Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Mantel Decorating

Mantel's. In my opinion they are a living room's centerpiece and should be showed off well. Especially during Christmas. After all, it is Santa's entrance to your home so why not make a great first impression by making him feel right at home by decorating your mantel with a little Christmas spirit. For those of you who don't know where to begin check out these mantel decorating ideas:

Now you know I'm a sucker for shelves with various sizes of books and items neatly displayed so of course I'm going to love this small shelving unit with cubed sized shelves. It fits perfectly above this mantel! This is also a great place to display those ornaments that don't exactly match your theme. This way it still pleases those who gave you that eccentric ornament a few Christmases ago. Everyone's happy!

I am loving ice blue on white. Take colors from the natural surroundings during the Christmas season. In this case it's snow with the clear blue water when ice melts or the beautiful blue sky the morning after a snow fallen night. Add a few hints of ice blue accessories and your house will fall into the Christmas spirit just the same as decorating it with traditional red and green colors. 
Another simple decor find. The crisp and clean look is so majestic. 
I love the use of natural wood. Another great example of taking from your natural surroundings and making great decorations out of it. The combination of fresh flowers and  greenery bring the nature look all together. It makes me think of a romantic cottage.

Check out these origami Christmas trees from What can I say, it's simplicity at its finest for Christmas decor. They are super easy to make and the different bold shades of green complete the "Christmasy" look. Here cloches cover only a few for a sophisticated touch. You can make these beautiful origami trees in just 3 simple steps. 

A mantel is a special feature of a home. It sticks out and calls for attention so embrace it and dress it up with a few simple pieces that will compliment its features. Even though mantel's stick out like a soar thumb, it will be much more noticeable when paired with the perfect accessories and it gives your guests something more to look at than just a burning fireplace.~MG

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Decorations

Bye bye Thanksgiving..hello chaos! Feels like just yesterday I was posting about my lack of thanksgiving decor and with just the blink of an eye, Christmas decorations are displayed in every corner of our lives. But this time I am happy to say I quickly removed whatever scant Thanksgiving decor I had around my house the day after the festivities and got a head start on my Christmas decor. During the process of looking for new ornaments I could not help but visually consume all the pretty Christmas decorations displayed in retail stores..I had to take pics and of course I picked up a few tips to use in my own home..hope you pick up a few from these..

This was displayed in J. Crew. I call it a contemporary garland..Anyone can make these and display in their own home. If you are one of those simple decor types..this would be great to wrap around your tree with clear glass ornaments.
More from J. Crew. I love how birch wood was used to hang the "contemporary" garlands. And notice how they used the books in the background! I was so amazed at how simple yet festive they were. How clever and the best part is its free! Everyone has to have a few novels laying around. Pull those books off the shelves and place them back as a Christmas book tree!
 Love it!
My apologies for the somewhat blurry picture.. These trees were placed throughout Nordstrom. They were grouped in 3's and were one of the many adorably decorated trees. The bird theme is so different and unexpected but look at how gorgeous of a result.
More from Nordstrom. I took a snapshot of this for those who have large chandeliers. This is a great decorating idea!
 I'm a sucker for accessories and would not hesitate to buy every holiday accessory in sight. I love when accessories are grouped in retail stores. I get so easily drawn to the cluster of these decorations and my mind runs wild with ideas of how to place them in homes. 

Now I know these aren't "Christmas-y" but the assorted colors of paisley patterned jewelry trays were too pretty to ignore. They may not go well with your Christmas decor but one would make a great present.
More beautiful displays.The mixture of Christmas decor and regular merchandise packaged with panache made it easy to choose stocking stuffers.
Now this was just elegantly beautiful! These giant origami flowers were the store front display at Sephora. They may be too big of a decor piece in your home but if they came in a more reasonable size, they would take center stage! Like the assorted colors of paisley patterns, these paper flowers were just too gorgeous to pass up!
I had a field day at Kohl's while shopping for presents with my daughter. Again, I was drawn to the cluster of displays that I just had to take photos of my favorites.
Tall ornament topiary's are one of my favorite accessories. You can place them on your mantel, group different heights on your dining table or place anywhere in your home that can fill a large space.
My daughter found this ornament. We both loved the cluster of candy canes turned into a Christmas tree; another easy idea to make for your own. I'm sure you could find plastic candy canes and create a bigger Christmas tree and use as a table centerpiece.
 Nutcracker mania! A must have for traditional Christmas decorating. Check out the different variations..

