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There are two things I really love in life….design and shopping.  Those two things go hand in hand in my book and there’s no better way to share two of my passions with you then in a new blog series called Product and Inspiration.  

Similar to “get the look” post that you might see on other blogs, my goal for each Product and Inspiration post is to share a product I love along with inspirational design photos using that item (or something very similar) AND a design tip or two.    I hope you enjoy “shopping” with me and more importantly I hope you’re inspired to decorate your life in style.

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The much ‘anticipated’ winter storm that never really came to be earlier this week gave me some time to surf the web and catch up on my blog reading so I have lots of great links to share with you today.  Enjoy your weekend!  

Style Mixing

 If your style is eclectic (and even if it’s not), you can learn something from Lessons in Style Mixing!

Stuck on Hue

A fabulous & new to me pillow resource with great prices too!

Black Kitchen via Splendid Habitat

A round-up of gorgeous black kitchens that just might have you wanting to run to the paint store.

5 Steps to Success

5 Steps to Success that are valuable not matter what you want to achieve in life.

Flower Arrangement

If you’ve ever wanted to create a flower arrangement as beautiful as this, check out these flower arranging tips.

Shelly

The internet is amazing! 

Have you ever stumbled upon a room photo where a single item like lighting has caught your attention?    You click to find out more about the lighting and fall into a black hole of design.  Well it happened to me recently after I saw the light fixtures in this work space but instead of falling into a black hole I found myself in a place a bliss!

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The shape and gold finish of these light fixtures caught my eye and the work space was also intriguing.  A few clicks later and I found myself on the website of the design team behind this simple but beautiful space–Studio McGee.

If you’ve never heard of Studio McGee before, let me give you an overview.  Studio McGee is a design company run by husband and wife team, Syd and Shea.  Fueled by Shea’s love of design, the two started the their own design business and have been creating beautiful spaces ever since.

What I love most about the rooms design by Studio McGee is the clean, crisp esthetic and the use of vibrant color accents.  Many of the spaces incorporate black walls which can sometimes be a challenge but they seem to have found the formula for using black in just the right way.  I also love that when designing a room, they use a mix of modern and traditional elements which keeps their spaces looking timeless instead of trendy.

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Love the pops of color and brass accents.

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Black, white and gold–a winning color combo.

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And that table…swoon!

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You can see more of the Studio McGee portfolio here and check out Shea’s beautiful blog here.

Be inspired!

Shelly

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Winter entertaining is tough. There are no patios to lounge on or pools to sit by, plus you’re wiped out from hosting countless holiday parties.  Despite the cold, planning a party during the winter can be just as easy as planning a party any other time of the year.  A winter party requires a warm and welcoming atmosphere, decor that fits the season and food that fuels the soul.   

  I’m here to inspire you with some tips (and resources) on pulling together a winter party that will make your guests feel warm, welcomed and at home.

Cranberry Ice Bucket

 Let the party planning begin…

TIP #1:  Serve Soothing Cocktails

To knock the chill out of the air, serve cocktails that provide a soothing feel for your guest.  Take advantage of winter foods like pomegranates and apples and blend drinks with flavors like caramel, mulled wine or grand marnier. You can also serve classic cold weather beverages like hot chocolate and irish coffee.  And when it comes to serving drinks, choose colored glasses over clear drinkware because it will add a sense of warmth and coziness to the cocktails and the decor.

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Caramel Apple Martini / Ombre Stemless Wine Glasses 

 

TIP #2:  Plan Hearty Party Food

There’s nothing better than comfort food on a cold day to help you forget all about the sleet and snow swirling around outside.  A winter party calls for hearty party foods like a carving station, beef sliders, fall fruits and comfort soups.

 Use wood platters and cheese boards in a variety of sizes and styles to serve finger food and to add richness and texture to your buffet or dinner table.  I also suggest adding a natural touch to your food displays by using leaves and foliage from the yard (washed of course) to accent serving plates and platters.

