Tuesday, November 28, 2017

My Top 15 Picks For An Amazing Nontraditional Christmas Tree

Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm assuming that everyone, like me, is already into the Christmas craze! I've been under the weather so my house is not coming along as quickly as I would like but I still have plenty of inspiration for you! 

 This week I thought I would start the Christmas inspiration with something fun. I love traditional Christmas trees but I also like to shake it up a bit. I always want to do something a little out of the box. So let me share some of my favorite nontraditional Christmas trees with you... 

Martha Stewart
Who doesn't love a PVC pipe tree! Leave it to Martha Stewart to make PVC adorable!

Homes: Christmas: Alternative white christmas tree (via The Guardian)

For a tutorial on how to make this dress form Christmas tree, click on the photo
DIY Tutorial

Upside Down Christmas Tree!!

Upside down tree? Did I miss something? I think I missed the memo that this year we were hanging the tree from the ceiling. Well apparently, it's a very old tradition in Europe. Check out the interesting article I found here.

Colorful & playful Christmas Tree. Christmas Home Decor Ideas We Love at Design Connection, Inc. | Kansas City Interior Design http://www.DesignConnectionInc.com/design-blog

So I have a confession, I act all sophisticated and grown up but deep down I'm still such a kid at heart. This might be my favorite Christmas tree EVER!

Retro Red and Aqua Christmas Porch | Cottage at the CrossroadsSource

Can I just say my Christmas in the country was never this cute! I love the blue and red. Even blue pine cones! 

Buy a white tree when they go on sale and do this next year on front porch

In Houston, Texas this is the closest we get to making a snowman!
Great idea!

A Colorful Christmas Tree Idea! #gradient #christmas #tree   I like this and think it's pretty but would not decorate our tree like this.

21 Ideas for Making Alternative Christmas Trees To Recycle Clutter and Save Money

I thew this one in for fun. I'm pretty sure my husband has enough ties in the closet that I could easily do this!!!


Snowy Christmas tree.

wall Christmas Tree

My Top Tips For Decorating Out Of the Box
  • If you have a small space think UP, try fish line to make your tree come down from the chandelier or make use of your wall space!
  • Think in non-traditional colors. Maybe work with the color palette that you already have in your home. If you can't find ornaments that are the right color you can make them. The craft stores have clear ornaments that you can pour paint into. The options are limitless!
  • Think of items that you have a collection of. Are they stackable? Will they hang on a wall?
  • Do you love books? Have book shelves? Create a tree out of arranging books on your shelves. You can even cover them in wrapping paper to add a bit of color or keep them neutral for a more natural palette. 
  • When you go run errands for the day, keep your eye out for anything that looks like it would work for your decor. Often times I stay away from the Christmas isles. It helps clear your mind. Walk through the hardware store and think Christmas Tree! Sometimes we have to force ourselves to see things in a different light. What about using cute drawer pulls to be the ornaments on a cut-out wood tree?
What about a Christmas tree outside? Who says it needs to be inside?

Don't get me wrong, I love the traditional red and green Christmas. But sometimes I just want a bit of a change. I personally love pink! So I've found a way to mix all of my traditional colors red and mix in a little of the fun colors too. Check back in a couple of days to see my favorite Christmas Tree!

Monday, November 20, 2017


Happy Thanksgiving!

 I have a wonderful friend, MJ, who loves decor and entertaining as much as I do! Last week I was excited to be invited over for Friendsgiving. I love going over to her home. It's like a little French boutique. Every time I go over to her house I always find something new. I just couldn't wait to see what she had done for this special night! I  wanted to share with you some of her beautiful decor.

I am so envious that she just found this beautiful pheasant at a local antique store. Isn't this bird spectacular? I mean how lucky was she to find this peace?  Anyway, MJ,  added a few sprigs of seeded eucalyptus and some dusty miller and it's absolutely gorgeous.

