Category Archives: Design


Bean Bag Chairs

February 8, 2018

Ok, the girl’s room is PAINTED!!!! Now the fun begins, I get to style and accessorize this space. I really want to create a lounge-like space for the girls to hang out, read and watch movies. Now that we have our new fancy THE FRAME tv in our living room. We are going to move our old tv up to their room for weekend movie sessions. Denali is really loving vintage clothing and especially anything with a 70’s vibe. Bean bag chairs feel like they suite that style spot on. And there are some really cool ones out there now. I searched for options that are grown-up sized, not tiny kid ones. Who knew bean bag chairs could be so darn cute?

1 // 2 // 3

4 // 5 // 6

7 // 8 // 9

10 // 11 // 12

13 // 14 // 15

Is there one in particular that catches your eye? I’m leaning towards No. 8. It’s gold velvet and I love that it has arms for curling up in. No. 4 is to DIE FOR, it’s is vintage and carries a “one-of-a-kind” price tag. And I actually really love the pretty plum color of No. 11 + 1. It’s not a color I would normally gravitate to, but especially in velvet, it feels very lux.

Denali is making plans to take whatever chair we buy, with her to college. EEEK, that’s only a year and a half away.



Getting Ready To Style Bookshelves

February 6, 2018

We have lived in this new house for a year and a half now. One of the first rooms I wanted to tackle was my girl’s shared bedroom. In our first house, the girl’s room was by far the cutest room in the house. If you recall, it was shot for a Land of Nod catalogue. Be sure to check out the full post on Honest to Nod, because little Denali and Olivia are pretty cute.

In this house, they still share a room, but it’s actually twice the size of their old room. BUT, the room needs help, the walls are blue, the trim is beige and the full wall of built-in cabinets are red, cream and beige (ya 3 colors). The built-in cabinets are at least 20 feet long with 12 cabinet doors and shelves to the ceiling. The other 3 walls are all windows. It’s a HUGE painting job, so for the last year I’ve been trying to find a painter (that I could afford) to tackle this room with a sprayer for me. All I want for this space is crisp clean white trim, white walls and white bookshelves. It’s actually a lot to ask. But, it’s finally happening. You guys, I’ve never hired a painter, we’ve always DIYed. But, I was really hoping to leave this big job to a professional.

I found a painter and he started yesterday. It didn’t start out too great. After the first day of priming, I noticed that they had left all the brackets for the shelves in the built-ins and the hinges had just been left on the cabinets (slightly taped). Ya, they had painted over those. The closet had drips of paint everywhere and there were a couple big gauges out of the hardwood floors. I wasn’t too excited about having to address these issues. My first instinct was to fire them and just take on the job myself. But, I decided to offer a little grace, show them exactly what I wanted done and have them fix their issues. Just letting them go seemed like the easiest solution, but I decided to stick it out and hope for the best. By the end of the day I was feeling confident that they could actually do a good job.

But, seeing this room turn white (Sherwin Williams – Alabaster White) has me giddy to style some bookshelves. Our plan is to go a little more boho and grown up. Denali is 16 and even though she shares a room with her 6 year old sis, I want the space to feel like hers.  So, to get me in the mood for some shelfie styling, I rounded up some of my favorite shelves out there. _spring living room 8

Remember this leaning shelf from our first house? 

I love the boho vibe of the objects in these built-ins. The don’t feel stuffy and proper, but more playful and young.


These shelves in a kid’s bedroom are to die for. It definitely has more of a nursery vibe, but I am taking notes for Olivia’s side of the shelves.


This minimal, modern aesthetic makes my heart happy. I’m always a fan of monochromatic.


From the master stylist herself, Emily Henderson, these shelves are filled with all the prettiest things possible. I think the second version, with the more saturated objects and pottery feels more like the direction we will take. Denali loves any shade of blue and Olivia love anything in the pink/orange/coral family.


These shelves have a light, airy, beachy vibe that I’m sure would speak to Denali.


And this last example is really just for my own reference. I can never get enough of black + white, wood tones and natural fibers.


Little and big girls, come with a lot of stuff. Here’s hoping we can make it all look cute together. I’m giving one side of the bookshelves for Olivia’s things and the other for Denali’s. It should be a fun challenge to find a way to get their things to work together for a cohesive look.


