natural Macrame Cover, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($28.95)

Seeded Cream Colour Glass Hurricane, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($74.95)

Seeded Cream Colour Glass Hurricane, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($74.95)

Start With A Signature Cocktail

As Amanda S. Gluck behind Fashionable Hostess says, “the party starts with ‘a signature cocktail or wine that complements the meal. Whether its a light white wine to compliment the fish or something bubbly to welcome and toast guests, I like to have something special selected for the gathering.’ She says that whether your drink of choice is wine, whiskey, or a punchy sangria, there are two hostess must-haves for any home bar: pro-level tools and a set of gorgeous glassware.”

Tip: Hydration is so important, particularly on warm summer days and when drinking alcohol. Always make sure that there is plenty of fresh water available for your guests! You can spruce up your basic H20 by adding sprigs of rosemary, orange slices, or cucumber slivers.

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Ward Off Pests

Remember to cover food with mesh domes to keep bugs away. There are also tons of devices out there that are designed to keep the pests at bay — try running an electric fan or using this surprisingly stylish “anti-fly sphere” by Delao (below).

Photo: Kate Mathis

Photo: Kate Mathis

Don’t Forget The Tunes

Connect a few Bluetooth speakers via wifi, and voilà! Anyone with a smartphone can DJ. Queue up a few songs, or use a handy app like Spotify to find the perfect playlist to fit your summer soiree.

Recap

The key thing to remember when hosting a summer party is to keep it laid back! Have fun with it, and experiment with your decor in bold ways that summer calls for.

A thoughtfully selected menu, great drinks, and good friends are all you need! For the rest, come visit Amanda’s House Of Elegance today and find the perfect decorations for your summer soiree.

Faux Plant Life

Image via  West Elm

Image via West Elm

Why You Should Decorate With Synthetic Botanicals

In the interior decorating world we are seeing faux plants embraced more and more by interior decorators and consumers alike. Gone are the days when synthetic plants were considered tacky; Today thanks to high quality materials and design, we are now blessed with “botanically correct” plant dupes that look just like the real thing — and may be even more beautiful than their live counterparts!

Read on to learn why artificial plants are making a comeback, and how to incorporate them into your own interior decor to make your space more beautiful with less work (win-win!)

Botanically Correct = Realistic Appearance

Put simply, “botanically correct” plants are faux botanicals that have been designed, shaped, and painted to replicate the real thing so they are almost indistinguishable from the plants they are imitating. These lifelike artificial plants will blend seamlessly with your live plants and we promise you and your guests won’t be able to tell the difference!

Tip: Make sure to tease out the stems or branches to give the plant “life” and movement for optimum effect.

Low Maintenance

Faux plants will keep their shape and beauty forever with minimal effort on your part, so you can enjoy the beauty of nature in your home with zero commitment. To state the obvious, synthetic plants need substantially less care than real plants — no sunlight, watering, or pruning required. You also don’t have to worry about insect or pest attacks that will spoil the perfection and growth of your plant.

Tip: Remember to dust your faux plants to keep them in tip-top condition.

No Seasonal Changes

As mentioned above, we love artificial plants for their eternal beauty. Unlike real plants, faux plants don’t grow or change their appearance over time. Real botanicals go through seasonal changes where they shed flowers and leaves, which is not favourable when it comes to maintaining your desired look for your interior decor. This is a non-issue with faux plants! They will always stay as beautiful as the day you got them.

Image via  CB2

Image via CB2

More Durable

No disrespect to Mother Nature, but the synthetic materials used in making faux plants are high-quality and durable enough to outlast any real plant! So you can enjoy them for years to come without fear of withering, root-rot, or pest damage.

Cheaper To Maintain

Although faux botanicals may be more of an investment upfront, they are far less costly in the long run. We’re sure many of you are familiar with the trials and tribulations of keeping an expensive, exotic plant alive when you are cursed with a brown thumb. Synthetic materials look good and cost less to take care of because they don’t require any kind of plant food or pesticides. Artificial plants are guaranteed low-maintenance and won’t die and bring you heartbreak — no green thumb required.

