Happy New Year!

I’ve had a really great year and I’m really looking forward to 2014!


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We’re going up to spend New Years with one of my best friends from college, her husband, and another good friend from college as well.  Hope you have a wonderful, champagne filled, happy, healthy New Year’s Celebration!  Next, I’ll let you know what my New Years Resolutions are and then design trends for 2014!  Check out my evening and follow me on Instagram @aliciabdesigns .



Alicia B.

DIY Tree Skirt

As you may know, this is our first normal sized tree in our new home in the burbs.  In previous years, we had gotten mini NYC sized trees so this year I had to get real and get a real live tree skirt.  I started searching online and was floored by how expensive they could be!  I was inspired by ones that I had seen at Ballard Designs and Terrain but wasn’t willing to spend, when I knew I could make it for under $20.


You will need:

1.5 yards of the fabric of your choice

3.5 yards of trim


twine and clip for a makeshift compass

fabric glue

Step 1: pick out a fabric and figure out what diameter you want.  For mine, I wanted a 36″ diameter skirt.  I took the fabric, folded it in half, took a ribbon and a sharpie and made a makeshift compass to make a perfect circle.

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This is what my fabric looked like after I cut out my half circle and unfolded it.  I chose a red metallic burlap fabric from Joann Fabrics.

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Step 2: Cut a circle and a slit to the center so that you can actually put it around the tree!

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Step 3: Just Burlap looked plain and unfinished so I went back to Joann Fabrics and got some burlap ribbon trim.  I had to do a little math to figure out how much I needed (my math teachers/tutors are feeling pretty smug right now I’m sure).  The formula is Circumference= Pi * Diameter SO C= 3.14 * 3′ which ended up being 9.42 so I rounded up and got 3.5 yards just in case. photo 1

Step 4: I started out by hand sewing the trim onto the burlap but both pieces were a very loose weave so I ended up pinning and using fabric glue to adhere the trim.

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Step 5: Remove the pins and admire your work!




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Its the perfect amount of festive red and rustic burlap.

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My last step is to figure out our tree topper that doesn’t break the bank either!  What do you guys think?  Did you buy your tree skirt or make yours like I did?



Alicia B.

Alicia B. Gift Guide

gift pics

Everyones doing gift guides so I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring with some fun creative options!  I’ve included price options for all budgets and I’ll show you stuff from more than just J. Crew.  Get shopping!

bariloche belt

This boss (yeah, I’m bringing that word back) belt from La Matera for $145.

Boden t shirt

How cute would your little guy (I’m talking to my sister here) like this Abdominal Snowman shirt from Boden for $26.

Cooper Hewitt Forget me knot ring

A great gift for a new girlfriend or a younger sister/bff from the Cooper Hewitt Museum.  The Forget Me Knot ring for $55.

jack spade iphone case

No, I don’t care for cigarettes but I appreciate the humor in this fun iphone case–a great stocking stuffer or a gift for your friend with a sense of humor.  Rockaway Iphone Case from Jack Spade for $19.

Keil James Patrick Daniel Boone bracelet

For your old school preppy friend who summers up in Maine that you really miss from Kiel James Patrick (Daniel Boone Bracelet) for $58.

Lulu Lemon yoga bag

For your best friend who makes you feel very Ommm, this fun Namaste Yoga bag from Lulu Lemon for $48.

Mansur Gavriel tote

If you’re feeling generous you MUST get this bag–maybe even just for yourself.  This large tote with a pink interior (many other colors available!) from Mansur Gavriel.

Mark & Graham cocktail napkins

Here’s a great hostess gift–monogrammed coasters!  Let your host know that you’re not regifting by personalizing these with a monogram and many fun colors to choose from!  Linen Satin Stitch Coasters from Mark & Graham–$35 for a set of 6.

Mark & Graham ice bucket

Another personal and festive gift is a classic monogramed ice bucket from Mark & Graham for $45.

mrs strong calendar


For your super sophisticated and organized friend or a great client gift, this fabulous calendar from Mrs. Strong for $125.

Metallic pillow william sonoma


Do you have a friend, sister, daughter, or wife that LOVES fur…and shiney things?  This fabulous pillow from Williams Sonoma Home for $149.


