Designing A Festive New Year’s Eve At Home

Designing A Festive New Year's Eve At Home

Although everything this holiday season might be looking a bit different from in years past, your home can still reflect the holidays’ joys. Many people have enjoyed decorating their homes for the holidays more than ever this year. Now that New years eve is upon us, we can enjoy the season’s decor a bit more since many will be celebrating a bit more quietly at home, whether you plan a quiet evening at home with your immediate family or have a few people over.

Here are a few ideas to enhance your decor for a New Years’ Eve at home.

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ONE

Frame some of your favorite holiday photos to display around your home. A great way to extend the joy of the holiday season and remember the time spent with family and friends from seasons past. So often, our favorite moments are stored somewhere in our phones. Print out a few and frame them so that you can see them often. Create a slideshow of your favorites that you can enjoy or your tablet or photo frame.

TWO

Warm-up your home with some candlelight. Even if you have taken down your Christmas decorations, you can create a glow in your home with candlelight creating a wonderful ambiance for a New Years’ Eve at home. Even battery-operated candles are a great choice as they are very realistic. Fragrant candles are great as well.

THREE

Even if you have decided to forego cooking in that newly renovated kitchen and order takeout, make dining special. Use an unexpected color scheme or set your table with your seldom-used china. Pull out vintage dishes and create a unique New Years’ Eve Table. It’s a great way to make the evening feel special.

FOUR

Create a project for the kids. Have the kids make some decorations, encourage creativity by using what you have around the house, old Christmas cards, etc. Create a festive backdrop for that family zoom call. Fill the house with metallic balloons; simple ideas can really make the evening feel special.

FIVE

Bake with your family. Try out some old family recipe or search out a festive confectionary treat to create a great family activity

SIX

Add some fresh flowers. I love fresh flowers, especially this time of year. Grab a few colorful, fragrant blossoms at the grocery store to enjoy on New Year’s Eve and throughout the upcoming weeks. I always grab a few of my favorites right before Christmas, they last right through the New Year.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

How To Update Your Christmas Tree

How To Update Your Christmas Tree

Many of us have used our cherished Christmas ornaments collection for many years, each ornament holding Christmas past nostalgia. Most of us don’t want to part with our cherished collection or family ornaments, but there are ways that you can update your Christmas decor without starting from scratch. While I enjoy most of my time highlighting client’s projects, I want to give you a quick peek at my living room Christmas decor to show you an example of how I recently updated my living room mantle and tree decorations.

Although my Christmas decor changes up every year, I do a minimum of a few full-sized trees, which I love to decorate differently. But my living room tree has remained primarily gold for several years. This year I wanted to bring in a mix of numerous shades of red to this usually glimmering gold, snow flocked tree. I added a beautiful red and burgundy satin brocade wired ribbon to the tree to add some color and depth. It tied in great with my red velvet bejeweled accent pillows. Then I added red ornaments in 3 shades of red and burgundy. Some were glass, some were a satin-finished glass, and some were a glittered burgundy. The numerous shades of red worked well to add interest to the tree and blended all of the various red shades that I have throughout this area of the house.

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The fireplace mantle draped with a sweeping cascade of garland, glittering gold ribbon, frosted snowflakes, and a mix of the same red ornaments played nicely with the original all gold garland with a variety of sprays. As with most of the woodwork in this room, this fireplace was originally a dark stained wood when I purchased the home. It was beautiful in its own right, but I wanted a lighter look, so the woodwork was painted white, and the old brick red clay fireplace tile we replaced with a blue and white patterned tile. The Christmas tree garland and wreaths in this room are also dripping with glass frosted icicles. I have had these icicles for decades, and they are still some of my favorite ornaments to use. Some years they are on one of my trees; other years, they have found themselves hanging from my stairway garland.

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Here are a few tips to change your tree’s look without replacing all of the decorations and starting from scratch.

ONE

Add ornaments in a complimentary color. Be sure you add enough ornaments to balance out the look—a great way to tie your existing decorations into the room’s decor.

