Archive of ‘Home Decor’ category

Ways To Fake A Clean Home

Spring is here guys and the outdoor chores are soon going to be added to our already full plates.  I love being outside in that gorgeous weather, but then I have to deal with the pool, and the yard work and all the other things that go along with spring and summer.  I bet you guys do a big spring cleaning to get your home and yard ready. If you feel overwhelmed with all this extra work there are several things you can do to fake a clean home.

I decided this year to use my winter months wisely. If you’re like me, You’re kind of cooped up inside and that means you’re looking at everything that needs to be done in the house.  I have been organizing my attic and home this winter so when spring comes I could solely focus on all things outdoors (which to me is kind of fun.) We are currently in the process of building an outdoor kitchen and fire pit area and I am so thrilled to be adding these cool entertaining areas to our back yard (more on this in later posts to come).

So lets get into what things you can do to fake a clean house.  My daughter just attended her boyfriend’s ring dance and the kids came here to take pictures.  Of course I wanted the down stairs to look nice in the areas where they were going to take pictures. So here are some things I did to make sure the house was in great shape.

Clean off your desk area or any cluttered space visible to guests. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

  1.  MAKE SURE THERE IS NOT CLUTTER- Our desk area in the kitchen is a place where papers and little items seem to congregate.  I made sure that each item was either thrown away or was put in its proper place.  Don’t just throw things in the drawers because you will then have to take care of them at another time and things just start to pile up.
  2. USE BASKETS IN YOUR HOME IN HIGH TRAFFIC AREAS-. My kids are older and don’t have toys in our home, but I do have a son that is very into his shoes.  So in our mudroom, I have a large basket for the shoes that stay downstairs.  It looks so much nicer to have the shoes contained in one place.  Everyone can find them easily in the morning and no one is tripping over them in the kitchen anymore.
  3. USE TRAYS TO ORGANIZE YOUR DECORATIONS- Trays are great for keeping all your decorations together and organized on your ottomans and coffee tables.  Plus, there are some really beautiful ones that can really pull your decor and style together. They also limit the amount of things you can place on them so you’re not tempted to over decorate.
  4. HAVE FRESH FLOWERS PLACED AROUND YOUR HOME- Fresh flowers add so much to a room.  They are fragrant and give such a polished elegant look to your home.  You can’t go wrong with fresh flowers.  For a cheaper option, go with store bought flowers and make your own arrangements.
  5. LIGHT A CANDLE- When I go into a hotel or someone’s home that smells fresh or of baked goods, I automatically think it is a clean home and I want to spend more time there.

Use baskets to help keep your home clean. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I hope some of these tips can help get you through some of your special events or when someone says they’re stopping by in 30 minutes and you need to straighten your home up quickly.  Do you have any tips that could help us?  Leave a comment down below and let us know a tip to create a clean house in a jam.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

 

What’s New For Valentine’s in my Fave Home Stores

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away and you don’t want it to creep up on you at the last minute.   I thought I would check to see what’s new for Valentine’s Day in my fave home decor stores and share them with you.  What are some of your fave home decor stores?  I bet we have some of the same favorites.

Valentines in my Fave Home Stores

You don’t have to have a Valentine to enjoy these Valentine’s Day marshmallows from Crate and Barrel. They would be perfect for your hot chocolate or pancakes.  Your kids will love them too.

Crate and Barrel also has the amazing heart waffle maker.  Don’t only make them once a year on Valentine’s Day.   You could make them on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays and that special Saturday swim meet.  Just think of all the days you could use it.  Your family will really appreciate all the extra effort you’re taking to make the perfect breakfast.

Check out this journal What I Love About You by Me from Amazon.com.  This journal allows you to fill in the blanks of the book about your affections in a relationship with someone special.

The Cambria 16 piece dinnerware set in red is perfect for Valentine’s Day.  I know I’m a huge proponent of white dishes, but if I had to pick a speciality set I would pick red.  You can use it for so many holidays like Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Christmas. This set from Pottery Barn is just too amazing to pass up and it’s on sale right now.

These Williams Sonoma white wine glasses come in a set of 2 and would be perfect for a romantic dinner with your significant other or someone special in your life.  They would look amazing on your table set for 2.

Don’t forget to check Target’s online store for some Valentine’s Day decor.  They had this amazing pink rug that would welcome all your guests. This festive pink Valentine’s Love Hooked Rug is 18″by 30″ and would look amazing at the front door.

