Thursday, January 31, 2013


Insider Scoop Alert!! 

Our good friends at West of Hudson are having a big sale on Haute Look, Sunday, February 3rd!! 

Here is your big chance to get a great deal on ridiculously nice over dye rugs. So to get you all excited, I came up with a rad design using their Persian Lillihan Floral Brick-Red/Violet 7x10 rug. Very Haute, if I may say so myself.

Get the look...

Chairs: Zentique
Storage Cabinet: Bungalow 5
Sconces: Sonneman
Pendant: Mr. Brown
Art: Tobias Tovera
Cocktail Table: Lillian August
Pillows: Dransfield & Ross
Side Table: Emporium Home
Photo: Jenna Lyons Home 


This Valentine's Your Dining Room Will Be the Most Romantic Place

Hello Dalliance Design readers. I am Eva Stephen and would like to thank to Nicole and Stephanie who gave me a chance to share my ideas on such a blissful day, Valentine’s Day. Everyone wishes and plans to make it a wonderful and memorable day. Please do share how you found my ideas in the comments box.

If you’re tired of trying to come up with great, exclusive, “special” venues that will be worthy of spending the most romantic day there, here’s a thought: why not spend it at home? With a little imagination, your home can become the most romantic place on the planet on Valentine’s Day.

Dining Room, 8 O’clock

Your partner will appreciate your inventiveness and the thought you put behind the Valentine’s Day idea much more than the money you spend on an expensive dinner in a fancy restaurant. And there are so many ways to be inventive, when it comes to showing love to your partner.

First, start off with a little mysteriousness. Sneak a note to your partner in the morning. You can leave it on her pillow, use some other piece of furniture, or tape it to the mirror in the bathroom, so that she can’t miss it when she brushes her teeth. The note should simply say: “Dining room – tonight at 8 o’clock”, for example.

What Can Better Lead Up to the Surprise Than Chocolate

Dean and Deluca
Once your partner comes home from work, have chocolates, cookies or candy lead him to the dining room in form of a delicious trail starting from your doorstep. Hopefully it won’t spoil his appetite. When he enters the dining room, he should find it all set for the most romantic celebration. 

How to Spell “Love” With Your Dining Room

Setting up your dining room table in a romantic way can be a challenge.
Visit website to pick out a great one for the great evening. There are many ways to do it. If heart-shaped objects are a little too tacky for you, you can use less obvious props:

1) Place a bowl of red apples in the middle of the table, some small candles scattered around, a dried rose at the side of the table and use table cloth that has some writing on it. The writing could be some romantic messages, why you love your partner, some private jokes you share or simply: Happy Valentine’s!

2) Vintage photo frames that feature pictures of you and your partner in different places that you remember being romantic: a honeymoon, a fun night out you’ll never forget, a intimate photo only you two have seen, etc. Place the frames around the dining room, as a little romantic exhibition and have candles light each photo.

3) If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use the dining room to recreate a romantic event from your past. For example, if you had a wonderful holiday in Rome, or if you fell in love in a movie theater, you could recreate those places somehow:
with posters, music, film projector showing some romantic movie on the wall, etc.

There are many different ways to decorate the dining room for a special event, but even the simplest decoration will have a strong effect if the light is dimmed and the music coming in from the living room soft and pleasurable.

Love Comes in Through the Stomach

Last but not least, food and drinks can certainly contribute to falling in love all over again. Consult food blogs for special recipes, or cook something you know your partner loves. Make sure the night lasts long enough for you to enjoy aperitifs, appetizers, soup, main meal and dessert. Be imaginative with food and don’t worry about where it ends up.

A Romantic Meal for Two – Pan-Fried Duck Breast Salad with Mixed Berries & Walnuts

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Steph and I have been getting a ton of feedback about our over dye rugs, so I thought, why not spread the wealth. I give to you, West of Hudson. When I found these guys they were only an eBay shop, now look at them, and their sensational selection! And I can tell you from personal experience they are real vintage rugs, 100% wool, totally saturated color, and very fair price points. Check out their current stock...

You're Welcome!!

Monday, January 28, 2013


There is no doubt about it, Home Goods can be a pretty exciting place to shop. But many of you have been asking, what's worth grabbing? Let's begin. 

 Rule #1
With the exception of this chair below, DO NOT purchase occasional chairs. They probably sit like crap and sport a heinous fabric. 

DO, however, snag some good bar stools or benches that can be easily recovered with an exceptional fabric. This cushion probably only take 2.5 yards max. Which means a delicious fabric can take this piece in a whole new direction. Did I just sound like Martin Lawrence Bullard?

Rule #2
Almost 50% of the lamps I find acceptable. In fact I see many leftovers from some of my favorite trade names (yet most of the time they are crappy styles). 

DO go for nice crystal or ceramic gourd lamps. Priced around $99-120, they are a very good deal indeed.

DON'T deal with the inexpensive looking shades that come with these nice lamps, Just go out and buy a nice linen version to pair with your new ones. 

Do buy the pair if you can afford it. You never know when you will need to have symmetry in your design. 


Check out these adorable mini lamps, perhaps for a shelf or a secretary. Take note here, the small crystal lamp on the right needs a new shade. Ewww!

Rule #3 

If you think it looks cheap for even one second, it probably is. 

