New Years Eve Cocktail Ideas!

 

Having a New Years Eve par-tay tonight and looking for a fun drink to serve?  Check out some of these fab drinks. 

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Ring in the New Year with festive red Champagne Pomegranate Cocktails – See recipe here.

These are called Remixed Champagne Kirs.

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Or you can go for the Berry Sexy Cocktail.

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And check out these incredibly fabulous little Watermelon Jell-O Shots.  They are made out of limes, Jell-O and vodka.  You can even add these little black sesame seeds to look like watermelon seeds.  Aren’t they cute?!

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And if you’re really creative how ‘bout making New Years Martini Cupcakes?  The batter is cooked right in the martini glass!  Crazy, huh.  Here’s the recipe!

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  Colorful Cocktail Cupcakes!  Click the link to the left for a great how to video.  Same idea as above, but decorate the top with store bought icing tinted with food coloring and top it off with candies of your choice. Who knew?

Well, there you go – some fast, fabulous drinks and desserts to impress your guests and welcome the New Year.  Have fun and be safe!

Happy Decorating and Happy New Year!

Winter Chill Brings Spring Fever!

 

It’s been a little chilly this winter until this week.   The last few days fortunately it’s been in the 60’s and sunny……absolute perfection.  But, with the chilly mornings and the sunny afternoons it makes me yearn for the beauty of spring and springtime flowers. 

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After a blistering summer that scorched everything within it’s reach and the chilly winter I definitely have spring fever.

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I stumbled across these pictures of my backyard last spring and now I can’t wait to get out there and garden again -

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And open up the umbrellas and barbecue.

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What a difference all this color makes…..

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With my lantana blooming like crazy alongside my pink roses….

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And my pink crepe myrtles.

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I want to kick back in my outdoor living area

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And play with my granddaughter in her little play area.

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I want to lay on my lounge chair and read magazines while sipping on a wine cooler….

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or gather around the table for a chit chat with my family and friends.

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Or just float in the pool for hours…..

Yep, I’m loving the winter after a scorcher of a summer here in Texas, but here lately I got me a case of some spring fever!

Happy Decorating!

Decorating With Green and Brown: Cool and Hip

 

Looking for a fun color combination to spruce up your place?   How about green and brown? 

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It’s a hip, chic…….fun combo.

Stylish green color living room at Modern Trends and Interiors Design Ideas From the Living Room

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They look great together in a contemporary space like this……

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A casual space like this…..

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A transitional space like this….

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Even in a traditional space like this the mix of green and brown is stunning.

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Whether you bring in the rustic look of tin tiles….

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Or the contemporary look of glass tiles….green and brown make a beautiful combination for any space.

Happy Decorating!!!

Another Quick DIY: A Super Quick And Easy Girlie Gift For Your BFF’s!

 

When Thursday arrived and I was supposed to have gifts made for four of my bestie’s for our annual family Christmas party Thursday night you might say I was in a bit of panic.  At ten o’clock that morning I literally had no idea what I was going to make.  But, after mentioning it to another friend of mine that I was desperate for something quick and easy (and good) to make she texted me the recipe for this Sugar Hand Scrub that her daughter makes.  And she saved the day!

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This literally  took me all of 5 – 10 minutes to make and it was a hit.  All you need is 1 cup of sugar.

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Two tablespoons of corn syrup.

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1/3 cup mineral oil. (Add more if needed – I did)

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1/2 tsp. peppermint extract.

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Little touch of food coloring.  The recipe called for green, but I chose red instead.

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You just mix all the ingredients together.  Double or triple it when making for more than a couple of people depending on the amount you’d like to give.

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I put it in these cute little jars from the Dollar Store.

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Added a bow and some ornaments for that Christmas-y touch.

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And, just for a little added “cuteness” I added these tiny, little silver teaspoons to scoop it out with.

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Then I bagged them up into these adorable Christmas bags that I purchased – where else? – the Dollar Store….

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And had them all ready for the gift exchange that night with these four besties.

I owe it all to my other bestie, Connie!  Thanks Connie for the tip!  It was a life saver!

Happy Decorating and Merry Christmas!

