this is a page for

Category: home

Spring Tablescapes ~ Mama’s Way or Your Way…

Mama’s Way 

My Mama has a lot of heirloom china, crystal and silver that has been in her family for generations. Many of them are kept in storage.  One of the things that I have enjoyed doing with her is unwrapping her treasures and spreading them out on her dining table to create a tablescape for each season.  Last weekend we did her spring tablescape.  We worked into the evening, but we managed to incorporate many of her pieces without buying any new ones.  Obviously, this is a more formal spring or Easter setting.  My Mama is a very cheerful person and she loves cheery colors, so I love that we incorporated pops of color for her.  We used her Wedgwood dishes, crystal stemware, silverware.  We topped the dishes with silver plates and cups.  We did buy a few extra things to add to it.  The underlined items are the things that we bought.  You can tap on them for sources.

For the centerpiece, we used a round silver platter and placed a crystal vase on top of it, then trimmed it with fresh flowers and boxwood trimmings.   And I love these two white ceramic bunnies .  They match perfectly!  We also used simple this ivory table runner .

We added a touch of whimsy by filling the silver cups with fresh boxwood trimmings and colorful candied eggs.  The jute plate chargers add a slightly rustic element. We found the white linen and lace napkins at Home Goods .

My favorite pieces on the table are the hand painted plates and teacup.  I love the gold detail around the edges!  We filled the teacup and a small silver bowl with fresh-cut blooms and placed them in the center near the ends of the table.

 

My Way

               As much as I love the beautiful antique pieces, I decided to keep it simple and do a more casual table setting.  This works better for our family.  Plus, I only own about 5 pieces of China.  So I used my everyday dishes.  This set up is good for Sunday brunch or a casual family get together.

I kept the centerpiece simple with a ruffled burlap table runner  and a wooden box filled with fresh tulips.

My handy husband made this box out of some leftover pallet wood that we had on hand.  Then I filled the box with pint size clear Mason jars and fresh tulips.  (*Florist tip ~ add ice cubes to your fresh tulips everyday so they will last longer)

For the place setting I started with the large Carolina Wreath from Magnolia Market. I placed a dinner and salad plate on top, then topped it with a grapefruit half (because I love the color and the fresh smell). I placed gold flatware on top of linen and lace napkins from Home Goods. I used the pint size mason jars for water glasses and garnished with a lemon slice.

Whatever your style may be, whether you do it your way or your Mama’s way, I hope you get the chance to create memories with your loved ones around your dining table this spring!  Just keep it simple and fresh.  Use what you already have and incorporate a few things that you love, if you want to!  Happy Easter to you and yours!

Blessings,

~ Karen

Nature Inspired Spring Color Trends

Welcome Y’all!!

Green Paint traditional-entry

 

Can you feel it?  Spring is in the air! Soon the woody branches will burst with soft green leaves, the sun will shine a little brighter, the dormant grass will transform into a lush green carpet, and colorful flowers will pop up everywhere.  Spring is all about bursting color!   So why not add a little color inside your home, as well right?  This year’s colors are all about bringing the outside in.   They are inspired by nature.  In fact, “Greenery” is the color of the year, which is also referred to as “nature’s neutral.”  Personally, I am loving the 2017 color pick!   Here are the spring 2017 colors 9 (according to Pantone) and some great examples of how to implement them into the home.

These are the basic colors samples, of course the shades and tones can be varied.  You can see more color combinations here.

 

GO BOLD

Many of these colors make a bold statement by themselves.  For a fun dramatic statement you can combine them.  However, if you’re painting the wall a bold color keep in mind that you may not want to put it in large main living spaces because you may get tired of the color fast.  Try putting it in smaller rooms where you don’t spend a lot of time such as powder rooms, an office, bedroom or a dining room.  Here are some examples of bold 2017 color combinations.

