Monday, January 22, 2018

Winter Decorating that mixes in with your existing style: Keeping it cohesive and true to your decor...

Back in one of my December posts, 
I wrote about how important it was for me to create holiday styling that would 
easily transition well into the winter months.  Especially after the holidays when we 
are exhausted from all of the planning, entertaining, set up and break down of holiday decor,
finding an easy transition as the new year rolls around is a peaceful and stress free reprieve from 
all of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the holidays themselves.

For me it was simple, keep it natural and cohesive with my existing decor.  And that is 
exactly what I did.  I designed a fuss free style that goes well with the Rustic-Farmhouse
style of my home.

In the following photographs you will see how I kept things organic in order to keep from
interrupting or compromising my overall home style, and allowing me to ease into the new year with little worry of over-styling after having come off the set up and break down of holiday decor.

 Once I cleared all holiday decor, I brought back staple pieces that 
are consistently part of my design.  In the dining room buffet especially, 
those included my white dishes and pitchers, wooden boxes, glass and galvanized elements just to name a few.  Once those pertinent pieces were brought back, I inserted new pieces into the design like my new #HearthandHandwithmagnolia striped napkins and the wood pedestal from the same line which happened to be a Christmas present from my mom.  

 In addition to the pieces on the buffet hutch, our Rustic-Farmhouse dining table
is adorned with my beautiful new Farmer's plate rack from @antiquefarmhouse.  The 
winter white plates are not only displayed, but they lend themselves well to the design for the season.

The green olive shrubs are placed in white pots from@IKEA and also coordinate with the winter white motif I am aiming for.  Adding greenery whether real or faux is appropriate in any season.

The use of texture is very important in my decor,
because I feel it brings my designs to life by
adding dimension to my styling. 

With the use of textures, my designs don't appear flat.
Instead, they are dimensional and lend themselves to the sense of
sight and touch.  This vintage drawer I picked up at my local
antique mart adds that exact amount of depth to my dining room hutch.  
Paired with my vintage bottles (I've collected over the yeras), they 
fill the space with substance by creating height, and depth to the buffet top.

In this design, I've used various textures in form of glass, wood, and galvanized metal.
Mixing textures keeps the design from looking boring.  

(**Too much repetition of one specific texture will make our design look boring and predictable.)

On the dining table, I've brought more of the glass, wood and greener.
I've also added additional texture by bringing in
a chippy Farmhouse wire plate rack, white dishes and white wax candles 
on chunky white wooden candlesticks.  So the added mix of new textured elements
prevents the design from becoming boring and repetitive as I mentioned above.


The focal point of the table decor is this vintage silverware 
tray that I picked up from my local antique mart... 
The raw wood compliments the rustic farmhouse table 
and beautifully displays these gorgeous family heirloom pieces
that once belonged to my husband's late grandmother.

 Texture is also visible in the rolled up linen dish towels 
tucked inside one of the tray slots. I like the pop of color 
the green stripes add to the wood piece.

Giving attention to hidden spaces...

Because winter is all about staying warm and layering, 
I took advantage of the wide window sill of our dining room window
and styled it with a GATHER sign from my own collection and draped
a farmhouse towel over it for that layering effect.  I loved the idea of 
using this extra space to display some of my beautiful decor pieces so I 
know I will be dressing up this spot in my future styling. So, don't 
neglect those little nooks in your home, style them and give them 
the spotlight.

The winter Console Table...
Candles are a staple in my decorating all year long,
but there is something about candlelight during
winter nights that just adds a bit more "cozy"
into the mix. 

On the not yet furnished living room sits the console
table from our previous home, and of course I had to style her
even though there is nothing else in this room at this very moment.

I wanted a warm vignette of woods and whites to bring a soft
touch of winter to the space for the time being.  I've incorporated
a wood box, wood cubby, and a wood caddy all in a cognac brown to warm up the dark table. 

 To soften the design up a bit, my creamy Nantucvket Farmer's Market sign 
(from my own collection) grounds the vignette. In addition, the white candles
in tall glass vessels add a wintery vibe to the overall design and help create a warm and inviting
glow to the space especially when they are lighted at night.

The upstairs Linen Closet

Bringing a little winter warmth to the upstairs linen closet was simple and it took minimal styling to achieve a warm and cozy vibe in this intimate space.

