It is really quite surprising to think that Thanksgiving is a little over a week away. When you visit your local department stores and card shops you might have thought you missed it as the Christmas trees are up and carols are playing. Even Starbuck’s has hit it early with the Peppermint mochas and share the joy cups. If there is anything remaining of Thanksgiving décor it’s truly “Thanksgiving LEFTOVERS”. Here are a few last minute ideas that I always like to share to assist you in creating that perfect American Thanksgiving table:
- Create an organic styled table runner with branches and herbs. If you don’t have time to create or purchase floral arrangements, create a runner with branches from your yard. This will add an organic and free flowing casual elegance to your table. If you feel that you need more definition, use a length of simple brown craft paper unrolled down the middle of the table. Next top it off with the branches and herbs.
- Create your own placements.Utilize craft paper or paper shopping bags and cut them into large round charge size placemats or rectangular placemat shapes. Collect leaves from outside your home and glue them strategically to the paper. Place your simple white dinner plates on top and you are ready to go!
- Utilize twine to create napkin rings.While you are outside looking for leaves to apply to the placemats, collect interesting shaped sticks. Next, utilize pieces of the extra herbs from the kitchen (rosemary, sage, thyme) and make a small cluster. Take the twine from the roll and wrap it around your napkin a few times-loosely. Quickly, add the small cluster of herbs to the twine and tie it tight. Presto! A beautiful organic and aromatic napkin ring.
- Use your empty wine or clear glass bottles to create candleholders for your centerpiece.Create a cluster of bottles on the middles of your table and simply add multiple height candle tapers to the open tops. If you don’t have differing height candles-burn a few earlier in the day. The candles should look very organic and natural. Allow them to drip a bit…they will look beautiful. If you are utilizing the craft paper runner for your table runner, there is no need to worry about the mess from your tapers. Simply role it up and dispose when you are finished at the end of the day!
- Use normal glasses, goblets & china cups as vases.If you are fortunate to have fresh flowers, create small low clusters of flowers through out the table utilizing mixed glasses, goblets and china from your china cabinet. This will create a shabby chic and classic feel. I love the charming look of simple grocery store flowers placed in low water glasses. Their petite size is a nice change from grander arrangements and enables each guest to have a personal “bud vase” in front of their place setting.
- Buy a can of starch.If everything else fails and you don’t have the time or the opportunity to exercise any of the ideas from above-take a white top sheet and press it crisp. Place it on your table. Next, make certain all your glass wear and plates are sparkling clean. A minimal elegant table is all you need when you have the love of your family and friends.
As our lives evolve and we take on new roles and responsibilities there are always a few things that come up that make us re-think or our home decorating choices. One of those wonderful surprises includes a visit or addition of a toddler to your home. For many of you it is not a big deal but for some of us that have “things everywhere” we just aren’t necessarily prepared for the inquisitive love that these little ones bring with them. Just like us, they are attracted to texture, things that are different and most likely things that you wouldn’t have even thought twice about.
Here are a few things to look out for during their visit or before they move in:
- CORDLESS. Be aware of the cords on your lamps, mobile chargers, and most importantly your WINDOW TREATMENTS. What may seem like fun for toddlers quickly could become a hazard. There is an apparent amazement with pulling blinds up and down. These long cords can pose a serious problem and become a serious strangulation hazard. If they have looped cords make certain you cut them so they become two free hanging strands or role them up and attach them to the top of the window treatment.
- WINDOWS. I just didn’t think about the cranking window shaft. Make certain you remove the shafts if they are moving into your home. They love to play with the windows. They present a huge risk and create an easy access for them to fall. If a window can open more than seven centimeters, you need to add a window guard. Adding a guard is also essential for any window that is low to the floor or part of a window seat design.
- DOORS. Slamming doors are a major hazard for our little loved ones. They are believe it or not the main causes for finger and thumb amputations among children. It is important o install devices that prevent the inside doors from closing all the way. For a quick visitor fix, hang a small towel over the top of the door to prevent it from shutting tightly and too suddenly.
