We are about two weeks past the banal remarks of “can you believe the holidays are right around the corner?” and all its variations. At this point, the corner is turned. Since it is EXACTLY 12 days from Christmas (and 11 from Hanukkah), I decided to put together a list of 12 gifts that are fun and unique, but universal at the same time.
The best gifts are thoughtful, beautiful and practical (in that order). With the abundance of holiday party invitations, gifting alcohol is always an appropriate gift. Below, are some of my favorite host/hostess gifts.
The first three, are gifts that I have given many times and are among my favorite; the fur wine collar is my absolute favorite. The collar and wine bag are under $10 and the wine purse is around $15.
The stemware reminds me of fizzy champagne bubbles swirling around the bottom of the glass. These glasses come in a set of four and are on sale for $45.
I love, love, love the whiskey rocks. For your “neat” friends, this is a great gift.
The jigger is as fun to say as it is to give. The one below is really elegant looking, and while the first three items on my list are decidedly feminine, this gift is more gender neutral.
Wine Collar, Wine Bag, Wine Purse, Stemware, Whiskey Rocks, Jigger
For those in need of a gift for a travel-loving friend or coworker, below are some great options. The passport holder is beautiful, shiny and easy to find in one’s travel bag. The luggage scale is a brilliant and practical gift! I can attest to the nightmare of shuffling belongings from one bag to another because my luggage is too heavy. After completely ransacking one’s luggage, another travel nightmare is getting to one’s destination and having to wait for a taxi in the rain. This poncho is super cute with its leopard print lining and folds up very compactly when done. The poncho style provides stylish, hands free rain protection. These two gifts are the ones you didn’t think you needed, but are immensely happy to have when you do. The last gift is for the traveler who likes to start his or her vacation the moment he or she sits on the plane. The Airplane Cocktail Kit is everything you need to fix a Moscow Mule with all of its ingredients being 3 ounces or less. Traveling with kids? No problem, pack two 😉
Passport Holder, Luggage Scale, Convertible Poncho, Airplane Cocktail Kit
The criteria of thoughtful, beautiful and practical is of utmost importance when choosing teacher gifts. These saints do things that most of us do not have the patience nor energy to do, day after day after day. The key is attaching a sincere and heartfelt message along with your gift. Gift cards are always appreciated, yet they are the least memorable. Why not pair it with something thematic that conveys your appreciation. Organization is paramount in this profession. A beautiful planner is a nice touch alongside a gift card (maybe to The Container Store). A cozy hat and scarf set with a note that reads “Looking to give back to you some of the warmth you share with our children all year round” might be a nice sentiment. Caffeine is usually the fuel of choice for most teachers. This striped travel mug filled with chocolate and a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts gift card would be nice. A note that reads “Wishing you a ‘latte’ of joy and love this holiday season” would be cute.
planner, Knit Hat and Scarf Set, Travel Mug
A big gold star to those of you that noticed that there are 13 gifts listed here. Because there is ALWAYS someone (mailman, garbage man, dog groomer, stylist) that we forget to get a gift for, buying an extra gift is always a good idea.
I hope this was helpful in giving you some fun and unique options for gifts this year.
Wishing you a wonderful, happy, healthy holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate!
Every few years a major paradigm shift occurs in design; 2017 will be one of those years. There are so many factors that foster these shifts. See my post here from the beginning of the year where I delve into some of these reasons. For the past few years design has favored a neutral palette, organic elements and open concept living. A cleaner more minimalist style has been the trend. Less will still be more in 2017; I don’t think we will ever go back to the “let me cover/fill every surface in my home” again. However, 2017 will bring new materials, richer colors and a more personal approach to designing one’s home.
What WILL be OVER are:
This print has had a pretty good run. This pattern was able to cross style boundaries popping up in traditional, modern and everything in between. I love this print, it is a soft geometric that lends itself to many applications. The problem is that it was WAY TOO OVERDONE! We now have Moroccan print fatigue. I can’t bear to use this fabric anymore.
If you are not ready to let this pattern go, try an ikat version of this print for a more updated look.
Image via Etsy
This pattern dating back to the 60’s re-emerged in the more modern realm of design a few years ago. It has since crept into every sect of the design world. The traditional version of this pattern will be zigzagging itself out of decor next year. Like its Moroccan print soul-sister, it too has been over used.
If you REALLY love Chevron, below is an updated version that looks more current.
The new Chevron -Image via Residents Understood
If you have either of these prints in your home, I wouldn’t toss them. However, I would not recommend purchasing anything new (especially upholstered or custom pieces) in these prints.
We are going to see a lot more new textures than new patterns in the upcoming year. Some other trends that will be HUGE in 2017 are:
Beside the obvious marble counter top, marble is now popping up in decor elements and decorative object and lamps.
marble tray (20%off use code MERRY), Lamp, Bookends
This organic material will be HUGE for 2017! Everything from entire cork walls, to cork flooring.
