How to Decorate for the Holidays like a Pro

It’s now officially December and time to bust out holiday decor!!! There is just something about this time of year that makes me giddy. How can you not enjoy a month full of sweater weather, beautiful lights & greenery, and making memories with family?! Did I mention greenery? I’m a little obsessed… which brings me to my first decor item!

Wreaths

Image from  marthastewart.com

Wreaths aren’t just for the front door, y’all. You can hang them above your mantel, on a back door, or on a wall! And there are so many great DIY instructions online so you can create the wreath of your dreams and save a buck or two. Definitely check out this tutorial on how to create your own Advent-Style Olive Branch Wreath like the one below! Or if you’re looking for a more traditional holiday wreath style take a look at this tutorial by the Fresh Exchange.

Image from  monikahibbs.com

Image from monikahibbs.com

Mantel

Image from  southernliving.com

BRB have to go get a towel because I just drooled all over my keyboard. How fantastic is this mantel decor!? It’s a mix of faux garland, fresh eucalyptus and winter flowers, as well as snowberries placed in silver chalices. Fabuloussssss! If greenery and chalices aren’t quite festive enough for you, then add some candles, wood bead garland (this is one of my new favorite things) and some cute stockings like the ones below! ‘

Stairwell

Image from  Craftberry Bush

Image from Craftberry Bush

Your stairwell is another fantastic place for garland! I also love using ribbon to help fasten it to the railing. So festive and just GORGE! If you’re considering making your own garland, take a peak at this wonderful tutorial by Austin local Love, Alfa.

Christmas Tree (duh)

After scouring Pinterest last night and not finding a photo of a Christmas tree I absolutely loved for this year’s decor inspiration… I’ve decided to just show you guys a sneak peak into my tree! As most of you know, Chris and I are moving into our new house on the 15th sooooo no decorating for me until then. Sigh.

Christmas Tree Decor.jpeg

The fabulous tassel ornaments from Lulu and Georgia on the bottom left are from last year, as well as some faux floral stems I snagged from Hobby Lobby. I don’t know about y’all, but I have been using Etsy more and more to find unique items for clients and myself! I found these adorbs macrame ornaments, vintage brass bell garland, and wood bead garland all on Etsy. Can I get a hand clap! Then we have a set of mini retro ornaments from Anthropologie on the bottom right. How freakin’ cute are those?!

Keep an eye out for next week’s post all about holiday entertaining essentials and decor! If you’re gearing up for a holiday gathering, but need a little help with decorations, give me a call. I’m offering discounted holiday decorating packages now through Dec. 21st!

5 fabulous gift ideas for the ladies in your life

Maybe it's just me, but I feel like I always have a harder time picking gifts for the women in my family and my girlfriends than I do my husband or men in general. With men it's pretty straight forward - knives, anything hunting related, a funny t-shirt, etc. BUT with girls there are about 20349309 options and I start second guessing myself so everyone just ends up with Target gift cards after I have a mental breakdown. So I found five gift options under $35 that are sure to have the recipient singing "all the jingle ladies." I'm not really sure what that means, I just saw that on a Christmas ornament and wanted to insert it into my post somehow... But let's just assume its synonymous with "I love it!"

The first gift option is a candle (I know you're thinking how cliché and boring but hear me out) that I am absolutely obsessed with. Chris and I got one for a wedding present and burned through it in two weeks. No joke. This magical 8 oz candle is from a new adorable little shop in Austin called Slow North. What makes Slow North special is their mindfulness of sustainability and health. Their candles are scented with 100% essential oil fragrances, burn cotton and paper wicks, and are vegan and free from artificial dyes and ingredients. Each candle is made from soy wax, a long-burning, biodegradable and renewable resource, and is hand-poured into reusable, recycled-glass tumblers, and topped with an environmentally-friendly cork lid. The candle I have now decided I cannot live with out (this time of year anyway) is called Cheer and is currently priced at $29. Cheer is a "custom blend of cinnamon, cypress and peppermint essential oils - designed to lift and enliven your senses - is minty and sweet; with tones of merriment and festivities and a crisp, cheerful top note." If you're not located in Austin do not fear, you can order via the website and enjoy free shipping until 12/10. Cheer will only be around for a limited time so make sure to stock up! 

