How to Style Your Bookshelves

Bookshelves are an ideal place to show off your style, to showcase things you love and reveal your personality in subtle ways.  But lots of homeowners admit that they have a hard time figuring out how to make their bookshelves look magazine-worthy.

I have good news:  It's easier than you think!  I've gathered a few photos and my best advice to help you get started.  Have fun! 

From HGTV: For timeless style, group similar books together and add decorative objects (like those eagle bookends and the rotary phone) that feel classic.  The library ladder is a perfect touch, don't you think? 

 

From Design Lines: One simpe tip is to stack some books horizontally, and top some of these stacks with interesting objects.  Easy-peasy, right? 

 

Stylish Bookshelves

From Primed4Design: Small pieces of framed art on your bookshelves give your room warmth and interest.  The collection here feels so well curated: textureal, quirky, beautiful. I love it!

 

Stylish Bookshelves

From Primed4Design: Group your books by color and display them with colorful accessories.  So fun! 

 

From Homesick Designs: All right, I admit that this took more than simple styling.  But I love that the piece integrates bookshelves and an entertainment system- a perfect solution to the black-box-on-the-wall problem with flat-screened TVs.  You might also take a cue from this room and add round objects to your bookshelves; the curves help break up the linear look of books. 

 

styling beautiful bookshelves

From Sawdust Girl: Who says you have to put books on your bookshelves?  There are very few tomes on this shelf, and it looks awesome with sculptural items and framed pictures. 

 

If you have bookshelves you've styled and you want to show them off, send them to me at nadia@nadiawatts.com, and I'll put them in an upcoming post- with a link to your website or blog, if you have one!  

Happy Styling! 

Sitting on a Bench Never Looked So Good

Benches, benches, benches. They're so easy and versatile--and a perfect way to add surprising style to your home. Add one to your casual dining area. Put one in a large entry. Line a wall in the living room with one, so you can pull it out when you have parties. (And while it's not in use, you can style it like a coffee table or with a slew of pretty pillows.)

Need some inspiration? Here are a few beautiful benches I'm loving right now:

From Designers Craft, this antique bench has to-die-for feet. Carved and lovely!

Antique Original Painted Hand Carved Bench from Shanxi Province, China

From Denver's own Scandinavian Antiques, this ornate piece is pure art.

BLU DOT Son of a Bench

This sculptural bench from Mod Livin' will definitely be a conversation-starter. Made of interlocking loops of hot-rolled steel, it oozes contemporary style.

VITRA Butterfly Stool

Design icon Charles Eames invented a technique that bends and shapes plywood, leading to so many of the forms we see from the middle 20th century. This butterfly stool is a perfect example. Sexy, right?

Sudbury Bench

Of course, many of us love upholstered benches for their softness and elegance, and this beauty from Denver's HW Home shows off a beautiful Moroccan print.

Wesley Leather Bench

If you're going to opt for a dining bench, like this one from Arhaus, leather or indoor-outdoor fabric are good, easy-to-clean options. (Red wine knows no bounds!)

Get Light Right

 

Oh, lamps. If there's one design mistake I see homeowners make over and over again, it's that they skimp on lighting--both on quantity and quality. If everything in your room seems right, but the overall effect is still dull, you probably need more light to see those beautiful things you love.
To inspire you, I've rounded up lamps from some of my favorite sources. Check 'em out!

BLU DOT Stilt Table LampBLU DOT Stilt Table Lamp

Stilt lamps, you're so leggy and modern! These beauties come from Mod Livin' in Denver, one of my favorite places to find mid-century lamps. (Remember you can infuse a little unexpected beauty in your home with mid-century accessories, no matter if your overall style is traditional or contemporary, or anything in between. Those modern clean lines are good matches for almost any room!)


LZF Lighting Cactus Table Lamp

Eye-catching, right? This Cactus Table Lamp is also from Mod Livin.' (They ship, friends across the country, so you can get yours, too.) Even when this lamp is turned off, it's a piece of beauty. Art meets light!

 

Kelly Table Lamp

If you're looking for something a little more traditional, but still flirty, check out these curvy lamps from Arhaus. I love the feminine shape and the neutral color!


Midcentury Danish Restored Table Lamps

If you don't know about 1stdibs, well, I'm sorry to introduce you--because you can easily lose hours of your day searching the site's fantastic inventory of things that make a design-lover swoon. Case in point: these mid-century Danish restored table lamps, which make me happy.