Show me some love and follow me on Pinterest.  I have a ton of beautiful home decor and creative topics that you would love.  I post to Instagram daily so check me out there too.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Decorating Trends for 2017

Comfort with a touch of luxury best describes decorating trends for 2017.  I can’t imagine a better way to entertain guests and family in your home with big comfy couches and luxurious fabrics.  With new technology upgrades people are choosing to stay home and entertain in the comfort of their own home.

2017 Colors of the Year

Color is so important when it comes to decor.  Do you even know how many white paint colors there are? Who would ever imagine choosing a white paint color would be so difficult? The fashion trends that come down the runway dictate a lot about what styles and color you will see in furniture trends.  Below you will find some of the most popular colors of the year. I just did a guest bedroom for a client in a deep purple and white and it looked so rich and luxurious.

Pantone's 2017 color of the year is Greenery. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Pantone’s color of the year is Greenery.

Benjamin Moore’s is Shadow (deep purple)

Glidden’s is Byzantine Blue

Dunn Edward’s is Honey Glow (mustard Yellow)

Sherwin Williams’ is Poised taupe

Greenery office e-design board highlighting Pantone's 2017 color of the year. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Mixing metals is still in. YEAH! Shiny brass is making a come back and copper is here to stay. I’m happy about copper sticking around for a while. I am really into that look and it matches a lot of the dishes and decor that I own. No matter what the current trend is, buy things that are classic that will stand the test of time. Especially if they are expensive purchases. Items like pillows and accessories are easier to replace and are less expensive so those are good items to switch out and play around with.  These items can be your trendy “fun” pieces that you can experiment with using bold pops of color.

Whether your fave spot is a glamorous fur chair, a masculine leather recliner, or a plush one and a half chair; whatever furniture fits your style will work in 2017. Remember to make a personal statement in your decor and be yourself and your home will be a reflection of your style and personality.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Best Posts of 2016

I can’t believe the holidays are over and we’re in 2017! I get so sad when I take down my Christmas decor, but I’m looking forward to all the new things this year has to offer. I love doing this post every year because it is kind of like a highlight reel of memories.  It is always fun for me to look back through the year in review to see the best posts of the year.  I love to see which ones did well and what you guys really respond well to.  I love analytics.  For those of you that don’t know much about blogging, there is a site that allows me to track a lot of data to help me know what kind of audience watches me and what posts you like.  I am kind of nerdy for data.  So I thought it would be fun to share some of that data in this year end review. Of course I’m going to show you the top posts, but I hope you like some of the other data too.

You guys are really into social media. The top 4 SOCIAL MEDIA REFERRALS came from:

1.Pinterest

2.Facebook

3.Reddit

4. Instagram

 Thank you to those of you coming from Pinterest and Facebook.  If you’re not following me on these sites what are you waiting for? We have tons of fun and I would love to meet you.

94% of you are female.  Shout out to my 6% male audience.  I love that you are coming back regularly.  

48% of you are using a desktop computer while the rest of you are using a tablet or mobile device. 

50% of you are in the age group 45-65 with the second largest group being 25-34 year olds. 

I had several career highlights this year.  I had the opportunity to help decorate a Homearama home for the talented builder, Tara Preston. She has won many prestigious accolades and pays close attention to detail.  Her home was in the paper showing off some of the special features, furniture, and holiday decor.  The tree I decorated was also showcased.  That was very special for me.

I participated in the LuxPad Magazine living room ideas article.  Bloggers, writers, and interior designers were asked to pick their favorite living room and give ideas and tips on how to style that room.  If you missed the article you can check it out here.  You can find mine next to last in the the article.

 I worked with Minted on their graduation and Mother’s Day campaigns.  This was such an honor for me.  I especially loved the graduation project because I have a senior this year. It really hit home for me. Everything I did was very authentic because I’m going through the experience myself.  I’m having to order all the invitations and cards so I really thought through the process.

I had the opportunity to partner with Chobani to promote their Flips.  By the way, these things are fabulous.  I have really become a fan of the PB & J flavor.  I eat one for breakfast every morning.  My post was right around the time of the olympics.  I know they were a huge sponsor.  Go Chobani!

My latest project was for Douglas Elliman.  I was asked to participate in their winter design challenge.  I started by creating a mood board of my dream cozy living room.Then I added my holiday decor and ideas for making your home cozy for the winter.

I have lots of projects already lined up for 2017.  I’m excited to jump in and get this year started.  I know I’m aiming high and shooting for the stars.  If you don’t step forward, you’ll always be in the same place. Now let’s get to the top ten posts of 2016.  These ranked as your favorite posts in chronological order.

