Our dogs are precious members of the family so why not get them into the holiday spirit too. They make adorable photos so here are some just for fun.
1. I know you couldn’t afford a tree this year, but this is going a little too far, don’t you think?
17. Don’t think about it -Just have a Merry Christmas!
Even if you don’t have a big tree set up and decorated you can have fun with Christmas trees. How about eating it?
1. These delectable brownies will delight both children and adults. Via
6. This version of the Christmas tree appetizer has “snow” at the bottom and a garland of red and yellow pepper strips. It looks like it also has lights made of cherry tomatoes and cocktail onions. How clever! Via the girlfriend life on Facebook
7. Mini pin wheel wraps set on the plate in the shape of a Christmas tree should do the trick for a more filling appetizer or even for a luncheon. Via
8. If you are making rolls for your party or dinner, why not make them in this tree shape, brush on some melted butter or garlic butter and sprinkle with chopped parsley for a more festive presentation. Via
9. These apple trees look beautiful as table decorations but don’t let them go to waste – eat them afterward or make an apple pie with them! Via
10. Last but certainly not least, is a beautiful fruit tree. There are commercial ones available but why not make your own – they are simple and you can be creative in the way you put them together. Via
I hope this gives you some ideas for your entertaining events in the next few weeks leading up to Christmas!
Only three more days till Thanksgiving so I thought I’d share a video about how to carve a turkey.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is fast approaching and family is starting to arrive for the great day. Take the time to enjoy them because that is what it’s really all about – not the Turkey dinner and football (although we all look forward to them too).
Here are some simple arrangements for your Thanksgiving table that will save you time and allow you to spend more time with your guests. If they are visiting already, put them to work too. You can visit while you get things ready.
1. A cornucopia represents a bountiful harvest and looks great on the table. I think this one is made of bread but there are others available in ceramic and basket form. Just add a beautiful array of fresh fruits and or vegetables. The addition of the wheat shafts and greenery gives this arrangement a polished look. As a bonus, you get to eat the decorations but probably not until the next day if you are full after the main meal like I always am. via
2. Here’s another idea for a display. A large basket with the fruits and veggies flowing out of it. It’s simple and colorful. via
3. You don’t even need an actual container – you can just spread the fall bounty down the center of the table like this photo. The candles add instant warmth. via
5. Head over to the craft store and get some beautiful pheasant feathers to make these place settings. They are simple but sophisticated! via
6. Check out in your garden for some rosemary or other herbs to make these adorable napkin rings. They are easy to make with some thin wire and smell wonderful too! via
I wish each and everyone of you a fabulous and loving Thanksgiving! Remember to tell others that you are thankful they are in your lives and give back some of yourself to others who are not as fortunate.
1. Thanksgiving is a very special time and one of the few times many people entertain in their homes. Maybe this is the year to try something new in your decorating so here are some suggestions. Of course you can use them to ignite your imagination and take it from there for your own creative expression.
