Monday, November 21, 2022

Property Tour: Embrey Mill

Embrey Mill Master Bedroom

One of my favorite things to do is tour new model homes. I get so much design and organization inspiration for my own house from visiting. I love to see what new trends are being used and also find ways to enhance my home. I've actually loved visiting model homes for quite some time, even before I was a homeowner myself. The newness is peaceful to me.

Earlier this year, I had the incredible opportunity to visit Embrey Mill in Stafford, VA. Being a former Northern Virginia resident, I was very excited to return to check out this new-home community. Embrey Mill is simply put: a home owners dream! The property is huge; featuring single family home and townhome floor plans. From the moment we entered Embrey Mill, I couldn't stop saying "look at that." Everywhere I looked I saw beautiful homes and scenery. 

The Property

Embrey Mill is an 819 acre community located very close to the Quantico Marine Corps Base, with easy access to Washington, D.C. The property includes so many amenities for its residents:
-walking trails (10 miles of paths and wooded trails to be exact)
-15 parks and playgrounds
-fitness center
-285 acres of open space
-a community garden
-doggy stations
-a racetrack park for scooters and tricycles
-a full-service café (that is DELCIOUS)
-luxury pools featuring beach entry shallow ends, lap lanes, water slides and splash zones

Embrey Mill Pool
Embrey Mill playground
Embrey Mill Cafe

The Model Home

I had the opportunity to tour the newest model home at Cascades at Embrey Mill. The gorgeous home was built by Miller & Smith; I was blown away by the design and layout from the moment I set foot inside.

To see a video tour of the model home, click here.

The Cascades at Embrey Mill home features three levels: main level with a 2 car garage, upper level and lower level. I loved so much about the model home, every design element was perfectly curated. The tour allowed me the opportunity to discover plenty of features I want to add into our home (or even a future home!).

1.) Wallpaper accent in tray ceiling
I've never seen this done before, but what a beautiful statement it made. I am still looking for the perfect wallpaper to add to our tray ceiling. This project will be happening very soon in our house.

2.) Flooring used on the ceiling
The Great Room in the Cascades at Embrey Mill model home had a vaulted ceiling. The designer made a decision to use the same flooring on the ceiling and it made such a statement. The extra texture on the ceiling really made the space look high end.

3.) Built in seating with storage
Of course a common complaint I hear from all of my friends who are homeowners is that they wish they had more storage. In the lower level, this model home had bench seating with tons of storage underneath and next to it. Adding in bench seating is the perfect way to add additional storage to any home.

4.) HUGE linen closet
Again, storage is something a lot of people want and need in their home. Included in the upper level of the model home was a huge, double door linen closet. This is genius if I do say so myself. In our home we have a pretty good sized linen closet, but we could still use some more storage space. Having a double door linen closet gives a homeowner plenty of storage space. Yes, it is easier to add a closet when building a house, but this is something that can certainly be added later as well.

5.) Slide out spice cabinet
To make really good use of the space in your kitchen, I love the idea to have a slide out spice cabinet. This narrow cabinet can be really long, allowing you plenty of space to store all of your spices and herbs. Plus by having it included in your lower cabinet section, you can easily see everything you have at one glance.

To see all of these designs features in video form, check out the following three posts:
Design Elements for Your Home
Favorite Views while Touring Embrey Mill
Kitchen Features to Add In Your Next Kitchen

(Here come a lot of pictures of this beautiful model home, but keep scrolling at the end for even more good stuff!)

Embrey Mill Kitchen
Embrey Mill Laundry
Embrey Mill Main Level
Embrey Mill Lower Level
Embrey Mill Master Bath
Embrey Mill Tray Ceiling
Embrey Mill Upper Level
Embrey Mill Upper Bedroom
Cascades Embrey Mill Upper Bedroom
Cascades Embrey Mill Upper Level
Cascades Embrey Mill Lower Level
Embrey Mill Cascades Laundry Room
Embrey Mill Living Room

The Events

Embrey Mill hosts several events throughout the year to bring their residents together. They certainly have a focus on health and wellness, which is terrific.
Previous events include:
-Halloween 5K and Monster Mile
-Christmas in Stafford
-Embrey Mill Cornhole Tournament
-Star Party
-Summer Blowout
-and so much more!

