Monthly Archives: November 2012

An Inspired and Relaxing Retreat

Decorating, Inspiration and tagged , , , , | | | 4 Replies

Today, we’re excited to share some gorgeous images from KariAnne at Thistlewood Farm. We think you’ll agree that this room provides an incredibly inspiring (and relaxing) retreat!

What was your goal for this room?

“This is my respite from a harried and hectic day.  This is where I unwind and recharge for the coming day.  I wanted this to be warm and welcoming, a place where a cup of hot tea and a really good book are never far away.”

Can you tell us about how this room is used?

“This room is full of laughter and joy and light.  A warm fire keeps the room warm and toasty for late night conversations and sharing the stories of the day.”

How would you describe your style?

“I decorate for my heart.  My style has a little farmhouse, a little cottage, a little shabby chic, a little distressing and a whole lot of vintage.”

 Any tips for a gorgeous mantel?

“I like to keep  my mantels interesting.  I am always on the lookout for unusual pieces that can be re-purposed for display.  I have used barn doors and garden gates and lanterns and vintage boards.  The key is to have fun with your decorating.”

Why do you shop at Pottery Barn?

“I adore Pottery Barn.  The catalogue is full of inspirational ideas and new ways of repurposing items to make them fresh again.  I never visit a Pottery Barn store or look at a catalogue without leaving inspired.”

Make sure to keep up with KariAnne’s decorating adventures on her site, Thistlewood Farm.

Looking Forward to: A Season of Ice Skating

Entertaining, Holiday | | | Leave a comment

Time to lace up your skates! That’s especially true if you’re in San Francisco today, since the Embarcadero Center Holiday Ice Rink is now officially open. We can’t wait to try some backwards skating and perhaps even a Salchow jump. While the city very rarely receives any snow cover, we’re grateful to have this traditional winter activity close by, even if it isn’t surrounded by picturesque snowy hillsides. To get our snowy landscape fix, we’re instead looking to artwork. Today, we’re inspired by some charming original art and prints that features skaters.

 

One of our current favorite pieces is by illustrator Sophie Blackall. Based in Brooklyn though originally from Australia, Blackall is the illustrator of more than 20 children’s books, as well as a book for adults, Missed Connections: Love, Lost & Found, which began as a blog over three years ago. The illustrations for the blog and book are all based on actual anonymous messages posted online by lovelorn strangers. The print featured here, Ice Skating in Central Park, We Collided ($45) is from the Missed Connections series.

We’ve rounded up some other favorites as well, which include a mix of original paintings and prints. See if you can find some seasonal artwork for your home from our choices. Or, if you have your own winter-themed art in your home, please tell us about it in the comments.

FDR’s Home Office is a Standout in Hyde Park on Hudson

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 2 Replies

On this election day, we thought it only fitting to highlight a film that tells a very presidential story. Focus Features’ new film Hyde Park on Hudson re-imagines the events of one weekend in 1939, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and his wife Eleanor (Olivia Williams) hosted the King and Queen of England  at the Roosevelt home in upstate New York, marking the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. We’re inspired by many aspects of the film, including, of course the set design.

 

Featuring production design by Simon Bowles and set decoration by Celia Bobak, the film is a lush period piece, beautifully enamored with the details of the era’s look and feel. As just one small example of the overall effect of the film, the home office at Hyde Park pays extraordinary attention to detail. From the collections of photos and artwork grouped on the bookshelves to the well-appointed bar tray and handsome furniture, these still photos from the film help to illustrate why set design is such a major factor in the overall effect of a film.


Fans of historic films who appreciate gorgeous set design and costuming will naturally gravitate to Hyde Park on Hudson, and we certainly expect that viewers will emerge from the theater buzzing with inspiration, both from the great performances from the actors as well as the incredible look of the film itself.

 

Interested in cultivating a similar look at your house? Check out our suggestions for accentuating a gorgeous home office.

Source: Photos courtesy Focus Features

Diminutive Dimensions Belie This Guest House’s Immense Style

Decorating, Inspiration and tagged , , , | | | 8 Replies

By any stretch of the imagination, 700 square feet is a small space. So, when interior designer Elizabeth Martin of Elizabeth Martin Design was tasked to create a welcoming, stylish guest house that favored those dimensions, she made very deliberate choices when it came to furnishings, art and layout of the home.