TWO

Weave in a different ribbon. Try something new. Several yards of new ribbon can do a lot to change up the look of your tree.

THREE

Mix old and new. Mixing old and new is a great way to build a tree design with character. A layered look on your tree will be a much more exciting yet traditional look. A tree with all ornaments that are the same will give you a more modern look if that is the desired outcome.

FOUR

Use unique items that may not be meant for a tree. Using unique items happens to be a strong skill of mine. Over the years, my trees have sported numerous decorative objects. My rule is, there are no rules; use your imagination. In my home, if an item is beautiful, I love it, and it can sit on a branch; it has probably at some point been on one of my Christmas trees. I have always enjoyed hearing the delight of family and friends when they spot an unusual item on a Christmas tree

FIVE

Remove a few items and re-vamp them.  Add decorative ribbon or paint existing ornaments to give them an updated look. Have fun and use your imagination.

With just a few quick changes, you add a fresh look to your existing ornament collection

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Creating A Holiday Wreath

Creating A Holiday Wreath

When I start planning outside Christmas decor, I like to begin with the design on my front door wreath. The front door is the first thing that guests see as they approach your front door, and it should welcome guests, especially during the holiday season. I like the front door wreath to set the tone of all the other exterior decorations’ color and feel.

There are so many beautiful front door wreaths available to purchase. Or you can certainly make your own. Sometimes I start with an artificial wreath base, and then I decorate it, using my selection of ribbon, ornaments, sprays, and embellishments. Sometimes, I like to start with an assortment of fresh greens to create the base of front door wreaths, then add metallic or natural elements. Here are a few tips when purchasing or creating a front door wreath.

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Creating and placing a front door wreath:

ONE

What is the color of your front door? You want your front door wreath to stand out and contrast your front door color while complimenting the color of your door. If I were decorating a red front door, I might not choose an all-red front door wreath unless I wanted a monochromatic effect. To simplify this process, select something that will stand out on your front door. Maybe there could be some smaller elements on the wreath picking up the red, but the main elements of the wreath could perhaps be green and gold, for example.

TWO 

What is the size of your front door? It’s easy to get carried away with your wreath base. Before reading or purchasing a wreath, look at your front door and how the wreath will have to hang. Do you have double doors at your entry? If so, will you have a wreath on each? Always something to consider before you start the process of wreath making or shopping for any supplies.

THREE

Consider the elements. Choose a ribbon that will hold its shape. Wired ribbon works great on a front door wreath. Most front door wreaths will get some wear and tear from the elements. Using a heavily wired ribbon will help to keep your wreath looking great through the holiday season. Wire on any ornaments or decor firmly with floral wire so you won’t lose any items to the strong December winds.

FOUR

Consider experimenting with unique colors and shapes. There are no rules when it comes to creating a holiday wreath. Strong colors and color combinations are visible a little better than softer colors when you look at your house from the road, so don’t be afraid of intense bursts of color.

FIVE

Consider buying a wreath of fresh greens from a worthy cause and then embellishing with additional greens and decorations. Many organizations sell wreaths of fresh greens, allowing you to provide needed support to some great organizations, and it gives you the ability to create a new wreath every year!

Until next time,
Gia

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

This is the season for Holiday decorating! Especially this year, everyone seems anxious to usher in the beauty and comforts of the Holiday season. Choosing your Christmas tree is a great place to start since it is usually the most exciting Christmas decorating project of the season.

If you decide to use a live tree this year, it is essential to do a little preparation before you head out to search for your perfect tree.

 ONE

Measure your ceiling height and take measurements to be sure you know how tall a tree you will need. Leave room for your tree topper, and tilting the tree to an upright position when installing, also allows for your tree stand and tree trunk. Even the most beautifully shaped tree could look like a mess after having to cut half of the tree branches off to stand it in place. Check your measurements, and be sure to purchase a tree that is shorter than your ceiling height!

– Check your doorways, hallways, and stairways, be sure you have a clear path to your final destination. Be sure the length of your tree will make all the turns that it needs to make to enter your room.

