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Tips for Decorating Your TV Wall

T.V.’s are a necessary evil. We get it, but why oh why must they be so unsightly? That’s where Jess comes in to play. With these tips you’ll be styling your way to a television wall that is far less ug and, dare we say, pretty? Symmetry, hiding plugs and upping your horizontal book stacking game are all a part of the fast lane to T.V. wall goodness. Read on to see how you can craft a beautiful backdrop for couch surfing.

Click here for the DIY console featured in this story!

Have you ever noticed that all the gorgeous living rooms you see on Pinterest never have a TV? While I totally agree that no TV makes for a better designed and more social room, I’d be lying if I said that curling up with my hubby for a movie after the baby goes down isn’t my favorite time of day. So, what’s a design lover to do when she’s unwilling to part with the TV? Make it work the best you can.

The before of my tv wall is almost too mortifying to show you- it looks like a college apartment yet it is my real house and we are embarrassingly far from having just graduated. My husband’s old (giant) speakers covered in stickers, the TV propped on a hand-me-down bookcase, DVDs everywhere… talk about needing an update! Once I got rid of the junk we were using, it was on to creating a new space.

Tips for Decorating Your TV Wall

• Hang that TV!

And get the cords behind the wall while you’re at it. Nothing looks as clean as a TV that hangs like artwork. The important thing to know about hiding the cords in the wall is that you need to make sure you’re doing it up to code. Just running the power cord through the wall is a fire risk, so either have an electrician install it or save some money and use this kit, which is what we did. Super easy- you do not have to be a DIY whiz to do this!

• Minimize electronic equipment and wires.

Swap large speakers for a soundbar or surround sound system- bonus points if it can connect wirelessly! Obviously, quality speakers are essential for a great movie sesh, but they’re not the best to look at. Any way you can minimize the look while retaining quality is a win!

• Stick with symmetry.

Anytime you have an awkward-to-design area, a safe bet is to keep it symmetrical. Matching pairs add order and give a crisp, intentional look.

• Think of the TV like a painting.

No, it won’t add as much beauty to a wall as real art, but you should think of it as an accessory to an otherwise well-designed room. It should never be the standalone focus.

• Pair the TV with a great table, mantle, or furniture piece with some storage.

It helps ground the TV visually, and you’ll need somewhere to stash remotes, etc. Our secret? We drilled through the bottom of one drawer to tuck a power strip, apple tv, and extra cords out of sight.

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: SMP Living

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Olive Oil Cake with Creme Fraiche & Berries

Even if you’re not much of a sweet tooth, you just might be swayed by this tantalizing olive oil cake featured at Lauren Kelp. With its light and airy texture and bright flavor with a touch of sweetness, it’s the perfect way to cap off a summer dinner party! Take a look at all those luscious summer berries on top of that almond-kissed crème fraîche—is your mouth watering yet?

“This olive oil cake is so light and fresh and only slightly sweet–thus its appeal! So for you fellow readers who lean more towards the savory side, this cake is for you. It pairs perfectly with a dry white wine or a fabulous rose, and it truly is a crowd pleaser!” says Constance of Lauren Kelp.

For the full post and more delicious inspiration, check out Lauren Kelp!

Olive Oil Cake with Creme Fraiche & Berries
prep time
15 Minute/s
cook time
35 Minute/s
total time
50 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons almond extract
  • 4 oz. crème fraîche
  • 1 peach (sliced into thin wedges)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup cherries
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Lightly coat one 8-inch cake pan with coconut oil cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the milk, and then gradually add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of almond extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture, and stir until blended.
  7. Transfer the batter to the cake pan.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  9. In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche and remaining almond extract until combined.
  10. After the cake has cooled, top with crème fraîche mixture and fruit.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

See more amazing dessert recipes below!

Strawberry Milkshake Cake | Three Ingredient Banana Ice Cream | The Ultimate Brownie Cake

Photography: Constance Higley | Recipe: Constance Higley

Neutral Decor That Sparkles

Light, lovely, and filled with organic elements, neutral-hued interior decor is chic, soothing, and — in my opinion — always inspiring. If you’re looking to lighten the load and create a relaxing space filled with all-natural inspiration, then look no further! Take a peek below at these lovely, light-filled interiors, and you may be tempted to banish brights from your sight forever.

