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Friday, November 30

Small Scale Holiday Decorations

 If you live in a city the chances of having enough space to store holiday decorations in the off-season are relatively slim. At least that's the case for me. But just because you can't transform your living room into a full scale winter wonderland doesn't mean you can't have a holiday cheer. Take the table-top balsam tree, they're just the right size for a few cherished ornaments or even DIY paper decorations.  My first year in my condo I bought one and made paper poinsettia blossoms as ornaments.

Lights and other hanging objects are another way to dress up your space for the holidays. Windows make great display spaces since you're probably not going to be opening them again until spring. Similarly to the hanging advent calendar below you could suspend christmas ornaments or holiday cards from a ribbon instead. 

Why not spruce up items you probably have around your home? Add festive greenery and other natural elements to pillar candles. Or swap in the same natural elements or ornaments in your terrarium {If you have a black thumb like me, that succulent or miniature orchid you had in there has long since perished}. I may have to go with the bowl of ornaments on my coffee table.

{Images via Pinterest}

Thursday, November 29

Design Crush: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

I'm sure this happens frequently to Pinterest users but I often forget to go back a view my own boards! So I took some time yesterday to remind myself of the design wonders saved in Pinterest. That's how I found (rediscovered) this amazing kitchen designed by Jessica Helgerson and her team at the Portland based firm Jessica Helgerson Interior Design. Though updated to account for modern necessities, this kitchen continues to exude all the charm of the home's 1920s roots. For me this was achieved in two ways. The first is that there are no upper cabinets along the sink or range zones and the second is the wall of built-ins surrounding the refrigerator. And let's not forget to mention those encaustic floors, love them!

These 1920's Mediterraneans are one of my favorite architectural styles. Too bad I'd have to move to California, Texas or Florida to live in one. It would look a little out of place surrounded by snow in the northeast.

{Images Photographed by Lincoln Barbour for Jessica Helgerson Interior Design}

Wednesday, November 28

The Festive Fireplace

When it comes to holiday decorating there is nothing better {well maybe the Christmas tree...} that a well dressed mantel. For me anyway. Maybe it's just a manifestation of my lack of a fireplace but there is something so perfect about a festive mantel during the holly jolly season. Whether you go big with decoration or keep it minimal, whether it's only one of many places decorated in your home or the only place the mantel is made for creating a holiday tableaux.  During this season I particularly miss not having a fireplace and have even considered going to an architectural salvage warehouse and just buying an old mantel. Crazy, I know but you may think otherwise once you've seen the images below...

 The Dala Horses on the mantel are so charming, I may need to find the ones I had as a child...

Keep is classy with green, gold and white. 

 Display those Christmas Cards!

 Go for a wonder in nature and bring some back. But for the love of love please buy some silver polish; a matte patina on silver is alright but allowing your silver to fully tarnish... for shame! 

Mercury glass has been very popular this year probably for it's ability to blend effortlessly with either silver or gold. I'm loving the edible touches on this mantel. Not only do they add great pops of color but  you can eat the candy canes after the holidays if not during and the cranberry garland can be left outside for hungry birds. 

A lovely french country inspired mantel. But let's also focus on the light fixture; I need that in my dressing room hallway.

Are you a city dweller like me who lacks this prime decoration real estate? Stay tuned for my post about how to decorate on a smaller scale but still maximize the holiday cheer. 

{Images via Pinterest}

Tuesday, November 27

Holiday Cards from Rifle Paper

Ever since Thanksgiving I've felt very much like a Grinch with no energy leftover for getting into the holiday spirit. But yesterday I watched a marathon of the classic Star Wars movies and my spirit was renewed. Judge me all you want but I do love them. Midway though Empire Strikes Back I mustered enough energy to start thinking about Christmas Cards and came across these beautiful, slightly retro cards from Rifle Paper Company

I'm leaning towards the "Happy Holidays" wreath but maybe I'll buy a couple different boxes and mix it up. Has anyone else had trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year? 

Tuesday, November 20

Thanksgiving: Dress for Dinner

It's been brought to my attention that some people sit around the Thanksgiving table clad in their elastic waistband pants and sweatshirts. This horrifies me. I can't imagine not dressing smartly for a holiday meal with family and friends. I'm not suggesting that you dress to the nines but a bit of dressy goes a long way. Here are two outfits that are both dressy and comfortable:


Last year's Thanksgiving Style post. 

Monday, November 19

Setting the Table

I have to confess that when it comes to holiday suppers my mind focuses first and foremost on cooking leaving the table setting to fall by the wayside. It truly does take most of my energy swearing and shouting and bumping into other family member during dinner preparation. Semi-joking aside, I really do love cooking so I'm happy to leave the decor up to others. Here's a round-up of lovely holiday tables, just in case you need a few ideas for creating a festive tablescape:

I used this in a Thanksgiving post last year and still love the color combination of purple and red. I get so tired of the traditional brown and orange. The Pioneer Woman said it best yesterday on the Food Network's Thanksgiving Live with her comment that so much of the Thanksgiving foods are brown and orange so it's nice to use more colorful accents for table settings.  

The monochromatic approach is lovely in it's siplicity. Plus, I spy some tres chic gold flatware...

Stripes! Yes! Pretty sure guest blogger Stephanie would agree with my exclamations. 

Have fun with metallic linens, dinnerware and painted pumpkins.

Loving the gold flatware, yet again.

Source some nature from your yard. Love the mix & match jam jar votives. 

{Images via Pinterest}

Friday, November 16

Period Architecture, Modern Elements

Some of my favorite interiors are those where wonderful period architecture is highlighted by more modern or transitional furnishings. Designer Harriet Anstruther's London home is a perfect example of this fusion between old and new. This 1840s charmer has wonderful restored period details that are complemented by modern furniture, bold color artwork & accents and a few antiques here and there. The result is an entirely glamourous yet unstuffy family home.

{Photography by Henry Bourne}