Easy To Decorate With

Since faux plants don’t rely on natural factors to live you can move them anywhere in your home regardless of sunlight, and repot them whenever you please. This gives you creative freedom in your decorating since you can move them from room to room to change up the look of your space on a whim without fear of killing your precious plant.

Where To Buy Faux Plants

With the growing popularity of faux botanicals, decor stores have risen to the occasion and now offer tons of beautiful and realistic artificial options.

Here at Amanda’s House Of Elegance, we have an impressive collection of faux plants and florals to get you started — from the famous fiddle leaf fig, to cacti and succulents, to palm leaves and aloe plants. See below to find your favourite and come visit Amanda’s House Of Elegance to take one home today!

6'2” Fiddle Leaf Tree, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($299.95)

6'2” Fiddle Leaf Tree, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($299.95)

5’ Fiddle Leaf Tree, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($179.95)

5’ Fiddle Leaf Tree, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($179.95)

4'2" Fig Tree, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($138.95)

4'2" Fig Tree, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($138.95)

4' New Baby Schefflera, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($66.95)

4' New Baby Schefflera, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($66.95)

36” Grass Gladious w/Pot, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($114.95)

36” Grass Gladious w/Pot, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($114.95)

Split Leaf Philodendron Stem, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($8.95)

Split Leaf Philodendron Stem, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($8.95)

Potted Fern, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($62.95)

Potted Fern, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($62.95)

41" Potted Fern, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($84.95)

41" Potted Fern, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($84.95)

39" Bird Of Paradise, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($138.95)

39" Bird Of Paradise, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($138.95)

Potted Cacti Garden, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($56.95)

Potted Cacti Garden, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($56.95)

Potted Succulents (2 Sizes), Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($19.95 small, $26.95 large)

Potted Succulents (2 Sizes), Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($19.95 small, $26.95 large)

Philodendron & Anthurium in Cement Planters, Amanda’s House Of Elegance  ($23.95 /ea)

Philodendron & Anthurium in Cement Planters, Amanda’s House Of Elegance ($23.95 /ea)

Your Guide To Adding Art to your life

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This is your guide to artwork and how magical it can be in the world of interior design! At Amanda’s House of Elegance we love art in all its forms and want to help you curate an art collection that elevates your home from ordinary to magical. Imagine your artwork as the icing on the cake, once you have a good base you can add your personality and express yourself through decor and artwork. Wall art draws the eye, pulls a space together and makes your home inviting; and we are ready to tell you how! 

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Part One: Decisions, Decisions 

  1. Select what you like! This is the biggest tip we could give to anyone buying art, you have to live with it and therefore you should love it! There are no rules for what art you should like, art should foster positive feelings of enjoyment, curiosity or relaxation. Pick what speaks to you!

  2. Use your walls for expression! Maybe you are in a bit of a decor rut, or you played in safe in your furnishing when initially decorating;  Now you can choose art to express your personality and style. Art can be an investment, but their are great budget friendly options for every budget. So don’t be afraid to switch things up and get something new.

  3. Act fast, most artwork is one of a kind for a reason! If you love something, take the leap!

  4. Find a starting point! Whether its the artwork itself that you are designing a room around or you are trying to pick a piece for an existing room design, you need to find a starting point! This can be a style, colour, theme, or inspiration. So pick a point and start investigating your options. 

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Part Two: The Logistics

  1. Scale, Scale, Scale! The size of your piece is one of the most important aspects to choosing art. You need to find a something that not only works style wise, but also in terms of dimensions and placement. A huge style mistake is leaving a small piece of art floating in the middle of a giant wall with nothing to ground it If a piece is too small, try pairing it with other art or photographs to bring a more cohesive look to your space.

