Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a safe end to 2009 and an amazing 2010. Have the Happiest of New Years!

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I will be out for the rest of the week, and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It looks like ours will be a white Christmas in Colorado.I'll leave you with a few of my favorite photos from my holiday decorating projects this year. Enjoy and have a safe and wonderful Christmas!

 Traditional Tree and Balustrade

Table set for entertaining

 A Modern/Retro/Glam Dining Room


Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oooh - Orange Christmas

I have devoted much more time to holiday decorating than I originally planned this December. There were just so many great ideas that I had to share. I feel ready to move on from the subject now, but given that it is the week of Christmas, it just wouldn't seem right. So I began searching through magazines and other sources for another Holiday-inspired post. I came across the perfect home to share.
I am curently on a bit of an orange kick. It's a wonderful and versatile color. I wrote about it in October and I am currently working on a home office design in a beautiful spicy shade (post coming soon). So this Christmas home with orange and touches of peacock blue is just perfect. I hope you find inspiration here, too.

This is the home of Designer Mary McDonald and was featured in the December 2008 edition of Veranda Magazine.


Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Cutest Little Stockings

And the stockings were hung by the chimeny with care...
The image of stockings hung from the mantel is almost as iconic as the Christmas tree. I wondered where the stocking tradition originated, so I asked google. There are several stories and traditions to choose from. The most common story is that of a nobleman who lost his wife and fortune. He is left with 1-4 daughters (depending on the version) and no money for the dowries or their futures. Saint Nicholas is passing through the village and hears their story. He wants to help, but the man would not accept his charity. After the daughters wash their stockings and hang them to dry at the fire, St. Nick throws bags of gold down the chimney to land in each stocking. Dowries sorted and everyone lives happily ever after.
Whether you prefer that tradition, or any of the others surrounding the origins of Christmas Stockings, these stockings are just so cute that I had to share. Enjoy!

From Ballard Designs, polka-dot stockings that can be personalized.
Also from Ballard Designs, personalized stockings for those beloved pets.


For more on stocking traditions:

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Inspiring Images - Bavarian Winter Wonderland

Warning: to truly enjoy this post you should read with some hot apple strudel and gluhwien.

I had the opportunity to visit the Bavarian Alps during the winter of 2005. The beautiful snowy mountain backdrops and Christmas markets truly bring out the holiday cheer in everyone.I hope these images give you a glimpse of Bavarian Christmas and inspire you in your holiday cheer.



Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Friday, December 11, 2009

Design Make a Great Gift!

Interior Design Services or Consultations make a great gift. My services have been gifted for weddings, babies, Mother's Day, birthday's and Christmas. Design is especially great for those just starting out (we can make a plan to get them started), and those who already have everything or are just plain hard to buy for. Most often my services are gifted through gift certificates of 1-2 hours where I can provide color consultation, furniture planning, decluttering advice, or start the process for a larger design project.
I do provide free project reviews and I am one of very few Colorado Interior Designers to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Contact me for more informaiton on Interior Design gifts. Your family and friends will love it!

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Tips for Combined Families

Today’s families sure make the Brady Bunch look less unique. Well, except Alice. Wouldn’t we all like our own Alice? Most of us have half- and step- something or others in our families. Depending on the dynamics, this can make holidays a joy or more painful.

Last year I did the Christmas decorations for a client with grown children with spouses and grandchildren and grown stepchildren with spouses and grandchildren. The family schedule had one group on Christmas Eve and the other children on Christmas Day.

When I meet with my clients, I ask a lot of questions about what they do in a room, what functions they need supported and basically who they need to be in the room. It helps me to form the plan. As we were discussing her holiday needs, she mentioned the issues of the combined families and dealing with the gifts. She told stories of gifts that had previously been forgotten on Christmas Eve and found on Christmas Day, or that young feelings had been hurt by counting gifts for one group (not understanding “value” of the gifts, of course). As we discussed, I could see that this had become a real point of stress.

While it wasn’t in my initial brief to help solve this problem, I did come up with two solutions for my client. The first was coordinating the wrapping for all packages for each group. Perhaps one family is all in gold, while the other is all in green. And the second solution, which we ultimately did, is to have 2 separate Christmas trees in separate rooms. We had a tree in the family room and another in the living room. Not only did it solve her gift issues and stress, it spread the Christmas spirit throughout her home, giving more use to the formal living room and also adding a tree in the family room, where the family spent the most time.

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stylish Seating

The holiday season is all about entertaining. For some of us, that entertaining exceeds our parties for the rest of the year or our dining room capacity and we find ourselves short on seating. For a more stylish alternative to the typical metal or plastic folding chair, look at these options from Ballard Designs.

Want an even more elegant or custom look? Upholster the seat of the folding chairs to match your regular dining chairs, or have a cushion or slipcover made in the same fabric. Your guests won't even realize they are sitting on a folding chair!

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fabulous Fireplaces

I'm freezing! My Colorado readers know just how I feel. For all others, Colorado is experiencing a rather long and unusually cold arctic spell. We're all cold, and on a day like today (or two weeks, as is the case) nothing feels better than curling up in front of the fire. Here are some beautiful fireplaces to help you warm up. Enjoy and stay warm!

From the December 2007 issue of House Beautiful, Aerin Lauder's East Hampton house.
From House Beautiful, Jan 2009, a room by Stephen Shubel

Also from House Beautiful, Newell Turner's fireplace

Also from Veranda Magazine, Barbara Barry's Jackson Hole Home.

The following are from Martha Stewart's Favorite Homes Tour.

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Friday, December 4, 2009

More Magnificent Menorahs

I came across another artfully crafted Menorah today and I couldn't resist adding it to the previous posts. This Iron Menorah is from Wisteria. For more collections of beautiful Menorahs, see my previous posts: Crazy for Menorahs and Magnificent Menorahs. These are truly pieces of art that you will want to display in your home year round.
Happy Holidays!

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design

Greeting Holiday Guests

While we're on the topic of holidays, how do you greet your overnight or long term holiday guests? I don't typically have guests that stay over the holidays. However, this year looks as if it would be my first, so it got me thinking about my guest room. How could I give it a bit more holiday spirit? Here are some ideas.

If you want to go all out, try some holiday bedding. The Red Feather Quilt and Pine Cone Quilt are both from Pottery Barn.
Or maybe you want a softer touch to the holiday cheer. These holiday thrown pillows are all from Wisteria.
And the Sentiment Pillows are also from Pottery Barn.

Or perhaps your guest room decorations could be as simple as a stocking or two, or other holiday accessories. The Birch Bark Trees and Merry Berry Wreath are from Viva Terra.
The silver foil Christmas Tree from West Elm.
What do you have in store for your holiday guests?

Beautiful Habitat: Luxury Interior Design


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