My suggestion. If you grab an accessory that interests you, put it in your cart and at the end of your rounds take another look. What items are really worth keeping. These boxes below were made of real leather and brass. Global Views I believe. Not too shabby. 

Cute mismatched bud vases. Can you really have enough of these? 

Cute for the kitchen island. This rustic Acacia bowl could hold a line of Granny Smith's on a gorgeous marble countertop. 

 DON'T go for the clear stuff, the glass is usually poor quality and will get foggy after even one week with a bouquet. Instead go for something colorful or opaque, like this gem.

Rule #4
DON'T you dare purchase those faux flowers!! The only way anyone will ever think they are real is after a bottle of vodka. 

DO purchase real dried boxwood topiaries for your mantle. Very chic!

Rule #5 
Choose your art wisely. I would not normally condone this but I found some cool stuff on my last trip. 

Like these giant 30x40 Parisian blue prints, done in a metallic finish and a burl frame. There were 2. I'm not sure I will ever see anything like this at Home Goods again. 

This black and white sailboat didn't look too shabby either. I'll allow it for the person with a second home in Nantucket. ;)

Rule #6

A side table here a bench there. Wonderful! Just make sure to look the piece up an down. Is it missing anything, do the drawers open and close easily, any paint chips, can the item be repainted. And for the love of all things design, please do the measuring. If the piece doesn't look like the right scale in your space, that is the beauty of returns. 

Great little bench for an entryway.

 Burlap wrapped nesting tables. Good stuff.

Rule #7
Home Goods has some good, cheap coffee table books. If you are looking to inexpensively fill up a library bookshelf without waiting until you are 85 to create a collection, I highly recommend HG and even antique shops. 

Saw this notebook too! How encouraging to read before jotting your thoughts down.

 Rule #8 
Home Goods has great bath linens for that guest bathroom that needs some jazzing up. Buy at least 4 if you can. 

Rule #9
Think about the outdoors. Not everything needs to be for the inside. Just because a metal table isn't labeled "outdoor" doesn't mean you can't plop that thing outside. Think outside the box. Can you spray paint it? 

I thought these candle holders could be great on a enclosed porch. Such a pretty candlelit ambiance would be created with their mirrored mosaic backs. My suggestion, the more outdoor lighting you buy the better. These 4 could fade away in the back of a huge residence, but could be prefect for your apartment balcony.

 Rule #10
Don't forget the rugs! 
Check out these few I found. Great styles, great sizes, great prices! Need I say more...

but just to point out this embossed leather border on this handsome sisal. 


Nautical Stripe rug, I'm pretty sure I could create an entire Ralph Lauren inspired oasis with half the stuff I just posted. 

And last but certainly not least, this Morrocan shag rug, coming in at 8x11 for $399. Winning...

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I can't say I'm a slacker, because with my hectic schedule I think I get to the gym pretty often, but sometimes you just need a pick me up for that motivation to get moving. For some it's music, which is also a big one for me, but sometimes you just need to look good to feel good. Nah mean jelly beans? 

While on Pinterest (obviously), I saw this picture below. How cute is that work out gear?! Those striped crops....need them now! I would surely go for a run just to show off how cute I would look in this. 
Turns out, the gear is from Lululemon, but unfortunately the striped Wunder Under crops are no longer sold on the site, but you can find them on eBay. However, I'm skeptical because I've heard some bad reviews on Lululemon, which makes absolutely no sense because these pants originally cost over $100!

This is the girl that you see at the gym who is rail thin and works out with her hair down without breaking a sweat. She's on the cardio machines most of the time but has no idea what she is doing in the weight room. Soooo obnoxious and you know her taste in men is some foul juice-head who can't scratch his upper back, but you have to hand it to her, cause her outfit is way cute...

So since I have been cultivating workout gear to purchase. I thought 
I might put together a few little outfits for you all.

Nike Leopard Running Shorts

Tory Burch Crinkled Metallic Tote 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


The name Amie Corley meant nothing to me, UNTIL I got a glimpse of this sweet number on Pinterest. 

Isn't that the beauty of Pinterest?! One minute you're this lil blogger/designer out of nowheresville USA, then BOOM, you're the next big thing since sliced bread. Amazing, that lil website is. Anyways, I digress. 

This kitchen by Corley killed me! If there is one color I will always love and never get sick of it's blue. Every damn shade of it! And how refreshing it is to see it on some kitchen cabinets. Now, I'm not going to lie,  if you asked me a few hours ago what my future kitchen would look like, most likely I would have said white cabinets and a dark slate gray island with brass knobs etc. etc. 

Fast forward to this shot, and I'm changing my tune a bit. 

The paint on the cabinets is Kensington Green and the island is Bermuda Blue by Benjamin Moore. I'm even digging the "H" brass knobs on the island. Very cool. 

Check out the color of the cabinets in this picture above versus the image below. Another lesson in why it is soooo important to try paint samples on everything before you go all out.  

Images via Southern Living

Perhaps if I took this kitchen as inspiration for my own project I would do something like this instead...
Paint -> Kensington Green and Bermuda Blue by Benjamin Moore
Backsplash Tile -> Ann Sacks
Counter Stools -> Arteriors
Pendants -> Oly
Rug & Hardware -> Pinterest/Unknown