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Turkey Sliders / Copper Handle Serving Board 

 

TIP #3:  Decorate with Seasonal Colors and Textures

Two of the key components in creating beautiful decor for a winter party are texture and color.    Give flower arrangements a winter feel is by using different shades of a single color and mixing in different textures of greens and berry branches.   To save money, buy your flowers and then snip the greens and berries from the yard. And don’t forget to use flower vases that add texture and enhance the decor of your winter party theme.

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Birch Flower Pots

 

TIP #4:  Create a Cozy Table

You know I always recommend layering your table for any party, but for winter entertaining this becomes even more important.  I recently discovered stainless steel charger plates and think they are the perfect cool accent to a winter table.  The silver finish will add a visual highlight to your table without making the table feel too cold and impersonal.  White plates are ideal for winter entertaining because the food you serve will look richer against the white surface.

And don’t forget to have a party favor for your guest.  A small plant in a burlap bag can be used as part of the decor and is a great way to add texture to the table decor.

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Stainless Steel Charger / White DinnerwareBurlap Bag

 

TIP #5:  COZY UP WITH CANDLELIGHT

The easiest way to create atmosphere for your winter party is through candlelight.  To make it easy when decorating, use a mix of candle holders in a variety of sizes, heights and finishes which will add to the layers within your tablescape or buffet setting.  Mix glass with metals and always keep scented candles in the gathering spaces and away from the food.

Don’t forget to place candles in the foyer and bathrooms to add warmth and ambience throughout your home.

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Posit Tealight Holder / Vendome Pillar Holder

Finally, no party is complete without a sweet ending so set up a winter themed cake or dessert buffet to end your party in style.

Winter Cake Buffet

Winter Cake Buffet

Spring is just around the corner but until it arrives, why not celebrate winter with a party.

Shelly

 Ottomans5

A couple of years ago I wrote a post entitled ‘Maybe the Most Versatile Furniture Piece’ and it was all about the ottoman.  Ottomans are one of my favorite decorative accents and one of the best and often budget-friendly design investments you can make.

I love using a pair of ottomans as part of a design plan but a single ottoman can be just as effective as a pair.  And when it comes to the shape of an ottoman, an accent ottoman is a great way to incorporate a contrasting shape into your decor.  And accent ottomans also make great side or coffee table alternatives in both living rooms and family rooms.

When it comes to decorating, there are many ways you can incorporate ottomans into your decor and today I wanted to share 5 of the easiest ways to decorate with ottomans.

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One of the most important items in my gift wrap closet is my assortment of gift tags.  Like jewelry to a wardrobe, gift tags enhance your wrap and add the finishing touch to your gifts.

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Recently, I was organizing some of my gift wrap supplies and I realized that I had gift tags stored in different places.  I found tags I thought I had used up and discovered other tags I had forgotten about.  Right then and there I decided to take an inventory of all the tags I had and organize them so that they ready and available when I needed one.

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And The Winner Is…

Hello there my friends! I hope you had a great weekend and for those of you that have been trapped in the snow, I hope you were able to get out of the house and spread your wings again.

I’m sorry it’s been quiet on the blog the last few days but my life has been running non-stop and I just couldn’t get it together to get my post published. While life hasn’t slowed down much I am back on track and have some great post to share with you this week.  But first up… 

 the winner of the $25  Gift Card from 

Uncommon-Goods-Logo

And the Winner Is - Revealing the Award Results

Laura Mueller

Congrats Laura!  I’ve sent you an email with details to claim your prize.

Shelly

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend and did something special for Valentines.  My hubby unfortunately caught the cold I had and was down and out most of the weekend, so we had lots of down town watching movies and napping.

Tall Windows

After writing the post on Easy Ways to UpStyle Plain Window Treatments, I got a email from Cathryn asking about window treatments for tall windows.  If you’ve ever had two story tall windows in your home, you know how challenging it can be to style them with window treatments.  Today I’m going to answer Cathryn’s question and share a few tips on decorating tall windows with you. Many of the design tips I’m sharing can apply to regular height windows too, so everyone can get something from of this post.

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