Thursday, April 24, 2014

Simple Fall Entertaining

I love Autumn.  I am ready to put on a cozy sweater, unfold the blanket on the couch and curl up. Even better is when you can convince some friends to hang out with you.  Having a great movie night with some easy edibles is the perfect way to spend some time as the weather turns colder.
One of my favorites it to have some great grilled cheese, lovely soup and some perfect red wine. There are some great recipes for Grilled Cheese on Country Living so you can go classic or add a little bit of spice to the sandwich.
Of course, brunch is always a great option for a Sunday as well. Individual quiches and fruit salad. Yum!  I love it to be casual, so I am all about dining in front of the TV for movie night. It just means you can unearth you favorite tray to bring out the goodies.  

Although you are trying to keep it relaxed, why not bring out your favorite glassware so you do feel special. It always gives any occasion a little bit of sparkle.


Entertaining Ideas for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a dinner holiday. It is all about sitting down and gathering around the table. If you are more of a casual diner the rest of the year, Thanksgiving is a great chance to really go all out.

Setting a luxurious table for guests can be easier than you think. There are some basics to remember - start with the dinner plate, top it with a salad plate and folded napkin. TO add a little drama, you can put the napkin between the dinner and salad plate. For a basic silverware setup, the fork goes on the left, then the knife and spoon go to the right of the plate.

For glassware, the wine and water glasses go on the right above the plate. If you are going to set a bread plate, it will go above the dinner plate to the left. You can wait to bring out dessert silverware or place the dessert fork and spoon directly above the plate.

Another thing to consider with your table is skip the placemats and add a runner to the table. You can combine a table cloth made from a luxe fabric with a natural fiber runner to create some contrast and some visual interest.

Oh, and you might want to put some food on the table. I turn to the great information the Food Network has for Thanksgiving and the yummy cocktail recipes from Food & Wine.

Light Up the Holiday Table

Thanksgiving is the time of the year you really want your table to shine and shimmer. Bringing great lighting to a table can make a setting warm and inviting. Turn off those harsh overhead lights and fire up candles on your table.

There are so many options to consider, but there are three easy ones that will get you started

1 - Clear Glass Hurricanes are perfect for any table, and can easily be updated for the season and table setting. Just coordinate your pillar candle with your décor. In addition, you can also add natural elements such as sand or stones at the bottom for additional drama. If you want to add something instead of clear glass, consider a wire lantern.

2 - Candle Sticks are a traditional approach to table lighting. You can get them in any material and finish to coordinate with your décor. Add distressed candle sticks for that rustic look or add a multi-arm piece to add a different touch.

3 - Votives are a great way to add light accents all over the table. You can add a snap of color with a mercury glass votive or add some floral life with a ceramic rose votive. Votive are so easy and affordable, you can even give them as gifts for a host or guest.

No matter that the approach, mix it up. A variety of lighting will make your table more interesting to look at and the atmosphere cozy and special!

Linda @ Urban Cottage

New Color Themes for Your Holiday Home

The weather is getting cold, and Thanksgiving is almost here. We are pulling out the old holiday items, and starting to think about how to decorate the house. The great thing about your Holiday home is that you can add a few new pieces to make it something special and change it up a bit this year.

Emerald City SparkleThis year, Emerald Green was named the Color of the Year. What better time to jump into the trend than during Christmas. We put together a theme of traditional colors with a Wizardly twist.  

Use Emerald Green, Ruby Red and Snow. Yes, there was snow in the Wizard of Oz. Remember how Galinda woke up Dorothy from sleeping in the field of poppies?

It is easy to get these colors into your home because they are so readily available. Just add a twist like snow white pine cones or a dash or sparking ruby red on ornaments or in small accents on the table.

Magical Forest

If you like the rustic or industrial look in your home, this is the Holiday Home for you.  These are colors that integrate nicely with woods. Even better, the texture of sparkle and feathers helps to soften the strong metals of industrial. 
This looks takes the traditional color of gold used throughout the holiday and blends orange and brown earth tones. You can get inventive with birds and feathers in this look. There are a lot of elements available for you.
Adorn your table with a golden runner with brown accents or ribbons. It will make every meal a sparkling feast and get you through the beginning of winter.  This looks is great because you can have it transform your home during the holiday and keep elements of throughout the winter.

Vintage Elegance

We loved this theme so much, we decided to keep it for this season. The lovely pink and blue hues provide a great alternative to traditional holiday decor. You can create a shimmery winter wondering with pale pinks and icy blues to create a warm and feminine twist on holiday decorating.

Using mercury glass and distressed silver is a great way to add some age and personality to the items in your home. Placing vintage inspired tins, distressed candle sticks or other new items with that time worn feel add some dimension to your holiday home. Finding vintage holiday cards and ornaments create that time-loved feel. However, there are many new products created with a vintage look, that you can easily integrate new finds with treasures from years past.

Dressing Your Home for the Holiday

There is no better time to gather around with family and friends than during the winter holidays. Brighten your home with glittering ornaments and relax with some sparkling drinks and yummy hors d'oeuvres.  This past weekend, I was watching an HGTV special about decorating the White House.  The photo above is from a mantle piece in the East Room.  HGTV, has a great gallery of photos to show the incredible job volunteers did for our Nation's Home.

One of the things that struck me is how the decorations are a combination of vintage and hand made.  The roses on this mantel are hand made from paper to decorate the White House.  In other places. they uses clusters of balls that they hot glue to create together to hang on hallway swags.  Why not take a queue and create some handmade ornaments - even a paper or felt snowflake on a gift adds that special warm touch.

It is also an incredible time to bring nature into your home with pine swag, boxwood or a live wreath at your door. If you don't get a live tree, bring the scent of Christmas into your home with live greens or fresh evergreen candles.  Nothing smells more like winter, or makes your home feel cosier.


Linda @ Urban Cottage

Radiant Orchid Named Color of the Year!

This year, Pantone took a bit of shift in the color department. After two years of very bright, bold colors of Emerald Green and Tangerine Tango, it named Radiant Orchid the color of 2014. 

Radiant Orchid is described by Pantone as a color that "blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health."

This color is more subdued, but bring a peaceful and happy note to any home.  Use it for an accent wall or a dash of color in accessories. No matter what way, enjoy it.

What's On Trend for 2014?

There are a couple of key trends that people have been talking about.  Taking a cue from the fashion world and reacting to be opposite of the existing trends.

Interchangeable Accents: Instead of settling on one fixed look, people will opt for chameleon decor.  Starting with a neutral palette, having a versatile neutral base means you can use big-impact accents to easily change up a room or mix up a trend.

Lighter woods: Maybe as a reaction to all the dark tones and other rustic woods we’ve been seeing in furniture for so long. Furniture with lighter, honey-color woods will start reappearing and taking center stage.  Woods such as walnut, oak, and cherry will add that fresh touch.

A Bit of Glitz: After the strong industrial and rustic look, people are going to start thinking about glamour.  Sparkle is going to make its way back into living rooms and bedrooms.  You will also find it in unexpected places like the kitchen. 

Floral Blossoming: Although floral and chintz fabric are staples of home design, the return to vintage means old-school designs are making a comeback. Vintage prints and modern takes on floral classics will emerge in the Spring.

The Decorating Blues: Although the color of the year is Radiant Orchid, you will be spotting blue hues.  From navy toteal, the design community is still infatuated with this every so classic and functional colors.