Katie Ridder Rooms contemporary-dining-room

Greenery, Lapis Blue, and Pink Yarrow

Shabby-chic Style Living Room shabby-chic-style-living-room

Pale Dogwood, Flame/Pink Yarrow, Hazelnut, Lapis Blue and Kale

My Houzz: An Antique Cape Cod House Explodes With Color farmhouse-home-office

Greenery and Flame

Emperors Gate, South Kensington, London transitional-bedroom

Niagra, Pale Dogwood, and Hazelnut

TONE IT DOWN

If you prefer a quiter interior you can tone it down by starting with a neutral color palette then adding a pop of color in the furnishings, artwork, accent pieces, drapes, or an accent wall.  This option is better for main living spaces, but works well in any room in the house.

Contemporary Family & Games Room contemporary-family-room

Greenery and Lapis Blue

Living Room beach-style-living-room

Lapis Blue, Primose Yellow, and Flame

Little Polgarron scandinavian-bedroom

Flame and Primrose Yellow

High Fashion Home Fall 2014 transitional-living-room

Pale Dogwood, Pink Yarrow, Flame, Greenery, Niagra, and Primrose Yellow

Kitchen Countertop Ideas for White Cabinets

Island Paradise

 

Whether you prefer to tone it down or go bold, I hope you’re inspired to add color to your own space.  Have fun with these playful colors and don’t forget to put your own personality into your space.

Bye, for now!

Cape Danbury transitional-entry

Blessings,

Karen

 

 

Creating an Ash Blonde Finish

Happy Friday friends! I’m so glad you stopped by! Are you ready for the weekend? I know I am. Speaking of weekend, 2 weeks ago I started a simple “weekend” project. I decided to refinish our 12-year-old kitchen table. The table top was a dark cherry finish. It had all sorts of “memories” etched into it from my kids when they were little. I love my kids and I love a well-worn rustic finish, but after 12 years, this table was in desperate need of an update! I wanted to lighten it up with an ash blonde finish. To be honest, I don’t know what kind of wood my table is made of, but if I had to guess i would say it’s Cherry just because it has red hue in it’s natural state.  So anyway…after trial and error, my weekend project was more like my 2 week project. But now that it’s finally finished I love it! It really feels like I have a brand new table! However, it really shouldn’t have taken me that long. So I thought I would share a few tips on how to get the popular ash blonde finish WITHOUT the trial and error process.

The before & after

You will need:

*read all directions on back of cans before applying

 

1. Sand wood with 150 grit sandpaper with an orbital sander. This will strip off the existing finish, dents and scratches.

2. Clean off sawdust. Sand with 320 grit sandpaper for a nice smooth finish.

3. Wipe down furniture with a tack cloth.

4. Rub Minwax Pre-stain wood conditioner into wood with a rag. This will prevent blotchiness when applying stain

5. 2 hours later, apply Minwax Weathered Oak Stain with a clean rag. Let sit 5 – 10 minutes then wipe off.

6. 4 hours later, apply Minwax Pickled Oak Stain with a clean rag. Let sit 5 – 10 minutes, then wipe off.

7. Repeat steps 5 & 6 every 4 hours, alternating stain colors, until you achieve desired finish color. I did this 6 times (3 of each color)

8. At least 4 hours later, wipe with a tack cloth and apply Minwax Spar Urethane with a foam brush.

9. Let dry a minimum of 4 hours, then sand with 320 grit sandpaper.

10. 4 hours later, wipe with a tack cloth and repeat steps 8 & 9

11. For a matte finish( just to keep it rustic 😉 ) sand again with 320 grit sandpaper

12. Wipe with a tack cloth and you’re finished! Literally 😉

Blessings,
Karen

5 Ways to Create Rustic Charm

Healdsburg Ranch farmhouse-living-room

rus·tic
adjective
1. relating to the countryside; rural.
2. constructed or made in a plain and simple fashion, in particular.

It’s no secret that rustic decor is trending right now.  And I, for one, couldn’t be more excited!  I LOVE adding character and natural elements to any room.  But the thing that I love most about the rustic design trend is that it works well with almost any style, from modern to traditional, to chic or farmhouse.  Whatever style your house is, there is always room to create a little rustic charm!  So whether you live in an old fixer-upper or brand new home, here are 5 ideas on how to add beautiful rustic character.  You can add as much or as little rustic elements as you wish!