Cork Wallpaper, Drum Lighting,
3. Jewel Tones
Cream, blush and gray monopolized much of 2016. 2017 will make way for deeper richer colors such as amethyst and sapphire. However, I think emerald-green will be the star in the new year. I predict there will be rich colors done in rich textures such as velvet, tweed and linen. If these rich tones make you nervous, try starting with one richly colored piece while keeping everything else more neutral.
I am loving this emerald-green sofa from Anthropologie.
sofa, arched headboard, dining chair
I love this metal detail! It elevates everything it adorns, making ordinary pieces look special. EVERYTHING looks better with nailheads…..no exceptions!!!
This side table from Better Homes and Garden is a major steal!
side table, Chest, mirror
I am looking forward to what the new year will bring. In future posts, I will discuss some of the other major design movements and trends that are emerging. Let me know what topics you would like to hear more about, or post any feedback on this topic.
Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is hands down one of the best sales of the year! One can score some great deals if they shop early and often. Many people forget that Nordstrom also has a home department. Here are some great pieces I found:
Here are the links to check out:
Pendant light, Marble cutting board, Decanter, Cutting boards with holder, Nest candle, Woven pouf, Set of mugs, Sheet set, Jonathan Adler frame, Woven basket, Uttermost Accent table, Monogram Turkish Cotton throw, Accent table, Monogram tote, Barbecue Trolly, Indoor/Outdoor rug, Porcelain box, Kensie Shower curtain, Kensie metallic throw pillow, Rosanna Appetizer plates
Even though this is blog about home design, I am almost as passionate about fashion and style (those who know me, know I have a serious lipstick addiction). Not couture fashion, but real life style. Both home and fashion are an artistic expression of who we are. Here are a couple of things I am loving just because they’re awesome 🙂
Blank NYC Moto pants, AG Jeans, BP Cargo Anorak Jacket
C.O. Bigelow Rosebud Salve, Charlotte Tilbury Smoky eye duo, BCBG Carolena Bootie
Hope you enjoyed this post! Happy Shopping!
It is usually the small things in the right places that give one that extra touch of style and chicness. It is the string of pearls, the diamond studs, the addition of truffle oil or champagne, that will take things from good to great. Every so often our home needs the same boost.
There are really only a handful of items that can immediately up the chic factor of any space. When a small but impactful update is in order, these three items will be all you need!
A BAR CART
Veanne Bar Cart, Misha Bar Cart, Jacques Bar Cart, Vince Bar Cart, Gerard Bar Cart
Check out this chic outdoor bar cart
Horchow Tamsin Chinoiserie Bar Cart $795
This bar cart is my favorite; it is stocked, styled and ready to go!
Image Via Elle Decor -Nicole Gibbons
People usually think to add unique lighting in the kitchen. However, I feel that pendant lights and chandeliers make an even bigger impact in more unexpected areas like the living room or hallway. Here are a few that have major style.
Roxbury Pendant, Crystal Drop Pendant, Lucia Semi Flush Mount, Olive Leaf Pendant
Image via Coastal Style
Don’t have an electrician on speed dial? Here are some table lamps that will also do the trick.
Lamps I Love:
Madison Crystal Lamp, Ripley Geometric Lamp, Diamond Omega Table Lamp, Alexis Lamp, Loring Table Lamp
I love the use of mirrors for so many reasons. They are the design equivalent of Houdini. They can give the illusion that a space is larger, ceilings are taller, rooms are brighter and make a space look as though there are more windows than there actually are. Without a doubt, mirrors are a designer’s best and most used tool.
Petal Mirror, Frederick Wall Mirror, Evie Geo Mirror, Cassia Mirror, Studded Mirror
Quatrefoil Mirror $347
These mirrors below not only make a statement, they serve to balance out a wall with a single window!
Image via Pinterest
Napoleon Hill said “If you can not do great things, then do small things in a great way”. I hope this post inspires you to the make small, impactful additions that will elevate and revitalize your home.
Thanks for reading!
Green can be a precarious color to decorate with. It is bold and demands attention. However, it is one of the few bold colors that can actually serve as a neutral. We associate this color with life, nature, growth and renewal. It can also be associated with greed, jealousy and money. Whether you have an affinity or an aversion to this color, there is always a place in any room to make this color work harmoniously. With a myriad of variations, there is a shade of green for everyone. Green plays well with navy, gray, brown, gold and black.
If green is a favorite color of yours, you can make this color the star by using it on larger pieces such as bedding or upholstery. However, if you’d rather use more restraint when decorating with green, you can use it on your accent pieces such as pillows and throws.
In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, here is my post on all things green. I hope this serves to inspires some new additions to your home.
Below, these rooms utilize this color successfully. The first room shows this color used with a black and white palette. This palette is bold, graphic and masculine.
This dining room is a more refined use of green. This color is just used on the drapes and accent pillows. It is paired with gray, cream and gold. It is a more sophisticated and feminine use of green.
Image via Pinterest – BlogSpot
I hope you enjoyed this post. I leave you with this Irish blessing:
May your troubles be less
and your blessings be more
And nothing but happiness
come through your door
Thanks for reading!