  2. To go solo or to pair? Like indicated above, if something is too small a great way to remedy the situation is to pair it with other things. These things can be alike or in completely different genres. Try to find a common connection flowing through all pieces, try a colour or style.

  3. Negative space can be your friend! Use blank walls to your advantage, because they can turn into something beautiful. If you have large areas of blank space, invest in larger piece. A large piece of artwork that fills a space can be truly captivating

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All the artwork in this post can currently be purchased at Amanda’s House of Elegance! We hope you find the perfect piece that fosters positive feelings and adds joy to your life. We love elegant and beautiful things at House of Elegance and would love for you to fall in love with something here!

8 Ways to Design a Happier Home

Your home is your haven, and you deserve to be happy in it, no matter how much money you make, how big your space is, or how much you know or don't know about decorating. The good news is there are tiny tweaks you can make to boost your mood in your house, and none of them cost a fortune. Some of them are scientific, so you might not even understand how or why the happy hits you. Just go with it—and the rest of these strategies for feeling your best in your nest.

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One: Colour Everywhere

Okay, maybe not everywhere, because there's something to be said for serene neutrals and using a little bit of restraint when you decorate. But high energy shades like yellow and green have been shown to make people happier and more productive. These hues are tricky to get right as wall colors, but it's definitely doable. Don't discount the effect a new lemon-colored throw or emerald desk lamp could have either. Bigger isn't always better when it comes to color.

Two: Make Your Bed

Making your bed is the easiest way to start your day off on the right foot. You get something productive done right away that sets you up for success later that night. The last thing you see before hitting the hay shouldn't be a disheveled mess of sheets and pillows. You'll be happier for making it in the morning. Promise.

Three: Light Your World

On the whole, you're probably more smiley on sunny days as opposed to cloudy ones, right? Well, harness that happy by letting as much natural light into your home as possible. Trade out heavier drapery for sheers or go entirely without window treatments if privacy isn't an issue. Open up your windows when you can. And if you don't get a ton of sunlight in your space, fake it with an OttLite Wellness lamp, which features LED technology that's as close to the sun's output as possible. And try this trick—swap out your living room lights with pink bulbs, which make it seem like you're looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, literally.

Four: Be a Proud Plant Parent

Studies suggest that surrounding yourself with greenery can boost your mood and decrease your stress levels. Can't forest bathe in your neighborhood or turn your sunroom into a greenhouse? That's okay. Buy a couple of succulents for your windowsill or a fern for your shower. And if you're a total black thumb, bring in some crystals or shells. You can't exactly nurture those guys, but even a tiny touch of nature may make you a little more zen.

Five: Look For Furniture With Softer Edges

Pieces with round edges are much more soothing to the eye than boxy, angular shapes. Just bought a squared-off sofa? No worries. Just add some cozy, cushy throw pillows to break up the hard lines. Texture is key. Anything chunky knit will do.

Six: Trick Out Your Bathroom For “Me Time”

Treat yourself by turning your bathroom into self-care central. Get one of those across-the-tub caddies if you have the room for it or a shelf for a plant, your wine glass, and a piece of art that makes you smile. Maybe write an affirmation on your mirror in lipstick or dry erase marker if you're into that kind of thing.

Seven: Find a Happy Scent For Your Home

Smell is a very powerful tool and can often elicit memories from the depths of your mind. Think of something you have a positive association with—maybe it's the ocean, where you first learned to swim. Or a pine scent that reminds you of summer camp. Whatever it may be, start layering it around your home. Candles are an obvious choice, but consider an ultrasonic diffuser as well, especially if you have kids or pets. Pilgrim's Zoemodel ($120) works with essential oils and even has a built-in meditation light, if you really want to let the good vibes flow.

Eight: Get Rid of Clutter

File this one under "duh." But really. Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed at a hotel? Nice linens and a big fluffy robe help, though I'm inclined to think the totally clear surfaces are a big part of that "ahhhh" feeling. When your stuff isn't closing in on you, life just feels a little less overwhelming. Biggest takeaway here: "Everything in its place, and a place for everything." So toss what you don't need, and try to put things away when you're done using them. That way, you won't have a major organizing crisis on your hands at the end of the each week.

