It’s the end of the month, and we are extremely grateful for all of the design challenges and experiences that have come our way. Today, we continue to show you some of our favorites … 5 things that truly made us happy in the great big world of design this month. This has proven to be a great way for us to share sneak peeks into projects that are in the works (but not quite ready to show in their entirety), flashbacks of projects from the past, and highlight an interior or event vendor that deserves recognition. Enjoy!

#1: This Valentine’s Day! We absolutely love putting together cute decorations and making this day special for our loved ones, but this Valentine’s Day was on a whole new level thanks to all of you who support what we do, collaborated, and purchased BOXes! A special shout out goes to The Secret Bake Shop, LA Mobile Bartender, and Darcuterie for being the absolute best to work with and for creating the most incredible custom treats, cocktails, and charcuterie to provide our clients with a unique experience (in a BOX) this Valentine’s Day. We are beyond proud of how our BOXes and Minis turned out and can’t wait to share what’s in store next from this special line. (Written by: Tami)

#2: This move-in! This dream project is nowhere near finished, but the amazing client who lives there finally moved in and we are continuing to fine tune and finish her house together. From moldings, to furniture, to light fixtures, stay tuned to see what we do next! (Written by: Lauren)

#3: This Bday Mini! Looking for a little somethin’ somethin’ to send to a friend for their birthday? This month, we introduced the Bday Mini! It’s a small way to show that you care and can include birthday treats, mini bottles of alcohol, and other fun festive items for both adults and kids. Mostly it’s just a party in a Mini BOX! As are all of our in a BOX options, this one is completely custom and curated with the recipient in mind. Order a Bday Mini for each of your besties today! (Written by: Tami)

#4: This #inspo! We officially started this home theater project this month. Here is some inspiration we pulled for the overall look of the space. Next steps are meeting with an IT specialist to discuss which elements to include and then comes the fun part … Making this vision come to life! We will update you as we go! (Written by: Lauren)

#5: These Super Bowl snacks! My husband loves Super Bowl Sunday but always feels torn between going to a party with amazing food (but where its a little more difficult to “really watch the game”) or staying home where you have the opposite. We usually end up going to a party, but this year the choice was easy. I decided to indulge him with his favorite snacks anyway (wink). Here’s a peek at our cute set up at home which was just as delicious as it was beautiful! (Written by: Lauren) 

Follow us on Instagram @sidebysidedesign for more all month long as we share our deliveries and Designer Day! We plan to share our “Favorite Five” for the month of March on the 26th, and as always will be posting what’s inspiring us for the month ahead on the first Friday. See ya soon!

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Written by: Lauren

Cara and Sienna’s birthday last year was one of the last parties we attended before the quarantine lockdown. To be honest, I wasn’t too upset about having to do a Covid birthday this year. Since we couldn’t do a traditional birthday, we planned some other special details and some surprises for my girls to make their day fit for princesses. 

Scott and I planned some fun details to add to the girls room. They didn’t all arrive on time, but we set up the ones that did for a little “room reveal” when they woke up. Stay tuned … We will be finishing this project soon and will share completed photos then!

We are super lucky to have a sister in law who bakes the most amazing birthday treats! Ashlee of cream + sugar knocked it out of the park with these custom princess cupcakes. Aren’t they adorable?

We took her creations and created in a BOX Minis (of course) to send home with each kid from their class. 

A gold glitter crown and a hand written note finish off the look just right!

I couldn’t help myself! I had to do a fun table set up (even if it was just for us), but it really did help to make the day special. The look on my girls faces and their comments of “Best Birthday Ever” were the topping on the cake!

Speaking of cake … Is this not gorgeous? Once again, Ashlee really outdid herself, and I am pretty proud of my set up as well!

These girls are the sweetest, snuggliest, sassiest five year olds and I am so proud to be their mommy! Happy Birthday Cara and Sienna!

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What an honor to be approached by Redfin and to be featured on their blog! We absolutely loved sharing our tip for homeowners and are excited to share the entire post with all of you today!

