Friday, December 15, 2017

Holiday Decor With Hermes Boxes

Several years ago I purchased a stack of Hermes scarf boxes.  I've mostly been using them as risers when styling my chrome bookshelves in my family room.   For the holidays, I scooted one of the bookshelves over to one side of the fireplace and styled it for Christmas.  

I added some sparkle with a vintage Christmas tree, some stylized silver deer, and a sequined table runner on the mantel.  The  disco balls are from the living room floor.  I gathered them up and placed them in and around my Chinoiserie planter and filled the gaps with magnolia. 


The mantel was too narrow for the magnolia branches, so I placed a few magnolia sprigs in some flat-backed urns and layered them in front of the architectural posters.  The branches are from my back yard.  (I may have painted them orange.)


What's a room without some fur?



Stacked Hermes boxes, shed antlers, and wooden ornaments, purchased long ago from West Elm, fill the shelves.











More boxes under the tree and another sequined deer.





Here's a peek through the tree branches.





I'm really down to the wire here for Christmas.  I still have to decorate our tree.  It's only been in the stand for two weeks waiting for me.  

How is your holiday decorating going?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Our First Snow of 2017

After several weeks of temps approaching 60 degrees, winter has finally arrived in Maryland.   
As the images progress you'll see that the snowfall increases.

LOOKING OUT THE BACK WINDOW

I've managed to get some wreaths up.  That's about it for my holiday decor at this point.


I have this wonderful sphere suspended above my table on my screened porch.  
If you missed my porch reno, go here.
MY SNOW-COVERED BACK YARD

I loved this closer shot of the yard through the sphere too.
ANOTHER VIEW THROUGH THE SPHERE

The front yard is covering up quickly.
SNOW-CAPPED ORB IN MY FRONT YARD

LOOKING OUT THROUGH THE KITCHEN WINDOW

Did you notice the rose through the window?
MY LAST ROSE

Shooting into the light from the sun room creates a light/dark contrast.   
Some of the Fall leaves are still hanging on.
LOOKING OUT FROM THE SUN ROOM

A BRIGHTER LOOK FROM THE SUN ROOM

Have signs of winter arrived in your area yet?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving


Have a wonderful family-filled holiday.

A SNIPPET OF MY THANKSGIVING MANTEL

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for following along.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Vintage Silver Plate for the Holidays (and some polishing tips)

Silver adds just the right amount of sparkle to your holiday entertaining.  The flatware pieces are always fun.  I like to mix and match patterns of forks and spoons, sugar shells, iced tea spoons, pickle/olive forks, individual butter knives and unique serving pieces.  They're conversation starters too.  I decided to include some pieces in our holiday sale at Buckeystown Design Co-Op.

A MIX OF VINTAGE FLATWARE AT OUR HOLIDAY SALE 

You can see that I mixed greenery and ornaments with the serving pieces.  Yes, that's a faux fur throw tablecloth.  I do love fur.  In the background is my vintage silver tree.  I'm considering using it this year at my home.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to break my "only a real tree" tradition.  We'll see.  It certainly will be easier.
VINTAGE SIVER PLATE AND ORNAMENTS

Check out the branches on my vintage tree.
THE WONDERFUL BRANCHES ON MY VINTAGE TREE

Back to topic.  Besides the flatware, I absolutely love vintage handled pedestal compotes.  I fill them with cookies or appetizers.  They are all different and add varying heights to your tablescape.
VINTAGE PEDESTAL COMPOTES

Champagne buckets can chill your wine or hold serving pieces.
CHAMPAGNE BUCKET WITH VINTAGE SERVING PIECES

Here's a better view of the large compote.  In the foreground is another handled basket.  It has "feet" instead of a pedestal.  In the center you can see a toast holder.  I tucked some ornaments inside, but in everyday life I use a toast holder for mail.
MORE SILVER PLATE

I also have a vintage martini shaker.
MARTINI SHAKER

And, just to push it over the top, I added some vintage jewelry to a small white tree.
VINTAGE SILVER JEWELRY ON A TREE 

I put some of my costume jewelry on another tree.
COSTUME JEWELRY ON A SILVER TREE

Setting your holiday table does involve some effort if your pieces have tarnished.  I have some good news and some bad news about polishing silver.  The bad news is that you have to polish the large serving pieces the old way with silver polish and a cloth.  The good news is I have a fast way to clean the flatware.  The recipe follows.  Make sure you also take a look at my comments about what I learned when I was cleaning the flatware.

