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Stripes Forever: 4th of July Decor

With the Fourth of July falling mid-week this year, let’s take this chance to hit pause on our busy lives and savor the little things that make life sweet — like iced coffee on the porch, fireworks on a summer night, and the always-stylish power of stripes.

Design Sponge
Erin Napier for Design Sponge

With a centennial American flag framed on the wall and an antique armchair reupholstered using striped French grain sacks, this home really knows how to put stripes to work!

Aerin Lauder
Aerin Lauder via Habitually Chic

Barker and Stonehouse
Barker and Stonehouse

Love Breton striped tops? Bring the classic blue-and-white stripes into your home with chic striped wallpaper and a geometric striped rug in the bedroom. With this many stripes going on in one room it helps to keep everything else soft and neutral, so go with white or natural wood floors, a linen-upholstered bed, and crisp white sheets.

Domino2

Domino
Domino

If you want a bolder look, go for wide stripes. In the space shown here, a shade sail with wide black and white stripes is suspended from the ceiling for a dramatic look.

Domino3
Domino

Iittalla via Apartment Therapy
Iittala via Apartment Therapy

For a look as comfy as slipping on your favorite tee shirt, pop striped pillowcases over plush pillow inserts and line them up on your couch.

Whether you like your stripes wide or narrow, classic blue, chic black, or neutral, one super easy way to bring stripes home is with a fresh new rug. Striped rugs go with any style, and are just as easy to work with as a solid, but so much more interesting — check out four of my current favorites below. Happy Fourth, and happy decorating!

Striped Rugs
Rug Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Capel Nags Head Vertical Stripe Rectangles in blue; Liora Manne Sorrento Rugby Stripe in black; Liora Manne Sorrento Pinstripe in navy; Safavieh Cape Cod in natural and black.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Creative Entertaining Ideas for Mother’s Day

Whether you’re planning to spend Mother’s Day with your own mom, or are looking to honor another important mother in your life, spending quality time together is probably at the top of her wish list. Make her day extra-special with a small gathering at home, plus a themed gift to go with it. Will it be a backyard picnic, literary lunch, or champagne brunch? Get the party how-to’s and gift ideas for Mother’s Day straight ahead.

Sugar and Charm
Sugar and Charm

The backyard picnic is such a fun way to entertain — it’s simple, casual, and seems to put everyone in a good mood. Make your Mother’s Day picnic feel special by bringing some soft, comfortable items from home. Think fringed throws, striped outdoor rugs, and big cushions for leaning on. Keep the menu simple with baguette sandwiches, sparkling lemonade, and a few fresh veggie salads picked up from a local market. Plus something sweet for dessert, of course! And remember, if you don’t have a big backyard you can always meet at a nearby park.

Sugar and Charm
Sugar and Charm

Picnic-Themed Gift Ideas:

- Tasty treats and specialty ingredients from a local market

- Pretty tasseled blanket

- Wide-brim sun hat

- Garden-inspired jewelry or scarf

- Tickets to an outdoor theater or music event

- Digital projector for backyard movie nights

- Any of the above items, packed up in a picnic basket for mom to keep

weddingomania
Via Weddingomania

Does your mom love to read? Embrace her passion for all things literary with a book-themed party! Decorate the table with stacks of books with pretty covers, make bookmarks to use as the place cards, and serve up fare inspired by a favorite novel (Jane Austen tea party, anyone?). To make the party really special, coordinate ahead of time with the other guests to gift your mom a photo book including pictures from everyone involved.

persuasion_031
The Ardent Biblio

Gift Ideas:

- A pretty edition of one of mom’s all-time favorite books

- Gift certificate to a local, independent bookshop

- A cute new bookbag

- A new mug and delicious tea so she can sip while she reads

- Book-themed jewelry

- An art print with a quote from a favorite literary heroine

Sugar and Charm
Sugar and Charm

And finally, you can never go wrong with a classic Mother’s Day brunch. Hosting brunch at home is lovely because you can linger over the table as long as you like — and it doesn’t have to be a lot of effort. If you’d prefer not to cook ten different dishes, no problem! Pick up doughnuts and pastries (or bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon) from the best shop in town, pile up bowls with heaps of beautiful fresh fruit, and pop a bottle of champagne. Then spend some of the time you didn’t spend cooking to print out childhood photos of each guest, and use them as place cards. What mom wouldn’t love that?

Glitter Guide
The Glitter Guide

Brunch-Themed Gift Ideas:

- French press coffee set and a pound of really good coffee beans

- Passes for a sunrise yoga class that you can attend together

- A gorgeous new cookbook and recipe box

- Pretty tea towels and an apron

- French market basket and a date to walk to the farmer’s market together

- Bouquet of flowers in a lovely vase

- A bottle of bubbly

Mother’s Day Art Shopping Guide:

1.Timeless Endless Mother by Tara Moss;  2. Mother and Daughter by Cassandra Cushman; 3. Mother by Sherry DiPaolo Art; 4. Mother Nature’s Love by Sophia Rodionov; 5. You’re the Mom by American Flat;  6. Playing in the Water by Georgia Janisse.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Easy, Natural Holiday Decorating Ideas

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of decorating your home for the holidays, I’d like to encourage you to take a deep breath and relax. A trip to the grocery store or a trek in the great outdoors is all that’s needed to create lots of holiday cheer, all around the house. So pour yourself a hot cup of tea or spiced cider, and get ready to deck those halls.

http://emiliajane.pass.us/danielle
Photo: The Everygirl

First up, my favorite quick trick for creating a festive holiday mood: evergreen garlands and wreaths. You can find garlands and wreaths premade at many grocery stores, nurseries, and Christmas tree lots at this time of year. And while a wreath on the front door and a garland over the mantel are popular places to deck with greenery, consider branching out and draping a garland over a window, too. Hang a wreath from ribbon in front of the window to complete the look.