The cottage, which is located on the property of a larger home in Northern California’s Atherton area, now boasts interiors and exteriors that would encourage even the most reluctant of small space dwellers to contemplate an extended stay.

Today, we catch up with Elizabeth to ask her how she created this chic space, as well as share her tips for creating a chic guest room or guest house design of your own.

Can you tell us a little about this space? 

“The space is essentially a one-room cottage with a center pony wall separating the living area from the sleeping area with a bathroom on the sleeping side. The space has arched windows on either end that run the height of the open beamed ceilings. On the living room side, French doors open out onto an attached loggia porch that has its own fireplace with views of a swimming pool.

In designing this cottage, I wanted the feeling to be light and bright, yet unfussy and collected over time. The color palette is taken from the outdoors with more neutrals than serious color. All the materials, from the limestone stone floors to the cotton and linen fabrics are meant to punctuate the casual feeling.”

 

What are you favorite things about this space?

“I love the simplicity… and that nothing is too precious. The slipcovered utilitarian sofa with the 18th century wooden horse behind. These sorts of juxtapositions in design are what I love. A litmus test for me when designing a space is asking …could I live here?…and the answer is a resounding yes.  I could move in here tomorrow and be perfectly content.”

 

How is it used?

“This was intended for visiting parents, guests . . . and on occasion a busy mom that may take refuge from an extremely active life. The cottage is contained with its own entrance, bathroom, kitchenette and television. Therefore guests intentionally are not beholden to their hosts for the small things. What’s the expression . . . ‘Fish and houseguests may go bad after three days’ . . . Whereas,  in this instance, this guest cottage affords that visitors may stay long after their potential expiration date.”

What were your biggest challenges on this project?

“The biggest challenge of this project was to create the illusion that the cottage is actually larger than it is. So economy was everything. As an example of this, the headboard was made to fit into the notched wall and climbs to its height at over eight feet. The eye is actually drawn up to the open ceiling and thus the perception of more space.”

What were your other considerations when designing the bedroom area?

“I wanted to create a sleeping area that was inviting so that guests might feel they were in the better version of their own bedroom. To do this we used a hand-blocked print for the headboard fabric then amplified the tufting so that it was extra deep and soft. You can’t quite see this, though on the floor there is a antique Moroccan rug that is extra shaggy so that when getting in and out of the bed one steps onto something extra soft.”

How did you layer and style the bed?

“I love contrasts and so I wanted to place the newness of crisp white bed linens (at 700 thread count) against the antique ikat at the foot of the bed and top it with a vintage Balinese printed center pillow.”

The outdoor space is fantastic. How did you go about designing it?

“For me this outdoor space is the definition of California living — connecting the outdoors to the indoors and seamlessly being able to live and enjoy both. My intention here was to make everything in the outdoor space flow into the indoor areas. I also wanted all the outdoor furniture to disappear and feel a part of the landscape. It is more about the lack of color out here with textures and form than anything. (We do bring in the unexpected striped floor pillows as an accent that is repeated with the rug in the bathroom mat.)

From a utilitarian perspective we had to consider the elements so all the furniture except the collapsible stool lives outdoors. (The stool however travels indoors when needed.) And all the fabrics are solution died so they can withstand sun.”

 

What artists are featured in the guest house?

“The abstract painting on the back wall is by Sherie Franssen, a California artist. The black and white is by Doug Glovaski and the small oil painting at the kitchen area is by Terry St. John.”

What advice do you have for readers who want to design or redecorate a guest room or guesthouse?

“Number one rule; do not over decorate! Guest rooms are about creating the space for your guests to relax. When there is too much stuff or the room is overly ‘done,” the room can feel imposing and therefore loses its ease.

A goal when decorating a room for others is to make it functional first then add art and objects to make it more interesting and personal. (Though remember, no family photos.) When I say personal I do not mean in the literal sense. Good spaces intended for guests leave ‘room’ for the guest to feel as though it is their home even though it very well might be your home.”
Source: Photos by David Duncan Livingston

Thanksgiving Centerpieces Inspired by Nature

Entertaining, Holiday and tagged , , , , , , | | | 1 Reply

For a tablescape that’s custom-built for Thanksgiving, we recommend heading outside. Check out three of our top ideas for creating unusual centerpieces this year.