1. Is it Thanksgiving already in a couple weeks? It sure creeps up fast once fall comes around. Poem source unknown.
2. Painting pumpkins seems to be a popular thing this year and this one is very whimsical. You can design your own stencil by pasting cut outs, with easy remove glue from a craft store, onto the pumpkin in the areas you want to remain orange. Then spray paint the entire pumpkin. Once the paint is dry remove the pasted on parts and your design will be revealed. source unknown
3. If you want a very unique patterned pumpkin you can use Mod Podge, also from the craft store, to paste on pieces of your favorite gift wrap, thin fabric or pictures. Finish the whole thing off with a final coat or two of Mod Podge and let it dry. The items you glue on need to be fairly thin so they will contour to the pumpkin but once done they will be unique and sure to be a conversation piece. via
4. Who says pumpkins can’t be used as candle holders or vases or both? This example uses a cleaned out can to hold water for the flowers but you could also use a plastic glass cut to the right height. It’s important that the hole in the pumpkin is the same size as the water container so your creations doesn’t wobble but it’s quite easy to do if you place the top of the water container upside down on the pumpkin and trace around it to know exactly where to cut the pumpkin. via
5. Here’s a very creative way to use a pumpkin as a flower container. Just poke holes into the pumpkin itself and place the flowers all around it. The moisture inside the pumpkins will be enough to keep the flowers looking good for a couple days. via
6. Want a more elegant display of pumpkins and gourds? Here you go – just spray paint them with a metallic paint or even a pearlized paint. You could use all one color or mix up silver, gold and bronze. You could also sprinkle on some glitter to bling them up more. via
7. I love the elegant simplicity of these all white pumpkins. Use pure white spray paint and you can use them as vases or just by themselves, as shown here. via
8. How about some lace decorations for your pumpkins? These are made using paper doilies as the stencil. You should mask off the parts of the pumpkin not being painted so you don’t get overspray. You can embellish them further with hand painting if you like. via
9. What a beautiful wreath can be made with pumpkins and gourds. These might be better made with imitation ones from the craft store and the leaves would also be silk leaves. You only have to make this once and then use it each year when fall comes around. The weight of real pumpkins and gourds would be too much and they would rot. via
10. Remember there is always something to be thankful for and this is a perfect time to add up the blessings in our lives and share our good fortune with others. Consider giving time and/or money to help other. You can start now but don’t let it be a one time thing – continue sharing and helping throughout the year. You will be greatly rewarded knowing you are helping others! via
Today’s windows are beautiful and many clients don’t want to cover them at all. Even with beautiful windows and fabulous views, sometimes window coverings are needed for privacy, heat and glare control or simply to beautify the room.
1. Here is a beautiful example of how the single drapery panels are used to frame the view and soften the edges of the window. The rods are short and don’t go all the way across the window, keeping the impact of the rod to a minimum and letting the view shine through.
2. This example is the exact opposite with a three layer fully dressed window. It looks like there is a neighbor visible directly through the window so the Roman shades can be lowered for privacy and the rest of the time the entire window treatment serves as a beautiful accent for the room. source unknown
3. Shutters provide the flexibility with the ability to open them fully or adjust the louvers or close them completely. I love the fact that these are painted black and create some texture and balance the black of the island in the foreground. source unknown
4. Cellular shades have been around a long time but they still work very well in most homes. Using them at the tub as top down bottom up shades is a most effective way to have privacy when you need it without giving up natural light from the upper part of the window. When you are dressed and no need for the privacy the shades can be completely open. Since it’s difficult to have to reach over the tub to change the positions, most clients prefer remote controlled shades; either with battery operated controls or hard wired and controlled by their smart phone or tablet. source unknown
5. Although cornice boards are usually installed over draperies, it’s not absolutely necessary. If that look is too heavy or you are limited on space try just using a decorative cornice like this to complete the room decoration. If privacy or sun protection is needed, you could install cellular shades underneath the cornice and only use them when needed. source unknown
6. If you are looking for a clean contemporary look but still need some softness in the room why not install sheer draperies under a valance? It provides what’s needed but keeps the room light and airy. source unknown
7. Woven grass shades are very popular with my clients. They add a natural element and filtered light. They can be lined for privacy and a room darkening roller shade can be installed behind the grass if desired. source unknown
8. One of the newer options available is the panel track system. These work well in contemporary rooms and are similar to exploded vanes of the dreaded vertical blinds (which all designer hate). These work very well for sliding doors and can be used under drapery panels on the sides, which may hide them completely. There are a lot of fabrics available and the stack nicely in a relatively small amount of space. source unknown
No matter what your window covering needs, it’s always a good idea to consult with an Interior Designer or Window Covering specialist. They know what options would best suit your circumstances and budget and can be sure you get the right size and proper installation. Window coverings can be very tricky!
Who wouldn’t love to live at the beach or have a beach side vacation home? I recently completed one for a client and wanted to share some of the highlights with you.
