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One Room, Two Ways: #1

September 5, 2020
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Sometimes clients come to me with no idea what they want in a room. They know they hate their current space, but can't envision what they do want, or even know which style they prefer.

In this situation, I snap a quick pic of the room and then create a couple of Vision Boards so they can compare different looks.

First Option: Citrus Pop

Alane Beard Design Citrus Pop Styling

I started with Benjamin Moore Yellow Lotus 2021-50 walls and added a colorful rug to brighten the nook.

Then I added a rainbow of festive furniture, throw pillows and accessories to add the citrus pop and complete this look.

Shop the Look

Tune in to my next post to see option two: High Desert. It's a completely different look and feel for this breakfast nook. Which one will be your fave?

Lights, Camera, Action!

September 3, 2020
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In celebration of launching my brand new website [insert dancing and confetti here], I've decided to talk about one of my most favorite topics: HOT LIGHTS

If you've read anything else I've written before, you know one of my OBSESSIONS is fantastic and interesting lighting. It's like adding flowers to a beautifully frosted cake or the perfect jewelry to complete the perfect outfit. I truly believe it's the one finishing detail that makes a room!

Spoiler: eBook Coming

I'll go into more detail about lighting and my own step-by-step process for incorporating lighting in my upcoming eBook, but to summarize, I really think lighting is your chance to  show your FLAIR. Do it big! Do it bold! And please, PLEASE don't buy from a box store.

Here are a couple I carry in my store that I love.

Info Circle

Info Circle

Info Circle

So excited to launch my new website, and so glad you're here!

Now in addition to offering three tiers of design services, I'm also bringing you products I've carefully curated that I LOVE LOVE LOVE, including GREAT LIGHTING!

 

Need new lighting?

We can help!

Work & Study from Home

September 2, 2020
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If you're like me and my friends and clients, balancing working from home while dealing with kids is...um... challenging, to say the least. It seems like we're always bumping into each other, and constantly competing for quiet space to work and take those Zoom meetings and classes.

 

I have a couple of ideas that have helped my family and my clients.

Work Study from Home Essentials
  • Organization is key
  • Mobility is a must
  • Utilize small spaces
  • And yes, NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES
Organization

In our house, we color-code everything, for fast and easy identification (and so my kids can't steal my stuff!!!!) It really streamlines processes. Everyone has their own color for file folders, chargers, desk accessories, etc. Life is soooo much easier this way.

 

Mobility

In order to carve out a little privacy when we're all working on top of each other, our "office" needs to be mobile. I found this great rolling cart that conveniently holds hanging folders on the bottom and office supplies on the top. It's so handy! We've also adoped craft desks with great storage for working outside or from bed in our PJ's.

Hey! Gotta enjoy the perks too, right?

Space

If you don't have an extra office space, or if your adults are already hogging all the home office space, carving out additional study areas for the kids might prove tricky. But this small desk and shelf is a terrific solution. Stick it in a nook. Take the door from a closet and create a cozy kid office. Find an unused end of a hallway. The compact size and wall mount is a great way to take advantage of tucked away vertical spaces.

And if that space doesn't happen to have an electrical outlet, no worries. This portable lamp/ pen and phone holder is rechargeable.

Noise

Not even joking. Sometimes I wear fantastic noise cancelling headphones. Yep. It's true. I PRETEND I need to hear something I'm watching, but sometimes I just listen to silence. These people are loud!

Don't judge me. Join me. They'll never know....

Cool New Tools!

September 1, 2020
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Wallpaper is one of my favorite  new trends in walls and I love installing it everywhere!

 

So I'm super excited to announce I've just added a new wallpaper calculator tool to my website!

It's easy. Enter the measurements of one wall or a whole room, then the specifics of the pattern you love, and the calculator determines the rest. No more guess work.

Click on any pattern above to try out my wallpaper calculator tool!

What are you waiting for, Dallas? Get yourself some wallpaper already!

From a Vision to Reality

August 20, 2020
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Vision to Reality: My Life and Also a Room

Years before I officially became a designer, back when I was still in my first career and only doing projects on the side for friends and family, I watched design shows on TV like everyone else. I would envision myself on a show doing dramatic reveals for excited homeowners.

And then one day, it REALLY HAPPENED! This was one of the projects we featured on UnBoxed, and it's one of my favorites.

Here's the process from vision board to the finshed "WOW" living room for this Dallas family.

One of most stunning features of this room is the dramatic light installation. It looks custom and is very high impact grouped together, hung at different heights. And here's the secret: these are not expensive at all!

