Dear Decorista, {staining your floors black}

Wondering if you can help?!  We have an old timber cottage in the mountains. We are nearly finished renovating but have come to a halt with the timber floor.
 Through the house we now have old stained floors, new timber floors. We have been advised that the easiest and most economical option is to paint the floors throughout. We think we will give this a go but we are a bit nervous. At this point the house is looking really good. We have managed to renovate but still retain the feel of a small rustic cottage and we don’t want to ruin the effect with a floor disaster. We want to go dark with the floor and if painting is a viable option we are thinking of painting the floor black but not sure this will look any good and not sure whether it should be matte or gloss or satin and so on.
Can you provide us with some inspiration?

Hi Sydney!
 I personally LOVE stained black floors, I think they look absolutely gorgeous. I prefer a beautiful satin as opposed to a high gloss wet finish, but its all about personal preference. Also, black floors are hard to keep ultra clean, but if you want your home to be a stunner, go for it! See these beautiful examples, hope they entice you to go dark!!!
i love this gorgeous white kitchen with black floors...a KILLER combo. we have a super glossy black floor...
and this is a matte black stained floor. Very rustic looking.
and finally my most favorite look....satin finish.

Dear Decorista, I want a peacock blue living room!

I love your blog. My husband and I have just bought our first house. I would like to paint the living room peacock blue and he thinks it should be white (he thinks every room should be white). Can you please post some more photos of this- I think once he sees how good it looks he won’t be afraid of the color.
 Thanks, Cathie!

 The minute I read this email, I knew I had to help the girl out.
Blue walls in the home? Absolutely!!!

(I love all the blue in this room above...the blue zebra fabric is so fun!)
Everybody needs a good blue room.
I am a sucker for blue on the walls. There are so many different shades.
If he can't commit to the entire wall, why not try something like this?
Decorators LOVE blue. For more on blue go here

Dear Decorista, {how to decorate like Kelly Wearstler}

Dear Decorista,

Hi Ashlina,
I absolutely love your blog! I was wondering if you could help me with a design delima? I decided to paint my home office like Kelly Wearstler’s foyer (crazy raspberry graffiti like swirls). It came out wonderful! However I am completely stuck on where to go from here. I have a desk from Ikea that is a white base and a black and white glass top. Other than that, I bought a bunch of white and black accessories. I was thinking of going pool blues and turquoises but then I was thinking maybe purples, oranges and yellows could be cool? I don’t know, I’d love your input!
 How creative is this girl? I wish I could pull off painting my home office like that. I love it!
Which is why I would love feedback from my readers!
She gave me 2 options of color ways. I have my ideas, but I am curious to know
Which colors do you think she should accessorize with?

Option #1

Option #2

she is such a trendsetter, isn't she? total rockstar!

Option #1 zigzagpillow,; geo nesting bowls,; pink rug, madeline; aqua lamp, arteriors; blue crab watercolor,
Option #2 Love candy print,; pink ikat pillow,; yellow finnials, zgallerie; yellow zebra rug,

Dear Decorista, {a west elm bed dilemma}

Dear Decorista,
Hi there!
First things first, I absolutely love your blog!  You have no idea how excited I get when I arrive at your blog and see a new post!
I know that you're incredibly busy probably don't do this often, but as I sit here looking through your blog for some sort of inspiration to make up my mind on a large furniture purchase, I was wondering if I could get your opinion?
If you don't mind, could you recommend which bed you'd pick from West Elm?
All my best, 
City Girl Amanda

City Girl,
Thank you so much for being a reader. I love love love hearing that! 
I think West Elm beds are all gorgeous but here are my favorites and why I think they would look great in your bedroom. (which is gorgeous by the way...i LOVE the artwork!)

I really love the nailhead trim of this gray headboard. It's uber tailored and chic looking. I think the gray would go very well with the yellow bedding + fab artwork!
I also really love the cozy look of this grasscloth headboard. It would warm up the room a bit and give your bedroom a warmer it would make you just wanna snuggle up in bed with a good book.
Readers, what do you guys think??? Are there any west elm beds you would recommend?

Dear Decorista, {decorating a powder room}

Dear Decorista,
Love your blog!! I'm on a mission to self-decorate my home, and your blog is a major source of inspiration for me. I have a question regarding light fixtures. I currently have a really beautiful and elaborate (in my opinion) fixture in my small powder room, and can't decide if using a sconce or two would be overkill. I also need to find a mirror, but feel like I should work out the sconce or no sconce situation first. So what's your opinion on overhead fixtures AND sconces? Should one be elaborate and the other be more toned down? 
Thanks again!

