Tips

Best Kids Toys for Any Room

Who hates asking their children to pick up their toys as much as we do?! We found the cutest unisex goodies for all ages that don't look terrible when left out. Like us, we know all of you work hard to make your rooms pretty, so we wanted you to have the skinny on toys that blend into any design. Best, loads of these toys are on SALE for the holidays!


Build an Art Collection with the Reynolds Gallery

Want to start a serious art collection for a reasonable price?! We show you the how and why behind buying original art so you can make your house amazing - all while investing well! Come explore a curated collection of affordable art from the directors of Richmond, Virginia's highly acclaimed Reynolds Gallery. Best, they picked these pieces just for Hanover Avenue readers! *LINKS TO BUY IN STORY!


Holy Smoke!

We are currently gaga for all things smoky - maybe it is all the rainy weather we are having that is making us feel moody! From modern to industrial to vintage-inspired, here are a few of our favorite smoky items that will give depth to any room.


Best Kitchen Lantern Lighting

At Hanover Avenue, we love the look of lanterns in kitchens, especially now that they are available in so many different shapes, finishes and styles. There is definitely a lantern out there to fit any kitchen. Check out a quick list of some of our favorites!


Artist Spotlight on Penny Ashford

Penny Ashford travels the globe to photograph her breathtaking water images.... and there is no photoshop here! This fantastic artist stays true to nature as she captures our beautiful world. Watch her fun video interview and learn more about her process and kind heart!


A Neutral Sofa Six Ways

A neutral slipcovered sofa is your little black dress! It goes with anything and works anywhere, so check out the one we love most lately and the pillows we found to go with it for every season and vibe....


Navy Blue Accent Wall

We transformed the wall under Anne's stairs with a custom shade of navy blue! Learn the DIY Tips that made it easier and get the custom paint formula so you can re-create the look. So easy!


Art Books: Totally Do It!

We could use the better part of 5000 words telling you why we love a good art book, but for you fine readers, we'll just hit the interior design highlights of these intoxicating bundles of paper.


Cozy Reading Corner

The chicest parings to created a reading nook that will work in any room of your house! Find out why winter whites and mid-century look fab no matter what.... Best: We have something for every price point! Splurge & Save!


Transforming Vintage Lamps

This is The Tale of Two Uglies Who Turned into Babes! Once Upon a Time, we stumbled up a pair of blue darlings at the Antique Mall and thought, "Great bones. Bad hair day!" They looked so pitiful, but we knew there was potential, so here's what we did!


Animal Heads

So many still love to display their sport, and c'est la vie, but if you are not a hunter, these heads will add dimension and texture to any wall. Mixed in with framed art or simply hung alone - they liven up any room.


Modern Nursery Design Inspired by Ashley Freeman

A unisex nursery as fabulous as Ashley Freeman's turned us all into mush as we imagined "dream babies" (you know, the kind that never cry or poop).... Our whole team (even the dudes!) started creating nurseries in our mind's eye and imagining perfect days and nights spent with cooing tots! One guy on our team actually said, "Ashley's nursery is so cute, my ovaries hurt!" Soooo, we simply HAD to put all of this creative energy to good use!


Making a Statement with Fabulous Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be expensive! If you are looking for a big effect for little money, why not pick a small space to cover with your favorite pattern?! By simply adding wallpaper to the back of a book case or along a single wall, you can make your room go from 0 to 60 on the fabulous scale in just an afternoon!


Fairy Notes

My eldest daughter wrote this note to the tooth fairy, and I still laugh when I read it. There is so much that’s funny about this little letter, but what I love the most is her deep belief in magic. What a fun age! So in honor of magic, tooth fairy notes, pixie dust and little girls everywhere, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite sparkly things to make her bedroom special.


Gray Hairs

No one told me that gray hair is wild and wiry and unruly. And if they did tell me, my then-twenty-something brain rightly chose to delete the information. I don’t know how I’m already getting gray hair?! Actually my “gray hair” is snow white, which seems far worse…. Here are a few things that I recently found on a buying trip to Dallas that remind me of the crazy new addition to my mane. I think this stuff looks fab!


Insider Designer Tips with Janie Molster

If you watch no other video from Janie Molster, watch this! These are the true nuggets of gold from Janie's brilliant design mind! She knocked it out of the park in her living room and dining room for Hanover Avenue, but these tips and tricks will help you design any room in your house!