For the this holiday season, Embrey Mill will host their Frosty 3 Miler and Reindeer Run. The event will be held Saturday, December 10. Participants can run the race in person or virtually - allowing anyone who wants to participate an opportunity. And costumes are encouraged! That just sounds so fun: to be running alongside Santa and perhaps his reindeer?!?! So neat.
Options to run the race include the Frosty 3 Miler, the 1 mile kids Reindeer Run and the Virtual 3 Miler.

If you want to sign up to run in person or virtually, you can do so by clicking this link.

Embrey Mill Reindeer Run
Embrey Mill Frosty 3 Miler
Frosty 3 Miler Embrey Mill

My visit to Embrey Mill was phenomenal and left me wishing that we had a reason to move back to the Northern Virginia area. The property is beautiful, the houses are stunning and I love their commitment to bringing the residents together.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Cozy Home Décor Items for Winter

Winter is coming which means we will be spending a lot more time indoors. If you are anything like me, you want your home to be warm and cozy during the winter months. As you start to put up your winter and holiday décor, I want to give you some tips to create a nice inviting space.

When I think of winter, of course, I think of snow, so I tend to decorate with lots of winter whites during those colder months. Here are my top six items that I use to add a little bit of extra coziness to my house.

1.) A soft and plush throw blanket.

Blankets make everything cozier, am I right? I love to add a super plush and soft throw blanket to my couch. The blanket helps to add texture to the overall look and feel of the room. Plus, a blanket is functional decor that can be used to literally warm you up while you relax on the couch. For the winter, I think it is perfectly acceptable to go a tad overboard using throw blankets.

2.) Wood accented candles.

We don’t have a fireplace in our house, but I often picture a cozy fire when thinking of the winter months. To add a bit of warmth, grab some wood accented candles to use with your décor.
Bonus cozy décor points: put the candles inside of a lantern.

3.) Pre-lit garland.

My absolute most favorite winter décor item is our pre-lit flocked garland. We don’t have a mantle, but we do have a large entertainment center and I place the garland on top of it. Garlands are very versatile. You can use them on a mantle, wrapped around a banister, on a table, draped over a mirror, on top of an entertainment center, and more. I love to turn the garland on and then turn the lights off in our living room and watch a movie with just the pretty garland lights twinkling. That is the ultimate cozy feeling.

4.) Cozy pillows.

To relax and get cozy, you need nice pillows. Add some accent pillows to your couch for extra texture, comfortability, and a simple cozy feeling. This is an opportunity to add extra color to your room if you prefer, depending on what pillow cover you choose.

5.) Pinecones.

Add some pinecones to your décor to bring the winter inside. You can use natural colored pinecones to add some warmth to your space or buy some pinecones painted white to really bring the winter feeling indoors. Pinecones are a cheap (or free if you gather them from outside!) way to add some décor to any space.

6.) Wreath.

Add some faux greenery to your house with a wreath. I’m pretty sure lots of people think of wreaths when they think of winter décor. A wreath could be used to hang somewhere inside your house or placed on a table. Adding a touch of greenery against a white wall really warms things up.


To make your home a cozier space this winter, grab a few or more of the items listed and get to decorating.

Is there anything else that you would add to this list?

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

How To Style An Entryway Table

How To Style Your Entryway Table

The entryway to a home is usually the first thing a guest sees when entering the house, so it is always a good idea to give your entryway some extra love. Décor in your entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house and makes the first impression. I like to fill my entryway with items that I love and I encourage you to do the same. 

No matter what your decorating style is, there are some items that should be entryway décor "staples." Keep reading to find out what items you should consider adding to an entryway/entryway table.


Adding a mirror to your entryway anchors the table and creates a focal point, helping to show your guests where to look.


Lamps help add height to a table, working to draw the eye upward. A lamp is also a functional décor piece as it also adds light and warmth.


