Friday, December 21, 2012

Decorating Your Table For Christmas

Good morning,

Since we are close to Christmas, and I mean REALLY close I figured it's a good time to talk about decorating the dining table. Many of us will be celebrating this coming week by having friends and family gather together. It's definitely worth a little effort to make that experience memorable by giving your table some forethought and some love.

I decorated two tables this year. One is of coarse our table and the other one is the table of a good friend and client of mine D. The styles are so different but equally stunning so I'll break them down for you in a bit of a "How To" on decorating your own table for the season.

I used the same concept for both tables, but the styles and colors are completely different. Take a look at 2 tables with the same type of layout and decide which one you like better.

Table 1: Organic Christmas Table And Home Decor.

Here are some pics of D's table and buffet dressed up for Christmas (some of which were taken before and after flowers were added and some in day time and others at night).

D's house is a previous project of mine that is almost complete (pics to come) , and I styled it to be very lush and calm with a bit of a beachy feel so it makes sense that her holiday decor would also have that organic feeling. D loves that:) Her table alone is made from antique pieces of Brazilian teak wood so our decor needed to compliment that and not distract form it.  I used muted organic tones and added just a touch of sparkle.

This table is simple, so here's a quick step by step to show you just how easy it can be:

-Take a runner to ground the table and display your center pieces on.
-And layers with square vases. We used 5 in total. The vases were filled with white and silver sparkly ornament balls (which are the same ones on her tree), and the others are filled beautiful white Hydrangeas. We alternated them using vases that she already owned. Found at Michael's.
-Sprinkle down the table with more balls and ornaments weaving them around as you go.
-Add candles everywhere. In this case we took mercury glass votives found at Z Gallery. I NEVER do a table or dinner party without tons of candles, EVER.
-D already had the pine cone Christmas trees so we added those and matched them with more pine cones on her banner and through out her house.
-The silver branches were placed as an added touch which we found at Z Gallery on clearance (whoot whoot).

That's it! Beautiful table done in about 10 minutes using mostly things that D already had.

Now here's another styled table, my table. This year I added color throughout the house for something a little different and you will see that in our table.

Table 2: Colorful Jewel Toned Christmas Table And Home Decor. 



This table is simple, so here's a quick step by step to show you just how easy it can be:

- I again took a runner and ran it down the center of my table as an anchor. **My table is extremely long at 130" fully extended so I bought a table cloth from Target for only $19.99 that was 144" L and folded it to a runner size which saved me big bucks! Thank You David Bromstad, we still love the table!!!!!!!
-I took 3 mirrors from my closet that I already had and placed them apart on the runner.
-I went to Home Depot and took branch scraps from the trees that they cut. Cost? Free! I placed those down the center of the table. 
- I took the square vases that I already owned (the same ones D owns) and placed them down the table 6 in total because that's all I had. I filled 3 with a wild flower arrangement bought from the local grocery since I had no time to go elsewhere, and the other 3 with an assortment of colorful balls bought from Target and used also on my tree and through out the house.
-I added layers of votives. Some mercury glass ones that I found at Z Gallery 12- $19.99 and the plum ones from Target for $1.00 each. 
- I sprinkled the rest of the colorful balls down the table and weaved them through out. 
- I added the glittery stars which were from Target for $2.00 each. I bought 12 in total which I place on the edge of charger plates when the table is set for dinner and when not set, they simply blend in. 

For the console table, I already owned the garland, and all of the elements aside from the colorful ball ornaments which were also from the variety pack I bought this year from Target. 

***My disclaimer. I decorate for Christmas EVERY year so I have acquired things through the years which I change up. The reality is that once you have the basics down such as your candle votives, your ornaments and your vases you can recycle these things for any holiday and use them time and time again. I happen to do this as much as possible because I love to entertain as any of our good friends will tell you, so I am pretty well stocked with the basics and typically only need flowers and extra candles. For you, you can start and add little by little. You would be surprised at how much a couple flowers and candles can make a table festive and make your party memorable for everyone. 

With that, which do you prefer for your own home? Do you love the natural and organic or the colorful version this Christmas? As always I would LOVE to see your own pictures so please share~

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Project Sneak Peek, The Man Cave Kitchen

Good morning,

I want to share some of the progress that's happening in the Modern Man Cave. It was surprising to me when I met with my bachelor client and saw that his taste leaned to the traditional side, including the white shaker cabinets and marble counters that appealed to him.

My goal was to keep with the warmth of his preferred style, but to balance it by bringing in some modern and industrial touches.

Here was my original mood board.

And here are some of the pictures of this beautiful kitchen now.

The amazing back splash gave him a touch of the Carrara look he was hoping for, but using these Grecian white marble tiles kept it in our budget. I balanced the back splash with the counters which are an absolute black granite in a honed finish. I love them their natural look.

