House & Home

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 

The 5 Trends You Must Get Your Hands On In 2018!

No matter where you live, what your profession is, or how old you are, trends are something that everyone hears about on a daily basis. Everything is in constant motion and trends are no different. What is considered trendy one day, may be out the next. While we, at Amanda's House of Elegance, certainly don't recommend changing up your style every time a trend changes, getting a few new pieces every once in a while certainly won't hurt! We want you to be on trend all year round! Here are the top 5 biggest trends of 2018 and how you can be part of the trend by coming down to Amanda's House of Elegance in downtown Kingston. 

Bright and Clear Colours

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Gone are the days of beige, white and neutrals, and in are the days of clear and bold colours. Adding a pop of bold colour through a bright rug or a couple of throw pillows is the perfect way to take on this trend. You no longer need to be afraid of colour overload, colour is officially in. 

How To Get This Trend At Amanda's House of Elegance

1 . Mint Vase with Gold Painted Rim - $28.95  2 . Floral Runner - $39.00  3.  Sea Glass Lamp - $189.95  4 . Blue Floral Pillow - $68.95  5.  Blue Rug - $225.95  6 .Chevron Pillow - $76.95  7.  Floral Baskets - $44.95

1. Mint Vase with Gold Painted Rim - $28.95 2. Floral Runner - $39.00 3. Sea Glass Lamp - $189.95 4. Blue Floral Pillow - $68.95 5. Blue Rug - $225.95 6.Chevron Pillow - $76.95 7. Floral Baskets - $44.95

Mixed Metals and Metallic Accents

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At Amanda's House of Elegance this is one of our favourite trends of 2018! We are all about the mixing and matching of metals. And no, its not just silver and gold anymore, mix and match any metal and your home will be Pinterest worthy. 

How To Get This Trend At Amanda's House of Elegance

1.  Silver Lamp - $269.95  2.  Shaker Candle Holders - (s) $29.95 (l) $44.96  3.  Silver Plane Model - $92.95  4.  Biker Statue - $149.95  5.  Mirrored Statue - $198.95  6.  Gold Charger - $6.95  7.  Gold and Marble Table - $394.95

1. Silver Lamp - $269.95 2. Shaker Candle Holders - (s) $29.95 (l) $44.96 3. Silver Plane Model - $92.95 4. Biker Statue - $149.95 5. Mirrored Statue - $198.95 6. Gold Charger - $6.95 7. Gold and Marble Table - $394.95

Unique Homewares

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Yes, you are correct, technically homeware has always been in style because it is a household staple. We are talking about show stopping homeware that create interest and diversity to the kitchen and table scape. Interesting shapes and colours are what create diversity in a subtle way! 

How To Get This Trend At Amanda's House of Elegance

1.  Chalk Labeled Canister - $ 14.95  2.  Scalloped Edge Plate Set - $199.95 (set of 4)  3.  Pink Frosted Glass - 9.95  4.  Bunny Salt and Pepper Shakers - $9.95  5.  Grey Plate - 17.95  6.  Bird Hand Towels - $44.95

1. Chalk Labeled Canister - $ 14.95 2. Scalloped Edge Plate Set - $199.95 (set of 4) 3. Pink Frosted Glass - 9.95 4. Bunny Salt and Pepper Shakers - $9.95 5. Grey Plate - 17.95 6. Bird Hand Towels - $44.95

Tropical and Natural Materials and Prints

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If you have walked into any home goods store recently you will know that pineapples and tropical prints are extremely on trend. The combination of tropics with rich woods and rustic notes are taking over for the summer. We have taken a refined stance on this trend but still love the relaxed and down to earth ambience is gives.

How To Get This Trend At Amanda's House of Elegance

1.  Pineapple Book Ends - $73.95  2.  Bell Jar Wooden Tray  3.  Wood Board - $39.95  4.Leaf Pillow  - $49.95  5.  Silver Leaf Dish - $37.95  6.  Pineapple Board - $38.95

1. Pineapple Book Ends - $73.95 2. Bell Jar Wooden Tray 3. Wood Board - $39.95 4.Leaf Pillow - $49.95 5. Silver Leaf Dish - $37.95 6. Pineapple Board - $38.95

Texture

This year is all about texture and materials. The mix of leather, linen, velvet and other textures is what is happening. This also includes textures such as glass, metal, ceramic, etc. to create an eclectic but comfortable feel to any space. The space will eventually come to be curated and as if no effort was taken in making it look amazing. 