 Chunky white pillar candle holders, a faux white bouquet of Peonies, and a small bushel of faux greenery paired with a couple of Farmhouse signs give this space eye appeal and pretties up the upstairs catwalk.


The blending of the dark greenery and Farmhouse wood sign are rich in texture and warm up the space just perfectly.


Wrap up:
If you notice from these pictures,
I created a simple and natural style that doesn't overwhelm and is cohesive with 
the existing decor in the rest of the space.  It is natural  I used and combined textures
that work well together and utilized unconventional areas within the architecture of
my home that would normally go unnoticed. 

About my design:

I wanted my winter decor not only to be fuss free, but I wanted to keep things simple and calm.
I aimed for a design that is and warm as it's a season where there seems to be 
a "stillness" in the air that exudes tranquility while wildlife and and nature sleep until 
they awake in spring. 


Stay cozy my friends and enjoy your winter decorating!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Styling my Pretty Little Farmhouse #Hearthandhand with Magnolia napkins for the holidays...

Most of you know how much I love beautiful linens and textiles.
I am that girl who prior to going on vacation, I 
research local linen shops in the country, or island
I will be visiting.  And yes, I did the very same thing prior
to setting off to our honeymoon on St. John! And needless to say,
I still enjoy every piece we purchased on our honeymoon sixteen years ago!

When the #hearthandhand with Magnolia line opened at Target 
last month, my daughter and I woke up early to 
be among the first customers to shop the new line.
Before looking at anything else, I quickly scanned 
for textiles and linens.   And Lo and Behold, I stopped 
straight in my tracks when my eyes came across the adorable
set of beautiful cotton striped dinner napkins.  I couldn't grab them 
fast enough.  

There faded stripes give off a vintage Farmhouse look which 
goes beautifully with my neutral Christmas Rustic-Glam decor this year!
It's no secret that I will be styling these pretties in many different ways 
on my various tablescapes throughout the new year!


Here are three simple ways I've styled them for the holidays.

The Rustic-Glam Christmas Dining room decor this year.

  When not in use, I stack them on extra dinner plates on the buffet hutch.
 They look just as pretty as decor as they do when on the dinner plate...

I plan on styling them together with the small bowls from the same line
as they compliment one another perfectly.

 The ability to dress them up or down is what I love 
most about this napkin style.

 The first design I chose to go with gives 
the napkins a bit of glam.  I've paired them with black and silver
ribbons and added a sparkly holiday bauble to add that bit of
Christmas magic to the setting.

  The fold I've used is one that creates
a layered look by tucking the napkin within itself around the plate.  
This look gives dimension and warmth to the overall place setting.

This particular design is reminiscent of a 
gift waiting to be unwrapped by my dinner guests.


The double layered ribbons in contrasting colors
enhance the color palette of the napkin.

The natural beauty of these napkins is what attracted me to them instantly.

Elegance in its simplest forms...

The versatility of these Farmhouse napkins will allow me to
 utilize them in various ways when designing my place settings.

While the first design depicts more of the GLAM style in my 
Christmas dining room, this second design leans more towards the rustic.

The napkin is folded vertically( the long way) and lays flat underneath the plate. 

 A rustic paper tag with a written Christmas message slipped through a dark 
silver ribbon adds texture as well as some Holiday Cheer! 

 The rustic Farmhouse design shines through with very little fuss, while the napkin itself acts as a place mat for added texture.

In the third design, once again we are able to 
see the versatility of the #hearthandhand cotton napkin.

In this design, I've opted for more of a cocktail hour look.
I've placed the napkin inside a wine goblet making it 
functional for guests to take and place over their
lap while enjoying before dinner cocktails and appetizers.

However, this design also lends itself to being used at the the dinner table simply by adding a few 
touches for aesthetics.   I've transformed the cocktail napkin 
into a dinner place setting by adding a black ribbon and shimmery bauble.

Whether used at cocktail hour or at dinner, the napkin transitions beautifully from occasion to occasion.


Finding versatile linens and textiles is something I'm always 
in search of.  Not only do versatile linens allow me to create various designs,but
they also allow me to transform them in different ways thereby keeping them from being placed into a drawer and forgotten. 