Best Posts of 2016

 Holiday Home Tour 2015

Best of 2016 your favorite post on www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Perfectly Plaid

Best of 2016 favorite posts www.yourstrulyjenn.com Perfectly plaid tree

Merry Plaid House Tour

Best of 2016 favorite posts www.yourstrulujenn.com Merry and Plaid house tour holiday house walk link party

Christmas House Tour Part 2

Best posts of 2016 Rose Gold Christmas house tour part 2 www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Mother’s Day Minted

Best posts of 2016 Minted Mother's Day www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Wedding Reception Without Flowers

Gorgeous wedding without using flowers www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Tips For a Family Holiday Card

Best post of 2016 Great tips to help you prepare for a family photo www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Red and Gold Wedding Reception

Best post of 2016 Red and Gold Wedding Reception www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Entryway Makeover

Best posts of 2016- Entry makeover with Minted www.yourstulyjenn.com

Decorating Your Bar Cart 3 Ways

Best posts of 2016 Style your bar cart 3 unique ways www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Boy, you guys love Christmas as much as I do. Thank you so much for making this career possible for me.  Without you, the readers, I wouldn’t be able to do this full time.  This year I was able to blog full time and become a certified interior decorator.  At Christmas, I decorated several homes and businesses and look forward to expanding my decorating business in 2017.  I will be adding e-design services soon so I can service a wider range of clients.  I wish you all health and much happiness in 2017.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Making your Home Cozy for the Winter

Cold weather is not my favorite, but decorating for colder weather sure is. Adding cozy textures to your home is a simple way to add warmth. When the weather changes so does your decor. There are several things I think of when I think of winter. I think of a warm fire, cozy blankets, chunky sweaters, comfort food, and football season. My husband likes that I’m a fan of the last one. However, I still like to keep my decor simple and on the neutral side.  Douglas Elliman asked me to give you some tips and inspiration for decorating your home in those winter months. For some amazing homes, head over and check out their Florida properties.  I can guarantee you, you will immediately feel right at home on their site. Here is my inspiration board of how I would design my dream cozy living room.

My cozy winter neutral glam inspiration board

In the first part of winter, you may be celebrating the holidays with your family and friends. I celebrate Christmas and decorate in late November and early December. I always enjoy decorating for the holidays. When you think of decorating your home for Christmas you might immediately think of the traditional red and green. I have used those colors for many years, but in the last couple of years I have ventured out of my comfort zone and tried other themes and colors. This year I stayed very neutral and decorated using white, gold, silver, and rose gold. I really was inspired by the look of mixing all the metallics together. You can check out where I threw a little plaid into my decorating in my Merry and plaid home tour here. After I take down my holiday decor my home always seems so bare. I like to add some winter decor to carry me over until spring.  You can still keep your Christmas greenery up for a while and mix in your winter decor.  I hope you get some decorating ideas from my holiday decor and some tips on how to make your home cozy for the winter.

 

This winter wonderland tree makes you want to cozy up by the fire. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

This white, gold, and silver tree is elegant yet has that cozy vibe. You just want to pick a spot in front of the fire and relax with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Check out this winter wonderland tree and cozy setting. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Putting something at the base of your tree can really set the tone for your theme.  These accessories really make you feel welcome and cozy.

The small details of this tree are exquisite. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

A close up of the tree shows small details like the glitz and glamour from  the crystals to the feathers.

The white flowers and gold ornaments look beautiful in the lights. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Layering your tree gives you that natural look. You have a more symmetrical look on each side and from top to bottom.

The white feathers make the tree a perfect winter wonderland. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I used pillows at the base of the tree as well as a snowflake tree skirt.  You could use a faux fur throw and make it look like a tree skirt.

This chair looks beautiful next to this tree. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Since the tree is so glamorous and soft I added a leather chair to the mix to give the look a little masculinity.  I think it is the perfect piece to finish off the look.

Don't you just want to curl up and read a book at the bottom of this tree? www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I like to shop my home first to see what items I can use to finish off the bottom of my tree.  I have wrapped empty packages and made them look extra special with fancy details.  You don’t always have to go out and purchase extra to create something amazing.

The fireplace looks so amazing next to this tree. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care... www.yourstrulyjenn.com

This is the first time I have put a tree by my fireplace and I absolutely love it.  It’s crazy, but I’m already thinking about what to do next year.

