Tag Archives: home decor

Water & Earth: At Home with Stef

After “virtually” spending time in each of the HAP girls’ homes, their talent as modern homemakers is even more apparent to me than it already was from their fabulous blog posts day after day. Now that I have examined all of their decorating choices, I can safely say that each one of these women has done a spot-on job of honoring their essence with their domestic style, and they didn’t even know it!


Stef brings us a new element to have some fun with: Water (The Philosopher). When she told me she thought she was a Water with underlying Earth, I practically jumped for joy because I knew I wouldn’t have to do any reaching to find her essence in her home. I had already seen so much of those particular energies, so her tuned-in designing really made my job easy.


The first display of Water energy comes in the deep, dark tones throughout the house. There are consistent touches of black, deep brown, and even a little blue; colors that create the mysterious and serene vibe that Philosophers thrive in. Water energy is also present in ethnic accents that look like they have a story, like a few of Stef’s artistic pieces in the living room and library, I especially love the black vintage doctor’s satchel on the office shelves, which begs to be a topic of conversation. 


There is also an inviting feeling of warmth in Stef’s home, thanks to a strong presence of Earth energy. Plush sofas, earthy wall décor, and boxy shaped coffee tables contribute to the cozy vibe. My favorite display of Earth comes via the rich orange accent pillows in the living room in a Watery-shaped paisley print. I also love the plethora of books stacked throughout the home, which serve as the perfect mix of Water and Earth energy – makes me want to cozy into the corner section of one of the fluffy sofas with the perfect thought provoking read.

Catherine’s Picks for Stef:


  • Flowy fabrics
  • Deep, cool tones like black and navy
  • Mysterious, interesting, and creative styling
  • Ethnic pieces


  • Warm or earthy tones like brown, orange, and beige
  • Nubby textures
  • Square or boxy shapes
  • Traditional, vintage, or cozy styling

 Stores to try: Design Within Reach, Etsy


Equestrian Saddle Hook , Morning Croissant Robe, Graceful Damask Chair, Design Within Reach Flocks Pouf, Weathered and Worldly Globe




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Earth & Metal: At Home with Anne

Considering that I’ve had years to familiarize myself with Katie’s Woody Metal essence, I’ll be honest – looking at her home through an elemental perspective was a breeze. While I haven’t had the same privilege with Anne and Stef, I have been following their domestic personalities, thanks to HAP!  Today, I get to take a look at Anne’s home, and how it honors her essence!

When Anne told me that she is pretty sure she’s an Earth (The Peacemaker) with underlying Metal (The Perfectionist), I had to chuckle to myself. I had just previously been familiarizing myself with the details of her home and immediately saw an overwhelming amount of those very energies…

new room

decorative pieces

Since Earths are often nurturers, they also tend to be family oriented. One of the main themes that’s evident in Anne’s home is her devotion to her family. The walls are adorned with a collage of gorgeous family photos in their milestone moments – the wedding, and time with their baby Isla, who indirectly also influences the décor in their home. Everything is baby proof, without sacrificing sophisticated style of course!

picture wall


Earth is also present in the home’s color scheme, which is one of the best ways to bring your essence into your home style. From the neutral shades of the walls to the brown accents in the curtains and some furniture pieces, the palette is spot on for Anne’s essence. The colors in her home also bring in her Metal underlying essence through the lovely touches of white in various details, and pastel blue accents like the stack of soft wedding/love themed leather photo albums which contribute a nice touch of luxury while still keeping true to the family theme. My favorite display of Earth + Metal is the polka dotted vase with rocks in the bottom. Rocks are the quintessential Earth object, and polka dots are the token Metal pattern! How “traditionally perfect.”