 Cutest couple! I don't think I've seen a lady nutcracker.

Check out this modern version of the Nativity Scene. Another great piece for those simple holiday decorators.

Decorating for the holidays can be just as overwhelming as bringing your regular home decor together. If you have existing Christmas decorations; either ones you've had for years or have been passed down) and you want to change the placement or look, go to retail stores and find accessories similar to the ones you have. Sometimes you have to get a visual to really understand how to approach it. Mix a few of your older decorations with newer ones. You'll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes. ~MG

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Penny Tile

For those who view my blog, I just want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU and also say sorry for not being consistent with my posts these last few days. I’ve been victim of a bug that’s been going around which lead to me being a complete couch potato. But that was the best part of being sick! You see, our house only has one TV with cable and my hubby and I constantly have our TV show battles. We tolerate each others preferred TV shows to avoid endless bickering. Although our “neutral” TV shows are good for the mean time, most of the time I prefer watching HGTV, The Food Network, E, TLC, and whatever network there is showcasing style, fashion, and food. I must admit most of the TV shows on these networks are my guilty pleasure. So back to being sick, home alone and getting our lovely couch all to myself wasn’t so bad. Despite the achy body, nausea, and lack of appetite, I enjoyed my 2 little days off flipping back and forth between my fav channels and today’s post is a result of that. After watching back to back episodes of Dear Genevieve I discovered my interest for penny tile. On this particular episode a young couple wanted to update their dated kitchen for a modern one but maintain its vintage character to pay homage to his Nana. During the selection process Genevieve showed the homeowners penny tile to use as the kitchen backsplash. [penny tile are porcelain rounds which were commonly used in the early 20th century but fell out of favor after World War II (] Choosing penny tile as a backsplash was a great way to maintain its vintage character. After seeing the finished results I would gladly use penny tiles in any upcoming projects. Watch the episode and let me know if you think penny tile can be a universal design; modern or vintage.

I absolutely loved how the kitchen turned out! She even tied in traditional cabinet knobs to add to the classic flair. Here are few other designs using penny tile. With the right touch of style and design, traditional doesn’t have to mean old and outdated, rather it can be seen as a hip new way to compliment your space.

Take a look this floor! They actually used pennies! This is in the restaurant at the Standard Hotel in New York. How unique. I wonder how long it took to collect that many pennies?!
You can find penny tile in just about any color. I particularly love the ones with a outer lining like the ones above. It’s so original and gives it a finished look.

I mentioned Genevieve used traditional cabinet knobs. Here are few I think would be great compliment to penny tile.
Genevieve used traditional knobs like this from the episode. I love the solid milk color. If your tired of nickel or metal, try this classic look.
If you like your things to match, here a knob that matches perfectly with penny tile! 
More traditional knobs. Love the pastel colors! I think they would go great with dark wood cabinets. 

Adding splashes of traditional features like penny tile and traditional knobs to sleek kitchen or bathroom cabinets will help keep that classic character to a home. It’s an easy and simple solution for a facelift. You can probably find traditional knobs at your local thrift store or salvage store. And of course it’s even better if they exist in your home. Just a quick clean will make you appreciate what you once thought was outdated. These two traditional items will without a doubt be added to my book of design schemes. ~MG

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Made with Love

This past month has been a swirl of wedding festivities..I've attended two in the last two months and after simply being a guest at one and helping with some wedding accessories with the other, I'm impressed with the outcome of both. Both weddings were complete opposites of each other when it came to budget, but let me say that if you were an average guest you would not be able to tell the difference when it came to the standard accessories weddings normally require, center pieces, placement cards, favors, etc..
This last and very recent wedding I attended and gladly to be a part of the wedding party, was one of the most speediest weddings I've seen put together. Needless to say I, along with the entire wedding party and guests, were impressed with the outcome. The wedding was done in just two months from the time of engagement and everything was set in place after just one month. This wedding proves that you don't have to have bukos to have that dream wedding. Now of course it depends on the couples expectations but still, there are ways to stick to your budget by staying dedicated and being open to DIY projects.