Houses Painted All White

January 23, 2018

Ok, we bought our house a year and a half ago and we’ve known that it has needed to be painted since day one. It’s just a huge undertaking with a lot of scraping and sanding ahead of us. But, I think we are ready to start thinking about it. Here’s the deal – our house is a 1918 Craftsman. Craftsman are typically painted earthly tones and colors. My gut would be to go a shade of green or grey, but our neighbors on either side are green and grey. I feel like it might just end up looking blahhhh. I want it to stand out. Sooooo, I’m considering something a little controversial for a craftsman house, I’m thinking about painting our house all white! All White Houses are popping up all over in modern builds, and I LOVE the look. I’m hoping this will work with an old home as well. My mission has always been to show folks that you can live in an old house, preserve it’s character, and still have it feel fresh, young and current.

Here’s our house:

Here’s my main concern with painting the house all white – I’m worried that we will lose all the beautiful detail in trim and the different roof lines. It’s not a box of a house, it has a lot of unique shapes and angles.

My true heart’s desire is to paint a house, any house,  all black (I’ve shared this desire with you before). But, the husband will not approve that. He wants our house to be as energy efficient as possible. And I have to agree that a black house in the desert is probably not a good idea. So, the plan is now to swing the opposite directions and maybe paint our house all white and add so black details. I’m sure what details will be black yet, but the thought has me pretty excited. I’m really not a beige house kind of gal. Yet, both of our houses have been beige. I didn’t pick the colors, we’ve just never painted an entire house, we’ve only lived with someone else’s choice. Oh, and as much as I LOVE the color green, I think the fence needs to be either black or white as well. A change sounds good right now!

Someone in the neighborhood also told us that she remembers for the house being all white in the 60s or 70s, so maybe we would be taking it back to it’s roots.

All White House


I might be getting ahead of myself. But, I’ve been looking at white and black paint samples and I’ve come up with some great combos. Sherwin-Williams is my go-to paint store, we have had such good results with their products. If you haven’t shopped for a paint color in a while, there are A LOT of blacks and whites out there. I’ve narrowed done my selections, so the next step is to paint them on the house and take a look at the colors in sun, shade and all the times of day in between.

Black and White Paint Combinations from Sherwin Williams

Ok, to backup my all white plan, I did a little searching for some good examples of craftsman and craftsman-like houses painted all white. I’ll tell you, they are not easy to come by. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Now, go take a peek at what I’ve found and let me know what you think. Do you think this could work for our house? Can a craftsman be white? One thing I know for sure, these examples I’m sharing with you today are total show stoppers. You can’t deny that a white house feel crisp, clean and has a modern edge.

White House, Black Details


White Craftsman with Black Trim


All White House


All White House


White Craftsman House with Black Trim


All White House


All White Craftsman House


All White House


I’d love to know what you think. It’s going to be a BIG job and one that we won’t want to tackle again in the near future. So, we want to make the RIGHT choice.

Design / etc.

The Frame by Samsung

December 20, 2017

This post was created in partnership with Samsung.

The Frame by SamsungThe Frame by Samsung

Christmas came early to the McConnel house. After 10 years with the same small-ish TV, we have made a huge upgrade with The Frame by Samsung. If you recall, in the Summer I played around with the idea of hanging The Frame over our credenza in our living room (see the original post here!). I tried out a few different gallery wall options and dreamed about the possibilities of living without the ugly black box. And now it’s a Christmas Miracle, because we have a new piece of art that we can change and customize. Using the phone app, I simply uploaded one of my own favorite images. I took this picture of a giant oak tree last fall just outside of Bakersfield. I love being able to display my own work. When Spring and Summer arrive, I’m sure I’ll want to change the image to some wild flowers or a warm beach scene.

The Frame by SamsungThe Frame by Samsung

TVs can be such an eyesore when you are trying to decorate your home. I’m always trying to find ways to hide and disguise the traditional TV in a room. The Frame hangs flush to the wall, like a real framed picture, so you can treat it as another piece of art in your room. When you aren’t watching your favorite Christmas movie with 4K UHD viewing, The Frame can display your favorite family photos or you can load it with one of 100 pieces of curated art that Samsung provides.

The Frame by SamsungThe Frame by Samsung

We are hosting a Christmas Open House, and I am soooo excited to have our credenza free of electronics so that I can make it festive and even put out drinks and snacks on it. I love when a party can move from room to room, and folks can mingle and snack in every space. Often with parties, everyone gets crowed right were the food is, usually the kitchen or dining room. But, this year I can put out treats in the living room as well. Anytime I can clear up a surface and hang things on the walls, I feel like I’m winning the decorating and organizing game.

The Frame by Samsung

I’m still playing with the gallery wall in our living room, because I just have too many favorite pieces that I still want to display. But, now I can share a favorite holiday photo in The Frame or switch out the art piece to go with the season without making anymore holes in my walls. You guys, I feel like this is such a design game changer and we actually live in the future!

