‘Tis the Season for Dwell Studio Holiday Decor!

I receive so many catalogs this time of year. Though it kind of drives me nuts, I usually look through each one (quickly) and find some holiday inspiration or a gift idea. The most inspiring catalog lately? Dwell Studio’s Holiday 2013. The holiday specific pieces are super chic and modern, but what I love is the use of things they carry all year. The sparkle of gold candleholders and objects, mixed with seasonal garlands makes for a beautiful holiday setting. I love every page but here are a few of my favorites.

This wreath is made from the Wire Prism Objet (gold leaves not included). The other items are available all year, and still, how festive!
Mercury glass is available all year as well but is even more appropriate in this little tree shape. This is where I would stress the word inspiration, since they are sold out. Try Home Goods or West Elm for great pieces with this finish.
Felt garlands are a good investment since they’ll last for years. I imagine the Evergreen Garland will sell out like the Jubilee Garland has so order them soon if you’re a fan! Or try Jamali Garden, West Elm or Etsy for amazing garlands in a multitude of colors.
Happy Holiday Decorating!

DIY: A Console for a Small Space

I have a really small dining room. So small that my area rug is 5 feet-by-5 feet. Nonetheless, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect storage buffet and with such specific needs, it’s no surprise that I never found it. Those specific needs you ask?
  1. If it has doors they need to be sliding doors (or have none at all).
  2. It can’t be ugly or deeper than 12 inches.
  3. I need it to have a bit of storage.
  4. I don’t want a natural wood finish.
  5. I prefer a modern style.
  6. The list goes on…

So far everything readily available has not worked, until now.

I started thinking outside-the-box and realized I needed to repurpose something if I wasn’t willing to pay a professional to build something for me. While shopping for other reasons, I was inspired by the Carlson Tower at CB2. It’s perfect size and price got me thinking. Let’s turn it on it’s side. Table legs are easy to get, and I ordered four of these 24 inch hairpin legs online. For kicks, I got a quote to see how much it would be to plate each leg in a satin brass. It would be $175 each, so I decided to skip it.  (*but can always do it later!)  
Tools needed:
  • Screw gun
  • Steel drill bit
  • Machine screws, bolts & flat washers
  • Paper or painter’s tape 
Optional tools (but not tested for this project):
  • Right angle drill
  • Counter sink bit
  1. Place legs and trace holes with a marker
  2. Tape over the marks.  *Tape will prevent the drill from slipping and sliding off your mark, avoiding major scratches.  It’s going to be the bottom, but why not keep it pretty?
  3. Attach the legs with screws, bolts & washers. Tighten with a wrench.

One not-so-great detail is this one. I didn’t have a right angle drill, so I wasn’t able to counter sink the screws.  It’ll work for now.

 Voilà! The perfect sized console for a small dining space.

Photograph Those Holiday Feasts!

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching! As you get those recipes ready, be sure to have your camera standing by as well. A dinner party always happens way too quickly, especially if you’re the host(ess), so get a few of those moments on film! A few of my favorite, self-imposed rules are listed below. These should leave you with at least a few good photos and more importantly, you’ll (hopefully) enjoy yourself as well.

1) Use natural and ambient light (I prefer to avoid the flash in almost all situations). I love this incredible centerpiece photo via The Kitchn and the story about this gathering is full of other great party tips.

2) Handwritten menus and/or place cards are a nice touch. Photograph those details. This picture is from a wedding. It’s clean & simple and so perfect for any autumn meal.

3) Candid shots like this one feel natural, and after a few glasses of wine, your guests probably won’t mind being in a picture or two. This also makes good use of he ambient light.

photos via Instagram

4) Overhead pictures of a table always look great, even if the food is half-eaten. If a hand makes it in to the shot, even better! Shoot a ‘toast’ from that angle as well. Cheers!

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