Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decor

If you are anything like me I am doing everything last minute these days! I will have to finish shopping for the Turkey and extras tomorrow (the day before) and will have to come up with some sort of centerpiece decorations for the middle of mom's table. If you saw my Thanksgiving Table a couple of weeks ago, you probably thought I was way ahead of the game. Err...not so much since we aren't even having Thanksgiving here this year! I just love putting table settings together. I wish I had time to entertain and switch up my table each week.

If you are running around trying to figure out what to do for your Thanksgiving Decor, I rummaged up a few quick options to inspire you all.

1. Using what you have. Left over pumpkins and/or vegetables to create a neat centerpiece without breaking the bank!

2. Easy DIY. Spray paint cheap chargers with chalkboard paint and add guest's names with chalk instead of using place cards. I did this with my Halloween Table Setting last year and it was cheap and easy! You could do this before Thanksgiving!

3. Use Textures. For a bit of an informal look grab a piece of burlap or fabric and drape it down the center of your table for texture and interest. (don't worry about sewing the edges...use a hot glue gun or leave it natural!)

4. Use Mother Nature! Go out and gather neat leaves, acorns, pine cones to create your centerpiece. In the picture below I used magnolia leaves and then added a simple lantern and candle on top. So easy and I didn't have to buy a thing!

5. You can't go wrong with Candles! Candles create a cozy atmosphere for guests. Load up your table and mantel with as many candles possible.

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Elle Decor

So tell me...are you hosting this year or have you been invited elsewhere? If you are hosting know that decorating doesn't have to be stressful. Just use a few of the tips from above and have fun with it! Cooking on the other hand....good luck! hehe

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ethan Allen's Holiday Workshop- {What I learned}

Welcome to Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend and are getting ready for this holiday week. We are actually staying home this year and celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. I can't wait to relax and spend some quality time with family.

I am sure some of you have already started decorating for Christmas. Some of you are probably against the thought of decorating before Thanksgiving. I have always been until this year. Because Thanksgiving is so late and we are going to be busy the next couple of weeks, we decided to start the decorating this past weekend. I will be sure to share some pictures and updates after thanksgiving.

Two weeks ago I was invited to attend the holiday workshop at Ethan Allen. Have you ever been to one of the decorating workshops either at Ethan Allen or Pottery barn? I had never been before, but thought it would be fun to get some new ideas and learn a little too!

They had a lovely spread to start the workshop off....

The first designer talked about all the new items that Ethan Allen has to offer. Below are some of my favorites:
Sunburst Mirror, Hand-blown Vase, Faux Fur Throw, Brass End Table, Footed Glass Bowl, Pearl Box

The second designer talked about decorating chandelier's for the holidays. It brings interest to a room when there is something higher than your eye level to look at. I pulled together a few examples below to get your wheels turning:

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A few designers also shared their secrets for decorating certain places in their home.

1. Choose a color scheme and use it throughout your spaces.

2. Use nature from your own yard to cut down on cost.

3. Group an odd number of objects together to create interest.

4. If you don't have a chandelier, create a tall center piece for the middle of your table using candelabras. 

I loved the idea of adding a sunburst mirror to the base of the candelabra to add a little texture and interest to your table centerpiece. 

My favorite part of the workshop was learning about decorating shelves, china cabinets and/or built-ins. I find that styling these items is a bit hard and I can never quite figure out where to place what. I absolutely love the idea of getting foam board and covering it in wall paper or wrapping paper for the holidays. It gives a little pop to your shelves and a glam look for a lot less!

If you choose to add some color to the background of your shelves, then the items you place on the shelves should be monochromatic. Using different textures and metals keeps your eye moving from one object to another.

If you aren't in to the large graphics on the back of your shelves, then your items on the shelves should have little pops of color. I love how they wrapped books in wrapping paper for the holidays and added a few colorful bulbs.

So did you gather a little inspiration from Ethan Allen's designs? I am definitely going to back my china cabinet in some kind of paper for the holidays. I think it will make my dishes pop! I also love the idea of adding a little something to my chandelier. Stay tuned...

Have a Marvelous Monday my friends!

P.S. I was not sponsored by Ethan Allen to write this post. All opinions are mine...I just love sharing them with all of you!! xoxo

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Treats #6- DIY Inspiration from around the web

Yesterday was a bust with blogging since the whole day was taken up with working on our Adoption book. I was so indecisive when it came to picking pictures and which pictures would the birth parents like better, etc. I really never knew how much went in to all of this. BUT...we are getting closer with each step checked off the list and a lot of praying!

