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"Closet Eye Candy"

I love hanging out in my closet.  I know it's a little weird, but it's like my "safe" place.  It's where I go when a bad storm brews.  It's where I go when I really need to be alone with God.  It's even where I've been known to hang out on the phone on one of those long conversations that seem to linger on for hours.  Plus, I don't know about you, but I need a comfy space to mull over my wardrobe choices and an inspiring "happy" place to put together fabulous new combinations. 

Yep, I love the closet.  And while I had lots of space in my previous home's master closet......


My current one's are not so accommodating...


While I've yet to finish off either of them, eventually I'd like to spruce them both up.  I think there are a few keys to creating a hang out kind of closet.  Here they are:

  • Seating.  I've always wanted a walk-in with a round (preferably tufted) ottoman.  Something about that just sounds luxurious to me.  A bright chair also does the trick.  Bottom line, if you're going to hang-out, you're going to need a place to sit.
Photo Source

  •  Organization.  If you're going to want to hang out, it can't look like a disaster area.  Clean out, declutter, take inventory and determine what system and storage needs are best for you.
Photo Source

  • Drama.   A chandelier, graphic wallpaper, something needs to be a little dramatic.  A wow factor!

Erinn Valencich

  • Color.  The thought of wallpaper make you cringe?  Never fear, a bright color works just as well.  But this is no time to play it safe.  I mean it's a closet.  Let your hair down.  Bubble Gum Pink, Midnight Blue, Florida Orange; why not!
Photo Source: HGTV

  • Work what you've got.  You don't even need a walk-in to have a hang out worthy closet. 
Photo Source: HGTV

Just a little weekend closet eye candy.

Did you enjoy this blog post?  Let me know by leaving a  comment.  I'd love to hear from you.  
NOTE:  Reading via email?  Simply click on the Dwell by Cheryl logo

...located at the top of this email to be redirected to the website and click on the "COMMENTS- CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION" link at the end of today's post.

Guest Post: "Top Tips for Amateur Gardeners"

When I moved into my current home in 2007, I knew absolutely nothing about gardening.  However, my yard was so cute and inviting that I knew it was time to give it a try.   For this, I called on one of my dearest friends, Bonnie.  I knew if anyone could teach me what to do, and more importantly what not to do, it was her.  Let's just say she did not disappoint.  In case you missed it, click HERE to check out how far I've come over the years.
I asked Bonnie if she'd do me the honor of being my very first Guest Blogger.  She's given me so much great gardening advice over the years that I figured you could learn a lot from her as well.  So, in her own words here are....

Bonnie's Top Tips for the Amateur Gardener

  • Always wear gloves….not only do they keep your hands clean; they keep the creepy crawlies off!  Nothing like grabbing a lizard with no gloves on.  EEK! Get a snug fitting pair that is easy to work in. I suggest leather. 
         I have 2 pairs of these......



  • Know what zone you live in and what works best in your area.  Sure you want to be all “exotic”…but trust me if it’s not meant to grow where you live, it’s not going to do well.  I’ve wasted lots of money and time trying to have that unique plant that ultimately dies on me.  Click on the map below to find your zone. 

National Gardening Association.

  • Use your resources…. My favorite for my area is the USDA's Cooperative Extension Service.

          Each state has one. (FIND YOURS) These folks are the experts and just about everything you
          need for gardening can be found on their sites; anything from care tips, varieties, insects,
          diseases, etc. I’ve even printed out the info I need and started my own resource binder.

Bed Bath and Beyond

  • Don’t plant anything where you don’t want to drag the water hose in August!  Those flowers look great down by the mailbox in April & May....
Photo Source

....but trust me, you’ll either curse the summer heat while you are watering in July & August or the flowers will be burnt to a crisp, like mine tend to be.

Photo Source
  • Invest in Preen….after you get your beds weed-free this stuff keeps them that way.  Duh…a NO Brainer!  Unless you just love weeding…
Preen 16 Lb. Drum Garden Weed Preventer
  • Try to be water smart…water storing crystals are great for pots and for planting.  They absorb water and release it when the plants get dry.

