Archive for the ‘ Tricks of the Trade ’ Category

The Hostess Gift Guide

Photo from our Coronado J Project.

Holiday parties are in full swing, and you better believe we will be sipping a few cocktails and eating a Christmas cookie or two (or seven)! Whether for work, family, or play, it’s safe to say that this jolly time of year quickly gets packed with festivities. Where there are festivities, there is always a hostess hustling behind the scenes to bring the party to life. When there is a party being brought to life, it’s always nice to show your appreciation towards the one who is working hard to make the magic happen.

Photo from our Genter Project.

So on that note, we are jumping on the gift guide train and rounded up some favorite hosting essentials that are so stylish and timeless, your host can use them year-round for all of their entertainment needs. Now, while you sip bubbles into the night and nibble on all of the tasty finger foods, you can know that you’ve done your part in trying to spoil your host as much as your host has spoiled you. Cheers and happy holidays!

The Hostess Gift Guide

1. Mango Wood Serving Board , 2. Coasters Set , 3. Ceramic Cake Stand , 4. Brass Bottle Opener , 5. Water Pitcher , 6. 2019 Scribe Pinot Noir , 7. Dark Grey Cocktail Napkins , 8. Taper Candlestick Holders , 9. Elderflower Tonic , 10. Brass Cork Stopper , 11. Champagne Saucers , 12. Brass Cocktail Shaker

Holiday Tablescape Tips

Photo from our Peters Stone Project.

The holiday season is here! Well, it’s almost here, and if you are like us, all things hosting are coming to mind. As we gear up to gather around the table with our loved ones from near and far, we want to ensure that the atmosphere and tablescape are looking just as good as the food. Yep, we love creating those special moments with our loved ones with a signature designer twist. We can’t help it!

Yes, it’s always a nice touch to have a beautiful table setting to look at and take photos of, but there’s much more to it. It’s about creating an atmosphere for memories to be made, creating an ambiance that allows everyone to be present and submerged in the moment, and providing a nurturing space for all to unwind and feel gratitude for all that is good. Anyone else getting warm fuzzy feels?

So let’s get down to business, shall we? Check out our top five tips on how to curate a show-stopping tablescape so that you and yours can feast in style.

Photo from our Peters Stone Project.

1. Color Palette: You know we are lovers of all things neutral and earth-toned here, so it should be of no surprise what direction our color scheme will be going. However, if you want to make your palette feel more seasonal and fit for the holidays, we recommend going with some burnt orange hues, deep olive greens, or a rich navy to ensure that your table won’t feel too “cheesy” holiday. It leaves you the option to use these tabletop pieces year-round, too.

2. Layer in Textures: We are talking about real tablecloths, woven placemats, & linen napkins, people. No paper napkins and tablecloths here! This is your moment to consider your color palette, and you can use those textiles to elevate the dining experience and bring the table some soul.

3. Florals & Foliage: Let’s bring the table to life! We are huge fans of garland running down the center of the table – eucalyptus or pine is always a favorite! Also, consider going for a neighborhood stroll and foraging some greenery along the way. If you want to go more of a centerpiece route, consider grouping together a few collected vases with some seasonal, fresh cuts or even dried florals, too. Our last little hot tip here is to save a few pieces of your cooking herbs for your placemat settings! A rosemary spring tucked into each guest’s napkin can add such a special touch.

Photo from our Coronado J Project.

4. Add Decor: The décor is your chance to hone in and create the tone of the environment. Taper candlesticks are the perfect way to create mood lighting while creating a warm and intimate setting for your guests. Consider staggering candlesticks throughout the length of the table so that the whole table can equally feel the ambiance.

5. Add Dinnerware: It’s time to add in plates, glassware, & flatware. Depending on the food and drink, start selecting the appropriate serving bowls, decanters, gravy boats, and water pitchers. If you want to go for a more organic and eclectic route, we love the look of mix-and-matching ceramics, dishware, and materiality, too. A collected home is a happy home.

Feeling inspired to level up your tablescape game for the upcoming holiday hosting? We curated some special selections from South Harlow Home that are sure to flow with just about any color palette or tablescape aesthetic. Happy holidays friends, and happy shopping!

Shop South Harlow Home

1. Modern Taper Candle Holder in Black , 2. Orb Cutting Board , 3. Coastal Seagrass Decanter , 4. Glass & Mango Wood Decanter , 5. Modern Footed Bowl , 6. Modern Taper Candle Holder in Gold , 7. Striped Mango Wood Bowl , 8. Artisanal Stoneware Pitcher , 9. Hoop Salt & Pepper Grinders , 10. Modern Seagrass Vase , 11. Ceramic Taper Candle Holders , 12. Stoneware Creamer

5 Ways to Add Interest to Your Ceilings

Photo from our Windansea Project.

