Lifestyle

Don’t Overpack for Your Next Vacation! Here’s What I Learned

Don’t Overpack for Your Next Vacation! Here’s What I Learned

To my fellow travel enthusiasts … I’m so excited to share my recent experience with you all! I recently embarked on my vacation getaway to Italy with Boxwood Avenue, and let me tell you, it has been a dream come true. However, there’s a twist: I decided to challenge myself and pack only a carry-on for the entire trip. As someone who has always relied on checked bags, this was uncharted territory for me, especially internationally. But guess what? I managed to not overpack, and I’m here to spill all the details on how I made it work. 

Now, I’ve always admired those effortlessly stylish travelers who breeze through airports with just a carry-on in hand. I mean, seriously, how do they do it? So, armed with determination and a Pinterest board full of packing tips, I dove headfirst into the challenge.

1. Capsule Wardrobe: the secret to help you not overpack

The ultimate secret to traveling light and stylishly: the capsule wardrobe. Trust me, I hadn’t given it a shot until recently, but oh boy does it work like magic! Instead of stuffing your suitcase with a gazillion outfits, opt for versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched effortlessly. Choose a cohesive color palette, and sprinkle in a few statement accessories or key pieces to spice things up. This way, you’ll create a wardrobe that feels diverse and layered, without the dreaded overpacking syndrome. Gone are the days of hauling around items that never see the light of day! This way, I’ll also be saving lots of space for souvenirs. 😉

2. Luggage

Investing in good luggage is also an absolute game-changer. My personal secret weapon: the Weekender. I swear this bad boy has revolutionized my travel game, offering both style and durable functionality. I even use it as my personal item. But, don’t go overboard when filling it up, or you’ll be left with a squabble to fit under the seat in front of you.

3. Packing Cubes: the best way to not overpack

Once you experience the sheer convenience that packing cubes have to offer, there’s no turning back. I’m able to neatly fold my t-shirts, pajamas, and delicates into separate cubes, which makes my suitcase a haven of organization! Not only do they help keep your items compressed which saves valuable space in your luggage, they also make unpacking a breeze. No more rummaging through a chaotic mess of clothes to find that one specific item buried at the bottom! Everything has its designated place, which for me, is now considered an absolute must-have for my travel routine. 

4. Shoes: know your limits

Alright, now it’s time for some real talk about limiting your shoes. We all know that too many pairs can quickly devour precious space in our suitcases. So, let’s embrace a minimalist mindset when it comes to footwear, and make smarter choices before we embark. You don’t need to overpack here: believe me, you really only need a few, select pairs that cover all your bases. 

For my recent travels, I packed three essential pairs that effortlessly transitioned from day to night. First up, a pair of kitten heels. These were perfect for a dressy evening out. Next, a trusty pair of espadrilles. These versatile shoes are my go-to for strolling through sunny streets or lounging at a café. And of course, a pair of comfortable sandals — this will guarantee that my feet will stay cool and comfy during those long sightseeing walks. Oh, and how could I forget my reliable pair of sneakers that I sported on the plane? Perfect for exploring and impromptu hikes! Remember, less is more when it comes to shoes … and your feet will thank you for it.

You can shop ALL these looks on our @shop.ltk page here! Hope the information in this post was helpful. Let me know if you give it a try for your next getaway 🤍

Lifestyle

An Easy Spring Appetizer You Can Whip Up in a Flash

Crudité Board with Green Goddess Dip

For spring and summer dinners, we love to create meals out of yummy, snack-filled platters. We try to make it casual and relaxed, where everyone can help themselves. Read below to see how to create a delicious and beautiful appetizer: a crudité platter with the easiest green goddess dressing (ok, I cheated a little).

Sometimes during the spring and summer months, Derrick and I will just whip up something like this crudité board to graze on. Accompany it with a crusty baguette and a cheese board and voilà, you have yourselves a dinner!

Photography: Zee Wendell

I’ve followed Annie Campbell, an LA-based party planner and event designer (she’s actually from Oregon!) for a while now. I love to see all the beautiful parties she organizes! They’re always gorgeous, colorful, and of course — the food looks delicious. So, when I saw this post on Pinterest, I read her tips and tricks on how to create a pretty board like this, and loved how it was different from your typical vegetable platter!

The Secret to a Beautiful Appetizer

The secret is to gather healthy, organic vegetables such as golden cauliflower. I’ve never tried this before, but its soooo good! It  tastes similar to your tried-and-true white cauliflower, just prettier 😉. Choose your favorite greens, and add other pretty veggies like radishes, pea pods and mini carrots. Then just slice and arrange in “layers” starting with one veggie, then layering slices of another veggie on top, and so forth.

