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Articles about ‘holiday’

Cool Halloween Decorations

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

My Mom, sister Denise, Dad and me!

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Yes, my friends, it’s Halloween! Dress up your kids, decorate your home and stock up on fun-size candy. (But just for the record small Snickers ≠ Fun in my book.)

I am a big fan of this holiday and it’s in large part because my mom was pretty much a Halloween costume genius.  She cut, sewed and glued her way through costumes that were so awesome that I could barely sleep on Halloween eve.  You name it and she crafted it for my sister and me: clown, angel, pumpkin, samurai warrior, flapper, scarecrow, Raggedy Ann, cheerleader and many more.  But the really big deal was the Halloween parade! A mass of ghosts, goblins and witches marching from one park to the next where awards were announced at the grand pavilion. It was tons of fun be it  rain, shine or down jackets stuffed underneath!

So every year I like to share some unusual Halloween decorations with you to spook up your home and have some fun with the kids.  I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween.  Send me some photos of how your incorporate Halloween into your decor!

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These fun vintage images from etsy are great for invitations or scrap-booking.

Love these orange rice paper lanterns that will add a warm glow to your porch or backyard.

Admit it. These are really creepy!

These beautiful pumpkin glass sculptures are pricey but worth the investment. I would have them out from September through November.

These ghoulish masks are handcrafted in white porcelain clay. The one on the right looks like a dead pirate, ARGH!

Super Versatile Hurricane Lamps

Thursday, September 24th, 2009
This classic style from Williams Sonoma features hand blown glass from Poland and can be personalized with your initials.

This Classic Glass Hurricane from Williams Sonoma features hand blown glass from Poland and can be personalized with your initials. ($68.00)

 

I like the idea of accessories that pull double duty.  A personal favorite in my home are my Hurricane Lamps.  Sure, they make it possible to eat outdoors on a breezy night, but they can serve many other useful purposes.  So, today I would like to share some of my favorite sources for Hurricane Lamps as well as ways you can use them to spruce up your home for any holiday or as an accessory all year long.

 

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The Hurricane Glass Bowl from Target is a nice option. The low height makes it easy to see people sitting across the table. I would fill it with water and aqua candles.($29.99)

 

The Londoner Hurricane is a cool modern option from Crate & Barrel.  Looks great with some simple ornaments inside. In two sizes ($29.95 & $39.95)

The Londoner Hurricane is a cool modern option from Crate & Barrel. Looks great with some simple ornaments inside or out. Two sizes ($29.95 & $39.95)

 

Some Tips on Accessorizing your Hurricane Lamps:

  • Fill them with Pine Cones for your Mountain Retreat or Sea Shells in your Beach House.
  • Put sea salt in the bottom with some holly on top for the look of fresh snow.  Finish it off with a large pillar candle.
  • Fill them with colored or clear marbles for a modern look.
  • Arrange seasonal fruits and veggies: Lemons, pomegranates, green apples, artichokes and gourds look great.
  • Decorate around the hurricane with greenery, flowers or garland.

If you do want to use candles, stock up on different colors so you can coordinate the color with linens.  Just remember that these beautiful accessories can be used as a showcase for anything special; no candle is required.  With a little imagination your table will always look fresh and fun.

   

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Bargain Alert - These Green Glass Hurricanes from Pier 1 Imports are made with recycled glass and look great in multiples. ($10 & $18)

  

Another great option from Crate & Barrel.  The Piazza Hurricane features a square design and stainless steel frame. ($34.95)

Another great option from Crate & Barrel. The Piazza Hurricane features a square design and stainless steel frame. ($34.95)

Valentine’s Day is for (Home) Lovers!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

 

These Wildflower Field Sheet Set by DKNY from Bed, Bath & Beyond are 100% cotton sateen and 350 thread count.  A great departure from white sheets if you have a neutral bedroom.

The Wildflower Field Sheet Set by DKNY from Bed, Bath & Beyond are 100% cotton sateen and 350 thread count for you and your Valentine to enjoy! $129.99 for a queen set.

 

Valentine’s Days is a great day to think about the people that love and support us year-round; husbands, wives, moms, best friends, godmothers, kids and pets.  You might not have a champagne budget this year but there are still some great little gifts for the one you love that will be super useful instead of sitting on a shelf. 

A Little Thoughtfulness + a Dose of Practicality = 1 Great Gift!

 

This great little frame from Target would make a nice accent at your Valentine's desk or on the coffee table.

This great little frame from Target would make a nice accent at your Valentine's desk or on the coffee table. ($29.99)

 

 

I spotted these South Beach Cherry Red Table Lamps on Overstock. They are only $94.99 for the pair.  Use them both in a bedroom or use one in the living room and one on your desk!