You can add additional height and color to an entryway table by adding greenery stems and a tall vase.

Stacked Books

Showcase your hobbies by adding stacked books; this also creates visual interest.

Small Dish

Adding a small dish to your entryway table is very practical. This is a great place to store keys or other small, loose items.

Personal touches

Adding your own personal touches lets your guest get to know you even better. You can add family photos, art pieces you enjoy and more. Your personal touches are also a great opportunity to add more color to a space.


Bring extra warmth and comfort to a space by adding in plants - real or faux, it doesn't matter.

Entryway Styling

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Creating A Mood Board

Thank you to Carpet One Floor & Home for sponsoring this blog post. All photos and opinions are completely my own.

Home decor styling and organization have always been areas that have brought me joy. It is so thrilling to me to take items that I love and put them together with other loved and unique items to create an inviting home. When we built our house a few years ago, my main focus became home design and styling our home just right. Through my instagram channel and posts on this blog, it is my goal to give you advice and tips to help you create a home that you truly love.

So where do you even start when it comes to styling your home? One thing I like to do is create a mood board to see if items I have in mind will look good together in a room. For me, a mood board is great to help me gather ideas and color schemes and to start to see my vision come to life. Seeing different colors and textures all together in one place helps me determine if the look I dreamed up in my head is actually going to work. Mood boards are a source of inspiration! I’m going to walk you through creating a mood board.


Creating a mood board

Let’s pretend that you have asked me for help to create an inviting living room that is also pet-friendly. The first thing I suggest you choose is flooring, since flooring is a pretty nice investment in your home. Start with flooring because a flooring choice can inspire the rest of the room. For a pet-friendly living room, I suggest something that offers waterproof technology. Carpet One Floor & Home has put together a list of the Trending Ten floors and I’ve got my eye on two flooring options from their list. Both of these flooring options would be perfect for creating an inviting and pet-friendly living room in your home. Carpet One sent me some flooring samples to check out and here are the two that I recommend for a pet-friendly living room:


1.) For carpet: Orchard Stones in color Aloe
If you prefer soft carpet in your cozy living room, Orchard Stones has great options. The carpet is cozy and soft but also pet-friendly and waterproof! I also love the texture design of the carpet that can help to mask dirt that will inevitably be tracked in by your loving pet. The color Aloe adds some slight color to the room without feeling overpowering since it is still a somewhat muted tone.

2.) For hardwood: Shelby Lane-White Oak in color Antique
If you need a flooring that can stand up to spills, scratches and dents, then Shelby Lane-White Oak flooring is the way to go. The flooring is waterproof and extremely durable. Antique, the color for the hardwood floors, is the perfect neutral tone, allowing you plenty of options when it comes to colors and other design elements.

To create the rest of the mood board, I let the light green (Aloe) from the Orchard Stones carpet sample lead me to picking other green tones for the rest of the room. The greens will serve as pops of colors against the neutral Shelby Lane-White Oak flooring.

Additional elements in the mood board:

Since we have our own sweet dog, I know all too well that a pet-friendly living room needs a couch with removable cushion covers that can easily be washed. A grey couch is a perfect neutral color for a living room. The grey can help the space feel bright and also allows you to add many different colors - depending on your taste - with pillows and other decor. I prefer to have my base pieces (flooring and couch) in neutral colors. Then I can add color and change things out as trends come and go without having to repurchase the large items.

Pillows with removable covers are also helpful in a pet-friendly room. I also suggest buying covers that are sturdy and thick, that won’t pill. You can add color and/or texture to a room depending on the pillows that you choose. I again went with neutrals for the pillows, but I like the design and added texture.

I added some blankets in two different colors of green (one teal, one more of a light mint color) to add some pizazz to the room. The blankets have different designs to them which also helps add texture and dimension to the feel of the room.

Curtains are always a great addition to any living room. Since I’m going to use blankets and decor to add pops of color, I went with a neutral curtain with an ikat design. The curtains will go well with the grey couch and the ikat design serves as great decoration for the room.

