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3 Chic Plant Projects to Make + Give

The holidays are coming around the corner, and I am on a mission to make them as stress-free and simply beautiful this year as possible. One of my favorite ways to keep the holidays feeling less hectic and more harmonious is by choosing to forgo the big shopping malls in favor of thoughtfully handmade gifts for my loved ones, and simple decorations inspired by nature. These 3 beautiful plant projects are at the very top of my to-make-and-give list this year.

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Gardenista

1. Potted amaryllis bulb. My sweet mother in-law plants about a dozen amaryllis bulbs in little pots each winter, so she always has something on hand to bring as a hostess gift to parties. This is so simple, and makes a wonderfully heartfelt gift for literally anyone on your list. When you’re ready to gift one, tuck a few sprigs of greenery inside the pot, wrap it in ribbon or garden twine, and affix a simple gift tag.

2. Simple fresh cedar branch wreath. I love that this project uses an embroidery hoop (widely available at craft stores) as a base instead of the more expected wreath form. And the side-swooped greenery and ultra-fine wire of lights makes this wreath look fresh and modern. Hang one on your wall above the bar cart, suspend in front of a mirror, or, of course, place one on the door.

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3. DIY jasmine kokedama. Kokedama is a planting technique that hails from Japan, and is simply a plant with the root ball covered in moss…which allows you to forgo a pot! This DIY kokedama project is gorgeous, and thanks to the fragrant jasmine, smells delicious, to boot.

Bonus idea: botanical art. And while I wouldn’t say that a green thumb is required for any of these projects (really!), if gardening is not your cup of tea, why not pick up a few botanical art prints, instead? Botanical art can please even those with fussy tastes, and it brings a welcome dose of greenery to the winter home.

botanical art
Art shopping guide: (clockwise from top left) Audubon’s Vireo; Woodland Ferns VI; Woodland Ferns VII; Crimson Botanical IV.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Inviting Fireplaces

Ourico Arquitetura

With winter only a few weeks away for most us, now is the time to focus on the fireplace. (If you have one in your home it’s also the time to have it serviced for the year to make sure you won’t burn the place down.) There’s something exceptionally cozy and relaxing about lighting a fire, layering on a blanket or two, and letting the rest of life fade into the background even if it’s just for a bit.

Melissa Oholendt

I’m endlessly fascinated by the variety of fireplaces there are these days, and I appreciate every last one. I love the way this traditional Craftsman style mixes with the pieces around it. The similarity in wood tones really ties everything together so nicely and the metal coffee table is a punch of unexpected shine.

Betty Wasserman Art & Interiors

You can always build a room around a fireplace, but in this case I think you could probably build the entire house! This monolithic beauty is the focal point of the whole home it seems. I love how there’s an attached space to store wood nearby, because when it’s cold out who wants to run out to the back porch to get more?

Adrienne Breaux

Who said a standard brick fireplace needs to be boring? NO ONE. Add a coat of paint for a bright pop of unexpected color and keep mantel decor to a minimum for the best impact. All of the natural materials in this particular room – leather, wood, metal – make the fireplace feel like art.

Mikkel Adsbol

This is the epitome of a rustic fireplace in my opinion, clean with a slab mantel and hearth. Sigh. That plush, shaggy rug just makes the space all the more welcoming. Who needs furniture when you have a cozy floor rug and a pile of pillows?

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For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!
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Marble Mania: Marble in the Home

Marble as a home decor trend has only continued to gain steam in recent years, and it’s now showing up on everything from floors and walls to smaller accessories. The perfect blend of classic and current, you really can’t beat including a bit of marble (or marble pattern!) in your home.

Some innovative designers are taking marbling to new levels – like the technicolor-marbled wood flooring shown above. Wow, right!?

Marble
Images (clockwise from top left): The Blondilocks, Only Deco Love, Domino, Martha Stewart via Elements of Style.

Who doesn’t love the look of classic Carrara marble in the kitchen? Whether you use a small slab as a cheese board (or prop for your foodie photos) or go full-on marble with a waterfall counter, marble is a look that will never be out of fashion.

But what if wall-to-wall marble is a little…out of the budget? Enter the new marble contact papers and wall coverings! Use these realistic (and really affordable) finds to cover a small side table, backsplash, or an entire accent wall.

Marble Mania
And of course, an easy and high-impact way to add a splash of marble style to your home is with a marbled rug – go for colorful marbling for a playful look, or choose elegant charcoal if you’re going for cool, modern, and chic.

For more inspiration from Laura, follow along with her at LauraGaskill.com!

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Creative At Home Bars

via 101 Recycled Crafts

A proper bar is something every home should have. They look lovely and it’s so nice to be able to offer guests – or yourself – a little tipple upon walking in the front door. Bar carts have been hot for a few years now, but what if you want something a little more outside the box? Something to show of your style, your creativity, and the collection of bottles you’ve been working on building for awhile perhaps. Well, here are five ideas to get your mind turning and churning.

Give your desk a more exciting life by moving it into the living room, dining room, or entry and turning it into a place to keep your spirits. If it’s equipped with drawers you can store smaller glassware and accessories like stirrers, jiggers, etc right there as well. If not that’s okay too, add a few shelves for extra space or only keep the pretty bottles out and stash everything else in the kitchen.

My Domaine

Maybe you own or rent an older home, one with a built-in. It’s not always an obvious thought to use it as a bar, but why not? At the least there’s a sturdy surface to mix drinks and a few shelves to sit bottles or glasses upon which is really all you need. Set it off by wallpapering or painting the back wall a contrasting color and adding some fresh hardware to any drawers or cupboards.

Spring 2015

A cabinet with closed doors and no sign of what’s behind them has its own kind of appeal. A stand alone piece that can hold everything from bottles of wine properly along with everything else takes your bar to the next level. The piece above is made for just that purpose, but it would be just as easy to retrofit any standard piece with a little time and effort.

Rue Magazine

Or maybe you’re the thrifty type, preferring to dig and hunt until just the right piece speaks to you. If industrial is your style of choice a metal piece might do the trick, especially with some doors that could be locked from little curious fingers. Though the wheels on this particular piece might be reminiscent of a bar cart, this is surely its big brother.

Apt Therapy

Working with what you already have is usually my go-to. Not only for the sake of saving money, but also because it feels darn good to come up with a new purpose for something. Maybe it’s your television cabinet or an old bench. What about your mantle or a large side table? The options really are endless.

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For more inspiration from Kelly, follow along with her at Design Crush!

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