Lately I’ve been asked the same question over and over: “Since you have a blog, do you feel pressure to decorate differently every holiday, year after year?” and my answer is ‘maybe’. But I’d say its more like ‘desire’ and also ‘the serious need to shake it up because I have style A.D.D’. It would be like someone wearing the same dress for the Oscars and the Golden Globes. It’s not illegal, but when a lot of people are watching and expecting you to change it up, you kinda want to. Plus IT’S JUST SO FUN.
Two years ago it was ‘CRAZY hot pink and navy’. Last year I kept it really simple with blues and woods, all Scandinavian style on a real tree (we didn’t shoot it because I had just had a baby). Meanwhile remember when I did this ‘only teal and blues‘ for SFAS and then this crazy hot pink and white christmas I did for Holiday Celebrity Homes? I love color, apparently.
So, this year wanted to do something totally different and more neutral. I pulled it back and practically eliminated all saturated colors except for the blue that’s in my house and the green from natural greenery. Head on over to Domaine Home for more pics and tips, but meanwhile get ready for a lot of information, friends.
I really wanted it to feel more sophisticated and soft. The holidays can be super chaotic and it really is here, even with just one kid, so instead of throwing more color in our living room, I removed a lot of it. The whole theme of the house is ‘California Winter Wonderland Glam’. It’s soft and textural with a lot of snow, animals, trees and whimsy – but in a more neutral way.
First off, I love a real tree, I do. More than a fake white tree, actually, … BUT, since we had that huge year-round Nek Buddha tree in our living room, I thought that the two trees would compete, like Angelina and Jen, or maybe more Gwyneth and Martha. They would both be beautiful in their own way, but competing for attention and somebody would lose. Either way, visually the room would look a little nuts and probably really heavy.
So instead I brought in Cate Blanchett (in the form of a tree). Angelic, white, soft and muted; peppered with soft copper, rose golds, champagne, rust, gold, silver and even some sparkly burgundy tones. Cate looks wonderful in burgundy. Besides, I already had one of them (the smaller one).
Here’s how I look at it: I have 2-3 more years (if that) before I’m going to care less about how ‘curated’ and ‘pretty’ our christmas tree is and more about it representing memories through handmade (and often not-so-chic) ornaments from my kids. Obviously I value aesthetics, but I was raised mormon, from a family of 6 kids and I LOVED unearthing the disgusting raw macaroni ornament that I made in first grade every year when we trimmed the tree. If Charlie took a brown clay mold and formed it in the shape of a turd and gave it to me with those glowing, proud, blue eyes I would weep with joy and probably place it on top as the star.
I’m digressing, but the point is for the next few years you might get some curated christmas decor because after that my challenge will be how to bring in real sentimental family ornaments and traditions in the prettiest way possible.
The next Target Holiday video is up today, you guys, and its channeling my inner goth. Its about decorating for the holidays with black, white, a little bit of whimsy and a lot of Target. Duh.
We styled the tables with a blog of black, white, gold and silver. These shots are tricky because this kind of styling is best with dim lights, candles lit, moody ambience and lots of people canoodling – not hot overhead studio lighting. But you can still see the beautiful product shining through.
The set was shared with the last holiday video about styling with unconventional colors and everyday items. Its a bit more dramatic, but also great because the color palette is more year round, with very few ‘just holiday’ items in there. For this video it was more about a circular buffet table, not a sit down dinner party but more desserts and candies displayed on a table. Obviously you could have drinks, apps, cheeses, etc, but we had to make room for a lot of good holiday decor so we kept it to just deserts and candies.
This string light chandelier idea inspired my own garland-on-chandelier idea at my own house. I’m not totally sure how we plugged them in (i’m anticipating your questions, here) but i’m assuming we rigged it up because we were on a set. You could put a conduit on the ceiling (they are sticky) or white tape it to the ceiling down the wall. Oh, don’t we all just wish we could live on a set where all your cord problems disappear?
I looked around yesterday and I officially have 4 of those deer, 5 of those candles stands, 2 of those gold dipping bowls, the polka dotted napkins and the white/gold mini hurricanes. There is no black in my house this year (we are keeping it low contrast over here, check out some sneak peeks that we were playing around with). All resources at the end, don’t worry.
For a while we tried the idea of putting a toy train around the table. It worked in theory but because all the colors were so dark and the ‘snow’ was so lumpy, it just looked kinda janky and sad. But good idea and next year we will be racing a train around the tree, I promise.
