Tag Archives: Decorate

Put Down the Glue Gun: Christmas Edition

Holiday decorating festive christmas mantle

As of December 1st, we are well into the Christmas season.  Time to decorate!

Lets start with the mantel:

Before you bust out the glitter and Popsicle sticks, lets take a moment to consider some alternative ways of creating a festive atmosphere that is both cheerful and classy.  While DIY decorations are a fun and personal way to vamp up your home, there are some tricks to stretching what you already have (you know, that massive box of ornaments and burnt-out string lights in the attic) by adding a few key pieces from your yard…or your neighbor’s yard.

 

If you’re lucky enough to have a collection of festive antiques–figurines, canisters, pitchers, etc.–then bring them out and pair them with pine cones, sprigs of holly or evergreen branches, bunches of cranberries (or any faux berry), feathers, and one of my personal favorites–magnolia leaves.  Bringing natural elements indoors is one of the easiest ways to create a classic Christmas look.

Holiday decorating festive christmas mantle

 

Gold and brown can be just as Christmasy as red and green if you use the right shades and accents.  We paired magnolia leaves and pine cones with a wintery evergreen garland for the mantel.  Some brown striped pheasant feathers really help set this mantle apart and make the look our own.   By working with the existing pieces on the mantel–a dusty-rose colored lamp and golden-brown framed mirror–we were able to create a look that enhances what we already have, rather than fighting against it.  This is the most important part of creating a look that is elegant and festive:  work with what you have, then embellish.   The backdrop for this display is AS09SP— a soft springtime yellow.

 

Holiday Decoration for christmas mantle DIY design

 

Next time we’ll show you what we did to transform the rest of the house and a creative use for pomegranates.  Hint: it’s not juice.

Have some milk glass lying around?  Throw that in as well.

 

Happy Decorating!

 

Milk Glass Christmas

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It’s that pretty little dish at Grandma’s house near the davenport that holds those hard candies that have magically all fused into one.  It’s those petite white vases that were made to display a single red rose.  Sometimes it lives in the china cabinet–too delicate for regular use.  We’ve all seen it, but few have really paid it the attention it deserves.

This Christmas, I’m bringing it back to showcase it’s opalescent glory.  It’s Milk Glass, and it accents the most beautiful holiday tablescapes.

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Because of an American resurgence in the 1930’s and ’40’s, it may seem like this dinner-table staple dates back less than a century. However, the origins are much more interesting than that.

It turns out that milk glass–a term that wasn’t coined until the 19th century–has been around since the 1500’s and originated in Venice.  While opaque white is the most recognizable form of milk glass today, it came in a variety of “milky” colors, including black, brown, pink and blue.  Popularity surged in France as the decadent style of well-coiffed aristocrats was replaced with a more approachable, natural aesthetic reflected in the simplicity of a milk glass motif.

For our purposes, this tableware will create a neutral backdrop for pops of holiday colors and textures.  It provides a clean palette that will fit-in with a variety of styles–most especially a colorful Victorian like mine.  Our Christmas brunch has an intimate feel, with an antique table set for four.  With all of the seasonal sweets and leftovers, a brunch is the perfect way to re-purpose some of that holiday ham.

The best part about decorating with milk glass?  If you’re not a stickler for authenticity, you can very easily pick up a bushel of reproduction pieces at your local flee market on the cheap.  In spite of the thrifty prices, I still recommend taking care when handling your glass.  It doesn’t react well to temperature changes; I would never put it in the dishwasher or microwave, and when hand washing try to use water that is close to room temp.  Would hate to unknowingly damage a piece that was made in 19th Century France(!).

I would love to hear about your milk-glass adventures.  Let us know what you think about this timeless treasure in the comments or over on our Facebook page.

Happy Decorating!

Allison

Fall Soft Paint Palette

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In a previous post we took you through the Five Steps to Your Personal Palette.  If you scored mostly D‘s in our quiz and love the warm colors of Fall…

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You set high standards and value experience.  You appreciate quality and time-honored customs.  This warm palette sets the proper mood with soothing wheat tones and spicy accents.  Add richness with a plaid or geometric print fabric and lush velour solids.

Colors from autumn fit so beautifully into these western-themed vacation homes outside of Beijing.  Inspired by Jackson Hole, WY, this home features wood and wrought iron accents, rustic wood furniture, and varying shades of honey and wheat.  For accents, we chose Americana-style quilts and throw pillows.  Check out the rest of the photos over here, or click the photo below.

 


Love Your Colors? Shop for Fall Soft Paint Formulas

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Take me back to the other colors:

Winter          Spring          Summer          Fall

Fall Subtle Paint Palette

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In a previous post we took you through the Five Steps to Your Personal Palette.  If you scored mostly D‘s in our quiz and love the warm colors of Fall…

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soft color palette from color seasons paint quiz results for interior design portlandWarm, welcoming and down-to-earth comfortable, that’s your style.  This quiet, restful palette brings color and coziness into perfect harmony.  Tonal variations of tan-to-gold offer a look you can keep neutral or punch up here and there with colorful, chunky fabrics.

This palette speaks of warm, natural woods and stone.  When designing vacation homes for an Old West themed resort town outside of Beijing, we needed colors that were natural enough to look like they came right out of an authentic log cabin.   We used golden clutch(AS14F) for the walls, and a rich honey stain for the wood accents.  This project was so much fun to put together; bringing Americana to the Chinese countryside was a very unique experience.  Click the photo below for more from this project.


Love Your Palate? Shop for Fall Subtle Paint Formulas

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Take me back to the other colors:

Winter          Spring          Summer          Fall

Summer Subtle Paint Palette

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In a previous blog post we showed you the Five Steps to Your Personal Palette. If you scored mostly Cs in our Color Quiz, and you prefer color without noise, a more relaxed awareness of color…

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Your style is quietly classic; you prefer tasteful over trends.  The down-to-earth sand, shell and beach grass tones of this hushed palette give you the timeless look you’re after and make it easy to combine colors with confidence.  Bring in some texture with your fabric choices, velour and chenille will bring a plush look to your room.

Below is a photo from one of our Decorate With What You Own projects.  This charming newer home on the outskirts of Portland needed some color to bring the homeowner’s existing furniture and accessories together.  She wanted a soothing space to relax and this palette’s subtle, sandy tans were just the ticket.  We added some texture with plush throw pillows and blankets.  Take a look at the rest of the house over here.  Or click the photo below.

 

 

 


Love Your Colors? Shop for Summer Subtle Paint Formulas

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Take me back to the other colors:

Winter          Spring          Summer          Fall

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