Design Dilemma

Sometimes it can be hard to decorate. Despite all the pretty pictures on pinterest and the glossy catalogs, sometimes you can just get stuck.

Source: bing.com via Holly on Pinterest

When that happens, I think the best thing you can do is call a friend. Remember the "Friends Don't Let Friends Shop Alone" thing? Well the same goes with decorating. Sometimes you just need someone to bounce ideas off, help you talk through ideas, and be supportive. A fresh pair of eyes can bring new ideas and inspiration.

When I started re-decorating my home, my friend Jennifer helped me organize my ideas and work through the trouble spots. And now I am getting a chance to do just that for my friend Stephanie.

Stephanie sent me some photos and an email:
"I have a "design dilemma" that I could really use your help with!  I am in the planning stages of redecorating my home, going from "Texas Tuscan" to a more neutral "Ballard style" look that I have been drooling over for the past couple of years.  
I have plenty of ideas for the rest of my house, but this tall, skinny niche in my stairway has me stumped!  I have attached a few photos of the niche in its current state.  I would like something a bit more fun and original.  
You can see in the photos that I went faux-crazy when we first moved in, and the niche was my first victim ;)  I plan to remedy that with a coat of our original wall color  (Sundew by Sherwin Williams) to lighten up and unify the space, but beyond that I am a bit lost! 
The niche measures 22 inches wide, 14 inches deep, and 8 1/2 feet tall at its highest point.  I will be replacing the brown frames on the wall with a new display to compliment whatever ends up in the niche.  
I am using predominantly black, white, silver, neutrals, and natural fibers throughout the rest of the house, punctuated by "pops" of a yet-to-be-determined color. The only other stipulation is that I am trying to avoid anything too large and heavy that the twins can pull down onto themselves now that they are pulling up, cruising, and giving me daily heart attacks.  So, in other words, I am asking for tall, skinny, fun, original, baby-proof decor. Easy-peasy, huh?"

 I love her email because I have been in that same place! Everyone has. SO my dear friend, here are some things I have found that might get your creativity flowing again. And PS- your twins are adorable. If that space was lower to the ground- it actually could be a baby reading nook!

Design Dilemma Suggestions:

First- I think after you paint (although there is no shame in faux) the inside, I would divide the space. The easiest way to do this is by adding shelves. That way you don't get stuck in the rut of using just one tall piece.


Second- make it more 'you'.  Nate Berkus says the most interesting homes are ones that include personal items. I think that is why you don't like the vase/art combo- it doesn't reflect you and your family. Add items to the shelves from trips, include photos, or try framing personal affects. Look at collections you might have, unify the space by including these items in sets of three.


Third- Be willing to try something bold. Whether it is with a dramatic color or even an 'unexpected' accessory on the shelves of the nook, the bigger the risk- the bigger the reward!

Stephanie- I hope that helps! Please send in some photos when your project is done. We can't wait to see how it turns out!

Do you have a Design Dilemma? Send it on over and I'll see what I can come up with. 

Linking up at these great blogs:
-Be Different Act Normal
-Tatertots and Jello
-Serenity Now
-Under the Table Dreaming
-The Creative Paige
-Not So Simple Housewife

Home Stories A 2 Z


  1. Yay! Thanks so much, Samantha! I'm feeling very inspired! I'll send in some pics when I'm done. Happy holidays!

  2. Bravo!! My very first thought was shelves! :)

  3. I have something similar that I want to change. I've never been a fan of it and you've shown some fantastic ideas!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love to hear from you and will do my best to answer questions and comments by 'replying via email'.
:) Samantha

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