You can buy the light.

This is the vision board I created for the show to establish the mood and tone of the room with the furniture, art, rugs, and accessories we planned  to use.

I learned when filming, however, that you must have LOTS of extra staging items on hand (lots and lots!) and be prepared to change gears on the fly constantly when you're making a TV show. But just like when designing for my clients, having a clear vision for the room helps everyone stay focused when things get chaotic in a project.

Our vibe was globalism so we wanted to include pieces that looked collected during travels, but worked within the same neutral color palette. We imported a real Juju hat from Africa, a Buddha, Malaysian-inspired art, and Peruvian baskets to complete the look.

Before Unboxed Design
Before Unboxed Design

The 'Before' was unspired. We refinished the fireplace from ceiling to floor and moved the TV, created a cozy nook (LOVE THIS!), defined the seating area with layered rugs, added softness with curtains & pillows, added lots of global accessories, art, lighting and a few live plants.

After: Modern Globalism - Vision Fulfilled     

And so were my dreams.....

Nook After
After Behind Couch

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Top 10 Favorite Design Tips

June 9, 2020
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The following is a list of my top 10 favorite design basics, and the pieces I just can’t design without. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find them on every truck headed for an Alane Beard Design install. Try a couple of these tips yourself!

An interior is the natural projection of the soul

Coco Chanel

Design Tips 1-10

Colorful, over-stuffed decorative pillows in mix-matched patterns

I am a huge fan of way too many fluffy, colorful pillows, the more the better! Rarely do I use two of the same pillows on the same sofa. Mixing patterns, textures and styles is my favorite way to add visual interest to my designs. And FLUFFY is the only option for me —-> Down inserts, or Down alternative if you’re allergic. See my super secret tip (above). Here’s a link to a great pair from Amazon.

DM me on Insta for great sources on inexpensive pillow covers

Trays of all types, for everything

Trays are useful everywhere. I generally use them in every design I do – in living rooms, for bar carts, on coffee tables, on bathroom counters, on shelves, on kitchen islands, anywhere I want to group items. And the options are endless on colors, styles, materials, sizes, shapes. Here is the link to one of my favorite acrylic go-to trays. It is very affordable and fits any decor.

Basically, if you can dream it, they make it. Trays can even make a decorative statement all their own. Check this one out from a favorite quirky local store in here in Dallas:

Love this cute tray too!

High Impact Design Tip: Wowzer “Jewelry” Lighting

Lighting, oh sweet, sweet lighting. How I love you so! If you follow me on Instagram or Pinterest, you already know I am #obsessedwithlighting Seriously, I think I have some sort of problem. But oh well, we all gotta have a vice, right? Lighting is house JEWELRY to me so I require it to be over the top! This is such a chance to go big, or vintage, or funky, or colorful, or just wonderful. Design tip: Whatever you do, DO NOT HOLD BACK! Please, please go for it with lighting!! This is such an easy way to make a HUGE statement with little risk. If you hate it, just take it down and try again. I have so, so, so many favorites in this area, but I like to support local artists, so I’ll share a current fave (they’re sorta local to TX):


Smitten with these custom lights!

Funny, not-really-related, story

Each time I see these bamboo fixtures I am reminded of a funny adventure with my design partner. As I mention in my ‘About’ page, I did a really obscure TV design show a couple years back – one hit wonder and all that. Anyway, the show was short on both time and budget. So after working full time at our day jobs, my design partner, Terica, and I would then work late into the night on the TV show. The show was based out of Canada (we’re in Texas) so every detail of preparing for the show – and I mean EVERYTHING – fell on us. This went on for a couple of months while the show was filmed.

Our most ridiculous task was picking up the GIANT truck and hauling furniture all over the DFW metroplex! And no, neither of us had any IDEA how to drive the giant truck before the show!! Then we had to park the truck in a SKETCHY part of Dallas every night because the show coordinators knew nothing about Dallas when they arranged it. We were delirious each night by the time we arrived at the scary truck lot. Terrifying! #funnynowlookingback #weprobablyalmostdied

But out of small budget necessity and high impact desire, I found these fixtures at IKEA and hung them together. They turned out great!

The overarching design tip here:

Little budgets call for big ideas!!!


The famous IKEA pendant. Buy it here

Quirky, funny, unique items

Conversation starters are a must in every interior. Just one. Come on. You know you giggled or scratched your head just a little at one of these items. I absolutely, with all my heart, believe everyone should have a home unlike all their neighbors so YOUR personality is reflected as soon as anyone steps inside. And here’s a great design tip for you. This is a good opportunity for a junk store find, a treasured gift from your crazy aunt, or something else unexpected that reveals your personality.