Originally Posted on Apartment Therapy by Danielle Blundell

Rugs To Add Warmth To Your Space Through The Cold Months

When its cold outside, sometimes the only thing getting you through the day is the knowledge that you can get nice and cozy once you get home. There are some very easy tactics that can be used in order to add warmth and design to your home. Adding a few rugs to your space is one of these tactics. Having a warm, soft surface under foot adds so much character and keeps the house warmer all at the same time. Here are some great rug options available at Amanda’s House of Elegance that will be perfect in your home for the fall and winter and then can easily transition to the warmer months.

The Perfect Neutrals

These neutral beauties will add warmth and comfort to your space without adding too much of a statement. Even though the patterns are bold, the neutral colour palette keeps these rugs an easy statement for any home. These are great for spaces already in a neutral palette, space with colourful palettes and also spaces with wall to wall carpeting to achieve a layered effect. If you are unsure what rug would suit your space, bring in photos to Amanda’s House of Elegance and we would be happy to help.

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Add Some Colour

A colourful rug can be the perfect addition to the right space. Definitely a riskier move then a neutral choice, but the payoff can make it worth it! We love the colours in these options and think they could be a perfect purchase for your home. Sometimes a pop of colour is what is needed to really liven up a room.

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5 Ways to Personalize Your Space!

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Does your home feel like your refuge, or is it kind of…generic? It can seem challenging, especially in a rented space, to make your place feel like your own. But you don’t need a big budget to personalize your pad. A designer at Laurel & Wolf can help channel your unique likes, quirks and personality and translate them into different pieces of your decor.

Display Your Memories

These days, we all have enough personal photos to cover every inch of our walls. While you probably don’t want to turn your home into a shrine, incorporating some of your favorite shots is an easy way to personalize your space. Pick out faves from your phone’s photo album or Instagram feed, upload them to an online framer, and voilà. Instantly personal (and affordable) decor. Don’t have anything you’d deem frame-worthy? Sounds like a great excuse to book an exotic vacation or professional family photo shoot.

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Add a Signature Scent

There’s nothing like walking into a home and getting a whiff of freshly baked cookies or a bouquet of roses. A well-chosen aroma may not change the way your space looks, but it can instantly change the way it feels. What scents instantly say comfort and “home” to you? If you’re not sure, start experimenting with different fragrances via your method of choice—i.e., room sprays, essential oil diffusers or votive candles, to name a few.

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Carve Out Space for That Thing You Do

Think about your hobbies. Which of your most loved extracurriculars could you make a dedicated space for in your home? You could devote a corner to a cozy reading or meditation nook, create a chill zone to play or lounge with music, or bring in a bar cart to indulge your affinity for gourmet cocktails. Even just a few square feet dedicated to that thing you love will make your space feel more like you.

 

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Inject Your Personality Into Accessories

Accent pillows, rugs, bed linens—they’re all a canvas for you and your tastes. Are you bold and vibrant? Make your home accessories reflect that with bright colors and striking patterns. Love humor? Add some pillows or prints with funny phrases or cartoons. Whatever your personality, there’s decor out there to match.

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Incorporate Your Favorite Flora

Plants are another no-brainer way to add a personal touch to your space, with the bonus of adding life and warmth. Whether you swoon for soft pink peonies or succulents, it’s easy to find the perfect spot for plants in your home. Don’t have a favorite yet? Spend a Saturday morning wandering your local nursery and vow not to leave empty-handed.

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Come into House of Elegance located at 70 Princess Street Kingston today to see how we can help you personalize your space! Remember no space is too big or too small!

