Monique Valeris is the founder of Decor Musings, which houses roundups of the most stylish home products out now, highlights of her flea market shopping adventures, interviews with interior design experts, and tons more. Happy decorating!
With the holidays can often come house guests, which means you need to be prepared to ensure their stay with you is as comfortable as possible. You'd be surprised how little things can show guests that you've taken the time to think about their needs and understand what it means to entertain. (By the way, Vogue's Book of Etiquette has some great tips on this topic.) Here's what I suggest you consider for making guests feel at home.
Plush, white towels. There's something about cozy, white towels that give off a luxurious vibe and make people feel special. Stack a few in the bathroom for a spa-like feel. Why should they just be reserved for hotel stays?
Candles. Everyone feels more relaxed when a candle's burning. Whether you have a few lit during dinner or in the bathroom when guests arrive, it's an easy way to help guests unwind. If you prefer scented candles, my favorite is Votivo's Island Grapefruit.
One good robe. I love nothing more during the winter months than a soft robe, especially when I'm hopping out of the shower or having breakfast. Consider having a robe or two handy for guests when they're lounging around your place. I'm sure they'll thank you for it.
Liquid hand soap. One of my top pet peeves is using someone's bathroom and being left to find that in lieu of a simple bottle of liquid hand soap, I'm being forced to use bar soap. Being the germaphobe that I am, the idea of using a soap bar after a trillion people isn't appealing to me at all. I love the liquid olive soaps from Savon de Marseille. They're lightly scented and extremely gentle on your skin. You can't go wrong with the lavender version.
There's nothing I love more than a warm and cozy throw. And when it's as stylish as this chevron one from Tory Burch, how could you resist? The blanket comes in both navy and ivory and chocolate brown and ivory. It'll cost you $295, by the way.
And how about coupling it with this chevron lamp ($395) from Jill Rosenwald? It was featured in ELLE Decor earlier this year.
OpenSky is giving one lucky Decor Musings fan a chance to win a pair of these cute, cute, cute fuschia ikat pillow covers from Martyn Lawrence-Bullard. For an opportunity to win, leave a comment here before noon ET on Wednesday, Dec. 14, about how you'd decorate your space with these beauties. Good luck!
The idea of creating a gallery wall--a collage of art--always intimidated me for some reason. For one, I'm the worst at hanging just about anything. Couple that with my ever-growing collection of art and picture frames from flea market escapades, and I was always left feeling like I wouldn't know where to begin and it would turn out to be one big mess. Well, I took a leap of faith and happened upon a dose of motivation somehow (likely from having my living room painted in a dark, dark purple), and decided it was finally the time to get it done.
There are all kinds of theories about how gallery walls should be created, from the orderly version to my preference of mixing and matching the size and style of picture frames. For my wall, I started the process by hanging several floral paintings I had around my apartment, postcards and an African mask. I even ended up hanging a wooden cross snagged from a vacation to Puerto Rico, a straw hat purchased at Target one summer and a hand-written happy birthday note I received and had framed a few years ago. I still have a little more work to do with it, so it will come together eventually.
To be honest, the wall is somewhat chaotic, but I absolutely love it. Every item, big or small, means something to me, and that's all that matters, right?
Photos: Tori Mellot's apartment as featured in Domino
How fabulous are these "Porcelain Mortar" stools from Tucker Robbins? I just painted my living room in a deep purple and these beauties would go perfectly with my new color scheme. Any takers on buying me these for Christmas? Ha.
I also love Tucker's "Lattice" stools. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.
It's been a while since I've come across a retail website with a creative concept capable of capturing my interest to the point where I have to visit it multiple times a week. So when I heard about OpenSky, which allows you to take part in exclusive sales on food, health, fashion and design items curated by your favorite celebrities and well-known experts, I knew I had to investigate. And I have to say, it's a must-visit in my view.
Naturally, my favorite section of OpenSky is design and since my first visit to the site, I've been back time and time again only to find home products endorsed by experts like Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Michele Varian, Preston Bailey and more. I've spotted some cute cashmere throws, newly released coffee-table books (including Martyn's Live, Love, and Decorate), reclaimed wood picture frames, and pretty much any other kind of accessory one might need to jazz up a home.
OpenSky was kind enough to invite me to do a little shopping of my own, and I snagged a Kobo candle from Bradley Bayou in the Zapote scent, which is a lovely combination of passion fruit, echinacea and strawberry. It smells delicious and isn't overbearing. I've been burning it since the day it arrived in the mail.
If you haven't done so, take a look at OpenSky. I'm sure you'll find some home goodies worth buying.