Etsy is a favorite source for virtual junkin’

A Vintage Piece or Two

Mixing old and new, pieces collected in your travels, inherited pieces, pieces that don’t match, but that are curated and coordinated are what give a space character and charm. My best advice here is never feel obligated to “match” anything, In my designs I just make sure a room feels cohesive overall in color and mood. (More on this in #10). One of my personal obsessions is Depression Era blue glass so I use it often in installations for displaying live flowers. I usually find a way to throw in a vintage piece even to my most modern installations. We’re really lucky here in Dallas to have some AWESOME dealers who specialize in the eras I love so I always find stuff I adore.

Something vintage just for fun. Check it out for a giggle.

Live Flowers, always

Tulips, Peonies, Ranunculus, Hydrangea, Irises, Lillies, I love you all!! I don’t know if there is anything more therapeutic to me than cutting and arranging fresh flowers. If I could afford it, I would have them brought in every day. Sigh…OK back to reality. I can’t, so I will instead include them in each and every install I do as my gift to clients on install day. And I will encourage you to please, please splurge and buy yourself fresh flowers at least once a quarter, just for being awesome. You deserve it!

Here’s one of my favorite Dallas florists, available for shipping throughout the U. S. at that link. So girl, buy yourself some flowers!

Something organic, shape or material

Natural elements, stone, rattan, wood, feathers, woven fibers help ground a room and add texture. I usually add at least one organic feature to every room design, whether it be an organic material or an organic shape. I am really drawn to grasscloth and natural wall coverings for this reason. There are so many amazing options available now and I encourage you to consider them as a way to add an organic element.

Check out this stunning grasscloth wallpaper

Original art [only]

Art makes it better

Perhaps it’s because my son is an artist, like a legit one. He went to college for it, has a professional artist job, and gets paid for it and everything. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve always been a bit of an artist myself. Or maybe it’s just because I love art so much and want to support artists of all types to keep producing art. Whatever my main motivation, I always, always incorporate original art into every room design. This subject is just near and dear to my heart. When I worked with Dwell with Dignity, we only installed original art in client projects.

There’s a lot of science behind art and wellness, and we’ll definitely visit that in a later blog post, but for now, one of my most important basic design tips involves art. Original art will always be on the truck headed for my installs. And I absolutely encourage you to BUY ORIGINAL ART TOO! It doesn’t have to be expensive. Etsy has great options at reasonable prices in every genre. Check them out! But here’s my current art obsession:

Happy art

Really soft, high thread count sheets

This is where one of my science-y things comes into play and I talk about evidence based practice. Assuming you get the very essential 8 hours of sleep humans need per night and have average life expectancy, you’ll sleep for just under 230,000 hours, or ONE THIRD of your life.

Self care advice

People, this needs to be quality time on good sheets! Good sleep is vital to good outcomes in every aspect of your life. Let’s make this part count! Please listen to this design advice and splurge on the soft sheets! Your duvet can come from IKEA, I’m OK with that, but your sheets have to be primo. I always use great ones on my clients’ beds! I use trade-only vendors as my go-to sources, but there are great online sources at reasonable prices (See picture tip, above).

On a semi-related note, make your bed each morning. Trust me, this simple act is good for you. Read the book on this topic:

Splurge on these fabulous sheets if you can!

Read this book

Color. And color. And a little more color.

My process:

Ihave an ongoing love affair with color and I play no favorites. Bright and bold, pastel, analogous, complementary, triadic, warm, cool. I love them all! I create a mood board for every client and every room in my own house, for that matter, before I every start actually designing the room so I can get the FEEL of where I’m going with the room. As I mentioned in #5 above, creating this overall vision of the space in advance is how I make sure it feels like a cohesive whole without having to “match”. Very often, clients come to me and can only do one room at a time due to budget constraints. So we make a design roadmap for their whole house plan to do in stages.

Design Tip 1 – Start here

Mood boards are how I start that process. This also helps clients when they have individual pieces they love, but don’t know how to make it all work together. I hear this A LOT! A lot LOT! It’s probably the #1 thing I hear from clients actually. So here’s the magic STEP ONE SECRET design tip: color mood board. Shhhh! I’m going put myself out of business if you tell. Ha ha. Regardless, you have to know, because #colorishappiness

Keep #LIVINGTHISLIFE! Don’t hold back! Don’t save the good china for a special occasion. TODAY is that special occasion! Be well, my peeps.