Catherine’s Picks for Anne:

– Warm or earthy tones like brown, orange, and beige
– Nubby textures
– Square or boxy shapes
– Traditional, vintage, or cozy styling

– Light colors like pastels and whites
– Anything metal or metallic
– Elegant, classy pieces
– Round shapes

Stores to try: Anthropologie, Pottery Barn

Clockwise from top: Vintage Velvet Drapes, West Elm Pebble Rug, Sophie Conran Celadon Tea Set, Anthropologie Letizia Cardigan, French Flour Sack Pillows

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Metal & Wood: At Home with Katie

I’ve known Katie since we were in braces and I can attest to her Metal essence with a side of Wood. To my 7th grade envy, she was always the most meticulous, crafty and active chick of the bunch. Much as we tried, no one could quite master her perfect handwriting or the way she pulled off the teal Five Star binder (how did it just look better on her arm?). Katie’s Metal essence has turned her into the Martha Stewart that she is and the active, growth-oriented Wood supports her as she masters each new project.  Watch out, because Katie’s elements are the perfect recipe for success.

Not surprisingly, Katie’s essence in her home brings one word to mind: Perfection. Metal comes through everywhere, from elegant framed Parisian scenes to classic white moldings and a curved crystal chandelier fit for Gatsby himself.


Even the details ooze Metal – from the stack of high-end books on the coffee table to the elegant door knobs, which I imagine are one of Katie’s favorite details in her house.



Katie’s underlying Wood is more subtle. Of course, the actual wood floors and wooden furniture like her dining room and coffee tables make a statement. But my favorite way to bring Wood energy into your home is by bringing the outside in with plants. Katie brings her garden inside with beautiful vases of sedum placed throughout different rooms and tomatoes ripening on her window sill.



Not only does Katie’s home really honor her authentic self, but it’s balanced with some wonderful intentional energies. The homage to her husband’s hunting with antlers placed throughout the home is a fun way to add some Fire and perfect for the rooms they entertain in! She has also brought nurturing Earth energy into all the best places – the soft, nubby rug in the living room and warm orange tones in the kitchen make me want to sit down for a nice big cup of cider. Earthy intentions are key for Katie as she settles into family life with her husband!


Catherine’s Picks for Katie:

– Light colors like pastels and whites
– Anything metal or metallic
– Elegant, classy pieces
– Round shapes

– Wood or plant materials
– Plant or floral prints/shapes
– Teals, Blues, Greens

Stores to try: Restoration Hardware, West Elm


Clockwise: Sage Silk Duponi drapes, Metal Vine Framed Mirror, Hunter Original Wellies in Green, White Floral Accent Knobs


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Elemental Home Decor with Catherine Sheppard

Welcome to Elemental Home Decor Week at HAP!  We’re so excited to have Fashion Feng Shui expert, Catherine Sheppard, from The Life Styled! guest blogging with us!

This week Catherine will take a look at each of our homes and help us find ways to determine and bring out our Fashion Feng Shui elemental essence in our home decor styling. Read more about Catherine (and her home!):

Hi Catherine! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
thrineI grew up in Northfield, MN (with Katie), and moved to New York for college at NYU, where I majored in communications. I’m a small town Minnesota girl at heart though. I worked in entertainment marketing and events for awhile, but then I moved to Los Angeles with my husband Ian right when the economy tanked a year ago. The lack of job opportunities led me to reevaluate my life and start a career in something I’m passionate about. Here I am a year later, thisclose to launching my fashion styling business!

So a lot of people have heard of Feng Shui, but what is Fashion Feng Shui and how did you get started doing it?
Fashion Feng Shui® takes some of the principles of Feng Shui; the elemental energies, and applies them to our clothing. Through the five elements – water, wood, earth, fire, and metal, we can dress to honor our authentic selves (our essence) and what we want to bring into our lives (our intentions). It’s a way to weed through all the trends that are wrong for you and those clothes in your closet that you never wear to figure out exactly what works for you.

Ooh, tell us more about these elements.
Each element has an archetype – Water is the Philosopher, Wood is the Pioneer, Earth is the Peacemaker, Fire is the Pleasure Seeker, and Metal is the Perfectionist. Each one of us has an essence that can be represented by one of these. That’s the lens through which you view the world around you and the core of Fashion Feng Shui. You can dress your essence by always having the clothes associated with that element present in your wardrobe.  However, we often bring in the other elements as well to honor our appearance (what flatters us), intentions (our goals) and our lifestyle (daily activities/environment).

thrinemakeupCan you be more than one element? What element(s) are you?
Kind of, but not really. Some people debate between a few before they settle on their one essential element, but in most cases, there is one left standing that really drives you. However, most of us have an underlying essence that supports our primary essence. I am a close call between Fire and Metal, but Fire is what really must be there in order for me to feel comfortable. So, Metal is my underlying – by a hair. Some people are a lot more clear cut though – my mom is the poster child for Earths.

