11 Essentials for a Warm & Welcoming Guest Room

Guest Room Essentials

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s – the holidays are right around the corner. For a lot of us, the holidays mean parties, good food, new decorations, and guests. My dad always jokes that you want guests to be comfortable enough that they don’t complain, but not so comfortable that they stick around for awhile. What essentials do you need in your guest room to create a welcome, comfortable place to stay? Start with the Basics When you’re planning for guests, start with the basics, so your guests don’t have to make a trip to Target or Wal-Mart because they forgot a toothbrush. Start with a toothbrush and toothpaste; an extra blow-dryer; fresh towels and washcloths; extra pillows and blankets; shampoo, conditioner, and body wash; lotion; and disposable razors. Make It Cozy Once you have the basics, you can add a few extras to make your guests’ stay perfect! Makeup…

Home Decor

Make Decorating a Priority: Make an Inspiration Board

Make an Inspiration Board

When you first decide to decorate (or redecorate) a room, it can be overwhelming. You might have too many ideas, with no idea how to narrow them down. Or, you might not have any ideas, with no idea how to start. I’ve been there with both – I currently have way too many ideas for my living room, but I have no clue what I want to do with my master bedroom. In both cases, an inspiration board helps so much! What’s an inspiration board? An inspiration board is a collage of images, textures, and colors to help you visualize your ideas. You can cut pictures out of magazines, add fabric samples, or pin images on Pinterest. It doesn’t matter if you have a physical board or a Pinterest board – either way, an inspiration board can help you visualize a room before you ever begin to decorate it. If…

Home Decor

How to Define Your Personal Decor Style

How to Define Your Decor Style

Defining your personal decor style will help you choose the perfect pieces for your home and create a home you love. I’ve been steadily defining my style for years, and it’s been quite the journey. My freshman dorm looked nothing like my grad school apartment, and neither looked anything like my house does now. My house is the first place that feels 100% like me (and my husband), so I feel a lot more comfortable in it than in other places I’ve lived. When I was first trying to define my decor style, I was a little intimidated. I thought I had to commit completely to one style – farmhouse, industrial, traditional, etc. But, I don’t. No one does! Could you imagine if everyone stuck to only one style? There wouldn’t be too many unique homes out there. You can mix and match styles to find one that’s completely, uniquely…

Home Decor

Interior Design Q&A, Part 2 (& a Giveaway!)

Interior Design Trends Questions Part 2

This week, I’m finishing diving into some questions that Jaclyn and I originally answered during Season 1 of The Millennial Homemaker about interior design trends. If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here! What is your favorite store for home decor? I love Home Goods. I could (and sometimes do) go there every week and not get tired of it. Home Goods is constantly changing out its inventory, so you never know what you’re going to find. When I go to Home Goods, I might go in thinking, “I want to find a comfy navy throw blanket,” but I don’t expect to find the exact thing I want. I mostly go in with an open mind and end up finding way too much stuff. When you’re shopping at Home Goods, it’s important to know your style. If you haven’t completely figured out your style, you might end…

Home Decor

Interior Design Q&A, Part 1

Interior Design Q&A Part 1

Earlier this year, my best friend, Jaclyn, and I launched a podcast, The Millennial Homemakers. You can subscribe on iTunes and Google Play. Be sure to tune in weekly for all things home, hostessing, and more. Way back in Season 1, we answered some interior design questions. I’ve expanded on some of my answers here. To learn more about Jaclyn, visit her at Frazier Lynn. What got you interested in interior design and decorating? I first became interested in interior design in middle school, when I would watch “Trading Spaces” on TLC with my mom. I loved watching a room transform into something entirely new. A lot of the work was done by ordinary people, instead of by the designers, which has since given me confidence to work on my own home. Since then, I’ve become addicted to HGTV, particularly “Fixer Upper,” “Property Brothers,” and “Love it or List it.” (Side…

Home Decor

A Very Alexander Christmas

I have been excited to decorate for Christmas since we were still house hunting. Every house we looked out, I would try to figure out where the Christmas tree would go, how we would hang stockings – if the house didn’t have a fireplace, and where Drew and I would eat Christmas breakfast.   I’m so excited that I could stop dreaming about Christmas and start decorating! It’s no secret that I love burlap. What you may not know is that I also love plaid. Drew can’t stand plaid, so the plaid usually stays in my wardrobe, instead of around the house. To me, burlap and plaid are the epitome of a rustic Christmas, which is what I wanted to create in my home. Because of this, Drew decided to just live with some plaid for a month and a half. I did limit myself to plaid on our stockings, tree skirt, and…

Home Decor

Current View: Dining Room

Work has been crazy the last few weeks, causing me to be MIA, but I’m back! So, let’s take a quick look at the dining room. When I was in high school, my mom worked late on Wednesdays, so my dad and I would eat without her (neither of us are pleasant when we’re hungry). We’d sit down to eat around 6:30, but would never get up from the table until my mom got home between 8 and 8:30. We’d talk for hours, usually about things you aren’t supposed to talk about around the table: politics and religion. “For Where Two or Three Gather in My Name, I Am with Them. Matthew 18:20” Sign from Hobby Lobby (similar here) Dinner table conversations are still some of my favorites, so my dining room is important to me. It has to be somewhere where my guests, friends, and family feel comfortable enough to…

Home Decor

Current View: Living Room

Our living room is the most important room in our house. We eat in the living room more often than the dining room. We watch TV, lay on the couch reading, and have in-depth conversations with each other and our friends; I even work on the couch when I feel too isolated in my office. Because we use it so often, it’s important to us that it’s calming, comfortable, welcoming, and practical. We’re slowly achieving all those things. Right now, we don’t think our couch is any of those things. My parents were gracious enough to let us take one of their old couches. While we’re appreciative that we didn’t have to buy a couch right away, Drew and I have made it more than clear that we’re ready for this couch to go! The first problem? The fabric. It’s covered with a blue floral print. Sure, it’s pretty, but it’s…

Home Decor

Welcome to the Alexander Abode

I’m a firm believer that you should always do something extraordinary on a Leap Day. After all, they only come around once every 4 years. This Leap Day, Drew and I did just that; we closed on our first house. It was definitely nerve-racking, but we had been looking at houses for over 6 months, so we were definitely ready.  On the surface, it should have been easy to find a house we wanted. We mostly cared that it was 3+ bedrooms and 2+ baths. We quickly discovered, however, that we are very picky. Since I love to cook, I wanted a large kitchen, with tons of cabinet space (I have A LOT of kitchen gadgets and an obsession with owning a cup for every purpose) and plenty of counter space. We got both those things in this house! We even got granite counter-tops and brand new stainless steel appliances!…