Add Reclaimed Elements to your Walls, Floor or Ceiling 

Willowend shabby-chic-style-family-room

There are 6 surfaces in a room you can use as a base for rustic charm, 4 walls, the floor and the ceiling.  Pick at least 1 of these surfaces to cover in reclaimed elements.  You could do a stone fireplace, a barn wood accent wall, exposed beams on the ceiling, reclaimed wood floors, reclaimed metal on the walls or ceiling, an exposed brick wall.  These elements don’t have to actually be reclaimed, but keep in mind you want them to look like they’ve been there 100 years or more.  When looking for these elements think raw, natural and unfinished (except for flooring) with a lot of imperfections.  This is what creates character.  (I think that’s why I love rustic decor so much…it’s imperfectly perfect!)

Keep It Light

Coastal Charm beach-style-dining-room

Sometimes rustic elements can feel a bit dark and “heavy” with chunky stone and thick wood planks.  So, keeping the rest of room light and neutral will balance out the room and let your rustic elements really shine.  Brighten the walls and furniture a light, neutral color. Neutral decor also gives you more flexibility in your accent pieces, as well.  But we’ll get to those later…

Opt for window coverings that don’t block the view and will let natural light in.  Choose long linen drapes or roman or woven shades as opposed to mini-blinds or shutters.  These can be opened easily and allow full sunlight and full view of the great outdoors, even if it’s just a pretty tree in your front yard.  Natural light will really lighten up the room and highlight the rustic elements.

 

Add Natural Accent Pieces

13th Street farmhouse-dining-room

The rustic style is all about bringing the outdoors in!  So add natural accent pieces such as natural woven area rugs and baskets, reclaimed wood tables, leather or linen furniture, real plants, cowhide, sheepskin, etc.  Natural is beautiful in the rustic world!

 

Keep It Simple 

Triple L rustic-bathroom

The rustic style is also about simplicity, so when decorating your space don’t over think it.  Truly, less is more.  Start with a  blank slate.  Remove everything from the room and slowly start adding the pieces you feel work best in the space, whether they are new or old.  Don’t clutter the space.  Add the functional pieces first and then add a few accent pieces that you love.  Keep the lines clean and simple.

 

Add Vintage Pieces

Castle Rock Farmhouse Chic - Master Bedroom farmhouse-bedroom

For your accent pieces, consider adding vintage pieces.  I’m not saying to make your space look like an antique store, but just a few pieces in a room can go a long way to adding the “charm” in rustic charm.  Vintage can be anything from a mid-century modern accent chair, antique buckets, chippy painted furniture or old family photos.  Vintage can be old or just look old.  If it looks like it  could tell a story from 50 plus years ago, then it’s a good candidate to add charm to your rustic space!  

Blessings ~

Karen

Firefly rustic-dining-room

 

Simple DIY Valentine’s Decor

Hello!  It’s hard to believe Valentine’s Day is almost here!  I have to admit that I not a very crafty person.  My kids have never been the ones bringing homemade Valentine’s to school.  And on the occasion that I do craft…well…let’s just say the simpler the better for me.  So, if your craft-challenged like me, but would still like to add a little love to your house this Valentine’s Day, here are a few simple craft ideas that even I can do!  Just click on the pictures for a the DIY details.  Happy Crafting!

Paper Doily Heart Garland

  • I love the neutral color and simplicity of this project.  You can drape this garland across anything that needs a little love.

Pink Painted Mason Jars

  • Place fresh flowers or baby’s breath in the jars and place on a table or sideboard

 

Kisses Artwork

  • I love this simple artwork!  Frame it in white and hang it on a white wall for an added pop of color.

Heart Tree

  • This would be a great centerpiece for a table or sideboard

Heartstring Artwork

  • This can be hung anywhere in the house that needs a little extra love.

Felt Ball Garland

  • I love this draped across the chalkboard.  It could be draped over a mantle, mirror, or artwork, as well.

Sweater Heart Pillow

  • These fun accent pillow for Valentine’s Day and a great way to recycle your kid’s sweaters!

 

“I heart U” Printable

  • Just print, frame and hang in your daughter’s room all year round as a daily reminder of your love.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

xoxo,

Karen

 

Create a More FUNctional Home Office

 

Home Office painted with C2 Paint transitional-home-office

Welcome back!  Thanks so much for stopping in!  I’m so excited because this week we’re going to have fun talking home office!   Yes I know, offices are centered around work, but that doesn’t mean they need to be all work and no play.  Whether you’re managing your business or your household, it’s important to have a space in your home where you can stay organized and get things done.  So let’s talk about how we can create a fun and functional work space.