- DISH TIME. If your dishwasher has a lock setting make certain you use it. This will prevent a toddler from getting inside. Make certain you aren’t storing knives blade down and emptying the trays immediately once the wash cycle completed. Also, be aware that dishwashing detergent is a serious threat to small digestive systems, so runt he dishwasher as so as you deposit the detergent.
- LOW HANGING FRUIT. Don’t forget about the low cabinets. Make certain you do not store dishwashing detergent, spray cleaners, and drain solutions, cleaning supplies or pod products in your lower cabinets. If you have no other storage options, attach a childproof latch to the cabinet for their safety.
- TV TIME. Be aware of our unanchored flat screen TV’s. The television can easily topple over and cause serious harm to children. Securely mount your TV to the wall to prevent toddlers from grabbing and pulling it down onto themselves.
- PLUGS. Enough said, plug them up.
- BATH & BUBBLES. Keep the bathroom door locked and consider setting your hot-water tank below 48 degrees. Another great alternative is to install and anti-scalding device, which is designed to turn off the faucet when the water temperature gets too high.
- TALL FURNITURE. If the furniture is taller than your toddler, make certain you anchor them to the wall. If they are visiting for the day make certain you are avoiding areas in your home with dressers and armoires.
- FIREPLACE. The one thing I didn’t think about except for the hearth. Make certain you consider foam pads on the edge of the hearth to protect their little heads. Make certain the fire tools are far from reach. Add flame resistant gates and lock your stove or fireplace doors when not in use. If you have a non wood-burning fireplace, remove the small rocks or decorative crystals, as they can be a potential choking hazard.
It’s almost the end of the month and you run to your mailbox anticipating the latest issue of your home design catalog. Quickly, you remove the plastic and rush into your home to reveal the latest in home design. As you work your way through the magazine you suddenly become puzzled. “What is it about these spaces that make them so special?” The answer is simple. It is all about the details- keeping the little things simple, elegant and pristine. Here are a few things you can add to your space to elevate the feel and create that gracious home you love.
- Large oversized antique rugs can add a sense of history as well as class to any space
- Unique or custom covered lamp shades can add charm and warmth
- Bold graphic or scenic wall covering creates movement and interest
- Decorative doors painted with contrasting color can “pop” a small space or make an entrance grand
- Slipper chairs are a great choice for any space. They introduce sophistication as well as address a need for a place for your guest to sit.
- Animal prints of tiger and zebra are almost always used in custom designer spaces. They provide a sense of travel and add more texture.
- Classic or updated Chinoiserie is a great choice in wall coverings or upholstery. This exotic eclecticism takes you on a trip around the world.
- Personalize the space with monogramed pillows, beddings and stationery.
- Emphasize your art with individual picture lights
- The addition of unique books as well as the addition of large oversized coffee table books adds a classic style while layering in additional color and MORE texture!
- Find a good balance between upholstered and non-upholstered furniture this will create a feeling of depth and warmth to any space.
- Lastly, layer in candles. Find your favorite scents from Malie, Dyptique, or Jo Malone.
Let’s keep it simple this week. These are things that I love at this moment.
- Emerald Green Furniture: This classic hue enjoyed a resurgence this year, and for good reason. The deep color is interesting enough to stand on its own but also looks good with white, black, gray, and soft pink (another popular shade), making it easy to work into any style.
- Rustic Tables: Rough-hewn wood tables bring the outdoors in and lend a bit of organic beauty to any space.
- Original Art: Thanks to the Internet, it’s never been easier to buy original, affordable art online. Search local swap meets and fairs to discover new and unique artists.
- Faux-Fur Accents: From throw pillows to ottomans, faux fur is a cozy addition to this year’s biggest accessories, and for good reason: The material feels super luxurious without the cost and cruelty associated with animal fur. Don’t go overboard but add just enough for texture.