A cozy scene complete with fire. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

A cozy spot by the fire is where I want to be. I hope you were able to pick up some inspiration from this look.  You can still have comfort while being stylish and showing your personality.  Check out some more tips on how to decorate your home for the rest of the winter.

Ways to Make Your Home Cozy

Add blankets to your seating areas- We have tons of extra blankets in each room of the house because I keep our home a little chilly. But in the winter you can find me snuggling with my hubby and maltese to stay warm and cozy. I also add heavier blankets in my bedroom. Layering your bed with lots of pillows and blankets will keep the cold out. Adding different patterns, colors, and textures will give your room a more comfortable feel.

There are several accessories you can add to your home to make it more cozy in the winter. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Add candles to your decor- Candles instantly warm up a home. They add light, warmth, and ambiance to any room. I always have candles around but especially in the winter. This season I added rose gold battery operated candles and they are gorgeous. Having them amongst my white ones added a little glamour. The light that the candles give off make such a beautiful glow. It is the perfect lighting for a quiet evening at home.

I put candles everywhere in my home.

Sheepskin rugs and faux fur– Rugs create such an intimate space. Kids can easily get on the floor and play. You can get comfy in the floor and watch a movie on family movie night. Other comfy items you can try are sleeping bags and bean bag chairs. I have these bean bag chairs from Pottery Barn and every age group from 3-adult have instantly loved them when they come over. They were on a huge backorder for a long time. I hope you can get them now. They were so popular. What a great way to instantly up the cozy factor.

Change Your tablescape- I love to use my white dishes especially in the winter. I try to use my everyday dishes as to make my table a little less formal then what I had at Christmas. Then I can add any color napkins and neutral items like pinecones, fresh flowers, and candles.

Start a warm fire- I am a very cold natured person. When I was little my parents said I could always be found sitting in front of the fire until my back was so warm they had to tell me to move. Hearing the crackling fire roaring in the fireplace is such an amazing feeling and can really help you get through those cold winter months.

Putting extra blankets around your house makes your home more cozy.

Add a winter scent- We equate memories with different scents. Pine, cinnamon, spice, cranberry, and vanilla are all winter scents. Think of baking Christmas pies all day long.  There are candles that smell like that. Wouldn’t you love to recreate that scent? You can use candles, potpourri for your stove, or wallflowers that you plug in.

Decorating with family pictures- Don’t you feel more comfortable in someone’s home that is decorated with personal touches such as loved one’s photographs? My daughter is a senior and we just got her senior photos back and they are amazing. Her portraits are gracing our walls and we are very proud parents. I like to see those personal items in someone’s home. That’s why when you sell your home, real estate agents ask you to depersonalize your home so other’s can visualize their stuff in the space.

Getting through winter is easier when you know ways to spruce up your home for the season.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

Rose Gold Holiday House Tour Part 2 2016

I hope you saw my Merry & Plaid holiday home tour part 1 and the reveal of my blush and rose gold tree.  If you missed those posts I would love for you to go back and check it out.  Then join in again to this tour.  If you are new to my blog, welcome.  I’m Jennifer, an interior stylist, and I just love Christmas.  I am one of those early Christmas decorators.  Since I have so much to do, I always start before Thanksgiving so when I return home after the break the house is decorated and I can take pictures and edit. This year I decided to go with a rose gold and blush theme for my tree in the kitchen. Since the kitchen is the hub of our home I change that tree every year.  I enjoy coming up with something new to express my creativity, but of course there are some traditions that stay the same no matter what.

My daughter is a senior this year and Christmas as we know it will drastically change for our family.  As your kids get older things slowly change and your traditions evolve and gradually change to match their age. I am trying to hold on to our Christmas memories and make this an amazing holiday for my family.  Every year we do a fancy brunch at The Founder’s Inn.  This is one of our favorite days of the year.  We get all dressed up and enjoy each other while eating amazing food. We take tons of pictures and walk around seeing all the beautiful decorations and lights.  I’m so looking forward to spending this time with my family.

 Rose Gold Holiday Home Tour 2016 Yours Truly Jenn

If you collect neutral ornaments such as silver, gold, and glass you can easily change your ribbon and add a few colored ornaments and you have an inexpensive way to change your theme.

Rose gold and gold metallics were used on this tree along with blush ornaments.

This is a green tree that I add lots of other limbs to each year to give it a flocked look.  It also gives my trees that layered look so there are no big gaps or holes.