Simple Natural Christmas
Photos: Top row, The Everygirl; bottom left, Trendenser via Apartment Apothecary; bottom right, The Merrythought via Apartment Apothecary.

Next, consider where you can tuck smaller bits of greenery throughout the house. Try placing a few swags of greens around a bar cart, tuck a mini tree onto a tabletop, prop a small wreath on a bookshelf, or fill the bottom of a large glass hurricane with greenery, and top with a tiny strand of twinkling lights.

When you come up against a holiday decorating dilemma, try brainstorming ways of using natural elements to solve your problem before hitting the shops to spend (more!) money. No mantel to hang the stockings? Attach a branch foraged from outdoors to the wall using Command hooks, and hang your stockings from the branch. Short on holiday-themed gift wrap? Cut a simple tree or star shape from a potato, and stamp it on plain paper to create your own design. Need a gift embellishment? Tie on a sprig of greenery with twine for a charming finishing touch.

Simple Christmas 2
Photos: Lark & Linen

And remember, you can always tweak these ideas to fit your location. Those in the South can use magnolia garland and a wreath featuring natural cotton instead of evergreen! Get creative and use what you have.

Simple Christmas 3
Photo: The Waves We Make via Apartment Apothecary

I love to keep a bunch of potted bulbs on hand for easy hostess and last-minute gifts. Amaryllis, paperwhite, or hyacinth work well, and you can pot up a dozen or more bulbs in a matter of minutes. They look so beautiful lined up on a windowsill, you’ll want to be sure you have a few extras for yourself!

Wintry Rug Picks

Looking for a new rug to make all of your holiday gatherings extra-special? A soft, textured rug in a warm neutral hue (like the four shown above) will make your natural holiday decorations and twinkle lights really sing.

Rug shopping guide: All rugs from the Jaipur Rugs Fables Collection (clockwise from top left) Alicante; Malo; Greek in frost gray; and Mythical in ivory and gray.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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Father’s Day Gift Idea: Outdoor Makeover for Dad

From cheering on soccer games to being there with words of much-needed advice, Dads do so much. Think beyond the tie this year, and gift dad something he can really get excited about — a cool makeover for his outdoor space! Read on for 5 awesome backyard additions that work for any price point (and any dad).

Domino - hammock
Domino Magazine

Hang up a hammock. Just the sight of a hammock gently swaying in the breeze is relaxing. Give dad a hammock to call his own, stationed in a shady spot on the porch, or strung between two trees in the backyard. Be sure to include a small table nearby where he can set his drink, and at least one cushy pillow.

Domino - outdoor bar
Domino Magazine

Domino - outdoor bar 2
Whitney Leigh Morris via House Beautiful

Rig up an outdoor bar. What could be cooler than a backyard bar where he can hang out with friends? If you want to go all-out (and have the budget for it) you could hire a pro to install a backyard wet bar, complete with built-in fridge to keep his beer frosty cold. But even on a shoestring budget, you can still put together a cool setup like the ones shown here: start with a freestanding bar or table (check Craigslist listings for affordable options), and deck it out with his favorite drinks, and a cool new set of glassware. Bonus points for adding a record player!

Domino - bbq
Domino Magazine

Grill something. Whether you upgrade his entire grill setup, or just add some cool new accessories (like a grill basket and quality tongs), optimizing his outdoor kitchen is always a hit. Want to spoil him? Spring for a new gas grill, or a specialty item like a pizza oven. Then help break it in by bringing over fixings for a backyard feast to cook and enjoy together.

Domino - fire
Domino Magazine

Light a fire. What dad isn’t just a little obsessed with fire? Treat him to a fire pit, and you can look forward to many summer nights gathered around the blaze! Freestanding wood-burning models tend to be the most affordable options, though some propane-burning fire pits are fairly budget-friendly and have the advantage of being portable. The big splurge would be on a custom built natural gas fire pit, surrounded by seating for a crowd. No matter which option you choose, don’t forget to throw in a pack of s’mores fixings!

Camille Styles - movie night
Camille Styles

Host a backyard movie night. With digital projectors coming down in price, buying him his very own isn’t too far out of reach (especially if you make it a group gift). But even if you’re not ready to buy him his own projector, you can still make a night of outdoor movie magic by renting a digital projector (many office supply stores rent them, as well as some libraries) and rigging up a white sheet for the “screen”. Gather the whole family, pop some popcorn, cue up a family favorite on the laptop, and kick back for a Father’s Day movie night under the stars.

Man Cave Rugs

Man-cave worthy rug picks (clockwise from top left): Shalom Brothers Durham Kilim in Gray; Safavieh Kilim in Blue and Ivory; Liora Manne Capri Ropes in Navy; United Weavers Modern Textures Cupola in Harvest.

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

Copyright © Rugs Direct ®

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