November 2012

Kate

O Tannenbaum!

Decorating a Christmas tree is a long time tradition that countries all around the world engage in year after year.  The use of decorating indoors with evergreen trees and garlands dates back as far as 16th century Germany and is a custom that continues every December to this day.

Each year we bring our own tree home from a local farm and decorate it in a customary way which includes adding lights, ribbons, beads, and keepsake ornaments from the past.  I do like to choose a new accent color every year for the bulbs!  One year I chose turquoise blue (see it featured here in BH&G) and the next year I opted for traditional crimson shades.  Here is a collection of inspiring evergreens sure to have you humming “O Tannenbaum”! 

Red is the classic shade associated with the traditions of Christmas past and its use in decorating during the holidays is always welcome and nostalgic.  

 

classic red and white tree bhg

 

red and gold tree bhg

  

Fresh blues and greens bring cooler shades to your living spaces such as these trees decked out with shades of turquoise, teal, and Tiffany blue. 

 

tree with turquoise accents bhg

 

blue tree decorations bhg

 

Green is a seasonless color and pairs perfectly with all varieties of fir, spruce, and pine. 

 

apple green accented tree bhg

 

green ornaments on tree bhg

 

Of course you can always throw convention to the wind and decorate with flirty shades of pink! 

 

pink tinsel tree bhg

 

Or consider the unexpected color complementary combination of aqua and tangerine.

 

orange and blue tree bhg

 

 

Neutral and earth tones blend seamlessly with evergreens and establish a mood of calm in any holiday home.

 

earth tone tree bhg

 

Mix metallic shades of silver and gold as a nod to the classic tune and inject a dose of holiday sparkle during the season. 

 

silver and gold christmas tree bhg

silver and white tree bhg

 

 

When in doubt, there’s no need to choose just one specific color.  Make your tree decorations a medley of bright multicolored ornaments to bring cheer to your home!  

 

multicolored christmas tree bhg

multicolored christmas tree

 

If serenity and simplicity are what you crave, avoid the bright colors and opt for a fresh white-as-snow presentation with a flocked tree and layers of white accessories. 

 

snow white flocked tree bhg

 

The tree is an opportunity to share ornaments from the past and your Christmas tree should always make you feel good every time you sit and enjoy it.  And there’s nothing more meaningful than a tree that’s filled with keepsakes and memories.

 

family photo christmas tree

 

How do you decorate your tree every year?  Do you pick a fresh color and change it up each season or do you fall back on the favorite traditions of the past?  What is the best kind of Christmas tree? 

 

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Kate

Stylish Strategies for Open Shelving

When given the choice between open or hidden storage, most people choose the latter.  The rationale behind closed door storage is that mass amounts of material can be hidden from view, and closed storage certainly is a premium for the non attractive things we need from day to day or require as the seasons change. 

However when it comes to your keepsakes and memorabilia, displaying your favorites out in the open allows you to appreciate them on a daily basis, and also communicates to visitors your personal taste and sense of style.  Here are five great strategies for displaying your personal things out in the open.  

A Curated Collection.   Open shelves are the perfect opportunity to place your passionate pursuit on display.  Avoid the temptation to scatter your collection around the house and instead gather your objects together on one unit, displaying them at different heights and angles for all to appreciate.   

open metal shelving with cameras bhg

 

Subtle Shapes.  Geometry is your best friend when layering similar objects out in the open.  Notice how the individual pieces of coral on these shelves are placed in a diamond shape, and how the silver objects form an invisible triangle.   By making shapes up and down the shelving, you lay a foundation for order within your display.      

built in shelving dining room bhg

    

Group and Gather.   If closet or pantry space is limited, you can organize kitchen or other home goods effectively when you gather like objects closely together and in larger quantities, such as the bottles, dishes, and utensils cleverly grouped on this open metal shelf unit. 

open metal pantry shelving  bhg

   

Symmetrical Stacks.   When arranging books, consider laying them one way.  The purposeful placement of books stacked symmetrically creates a calming backdrop on a large freestanding shelf unit.  

stacked books bhg

    

Palette Precision.  Sticking to one medley of colors (pick only two or three) allows you to mix and mingle objects freely.  It doesn’t matter if they’re organizational or decorative if all of the objects on display wear hues from the same color family.  

blue and green palette bhg

 

How do you artfully organize and arrange your collections and memorabilia in open view?

 

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Kate

Natural Holiday Decor

In December, we all turn our thoughts to decking the halls in holiday style and Mother Nature offers us an abundant amount of decor.  When brought indoors, evergreens bring the festivity of the season along with them.  Here is a collection of ideas to inspire some simple and natural holiday displays around your home too. 

A bay leaf garland swaged with colorful ribbon on a staircase and tall winter berry stems in colorful vases instantly brighten an entry.      

 

bay leaf garland and berry stems bhg

 

Boxwood draped in front of a window makes a simple yet elegant statement.   Use the extra clippings on your tabletop with a medley of fresh fruit, candles, and your favorite decorations to form an effortless display that lasts all month long.

