02/07/2018

All-Inclusive – Valentine’s Day Celebration

Scrooge chose the wrong holiday. If there is anything to bah humbug it’s a holiday that buys into sharing a string of spaghetti, reconciling in the rain, intercepting an overseas flight for a marriage proposal. Overt gushing over your paramour hews toward a disastrous outcome. There are only so many opportunities in a lifetime to lock lips in a downpour and actually enjoy it, thus keep romance in reality. Relationships are like finances and politics, they should be kept private. Hallmark Channel enthusiasts stay with us, a Valentine’s Day celebration lands on the perfect date for a holiday.

Valentine’s Day’s softer palette to honor the “ones” you love.

 

February 14, fully entrenched in winter, is perhaps the reason for this cynical holiday approach. Isn’t romance more of a spring/summer activity? Though it’s calendric placement is an ideal excuse to be festive and break from a winter funk. Celebrate not just the one you love but the ones you love. We have altered the holiday to be more universal and a little less commercial.

Serve a combination of good foods with decadent treats.

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01/31/2018

Art Inspired Home Design

There are designer homes that follow a Starbuck’s model, despite the different location they all look the same. A formula consisting of high gloss furnishings, gilded bar cart, area rug and textiles in a trending pattern like Greek key or Moroccan trellis. Spaces that appear to be replicated and itemized from the very design books perched on their Lucite coffee table. There are touches that cannot be experienced via print or digital like techno music and scented candles, which must cost more than $75 for fear of smelling like a Walmart variety. To slip away from the prescribed trappings of a designer cliche, where guests will remark whether Poppy, Lilly or some other floral inspired name fluff their pillows, unique pieces and treating your home artistically will distinguish the look.

Merging artistic elements in a home’s design secures originality.

 

Living in an art inclined home you can swop out paintings the way some people change hair accessories. Paintings, works or art and furnishings assembled from an inherent love over what’s trending creates a kaleidoscope of pieces in home’s accustomed to a perpetual rotation. It’s a process where you mine what you’ve accumulated, edit, acquire and resume the cycle.

A vanity area is given an abstract boost when juxtaposed against original art.

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01/19/2018

Simple Laundry Room Makeover

Just because your washables are in need of attention does not mean your laundry room has to follow suit. Take the dread out of doing loads of laundry by revamping the space. While a laundry room makeover may seem like the last update needed in a project-heavy household, simple tweaks garner major results.

An overlooked area of the home shines after a simple makeover.

 

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01/12/2018

Conceal Wires with a Media Cabinet

There are some things that should never be revealed: bra straps, teeth stained with red wine, political fanaticism and television wires. The inevitable acceptance of granting a television access in the family room escalates into more cable channels, media devices and the uncertain welcome of xBox. A setup bulging with electronics cause cringe-worthy moments for the most adept designers. Solutions include slide down screen, situating the television within an armoire or that flat screen behind a painting trick. For this room, the right media cabinet (or television console for your web searches) has the ability to make a television appear part of the decor and conceal unsightly wires for a designed look.

The right television console can make design-challenged electronics look like part of the decor.

A media cabinet does not have to intimidate or look sterile. Countless options abound. Simply find a piece that seamlessly connects to your room’s scheme within your budget. In this room the style transitioned from an antique, eclectic look to a more streamlined clean and modern style. The inclusion of this single television console from AllModern omitted messy strands of wires and added a contemporary feel to the scheme.

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01/01/2018

Decorate with Statement Pieces

While dominant furnishings ground a room it’s the supporting accents that make a lasting impression. To enter the annals of true design as an artistic, personalized form you follow a few basic principles, notably melding disparate pieces with an unified thread, and then abandon the rules. It begins with an inherent understanding of your style, which directs the acquisition pursuit. The process is imprecise, less formulaic than an overly designed look where some showcase homes appear to be domesticated hotel rooms. When you decorate with statement pieces take a confident approach. They will fit into your scheme because they were acquired based on an initial attraction. The theory may sound like a guide in finding true love and, in fact, the same edicts apply. When you choose a significant other, in human or inanimate form, it’s that over-the-moon electricity that separates a nice, safe relationship to one that has passion.

Add like-minded accents to support the main piece through color and scale.