How To Get This Trend At Amanda's House of Elegance

1.  Lamp - $312.95  2.  Leather Boxes - 73.95  3.  Silver Bar Cart - $689.95  4.  White Vase - $29.95  5.  Pillow - $94.95  6.  Glass Knot - $14.95

1. Lamp - $312.95 2. Leather Boxes - 73.95 3. Silver Bar Cart - $689.95 4. White Vase - $29.95 5. Pillow - $94.95 6. Glass Knot - $14.95

We would love to see you at Amanda's House of Elegance sometime soon and would love to chat about how to add some life and elegance to your space! 

The Perfect Setting: A Guide For Place Settings

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At Amanda's House of Elegance, we are big fans of entertaining and pulling out all of the tricks for our guests. Dinner parties are one of these occasions to dress up the table and play with different textures, colours and metals. We have assembled six different place settings that can be both dressed up or down based on the occasion. We take pride in our Canadian made and designer label pieces and you will too. The best part is that all of these pieces are available downtown Kingston at Amanda's House of Elegance. Hopefully you will find some inspiration. 

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This beautiful shimmery and pink set would be perfect for a girls night in, or really any cozy dinner experience. The gold shimmer placemat mixed with scalloped edged plates and a gold rimmed bowl give a very whimsical and feminine touch. These combined with an ombre pink glass with a gold rim are a match made in design heaven. 

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The soft blue and grey colour palette of this set make for a perfect combination for everyday use. Pairing this set on a white placemat will allow the set itself to be a bold statement and keep the eclectic look to the place setting subtle. The grey wine and glass set are the perfect pair to this already watery and calm setting. 

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These bird silhouette placemats allow for a casual and relaxed ambience to any table scape. This is very much an everyday place setting and could be used with a variety of different glasses and napkins to change the look easily. These linen napkins are a beautiful match and can be used over and over. 

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This place setting is definitely an eclectic grouping of a variety of sets. Pairing together different textures, patterns and colours gives interest and makes the entire setting more casual and lived in. These glass plates and bowls are the perfect way to add interest without taking away from the other pieces. 

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At Amanda's House of Elegance we are loving mixed metals as a trend that will definitely be sticking around. This place setting is the perfect way to ease into the trend in a classy and sophisticated way. These silver rimmed plates are stunning on their own but the gold rim on this bowl is the perfect contrast. The silver coral napkin ring is a great piece to add to any setting but we love how it contrasts well here. 

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These gold chargers are stunning! The scalloped, almost floral looking edges are the perfect way to fancy up your dinner party. This is definitely a fancier setting, but it can easily be taken apart and set with a variety of placemats, napkins and accents. We love the refined elegance of this setting and we know your guests will feel like royalty. 

Head into Amanda's House of Elegance to take a peak at all the elements of these settings. Even better, everything in the store is currently tax free. Its the perfect excuse to pick up any of these stunning pieces. 

The Perfect Vase For Your Valentines Flowers

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Every girl wishes to get flowers on Valentines day! Hopefully from a special someone but flowers from your parents wouldn't be horrible either. Either way, every bouquet of flowers needs a beautiful vase to complete the look. Here are our favourite vases to make your Valentine's Day picture perfect. 

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Hand Painted Floral Vase - $53.95

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White and Silver Striped Vase - $95.95

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Blue Glass Vase - $58.95

Silver Speckled Vase - $72.95

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Tall White Vase withe Linear Stripes - $39.95

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Matte Dark Grey Vase - $64.95

These vases are pieces of home decor that can be used over and over. One of the best home interior tricks is to constantly have fresh flowers and plants around your house; and if you have flowers you need a vase! Head to downtown Kingston to pick up one of these beautiful designer home accents. Valentines Day is right around the corner! 