Common Décor Mistakes Interior Designers Always Notice

(Written by: Lexi Klinkenberg)

Designing and decorating your home can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it can also be difficult. Between new trends, choosing furniture pieces, and experimenting with paint colors, there are many small decisions that go into styling the perfect home. Even the slightest mistakes can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of a space. To help you avoid making mistakes in your home design, we gathered interior designers from across the country, and from Canada, to share their tips and advice on the most common home decor mistakes homeowners make and how to fix them.

Lack of Color 

Afraid of choosing the wrong colors, homeowners often default to neutrals layered upon more neutrals which makes for a space lacking in personality and depth. We want our homes to be a reflection of us and to be full of life. A simple fix to elevate the space is to incorporate color with accessories such as throw pillows, art, rugs, window coverings, and of course, freshly painted walls. A simple rule of thumb is to stick to 3 main colors: one dominant and two accent colors and when used throughout the home, it will feel cohesive and intentional. Choose one room to experiment with and explore with the colors that make you happy. Adding color is one of the most cost-effective and impactful changes that will make a house into a home. -Erica Manthe, Circus Designs 

Not Incorporating Low Lighting

Since most new homes have lots of recessed cans, clients often think that’s enough, when in fact, every room needs layers of light. We recommend adding low lighting like lamps and wall sconces, dimmer switches, and soft white bulbs so every room has a combination of light sources. -Melinda and Suzanne, North Shore Nest.

Buying Everything All at Once

Everyone tends to want to fill their home immediately rather than take time to find pieces that truly speak to them or have a story behind them. Shopping local & buying vintage are both great ways to add unique style to your home that will be conversation pieces for years to come. –Guest House

Artwork Mounted Too High Above Furniture

This problem occurs when the homeowner wants to accentuate the ceiling height but doesn’t always read well in a space. Artwork that is grounded by a credenza or piece of furniture should be mounted about 4-8 inches above furniture. It may sound too low but try it out, I bet you will be happy with the end result. –Julia Longchamps Interior Design 

Not Considering Scale and Proportion

Scale is of the utmost importance when creating a visually balanced space. Too many small and same-sized items on shelves looks messy and cluttered, we don’t want that. Don’t be afraid of larger-sized pieces and assorted shapes, because the intriguing blend of varying scale is what we want! And, never underestimate the value of negative space between objects and clusters – this is a sure game-changer. –Catherine Yuen Interior Design

I often see homeowners use incorrect use of scale when installing furniture, accessories, lighting, and/or beautiful kitchen and bath finishes. The use of negative space and flow is just as important as the choices you make for your project. In many cases, furniture can be crammed into a space or items may not be the correct size in proportion to the dimensions of the room. A way to avoid making this mistake is to hire a well-recommended designer, even if it’s just for a strategy session, to help you pull your choices together in the proper scale to fit your room or project. Having that professional eye can save you money and help you create that beautifully scaled space you’ve been dreaming of. -Gina Conduit, Main Line Design Associates

Getting Stuck in a One-Track Mind 

If your goal is to achieve a modern look they think everything should be matching exactly or contain all straight lines. This is not true, adding some curves will add interest and will still look clean and modern! It can even be in accessories, mirrors, lamps, or vases. –Cynthia Florano Design 

Forgetting About the Big Picture 

Homeowners often fail to look at how the entire home works together. This takes a couple of different forms: either the entire house is decorated exactly the same or the rooms are designed so differently that the home feels disjointed and chaotic. When decorating, it’s important to take a step back and look at the big picture. You want the rooms to feel cohesive, but you don’t want the whole house to feel like it was bought from the same catalog. A good way to combat this is to draw inspiration from different places and to keep one thread the same throughout every room, like an accent color or a hardware finish. –HDco Agency

Wrong Lamp Sizing 

As apartment locators, we see a lot of interiors— and one common mistake people make is not paying attention to the size of your lamps and lampshades in relation to the room and other pieces of furniture. Nothing will make a luxury apartment look like a dorm room faster than two tiny lamps on either side of a huge mattress. On the other hand— large statement lamps (that don’t overpower the space) can create a chic, expensive look. –AptAmigo

Incorrect Use of Paint  

If your room is small, paint the moldings the same color as the walls (use a satin or high gloss finish) it will make them disappear and create an expansive feel to your room. –Kimberlee Jaynes Interior Designs 

