Saturday, November 24, 2012

Through the looking glass ...

Mirrors give instant polish to a room's decor. With abundant framing choices, sizes and finishes, I'm smitten with attractive mirrors that create an elegant illusion of space and light.

Image via the book, Be Your Own Decorator.

While 'less is more' may hold true in some instances, I'm a huge fan of a multitude of artwork hung on gallery walls with the inclusion of multiple framed mirrors.

Image via Roses and Rust.

One oversize mirror can make such a focal statement in a room's decor. Not too shabby of a choice, either.

Decor and image via designer Nancy Boszhardt.

But what I'm really eager to try is layering mirrors in future design schemes at home. So very dramatic!

Image via Velvet & Linen.

Reflected light from sconces or, in this case a chandelier, is stunning.

Design by Thomas O'Brien. Image via Elle Decor.

Mirrors are such a splendid way to bounce natural light from windows, too. They add imposing design detail while providing functionality on an otherwise lifeless wall.

You would get a kick out of seeing the mirrors stacked in our guest bedroom right now. There are several leaning against the wall, just waiting for the slow-to-fruition redecorating project on my to-do list. I really must get on that before we have a houseful of family in February.

Black out ...

Every shopping trip comes with the resolution, "I will not add any more black in my closet." Well, my resolve is not as strong as it should be, and I find myself ogling over the racks of black sweaters, blouses and pants in every store.

But, with brilliant coats stepping out this season, I could be tempted to add a splash or two of vibrant color.

Image via The Epoch Times.

It's time to resuscitate my basic black wardrobe. Sadly, only shoes have kicked in the color in my closet. But, glam winter coats are inspiring me to pair bold shades with black.


Images above via In Fashion Chicago (left) and from the streets of Milan by Trendy Crew (right).

Chic and bright looks are now on my radar. I resolve that my next purchase will be spiked with color!

Image of Lauren Conrad via The Fashion Police.

Too bad I'm not shopping for a new coat this winter. (Confession: I have more coats than someone living in Texas should own, or could possibly wear.)

Image via Trina Turk.

Loving these looks!

Holiday hang-ups ...

Boughs of holly may be great in song lyrics, but give me a garland of boxwood or magnolia leaves to deck my halls, and I'm in heaven!

Image at Moss Mountain by P. Allen Smith

Pine and fir make a dramatic statement at the front door. I can't imagine anything more welcoming than green garlands draped around the entry.

Image via Southern Accents.

Greeting holiday guests with bountiful natural decor feels so warm and personal to me. In a less harsh climate, I would decorate like this in a heartbeat.

Image via Pinterest.

So, when the weather outside is frightful, bring nature's beauty inside. This sunroom is so yummy.

Image via Southern Accents.

Wow! Boughs of boxwood and orchids. So decadent. I love it.

Image of decor by Houston designer Pam Pierce.

Elegant garland draped over the mantle needs nothing more.

Image via Desde My Ventana.

Sometimes, it's not about grand statements. Simple garlands and adornments can be just as swoon-worthy.

Image via Nicety Live Journal.

Homespun garland and twinkle lights give this fabulous cottage loads of Christmas spirit. Sweet, simple charm is abundant here.

Wreaths ring in the season ...

I love the historical symbolism of ornamental wreaths. Ancient civilizations used a simple ring of evergreen as a symbol of strength and valor. Early wreaths were constructed from ivy, oak, olive leaves, myrtle, laurel, wheat or vines, and worn as an adornment to show one's status.

In Christianity, wreaths have been used for centuries to prepare for the Advent season. The use of modern day wreaths dates back to Germany in the 1500's and has evolved into traditional holiday decor during the Christmas season.

Image via The Inside Story.

My favorite wreaths are made from living evergreens. These natural materials are great inside where weather won't affect the lifespan as it might outdoors.

Images above via Country Living (left) and The Farmer's Trophy Wife (right).

While fresh evergreens make a beautiful statement, I love the addition of other elements, too. Feathers lend flair and vintage objects create loads of personal character.

Sometimes, a wreath isn't an actual circle. Although the horn above certainly gives that impression. Images above via Tobi Fairley (left) and Patina Green (right).


Images above via Brabourne Farm (left) and Country Living (right).

I'm fond of using nuts and berries to create a welcoming wreath for the season.

Image via Neat Nest.

My daughter and I made our front door wreath (below) from collected acorns.

