ornaments made from golf balls

Holiday Decorating and Traditions

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: How to Dress a Dinner table, Ten Surprising Facts about Sheets, and Tips to Create a Stunning Home Office. If you enjoy keeping up on trends and can use some ideas for making your home perfect for you, please subscribe.

Thanksgiving dress a table ideas

Ten Tips to Dress a Dinner table that will impress!

You can learn to dress a dinner table like a pro and impress your guests. Having a table all decked out can add festive ambiance and get your guests in a partying mood. Here are some tips for creating a stunning dinner table, just in time for the holiday season, but they can be applied all year long for all celebrations and dinner parties.


1: Decide on a theme

To pick a theme, ask yourself, what are we celebrating? Is it a holiday, birthday celebration, or perhaps a no particular reason get-together? Next, decide what feeling and mood you want to create. Do you want the mood to be festive, romantic, or happy? Do you want it to be a causal table or fancy? Once you answer these questions, you will have your theme.  

A festive, elegant, Christmas theme

Dinner table theme examples:

Festive, elegant Christmas 

Rustic, minimalistic Thanksgiving  

Romantic, fancy Anniversary 


2: Establish your colors

Establish what colors you want for your table. Limiting your selection to two or three colors will have enormous aesthetic appeal and help to create a cohesive look. You may choose to restrict your colors even more so, creating a monochromatic look. White can be exquisite, and adding sparkling crystal and silver accents will make the white pop.

Bravo to one of my favorite clients for creating this masterpiece of a table!

3: Select your linens

The linens are the foundation for the whole table’s dressing. Stay true to your theme. Cotton duck is a great fabric to complement a casual theme. Shiny fabrics, brocades, and jacquards are perfect for an elegant theme. Choose a color that will be the ideal backdrop for your plates and other decors. Be creative with your linens. Use table runners with or without tablecloths. Layering linens can add a powerful impact to the overall design.

This is a great example of layered linens. The two table-runners bring texture and color to the table.
Love the way the table-runners are the opposite direction of what is expected.

4: Select the perfect plates

I love plates and own several different sets. If I had room to store them, I would own more. The next two pictures below show my latest crush. They are handmade ceramic tableware by Mr. Bowl.  I love how simple the design is, but don’t be fooled; these plates add a lot to the table. It is the perfect choice for a rustic minimalistic Thanksgiving theme. Make sure the dishes you choose translate your theme and evoke the mood you are trying to set.

Style and photo Simona Benetyte IG @simonabenetyte @cozy_linen
https://mrbowlceramics.com/products/thanksgiving-tableware-setting
Style and photo Julie Lancia IG @julie.thedesigntwins

Beautiful handmade ceramic tableware by Mr. Bowl

5: Add greenery and natural elements

Adding greens, and other natural elements like pine cones is a simple way to create a beautiful table. The good news is you can use almost anything that you can find in your own backyard.

6: Illuminate

Light up your table and let it sparkle! Nothing adds ambiance like candles. Cluster a bunch of candlesticks or votives. More is more in this case!

7: Vary heights of objects

Adding objects of different heights adds interest to your table dressing. You can use serving pedestals or other objects to add height,

8- Fold your napkins

Folding your napkins in a fancy way can add pizazz to your table. It isn’t difficult to do, and you can quickly learn how with these napkin folding tutorials.

9- Add unique details

It is all in the details. This is especially true when dressing a table. Add special details to elevate your table design over the top. Consider using place cards, so your guests know where to sit. Place cards help guests feel welcomed and special, and it also allows you to control who people sit next too. Consider mixing it up, so guests are encouraged to mingle. 

 

Also, don’t forget about the chair. Chairs can be jazzed up with bows, greenery, and just about anything you can dream up. No one does it better than my friends at Little Royals. If you need an elegant children-sized table, Little Royals can take your theme to the next level! I love looking at her beautiful table settings.

