Monday, November 25, 2013

How To Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Pro: Step By Step

step by step how to decorate a christmas tree metallic copper brown

Christmas evokes many happy memories for me:

As a child, I can remember listening to Bing Crosby belt out his holiday hits from the record player while we jammed and the tinsel flew onto our K-mart tree. No, it wasn't fancy, but it was the process that I enjoyed. I guess it just felt like Christmas once we were allowed in the formal living room to decorate the tree. Since my feet only stepped on that white carpet twice a year, it really was a privilege!

Fast forward to present day and turn on Rockin' Holidays (the best Pandora station I've found), pour a piping hot cup of hot chocolate and get busy bringing Christmas to your adorable abode!

Since my days of tinsel tossing, my taste in Christmas decor has evolved. And, like everything else, I really like a tree with layers. Seriously, my hair has layers, my bed has layers and so does my Christmas tree. 

I had to start my own tree before Thanksgiving (tsk, tsk I know!) because we're fortunate enough to be able to help our clients decorate their homes for the holidays.

brown, copper, gold, natural Christmas tree

And, like your grandma's famous apple pie, there really isn't a recipe. But, this year I slowed down a bit and tried to break the process into manageable steps so our readers would be able to make their trees a little more spectacular as well.

So here goes:

Step 1:
Lay it all out. I make an assembly line of picks, sprays, pinecones, ribbon and ornaments.

Step 2:

Fluff your tree and check lights.

You can't expect a tree that's been crammed in a box all summer to come out and stand at attention. Not gonna happen. You have to put on some gloves and tug, pull, fluff and splay each and every branch.

Step 3:
Begin with ribbon. A pretty bow at the top of the tree makes a beautiful statement.

Don't stop with the ribbon on top! Integrate the ribbon into the tree by weaving it in and out of the branches. Start at the top and go down. Don't wrap it around the tree. Trust me on this!

You can also add decorative mesh in the same manner.

Step 4:
Add picks, sprays, branches and if you are daring, something BIG like this fat metallic sequined reindeer!

Step Five:
Go deep! Insert ornaments deep within the branches to hide holes.

nserting large objects in your Christmas tree, reindeer tree

Step 6:
Add your (non-sentimental) ornaments...en masse. Catherine always asks me, "Is three enough?" NO! The key to an awesome tree is repetition. More is More! Don't just grab one box of gold ornaments, buy five! I put about 50 plain balls on my tree before ever opening the box of family ornaments.

Pottery Barn star tree topper, metallic Christmas tree, copper, gold brown tree

Step 7:
Add your special ornaments. Everyone has those meaningful ornaments that are special to your family. One of my favorites is this manatee:

manatee christmas ornament

Last Christmas we had a series of gifts for the boys to open with hints about where to look for their next clue. The final clue led them to the tree where this manatee surprised them with a trip to Florida where we actually got to swim with the gentle giants!

copper bird Christmas ornament

What do you do if you have a popscicle stick, pipe cleaner reindeer your child made in Kindergarten? You might consider a 2nd tree if you have a theme going on the main tree. Or, just embrace it and put that pipe cleaner reindeer front and center.

Step 8:
Stand back and admire your work. Look for holes, or a section that has 7 birds. We don't need a flock on the tree. 

Christmas morning is always such a fun time for our family!

Step 9: 

Sad, but true. After the kids go to bed, you may need to relocate a few ornaments.

how to photograph a christmas tree
Thanks to my wonderful husband, Patrick, for doing five hours of math homework with the boys, cleaning up after a stomach bug, and then taking pictures of the tree for my blog.
Most of all, remember to enjoy this time... Especially if you have children or grandchildren helping you decorate. These are the memories they will have when they are our age.

Linking up with:

Tuesday To Do Party

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Inspired by Garden & Gun: Antlers this season and a killer wreath

garden and gun, antlers, nature decor, antler wreathThe question "How many points?" can have a myriad of meanings in the South. On any given fall weekend, the reference could be to the scores of the ACC or SEC football game, the upcoming Tobacco Road basketball rivalry or the rack of the latest trophy buck. 

Not only are women joining their mates for early morning hunts, they are making more than venison stew. Have you noticed all the nature inspired Christmas decor this season? Most notably the use of antlers in home decor is HOT!

OMG! Yes, that is a pail full of antlers &  a bucket of cotton stems too!