Gather acorns to line the base of a hurricane, and then carefully nestle a candle around your nature finds. (Use one of our Flameless Wax Candles to avoid a fire hazard.) Stack crisp apples in a vertically oriented vase or hurricane, or try miniature pumpkins or gourds. Colorful fall foliage is also the perfect addition to a bouquet of flowers. Look for florals that complement the color of your leaves: amaranth for maroon leaves, or light-colored ranunculus for yellow leaves.

 

Still have some pumpkins around your home? Hollow them out and use them as an alternative vase. We used geraniums here. For a very autumnal centerpiece, choose scented geraniums such as cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger. (Yes! These types of geraniums  do exist. Find them at your neighborhood greenouse.) Place a small jar or highball glass inside the pumpkin for cut stems. As an alternative, place small pots of geraniums in the pumpkins if you want to plant the flowers after your gathering. Disguise the top of the container with moss.

If persimmons are local to your area, we also recommend layering a tall vase with persimmon branches that are laden with fruit. They create an unexpected sculptural element to a bouquet. These fruits could easily pair with flowers, though the addition of autumn leaves and green figs to this arrangement is certainly inspired.

POCKET WATCH CLOCK – Official Rules

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 POCKET WATCH CLOCK GIVEAWAY – Official Rules

1.              NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2.              SPONSOR:  The sponsor of the Sweepstakes is Williams-Sonoma, Inc., through its brand, Pottery Barn (“Sponsor”), 3250 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109.

3.              PROMOTION PERIOD:  The Sweepstakes begins at 08:00:00 am PST on Nov. 2, 2013 and ends at 11:59 pm PST on Nov. 5, 2013 (“End Date”).

4.              ELIGIBILITY:  The Sweepstakes is open only to residents of the 50 United States of America or the District of Columbia (excluding Rhode Island) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older as of their time of entry.  Employees of Sponsor, its prize providers and licensors, and each of the foregoing entities’ affiliates, authorized designees and other related entities, and any other individual or entity associated with the development, judging or administration of the Sweepstakes (collectively, the “Sweepstakes Entities”), as well as members of such employees’ immediate families (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in the Sweepstakes.

5.              HOW TO ENTER:  To enter the Sweepstakes, access the Pottery Barn Blog, Inside & Out at http://blog.potterybarn.com/ before the End Data and follow all instructions to fully and accurately complete the entry form and be entered in the Sweepstakes. Limit one (1) entry per person and per e-mail address.

Entries must be received before the End Date.  Sponsor is not responsible for late, incomplete, void, corrupted, garbled, misdirected, or otherwise unintelligible Entries and for any problems, bugs or malfunctions Entrants may encounter when submitting their entry. Incomplete, garbled, corrupted or otherwise illegible entries are void and will not be accepted. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify false entries or entries suspected of being false and to disqualify any Entrant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweeps or violating these Official Rules. Sponsor is the official time keeper for the Sweepstakes.  All entry information and materials become the property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.  Except as otherwise contemplated in these Official Rules, and to the extent entrants may otherwise elect at the time of entry, personal information collected in connection with the Sweepstakes will be used in accordance with the online privacy policy available at www.potterybarn.com.

6.              PRIZES:  Five (5) Grand Prizes, each consisting of one (1) Small Pocket Watch Clock. Prizes will be delivered only to an address in the United States or Canada.  No cash alternative or substitution of prizes will be allowed, except Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute prizes of comparable value, in whole or in part, for any reason.  THE WINNER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REPORTING AND PAYING ANY AND ALL INCOME, SALES OR EXCISE TAXES THAT MAY APPLY TO ACCEPTING PRIZES; SPONSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR AND WILL NOT PAY ANY SUCH TAXES.