The Frame by SamsungThe Frame by Samsung

The Frame also has customizable bezels that have the flexibility to perfectly complement your home décor, with three additional bezel options in wood, white or metal. I played with the walnut frame to play with all my wood trim in the house.

The Frame by Samsung

Also, to make the holidays a little sweeter, The Frame 55″ and 65″ sizes are currently $200 off in stores and online! It’s not to late to add to your Christmas wishlist.


Holiday Ready!

December 1, 2017

I can’t believe it! Our home is ready for Christmas on Dec. 1st. It’s truly a
Christmas miracle. It feels so good to have our tree up and all the decorations out. Now, we can sit back and enjoy evenings by the fire and fall asleep by the glow of the Christmas tree. Ahh, this really is the BEST time of the year. This year, we did something new, we bought an artificial tree. We will be traveling for Christmas (like we always do) and we just thought this would be so much easier. Now, we won’t have to worry about our tree dying when we are gone. But, boy do I love the smell of a real tree. So, that we don’t miss out on the full Christmas experience, I have Thymes Frasier Fir Candles is every room! Oh my goodness, these candles smell just like a Christmas tree.

The Thymes Frasier Fir scent comes in a few different collections to go with the style of your home – Gilded, Heritage, Statement, Northwoods, and Joyeux. If you have been following me for a while, you know that I love the color green, so I picked candles and soap dispensers that complimented every room in my house.

Pictures are great, but I think sometimes a video really can bring you into a space. So, I made a little video to show you some of the pretty details and how great a candle can make a room look and smell.

Every year I like to add something to our Christmas decorations. I don’t change up themes or color palettes. I really just stick with green and white and all the metalics and shiny things. So this year I added new stockings. I felt like out beautiful 100 year mantel desired new stockings.

Everyone will be getting Thymes Frasier Fir Hand Cream in their stockings. It’s thick and creamy, but not greasy – just right!

My plan of attack to decorating for the holidays is to first of all put away most of my everyday knickknacks. Then, just start making little vignettes on any of the surfaces – like coffee tables and mantels. I try not to over do it. But, it sure is fun to have pretty Christmas things sprinkled throughout the house. And really, candles are as good as it gets when you want to have a little ambience.

Even bathrooms need a little Christmas cheer. I love this hand soap and lotion set. No ugly bottles here, and it comes in the cutest faux bois ceramic tray.

We also rearranged the living room and put the tree in the middle of the window. I actually really love it there. Now, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the season. Not an easy task, when life seems to get busier and busier each year. But, I’m going to light a yummy candle and snuggle up under and blanket and watch a Christmas movie with my family this weekend. I hope you can make sometime to really experience Christmas as well.

Thank you to Thymes for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.



Cost Plus World Market Black Friday Deals

November 20, 2017

Well, I think we can officially start shopping for Christmas. Thanksgiving is just about here and there are some GREAT Black Friday sales out there. I know I’ll be hitting my Bakersfield, Cost Plus World Market this weekend. I’ve got all the details for their awesome Black Friday event and 3 really fun gift guides to help you start your gift shopping. I’ve picked out some awesome pieces for the Coffee Connoiseur, the Budding Baker and the Hopeful Hostess in your life. Cost Plus World Market is a treasure trove of fantastic gift ideas, you don’t want to miss out.

Black Friday is going to be great! The 1st 100 in-store customers get a $10 certificate for Cost Plus World Market. And then on Saturday and Sunday, the 1st 100 customers will get a free tote bag. Also the 1st 100 customers in store on Friday, November 24th through Sunday, November 26th can play the Peru-se Our Store Instant Win Game. All you have to do is scratch the Golden Llama game piece to see if you are a winner! You could WIN one of 3 trips for 2 to Peru!

And there are some fantastic deals that you won’t want to miss like:

*Must be 18 years old or older to receive the $10 Certificate. Certificate is valid in-store on 11/24/17 only.  Not Valid online. Not valid on alcoholic beverages and gift cards. One time use only. No cash value or rain checks issued.

And now for some gift guides to help you start shopping.

Covered Mug // Brew Book

I think everyone knows a Coffee Connoisseur. You are sure to find some really great brewing equipment, good coffee beans, or just a darn cute mug at Cost Plus World Market.

  1. Italian Roast
  2. Coffee Scoop and Clip
  3. Kettle
  4. Blush Mug
  5. Chemex
  6. Small Marble Trivets
  7. Coffee Grinder
  8. Brew Book

Whisk // Rolling Pin // Napkin

Not only does Cost Plus World Market have all the tools you need to start your Christmas Baking, they also carry a lot of the ingredients. I actually buy most of my spices, chocolate and nuts at Cost Plus World Market.