 

swag garland over window and evergreen centerpiece bhg

  

Cedar guarantees glorious scent when suspended casually around the home on a shelf or mantel.  Paper reindeer ornaments are a whimsical nod to Santa’s sleigh ride.  

 

christmas garland on shelf bhg

 

Read more


Kate

Introducing: BH&G Shop!

Hello friends and readers of BH&G, I’m excited to announce that Better Homes & Gardens has just launched a convenient one stop shopping spot for online purchases for all things home!  Introducing BH&G Shop!  

 

bhg shop

You’ll find dozens of your favorite brands and retailers gathered up together and the convenience of shopping categories such as “kitchen storage” or with the helpful room by room guide.  

 

favorite brands

 

The layout is clean and user friendly so you’ll love the easy browsing capabilities on one page.  As part of the team, I’ll be adding a new Shopping Guide every month.  November’s theme is all things tabletop so hop on over to see my holiday picks in four categories that will make a spectacular style statement on your table, especially when grouped together!

kates holiday picks

 

Be sure to check in often to see the latest collections of accessories and furnishings recommended by the BH&G style spotters team  – happy shopping!

 

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Kate

Glass Tiled Bathrooms

We’re adding a wall of glass blue tile to our hall bathroom in the next few weeks as part of an ongoing remodel and so I’ve got glass tile on my mind.  It’s been popular for a decade now for its cool texture and watery reflective qualities.

There’s something so stunning about a bathroom covered in gorgeous glass tile from ceiling to floor, the look is one incredible design statement!

blue glass tile bathroom bh

 

Whether you choose a mesh mosaic or larger pieces installed in an offset pattern, glass tile wrapped around bathroom walls is visually striking and brings gorgeous contrast when paired with warm wood.

blue glass wall tile bhg

 

Making a stylish statement with glass tile doesn’t require tiling all the walls.  Just an accent wall or backsplash behind the vanity is equally beautiful and more affordable since you’re covering a smaller area.

glass mosaic tile bhg

 

glass tile vanity backsplash bhg

 

Consider the shower stall as another place to use glass tile to add color and pattern to your bathroom space.

green glass bathroom tile bhg

 

Mix complementary patterns in varied scale to add texture and color.  Make the medley more interesting by using different tile from the same manufacturer’s palette and installing the mesh tiles in various patterns around the space.

glass tile border in bathroom bhg

 

Glass tile also mixes beautifully with other tile products including ceramic, porcelain, stone, and marble.  Accenting more traditional tile with a strip of modern glass is yet another way to add contemporary flair with glass tile and preserve a bathroom’s timeless style.

white tile and cabinets bhg

 

If you’re looking to spruce up your bathroom with a fabulous glass tile accent, here are 12 favorites!

glass mosaic tile

 

From top left:   Neutral Blend by AKDO; Blue Mirage by Ann Sacks; Matchstick Twilight at Glass Tile Store; Escape Blend, Oceanside Glass Tile; Loft Ice Cave Circles at Glass Tile Store; Epoch Glass Blend, Home Depot  Vicenza Hand Cut Glass in Verde at Cooltiles; South Beach Frosted blend by AKDO; Lume Sticks in Amber, Ann Sacks; Epoch Contempo Black Mosaic at Home Depot; Pearl Glass by Vidrepur; Offset Glass Tile in Spring Green

 

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Kate

Advent Calendar Ideas

The holidays are upon us and I’m in full preparation mode, are you?  I try to get a jump start on a some of the holiday decor before Thanksgiving so it doesn’t feel so rushed in December. 

One of the ways to count down to Christmas is with an advent calendar, and it’s especially fun if you’ve got kids at home.  Kids love the surprise of small treats while they anxiously await the arrival of Santa.  Advent calendars can be simple or ones that you create with a few hours of crafting.  To inspire, here are a few fun ideas from the Better Homes & Gardens gallery to consider if you plan to incorporate the advent calendar tradition in your family’s holiday festivities. 

Adhere tins topped with numbers to a wreath form with glued magnets and fill them with treats for a daily sweet surprise. 

advent wreath bhg

 

Boxes of all shapes and sizes can be embellished and numbered as mini gifts are unwrapped and enjoyed leading up to Christmas Day. 

decorated boxes for advent bhg

 

Patterned paper bags filled with treats and suspended from rope strung across a window are a fun way to brighten your kitchen or family room and keep the tradition front and center. 

paper bag advent

 

A wooden box with doors can be painted with each door labeled with a number – pull it out every year and hang it on the wall to increase the holiday excitement around the house! 

wood cabinet advent bhg

 

Use stocking caps (or mini mittens!) suspended in a row to hide trinkets or sweets in the countdown to Christmas. 

stocking cap advent bhg

 

Small colorful envelopes numbered for each day make perfect hiding spots for loving notes or sweet little trinkets.  

envelope advent bhg

 

If you’re less inclined to fill 24 boxes, print clues on pieces of paper where other prizes may hide around the house with 12 envelopes attached to a bulletin board. 

condensed advent bhg

Do you celebrate the season of Advent with a calendar or other traditions? Do share!

 

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