Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dining Table Centerpiece: A Lovely Necessity!

 A dining table should have an interesting display even when its not being used. There is always some arrangement on my dining table, it’s a favorite place for me to create pretty vignettes.

Photo by John Bessler

Before this shoot for At Home Magazine I visited this home to  access what I was going to need to do. 

For the dining room I saw straight on, catching the  gorgeous architecture with the table in the center makes a compelling photo, but the table was empty.  

The shot would need drama, color, and a fun vignette to pull us in. The homeowner had a pretty Majolica dish and purple glasses in her glass cupboard which inspired me to create this pretty display. 

Photo by John Bessler

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Home Decor- The Art of Change

Home Style: The Art of Change

The art of change in your home should be a common event. Change keeps you from being bored with your surroundings. It can be subtle or bold,  and that’s what a stylist does.

We change things and freshen them up bringing a new perspective and a fresh eye.

For the photo shoot, this truly beautiful kitchen required small but important changes like: recreating the displays on the open shelves with various shapes to create  composition. Using light colors and sparkling glass to add zing! A large dramatic display of lilacs in an aqua vase. romanced the shot.  I think large bouquets of lilacs belong in the kitchen where you spend so much of your time.  The little bunch of clematis created a sweet balance  and the careful addition of yellow lemons created a small sweet still life.

Styled for Better Homes and Gardens magazine
Photo by John Besler

Monday, April 23, 2012

Porch Makeover- Adding a Punch of Color , ZING!!

This porch setting was screaming for styling help for a photo shot for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

The Before

To make a perfect picture, I had to scramble for chairs that would add some interest and punch.  Adding color was key. I found these red vintage chairs at B&G galleries, a mid-century modern gallery in Hingham, Massachusetts.

photo by John Bessler

Bringing in a huge urn with grasses broke up the space to create interest and definition. Notice the careful placement and repetition of select color. Tiny vases of yellow flowers make a statement without getting in the way of food serving.

Add people, and Voila! You have a great lifestyle moment!

Photo by John Bessler
Styling by Karin Lidbeck-Brent
Better Homes and Gardens June 2011.

Friday, April 20, 2012

BH&G Home Style - Small Color Splashes in Neutral Spaces in Your Home

I'm thrilled to see the home design story I styled and produced for Better Homes and Gardens featured on their web today.

Styling by Karin Lidbeck, Photos by John Bessler

Check out Karin Lidbeck- Brent's other styling works over at  BH&G

"A little color can go a long way. See how these homeowners stretched their color budgets by adding small splashes against neutral walls and furnishings."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Decorating Your Mantel - Magazine Stylist Hints

What to do with your mantel?

Mantels are not unlike bookshelves. Both are favorite areas of mine in styling shots for magazines. 

The mantel offers a place in our homes to display favorite possessions. With a minimal amount of effort,  you too can add your own eclectic style. 

The mantel is a place to show off a bit of your personality. A centerpiece of your living room if you will. 

Featured in a past Better Homes and Gardens magazine, I demonstrate different design ideas to use when arranging your mantel in that issue.

Here are some hints for you.

The idea of using your mantel as a bookshelf is a favorite styling technique of mine. 

Stack books like building blocks while adding artful objects that you love.


Choose an accent color from your room, and go from there, choosing objects in that color family to create a vignette. 

This design is asymmetrical. Remember to create balance in weight and balance when styling your mantel.

Adding a vase with flowers on my mantel adds a different dimension and depth. One thing I like to do especially during the spring and summer. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Impact of color in Photo Styling ( Before and After)

As a photo stylist for major magazines its all about the accessorizing to get the look a magazine editor or art director wants.

For this Better Homes and Gardens assignment to be magazine noteworthy I created a fresh bold vibe by adding hits of color with art, pillows and other small furnishings
Before  and After

View the impact of added vibrant color  
Photo by John Bessler

You can produce this same effect as well:

Freshen up a space by adding grouping of bright colored pillows. The nuetral pallette of the room, mostly whites with light blue couch, is a perfect pallette for an EASY makeover.  Adding brights gives the space a cool uplift. Pillows adds punch as does the surprising colorful art.

We took out the brown sisel rug adding the neutral grey rug.
See how pulling the rug under the sofa pulls the seating area together.

Photo by John Bessler

One more tip:
Keeping fresh flowers in any room adds immediate invaluable impact.

Always look for what is blooming in season.

Bright pink azaleas were the perfect cutting for this spring shoot for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Multiples make an impact too, instead of just 1 or 2 votives add a larger cluster!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Asparagus in Flower Arranging, Country Gardens Magazine

Artful Asparagus

Photo by Jim Westphalen
I decided to repost this favorite project I created for Country Gardens. It's an idea that never grows old.. SO EASY to do!
I often say, "the arrangement is equally about the container!"

Asparagus is the vegetable of the season right now and it looks beautiful combined with flowers from your spring garden.

Wrap a runner band around a coffee size can. Cut asparagus stalk to 1" to 2" taller than the can. Place the stalks side by side standing straight up inside the rubber band. Tie with a ribbon to hide the rubber band. Add flowers.

Voilà ... that was easy,... healthy fresh asparagus will last a week or longer (or when the flowers pass then you can cook the asparagus up)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Create Style - Make a paper vase!

One of my favorite DIY projects was designing this paper vase made with a medium weight textured watercolor paper .

It has a wonderful natural organic quality that looks beautiful with any garden flowers. The paper vase slide over any household glass that holds the water

Use a stiff medium weight water color paper ( 140 lb) that has texture and will stand up well. The paper vase will last for years and years.

Copyright  2011 Karin Lidbeck

Gather materials, paper, scissors, craft knife and pencil ruler ribbon.

