Archives for November 2017

11/30/2017

Christmas Decorating Details with Taste

When it comes to adding all the fa la la to a holiday home, the tree can become an afterthought. Becoming reacquainted with your decorations, along with other festive pieces used in all seasons, you can achieve Christmas decorating pizzaz simply and beautifully.

Metallic ornaments in soft, trending colors do not need a tree to shine.

The other holiday go-to that delights the senses is food. Christmas cookies, candy and even boxed brownies spruced with red and green sprinkles can achieve instant oomph.

Festive cookies set with springs of herbs, vintage Christmas tree balls, over a handmade placemat made from Midori gift wrap.

While there will always be a craving for gingerbread and candy canes during the holiday, food does not have to be Christmas themed to have value. This also applies to everyday favorites like your child’s toys or mittens, which can add a personalized touch to a holiday vignette.

Create your own Christmas spectacle by following a few basic tips:
  1. Look to tree ornaments in new ways, such as adding flair to vacant, fragile-friendly spaces or shiny ornamentation in a table setting.
  2. Wrapping paper can do double duty as placemats or wallpaper.
  3. Treat any visual edible as an opportunity to embellish a vignette.
  4. Keep some of the Christmas decoration boxes in storage and look to everyday items as holiday props. Such decorating thriftiness will be even more valued once the holiday is over and cleanup begins.

Baked goods and candy highlighted on gold trimmed dessert dishes create a sophisticated, personalized look.

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11/24/2017

16 Need-It-Now Velvet Luxuries for the Season

It may upgrade a box to highlight a precious gem but velvet has its own cache. The soft textile with its iridescent effect can either veer into the tacky (Prince’s purple getup, the interior of a party van) or classic (girl’s Christmas dresses, the lining of the queen’s crown). Velvet is making a comeback as the material used in styled ways, which is the luxury must-have of the season.

The beauty in loose ribbon from the Ribbon Jar.

We round up our velvet favorites that are not just in expected black. In fact, consider something pink, which is making appearances in a variety of pieces.

  1. Wide-brimmed hat 2. Blush sneakers 3. Luis mules 4. Vix choker necklace 5. Gloss slipper pillow 6. Jogger pants 7. Emmie flats 8. Heritage deep-V dress 9. Baseball hat 10. Grandy bootie 11. Velvet silk scarf 12. Luxe quilt 13. Matrix blush sofa 14. Pegasus slipper 15. Leo clutch

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11/18/2017

Simplify the Thanksgiving Celebration

There is something intimidating by the carcass of a turkey with its epic preparation. The sides are another challenge and, god help them, some of your guests may expect marshmallows in their sweet potatoes or gravy made from the gizzards. Keep the bah humbug in the next holiday and focus on what makes the event an annual highlight, simplify Thanksgiving in a relaxed manner with some preparation and less rules.

Using everyday tableware meant one less task from not having to excavate the good china, which is spruced with accents for a more personalized, laid back gathering.

How to Simplify Thanksgiving:
  1. Eschew the customary rigmarole of polishing silver and organizing the wedding china by using what you have. Add personalized details like gilded placemats and decorative food as props.
  2. Consider scale in your tablescape. Cake plates elevate the style of desserts, a pedestal bowl of apples and teacups of dried fruit and candies are both decorative and offer the guests varied options to entice the senses.
  3. Flowers are always a table setting must but rather than choose expected fall arrangements with lots of sunflowers and coffee berries, try something more elegant but seasonal-friendly with orange dipped roses. Three day blooms add to the romance.
  4. Paper napkins are acceptable when they hallmark the season and look less papery when complimented by other notes on the table.
  5. Candlelight does not only have to be illuminated from a candelabra, a simple votive also achieves a comforting look

 

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11/16/2017

Everything You Need to Know About Framing Your Own Art

Art creates a Cinderella effect to a space, transforming a basic room through color, visual excitement, and scale. Though an unframed work will make Cinderella appear like she’s wearing her ball gown with mussy hair and no makeup. It takes the right frame to accentuate a piece’s beauty and understanding framing’s intricacies, like matting and scale, are nuggets framers earn top dollar for. Online framing resources allow you to take control of framing your own pieces, but there are few considerations you need to know before choosing that route.

A notable transformation with a silver frame that captures the style of the art.

Chrissy Droessler, co-founder & president of framed & matted, oversees an online framing destination where art enthusiasts can customize a frame to their piece’s specifications. “Our selection includes 14 frames and 30 mat colors, giving customers the confidence to choose their own custom framing materials at home. We also offer complimentary design assistance and samples. And if you are stuck deciding between two mat colors, we will send a second mat color so you can make your final decision at home,” says Droessler.