Gourd shaped lamps are super chic these days. I spotted these South Beach Cherry Red Table Lamps on Overstock. They are only $94.99 for the pair. Use them both in a bedroom or use one in the living room and one on your desk!

 

This red sheer throw blanket from overstock.com is only $49.99.  Made of silk and flax, you use it on the sofa or as a wrap on a chilly spring night!

This red sheer throw blanket from overstock.com is only $49.99. Made of silk and flax, you can use it on the sofa or as a wrap on a chilly spring night!

 

A stylish silk accent pillow for $66. A welcome dash of color the bedroom or living room.

A stylish silk accent pillow for $66. A welcome dash of color in the bedroom or living room.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

~Lorrie

 

 

 

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Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

 

 

Happy New Year!!  

We look forward to helping you make your home more beautiful and comfortable in 2009!
 

 

All our best,

Lorrie, Tim & Emma

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Emma the Wonderdog poses for her Annual Christmas Photo

 

As my family and I prepare to celebrate our annual Christmas dinner tonight, I wanted to thank you all for making the first year of My Design Secrets such a stunning success.  It has been great fun and I have learned so much.  I hope I have helped you through at least one decorating dilemma and I look forward to you joining me for another year of design tips, tricks and cool giveaways!

Enjoy your day!

~Lorrie

Hooks for Holiday Hoopla

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

 

This weekend Tim and I pulled all the holiday hoopla down from the attic and again I am faced with the reality that I don’t have a place to hang it all!  I love our home but two full walls in the living room are French doors and full-length windows.  So when it comes to hanging lights, stockings and wreaths, I am kinda up a creek.  I always liked Command Hooks from 3M for their easy up/easy down feature but now they are making them in metallic finishes too, which is even better.  I can now coordinate them with my interior which is a huge relief for a designer whose eye immediately swoops in on the details.  :-)

Command mounting products make it easy to decorate on glass block, plaster, ceramic tile and wood cabinets without any damage to the surface.  Here are some great places to use Command Hooks, Clips, Hangers and Strips during the Holidays and beyond:

  • Put a Metal Hook on your front door for the wreath.  It looks much more stream-lined than a wreath hanger and it’s a great look on a glass door.
  • Put Hooks on your walls to hang up additional coats.
  • Easily hang holiday cards and children’s artwork with Poster Strips.
  • Use Cord Clips to keep lamp cords safely in place.
  • Spring Clips are great to mount on your kitchen cabinet to easily read a recipe.

They are available at many retailers including Home Depot and Walgreens.  And you can print out a $1.00 off coupon here.  And don’t forget to put some away with your decorations so you have them on hand next year!

 


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Holiday Decorating with Plants & Flowers

Monday, November 24th, 2008
This living room featured in the December 2008 issue of Coastal Living is the perfect example of restrained but consistent use of one color to bring in a festive mood.

This living room featured in the December 2008 issue of Coastal Living is the perfect example of restrained but consistent use of the color red to bring in a festive mood.

 

I love to decorate my home with live flowers during the holidays.  They bring a warmth and beauty that is difficult to replicate with faux garland and wreaths.  From bright amaryllis to fragrant rosemary, there is a wide variety of choices at hand.  Decorate your own home or give them as a gift.  Either way, you are spreading holiday cheer!

 

The Single Grand Trumpet® Bordeaux Amaryllis from Jackson & Perkins is classic and the lovely container is a bonus.

The Single Grand Trumpet® Bordeaux Amaryllis from Jackson & Perkins is classic and the lovely container is a bonus.

 

Holiday Floral Tips

  • Choose live plants instead of cut flowers.  They last a lot longer and require little maintenance.
  • Think of the aroma as well as the visual beauty.  Smell is intricately linked to memory and scents such as pine, rosemary and cinnamon are big favorites.
  • Go eco-friendly with items that can be planted in your yard once the holidays are over or that are sustainably farmed.  It’s a win-win.
  • Choosing one color (red, white, pink) to use throughout the home, has a lot more design impact than a variety of colors.
  • Choose some other accessories (pillows, throws, decorative objects) in the same color to tie it all in.
This eco-friendly choice from Organic Bouquet will fill your home with the aroma of a Northwest forest.  Made of bay leaf and rosemary.

This eco-friendly choice from Organic Bouquet will fill your home with the aroma of a Northwest forest. Made of bay leaf and rosemary.

 

The gift that keeps on giving.  A plant a month from Red Envelope for 6 months.

The gift that keeps on giving. A plant a month from Red Envelope for 6 months.

 

Small Rosemary bushes are one of my favorites.  I know have a small forest in my garden.

Small Rosemary bushes are one of my favorites. I have a small forest in my garden.

 

Nothing smells or swags like fresh garland.  Just one strand strategically located (around the front door or on the mantel) adds a lovely touch.

