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Bringing the Outdoors In

With spring in full swing here in California, everything is blooming and growing and being pretty awesome all around. It also makes it incredibly easy to bring a touch of the outdoors in. With a few choice cuts and blooms it was easy to give my living room a little spring sprucing.


This tree lent a few branches…


To my recycled vase.


And my succulents…


Gave it up for my sideboard.


The roses are my babies. I adore old growth roses (and new growth masquerading as old roses) like these David Austin’s. I actually own 12 David Austin’s along with 7 floribunda…I have a bit of a rose hoarding problem.




But when they look this pretty you can’t blame me, can you?


Spring is the perfect time to bring a bit of the outside into your home. How do you welcome spring?


Baby steps, and other mental musings.

I had business cards drawn up recently. I’ve never had a need in the past for them but in the last few months, as the blog grows and what I’m doing with it evolves, I’ve had more people ask me how to get in touch. Let’s be honest here, Stellmacher isn’t exactly Smith, and as my url is my name, having to spell it out every time isn’t the most convenient, or time effective for that matter. Plus there’s that whole professional thing where you want people to think you actually know what you’re doing.

Welcome the business card. It tells people I’m a professional up in here…increasing my street cred exponentially.

Look at her. Isn’t she a beaut, Clark?

Receiving these was such a small thing but it made me happy in a ridiculous way.  Seeing what I do—and what the blog is about—on paper with ink was such a tangible reminder of how very much I love what I do on the blog; decorate, entertain, create, and live. It’s about taking the everyday moments and elevating them.

I’m thankful I get to share your everyday with you, and I hope that through the blog I’m able to help you make each one better.



Inspired Design: Sally Wheat

Sally Wheat is such a talent. Always glam, punches of color, and a bit unexpected, she finds a way to mesh decades together with ease, uniting them through form, color, and a boldness that is a signature of her style.

Her own living room is no exception. While this room may not be her most colorful, I’d argue it’s one of her prettiest and most chic.

Sally Wheat via Simple Details

Ms. Wheat’s space is beautiful, and with a few select pieces, you can pull a similar looks together yourself for much less.

Two of these ottomans from Target with the Tejn faux sheepskin from ikea should do the trick.

And while not an exact match, two of these side tables add shape and interest next to the couch. They’re from lamp plus…which I did not know has quite a selection of furniture and accessories. Go figure?

If there’s space in your budget, this little glass piece (also form lamps plus) works as a stand in for the lucite in Wheat’s design.

Target has you covered as far as the acrylic bubble lamp goes.

Two of these shades should do the trick…now the other lamp, that’s going to be tougher…

But one of these vintage lamps off etsy would work.

Or this one…

Or even this one!

The Tarnby rug from ikea along with World Market’s Light Natural Cowhide Rug are good matches for flooring.

The Dorothy Thorpe lucite candlesticks are gorgeous, but pricey. You can get a similar feel with these soap stone sculptures. I’d use two and intersperse them with two or three glass candle stick holders.

I would keep an eye out at HomeGoods for pillows, but this pillow from Pier One would work well, too.

And this one from etsy.

With this one from Wisteria.

The couch can easily be replicated with the Rochelle Apartment sofa from Crate and Barrel in “Nickel”.

And the channel tufted chairs have a feel similar to this one by Ballard Designs.

The accessories for the space are eclectic and show stopping. While I didn’t find exact matches, this one from Z Gallerie would look great sprayed gold.

As does this bronze dancing couple from

This sea urchin from Horchow is pretty spot on, though.

Last but not least, that gorgeous mirror! It’s a tough one to do at a good price point as it’s large and the style and patina indicate an antique (and a potentially pricey one at that).

This one from lamps plus (seriously, though…who knew?) is $227 with shipping!

And definitely check out your local craigslist. I found quite a few gems that were fairly well priced.

With a little inspiration and a whole lot of frugality, your space can look like a million bucks without costing it, something I’m sure even Ms. Wheat would approve of.


Bathrooms: Big Style, Small Space

With the amount of time we spend in the bathroom, it’s one of those rooms in your home that must serve utility and beauty in equal measure. Match that with a typically small space (unless you’re lucky and have space for days, and in that case, keep it to yourself), and you’re forced to do two things; 1) think of what you need to have, and 2) think of how those things need to carry visual impact.

To that end, choosing strategic elements to impart big style becomes a matter of both purpose and drama. And choosing items that do double duty becomes imperative.

Take for instance this gorgeous bathroom. Tiles save the dry wall from water wear and the stainless steel sink is not only easy to clean but imparts big industrial style.

herringbone tile

And in this bathroom, the use of mirrors across the entire back wall lend a sense of dimension to an otherwise very small space.

Wallpaper is another way to create big impact without big spending. Since bathrooms tend to be smaller spaces, you don’t need much…saving even more money (so you spend it on amazing fixtures;), while the pattern obscures the dimensions of the room, important with little square footage.

Accessories are another area where beauty need not fall victim to function. Just look at this gorgeous Asscher set from WaterWorks. Toothbrush, soap, waste bin—it’s all here, but dressed up as if going to a fancy shin dig.