This 7 1/2 foot tree is accented with mixed metallics and blush ornaments.

I love decorating the bottom of the tree with beautiful packages that match my theme.  These blush packages from Sugar Paper for Target are the perfect fit.

Lovely talescape with blush Christmas tree.

This is the first Christmas that I have my new kitchen table.  I love the way this rose gold look just shines against the tree.  I know I’m obsessed with rose gold jewelry and now I think I’m obsessed with rose gold dishes too.

Green, gold and copper Christmas tree

I loved all the accessories on this tree.  The copper ornaments, the gold pinecone picks, and the gold netting just really show up well on this snowy white tree.

Snowy Balsam Hill tree decked out in green and gold.

I purchased these packages and this green and gold ribbon from Dillard’s at the end of the season last year.  I love getting beautiful stuff by shopping the day after Christmas.

Ribbon and gold netting to accent the trees.

Purchase a few bigger ticket items each year and your Christmas collection will quickly multiply.

Zgallerie deer help decorate the bottom of the tree.

I purchased these white, glittered deer from Z Gallerie at the end of the season last year. I thought they would make a beautiful base to one of my trees.

Check out this Christmas entryway decked out in green and gold.

I am proud to show off my daughter’s senior pictures which we recently displayed in the foyer.

Green and gold entryway

We have an amazing photographer we have used for the last 5 years.  If you are looking for a  photographer in the Hampton Roads area, check out Jason Williams at Elite Photography.

Green and gold accents in entryway

I decided to go with a neutral and mixed metallics theme this year.   I am working with several design clients and I wanted to keep my decor simple this year.  I think your decor can be quite beautiful when you think out of the box.

Gorgeous gold and white mantel

I purchase all of my garland from Frontgate.  I have been so pleased with their Christmas decor.  I also put them down my two story staircase each year.  We have had them 7 years and they are still going strong.  Mine have pinecones and red berries already woven through the garland.  I ordered the Classic garland.

Love the stone on this Christmas fireplace! Yours Truly Jenn

I added snowy picks to my garland to give it a flocked look.

I recently bought these faux fur stockings from Dillard’s.

Love these white faux fur stockings.

I’ve always loved decorating the mantel.  This is the very first thing I decorated this year and I’m so pleased with the way it turned out.

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out part 2 of my home tour 2016.  I know Christmas posts really get people searching around to blogs they have never been before.  I hope you saw something you liked and will come back in the future. Have a fabulous holiday with your family and friends and have the best 2017!!

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

 

 

 

Merry & Plaid Holiday House Tour

I’m thrilled to be participating in Jen Rizzo’s holiday house walk link party for the third year. This is my favorite post of the entire season. Jen’s house tour began last week and featured over 30 homes with beautiful holiday decor. It is so amazing you need to check it out if you haven’t already.  I can’t believe you get so much inspiration in one place. Last year my theme was perfectly plaid and I used red, black, buffalo check and plaid patterns to decorate my tree.  Well I just couldn’t totally give up that plaid because I loved it so much so I decided to do my bedroom in plaid.

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-11-00-54-pm

I’ve never decorated my bedroom for Christmas before.  I have always envisioned my room decor being quite soft and romantic similar to the tree I do in all white or the one I did in pinks and golds.  However, I just loved that plaid so much and got such a great response from it I wanted to throw it in somewhere.  I thought my room would be a great place since it was out of the way.  I have a first floor bedroom that is off the main living space.  It can easily be closed off from the rest of the house. So sit back, relax and I hope you enjoy the tour.

Merry and plaid bedroom Yourstrulyjenn.com

I wanted to put a little tree in my room this year and I’m so glad I did.  I’m not sure who loved it more me or my husband.  He wakes up and goes through the house turning on all the Christmas lights.  It makes the house so cheery when I get up to make the school lunches.

Plaid, buffalo check, and red ornaments www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I reused the square boxes and ribbon from last year.  Everyone in my family knows to save my “pretty” boxes.  Of course the round boxes are new from Sugar Paper this year.  I just love everything they make.

Beautiful packages finish off the look

This plaid tree skirt is from Pottery Barn and is personalized with our family name.

Merry and plaid bedroom with red and white wreaths

This year, I really made an effort to take decorations I already had and tried to work them in a different way instead of buying new items.  Those wreaths on the mirrors were wreaths I used for a wedding reception.  I used the ribbon from the tree, red flowers, and picks to add a Christmas look.

White wreaths with red Christmas accents.

