Fresh Colonial Christmas: The Entryway

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Welcome to the second stop in our holiday home.  On Monday, we showcased our porch, complete with some primitive, rustic touches that were inspired by a recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg and the theme continues as you enter the house.  The entryway is really the most decorated place in our home (besides the tree) because it’s visible from the kitchen, the bar, the living room, and the stairs.

The open white bannister offers the perfect place to really go wild and that’s exactly what I did.

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I begun the entire transformation with loads of greenery.  This was important because our stairwell doesn’t have an electricity source, so usually my garlands aren’t lit, but this year they are!  The Martha Stewart LED garland (available at the Home Depot) is battery operated!  I really lucked out finding it.  It’s a bit pricey, but if you (like me) had been wanting to light up a certain spot in you house, you’re gonna love it!

Deep, generous swags on the garlands makes the whole stairway look lush and plentiful.  Magnolia leaves, dried whole oranges, faux apples, and real pomegranates punctuate the peaks of the greenery.  A cinnamon and dried orange garland swags between the greens and adds a wonderful smell!

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A few changes to my regular gallery wall – adding in winter photos and draping a sheepskin over my usually polka dotted chair add a touch of coziness.

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The monogram wreath was one of my favorite (and easiest!) projects I did in the entryway.  The full tutorial will be up next week!  Keep reading for tons (literally, there are 16) more photos that show all of the detail and feelings I was trying to evoke in this room.   [Read more…]

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Fresh Colonial Christmas Porch

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Happy December!  I’m so excited to finally be sharing the start of our holiday decorating.  Last month, I revealed the Colonial style theme that was inspiring my decor this year due to a recent trip to Williamsburg.  I was intrigued by the dried fruits, natural berries, and loads of greenery used to decorate the historical town.  I shared an interview with Liza, a wonderfully knowledgable woman who inspired my decor decision.

It was really important to me to make damn sure that although I’d be channeling a throwback, historical style, my decor would have no similarities to that ‘country’ style you see at Christmas craft shows.  In order to keep the historical visions from getting too country, I made sure to keep the decorations as natural as humanly possible and interjected touches of classic Christmas style.  To get this all done, it made perfect sense for me to partner with the one person I feel exudes country style in a very upscale way – Martha Stewart. I worked with her team to find just the right garlands and greens that matched up with my colonial theme.

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I started with a foundation of lots of lush greenery using Martha Stewart Alaskan Spruce greenery (available at The Home Depot) because it looks the most ‘real’ with a lighter green/gray color. It already had the pinecones included, so that was one less thing that made the list of embellishments needed.  I’ve spoke about this before, but it’s really important to me not to start from scratch each year and to utilize what I have at home to get the perfect look.  Starting out with good greenery means that I can change up my embellishments year after year without spending a ton of money every Decemeber.  Getting just the right balance of natural and festive decor for my greens was easy with a few key elements.  Keep reading for all of the steps, sources, and tons more photos! Also, we have a HUGE announcement as well at the way at the bottom of the post!   [Read more…]

Two Step Back Porch Revamp

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For whatever reason, I always decorate the front of my house, but never the back door.  The reason this is odd to me is that the back door is the one people use.  I know the only person who steps foot on my front porch is the UPS guy.  Even the FedEx guy knows to come to the back!

With holiday guests coming into town this week, I wanted to jazz up the back just a bit to make it feel welcoming and autumnal, but I didn’t have much time to work with.  I wanted to start with my old lanterns which were galvanized (silver), so against a grey house, they just disappeared.  I’d been eyeing some beautiful copper lanterns from Terrain and thought that I could stave off the inner desire to spend over $300 on new lanterns by painting my old ones.

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Although I realize that they don’t quite look identical, I did manage to save some money and get an almost instantaneous change by just using some ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape and hammered copper spray paint.  A few flowers and some colorful leaves that I stole from the neighbors yard, and we were visitor ready. See the ugly ‘before’ and then what a difference 30 minutes made next!

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[Read more…]

Holiday 2014 Theme: A Colonial Christmas

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It’s that time!  I know we still haven’t had Thanksgiving and I’m usually very very strict about posting Christmas ideas until after Turkey day, but I just can’t resist this year.  Partially because I’m so excited about my theme and partially because I may have already decorated some (guilty!) and am just too excited to wait.

You all know that I have a somewhat historic home.  It’s historic in the sense that it was built forever ago, but with all of the generations of updates and upgrades, it can hardly be considered in historic shape.  I’ve always had a bit of a struggle to decorate the nineteenth century home in a way that doesn’t feel, well, old.  For this reason, I’ve always stuck with a neutral and sparkly decor palette.  There is something about the neutral palette at Christmas, however, that can seem underwhelming.  When ‘Good King Wenceslas’ or ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ wafts over the speakers, I wish my home was decked with everything decedent and richly colored with bountiful cakes and sugared fruits adorning my table and mulled wine drunk from pewter.  Isn’t it funny how just a song can put you in a certain frame of mind?

So, this year, I’ve decided to succumb to the deep rooted desire of my home to be dressed in old world holiday cheer.  And where else would I look for inspiration that to Colonial Williamsburg.  You know how I absolutely loved my trip there this fall and I was so intrigued by their holiday traditions, that I wanted to use the colonial decor as my framework.

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I had a general idea for how I wanted to take the decorations, but I wanted more information on the how and why behind style, so I reached out to Liza Gusler, the licensing manger for Colonial Williamsburg’s product line, who was so welcoming and informative during our trip in October. I am using her guidance and advice as the basis for our decor, and I was shocked by some of her insights!  We asked her some of the burning questions we had about the history of the holiday in Colonial times and loved hearing her insights!  It’s a long-ish interview, but it will definitely frame how we decorate and give a little insight into some of our current traditions!   [Read more…]

Storefront Dreaming & Scheming

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Before we all get carried away, please know that (so far) the store front is just a mere idea.  I first told you all about it last week so I’ve had about 7 days to let my mind expand upon the thought.  Although I did schedule two meetings next week with a couple of friends who own shops, my personal steps toward brick and mortar space is only evident on my Pinterest board. Yes, I started a shop pinterest board.

So, if you want to travel the path of this dream (any possible future reality?) with me, let’s start here.

Firstly, we all know that I currently design a collection online called Grandiflora Home + Decor.  I’ve focused on simple, minimal, natural elements that are sophisticated, but certainly not stuffy.  I sell my designs online and also in a handful of other shops around the country (three to be exact!).  I’m proud of how far we’ve come in a year to selling two separate collections to selling in three stockists, but I’d like to see if I can expand business by having a retail location.

Secondly, aside from running Grandiflora, I write this blog, and I do wedding flowers.  I see opportunity to expand both of those businesses if I had another space.  For the blog, I’d love to do workshops, DIYs, and events.  For the flowers, having a space would he helpful, especially when meeting with brides and showcasing designs and style.  Plus, doing high volume flowers from home is messy and difficult, but I still love it, so I take a few weddings each year.

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You can see that, aside from my business concept, I have some very specific design concepts!  The store would ideally be a ‘Home + Garden’ type vibe – mixing home decor and botanical. Finishes would be a clean black and white palette, but with some raw, worn details and materials. I love how the first photo still has a classic traditional vibe and isn’t TOO rustic.

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It aligns pretty tightly with my basic blog esthetic too.  I don’t think these inspirational images are surprising anyone!

How do you guys feel about the concept?  What are your thoughts on blog workshops? I’d love to hear your feedback!

 

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p.s.  I also contribute to the Bali blog!  I have shared an all natural DIY window cleaner today – perfect for letting that fall sunshine in!  Check it out here!