Great for retaining moisture in terracotta pots and moss baskets that dry out quickly.  Also, using mulch, pine needles, Spanish moss, crushed shells, river rocks, etc to cover the dirt…not only looks pretty but retains moisture.  Looks super great in pots.

  •  Invest in a good shovel and pair of pruners…that’s really all you’ll ever need.
Corona 4-1/2" Forged Steel Hand Pruner

  • Lastly find friends in gardening….. Nothing is better than sharing plants.  It’s a great way to get rid of plants that need dividing and an even better (and cheaper) way to fill an empty spot!

Bonnie Moody

Excellent tips Bonnie!!!

Did you enjoy Bonnie's guest blog post?  Have a question for her?  Let us know by leaving a  comment.  We'd love to hear from you.  
NOTE:  Reading via email?  Simply click on the Dwell by Cheryl logo

...located at the top of this email to be redirected to the website and click on the "COMMENTS- CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE CONVERSATION" link at the end of today's post.

"Dreaming of a Design Office"

When I first started this business venture, it quickly became apparent that when working with clients your home can very easily become a storage facility.  Take a look at my living room....

I have big dreams of actually having a storage facility and my now home office.....

 becoming an inspired design studio....

Emily A. Clark Interiors
With space for all of my hard copy design periodicals.
Photo Source


And with a board for paint chips.

House Beautiful

And plenty of storage space for beautiful fabrics.  But, until then, a girl can dream can't she?



The unusually warm weather has yielded some beautiful days and has things blooming everywhere!!  I like this time of year because it's usually when things that I forgot I planted start to sprout out of the ground and I'm ecstatic about the fact that there's one less plant I'll need to purchase.  A perennial planted is a penny saved.

One thing is for sure, all of the blue skies, blooming trees, shrubs, bulbs and plants provide great design inspirations.

Take this beautiful Saucer Magnolia Tree.  I had no idea there were pink blooming Magnolias!

The variation of color in the bloom is a great scheme when using pink as an accent.  Like in this toss pillow....

Home Decorators

This absolutely beautiful Carolina blue sky....

...has me thinking blue and white.
House Beautiful
Red tulips.....

Maybe red and green aren't just for the holidays anymore.
Photo Source
This tree in my front yard was in full bloom a couple of weeks ago...
And I love how this room incorporates all of the natural colors of spring; the blue sky, the brown branches, the green leaves and the white blooms.  So very laid back and effortlessly comfy.

So, look around Springspiration is all around you. 

"Picture Perfect"

Let me begin by congratulating the winner of the March Dwell by Cheryl giveaway.....

Karen Roberts
(My 8th Grade Science Teacher)
Gulfport, Mississippi

Congratulations Mrs. Roberts! For teaching me the periodic table, you definitely deserve a free rug. : )   I hope you enjoy your Rugs USA rug.  Let us know which one you select and be sure to send us a picture.   Special thanks to Rugs USA for sponsoring the giveaway!

Last month's winner Brittany Lewis selected the Mohawk Select Strata Tropical Acres Ivory Rug.....

Mohawk Select Strata Tropical Acres Ivory Rug
Rugs USA

....and it appears she's enjoying it!

This week has been extremely hectic, and this weekend shows no signs of letting up. 

Several readers have asked me if I've gotten the "after" pictures from my last project. Remember, the living room with the green sofas?  Well, tomorrow morning I have a shoot to photograph those spaces along with another master bedroom project.  Sorry for the delay, but coordinating schedules with my photographer and the homeowners was no easy feat.  Of course, I have after pictures of both projects, but trust me, you'd rather see the real thing.  You'd think that once the project is finished, the work would be done, but getting ready to make a room picture perfect ain't easy.  

Here's what happens.  First, I look for some inspiration.  I scour the web, magazines and catalogs for ideas on props and staging essentials.   For example, the kitchen in the home tomorrow is an eat-in kitchen so I needed an idea for the table and I wasn't sold on actually setting it.  Thanks to Pottery Barn, I think I'm going with a much more casual feel.

