Posts Tagged ‘Style’

Hello friends.  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  After spending the end of last week decorating for a client, I was happy to see the weekend come.  I did some Christmas decor shopping for a another client, hung out with my brother and got all of my holiday linens pressed.  Anyone else out there hate ironing as much as I do?  All in all, it was a good weekend and I was able to squeeze in some of my own Christmas decorating.

Speaking of decorating, today’s post is all about decorating your mantel for Christmas.  It’s part tips & techniques and part inspiration.  Enjoy!

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One of the exciting parts of my design business is decorating homes for Christmas. Just about every home I decorate has a mantel or two and even though every one of them has a different style and design, I use the same techniques when decorating them for Christmas.

Here are my tips for decorating your mantel like a pro:


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It’s Throwback Thursday so I’m republishing one of my most popular holiday how-to post…

How To Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like A Pro!



When my store was open, one of the most attended workshops I did was called Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Pro.  While everyone has their own style when it comes to decorating their tree, everyone also wants to know the tips and techniques that designers used to create those over the top trees.  Well, today I’m going to let you in on our secrets….

1.  DEVELOP A THEME–Every great design project starts with a theme, even decorating a Christmas tree.  Having a theme will ensure all the elements work together and that the tree has major impact.  Your theme can be as simple as decorating with only red ornaments or as elaborate as creating a rustic yet elegant lodge themed tree. And, even if your tree is decorated with different ornaments collected over the years, that too can serve as your theme!  Whatever your theme is, it will serve as the foundation for  your overall  decorating plan.



2.  LIGHTS FIRST–Lighting a tree is time-consuming, but doing it right makes all the difference in how your tree will look in the end.

*  Start at the top of your tree and wrap the lights from the inside trunk towards the outer tips of a branch.  Once one branch is covered, create two or three big loops of lights on that same branch back towards the trunk.  Move to the next branch and repeat the process.  Continue working your way around the tree, covering all the branches.  Don’t forget to plug your lights in periodically to make sure they all work and the all the branches are covered well.

*  You can adjust the density of the lights by wrapping the lights closer together or further apart.



3.  ADD RIBBON OR FABRIC–While most people add ribbon to their trees, fabric is a great alternative.  Ribbon, bows or fabric pieces will provide a backdrop for our ornaments and can be added to your tree in several different ways.  One method is to drape the ribbon from top to bottom, tucking it into the tree at intervals.  This will create peaks and valleys and create added dimension to your tree decor.   Another great trick is to layer several different ribbons together and creating big loops with cascading tails (see top photo).

If you are using bows on your tree, make sure the size and scale of the bow is in keeping with the overall size of the tree….8 to 10 medium size bows on a 9 ft. tree is enough!

Christmas Ribbon


4.  ADD DIMENSIONAL PICS OR SPARYS–This one element will do more for your tree than anything else will.  Take glitter pics, feather stems or floral stems and place them around your tree randomly. Not only are your creating layers with your tree, but you are adding texture and dimension.  On large trees, several styles of pic and be used together while on smaller trees it is best to use a single pic style in mass.





5.  LAYER, LAYER, LAYER–Now it’s time to start adding ornaments.  Don’t just place your ornaments on the surface of the tree, layer your ornaments within the tree branches.  Place solid colored ornaments deep into the tree and hang the more colorful and ornate ornaments on the tips of the branches.

And remember,
Vary the shapes of sizes of your ornaments
Vary the color tones, using shiny ornaments along with matt and textured finishes
Adding solid color ornaments will help ground the tree and create an element of consistency within your theme
Cluster small ball ornaments together with a wire and hang them in groupings for added impact




6.  THE TOPPER–The top of your tree should really make a statement.  Create a unique topper using pics and flower stems, several large bows put together or go add a whimsical element that supports your theme.  If you have a traditional topper, use pics at the base of the topper to frame it.



A few other tricks of the trade…

*  Use ornament spinners to add visual impact to the tree.  These little gems plug into one of the light sockets and spin lightweight ornaments.

*  Curl the tips of your artificial tree  to give it a whimsical touch.

Amount of Christmas Tree Product

So there you have it, the ins and outs of decorating a Christmas tree like a pro!


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Gold Reindeer with Faux Fur

If you can’t tell from recent post here on the blog, I’m really getting in the Christmas spirit.  Today I’m bringing you an inspiration board I created for a colorful holiday party.

The concept for this party was a casual, chic party table with a twist on traditional Christmas colors.

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Here’s a look at each item and tips for creating your own festive holiday table!

