Mother’s Day gift guide

Mother’s Day is just over a week away. I did a pretty traditional gift guide for Parade magazine. You can check out the offerings I included here.

My favorite pick of the bunch is this necklace from Viv & Ingrid. Something to think about for the future, Scott! But honestly, what mom wouldn’t love a heartfelt sentiment she can wear? I dedicated an entire post to sentimental jewelry in as part of my Best Gifts series in December. Stackable birthstone rings look delicate on any hand. We started a collection of stackable birthstone rings (we went the eternity band route) for my mom as a thank you for our wedding. The plan is to get her another birthstone ring after Baby G arrives.

Stackable birthstone ringsI love the modern simplicity of the set from Jennie Kwon Designs

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E-design giveaway

I have been blessed with an amazing last year—living in Switzerland, traveling in Europe, pregnant with our first child. I’ve decided to spread the wealth and celebrate our return to the States by giving my services away–FOR FREE! I am running a week-long contest and giving away my e-design services for one room in one reader’s home.

What’s e-design? You don’t have to live anywhere near me to utilize my service. We work together over the phone and via email. I’ll have you take photos of the room, give me room dimensions, measure windows, and tell me the placement of doors and windows—or we can Skype or FaceTime so I get a visual. I send you a design concept plan that includes everything you’ll need for the room, including resources for the furnishings, accessories, lighting, art, paints colors, fabric samples, resources, and DIY instructions (if we’ve established that you’d like to tackle some of the projects yourself)—all within your budget.

You can see some of the completed e-designs here and here. And here are some of the projects currently underway.

Melissa's kitchen and dining centerpiece

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Another e-design-ish reveal

Do you remember the nursery I helped plan for my dear friend, Naomi? She and her husband, Jeff, did an amazing job pulling it all together for baby girl Tramontano, due at the end of this month.
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Naomi has a few sketches of baby animals left to hang, and we’ve opted to paint the small crisscross bookshelf. And, there’s the cluster of twine balls-and-yarn (a purchase we made while traveling together in Germany) left to hang when I visit early in 2014.
Dresser/changing table
The Craigslist dresser turned out to be amazing! And the sellers constructed this removable changing table on top so Naomi and Jeff didn’t have to build it themselves.
Letter wall
Naomi found these letters and loved them but thought the all-white look was a bit boring so she painted a few green to add a fun pop.
Rest/nursing area
This is my favorite area in the room. It screams calming space to bond with baby. And this chair, Naomi’s first purchase for the nursery, inspired everything else in the room.

E-design reveal

I am very excited to share an e-designed rental property with you. First, let me explain a little about my e-design services. E-design is for a client who lives nowhere near me but wants my help in designing their space. We can work together over the phone and via email. They take photos, provide me with room dimensions, measure windows and help give me a virtual 360-degree picture of the room. I come up with a design concept that includes everything they need for the room, including resources for the furnishings, accessories lighting and art, paint colors, fabric choices, resources and DIY instructions (if we’ve established that they’d like to tackle some of the projects themselves).
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I had actually worked with this client on another project before my temporary move to Switzerland. Now her mom needed my help designing a property she was hoping to rent as a vacation property. She basically needed everything–couches, dining chairs, beds for every room and details to make the place feel and look inviting. She also didn’t want to spend a fortune doing it. I came up with the plan, and the mother-and-daughter team got to shopping the big-box stores, auctions and consignment shops to bring the design concept to life.
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We scheduled Skype calls to work through styling and furniture placement in each of the rooms.
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All of this was done with me living in Switzerland and keeping in regular contact with my clients. They did a fantastic job! Know anyone who might be interested in renting a vacation property in San Diego? Send them this link http://www.vrbo.com/494709.

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