Are you sufficiently inspired?  My family is big on gifts for Christmas and love finding the perfect gift for every person.  I can’t wait to give gifts this year–and this year we are going to my husband’s family for Christmas, which we have never done before and I’m really excited!  Up next, is my reveal of my DIY tree skirt!!



Alicia B.


Alicia B. Christmas Ornament Guide

Martha Stewart Tree


Now that Thanksgiving is behind us…but not the stuffing yet…we only have 3 weeks to decorate for Christmas!  So while you were Black Friday Shopping, I was scouring around looking at ornaments for you.  Here is the best of the best, or just a few ideas to get you started.


Anthropologie double decker bus

A bit of British Flair with a double decker bus from Anthropologie.  C Wonder

A bit of sparkle is always festive with this fun glitter ball from C. Wonder.

Crate and Barrell alpaca

Our family loves wooden carved Christmas decorations and this Alpaca is right up our alley.  From Crate & Barrel and super affordable at $3.95!

Etsy wooden geometric

You can always find creative awesomness on Etsy with this Geometric wooden ornament–perfect for a Hipster Christmas.

Horchow telephone booth

Another nod to the UK with this raaathaaa (rather with a British accent) charming telephone booth ornament from Horchow.  It’s 40% off right now, so spit spot!

JA muse

A perfect gift for a couple at their first Christmas, this Mr & Mrs Muse ornament from Jonathan Adler.

JA Dreidel

Celebrate both Christmas AND Chanukah?  This dreidel ornament is perfect then from Jonathan Adler!

Jayson Home Silver linings

Always trying to find the silver lining to everything like me?  Here is a lovely sparkley silver cloud ornament from Jayson Home.

Terrain foxy fellows set

How cute is this band of foxes??  Foxes are everywhere this season, I’m just going to call it now.  Hopefully they push out the owl.   These cutie foxes are from Terrain–they have tons of other to die for ornaments (yeah, dramatic) so click on that link and check them out!

West Elm truck

In LOVE with this green truck carting home a Christmas Tree from West Elm.

Wisteria sand dollar

Love the beach?  Here’s a nod to Summer in the middle of Winter with a Sand Dollar and Starfish from Wisteria.

My husband and I are still collecting ornaments since this will be our 3rd Christmas as a married couple!  That’s the fun of it though is remembering where you got each ornament, who gave it to you, past Christmases…Which one is your favorite?


Alicia B.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear readers!

Thanksgiving 2013

I have lots to be thankful for: my husband, my family, my health, my cutie cute nephew, our home, design magazines, instagram kitties, swedish fish, Homeland, Scandal (seriously amazing), other design blogs, yummy delicious food, pies, stuffing so much stuffing, country music, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (especially lip-syncing celebrities and those Sing America kids), my friends (duhhh), yoga, meditation, throw pillows, pinterest, the fact that I have 2 sisters, pomeranians, things that sparkle, Christmas, and LL Bean slippers.  That’s it for now–what about you?



Alicia B.

Alicia B. Fabrics

I told you 2 weeks ago that I was going to show you a surprise that Monday.  Well its a week and a half later and here goes!  I took a swing at it and designed my own fabric through Spoonflower.  If you don’t know, Spoonflower is a great site that you can upload designs onto and have your own patterns printed up.  It’s awesome.


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I’ve been really inspired by Florentine marblized paper (I know its trendy, but I’ve been on this for a while) and made these two patterns.  I had pillows made up to see how I liked them…and I’m in!  They are dramatic and lively patterns with tons of color and fun.   I mean…I’m also selling them so let me know what you think!!!



Alicia B

It’s things like this…


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Every now and then, you get such a nice note about your blog, that it’s incredibly inspiring and it just keeps you going. (I’m not going to say I’m “humbled” because I’m not–I’m psyched)  It also makes you think about why you keep up a blog–I mean, do I even know who reads this?  I’m not even sure my parents read it anymore but I still do it.  I’m not one of those bloggers that goes to blog conferences, get tons of free swag, has sponsors etc, but I started blogging back before it was cool, and I’m still at it.  And I still love it.


