Target Holiday Décor Round-Up

I was doing my Saturday morning routine of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook while in bed as a soft start to my day—awake, but not committed to much more. As I was doing so, I ran across an article from Domino about Target’s new holiday collection. I was so excited to jump in and see what they had to say.

Before I do so, let me digress for a moment. Two weeks ago (and probably last week and every other week), I was strutting (I strut there because I love it) through the aisles of Target and saw that the holiday collection was just added in the home department. I swear to you, my knees got week—it all looked SO DAMN GOOD. In a split second my whole living room was decorated for the holidays with everything I had just laid my eyes on a moment before. I wanted it all.

Back to the Domino article. I jumped into the online slide show (does anyone else hate those things more than me? I wish we could always just scroll—reloading a new page for every image drives me up a wall) so excited for them to confirm the amazingness I saw in the store. But they didn’t and I was disappointed. Full disclosure, that the front end of the article stated, “If you’re not feeling the red and green color combination this year, no problem“ but I just felt like that statement alone left out so many wonderful things. Out of the 15 items featured three were garland (never really a show stopper); three of the items were plush (yes, I know the kids count too during the holidays) and two things were items for consideration year round (they are great and I would buy them January 15 as well).

So, I said to myself, “Self, if you don’t like this round up, let’s do one of our own.” Below are my favorites from Target’s 2016 Holiday Collection (and more). I will be sure to let you know which ones I have already purchased with an asterisk.



One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven



One* | Two | Three | Four | Five* | Six | Seven | Eight* | Nine | Ten* | Eleven



One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven

I am clearly leaning towards a cozy and preppy holiday this year. The whole scheme really goes with my existing décor in the living room and, let’s be honest, that is important to me. I really can’t wait to get all of this stuff out in two weeks.

What décor items are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Were you inspired by the above? Are you on your way to Target? If so, I’ll see you there…I am the one strutting.


Vanessa Cornell

Woodland Avenue: Office Makeover Befores

My good friend works from home. She has a wonderful job in sales and a great historic house in an awesome neighborhood. But her home office is severely lacking any sort of design aesthetic. It is in dire need of an overhaul to match how fabulous she is.

Let’s start with the before pictures (click to get more details)…

Clearly it is time–time for new, bright and uncluttered. The plan for the home office is a simple one since the the compact space is only around 71 square feet.

First things first, we are ripping out those bookshelves to give us an extra foot of space. In order to make up for some of that lost storage, I decided to flank the desk on each side with freestanding bookcases. The desk will come off the wall as a peninsula and a 5×8 rug will ground the room and add some character. Again, simple but practical.

home office floor plan

Below is the mood board for the home office. We are using cool and light colors to brighten up the space. All white furniture plays into that as well, and it will be a complete 180 from where the space was before. Let’s talk details.

Blue and White Home Office

  1. West Elm Marney Glass Chandelier Drum in Antique Brass – This brass fixture, which will hang over the desk, complements the navy and white perfectly.
  2. Elevated Task Lamp – Room Essentials (Target) in Gold – Added task lighting…in more brass.
  3. INSPIRE Q Jourdan Linen Sloped Arm Hostess Chair – We haven’t finalized the chair selection quite yet, but it will be something like this–if not this. Elegant and comfortable will be key.
  4. PB Teen Emily & Meritt Scallop Statement Pinboard – It was important that my client have a place to hang things–from kids artwork to important bills. This pinboard fit the ticket perfectly.
  5. Benjamin Moore Classic Grey – The name says it all.
  6. Desk Clock Gold – Nate Berkus (Target)
  7. Desktop Organizer – Nate Berkus (Target)
  8. Wayfair Single Peony in Water Cube – Real flowers are always better, but sometimes you just can’t keep up.
  9. IKEA Linnmon Table Top – This simple table top will jet out from the wall and be supported by two decorative legs on one end and secured to the wall on the other with a simple piece of plywood. Coming in at $70 with the legs (below), you can’t go wrong!
  10. West Elm Mid Century Bookshelf Wide Tower in White – This gorgeous bookcases will give my client the needed storage with the two file drawers at the base but with a lighter feel than the current bookshelf situation from the 1900s (I am exaggerating here).
  11. Caitlin Wilson Kismet Rug in Steel – This rug is the show stopper. Both my client and I LOVE it but it was definitely a splurge but well worth it because it will make the room!
  12. IKEA Nipen Leg in White – To complete the desk.

I am so excited to see this room come together. We’ve got painters coming later this month and all the products ordered. You know what this means? A reveal is coming your way and we can all feel better about my client’s updated working conditions. Stay tuned!!!


Vanessa Cornell

Target: Summer Top Ten

Target Summer 2016 Top Ten

If you’re like me, you can’t resist the “quick Target run” that concludes with spending no less than $200 dollars. There is something about walking through the aisles and convincing yourself that you NEED that cute little insert anything you don’t really need here. Yes, I have Amazon prime and appreciate the efficiency – but I work from home, so sometimes a jaunt to Target is me “getting out” – I know, thrilling life I lead here in Columbus, Ohio. My trips do make me remember my Nana who would hit up the local grocery store every day just because. Man, I’m getting old. Read more

If it must be pink…The big reveal!