Interesting article on how color impacts us

Some home paint palettes I like

Thanks for visiting! If you liked the blog and want to read more, please comment and tell me what you’d like to read about next. Have questions? Send those too. I’m happy to help!

Please visit me on Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook to see new ideas, projects, products, tips, and pictures I share there. Links below

Also visit my ‘About’ page here to learn about my journey to Design

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*Disclaimer: My site may include affiliate links for products or ideas I enjoy and want to share. This is at no extra cost to you and helps allow my creativity to keep flowing. I will receive a small commission of the sale if you decide to purchase through those links. I do not endorse anything I don’t believe in. Your experience may be unique. 

D Magazine Most Stunning Home Projects

May 30, 2020
Posted in

23 of Dwell With Dignity’s Most Stunning Home Projects

The time is nearing, dear readers. That wonderful time of year when fantastic designers and showrooms come together to make gorgeous, inspired, and—perhaps most importantly—shoppable vignettes for a cause. Yes, Dwell with Dignity’s annual Thrift Studio is finally coming back to us, with sure-to-be glorious showings from Jean de Merry, Benson-Cobb, Kravet, Robert Allen, Scout Design Studio and more.

To celebrate, and to show you where all of your hard earned money will be going come April 8, we’ve rounded up some of the most stunning Dwell with Dignity projects and transformations we’ve seen in recent years that offered a fresh start to families in need.

Candy’s Dirt Press – Dwell With Dignity and Shared Housing Bring the Holiday Spirit to Dallas’ Homeless

January 30, 2019
Posted in

We love the holidays. There’s always fun parties like our Candy’sDirt Staff Meeting to go to, shopping, spending time with friends and family, plus festive holiday decorations to put us in the mood.

The holidays can be really tough for a lot of people though, especially those who, through various circumstances, have suddenly become homeless with nowhere to go. Fortunately Dallas has groups like Dwell With Dignity and Shared Housing Center to help these families to have a fresh start and hope again.

Shared Housing is a group very near and dear to my heart. They truly do so much for so many and they don’t just talk about breaking the cycle of homelessness, they make it happen every day.

As a Lifestylist, I believe in giving back to the industries that have been so good to me, and this year after being involved with Shared Housing for almost 20 years they asked me to be board president. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to work so closely with these families and see what a difference just a hug or a kind word can make. So many times our homeless population is judged by where they are, not who they are, and people don’t take the time to listen and find out what needs to happen to get them in the right direction.  I am so proud of the changes we have helped these families make and to see many of them now successful, kids in college and coming back to help us help other families.

Dwell With Dignity is a group that I had always heard about but had never seen or experienced what they do until yesterday. Like Shared Housing, they are dedicated to changing lives, and their mission is to “help families escape poverty and homelessness through design; one household at a time.”

Tiffany and her two kiddos have thrived in the Shared Housing program and were ready to start their new life together. The Dwell With Dignity team fell in love with them as much as we have and offered to turn her new apartment into a home. Take a look at what Tiffany was able to go home to!

Imagine having two babies and worrying about if they would have a safe place to sleep every night — you would love to be able to have some presents to put under the tree from Santa, or even to have a tree, but that is the least of your worries. Thanks to Dwell With Dignity and their family home sponsor Holiday Warehouse Tiffany and her kids not only have a safe and beautiful new home, they have three trees with lots of presents from Santa and his elves.

When Tiffany walked through the door to see her new home I cried. Tiffany cried. Heck all of us started crying tears of joy except for the kids – they were too busy looking at everything, especially their new room!

Program and volunteer manager for Dwell with Dignity Laura Cismesia gave us a tour and filled us in on all of the special touches. Even though everything looked like it just came from a showroom, their team spends a lot of time with the families understanding what their unique needs are and makes a special effort to incorporate any items they may have that are special to them.

There was a cute white rocker in the kids room — Dwell With Dignity sanded, painted and reupholstered this family piece that had belonged to Tiffany’s grandfather. All of the artwork in the home was made by Dwell With Dignity volunteers, and some of the furniture was a donation they had painted and given new life to.

Executive Director Lisa Nelson shared with us that they provide not only furniture and design talents, they also stock the pantries with nutritious food, have the pots, pans and utensils to cook with — they even had cookies and hot cocoa mix for the kids.

They really thought of every little detail, including baby’s first Christmas ornaments on the tree and a detail that made me cry yet again — a brand new double stroller to make it easier for Tiffany to use public transportation with the kids.