Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Confession

Today is the day before Thanksgiving. I should be chopping celery, peeling potatoes, basting a turkey, which, I'm not even sure what that means but I know my dear friend Martha (of the Martha Stewart franchise) will assist in helping me figure out exactly what basting entails.

I have two Thanksgivings to attend, one with my side of the family and one tomorrow evening with M's family. I love Thanksgiving and everything about the holidays. Cooking, fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it,) is not one of my talents. In fact, the few times I've heated apple cider on the stove I've managed to burn it. So, except for my unique ability to burn liquid, because really, who does that, I have NO food preparation talent.

Presentation, however, is something I LOVE, and like to think I excel at.  I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year but if I were I would be buried in cans of metallic gold spray paint, globs of hot glue, pine cones, and squash and pumpkins galore in an attempt to create the perfect centerpiece and tablescape. I would of course incorporate some decorative paper and glitter somehow as well. Because I can't share photos of my Thanksgiving table, I've included pictures that combine Fall elements with fun, whimsical and/or rustic design that represent my ideal Autumnal/Thanksgiving celebration  

This creative Thanksgiving table is super trendy but still simple and very DIY friendly. All of the paper products from the napkin rings to the wine charms to the decorative paper embellishments on the centerpiece are free printables designed by Jen from Hostess with the Mostess. For a tutorial on creating the centerpiece, which incorporates wooden dowels, paper punch outs and glass balls, jump on over to HWTM's blog.

Hostess with the Mostess
This table is SO me. What gets me really excited is the bright shades of orange and golden hues are enhanced simply by adding a few votive candles into the mix. I like modern, but not too over-the-top contemporary, and I love that this table incorporates a modern vibe by using bright colors accented by metallic gray menus, but incorporates traditional elemEnts such as leaves, squash, pumpkings and vases filled with Fall flowers along the runner.

Apartment Therapy
Restoration Hardware
LOVE LOVE LOVE. I know I said the orange and gray table was so me, but so is this. I have a weakness for metallic paint and lots of gold and candles. Pretty much everything in this photo makes me weak in the knees.

On another note, this is the first year M and I will celebrate Thanksgiving as a co-habituating couple which truly makes this holiday even more special for me.  He loves the holidays too, but not quite to the same extent that I do. He has been incredibly accommodating of my need to start decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween and supportive yet practical when I suggested we get our Christmas tree. In mid-November. So, in the weeks to come, I hope to share new ideas, experiment with old ones, and post lots and lots of photos. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Image via Charm Event Design


During my pursuit of outdoor holiday decor ideas -- which I'll be featuring in a later post -- I stumbled across these stunning photos via Restoration Hardware. The last image, the one with the commercial text that I can't seem to remove, is featured on RH's homepage. My heart may have skipped a little when I saw this. The rustic design of the interiors and furniture, combined with the elegant candles and those perfect trees adorned in vintage-inspired glass ornaments completely overwhelmed my visual senses. Who has a fireplace in their dining room? I don't even have a fireplace in my house, or a dining room table for that matter, which leaves a lot to be desired at Christmas time, but ultimately what perfects both of these pictures is the juxtaposition and balance of holiday decor on either side of the table. Both of these rooms are done on a grand scale -- from the oversized dining table to the floor to ceiling clock and fireplace and massive lantern chandeliers--so of course the Christmas decor could be  nothing less than sensational. I wonder what kind of wine is served at such a magnificent table...

Friday, November 12, 2010


I'm starting a new weekly feature called "Great Ideas" with an angle on creaitng alternative uses for everyday household items. The focus is to maximize resources --time, money, space -- while transforming items that may already be in your home to produce a simple, creative new approach for storage, decor and/or entertaining.

This idea, courtesy of Martha Stewart, is what inspired my new 'column.' Because I live in a small space, which I love, I am always looking for storage solutions that allow me to access and put away essentials quickly and effortlessly. I am not as organized as I'd like to be, but, this chest is certainly a step in the right direction. The combination of a filing cabinet and bulletin board, which is simply made from cork board and glue, is an ideal solution for someone like myself who wants an indiscreet home office space.


Easy to grow and great for gifts, Paperwhites are a Christmas staple in my home. They offer an elegant, festive touch to holiday decor or look stunning alone arranged in a window. They grow and bloom in about three weeks for almost instant gratification and will last through the holiday season. At about 80 cents per bulb they lend themselves well to inexpensive yet thoughtful Christmas gifts. You can easily create a potted arrangement for under $5 per gift.