7.              ODDS:  Many will enter,only ten (10) will win.  Actual odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

8.              WINNER SELECTION:  The winner will be determined by random selection conducted by Sponsor from among all eligible entries on or around Nov. 9, 2013.  All results of the selection are final and binding, subject to these Official Rules.  In the event of a dispute as to the identity of a winner, the winner will be deemed to be the person in whose name the e-mail account governing the e-mail address was opened. In the event a winning entry is discovered to be invalid for any reason whatsoever or the person who submitted the winning entry fails to comply with these Official Rules prior to delivery of the prize, the prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner.  No more than the advertised number of prizes will be awarded.

9.              NOTICE TO WINNER:  Attempts to notify potential winner will be made using the e-mail address or telephone number provided at entry.  Sponsor is not responsible for e-mail, telephone or other communication problems of any kind.  If, despite reasonable efforts, a potential winner does not respond within fifteen (15) days of the first notification attempt (or such shorter time as exigencies may require), or if the prize or prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to such potential winner, such potential winner will forfeit his or her prize and an alternate winner may be selected.

10.            VERIFICATION OF WINNERS:  Potential winner may be required to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability Release, and (where imposing such condition is legal) a Publicity Release (collectively, “Prize Claim Documents”).  If a potential winner is less than the age of majority in his or her jurisdiction of primary residence, a “minor,” at Sponsor’s option, the applicable prize either will be awarded in the name of the parent or legal guardian of winner, or the parent or legal guardian of winner will be required to ratify and sign the Prize Claim Documents.  If any potential winner (or such winner’s parent or legal guardian) fails or refuses to sign and return all Prize Claim Documents within fifteen (15) days of prize notification (or such shorter time as exigencies may require), the winner may be disqualified and an alternate winner may be selected.

11.            SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES SHALL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ENTRIES THAT ARE ENTERED BY OTHER THAN HUMAN MEANS (SUCH AS BY AN AUTOMATED COMPUTER PROGRAM OR ANY NON-HUMAN MECHANISM, ENTITY, OR DEVICE), IN EXCESS OF THE STATED LIMIT, OR FOR ENTRIES THAT ARE LATE, FORGED, DESTROYED, LOST, MISPLACED, STOLEN, MISDIRECTED, TAMPERED WITH, INCOMPLETE, DELETED, DAMAGED, GARBLED, OR OTHERWISE NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THESE OFFICIAL RULES, AND ALL SUCH ENTRIES WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.  BY ENTERING THE SWEEPSTAKES, EACH ENTRANT AGREES:  (A) TO BE BOUND BY THESE OFFICIAL RULES AND BY ALL APPLICABLE LAWS AND ALL DECISIONS OF SPONSOR WHICH SHALL BE BINDING AND FINAL; (B) TO WAIVE ANY RIGHTS TO CLAIM AMBIGUITY WITH RESPECT TO THE OFFICIAL RULES; (C) TO WAIVE ALL OF HIS OR HER RIGHTS TO BRING ANY CLAIM, ACTION, OR PROCEEDING AGAINST ANY OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES; AND (D) TO RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS EACH OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES AND EACH OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES, FROM ANY LIABILITY (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, LIABILITY FOR ANY PROPERTY LOSS, DAMAGE, PERSONAL INJURY, BODILY INJURY, DEATH, LOSS, EXPENSE, ACCIDENT, DELAY, INCONVENIENCE OR IRREGULARITY), COSTS AND EXPENSES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, REASONABLE OUTSIDE ATTORNEY’S FEES) THAT MAY ARISE IN CONNECTION WITH:  (I) THE ENTRANT’S PARTICIPATION OR INABILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SWEEPSTAKES, (II) TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS IN THE OFFICIAL RULES OR ANY SWEEPSTAKES PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS, (III) ACCEPTANCE OR POSSESSION, DEFECTS IN, USE, MISUSE OR INABILITY TO USE ANY PRIZE (OR ANY COMPONENT THEREOF), (IV) ANY CHANGE BY ANY COMPANY OR ANY OTHER PERSON PROVIDING ANY OF THE COMPONENTS OF A PRIZE DUE TO REASONS BEYOND ANY OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES’ CONTROL OR AS OTHERWISE PERMITTED HEREUNDER, (V) ANY INTERRUPTIONS IN OR POSTPONEMENT, CANCELLATION, OR MODIFICATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES, (VI) HUMAN ERROR, (VII) INCORRECT OR INACCURATE TRANSCRIPTION, RECEIPT OR TRANSMISSION OF ANY PART OF THE ENTRY (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE ENTRY INFORMATION OR ANY PARTS THEREOF), (VIII) ANY TECHNICAL MALFUNCTIONS OR UNAVAILABILITY OF ANY WEBSITE OR ANY TELEPHONE NETWORK, COMPUTER ONLINE SYSTEM, COMPUTER DATING MECHANISM, COMPUTER EQUIPMENT, SOFTWARE, OR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER UTILIZED BY ANY OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES OR BY AN ENTRANT, (IX) INTERRUPTION OR INABILITY TO ACCESS THE SWEEPSTAKES, ANY SWEEPSTAKES-RELATED WEB PAGES, OR ANY ONLINE SERVICE VIA THE INTERNET DUE TO HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE COMPATIBILITY PROBLEMS, (X) ANY DAMAGE TO ENTRANT’S (OR ANY THIRD PERSON’S) COMPUTER OR ITS CONTENTS RELATED TO OR RESULTING FROM ANY PART OF THE SWEEPSTAKES, (XI) ANY LOST OR DELAYED DATA TRANSMISSIONS, OMISSIONS, INTERRUPTIONS, DEFECTS, OR ANY OTHER ERRORS OR MALFUNCTIONS, (XII) ANY WRONGFUL, NEGLIGENT, OR UNAUTHORIZED ACT OR OMISSIONS ON THE PART OF ANY OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES, OR ANY OF THEIR AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES, OR (XIII) ANY OTHER CAUSE, CONDITION OR EVENT WHATSOEVER BEYOND THE CONTROL OF ANY ONE OR MORE OF THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES.  EACH WINNER HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE SWEEPSTAKES ENTITIES HAVE NEITHER MADE NOR ARE IN ANY MANNER RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY WARRANTY, REPRESENTATION OR GUARANTEE, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN FACT OR IN LAW, RELATIVE TO ANY PRIZE OR COMPONENT THEREOF, INCLUDING ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES PROVIDED BY ANY OF THE PRIZE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SWEEPSTAKES.

