Happy Thanksgiving

3b1a1-tileThe table is set, the house is clean and there are delicious things cooking in the oven. And! I have enough time to write this post. How incredible is that?! A definite first. I think I am getting a hang of this whole planning/organization thing.

Today I am hosting Thanksgiving and I could not be more happy about it. I love hosting parties, but rarely do I have time. So when I can, I savor every little moment. I had so much fun decorating the table this year. I chose a new color palette, autumn colors mixed with gold, black, gray and white. A wonderful combination of modern and tradition. My favorite way to design.

I hope you all have a lovely day drinking, eating and laughing with your favorite people. Happy Thanksgiving! XO

 

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Holiday Wreaths

Large tile4I’m feeling the urge to make a holiday wreath today. There is just something so therapeutic about trudging through the woods, gathering bits of nature and then combining them into something beautiful for your home.

Gone are the days of big bows, cheap bright colors, and fluffy fake holiday wreaths. This season the trend is clean lines and soft color palettes. Using fresh flowers, botanicals and fruits. A welcomed change.

Looking for inspiration? Check out Alyssa Hoppe, Moon Canyon Designs, Annette Joseph and Gardenista on Pinterest. Or pick up my new favorite book, The Wreath Recipe Book.

1. Unique Holiday Wreath by Alyssa Hoppe (DIY on Design Love Fest)
2. Metallic Pinecone Wreathy by Papier D’Amour
3. Thanksgiving Wreath by Emily Thompson
4. Citrus Winter Wreath by Sarah Ryhanen
5 & 6. Wreaths by Moon Canyon Designs

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Loveseat in the Dining Room

Plum-Bow Tufted Settee_UO-horz

Ava Velvet Tufted Sleeper_UO-horz2A few years back I bought a $20 vintage sofa (BIG spender here) from the sweet elderly lady across the street and placed it in my dining room. I have this funny little nook in the dining/kitchen area that serves zero purpose. Due to the low window placement, a buffet would look awkward. So instead, I placed a loveseat under the window. Not only does it look great, it’s been a wonderful spot for guests to sit while I’m cooking.

Fast forward to last Christmas. One of the wood arms came completely off by someone simply putting their weight on it. And I pretended that the incident didn’t happen. Completely ignored the fact that I was strutting a broken sofa and stuck a cool new pillow on it. A pillow totally covers up the fact that one side of the sofa is missing….right?

Almost a year later, and I am finally looking for a replacement. And guess what? I’m excited about the change. This week I found all these delicious loveseats and settees from Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and West Elm. The tufted velvet and the bright colors this season have me swooning. Letting go is not going to be difficult with all these beautiful choices.

Which do you like?

{From Left to Right: Plum & Bow Tufted SetteeNicola LoveseatGeorgia LoveseatAva Velvet Tufted Sleeper SofaElton SetteeVelvet Orianna Settee}

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Pause & Reflect

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I’ve started a mid-week ritual as of this month. On Wednesday afternoons I take a little time out and find some inspiration. It’s so easy to get caught up in work and forget about filling up the creativity tank. I can’t tell you how many times I have ran on fumes for weeks on end and then SMACK! I have hit the wall of burn out. So now, I take a small break mid-week to pause and reflect.

Today I went home for an hour and perused through my new book The Wreath Recipe Book with a nice cup of coffee. It felt so indulgent to read a book during the busiest part of the day, let alone week. But it was exactly what I needed. I’m ready to dive back in and see where all this inspiration takes me.

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Holiday Transitions

Thanksgiving Table_Gold-horz
This time of year, we are all scrambling to get our homes ready for the holidays. It’s exhausting, I know. In the last few weeks, I have thought a lot about how out of control I feel in November & December. I LOVE Christmas, but the chaos can be downright overwhelming. I have decided to take control of the madness, and find ways to make life more enjoyable during this season. This means I need to get my ass in gear and get organized.

For almost a decade, I have been decorating other people’s homes, store fronts, museums and events for the holidays. And somewhere in between, I decorate my home. My home is always last on the list. By the time I reach for those attic boxes, I am ready to go into winter hibernation. So much to do and so little time. That rush to get it all done is a dreadful feeling. And I am over it.

So, this year I am decorating my home early (and more wisely). I will be hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas, which means decorations for two very different events. With my busy schedule, there is no way I am going to set my house up twice. Instead of two different looks, I’m going to gradually transition my home with the season. Adding and subtracting various elements as the weeks go by. The key is to take notes from nature. The earth transitions from Autumn to Winter with such ease and grace. It is not a chaotic event. It is the same scene but with a simple swap of colors and textures.

The first thing that has to happen before any decorating begins is a deep clean. Scrub, purge, put away and organize the house. Decorating in a messy house is miserable. Wrapping gifts in a messy house brings me to tears. Hosting all the unclaimed furnishings & décor in my bedroom to accommodate the holidays is incredibly frustrating. And yet year after year, this is how it goes. I refuse to succumb to this cycle one more time. So, early cleaning and organizing is a must.

After the house is clean, take away all the decorations that will not be used for the next few months and pack away. This is the stage I am in this week. Freeing up space for holiday décor. To simplify this transition, I have two empty bins that I keep in my office closet. It’s easily accessible. If it’s too difficult to pack things up, it will never happen. I’ll just have a miscellaneous pile of décor sitting on the floor of my bedroom for two months. Think ahead, make this process as painless as possible.

Once you get those first two steps out of the way, you’ll be surprised how free you will feel. I’ve just begun step two, and I already feel like I have gained a few extra weeks on the holiday season.

West Elm_winter days-horz
Now, to decorate.

First, cozy up the home. Place winter throws on the sofa, burn candles, brew hot cider and welcome the chilly weather with warm touches. Next, bring out the Christmas decorations and use everything that is holiday neutral. Aka, winter décor. Winter décor mixed with autumn flowers, pumpkins and leaves look fantastic for Thanksgiving. Throw in a few gold touches and you have a lovely combination. There’s no need to buy a bunch of décor for Thanksgiving. Just look to nature and keep it simple. And after Turkey day, throw out the fall elements and replace with the glitzy Christmas pieces.

As for the Christmas tree and lights on the house, there are no rules. If you want to put them up before Thanksgiving or the day before Christmas, it doesn’t matter. Just plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to get it done.

I encourage you to do whatever makes you happy this holiday season. Find ways to bring the stress down. Prepare a little earlier, so that you have more time later. Stop playing by everyone else’s rules. And most importantly, enjoy the days to come with your friends and family.

*photos via A Pumpkin & A Princess, The Daily Basics, Resonances and La Petite Cuisine 

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