 These adorable #hearthandhand napkins will allow me to continue pulling them out throughout the year, and they might just never go into my linen drawer at all.

I hope you've enjoyed the looks I've put together using MY #hearthandhand striped cotton napkins, and I hope you are inspired to find various ways to style your table linens and textiles as well.



 AS I finished this blog post, one more style came to mind, 
and I had to create it right away.  Here's a behind the scenes look 
of the last minute design.
 And here is yet one more styled look that these adorable 
napkins allowed me to achieve.  Another rustic design
using a small sized grape wreath, tartan holiday ribbon, and a wood 
Stagg ornament that acts not only as a place card, but as a guest take home gift.
The rustic additions in the grape wreath and wood ornament
would work well with a Christmas in the Woods thematic table.
The Tartan ribbon gives off the spirit of the holiday season as well
as adds color to the neutral textile.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Welcome to My Christmas Dining Room our 2017

Christmastime is a truly magical time.  I feel it brings the child out in all of us.
As a little girl, I remember watching my mother taking out our Christmas decor 
the moment December rolled around.  The feeling I got when I saw her pull out our tinsel and ornaments was the most joyous of feelings.

Fast forward to the first Christmas I shared with my husband in our new home in 2001
as newly weds, I felt the same joy I felt as a little girl.  I now had to start my own traditions and start
from scratch and shop for ornaments that I would eventually pull out of my very own bins every

When our daughter was born in 2003, Christmas took an even more magical turn. Now, 
I was seeing Christmas through her eyes and it was like reliving my childhood a thousand times over; only this time the joy I experienced as a little girl at Christmas time was surpassed simply by
seeing her face light up when she first took notice of our decorated Christmas tree. 

Needless to say, the magic of Christmas fills my home with the same joy I 
experienced as a little girl still today and then some!

So come on in and take a little tour of our dining room decked out for the holidays.

Here's a little side note:  We've only been in our new home for four months, and not all of our
furniture has arrived.  We are taking our time in choosing beautiful new pieces to fill up 
our new home.  Because not all rooms are fully furnished yet, I am giving you simple glimpses of various areas within our dining room that are styled for the holidays.  I can't wait to come back next year with a full home Holiday tour.  I hope you enjoy this condensed holiday home tour regardless. 

The Rustic-Glam Table Design...

I wanted the theme of this table to be ever so clear 
the moment my guests step into the room. I feel 
that I accomplished this in the wintry rustic 
centerpiece that adorns the table.

As you keep reading, you will discover 
my inspiration behind the Rustic-Glam table design . 

 Using natural elements and materials like this galvanized bucket to house 
a large faux decorative winter tree was key in
 maintaining the rustic winter feel I was aiming for.


The soft branches of these winter trees embellished with miniature pinecones look as if they have just received a dusting of freshly fallen snow. These darling trees remind me of a wintry mountain top at Christmas time.

As seen in this picture of the buffet hutch in the background,  
the trees are carried over in various vignettes throughout the room.

The need to keep the rustic vibe throughout the table 
was visible in the creamy white berry garland that 
surrounds the centerpiece.  The garland 
grounds the taller objects and acts as a table runner 
 as it almost naturally seems to wrap it'self around 
the main pieces at the table's center.

It's natural looking brown wrapped stem gives the look 
of a recently fallen branch on a sheet of fresh white snow.


The Place Setting...
For me, the most important element 
when designing a tablescape is the place setting.
I feel the place setting is the one piece that 
welcomes one's guests to the table in an intimate way.  

For my Christmas dining room, I designed a place setting that would 
incorporate both the rustic and glam with an elegant vibe in one single design.
Our formal Wedgewood wedding china and Pottery Barn
linen napkins achieves this look.
The buffalo check ribbon and painted pinecones
maintain the muted tones of the overall color palette.

My desire to bring in natural elements stays true 
with the use of the  pinecones which also serve as the perfect 
place card holders when entertaining guests during the holidays.

The silverware is placed on the bare table 
in order to further enhance the raw beauty of the table itself 
while also showing off the elegance within their own design.


The Accent Decor....

Adding additional embellishments 
without overpowering the centerpiece 
was key. In order to accomplish this, 
I kept things low to scale by adding pieces that
would not compete with the more elaborate table essentials.
The tea light candle holders with sparkly rimmed edges
and bases add that extra sparkle to the table when the 
holiday lights are on. 