As Annie says, “The platter matters”… it’s all about the presentation!” She often uses wood boards to display her goodies, and I just love this idea. A cool, vintage wood board is so versatile — we use ours ALLLLL the time for various things like cheese, small desserts or cookies, or sliced bread and butter. I definitely recommend one.

CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: Buy vegetables with the stems still attached. I found mini carrots with the stems, and then I just cut off the green part almost all the way, but left some on for a really organic and pretty touch.

Green Goddess Dressing

A green goddess dip/dressing is one of my faves for this appetizer meal. I cheated a bit and bought a green goddess dressing from Whole Foods. I added it to sour cream with chopped fresh dill, and it was deeeelish. Not everything has to be homemade to taste good! So, wherever and whenever I can cut corners, I will. It makes our lives easier.

Photography: Zee Wendell

Give this a try and graze till your heart’s content. Pour yourself a glass of Rosé, or mix up the Chill Pill. Then, sit outside to enjoy your evening knowing dinner is ready!

Lifestyle

The Chill Pill … Just What the Doctor Ordered

spring cocktail

It’s the weekend, and we’re ready for some R & R … so what better a time to whip up a new cocktail? I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it does not disappoint! Of course, it took me down a rabbit hole on Pinterest, and I discovered that the recipe is from a mixologist at Deep Dive in Seattle. This bar looks right up our alley for a special date night — but, until we can actually get to Seattle, I’m just going to give it a try at home. 😉

The key is making the Pineapple Shrub. I had never tried this before, but it’s sooo easy! It’s an extra step for sure — in fact, you have to let the pineapple sit overnight in sugar, Then you drain the solid pieces of pineapple with a colander or cheese cloth, and mix the reserved pineapple-infused syrup with champagne vinegar. It makes plenty, so you can store some in the fridge.

The recipe calls for Yellow Chartreuse, which we have used before. But, it was years ago so I didn’t have any in our little bar. And let me tell you, I called several local liquor stores to see if I could track some down, but no luck. I guess there’s a shortage in Oregon. Who knew?!? Anyhoo, our friends at Newport Market in Bend suggested we give this brand a try as an alternative. (As a bonus, it’s made in our hometown, Portland, Oregon!) We don’t know any differently since we’ve never tried this recipe before using the Yellow Chartreuse, but it worked beautifully. It’s so refreshing and unique! What a great cocktail to serve friends this weekend 🍸

CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: Don’t skip the grated nutmeg on top … it really adds a fun kick to the flavor. Trust us!

bar in kitchen


THE CHILL PILL

 

2 OZ. VODKA

1/2 OZ PINEAPPLE SHRUB

1/2 OZ FRESH LEMON JUICE

1/4 OZ YELLOW CHARTREUSE

1/8 OZ SIMPLE SYRUP (1:1)

1 FRESH EGG WHITE (PASTEURIZED IF YOU PREFER)

Combine the egg white, simple syrup, lemon juice, and pineapple shrub in a shaker and shake, without ice, until frothy. Add the vodka and Chartreuse and shake again with ice to chill, then double-strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a spray of Angostura bitters from an atomizer (or drip the bitters on the drink’s surface), and add fresh-grated nutmeg.

PINEAPPLE SHRUB: Peel, core, and cube a fresh pineapple (I bought pre-cut pineapple chunks) and add it to a large container along with 1 quart (32 oz.) of raw sugar. Stir to coat the pineapple with the sugar and cover the container; let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours. Use a cheesecloth-lined strainer to strain out the solids, and mix 16 oz. of Champagne vinegar with the reserved syrup.


We served ours in a coupe glass with a sprig of mint, and it looked fancy and professional with the frothy top and sprinkles of nutmeg. Maybe we should take up mixology?! 😂

Cheers to the sunshine and gorgeous weather this weekend. Let us know if you give this one a shot.

Lifestyle

A Mother’s Day Gift Guide that’ll tug at her heartstrings 💗

 

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the perfect way to show your appreciation for the special women in your life. So, if you’re looking for a thoughtful way to say “I love you” this Mother’s Day, you’ve come to the right place! In this gift guide, I’m sharing my top picks for stylish and practical gifts that any mom will adore and use every day.

I’ve highlighted several items below and explained why I love them. If you want access to all items, you can shop our faves on the @Shop.LTK app here. Follow us there to stay up to date on all the things we’re loving for your home and lifestyle. Happy shopping! 😍

CLOUZ HOUZ BONUS TRACK: If you have been following along for a while, you know how much music inspires us! We listen to whatever gets us in the right mindset and helps our creative juices flow. So, we are sharing our “This is Clouz Houz” playlist created by @andiahedo. She creates playlists for anyone who is interested. Check her out! We love what she created for us featuring some of our favorite artists as well as some new ones. Download this for your listening pleasure! Maybe you can listen during your lunch, brunch or dinner with the favorite woman in your life. ❤️

 

Design

The April Edit … it’s a Good One!

