Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Vacation

I'm taking a brief hiatus from blogging until the end of the year.  This is my time to relax and visit with family.  I hope you make time to do the same!  Have a wonderful Christmas and I will see you in 2012.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Unique Holiday Centerpieces

My husband and I hosted Thanksgiving for his family for the first time this year.  I loved it!!  One of my favorite parts of the hosting process was setting the dinner table.  Gorgeous pumpkins from a local farm adorned various parts of our house throughout October and November, so I gathered them at the base of a fun outdoor lantern stand.  (The stand might look familiar since I used it for a July fundraiser event.  For that tablescape,  I incorporated fresh daisies, appropriate for the summer season.)

The benefit of this lantern stand is that it is tall enough for the lowest lantern to hang above eye level when guests are seated at the table.  One element we often overlook when setting the table is the ability for our guests to converse freely.  It is important to select a focal point for the table that is low enough to talk over or tall enough to see under.  There is nothing worse than sitting down to enjoy a delicious meal and having to peer through the candelabra or flowers to chat with friends.

Here are a few creative ideas that can inspire you to make your own beautiful centerpiece for your Christmas table.
 A simple red cloth gathered underneath a grouping of silver candlesticks, hand-carved Santas and a vine of glittery berries makes a stunning centerpiece for a large table.
 Clustering pieces that vary in height adds dimension to a centerpiece.  Don't be afraid to turn items on their sides to make things more interesting.
For those who prefer something more traditional, gathering a plaid fabric around a beautiful floral arrangement makes any table gorgeous.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spiffy Stockings

Some of my favorite Christmas memories include dumping out my stocking and finding chocolate covered coins, other candies and little trinkets come pouring out. Stocking have come a long way since the days of my childhood.  Here are a few of my favorites available now:
Pier One Regal Stockings.  This reminds me of William and Kate.  These stockings have a British feel and a regal color about them.

Pier One Striped High Heel Stocking.  For the funky at heart.  This stocking is soooo playful!
Ballard Designs Polka Dot/Leopard Print Stocking. A little bit of whimsy and style to adorn your mantle.

Happy stocking hanging!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Color Me Christmas

As with clothing and home fashion, colors come in and out of style for Christmas.  My mother- in- law (very traditional by nature) has started to take notice of the changing color schemes for Christmas and is getting a little bolder. She is venturing away from her traditional deep red poinsettias and gold ribbon for her tree and experimenting with lime green mesh.  

Lime green is still holding on as a favorite.  You can pair it with the traditional Christmas red and emerald green to create a fun color story for you tree.  Combining it with pink makes the decor very whimsical.  Silver looks beautiful with this shade of green, as well.  There is something about mixing an electric shade of green with a crisp metallic that feels very wintry yet chic.

Rose, white and gold.  I refer to this grouping as Victorian because of the feeling it evokes when I see these colors together. They look very romantic and feminine when used together.  Throwing in a little blue is a beautiful compliment, as well.

Turquoise and gold is a pairing inspired by the peacock.  When feathers started creeping in to Christmas decor, the richness of turquoise began to take hold.  Accenting with plum gives you a regal look.  The gold serves as a little bling to keep your tree from getting too dark.

Black and silver make great accents to any color scheme.  Ornaments or decorative stems in black add a backdrop for the bolder colors to stand out.  Silver can do a variety of things.  The color can bring a sense of winter when used with other metallics, blue, or citrus colors (like the lime green I mentioned).  It can also be used as an accent to beautify more traditional shades- red, rose, or emerald green.

Another mix of colors that has remained popular are the bright jewel tones.  I used electric blue, hot pink and purple on a black Christmas tree this year and it was gorgeous!  Those colors jumped right off the tree!
Over the past few years I've found it interesting that there isn't just one "hot" color or color combination but several.  This year is no exception! Be like my mother-in-law, lose your inhibitions about Christmas and go for a new color scheme.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Trends

It's finally December so I can talk about one of my favorite things: Christmas!!!  This time of year is so exciting with the shopping and the festive decorations.  And I'm lucky enough to get to adorn many people's homes in Christmas decor.  I've already completed two homes and have several left to do in the coming weeks.  Every year I read the trade magazines and blogs, attend market and gather info to discover what new items will be popular and what unique ideas there are to make my client's decor even more stunning than last year. Now I'm excited to share them with you!

Traditional tree toppers are going by the wayside.  Instead of topping a tree with an angel or a star, people are using decorative stems.  Creating a cluster of stems at the top of the tree adds extra height and keeps the top from getting too narrow and boring. You can take a mixture of items and work them in together to create a visually stunning topper.  The best part is you can't mess it up.  You simply stick the stems down into the tree and twist some small branches around them to keep them in place.  If the branches don't cooperate you can always buy green pipe cleaners,  Ribbon intertwined with the stems is also pretty.  Here's an example of a tree I did that incorporated a funky topper full of stems.
 Burlap is staying strong even now that Fall is over.  I devoted an entire post to this fabulous textile a few months back.  I've used burlap in wreathes and in ribbon form for a tree.  Burlap pairs very well with shiny ribbon or ornaments to juxtapose two completely different textures. 

Feathers are still a hot commodity like they have been in previous years.  You have an assortment to choose from- peacock, pheasant, brightly colored feathers to suit any color scheme.  You can bend and shape them so they are exactly how you want them.  Feathers are fun to incorporate in wreathes, garland or your tree topper to make the item (tree, wreath or garland) appear fuller and larger.

You can't go wrong with incorporating food into the Christmas decorating.  As long as it's the right kind of food. I'm not talking about mashed potatoes or turkey.  Berries and apples have always been prevalent in holiday wreathes, garlands and centerpieces.  They are especially appropriate in dining rooms and kitchens.  This year artichokes are joining the ranks.  The layered skin adds depth to decorations and the texture looks beautiful next to evergreen needles. 

Come back Monday to read about the popular colors for this Christmas!