The buffalo check throw and plaid euro shams are from Pottery Barn.  The small black buffalo check pillow was from Target last year.

Gorgeous Christmas dog!

My 7 year old tea cup Maltese is the baby of the family and is completely spoiled rotten.

Breakfast in bed

What a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee and read your morning paper.

Red, gold, and white dining room tablescape

I started doing this table in gold, white and greenery, but it just needed something more.  When I added my Lenox Christmas salad plates I knew that it needed that hint of red so I kept going.  I added the red polka dot napkins at every other place setting and the red flowers in the centerpiece.  That is just what it needed.

I love the crystal on the table

The plates are Eternal by Lenox and the crystal stemware is also by Lenox and has a gold rim.

Red and white roses add the final detail to the table. Yourstrulyjenn

The polka dot napkins are from Pottery Barn.

Red, white, and gold tablescape Yourstrulyjenn.com

I hope you enjoyed the first part of the tour.  I will be uploading part 2 later this week.  The color scheme in the next tour is completely different so I hope you like it. I’m done decorating, but shopping is another story. Oh the stress.  But I need to remember the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place and try to chill out.  Thank you for stopping by.  I would love for you to check out my social media where I post daily inspiration.  Follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Isaiah 9:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Steps for Decorating a Fabulous Christmas Tree

Each year I decorate about 6 trees in my own home and many more for clients that hire me to decorate for their business or personal tree for their home. If you haven’t noticed I LOVE Christmas.  I start the day after Christmas gathering sale items for the next year.  I may not already know my theme, but I collect mercury class ornaments so I’m always on the look out for those and other gorgeous items that I know I can find a home for. I have some steps that I follow when putting up any tree I decorate.  I hope these help you when decorating this year.

Steps for Decorating Your Tree

Choose your theme early I already had my holiday theme picked by June so I was able to shop for ribbon and mixed metals when I was out and about. Dishes, entertaining pieces, candles, and other items you may use for the holidays go on sale throughout the year. Plus you may not be able to spend a ton of money on holiday decor around the holidays when you’re purchasing gifts for others.  If you shop year round you can spread out your budget.

Choose artificial or real tree-  If you choose an artificial tree you need to decide whether it is pre-lit or will you add lights yourself.  I always buy pre-lit trees.  We buy artificial trees because my husband is allergic to real trees.  However, I have become used to them and love them.  I can put them up whenever I want and the branches are easy to manipulate. Of course live trees smell amazing!! But you have to worry about dried needles that fall off.  Also you have to be careful if your ornaments are heavy. If you are adding your own lights make sure you run extension cords down the center of your tree.  DON’T put them on one cord or you will blow a fuse.  Also, you should put 100 lights per each foot.  For example, if you have a 9′ tree you should add 900 lights.

Fluff your Tree- One of the most important things to make your tree look realistic is to fluff it and cut off the tags. After being in the box all year it is quite smushed. You want all your branches to be hiding holes and gaps in your tree.  Fluff each section and start to get it back in shape.

Put on the tree topper-  You want to add your tree topper before you put on the ornaments.  More than likely you will be on some sort of ladder and you don’t want to knock off your precious glass ornaments.  There are so many options these days that you can add on the top of your tree.  Try using a bow, an angel, picks, a star, a reindeer etc..

Add large tree fillers- This is where I like to add extra branches to my tree that make them look more realistic. My favorite are the branches that are frosted or covered in ice.  I love to make my green trees look like they have been hit with a little bit of snow. You don’t know how many people have asked me where I bought my tree when I used these branches.  This tree happened to be just a regular inexpensive tree and was just filled with wonderful picks and fillers to make it look amazing.

Add fillers into your tree to make it more realistic looking. Yours Truly Jenn

Add color with designer ribbon- Ribbon can be a game changer for your tree.  You can find this in any theme and color that you’re looking for.  Weaving ribbon in and out can take a special technique.  You don’t want to make it look like you just circled around the tree and wrapped the ribbon around and around and around. Here is a post I did last year showing the full decorating of all my trees.  And if you’re not already reading Kristen’s blog Ella Clare Inspired, you need to head over there and read her post on using ribbon on your Christmas Tree. For an 8 foot tree you want to buy at least 4 rolls of ribbon that are 10 yards long. This way you have enough to use on packages at the base of your tree.