White and Gold Deer: Target | White Gold Silver Napkin: Target | Black and Gold Star Tray: Target | Silver and Gold Dip Bowls: Target | Black Candle Sticks: Target | White and Gold Pillar Candle Holders: Target | Silver Cake Stand: Target | Gold Tray: Target | Gold Bowl: Target | Gold and Silver Beaded Place Mat: Target | Bottle Brush Tree: Target | Snowflake Bowl: Target | Black and White Dessert Plates: Target | Silver Snowflake Candy Dish: Target | Mercury Glass Dinner Plate: Target |
Well turkeys, we are back from Thanksgiving break, and the holidays aren’t going to decorate themselves. As you probably know Tiny Prints has a ton of personalized christmas cards (and lots of other customizable holiday gifts) but this year they launched their customizable home line which I’m here representing (remember my Tiny Prints studio launch party?) – and I’m getting my serious (bedroom eyes) pose on to do it:
So, I teamed up with them again to show off some of their pieces as both gifts and decoration and we styled them for their new Emily Henderson for TinyPrints landing page. We are going to use them as part of our Christmas decor in our house this month (stay tuned for that, shooting that this week). All these custom pieces have a bit of a lead time (8 business days typically – which is kinda two weeks) so you do need to think about doing it this week or next week to get gifts/decor in time.
First up are the acrylic blocks which I love. Sure, you don’t exactly need a whole tree of them like we did for this shoot, but they are just so simple and modern that they can work with so many different styles and feel really high-end and permanent, whereas pictures in frames have a more temporary (and therefore kinda less important feel). I just hope that all of my family members don’t care if they get one of Charlie, Brian and me because I have a lot to give out after this shoot – or hoard secretly. Don’t worry, I’m keeping like 15 of them.
I think this would be such a fun gift idea for all your family or friends at your dinner party – you style them like a tree and then they all take one home after the party or dinner as their christmas gift. And then your Uncle Rico thinks it’s a game of drunk jenga and tries to pull his from the middle without disturbing the rest of them, and just in ‘Uncle Rico fashion’, fails. They are just so thick and heavy, in a really good way.
Next up are these glass ornaments that we styled as place cards on this pretty little holiday table.
Its kinda the same idea – get them made for a dinner party as placecards, and then each person can take them home. You can embellish these more with words on them (like Joy and Merry) and they come in different shapes, but I love the simple circle and square glass ornaments tied with a pretty ribbon (or yarn, twine or leather).
Up next we have their custom wrapping paper – which at first I was like, do we really need custom wrapping paper? And then I saw the patterns and the potential and thought ok, maybe i do need custom wrapping paper, and then I saw it in person and I wanted to mod podge it onto every surface of my house. It’s funny because we often make custom wrapping paper (painting, stamping, photo-copying patterned fabric) so this isn’t that much more expensive or time-sensitive. Plus there are just so many more uses for it. You just upload the photos that you like (they can be from instagram and facebook) and viola – you get this awesome photo paper that you can use in a lot of different ways.
I really love using this as a table runner. It instantly makes your table unique, draws your party goers in, and its pretty affordable for something so custom. You can buy them in two different sizes – 6′ and 10′, both being 2.5′ wide. So, we split the width because you really only need your runner to be 15″ inches wide any way and then you get double the length. You could cut them up as placemats, too (and get them laminated at your local office/mail store for around $7 each). For a dinner party it would be really fun to get all of your friends photos (pull them from their Instagram, that’s what we did) and put them on the runner – or if you are getting married, it’s a super affordable/clever idea for your rehearsal dinner or wedding reception runners. Meanwhile for this Brian and I will probably use more as a gift wrap because it’s just a tad narcissistic for us to just sit at our own dinner table with like 95 photos of us and that baby. Right?
We chose to do black and white to keep the color palette simpler so we could add more color/styles on the table – but you could print in color and then keep the palette of your table simpler.
Get yer own personalized wrapping paper here (and no, creep, you can’t have mine). They have many more patterns, including this tree one that I love. And then, guess what? You don’t need cards or tags saying who it’s from because its photos of you ALL OVER THE BOX.
Lastly we have these custom herringbone throw blankets which are super soft and pretty. Super luxurious throws make really good gifts any time because its something that people tend not to splurge on themselves. And customizing them with their initial, last names or even ‘mimi and papa’ which we did, makes them feel special while they are snuggling under their cozy throw thinking about how much you must love them to make them this pretty blanket. It’s a win win.
Charlie Henderson stopped by the shoot to visit. He wasn’t supposed to be on camera which is why he’s wearing sweats that are clearly way too big for him, (I fired the sitter immediately). But as I was taking this shot he wanted to play with the presents and then it just seemed CRAZY not to get a cute little photo of this dude, smiling at the camera, shilling for mommy. Kidding. Or am I?????!!!!!
To see the whole Tiny Prints collection that I curated click here and then check a lot of the product that I’m talking about in action at our studio party.
Happy customizing folks and thanks to Cyber Monday, the kind folks at Tiny Prints are giving you 40% off all cards by using the code CYBER40. (Offer ends 12/2). Get on it before you are those people paying for 2 day service (yes, they have it).
Welcome to my Fall-iday tablescape. Also, quick question: did I just lose readers for using the word ‘fall-iday’? And if so then if so then are you saying that I can’t have a signature cocktail called ‘Autumns up’?