DIY Window Treatments: A Little Work, A Lot Of Savings

 

We ended up doing a lot of extra’s when we had to have our floors and walls re-done due to the flood (I know, I know….you’re sick of hearing about it by now….sorry!) But, the whole dilemma took over my life for 6 weeks or more so it stands to reason there are just “things” to share on my blog.  One of those things is my family room window treatments.  With fresh paint and floors going in I decided it was time to update my windows after having the same ones for the last decade.   So with money going out like crazy for so many different needs I convinced myself that in order to save a few pennies I needed to do the things I was able to do myself and farm out the things I could not.  One thing I know how to do is sew. 

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So I did some looking, designing and thinking and landed on this design as my inspiration.

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There are variations of the same style, but I always came back to the same basic design.

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These are from Reilly-Chance…..a website you should check out, by the way.  I’ve actually come to despise sewing (although when I first started my business I made all my client’s window treatments).  I have the workroom I use for my clients make almost all my own stuff to spare me the time and energy.  But, in this particular case with so much money going out for other things I decided to drag out my sewing machine and go for it.  These are actually surprisingly simple.  All they require is a little time and patience.  (Not that I have much of either!)

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So after some extensive research I finally found my fabric.

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And, after weeding through a multitude of trims I settled on this one.  I was torn between doing tassel trim or beads so when I found this combination of both I knew it was the one.

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I measured the width of my window plus a few inches out on each side.  In order to have enough fabric to create the swoop you see I had to cut the fabric 1 1/2 times the width of the window.  My window measured 48 inches plus the few inches on each side.  A width of fabric is 54 inches so I did each window with       1 1/2 widths of fabric (or 81 inches wide).  My windows are 72 inches long, plus the 12 inches from the window sill to the floor so I determined I wanted my valance to be 24” long.  (I added for the top and bottom seams and hems and cut the valance length accordingly.)

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Notice the seam on the left where I sewed the fabric together to create the right width?  I did the same for the liner fabric.  Then I pinned the face fabric (the decorative, pretty fabric) to the white liner and sewed all the way around leaving a pocket on the side so I can turn the fabric inside out.  Then I sewed down the side seam.  I made sure to press all the seams so that it had a clean, flat look.  At the top I turned it under a good three inches and at the bottom I turned it under a good inch for a finished edge.  This keeps the white liner from showing.

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I recycled these green velvet pelmets from my old drapes for my new ones.  I removed the old trim…..

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And I turned under the top to shorten them.

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And added new trim….

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By gluing it on with a product called Fabri-tac – it’s like sewing with a tube.

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I did the same thing with the beaded, tassel trim and pinned it into place until the glue set.

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I made sure to wrap the trim around to the liner side to keep the edges clean.  (When you cut trim it immediately begins to fray so you have to be very careful.)

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Then I played around with these tassels until I figured out what I wanted to do with them.

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I ended up cutting them into two pieces and sewing one at the end of each pelmet.

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I looked at several different styles of medallions before I settled on squares.  But, I had them hung in this diamond shape for a little more pizzazz.  (The pelmets hide where each end of the valances meet.)

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I know they’re not quite as snazzy-whazzy as the Reilly-Chance valances, but it was all I had the patience to do.  And, I must say I like them just fine!  If you prefer, you can add banding or trim (or both) to the top of the treatment, or a row of banding to the bottom.  There’s a great many ways you could embellish them if you wanted to.  I just opted for a simple style…..mostly because I was too lazy and short on time to do anything anymore complex than that! 

Hope you’re inspired now to tackle your own window treatments!

Happy Decorating!

Christmas Dessert Idea’s: As Decorative As They Are Tasty!

 

Are you having any parties this holiday season?  Do you need some really great ideas on how to “do up” a dessert display?  Something creative and fun that will knock the socks off your guests? Below are some dessert displays that are so fun you almost hate to eat from them for fear of messing up the perfect presentation.

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How amazing is this spread?