WHERE

First things first, where would be the best place for an office in your home?  Maybe you already have a designated room for an office.  This is ideal, however, if you don’t have the luxury having a room set aside for an office you can still find other areas in your home where you can create an office space.  Here are few ideas ~

In the kitchen…

Advanced Renovation Projects traditional-home-office

 

Under the stairs…

Palma Plaza contemporary-home-office

 

In the guest room…

Apartment-in-Moscow-4 traditional-home-office

 

In the mudroom…

Urban Building Group: Charlotte, NC traditional-home-office

 

Tucked into a nook…

The Guild at Red River contemporary-home-office

 

Along an open wall…

Church Street Residence transitional-home-office

 

In an unused closet…

Architecture and Interior Design eclectic-home-office

 

Anywhere there is room for a desk…

The W Residence contemporary-home-office

 

Given all of these options, there’s no reason why you can’t make room for a home office.  Now let’s make it happen!

 

FUNCTION

We’ve all heard the phrase “form follows function” and this rule definitely holds true in the office, which is all about function!  First, think about what this space will be used for.  What work will be done here?  Will this be a shared space? What are the basic needs in this space?

Study Room - off Family Room traditional-home-office

THE BASICS

SF Shipyard transitional-home-office

 

  • Desk ~ Desks come in a variety of options, from a large desk with ample storage to a simple wall-mounted solid surface.  First we must determine what size of desk will fit in the given space.  Once that’s done let’s determine what the desk will be used for.  Will it need drawers for storage? File cabinets?  Will it just be used as a work surface or to hold a computer?  Does it need to have a keyboard tray?  If the desk is in the middle of the room, you may want to add a credenza or built-ins behind the desk for extra storage.
  •  Chair ~ You can use any chair for a desk chair really.  This is a piece you can have fun with, but first, make sure the chair is comfortable.  If you’re limited on space you can opt for a stool and tuck it neatly under the desk when not in use, or pull a chair from another area of the room when you’re working at the desk.  Just make sure to allow enough room for movement of the chair behind the desk, 3-4ft. is adequate.
  • Shelving ~ shelving is always a good idea in an office for extra storage.  If you’re desk is along the wall, right above the desk is perfect location.  If the desk is in the middle of the room, then behind the desk is ideal.
  • Power Source ~ Make sure your desk is near a power source to plug in technology.  You may have to add an outlet or two for this one.
  • Lighting ~ Whether it’s overhead lighting or a desk lamp, make sure your space is well lit.

 

ORGANIZATION

Reichelt Family Office contemporary-home-office

 

The following items will help you stay organized on task.  Depending on space, you may be limited to the number of organizational items you can add to your office, so pick the ones that will be the most useful.

  • cork board or message board (you can find the DIY burlap message board that I made for my office here)
  • hanging wall pockets
  • white board calendar – I know, most people use have their schedule in their phone, but in your office it’s good to have your schedule posted in front of you for quick reference.
  • baskets, bins, and boxes for storage
  • desk accessories; pen holder, paper trays, clock, charging station, trash can etc.
  • file cabinets
  • extra seating for guests; benches, chairs, stools, sofa, ottoman etc.  (if there is space for it)

PUT THE FUN IN FUNCTIONAL

Hinsdale Interior eclectic-home-office

You may take your work seriously, but don’t take your office too serious.  This is YOUR space so make it your own.  Have fun with it!

  • Add quotes, family photos, artwork and decor that inspires you.
  • Paint an accent wall with your favorite color or add playful wallpaper.
  • Use creative accent pieces such as chairs and light fixtures and area rugs that you love, but wouldn’t normally incorporate into your home.

Comfortable Cottage Style transitional-family-room

 

Make this a place that you LOVE in your home.  You will be inspired and in turn you will be SO much more productive.  I promise!!