 

Accent pieces have passion. They are bolder than a simple, quality sofa or solid wooden table but there needs to be stylistic relief in an overly prescribed design. Whether it’s the artistry found in a chair’s silhouette or captivating materials and colors, such accessories command an environment. Risks are encouraged and there will be some pairings that do not fit, which is part of the process in achieving the destined look.

A coffee table book with a striking cover commands the table.

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12/22/2017

Ultimate Winter Guide – 33 Activities

Even the chirpiest optimist can become an Eeyore once winter doldrums hit, making any event an opportunity to bemoan the cold. To remedy the season’s challenged climate, we look to Scandinavia’s ritual of hygee that honors simple comforts and a healthful approach. Winter activities and an attention to nurturing rituals will transform the cold season into an anticipated time of year.

Winter Activities to Beat Cold Weather Doldrums

1. Layer pieces: Find enjoyment from the art of bundling up. Winter layering can be found in everything from decor, cooking and clothing. Your cold weather wardrobe checklist should include long johns, wooly garments, boots, trapper hats, scarves, mittens and insulated coats. The result shows personal style to keep you warm and more enthused to engage in outdoor winter activity.

Make dressing for the outdoors an event.

 

2. Winter activities: Carve a day around ice skating, skiing, snow shoeing, sledding–cold weather sports invigorate.

Sledding is a simple form of fun that never tires, aside from all the extra runs.

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12/14/2017

Holiday Helper – Reusable Gift Wrap

Wrapping paper, scissors, gift wrap, tape and a sea of unwrapped presents, to some and the sight has the same reaction as surgical tools on a dental tray. Take the angst out of holiday wrapping by using reusable gift wrap options, such as fabric coverings or leftover boxes and decorative ribbon. You’ll save countless hours, no paper cuts, it’s good for the environment and this holiday changer is as simple as inserting a gift into a bag and tying a bow.

An eco-friendly, stress-free approach to presents with reusable coverings.

The Japanese, who are masters in transforming lifestyle rituals into a simple model of efficiency, have been on to wrapping gifts in fabric long before it was ecologically savvy. In the same decorative, creative manner as dressing in a kimono, the art of Furoshiki bundles up presents in folds of fabric.

Following the Japanese custom of Furoshiki, which uses fabric to conceal gifts.

Stock up on reusable gift wrap in an assortment of festive styles and sizes to use every year. It just may thrust paper holiday wrapping into the same novelty category as canned snow and colored blinking lights.

Resources:

 

Colorful reusable bags: VZ Wraps

Classic reusable bags: Enfold

 

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12/08/2017

Ultimate Hot Chocolate Bar

Hot chocolate deserves its proper pageantry, which means avoid adding boiling water to the contents of a foil-lined package. When made with real cocoa and embellished with an assortment of toppings, this warm winter mainstay will become your drink of choice no matter what the season. Delight your guests with the ultimate hot chocolate bar for an easy, warm winter event.

Hot chocolate is the main event of this seasonal gathering.

 

Guests will enjoy making their own beverage while sampling new ways to create a winter drink staple.

Cocoa powder and shaved coconut, naturally decadent.

What you’ll need for a hot chocolate bar:

Use elegant small plates for the embellishments: real cocoa, sugar, coconut, candy, whipped cream.

Organic candy cane stirrers adorned with seasonal candies.

Recipe for one cup:

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Scoop powder and sugar in cup and add hot water. Garnish with coconut, crushed chocolate, whipped cream or cinnamon and a candy cane stirrer.

 

Bring in colorful accents that give the setting a festive jolt.

Resources:

Hammersmith Gold Teacup: http://www.mikasa.com/tea-cups-and-saucers/hammersmith-gold/tea-cup/5117476.html#q=gold%20cup&start=0&hitcount=4

Hot Chocolate: http://www.woodhousechocolate.com/dark-hot-chocolate

Cocoa Powder: https://www.valrhona-chocolate.com

Organic Candy Canes: http://wholesomesweet.com/product/organic-candy-canes/

Organic Delish Fish:  http://wholesomesweet.com/product/organic-delishfish/

Chocolates: https://www.ashers.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=christmas&x=0&y=0

A Little Princess: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/316849/a-little-princess-by-frances-hodgson-burnett/9780147513991

Nest Holiday Candle: https://www.nestfragrances.com/shop-by-collection/seasonal-collections/holiday

Ziggy Dessert Spoons: https://www.frenchbull.com/products/ziggy-dessert-spoon-set-of-6

 

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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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11/18/2017

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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