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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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Create a Comfy Dining Room Your Guests Won’t Want to Leave

The dining room may play second fiddle to the kitchen table for much of the year, but from Thanksgiving through the new year, it’s the place to be. Think of your dining room as the backdrop that makes all of your most memorable holiday meals possible. From rich wall colors to soft lighting and conversation-sparking details, here’s how to get your dining room in tip-top shape in time for the holidays.

Dining Room1

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Paint colors: If you’re thinking of repainting your dining room, consider going bold with rich red, sophisticated smoky gray, or a bitter chocolate. These fully-saturated hues have a jewel box feeling that is just right for creating a convivial dinner-party atmosphere.

Art: Including some conversation-sparking artwork in the dining room is a wonderful way to get mingling guests chatting. Hang a unique painting, create a salon-style gallery wall of quirky photographs and small prints, or set an interesting sculpture or artistic object on the credenza.

Cozy Dining Room

Warmth: Whether you use a crackling fire in the fireplace, sheepskins draped over the chairs, a cozy rug, or an abundance of twinkling candlelight (or all of the above!), creating a feeling of warmth and comfort is the best way to encourage guests to linger at the table.

Cozy Table Setting

Table settings: The final details to attend to are how you choose to set the table, from linens to place settings to flowers or foliage. I love setting the table the day before a big holiday gathering, as this relieves so much last-moment stress on the big day…plus you get to enjoy the beauty of your handiwork just a bit longer! If you are just beginning to collect items for your table, I’ve found a classic linen tablecloth to be the most versatile. Dress up your everyday white dinnerware with a special set of colorful salad or dessert plates, and go for something low and organic as a centerpiece, like a piece of driftwood draped in tiny twinkle lights and berry branches, or a display of fall gourds and fruit. As a finishing touch, include something special at each place: a tiny jar of homemade jam, a delicate sprig of herbs tied with twine.

Choosing a rug: The dining room is a tricky place for a rug, because it is quite likely it will get more than its fair share of crumbs and spills! The key is to look for a flat weave (deep pile is incredibly hard to keep clean) in a deep color. You can skip the rug, but there’s nothing like having a cozy rug to warm up the dining room in the depths of winter! If you want to save wear-and-tear (and cut down on cleaning), consider leaving the rug out for fall and winter, and rolling it up and storing it for the spring and summer months.

Dining Room Rugs

Rugs Shopping Guide (clockwise from top left): Safavieh Tunisia rug in dark brown; Nourison 2000 rug in lavender; Loloi Rugs Anastasia rug in slate; Loloi Rugs Anastasia rug in granite.

Photo Credits: Domino

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

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Fashion Translation: Bohemian Neutrals

Despite my love of color and pattern paired with my constant trend-awareness, my appreciation for neutrals runs deep. But so do my bohemian roots! As I settle into my first home, I find that I’m veering more toward the neutral boho look… and it’s starting to inspire my wardrobe choices, too! I often can be found in my uniform: a breezy, flowy, embellished white or ivory top with great jeans and my trusty vintage clogs. Despite the neutral color palette, there is still a touch of pattern, but also loads of texture!

Photo Credit: Zoey Grossman found via Bohemian Diesel.

Truly, this is the perfect look to incorporate into any home. There are just so many options! If you want to go glam, look for a neutral rug with a hint of metallic. Or keep things simple yet patternful by selecting a bohemian print for your rug. This boho-meets-neutral rugs pair easily with most furniture styles, making them a great option if you want to do a small overall of your space. I also find that this assortment can work in any room of the house. I’m personally partial to using neutral rugs in the bedroom for a restful, almost spa-like vibe.

Shopping Guide:

Safavieh Adirondack rug

Surya Limu cowhide rug (my personal favorite!)

Safavieh Tunisia rug

Dynamic Rugs Loft rug

Loloi Rugs Kingston rug

Surya Madela rug

Surya Laural rug

Kaleen Solitaire rug

For more inspiration from Joanna, follow along with her at Jojotastic!

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