Image via Alamodeus.

It's an easy project with our tutorial here.

Don't feel limited to natural objects. Bulbs, ornaments, ceiling medallions, corks and flowers are just some of the materials that lend themselves to fun wreaths. Images above via Alamodeus (left) and Better Homes and Gardens (right).

Images above via Savvy Design (left) and Country Living (right).

A glue gun, circular wreath framework and some imagination is all it takes to craft a new holiday adornment for hearth and home.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rub a dub, dub ...

I find it fascinating that wash tubs of yore have moved from their utilitarian roots to home accessory status. I'm sure my parents and grandparents would have found the notion quite odd that we have chosen to elevate the lowly tub to vintage treasure.

Image via Old Photos Blog.

The idea of using a tub for wash basin makes perfect sense even today.

Images above via Salisbury Artisans.

Clever designers incorporate galvanized tubs in cabins, cottages and rustic design schemes to add vintage charm. Amanda Jones created a refreshing laundry room solution with a non-scrub sink (above). Cabinetry by David Bowen. Love the look.


Images above via Riot and Frolic (left) and The Knot (right).

Tubs can be a real asset in utility rooms. We primarily use one of our two galvanized tubs for dog washing, but the other stands ready to ice down drinks when we have outdoor parties in the summer.


Some people are so very clever! Just look at the vintage charm these tub light fixtures impart. Brilliant repurposing for practical use.

Images above via Valerie's Yard (left) and RecyclArt (right).

Image via Recreate.

I'm not sure how this tub-turned-ottoman was constructed, but it looks great and serves a grand purpose.

Image via Dottie Hotties.

Taking the notion one step further in home decor, someone hung a tub on a wall in a mid-century modern space. I wouldn't have thought of this pairing, but it certainly works well in this room.

It's not so drab ...

Olive green is one of those colors that I'm generally ambivalent about. For the most part, I have spent my life neither loving it or hating it. That lack of emotion is changing, however. Designers are finally creating appealing looks that rev up this humble shade.

Image via Nonsense & Sensibility.

Olive is the star in the dining rooms above and below. The green hue adds just the right amount of warmth and vibrancy to both transitional and traditional spaces.

Image via Briggs Edward Solomon.

Images below of olive's decor power via designer Katie Ridder (left) and Aura linens by Tracie Ellis (right).


Because olive is so closely related to avocado green, mid-century modern enthusiasts have a renewed appreciation for the color in today's decor.

Image via The Milkhouse.

Seating in olive could not be any more luxurious. I find this green velvet to be truly swoon worthy!

Image via

Image via What Would Marie Antoinette Do?

Olive surely belongs at the table, and it is presented here in a deliciously casual setting with loads of rustic charm.

Image via Dolce & Gabbana.

Thinking ahead to Spring 2013, Dolce & Gabbana has made olive green one of the 'it' colors for the season. Viola! That proves there's nothing drab about the new looks in this shade.

Veggie wraps ...

With our Thanksgiving dinner just days away, I am giving 'veggie wraps' star power at our holiday table. Vegetable centerpieces are often incorporated at the dinner table, but I'm going to wrap my veggies around flowers this year.

Image via Good Housekeeping.

I adore asparagus! This is one vegetable that is both delicious to eat and gorgeous as a floral element. It's so easy to take any water-tight container, line up the asparagus around the container, tie raffia or ribbon around the asparagus, then drop a bouquet of cut flowers in the wrapped vessel. 

Images above via Splendid Market (left) and Paris Hotel Boutique (right).

Really, any elongated vegetable will work. Corn and green beans come to mind like in the images below via Pottery Barn (left) and Wedding Party Centerpieces (right).


Adding candles gives the holiday table some special clout. Little votive candles can be wrapped in vegetables, too. Or, carve a hole in an artichoke or radish to slip in a small candle. Just remember to slice off a portion of the veggie's bottom to make a flat surface for sitting.

Image via Martha Moments.

Too tired to wrap veggies and tie little bows? There are so many other colorful vegetables to that will enliven a special holiday table with absolutely no work required. Decorative kale and cabbage bring in the season's best colors.


Artichokes and Brussels sprouts make perfect companion arrangements for small, intimate tablesettings. Images via Martha Stewart (left) and Floral Artistry (above).

Images via Life On Lyford.

Posh mini veggie arrangements are oh-so-chic! I love them all.

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