December 19, 2014

5 Musts for the Perfect Christmas Table

It could be argued that Christmas dinner is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the day, and a feast fit for a king deserves to be put on a beautifully laid oak table. Whether your Christmas dinner is being made for a family of four or served buffet-style for a party, make sure it’s served looking its best with these five tips.

Pick a color scheme
It doesn’t matter if you’re going for a festive feel or a more contemporary look, pick a color scheme and stick to it. There is nothing more garish than throwing together clashing colors and hoping they turn out eccentric. Classic gold and silvers bring a touch of elegance to the table, whites provide a clean ‘Winter Wonderland’ feel and reds and greens really bring in the spirit of Christmas.



Choose the perfect centerpiece
Christmas is the time for pushing the boat out: no matter how small the table, there should be a centerpiece. If you’re after a simplistic look, choose candles or sleek ornaments to provide a focal point on the table without detracting attention from the food. Those who want to impress: the sky is your limit! Use candles, ornamental bowls and visual points with differing heights to add texture without cluttering up the table. The fancier the centrepiece is, the more simple the color scheme should be, as you don’t want to leave your guests dazed and confused.




Christmas crackers
Christmas crackers are a family tradition for many, but with the average cracker containing terrible gags, flimsy hats and naff gifts that will just end up in the bin, it’s time to step up your game. Homemade crackers are simple to make, and a great way of getting the kids involved in the festivities. You can choose a personal gift to go inside each cracker so you know everyone will get something they love, and put in a few real ‘dad jokes’ to get everyone grinning.



Bring out the fine china
Christmas only comes once a year, so why not use it as a time to bring out your fine china and expensive cutlery? Layering up your crockery allows you to show them off and air them out while creating a picture-perfect table setting.



Add a few Christmas touches
Whether it’s a sprig of holly, a sprinkle of snow or an angel topping the centerpiece, don’t forget to add a few Christmassy touches to the table. It will bring a smile to everyone’s face and add a touch of Christmas cheer.
 

Christmas dinner can be a stressful meal to cook, with the threat of undercooked or overcooked food and overcrowded ovens lurking at every corner, but once it’s all set out on your perfect Christmas table, it will be worth it.

December 15, 2014

Fab Find of the Day: Minted Stationery


I've always been a sucker for stationery, and the holidays are the perfect time for a paper lover like me. Minted is the perfect place to find everything from save the dates (check out their new collection) to the cutest New Year's cards at amazing prices. The site features a mix of design styles, too. So if you're into a traditional style or prefer a more modern design, there are certainly a good amount of options to choose from. I've placed a few orders over the past few months and have been very pleased.  My favorite Minted design for the new year is its "Family Year in Review New Year's Photo Card." You can snag them for under $2 each and it's a great way to inform your loved ones of the accomplishments your family has made over the past year. I rarely save cards, but if this one were mailed to me, I'd have to hang on to it.


December 9, 2014

Fab Find of the Day: Warby Parker Eyeglasses



Every once in a while, I have to step a bit outside of the home decor world to share my love of a product that's just so good. Warby Parker frames fall into this category. I don't wear glasses every day, so I hate to spend a crazy amount of money on frames I'll likely update every year or so. Warby Parker eyeglasses are affordable (they start at about $95), durable and come in a bunch of stylish colors that any blogger would love. Who wouldn't want their glasses to be just as stylish as their home?

Check out the brand's new Concentric Collection of eyeglasses and sunglasses. I especially love this Whistler Grey style (also shown above).

Photo: Courtesy of Warby Parker

November 17, 2014

Top 5 Decorating Tips for Renters


1. Breathe some new life into your plain walls. Often, rentals will come with blank white walls, and landlords will request that you paint them back when you’re leaving. If you’re up for two paint jobs, go for it. Otherwise, hang up some unique artwork and mirrors to bring some interest to your walls.

2. Temporary wallpaper is a great alternative to a paint job. If you’re in a rental or just wanting to be able to change up your d├ęcor frequently, temporary wallpaper is a great option for you.

3. Have large windows like the picture above? Installing blinds is a pretty big investment, especially for a rental, so spice up your window treatments with some fun curtains. Ikea is a great place to start for affordable ones, or if you’re up to the task, make them yourself.

4. Customize your furniture – when you can’t customize much else in a rental, you can always DIY some updates onto your existing pieces. It’s as simple as replacing knobs if you’re not up to a paint job.

5. Switch up your lighting fixtures. Big box stores like Target and Ikea have gorgeous lighting options, for some pretty great prices. Adding a chandelier in your main room will instantly bring a touch of class to the area. Be sure to keep the old lighting fixtures – if you want to take your new ones with you when you go, you’ll need to leave lighting fixtures up for the next tenant.

Picture: Renters Pages Ottawa

September 19, 2014

What I'm Reading This Week


Yay for Fridays! Here's what caught my attention this week:
  • A Cup of Jo features a roundup of 15 career tips from women, and it's so good. [A Cup of Jo]
  • I still think about my two trips to Paris and How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are is a sweet reminder of these special vacations. It even has some decor-related tips, from organizing a bookshelf to setting a table. [How to Be Parisian]
  • Encourage the guy in your life to make his home a little more stylish. [Lonny]
  • This bright and airy home makes me want to move to California. [Homepolish]

September 17, 2014

The Beauty of Self-Adhesive Backsplashes



Sometimes you're unable to make permanent changes to your kitchen, and for those cases, a self-adhesive backsplash could be an option if you're hoping for a new look in your space. Wayfair carries these easy-to-apply tiles that simply stick on the wall and they come in a variety of colors. It's a great way to experiment without making a major investment.

Photo: Wayfair

July 24, 2014

Press Mention in ShopSmart Magazine


If you happen to snag the September issue of ShopSmart magazine, which is published by Consumer Reports, flip on over to page 34. I'm mentioned in an item called "Great design finds for $25 or less." So fun! Thanks, ShopSmart.