Another centerpiece I'm lusting over! MJ usually keeps real stag horns in a beautiful bowl on her coffee table. Here she has simply layered them with the same eucalyptus and dust miller. When I asked her where I could find some she replied that they were found at her ranch.

 At a small round table where you might not have room to place the silverware, stick them in a mason jar that matches the water glasses. The picture of casual elegance.

Don't you just love how simple but elegant this table is? She makes it look so easy! I love how she alternates the napkins. With larger parties you might not have the enough matching place settings but MJ shows you how to make it work! I love it. I think it adds more visual interest. And the cute chargers? I think they have them at Michael's! Linen tablecloths were found at Marshalls. Beautiful napkin rings are Juliska.

I think my favorite aspect of MJ sense of style is her ability to mix expensive pieces with less expensive pieces so you don't have to break the bank to entertain. With beautiful crystal goblets next to quaint mason jars it look fantastic. And the inexpensive chargers look great next to the fine linen napkins with Juliska napkin rings.

Well that's it for now my friends. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy your family and friends and remember...

A minute on the lips is a pound on the hips...

So just eat fast!;)

Happy Decorating!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Quick Fall Decorating

Gosh, Thanksgiving is almost here! And I'm busy working on Christmas! Being new to the blogging community I haven't quite figured out how they do it all. It's not even Thanksgiving but everyone is already posting their Christmas homes decorated to the nines! I just feel like I'm running so far behind! Even when I went to the craft store the Christmas florals and ribbon were slim pickings! Well, I say its never too late for more inspiration!

I usually have a large tray on my kitchen island with lots of goodies on it. But today is such a beautiful day I had to take it outside. 

For fall, I picked up a tray at HomeGoods for about sixteen bucks. (If you have priced large trays you will know that's a pretty good deal.) And, of course, the cute fall plates and the wheat stack are from HomeGoods too. (Because, really, who can go in that place without at least skimming every decor isle! Seriously, I need an  intervention! They should have a warning like...If you have a problem with HomeGoods shopping and can't leave the store until you are running late to pick up your kids please call our 1-800-649-STOP number for help) Sorry, got a little carried away there...back to the vignette. 

You can't really tell from the photo but the bottom of the tray isn't very nice so I've used preserved oak leaves to disguise it while adding another layer to the design. You can use a cute cloth napkin to drape over the bottom of a tray too. I've stacked my bisscotti and  mug on an acacia salt cellar. You can find one here.

If you like this tray vignette and would like more ideas I suggest checking out Yvonne at StoneGable. See her fall kitchen vignette here. I learned so much from her blog!

In my mind, no tray can be created without some fresh flowers on it. As for which flowers to use? Well, I can use tulips for any season! They are so beautiful and come in so many colors. I just added a cute little daisy filler (sorry, don't remember the name) and my amazing floral piece was done. 

Tip: Tulips can open fairly quickly when they are warm. In Houston it's always warm! When I have company coming, I buy mine when I go to the grocery store and stick them in a short round vase that fits into the refrigerator nicely. When I'm ready for them to bloom (when company is coming over) I take them out of the fridge a day or two before.  I've also been known to put them back in the fridge overnight and set them out again in the morning. You will be surprised at home much longer they will last!
Next time you buy tulips try it! 

I found this cute little farmhouse vase at Hobby Lobby. Remember the chrysanthemum arrangement I made here? Well, I just went and cut off a piece from the back of the plant and there you go... Lovely.

Happy Decorating!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Beautiful And Easy Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece

I'm loving my Thanksgiving dinner table this year! 

I usually go all out and spend tons of time and money 
on the table decorations. 
But this year I decided to keep is simple and quick. 

I read on another blog (wish I could remember who is was) that she wanted quick and easy all of the time not only because that is what people want, but behind the scenes it creates such a mess! 
I have to go back and figure out who said that and tell them thanks!
That thought was an epiphany for me.

So, if I say think of a Thanksgiving centerpiece, 
what comes to mind?
Did you think of flowers?
Maybe some candles?
Maybe even a cute turkey you found at your local craft store?

