Monthly Archives: December 2012

Mystery Box Design Challenge: An Enchanting Holiday Tablescape

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This week, we’re taking a closer look at the five bloggers who are featured in our Mystery Box Challenge. We challenged five of our favorite entertaining bloggers to create holiday decor vignettes with ornaments from our Jewels for the Home collection in the second Mystery Box Design Challenge. You can vote for your favorite design here. Today, we’re featuring the designs created by Chris Nease at Celebrations At Home.

What’s your favorite type of holiday party to throw?

“I love hosting cocktail parties with heavy hors d’oeuvres and lots of bubbly!  Variety is the spice of life and having several bite sized appetizers to choose from satisfies the palate and makes it easier to mix and mingle with other guests.  Nothing is more festive than champagne {sparkling wine}.  It immediately says the holidays are here!”

What’s your favorite holiday drink to serve (or drink)?

“My favorite holiday cocktail is sparkling wine or champagne poured over a splash each of cranberry juice and Amaretto.  I like to set up a small bar with the cranberry juice and Amaretto poured into pretty decanters, and a label tied on to identify them.  Place the bubbly in an ice bucket, and frame a small sign with instructions so guests can make their own festive cocktail.”

What’s one effortless way to add holiday décor to a party?

“(As in the challenge,) simple ball ornaments can be placed in any corner that needs a lift. Place them in bowls, apothecary jars, trays, or clear vases to add color and sparkle.  Scatter a few mini sizes on serving trays, or tuck them into a floral arrangement.  The possibilities are endless!”

Vote for your favorite design on Pottery Barn’s Facebook page now!

Source: Photos courtesy Celebrations At Home

Kelly’s Irresistible and Vintage Holiday Mantel

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Today we’re happy to share photos from Kelly Elko of Eclectically Vintage. Take a look at her lovely holiday mantel decor, and read about her tips and ideas for holiday decorating.


How did you decorate on the mantel? 

“I tried keeping things light and simple this year.  Lots of white and silver mixed with a few rustic touches like the burlap on the twig wreath and wrapped around my snowy mason jar candles (which I scatter throughout my whole house).”

The typewriter and song lyrics are a great touch. What inspired this idea?

“I have two vintage typewriters and this one has has been sitting on the bottom shelf of my coffee table and when I started moving things around, the idea just came to me.  Don’t you love when that happens?!  It’s my favorite detail this year.”


Are these knitting molds for the stockings? They’re so unusual. What’s their history?

“They are antique stocking stretchers that I found at Brimfield this summer.  I may have done a little dance of joy when I found them!”

 

What are your special tips or tricks for decorating the mantel for the holiday?

“I’ve done it all over the years, from real garland to sugared fruits to an old crib bedspring on the mantel!  One common denominator has been symmetry.  It creates a timeless look (no matter how many Frostys or Santas you have gathered on the mantel)!”

How did you hit upon the color scheme for this area?

“I love a bit of bling! The mercury glass trees add that while giving a vintage feel.  The branches in the vases were in my Halloween mantel (strung with cobwebs) and my fall mantel but for Christmas, I simply gave them a spritz of white spray paint.  They remind me of birch trees.”

 

Take Kelly’s entire holiday house tour (and find out the history of this charming antique car) here!

Source: Photos courtesy Eclectically Vintage

Mystery Box Design Challenge: Boughs, Baubles and Rustic-Chic Holiday Moments

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This week, we’re taking a closer look at the five bloggers who are featured in our Mystery Box Challenge. We challenged five of our favorite entertaining bloggers to create holiday decor vignettes with ornaments from our Jewels for the Home collection in the second Mystery Box Design Challenge. You can vote for your favorite design here. Today, we’re featuring the designs created by Cyd Converse at The Sweetest Occasion.

What’s your favorite type of holiday party to throw?

“I love cookie and bubbly parties! Everyone brings their favorite holiday cookies to share and I put together a bubbly bar with tasty liqueur syrups and fruit (like cranberries and pomegranate seeds). Crank the holiday music, dim the lights and gather ’round the tree and you’ve got a really easy yet festive celebration with friends.”