- Tasseled Accessories: I’ve always loved tassels and pom-poms, but they’ve been taken more seriously in the design world as of late, popping up on everything from fringe on sofas to trim on lampshades.
- Copper Accents: While brass has enjoyed a long moment in the sun, copper is steadily becoming the design world’s go-to metal. Its warmer tones give it a softer, feminine feel.
- Hand-woven baskets: These accessories are the perfect solution for chic storage, serving or decorating. Mix and match colors weaves and designs.
- Natural Light Fixtures: While brass fixtures have reigned supreme in the past few years, there is currently an insurgence in natural materials like jute and rattan.
- Handmade Ceramics: Why buy boring, basic white dinnerware when there are so many talented ceramists making beautiful and unique sets. Source out a local artisan to create a few accents pieces for favorite spaces in your home.
- Mixed Vintage China: Finding the right balance of mixing china is resounding designs do, track down some vintage pieces at your local flea market or antiques store to mix in with your existing dinnerware.
As many of you know I am not a fan of carpeting. Perhaps, it is because I was a child of the 1980’s. I still have the memories of mauve plush carpeting with the thickest padding ever throughout our home (wall to wall). I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention visiting my aunt and having the opportunity to “rake” the carpeting to make certain the texture was all flowing in the same way. Let’s just say going forward…NO.
Here are a few reasons that you should avoid carpeting:
- Allergies: Carpeting is a dust collector. The more you walk on it, the more dust that is created. It also holds the dust and dust mites. Yes, there are things living in your carpet.
- Toxic Chemicals: Carpets are manufactured from synthetic materials that contain toxic chemicals. If you question me, walk into a carpeting showroom. The smell you are inhaling is gas/chemicals from the fibers, color/dye, fire resistant coating and stain proofing.
- Maintenance: Carpet is nearly impossible to maintain on a daily basis. Even if you vacuum and shampoo regularly, small dirt particles will penetrate the weave and “live” in your carpet.
- Stains: No matter how diligent you are with your with maintenance, all carpets stain – even stain proof carpet stains especially in areas where there is constant spillage or wears on the fibers.
- Matting & Crushing: When the carpet is new it looks fluffy and pleasant but, after a little wear, it begins to look smooshed. Nothing looks good smooshed (not even mashed potatoes).
- Wear: High traffic areas are going to start to have a worn appearance.
- Durability: Carpeting does not last as long as hardwood flooring or many other types of flooring. Some carpets can last 10 to 15 years. Depending on the quality of the carpet, traffic and how you maintain it, the carpet could last a little longer. However, it will never last as long as a hardwood floor.
- Dirty: It’s just dirty no matter what. The dirt even accumulates under the weave and padding.
- Children & Pet Maintenance: I am not going to get too specific therefore I leave you with this – vomit, blood, diarrhea, etc.
- Color: You are committed. After you install the carpeting, it is in your home until you change it again.
October is officially here and for many of us we have just been waiting to add those layered up fall touches to our homes. Luckily, there are so many ways to add a tasteful flavor of autumn without going full force into ghost/goblins followed by Tom the Turkey. Here are a just a few ideas to get you started in your harvest transition:
- Create a little curb appeal with seasonal colors. Fall is the time to plant the ornamental cabbages in white, purple or fuchsia. Add ivy & pansies to your window boxes and planters. Certainly don’t forget the mums!
- Mounds of bright yellow mums bring a happy touch of fall to all outdoor spaces. Hanging baskets of mums on your porch are the perfect addition to any outdoor space.
- Spice up your front door entry with piles of pumpkins and gourds along with potted croton and mums on both sides of the door and staircase.
- Create a gorgeous classic and elegant grapevine wreath for your front door. Add pinecones and assorted berries and greenery to create a statement. You can easily add a red ribbon after Thanksgiving to transition your wreath from fall to holiday.