– Of course, you also want to be sure you have a vehicle that can transport your tree back to your home, with plenty of cords or rope for securing your tree to your car. Always aim the tree’s trunk toward the front of the vehicle, so the wind doesn’t break the branches during transport.

TWO

When I decide to use a live tree, I purchase my tree from a local tree farm here in Massachusetts, where choosing the perfect tree involves a long hike, down a path, into the woods, through the snow, down past a stream, and up a hill in the freezing cold. Once you reach the peak of this hill, you can see a valley of beautifully tended live trees, all sparkling in the sunshine and all hoping to be my Christmas tree, makes the journey worthwhile. Once you are deep in the woods, it can become challenging to judge these beautiful trees’ height. Luckily my favorite tree farmer comes equipped with a tree measuring stick, a saw, and a pickup truck to haul my perfect tree back to civilization. If you are fortunate enough to visit a tree farm, ask your tree farmer about the different varieties of trees and what to expect regarding the longevity, fragrance, and durability of the needles and branches that vary with each tree.

Your local Christmas tree lot can also be a great place to purchase a live tree, this involves less hiking, less time, and you could also be helping to support a local cause with your purchase. When choosing a freshly cut tree, be sure the needles are not brittle. You don’t want to purchase a dried-out tree that will lose its needles quickly.

THREE

Once you get your Christmas tree back to your home, be sure that your tree trunk has a fresh cut before installing. A new cut allows the tree to continue absorbing water. After installing, fill your tree stand with water immediately, and continue daily watering. Remember, the taller the tree, the larger and stronger the tree stand needed to hold it up safely.

FOUR

Thinking about an artificial Christmas tree? As much as I love the fragrance and the all-day pilgrimage of selecting and installing a live tree. Artificial trees offer many benefits, such as no constant dropping of needles, no daily watering, and much sturdier branches that can hold up decorations that most live trees cannot support. For someone who puts up their decorations early, an artificial tree allows much more longevity. You can also find artificial trees in every shape and size, and variety you could get in a live tree. A quality artificial tree will look very authentic and will last many years if properly stored. There are many trees to choose from, including flocked, pre-lit, and many tree companies offer different varieties of trees, from Frasier firs to White spruce. Remember, decorations and lights go a long way, even with an inexpensive artificial tree.

Until next time,

Gia

 

From The Blog

A Peek At My Thanksgiving Table

A Peek At My Thanksgiving Table

This year I’ve decided to hold my annual Thanksgiving dinner a week earlier than usual. My adult children have to go to several homes to attend numerous Thanksgiving dinners—eating Thanksgiving dinner sometimes four times a day. For many years they were more than willing to do this. I decided that this would make it easier for everyone, including the newest 2-month-old addition to the family. Also, giving us more time to visit together as a family during our Thanksgiving celebration. Since my Christmas decorating officially starts on Halloween (this provides plenty of time to decorate my own house and my client’s homes and time to photograph my holiday decor). Most years, my own home is in full-scale holiday decorating mode completing just before Thanksgiving. This year my early Thanksgiving idea lost me a week. However, somehow the house is ready, and I am excited to share a peek at the decorations with you.

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As always, my tablescape is a mix of old and new Items. Some of my cherished pieces of blue and white china from my many years of collecting, mixed with new items like my jewel-toned velvet pumpkins and the beautiful new chinoiserie pumpkins that I stumbled upon earlier this year. I added silver and mirrored chargers purchased for previous events that I have held, antique crystal candle holders, and a few silver pumpkins wrapped with iridescent pearls. This year, I am using cobalt blue and silver for all of my holiday decorations in my dining room, so my Thanksgiving table is following suit. The numerous combinations of colors that I have used for this room are always one of my favorites, so I have used it again this year—an easy transition to my Christmas Decor.