What You Need

Materials: 
• Aluminum foil 
• Glass dish or aluminum baking dish
• 1 cup boiling water
• 1 tablespoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
• 1/2 cup white vinegar
• Rag for polishing
• Tongs to remove silverware from boiling water
Instructions:
1. Bring water to a boil. When combined with the other ingredients the water will activate the baking soda and start the process of transferring the tarnish to the foil.
2. Add the dry ingredients into the pan and slowly pour in the vinegar. You will cause a slight reaction, so pour carefully! It is possible to clean your silver without adding vinegar, but the vinegar will dramatically speed up the process.
3. Pour in the boiling water and then place the silver into your pan, making sure each piece is touching the foil. Try not to let any of the pieces overlap. This should only take about 30 seconds but if you have heavily tarnished pieces you may need to let them soak a few minutes longer.
4. Use tongs to remove the silverware and work off any remaining spots by buffing with a rag. Then, look deep into your shiny silver and admire the smartypants that brought it back to its original glory!

WHAT I LEARNED

1.  The one cup of liquid was enough to cover my knives but didn't completely cover my other non-flat pieces.  Maybe I should have used a smaller pan, but I had too much to clean.  I ended up tripling the recipe.

2.  When you add the vinegar, you create quite a bubbling science experiment.  Use a large container for the mixture and stir while you're adding the vinegar to keep it from bubbling over the edge.

3.  It worked quickly.  I rinsed off the pieces and was able to get them clean with a soft cloth.  There were only a few heavily-tarnished pieces that I had to spot clean with the silver polish.



Let me know if you tried it and liked it.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Goodbye Fall

While I'm in full swing at the store for the upcoming holidays, my porch and I are still holding on to Fall.  Also, my current decor approach is:  Why have just one pumpkin on your porch?




The pumpkins are all different shapes, sizes and colors.  Have you ever seen a mottled one like this?




Here's what it looks like from the front of the house.








Are you holding on to Fall or have you moved on to the holidays?

FYI, the pumpkin collection was a gift from one of my favorite selling partners, 
Monica, @ Gatehouse Designs.
Please check out her style here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Holiday Open House @ Buckeystown Design Co-op

I hope to see everyone for our first holiday open house @ Buckeystown Design Co-Op.

Here's what I've pulled together for the sale.

VINTAGE BOW FRONT BUFFET

I filled a vintage dough bowl with boxwood wreaths.

BOXWOOD WREATHS IN VINTAGE DOUGH BOWL

VINTAGE DRESSER AND 1960'S ALUMINUM TREE

Florentine library steps are a perfect display piece.

LIBRARY STEPS AND DESIGNER BOOKS








Why not decorate one of your trees with jewelry?

TREE JEWELRY DISPLAY
My nod to millennial pink.

MILLENNIAL PINK AND GREEN


Hope all you DC area readers will stop by and start your holiday shopping with us.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bird Decor

For someone who claims to not care for birds, I spy quite a few in my home.  If you've been following my blog you've already seen the mercury glass bird in a cloche on my porch.

MERCURY GLASS BIRD IN A CLOCHE ON MY PORCH
Recently I purchased collage art with an ostrich. 
 I have the art leaning against the wall while I decide if it stays in the foyer or if there's a better spot for me to put yet another nail hole into a wall.

OSTRICH COLLAGE ART

In the dining room I have a vintage hand-colored bird engraving layered over the window.

FRAMED BIRD ENGRAVING

In the upstairs hallway is a vintage Audubon print.

VINTAGE AUDUBON

There are a pair of bookcases in my family room.   I call them my nature-inspired shelves.  You'll see framed vintage bird engravings, eggs, nests, and even some transferware plates with birds in flight.

LEFT BOOKSHELF

RIGHT BOOKSHELF

Many years ago I purchased a calendar with Audubon prints.  I had my two favorite ones matted and framed.  They've been all around the house.  This week they're in the kitchen.

AUDUBON PRINTS IN THE KITCHEN

There's even a bird in the oversized art on the stair landing.

OVERSIZED ART ON THE STAIR LANDING

Last but not least, since it is Fall and I haven't done any Fall decorating, I thought I'd share a mantel I pulled together years ago when I was ambitious and changed my mantel seasonally.  You can see a brass pheasant peeking out on the right.

FALL MANTEL

What decor items to you see repeated in your home?