We are over halfway through 2021, and it is starting to feel like things are looking up! Literally. Do you get where we are going with this? We are here today to talk ceilings. Ceilings are oftentimes a missed design opportunity within the home, but when given the chance, they can be a show-stopping moment that brings so much character and charm into a space. For most of us, the dream scheme is to have high-pitched ceilings with reclaimed wood beams from an old French farmhouse, right? Well, we have to face the facts here, and sadly, that’s not a possibility for most of us, so we have some other solutions that can be just as transformative and endearing. We’ve compiled five ways to add interest to your ceilings, and believe us- they make ALL the difference in your home. You will never look at your ceilings the same!

1. Crown Molding

Interior Design by Cortney Bishop Design.

Crown Molding is probably the most commonly used technique to enhance a ceiling. Not only does it add a special detail to the ceiling, but it adds a nice touch to the top of the wall, too. Crown molding is a great way to marry the wall and ceiling into one happy and cohesive relationship. There are a lot of types of crown molding out in the ether, and you can go as traditional or modern as you choose. If you prefer it to be more understated, paint it the same color or a shade slightly off from your wall and ceiling color. If you want to highlight the molding, paint it in a fun accent color, perhaps even matching the window frames and doors in the room.

Interior Design by DISC Interiors.
Interior Design by Sean Anderson Design.

2. Accent Ceiling Color

Interior Design by Sean Anderson Design.

This one might be a little out there for some, but boy, can it add some refined drama into the home. You can go bold with a dark color and paint technique, like lime wash or plaster, or keep it more muted with softer earth hues in a high reflective finish.

Interior Design by Cortney Bishop Design.

Interior Design by Chan + Earys.

3. Wood Paneling

Interior Design by Studio Lifestyle.

This feature is probably one of the more approachable design elements that you can add to your ceilings, and my oh my, can it make the world of a difference. You can choose from shiplap, v-groove, beadboard, tambour, or reclaimed wood, to name a few. Depending on the overall vibe you want to achieve in your home, paint it white for a light and bright look, dark for mood and drama, or keep things natural for a warm and modern feel.

Interior Design by Cortney Bishop Design.
Interior Design by Denise Morrison Interiors.

4. Beams

Interior Design by Sean Anderson Design.

Beams are another approachable solution to elevate your ceilings and add architectural features to your space. They can add dimension, depth, and length to your ceilings, resulting in a dreamy, character-filled home. Paint them, sand them, bleach them, stain them, or keep them rustic and reclaimed. The options are almost endless.

Interior Design by Jessica Helgerson Design.
Interior Design by Studio Lifestyle.

5. Coffered Ceilings

Interior Design by M. Elle Design.

Oh, these are some of the most charming of ceilings! “Coffer” means indentation, and this architectural feature typically consists of sunken panels in a square or rectangular shape, framed by beams to form a three-dimensional, grooved grid on the ceiling. The result is a timeless transformation adding loads of architectural value to your home.

Interior Design by Amber Interiors.
Interior Design by Studio Lifestyle.

Our Top Tips for an Inviting Backyard

Backyard from our Coronado J Project.

It’s officially June, and summer has pretty much started in our book! With warmer weather, longer days, and plenty of time outdoors ahead, we thought that it’s the perfect time to talk about all things backyard. Most of us will still be keeping pretty close to home this summer, so it’s the ideal opportunity to get our backyards suited up to become our own little staycation. Summertime is all about easy living, time with family and friends, and taking full advantage of the fact that we can start socializing this year. We are here to offer a few tips on setting the scene for a backyard paradise at home.

Lounge & Relaxation

Backyard from our Coronado J Project.
Backyard from our Coronado J Project.

If we are talking staycation, it is a no-brainer that it’s necessary to provide areas for resting and lounging in the sun. Not only are the sunny spots a must, but it’s also wise to consider areas that get a fair amount of shade, too. You want to create designated hangout zones. A couple of lounge chairs in the sun followed by a shaded seating area provide the best of both worlds. Fireplaces or fire pits are also a great way to draw people together, not to mention these areas can be well-utilized into the evenings and the colder months. We are game for anything that can pull the family away from the TV and brings us outdoors for some quality time!

Outdoor Dining & Entertaining

Backyard from our Coronado J Project.