  1. What’s your favorite holiday drink to serve (or drink)?

“In my little hometown nestled along Lake Ontario in upstate New York, there is nothing as classic as a Tom and Jerry during the holidays. To me they’re the best way to welcome the holidays! Served up in a vintage Tom and Jerry bowl, they’re so charming and nostalgic.”

 

What’s one effortless way to add holiday décor to a party?

“Twinkle lights and candles are so inexpensive and instantly add loads of ambiance to a space. I also love touches of pine, like a fresh pine garland wrapped around the banister or lining the center of the table. When in doubt, sparkle sparkle sparkle is the way to go!”

 

Vote for your favorite design on Pottery Barn’s Facebook page now!
Source: Photos courtesy The Sweetest Occasion

The Mystery Box Challenge: A Festive Holiday Bar

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

This week, we’re taking a closer look at the five bloggers who are featured in our Mystery Box Challenge. We challenged five of our favorite entertaining bloggers to create holiday decor vignettes with ornaments from our Jewels for the Home collection in the second Mystery Box Design Challenge. You can You can vote for your favorite design here. Today, we’re featuring the designs created by Kelly Lyden from The Party Dress Blog.

What’s your favorite type of holiday party to throw?

“I love throwing an open house cocktail party with stations set up for the bar, appetizers and desserts.  People can come and go as they please (which is convenient during the holiday season), and I can remain fairly hands off and able to socialize with my guests.”  

What’s your favorite holiday drink to serve (or drink)?

“I love a good champagne cocktail.  Setting up a simple mimosa bar, including champagne, carafes of fruit juices/nectars (my favorites include pomegranate, peach and cranberry for the holidays) and fruit  accompaniments.”

What’s one effortless way to add holiday décor to a party?

“Incorporate items in your home into your party tables, so it not only reflects your personal style, but also meshes seamlessly with your home. Your glass hurricanes from the mantel can be repurposed as decor if you fill them up with gorgeous ornaments. Your grandmother’s cake stand can be used as a centerpiece holding fresh greenery and candles.”

Vote for your favorite design on Pottery Barn’s Facebook page now!

Source: Photos courtesy The Party Dress Blog

Family, Friends and Festivities: Tony’s Top Tips For Making the Most of the Holidays

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Last week, we were thrilled to host a Facebook chat with Pottery Barn’s entertaining expert, Tony. (Psst, he also designed this gorgeous cocktail shaker.) Tony provided such an incredible wealth of holiday entertaining tips that we had to pass them along to blog readers who might not have been able to join the chat. Keep reading for Tony’s Top Tips!

 

