Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter Decorating on a Budget!

Is your Christmas tree up yet?  Are there Holiday lights on your house?  Have you begun your festive winter decorating?  After Thanksgiving, most people turn their attention to the upcoming holiday season and decorate their homes accordingly.  Some decorating can get out of hand and leave a dent in your household budget.  In my tiny home, we like to place glimpses of Christmas and winter around each corner of the room.  Not overwhelming, but festive and whimsical.  I am always on the look out for ways to re-use decorations or clever, cost-friendly ways to enhance the winter decor in our home. 

Photos Courtesy of Country Living

I always love hanging things from my light fixtures!  Garland and ornaments dress up an already fancy chandelier to give the Christmas spirit to any dining room.

Make a statement this year by decorating with splashes of vibrant color!  This living room reminds me of a wintery skating rink with its cool blue blocks of color.

Inexpensive and traditional...wreaths can be hung from just about any surface.  I love the whimsical feel of these hanging in the windows.  Instant window treatment!

White...cool, calming, reminiscent of a snowy landscape....it gives dramatic effect when used all together in toning hues.

How festive and fun!  A bowl full of ornaments!  Instant Christmas on any tabletop.  

Go on a winter's hike and gather pinecones for this darling wreath.  Hot glued together and sprayed with a dusting of white glitter paint, it can be left up all winter.

Sprinkle little touches of the holiday season in every area of your home!  A wreath tucked into a shelf, bowls of pine cones, a stray ornament...nothing overwhelming but the festive holiday season is still felt.

I love the idea of enhancing these cupboard shelves with paper cut out trim!  Even the kids could help with this easy craft.

Display those Christmas cards!  It is a special reminder of the friends and family who grace your lives.

Decorations that can be left out all winter are some of my favorites.  Pine cones and tiny evergreen trees are delightful reminders that winter has its own greenery.

As do winter bulbs!  I love to force bulbs in the winter. They are an inexpensive reminder that spring will come again and it is always such a sight for sore eyes when a beautiful Amaryllis or Paperwhite peeks out of a bowl in my living room.

Whatever your budget you can spread the holiday cheer with family and guests in your home with just a few inexpensive touches.  Have fun!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Tablescape

The fun thing about holidays at home is that whether you have a houseful of guests or just a few friends and close family members you can make any Thanksgiving table feel special with just a little personalization no matter how big your dining room or kitchen.  With just a little imagination and some creativity any home's tablescape can host a fancy and fun family gathering!

 Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Using a few paper lanterns and using a burlap cloth as a table-covering this festive table makes a casual, relaxed atmosphere.  Mis-matched chairs are disguised by draping blankets and flannel fabric over the backs for a cozy feeling.
  Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Napkin rings double as place cards in this fun place setting.  Using a few jewelry making tools and a printer, this hostess personalized each guest's place and tucked in a shaft of wheat for whimsy!

 Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
Just craft paper and a monogrammed sticker under a clear salad plate make an elegant personal touch for this table.

  Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

No room for a full place setting?  Layer it up with a dinner plate on the bottom, followed by a salad plate and soup bowl.  Tuck in a napkin and silverware and there is plenty of room for a five course meal!

  Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

I love bringing the outdoors in as the host did on this table.  Dried corn and wheat on a raised platter-no fuss and lots of character.  Check out the cute corn husk place cards!  Darling and easy!

  Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Hollowed out gourds make great flower vases!  Add dimension by placing them on top of a pedestal for height.

  Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Oh the wonders of a grapevine wreath!  Simply tucking in some rosehips and greenery and suspending it from the ceiling light fixture added charm to this table.

  Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

I love this table runner!  Brown burlap, felt or even butcher paper with some ribbons for finesse!  Topped with leaves from the changing foliage outside your front door your table is memorable and yet simple!

  Photo Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

My mother always says everything looks better by candlelight!  Staggering candles around your table and place settings adds an inexpensive and romantic touch to your special dinner.