What is better than going to a hotel or restaurant that has an incredible outdoor patio? Think about trying to recreate these moments of entertainment at your own home. Having an outdoor dining area makes for a great excuse to get friends and the kids together for a barbecue or dinner celebration. Better yet, if you have the space for an outdoor kitchen or bar, your food prep and cleanup can get a whole lot easier, plus you will have more outdoor surface space to wine, dine, and entertain. Some of our favorite nights have been spent with our loved ones under the twinkling stars in our own backyards. It makes the regular day-to-day feel much more special.

Plants & Landscaping

Backyard from our Coronado J Project.

Giving your backyard an upgrade from a standard ole lawn can effectively make your outdoor space feel like you are traveling into a slice of paradise. Consider taking a look at your local nursery and adding native plants from the area in which you live, that way, the plants are guaranteed to adapt to the climate. Not only will this make your yard feel lush and revitalized, but it also can add a layer of privacy and can truly feel like a retreat away from the neighborhood. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re traveling into a tropic oasis by taking a few small steps outside the backdoor? If landscaping isn’t quite in the budget, think about giving some of your greenery a planter upgrade for a refreshed look and grouping plants in different areas of your backyard. The more plant friends to create a sense of refuge, the better!

Lighting & Decor

Backyard from our Coronado J Project.

Nothing quite creates the ambiance more than the lighting and those finishing touches. Lighting is a great way to initiate a mood and lure you and your guests to gather outdoors. From pendants to string lights, to candlelight at the dinner table, lighting can be used to create an intimate atmosphere made for great conversation and loving memories. Adding the finishing touches, like tabletop goods and small décor pieces, allows for your brunch or dinner party to be memorable and personable.

Speaking of décor, we’ve added some brand new items to South Harlow Home just in time for your summer hosting needs! Take a little scroll below to shop some of our favorite new pieces for tabletop and outdoor.

Shop South Harlow Home

Pillow Chats: Styling, Mixing, & Our Favorite Picks

Photo from our Hymettus Project.

Happy 2021! We’ve made it through the first month, and we can’t help but feel like we are on the upswing. We are keeping things light for this month’s post. Cozy, fluffy, comfortable… any guesses?! If you guessed, throw pillows, you’re in for a treat!

Today, we are sharing our tips for styling your throw pillows and some pointers on how to select pillow combos, too.


Photo from our La Jolla Project.

First things first, curate a color palette. You can pick colors of the same family and similar hues, or you can select colors that compliment each other and flow together cohesively. We like to start with a neutral base and then add in color from there to keep a nice balance.

Don’t be scared to mix different types of prints! Prints can be so fun, and believe us, you don’t want to miss out on a good time. Mix colors within the patterns that flatter each other and don’t compete. On the other hand, try not to go overboard with too much of the same print. For example, try not to use too many stripes. Mix those stripes with an organic floral pattern or something graphic to break up the print. Remember to play with different scaled prints, too. Using a big bold graphic? Try pairing it with a smaller, daintier pattern for a nice mix of weight and contrast. Lastly, when in doubt, mix those prints with a solid color. Bonus points if this solid has a nice textural element like braided wool or nubby linen.


Photo from our Skylark Project.

We often get questions from clients on how to make throw pillows look so effortless and in the right place. To be blunt, how do make pillows look pretty and not like a hunk of fluff? Well, let’s work our way from back to front. Biggest pillows in the back! We are talking those 24” x 24” or 22” x 22”. Once those are in place, start layering in those medium pillows next. Those 20” 20” or 18” x 18” – we are looking at you! Yep, you guessed it, smallest in the front. We love placing a pretty little lumbar in the front for a nice variation in shape and size.

HOT TIP: When placing the pillows on the couch, we always start by placing pillows in the corners. It’s the perfect little nook to add layers of texture. Also, work from the outside inwards. The first pillow in the corners, then add in the front pillows moving closer towards the center.

For a bed, we like a little 3, 2, 1 effect. The three biggest pillows in the back, the two medium-sized next, then a longer lumbar in the very front. This depends on the size of your bed of course, but it works like a charm almost every time.

Photo from our La Jolla Project.

Hope you all learned some fun tips on throw pillows. Next time you or a friend is in a pillow crisis, you know who to call. Scroll down below to check out a few of our favorite pillows from us here at South Harlow Home and beyond!


1. Pacific Square Pillow , 2. Elodie Stripe Lumbar Pillow , 3. Floral Square Pillow , 4. Chiang Mai Block Print Pillow , 5. Denim Blue Square Pillow , 6. Contigo Pillow , 7. Ullo Pillow , 8. Caravane Lumbar Pillow , 9. Pyramids Square Pillow

For the Love of Rugs: Sizes, Layouts, & Our Top Picks

Dining room from our Hymettus Project.

