Keri's Favorite Five

We know that when you start a design project, either on your own or with a professional, the options can be overwhelming. The team at AWD is all about helping you streamline and determine which direction is best for your lifestyle. But what about their faves? We sat down with Keri Feeney to learn about her five favorite design elements - and why custom is key!


1. Decorative Mirrors - I love decorative mirrors! Hands down, the best way to bring more light into a dark or small space. Get design credit by adding an artistic frame.

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2. Lighting, lighting, lighting – There is so much that can be done with lighting. My absolute favorite way to quickly transform a room is with beautiful light fixtures, whether mounted to the ceiling, wall or placed on the floor or a table. It’s the one quick way to get an instant lift.  I also love how lighting can create a scene and a mood - that’s why we always recommend Phillips hue lighting - you can change the tone to set a mood, automate your timing and activity, and really create a scene in your own home with the touch of your personal device. Genius!

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3. Wall treatments – Whether paper, silk, wood paneling, tile, or fun paint applications, walls can become a room feature simply by highlighting them. It’s so simple, yet so often forgotten.

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4. Custom Built-In Cabinetry –  The key word here is CUSTOM! You can turn a plain wall into a work of art by adding built-ins with lighting, wallpaper-lined backs, mixed materials…you name it, it can be done - and be one of a kind. Take a look at the effect this custom cabinetry had on this entryway below - now that is a before and after!

5. Large Format Tile – Dramatic floors are such a trend. Adding larger-sized tiles can really transform a space and give it a contemporary look. When you install this with a zero grout line, the result is a luxurious, clean feel.

We’re sold! How about you? We love hearing from you. What are the design elements you can’t live without?

4 Steps to Loving Your Space

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Is it just us, or is just about everyone in the world caught up in this Marie Kondo frenzy? Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE her methods (and a good Netflix binge!), but sometimes, the intensity around her process makes us want to crawl under our desk and never come out!

So, we came up with some our favorite tips on how to love your space (and achieve that minimal, serene vibe we all long for) WITHOUT needing to carve out a week of your life to decide if your t-shirt from college still sparks joy :)


1. Create Space - you’ll never create the zen-like atmosphere you crave with too much bulky furniture. Start by making small, easy changes that make a big impact. Instead of getting dining chairs with backs, get stools that can neatly tuck all the way under a table and leave more room for traffic, creating more open space. We love how these stools tuck under the console on one of our favorite design projects, below.


2. Cohesiveness is KEY - We are all about pops of color, but keeping a neutral color palette throughout your space will create cohesiveness. This doesn’t mean everything has to be all white, or all matching - simply mix in different textures and tones to add depth and interest. We’re in love with this gorgeous kitchen in one of our clients’ homes that takes neutral to the next level.


3. Cut the Cords - Loose cords from lamps, televisions and other equipment hanging around creates a messy look. Invest in cord organizers to keep errant cords out of sight, or use velcro to secure them to the back or underside of your furniture.

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4. Cultivate Comfort - You’re more likely to feel calm and serene in your home if it exudes a sense of comfort. Some of our favorite ways to cultivate comfort are to invest in oversized pillows, lots of green plants, and scented candles or diffusers. And of course, fresh flowers will brighten your space every time!

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What are some of your favorite ways to organize your space and create a home you love? We would love to hear them!



Holiday Entertaining Tips

One of our favorite things about this most wonderful time of the year? The parties, of course! We love holiday entertaining, but understand that throwing a festive fête can be overwhelming. We chatted with one of our co-founders, and hostess extraordinaire, Angelika Stuart, on her tips for throwing a party to remember this holiday season:

  • Stock the Bar - We’re going to go ahead and say that as long as the holiday bar is stocked (and looking oh-so-festive, like Angelika’s pictured above) your guests will be happy!

  • Plan Ahead - Truth be told, we’re typically of the ‘find a great caterer’ mindset, but if you’re doing some serious cooking and baking for your party, we totally respect that! Just make sure to plan ahead and prep as much as you can in advance. Chopping, measuring, baking….the more prepared you are, the more smoothly things will run on the day of the party.

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  • Personalize It - consider a signature cocktail or incorporating a fun theme. Just keep it chic (no costumes) - allow the decor, food and drinks to do the talking when it comes to holiday themes.

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  • Great Entertainment - whether it be a fabulous playlist, a fun or quirky game, or even live music (give us a piano and some singers, like you’ll find at Angelika’s parties, and you won’t be able to get rid of us!) - but you always want your guests to feel entertained. Leave them talking about their fabulous night.

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  • Relax! - There’s nothing better than a welcoming host who is genuinely having fun at her own party! Put your guests at ease by keeping your cool. Remember, even if something goes wrong, this is why you stocked the bar! :)

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Happy Holidays and happy entertaining, everyone!

Alicia's Design Must-Haves

We sat down with Alicia Weaver to get the scoop on the design elements she can’t live without. “There are so many things that can transform a space - from small accents to color to prints,” Alicia told us. Her general motto: go big or go home. We couldn’t agree more! Here’s her list of can’t-live-without design essentials:

  • Large Coffee table books - The perfect accent. And, they’re just filled with pretty things!

  • Large Artwork - One large piece can finish a room and become a focal point. It’s definitely a design must-have.

  • Pretty Chandeliers - any and all! Lighting fixtures can completely transform a room and there is nothing like a beautiful chandelier.

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  • Lucite - whether it be a chair, tray or a piece of acrylic, I love adding lucite as an accent to any room.

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  • Animal print - When it comes to mixing and matching, animal hair is a no-brainer. Whether it’s hair on hide on a chair, or print on a pillow, a little animal print goes a long way.

  • Wallpaper - I LOVE wallpaper!! Everywhere! Layering materials makes me happy, but it also makes for a fun and cozy home.

  • Oversized lamps - Oversized lamps can make such a statement. I especially love large nightstand lamps. My personal lamps are a sea-foam blue ceramic with a 20” round shade.

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  • Throw Pillows - Adding or replacing throw pillows is an easy way to change a space and create new style when you’re in the mood for something new.

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And her list goes on…from white towels to comfy sheets to real marble (somewhere, anywhere!), there are so many elements that make a house a (well-designed) home. What are your design must-haves? We’d love to hear from you!