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Thursday, December 4

Krafty Holiday Wrapping Ideas

Sorry for the obvious pun there with kraft paper and crafting, it was just too cheesy good not to use in the post title. As I've already been knee deep in wrapping my holiday gifts, I'm willing to guess that many of you are as well. In the past I've used various preppy plaid and tartan patterned gift wrap but this year I'm channeling my inner crafter/ hipster and breaking out the kraft paper. Gone are the days of Sally Foster. Parcel paper is the perfect base for any and all wrapping needs, not just the holidays. That I only have to store one roll of gift paper in my minuscule closet is another bonus. From red ribbon to greenery to vintage postcards, I've pulled together a few of my favorite ways to turn ordinary kraft paper into a festive and beautiful masterpiece. 

Wish I had time to have some instagram images printed after seeing this idea from Artifact Uprising!

Be sure to check out my instagram today to see how I'm accenting my kraft-wrapped packages this season!

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Tuesday, November 25

Cold Weather Accessories

It's time. Time to unearth all your heavy duty winter accessories from where you buried them last spring. All the hats, gloves, scarves and socks. If you're like me you'll realize that all your socks have holes in them, your winter white cashmere scarf that's served you for the past five years is a lot less white and you can't for the life of you find your iPhone approved gloves. Never fear, I've rounded up a selection of cozy accessories just in time to add to your holiday wish lists!





Friday, November 21

Throws: A Winter Home Essential

This weather, what to do? It's hateful. As Very Mary Kate would say "its freezing cold under all these layers." I may be wrapped up in my faux fur blanket while writing this post. Blankets and throws, you can never have too many. Year round my living room sports two but in the winter I make room for a couple more. This plethora of blankets helps to maintain optimal coziness while lounging in the evening (or even while I'm working at my desk) and also ensures that when guest are over they, too, can wrap up if they so choose. 

But not just any throw will do, I definitely have my favorites in terms of comfort and quality. A year round go-to is my Herringbone Throw from Brahms Mount. Friends fight over who gets this throw when I'm hosting movie nights. Made in Maine, these woven cottons come in a variety of colors and neutrals. I've been eying this larger blanket for my bedroom, too.

Woolen throws and blankets from Fairbault Woolen Mills Co., hailing from Minnesota, are another favorite. Especially for the doldrums of winter. Their Trapper Wool Throws and Box Weave Wool Throws are personal favorites, reminding me of the old wool blanket I used on my bed when I lived in Scotland. I'm also loving the throws from their collaboration with Target, especially the Port Stripe throw.

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Thursday, November 20

Bedside Vanity

I'm willing to bet at one point or another in your life you've had or still have a small bedroom. This doesn't mean you have to give up the allure of the dressing table. That lovely little space that holds make up, perfumes and other bits and baubles for your morning and evening daily routine. Instead of sacrificing this beauty epicenter, make your bedside table work double-time! I've been hoarding images of this strategy for a while. If I implemented this on my side of the bed my earrings wouldn't have to perch precariously at my bedside when I forget to remove them before hoping in bed at night. 

I love the modern, acrylic stool paired with the vintage washbasin in this bedroom. It reminds me of a similar small table currently residing in my room at my parent's home in Florida. There's already a reading hair next to it but I often want to use it as a desk when I'm there. I may have to borrow this look!

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Wednesday, November 19

Florals for Thanksgiving Tables

With Thanksgiving a week away, I'm gathering ideas for table arrangements. I'm exited to have a reason to hit up the local flower markets and play with gorgeous flowers, it's been far too long! I've never been a true fan of the traditional reds, yellows and browns associated with Thanksgiving table settings so I'm branching out, literally, with my choices; olive and eucalyptus branches, thistles, and some kind of mixture of white flowers. Perhaps anemones or ranunculus or even some variegated ornamental kale, we'll see what looks good next Wednesday at sunrise. I think this naturalistic approach to the table flowers will be a nice foil to my brother and sister-in-law's heirloom silver, crystal and gold-rimmed china. Maybe I'll get ambitious with place cards, maybe not.

And when the party's over for the more delicate blooms, I plan to repurpose my olive branches and thistles into wreaths for Christmas decorations. Genius, no? My inner Scottish Lass is very exited for all the thistles! How do you plan to dress up your holiday table? 

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Tuesday, November 18

Thanksgiving Pairings

Everyone has there own Thanksgiving etiquette when it comes to the day's dress code. My family dresses for dinner in a comfortable but slightly elevated fashion. Easy dresses and skirts of the ladies and dress shirt and slacks for the men. I don't mind the little outfit change, I think is a sign of respect for the chef whose slaved away all day on out turkey feast. I've had my eye on this little knit dress from Anthropologie for some time - it may be the base to a perfect thanksgiving dinner outfit. I've also been obsessed with these blush hued earrings ever since I saw them on a friend recently. 