 

April, oh how I love thee! Can you guys believe April is already here? It’s seriously one of my favorite months for our family. Three out of the five of us have birthdays in April, which makes it extra festive and fun. We love to celebrate all month long! But that’s not all I love about it. It’s also when the weather starts to truly feel like spring here in Central Oregon. While the rest of the country says spring begins in March, we usually don’t start to see the warmer weather until mid to late April. And let me tell you, these past couple of months in Bend have been chilly! I’m definitely ready for some sunshine and warmth. 

And can we talk about fashion for a moment? With spring finally in the air, I find myself gravitating towards all things yellow and floral. It’s like my own personal reminder that the sun will soon be heating things up, and the flowers and trees will finally start blooming. I’m loving all the bright and cheerful pieces that are popping up in stores right now. 

On the topic of shopping, we have a couple of styling projects coming up, as well as planning an outdoor space. So you know I’m having a blast browsing all the latest trends and incorporating those trends into my home style as well! Stay tuned for some fun and colorful inspiration coming your way 💛

Dine Alfresco

 

I love planning outdoor spaces, and I think everyone can agree that when spring hits, we are all itching to get outside to enjoy our patios and decks! There’s something about eating outside that elevates any dining experience, don’t you think? For our #highdeserttumaloranch project, we recently invested in this fire pit, It has the most beautiful patina, and I can’t wait to sit under the stars with a fire crackling to enjoy some s’mores with the fam. I’m also loving these gorgeous napkins that add the perfect pop of color to an otherwise simple table setting. It’s amazing how a few simple touches can completely transform a space and make it feel like an outdoor oasis.

CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: Use something unexpected to keep your drinks perfectly chilled while entertaining outdoors. I’ve owned this clam shell for years, and love filling it with ice and our favorite rosés when having friends over.

Paint Color of the Month

 

I recently discovered this stunning paint color, Hay #37 by Farrow & Ball, and I’m obsessed! This gorgeous shade of yellow is soft, subtle, and perfect for adding depth to any room in your home — especially if you are looking for something other than a creamy white. It’s not an intense, sunny yellow, but rather a sophisticated and neutral hue that complements a variety of design styles. One way to use it would be on cabinetry in a bathroom. Think of it like any other neutral, but it adds the perfect pop of color that envelopes the room.

Vintage Finds

 

 

I firmly believe that infusing a little vintage into every space is a must. It’s not only more sustainable, but it also incorporates some unique character and charm into your home. Recently, we’ve been loving these vintage-inspired chairs we found – they’re not only stylish, but also practical as they can be stacked away when they are not being used. The pop of yellow on the seats has me swooning, and adds a playful and vibrant touch to any room. Consider shopping second-hand if you are looking to add some flair to your home.

Chambray … aka denim

 

We all know that denim is a staple fabric that can be worn all year round, but when the warmer months roll in, chambray and lighter weight denim pieces become a go-to. They’re versatile, comfortable, and perfect for layering in the transitional seasons. One of my favorite ways to style denim is by mixing and matching different pieces to create the classic Canadian tuxedo look. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect denim blazer, and found this one that I know I’ll wear all season long! 

Outdoor Pillows

 

I recently stumbled upon Oka, a British-based company that specializes in high-quality furniture and décor, and I’m dying over their pieces! Their collection includes everything from elegant sofas to unique lighting fixtures, and their attention to detail and craftsmanship is simply stunning. What’s even better is that their pricing is surprisingly reasonable for the level of quality and design. I’ve been eyeing their collection of outdoor pillows and this amazing outdoor chair for our deck.

Anything with Stripes

 

Source: Pinterest
Source: Leanne Ford

Stripes are a timeless pattern that add a touch of sophistication. From clothing to home décor, you can never go wrong with classic neutral stripes. Speaking of which, have you seen this new dog bed collaboration between Barry Barker and Williams-Sonoma Home? It comes in two sizes and is filled with eco-friendly foam chips. Not only is it functional and comfortable for your furry friend, but it also looks great with its bold striped design. It’s the perfect addition to any home with a coastal or classic aesthetic. I kinda want one for our home … but if I get one, I have to get two — one for each pup!

 

Holiday

Crack into Easter Fun: Easy Deviled Eggs Recipe

 

Grandma Virginia’s Deviled Eggs

I’m so excited to share with you one of my all-time family favorite recipes: deviled eggs! These little bites of heaven have been a holiday staple in my family for as long as I can remember. I have fond memories of my now 96 year-old grandmother, “Gin,” (as my grandfather would refer to her) making them every Easter, and they were always a crowd-pleaser.

But the best part of the story is that my son, Charlie, has become an expert deviled egg maker! He learned the secret recipe from my grandmother a few years back, and he’s been perfecting his egg skills ever since 😂 And now, we like to joke with Char that he’s a Gin 2.0.

