Last Sunday I had the pleasure of hearing Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home give a design seminar at Pear Tree Cottage, a terrific home decor store in Vienna, VA. It was great fun to meet Lauren in person - she is charming, full of fresh ideas and may I add, a great public speaker! Starting from a blank slate at 3 different vignettes, Lauren moved through the store and demonstrated design principles of visual weight, informal and formal balance and personalizing with the unexpected and spontaneous Check out the second shelf in this armoire - they're paperbacks turned with their spines to the back. LOVE, love this creative idea!

Lauren brought in a mantel from her own home. She added the mirror to ground the mantel and to add interest. Notice the 3 mushrooms on stands to the left - everyone remarked how they never would have thought to group these but it is so successful!

Sedum and an unknown bush from her yard makes for a relaxed and pretty arrangement. The white is picked up by the fig candles on the tray to the right and the urn on the far left (pic above).
Here Lauren mixed modern and vintage for a unique entry table full of personality. This was a great demonstration of using differing heights and making the arrangement practical as well - a tray for keys, etc. sits on top of the magazines. In some houses (like mine) it could be on the stack of mail yet to be dealt with. If you haven't already seen Lauren's post for step-by-step suggestions, click here.

Here's a few pics from Pear Tree Cottage - this store is a definite place to put on your list to visit as it's full of unique pieces arranged in inspiring vignettes. I came away with a terrific metal bowl which I think is going to end up on my entry table. Click here to see a listing of upcoming design seminars (and did I mention they serve champagne & strawberries...)