And this set from Restoration Hardware is particularly handsome.

Don’t forget about good lighting! And by good, I mean it not only gives you great task lighting but looks like a jewel in the room AND makes you feel like a jewel with flattering light placement.

Overhead lighting works well when diffused by a shade or pointed upward.

And sconces, in pairs, do an excellent job of giving off the right lighting without harsh shadows.

If your bathroom serve double time as both toilet stall and shower, you’ve got two solutions; walls or curtains. With glass walls you keep your space feeling open while containing spray. The great thing about glass walls are that they’re simple to keep clean (keep a window squeegee in there…not so glamorous but you will thank me later) and they don’t break up your space. The downfall is water spots (see my parenthetical note).

But curtains are also effective and lend texture. I also happen to find them quite charming.

Making the most of your bathroom while imparting big style starts with a balance of practical and pretty. With the right accessories and some strategic choices your space can be just as glamorous as it is functional.


Holiday Peek: Our Home

Every year I collect images from all over—the internet, magazines, catalogs— compiling a reference of pictures to inspire me during the holidays. I think, “This year I’ll do something new,” but inevitably, when everything gets pulled out of storage, the same stuff goes up.

Now, I love tradition, but the same look year after year can get tired. In an effort to meld my love of new with all of the old, I went for a clean color scheme of red, white, and silver. Tried and true, but the combo kept it feeling cohesive instead of a hodge podge of Christmas stuff.

So come take a peek of Christmas in our home this year…


When you enter our home, you walk into the entry area/dining area, which is where out main tree goes. We cut down our tree this year, which was a ton of fun!


A few other shots from the entry/dining area…


This credenza is usually where the tree goes, so it gets moved to a wall during the holidays.

balls1Another wall in our dining area is the where our bar is. It got a little holiday sprucing up at well.

bar1I adore fresh garland but with as much as I usually use, it can be pricey. This year I decided to make all of my garland with left over scrap boughs from the tree farm. They give them away so it was too easy. Let’s just say my husband could not see out of the back of our SUV window…I got a little carried away with the cedar boughs.

In keeping with the color scheme, all of the balls were silver, white, and red, and even though red isn’t my favorite color, it’s just so festive around Christmas.


After walking through the entry/dining area, you enter our family area. We kept with the same color scheme but this room is a bit more traditional (you’re welcome, hubby).

mantel1It’s also where our family tree goes. It’s the one with all the kids ornaments and those that my husband has been collecting since he was young. They don’t all match, but they’re made and bought with love.

livingroom tree1

A little cheer for the couch.

living room1

coffee table1

And the girls and I made this gingerbread house so the kitchen had a little something festive. That sucker is from scratch, people, scratch! We’re gangster up in here.


And that’s the round up. From my home to yours, wishing you all the best of this holiday season!









How to Create a Beautiful Entry

The entry way to your house is the first impression visitors get of your home. It speaks to your lifestyle and design style, setting the tone for how you want your overall space to be seen. Unfortunately, it’s also one of those areas that often gets either no attention *or* becomes a catch-all for bags, purses, homework, soccer cleats—you name it and for some reason, it’s there.

But with a little thought at some solid staples, you can build an entry way that not only tells guests that you are stylish, chic, and hella cool (can you tell I’m from Nor Cal?), but one that functions for your family and keeps you saner than you would be with all that stuff on the floor.

Entry ways require a few key items to make this dream a reality:

1) Lighting.

via Lucy and Company

Vitally important, people! How else will you manage to find your lost keys in the bottom of your bag if you can’t see them in the first place. You have two options here; for a smaller entry without much wall space, overhead lighting it your best bet. It takes up less space and can set the tone for the rest of the entry. There are some beautiful flush mount options, but if you’ve got some height, I encourage you to go with a chandelier. It adds a ton of impact in a small area.

Flush mount:

via zgallerie



via pinterest

Your second option is a table lamp (or two). This gives you the most flattering light (read: no overhead shadows to scare the children) and since it’s more diffused, a warmer, more welcoming glow.

2. Art/Mirror.

I LOVE art in an entry as it creates an immediate experience and set a distinct tone. And with all of the amazing and inexpensive choices from places such as Etsy and Saatchi Online, finding the right piece for your space couldn’t be easier.

via Collins Interiors

But if what you really need is a place to strategically check your teeth for food on your way out, then a mirror might be for you. Choose something with a great frame as it will be your artistic element in the space.

via Veranda

3. A console in larger spaces or a wall table/shelf for smaller ones.

The console is your work horse. It’s where things get placed (keys, glasses), lamps get set, and magic is made. Okay, so maybe magic is a stretch, but no other piece in your space will serve as much function as the console. So take some time to find the right one. Make sure you measure your space before you go looking, as what looks great at the store may surprisingly be the wrong size at home. I suggest you use painter’s tape to mark off the size you *think* you’ll want both on the wall and the floor and see if it will actually work in the space.  I find a lot of people either over estimate or underestimate the size of the console they really need.