Anyway, I got the nicest note yesterday from a girl I went to prep school with–I don’t think I’ve spoken to her in years but we are Facebook friends and we mutually like things every now and then on Facebook. Anyway here it is:


I am feeling compelled to let you know that I am in love with your blog. Having recently bought a fixer-upper of a house (and spent the 3 years before that looking for one), I’ve been reading a LOT of design blogs. Yours is really fantastic and among my very favorites. It’s very nicely done and it makes me so happy to know it’s you behind it. I especially love your injections of personal projects and opinions on trends (I will think of you while I’m painting my study walls red and perhaps think of you even more if I end up hating it). Just wanted to send some love and encouragement to keep up the good work.  


I mean…this completely made my day!  So, thanks everyone who reads this and likes it.  Its awesome to blog and awesome to hear stuff like this every now and then.  Have a lovely Fall Saturday!



Alicia B.

Blogging Life


I wanted to share with you all a fabulous blog that I was on recently!  My wedding photographers, Iris Photography, 2 whole years later, have interviewed me on their fabulous site !  If you are every looking for a wedding photographer, or any other type of photographer, they are the top.  Thank you so much Jane and Mike, I am so honored to be featured!


Who is this cute couple?  Oh, thats my husband and me!


Great dress, great flowers.  Good picks, me.


This is our cake with my grandmother’s cake topper.  Mmmm memories.

Head on over to the Iris Photography blog and check out…how adorable I was on my wedding day…I mean, my interview.  All the photos are from the Iris blog and from my wedding except for the top one.


Alicia B.

Living Room Reveal *update*

HI!  I know a few months ago I did a small reveal of our Living Room but as always,things are changing!  We’ve added art, matching side tables and a pair of small wing chairs that I reupholstered.  I’m pretty in love with our room.

HERE is how we first saw it #ew :

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Gruesome right?



Now, it’s comfortable and welcoming. My husband bought me this beautiful painting for my 30th birthday.  It really makes the room right?





Here are the two chairs that I got from my grandmother, Bambi, who passed away last year.  The chairs make me smile, and every time I see them, I think of her.  They started out with a white boucle fabric and they were tufted but got dirty when they were shipped out East.  I removed the tufts and changed up the fabric.  Love (Bambi).




Here is a close up that I took the other day.  They are perfect, right?  I have some leftover fabric and am hoping to make 2 pillows for these chairs.


Another view of the painting and our cane-top side tables.


And now for some glamour shots of the chairs!  Like I said, the main fabric was Lulu DK Solids Seaglass, and the back is Lauren Liess Filigree Chevron in Grey.  I. Am. Obsessed.


Here is a view of the back.  Aren’t they fun!?  Thanks Lauren for your gorgeous fabrics!  Classics in the making.


So, there you have it.  This is our Living room…at least for now.  You know how it goes–as a designer, I can’t stop changing things.  A room is never done!



Alicia B.

The Pretty and Proper Living Room





I love getting new design books, but I was especially thrilled to have this beautiful book by a family friend, Holly Holden.  The Holdens moved into the town I grew up in, Farmington, CT when I was younger, and into my favorite historic house! Holly Holden has impeccable taste and her book reflects that completely.








The emphasis of the book is “old school”  and traditional design and it really speaks to the old school prepster in me.  Especially the monogrammed handkerchief.  Pink.






This book is FULL of great tips or “sensible suggestions” about decorating, i.e. don’t put picture frames on a coffee table or this one, about poodles.  The pictures makes me smile and remind me of where I grew up.





Just having this book on my coffee table makes me want to add more pink into my life.  Pretty trim right?!





Like I said, this book has SO many practical tips.  Here is a whole page check list of must haves.  Other pages have information on cachepots, Herend China (love!), and needlepoint pillows.




Be sure to check out the “Forbidden Faux Pas” sections–there are many.  They are easy (and pink) little guidelines to follow so you don’t do anything embarrassing at a party (not that I would), or put an accessory in the wrong room.


I love the emphasis on using antiques, accessories that have history, and traditional design that never goes out of style.  Follow The Pretty & Proper Living Room on Facebook or if you’re in the Hartford/Farmington area, check out the book signing at the New Britain Museum of Art on October 10th at 5:30!  Thanks so much to Holly Holden for my book–I’m just in love with it!  Check out her website for more info and go buy her book–and some pink!



Alicia B.