So, what’s the secret ingredient that makes these easy deviled eggs so irresistible? A drop (or two, if you’re feeling spicy) of Sriracha at the bottom of the egg “hole.” This simple addition gives the eggs an extra kick that will make your tastebuds come alive with flavor.

Garnish with your favorite toppings — we love chopped dill and diced pickles. And … voila!

  CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: Arrange your deviled eggs on the platter on top of a bed of kosher salt. This not only looks beautiful, but it also keeps the eggs from sliding around and ruining your presentation.


Dyeing Your Eggs … with Natural Ingredients

 

While we’re on the topic of eggs, have you ever tried dying eggs naturally? It’s a fun way to add some color to your Easter celebrations. If you are interested in trying it out, be sure to check out our Pinterest board for resources and techniques. You can check out all the inspo here.

Personally, I love using blueberries, beets, coffee, and turmeric to dye my eggs. The blueberries, in particular, are my favorite – the blues are so beautiful and saturated. The key is to dilute the simmered juices from the vegetables and fruits with vinegar at a ratio of 1:2. This will help the colors soak into the eggs better and create a more vibrant hue.

Lastly, let them sit overnight in the dye and make sure to periodically rotate them. I like to use mason jars to ensure that the color coats the eggs evenly. After the eggs have soaked for the desired time, it is important to let them air dry on a rack to prevent marks from setting into the shells.


So, whether you’re making deviled eggs or dyeing them this Easter, I hope these tips and tricks help make your holiday celebration even more special.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this family favorite recipe as much as we do!

Dining Room

How To Set an Organic, Nature-Inspired Easter Table

All photography by Zee Wendell

Easter is early this year! For me, Easter sparks so much happiness … after all, it’s the start of a new season (and one of my favorites). Birds are chirping, grass is turning green (in Central Oregon everything really turns brown in the winter), leaves are popping on trees, and the smell of freshly cut grass fills the air. I can feel it already, even though it snowed here last week! 😂

I thought I would share with you everything I think about when starting to plan my Easter table and menu. We like to keep things fairly simple around here, but still use items that are meaningful. For example, I’ll bring out a cut crystal vase that was a wedding gift (and always reminds me of the best day of my life); my grandmother’s pretty china and silver; and special mementos I’ve collected through the years. I truly believe that what is on the table has an interesting effect on what happens around the table. One of my favorite things to do is create memorable moments for our family.

When you set out (ha, see what I did there) to planning your table, pull all the pretty things out of your cupboards, dust them off and … use them!! Don’t ever think “these are TOO nice” to use. Indulge yourself and your guests. It will feel good and look elevated — trust me!

A Simple but Beautiful Place Setting

Lately, I’ve been on a mission for a new set of plates. Some may think this is silly, but honestly, I think I get this from my grandmother … she had four sets of china! She would use them all the time, not just for special occasions, and I’ve always taken a page from her book. I have these white dishes from Juliska that we use everyday, and I recently purchased this set of six dinner plates that I can mix in with the solid white ones. They’re just so charming, I plan to use them all year long.

Mix the Old with the New

To make your Easter table feel fresh and current, try incorporating something modern with the old world charm of china and silverware. So, I combined these marble candle holders with pretty taper candles. They’re very reasonably priced, and I love how the natural marble compliments the dishes. In my opinion, the more candles the better — so I scattered them around the table in varying heights for added interest.

Also, I purchased these Athena Caledone x Crate & Barrel wine glasses right before Thanksgiving last year, and we’ve been using them ever since. I love the fluted glass, and the shape is just … well, cool. 😊


An Easy Flower Display for Easter

My mother is a master at flower arranging, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t pass that skill onto me 😂 I’ve always been kinda intimidated by scale, colors, which varieties to use together, etc. But I’ve come to the conclusion that your arrangement doesn’t have to look professional. In fact, the more natural and organic, the better. Or at least that’s what I tell myself! For this Easter table, I bought several bunches of different flowers and greenery. I wanted a light and ethereal effect, so I chose delicate stems such as white Larkspur, Ranunculus in different shades of pink, and an assortment of Alstroemeria — all of which I found at my local Trader Joe’s!

It’s also nice to make a few smaller arrangements in glass vases to keep the look light and airy. I used a beautiful crystal vase I’ve owned for years for the larger of the three arrangements in the center of the table. I didn’t have other smaller glass vases that worked in shape and scale, so here’s a thought …

  CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: Just use glassware you already own to make smaller arrangements! I chose two vintage champagne glasses that were the perfect shape in order to create these arrangements, and I love how they turned out. I hope you like them too!