Neutral Decor That Sparkles
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Neutral Decor That Sparkles
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more interior decor inspiration:

Eclectic Home Tour | Amber Interiors Home Tour | Rustic Elegant Home Tour

Top 7 Nightstand Essentials

Don’t let your nightstand become the drop zone for odds and ends at the day’s end! For a stylish and clutter-free space, we’re turning to Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha for her seven essentials for a bedside table. You’ll be snoozing in style with her chic finds below!

My Top 7 Nightstand Essentials

More often than not, I find myself working in bed into all hours of the night. And as you know, I take the definition of “my space” very seriously, so having a proper nightstand for those #GSD, late-night hours is no exception. Combining form and function, my nightstand houses all of my must-haves within arm’s reach, while still holding to the rest of the bedroom’s design. So whether you’re burning the midnight oil or starting your week off on a fresh start, enjoy your space with these seven nightstand essentials. Truly, MKR

1. A great lamp

This one from Times Two Design is a great example of a lamp that ties the room together, while offering the most perfect subtle pop of gold.  Not to mention, the jagged quartz is just glam enough to balance out the rustic feel of the wood nightstand.

2. A carafe for water

Using a carafe eliminates any unsightly plastic bottles, while allowing me to have plenty of water close by without running up and downstairs to the kitchen.

3. Fresh flowers

While I know fresh flowers can be a splurge, they are worth every penny because of the pure joy they bring me.  This extra touch can easily boost your mood and bring a little more pretty to the start (and end) of your day.  To save money choose flowers that will naturally last longer like hydrangeas, tulips, and wild flowers.  Make sure to clip the bottoms and change the water daily to lengthen their life.

4. A candle

And this candle not only smells heavenly, it can be enjoyed long after its burning days are done holding makeup brushes on a vanity, pens and pencils on a desk, etc.

5. Notebooks

You never know when inspiration will strike, and since I’m always working in bed, that happens a lot bedside.  These notebooks from Minnie & Emma are the perfect size, and I keep my drawer stocked and ready to go.

6. A bowl full of necessities

At any given time, I’ll reach for one of the following: chapstick, hand cream, Advil or essential oils.  My favorite bowl serves as a pretty place to store it all.

7. Trinket tray

I hate sleeping in any jewelry, so I need a place to corral it all and keep it safe.  These bestselling trays are the perfect size to do just that.

For the full post and more beautiful lifestyle inspiration, check out Waiting on Martha!

Find more tips to live beautifully below!

Affordable Art to Dress Up Your Walls | 3 Ways to Use Wallpaper | 17 Chic Renter Hacks You Must Know

Photography: Rustic White

Lo Bosworth’s Downtown Dream Home

In search of design inspiration? With Homepolish Interior Designer Justin DiPiero, Lo Bosworth’s new downtown apartment got a sophisticated redesign that scores major style points for details like a covet-worthy purple sofa and furry stools! It’s a versatile space that’s perfect for entertaining friends as well as working at home on her lifestyle site The Lo Down, and you can take a tour in the slideshow below!

Take a peek at all of Lo and Justin’s design details in the slideshow below and for the full post and more design inspiration, check out Homepolish!

Lo Bosworth's Downtown Dream Home
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Lo Bosworth's Downtown Dream Home
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Photography: Claire Esparros | Design: Homepolish Interior Designer Justin DiPiero | Film: Refinery 29

DIY No-Sew Throw Blankets

While Summer afternoons can be hot and sticky, evenings often have a bit of a chill. With these lightweight summer throws, you can cuddle up with the ones you love and enjoy the night. To make them, just grab a set of sheets, a pair of scissors and your littlest helpers and you’ll have yourself a pretty blanket in no time flat! Check out the rest of our Today Show Crafting: Glitter CandlesRope OttomansPlacecard TinsHula Hoop HideoutsBistro Lights and Citronella Candles.

MaterialsJersey fabric or sheets in 2 colors or prints
Pins (optional)
Measuring tape and pen (optional)

step-1Iron your sheets or fabric, then stack the two colors together with the printed sides facing out.

step-2Cut out a large rectangle from both layers- we made our large ones about 60″ x 90″. If you don’t feel like measuring, just trim the hem on all sides to make your rectangle.

step-3You might want to pin a few pins along each side to keep the fabric layers together. Cut the edges of all sides with 3″ long slits, every 1″ or so. You can cut both layers of fabric together.

step-4Tie the fabric at each slit together like you would knot a balloon to make the knotted fringe. If you used pins, remove them. Voila!

Photography & Design: SMP Living