Design Fixation


Spring Candle Display Ideas Using Plants and Flowers

Spring Candle Display Ideas Using Plants and Flowers

I'm a candle lover. I use candles every season of the year, and spring is no exception. There's something so satisfying about cleaning the house, cracking a window and lighting a candle to give the house a fresh scent. And while I like placing candles around the house on their own, I also love arranging them using other natural elements like plants and flowers. So today I'm sharing some unique display ideas using dried roses, air plants and a few other botanical goodies.

For the first look, I paired a Peace + Tranquility candle from Chesapeake Bay Candle's Mind & Body collection with some beautiful dried pink roses. I literally just grabbed a small plate from the kitchen, put the candle in the middle and arranged the roses around it. It’s incredibly easy, but so elegant. The calming scent smells like a mix of jasmine, cotton blossom, rose and bergamot. 

Spring Candle Display Ideas Using Plants and Flowers

Here's what Chesapeake Bay Candle has to say about their new line: "Inspired by the ever-evolving wellness lifestyle trend that includes aromatherapy, yoga, organic products, healthy diet and outdoor adventure, the Chesapeake Bay Mind & Body collection offers an artfully curated line of home fragrance products inviting you on a fragrance filled journey into wellness for the mind and body."

Spring Candle Display Ideas Using Plants and Flowers

You can also use greenery to lend a natural feel to your pillar candles. Here I've used a couple of air plants (Tillandsia) along with some clear vases with cuttings from my Pothos plant. If you haven't tried it before, Pothos cuttings do well in water... and once they grow roots, you can plant them in a pot and they will grow into a new plants. But I digress.

Spring Candle Display Ideas Using Plants and Flowers

The Focus + Patience candle has notes of black tea, cinnamon bark, cedar and birch... with a deep, musky aroma. This is the perfect scent for one of those dark rainy days when you need a bit of extra help focusing on the task at hand.

Spring Candle Display Ideas Using Plants and Flowers

I also like to utilize branches that I've cut from my yard, especially this time of year when things are just starting to turn green and flowers are starting to bloom. I grabbed a rectangular ceramic tray that I had in the kitchen cabinet and placed the Love + Passion and the Joy + Laughter candles in it. Their colors and scents pair nicely together, and they look fresh and inviting surrounded by the tree cuttings.

Spring Candle Display Ideas Using Plants and Flowers

While these candles look gorgeous all on their own, it's so much fun to play around with plants and flowers and incorporate them into pretty little displays. You might consider using fresh flowers too, once your gardens are blooming (ours definitely is not yet. Soon though, I hope). Happy spring everyone!

This post was written in partnership with Chesapeake Bay Candle. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Design Fixation online.


Trend Alert /// 10 Examples of Dark Green Walls

This just in... dark green walls are in! They've been around for a while, but now I'm seeing them everywhere. I'm loving the trend, but I know it's a bit polarizing... how do you feel about it? Yay or nay? Click through to check out nine more examples of green walls to help you decide.


Before & After /// New Kitchen Lighting For The Win

Before & After: New Kitchen Lighting For The Win /// By Design Fixation

When we moved into our house a couple of years ago, the kitchen left something to be desired. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. It had zero personality, and needed some extra functionality as well. So slowly over the past two years, we've worked on changing little things - first we added an island and painted the walls a muted light green color, then we added extra storage around the refrigerator and new knobs on the cabinets. And now, at long last, we've added all new lighting. And let me tell you - this made the biggest difference of all. 

Before & After: New Kitchen Lighting For The Win /// By Design Fixation

Before there was a track lighting system that was functional, but not so pretty. Many people actually complemented us on it, but I secretly hated it. It had a strange, spider-like appearance and no depth, leaving a large empty area above the island which was just begging for a stylish light fixture with some character.

So we swapped it out for a gorgeous chandelier from Lamps Plus that has four lights and a black rectangular frame. I love the way it mimics the shape of the island, while also tying in with the rest of the black elements in the room. And because our home was built in 1830, I didn't want anything that looked super modern. This fit the bill perfectly.

Before & After: New Kitchen Lighting For The Win /// By Design Fixation

We were also in desperate need of some task lighting underneath the cabinets, so we installed four under cabinet LED puck lights. They make chopping vegetables infinitely easier, and they give the space a more finished look. And last but not least, we added LED tape lights above the cabinets. This is the sort of thing that you didn't know you needed until you have it, and then you wonder why you never had it before. They're $60 and incredibly easy to install... just adhere them to the inside of your molding and you're done. They even come with a remote so you can adjust the brightness and the color.

Before & After: New Kitchen Lighting For The Win /// By Design Fixation

Because our house is so old, the under cabinet lighting took a little longer to install... but in the end I love the way it turned out. The light is pleasantly warm but not yellow, and the pucks themselves have a sleek look unlike some of the clunkier options on the market.