The first thing that comes to my mind is flowers!

Sometimes, mind boggling expensive flowers!

Normally most people think of flowers when they
 think of centerpieces for a holiday dinner. 

I'm a fanatic when it comes to flowers and floral arranging. 
But the can get expensive, especially if you want
 bunches of them everywhere!

So, this year I went to the grocery store and browsed the
 produce section at my local Trader Joes. 

  So this is what's in my shopping bag:
(3) Persimmons 

What beautiful color these persimmons have and 
the artichokes provide such texture! 
And I already had a dough bowl that I frequently 
use for arrangements. -Perfect for Thanksgiving- 
(If you don't have a dough bowl you should get one.
They are defiantly a workhorse.)

So what do you know? 

I was able to put together, in minutes,
 a fabulous centerpiece for my table!

I went in my backyard and cut some leaves off my 
bushes and add them. I couldn't be more pleased.
 I think that using fruit, vegetables and whatever you
 can find for color and texture, adds an extra special 
element to your floral arrangements.
 Or, in this case, bright color and texture 
stands alone wonderfully!
And its always a conversation piece.
Guest expect to see flower arrangements. 
And as I've said before, I love a bit of the unexpected! 

So next time you go to the grocery store,
 I hope pick up not just fruits and vegetables to eat 
but to decorate with as well! From now on look at your 
produce section differently! Use your artistic eye and 
most of all have fun!
Happy decorating,

Friday, November 10, 2017

About Me and My Style

For those who want the
 short and sweet version...

I'm a city girl with a country heart. 
I love country French, cottage style, and lately, 
I'm all about modern farmhouse. 
But actually, I love a lot of styles!
If I could I'd have 100 houses so I 
could decorate each one differently. 

(Okay, maybe not 100 houses-that's a lot of cleaning!)

For those of you who want the unabridged version:

I studied Interior Design in collage and there I found my love for all things French.  Art was my minor and I took a few introductory courses on several art subjects but Art History was my passion. I know what you're thinking - dork! ;)

I remember I took a class on classical art. I had the most difficult professor in the art building and she was known for failing students. I was so stubborn, I took the class anyway, sure enough, I carried index cards with pictures of Greek statues on the front of the card and the artist and year on the back, for the rest of the semester! Do you know how many statues those people made!?! A LOT! If I wasn't eating, sleeping or designing floor plans I was memorizing flash cards with crazy Greek names on them. It was so hard but I loved it! I did well in the class, even though today, I couldn't name one sculpture! 

I never stopped loving the classics. It still fascinates me today to study the Greeks and Romans. It amazes me how the classics prevail through time. So to this day I stick with the classics because they never go out of style.

 Country Living with Holly Matthis
Country Living with Holly Mathis

So that's probably more than you ever wanted to know about me  but there it is - my style


However, I can appreciate all styles of design! Design is an art. Interior design, fashion, art, photography, they are all closely related. It's about having the eye. The eye for balance, colors, weight and space. Sometimes you either have it or you don't. (I really hope I have it!) 

Zion National Park original landscape oil painting in a modern impressionist style, by Erin Hanson

The most important aspect of making a home a home (instead of a house) is adding a little touch of yourself to it. My personality is a little quirky, I love dogs, books, black and white photography. I want to be surrounded by things that make me smile! So in my home I like to throw a little fun and whimsy into my decor to shake things up a bit. I don't like thinks to be stuffy, too formal, or cluttered. I believe in mixing the old with the new. I love modern art mixed with antiques. 

About your style...

We all have the tendency to look at all the Interior Design magazines, Houzz, Instagram and Pinterest and we think, wow, I want my home to look just like that! And that's okay. That's how we get ideas and inspiration. But don't forget that decorating your home is an art.  And if you take nothing else away from this blog I hope you learn that you should always express yourself in your art and in your home! It's really all about you. 

So I hope you enjoyed learning about my style and why I love it! Hopefully, you can find your style too. And start making your house into a home.