Elizabeth in Arkansas

Dear Elizabeth,
Oh how I love love love powder rooms and I am thrilled to help you out a little today. Thank you so much for your sweet words about my blog, I hope to inspire you always!
So...first of all, I love your wallpaper as I'm sure most of my readers do too. The green is perfection in my opinion.
I absolutely think you can combine sconces to go along with your gorgeous light fixture. In smaller rooms, I think combinations really pack a punch. 
I am envisioning it would look a little something like this...

I think a white mirror would work really well with the color of your wallpaper.
I am partial to bamboo mirrors right now. They just look really chic and happy.
I have found tons out and about at different thrift stores in my area, so if you can't afford a new one keep your eyes out for an older one and just spray paint it glossy white. 
A little something like these....

As for your sconces, I say don't be afraid to use what you love.
This ornate and large chandelier looks fantastic with a pair of simple sconces. 
I think its a killer combination.
Something like this sconce with a small, pretty clear crystal ball detail would go great with your light fixture and keep it looking crisp and clean.
More inspiration!

One of my favorite pair of sconces from one of my fave resources...check them out.

Let me know if you have more questions for sources...I'd be happy to help.
Good luck decorating Elizabeth and send pics when you are finished!!!!!

Dear Decorista, {tackling bed + window dilemma}

Dear Decorista,
 I have a bedroom with 3 high windows on the wall that the bed would be placed on. The windows are in the center of the wall and would be centered over bed.  
What type of headboard would look the best under the straight line of the windows.
I have been searching all of my magazines and cannot find a good inspirational photo.

-Judy, Olympia, Wa.

Dear Judy,
I know many people face this similar situation of having to place a headboard in front of a window.
I, myself have even had the pleasure (and frustration) of tackling this challenge. 
There are so many different options you can choose from, headboards, curtains, screens, panels, etc.
I have pulled through some files for some inspiration photos for you and everybody else out there who might be dealing with the same issue.
Good luck and keep me posted on what way you choose to go!
All my love, 

Here is my own personal bedroom...
behind the curtains is a long rectangular window that hits right above the headboard. 
I love the combo of curtains + headboard myself.
I love the way it looks in person.

images courtesy of...
, bk, countryliving, thelennoxfiles, EOS, apartmenttherapy,

Dear Decorista,

Dear Decorista,
I love love love your site.  So much inspiration...truly decorating feast. 
My question is how to 'deal' with a round coffee table.  My round table works well in my little beach bungalow BUT I struggle with how best to feature my treasures. 
Any suggestions? 

Warm regards, 

Dear Julianne,
Thank you so much for your very sweet compliments about my site. I truly believe that however you want to display your treasures on your coffee table can work. I have a strong belief in setting things in threes.
I also believe that you should go extremely minimal or full force, whatever you decide show off your favorite items. You can't go wrong with that. If you ever are in doubt, start with a big bouquet of flowers in your favorite vase and continue from there. Through flowers, you can see more colors and shapes and sizes. Here are some photos for inspiration! Good look and take pictures of your creation. I'd love to see!

the decorista

images courtesy of...
so haute
the lennox

dear decorista,

This is the first from my letter inbox...

Dear Decorista,
Hi Ashlina! I am a big fan of your blog and I really love your style. I like how you give inspiration from all decorating styles as I have yet to decide my own. I am now inspired to get my home more to a 'stylish' standard and I have decided to begin with the kitchen. I owe it to your posts on blissful kitchens. I live with my boyfriend, in a small apartment by the beach, so we have a really small space. My question is, What am I supposed to do with the space above the cupboards? Right now we use that area  for storage (which we desperately need) but I'm tired of looking at the eye sore and want it to look stylish and not cluttered. Please help...I would love some inspiration!
Sarah K. (Orlando, Fl)

Dear Sarah,
I am so flattered that you would ask my advice on this AND that you are a regular reader (thank you!)
You have brought up a very good question that I have actually asked myself before. Everyone comes across this problem at some point. The space above the kitchen cabinets is the most underrated and unused space. I really believe that it has so much potential. 
I really love the look of collections, think matching dishes, beautiful glass in the same color or all white ceramic jugs. These should be easy to find at flea markets all over the country.
However, in your case I am really thinking that baskets would create the best solution to your challenge.
Big wicker baskets can provide tons of storage space for you to hide an unsightly mess. 
There are super great deals on baskets at Ikea + Target, if you have a Home Goods near you, I would hit that up as well.
Here are a few photos for your inspiration!

Got design questions? Email me!
Images courtesy of...
maison de lilas