Raiana’s Sophisticated Glam Living Room

One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing my pillows in their new homes. I know I have some seriously talented customers.  Canadian interior designer Raiana Schwenker is no exception. She just shared photos of her living room (which she decorated on a budget!) and it’s absolutely fabulous.  Take a look:

Raiana's Living Room with Arianna Belle leopard pillowsClick on over to Sadie and Stella to see more photos and read about all the details!

Posted in arianna belle pillows, customer homes, glamorous spaces, home decor, interior decor, living room, my shop, pillows | 4 Comments

A Beautifully Organized Pantry

In my previous home, I organized my pantry using matching food storage containers from Ikea which I labeled using my P-touch labeler. I loved it because it was practical, streamlined and looked great. When we moved to our current apartment last year, since the containers unfortunately didn’t really fit in our new awkward sized narrow cabinets, I decided to give them to my mom who was reorganizing her kitchen at the time.  The plan was to get new containers that better fit our new cabinets and in the interim keep items in their original bags and boxes and/or use whatever (mismatched) containers we had on hand. A year has passed though and I still haven’t gotten the new containers.

These photos below from the kitchen of Jen of the Social Home are giving me the inspiration and push I need to get my pantry looking beautiful again.   Jen used matching containers from the dollar store and created her own lovely labels, which she generously offers as downloadable freebies here and here.  She also offers custom labels in her shop The Paper Society.

Beautiful Labels from the Paper Society via Arianna Belle BlogSo pretty, wouldn’t you agree?

p.s. Check out her post on how to smudge-proof your labels

Posted in kitchen organization | 5 Comments

A Beautifully Organized Creative Workspace

In love with this creative workspace from the home of Darcy Miller, illustrator and editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings. It’s the chicest craft room I ever did see! It’s not only fully stocked with all the supplies you could ever need for any creative project, but it’s also beautifully organized.  Everything has a home designated based on frequency of use, so things are accessible and easy to find. With the exception of the art supplies which bring a cheerful rainbow array of color to the space, most everything (the walls, floor, ceiling, furniture, and storage containers) is black, white, and gray. This creates a uniform look and keeps the room from feeling chaotic or overwhelming.

Darcy Miller's Creative Workspace via Arianna Belle Blog

See more here.

Photography by Christopher Sturman 
Posted in beautifully organized spaces, creative workspaces, home office organization, organized workspaces | 9 Comments

Living Room Progress

I’m back from my Santa Barbara mini getaway with my husband (see photos of the trip here). We’ve both been working a lot so it was definitely a fun, relaxing, much needed break.

As promised, I wanted to share with you all my living room progress.  Since the last update here’s what I’ve done:

+Separated the two tables we were using as a coffee table and designated them as side tables

+Moved the chair ottoman to the middle of the room and added a tray so we could use it as a coffee table

+Added pillows to the sofa. I went with two blue velvet, two aga reverse black*, and a petite zig zag french blue lumbar*.

+ Hung the beautiful paintings I had commissioned from Parima Studio

+Purchased a media console. We went with this one from Ikea which was inexpensive (a necessity since this is a short term home) and just the right size. We’ve customized it by painting the back in a similar color blue as the velvet pillows. We bought doors for it, however not sure if we’ll use them or not.  Still deciding… Might just add two bottom drawers to hide the X-Box controls and gadgets and keep the rest as open storage.

+Added an accent table with a scalloped top next to the chair.  It’s black and I like how it looks but I’m kinda tempted to paint it another color.  Undecided still.

+Bought three square frames to hang on the wall in a vertical column to the left of the paintings. They’re silver but I plan on spray painting them gold to match the mirror above the fireplace.

Overall, here’s what the room is currently looking like:

What’s up next:

+paint the three frames and hang them

+ add drawers to the media console and style the shelves

+ get another side table lamp

+buy and install cover for tv cords & wires

+find a stylish storage basket or bin for Little Foot‘s toys

Hopefully these last few things don’t take me too long! Stay tuned for more updates!

*I don’t have these pillows available in the shop website yet. If you’re interested, email shop@ariannabelle.com for a quote.
Posted in our apartment | 12 Comments

Checking in on 2013 Intentions

With the first month of the year behind us, I feel like it’s a good time to check in and re-visit lists of new year intentions and goals in an effort to stay on track and re-focus if needed. Below is my list and how it’s going so far. Hopefully by sharing them publicly it might even help me stick to them a little more.