Resolving a Tricky Window Wall

There is always a solution to every problem, and we wanted to show you a little behind the scenes of the challenges of this room. True Design 101 at work on this window wall!


A Blue Pillow Story

On this sofa, we really "went for it" with blue both in color, pattern, and texture, and the result is so pretty! These pillows look like a collection that could have evolved over the years - an effect that we love so much - we can't stand the look of a paint by number, "insta-room", and this space is definitely not contrived!


Boob Lights

A raw bulb dangling from the ceiling is better than a boob light, but in the spirit of avoiding electrocution, here are a few of my favorite flush mount fixtures in a variety of styles and price points.


Make Art Your Own

Fine art is expensive. We want an original Helen Frankenthaller over the mantle in our office, and guess what? That's not happening . . . ((pitiful sniff)) But luckily, there are loads of resources for "off the rack art" in stores and on the internet. And because we cringe at the thought of everyone having the exact same things hanging on their walls, we wanted to show you how we like to take mass-produced art and make it unique!


Using Wood Well

In this room, wood in all it's glory is king, and we highlight it every way possible! Raw, charred, polished, stained, encapsulated, repurposed, as a medium - you name it, you can find it here.


Asymmetrical Mantel

So often, clients get stumped when it comes to their mantle. It's the anchor for the room and can seem so intimidating - and things are only made worse when the art you love and want to put above it are not the best proportion for the fireplace. What to do?!


The Look for Less

We always say to buy the best you can afford because usually, a higher price tag really does mean better quality in the world of interior design. Generally more expensive furniture is better made and will stand the test of time . . . BUT . . . if you really do need to dial back the budget, here are some "looks for less" that are a suitable Plan B.


Wallpaper for Powder Rooms

If you’re new to wallpaper and wanting to try it for the first time, a powder room is the perfect place! Half bathrooms are generally small, so they require less paper (that’s more money in your pocket!). And powder rooms usually have the door shut (even when not in use) so whatever wallcovering you choose does not have to coordinate with nearby rooms. Simply, it’s the perfect space to try something bold and unique.


An amazing rug for an amazing price

We like to share a good thing when we find it, and this rug is just that! Made of 100% wool, it is incredibly durable and it's reversible! We have seen almost identical rugs for twenty times the price in high-end show rooms and stores across the country, but this one is a steal!


Dots and Texture

Every teenage girl thinks that she will be a pretty young thing forever. I actually remember thinking, "Who cares what I look like at 40?! By 36, a woman is a corpse!" Well, now I’m 38, and my skin might as well be on a corpse. Oh, the sun damage! Brown blotches are appearing everywhere and I have freckles galore - and not the cute freckles of youth - the gnarly freckles of time! So in an effort to make myself feel better about my spots, we’ve found a fabulous selection of things with dot patterns for any room in your house!


A Designer for Marge

We’ve curated a blue collection inspired by our favorite cartoon mom, Marge Simpson - line drawings, watercolor inspired fabrics, and traditional profiles simplified to their most basic essence which is both modern and what one might expect to see in animation. We've even found art and a mirror that echo Marge's gravity defying beehive hairdo!


Arsenic

We. Love. This. Color! It is the most wonderful green - a perfect combination of mint, leaf, and turquoise. Best of all, it's just slightly muted so it is not too garish yet it always feels vibrant. And we used it in a special way!


Runners for Spring

I don't know why, but hall runners remind me of summer houses and floppy weekend retreats. I just love the look of them laid in a row down rambling halls. They feel so casual, and give narrow spaces a crisp hit of color and texture in the most relaxed way.


Bang For Your Buck Pendant

Whenever I see something that looks far more important and expensive than it really is, I just have to share it! I have this Lowe's pendant hanging over my corner of our office. (Nope, this image is not from episode of Hoarders – though I do love that show!) So flawless, this killer light looks similar to those I’ve seen in top showrooms and high-end stores all over the country, yet it’s crazy inexpens


Lime Wash

I love how the watery whiteness softens the brick and makes the whole house seem more important. We carefully chose a trim color and a contrasting hue for the mulllions. The door is a yummy gray blue in the highest gloss finish. Needless to say, this house practically sold before the paint was dry!


Bada$$ Brass

I guess you've heard? Brass is "back". Was it ever really out? Maybe a better way to say it is: Shiny, lacquered, flimsy, Miami Vice style brass was never a good idea so it thankfully fell out of fashion. But luminous, unlacquered, solid, handsome brass has always been a classic, and thankfully the world remembered that fact, so it's everywhere again! Whoop!! The beauty of brass is that is has strong cool notes compared to gold, goldleaf, or copper. This allows it to play well with almost every other metal, so use it like the phenomenal team player that it is. Here are three of my brass canons.