Add decorative ribbon to your tree. Yours Truly Jenn

Organize ornaments by color and put large ornaments on the bottom-  I took the time this year to take all my ornaments down in October and instead of having them labeled by tree I put them in tubs by color. This was the smartest thing I did organization wise.  I started seeing how my trees could be decorated by using different color combinations. I really started mixing metals and materials and saved money by using the items I already own. Start down low and hang your large ornaments first.  Also, look for holes deep inside the tree where big ornaments can fill holes and dangle without hitting branches.  Remember, with artificial trees you can manipulate the branches.

Finish off with smaller Picks and decorative pieces-  This is one of my favorite steps.  I really love to add decorative fillers to the tree.  When you add items like colored picks, flowers, and netting you can really start to see the tree take a designer look.  These items can be expensive when buying multiple sets.  Look for sales and try to get these early so they are not picked over.

You want to put a tree skirt and holiday packages to finish off the look- You can find tree skirts everywhere in every theme.  I always like the classic white or gold ones so they go with most of my trees.  I also like to save some of my ribbon from the tree to use on my packages at the bottom of the tree.  It really pulls the look together.

Add packages to the bottom of your tree to add a decorative look. Yours Truly Jenn

Lastly, Put a stomper on your tree- I love stompers.  When you have as much holiday decor as I do stompers make your life so much easier.  They are cheap and can easily be found.

I hope some of these tips will help you add some pizzazz to your tree.  What are some of your holiday decorating tips?  I’m sure you have some that we could add.  Please leave a comment below and add to the discussion.  Happy Holidays.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

Rose Gold and Blush Christmas

I am so excited that Christmas home tours are finally here. These are literally my favorite posts of the year. I have been decking the halls for a couple weeks now to get my home ready to share with you.  It takes me a while to get things presentable enough to photograph so I like to start early and take my time.  I’m lucky though. My neighborhood tends to decorate early. When I see the first person decorate it’s like an unspoken go ahead that I can decorate the outside of my home without getting strange looks.

This year I had my theme already decided way back in the summer. Knowing my theme early allowed me to start collecting anytime I saw something while I was out shopping. This way I could purchase things on sale. I was able to get my table decor for my kitchen by October. If you can shop early you will get things before they are picked over.  I know where I live there aren’t a lot of options for Christmas decor so when you find something you need to buy it early.

My theme this year incorporates rose gold, blush, and gold metallics. I love this theme.  It is very soft and romantic.  Very big contrast from the plaid red and black I did last year. Check out my home tour from 2015 here.  The pictures I took during last year’s home tour turned out so good I was a little nervous about how these colors would photograph, but I was so pleased with the tree I moved forward and tried my best to capture the tree in all its glory.

Blush and Rose Gold Christmas Home Tour - Yours Truly Jenn

 

Rose Gold and Blush Holiday Home Tour www.yourstrulyjenn.com

The curly ribbon is rolled around something round to create this shape.

Blush and rose gold Christmas Tree with gold metallic ornaments. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

These blush packages are from Sugar Paper for Target.

Blush tree, ornaments, and blush sugar paper gifts. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

A lot of my ornaments I’ve saved over the years, but At Home had a lot of rose gold and champagne accents this year.

Blush and white pillows Yours Truly Jenn Holiday Tour 2016. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

These pillows are from Michaels.

Blush and gold holiday home tour 2016. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

This champagne ribbon is from Dillard’s 2016 collection.

Holiday house tour 2016- Blush tree and Rose gold tablescape. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I bought these pink glasses at Anthropologie in the fall.

Rose Gold tablescape and rose gold glasses from Anthropology. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

These rose gold chargers came from Wayfair.

Blush and rose gold tablescape. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

These rose gold candles came from Amazon.

Rose gold tablescape with blush tree. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

I found these rose gold napkin rings along with gold and silver at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Thank you for checking out the first part of my home tour.  There is lots more to see in the next couple of weeks so keep checking back. I have several more rooms to show you with different color themes. I hope this gives you some inspiration for your own home.  I post daily inspiration on my Instagram and Pinterest accounts.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

 

Be Our Guests

  The Ultimate Guest Room

If your home is like ours you probably host a lot of guests during the holiday season.   There is one thing you can be sure of, after I travel 8 hours with two teenagers for Thanksgiving, I am the perfect one to describe items that weary travelers need when they arrive at their final destination.  You don’t want your guests to have to ask for items they may need or have forgotten to pack.  This guest room has a coastal design and is just amazing.  The furniture is from Outer Banks Furniture and was in Tara Preston’s Homearama home this year.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to help decorate this home.