 

Office beach-style-home-office

 

REMOVE THE CLUTTER

Youthful + Elegant contemporary-home-office

To be efficient it’s important to remove all distractions.  If an item(s) doesn’t help you be more productive or inspire you to be productive it doesn’t belong in your office!  So find a more appropriate place for it.  And, just as we tell our children, put things back where they belong when you’re done 😉  

 

I hope this inspires you to create a more functional work space that works for you. Have fun with it.  Now let’s get to work!

 

Philadelphia Penthouse eclectic-home-office

Blessings,

Karen

 

21 Questions to Ask Yourself BEFORE Redesigning Your Space

Bundy: Brentwood Modern Farmhouse transitional-kitchen

Hello!  I hope your 2017 is off to a great start!  It’s hard to believe it’s already here!  I don’t know about you, but I love January.  It a month to reflect, refocus, and renew.  And don’t we just need that sometimes?  I know I do!  It always feels so good to start fresh.  Do have any design goals this year?  Maybe you’re looking to update your living room, a kitchen or bath remodel maybe, or even a complete renovation…how exciting!!  If you have any of these projects on your to-do list this year you need to ask yourself these 21 questions first.  It’s so important to think about the entire space as whole, from beginning to end.  So before you ever swing a sledge hammer or roll a coat of paint on the wall, answer these questions FIRST!  Whether you’re hiring an interior designer or doing it yourself, these questions will help you focus and achieve the end-result you that you’re looking for.

Historic Whole House Renovation - Living Room craftsman-living-room

Function

  1. Why am I redesigning this space? 
  2. What problems do I currently have with this space? 
  3. What do I want this space to be used for?
  4. Will there be a lot of movement and activity in this room? 
  5. Will this room serve one purpose or multi-purpose? 
  6. What do I love and want to keep in this space?
  7. What do I dislike and want to eliminate in this space?
  8. What are the functional problems that need to be addressed?
  9. How can I improve this space? 
  10. Do I need more storage in this space?
  11. What do I want achieve in the final outcome?
  12. What is the existing style? Does it relate to the intended function of the space?

West Town Condo: Master Bedroom Redecoration transitional-living-room

Style

  1. Do I want to change the style to a different era? (ex, mid-century modern, vintage farmhouse, transitional, etc.)
  2. Do I want to compliment or change the existing architectural style (ex. architectural elements, moldings, windows, doors, beams arches, fireplace, etc.) 
  3. Do I want to create new features or focal points? 
  4. Does this space have features that I want to accentuate or hide?
  5. What style of furnishings, window treatments, colors, and accessories do I want in the space?
  6. Do I have any existing furnishings that I want to keep in this space?  If so, how can I best incorporate them into the overall design? 
  7. Will the overall feel of the space be casual and relaxed or elegant and formal?
  8. How can I visually link the space to adjacent rooms? 

Silver Street transitional-bathroom

 

And last but definitely not least…

Budget 

  1.  What is my budget and how can I get the most out of it? (ex. What am I willing to spend more on and where can I save money?)

 

Westmoor Interior farmhouse-living-room

 

If you find yourself having a hard time answering these questions then you may want to consider hiring an interior designer.  These are questions they will most likely ask you anyway.  They will also help you answer them.  If you’re just looking for help updating your space with new furnishings and paint colors then E-design  is a great option.  It’s less expensive than a traditional interior designer fee and it’s all done online.  I offer an E-design service.  If you’re interested in learning more about this service just let me know in the comment section below and I will be in contact with you.  Anyway you choose to do it, updating your space is always an exciting and rewarding experience!  Happy renovating!  

 

Blessings, 

Karen 

Langtree Plantation

One of the things that I love about living in “The South” is that there are so many historical sites to explore.  I love going to cities like Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA where the history is so rich with historical homes and buildings that it feels like you’ve stepped back in time as you walk down the street.  So I was thrilled when I recently discovered that there was a plantation that dated back to the Civil War right in my hometown!  I just had to explore it and share it with y’all!

 

Welcome to Langtree Plantation!  This historic plantation is located in Mooresville, NC. It was built near the end of the Civil War by Dr. Henry Yeoman Mott.  Dr. Mott was born in Flat Rock, NC to a Episcopal Minister and his wife.  Henry Mott entered the Confederate army at the age of 20 as a cavalry private at the outbreak of the Civil War.  He was known as a gallant and courageous soldier, serving throughout the entire 4 years of the war.  His wife, Roxana Smith, was from a prominent family in neighboring Lincoln County.  Her father was the director of Little Mountain Iron Works of the Confederate Government, which was an important unit during the war.