Make Health a Priority
Late last year I had some symptoms that prompted a trip to the doctor, which then turned into more trips to the doctor, and now a pending possible Crohn’s Disease diagnosis.  Regardless of whether they find that I do or don’t have the disease (getting a colonoscopy next month UPDATE: I don’t have it! whew!), I want to develop healthy habits I know are good for me and will help me live my best life.  After all, without good health, it’s difficult to accomplish much else, right? So far I’ve been pretty good about:
+ remembering to take my vitamins (multi, B-complex, vitamin D, omega-3) – by keeping them together and visible in a frequently opened kitchen cabinet
+ eating sugar in moderation -as those of you who follow me on Instagram know, I have a sweet tooth. The trick to keeping it in check has been not keeping a stash of tempting foods in the house.
+ finding ways to incorporate not so appetizing healthy foods into my regular diet. For example I have a hard time drinking aloe vera on it’s own but by mixing it with orange juice it’s not bad at all.

I need to work on:
+ Making more green juice – As those of you who make green juice know, it’s time a consuming endeavor washing, cutting and peeling the fruits and veggies, cleaning the juicer, etc.  So far I’ve been pretty good about making juice about 3 times a week but my goal is to make juice every day.  Often times I’m in a hurry or I just feel plain lazy about it.  Prepping the veggies in bulk (for 2-3 days worth of juice at a time) seems to be helping make it more doable.
+ Moving more-  As an entrepreneur that works from home I can oftentimes be a bit of a workaholic and sit in front of the computer for hours at a time and push working out off the side. I need to work out first thing  in the morning before heading to my office (a workout video or a quick run) or else I probably won’t work out at all.

+ Drinking more water- This has been a constant challenge but I’ve been making some progress.  What seems to work for me is having a really large glass water bottle on my desk (or wherever I am) during the day.  If it’s there in front of me I’ll drink it.  If I have just a small glass, I’ll drink it and then neglect to get up to refill it sufficiently.  I just need to make it a habit to fill the large bottle in the morning before getting started with work.
+ Regular relaxation- ‘stress is related to 99% of all illness” – this is something I remember reading in the Lululemon manifesto and I think is probably true.  Regularly doing activities that relieve stress like taking a bath, reading books with a spiritual focus (like Eckhart Tolle), keeping a gratitude journal, are important for not letting stress accumulate and harm our bodies. I love doing all these things but don’t give myself time to do them enough.

Continue Growing My Business
When I opened my pillow shop a little over a year ago it was very small. I didn’t really know how much it would grow and all of what that growth would entail. As I manage all the aspects of my business, I’ve been growing along with it figuring out things as I go along and always thinking about how I can improve it. This year I’ve started utilizing the time I spend driving, to listen to various business audiobooks. So far they’ve given me great ideas on things I can do to further develop my business and push it forward, which I’m definitely excited about implementing. My current read is The Martha Rules.

Blog More
Admittedly, the growth of my shop has resulted in putting this blog on the back burner.  I do miss blogging regularly and so, as I learn to delegate, and develop systems for working more efficiently and being more productive with my business (smarter not harder), I hope to get back to having time to blog at least two or three times a week.

“Finish” decorating the apartment
I put it in quotation marks because the apartment we’re in right now is a short term rental (we’ll be here maybe another year or two?) and we’re on a budget so there are limitations as to what “finished” realistically can look like.  Working within our limitations though, I have the bulk of it somewhat done, I just need to shop for, DIY, and install a few more things. I’ll give you all an update soon on how the living room is looking.

+ Take weekend trips- The past two years we’ve been on a very tight budget as result of the sucky economy, my husband begin unemployed for several months and other setbacks. Though we’re not yet where we want to be financially, thankfully we’re no longer penny pinching as much and can afford to take at least a few budget friendly quick getaways.  We’re starting off with Santa Barbara on Valentine’s Day, which I’m looking forward to.
+ Visit museums – I love going to museums and they’re inexpensive yet it’s been a few years since I’ve been to one.  Must visit at least the LACMA and Griffith Observatory this year.
+ Go salsa dancing with my husband -been wanting to for a while now and would make fun date nights
+ Go hiking and biking more – this goes hand in hand with moving more. As the weather gets a little warmer I’ll be making it a point to head outside to do these things on the weekend.