So... on to Tuesday! I am excited to share some ideas I have found around the web the past couple of weeks. So many talented ladies and gents out there that it was so hard for me to narrow down the ideas this week. Of course most of the ideas are holiday related since we are getting closer! Have you all started decorating? If you have...you are certainly ahead of me. We usually like to wait until Thanksgiving is over, but since it is so late this year I think we may just start decorating this weekend.

Okay..enjoy some great inspiration!

ONE: Printable Thankful Tags
If you all saw my Thanksgiving Table last week, then you probably noticed the cute little name tags that were on each place setting. I found those darling tags from Jones Design Company. She has four different types that she has created and they are Free to download and print! Perfect for your guests next week. You could make a thankful tree or use them on sweet little gifts.

TWO: White and Gray Kitchen by Caitlin Wilson
I am seriously in love with this gorgeous kitchen designed by the lovely Caitlin Wilson. I love the contrast of the dark gray cabinets and those chevron floors are to die for. You must click HERE to see the rest of this amazing space.

THREE: DIY Ornament Garland
I always wondered how people got the full garland look when using ornaments instead of tree trimmings. I love this DIY and actually think I might use this idea somewhere in the home for Christmas. You could use any color scheme that worked in your own space. Love this!

Even though this recipe is for summer seasons, I liked the idea of little appetizer salads even for the holidays. I am a HUGE fan of appetizers and would really just like to eat small amounts of everything rather than fix a large dinner for guests. Just my thing...

FIVE: Top Holiday Playlist
Okay I might be jumping the gun here, but I am Al-most ready to start playing my holiday CD's and playlists. I found a great list of songs from this site that you might want to download to get ready for the holiday season! You will thank me later!

Treats and Ideas inspire me daily...follow me on Pinterest to see more!

Happy Tuesday All...just keep plugging and know tomorrow is Hump Day! XOXO

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fabulous Feature Friday {The Nesting Game}

It's Friday Friends! I hope you have some restful and pleasant plans for the weekend. I am going to be forcing myself to finish our Adoption Profile book. If I don't push through it before the holidays it won't get done. Wish me luck!

Today I have another Fabulous Feature for you all. I love finding new blogs and talented designers around the web. I happen to run across Molly's blog on pinterest a few weeks ago. She bought a 1950's ranch and has been making it her home with many DIY projects. She has such an eclectic mix of modern and vintage. Hope you enjoy the tour!

Loving those dark moody walls in the bedrooms and her dreamy backyard! Molly has really done a fantastic job making her house a home by layering colors and textures in each room. For more before and after pictures of her 1950's ranch visit her blog: The Nesting Game

Have a wonderful weekend my friends! See you back here Monday!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Table {Using what you have}

Can you all believe that Thanksgiving in the US is two weeks from today!? I am going crazy thinking about all of the holiday shopping I still have left to do. Everyone might just get gift cards this year!

Since we are staying in town for Thanksgiving I started playing around with items that I have around the house to create a fun and sophisticated Thanksgiving Table Setting. The only thing I invested in this year were these cloth napkins from World Market. The rest of the items I found around my home and I also added some touches from the outdoors. Mother Nature is such an amazing source for making your table a magical vignette.

I just love pulling out all my antique plates and silverware this time of year. My gold rimmed plates and serving-ware were my grandmothers. She loved the holidays and always had her table set days in advanced before thinking about what we were actually going to eat!

The crystal glasses were a wedding present 8 years ago and the gold flatware was given to me by my mother-in law because she never used it! WHAT?? I am crushing on everything gold this year.

I used two different place mats/chargers this year to give the table a little more texture. The bamboo place mats and table runner are from a adorable boutique up in Chautauqua, NY called Home Chic. She is the master at table settings and if you are ever in that area...you must go! The gold chargers are from Michael's last season and you can see that I used them on my last Thanksgiving Table

I like to keep the table simple and elegant. If there are too many items, then there isn't room for the food! I added some touches of nature with some fresh magnolia sprigs from my mom's yard. I also pulled the little white boo pumpkins from our Fall Mantel.

One of my favorite touches to this table setting are these adorable sweet gums that fall from the trees around here. I gave them each a little spray of gold paint and added a little velvet ribbon in the similar color palette pulled from the napkins.

I love the simplicity of this table setting but also the elegance with the gold, white & crystal combination. You could use some of these same ideas for Christmas and New Years by adding some colorful glass ornaments in place of the pumpkins and a sprig of holly or rosemary in place of sweet gums.

Have you all started thinking about the holidays? What are some of your favorite vintage items you like to decorate with?