Radiator Covers

Installing radiator covers is one of the easiest and relatively inexpensive updates you can make to your house. It instantly polishes a room, but even better, it give you a usable and handsome surface.


Nature’s Essentials

Finding a versatile and light color that doesn’t look like “builders beige” is a wonderful moment for an interior designer! So often, pale neutrals can feel anemic and flatten a space in two coats, so having an arsenal of dynamic light neutrals is critical in this business. Nature’s Essentials (1521) by Benjamin Moore is one of the greatest paints I have ever stumbled upon.


Sterling Frames

Sterling frames do not have to be the annoying things found in the flat boxes of upper school graduation presents! A hint of sterling is one of my go-to design tips. It doesn't matter if the room is very modern or quite traditional - sterling frames add subtle sparkle and refinement to every space, so it's no surprise that I've used them in several Big Reveals.


Custom Millwork

Wood paneling makes any room look polished. I adore it when it runs floor to ceiling, and wainscoting is just as lovely. But wood paneling “from scratch” takes time and a pretty penny. Yeah, it’s worth every nickel, but what can you do if you don't want to spend that kind of money?


Vessel Sinks

I’m probably going to be tarred and feathered for admitting this, but I really don’t like vessel sinks. There I said it. They are all the rage and I can’t understand how they ever became a trend? Instead, try one of these little gems pictured above. Even the most high-end vessel sinks look clunky to me. To use a descriptor my six-year-old loves to abuse, I think they are “awkward” . . . but more than that, they are hard to use. Water splashes out of them, making a mess all over the counter, and they require specific (and inconvenient) faucets. Call me high maintenance - it won’t be the first time. *wink!*


Mizzle

It’s so hard to gauge the color of paint from images on the web, so take it from your good designer friend, Anne, “This color is phenomenal!” The name “Mizzle” sounds like the character from children’s book but the hue is anything but juvenile!


Mother of Pearl Knob

I love it when I find something that elevates a space for a reasonable price, and these knobs do just that! Made of brass and mother of pearl, they are a heavy and well sized. They feel expensive in your hand, look expensive on your cabinetry, and they won’t turn the gold card platinum.


Fake Plants

Here’s the thing: I can’t stand fake plants. As a rule, I am vehemently against all plants not found in nature, but rules are meant to be broken, and I confess: I sometimes use faux flowers. It’s hard to admit, but in the dead of winter, they really are kind of dreamy…. Let me show you the only way I think fake plants can look pretty.


Neon Screamed At Me

Isn’t it funny how small things can trigger a memory? Every time I see neon, I’m reminded of a time I used all capslock incorrectly with a client. Hint: USING ALL CAPS IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE WAY TO RESPOND TO YOUR CLIENT WHEN SHE IS UPSET. Unfortunately, just like capslock, NEON JUST FEELS LIKE IT’S SCREAMING. But I still like to use it! So, it became my mission to find neon that can sit appropriately and not call complete attention to itself.


Umbrella Stands

“Granddanny had an umbrella with a hidden gun in it! Or was it in his cane?” No one knows the truth anymore. All I know is my grandfather had a wicked collection of umbrellas and they all lived in a brass urn by the door.


Mole’s Breath

I used to feel smug and superior around “nerds” who read the encyclopedia for fun. Then I realized do something equally, if not more, nerdy: I read paint fan decks for fun. Who is the nerd now?! If you want to know true, cheek-stinging embarrassment, accidentally chortle while reading a fan deck on an airplane. No one thinks that’s normal.


Divorce & Finials

A thousand years ago, when I was 20, I worked at Shades of Light. My parents were in the process of getting a stupid divorce, and that small lamp shop (yes, Shade of Light used to be a small shop) took me under its caring wings while I adjusted to the hell of a busted-up family…. All of the women who ran the store doted on me like their own daughter as I navigated such a sad time in my life. They let me eat Cherry Twizzlers behind the cash register and order take-out Chinese for a “snack.” It was fabulous but definitely contributed to my Sophomore 20 (that is what comes after the Freshman 15, folks). Besides serving as the shoulders for me to cry on, these wise women taught me so much about lighting. One of the many nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from them is the importance of The Finial.