This article was written, photographed, and posted on Laurel & Wolf Interior Design

Peek Inside Mandy Moore's Dreamy Mid-Century Maison (By: Apartment Therapy)

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If you've been diligently following the peeks Mandy Moore has been sharing on Instagram about her freshly renovated mid-century home in Pasadena, then this is what you've been waiting for. With the over-a-year process finally complete, the This Is Us star is on the cover of the July/August issue of Architectural Digest talking about her brand new abode.

Prior to today, we've gotten a few looks at finished spaces—her laundry roomand pantry in particular—but nothing quite as extensive since the massive moving day Insta story.

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"We fell in love with the views, the pool, the yard, basically the whole energy of the place," Moore tells AD of the Harold Zook-designed home. "We wanted to recapture the home's original spirit without delving into a slavish period restoration. We tried to imagine what Zook would have done if he were designing it today."

"I've been bursting to talk about home stuff but this has been in the works for a little while and we had to keep it a secret," she writes in an Instagram caption featuring the cover. She also praises architect Emily Farnham, interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, and the rest of the team that worked on the project, including "an extra thanks to all of you who took an interest in this silly home renovation and followed along via my stories, etc..... can't wait for the next one!" she teases with a wink face emoji.

And it might not be that far off—Moore discovered a love of the process during the extensive project. "It's hard to convey the excitement of working out every detail, from picking slabs at the stone yard to figuring out how many burners we wanted for the stove," she says. "Once you realize that you can actually build your true dream house, it's hard to go back to anything else."

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Written and Published By: Apartment Therapy

6 Things to Try When a Room Just isn't Coming Together (By: Apartment Therapy)

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If you've ever had a room hovering at "almost there," you know how frustrating of a situation it can be. The room doesn't look bad, it just doesn't quite sing. It's missing something, and you can't put your finger on it. You might find these six things to try helpful when a room just isn't coming together like you thought it would!

1. Compare it to your inspiration
Whether you tried to copy a room you saw on Pinterest piece by piece, have always just wanted a room that feels like Kelly Wearstler designed it or looked to a piece of art for color palette inspiration, go back to that inspiration and compare. What do you have in your room that's not in the inspiration? What don't you have? It might be a case of you trying an extra element that's fighting the harmony of the original inspiration, or you may have forgotten to include a vital element that makes your inspiration work.

2. Try taking things out
Take out a big element. Yes, even something big like curtains. Now step back and look at the room again. Even if the room feels a little emptier, you might be able to see the potential of where the design needs to go. You might not be able to see what your room is missing because there's something that doesn't belongin there already, blocking your ability to see the room's potential.

3. Focus in on a spot, corner or wall that you do love
Why do you feel like that spot is working? What is it that you love? Take what's working and spread it out around the room a little more. Maybe it's a color you only used a touch of that could be maximized more in the space. Maybe it's a style of furniture you played around with on a small scale that the room could use more of. See what adding more of what you love in the room does to the feel of it.

4. Shake up your style
Grab something from another part of the home, from a friend's home or find a free thing — just make it something that seems surprising to add to the space. As we've mentioned before, sometimes bringing something that you think obviously doesn't go can produce one of two equally favorable outcomes: either it surprises the heck out of you by working in the space, or it points you in the right direction to go in by being so mismatched!

5. Take a picture (or two or three)

And then leave the room you're trying to figure out. Like, go to a coffee shop or somewhere else. Look at the photos you took on your phone and scroll through them. Look at the photos on a small scale; small thumbnails that let you see the whole space. Put some mental distance between the fact that this is a room you live in and see every day and instead view it like a room you'd be spotting on a blog somewhere. And then immediately listen to your gut on what you think the room might need (or need taken out). 

6. Doodle
Those pictures you took earlier? Print them out if you can (or turn to a digital photo manipulating tool) and start doodling. Drawing patterns. Drawing furniture pieces. Squares where you think more art could go. Doodle stuff you wouldn't do in your right mind with actual items. That you can't do financially. Play. And when you hit on something that feels like it clicks, figure out how to make it work on your budget and in your space!

Written and published by Apartment Therapy