Dyeing Easter Eggs … Naturally

Dyeing eggs at Easter is a tradition in our family. Even though the kids are grown, we still do it every year! This year, I tried my hand at using dyes from vegetables and fruit, coffee and turmeric to get these beautiful hues. I’m sure the kids will still want to do more when they get home, but I really love how these turned out. The colors are so so much better than the dyes you buy! They do take a bit longer — in fact, I let all of these sit overnight in the dye, so be sure to plan for that to get the best results. Use these in a basket as part of your tablescape! They add a nice touch alongside your flowers.

You can find many techniques on Pinterest to dye eggs this way. Do you use Pinterest when you want to get inspired for a special event or holiday décor? I do 😊 Check out our Pinterest board here for more ideas and inspo!


I hope these ideas inspire you when you’re setting your Easter table this year. Next week, I’ll share our family recipe for my grandmother Virginia’s deviled eggs. Charlie has become a master at making them, and they are a favorite every year! Cheers friends 🥂

Design

Why We’re Choosing Black Windows and Doors

Here are all the details about the windows and doors we're choosing for #highdeserttumaloranch, and why we think they're the best options for this particular project!

Why we’re choosing black windows and doors

 

I wanted to chat with you about our recent project, #highdeserttumaloranch, and the windows and doors we’re choosing to install. Hopefully, this will help you if you’re ever considering doing this in the future! Windows are definitely not inexpensive, so it’s important to find the right style and material that fits your budget. I’ve been exploring a variety of options, from classic wood clad to modern aluminum and fiberglass, and let me tell you, there are many amazing choices out there! I’ve been very drawn to sleek, minimalist designs that allow for a lot of natural light to flood into the house. 

CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: There are many different heights when it comes to the top and bottom rail of a door. These are the parts of the door that “frame” the glass or wood of the door. In our case, we want very little top and bottom rails so they don’t take away from the amount of glass in each door/window. Same goes for the stiles (these are the side pieces that complete the frame of a door). We want all these components to be as slim as possible for a very clean and streamlined look.

One style we have been particularly drawn to is steel doors with glass. Unfortunately, they are also pretty pricey, and just not in our budget right now. But, we’re not ones to give up on our dreams that easily! So, we’ve been doing some research to find alternative options that give us the same aesthetic — without breaking the bank. We have to keep exploring our options, but if any of you have been in a similar situation, let us know your solution in the comments. We want to know!

In the meantime, let’s just drool over these inspo images with gorgeous steel doors. (BTW — wait until we can reveal the #ohheyhighlands project …the windows and doors are next level!!) 

Source: Rue Magazine
Source: Unknown
Source: Pinterest

A Couple of Things to Note

 

One thing that really catches my eye as a designer is the feeling of openness and connectedness to nature. I just love when you can walk up to the front door and see all the way through to the back of the house, seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor living spaces. That’s why I’m so excited about this particular project – it’s the perfect opportunity to create that indoor/outdoor feel. It would be like stepping into your own private oasis every time you come home!

As we’ve been working with the architect on the design, I’ve been brainstorming ways to make this vision a reality. Sometimes it can be challenging, but keep at it! Thinking about the floor plan is a good start, but I’m really just pushing for a wider entryway (the front door has to be standard height due to roofline). With a full height side panel to match the door, I think we can create an illusion of more space while enlarging the overall width. I’m absolutely obsessed with the idea of walking up to the front door and being able to see straight through the living room to the stunning views beyond. Think this house has the potential to be truly special, and I hope to see this part come all together, like in these images. 🤍

I shared this house by Betsy Brown Interior Design this week on Instagram, and wow! I think, given the response, it’s obvious that I’m not the only one that loves this idea for our front entry! This shows what I’m trying to achieve by adding a side light (this is a fancy way of saying a window that is same height next to a door 😉) in full glass with panes.

 

 

Source: Betsy Brown Interiors

 

Why We Say Don’t Be Afraid of Paned Windows

 

In our search for the perfect windows, we’ve been exploring a variety of options from different manufacturers. Two that have really caught our attention so far are Sierra-Pacific Windows and Doors, and Jeld-Wen. Both offer high-quality windows with a range of customization options. Music to our ears! Marvin is a brand I’m more familiar with as we have used them in the past, so we’ll definitely be looking into their offerings as well. Because, you know, getting multiple bids is what we do 😂

One thing we know for sure is that we want a black interior and exterior finish for our windows. We just love the edgy and refined look it creates. We’re also leaning towards a simple grid pattern for divided light panes, since we want something that’s classic and timeless. AND — this is key — we aren’t just choosing black windows because we see them everywhere. It’s because with the panes, we want them to “recede” … or basically just “go away” when you’re looking through the windows and doors. Don’t be afraid to add panes to your windows! They won’t obstruct the view if you go with black, versus if you do a white or wood interior. Those could actually be more distracting when looking through them to see the view.