The bar top is marble with a striped finish and it is stunning! I love that we mixed materials in this kitchen yet the results tie together seamlessly. Again, we kept things to the modern side with the steel support beams that hold up the bar.

The hardware is a brushed nickel with leather inserts on the knobs and on the bar pulls. It is a nice masculine touch to the white shaker cabinets. It also ties the back in from the counters.

The bar stools are my way to give him the black leather bar stools that he wanted, but the sleek look that I wanted. They are absolutely beautiful and were quite a steal! Similar found here .

In case you're wondering what those holes and wires are on the's for the TV which he wanted over additional cabinetry. I told you this was a man cave. I had to try to keep costs down in this kitchen which was done by using ready made cabinetry and the back splash as well as finding a granite for the counter tops. This allowed us to splurge on the marble bar top and the cabinetry pulls and knobs.

I'll have more to share with you soon. The furniture is coming in the end of this week, right in time for the holidays.

Monday, December 17, 2012

What To Hang In The Kitchen???

Good morning and WHERE HAVE I BEEN???!!!

Let's just say that traveling for 3 weeks straight right before Christmas took it's toll on me, and I have been smack in the middle of catch up. I hope you're doing better than I am and are getting ready for the holidays or better yet that you ARE ready for the holidays:)

Today I want to talk about a design dilemma that I have in a project of mine. I am looking for something to hang on the wall in a masculine kitchen for a masculine client of mine. What I mean is that it has to fit in with the rest of the scheme so nothing "girly" will work.

It will cover an electrical panel, and will serve as a disguise to an other wise eye sore. Here is what I've come up with.

I could do the obvious and find something artistic to place there as these kitchens have done.

I actually like the concept of a series of say two or three to make the wall a feature focal point in the room.

Another option would be to hang some kind of magnetic board to post pictures, and reminders on such as these.

These boards shown are from Ikea and serve as an affordable solution. I like them hung in a series of 3 or 4, and they would also really stand out against our soft grey walls.

My third solution would be to do chalk boards in the kitchen as in these amazing kitchens.

Though the image is a bit grainy (sorry!) the image above is my fav. I could see there being a series of 4 large chalk boards with no frames hung in a graphic box. This could be a huge focal point in the kitchen and with the black honed granite counters that I have in there, it's a major yum!

No matter which way we go it needs to be a major instead of a minor. If you're going to do it you may as well go all out is what I'm talkin about!

Sneak peek images coming Weds, thanks for your patience:)

What do you think? What would you want to see hung on the walls in the kitchen?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Tree Time

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Good morning,

It should come as no surprise to you that I'm a huge fan of Christmas, and an even bigger fan of decorating for it. I FINALLY bought a pre let tree, and this sucker is huge at 10' tall. I almost wondered if it was too tall, but quickly shooed that idea out of my mind:) I don't know how I strung all those lights every year when all we have to do now is hit a button, best thing ever. I love the idea of real trees, but I find that they don't last here in Florida. I also use pine scented plug ins so our house smells like a pine tree, Ha!

This year I changed things up just a bit and added some red to our typical white, silver and black tree of years past because my daughter asked me why we don't have "Christmas colors" in our house. I also added some deep purple hues and more white.

Here is our red, white, silver and plum tree (with some touches of black).

**Look how tiny Lola looks under the tree. She's there all the time!

Not being much of a traditionalist adding red was a stretch for me, but I'm loving the mix that the red and plum shades added to our decor. I also carried it in it other rooms to tie it together. I believe in a very maximum approach to decorating the tree. More is more in my opinion! My family jokes that it's going to fall over if I keep adding to it, but I call their bluff and so far she's still standing tall.

A Couple of additions this year were more crystal sticks found at Z Gallery here, white feather balls found at Wal Mart for only $1.99 each, plum ornaments found in bulk at Target,  and cranberry sprays that I took from an old wreath that I disassembled.
My tips for creating a beautiful designer tree are:

 Know what you want your tree to look like. I like to work with couple or a few colors and coordinate with them.

Make sure your tree is well lit! This is a big one so if you don't have a pre lit tree like myself, give all your branches ample lighting. You want that sucker to sparkle.

Add layers upon layers. I like to add branches, ribbon,  ball ornaments, sprays, different ornaments, crystals, garland, AND the kitchen sink to our tree, but that's just me.

Think outside the box. I've used star fish on the tree, I've taken items from around the house and added them to the tree, I've made our own ornaments, and I also save ribbon from Christmas presents and added bows to the branches. There are many ways to decorate that don't have to cost a fortune so get creative.

Coordinate with other things in the room or house. I will show you more of what I'm doing soon, but be assured that I add elsewhere such as the entry console, sofa pillows, windows, candles, bathroom etc to make our house decked out.

Here are some other beautiful Christmas trees to give you the inspiration you may need to deck your halls and turn on the Christmas cheer.

If you haven't put your tree up yet, you better get! Enjoy your weekend and I'll reveal more of our Christmas and holiday decor soon~