So what’s an easy way for someone to figure out their own elemental essence and intention?
It takes a little self exploration. You have to think realistically about yourself and not just who you think you should be or what your life demanded you become. It’s about what drives you at the core. There is a brief quiz you can take and you can also read more about it on my blog, thelifestyled.blogspot.com.

You work mostly with fashion styling but how could someone apply these same ideas to styling their home?
Your home should always reflect the elements of your personality, but you also want to have balance. Certain rooms need different energies. For example, the kitchen should have Earth energy since that’s where we eat home cooked food and do our best nurturing and any room that you have parties in should have a little Fire.


Any favorite home styling tricks you’re willing to divulge to us?
The best way to bring great style into your home is in the small decorative, seemingly frivolous things. They really make all the difference. A ruffly lamp shade, an interesting piece of artwork in the hallway, a Bristish flag pillow… All those things are small, but they are the key pieces your home is remembered by. I recently bought a big spool of pink vintage yarn. I thought, “What am I going to do with this?” but now it’s the heart of my office. Also, I learned from my mom that bringing a plant or some flowers into a room really brings it to life – literally.

What are three items you couldn’t live without in your home?
The giant French memo board my mom and I made for over my desk, Russell and Hazel office accessories and the iron/mosaic orange bistro table that Ian and I snagged from the dumpster of a nearby café.




Find YOUR essence:
Curious about your essence?  These helpful posts on Catherine’s blog put the elements into everyday terms and make for a really fun distraction!

Your Essence: Celebrity Comparisons
Elements of Fashion Styling
Look Book: Polyvore Element Styling
A Little of This, A Little of That? Two Element Combos


Filed under Decorate, Interviews

HAP Sneak Peek!

As the holiday season approaches, we have LOTS of exciting things planned over here at Haute Apple Pie. While we won’t be sharing all of our secrets quite yet, we couldn’t resist giving you a sneak peek into the fun that is waiting in the wings for next week: HAP Elemental Home Decor!

Los Angeles Fashion Feng Shui expert and my dear, long-time friend, Catherine Sheppard, will be guest blogging with us on how to find your feng shui elemental essence and how to honor it in your home decor. She’ll be analyzing each of the HAP Ladies’ home and decor styles to determine our elements and then offering her picks for enhancing them with furniture, paint, accessories and more!

To really dig in, we’ll be blogging Monday through Thursday next week so be sure to come visit!


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covetable goods {dash & albert}

I live in Wisconsin and have realized there is a kind of panic that sets in around this time of year. The summer has come to an end and the countdown to the first snowfall has begun. The sloppy weather is approaching and soon we will say goodbye to our beloved sandals and flip flops and say hello to bulky boots and closed toe heals.

During the winter months, my entryway becomes a sloppy mess of brown melted snow and salt rocks that have the ability to ruin any basic rug sizes or types. After years of tossing out expensive rugs in spring, I decided to do some research and find a rug that would be durable, budget friendly and, most importantly, cute.

Enter Dash & Albert Rug Company.

rug 1

I was thrilled when I came across this brand at my favorite home goods store, The Home Market. Dash and Albert has hundreds of rugs that come in all different sizes, styles and colors. The best part, the smaller woven cotton rugs can be hand washed, line dried and will still look great. I even threw mine in the wash machine on gentle cycle and it came out looking good as new. These rugs are perfect for an entryway but cute enough for your living room! And you can’t beat the price.

With all the colors, styles and sizes, you are bound to find a rug you will adore!

rug 2

Bring it on November. I am ready for you.


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Filed under Covetable Goods, Decorate, Fab Finds