Source: Alisha Taylor Interiors

 

Why We Want Sliding Doors vs. French Doors

 

Our plan is to add three sets of sliding doors off the back of the house: one in the living room, one in the rumpus room, and one off of the primary bedroom. These doors will be slightly different in size, with the largest being in the living room. But, they all share the same goal: to create a connection between the indoors and outdoors (as if you aren’t already tired of me saying this 😂). And, not to mention, space. With swinging doors (most often you have your exterior doors swinging in), they can bump into furniture, and you need to accommodate that when you’re laying out the furniture. Our spaces aren’t that big, so I need as much floor space as possible! 

We really just want to add as much glass as we can to each of these spaces. It allows natural light to highlight the already stunning views of the surrounding area. It’s all about creating a sense of continuity to blur the boundary between indoors/outdoors. I mean, who doesn’t want to wake up to the soft glow of the morning sun creeping through your floor-to-ceiling windows, right? 

On that note, let’s end with this photo from one of my all time favorite designers, Lauren Liess. She continues to be a constant source of inspiration for me. I love this great room image from her Horse Country Modern project — these doors and the views out back are just pure heaven. Can’t wait to share more on where we land with this very big decision for our project!

Source: Lauren Liess

 

Design

My Favorite Spring Items for Styling Your Home … all under $100!

 

Hi y’all! I thought I would share some of my favorite items for getting your home refreshed for spring 🌸 Better yet, they’re all under $100! I’ll be honest, when I style my clients’ homes, I look for a mix of high and low priced items. My goal is to achieve a beautiful — yet affordable — highly curated look. But today’s post isn’t about the “investment pieces.” Instead, it’s all about items that are serious finds for the cost! Making our services accessible to everyone demonstrates our commitment to the Clouz Houz mission. Good design is achievable, no matter the price point. Sprinkle some (or many) of these items into your home. I promise these little touches will make your spaces feel fresh and updated!

How do you do this? Well, my main recommendation is to mix and match your home décor for a beautifully layered and personal look. Don’t forget to incorporate family heirlooms, photos of vacations, and special occasions. Then use some of the beautiful items below to supplement those more meaningful and personal items.

So here you go, I’m giving away all my secrets (well not all 😂) but, if someone called me up today and asked for help with a speing refresh, I guarantee you these items would be on my install list!

CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: If you’re refreshing a space (or just simply want to finish one), buy MORE than you think you may need. You can always make returns! But, in my experience, you always need more than you think when putting the finishing touches to any space. 

Lastly, I’ve highlighted several items below and why I love them. If you want access to all items, you can shop our faves on the @Shop.LTK app here. Follow us there to stay up to date on all the things we’re loving for your home and lifestyle. Happy Spring refreshing! 😍

 

 

Design

The March Edit

 

Hey there, fellow sunshine lovers! Can you feel the excitement in the air? Spring is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more thrilled! As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, we’re itching to freshen up our spaces with some new interior design finds and things that we are absolutely loving this season.

March is the month of change, and spring is a season that is synonymous with nature. It’s no surprise that the great outdoors is always a source of inspiration for interior design. From pastel colors influenced by budding flowers and branches to botanical prints, there are so many ways to bring the essence of spring into your home. So, without further ado, let’s dive into our March edit and find some inspiration!

 

Paint in lighter tones this spring

Here in Central Oregon, we’re faced with many long months of snow and cold. As we transition from colder months into the bright, lively days of spring, it’s time to swap out those deep, moody tones for something a bit lighter. Pastels are always a hit during this time of year (but we like to think they can be year round), and we’re loving all the muddy versions of pastels. Think muted tones of pinkish rose rather than the soft baby light pinks. This color by Farrow & Ball called “Dead Salmon” (!) is a current fave. In fact, we plan to paint our daughter’s room this gorgeous hue to give it some new life. Stay tuned for more on this in future posts! 😉

Farrow & Ball ‘Dead Salmon’

Artwork, Wallpaper and Faux Branches

Botanical prints and florals are a must-have for any spring-inspired space. I love a series of vintage botanicals in a bedroom or bathroom. This one is just so pretty — several in a grid pattern is one of my favorite ways to install! There are so many ways to incorporate floral patterns into your interior repertoire. Whether it’s an accent pillow on your bed or a vintage botanical print, adding a touch of floral to your home will instantly bring in those springtime vibes and a sense of femininity. Have you heard of ‘grandma chic?’ How do you feel about it? I really like how Jean Stoffer brings in an element of old world with modern touches like lighting. This room is calling me for a nap in the best way!

 

Source: Jean Stoffer Design
Source: Thea Speke

CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: As always, an easy way to bring a touch of spring indoors is with faux branches. These are in my cart as we speak! I’m so impressed with the quality of any faux branch, holiday greens or flowers from Alfloral — look at these beauties below.