Pink, black and white girl's bedroom design from Alright, folks…I’m baaaaack. I’ve taken the last several months off to take care of some personal things…but oh how I’ve missed this creative outlet and sharing design ideas with all of you fine people. And I’d be remiss not to formerly thank my partner-in-crime, Vanessa, for keeping this little side gig of ours up and going. #love.

Way back in November, I had a pretty comprehensive plan for my youngest daughter’s bedroom, which just had to be pink. To refresh your memory, here are the before shots and design board: Read more

What’s Cooking? Good Looking Kitchen Trends

Is it me, or is there an official / unofficial house walk season that takes place every April and May? There is for sure one in Chicagoland, with the Oak Park River Forest and Hinsdale Kitchen Walks (and I am SURE so many others. If you know of more, please tell me in the comments, we can go together). I know the San Francisco Decorator Showcase House is happening right now and it is usually an epic house in Pacific Heights that appears to be the most unattainable thing in the world, but SO PRETTY to look at.

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Summer Spruce-Up

If you live in Chicago/Midwest, can we quickly talk about how amazing the past two weekends have been? With temps in the 70s and 80s, you can’t help but be in a good mood. We spent one weekend night just out on our street with almost every neighbor socializing and having some beers while the kids played. It was the perfect taste of summer and I really want some more.

The amazing weather also meant that the screens went back on the windows and the patio furniture was pulled out from the shed. However every year around this time, I’m left longing for the patio that has the cute outdoor rug, adorable throw pillows, a fire pit, a movie screen and enough space to host every one of my friends. Since the latter three wishes aren’t happening for some time, let’s talk about the more attainable goods–outdoor accessories–and not a backyard overhaul.

Here are a few items that have caught  my eye, easy to attain and will really spruce-up your backyard…just in time for summer:

Outdoor Home Accessories

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Vanessa’s Favorite Finds

I’ve been doing a decent amount of sourcing this week for some clients and for myself (actually, a moment doesn’t go by that I am not sourcing in my head). There is some really great stuff on the everyday sites like Target (did you get their spring catalogue in the mail this week? If not, well you are losing…sorry!), Crate & Barrel and Ballard Designs. Below are a few of my favorites from the past few weeks of web surfing.

Favorite Finds from Target, Ballard Design and Crate & Barrel

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InstaFUN: My Favorite Instagram Feeds

Recently, a friend and I were staring at our phones while scrolling through Instagram like two teenage girls at the mall on a Saturday. We started exchanging our favorite interior bloggers, Insta-ers, and designers to follow on the popular eye candy app.

“Do you follow so and so?”

“No! What’s the handle?” -or-  “YES! Isn’t he/she amazing?!”

…and repeat about 20 times over.

Instagram has quickly turned into an amazing venue for the design community to show their stuff, a place to be inspired, challenged and, like Pinterest, become completely deflated by the incredible talent out there. There are so many magazines and publications with lists of their favorite designers who post regularly on Insta and it changes yearly and sometimes weekly. Here are some recent lists from BuzzFeed, Harper’s Bazaar, Design SpongeVogue and Domino.

As these lists demonstrate, it’s easy to understand why Instagram has become my go to for inspiration and new trends. So, I thought I’d take a moment to mimic the above publications and quickly share some of my favorite accounts that we stalk on a daily basis. Use the above lists and this to really find some serious home design awesomeness.

em_henderson: The go-to, it girl of blogging, interiors and Instagram if you ask me. I love Emily’s colorful style, which shines in her feed. I also like that she is a mom of young kids and understands that we are all just doing the best that we can.

Emily Henderson Instagram

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Bathroom Inspiration: Small but Impactful

I am still on a bathroom kick over here as I continue to refine concepts for my clients, who I spoke about two weeks ago. They are looking to redo their powder room–a small but impactful space. These tiny rooms offer the freedom to go bold, pack a punch and make a statement. Below are just a few bathrooms trends and looks that gave me heart eyes over the past few months.

High Impact Floors: I am completely loving the cement tile craze and the resulting patterns. If you take this route, plan to keep other elements simple.

Maria Beck Design - 1920s Bathroom
Maria Beck Design – 1920s Renovation

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Scenes from Sonoma County

I spent the last week+ in California. A warm welcome from the Chicago winter I’ve been knee-deep in for what feels like a decade. Between the Bay Area, Los Angeles and wine country, I was fortunate enough to visit family, see friends, work the day job, drink too much wine and laugh a lot. My killer time there left me in sort of a daze and post-less for this week.

However, I spent the last few days of my trip in Sonoma County for a girls’ weekend. The place is chock-full of great scenery, restaurants, wineries (duh), inspiration and so much more…perfect for a post. So, I snapped a few pictures along the way of things that caught my eye. Grab a glass of vino, click on the above pictures and pretend you were there with me (and not sitting at your desk on a Tuesday). Cheers!