Interior Decorating by Elaine Burns

Floral Garland

When my aunt asked me to help plan my cousin in law’s baby (girl) shower, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The shower was planned for March - a month before her due date - and we agreed on a theme of a whimsical garden party.

Florals and delicate details were musts for styling. As a special add, I wanted to give the mom-to-be’s throne a unique touch.  

Since setting up my new Cricut machine, I have spent hours (yes, hours) combing through their Design Space; a resource for project ideas and templates. I’ve pinned several of my favorites, and for this occasion, I wanted to do something special with my favorite design element - flowers - so I opted for a colorful garland.

Using the machine was simple for this three-part project - pistil, petals, and leaves. I created 40 (!!!) complete flowers, making 2 garlands to hang.

Photo by Amy Zalinsky

Photo by Amy Zalinsky

The party was perfect - and the mix of both real and paper flowers added the feminine touch to the decor.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

My New Favorite DIY Home Project Tool

About 6 months ago when my mom, of Early Bird Designs, was pitching her ceramics line with Etsy Wholesale, we were invited to a partnering event with HGTV.

Being the DIY-aficionados that we are, we were thrilled to see a Cricut demo booth at the event and jumped into the DIY activity being presented. The team was showcasing the iron-on decals that the Cricut can print to then be used to create professional screen printed designs on fabric. Once I saw this technique, my mind immediately jumped to different fabric and printing ideas; it could be simple to design and print my own unique fabric patterns.

A Cricut is any DIY maven’s dream tool. It is a small scale precision cutting and printing machine. It can cut and print on over 100 different types of materials - something as simple as cardstock for intricate card making to vinyl for decal creation, even leather!

Most people seem to associate Cricut with scrapbooking, but it has evolved to be a tool that makes it easy to customize home decor projects.

I’ve been brainstorming projects - and I’m excited to share my first examples soon! In the meantime, I’ve been busy pinning some ideas - anyone have tips/recommendations to share?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Living Room Redesign - Reveal!

It’s been a slow and steady project, but I am finally ready to share my completed living room redesign!

I am fortunate to live in a New York apartment with a true living room space (anyone who knows someone that lives here knows this is rare!). Because of the pure functionality of it, by default it is where my roommate and I spend most of our time.

But, being a shared space, until now the room lacked much of a central aesthetic. It had all of the necessary pieces (a table, couch, tv), but the overall design was wasn’t unified or inviting.

Last week I shared my Pinterest inspiration board that fed into my design plan and below are the final results.

I worked to keep the space minimalism inspired while also still feeling cozy. Mixing textures and sticking to a neutral color palette helped to achieve that balance. In a small space, adding furniture can quickly make it feel cluttered and cramped, so I stuck to classic pieces with clean lines and paid special attention to furniture scale (measure everything!), so as to not overwhelm the space.

I found a simple metal tulip table and basic utilitarian chairs to serve as the dining area. Since these pieces would be below the gallery wall - a visually busy section of the room - I wanted these pieces to be simple and not distract guests from admiring the art on the wall.

The gallery wall is primarily a collection of prints (vintage and new!) and I am proud to include a piece from my dad’s most recent art show - Go Figure. This floral calendar is also a great add - because the image changes every month, it will help to alleviate any feeling of staleness.

Opposite the gallery wall is a single large photograph. This is one of the first things visitors notice when entering the room, so I wanted a piece that was calming while still being visually interesting - this fit the bill perfectly.

For textiles, I looked for rich, textured pieces (like the couch and foot pouf) to mix with geometric prints (found in the pillows, rug and bookshelf wallpaper).

And perhaps one of my favorite additions is the handmade wooden sofa table. The wooden plank was a find from a trip this summer to Vermont, and some hairpin legs made the piece completely functional.

Living Room Redesign: Inspiration Board

I’ve been talking about it for months on my Instagram and am nearly ready to reveal my living room redesign!

The true nucleus of the apartment, this space needed an update in terms of layout and overall aesthetic (previously there wasn’t much of one).

Wanting to keep the space clutter-free but also cozy - especially now that we are in hygge season - was my main design objective. A focused color palette, clean architectural details, and rich textures helped bring the room together and I can’t wait to share soon.

In the meantime, I am sharing my Pinterest board compiling my inspiration and design must-haves as a preview. Stay tuned for the official share in the coming weeks!