Whenever I can’t find cloth table linens to fit a theme, I turn to wrapping paper. With just about any design and color option available, wrapping paper is a cost-effective and simple way to dress your table.  TABLE RUNNER:  Snowy Tree Wrapping Paper  
Most table settings I create incorporate a charger plate.  Chargers help to add impact to a table and are also part of the layering that every table setting needs.  I recommend you buy a set of gold, silver and red chargers so you have colors that will work with every table setting your can imagine.  CHARGER PLATES:  Gold Charger with Fluted Edge     *  (my favorite gold charger design)
One of the basic tabletop items I think everyone should own is a set of classic white dinnerware. White plates will give you tons of flexibility to mix and match patterned salad/dessert plates and bowls.    DINNER PLATES:  Round White Dinnerware  *(you can’t beat the price of these plates)
Novelty salad plates are an easy way to bring pattern to the table for the holidays or for any season.  I love to pair square salad plates with round dinner plates for visual interest.   SALAD/DESSERT PLATES:  Green and White Chalkboard Christmas Plates 
Entertaining is so much easier when you have the right serving pieces.  A tiered stand can be used in lots of different ways and works just as well on a table as it does on a buffet.  SERVING STAND:  Gold Two Tier Stand
Holiday entertaining by candlelight is a must in my book and these Christmas tree shaped candles are the perfect accent to compliment the paper runner design. CENTERPIECE DECORPearlized Christmas Tree Candle *(these would make a fun hostess gift too)
Gold flatware is just one of the elements that helps to add a touch of glam to this tablescape and it ties in with the other gold accent pieces which helps to create the theme.  FLATWARE:  Gold Flatware *(I also love the design of this silver flatware set)
I like the idea of placing wine in an ice bucket versus placing the bottle on the table.  When not used to hold wine, the bucket could hold flowers or even be used as a serving bowl of a salad or bread.  ICE BUCKET:  Hexagon Ice Bucket
Colorful glasses are a great investment and will add that bold pop of color that every table needs.  These glasses accent the green in the runner and salad plates so that the table has three different pops of the key accent color. STEMWARE:  Green Wine Glasses  *(HomeGoods always has a great selection of colorful glassware)
Pattern mixing is key to bringing your holiday table to life. The gingham plaid dinner napkins provide a great contrast to the oversized pattern of the paper design and further highlight the navy color.  LINENS:  Blue Check Dinner Napkins *(these would be easy to DIY if you can’t find your color)
When it comes to a centerpiece, I use items that will add height, style and a unique touch to the table.  These gold reindeer do all of that along with adding that glamorous touch the decor called for.  DECOR:  Gold Reindeer Decor *(the fur collar is removable so you could change the look from year to year)

Chalkboard Christmas Plates

So when it comes to setting your holiday table, do you have any tricks or tips you use?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

I’ll be sharing my own holiday table soon.  Stay tuned.


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Alaphbet Ornament Tree

Alaphabet Tree2

It’s beginning to look a bit like Christmas around my house.  I’ve pulled the Christmas pillows out, started decorating here and there and will get my tree set up and decorated this weekend.  If you’ve read my blog for a while you know that I change my tree theme each year.  A majority of the decorations are pieces that I already own but a few new pieces get added each year.

Two of the key components on my tree will be monogrammed ornaments and lots of red which was partly inspired by the tree decor above.

Last year I purchased a few of these beautiful blown glass alphabet ornaments from Pottery Barn at $7.50 each and had plans to add a few more to my collection.


But yesterday I stumbled across the almost identical monogram ornament at JoAnn’s on sale for $3.99.  While the details aren’t exactly the same, these ornaments will still give me the look and feel I want the tree to have.

JoAnn Monogram Ornament

I’ll be sharing my completed Christmas tree decor with you on Dec. 2nd as part of a blogger holiday home tour I’m participating in so stayed turned.

p.s.  In case you like the idea of monogram ornaments on your tree, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites to share with you.

Monogram Christmas Ornaments.001

KirklandsChalkboard Monogram Ornament $6.99 / Zazzle–Personalized Monogram Keepsake Ornament  $24.50 / ZazzleCeramic Holly Monogram Ornament $18.95
AnthropologieWoodshop Monogram Ornament $ 9.00 / PB KidsGlitter Alphabet Ornament $3.00 / West ElmBeaded Letter Ornament $3.00



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Hello.  I’m back with the 5th installment of Design Chat.  This time I’m addressing a question from another reader named Cassandra regarding her long, narrow living room.

Here’s what Cassandra asked…

“I have a long and narrow room. Fireplace on one end where I plan to put the TV above. And the entry hall directly across from the fireplace. I hate the look of over crowding but need extra seats for company. Tips?”

Well, since I don’t have a picture of Cassandra’s actually space, I’m imagining it to look a little something like the image below.

Narrow Room1


Before I get into decorating tips for long, narrow rooms, let’s look at two of the most common issues with a space like this.

The first issue is how to maximize the floor space with the furniture layout while keeping traffic lanes open and creating an inviting space.  The other issue that’s common is how to create seating that works for 2 as easily as it does for 20.