The majority of this house is done in blue tones. However, I think the yellow accent color makes the room so bright and cheery.  Of course a guest room needs to be aesthetically pleasing, but there are several necessities that I immediately think of when I entertain overnight guests.

Blue guest room with a coastal design. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

Musts for your overnight Guests

1.Have closet space for guests to hang their clothing-  Lots of us use our closets for storage.  However, when guests come to spend the night at your home, they will have clothing that will need to be hung up.  Always have empty hangers in the closet and make sure there is room for their clothes.  Nobody wants to open a closet and have an avalanche of your items fall on them.

2. Luggage rack- It is always a good idea to have at least one luggage rack for the guest room.  It makes it very convenient for your guests to place their bags on the rack and not have to put their suitcase in the floor. These are easy to find and don’t cost very much.  Plus you really don’t want luggage placed on your nice furniture so it is just easiest to have this for your guests.

Guests need a luggage rack and place to hang their clothing. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

3. Lamps-  Having lamps by the bedside tables give your guests the proper lighting they need.  Some people like to read before bed and this gives them the opportunity to do that without having to keep the ceiling light on.  Plus, if they have to get up in the middle of the night this gives them the option of having a light source. Sometimes, I even leave night lights in the bathroom especially if the guests have small children.

4.chair-  When I visit other people’s homes I love when there is some type of furniture in the room.  You can use it to layout clothes for the next day, sit and read, or just rest a few minutes in between activities without having to get into the bed.

5.tv- This isn’t a necessity, but I think it is a luxury most people would appreciate.  There will definitely be down time and time at night where your guests will have time to themselves and they can unwind by watching tv in their room.  It doesn’t have to be large or the latest smart tv, but your guests will appreciate the option of having one in their room.

6. Reading Materials- My mother in law has the best magazines for us when we visit her house.  I always take a book when I travel, but when I go to her house I never have to take magazines. We all know how much the decorating magazines cost so having several out for your guests would be greatly appreciated.

7. Wifi Password-  If your home has a password to use the wifi, you need to make sure your guests have instructions on how to use their technology. This is something you don’t want them to have to ask about.  You could even put this in a basket of goodies.

8. Basket of Goodies– Sometimes guests feel insecure asking for food or drink at other people’s homes.  To make this less awkward, leave a basket of goodies and water in their room.  Then they can access this whenever they feel hungry.  I’ve used nuts, granola bars, trail mix, and water to name a few.

Coastal decor for the guest bedroom. www.yourstrulyjenn.com

9. Extra Toiletries- Of course I always have things in the shower like shampoo, conditioner, bath gels and soap. I also put out enough fresh towels for my guests.  However, I leave a glass jar of extra toiletries just in case they forgot some things such as a razor, toothbrushes, toothpaste, q-tips, hand lotion, mouthwash, and small shampoos in case the large ones have agents they may be allergic to.  My son is allergic to lavender and lots of products have scents that bother me to the point where I get migraines. This makes me very sensitive to that issue and I try to put out things that I would normally pack myself.

10. Clock- Even though your guests are on vacation it is important to have a clock in their room.  some activities you may be doing have time constraints like dinner or theater plans and guests might need to be ready at a certain time.

11. Extra blankets– It is a great idea to leave extra blankets of varying weights and pillows in the room so guests can control the temperature.  I’m allergic to feathers and always prefer the down alternative options at hotels.  It is definitely something to think about when buying linens for your guest room.

12. keurig station-  Having a coffee and tea station set up in the guest room would really make your guests feel at home.  They could wake up and get the caffeine kick they need first thing in the morning.  Or in the evening some hot tea might hit the spot right before heading off to bed.  I know I would really appreciate this amenity.

Other Guest’s Amenities

I have insomnia and unfortunately am a late night snacker. Therefore, I know what it is like to be up late at night when everyone else is sleeping and you wish you had something to eat or drink. I like to stock a little basket of healthy snacks such as granola bars, nuts, fruit snacks etc… along with bottled water for guests. It also makes taking medications easier on guests if there is water in the room. Also, place some current magazines in several different genres for your guests to read during down time.

 Royal Treatment

The most important thing is to let your guests know up front that you are there for them and wish to make them as comfortable as possible. If you establish that from the start, you’re bound to have an amazing visit with your guests. The best thing to do when preparing your guest room is think about the things you would like or need when staying away from home.  Then you really design a beautiful, but functional room that you and your guests are happy with.

From Casa Ely we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and travel safely.

Yours Truly,

Jenn

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