Before & After: New Kitchen Lighting For The Win /// By Design Fixation

Before & After: New Kitchen Lighting For The Win /// By Design Fixation

According to my fiancĂ©, the Cove Point Chandelier was easy to install (I have zero knowledge on electrical matters, so I handed him the tools he needed and told him whether everything looked straight). It comes with extra center rods, so you can make it hang down lower if you like. 

Before & After: New Kitchen Lighting For The Win /// By Design Fixation

While we still have a few changes we'd like to make (cough... backsplash... cough), I love the way the space looks now that we have real lighting. I can't tell you how much more enjoyable it is to cook and eat in the kitchen now. And of course now I'm inspired to start working on new lighting in other parts of the house!

Before & After: New Kitchen Lighting For The Win /// By Design Fixation
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This post was sponsored by Lamps Plus, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Design Fixation online!


How To Hang A Gallery Wall

How To Hang A Gallery Wall by Design Fixation

Have you ever tried to hang multiple picture frames on the wall, only to hammer a bunch of nails into the wall in the wrong places? Yeah, me too. And I can assure you that my fiance doesn't love it when I do this ;) So recently when I decided to hang a gallery wall in our living room, I knew I had to come up with a strategy to do it more efficiently (and without turning my wall into a giant pin cushion). And I'm sharing the simple solution with you here today.

How To Hang A Gallery Wall by Design Fixation

Begin by choosing your artwork. I went with a handful of paintings and drawings with greens and blues, along with gold, brown and white frames. It's important to stick to a particular group of colors so that your wall looks cohesive. I already had many of the pieces, some of which were done by friends and family. I did the eyeball painting a few years back, and the coastal scene on the left was an antique store find. The piece on the right is a print by my very talented friend Zaria Forman, and the abstract print in the middle is by an artist named Nell Waters Bernegger. I got it through, who also framed it beautifully. If you're in the market for art, I would highly recommend Minted... they have great options for most budgets, and a wide variety of styles. Check out their selection of art prints here. 

Next, trace each frame on brown kraft paper (or old gift wrap, or any large paper you have lying around). Cut out each piece and set it next to the artwork that it corresponds with.

How To Hang A Gallery Wall by Design Fixation

Label each sheet of paper, so you remember which is which. Be sure to do it in the correct orientation, too, so you don't arrange one horizontally when it should be vertical.

Tape all of the brown paper rectangles to the wall so that they form a well balanced layout, with the bulk of the art a bit higher than eye level. You'll probably need to shift things around a few times before getting the perfect arrangement.

How To Hang A Gallery Wall by Design Fixation

And now, the trick. Tape a thumbtack to the back of your frame, exactly where the nail(s) should be placed. Then hold up the frame in the correct position on the kraft paper, and press gently. This will create small holes in the paper where the nails should be placed. Hammer in the nails, remove the paper, and voila - a perfectly straight picture frame!

How To Hang A Gallery Wall by Design Fixation

Repeat this process for each piece, until you've hung them all. And your gallery wall is complete!

How To Hang A Gallery Wall by Design Fixation

A gallery wall is a such a great way to fill up a large space, without having to buy giant, expensive paintings or other wall art. And hopefully now you'll find it less intimidating to create one successfully!

How To Hang A Gallery Wall by Design Fixation

This post was written in partnership with thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Design Fixation online!


10 Droolworthy DIY Projects For Your Home

Turn a $10 IKEA shelf into a beautiful gold piece. Here's my tutorial at Curbly.

Make one of these lovely grid planters using this tutorial from Homey Oh My.

Pretty jewelry deserves pretty dishes. Get the how-to at Hello Glow.

Cover books in lush velvet fabric for a glamorous look. Learn more at Fall For DIY.

Paint baskets with bright colors for a fun southwestern look from Honestly WTF.

Save space with this pretty leather hanging planter.

Here's a colorful way to display succulents. Get the tutorial here.
Learn how to make this wood and copper ladder here.

Protect your tabletops with these DIY cement coasters.

Decorate your wall or patio with this leafy set of string lights. 


10 Tips To Make Spring Cleaning A Breeze

It's that time of year... the tulips are finally starting to pop up through the lingering snow, and the days are getting *slightly* warmer. Which means that spring weather is just around the corner! After a long cold winter, I'm always excited to get my house in order with a deep cleaning and some serious decluttering. Now don't worry, I don't actually like to clean, but I love the way the house feels once it's done. So today I'm sharing some of my favorite tips to make spring cleaning easier. Here goes:

1. Make it fun! Pump up the tunes and grab your favorite beverage. 

2. Make a checklist. In my opinion, there's nothing more satisfying than checking something off your to-do list. Write down each task you plan to do, so you can check them off as you go.