Hello friends! We are getting into a favorite décor item this month, rugs! Whoop! A rug can be a total mood changer in any room. It quite literally can make a whole space feel grounded and can pull together an entire space. Need some warmth and texture? A rug can do that for you. Does your room feel unfinished, and do you need a way to make a space feel cozy and inviting? Yep, a rug is the answer to that, too.

Depending on your style, the options for this lovely base layer goes on for days. You can go vintage, you can go natural jute, you can go bold and graphic, or even go with braided wool. We love a good vintage Turkish rug, but sometimes we want to go for something more classic and paired-back in pattern. Depends on the mood and depends on the house, right?

We thought it would be handy to do a quick little rug size and layout guide for three of our most lived-in spaces: the living room, the dining room, and the bedroom. So take a scroll below, and we hope you enjoy a few tips of information.

The Living Room

Living room from our Hymettus Project.

Oh, the living room. This is one of the most asked about spaces in terms of rug size queries. We know we have had our fair share or rug dilemmas in this room that’s for sure. When it comes to a living room rug, it’s best to get a rug that is longer or as long as the length of your couch. As for furniture layout, make sure that just the front furniture legs are on the rug and allow for the back furniture legs to be on the floor. It allows breathing room and allows for the rug to anchor together all of the furniture so that they don’t look like they are floating around in space. If you have space for a large enough rug and for your furniture to be entirely on that rug, by all means, go for it! Just make sure the rug is longer and goes past the edge of each side of the sofa and accent chairs or else it will make your furniture appear like it’s being squished, and who wants that? We are going for comfort all the way!

Also, for the ones who like a two for one special, don’t forget about layering your rugs! This is a great option if you have a rug that seems to be too small, but you are dying to use it. Layer that treasured gem over a larger jute area rug, and you have yourself a textural masterpiece.

One last little note, consider the amount of traffic your living room gets. Consider a type of rug that is durable and a color that won’t be getting dirty too quickly. If you are considering a rug that is lighter in color, definitely go for a material that is easy to clean. 

The Dining Room

Dining room from our Hymettus Project.

A rug in the dining room is dependent on many different variables: the size of the room, the size of your dining table, and the shape of your dining table. The best rule of thumb is to select a rug size that is large enough so all chairs remain on the rug even when chairs are pulled out. A rug under the dining table provides cohesiveness between all of the pieces of furniture while also protecting your floors from scratches from the chairs. A win, win! If your dining table is a rectangle, go for a rectangle rug. If your dining table is round, go round. It’s best to keep shapes consistent!

The Bedroom

Bedroom from our Hymettus Project.

We can all agree that the main goal of the bedroom is to feel relaxing, cozy, and peaceful. The best way to add in those serene elements is through the use of linens, natural materials, and drumroll please… rugs! A rug in the bedroom can add character and a sense of tranquility. It’s the last thing your feet touch before diving into bed at night and the first thing your feet touch in the morning upon waking. That sense of touch sets the tone of your day and sets the foundation of your space. We love selecting a rug that feels comforting underfoot while also visually bringing your mind to ease. A printed Persian rug in soft hues is one of our favorite go-to’s.

Bedroom from our La Jolla Project.

Adding a rug sets the perimeter around the bed and can help the room feel put-together. A favorite layout of ours is selecting a medium-sized rug and placing the foot of the bed on top of the rug and the head of the bed slightly off onto the floor. This brings personality into the room without the rug feeling like it is taking over the entire space. Another method is layering a medium-sized rug over a large size. This is a great option for those who want a good neutral base layer mixed with a bit of pattern. For a smaller space, try going for two small runners on each side of the bed. This will add symmetry, color, and interest. Just make sure that the runner is wider than your bedside table and does not exceed the length of your bed or else the room could feel uneven.

We hope you enjoyed our tips and tidbits on rug sizes and layouts. We couldn’t wrap up this rug party without giving a few of our top picks, so take a little scroll below to view some of our current favorites. See ya’ll next month!

Our Top Picks in Rugs

Shop Rugs: 1. Textured Wool Rug , 2. Vintage Deerk Rug , 3. Arroyo Rug , 4. Heir Looms Antique Persian Rug , 5. Braid Round Rug , 6. Surya Urfa Rug , 7. Redondo Rug , 8. Sawyer Teal Rug , 9. Roxen Rug