A larger painting has a styled look with the thick mat and white frame.

While many will be deterred by that key one to one interaction with a framer, where the ability to play with a variety of frames to the actual physical piece is lost, framed & matted is doing what Warby Parker does for buying eyewear via the web for picture frames.

A basic white frame gives a colorful piece a calming presentation.

How It Works:
Droessler shares tips on how to make the best choices when framing your own art.
Selection: You can select up to five mat and four frame samples to see the colors in actuality with the artwork. There are also detail images and a look book that offer a sense of how the frames look on the wall.

Customization: If you are going to pay for a custom frame, why not make it look custom? There are so many great ready-made frame options out there. Add some personality to your frame with a pop of color or interesting mat margin. You can either go bold and pick a bright colorful mat, or just add a little color and design a double mat with a neutral top mat (white, grey, black) and a colorful bottom mat.

How to choose: Pick a detail in your artwork and selecting a complimentary mat color. This will help draw attention to your artwork and make it look special. Of course, if white is what works best, try framing with a double mat using the same color white. This will add a little extra custom look to your frame.

The blue under mat subtly picks up the colors in the art for a distinctive look.

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11/11/2017

Color Crush: Pink, Orange + Gold

Pink and orange is not just for kids coming off a sherbet rush, especially when glamorized with a hint of gold. Tapping into the retro era of rainbows and illuminated disco floors, the scheme has a modern resurgence when paired with like minded decor-reliables such as books, wallpaper and textiles. However you wield pink, orange + gold, the result is fun and vibrant.

Despite a varied mix of accents, the design keeps from looking cluttered by sharing the same color scheme. Original art atop metallic wallpaper by Aimee Wilder creates a classic composition.

Not one pillow is part of a set yet linked by the unifying palette.

A simple way to verve up a wall with paper goods in our color crush.

A bedroom has a modern classic style from its grouping of vintage and contemporary items in this fresh palette.

Accessories used to layer the look.

Resources:

Art: ducks goose

Pina Sola wallpaper: Aimee Wilder

Bicycle pillow: Art Goodies

Bunting: etsy

Kate Spade New York Bow quilt: Bed Bath & Beyond

Toiletry case: Roberta Roller Rabbit

Journal: Motto journals

A Little Princess: Rifle Paper Co.

Notecards: Waste Not Paper

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11/03/2017

Ultimate Guide to a Casual Tea

When you invite someone over for a drink they typically expect, time of day permitting, coffee or something alcoholic. When I invite someone over, time of day not permitting, the drink will be tea. It may not be a martini or trendy elixir I am unaware of but tea is the balm. It is the ultimate drink from its healthful properties, antioxidant rich, and calming taste.

Serve tea, guests will feel relaxed and restored.

Tea comes with customs in every variety–religious, business–and heroines from an Austen novel to the dowager of Downton would break from unworthy suitor woes, prop up the lap dog, to drink a cup of tea. Serve tea and guests will feel pampered and restored without the impending hangover.

A tea gathering in real time.

How to create a casual tea:

If I am having a few guests I will have two pots in motion as well as a sampling of blends so friends have a selection. To show your devotion to the tea ritual without significant effort serve loose leaves. It’s simple and the taste has a hint of freshness over the bagged kind. Loose varieties are available in most tea aisles, typically in attractive tins that have a second life as a change holder.

The fresh quality of loose tea.

Tea wares:

Loose tea can be served with a strainer, filled in bags, infuser or an all in one tea pot, my preference being a glass model for its visual impact and comes with all the excitement of a second grade science experiment. It is similar to a coffeemaker in that you equate a tea spoon to a cup, scoop into the infuser, and add the measured water. Another tea accessory I am partial to is the electric kettle for its ability to produce steaming water quickly with little fuss.

The nibbles:

While tea parties are most commonly associated with crustless finger sandwiches that make white bread acceptable, I prefer real food like edamame, fruit or nuts. Always have something sweet, which relates to the British elevenses–a custom introduced to me by Paddington Bear where the Brits will have an 11:00 a.m. tea with something savory.

Choice of tea bags for the no-fuss approach.

Tablescape:

Compliment your tea and edibles with attractive dishware, teacups and napkins. Flowers and candles always add to your vignette. Add something personal, like a  handmade item.

Necessities: infuser tea pot and kettle.

Resources:

Glass teapot: Enjoying Tea

Electric kettle: Hamilton Beach

Loose tea: Talbott Tea

Printed bowls: Sighouse

Pierre Frey Le Jardin de Mysore napkins: Caspari

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