Image from slownorth.com

Image from slownorth.com

The next gift option is for the coffee lovers, or discrete vodka drinkers. I personally don't drink coffee (insane I know), but I'd gladly pour a martini into this beauty. Anthropologie is full of pretty things and unique gifts, but this mug in particular caught my eye. It is hand made in Portugal and is seriously gorge. It comes in slate and pink, my recommendation is definitely the pink. You just can't go wrong with pink, bits of turquoise, and gold flecks. This magnificent mug is priced at $26 and can be found here.  

Image from anthropologie.com

Image from anthropologie.com

Gift option numero très is customizable, which is always fun and comes across super thoughtful. If your girl loves elephants, bright colors, and/or pretty things she will love this tea towel from Katie Kime. I just ordered her napkins with the same elephant print and I'm (you guessed it) obsessed! Not only is this towel full of pinkness and fun, but it can be monogrammed with your girl's initials to make it extra special. The Elephant Tea Towel is priced at $24 and if you sign up for the Katie Kime newsletter you get 10% off your first order. Bonus: Katie Kime is an Austin local, so if you love shopping local you can check out her brick and mortar or order via the website here.

Image from katiekime.com

Image from katiekime.com

The next gift idea is from another Austin local and one of my favorite clients! If you have any girls in your life that love cosmetics, but don't want any of that harsh chemical nonsense, Elevé Cosmetics will be life-changing for them. There are so many amazing products at Elevé, but my daily must-have right now is definitely the Lip LUV lip treatment. The "treatment contains two natural peptides – Maxi-lip™ and Dermaxyl™ – and patented ingredients to instantly volumize, plump, hydrate and smooth. When used 3 times a day for 29 days, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles will be visibly reduced and lip volume will increase up to 40%!" Lip LUV is especially wonderful during the winter months when dry lips is a common enemy for us all. Lip LUV is currently priced at $26 and you can get 15% off your first order when you enter your email into the pop up when you first get on the site. Also, enjoy free shipping on all orders through Christmas Day! For now you can only purchase Elevé Cosmetics online here, but keep an eye out for the Austin store opening early 2018... designed by yours truly! 

Image from elevecosmetics.com

Image from elevecosmetics.com

The last (but not least) gift option I have for you is for the booze lover... or lover of fabulously decorated bar carts, or both. This gift is sure to look amazing in any bar decor and will definitely generate a smile or two. Whether your girl likes vodka or scotch, they can fill this retro-inspired glass decanter trimmed in gold and be sure that no one will mistake the liquid for anything other than, well, booze. The Rosanna Booze Decanter is currently on sale for $21.69 (regularly $54) and can be found on the Express website here. I originally found this item at Nordstrom and it's now sold out there... so I would dare to assume it's flying off the shelves. Get it while you can! 

Image from express.com

Image from express.com

Well, there ya have it. Five gifts that I know I would love to get! Hint hint. Just kidding, but seriously, I hope this helps all you ladies out with your gift search this year!

3 ways to get Christmassy with your mantel & my favorite stocking picks

Guys it's Friday!!! AND all of the decorations I ordered for our tree are supposed to be here tomorrow so y'all know what I'll be doing this weekend. On my last post we just talked about all things Christmas tree so I figured today we could take a look at a few ways to decorate that beautiful fireplace mantel you have in your home. Here are the top three things you can use (maybe just a couple if you want to keep it simple!) to bring a little Christmas cheer onto your mantel:

1. Greenery

2. Candles

3. Stockings *don't forget hooks/holders*

You can find faux greenery (garland) at several stores around town like Home Depot, Target, Hobby Lobby, just to name a few. OR you can go to any local nursery and buy the real stuff. Real greenery looks absolutely gorgeous, especially if you have a real tree in your home to compliment it. If you go the live greenery route, there are a few steps you can take to make sure it lasts throughout the holiday season. You will want to spray the greenery with water and then treat it with an anti-desiccant spray, which is usually sold at nurseries. This seals the pores on the leaves and bark and helps the foliage retain moisture (thanks for the tip Martha Stewart). Check out this mantel with real greenery and candles.. simple and timeless!

Image from Lonny.com

Image from Lonny.com

Candles are a must for holiday decor and luckily you can find them for pretty cheap. Heck you can go to any discount store and buy candles... No one would know the difference! Whether you actually light them or not, candles can add elegance to any mantel decor style. I personally love to grab a few in different heights to bring a little dimension into the overall look. You can also use candle holders with varying heights like this next mantel. 

Image from randigarrettdesign.com

Image from randigarrettdesign.com

I love the metallic accents of this mantel decor and the varying textures of the stockings. You can't go wrong with linen and fur! This is also a great example of how beautiful faux garland can be. 