12.            Acceptance of a prize constitutes winner’s permission for Sponsor to use winner’s name, photograph, likeness, voice, biographical information, statements and address (city and state) for advertising or publicity purposes, worldwide, and in all forms of media now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity, without further compensation.

13.            Sponsor reserves the right to suspend or cancel the Sweepstakes or modify these Official Rules as necessary for any reason or as required by applicable law.  Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify from the Sweepstakes, and ban from any future promotions, any person it believes to have intentionally violated these Official Rules, or to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or to have tampered with any element of the Sweepstakes without notice to the disqualified or banned person.

14.            All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules or the rights and obligations of entrants and Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of laws rules or provisions.  Any legal claims arising out of or relating to the Sweepstakes or these Official Rules must be brought in the federal or state courts located in Los Angeles, California.

15.            To obtain any legally-required winners list (after the conclusion of the Sweepstakes) or a copy of these Official Rules, send a self-addressed envelope with the proper postage affixed to:  Pottery Barn, 3250 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109.  Please specify “winners list” or “Official Rules” and the name of the Sweepstakes in your request.

Three Architectural Plants to Make your Room Zing

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In The Unexpected Houseplant (Timber Press, 2012), longtime houseplant aficionado Tovah Martin shares her secrets for creating style with houseplants.

The book offers a fascinating glimpse at a home accent that many take for granted. Tovah’s writing and advice is wonderfully complemented by the gorgeous photos, taken by Kindra Clineff. Today, Tovah and Kindra share inspiration and photos from the book in the form of three truly special houseplants. Take it away, Tovah!

Want to live with green? Anyone can invite plants into their home to live happily ever after, no special thumb color required. Forging a lasting relationship with living plants is easier than you dreamed, and autumn is the time to do it. As the garden slips into slumber, your windows can go to work. But skip the dusty images of your grandmother’s houseplants. Here are some ideas for a trio of tony and trim plants that will do wonders for your home, no sweat.