If you've been married, or are about to get married, you know budget is the first topic of discussion. There are few who have an endless budget to invest towards their wedding but for most of us, especially those effected by the economy, budget means BUDGET; tight, small, careful planning. This recent wedding was a prime example of how you can stretch your budget. Now there are things you just don't want to skimp on like venue, music, catering, cake, and of course the Brides dress! The things you can get away with on an extremely tight budget are the wedding accessories. It helps to have the creative gene but with the help of you friends and family, you can achieve your desired look.
Take a look at these bouquets from various florists:

These are all beautiful; however, they can range anywhere from $50-$100 per bouquet! This can be costly especially if you have a large bridal party..We found it was super easy to create our own bouquet for a fraction of the cost and you can create it anyway you like! With the help of her bridesmaids (myself included) mother and aunt, we were able to create the same set of bouquets along with center pieces, boutonnieres, and floral arrangements for the ceremony by spending about $350! The best part is there were plenty left over and it was super easy!
We watched a tutorial online on how to create your own bouquet. Of course, the person demonstrating it made it look a lot easier. Even though it was, it took some getting used to when it came to bunching the flowers and forming the bouquet to an even circular bunch. But we all got it down and each of us discovered our own specialties between the bouquets and boutonnieres.
$350 dollars worth of flowers and this was the end result! Not bad at all for our first time..The joke of the day was to quit our jobs to open our own floral shop. It actually sounded tempting with all the fun we had..

Now I was going to post the video of the actual tutorial we used, but typing in a search for DIY Wedding Bouquet, I came across this tutorial from a very comical website for brides on a budget sharing inexpensive ideas..The title is well put and simply stated! My kind of style!
Now flowers are not the only money saver of a wedding..Paying to print placement cards can also add to the budget paying a per card price...Our creative bride did it again by creating her own placements cards and placement card holder..

She searched various decorative images for the design. The half pearls identify the meal the guest chose at the time of RSVP. Genius!
The cards were neatly placed on extra large individual cutouts of their initials, M&V. Ribbon was layered across the M & V so the cards slipped in easily. Picture to come..

The bride also saved on party favors, center pieces, table numbers, flower girl basket, ring bearer pillow, and other small accessories that can easily add up by playing with her creative ideas and keeping an open mind. The most significant feature of all is the fact she created it herself giving it sentimental value you can't get from store bought accessories. They were simply made with love~MG

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Design Scheme of the Day

When I have down time (which is extremely rare) I flip through pages and pages of interior design magazines soaking in new trends and refreshing my personal design style. I've collected images of my favorite furniture pieces, accessories and color schemes. Starting today, I'll be posting my collective images and turning them into design boards that I personally would love to use as design schemes. 
This first one are collective finds from projects and helpful tips; my room and a friend asking for decor ideas. For my room; this color palette popped up in my head. I don't remember where I got the inspiration, but as soon as I started looking into the different shades of purple mixed with gray tones, I didn't turn back..Obviously it stuck since its the color choice for my blog =)
I chose one deeper shade of purple for my bedroom walls and a lighter shade for my ceiling..still love it to this day. 

Sharing decor ideas and introducing bold color to a friend asking for design tips had me looking into grey couches. I want to say I chose grey because it could fit both feminine and masculine personalities; a great compromise for any married couple. 
So after sitting on these finds for a few months..I combined the color choices choosing accessories to bring  this design scheme together..

The bold colors in the room call for something light and airy. These crystal clear lamps will do just that.. I love both but if I had to choose, I would go for the solid clear lamp with beige shade. I'm so drawn to the simplicity and sleekness of the base.

These pillows are a great offset for any of  the grey couches. Subtle hints of the purple color will bring the color scheme together. I would purchase all three to bring more texture and color to the it brings in the femininity from the masculine grey color of the couch.
I love this pattern and color for the curtain panels. The design on the fabric is subtle but enough to pop out of the purple walls.
I chose this ivory cable knit throw to break the grey and purple tones. Color details from the pillows, curtain panels and lamp shade will bounce off each other.

Here are a few finished rooms with similar color schemes where my accessory choices mesh well with the existing design.

This page from House & Home magazine had a very similar color scheme with the purple walls and grey couch.  Different shades and different style approach but still a fabulous room!

This is actually very similar to the design scheme I am going for in my room but budget issues have delayed the project. I'm close..just a few personal touches to call it mine (and my hubby's)  and it's done! I will of course be thrilled to share the results so stay tuned.~MG