  • Remember what really matters. “I always try to keep the three Fs in mind: Family, Friends and Festivities.”
  • Create formality in a small and casual home. “You can make a small space feel really formal by using elevated candelabras and candles and your choice of favorite linens. Try our caterer’s tablecloth. It comes at a great price and you won’t worry about it if you have clumsy guests.”
  • Make your Christmas tree do double duty. “If you’ve already bought your Christmas tree, cut off the branches from the base and use them on a table runner intermixed with festive pillar candles.”
  • Update a classic red-and-green color scheme. “For a great option and to modernize it, choose either red or green and then mix that one color with neutrals. Burlaps and ivories will mix well with either.”
  • Decorate with larger centerpieces at a holiday dinner. “Larger centerpieces add a dramatic element to the table, but once dinner is served it can be a good idea to move them to a console or mantel to free up room for the main course.”
  • Throw a holiday party with a small budget: “Limit the drinks to just wine and champagne. There are plenty of well-priced wines and champagnes under $10 that you can find on the lower shelf of your supermarket. You might be surprised by what you find! If you go this route, you can spend more time mingling with your guests and less time mixing drinks. It will feel just as festive, and much more effortless.”
  • Successfully mix real florals and “fauxtanicals”: “Mix it up! The fauxtanicals will fill out your arrangements and you can have them at the ready for next year’s entertaining season. Check out some of our favorites here.”
  • Set a well-decorated kids’ holiday table: “There are so many crafty options that you can try for tables that have to accomodate kids. Start with your favored color palette for your table, then mix in rustic elements such as stars made from cinnamon sticks and colored yarn or twigs and ribbon. For more ideas, check out this Pinterest board.”
  • Creatively set the table without napkin rings: “Try this: Wrap your flatware in a cloth napkin. Then take a five-inch sprig of branch from your Christmas tree and use twine to wrap it multiple times around the napkin and flatware. Simple, seasonal elegance that will add rustic charm to your table. No napkin rings required!”
  • Avoid a major party foul: “Do not, I repeat do not run out of ice at your party! Fill a second cooler with ice beforehand and store it outside. It’s always a downer when you have to send someone on an ice run in the middle of a party.”
  • Whip up fun holiday finger foods: “For finger foods, we love decorated Christmas cookies for a sweet finger food option. (Check out more cookie recipes in Pottery Barn’s Party Planner:.) For something savory, bruschetta with basil and tomato features classic Christmas colors.”
  • Pop in one essential DVD: “If, like me, you don’t have a fireplace, bust out that yule log DVD. I know I’m going to! Even in warm climates the yule log gives you a cozy holiday feeling and adds a little levity to every celebration.”
  • One Pottery Barn product Tony can’t live without: “I’m here to sing the praises of flameless candles. No longer will you have a singed centerpiece or false alarm from your smoke detector. I’m obsessed with them. I have them on a timer and my living room has amazing ambience every day when the sun goes down. For holiday decor, you can mix them with botanicals and vase filler inside lanterns and never worry that they’ll cause an accident.”
  • An easy way to create a great party vibe. “I go on Pandora and choose Frank Sinatra all night long. If that’s not your style, we have some great playlists, too.”
  • How to be a great party guest: “My family’s mantra is, Always bring something to the table. We have so many great hostess gifts this year — it’s easy to bring something fabulous for any style of home. Here are some great ideas to start.
  • What to bring your hostess: “A no-fail hostess gift is a great candle. Try giving a gift that gives back, like our selection of St. Jude’s gifts.”

An Entirely New Take on Classic Garland

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Looking for something different for your holiday garland this year? We’re favoring this absolutely charming mini bunting from Jennifer Rizzo, which would be a fun update to your standard tinsel or cranberry and popcorn garland.

We think it would look lovely on a tree or circling a wreath. Try it on a mantel, too, especially if you’re part of a musical household. You could customize the mini bunting by using paper that reflects you and your family’s interests. Choose floral paper if you’re a passionate home gardener, or an avian design if you’re a bird watcher.

Want to try it? Get the full DIY here.

Source: Photos by Jennifer Rizzo

Mystery Box Design Challenge: A Dazzling Holiday Buffet

Entertaining, Holiday and tagged | | | 3 Replies

This week, we’re taking a closer look at the five bloggers who are featured in our Mystery Box Challenge. We challenged five of our favorite entertaining bloggers to create holiday decor vignettes with ornaments from our Jewels for the Home collection in the second Mystery Box Design Challenge. You can vote for your favorite design here. Today, we’re featuring the designs created by Anne Powers at A. Party Style.  

What’s your favorite type of holiday party to throw?

“My favorite holiday party to throw is a casual evening event with drinks and bite-sized appetizers and/or desserts. There is less stress and party planning preparations if you take providing an entire meal out of the equation.”

What’s your favorite holiday drink to serve (or drink)?

“My favorite holiday drink to serve, and drink, is egg nog. Not many drinks allow everyone on the guest list to enjoy. You can make two batches – a spiked version for adults and a non-alcoholic version for the children. ”

What’s one effortless way to add holiday décor to a party?

“Add holiday decor effortlessly to your party by embellishing your food platters and/or tablescape with a few small festive evergreen branches from your backyard and light lots of candles to add sparkle and a warm glow to your event space.”

Vote for your favorite design on Pottery Barn’s Facebook page now!

Source: Photos courtesy A. Party Style