Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Beautiful Room

I spent Monday catching up on my blogs while being grateful that I'm on the west coast instead of at home on the east coast! I found this room on Habitually Chic and it has a million elements I love:
The beautiful crane painting hanging over the collection of classic books
The stately rail on the second floor
Arched doorways
Oversized Chinese porcelain
White paneled walls

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Orange Ornaments

A family tradition for years, dried orange slices are our countrified version of shiny glass ornaments.  They make the tree glow when the lights shine from behind them and they make the house smell delicious while they're drying.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Minute Gifts

At my house, we celebrated Christmas today because we are flying to California for actual Christmas and couldn't manage packing up all of our gifts for the flight out. The Christmas season continues, though, and I've come across a few really cute gift ideas that I think would be perfect for a lot of people who still have the big day ahead of them!

This little apple candle from Two's Company would be such a cute gift for a teacher.  If I had kids I would definitely buy them!

Eliza B allows you to personalize tote bags, clutches and flip flops with fabric and ribbon choices ranging from preppy to funky.

These cute notebooks from Field Notes are not only handy, but they are actually a decorating accent.  As Stacy London would say, they really "pop"! I can't think of any girl who wouldn't be happy to get these.

The correspondence sets from the Forgetful Gentleman are definitely for a specific type of guy only, but I really love the idea if you happen to know this kind of gentleman.  In addition to beautiful stationery, they sell books on proper letter writing, leather goods and reminder methods for keeping up with your correspondents.  Plus, they have a cute start-up story which can be found here.  

Everyone needs a way to make their cell phone stand out from all the others.  Since ringtones are no longer the thing to do, these monogrammed decals from Fontaine Maury will do the trick!

Did you come across any great finds this year??

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Love It

Do you ever see a photo and you just instantly love everything about it?  That happens to me when reading decorating blogs, looking through magazines, and even sometimes with certain songs.

This is what happened when I saw this photo of Deborah Needleman's (former editor of Domino) bathroom. 


Is it possible to make wallpaper cuter?  I don't think so.

And those brass sconces and natural wood...I don't know if words can properly convey how much I love them.

Then, while I was shopping in Old Town, I saw this cute brass side table that I thought had a very similar look to the sconces.  It looks like old ship equipment or something Galileo would have had in his observatory.

I found it at my favorite store in Alexandria, Random Harvest.  I don't remember exactly how much it was...I know it was way out of my budget, but totally worth it if you can afford it!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Live in the Cutest Town on Earth

This weekend I got in the holiday mood by starting (yes, starting) my Christmas shopping in Old Town Alexandria.  I think it might be the cutest Christmas town ever!

Singing Christmas carols in the town square

Real fruit decorating the transom - so clever!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cozy, Cozy Fireplace

Alright so Dorothy Draper says to break out the booze to get in the holiday spirit but what can make you feel cozier and jollier all year round than a well appointed mantle and fire surround.  Let's see what she has to say about that subject...

Ms. Draper warns us against andirons that are too dainty for the fireplace.  Even if you never intend to build a fire in your fireplace, your andirons should look sturdy enough to be functional.

When choosing decorations for your mantle, the same rule applies of avoiding items that are too small for the dimensions of the fireplace.  It is better to have a few large items that make a firm statement, rather than an array of tiny objects cluttering your mantle.

This would be an example of a fireplace with appointments that are TOO SMALL!

When choosing decorations for your mantle, the same rule applies of avoiding items that are too small for the dimensions of the fireplace.  It is better to have a few large items that make a firm statement, rather than an array of tiny objects cluttering your mantle.

When placing the objects, follow the lines created by the fireplace and the surround.
The  size of the fireplace, the scale of the decorations hanging over the fireplace, and the dimensions of the room should all compliments one another.

So there you go!  A little helpful advice from Ms. Draper, echoing down through the decades to help us all be a little cozier this winter! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Entertaining Season!!

Entertaining friends at Christmastime is one of those luxuries on which it is entirely alright to splurge!  In her book, Entertaining is Fun, home decor and entertaining maven, Dorothy Draper, wisely advises,

"The first requisite of such a party is good liquor.  The second is plenty of it.  Don't try substituting the second recommendation for the first."

The 1940s, when Dorothy Draper was at her peak, were not just the Golden Age of Hollywood, they were also the Golden Age of entertaining (and, I think, the Golden Age of Christmastime - think of all the great Christmas movies and songs from the 1940s!).  At that time, every house was equipped with a well-stocked bar and a drink was the first thing you reached for when you returned from a day at the office.  Nowadays, behavior like that would get you featured on an episode of A&E Intervention.  But aside from the obvious advantages of having a bar cart always at your fingertips, it means you're always ready for an impromptu holiday party!

Also, from a tiny apartment in the city to a mansion in the city, they lend a little bit of sophistication to any living space!