Happy Decorating,

Sunday, November 5, 2017

How To Incorporate Buffalo Checks Into Your Home Tastefully

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Lately, I'm obsessed with buffalo checks... 

I know what your thinking... they are intimidating! They are bold (really bold) and bright. And even if you like the pattern how the heck do you incorporate it into your decor? Well, that got me thinking about the history of buffalo checks or buffalo plaid. They have been around forever. Buffalo plaid calls to mind lumber jacks and cowboys. And why the heck is if called buffalo plaid? Buffalo plaid is hot right now and I'll tell you why...they never go out of style, they can be dressed up or down, and they can be modern or traditional. They are so versatile and mix well with other patterns due to there simplicity. Still can't imagine buffalo checks in your home? Keep reading, you will!

Here are some wonderful examples of buffalo plaid in the home

Image result for buffalo plaid fabric

How warm and inviting are these chairs? Don't you just want to curl up with a good book here? This room is traditional and classic. Elegant and serene come to mind. By going with a soft shade of green, the bold pattern is muted and blends well with the more neutral room decor. 

Tip: Use softer color pallets for your bigger surfaces and add your brighter color on smaller items around the room. By doing this, you keep the color pallet from feeling too flat or drab. If you want serene try a soft color in your buffalo checks. 

But don't worry, If you are not ready to commit to reupholstering you chairs, I have some other ideas for you... 

I'm mean, get outta here!!! Is this too cute or what??? This room makes me want to have another baby just so I can put buffalo check curtains in the nursery! (Check out Smitten Design blog for a great article on the dog portrait.) Such a cute idea for a little boys room.
If your not ready to commit to having a baby so you can have buffalo check curtains keep scrolling...

Napkins in this dinning room are a perfect way to add a touch of buffalo check without dominating the entire room. It's also a good way to see if buffalo checks work for you without investing a lot of money. If you your afraid to commit, this is the way to go. 

Tip: Other ways of adding checks to your home without spending a lot of money include, adding check throw pillows, plaid throws or even a buffalo check dog bed! Check it out! ( no pun intended;)

Source: Wreath-Princess Anne County; throws-Pottery Barn

And for the daring...

DIY Buffalo Check Wall-Classy Clutter
The picture above is a great example of pulling a classic pattern into the 21st century! Wallpaper in Buffalo check! Who knew? The hot pink desk pops against the black and white wallpaper. 

Tip: black and white buffalo check is a neutral! You can add any color with it and it will look great! This room is full of energy and fun. Personality plus! 

Ethan Allen-Buffalo check chair
Country living at its finest. Here is another example of how black and white checks work with any color. How summery is this?
I think yellow with black and white plaid is my favorite combination. It's so cheerful. 

Caitlin Wilson-textile designer's home

For those of you who aren't digging the country vibe, this is how to bring plaid into modern day decor. The vintage stools add visual interest to this vignette. 

Tip: It's always a good design idea, in my book, to add a touch of the unexpected in every room. Just don't go overboard. I usually add one whimsical item in a few of my rooms. It adds character and can be a great conversation piece!

Sheathed in a Schumacher plaid, the upper lounge features a large Conrad Marca-Relli collage and a circa-1900 leather-clad English games chair

It can even be masculine. And that cute dog is so lucky!

And for the bold and beautiful...


Now this has a wow factor!

buffalo check - La Tavola Fine Linen Check Yellow White 2
What a beautiful wedding setting! I love this. Now most of use aren't going to break out our silver and china but you get the idea. Buffalo checks can be dressed up or down. 

Tip: The checked table cloth keeps the table setting from being too fussy, too formal and is defiantly warm and welcoming Buffalo checks are dope! (I have been watching too much Miley Cirus on The Voice )  They always have been popular and always will be. But, you have to know how to use them. Whether your style is farmhouse chic or modern upscale, you can incorporate buffalo checks in your home too!

During the holiday season you will find checks everywhere. They are extremely popular. Just walk into any Pottery Barn. 

