…my christmas decor

Hi Guys!

I posted today on my new lifestlye blog this year’s Christmas Decor. I thought you may be interested. If you have not get subscribed to my new site and joined me, please do! You mean to much to me and I want to stay connected.

Here the link to the post.

Wishing peace and love this holiday season.

Christen Bensten 


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…arhaus dream living room design challenge

I was recently challenged to create a post on my dream living room. I created a beautiful space with freedom to pull from Arhaus and any other products/brands I thought would work. This was an easy assignment, because I love Arhaus and I love design! The kids and I were recently at the mall and as we passed the shop large windows, Reid pointed out, “That’s mom’s favorite store!”

When designing a room, the first thing I do is my research. I pour over pictures, Pinterest, magazines and other people’s homes to see what I like and what I don’t like. I look at color, materials and the overall feel. A living room for me, is a bit more formal in feel. It is a place to use when entertaining or sit quietly with a friend with a steamy cup of tea. It is quiet and beautiful. It can hold more delicate treasures, fabrics and furniture. Very often the dog is not allowed in this space, but cats are a different story.


The rough layout for my living room design would be anchored with a fireplace and mantel on the far wall. There would be two upholstered couches opposite each other, two side chairs, a coffee table pulling the room together in the middle. I would have a large piece of art or a mirror over the mantel, formal curtain panels, a soft rug, and delicate accessories. Here is an idea of the overall layout of the space. Image via Pinterest.



When I am ready to start purchasing pieces, I always start with the sofa. I love a beautiful sofa, but more importantly, it has to be comfortable. No one wants to sit on an itchy or hard sofa. I would select something like this from the Arhaus collection.



I love this classic English roll arm design. If you start with a neutral, you can build your room easily from there without being constrained by a color or pattern. You color can come in the form of pillows and accessories.

Gilt Coffee Table

I love the idea of having a delicate, gold coffee table and side tables. This is the next item I would pick to shape my room. It is airy and light.


Chloe Coffee Table

Side Chairs

I would next pick upholstered side chairs to flank the fireplace. This is a place where I would do maybe a bit of pattern, but nothing that would take away from the luxury of the room. I am in love with these animal print chairs.


Old Hickory TanneryColleen Chair


At this point, I would start laying some of my essential accessories like a large painting or mirror for above the fireplace. I think I would choose a mirror to continue my bright design. A paned mirror like this from Arhaus gives an architectural look as well as the reflection, which will make the room look larger.



I want wood on the floor and an area rug. In an ideal world, I would find a FAUX sheepskin rug to layer in there too (I have yet to find a faux one that looks real and is beautiful.)

The curtains should be a more formal material like silk, linen, etc. I would not choose a cotton in this room because it will look too casual.

The coffee table is the perfect place to place special memorabilia and books about your favorite subjects. This is also the place to put a little flower bouquet or a plant for some green. I love accessories like this below:

W8702_02 (1)




For more living room inspiration check out my “Arhaus Living Room Board” on Pinterest found here. I have more inspiration and images to help if you are working on your own living room.


…how to pick a rug

Rugs can be super expensive, so when I am in the market for a new rug (which I am for the lake house) I look at Overstock first. They carry rugs at a discount and I’ve found several for my home including these.

…my dining

Small Room Design

…and my bedroom.


A few simple lessons that I’ve learned in rug shopping are these:

  1. Measure your space. Chances are you will need something larger than what you think. Most large rooms will need a 9×12. Yes, more expensive, but you don’t want to end up with something too tiny because it will alter the look of the entire room. Go big.
  2. Don’t get sucked into any carpets with crazy patterns. They take up so much air in a room and you may tire of them more easily. I would suggest max two colors in a rug.
  3. Wool or any rug that says “loop holes” will pull. If you have animals and namely dogs and specifically labs, I know from experience that they will dig their little nails into a wool rug and it will pull. You can cut these pulls, but eventually it will start to look worn.
  4. The material matters. I remember ordering a beautiful rug from Crate and Barrel when I was first married. I was so thrilled that it was so cheap! Turns out you get what you pay for. I picked it up and it was a very thin material, not the lush rug that I had wanted. It was very disappointing. Make sure you look at what the rug is made of. Cotton rugs will be thin and may move so you will need a rug pad. Indoor/Outdoor rug are inexpensive, but they have courser feel. Research what you are getting.
  5. Make sure you have the option of retuning if it just does not look right.

After doing my homework and looking at Pinterest, I found that I was gravitating towards a casual style for my lake dining space. I wanted some blue and thought that a large stripe would make the room feel welcoming and lake-like. This is the one I went with. Cotton worked for me because, again, it was not meant to be a fussy room and I didn’t want a nice rug under a table where kids were going to be eating. I invested in a good rug pad so that it would not slide around, which is essential.

Safavieh Hand-woven Montauk Navy/ Ivory Cotton Rug (9′ x 12′)

blue rug


It was delivered recently and I love it. It’s perfect for this room.