  1. Marble Rolling Pin
  2. Tea Towel
  3. Mixing Bowl
  4. Cookie Cookbook
  5. Apron
  6. Measuring Cups
  7. Pot Holder

Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Do you know some that wants to host more dinner parties? If so, stock them up with all the essentials and you will be sure to be invited over for a home cooked meal. Cost Plus World Market makes Easy Entertaining a reality with everything from drinks, crackers, cheese, salami and all the yummy gourmet treats you need to get a party started. 

  1. Wood Salad Servers
  2. Host Cookbook
  3. Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  4. Covered Casserole Dish
  5. Wooden Cheese Board
  6. Dark Grey Napkins

The post is sponsored by Cost Plus World Market, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 

Here’s so of the deals I will be shopping:


Black Shiplap Panelling

November 17, 2017


I’ve been itching to tackle another room in our house, but I just haven’t had time. So, in the meantime, I’m just going to keep planning and dreaming. Really, it’s the best part of a renovation or room makeover. It’s the part of any project that is most hopeful, exciting and definitely the least messy.

I’d love to take on our little powder room next. And since it’s a small space, I think it would be fun to do something dramatic like black shiplap panelling. I’m really not a fan of the white shiplap, it feels a little too country for my taste. And it might just be a tad overdone right now. But, painting it black feels a quite a bit more sophisticated to me. I’m such a huge fan of exterior siding painted black, but since I live in sunny southern California, this will never happen for me. So, I think I need to bring this look indoors.

Here’s a few good examples of black panelling done right. What do you think? Do you have opinions on shiplap? And do you prefer traditional white, or does a darker more your speed?

Black Shiplap


Black Shiplap


Black Shiplap


Back Shiplap


Black Shiplap


Black Shiplap


Black Shiplap



One Sofa, Four Living Room Looks

November 10, 2017

I’ve got lots of new projects going on right now that I haven’t said too much about. I’m pretty excited about this latest project. And I think it’s going to be really fun to share the process with you here on Oleander + Palm. I’ve been hired to furnish and style two model homes in a brand new housing division here in Bakersfield. I’m so excited to be apart of Tarina Home’s newest project, Shamrock Hills. I’m going to make these model homes as O+P as possible, with lots of DIYs, thrifted finds and design on a budget. I firmly believe interior styling doesn’t have to cost a fortune, so I want to create spaces where folks can really experience attainable design.

Today I’m sharing a little teaser into the project. Wanna see what I’m going to do with the living rooms in the two houses?

Sven Article Sofa

If I’m going to style a room that’s going to get noticed, I’ve got to start with a really great piece of furniture.

You know when something catches your eye, and you just can stop thinking about it? That’s how I feel about Article’s Sven Sofa. (PS this is totally NOT sponsored.) It’s just a beautiful piece of furniture. I love the midcentury leg, the square arm, the tufted seat cushion and all the gorgeous colors it comes it. I mean, what’s not to love?

I’ve played with my four favorite versions of the Sven and designed four living rooms to go with them. I feel like the Sven Sofa is one of those classic pieces of furniture that works well some many different styles.

I love the casual vibe. It actually feels right for Bakersfield. We really do live in the desert. I love this strong black leather contrasted with all the pale, natural textures.

  1. Joshua Tree Print
  2. Bird Illustration
  3. Round Mirror
  4. Faux Cactus
  5. Terra Cotta Pot
  6. Wicker Chairs
  7. Black Tribal Pattern Pillow
  8. Striped Pillow
  9. Cow Hide Pillow
  10. Black and Brass Lamp
  11. Sven Black Leather Sofa
  12. Rattan Cabinet
  13. Live Edge Coffee Table
  14. Leather Pouf
  15. Pink Patterned Rug

This green sofa gives me all the heart eyes. This look feels a tad sophisticated but still hip and fresh.

  1. Tropical Leaf Print
  2. Typography
  3. Round Mirror
  4. Vase
  5. Plant
  6. Midcentury Chairs
  7. Double Lamp
  8. Midcentury Side Board
  9. Round Coffee Table
  10. Green Velvet Sofa
  11. Tassle Pillow
  12. Black and White Pillow
  13. Leather Pillow
  14. Bird Pillow
  15. Cream Pillow
  16. Brass Side Table
  17. Rug

If you’ve followed here for a while, you know I might be a fan of a pastel Scandinavian look. This look feels like something new for Bakersfield.