Don’t overthink it, paint your walls white. It is common for people to paint different walls in their homes different colors, but it really looks so much better to have a bright and inviting space that transitions effortlessly from room to room. There are hundreds of different shades of white paint, and there is a right match for each home. Have your painter put together some samples to find the right fit. You won’t regret it! –Side by Side Design

Using Small Floor Tile in Small Spaces

There is a misconception that small tile makes a space look larger. Actually, small tile usually creates a busy floor making a space feel smaller. The larger the tile the larger the space. Therefore in a small bathroom try to go with larger tiles that are rectified so you can use 1/16″-1/8″ grout joints. Also, the grout color should be similar to the tile for a more uniform look. Make sure you clear this with your tile installer first because of construction issues. For example, older floors in historic homes may not be able to take larger tiles due to the joists underneath shifting too much. –APK Designs 

Not Taking the Backsplash to the Bottom of the Cabinets or the Ceiling

Too often homeowners just run a strip of tile around the top of the countertops and call it done. But a beautiful backsplash tile can have the wowsy splash that many kitchens need.  Running your backsplash to the bottom of your cabinets, or preferably, all the way to the ceiling will make a true statement. –Arrange Interior Design

Choosing Vessel Bathroom Sinks

Vessel sinks are mostly dysfunctional in homes because we see them installed way too high 99% of the time. While people use them commonly in powder rooms as a statement piece to impress their guests, they end up never being the correct ergonomic height, they make a mess and waste your counter space with awkward nooks and crannies. The best approach to fix this mistake is to opt for under-mount sinks or wall mount clay sinks that are aesthetically pleasing and make for a much cleaner look.        –Sabsa Interiors 

Overlooking Storage Options 

Homeowners are always so focused on the look and feel of the space and often forget about how much storage they really need. Storage in a home is the key to a well organized and functional space and should be incorporated wherever possible. Added custom millwork/cabinetry and closet organization are great places to squeeze in a few extra storage solutions. -Danielle Molnar, Accentrix Design 

Thinking Less is More

A common mistake in the wallcovering industry is running short on material, which could be prevented if you allow for adequate overage. Otherwise, you risk having visible dye lots issues, delays, and additional time for the installer, so do yourself a favor get your space professionally measured, and embrace any leftover material. -Jennifer Block, Maya Romanoff

Originally Published on Redfin

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We are so excited to once again share our monthly inspiration with all of you! Each month, we look forward to getting the chance to sit down and really think about what’s inspiring us, make predictions for the month ahead, and reflect on the past month. As usual, we have each selected a photo that represents our overall inspiration and have paired it with two interior shots and two events that coordinate with its color scheme and overall concept. In addition, we have provided you with our designer tips to keep you on trend for the month ahead.

Tami’s inspired: I heart hard work! Yes, you read that right … I actually love to work! In fact, one thing I am most proud of in life is that I have held a steady job (at least one) since I was fourteen years old! However, I think it took me a while to find the thing that really lit my heart on fire. Being an entrepreneur is something I never thought I would enjoy, and somehow it is exactly the job for me. I get to create each day and push myself in ways that I didn’t know possible. Lauren and I have truly built this business from the ground up, and I couldn’t be more proud! This month, we have so many amazing things in store and will be putting in lots of hard work. I can’t wait to get started!

What’s my designer tip this month? Do what you heart / love! It’s Valentines … So of course you’ll want to incorporate shades of pinks and reds into your decor, but so much more importantly find ways to light your heart on fire! Create a tablescape that brings you joy (even if it is only for you two). Pop shades of pink throughout your space to remind yourself how awesome it is to be uniquely you. 

Lauren’s inspired: What’s inspiring me this month? These two little girls who I can’t believe are almost five! They have more spunk and personality than I even know what to do with at times, and their smiles (and dimples) make me weak at the knees. Cara and Sienna love princesses, and so this month I am all about making them feel like the special princesses that they are. Even though we aren’t celebrating holidays and birthdays as usual, I have been working hard to make those special days still so memorable. Stay tuned to see all the details. 

What’s my designer tip this month? Royal colors will make you feel like royalty … and other details too! A larger than life tufted velvet headboard, golden detailing, and gorgeous greenery mixed with impeccable architecture are all fit for a princess (or queen), and it’s the colors in these photos that really make each space feel so rich.