Pottery Barn

 I really like the serving tray with the dishes stacked.

Pottery Barn
So, wondering where I'm getting all of these "props"?  Mostly from my home.....

From plates to tablecloths, throw pillows and serving trays, my car will literally look like I'm moving tomorrow. 

Next, a trip to grocery store for edible props and flowers (FYI, A Tips for Arranging Grocery Store Bouquets post is coming soon) and a little filler from the front porch....

Apparently, nothing says home like a bowl of fruit and some fresh flowers....

House Beautiful

Well, I'd better go finish preparing.  Here's hoping it's picture perfect.  I can't wait to show you the finished dwellings.

"Inspired by a Master" (Giveaway Day!)

This weekend I had an opportunity to visit Mrs. Howard/Max & Company's Charlotte location.  My professor actually works there, so I got the grand tour.  I have only one word:  WOW!

It was absolutely unbelievably beautiful.  I don't think I've ever experienced so many beautiful things in a single location.  If you're not familiar with Mrs. Howard, she's pretty much an interior design icon, especially here in the south. 

Phoebe Howard

You may have come across her new monthly column in Southern Living called "Dear Mrs. Howard".  Her store, if you can even call it that, is fantastic!  It's more like a home (formerly the Charlotte Women's Club) where you can just happen to purchase items as you peruse the two-story mansion. 

I took so many pictures I started to forget what I shot and what I hadn't.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera (rookie mistake) and had to settle for sub par Ipad pictures. 

Hopefully, when I need a little inspiration I can look past that.  For you however, I decided to share a few pictures from her website

Honestly, I saw enough to write about 10 blog post, but for the purpose of this one, I'm going to stick with sisal.  I couldn't help but notice how many rooms had rugs on top of rugs, something that I've never hesitated to do.  However, it seemed that Mrs. Howard did it most often with sisal underneath.

Mrs. Howard

Mrs. Howard

Mrs. Howard

There's something fresh, natural and organic about sisal.  I love it's durability and it's versatility.  It's readily available in lots of sizes and lots of price points. 

6x9 Brown Cotton Border Panama Sisal Rug, Tan | World Market
World Market
Home Decorators
Hand-woven Sisal Beige Rug (8' Round)

Rugs USA
A couple of spaces even had wall to wall sisal installed as a carpet, which I really loved.  Nevertheless, my trip just further reinforced for me the power of a rug to really ground a space and delineate areas within a dwelling. 

So, speaking of rugs, (drum roll please.......), it's giveaway time again!  This month, Rugs USA was generous enough to offer one lucky reader their choice of three fabulous rugs. 

  • The first and probably my favorite is a 4 X 6 classic jute option.  Reminds me of the sisals I spoke about.

Classic Home Handspun Jute 3006 Natural Rug

  • The second option is more traditional, but beautiful nonetheless.  It's a 4 X6 hand tufted 100% wool rug.   

  • The third and final option is a 3'6" X 5'6" red Kilim.  Very Turkish and very now!

Classic Home Europa Kilims AE4792 Red Rug

So, How do you win?

  1. Post about the Dwell by Cheryl giveaway (by referencing @dwellbycheryl or www.dwellbycheryl.com) on your Facebook page or Twitter  to encourage your friends to become subscribers and let me know that you did by leaving me a comment.
2.       Visit the RugsUSA site and let me know which of their fabulous rugs you like
best by leaving a comment
3.       "Like" Rugs USA on Facebook and let me know by leaving a comment.

REMEMBER all giveaways are for Dwell by Cheryl confirmed subscribers.
Facebook ONLY followers must subscribe to the blog first to win. 
(In other words, if you don’t get the blog in your inbox you haven’t subscribed)
The winner will be announced on Friday, March 23, 2012.
Good Luck!

P.S.  Not sure how to leave a comment?  Read how at the end of this POST
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