This next mantel sports real greenery, more fur (duh) and BLUSH accents. I'm in love! The little village houses are super fun too, but I think I would have gone with some big chunky candles with different heights. It's beautiful nonetheless!

Image from @monikahibbs Instagram 

Image from @monikahibbs Instagram 

So in my last post I told you a little about how I want to shake things up a bit with my Christmas tree decor by adding metallic, pink, and black & white accents. Sadly, we don't have a mantel and the only place to put our tree without moving furniture around is in front of the fireplace. BUT if we actually had a mantel I would want some super fun stockings to coordinate with my tree decorations. So I put together a little group of stockings I found on Etsy... And I put the links below in case you guys decide you want any of them :)

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 10.23.57 AM.png

Gold Polka Dot

Pink Fur & Minky

B&W Gingham

Silver w/ White Fur

Next week I'll post the before and after pictures of our Christmas tree! Until then.. I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend full of decorating and holiday parties! 

Christmas Tree Tips & Staying on Trend

Thanksgiving has come and gone so y'all know what that means... it's time to bust out the vacuum because my house is about to be covered in glitter from my obnoxiously sparkly Christmas tree. Maybe it's only Chris (the hubs) that thinks it's obnoxious since he's the one who actually assembles it, and he usually rocks a sparkly beard for a few days afterwards. Anyways, sparkly beards are a super riveting conversation topic, but I'm sure you guys would like me to get to the point and talk about some fun holiday decorating tips and ideas!

Image from los40.com

Image from los40.com

I think today we should talk about the most important holiday decoration, which is obviously the tree. Christmas trees have been around since the 16th century so I think they deserve first dibs. Here we will talk about how to determine your perfect tree size, whether faux is the way to go, and going old school vs. shaking it up a bit with your holiday ornamentation. 

Image from lifehacker.com.au

Image from lifehacker.com.au

I feel like a lot of people struggle with figuring out what size Christmas tree they need for their home. I know I had no idea when we first decided to get our first tree. A good rule of thumb is to to allow 1.5 feet to 6 inches minimum between the top of the tree and the ceiling. Also, make sure to factor in the height of your tree stand and the tree topper you want to use since they will be included in the overall height. As far as width goes, you can gage that based on the area where you will put the tree and what's around it. You want to make sure the tree isn't encroaching on your furniture or rubbing against the walls. Generally, you will need 5.5 feet of depth for a 7.5 foot tree, 6 feet of depth for a 9 foot tree, and so on. Another good rule to remember is to leave 3 inches between the tree and the wall to avoid any tree to wall contact. 

I personally am a huge fan of faux Christmas trees. We got our faux tree from Home Depot 2 years ago and it's super easy to assemble with minimal messiness, give or take a few thousand sparkles. I am a tad bid OCD (I think most interior designers are) so the idea of a real tree inside my house shedding needles everywhere gives me the heebie jeebies. I do however really enjoy them in other people's homes and places like the Driskill Hotel where they immaculately decorate a giant fir tree carted in from the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. 

For years there were two options for your Christmas tree ornament style. You either went the traditional route with red and green along with emotionally significant family ornaments or the more design conscious metallic look. As beautiful and organized as the metallic look is I personally love putting up our ornaments each year that bring back specific memories with each one. Chris and I have tried to make it a point to buy a Christmas ornament every time we go somewhere new together. This little tradition has made decorating the tree really special for us. Sappy I know! So while our tree currently leans more toward the traditional look, I have been getting inspired by the increasingly more funky, daring Christmas tree styling going on lately. Also, my personal design style is definitely transitional, so I would like my tree to reflect that as well. I think the tree below is a little over the top for my taste, but I love the idea of incorporating some brighter, colorful ornaments like these in with metallic ornaments and the ones we find together over the years. Pink has been all the rage lately, so I'm thinking about adding some pink ornaments into the mix this year and investing in some more contemporary metallic ones... Maybe some turquoise and black and white as well. 

Image from the Glam Pad

Image from the Glam Pad

If you know me you know I have an obsession with statement earrings. So you can imagine how excited I was when I came across these super cute ornaments at Lulu & Georgia (click here). It only makes sense that I expand my collection of fabulous tasseled and fringed accessories to include Christmas tree ornaments. You know I was thinking, I love my home decor, clothes and jewelry to be on trend, so I should probably make an effort with my Christmas tree too! 

Image from Lulu & Georgia 

Image from Lulu & Georgia 

Stay tuned to see our Christmas tree makeover!