Calla Lily 

Even before swinging into the serious business of producing outlandish funnel-shaped blossoms, a calla lily (Zantedeschia) looks smart. With arrow-shaped leaves on long, arching stems, the plant makes a strong statement from across the room. Add those jack-in-the-pulpit-like flowers to the picture, and who can resist? You’ll come across calla lilies everywhere — try the supermarket! Pair your newfound companion with a handsome terra cotta pot, and you’ve got the sort of look that you can live with. And finding the right spot shouldn’t be a challenge—the indirect sun of an east or west window is ideal. But be poised with the watering pot, because this plant is thirsty. Calla lilies are toxic, so keep them out of reach from children and pets.


Staghorn Fern

The polar opposite from boring, a staghorn fern (Platycerium might look like the sci-fi spin on a houseplant, but it is surprisingly easy to host in your home. Imagine antler-like arms jutting from a trophy-esque back plaque and you’ve got the picture. Because they’re adapted to growing on trees in their native jungles, staghorn ferns need no soil. You can tie the plant (try fishing line) to a slab of wood or let it engulf a wicker basket (that’s what happened with the fern shown here) and then let it do its thing. Since staghorns are ferns, they thrive in low light. Take the whole shebang outdoors, put it in the tub, or bring it to the sink for weekly drinks. And then sit back and admire its wacky ways.


Kalanchoe

Outrageous, but deceptively simple to grow, kalanchoes of all types make super housemates. And Kalanchoe thyrsiflora ‘Desert Rose’ is queen of the oddballs. Like a massive rosette of succulent leaves, the whole plant looks like a giant blossom unfolding. Add the perk of matte, steel gray leaves blushing to red at the tips and you’ve got a plant with panache. This kalanchoe speaks for itself. But fit it with a smart container for the ultimate package. Kalanchoes are succulents, so they should be watered sparingly—perfect for anyone who is otherwise engaged. Give the plant as much sunlight as you can muster to keep it svelte. Amazingly, kalanchoes are total no-brainers. Living with nature was never easier — or more fulfilling.

Source: All photographs copyright Kindra Clineff 

7 Ways to Celebrate Dia de los Muertos

Entertaining, Holiday, Parties | | | 4 Replies

 

Celebrated on November 1st of each year, Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is a holiday that focuses on remembering friends and family members who have passed on. Though most widely celebrated in Mexico, it’s observed throughout the world, and many cities have dedicated festivities and parades for Dia de los Muertos. Some of the traditions surrounding the holiday include the use of marigolds, sugar skulls, and favorite foods and drinks to decorate the altars of departed loved ones. Here, we offer a quick primer on ways to celebrate the holiday, from commemorative posters to papel picado.

 

  1. Hang papel picado (paper banners) from doorways or string them across porches. Large Multicolor Metallic Picado Banner (8.95)
  2. Charmingly macabre, these Mexican sugar skull cookies will satisfy your sweet tooth. Day of the Dead Cookies ($45 for a dozen)
  3. Dia de los Gigantes. We’re celebrating our home team as well as the Day of the Dead with this sugar skull-inspired Giants imagery from artist John Hershey. Order your own t-shirt today! Dia de los Gigantes t-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers and more.
  4. Artist Kira Moth created this Dia de los Muertos poster for the 2009 San Francisco holiday. She has another gorgeous design up for this year’s Marigold Project event. La Calavera Catrina Day of the Dead Poster ($15)
  5. Marigolds are the traditional flower used to decorate altars on this holiday, as their scent is rumored to attract souls back from whence they came. Try adding tightly bunched, oversized bouquets of marigolds to your dining room table. Find them at your local florist or plant marigold seeds — they’re very easy to grow. High Mowing Organic Marigold Seeds ($2.75 per package)
  6. We’re imagining this spooky candle surrounded by sprays of red and pink roses. Romantically gothic, yes? Skull on Book Candle ($29.50)
  7. Tired of decking out your home? Try some more personal decorating when you slip on an enameled bangle bedecked in skulls. Alexander McQueen Enameled Skull Bracelet ($250)

Source: Marigold photo via Flickr User Muffet