Source: Alfloral

 

Furniture & Decor

Natural materials are another way to incorporate subtle spring vibes. Think woven baskets, rattan furniture, and light wood accents. Not only do they add a touch of warmth and texture to a space, but they also bring in a feeling of vacation and relaxed living vibes. Who doesn’t want that? No matter what time of year! Right!?

 

Our favorite March trends right now are all about embracing the changing season and bringing in those springtime feels. Whether it’s a new vintage piece or sprinkling in some floral fabrics with a new pillow story, you can dream up this space in a way that speaks to you. Dip your toe in with one of these ideas and let us know how it goes! Also, we have gathered some of our favorite items for you to shop the look, and of course, you can follow us on LTK here to stay up to date. 

 

Cocktails

A Whiskey Sour – The Perfect Cocktail for A Steak Dinner

Photo: Zee Wendell

It’s Fridaaaaaay! That means time to mix up something yummy 🥃 We absolutely love a delicious Whiskey Sour… especially when Derrick is grilling steaks! He’s perfected the recipe, and we don’t even use expensive whiskey or bourbon, mainly because the lemon and sugar will cover the complexities that set those whiskeys apart. And, I personally love adding egg whites for that extra frothy cocktail, but Derrick prefers his without. To each his or her own! 😉

CLOUZ HOUZ TIP: Want to get an extra frothy Whiskey Sour? Make a reverse dry shake — shake the cocktail with ice first; strain the ice out, and re-shake. It’s sooo delicious!

The other key ingredient: fresh squeezed lemon juice! Don’t try and substitute with lemon juice from a bottle. It’s just not the same, so don’t skip this step. We just juice a bunch of lemons at once with our juicer and keep it in a jar in the fridge.

Lastly, invest in good Maraschino cherries that are dripping in thick syrupy sauce … this Italian brand is our go-to!

Photo: Zee Wendell

THE PERFECT WHISKEY SOUR

2 ounces whiskey

3/4 ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

1 large egg white

Ice

2 to 3 drops Angostura bitters, optional

 

Shake all ingredients in a shaker (see note above for an extra frothy technique) and serve up with cherries. Or, try our favorite method: pour over an extra big cube (here’s the tray we use). Sip and enjoy with grilled steaks, and you have yourself a perfect night in. Cheers!


 

Design

How to Create a Multi-Functional Family Room

Source: Amber Interiors

Okay guys, we’re going to share with you how to create a multi-functional family room … because we’re doing it ourselves! Here’s the inside scoop on all the ideas we’re discussing and considering for the Rumpus Room (aka our family room) renovation. I’m sorry I can’t hold back, I’m just so excited for all the directions we can go in when designing this cozy family room! Why do we call it the Rumpus Room? Well, I see a lot of commotion in this space: kids hanging out watching sports, dogs wrestling, cocktail- making, snacking, and in general, just a casual “hang out zone” for family and friends.

As a designer, it’s always my priority to create something timeless in its design — and I intend to do just that. Since it’s obviously a more compact space, I need to remember when selecting pieces that they need to be equally as functional as they are beautiful. 

Photo credit: Zee Wendell

This room is located at the back of the floor plan, adjacent to the dining space, and we envision it to be an indoor/outdoor area. Inspired by the textural and tonal elements in the landscape, I want this area to feel versatile and create a sense of refined comfort. Eventually, I’d like to add an outdoor fireplace right out in back of this room, so it can be a hang out zone during the warmer months. But, that’s a blog post for another day. 😉 

For now, I want to focus on some ideas that I’ve come up with to transform this space. Just because it’s sort of like a “bonus” room doesn’t mean we can’t turn it into the main event, right? I can imagine it will be a high-traffic area, so the way the layout is designed will entirely set the scene for the rest of the space. This sitting area will hopefully bring a shapely contrast to the rest of the house, offering a relaxed conversation space, as well as a cozy spot to watch tv and movies. We are a big movie family!!

 

A stylish sofa … that also seats a crew!

Source: Lonny Magazine
Photo Credit: Kayla Mackenzie

Choosing a sofa can be one of the hardest decisions to make when designing a room. I’m thinking of going the route of a relaxed, built-in sectional. It honors the kids’ request for comfort, while making it easy for everyone to watch TV. I’m taking a page out from of own book with the built-in banquette we had custom made by a furniture maker for our current home. But, I still want it to be extra cozy, mimicking a comfy, down-wrapped sofa. 

I’m even considering covering it in plush mohair or performance velvet fabric. Both are luxurious! Mohair is extremely durable and stain resistant, while performance velvet features a stain resistant finish and the fabric stays looking fresh, longer. Of course, I’d have to layer it with various pillows to break up the weight that a velvet fabric can sometimes bring into a room. Can’t decide quite yet, so let me know which fits your style best!