  1. Calendar
  2. Black and White Print
  3. Ocean Print
  4. Plant
  5. Chairs
  6. Side Board
  7. Wall Sconce
  8. Pink Fur Pillow
  9. Triangle Pillow
  10. Green Geometric Pillow
  11. Grey Velvet Sofa
  12. Green Side Table
  13. Brass Candle Holder
  14. Round Coffee Table
  15. Grid Patterned Rug

I don’t think my style is very traditional usually, but I do love a few pieces from this style here and there. This look feels the safest, but hopefully not boring.

  1. Black and White Art
  2. Horse Print
  3. Mirror
  4. Floor Lamp
  5. Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig
  6. Wing Back Chairs
  7. Buffalo Check Pillow
  8. White Pom Pom Pillow
  9. Black Lines Pillow
  10. Black Dresser
  11. Camel Leather Sofa
  12. Brass Coffee Table
  13. Cream Rug
  14. Lamp
  15. Turned Leg Side Table

So, which living room do you like best? And why? If I was picking for my house, I think the Global + Green feels most like my current style.  This was a fun creative challenge for me. And I can’t wait to share with you which two styles we are going to bring to life in the models. I’m hoping to take you along every step of the way. So stay tuned.

First stop is the Pasadena Flea Market this weekend!



November 9, 2017

I’ve mentioned this on social media, but I thought I should announce Brandwell here as well. I’m so excited to be apart of this “brand” new adventure.

Here’s what Brandwell is in a nutshell. Brandwell is a game changing brand workshop for you and your business. It’s a two-day immersive workshop that will help you brand and capture your business through strategy, design, content and business planning.

Brandwell Workshop

I’ve teamed up with Shannon and Ashlee of Purveyor House to bring this new project to life. I’m so excited about this collaboration. It feels so good to be working with a team. It’s hard to be working along everyday. I’m really enjoying the community and feedback that I don’t get by working alone here with Oleander + Palm. It’s nice to not have the weight of EVERYTHING on my shoulders alone. We all have strengths in different areas, so it’s fun to see this take shape. It’s also great to be doing something locally here in Bakersfield. I am very passionate about helping our city reach it’s potential. Equipping local business for success feels like a great place to be right now.

Brandwell Workshop

Now, back to the details of the Brandwell Workshop. We are hosting our first workshop January 26-27 here in Bakersfield, CA. This is going to be a very limited space workshop so that we really can work one-on-one with businesses. It’s called a workshop, and it really is a hands-on workshop. This won’t be just be feel good pep talks or inspirational messages, the workshop is going to give businesses real takeaways in the form of customized strategy and even content and imagery that is ready to be used on social media platforms.

Brandwell Workshop

This is just the start, we have BIG hopes and dreams for Brandwell. You can follow along on Instagram for some helpful tips and tools and definitely sign up for the newsletter!

brandwell workshop


Our House Decorated for Halloween

October 25, 2017

Today I’m sharing all the little Halloween details we’ve added around our house for this spooky season. Olivia LOVES it. We had so much fun hanging spider webs and sticking plastic bugs and spiders everywhere we could think.

Home Decorated for Halloween

We are hosting a Halloween party again this year, so this is the first layer of decorating. Creepy skeletons and animal parts in jars will come home from Lonnie’s classroom closer to the party. None of this is magazine worthy, or overly styled, I just thought you’d like to see a little peek into how our house looks right now. Maybe there will be an idea or vignette that will catch your eye and inspire you. We’ve collected lots of Halloween bits and pieces over the years, but this year we added some really fun Martha Stewart decorations from Michaels.

I don’t think our decorations are over-the-top, but I did sprinkle a little creepy, crawly all over the house. These gold foil moths are my favorite addition. I love them with a couple pumpkins and some plastic bugs I gold foiled in our sunroom.

I wall of bats swooping across it is always a good idea. This is a quick and easy way to add a bunch of Halloween drama with very little effort.

I added some florals to our living room and dining room. Keeping with the sinister vibe, I chose dark crimson reds, deep burgandys and little black buds. I also added more little plastic spiders and snakes creeping out of them.

Probably about 8 years ago, the kids and I cut out a couple of these owl silhouettes for our windows. They are one of my favorite Halloween decorations and they are just made out of black poster board.

The cement pumpkin candle stick holders are a DIY from a Halloween past.

I love to stick eye balls on planters, paintings and this year I added a big pair to the candy bucket.

When the day of the party hits, I’ll scatter more bats cut outs around. They are a quick way to add a festive feel to a table top.

Moth, spider and snake stickers added to glasses instantly gives them a spooky edge.

Years ago I started collecting beakers, flasks and old bottles. I added fun labels to them and filled them with sweets and flowers for a dangerously delicious candy bar.

And a few light-up bats watch over the treats.

So, I hope you enjoyed a little tour of our house all decked out for Halloween. And now I better go finish those Halloween costumes.