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Of course,, it is dessert after all and the point is to eat them!  But, why not make them stunning visually, too?  What kid (or grown up) wouldn’t love reaching into this dessert display? Don’t think you could pull this off?  Look for shelves at a garage sale or thrift store and paint them bright green.  Buy lollypops and clear jars at the Dollar Store, turn party hats upside down for cotton candy holders.  Fun, fun, fun!  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

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All of these so festive and happy.   Remember if you don’t have all this “stuff” or the money to go buy all this “stuff” just pick bits and pieces of the holiday display you like the most and create your own fun look.  Remember the Dollar Store is our friend!  They have lollypops for, well, $1.00 each, of course!  And, they also have rolls of Christmas paper – how about using that as a fun back drop, they have ribbon and plates, etc.  All for a dollar apiece so it would be a cheap way of creating your holiday “look”.

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How sophisticated and serene this look is.  All the white and blue……so soothing.  The munchies just blend right in with the décor. But, look closely now…..it’s a look you could pull off, too:  Blue ribbon, Christmas balls, white roses and white serving platters…

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Colorful and fun – again – you can duplicate a similar look….

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or this kid friendly and fun display?? 

For impressive treats how ‘bout these fun desserts? How sweet! (No pun intended!)

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Get creative with your desserts like these little snowmen….

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And these little gingerbread cookies wrapped with Christmas ribbon.

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Display your drinks with a touch of elegance on a silver tray.

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Cool whip, strawberries and raspberries – always a great choice for Christmas desserts.

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A colorful 3 tier fruit tray…..very pretty and holiday-esque!

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Beautiful. yummy drinks.  Click here for this visually appealing and tasty recipe. 

For a closer look at some of these pictures and more recipes check out the following blogs:  www.weddingbycolor.com; www.confetticouture.com; sweetlittleparties.blogspot.com; www.blog.catchmyparty.com; www.nothingmakesmehappier.com; www.blowoutparty.com

See how much fun you can have????  Not going to lie – it requires a little time and effort for some of these holiday desserts and displays.  But, look at the results!  Time to have some fun and impress your guests (and yourself) with your creative talent!

Happy Decorating!

The Blue and White Living Room: Soothing and Serene

 

There’s something clean and crisp about blues and whites or blues and creams for decorating a space.  One of the living areas in one of the houses I’m working on is going to be in the creams and blues and it got me thinking about just what a fun color combination this is.

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Here’s a soft, soothing space using soft powder blue with cream.  Isn’t it peaceful looking?  Just looking at it relaxes me.

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This is a brighter blue, but look how crisp and clean this space looks.  The navy walls with the cream drapes sets the tone.  And no other color in the room except for the green chair.  Traditional, fresh and fun.

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Turquoise blue like the pic’s above and below – another great choice of color.  Clean, peaceful, serene.  Don’t you feel it?

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I really like these stacked cream shutters on the window behind these blue silk drapes.  Nice touch.

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The addition of the green with this blue and white tilts the personality of the room towards a sort of chic “hipness” and fun….

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And this yellow gives the space a bit of lively pop and “pep”…..

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But, there’s just something about all blue and white……

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or all blue and cream…..

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…..that’s just the right amount of color.  Contemporary or traditional, soft blue or bold blue – the color combination just works.  Love it!

Can’t wait to tackle my client’s living room!

Happy Decorating!

My Little Cozy Christmas

 

After dealing with the flood in my house and having to move out for a month and then back in again right before Thanksgiving I was so exhausted and sick of boxes and unpacking, etc…..I didn’t think I’d have it in me to do any Christmas decorating at all.  And with the passing of my beloved father – there’s definitely a lacking in the air this year.

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But, when it came right down to it I just couldn’t not decorate.  We didn’t do it the weekend after Thanksgiving like we normally do – we gave ourselves a break.  But the next weekend we hauled more boxes out of the attic and began unpacking and decorating……starting with the front porch.

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I always love a cozy entrance and to me garland and a wreath always does the trick.

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I put artificial poinsettias in my pots and embellished them with these metal Christmas picks my friend, Barbie, gave me last year for Christmas.  (Thanks, Barbie!)

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I added my age old sleigh…..

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and filled my basket with Christmas greenery and berries.

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In the entry good old Santa and a Christmas tree greets guests as they walk in the door.

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And, of course, I embellished the stairway with greenery and gold.

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Just inside the front door I added two more trees where I normally have my ferns and embellished the candleholders with Christmas greenery and a bow.