1. The original kitchen was made of plain white Formica cabinets and configured with a peninsula and corner sink. It was outdated and needed better function as well as updated finishes. We custom built all new cabinets and included some glass doors with bead board backs. We put in a new stainless steel hood and raised it so it wasn’t too low for the cook. We brought in a small wine refrigerator for easier entertaining.
2. The peninsula was converted into a more functional island with a deep single bowl sink and high tech faucet, a new trash compactor and a new dishwasher. The counters are a solid taupe colored quartz in order to not compete with the back splash. Of course we improved the lighting in the entire kitchen and installed these hanging pendants as well. There is a tall floor mirror for the back wall in this picture but it wasn’t installed yet when the picture was taken.
3. We used a fabulous carved tile with wave like action for the remodeled kitchen back splash. It’s texture and movement relate perfectly with the nearby ocean. Here is a close up shot. It’s really stunning and easy to keep clean!
5. The client selected linen slipcovered sofas and rustic funiture for a very relaxed ambiance. We used three shades of taupe paint from Restoration Hardware for the walls in these adjoining rooms to emphasize the architectural details.
6. The powder room got a complete makeover too. We took down the old “fish” wallpaper and replaced it with this elegant grass cloth that is hand silk screened with zebra stripes in tarnished gold. Very dramatic but tasteful in the neutral colors and simple lines.
7. The master bathroom also got a makeover. The original wall paper was very wild palm leaves so we removed it and painted the walls a calm blue. The mermaid wall decoration was left by the previous owners and created an appropriate and playful focal point for the room.
We didn’t like the white Formica cabinets so covered them with a grass cloth looking wallpaper to update them without having to change the cabinets, sink and counter tops. We added new knobs to complete the room makeover.
8. The children’s room originally had two sets of very dark and bulky bunk beds that took over the room. We rearranged the layout and had custom beds built to accommodate the kids and their friends. By placing the beds in an L shape we were able to open up the center of the room so they had room to play and we were able to provide drawers for storage as well.
These clients were wonderful to work with and will enjoy this home for many years to come!
All photos by Lila Levinson
Getting Started and Familiarizing Yourself with the Steam Shower
by Andy Ellis, guest blogger
For those who are familiar with the steam shower, you’d certainly agree that it provides a level of luxury and extravagance that isn’t matched by any other household appliance. However, what most people don’t know is that its benefits go beyond that.
The steam in the enclosure helps enhance our body’s circulation and thin the blood. This works great in relieving ailments such as fatigue, soreness, arthritis and many more. The presence of steam also helps improve one’s metabolism and helps make the respiratory system more efficient. Additionally, our immune system is improved a lot by the removal of toxins caused by sweating.
Steam shower units have special compartments that can be used to diffuse essential oils. Aside from helping you cleanse your skin, it also has other physiological benefits. Rosemary, for example, helps alleviate arthritis when it is the oil chosen. Ylang-ylang, on the other hand, helps those who have insomnia. For those who feel a bit depressed, oils such as lavender and eucalyptus are most apt.
In order for these showers to be more comfortable and decadent, accessories can be installed. Here are some things that are commonly added:
Bench seat – works wonders especially in keeping you more comfortable. 20 minutes of standing is bearable but 20 minutes of sitting is a much better alternative.
Timer – a steam timer helps keep you from dozing off in the shower and limits your steam session to the correct length.
Audio and video – audio and video jacks of all types are available these days. MP3 players and even iPods can now be hooked up to your steam shower allowing you to enjoy your favorite tunes and videos.
Emergency button – this button is usually bought by senior citizens but is just as important for people of any age. This rings an alarm outside the shower to alert people that you are in trouble. The alarm can also be a considerable distance and will work via RF signals.
Replaceable shower heads – shower heads vary in terms of purpose and design. There are those designed to spread water all-around and there are those made to simulate rainfall.
Steam shower can be quite luxurious so consider one when you are planning a remodel.