We have a local garden shop that never fails to wow! us with their holiday designs. From wreaths to garlands to soaring trees, we were swooning over the merry fabulosity of it all.

This tree was inspired by the iconic Garden and Gun magazine. 

Check out this little fella! Isn't he's just oozing southern charm?

Not to be outdone, Jacki snagged a few antlers and went home inspired and determined!

Here's our (that's the royal "our") version of a garden and gun themed wreath:

garden and gun, antlers, nature decor, natural wreath antlers

Jacki is so talented! I love it!

If you're in the local area and need a little wreath love, you know who to call! We are also available to decorate your tree! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Next week we *should* have a tree or two up at our own homes! I can't wait to show you!

If you "just gotta have it", this wreath is available for purchase for $120. It's a 30" pre-lit wreath with snow covered pinecones, a cute little bird and his nest, and don't forget the antlers!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ikea Hack: Vittsjo Shelf

You may recall my earlier plans for the office, I shared them before we even moved

Earlier this year, I decided I would not have a dining room in the new house. Besides the fact that we never used it, I was inspired by fellow blogger, Emily Clark and made it my home office.

Emily Clark's dining room turned home office
While Emily opted for built-ins with a library feel, we wanted something less permanent since we don't think we will live here long-term. However, it is the first room guests see as they enter, so there is a lot of pressure to keep things tidy. And, this house has NO storage. 

I didn't like having all the stuff cluttered on the credenza and especially HATE seeing the printer front and center -- seriously un-cute!

View from the front door
I remembered another dining room turned home office from our anti-dining room post. Don't you love this clean-lined minimalist set up?

I LOVE it! I love the shelves and the way Duo Ventures styled them. As big, Ikea fans, Jacki & I knew these were the Vittsjo shelves. 
Since my walls are navy (SW naval), I thought black would fade into the background. 

You don't have to go further than a google search to see that the vittsjo shelves are everywhere, in a bunch of colors:
Ana Antunes

So I went to Ikea...on a Saturday...big mistake. The website said they had plenty. They did not. Ikea is 2.5 hours away from my home. Not cool. In an excellent stroke of luck, Jacki's sister-in-law was going to Ikea the next day and picked them up for me. Thanks Jenny!

This is what they looked like:

Here are most of the pieces:

Three cans of spray paint later, this is what I had:

The hubby felt sorry for my severe lack of spray painting skill and took over. Thank goodness! It looked a lot better after he was finished.

Here's where it landed:

While I was at Ikea, I snapped up some magazine storage boxes and some other boxes for storing office supplies. I was so excited, I had to get busy styling. I did curb my enthusiasm long enough to avoid scratching the paint job on the bottom shelf with the printer and box. 

After letting it dry overnight (read: before coffee) I moved the printer to its new spot: 

I love it. What do you think? I'm not finished with the room yet so I'll keep the rest of the details under wraps for now. But, stay tuned. I'm very obsessed with focused on this project so it won't be long now.

Sharing today with: It's So Very Cheri

Friday, November 15, 2013

12 Best Bunkbed Designs- how to pack 'em in stylishly!


Today, I'm pondering whether or not my boys could share a room. They share when we go to the beach, but aren't particularly happy about it. 

white bookshelf bunkbeds with trundle
Holy Moly I've moved these bunk beds around more times than I can count. The room is Teeny-Tiny but we needed to pack in as many kids as possible. Because the room is so small, I ultimately decided to forgo the trundle.
 When I had them in the center of the room, they really cut off the space. Plus the floors are so uneven, when you slept in the trundle, you ended up rolling back under the bottom bunk. 

Still, it's an improvement over what they looked like when we bought the house.

If I'm dreaming big, I would love to do some custom beds in the cottage where everyone could have their own space.


This is one of my favorites because of the nautical-inspired details.


The railing on these bunks is spectacular.


Netting! What an ingenious idea!

Another smart use of limited space-check out the drawers in these steps!

Talk about rustic luxe...


Catherine- did you see these? I know you love some navy and gold!

I love the green, don't you?

Judging from all the nautical-inspired decor, it seems people are really looking for ways to maximize sleeping quarters at their beach cottages! A great idea since you spend so little time indoors when visiting the beach.

Lastly, check out this precious, girly set up! It even has a porthole for late night conversations! Adorable and so open and airy!


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