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The landing – with my antique stroller than stays there year round – is the perfect place to use these cream poinsettias and Christmas birdcages. 

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Here’s a view of the entry from upstairs.

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Normally I have two trees in the dining room, one in each corner, but this year I just didn’t have it in me to add those.  So I put extra detail into the table and other places in the dining room…..

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And it still looked Christmas-y and festive even without the trees. 

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In the den we always have a tree in the corner of the room along with my Christmas Teddy…..

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And extra Christmas touches here and there….

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Of course, we had to have a tree in the family room, too — it’s our main hang-out area after all.  (I should have turned off the TV in the background for this picture….oops!)

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This year I opted for a slim line tree instead of my bigger, fatter one that I’ve used for years.  We had to do a little rearranging with the tree this year and the new spot wouldn’t warrant a larger tree.

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I was worried about it being too wimpy to be our main tree, but I actually like it…it’s much less cluttery.

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Gotta have the stockings and greenery on the mantel.

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I love this Santa book box I got in New Braunfels.  Adds a nice cozy Christmas touch.

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On the breakfast nook table I added all different sized Christmas trees like last year.  Kind of looks like a little Christmas tree forest.  (The only reason this is feasible is because we hardly ever eat there!)

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Greenery and pine cones on the chandelier for fun…..

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And greenery and berries on the pot rack.

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Just adding a small touch of Christmas décor to your existing decor is easy and cost effective and it sure adds that festive vibe.

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And that festive vibe is a good thing.  It’s been a challenging six months, but I still have so much to be grateful for….. especially the reason for this wonderful season.   Decorating the house just brought the spirit of Christmas to our home and it’s just what we need right now.

I want to always count my blessings in the midst of life’s challenges….what better time than Christmastime.

Happy Decorating!!!

The Great Many Colors and Styles Of The Kitchen Island

 

One of the things I’ve run into over the years for clients is the question of what to do with the kitchen island.  In fact I’m working with a client right now on this very thing – what color to paint her kitchen island.  Now obviously you can always keep the stain the same as the rest of the cabinets.  It’s safe and will always work well in the kitchen.  (Of course, it’s only as beautiful as the stain itself, but generally will will look just fine.)

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But, there are a great many other fun things that can be done, too.  A very common color to change it to is black.  And, in this case above – a black distressed island.  In this particular space it matches the bottom cabinets, but notice the upper cabinets are just a regular stain.  This type of island would look great even if all the other cabinets were stained.  It gives the space personality, interest and depth.  A black island would look great with cabinets that are white, biscuit, taupe, dark stain, etc.  It’s a pretty fool proof color to use if you’re interested in doing it in a different color, but want to be on the safe side.

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Red is another great alternative.  This one gives this otherwise white kitchen a fun “pop”.  This takes a braver soul, but just look at the results.  Takes a kitchen from ordinary to extraordinary.

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In this space the upper cabinets are cream and the lower cabinets are the color of the island. 

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Here they matched it to the wall color.

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Green is fun, too.  (I especially like the distressed look- no matter what the color.)

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See what I mean?

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Generally I will pair the island stain color with a dark cabinet or a biscuit color cabinet, but here you see the green island with the red cabinets. Interesting and fun.

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Love this dark stain with the glazed light taupe cabinets.

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Blue is another really fun option if it works within your color scheme. I especially like this combination of colors – the country blue with this stain. 

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Again, here it matches the cabinets, but it would look great and be a fun contrast with cream, white or dark stained cabinets, too. 

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If you don’t have a built in island consider buying a free standing one.  They come in a great many colors, styles and sizes like this cream one above or these fun, bright blue or black islands below.  (By the way, notice this island is sitting on a beautiful, decorative rug. Another fun way to bring in personality and color to your kitchen.)

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Notice all the different styles here.

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Consider your overall color scheme of course and don’t be afraid to pull a fun color from either the fabrics, the rug, the furniture, etc. to make your island stand out and give it personality. 

Happy Decorating!

Tis The Season: Christmas Decor, Santa Clause, Parties and More!