Photo courtesy of Little Royals

10- Add a table favor

The best way to top off dressing you dinner table is with a table favor. Because, who doesn’t love a present and it will keep your guests remembering your special celebration well after it is over.

present in box with postcard
Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

Did you get the opportunity to read some of my other posts, home office: Tips to Creating a Stunning Workspace, Five Tips to start a decorating project and Ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding?

If you are in need of Interior Design Services check out Barbara Rose Designs LLC.

I love sharing my whole design world with you! Want more? Don’t forget to subscribe.

classic interior of cozy beauty shop

home office: Tips to Creating a Stunning Workspace

The home office has become an essential part of the home with many companies choosing to keep their workers remote. Whether you have a whole room designated as your office or just a small area in another room to incorporate a desk, it is important to make it a space that you want to spend time in. Here are some tips to make it a space that will motivate you to get to work!

Add Green

Adding Green to your home office might seem like an odd suggestion. But if you study color phycology, you will learn that Green is a powerful color with many psychological benefits. Many associate Green with nature and beautiful landscapes, this association makes green evoke a feeling of peace and tranquility. Also, the color Green has been found to relieve stress. I can’t think of a better reason to find some way to incorporate the color green into your home office design. Adding Green does not mean it has to be in huge doses. It can be as simple as adding a potted fern.

Get Artsy

Customize your home office with art that speaks to you. Think canvas art and wallpaper murals! Filling your space with bright art will enliven the atmosphere and inspire you, even if you’re spending your days studying statistics.

Think Home Office Chic!

Your environment should reflect your own personality. This is true even with a home office. So don’t be scared to go big. Paint an accent wall a bold color. Add framed pictures that have meaning to you. Hang a chandelier over your desk to give a little glitter and glamour.

A chic home office!

Allow Light to Enter your Home Office.

Brighten up your office by placing your desk by a window. Natural light in your workspace can increase your productivity. Also, it can enhance your mood and reduce eyestrain if you stare at a computer all day. If you don’t have a window in your office, make sure you use a variety of artificial lighting types, such as overhead lighting and lamps to adequately light your space.

Display Your Collections

Place your adored collections on show in your home office rather than hiding them. To keep everything looking stylish, confine the collections in one area of the space. Always keep in mind that grouping these items together produces a stunning and powerful presence. However, if you spread them across the room, it might appear a little out of control.

Include a Comfy Seating

Including a comfortable sofa or chair in your home office will help to keep the décor seamless and inline with the rest of your home. It will also be easier for you to switch between your living area and your workstation throughout the day.

Keep Your Home Office Area Clean

Physical clutter is mind clutter. It does not allow you to work efficiently (because you can never find what you need) and it can make you feel anxious and out of control. Always keep your office clean and uncluttered. It is one of the most important points to keep in mind while working from home.

These tips are meant to inspire you. Choose the few that resonate with you and get to work creating a stylish home office that you will love to work in and that is perfect for you.

Did you get the opportunity to read my last two posts, Five Tips to start a decorating project and Ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding?

If you are in need of Interior Design Services check out Barbara Rose Designs LLC.

I love sharing my whole design world with you! Want more? Don’t forget to subscribe.

Five Tips to start a decorating project

Do you ever get so overwhelmed with the notion of a decorating project that you don’t know where to start? Or maybe you are afraid to start? Or maybe you find yourself wheel spinning and just not able to make any progress.

When a novelist can’t put words on paper, we all know it is called writer’s block. “Creative blocks” relating to other fields are less recognized. However, anytime you are doing something creative, you can experience a block. For example, in art school, I had a teacher who always said, “don’t let the blank canvas scare you, just throw some paint on it so that you don’t have all that white staring at you.” She knew that the blank canvas could be paralyzing and result in a creative block.

Let me reassure you that this is normal for any creative process, even decorating a room. The four blank walls just like the blank canvas can stop you dead in your tracks.

If you find yourself in this situation, here are some tips for getting those creative juices flowing.

1- Focus on just one room at a time. If you are trying to do a whole house at once, that can be overwhelming in itself.

2- Think of the space and list all the functions you would like the room to have. How will the room be used?