 

LARGE ,ELEGANT MIDCENTURY ITALIAN CERAMIC LAMPS

1stdibs strikes again! These mid-century ceramic lamps with a herringbone pattern would be excellent statement pieces in a small living room. I see them in an elegant, textural space--or in a loft with lots of exposed brick and earthy colors. Let's just agree that the possibilities are abundant.

 

 

Pair  Art Deco Art Moderne  Glazed Ceramic Skyscraper Lamps

And we can agree that mid-century modern isn't the only design era worth mentioning. These Art Deco glazed ceramic skyscraper lamps are SO good-looking, a little bit of handsome glam for your home. 

 

The French know about good things: cheese, wine, chocolate, and design. These lamps, found in France, show off ironwork that just makes me want to stare at them. It's always fun to add a surprising shape to your home, something that inverts the norm. 
So go on and add a little light--and a lot of style--to your home. 

 

 

 

Beautify Your Coffee Table

Coffee tables are the perfect spots to reflect your style. They're little galleries just waiting for pretty objects, books, and art. But the trick, of course, is accessorizing with the right combination of things: not too much, not too little. Just right.
So I've rounded up a few good examples of coffee tables that have that just-right look, and I'll explain why they work. 
TIP 1: Vary heights. This simple wood-and-iron coffee table is handsome, but not flashy, so it can easily handle the visual interest you get from the wooden horse. One reason the horse works so well is that it has height. Repeat after me: I don't want all of my accessories to be the same size. 
TIP 2: If you have a coffee table with a bottom "shelf," go ahead and put something on it. I love this wiry basket with the blanket inside: It's cozy, unusual, and a nice textural complement to the hard edges of a table.
Styling Your Coffee Table {Coffee Table Decor}
TIP 3: Build on a tray. Pretty trays add a tailored look to your coffee table, and can give you just the right amount of space to accessorize because you don't want to fill the entire coffee table. 
TIp 4: When in doubt, add a plant. (Back to tip #1: Plants add height, and the mix of organic items with hardback books is just fabulous.) Orchids, succulents, a grouping (three, perhaps?) of small vases filled with flowers--they all work. And you can even use a faux plant: In Denver, one of my favorite spots for faux plants is The Lark.

coffee table decor vignette tray orchid

From The Lennoxx

From Shelterness

From DG Style Blog 

TIP 5: When in doubt, go with books. A simple stack (or three) of nice-looking books--choose some that actually reflect your interests--topped by one unique object is a great way to accessorize. Remember the odd rule: It's generally better to have an odd number of items in a display than an even number. 

 

Next week, I'll share a few of my favorite sources for distinctive and beautiful decor items you can use on your tables. Until then!

 

 

Friday Finds on Tuesday: Valentine’s Edition

Somehow, Friday turned into Tuesday. Don’t you hate when that happens?

In case you’re hunting for a few Valentine-inspired décor items (and who isn’t?), I’ve rounded up some very pretty accessories I think you’ll love. And they’re not so Valentine-y that you can’t enjoy them the rest of the year.

The Milo Candleholder from Serena & Lily is gorgeous: sleek shape, deep red color, and on sale!

Simon Pearce’s Pure Romance Bowl is the perfect riff on a heart shape—artistic without being cutesy.

Pure Romance bowl

 

We all love fresh flowers, but if you’re looking for something that might last a little longer, how about these red paper roses from West Elm?

 

And if you’re going to give flowers, be sure you present them in a pretty vase—like these hand-blown glass vases from West Elm.

There’s still time to pick up something pretty (even if you give it to yourself).

 

Cheers to that!  

Friday Finds!

How much do you love Fridays? I’ve been pretty busy (crazy, out-of-my-mind busy) lately, which is a great problem to have, so I’m really looking forward to this weekend.

While I dream of what to do with a few hours to myself, take a look at these fabulous Friday finds:

New York designer Milly de Cabrol’s new (small) apartment by the High Line. What do you think? (I love the desk facing the tall windows! Hello, city.)

From New York to rural South Carolina: For a three-minute break from your busy day, take a peek through the pictures of this remodeled farmhouse. I love the use of wood, tin, and rope—They feel so perfectly at home.

Back to Denver: Local furniture design house Newell Design Studio makes this beautiful and funky desk. How would it look in your office?

 And up to Boulder: Do you know about è bella? This little shop sells beautifully designed modern rugs and pillows. (And if you’re feeling the winter doldrums, a few bright, bold pillows might just cheer you up until spring shows up, don’t you think?)

Have a great weekend. See you back here next week!

Friday Finds!

Hello friends and fellow design lovers.

I’ve scouted some truly beautiful things for this edition of “Friday Finds.”