                                                       The creamy white bird cages filled with baubles

 are reminiscent of empty birds nests topped with snow
once their feathery friends have flown to a warmer place
at the first snow fall.

 The tall white pillar candle sticks 
anchor each side of the centerpiece.
 A little touch of Whimsy...
  More texture is brought in with the use of this
muted galvanized metal candle snuffer.
 And to make it softer and  more elegant, 
I've tied a silvery ribbon to it's handle which
incorporates a rustic and glam touch to this sweet little instrument.


 The Buffet Hutch...

 When styling the dining room buffet, 
I wanted a design that would easily 
transition well into the winter months, and
the pieces I've chosen will make that transition quite seamless.

I've incorporated the use of many natural elements through the use of wood pieces such as the plate box, vintage bottle drawer, skis, and breadboard at top.
The natural paper wrapped gift boxes add texture and dimension to the design.  

The faux holiday trees as well as the topiary trees above maintain the rustic wintry theme and enhance the all white buffet by adding a hint of a soft green hue.
The glittery gold CHEER banner is festive
 and adds additional sparkle to the room.

The White dinner wear acts as decor 
and is very complimentary with the overall 
momochromatic palette of the buffet piece.

The small stacked bowls from Hearth and Hand 
in their creamy white and black rimmed edges offer
a little whimsy to the design.

The wood plate box not only serves as
as a natural element in the design, 
but serves it's purpose for holding extra
dinner plates should more guests join us 


The Blanket Ladder...

Setting a cozy and inviting warm 
ambiance is important even in the dining room.
My blanket ladder offers guests a cozy wrap should 
they become chilly during after dinner cocktails.

Adorned with 
pinecones hanging from a 
shimmery ribbon and
my DIY burlap stockings,
the ladder sits in a corner of the room
but not too far from reach for easy access 
to a cozy and warm fringed throw.


Additional throws and pillows are stacked 
in a tall basket to offer our guests extra comfort while they sit at the table.


The Dining Room Christmas Tree... 

Nothing more beautiful than the glow of a Christmas tree especially during holiday dinners.

This flocked tree ties in with the wintry 
atmosphere that is visible throughout the room.

 The flocked tree with it's full branches 
is natural looking and so beautiful, that I 
opted to bypass adding decor.

The nighttime glow is soft and glamorous
very much like the rest of the room. 

The Gift Wrap...
Of course, even the dining room tree looks fabulous with pretty 
wrapped packages under its branches.  I am not a lover of traditional holiday wrap. However, I am a lover 
of all things beautiful ,and beautiful gift wrap has always been my thing.

Here, I have chosen, an assortment of papers in muted blacks, natural and white 
hues accompanied by metallic ribbons in silvers and blush as well as a little jute twine to enhance 
more of that natural texture seen throughout the room.  

 The beautifully wrapped packages
add texture and glam to the dining room decor.

Additional Embellishments... 

 The addition of extra touches of the holidays
is visible in the window and wall wreaths,
GATHER sign, and in the decorated banister that sits
high above the dining room space.

 The extra tall ceilings in our home, which I absolutely love
also carry well into our dining space.  The upstairs catwalk sits
directly above our dining room, so I opted to decorate this side of the banister as well so that it is visible from the dining space. I designed a simple garland and embellished it with baubles, holiday holly and shimmery ribbon.

 The wood GATHER sign is inviting and a reminder of what this room is all about.


The Inspiration behind the design: 

The Rustic Dining Table...
And finally, the piece that was the inspiration for this dining room design.
 Our beautiful new rustic dining table.

Our new dining room table doesn't need frills or decor as it looks beautiful on it's on.
Its raw and distressed finish is what I fell in love with from the moment I saw it.
Dressing it up for the holidays just adds even more beauty to this already stunning piece.

 When designing the Christmas table, 
one thing was clear, I did not want to compromise the natural
beauty of the table itself. In order to keep the table as the main 
focal point, I opted to forgo a tablecloth, and only used a short length 
white and silver edged runner.  This allowed the table's beautiful wood to remain exposed.

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour of my Rustic-Glam Christmas Dining Room!

Wishing you and yours the Happiest of Holidays!