While we do dress for dinner there's also many hours of the day where outside activities prevail in my family. At some point or another the person in charge of the feast banishes kids and adults alike from the house. Chase some nieces and nephews, throw a football around and enjoy the fresh air in a simple outfit of warm layers. A friend gifted me a pair of these moccasins for my birthday and I love them. Just hope no one asks you to help shovel ten tons of gravel from point A to point B in the yard. Yes, that happened a few Thanksgivings ago. 

Monday, November 17

An Entertainer's Kitchen

I just cannot. Cannot begin to explain my love of this kitchen from Summer Thornton Design. It is everything. Bright and airy with the aid of steel frame glazed windows and doors this kitchen is an entertainer's dream. Open shelving keeps the space uncluttered while painted white brick and walls of gleaming white subway tiles add a tactile, textured base. And the prep space, bountiful. And let's not forget the masterful mix of metals - silver, gold and gunmetal with Carrara marble and natural woods.

Not only you can you cook up a mean meal in this kitchen but you can also enjoy it fireside. I love the firewood stacked up above the fireplace, not your traditional piece of art but art nonetheless! Incorporating a former sunporch into the space creates even more room for entertaining - can you imagine reading the sunday paper with your cup of coffee in this sunny little space? I can.

Friday, November 14

The Curated Mantel

It's a great regret that my apartment is missing a fireplace. Not so much because I desire to warm my toes and fingers on chilly evenings but more so because I miss this prime styling surface in any home. I could perhaps build a faux mantel out of wood but the real fireplace magic comes from the old, carved marble or stone mantels that graced the parlors of the most luxurious townhouses in days gone by.  I have no idea how I would secure a stone surround to my wall if I were to waltz out of the local architectural salvage the proud owner of a vintage masterpiece. In the meantime, let's enjoy these finely styled specimens. Masterful curations of art, mirrors, objects and flora. 

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Wednesday, November 12

Inky Indigo Accents

It's no secret that my favorite color is blue. I was recently slightly embarrassed by this fact when a local showroom representative guessed my favorite color because "you're always dressed in blue." She's right on both counts, of course. There are worse things to be known for. Right now I'm obsessed with those rich, deep, inky indigo blues offset by bright white. So obsessed that a client's entire house heavily featured cabinetry and built-ins in Farrow and Ball Railings and walls entirely Benjamin Moore Super White. Don't worry, it looks awesome. 

My own home is a mix of blues and whites but sadly lacking in indigo. A rich, velvety sofa might be a nice upgrade from my six-year-old lumpy gray starter sofa. Or possibly I'll finally get around to refinishing my kitchen cabinets. Yes, I've vowed to remedy my kitchen cabinets on numerous occasions. Yes, they're still ugly but functional for now. Railings and Super White to the rescue?  

This runner. I've had my eyes out for something similar but have yet to come across something at the right price point. Why can't I just like red tribal rugs, there seems to be an overabundance. 

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Tuesday, November 11

Cozy Chic Business Casual

I'll be the first to admit that as the weather gets chillier and chillier my motivation to "dress up" for my workday diminishes quickly into jeans, boots and a cozy sweater. But with the simple addition of streamlined black trousers and a few shiny accessories that cozy sweater goes from casual to chic. 

Lately I've been embracing my curly wavy mop and simply pulling it half up with a simple clip. How adorable is that gold infinity clip! Also, never leave home without your Barbour!

Monday, November 10

Kitchen Table or Kitchen Island

Before my parents made the decision to buy a house on the Cape, we used to rent the same small cottage for a few weeks every summer. It had a formal living room and dining room but I can't recall us ever using either of those spaces. We tended to congregate in the kitchen and the three season porch. One of the most memorable things about the cottage was no island or peninsula centered the space, a hallmark of the contemporary kitchen. 

Instead there was a rather innocuous set of wooden dining table & chairs. Meal prep happened while sitting down. Salt was added in worrying amounts to that bottle of no-salt-added ketchup purchased by accident. Skinned knees were doctored in a chair rather on a barstool. Rounding up some images of kitchens featuring a center dining table, I wonder whether I'd choose this route or go with the more conventional island when it comes a time for my kitchen to be more than a shoebox. What about you which would you choose? 

Now that I'm pondering this question, I remembered that the principal piece of furniture in the shared living space of my apartment in Milan was an out of proportion, gigantic farmhouse table. I think it was possibly larger than the stand-alone refrigerator, sink and range. And it was glorious. Lots of great food, drink and conversation around that table. We'll forget the part where the apartment didn't even have a sofa. 

That ketchup story was real. And horrifying. And I'll probably never let my mother forget it. I appreciate that she tried to work with it but it only lead to the disgusting knowledge of ketchup's ingredient ratio.

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Thursday, November 6

I Don't Even Like Green

However, I do love this gorgeous printed fabric from Christopher Farr. This lovely little undersea bouquet is better known as Carnival. Versatile enough to be at home in a beach cottage or mesmerize as an accent in a posh city townhouse, it's been on my favorite list for quite a while. I've previously only seen it in person hanging off a wing at the design center but it's currently stealing the show as a fabulous chair over at my favorite Boston haunt Hudson. My heart said I had to have it, my checkbook felt otherwise. Pillows. I could manage some pillows.

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