Enjoy…

This early-20th-century royal blue sofa would look great in a classic living room, but you could also incorporate it into a more contemporary space. The details are gorgeous!

These grey nesting tables from Serena & Lily have sleek little drawers, the perfect solution for all the stuff that accumulates in family rooms: remote controls, kids’ trinkets, coasters—you get the picture.

I love when furniture designers play with classic forms, don’t you? These dining chairs from West Elm are a modern riff on a classic Windsor chair. What do you think?

And if you’re searching for a beautiful new chandelier—something to make a strong but handsome statement in your home—check out Currey & Company’s lighting selection. I can’t pick just one!

Happy Friday to you!

Mid-Century Modern & Marvelous

The owners of this fantastic mid-century home, designed by the famed Victor Hornbein, asked me to help put the finishing touches on their home. Isn’t this living room fantastic?

The owners had the sectional sofa—from Holly Hunt, which they found at a consignment shop in Vail! (Can you believe it?) We found a rug at West Elm to anchor the furniture area, and then added the chevron poufs and little silver pedestal, also from West Elm. The Jonathan Adler pillows add a bit of geometric pattern and color.

The key to a space like this is being selective about how much bold pattern you use: We knew the contrast in the chevron pattern and the bright pillows would brighten the space without overwhelming the subdued pattern. And with gorgeous details like the birch ceiling and stacked flagstone wall, this room didn’t need a lot of flashy elements.


The First-Ever Watts Design Gift-Guide

Now that Oprah has given up her spot as the queen of the gift guide, I’m stepping in to fill the void (except that I won’t be giving away a car or a billion bathrobes or anything like that). Here, a few beautiful things that would make lovely gifts for your family, friends, or favorite designer. (Hint, hint.)

 

Goatskin leather pocket datebook from Graphic Image:  I love these planners for their simple beauty. This little 6-inch book is perfect to throw in a purse or briefcase—or a stocking!  There’s something very satisfying about jotting down appointments and to-dos in such a pretty little notebook.

 

Woodbury Clock from Simon Pearce: You can’t go wrong giving anything from Simon Pearce, the famed Vermont-based glassblower and maker of beautiful pottery. But these clocks are handsome and clean-lined and especially fabulous.

Woodbury Clocks<br>(Corporate Gift)

 

Redwood Candle at HW Home: I generally don’t like candles, but this one smells divine. And even though HW Home is a Colorado-based shop, it boasts a web shop, so you can easily snatch up a few of these for your mom, sister, best friend, and neighbor, no matter where you live.

Den: Redwood

Indigo Herringbone Throw: Every home needs a cozy throw on the sofa, and I’m especially fond of this one, which is woven in Maine. Added bonus: The elves at Serena & Lily will wrap your gifts and ship them for free until December 2 with the code GIVEARTFULLY.

Amana Brass Candleholders from Serena & Lily: Created especially for Serena & Lily, these distinctive candleholders are made of solid brass with an antiqued finish—perfect for a holiday table (and then great to use year-round). Buy one in each size for a striking combination. 

West Elm: Your One-Stop Décor Shop

Each year, I look forward to watching retailers roll out their holiday decorations. This year, some of my favorites come from West Elm—which is great because I don’t have to drive all around town picking up decorations!

Wood Chip Trees: Yes, they’re actually made from wood shavings! I love the warm, gold-ish tone and the fabulous texture. They feel festive without being over-the-top.

 

Manzanita Candelabra: If you’re tired of the same old centerpiece, try this delicate candelabra on your tabletop, atop a simple runner or surrounded by a bit of fresh greenery. 

 

Iridescent Glass Hurricanes: I would pair these hurricanes with a few mercury glass candleholders or vases for a sparkly display. The light they give off is glowy and warm—perfect for the holidays.

 

Caribou Bottle Brush Ornament: What’s not to love about this guy? Plus, he’s kid-friendly, so you can hang him within reach of your three-year-old and not cringe every time she goes near the tree.

 

Felt Garland: This is just plain cool—and a touch retro. It reminds me of holidays at Granny’s.

 

What about you? Have you found decorations you just love this year? Please share!

Tips for Your Holiday Table

Last weekend, I participated in L’Esprit de Noel, the annual holiday home tour that raises funds for the Central City Opera. I did a little decorating at one of the homes with pretty things from The Lark, one of my favorite Denver shops.

Our palette was golds and reds, pulled from the room. I wanted to keep it simple because I didn’t want the table to compete with the room’s gorgeous crystal chandelier. I love a table that pairs sparkly elements with natural ones, so on top of the gold runner, I put pine-and-magnolia centerpieces. (Magnolia leaves seem to be everywhere right now!)