In addition, we need a great big comfy chair to lounge in. One that everyone is going to fight over! But seriously, you know the one — comfy, generous in size- — maybe a pouf or ottoman to kick up your feet? We all know what I’m talking about … just not a recliner! Ha!

 

Let’s talk TV

Source: Deuce Cities Henhouse
Source: Deuce Cities Henhouse

I already mentioned my thoughts on not putting a TV in the main living area, which of course, has created much controversy in our household. However, the rumpus room is only a few steps away, and is a more casual area meant for lounging around. Since this will be the main hangout room in the house, there will definitely be a TV in there for all our cherished movie nights! The problem is, we want the sofa to face out so you can look out the windows/door to enjoy the view. But, that only leaves the corner of the room for a wall mounted TV. I saw the image above, and thought it was clever to create some corner cabinetry below the TV. This achieves an intentional space for the TV to live.

 

An element of luxury: the Wet Bar

 

Source: Decoholic

Now for some fun talk! What better addition is there to a room than a wet bar?! Since the back deck hangs right off of this room, it’s an ideal spot for hosting because of its easy access. As Happy Hour enthusiasts, we know it’s essential to create a little “whiskey bar,” including a bar sink and some shelving to store glasses, as well as barware for mixing up our favorite cocktails. Perhaps we could even incorporate a small dishwasher in order to avoid the extra hassle of dishes. I can already picture us sitting outside on a sunny day, sipping on something Derrick has whipped up, and gazing off into the view!

Okay, now I hope you guys are getting a better picture of my vision for this future outdoor living space. The goal is to create a fun vibe for hanging around the fire, making some drinks, and spending time with friends and family, especially in the summer when we’re lucky enough to see the mountains on a clear day or watch the stars light up the night sky.

Beautiful Flooring

Source: Becki Owens

For the floors, we’ve discussed adding a herringbone version of the hardwood floors that we’ll be using throughout the rest of the house. Since we want this room to feel different from all the others, why not spice it up? Adding a classic herringbone pattern will add more uniqueness to the space, and let it have it’s own ‘moment.’ I love the texture it brings to a space, and how it breaks up the long planks, especially since you can see all the way into the Rumpus Room from the front door. 

 

A rug to enhance the style of the room

Source: Amber Interiors

Lastly, I love the idea of a fluffy area rug to ground the space with warmth. We’ve made it very obvious how much we love rugs. But, as the owner of two Golden Retrievers, I’m not sure something furry would be the most realistic option. I swear it feels as if they never stop shedding! Not sure I’ll have it in me after this remodel to keep up on hair maintenance duty 😂 While I do want something thick and comfy to make the room feel warm, a vintage option that hides things might be more ideal. It’s better to go bigger with rugs to ensure all of your furniture can sit on it. 

And one of the most important elements in a room: lighting

Source: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

We’re still trying to figure out the best possible solution for lighting. Right now, we’re dealing with a sloped panel ceiling, which means that not just any fixture will work up there. However, the room already does have a great source of natural lighting from the windows. One option is to upgrade them to French doors that lead out to the back. If that were to be the case, we could probably make do with a floor lamp. We’d have to get creative with other ways to add artificial light for when it gets dark. Possibly wall sconces above the built-in sectional? This built-in sofa with wall sconce checks all the boxes for what I want to achieve here.

The Rumpus Room!

Below is a mood board with some of the furnishings I’ve been eyeing for this space. Of course, this isn’t set in stone. In fact, if you ask Derrick, I will probably change my mind 50 more times ! 😂 But, the key elements are here. You can shop all these items on our LTK account.

Ok, that’s it for now! I’m so excited about this cozy and fun spot in our soon-to-be new home. There is still a lot of work to be done and many decisions to be made. But, I’m really looking forward to seeing this space come together! Check out our socials for updated photos and video content on the other elements that were incorporated into this space. We will keep you “in the know.” 

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Okay guys… here’s a look at some of my fits throughout the week… yep, it’s usually casual Mondays and Fridays for me 🙂 Bend is super chill, but I love dressing up and feeling good about myself and ready to tackle my to-do’s. Do you follow @shop.with.caroline? I absolutely adore her… talk about a boss babe killing it in her 50’s! Her mantra: Choose Happy! Choose You! Yes You Can! Get Up. Get Dressed. Let’s Do This!” has transformed me. 

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So if you are new here, welcome to our monthly edit! Every month we share what we are coveting and feeling inspired by over on our blog. Sometimes it is that “one special piece” that sparks our creativity! And we aren’t just talking home design… how we look makes us feel good too (cue more self care). It’s the little things - whether buying yourself a new pair of shoes or investing in a key piece for your home, our hope is these edits bring you some joy too! To SHOP these items, type “LINKS” in the comments below or shop our LTK (link in bio)!