 

I’ve decorated countless homes at Christmastime over the years including a great many model homes, but none more beautiful or more fun than the house I recently had the pleasure of doing.  When Kurt and Darla Buehler, two very successful realtors here in the Flower Mound area (check them out here), asked me if I would be available to do their home for Christmas this year I was more than happy to oblige.

After a tour through their home for a look at some of the Christmas items she had on hand I new I would need some more “stuff” - as well as some more help – to get it done in time for their annual Client Appreciation/Christmas party so I recruited my friend and faux artist, Julia Roberts to help me.  Yes, Julia Roberts – no, not that one.

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After a quick shopping spree we got to work to create a cozy Christmas atmosphere for Kurt and Darla to enjoy and give the house a festive holiday facelift for the upcoming party.  First off we combined some of their Christmas décor with our new Christmas décor and created a welcoming holiday display on her entry chest to greet the guests as they arrived. 

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Since Julia and I are both sort of “blingy” girls with a tendency to believe in the old adage that “more is more”  we decided to make the entrance into the dining room just off the entry hall a bit of a holiday “experience” I guess you could say.  So we dressed it up with some holiday glitz and glam…..

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But, when we stood back for a look we decided it needed even more oomph! so we added this copper mesh ribbon to top it off.   It was just what it needed.

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We dressed up her dining table by sprucing up the chandelier with greenery and ribbon; and created a lavish centerpiece on the table simply by adding large scale ornaments and greenery.  Sometimes the simplest touches have the most impact even for the girls who like the “more is more” approach.

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Of course the office across the hall got it’s Christmas touches, too.

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It’s always fun to decorate a staircase for Christmas and Darla’s was no exception.   This copper ribbon compliments the ribbon over the doorway that you see peeking down on the upper right leading into the dining room .  The combination of the copper with the burgundy creates a very “rich” look, don’t you think?.

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Darla wanted to get this bust in her niche into the holiday spirit so we added more greenery, more Christmas berry picks and more copper ribbon.  I think he looks quite festive!

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We gave these amazing pendants in the kitchen a holiday facelift with some fun, festive, over the top holiday bling….

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As well as her gorgeous chandelier….

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To the pot rack we added greenery and berries….

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Just the right touch for her incredibly cozy kitchen.

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Not a great picture of the tree, but it really was beautiful.

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Here’s a closer look.

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We sprinkled little touches of Christmas here, there….everywhere…

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In the niches we added holiday picks and large scale pine cones. 

So fun!  And all in time for the special event! 

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Of course the Buehler’s invited jolly old St. Nick to the shindig to liven things up for the kiddo’s (well, and the adults).  Here’s Kurt and Darla partying it up with the big guy….And, to top it off they had a professional photographer there to take pictures of the guests posing with him.  Each guest received a flash drive with their Santa pictures on it to take home with them for Christmas cards, etc. I mean….how cool is that?

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Ummmmmm…..did I mention Santa was there for the adults, too?  As evident in this picture – we never really outgrow him do we???   Here he is hangin’ with the Buehler’s staff.  Do you think they’re having just a little bit of fun?

Since Santa was making an appearance at the big party I invited my daughter-in-law and grandkids to come take advantage of the occasion.

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My grandson, Eli, was fine with Santa, but my 2 year old granddaughter, Kaisley – well, not so much…..she was overwhelmed, petrified and refused to go near him!

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As you can see Eli was quite comfy and content….

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And, Julia and I had no problem snuggling up to Santa for a picture. 

DSC_2842 I finally got Kaisley over near Santa for a quick shot.  (I just sort of inched my way over and leaned in – that’s his noggin in the corner – not sure why he wasn’t in the picture, but I just love this shot of her.)  Is she precious or what?!!

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Julia, myself and my good friend, Susan, who lives next door to the Buehler’s – all having a great time at the party.

And, it wasn’t just any party.  It was also a wonderful benefit to raise toys for the Toys For Tots program chaired by the US Marines. Each guest was asked to bring a toy to be donated to the charity.  What a wonderful idea!  They were able to collect enough toys to fill three huge Toys For Tots boxes and are still collecting more.  (If you are interested in donating please contact them here.)

  Great food, great fun, and a great cause……all the makings of a very Merry Christmas I’d say!

Happy Decorating!!!!

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