To trace an arch at the bottom, use a dinner plate and outine1/4 of the circle. Measure up and across from that line 10" to get outer circumference.

Fold paper accodian style with 16 creases and cut wedges along the top. then use craft knife to cut slits between folds as shown. slits are wide enough to pull ribbon thru.

Cut slits between the folds as shown using a craft knife. Slits should be wide enough to pull ribbon thru.

Glue the back edge closed and slide ribbon thru.

There you have it! Your own paper vase!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Daffodils - The Wee Tree!

While daffodils are blooming,  you might consider making this.
I came up with this simple arrangement for a Good Housekeeping Spring Issue. With just a few materials in hand you can be put this together quickly.

1 dozen Daffodils  about 12" of a pretty ribbon ribbon,  a rubber band, floral foam and moss.

wee tree

Tightly gather a bunch of daffodils and secure with rubber bands. Cut floral foam to fit inside small container and soak in water; insert stems. Cover foam with moss and wrap with bright ribbon.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Create Style - Cherry Blossoms

 I found these boots at the flea market and I knew immediately how I would use them.  Doesn't the explosion of  pink cherry branches make a perfect fit in these old boots. Fill boot bottoms with stones and then water, Voila!

Created by Karin Lidbeck Brent for Good Housekeeping magazine.  Photo by Gemma Coma

Monday, April 9, 2012

Salvaged Container for your Forsythia Branches

Flowering branches are abundant right now and cutting a few branches is a heavenly addition to your home.  Hunting for unusual containers is a passion for me.  This salvaged colander became a vessel for arranging forsythia in a spring feature I produced for Good Housekeeping.

Turning this vintage colander upside down it became a perfect frog for holding the thin forsythia branches ( hide water bowl inside).

Enjoy the glorious branches by cutting them as they bloom or  get longer enjoyment by cutting early and forcing the blooms inside.
photography by Gemma Coma,  Styling Karin Lidbeck Brent

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Daisy Eggs Centerpiece

This giant daisy egg was a design idea I created as a table centerpiece for Good Housekeeping magazine.  A fresh idea and so easy to make.  It will last longer than you think, many years actually,  since the daisies are artificial flowers from the crafts store!

Carve an 8 or 9" high egg shape from a floral foam block or purchase  a large styrofoam egg.

You will need approximately 50 artificial daisy heads ( many stems have multiple heads)

Cut the head with wire cutters approximately 1/2" below the flower head.

Push the stem into the styrofoam.

Repeat with each flower placing them closely together so the styrofoam is completely covered until the entire egg is covered in daisies.

Place the egg in a small white bowl as a base to hold your daisy egg upright.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Simple and Easy How tos on Decorating Eggs

For the past 15 years working as a contributing crafts editor to Good Housekeeping magazine, I have created dozens of DIY Easter projects.   The quest to find new ways to decorate eggs is always a fun challenge!

With Easter around just around the corner,  I'd love to share three of my favorite egg projects.

Simple dyed eggs: The fun is in the embellishments.

To create the eggs above:
Shop for pretty trims, and ribbons at your local fabric and craft store.  Some trims can be cut apart to make individual flower heads. Choose trims that are narrow and in scale with the eggs.

Dye a batch of hard-boiled eggs in your favorite color palette.  

Once the egg shells are thoroughly dry, glue pretty trims onto your eggs. One simple trim around the center of the egg is a simple and pretty embellishment.

Découpage Eggs

Working as a contributing crafts' editor for Woman's Day magazine in the 1980's,  I learned this trick: Découpage eggs with cocktail napkins!

An easy project. Here is the How-to in découpage eggs!

Hard boil white eggs. Peel the paper layers of cocktail napkin  apart. Use the thin printed outside layer.

Cut  the paper into small strips to cover the egg. Using white glue - slightly watered down, brush the  glue over a section of the egg, place the paper over the glued area. Brush more glue over the paper smoothing out wrinkles and adhering well. Add more glue and more paper to cover the egg. Do one side at a time, allowing to dry in between.
Paper Embellishments

Hardboil your eggs, Leave some eggs natural brown and white.  Dye some eggs in pale shades of pink and blue. Use of brown paper and twine inspired this Easter egg project. A simple how-to!

The  brown and white dots are made with a paper punch.   The flower petals and bunny figure are cut from brown paper using small nail scissors.  Apply paper shapes with a glue stick.

Add eggs wrapped with thin twine.

Speckled Eggs

Ahh,  then there is the speckled decorated egg! The look almost as true as eggs found in a bird's nest.

Easy DIY Easter egg decoration!

Dye the eggs using soft pastel colors - Just a few minutes in the bath. Allow to dry.

Be sure to cover yourself and working surface.

Using a watered down sepai brown acrylic paint, take an old toothbrush and run your finger along the brush to splatter the paint.

Place in a terra cotta dish with a ring of wheat grass around the edge of dish.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Start planning - My Easter holiday Inspirations

Take a peek!

The Good Housekeeping April 2012 issue is on the newsstands now with my inspirations designed for your upcoming Easter Holiday celebration.

Designing this year's Easter feature started a year ago with multiple design ideas, sketches and crafting. After weeks of prepping, propping and presentations with the GH editorial staff, the strongest ideas were pulled together.

Creating the final projects and preparing the many details for the photo shoot is all consuming.  For me, the real reward comes in the final stages where the photography and styling bring the projects to life.

Photography by Michael Partenio

Three-tiered Easter Basket Centerpiece

Adorn your Easter basket with coffee filters flowers

Easy paper cutouts using white and brown paper and a glue stick

Full details on how to make these easy DIY Easter projects are featured in 
April 2012 Good Housekeeping magazine in stores and libraries now! 
Have fun!