I used the runner and placements instead of a tablecloth because that way, you get to see the gorgeous wood of the table, a perfect pairing with the gold placemats. And instead of tucking the napkins through rings, I folded them and topped them with pretty little berry accessories. (You can also see them around the candles of the chandelier.)

My final touch for the table was red glasses. What do you think? I like crystal, but colored glass feels especially festive this time of year. If you’ve set the same table for years, colored glass might be the best way to change it up this year.

What about you? Will you start decorating for the holidays this weekend? My best advice: Play a little! Try new combinations of your décor items, so you’re not just replicating what you’ve done for years. You might surprise yourself!


 

 

 

I am getting excited for the Holidays!!!

What about you?  Are you in the holiday-decorating spirit yet?  In Denver today or tomorrow?  Here is an idea L'Esprit de Noel Home Tour for some inspiration. 

 

While I’m dreaming about beautiful baubles, here are a few things I want to share with you:

A brilliant idea for a holiday card: an illustration of your home, all decked out for the season! (Spotted on Design Mom)

Beat the holiday rush and send beautiful Thanksgiving cards.

These gorgeous leather-and-felt bags (made by design wizards in L.A.) would make the perfect holiday gift for your mom, sister, wife, grown-up daughter, or friend.

I love a little mercury glass in holiday décor. Find a few pretty options here, here, and here.

If you live in the Denver metro area and you think your décor needs a little boost this year, please give me a call.  I decorate many clients’ homes for the holidays, and I’d be happy to spread a little cheer at your house too!

-Nadia

Today setting up for.....

L'Esprit de Noël Home Tour & Boutique!!!  

An early idea for this upcoming weekend in Denver.  Visit this website for more information:  L'Esprit de Noël Home Tour & Boutique 

Come on this beautiful home tour and see how this room comes together!

 

Thursday, November 15, 2012:  Patron Preview Party
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Friday & Saturday, November 16 & 17, 2012: Home Tour
10:00 am to 4:00 pm

And the Winner is.....

I've gotten some great feedback on the blog from people who connected with us from this giveaway, so thanks everyone! The pillow winner is Kate C! Send your mailing address to nadia@nadiawatts.com, and I'll get these pillows sent off right away.

If you didn't win this time, no worries! We'll have more giveaways, so keep reading!

Friday Finds

Cheers to Friday! To ring in the weekend, here's my round-up of beautiful and clever things. (Check back each Friday for new list!)

Mountain Living editor Christine DeOrio launches a blog that will make you say, "ooh!"

I'm in love with artist Michael Carson's paintings. I can think of a hundred places I'd use them--including my living room!

Does your closet look this good? A girl can dream...

If you've ever wondered about the history of paisley, you should read this little goodie.

What do you think of design of the Nobis Hotel Stockholm?

Enjoy your weekend! I'm going to check out The Home and Lifestyle Show at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. See you back here next week.

-Nadia

GIVEAWAY!

I'm excited to give these beautiful Bella pillows to one lucky reader! Aren't they gorgeous? They're 100-percent silk, made in India, with down fills. Ah, luxury!

To enter, leave a comment below. I'll announce the winner (chosen at random) on Monday. Get yourself a second entry by liking Nadia Watts Interior Design on Facebook.

And check back tomorrow for some of my favorite finds, all for design-lovers! 


Pondering Pendants

Choosing the right light fixture for a kitchen island is an important step in your kitchen design. You want something beautiful and functional, right? So here are my tips for creating a perfect combination of island size, ceiling height, and pendant size. 

 

In this kitchen....

Island Size: 46" wide by 94" long 

Ceiling Height: 8'

Pendant Size: 13 1/2" wide by 21 1/2" high (to the top of were the 3 chains meet).

The family uses this island table as the main eating area. (So we needed something especially beautiful, since they would spend so much time there!) We chose this lighting fixture because it's so unique and adds a focal point to the room. We didn't use pendants over the other island in the kitchen that serves as a work space with a sink because we didn't want anything to compete with these lights. Aren't they gorgeous?


 

In this kitchen....

Island Size: 48"wide by 118"long

Ceiling Height: 10'

Pendant shade size: 4 3/4" wide at top x 15" slant x 12 3/4" wide at bottom

Because the ceiling is 10 feet high, we could get away with a more dramatic presentation. (Hooray for drama!) We chose three light fixtures to create a presence over the island. Do you love it?