I like using empty quart size paint cans covered in stylish wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, twine or ribbon as pots. Add 2-3 paperwhite bulbs, some soil or pebbles, and, voila! Beautiful. Simple. Chic. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Fall is officially here! OK, it has "officially" been here for over a month but the dark afternoons and leaf-covered streets make it feel all the more like Autumn. And on this cold, crisp Fall afternoon I would love nothing more than to curl up in this gorgeous rustic living room with a cup of cider, a fire and my laptop. Take note of those hardwood floors. Perfection.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I recently discovered Shabby Apple, an online women's clothing boutique. Love. At. First. Sight. I started browsing through their not-so-simple little black dress collection, and, well, one thing led to another and I am now checking much too frequently for new merchandise and sale items. Their new vixen worthy line looks like a Great Gatsby lover's dream come true. I would SO love to paint the town in any one of these classic chic dresses. And with the holidays approaching, I may have an excuse to treat myself to an early gift.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


About a month ago I was shopping craft stores and browsing Web sites for Halloween decorating inspiration. I was overflowing with excitement to begin decorating. Come the first day of October and I would be ready for Halloween. All templates would be cut, the garland hanging, branches would be painted, and pumpkins would be lining the doorstep. Well, fast forward a month later... all the above mentioned projects are still very much a work in progress, but here is the extent of my success:

I love the scary spiders. They make me smile every time I look at them. There are so many fun and simple Halloween projects that I have trouble selecting just a few. I end up working on multiple things at once, with the result being that everything is halfway finished. So. The next few days I will be forcing myself to focus. I have a window display that I can't wait to share and a really cool project that can be used outdoors as a decorative porch element or indoors as a mantel or table centerpiece. Lots of photos to come.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The treasure that can be found on Craigslist are sometimes just too unbelievable for words. Yesterday afternoon I spent some time searching local Craigslist ads for mid-century furniture and, well, just look at what I found for $40!

I'm picking up this lovely desk this afternoon and plan to have it restored by the end of the week. I just need to decide on new hardware for the drawer pulls and a paint color... navy blue? Red? Espresso brown?!! I'll post the "after" pictures by the end of this week.

The other fabulous find I discovered on Craigslist is this beautiful, sleek 1960s chest:

It's easy to overlook vintage pieces as too outdated and labor-intensive, but it often only takes new hardware and a coat of paint to transform a piece from old to modern. This sleek grove storage cabinet via Martha Stewart Living will serve as my inspiration for the update.

Monday, October 4, 2010


When I began planning Nolan's first birthday I intended for the party to be based on a bright color palette of
blue, orange and green rather than focus on a theme. But, two weeks into the party planning process I watched "Where the Wild Things Are" and immediately knew I could not NOT incorporate a "Wild Things" theme into Nolan's party.

Sticking to my original plan of using bright colors I incorporated elements that would combine the Wild Rumpus theme and my color palette into a cohesive concept. My sister and I gathered branches and maple leaves from the park for the candy buffet centerpiece. After drying the leaves my sister used fabric paint to trace the veins and then dusted them with glitter. I found the orange vase on a clearance display at Target and filled it with fake Fall leaves from the Dollar Store.

I decorated vases with ribbon and wrapping paper and used crystal candle stick holders to add height and depth to the display.  Most of the supplies, including many of the vases, came from the Dollar Store.

I used a 2 1/2 inch paper punch and construction paper to create the thank you tags for the gift bags, which guests filled with treats from the candy buffet as a party favor.

M designed and made this crown for Nolan using cardstock and a pattern he found online. He lined the inside with matching gold paper and embellished it with green ribbon. This crown was truly the best part of the party. Nolan was in complete awe when he saw it.

M also decorated Nolan's high chair with a card I found in the dollar bin at Target and some cut outs from leftover construction paper.

The cupcakes were made by a very talented decorator at Whole Foods and the cakes were designed by an equally talented decorator at a local grocery store bakery.

And, finally; the party streamers.

This project was by far the most labor-intensive part of the party. I used a large circular punch to cut out hundreds of blue, orange and green circles. I strung fabric ribbon through holes I made using a small hole punch and thumb tacked each individual string to an inexpensive piece of molding I bought at Home Depot. It was a fun project and added a lot of color to the party. And, it's completely reusable for the next party!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


... from one of these fabulous cake stands, which can be found here and here. Simply gorgeous. They are slightly out of my price range as far as cake stands go, but full of personality and playfulness, they make for wonderful gift ideas.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Hello, Perfection. You are the perfect combination of modern meets classic meets chic. As I write this post over breakfast I'm imagining myself sitting in one of these Eames chairs in this perfectly pink light filled dining room. Also in this imaginary scenario, I am NOT spilling coffee everywhere as I type.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Dear Red,

Image via HGTV
You've been on my mind a lot lately. I've always thought of you as a Christmasy color. Until I discovered how versatile you can be. NO. How versatile you are. I know some people think you are bold. I may have once been one of those people. But I know you are so much more than that. I've seen you be minimalistic, sophisticated, stylish, classic. You can be hot and sexy, or retro, or modern. You bring excitement without going crazy with too much color. 

I used to think I was hopelessly devoted to the color green, in all its glorious shades, which, now that I think about it, is kind of "Christmasy" as well. Oh, but I digress. I'm just saying, Red, that I'd invite you into my home anytime the opportunity presents itself. And, if the opportunity could present itself in the form of this beautiful bamboo chair, well, I think we would live happily together forever.
Image via Elle Decor

Friday, September 17, 2010


I'm working on decorations for my little boy's first birthday. Lots of bright colors, ribbon, Manzanita branches, spray paint, glitter, pressed leaves and a candy buffet for the King of all the Wild Things.
Tons of photos to come after the big day.
For now I'll leave you with photos that inspired the event...

Thursday, September 16, 2010


"All colors seem richer to me in the presence of black and white." -- Charley Harper