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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The leaves are changing brilliant shades of red and orange, the air is crisp, and the markets are bursting with pumpkins, apples, and gourds: fall has arrived! Read on for easy, natural decorating ideas using fall leaves, fresh produce, and farm-stand flowers, plus some simple pleasures to savor like sipping hot apple cider by a crackling fire…
A quick stop at your favorite market or produce stand is all you really need to decorate your home for the season. Fill a few tall glass vases with cut branches of crab apple or Japanese Maple, hang a leafy wreath on your front door, and lay out a stack of cozy woolen blankets from your stash. And of course, what would fall be without pumpkins? Try a fresh twist this year with a few no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas – use stencils and craft paint to apply your house numbers or state silhouette; or coat dried leaves with Mod Podge for an elegant nature-inspired look.
And speaking of pumpkins, there are so many gorgeous and unusual heirloom varieties out there, if you usually just run to the grocery store for your Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins, why not try something a bit different this year? Search locally for a farm or u-pick pumpkin patch, and you’re likely to encounter more types of pumpkins than you knew existed! And heirloom pumpkins are so lovely on their own, there’s no need to carve or paint them.
While you’re out collecting gorgeous pumpkins, don’t forget to put apples on your list! Picking apples at an orchard has become one of our favorite fall traditions, and coming home is even sweeter when you have a basket full of apples to crunch…and bake into your favorite apple-y treats.
After a crisp fall day full of adventures, there’s nothing better than cozying up at home under some toasty blankets beside a crackling fire and playing games or having a movie night with popcorn and apple cider.
Cozy up your home for fall with warm, wooly rugs in rich, earthy tones. Here are a few of my favorite fall picks: