Holiday Decorating and Traditions

ornaments made from golf balls

How is your holiday decorating going this year? Do you have any decorating traditions that you look forward to every year? I have a few favorite things that I do that get me in the holiday spirit.


Holiday Decorating and Remembering Christmas Past

Christmas decorations
One basket for Christmas past and another for Christmas present

I have always saved the photo Christmas cards that I received. A few years back, I started putting them out in a basket in my living room, so when time allowed, or when company was over, they could be thumbed through and enjoyed. Having them out has sparked conversations, usually sharing memories of the loved ones in the photograph. Looking through old photo cards has become something I look forward to every year.


Thinking of friends, family and life’s special moments

Holiday decorating with handmade ornaments
Holiday decorating with handmade ornaments
Holiday decorating with handmade ornaments

I never played into the idea of themed Christmas trees or worrying about if it matched my living room. My tree is a mishmash, and I prefer it that way. Every ornament on the tree means something to me. Some ornaments were gifts that make me think about the person who gave them to me. Others commemorate something monumental in my family’s history like first home, babies, and vacations. Some were handmade. I still have the paper ornaments my daughter’s made in kindergarten. I enjoy the memories each one brings as I hang them on the tree.


Holiday Decorating and Small little details

I have a pair of lighted trees in pots on my porch. I love decorating them for all of the seasons. It is a silly little thing that makes me happy. The trees unadorned are terrible looking. They starts to perk up when I add ornaments to them. But they come to life when I start adding some natural elements from my yard. I add in greenery from boxwoods, evergreens, and holly bushes. I add pine-cones, dried flower buds, and berries from trees and anything I find that is pretty. The creative process makes me as happy as the finished product.

Christmas dinner table seating favors

I love taking out my Christmas china and setting the table but the highlight for me is making place setting favors for my family. I am not sure what I will make this year. But here are some pictures of what I have made in the past.

These were easy to make but I had to recruit help because they were extremely time consuming. I used gigantic pinecones and hot glued them into a candle votive holder. Then painted and decorated them.

Santa on sled, made from chocolate and candy canes

These Santa sleds were pretty easy to make. Here is a link with the directions if you feel inspired https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/santas-candy-sleighs/12276749-0163-4074-8e3d-361e56b76b80 .

Cork reindeer ornament

The cork reindeers were also not difficult to make. Here is a link for directions. https://visualheart.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/how-to-make-a-wine-cork-reindeer/

The best was the year I made golf ball snowman ornaments. I made them in the likeness of each of my family members. When it came time to sit at the table, they had to find the snowman that looked like them to find their seat. It was a big hit, and I don’t think I will ever top that. These were inspired by snowmen ornaments that I saw on pinterest but I put my own spin on them. https://www.allfreechristmascrafts.com/Snowman-Christmas-Crafts/Golf-Ball-Snowman-Ornament/

Ornaments made from golf balls
My Snowman Family

I better get crafting if I want to have favors for my Christmas table this year.

Please share a tradition

These are just a few of the holiday decorating traditions that I look forward to each year. I would love to hear what traditions you have. Please share by leaving a reply at the bottom of this page.

We are always so busy this time of year. Here are links to my last couple of posts in case you missed them: Sherwin Williams Color Forecast for 2020 is a Homerun, What to expect in luxury home decor fabrics for 2020 from the Robert Allen and Duralee Group, and 2020 furniture trends presented by Seigerman’s furniture . If you enjoy keeping up on trends and can use some ideas for making your home perfect for you, please subscribe.

2020 Furniture Trends Presented by Seigerman's Furniture and Design Center

Seigerman’s Furniture Showroom

What 2020 furniture trends can we expect? I headed to Seigerman’s Furniture and Design Center in Farmingdale to find out! Seigerman’s is a fantastic furniture store that also has a design center for trade professionals. It has quickly become one of my favorite places to bring my clients. They hosted an event showcasing a few manufacturers and summarizing the trends they saw at the Highpoint Market. The presentations were informative and enjoyable. I was so happy that I was invited and able to be there.

To the Trade Design Center Upstairs at Seigerman’s
A Fantastic Resource for Interior Designers

Design Trends Have Shifted

This year we will see a significant shift in furniture design trends. 2020 will guide us away from the straight-line, minimalist trends that we have been seeing and reintroduce curves and embellishments.


One of the 2020 furniture trends you will see is curved furniture

Curved furniture in living room showing 2020 furniture trends
Furniture with curves are a trend for 2020

Curvy is in! Curves can be found in crescent-shaped sofas, barrel-shaped chairs, rounded headboards. But not only upholstery is getting curvy. Case-goods trends show a shift from straight lines too. Bombay chests make a reappearance. Did you know Bombay means curved in French?

designer bedroom with upholstered headboard
Curves are a furniture trend for 2020

You will see metal details on furniture as another one of the 2020 furniture trends

John-Richard Cabinets
Metal accents on furniture are a trend for 2020

Furniture trends follow fashion trends, and it is so evident in the addition of metal details. We have been seeing metal on heels of shoes for a while now. Metal details transferring over to furniture is AMAZING! Such a smart and classy look which dresses up everything from bed frames, upholstery to case goods. Most of the time, the metal shown is gold. You will see in occasional tables as well. Gold is classic and here to stay.   


In 2020 you will see mottled furniture as a furniture trend

Mottled Credenza
Mottled Credenza shown at market by Artistica

When I think of mottled, I always think of car interiors, and never in a pleasing way. However, after seeing it on occasional tables, dressers, and credenzas, I have a new appreciation. It adds texture, depth, and interest! I can’t believe I LOVE it!


In 2020 you will see marbleized furniture as a furniture trend

coffee table with marble top.
Marble top coffee table.

Marbleized furniture is a nod towards traditional and classic design. Expect to see it on dresser tops and occasional tables.


Another trend for furniture in 2020 is acrylic furniture

Acrylic Furniture by Bernhardt
Acrylic Furniture by Bernhardt

Acrylic furniture is chic and can work in virtually any room. Since it adds very little visual weight, it allows other design elements to be the star, while taking on a functional role.


In 2020 you will see swivel chairs

Table and chairs
Swivel chairs by Design Master

I have always been a fan of the swivel. Who doesn’t love its flexibility? Also, they are usually extremely comfortable chairs.  Swivel chairs will be popular for dining and accent chairs.


In 2020 you will see shaped ottomans as a trend

liviing room white and teal
A furniture trend for 2020 is shaped ottomans

Round, square, and hexagon-shaped ottomans are hot in 2020. Clustering a few together is also a trend to expect.


In 2020 you will see over-sized hardware trending

living room display by John-Richard
Geode hardware on cabinet

Much more attention has been given to cabinet knobs and drawer pulls. In fact, hardware has become a defining design element. In 2020 expect to see over-sized hardware with a significant impact on its furniture piece.

Universal furniture cabinets and dressers
Hardware that makes a statement is a trend for 2020

Seigermans did a great job presenting these design trends to the trade. If you have not been to their furniture and interior design center, treat yourself and stop in. Everything shown in these pictures is available there. Also, the showroom is full of breathtaking displays, and the customer service is unsurpassed.


I hope you found the time to read my posts: Sherwin Williams Color Forecast for 2020 is a Homerun, What to expect in luxury home decor fabrics for 2020 from the Robert Allen and Duralee Group, and The Gary Mead Gallery. If you enjoy keeping up on trends and can use some ideas for making your home perfect for you, please subscribe.

Does Your Kitchen's Functionality Need Tweaking?

For a kitchen to function well, things must be stored efficiently.

Kitchens are the heart of the home. How is yours working for you? Is there anything you can do to make your current space more efficient? During the holidays, we spend an abundance of time in the kitchen, cooking, eating, and cleaning. It’s a great time to tweak things, so your kitchen functions as well as possible. Below are some ideas for quick fixes, along with suggestions to keep in mind future improvements.

How well are the contents in your kitchen arranged?

Some kitchen items can be decorative while not being used
  • Are the dishes and glasses that you use every day in a spot to be easily put away when emptying the dishwasher and dish drainer? Ideally, it would be best if you did not have to take steps to complete this task.
  • On the other hand, it makes sense to have the flatware, including serving pieces, near the table, if possible. When emptying the dishwasher, you can take the whole silverware caddy over to the drawer to put the utensils away, and you won’t end up walking back and forth.
  • If you like to bake, are all your baking needs—including bowls, and common ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder, salt—within easy reach of each other?
  • Are the cooking utensils and pots and pans that you use regularly stored next to the stove? And are they organized a way such that you can quickly retrieve the one you need?
  • If you have a collection of herbs and spices, are they stored close to the stove? Are they organized so you can immediately find the one you want?
  • Do you have potholders stored next to the oven?
  • Are there utensils, implements, gadgets that you use only occasionally taking up room and cluttering up your core storage locations? Could they be relocated to a less central location to free up central space?
  • Is the trashcan located next to, underneath, or within easy reach of the sink?
kitchen with pots on shelves
Shelving can add additional storage.

Some suggestions on kitchen storage:

  • Within a cabinet, try to group things that are the same height on the same shelf—like cups and mugs, for instance. Then, if you tighten up space above, you may be able to add an extra shelf.
  • Add decorative storage baskets above cabinets to store things used infrequently.
  • Retrofit an antique hutch to look like a built-in cabinet to add storage.
  • Seek out vertical wall storage systems that could organize kitchen utensils and gadgets.
  • Or use a utensil crock/holder on the counter next to the stove to hold your most often used cook’s tools—it’s almost like a chef’s bouquet!
  • Put a two-tiered lazy susan inside your cabinet to hold herbs and spices. Lazy susans make them easier to find and keep less frequently used spices from getting lost in the back. 
  • Add a wire rack suspended from an upper shelf to hold a platter or two and free up shelf space.
  • Do you have numerous platters and trays piled on top of one another? Stacking the boxes that they came in, if sturdy—or obtaining suitable flat ones—opened on one edge, allows you to easily slide any of them out, even from the bottom of the pile, without chipping them.

Suggestions for future kitchen function improvements

More suggestions to improve a kitchen’s functionality:

  • Install recessed, pendant, and under-the-counter lighting.
  • Install outlet strips to make sure there is an outlet where you need it.
  • Install a swan neck faucet to make your sink able to accommodate large pots and pans.
  • Use a kitchen cart to create a coffee bar to free up room on the counter.
  • Create a built-in dining nook with storage drawers under the seats.
  • If your kitchen has a door to the outside, consider replacing it with an all-glass door to let more light in, and make sure it has a screen.
  • Buy things that require little maintenance. Don’t waste your time with dishes that are not able to go into the dishwasher. Your time is better spent doing things that make you happy!

The Container Store is a great source for ideas on how to organize specific parts of your kitchen. They have ideas for utensil drawers, spices, pantries, junk drawers and more.

I hope you found the time to read my lastest posts: Sherwin Williams Color Forecast for 2020 is a Homerun , What to expect in luxury home decor fabrics for 2020 from the Robert Allen and Duralee Group, and The Gary Mead Gallery. Coming soon will be a post about furniture trends for 2020. If you enjoy keeping up on trends and can use some ideas for making your home perfect for you, please subsribe.

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The Gary Mead Gallery: Furniture that is Art

Last weekend, in the Catskills, I dragged my husband to the Gary Mead Gallery at Fruitful Furnishings, which had been on my list to check out. I am always looking for new sources, and I love to find talented people who can make custom pieces.

welcome sign at studio saying to let yourself in

It is a bit off the main road, but numerous signs led us there. A sign on the door says to let yourself in, have a look around and make sure to sign the guestbook. So we did. We browsed the gallery and its selection of beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind furniture made from a variety of different woods. Quickly my husband and I realized that we were looking at more than furniture; it was art.


gary mead studio

We signed the guest book and were on our way out when Gary Mead came driving up. With a warm greeting, he asked if we saw everything, including the back room. What backroom?

With that we went back in, and I am so glad we did. Gary took us on tour and proudly educated us about each piece. His passion for trees, his craft, and design came through loud and clear. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to him speak about his furniture, different woods, and the hours it took to complete each piece. Our appreciation grew as we learned the story of each piece.

Dining Table at the Gary Mead Gallery

Gary explained that the shape of the tree inspired the design of the table in the picture. He crafted from Cherry, Wormy Soft Maple and Walnut. The grain of the wood and curvature of the table are stunning.


Kitchen Pantry

kitchen pantry made from a tree
Kitchen Pantry
kitchen pantry made from a hollow tree
Kitchen Pantry

When we toured the gallery by ourselves, we saw a tall tree-shaped structure but never opened it. We thought it was a unique piece and figured it was a type of stand-alone building because of the hinged doors, but we didn’t know what it was exactly. When Gary took us back in to show us around, we learned it was a kitchen pantry, titled Mother and Child. We were amazed to see an over-sized working lazy-susan made entirely of wood. The inside of the doors had shelves composed with grapevine. This piece was not only beautiful, but it was incredibly functional.


Honey Bee Tree Table

He also showed us some round pub like tables he composed from a honey bee tree. Gary explained the bees hollow out the tree, and he uses them as the table base. When you sit at the table, you could see down inside the log.

bee tree table
Honey Bee Tree Tables

Cider Press Table

In the back room Gary showed us an impressive table composed out of an old 50 ton cider press base in service from  1939-2007. He explained how the table has iron rods going through it to keep the table together. The bolts on the ends can be loosened and tightened when the wood expands and contracts. It also allows for the table to be taken apart to transport, which otherwise would be difficult because of its size and weight.

big wood table

“From the Forest” Sculpture

woodland creatures chainsaw carvings

Out the backdoor, Gary has a sculpture titled “From the Forest” that he collaborated with chainsaw artist Hoppy Quick to complete. The piece is vast and impressive. I asked Gary who he would market this piece to. His answer was admirable. He said he would not sell this piece to a private owner. It needs to be in a public space so that it can be enjoyed by many.

carved tree forest animals

If you are in the Catskills, I encourage you to visit the gallery. Call before you go to make an appointment with Gary for a personal tour. When you meet Gary, I guarantee you will fall in love with trees and his craft. His enthusiasm is 100% contagious.

Gary also has written several educational books for children about our environment:“MY FIRST TREE BOOK, SWEET SAP, MY SECOND TREE BOOK, and LOOK UP” Follow the link to check them out.

Contact information for the Gallery : gary-mead.com  Phone 845-586-3638 email- fruitfulfurnishings@hotmail.com

I hope you found the time to read my last two posts: Sherwin Williams Color Forecast for 2020 is a Homerun and What to expect in luxury home decor fabrics for 2020 from the Robert Allen and Duralee Group. Coming next will be a post about furniture trends for 2020. If you enjoy keeping up on trends and can use some ideas for making your home perfect for you, please subsribe.

What to expect to see in Luxury Home Decor Fabrics for 2020 From The Robert Allen Duralee Group

green and blue living room furniture

This week I attended an excellent presentation at The Robert Allen Duralee Group’s newly renovated Long Island showroom, introducing their new collection of home decor fabrics. It was refreshing to see the direction their fabrics are taking for 2020. With Robert Allen and Duralee’s merger, they promised innovative, beautiful products, and with these new collections, they delivered!


Expect Bold Color in Home Decor Fabrics

The Robert Allen Duralee Group felt the world was ready for bold color. Specifically, the colors they named, Tomato, Azure, and Aqua. Bold color is quite a contrast to past trends that we have become accustomed to.

How did we go from gray, beige, and white to highly saturated bold colors? The Robert Allen Duralee Group looks to fashion, social media, and travel trends for inspiration. People are traveling to places that they have not gone to traditionally, such as South and Central America. The bold colors and prints are a direct influence of these travel spots.
The color Tomato was inspired by henna and saffron. Azure is a color that came from the cobalt blues found in South American pottery. Lagoons and serenity inspired the color Agua.

One of the beautiful vignettes at the Long Island Showroom showcasing RADG’s fabrics and furniture

Expect Lively Prints in Home Decor Fabrics

The new fabric collections contain a variety of brightly colored large-scale prints. These prints, like the new color palette, are inspired by Central and South American design, another result of recent travel trends. Interior Design had become so serious for a while. It is refreshing to see a shift towards playful and whimsy decor.

chair with colorful fabric
Photo taken at RADG’s Long Island Showroom

Expect to see More Texture in Fabrics

The Robert Allen Duralee Group payed attention to how fabrics feel in addition to how they look. Recognizing the importance of the tactile sense of touch, the new collections offer a variety of textures. Texture adds dimension to a room. Incorporating different textures makes a room more interesting.


fabric inspired by menswear
menswear inspired fabric

Expect to see Menswear Inspired Fabrics

Highland Court’s new collection “Sula” was inspired by menswear. This luxury outdoor fabric collection has Faux wool, and faux mohair in Menswear inspired fabrics.


Expect to see Outdoor Fabrics Made in Indoor Color Palettes

Fabrics made to be used outside are very durable. They are fade resistant and liquids bead up and roll off them making the fabrics stain resistant. Because of their durability designers have been using them for indoor furniture too. Recognizing this trend, RADG has introduced outdoor fabrics made in indoor colors. There is even velvet in this collection!

black sofa with pink pillows
Blush pillows on sofa displayed at the Long Island Showroom

The new fabric collections have something for everyone. Traditional, transitional, and contemporary design styles are all well represented. Soft neutrals for those who prefer a quiet palette are still in abundance. However, those who are looking to liven things up will be ecstatic with the newly introduced fabrics boasting bold color and lively prints.

upholstered headboard, glamour bedroom
Breathtaking and stunning display at The Robert Allen Duralee Groups’ Long Island Showroom

Summary

What to expect in 2020 in home decor fabrics

  • bold colors
  • lively prints inspired by South and Central America
  • lots of texture
  • heavier fabrics, even cotton and linen fabrics have substantial weight to them
  • embroidered fabrics
  • fabrics that feel good to the touch
  • fabrics inspired by menswear
  • Big selection of high-performance fabrics for durability

I hope you were able to read last week’s blog on the 2020 Color Forcast by Sherwin Williams. Be sure not to miss a blog on furniture trends for 2020, coming soon. If you are enjoying keeping up on decorating trends please subscribe.