via Eric Piasecki

If you don’t have space for a console however, a wall table or shelf might work better. Wall tables work much like shelves, but are mounted small tables, often more substantial than a ledge or shelf, but not by much. They sometimes have two legs but can also come without legs, freeing up the space underneath. If your entry way is more walk way than small room, either a wall table or shelf can help give you a space to place things without  taking up too much actually space.

via Pinterest

4. Accessories.

Ah, the golden jewels of the decorators treasure chest. Accessories in a space are like accessories on your person—too much and you look like you’re in the mafia, too few and you look like you’re moving. But done correctly, these are the things that pull your space together, moving it from bland to BAM! When considering accessories try and bring color into the scheme from other items in the space (this is a perfect pairing for your art). Look for things that add interest and texture. Try to stick with groups of odd numbers, aiming for no less than 3 and no more than 5 items.

via K Mathiesen Brown Design

5. BONUS: A place to sit.

This is not a necessity, but if you’ve got the space is much appreciated. Seating gives you a perch from which to put on and take off your shoes. And if you don’t think that’s appreciated, try sitting on the floor and doing it. See, not so fun, is it? A chair works but a simple stool or upholstered ottoman will do the job just as well.

via HGTV

6. Extra BONUS (cuz’ you’re a boss like that): Umbrella stand.

via zgallerie

Yes, your space will be fully functional and beautiful without one, but just look at this cute thing! Why wouldn’t you want that in your entry?!

With some strategic planning and a few fundamentals, your entry can set the right tone for your guests and your home. And if you need a few more ideas, take a look at my decor board on Pinterest.



Girl Crushes: Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook

Ever had one? You know what I’m talking about. You watch someone from afar and think, “If we met, we could totally be best friends.” I feel this way about many women, mostly hilarious ones like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling.

I also have a serious fashion girl crush on Kate Middleton and Olivia Palermo (yeah, me and thousands of other ladies, I know).

My newest girl crush however, isn’t as famous—yet. But trust me, it won’t be long. I just can’t seem to get enough of Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook. She’s already very well know among those who follow interior design blogs for her incredible sense of style and down-right crafty genius. She’s also a contributing editor for the newly re branded Domino Magazine. And if you’re not sold on why she and I would be BFFs if our paths ever crossed, then you haven’t seen her latest piece of crafty amazement—her DIY Modern Sunburst Mirror. Seriously, after this post I am completely smitten.

Tell me you don’t want to run out and purchase every dowel Home Depot has right this moment! It’s beautiful and so well executed. I adore design that is both doable and elevated—the way DIY should be.

Have a great weekend! And if you don’t hear back from me next week it’s because I’m knee deep in wood dowels.


Guest Blogger: Jessica with Fit and Crafty!

Jessica is a dear friend of mine and as soon as I saw this post on her blog, Fit and Crafty, I figured I’d cash in my friendship chips and beg her to let me feature it. I seriously swooned when I spotted her DIY Anthropologie Stacked Horn Base lamps. She did an amazing job, and at $24 per lamp WITH the shade, they’re a steal compared to the $598 price tag Anthropologie has on just one.








Head over to her blog and Check out these amazing lamps for yourself. DIY instructions are included and couldn’t be easier. Thanks, Jessica, for letting me share your post!


A Fall Update for the Book Wreath

Remember the book wreath I did over at



One of my favorite things about this wreath is the hundred and one ways you can restyle it. Here it is last Halloween:


And this past August at my sister’s baby shower:



Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving I wanted to use it once again. After a morning walk at the park and some ribbon and hot glue I refashioned it once more for fall.


When I spotted these acorns I knew they had to be mine. Filling my pockets with them like a clepto squirrel, I ran back home and into the loving arms of my glue gun. We brought some pretty olive grosgrain ribbon into the mix and had ourselves a party!


I cut a length of ribbon long enough that when folded almost in half, it hung freely through the middle of the wreath without dropping onto the paper. I then put a bead of glue 1 1/2 inches from the bottoms of both sides and pinched them together.

drop of gluewm


Placing a larger bead of glue in the bottom of the pleat you’ve created, push an acorn into the space and hold it until it cools.



Next, cut a second length of ribbon twice as long as the first, long enough so that you can fold the ribbon on top of itself twice, forming two loops. This is basically like a bow without the knot.



Layer the ribbons, first the looped ribbon, then the acorn ribbon on top of each other. Using a few clothing pins, secure the ribbons into the back of the wreath at the hook. This will allow your ribbon to drape nicely when hung.


And that’s it! A simple adjustment to a now standard piece of decor in our house, the fall update on the paper wreath has me going nuts (okay…lame joke, but hey, I can’t help but be a-corny sometimes (see what I did there?;).






DIY Styrofoam Ghosts

DIY Styrofoam ghosts

Simple to make and cute as can be, these DIY Styrofoam ghosts are an easy way to add a little fright to your Halloween night. Head on over to to get all the direction you need to make a few ghostly friends for your own home.

And come back to visit soon as I’ll be adding to the spook with a few other ideas just in time for the scariest night of the year!



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