Nothing smells or swags like fresh garland. Just one strand strategically located (around the front door or on the mantel) adds a lovely touch.

Also, here is a little recipe for Mulling Spices that I use in my own home as well as gifting to others.  Try it today to warm your heart, lift your spirits and usher in the holiday mood.  :-)

Happy Holidays to everyone!

~Lorrie

 

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Easy Thanksgiving Table Tips

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

 

Fresh off Halloween, let’s dive into Thanksgiving preparations.  This is probably a good idea because there is so much going on during the fall season that the big feast can often sneak up on you.  While making food preparations for the big day, don’t forget to dress up the dining room table.  Setting a beautiful table is a good way to start the festivities and will have your guests feeling welcome the moment they step into the room. 

 

 

Here are some simple tips to add a special twist this year:

  1. Easy Color - You don’t have to purchase new china or a tablecloth to update your color palette.  Use an ivory or white tablecloth and bring color in with candles and napkins.  It’s simple, inexpensive and very effective.  The food is aromatic and beautiful and the true center of attention anyway.
  2. Name Game – Place cards are a great way to personalize the party and encourage lively and new conversation.  Split up spouses and seat people together that do not normally get a chance to mingle.
  3. Center of Attention – Centerpieces do not have to be complicated.  Scatter a variety of nuts or beans in your hurricane lamps or put out small floral arrangements.  Avoid anything too big, you want to encourage cross-table conversation and have ample room for the food.
  4. Overflow – Clean off your buffet table or set up a card table covered with a table cloth.  There is rarely enough room on the table for the all the food, so make sure you have room for the overflow ahead of time instead of scrambling once the hot food is ready to be served.
  5. Dessert Buffet - Usually there are several desserts and not everyone is ready to to indulge at the same time.  Put the sweets out along with coffee and tea and allow people to enjoy them when they are ready.

 

So start creating your Thanksgiving vision, take your time to plan and enjoy the little things that make the day so special.  The best Thanksgiving meal is one that is made with love, encourages laughter and relaxation and in the end motivates everyone to forge a group clean-up.  :-)

~Lorrie

 


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Spooky and Kooky Halloween Decorations

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008
The Life-sized Cloaked Grim Reaper from Frontgate would look pretty creepy at night.

The Life-sized Cloaked Grim Reaper from Frontgate is scary even before you see the face (below).

 

Time to get ready for Halloween!  For Thanksgiving and Christmas I like to carefully craft a look that compliments my home.  On Halloween, all bets are off.  The important thing is to make it creepy and fun.   Depending on the ages of the kids in your home or neighborhood you can go from the silly to to the super scary.  Here are some items that made my Favorite Halloween Things list. :-)

Start shopping for Halloween and the upcoming Holiday Season! 

The Krinkles Halloween Cake Stand is fun and colorful just like their Christmas decorations.

With witchy-poo shoes, the Krinkles Halloween Cake Stand is whimsical and colorful, just like their Christmas decorations.

 

Walls Slicks are a great way to make a fun, temporary change.

Walls Slicks are a great way to decorate your walls, doors, and windows. Or you can perk up this year's Halloween party by adding these to the place mats, a table cover, or any other smooth, flat surface that appeals to you.

 

Ugly Dolls from Room Service Home are a fun treat instead of candy.

Ugly Dolls from Room Service Home are a fun treat instead of candy.

 

Magnetic Bats and Pumpkins from Ballard Designs are a quick way to dress up a chandelier or sconces.

Magnetic Bats and Pumpkins from Ballard Designs are a quick way to dress up a chandelier or sconce.

 

These vibrantly painted Skull Masks would dress up a buffet table, foyer talbe or mantel in a snap.

These vibrantly painted Skull Masks would dress up a buffet table, foyer table or mantel in a snap.

 

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Sneak Peak at Fantastic Holiday Ornaments

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

 

 

By now you all know that I love The Artful Home.  It’s a great place to find anything decorative or artistic for your nest.  Today I was very excited to receive their 2008 Ornaments catalog.  Normally I am the first one to gripe when the Christmas trees go up on November 1st, but I have been purchasing these little gems for family and friends for a few years and you won’t want to miss it.  This year they have an especially great selection of old favorites as well as some new and innovative designs.  

 

 

The reason I am cluing you in early is that they are made in limited quantities and they do run out.  I have made the mistake of hesitating and not getting the one I REALLY wanted.  The prices range from $20 to $200 so you are sure to find something in your budget.  They make great hostess or thank you gifts at end of the year and I also like to buy one special ornament each year for our tree.  Last year they had a daily contest to win and ornament and I hope they do it again!  So take a little break and enjoy Christmas in September:-)

 

 

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