Materials 101: All in the details

Let's talk materials. I am personally addicted to soft, dreamy, beautiful fabrics and materials. Whether I am picking out the perfect pillow for my bed, choosing a soft, cozy blanket to cuddle up with, or even choosing out my favourite winter sweater, the first thing to do it pick the item up and feel the texture, quality and weight of the fabric. I also love the rainbow that is cast across my room when the light hits the crystal lamp on my bedside table. The beauty is in the details. 

Crystal Candle Pillar (small) - $56.95 (medium) - $63.95, Blue Chevron Throw - $98.95, Gold Placemat - $23.95, Linen Napkin - $43.95, Silver Coral Napkin Ring - $14.95, Champagne Lumbar Pillow - $74.95, White Pleated Pillow - $48.95

Crystal Candle Pillar (small) - $56.95 (medium) - $63.95, Blue Chevron Throw - $98.95, Gold Placemat - $23.95, Linen Napkin - $43.95, Silver Coral Napkin Ring - $14.95, Champagne Lumbar Pillow - $74.95, White Pleated Pillow - $48.95

Have you ever been sitting in a room and all of a sudden the most magical rainbow is reflected across the room? If you have this is the work of something crystal in your space! Maybe I shouldn't say work because truly the work is put in even before you have this item. When looking at crystal versus glass here are a few things to consider:

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Crystal Pillars - (small) $56.95, (medium) $63.95. Glass Jar - $16.95

Crystal Pillars - (small) $56.95, (medium) $63.95. Glass Jar - $16.95

There is just something about cotton that feels and is luxurious. Honestly when I think of cotton I automatically think of some of my favourite tops to wear particularly in the summer. Let's change this! Cotton is a fabulous material to use in the home. While polyester has its place, cotton and other high quality materials are something to get excited about! 

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Indigo Floral Pillow - $68.95. Champagne Pillow - $68.95

Indigo Floral Pillow - $68.95. Champagne Pillow - $68.95

One of the best parts of the day in my opinion is right after you get out of the shower and are feeling clean and relaxed after using luxurious products for you hair and skin. Why let it stop there? Exquisite Turkish cotton towels let the good time keep going. Head into Amanda's House of Elegance to feel the spa like material for yourself! 

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Wash Towel - $6.95, Hand Towel - $12.95, Bath Towel - $24.95, Sheet Towel - $39.95

Wash Towel - $6.95, Hand Towel - $12.95, Bath Towel - $24.95, Sheet Towel - $39.95


All About the Details...

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Beading

Beading is a simple way to add beauty and sparkle to any space. The delicate touch needed for a beaded product is proof of the quality and high end materials. Any beaded piece is sure to wow your guests.

Pillow - $147.95

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Embroidery

Embroidery is an art. It is completed by using a needle to thread yarn or string through another fabric. The results are breathtaking. Through embroidery you can get precise and detailed patterns and designs.

Pillow - $74.95

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Pleating

A pleat is a style staple and though it is a classic design, many modern products are putting pleats in a modern context. Pleats add interest and style to any fabric.

Pillow - $58.95

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Velvet

The defining feature of a velvet pillow or item is it's signature soft feeling and texture. Velvet is a woven, tufted fabric which often comes in vibrant and beautiful colours.

Pillow - $78.95

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Pattern

Pattern is a key feature of design that every room needs a little bit of. From florals, to chevron and all pattern in between you cannot go wrong with a couple of patterns pillows or throws.

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Piping

This sort of seam is a beautiful finish to any fabric. Its rounded edge provides a very clean profile.

Pillow - $107.95

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French Seam

The French seam is a very common choice for higher quality and designer pillows. It is a stunning finishing that provides high impact because it adds length and fullness to the pillow itself. The French seam gives a particularly elegant profile.

Pillow - $76.95

Plain Seam

The plain seam is also very commonly used on upholstery and pillows. It is a very simple and easy seam to accomplish and gives a clean profile to the material. This is also very common on removable pillow cases because it makes it easy to hide any zippers or fasteners.

Pillow - $94.95