Linked to:  Serenity Now & Liz Marie Blog

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Reader's Design Dilemma {Living Room & Playroom}

I absolutely love helping others with the design of their spaces. I feel privileged that friends and reader's trust my judgement and allow me to help create a unique space in their Haven. So wish I could do this full time!..Maybe someday.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Ashton and here is what she wrote:

Hello Amy,

First of all, thank you for providing such inspiration through your blog. I look forward to your posts each week, and I appreciate your attention to detail!

We bought our home almost two years ago, after falling in love with the neighborhood and the house's potential. Not only was it in a perfect family-friendly location, but the neighborhood had huge, beautiful trees in every yard, and children playing everywhere.

After changing out every light fixture, door knob, hinge, etc., and painting 4 of the 10 rooms, we were still stumped on what to do with the awkward "room" at the front of the house. It was supposed to be the formal dining room, but we love the cozy breakfast nook, and as a family of three, we simply don't need a dining space. I had huge dreams of turning this space into an extension of the living room and providing a "sophisticated" play room for our daughter, but I have been very hesitant to make any big furniture or window treatment decisions until I can visualize how the spaces will blend and come together. I have spent the last two years trying to come up with a solution, and after perusing Etsy, Pinterest, and Houzz for countless hours, I think it's time for a new opinion!

Our couches and jute rug have to stay for the time-being, but other than that, it is a blank slate! I found a pillow with the color palette I love for the space, but that's as far as I have gotten. I would love to see what you envision, and I welcome any ideas you might have!

Thank you,

Let me tell you how much fun I have had working with Ashton over the past several weeks. I wish she lived around the corner...we would be life long friends! I also wanted to let you all know that Ashton and her hubby are very handy, so they were up for DIY challenges to save on money!

So let's give you a little peek into Ashton's home. They have really done an amazing job updating their space with paint and fixtures. It looks like a brand new home! Her trouble spots have been the dining area, which she would like to create a play space for her daughter and her living area with fireplace.

Ashton also sent a pictures of this pillow. She was specific about using this color palette throughout the spaces to tie them together. I am loving these colors and you will see how I have incorporated them into each space below. 

Now that you get a feel for Ashton's space, lets break her space up into zones. It helps me stay focus on one specific section of the room at a time, or else I get overwhelmed with large spaces!

Zone One: Dining room turned sophisticated playroom.

This is where I wanted to create that fun space for her little girl, but also a space the mom's can hang out when there are play dates going on. Ashton needed some storage for toys and books as well as a spot to sit!

I wish this was my space! The chairs and rug give that play area a sophisticated look, but the toys and artwork make it kid friendly! I suggested a wall of built-ins or bookcases to fill the large space where she has her gallery wall. We will then move the gallery wall to a different location.

Also, in that same zone  I would like to give her little girl an art area with table, chairs and a place to hang her artwork and pictures. So the above picture has a great little nook between the front door and the windows. 

Ashton is going to add some curtains with a contrasting trim for the front windows. She is also going to DIY a pin board for her daughters artwork and pictures. I love these little metal green chairs that add another textured element to her space. 

Zone 2: Living room

Like Ashton told us in her letter, they will be keeping the couches and rug for now to save on money. I think she placed those couches perfectly in that space. They are anchored around the TV, but also the fireplace so that either can be the focal point. She was in need of some color and texture in this space. So here is what I came up with for the TV area. 

Because her furniture is floating away from the walls, Ashton is in desperate need of some mood lighting. I think that adding some sconces on either side of the TV would give them a little extra lighting instead of having to turn on the overhead fan to light the space. The TV wall also needed to be filled with artwork and pictures and what a great way to display them with a gallery wall that surrounds the TV. This gives that wall some interest rather than always looking at a large black screen. Adding some large baskets will also give them a place to toss toys, blankets and/or pillows for a quick clean up. 

I also gave Ashton suggestions on pillow options for her couches. You all know I am a pillow addict! The more the better! You can see the sources for the pillows Here.

Zone 3: Fireplace & Sitting area

I felt like this little corner needed a little spice and warmth! 

Another seating area would be great for entertaining or to just snuggle up by the fire with a cup of coffee. Because there isn't much space for curtains between the fireplace and wall area I opted for a flat panel cornice or valence to add some height and interest to the windows. Also, since most items in the room have a square or rectangle shape I added a round mirror above the fireplace as well as a little round side table. 

Well I think I covered most everything! Ashton just emailed me yesterday to tell me that she has already ordered the pillows and prints that will be used in her spaces and the curtains for the front room are ready for trim! I am so excited to see how it all turns out. 

If you would like to see some of the sources and inspiration used behind these design boards follow Ashton's Pinterest Board Here

What do you all think? Any suggestions for Ashton?

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