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This year, I’m using cobalt blue satin napkins folded with the silver metallic linen blend napkin. Silver napkin rings trimmed with rhinestones will hold these napkins on top of my place settings. As I’ve mentioned before, don’t be afraid to mix and match when you set the table. When I use my blue and white collection, you might notice that there are about four different patterns of blue and white in one of my table settings. I prefer this layered look of compatible patterns mixed rather than the look of just one pattern on the table, which gives it a lot more interest. It also allows me to add pieces to my collection without worrying about having a certain amount of plates. I know I can always mix a new piece in with the others.

If you prefer a more clean-lined look, you could certainly use one pattern or solid colored plates. When using solid plates, I like to add some contrast to the table with color or pattern in another way. Maybe a more colorful centerpiece, or even a simple floral strong in structure, like an orchid, gives you a much more modern look. When I’m setting the table for a sit-down dinner, I try to keep any centerpiece or center decoration low enough to where you can see over it, especially crucial during Thanksgiving when you are probably going to be sitting at the table for a while. Depending on your table’s shape, you will need to decide how much space you need to create a centerpiece accordingly.

I always use place cards at my holiday table. When my kids were little, it was always a fun project to create place cards for everyone. I still enjoy creating different place cards for everyone joining us for dinner and coming up with different ways to display the place cards. When it comes to glassware, I treat this the same way I treat my china or plates. For this table, I’ll be mixing and matching. This year I combined two patterns of cobalt blue glassware with silver goblets. I also mixed in a few silver-rimmed antique glasses since we were using silver on the table. I try to mix glasses of complementary proportions; this is the key to mixing glassware.

Instead of fresh flowers, which I usually use, I used a few potted flowering plants on my tables for this tablescape. The small lacey blossoms on these flowering plants were pretty and delicate, and I knew they would look great with all of the chinoiserie patterns. I placed these flowers in white ceramic pots. The details on these pots complement the Chippendale details in my high gloss white dining room chairs. I have enjoyed these potted flowering plants in my home all fall and decided to work them into my Thanksgiving tablescape. A few ice and glitter-covered greenery stems add some additional sparkle to the table and complement the room’s Christmas tree, which is ready and waiting to greet guests in this dining room. I’ll add a few more small details to finish out this tablescape, but I thought I would give you a quick peek. Happy Decorating!

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Preparing to celebrate the holidays at home

Preparing to Celebrate the Holidays at Home

After a crazy year of making adjustments in our lives due to the pandemic, many of us might be adjusting our holiday plans slightly. You may have fewer events to attend, smaller events at home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and more time at home. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t still celebrate the holidays with style and beauty.

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Add rich color.

Here are a few tips:

ONE

Decorate! Over the many years of decorating professionally, both year-round and for Christmas, one thing I know for sure, your environment affects the way you feel. Walking into a warm, inviting, and well-decorated house can be a great boost to your mood throughout the year and the holiday season. Maybe this year, you are working from home; this could give you a little more time to try some of those Christmas decorating ideas that you never seem to get around to doing. Start early to avoid the stress of getting your home in order. Make your home as festive as possible. If the kids are home, involve them in the process by making some decorations. It’s an excellent idea for a kid’s activity and a great way to personalize your decor with handcrafted ornaments or decorations.

TWO 

Mix things up a bit. If you usually host a Thanksgiving dinner for 30 with paper plates buffet style. This year, since you might have just a few people, bring out your china and be a little more elaborate on your table setting. Allow yourself to explore some possibilities that you couldn’t do with 30 people. Setting the table for a sit-down dinner might be a fun way to do things a bit differently

THREE

Instead of one large party or gathering, try hosting a few smaller gatherings with friends and family throughout the season. Spread out the fun and visit with your guests on a more personal level. Maybe plan an activity done with just a few people, like cookie baking or gingerbread house decorating. Take advantage of the smaller-scale gatherings and plan accordingly.

FOUR

Fill your house with the sounds and scents of the holidays. Even if your holidays will be more low key than you might have envisioned, enjoy the holidays’ sounds and smells throughout the season in your home. The sounds of the season’s holiday music and aroma can be uplifting and enjoyed even if you are just by yourself working from home.

 

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

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