After the war, Henry Mott attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.  After his graduation Dr. Mott returned to North Carolina where he practiced medicine in Iredell, Lincoln and northern Mecklenburg counties. He became one of the outstanding physicians in the region.  Dr. Mott was known as a true southern gentleman.  He was loved and honored by all who knew him.  He died at the age of 83.

 

A local developer purchased the old plantation two years ago.  He was working on projects just down the street from the plantation when this property became available.  He had always wanted to do something help to preserve history in the local community so he bought the old home, which had been vacant for 15 years.  He began to restore it.  Soon people were asking to have wedding ceremonies performed on this historical property.  At that point, it wasn’t in the ideal shape for a wedding venue, however as word got out, it became an increasingly popular location for local wedding ceremonies.  So the owner quickly finished cleaning up and restoring the old farm house, barn, boulder house and the property.  He then built a large pavillion for wedding receptions.  Today, the Langtree Plantation stays busy hosting weddings, parties, and social events all year long.  

 

 

The Farm House

The wedding party has the house to themselves on the big day.  Some brides even choose to spend the night here with her bridesmaids the night before the wedding.  The Ladies Sitting Room (or Bride’s Sitting Room) is pictured above.

This is the Gentleman’s Sitting Room.  It’s often where the Groom and his Groomsmen gather before the wedding ceremony.

The Bridal room is upstairs.  It’s often used for the Bride and Bridesmaids to get ready on the big day.

 

The dining room in the house is used for meals for wedding parties and other small parties.

The front entryway

 

Carolina Boulder Lodge

The Carolina Boulder Lodge was here when the current owner purchased the property.  It was used as a garage by the previous owner.  The boulders are from the mountains of North Carolina.  It has been renovated and is currently used for mid-sized parties, rehearsal dinners, etc.

 

The Plantation Barn 

The Plantation barn was also on the property when the current owner purchased the plantation.  However, it was in no shape to invite guests to.  Today, it is used for weddings and receptions for those looking for a barn wedding.   It is also used in inclement weather for scheduled outdoor weddings.

 

The Plantation Pavilion  

The Plantation Pavilion was added to the property by the current owner.  It is used for wedding receptions and large parties.  It is currently decorated for the Christmas season.

 

The Plantation Lawn 

When the weather is nice, wedding ceremonies are performed under the pergola on the plantation lawn. Can you just imagine how beautiful this place is in the spring and summer?

 

The Property

If you’re ever in Mooresville, NC stop by and check out this lovely little piece of history.  And if you’re looking for a wedding venue in North Carolina in the near future you definitely need to put The Langtree Plantation at the top of your list!  You can find more information here on their website.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Merry Christmas y’all!!

Blessings,

Karen

 

Last Minute Christmas Decorating on a Budget

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet?  If not, don’t panic, there is still time.  You can find great deals on Christmas decor right now.  Here are few ideas on how you can get it done on time and budget!  Click on the highlighted words for sources.  

The Christmas Tree

This year we have 2 trees, an artificial one that we’ve had for a few years that we put all of the family ornaments that we’ve collected over the years on, and this little tree (aka Mama’s Tree) with all the coordinating decorations.  I toned it down with all neutrals but I did add little sparkle in some of the ornaments.  I spent less than $100 on this tree, including the tree and decorations.  I bought the tree at Lowe’s Home Improvement for $29. It’s a 6′ real tree, so it’s not huge, but I think it’s the perfect size for our family room.  Also, a smaller tree requires less decorations.  I forgot how much I love having a real tree.  It smells amazing!  I put it in the tree stand and sprayed a quick coat of flocking (in the garage).  I let it dry for a few hours.  I added LED string lights then I wrapped it with burlap ribbon. I kept it simple by adding various silver, white, and clear ball ornaments similar to these found here, here, and  here.  I had already had this set of ornaments that coordinated well so I added them, as well.  I didn’t have a tree topper, so I wrapped the top in burlap ribbon and tied a bow at the top and called it good!  I wrapped a faux fur tree skirt around the tree stand.  I already had this, but you could also wrap a white knit throw around it or put it in a large galvanized bucket.  Lastly, I wrapped a few presents in brown craft paper, tied them with jute twine and added a sprig of fresh greenery.  I placed fireplace logs and some pine stems that I cut off the base of the Christmas tree in a galvanized bucket.  