Here at Side by Side Design, we look forward to continuing to keep it real this month from our homes to yours … We have so many design projects underway, are planning some very special celebrations, and were featured on the Redfin Blog (full article going up on Wednesday)! BTW, if you haven’t already checked out our “in a BOX” line (a custom gifting experience) … You should! Don’t forget to visit us for our next Get Inspired post on March 5th for all new looks and inspiration! Also, check out our Instastories @sidebysidedesign to see how we are spreading joy one BOX at a time!

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We have both made it our tradition to spend Valentine’s Day at home (luckily this works so well with the current trend LOL), and take this as our opportunity to set the table beautifully while making a special meal for our hubbys. We have had fun in the past coming up with a menu consisting of food items that we do not regularly serve and fun themes that will keep things exciting. As moms, we have continued this tradition in a more kid-friendly fashion, and this year will once again plan something special for our husbands and all of our girls. Here’s a look back on how we each celebrated Valentine’s Day last year. Hopefully this will inspire you to create something special for this fun holiday (at home)!

T Side: With all that has gone on since, it truly feels like a lifetime since last February … and don’t even get me started on the “if I would have knowns”! If I would have known we would have gone into lockdown a few weeks later, maybe I would have planned this dinner out LOL! Well, hindsight is 2020 hahaha. Ok, enough with the jokes. Last year at this time, we had a brand new baby (only one month old) and an almost two year old. To say my hands were full is a complete understatement, but you all know I live for a chance to decorate in pink hearts and such! So that’s what I did! 

In my personal holiday decor, I usually will take the challenge of using all kinds of scraps and materials I have lying around to create a gorgeous set up. In this case, this rose gold runner is actually a roll of wrapping paper I had on hand, and I cut up tissue paper into cute little hearts and sprinkled them everywhere. You better believe this is why they pay me the big bucks to plan big fancy parties (wink). 

I did purchase a brand new pack of Valentine’s themed paper plates and napkins for this occasion, and my husband Phil brought home this beautiful bouquet of pink roses to finish our table off right. I wanted our set up to feel super girly and sweet (just like my two girls). My oldest is a bit obsessed with “ballerines” (as she calls them), so I used this as my overall feel for our decor and the way I dressed Joie and Sadie for our meal. 

One of our traditions is to give cards. In the past, I have created my own, but ‘aint nobody got time for that! 
A couple years ago, Phil took over cooking and planning our Valentine’s Day meal. Halleluyah! There’s a reason they call him @grillmasterphil (cuz his steaks are always on point), and he made us homemade lobster tails too! Yum!

What’s for dessert? Chocolate chip cookies, of course!

I am honestly looking at this picture right now trying to figure out how an entire year has passed! My little Sadie is now a walker, starting to communicate, and has so much personality! I am excited to include her in our plans this year for Valentine’s Day and to continue this tradition for many years to come! 

L Side: All of my girls (Ava – 6, Cara – 3, Sienna – 3) were really into Valentine’s Day last year, and even wanted to help with the planning. So I decided to go with a concept that revolved around them. There were a few different set ups each with a different activity involved.

First, I set up a card making station. We all picked a name and made a card for that person with some fun stickers, markers, and other things we had on hand. 

Here are my girls dressed in their matching Valentine’s dresses enjoying an art project as always!

Next, I set up the table for pizza making complete with sauce, cheese, and fun toppings. 

Everyone made their own crusts (Ava attempted a cute heart shape) and topped their pizzas as they wished.

A little sparkling juice makes a holiday extra special (some bubbly for mom and dad), and they loved their homemade pizzas too.

Last set up was for chocolate fondue. Ava decided on this one and even came up with different items to dip. Can’t say I was mad about it …

… Even when I had to throw these dresses out after! I love this little tradition that our family has created. We have already started planning for this year and getting the girls involved planning means they enjoy it even more! 

We each plan to have an equally special Valentine’s Day this year (at home), and promise to take lots of photos! Make sure to check out our IG stories to get in on the fun! Whatever you plan to do with your Valentine this year, remember that what is really important is that you make the day special and show them how much you really love them! Happy Valentine’s Day from Side by Side Design!

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