Archive for November, 2011

Holidays at Home

November 30th, 2011

I’m spending some time at home, which means lots of annual home repairs and upgrades are happening.   A leaky pipe here gets fixed; some bricks inside the fireplace get repointed and the inside totally swept; air filters get changed and all the leaves in the backyard are round-up and mounded on one side of the property to be composted and made into beneficial mulch.

But being at home also means a few holiday decorations this year and I decided to keep it simple.      I kept a lovely little pine tree from a photo shoot recently and placed it on the edge of the fireplace.    There, some simple wooden decorations decorate the tree and I like how simple it looks.    Added a few this morning and plan to keep adding until I’m happy with it.

Scattered some white LED lights on top of the fireplace.     No rhyme or reason… just plugged them in and threw them on top.

Beautifully wrapped gifts (these are rare teas from my trip to Seoul, Korea earlier this year) ready to give when I need a great present to give at the last minute.   Always a good idea to have presents handy, right?

And these aluminum tape wrapped branches:  well, I keep them out all year round, but during the holiday, they seem even more appropriate.    They are just branches from the yard and strips of real aluminum tape (from the electrical aisle at the hardware store) are wrapped around.   Easy easy easy to do.

A Touch of Weird

November 29th, 2011

I’ve been reading a lot of decorating books lately.  A few of the titles:  Undecorate, Design Sponge at Home, and Deborah Needleman’s The Perfectly Imperfect Home. What do these three books have in common?   The basic rule that the perfectly coordinated, matchy-match, cookie cutter, McMansion designed home is a thing of the past and that homes decorated with individual flair and a touch of quirk, well, work.    I call it a “touch of weird.”

Weird doesn’t have to mean bizarre.   Weird can be subtle, like this old glass water jug I use to hold branches on the side table in the master bedroom (I still love the new Trove wallpaper behind the bed….)

This collection of ethnic beads I picked up at a flea market a few years ago, casually draped along the end of the four poster bed.   The bed, by the way, is antique and has burn marks all over the posts where a candle (used to illuminate a room in the past way back when) accidentally burned into the wood.    Love the burn marks…

This super ornate Russian (I think…) crystal vase, which is not normally my taste or style, but then some dried seed pods I picked up in Costa Rica arranged inside.  The odd juxtaposition of something super fancy with something super rustic, well, works!

And my Best in Show dog trophies, all bought from a junk store in Pennsylvania that I found in a dusty box in the attic.  All of them lined up on the top shelf across the master bedroom… weird, but works.

“Frosted” Upcycling Project

November 28th, 2011

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  You know what that means: The holiday season is now upon us and we can all look forward to the month of December for holiday parties, get togethers and celebrations.

One quick idea I recently came up with is ridiculously easy and the results are really pretty: faux “frosted” containers, candlesticks, whatever!

All you need is some kind of adhesive (I used a spray adhesive, but you can also use white craft glue and a brush) and Kosher salt.      It’s important to use Kosher salt because it’s coarser and irregular, giving you a more authentic looking frosted surface.

Basically, cover whatever you want with adhesive and sprinkle the Kosher salt on top.   That’s it.     It really look like a chilled, frosted, wintery covered container.

Imagine doing a whole collection of glass jars and filling them with flowers.   Or a number of candlesticks and lining them up on the mantel.   The best part?  It’s just salt and glue, so they rinse right off after the holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24th, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m off with the family today and tomorrow, but wanted to wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

And here’s a last minute upcycling tablesetting/placemarker idea:

Just pop off the dried tops from your Halloween pumpkins and hot glue them onto bundles of twine or string to make your own autumnal gourds.     Tie a hang tag around the stem and stamp on your guest’s name.   Fast, cute and easy!

Finished Wallpapered Bedroom

November 22nd, 2011

Here’s the finished Trove wallpaper up on the wall.

I just love it.    It’s a very soft, gray, beachy wallpaper that I put behind the master bedroom bed.

With the soft, white sheets (from my own Danny Seo line!) and some new fluffy pillows, this bedroom is coming together!

Okay, and maybe I secretly want to move to a beach house in California.   Maybe.