I teamed up with Target (with some vintage, naturally) to style out this table for fall and I have to say that I love it. It is super energetic, eclectic, happy, fresh, (affordable) and fun – while still referencing the season. Lets get into it …
As Target’s resident Home Style Expert (spokesperson) its my lovely job and privilege to shop there A LOT and figure out ways to style and shoot their pieces in environments that feel unique and interesting – that’s what stylists do. We take pieces that one might think ‘but what do you do with that? And make them look cool by giving them a context and a personality. One of the best things about Target is the fact that it’s in so many cities and online, so its very accessible. But at the same time it could make you worry that if you buy something its going to be everywhere. My answer for that is twofold: A. good pieces sell out and then they are GONE – like those gold ball task lamps? Gonzo. I wish they were everywhere because they are so good, but I can’t even get one more (I have 2 myself, but my clients want them and I’m not parting with mine). And B. even if you know people who have the same piece it’s really easy to style them in ways that make them look unique to you.
A lot of the fall line as you know is so flexible style-wise that while they are stylish, they aren’t specific to one style and are adaptable to different themes, occasions and yes, homes.
So, in this video I show you how to take really affordable Target fall pieces and style them to create a really unique, personal, stylish, and yes autumnal, tablescape.
Watch (and share? eh?):
For this ‘Fall-iday’ tablescape I wanted it to feel happy, colorful, young, fresh, ‘party’ and yet have enough warm fall tones and autumnal motifs to make it season appropriate. The whole art direction for this set was bright white with big hits of saturated color, and copper and wood tones to keep it feeling warm and grounded. Oh and throw in an acidic tone, because that’s what I’m doing these days. So that chartreuse from the leaves was perfect and we brought that in the napkins, too.
We found this painting at a prop house in LA – and by ‘we’ i mean that Scott and Meg who were in charge of the sets sourced and showed their favorites to me. Sure I picked it out, but I didn’t spend 16 hours sourcing art like they did. Nice job, guys. Anyway, that painting was the inspiration for the color palette and its pretty darn awesome.
Sure, it did have some fall colors – the oranges obviously. But instead of the usual warm oranges, ochres, browns, taupes and aubergines I wanted it to feel fresh and more modern so I figured, why not add some hot pink and yellow? I speak more about the color palette in the videos so again, watch it (and yes, i’m trying to get you to watch the video and if you wanted to share it I wouldn’t be mad:))
I love that gold polka dot vase so much. I have two of them and I use them constantly for shoots. Remember last week when I put my collection of vintage arrows in it? Yes, that was awesome. Where else are you going to put your collection of vintage arrows?
I love that shot. The centerpiece consisted of a collection of wood pillar candleholders with the white/gold fruit on top. Then we added a big arrangement of flowers and a collection of smaller ones, peppering down the table.
My favorite things are these; the gray polka dot placemats (I bought them after the shoot, yes, using my own money :)). I love the rosegold flatware and while there are a lot of versions of those out there, there are none this affordable for how good they are. And I love those white and gold fruit figurines. I never thought I would endorse a ‘fruit figurine’ but alas, I did and will. You could use these fall after fall. They are so simple and timeless. Or if you keep them in a pretty simple wood bowl on your dining table then they can be year round (just make sure you have enough apples and pears so that it doesn’t feel pumpkin-heavy).
Scott killed it on the flowers. I told him hot pink, corals and oranges and he got a mix of dahlias, rununculus, tulips, billy balls and then those huge hot pink (almost red) big sculptural blooms are just a weird form of proteus.
At the end of the video my friend Bri, from Designlovefest, stopped by because she is going to use some of the product to style out a table for her blog today. We laughed and cajoled and generally had a lot of fun. It’s always weird when a friend has to witness me ‘host’ because even though I don’t have a script and I’m just talking about style, I get worried that I look/act like I’m performing.
Thanks, Bri. You can Designlovefest all over our videos any time you want.
Next weeks video is all about centerpiece ideas, so stay tuned folks. Meanwhile to check out my other videos with Target see below:
*Photos care of Target. Hair and makeup by the always lovely Danielle Walch. Wardrobe styling by Jordan Rudd. And per usual thanks Todd, Nick, Chris, Nancy, Claire, Scott, Meg, Ginny, Brady and 70 other crew members for helping make the sets and lighting so fun and pretty. And also my mom, because one must always thank their mother when listing out thank yous, right?
*This post is part a larger partnership with Target, and all words, designs and opinions are mine, mine, mine. Thank you for supporting the awesome company that enables us to make original style content every day.
Brian and I kinda promised each other no gifts this year – what with the baby and the house and the lack of really needing anything … but then i got to pinning gifts for him and well, this happened. Unfortunately he is still refusing to let me buy these for him despite the fact that he would actually love all of these.
So those are all of the things that i want to get him. Unfortunately he won’t let me. So what I’m going to get him instead is a day off of daddyhood some time this year – with probably two rounds of golf for him and a friend, and an uber ride there and back. Now THAT, he can’t argue with.
HELLO! I'm an HGTV host/ designer, stylist, blogger and general party animal. Perfection is boring, let's get weird.