3. Be prepared. Take inventory ahead of time and buy plenty of storage items so you aren't left with piles of things with no homes. Choose pretty baskets for exposed storage, and functional boxes for hidden storage. 

4. Split it up. Set small goals for yourself, splitting the tasks up over a couple of days. It's no fun to spend an entire day cleaning, so why not do some one day and some the next? You'll get less discouraged that way.

5. Divide and conquer. If you have other human inhabitants in your house, enlist them to help too. Odds are they created some of the mess, so why not have them help clean it up? Give each person a specific task.

Magazine File Box     
6. Clear the clutter first. Be sure to clean up clutter before you start doing things like dusting and vacuuming. If everything is organized and in place when you go to dust, then hopefully you'll really be able to cover all visible surfaces.

7. Mop last. There's nothing more annoying than having to go back and re-clean an area because, say, you dusted after you mopped and the dust got all over the floor. Mop last!!

8. Automate. If you can afford it, automate the cleaning process as much as possible by purchasing things like robotic vacuums and window cleaners.

9. Reward yourself. Allow yourself a relaxing evening reading a magazine or a special dessert as an incentive. It will help, trust me!

10. Make a maintenance plan. To eliminate massive cleaning efforts in the spring, plan to maintain an orderly home throughout the year. A cordless handheld vacuum is one of my favorite tools for quick cleanups. 

To check out all of my cleaning product picks, head over to my Wayfair idea board. Good luck with your spring cleaning everyone :) Here's hoping that spring actually arrives one of these days... because it sure doesn't feel like it here in Boston!

This post was created in partnership with Wayfair. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Design Fixation online!


How To Style A Shelf + A Coupon Code

How To Style A Shelf + A Mixbook Coupon Code /// Design Fixation

Today we're going to learn how to #shelfie like you mean it. Sure you can toss a bunch of knick knacks on a shelf and call it a day - but there are actually some specific techniques that you can use to create a perfectly styled shelf. Keep reading to get started!


Designer Spotlight /// Kia Designs

Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
Eating lunch one day at Alt Summit a few weeks back, I had the pleasure of chatting with Kia Stanford of Kia Designs in Central London. The more I talked with her, the more I realized that I had to share her work with you guys. She has a five star rating on Houzz, and was voted Best of Houzz 2017 for both design and service. This gal is the real deal. Since Alt, I've chatted with her in more depth about her design aesthetic and what trends she foresees for 2017.

Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
Although Kia designs spaces according to her clients' needs and wishes, she does share a similar aesthetic with a few of her past projects. "I am currently drawn towards pink and grey. It is such a pretty combination and can be the ultimate luxury," says Kia, and notes that she loves the color scheme of her Notting Hill project (shown above).

Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
I was curious whether design design trends differed in the UK compared with the US, and Kia said that she thinks they do. She feels that the grey weather common in the UK has a big effect on home design trends, causing people to choose more muted colors to complement the lighting. I'm loving the moody tone of the sitting area in the photo above, from Kia's Knightsbridge project, a perfect example of that understated look.  

Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
I never miss an opportunity to ask an expert what they think the upcoming trends might be - and this was no different. Kia has noticed that patterns are becoming very popular, honeycomb in particular. You can see a beautiful honeycomb coffee table in her Waterside project above.

Designer Spotlight: Kia Designs /// By Design Fixation
Photo courtesy of Kia Stanford
It was fun to hear a new, more international take on the world of interior design - I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did. Be sure to check out Kia's Instagram account here. Thanks Kia!


Unique House Plant Display Ideas

Since spring has decided not to grace us with its presence yet (it's currently snowing outside here in Boston), I thought it would be nice to share something green. So today I'm going to bring you inside my home to check out some of the unique ways that I like to display houseplants. 

This first one is a wall mounted test tube vase set that I made for a post over at You can find out how to make it here. I like to put clippings from my pothos plant in the test tubes, and then transplant them to pots once they're larger.

Next is a hanging planter for tillandsia, more commonly known as air plants. This is another DIY of course, and you can check out the instructions here.

Next up is a gorgeous terrarium from Urban Green Makers, based in California. They offer kits along with fun extras like air plants, driftwood and even aroma wax to give your terrarium a custom scent. 

Their products are fantastic, but I love their mission even more - for every terrarium kit purchased, they donate a tree in hopes of bringing more green into our world. Read more about their mission here, and check out their beautiful terrarium kits here.

Don't forget to consider unusual vessels like lab beakers - I bought this one at the Brimfield Antiques Fair last season.

You might even think about mounting a succulent right to the wall! I've watered this thing twice in the two years that I've had it, and it's growing more than any of my other plants! Go figure. Hope these ideas have inspired you to add some extra plants to your space!

This post was created in partnership with Urban Green Makers, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Design Fixation online.

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