Hardware on entertainment centers and end tables can be fun to change out to update a piece of furniture. For this room, I suggest using matte black handles and drawer pulls as the black contracts really nicely with the floor colors.

Plants are a great addition to any room. I added an aloe plant to give some more green to the room and to help add color.

And finally, I chose a light mint paint color to tie the whole room together. The color of the paint is extremely muted, just like the color of the carpet. This helps add some color to the room without being too bold. It gives the room some character instead of plain white, but allows you to still go bold with other decor options.
Paint Sample

There you have it. Bringing together flooring, fabrics and textiles plus a few decor pieces can help you visualize the look and feel of a project when designing a room. After you settle on a color palette, then you can start to add in pieces of furniture to complete the look. Have I inspired you to create a mood board for your next project? Remember to check out the list of Trending Ten floors from Carpet One to help inspire your next design project.



Saturday, March 12, 2022

How To Upgrade Your Home On A Budget

Spring is on its way and I know for a lot of people that means Spring cleaning and updating your home. But what do you do if funds are tight? Luckily there are numerous options to help add character and updates to your home without breaking the bank.

Upgrade Your Home_Paint
A very easy and inexpensive way to update the look of any room is with paint. Don’t underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. Just changing the color of a room can make a big difference and drastically change the look and feel. You can paint an entire room, paint just one wall, add a painted wall arch, and more!

Window Treatments
Upgrade Your Home_Window Treatments
Add additional character to a room with window treatments. While some window coverings and treatments can get costly, there are SO MANY on the market that are really quite affordable and of great quality. Faux wood blinds are a neutral, safe and practical option for your windows. Cellular shades and roman shades are nice options for a different and somewhat upscale look.

Feature Walls
Upgrade Your Home_Feature Wall
One of my favorite ways to update our house is to add a feature wall to a room. I have seen so many pictures over the years of beautiful board and batten walls and I knew that I wanted one in my house. Adding crown molding or feature walls helps to increase the value of your house. During the pandemic when I had a ton of time on my hands, I asked my husband to show me how to use power tools and I created a board and batten wall for our entryway and I love it. I am proud to say that 90% of the work was done by me! Check out Pinterest and Instagram and I guarantee that you will find tutorials showing you how you can do a feature wall yourself. By installing the wall yourself you will save tons of money.

Bathroom Mirrors
Upgrade Your Home_Bathroom Mirrors
Trade in your boring builder-grade bathroom mirror for a framed mirror. When we were building our house, I asked our builder to leave the mirrors off the walls in our bathrooms. Instead, I shopped around and found some great sales on framed mirrors to help add extra character to each bathroom. And if you can’t find a framed mirror that you like, consider building a frame yourself. There are tons of tutorials on Pinterest to teach you how.

Kitchen Backsplash
Upgrade Your Home_Kitchen Backsplash
Adding a backsplash in a kitchen is a great upgrade! You can get really creative with colors or stay with a neutral pattern. There are so many options. I’m going to let you in on a big budget-friendly secret. Check out peel and stick backsplash! I installed a peel and stick backsplash in my kitchen two years ago and I’m still pleased with the look. The installation was a breeze, no one is able to tell that it isn’t real porcelain tile unless they touch it, messes wipe off easily, and the cost was so affordable! Adding peel and stick backsplash to my kitchen is one of my favorite home projects to date.

Barn Doors
Upgrade Your Home_Barn Doors
A terrific way to add interest and character to a room is by installing a barn door. Barn doors have come a long way and I know you will be able to find some really affordable kits. You can use a barn door for a bathroom, a pantry, a closet, anywhere. They are easy to install and quite beautiful.

Decocrated home decor
Upgrade Your Home_Decocrated Home Decor
Probably the easiest and most affordable way to update your home is to change out your decor with each new season. The BEST way to do that is with a Decocrated subscription. You get 6-8 home decor items shipped straight to your door for a very low price. You would not be able to go to a store and buy each item individually for the same price. 

Now take what you have read and go make some affordable updates to your home!