So maybe your asking-"What about mixing buffalo check with other patterns?" --I love the simplicity of the check, it mixes well with busier patterns. A super easy formula that works every time: use a solid, a check and an organic design (floral, curves, scrolls etc.) together. 

I hope these examples and tips help. I would love to know how you use buffalo checks in your home. And if your not sure, go ahead try it! It's easy to find buffalo checks during the holiday seasons. There's no better time then now!
Check out these sources for buffalo checks:
How buffalo checks got there name...

According to Wikipedia, buffalo plaid got its name when a designer at Woolrich mill (who owned a herd of buffalo) copied a pattern known as "Rob Roy" in Scotland. And the rest is history!

Happy Decorating!

Things Aren't Always Black And White But They Should Be

Inspiration For The Black And White Home

I love black and white...everything from black and white photographs to black and white tux. It's sharp, crisp and clean. Sometimes we forget that a black and white home can be very striking. Glamorous even. My personal style is not contemporary but I think my favorite modern interiors are black and white.   I hope your not thinking..."black and white is boring, I need some color." If that sounds like you, hopefully this post will make you think twice! We just need some inspiration. 

Now, let's get inspired! 


I'm proud to say that this is Renea Abbot's home, from my back yard in Houston, TxRenea owns Shabby Slips on Bissonnet Street in West University. (Her shop is to die for! Seriously!)

When you decorate, the details are what takes a room from static to dynamic. Notice the details that really make this room work. I love dark walls in a bedroom! Strategic use of white in this room keeps it fresh. The white ceiling, the white moldings and white bedside dresser keep the room from becoming too dark. Simple window treatments let ample light in. This is black and white design to perfection! 

I could write about her home forever but instead  I will let you check out this great article on The Decorista.  

Renea Abbot

House Beautiful
Neutrals always work well with black and white. Here neutral wood tones add warmth to the room. The neutrals also work to keep the eye moving around the room. 


Wow! I always love gold with black and white. To get that Hollywood Glam style add a bit of gold to your room! Or in this case, a lot! 

But black and white can be more casual too!


Casual Farmhouse. Love it! The tiny pop of green makes the room! Do you agree?

to disguise a tv... better than just a tv focal point, this is great... I'd add some color.

I'm loving how the black and white color scheme makes the TV blend in! 

a cosy country farmhouse with modern interiors

Everything old is new again! Modern Farmhouse is so hot right now. Remember when we used to rip these old tiles and tubs out? Ha! If we had only waited! Black and white has farmhouse written all over it!

Budget Friendly

So Let's say you're not...hummm...Gweneth Paltrow (I just saw a interview on TV about her new biz venture, GOOP, but I digress) and you don't have a pile of cash sitting around (actually, I'm pretty sure all her cash is in the bank, she probably doesn't even carry cash on her...oops, there I go again- back to the budget) Yes, that where I was going. The dreaded B-word!!!
Don't worry, I have some ideas that will get you started and won't break the bank!

History in the Making | AH&L

What about covering some books with white paper? Or adding a white or black lamp?

Cuckoo 4 Design

Here is a great example from Julia at Cuckoo 4 Design. There are soooo many ideas in this room! Totally digging the white and black curtains. Fun! What about quirky tassels? And that poof! (who name it a poof? I can just imagine a design room with someone saying, lets just call it a poof, and someone else saying,  fine, poof it is.) --Sorry, ramblings--back to the subject.

Did I mention adding a rug, black lampshade or pillows? These are easy ways to start going to a black and white color scheme.

cat in diapers

Julia even has black and white kittens!
 (I'm thinking that wasn't planned;)
Black & White (and a Bit in Between)
Ballard Designs
I own this coffee table book and let me tell you it totally changed the way I think about black and white. If your serious about black and white design I cannot recommend this book enough. (I have no association with this book or author, this is just my honest opinion.) 

Well, I hope this post gave you plenty of pictures and tips to inspire you! I'd love to here your thoughts on black and white in the comments below.

Happy decorating,