Whatever your choice of decor for your Thanksgiving table, I hope your day is fun and memorable!  Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Living Large in a Little House

I loved Lizzie Carney's house the moment I saw it in the pages of Country Living Magazine...sleek and urban with a touch of vintage whimsy, she made her tiny 1,000 square foot home a bungalow fit for a princess.  What grabbed my attention most in the article was Lizzie's free-wheeling spirit that allowed her to break all the "Rules" for decorating a small space.  She tossed those out the window and created her own!

Photos Courtesy of Country Living

Old Rule:   Small places require small Furniture.
New Rule:  Tiny often leads to clutter and too much "busy-ness".  Opt, instead, for fewer, larger pieces.

Old Rule:  White walls are a must when square footage is limited.
New Rule:  Dark colors create the illusion of depth in small rooms.  Cozy!

Old Rule:  Cramped quarters call for clean lines.
New Rule:  Ornate, embellished details given even the tightest spots a sense of grandeur.

Old Rule:  Hidden storage is key to keeping a tiny house tidy.
New Rule:  When storage can be beautiful and interesting, why hide it?  Dining room AND wine cellar!

Old Rule:  Get extra mileage out of a guest room by having it double as an office or den.
New Rule:  Turn over the entire room to a single indulgence, like a walk-in closet!

I just love Lizzie Carney's attitude toward life!  Instead of wishing for a larger place to accommodate the finer things in life she turned the reality into her dream!  "Don't wait to enjoy the good stuff," says Lizzie..  "Use your china when eating a hamburger.  If you love a piece of furniture, find a way to make it work."   She definitely makes every day a special occasion in her home.  This cottage gives new meaning to the term "tiny grandeur".  I love it!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Old Painted Cottage

I just love Jennifer Grey at The Old Painted Cottage!  Not only does her stunning cottage industry keep me busy perusing her eye candy for the home, but her delightful Cottage of the Month feature fills my little heart with joy when I see like-minded people enjoying the benefits of small home living!

Jennifer and her husband, Adam, love the challenge of fixing up and flipping homes.  Their most recent remodel, which they lovingly call Cottage 8 is a showcase of their natural talent.

This tiny home would be a challenge to any fixer-upper, but Jennifer and Adam took on the project with glee to turn a dated ranch-style home into a delightful cottage haven.

Feast your eyes on the Before and After pictures of their tiny little Cottage 8 and then be certain to visit Jen's website for fabulous treasures and for her Cottage of the Month Feature!

All photos courtesy of Jennifer Grey at The Old Painted Cottage

Artistry at its finest!  Thanks, Jen!!

Be inspired!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Art on the Farm

 Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

When Sean Scherer bought an old 1,000 square foot, run-down farmhouse, the last thing evident to the visible eye was a work of art.  But to an artist like Mr. Scherer, who is well-known for his Russian Suprematism and American Minimalism style what he saw in his head was different.

  Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Thus his labor of love on a 90 acre farm was born!  “Most people couldn’t see the vision,” Mr. Scherer said of the house. “But frankly, this was what I’d been waiting for my whole life.”

  Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Be-friending the small artistic community in his new neighborhood, he transformed the down at the heel farmhouse into what he saw in his mind's eye.  With the help of his new friends whose occupations ranged from artists, antique dealers, sculptors and architects he rebuilt his home.

  Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

It was important to Mr. Scherer to furnish his home with the humble farm furniture native to the area.  
  Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

“I don’t care about pedigree,” he said of the 19th-century furniture that fills the farmhouse. “I like the fact that the objects were made for a specific purpose. They may be a little crude but they also usually have clean, modern lines.” 

  Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy
His eclectic collection of 19th-century pieces is sprinkled with contemporary art, anatomical sculptures, botanical prints, mercury glass, old mirrors and tintypes that he started collecting when he moved to the area.

  Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

His "clutter" doesn't seem as such, more as an artistic display presented to stimulate the mind and senses instead of just another object to dust around!

  Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

  Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

One of the most striking combinations, however, is in the master bathroom whose walls are plastered in Soviet posters bought in Moscow in 1989 and one of his Kasimir Malevich-inspired canvases from the 1990s.  Mr. Scherer wants his home to be a reflection of his beliefs, his art and his lifestyle. 

 Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

Art isn't always found in the modern apartments of a big-city metropolis, but often as not tucked away in a small farmhouse in the country.