Let’s look at solutions…

BREAK UP THE SPACE. Sometimes the best way to deal with a long, narrow space is to divide it into two seating groups. That will allow you to fill the space without giving up normal-size furniture. It also will give you the opportunity to customize each area for a different activity or level of intimacy.

Narrow Room2

via design by Carrera and Fauquié
DOUBLE UP ON SEATING. A long living room often demands more than one sofa. The scheme works because the two opposing sofas are placed against the walls/windows which keeps the room open and accessible.  Side chairs placed at an angle provide additional seating without closing off the entrance to the room.

Narrow Room5


Another option when using two sofas is to place them back to back within the room and use accent seating to create separate sitting areas arranged around each sofa.

Narrow Room7


ADD ACCENT PIECES.  An easy way to supplement seating in a long, narrow living room is with ottomans and benches which can be pulled up when guests want to join the conversation.  These occasional pieces can also serve as accent tables with the addition of books or trays to create a level surface area.

Narrow Room6

Style At Home

FIND PIECES THAT CAN SERVE TWO PURPOSES. Think about replacing a traditional coffee table with oversized upholstered ottomans that can be separated and used as additional seating when needed.

Narrow Room8


STORE EXTRA SEATING IN OPEN AREAS.  If your coffee table will support it, store a couple of small stools underneath it.  The stools add to the decorative look of the room but can be pulled out quickly and easily when you need more seating for guests.

Narrow Room9




Decorating a long, narrow living room takes some creativity and many times it’s looking beyond a traditional furniture layout and maximizing the space with two areas and decorating with pieces that will work for you in multiple ways.

More design tips for long, narrow rooms:

♦  pay attention to the scale of furniture in the room.  Furniture that is too large will make the room feel overcrowded and furniture that is too small will make the room feel even more narrow.

♦  take the focus on the length of the room by maximizing the height with tall bookcases, bold wall decor and curtains hung high up.

♦  paint the room a neutral color so they eye move effortlessly around the space

♦  or paint one of the side walls in an accent color which will create a feeling of expansiveness within the room

Narrow Room11


If you have a design challenge and need some suggestions on how to solve it, just leave a comment and I’ll address it in a future installment of Design Chat.


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This post requires that you grab and cup of coffee or tea and plop yourself in a cushy chair because you’re going to want to spend some time checking out every detail of these amazing home tours and photos!   When you’re done, leave me a comment and let me know which was your favorite.

KariAnne shared this home tour on her blog and it stopped me in my tracks.  It just might be one of the most beautiful homes in the history of forever.


via Thistlewood Farms

I could live in a mostly white house if it looked like this.

White Decor

via  Style Me Pretty  photography by Tracy Ayton

This chic and elegant living room has a $99 rug— the perfect example of a high, low mix!

Nate Berkus-05

via AD

Just one more example of the power of paint, this time on the ceiling.

Painted Ceiling

Country Living via my domaine

Now this is how you decorate a small space!

Studio Apt

via house beautiful

The next time you want to redesign your pantry, take inspiration from this amazing set up.

Kitchen Pantry

via residencestyle

I hope you’re as inspired as I am!


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Larger Clock

I have always been a fan of clocks when it comes to decor for the home. I love clocks of all sizes but over the last few years I’ve seen the trend of larger clocks growing. Clocks like this Howard Miller Postema Gallery Wall Clock which measures 49 inches in diameter is not only unique but it is a great way to make a bold statement with your decor.

Larger clocks are a fun accent in a foyer with expansive ceilings and ample wall space.

Large Clcok1

Beckwith Interiors via Jennifer Rizzo

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Ballard Design

Many of the larger clock made of metal can be use in an outdoor covered setting which can give your lots more options for your outdoor decor.

Large Clcok3

New Canaan Design by Town and Country Living

Large clocks are the perfect solution for that always hard to decorate wall space in a kitchen.

Large Clock8

Found Design via looks like white

I love the idea of a wall clock anchoring a console table vignette.

Large Clock5

via Horchow

For an uncomplicated and bold look, hang a large wall clock in the living room instead of artwork.

Large Clock 5

the painted cottage

Large Clock6

Kylie M Interiors

And hanging over a sofa, a large wall clock adds a unique style statement and punch to a room.

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Vintage Chic

If you love the look of a large wall clock, there are many different styles on the market so you can easily find a look that fits your decor.

Here’s my round-up of favorite super-sized wall clocks…

Super Sized Wall Clocks.001

Harrington 36″ Wall Clock / Romanian Style Antique Wall Clock / 39″ Oversized Wall Clock
Pierre Wall Clock / Moment In Time Wall Clock / Chatham Wall Clock

When it comes to large wall clocks, the saying Go Big or Go Home definitely fits.


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