Kelly Christakos Stivers


a simple, stunning alternative to fresh flowers

I love fresh flowers as much as the next girl, but when I really want to make a statement and add a little drama, I find myself turning more and more to plants for making a big impact - especially philodendron.  I just can't resist those big, waxy, emerald leaves and always end up bringing a plant home whenever I find one, even when I don't have room for it.  Such was the case when I was recently visiting my dad at the beach and accidentally/on purpose stopped into Home Depot; I ended up snatching the biggest one I've seen in a while for ten bucks!  Despite not having a place to put it, I dragged it home anyway and snipped the stalks close to the base and stuck them in a simple glass cylinder vase in my entryway. Not only do they look amazing but the live element really brings a bit of texture and interest that was lacking before.  It would take a ton of fresh flowers from the grocery store to get the same effect and would cost much, more more.  The best part is that these will last for weeks if you change the water out regularly!(I change the water here every other day):

What are some of your favorite, budget-friendly alternatives to fresh flowers?


get the look: the brooklyn brownstone from the intern

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I managed to snag a babysitter and sneak away to see The Intern on Saturday; if you haven't seen it yet, I definitely recommend it!  I love Nancy Meyers' films as much for the set design as (and sometimes more than) the movies themselves, and the Brooklyn townhome of Anne Hathaway's character is no exception in this one!  Based on the previous home of Jenna Lyons, I think this one is so much cozier and welcoming with gray painted trim and cabinetry, creamy white walls and subway tile, marble fireplaces in every room and a great mix of vintage and modern furniture.  The best homes have a lived-in, layered look and feel and Meyers is a genius at capturing the same feel in her films:

Her office is just as stunning; I love all the light and those black window casings are divine! 

Here are my picks for creating a similar look and feel, including an adorable child's ghost chair and a fabulous brass Sputnik chandelier (in place of the beautiful but uber pricey Lindsey Adelman chandy featured in Hathoway's dining room):

Rug / Settee / Sputnik chandelier / Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal / Candle / Placemats

Bar stool / Basket / Child's ghost chair / Child's play table / Art / Vases / Parsons dining table

Hope you're off to a great start this week!


fall goodies + a winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered this week's giveaway and congratulations to winner Kaylee Coles!!  RUSH II is coming your way!  And a big thank you, once again, to Brynn Weiermiller for graciously offering up one of her stunning prints of the sea! 

I think this is the first time in my entire life that I'm not holding on to summer with a vengeance.  It's still in the high 80's and even low-to-mid 90's around these parts but I'm craving soft, loose sweaters and boyfriend jeans, pumpkin spice candles and evenings curled up on the sofa with a cozy blanket and a glass of wine.  We've got a ways to go until it really feels like fall around these parts, so until then here is a list of some goodies I'm loving lately to get your home ready for the change in the season.  What are you craving for fall this year?

Cable knit pillow / Brass log holder / Topiary / Candlesticks / Candle / Fox door knocker / Wreath

Tortoise ice bucket / Marble tray / Whiskey barrel / Basket / Gold flatware / Vase


gallery ledges + tips for styling them

 I LOVE a good gallery wall, but the truth is, hanging a bunch of pictures and making them look good can be tough - even for someone like me, who has hung more than my fair share.  Not to mention the fact that banging in that first nail is enough to give most people heart palpitations! I'm really loving gallery ledges more and more lately; they're a great alternative to the traditional gallery wall and are a super chic way to combine favorite artwork, treasured photos and decorative accessories.  You can rotate pieces in and out regularly and when styled well, they make a pretty dramatic impact!  Here are a few styling tips for making the most impact on with gallery ledges:


1.  Use the same color and type of frames in many different sizes for a cohesive look. 

2.  Overlap frames - a small one in front of a tall one, a short one in front of a wide one, etc.

3.  Go floor-to-ceiling for dramatic impact.

4.  Hang a few pictures on the wall in between and/or lean large frames on the floor to maximize wall space and fill in any gaps.

5.  Add decorative accents for texture and interest.

6.  Mix in pieces of your favorite artwork for pops of color.

Here are some of my favorite examples of perfectly executed gallery ledges (and just for the record, the loveliness in Miss India Hicks' dining room is the most stunning display ever!)

India Hicks via HSN

The Dunmore Hotel

Apartment Therapy

Jenny Komenda

Bloom, via Heather Clawson

India Hicks

Pottery Barn

Don't forget to sign up to win one of Brynn Weiermiller's seascapes, if you haven't already!

Happy Hump Day, friends!


fall inspired: heather bullard

This may be the first year in my entire life that I'm not hanging on to summer with a vengeance.  It's kind of hard to get excited for Fall when it's still in the high 80's and low-to-mid 90's and yet, I'm dreaming of soft sweaters, heirloom pumpkins, and the gorgeous country home of Heather Bullard.  A little bit rustic, a little bit industrial and all around downright lovely, it makes me want to curl up with a cozy throw and a glass of wine by the fire!  A contributing editor for Country Living magazine and a prop stylist for many other publications, Heather knows how to make a space pretty, but what's even more impressive is that she makes it look completely believable that her home would always look that way (which, let me tell you is quite difficult).  Her blog is chock full of gorgeous pictures of the spaces she styles, but I've loved following along on her Instagram account (@heatherbullard) as she renovated her current home.  If you haven't checked out her feed, you're in for a treat!  Here are some shots I absolutely love:

To see more of Heather's abode, check out her instagram and her website