Please tell me I’m not the only one with a list a mile long.  I always find it inspirational to hear about other people’s goals and so if you’re up for sharing, I’d love to hear what you’re aiming for. What are some of your intentions for the year? How are they materializing so far? Maybe we can all help each other stick to at least a few of our intentions.

Posted in about me | 5 Comments

Arianna Belle Pillows in Adore Home

Have you checked out the latest issue of Adore Home? It’s packed with beautiful interiors like the cheerfully colorful home of stylist and decorator Clair Wayman featured on the cover …

AND, if you flip to page 157 you’ll see our Bengal Bazaar pillow featured in the Get the Look page for a home designed by Greg Natale:

So delighted to be included in such a fabulous magazine!

If you haven’t yet, grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and read the issue here.

Posted in color inspiration, get the look, home decor, interior decor, living room, my shop, online magazine, pillows | 4 Comments

How Irene Organizes Her Sideboard

A new ‘How I Organize‘ post! Today participating is my amiga Irene of Designstiles, whose home I posted about yesterday. She shares with us how she beautifully organizes her sideboard:My sideboard is really a dresser I bought at the thrift store and repurposed. I like to organize each drawer by category. In the top middle drawer I keep misc tablesetting items – party hats, confetti, paper plates, cute gift bags, fun candles. On the top left drawer I keep candles and candlestick holders. In the four larger bottom drawers I store napkins and placemats in one, tablecloths in the drawer next to the napkins. Plates (like these) and chargers at the bottom and stemware to the right of that. I usually keep all my stemware wrapped but in this case, I unwrapped some of them to display. These gold elephant highball glasses are my favorite. I used to intermix all my tablesetting things until it got out of hand. Assigning each drawer to a different tablesetting item has made it so much easier for me to remember what I have. No more thinking I lost stuff.   –Irene

Posted in dining room organization, how i organize series | 3 Comments

Irene’s Colorful Abode

My friend Irene‘s beautiful SoCal home was featured on Apartment Therapy this week! If you haven’t seen the tour yet, you’re gonna love it. I’ve had the pleasure of stepping foot inside her home and it really is as fun and welcoming as the photos show (possibly even more so!).  This girl sure knows how to effectively bring together multiple colors, textures and patterns. She’s one talented lady!

View the full tour here and come back here tomorrow for a How I Organize post featuring Irene!

photography by Bethany Nauert
Posted in bedrooms, color inspiration, home tours, little details, living room | 6 Comments

Happy Weekend + Giveaway Winners!

Hello my dears! Hope you’re all having a great weekend so far! I wanted to quickly stop by before heading out this morning to the Sunday farmer’s market, to announce the lucky winners* of the calendar giveaway.

Congratulations to #5 msenesac, #2 Carey, #11 Meredyth, #15 Lauren M. Ferreira, and #14 Kayla!

Didn’t win? Use coupon code ARIANNABELLE to receive 20% off any Neu Year calendar!

*Winners were chosen using Random.org
image source: camille styles
Posted in flowers, giveaway | 2 Comments

2013 Calendar Giveaway!

Ahh a new year is just around the corner, full of promise and fresh with opportunity to make things happen!  When it comes to goals for the year, I find it helpful to plan and lay them out in a calendar that allows me to see at a glance what I should be doing when and when certain deadlines are approaching, so I can get my butt into gear and actually accomplish what I aim to. The Neu Year calendar is perfect for that.  I have one in my office, placed vertically on a door that my desk faces.  It’s nice to look up from my computer and be able to quickly see the whole year at once. Since it doesn’t have gaps between the months, it has a good flow, which is great for planning across months easily and clearly seeing the distance between any two dates in a year.

If you haven’t gotten yourself a 2013 wall calendar yet, you’re in luck because we’re giving away Neu Year calendars to a few lucky readers! To enter, just leave a comment at the end of this post.  For extra entries, pin, tweet, facebook, or instagram about the giveaway*, and leave another comment letting me know you’ve done so.   Winners will be chosen at random next Friday and announced shortly thereafter!

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  All entries must be received by 11:59 PST January 3, 2012.
*Tweets, pins, and instagrams about the giveaway for extra entries must include a proper link to be valid.
Posted in giveaway, office space, organized workspaces, planners & calendars, time management | 53 Comments