I originally created this blog for the Decocrated Curated Home Blog. Decocrated is my favorite subscription box; they send you 6-8 home decor items to your door for every season, making it easy to turn your house into a beautiful home. Decocrated also offers holiday boxes throughout the year. Past holiday boxes have included Halloween, Christmas, Easter and Patriotic. To save $15 on a Decocrated subscription, use code LINDSAY15 when ordering.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Bags With A Purpose: New Hope Girls + Vera Bradley collection

New Hope Girls Hobo

I don't know about you, but when my purchase actually gets used for GOOD and has a purpose that goes deeper than just the selling of goods, I'm very inclined to buy. Several months ago, I was introduced to an incredible brand that is literally changing lives of females in need. New Hope Girls is a Dominican Republic-based nonprofit organization that has beautiful bags all handmade by women looking for an honest living. Funds from the bags go to support their mission of rescuing girls from trafficking and exploitation.

Today is an exciting day for New Hope Girls, because today is the launch of their 4th collaboration with Vera Bradley. Yes, Vera Bradley - a brand that I'm sure you have heard about for quite some time. How awesome that such a well known brand as Vera Bradley is helping to elevate the mission of New Hope Girls?!?! 

Before I jump into the BEAUTIFUL collection that is New Hope Girls + Vera Bradley, I want to give you a bit more information about New Hope Girls.


New Hope Girls

New Hope Girls works to fight trafficking, exploitation and abuse in young girls in the Dominican Republic by providing a home for them in a New Hope Girls safe house. The girls are raised and provided for just like daughters would be in a loving family. In addition to running the safe houses (they have two!), New Hope Girls also has a workshop where they employ adult women, giving them an opportunity to earn an honest living. The women hand make all of the beautiful bags that are available to purchase from New Hope Girls and proceeds go right back to supporting the mission to provide rescue, refuge and restoration to girls and women.

The beautiful bags are made from high quality and beautiful upholstery fabric that is sustainably sourced in the Dominican Republic. When you purchase a bag, you receive a tag that tells you who made the bag and some of her story. Each bag has such a beautiful purpose!

There are so many different styles and patterns of bags to choose from. I am sure that when you check out the New Hope Girls website you will find a bag perfect for your mom, your sister, your best friend and even yourself. They have bags for so many types of activities. What I really love about the bags is that they are all so beautiful and unique. The fabrics are unlike any bag I've purchased in the states. When I wear my New Hope Girls travel tote, I always get compliments. In addition to bags, they also have apparel and coffee mugs, so check out their site.

Fight for the vulnerable
New Hope Girls sisters
New Hope Girls workshop

The New Hope Girls + Vera Bradley collection

New Hope Girls_Vera Bradley bag

In honor of International Women's Day and the anniversary of New Hope Girls, they are launching their 4th collaboration with Vera Bradley. This collection features five beautiful bags: a hobo, a patchwork hobo, a duffel, a crossbody and a cosmetic pouch. Five products, five opportunities to change lives.

The bags are made with high-quality beautiful fabric that includes colorful and beautiful butterflies. The butterflies signify transformation which is what New Hope Girls provide to the girls they rescue and the women they employ. A special feature included with the design is that the inside liner includes "Created for more" handwritten in both English and Spanish. The handwriting is special because it is the writing of the girls involved with New Hope Girls. That will serve as such an powerful reminder that the bag you are wearing is helping out the person who wrote that phrase. 

Through this collaboration with Vera Bradley, 75% of the purchase price is donated to New Hope Girls to help them continue to reach girls and women in dark places and give them a life that was indeed, created for more.

I urge you to check out the website and these beautiful bags. I'm sure when you gift a loved one a New Hope Girls bag, it will easily become their favorite bag. The bags are versatile and can go with so many outfits, yet they make a huge statement and can be the focal point of someone's outfit. And doesn't it just make you smile thinking that your purchase can do so much? With the click of a link you can be on your way to making a huge impact in the life of a little girl who so desperately needs saving.

If you are interested in the butterfly bags from the New Hope Girls + Vera Bradley collection, don't delay in ordering. The bags from their collaborations usually sell out! Click here to head to their site now. Your purchase can help change lives!