 

If you’re starting a decorative tree from scratch;

  • pick coordinating colors and theme (theme is optional) first 
  • start with basics – simple ball ornaments, ribbon, etc.
  • Add some decorative ornaments (this is where you add a texture, theme, color etc.)
  • Use items that you already have that coordinate well.  
  • keep it simple – you don’t have to add a lot of decorative ornaments to make it beautiful, you can always add more next year.
  • start small – don’t overwhelm yourself trying to decorate a huge tree.  A 5′ – 6′ tree is a great place to start.   

 

The Front Porch

For the front porches I used what I already had and added natural elements. On the lower front porch I planted a 5.5 gallon Green Giant Arborvitae in our existing whisky barrel planter (this tree can stay here all winter, then be transplanted in the spring).  I collected large branches from our yard and placed in a smaller planter in the corner.  I filled a lantern that I already had pine cones and holly clippings.  I spruced up (no pun intended 😉 ) an old wreath and small artificial tree by giving it a coat of spray flocking.  And I added a few decorative seasonal pillows to the loveseat. 

For our upper front porch, I trimmed the  front door with lighted garland that I already had.  I hung a fresh holly wreath on the door. I popped 2 large poinsettias in our planters on each side of the door (I left them in their plastic container).  I lined the steps with 6 galvanized buckets filled with fresh trimmings from my yard of Holly, Boxwood, Juniper, and Pine.  At the bottom of the staircase I placed 2.25 quart Emerald Green Arborvitae  on each side (these can stay here all winter and be transplanted in the spring).  

Porch Decor Tips

  • keep it simple – you don’t need a lot of decorations to make it beautiful
  • keep it natural – use natural elements from your yard
  • consider using plants that can be transplanted later
  • Add a pop of red to your greenery 

Simple Christmas Wreaths

img_2762

 

Happy December!  It’s time to haul out the Holly!  I love fresh natural decor.  So I wanted share with you these simple Christmas wreaths that I made.  I used the trimmings from the Needlepoint Holly and Nandina bushes in our yard.  However, you could also use Boxwood, Juniper, Magnolia or Cyprus leaves.  All of these shrubs and trees are commonly used in landscape.  Most likely, you have at least one of these in your yard too.  Soooo….grab your clippers.  It’s time to trim those shrubs and make a wreath!  This is multi-tasking at it’s finest y’all!

img_2591

You will need:

  • Trimmings from plant of your choice 
  • Baling wire
  • Floral wire
  • Ribbon
  • Christmas music (optional, but strongly advised)

 

img_2602

  1. Cut baling wire to desired length. (I cut 46″ of wire to make a 15″ wreath)
  2. Bend baling wire in a circle and twist ends to secure
  3. Center stem on baling wire. Wrap stem and baling wire tightly with floral wire at the base of stem.  Wrap several times to secure.
  4. Layer leaves, moving around the circle and securing.  Repeat process all the way around the circle.
  5. If you have berries that are separate from leaf stems (such as Nandina) place berries on top of leaves, dispersing evenly around circle, and secure tightly with floral wire.
  6. Round out shape ~  Trim off leaves that are sticking out, make sure all pieces are secured tightly, add extra pieces to balance circular shape.  
  7. Cut ribbon to desired length.  Wrap ribbon around top or bottom of wreath.
  8. Hang and enjoy!

img_2679

The Nandina wreath is a thin, soft, wispy wreath.  It’s perfect to hang in front of interior windows and doors.  I attached this wreath to our french door by stapling the ribbon to the top of the door using a staple gun.  

img_2735

The Holly wreath is a thick, full wreath. You can hang this wreath anywhere you want to add a pop of holiday color.  It’s also perfect for the front door.

Happy wreath making!

Blessings ~

Karen