Subtle Holiday Decor

It’s official: It’s December 8th, and the holiday season is in full swing. This time of year especially I fully embrace the gold, glitter, and baubles and I am lucky to live in a city that does too.

One of my favorite family traditions is picking out and trimming our Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. We admire our most special ornaments and decor while listening to the best selection of Christmas songs.

This year I wanted to really deck out my Brooklyn apartment, but also wanted to be mindful of the small space and not overwhelm our living room with a Christmas decor explosion.

With a nod to my family holiday traditions, below are 4 ways that I am embracing the season in a subtle, though no less festive, manner.


A wreath
We have a round mirror in the entryway (and not much else besides some coats) that lends itself to needing a little bit of sparkle, especially now. This was a thrift store find from my mom. If I didn’t have a spot for it here, it would definitely be outside my front door.

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A garland
While I love our low-ceiling living room, the space is challenging to fit a Christmas tree (even a mini one). So, I opted for a lit garland. It brings enough holiday feeling to the room without distracting from the rest of the design.

Cozy Textiles
I’ve written a couple of times about my recent textile obsession, and now I have added all of my coziest knits and shearing blankets to the couch to warm up the space. Coupled with a good book and noise-cancelling headphones? Talk about a perfect Sunday afternoon.

Hand Crafted Gifts    
I’ve found the best way to really get in the holiday spirit is to channel my crafting cravings into at least a few handmade tokens for friends and family. Spending an afternoon among all of my supplies and assembling gifts is especially wonderful when done with a group of friends. This year as part of a Friendsgiving celebration, my friend Tala of @eatsandthecity and I made these red velvet mason jar treats.



Textile Kick

It’s probably the cooler temperatures finally arriving to the East Coast, but recently I have been on a total textile kick.

I have several big design projects in the works, and as part of those plans, I have been exploring how I can incorporate different fabrics, weaves, colors and treatments into my designs.

The more I learned, the more I wanted to try out some of the techniques I read about for myself. (I will admit that finally finishing my year-long quilt project gave me the confidence boost I needed.)

Loop of the Loom on the Upper East Side of Manhattan offered a great exploratory Saori weaving session. The technique is easy to pick up, and allowed for freedom of exploration of different materials and textures; a great opportunity to push the boundaries of pattern and structure. By the end of the session, I had woven a small sample - worthy of a wall hanging or pillow front.


A few weeks later I visited the Textile Arts Center in Gowanus and took a Bobbin Lace Making intensive class. The patterns are as intricate and complex as you would expect (read: very!). In the day-long intensive we covered and practiced basic stitches, plus learned the history of different lace making techniques and schools. The class was informative and built upon the skills I have mastered in embroidery and crochet - I highly recommend, especially if you are well versed in other needle arts.

TAC is worth a visit - peruse their class offerings site - you can study several different mediums and classes are available for all levels.

These classes gave me the push I needed to make some headway on a few sewing projects that I will be sharing soon - stay on the lookout for more details (and a big project reveal too)!

Master Bathroom Powder Table

When my parents renovated the “attic” of my childhood home to include an updated master suite, my favorite part of the entire remodel was the master bathroom add. I wasn’t old enough at the time to appreciate the timeless fixtures and details they considered, but now the understated skylight, massive shower, and calming color scheme make it one of my favorite rooms in the house.

Given that my family is already ramping up for the holiday season (read: guests visiting all the time), it was decided that the bathroom needed a powder table - a place for guests to drop their jewelry before hopping into the shower, store spare towels, and have toiletry essentials available.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a brand that promotes lady power. So, I was especially excited to discover Cora - an organic tampon brand dedicated to delivering a quality product to their customers while also giving back and supporting access to safe period products to women around the world. The product packaging is well designed - they can be beautifully displayed and do not scream the need to be buried in a drawer, out of sight - a rarity in the world of feminine hygiene products.

I was proud to incorporate them into my styling of the new powder table. For the design, I re-purposed a bedside table and focused on keeping the nook uncomplicated and uncluttered.

Learn more about Cora and their powerful mission here and here. You can purchase their products (and sign up for a subscription service) on their website or at Target.

Using the discount code ELAINETWENTY1016, receive 20% your subscription order on Cora's website. 
*Discount valid 10/27/16 to 11/11/16.