- Create a cozy outdoor living space. Extend the use of your patio or porch by adding a weather resistant rug, layer in a few textural pillows and throws and finally add a few glass hurricanes with candles. If your budget permits, it’s the perfect time to add a fire pit.
- Start preparing for the winter weather and the many visiting holiday guest. Protect your foyer with a great easy to maintain rug. Don’t forget an umbrella stand and lastly make room in the hall closet for the jackets and coats.
- Welcome your guests with a grand entrance and beautifully decorated fall entry table in your foyer.
- Bring the outdoors in. Gather clippings of flowering plants and colorful foliage from outside your home. Fill a variety of vases with your gatherings and place them throughout the house. Don’t forget to place a small vase in the guest bedroom and bathroom.
- Create an enchanted forest charm by adding firewood to almost any space. Make certain your remove any leaves or small twigs.
- Accessorize with fall colors and hues. A tall vase filled with scarlet maple branches can create a statement arrangement in any home.
- Incorporate candles throughout your home. Fill lanterns or tall glass hurricanes with pillar candles surrounded by coffee beans, acorns or candy corn to create a charming vignette.
- With the arrival of family and friends for the holidays, it is time to consider displaying vintage family photos in multiple frames or creates a unique and eclectic gallery wall. It is a great touch and a definite little thing you can do to add more warmth and personality to your home.
- Add in layers throughout by tossing in cozy wool, cotton, chenille or cashmere throws on the arms of furniture in rooms where your family and friends will gather.
- Create cozy spaces in your home by adding seasonal fall accessories such as tapestry pillows, textured drapes, small rich colored clusters of objects
- Add a little fall to the guest rooms. Change out your summer bedding for heavier linens in rich fall shades of russet, pumpkin, and gold.
- Thanksgiving means gathering with your nearest and dearest to enjoy time together lingering over a well-set table. Make certain your dining room is ready for the festivities by polishing the silver and having your good china clean and ready to go.
- Respect our heritage and traditions. It’s never passé to create a centerpiece with a cornucopia. Fill it with fruit, vegetables, gourds or flowers.
- Lastly, always opt for simplicity and elegance when it comes to creating a table statement. A linen tablecloth and napkins, tied with a hemp rope, paired beautifully with terra cotta urns and moss creates the perfect welcoming dining table.
Have you noticed that we are seeing more and more jewel tones in fashion and home design? The return to the 1980’s inspired by Dynasty, Dallas and Falcon Crest is swinging its way into all our lives this fall. There is one character in this 2017 fall drama that you cannot miss. It’s one of the items that everyone in your home enjoys and one that I rarely encourage you to invest in other than in a neutral color. This is one of the only times that I think it is safe to make a commitment. Sofas are making a grand entrance in dark green. Either emerald or hunter, these beautiful colors coordinate beautifully with simple neutral color palettes. Pairing deep bold green colors with white and yellow (brass) gives a room a glamorous effect. It also looks particularly spectacular with black, white and gold as well as soft feminine pinks and yellows. If you are looking to create a wintery backdrop for tan leathers, brass and natural linen the emerald sofa is the must go to this fall.
If you are a bit concerned about investing in a bold piece of green upholstered furniture try introducing this saturated color in other ways throughout your home. You can utilize these brilliant colors for any decorating on the walls and accessories in any room. Neutral colors of beige, navy or gray can provide the backdrop, such as the walls, ceiling and flooring and the green color can be used for floor rugs, decorative vases and lamps. Try introducing rich luxurious dark green drapes to your room or add accent velvet throw pillows. Repeated in a few pieces of décor, the dark green color can be used for the natural feel, freshness and modern ideas into home interiors.
A simple color theory formula to utilize when introducing emerald green is the 60-30-10 rule for scattering rich color throughout the living space. The main color can provide 60% of your décor palette, the secondary color is used 30% and the accent color is sprinkled in at 10% of the color combination.