3- Collect ideas and inspiration photos. Pinterest and Google are great resources to scour through tons of photos to get a feeling for what you like.

4- Start by finding one element for the room that you love. Use this piece as a jumping-off point. This one element may be an area rug, painting, bedding, fabric, wallpaper, or furniture.

5- Make a shopping list of all things that you will need.

The artwork was the jumping off point for the colors used in this room.

I hope these tips help you get started with your project. Remember, it is a process. Rome was not built in a day!

I hope you have had the opportunity to read my last post Ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding. I love sharing my whole design world with you! Want more? Don’t forget to subscribe.

Ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding that you should know

I just had to share these ten surprising facts about sheets and bedding with you because I was blown away by a few of them. Please leave me a comment and let me know if any of these sheet and bedding facts surprised you.

cozy bedroom interior with no people
Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

#1 Sheets and bedding should not be washed in hot water! The hot water will cause the fabrics to wear out faster. Germs are killed by the laundry detergent, not by hot water. The best way to wash bedding is in a front loader washing machine using a fragrance-free mild detergent. Never pour the detergent directly on your textiles. One cup of white vinegar in the rinse water will remove all of the soap and leave the fabrics smelling fresh and clean.

#2 Sheets should be line dried. If you must use a dryer, only put them in for a short time and remove them while still slightly damp. Drying for too long can overheat the fabric, which in time will make it dull and brittle.

#3 You should make the bed with the sheets slightly damp. This trick will save you the trouble of having to iron your linens.

#4 Thread counts can be misleading. Thread count means the number of threads per inch. We have been taught that the higher the thread count, the higher the quality of the fabric. However, this is not always true. Thread counts have become a marketing ploy because manufacturers have found ways to inflate the thread count to make it appear better than it actually is, such as using two-ply threads. Anything with a thread count that is 1000 or above is probably significantly lower quality than sheets with a more reasonable number. Most fabrics with a thread count of over 600 are a sure sign of illusive marketing. Really what is important is the thread length, quality, and how the fabric feels. Look for Percale sheets with a thread count of 200-300, Sateen sheets with a thread count 300-600, or Linen sheets with a thread count of 80-120.

#5 Permanent press, wrinkle-free and easy-care is NOT a good thing! These fabrics have formaldehyde resin which is a poisonous chemical. Avoid these at all costs!

#6 Buy bedding and linens that are Oeko-Tex certified. This is the only certification that ensures that the textiles have no toxic chemicals.

Oeko-Tex label

#7 Pillow cases in silk or sateen have benefits. If your pillowcases are silk or sateen, you will not wake up with lines on your face.

#8 Linen sheets breathe better than cotton sheets. Linen sheets can help to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Especially helpful for those who sleep hot!!!

#9 There are big differences between fabric choices for sheets and duvets. It is important to know the characteristics of the fabric sheets are made of before purchasing. Below is a guide to help with your selection.

  • Certified Pima Cotton- Soft, very fine, and more durable than most sheets. Most people find certified Pima cotton sheets very comfortable. Sheets made from this fabric are good for all seasons.
  • Cotton Percale- Crisper look and cooler feel. Percale has a matte finish and is very light which makes it a great choice for summer.
  • Linen- The most breathable fabric. A great characteristic of linen is the more it is washed, the softer it gets. Sheets in this fabric cost more initially but are extremely durable and long-lasting.
  • Cotton Sateen– Smooth, thick, and opulent and has a sheen due. Soft and silky to the touch. Elegant in style.
  • Cotton-Poly Blends– Affordable, rough, and scratchy. Tend to be hot. Easy to care for.
  • Flannel- Soft and warm. Great for winter. Pills easily.

#10 Do not use fabric softeners on your sheets and bedding- Fabric softeners coat the fabric fibers to make them feel softer, not to actually become softer. The coating it leaves on the fabric will cause the fabric to wear faster.

Did you get to read my last post on color trends? I love sharing my world of Interior Design with you! Please subscribe to be sure not to miss anything.