holiday decorating

Project Undecorate

I spend a lot of time in my little corner of the internet chatting about decorating. But what about undecorating? Whether it’s the holidays or the middle of your average uneventful week, everybody can and should undecorate. Now is the perfect time to do so since you’re just coming out of your Christmas food coma and wondering what to do between now and New Years. Why not make decluttering a New Years Resolution? This is the perfect time to shed the weight. We resolve to do it for New Years with our bodies, so why not do it in our homes?? With the holidays we go out and spend money to buy MORE stuff to bring into our homes! The average household has way more stuff than most of us ever need or even use. This week I am personally dedicating some time to shedding the extra stuff, the extra weight and here’s how you can join me in some very easy, achievable solutions for a fresh start to 2015, starting with your living space!

Unload, unburden, get rid of stuff. Edit, edit, edit.

#1 Put It Away

Start with the easy things- all that holiday garb. Nobody wants a Christmas tree in their living room come March. No one thinks your blow up lawn Santa is cute after January 2nd and Christmas lights are not meant to be left strung up year round. Bottom line, none of this is adding anything to your post-holiday curb appeal. Take that Target gift card Santa gave you and treat yourself to some color coded bins (red and green for Christmas, orange and black for Halloween, etc.) to store your holiday items so they are easily recognized and accessible.

#2 Throw It Away

If your singing holiday angel now croaks because she was dropped on floor one too many times, get rid of it. If there are too many glitter infested ornaments leaving slut dust all over your floor, think about eliminating some, I mean, how many can you really have? If things break or no longer work or just start to look like a collection of junk, edit them down.

#3 Donate

Goodwill, Salvation Army- get that tax deduction before year end! Still worried about “giving” something sentimental away?  Why not give it to a family that can truly use it if you aren’t?

#4 Edit, edit, edit

I often hear, ‘I don’t like it, but that’s worth a lot of money!!’. It’s only worth something if you sell it. If you don’t like it, it’s not worth anything to you! If it truly is worth something, cash out and move on! Ebay, craigslist, garage sale, antiques road show, whatever, but don’t keep it just because someone might potentially pay you something for it, especially if you don’t like it.

My recommendation is that if you haven’t worn it or used it in 1 year, really evaluate if you have use for this item? If not, set it aside. I like to keep a running giveaway bag at all times in the closet in the guest bedroom. When I come across clothing, toys, books, whatever that I am no longer using, I put it in that bag. I would say that I add to the bag at least every week. I’m not a hoarder but I’m certainly not a minimalist either. Bottom line is that we accumulate, and at some point some things have got to go! It’s truly amazing when you clear out things and literally create more space in your environment, how you feel that you have created space within yourself and your mind as well. I am rigorous with clients about getting them to declutter, donate, filter, and once they literally unburden themselves of things, they always tell me how much better they feel in their mind as well.

Lastly, note that everybody has some sentimental items that might be seen as ugly, or useless, or inconsequential. You have them, I have them, we all do. I’m not saying to get rid of anything ugly or old just because it’s not currently en vogue or because your stylish neighbor poo-poos it. Just carefully select which items you choose to surround yourself with. Surround yourself with things that are a reflection of the best side of yourself and if that’s all stuff from your great-grandmother, so be it. But if something is useless or bothersome, or ugly to you, then part with it and leave it at that. Stay tuned for our next post on getting organized and staying organized in the new year! Happy New Year and here’s to shedding those empty calories Design Dish style!

xo,

Emily

P.S. Check out this hilarious little stand-up clip from the Tonight Show where Jerry Seinfeld all about how we accumulate ‘stuff’!

 

 

White Christmas Style

There’s something magical about a white Christmas. Maybe it’s because I live in SoCal and the odds of having one are… well, zero. But, this year, I have been lusting after holiday decor that is primarily white. By that I’m not referring to the flocked trees we Californians are coerced into purchasing by opportunist lumberjacks at the local tree lot. Fun fact: flocked trees aren’t sold in other states because citizens of the snow need not see it in their living room all holiday season! So yes, for all you non-Californians, we are officially nuttier than fruitcake with our faux snow! I mean seriously, what the flock?

White goes with everything, obviously, which makes it an easy color choice. Christmas is always so traditionally red and green that for me, it’s a bit ho-hum and not enough ho-ho-ho. So in the spirit of white christmas style, here are some of my favorite living spaces from around the web that enliven the season in a new and inspiring way.

Cottage chic…
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The whites are fresh, chic and dreamy, and the vintage vibe makes this room one cozy retreat. Simple yet elegant without being fussy.

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Here is a similar white christmas dining scape that has rustic cottage style. This space has a very organic feel, using natural textures to bring the outside in while adding a subtle dose of metallic sparkle.

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And this kitchen is slightly more elegant, yet still rustic and organic with that cozy cottage vibe with the beamed ceilings and natural cabinetry.

Parisian penthouse…

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If your style is a bit more romantic and antique chic, then this tablescape is sure to delight! I love that they used ivy as garland and really let the grandeur of the space speak for itself. Beautiful!

Modern farmhouse…

Farmhouse Christmas style

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Venturing into a completely different look is this modern farmhouse Christmas. It’s still mostly white with traditional brick fireplace, yet those pops of red make it look clean yet rich. The pillows feel a bit Scandianvian in design, and I love the large pom pom fringe. And ohhh, those white paper trees on the mantel, soooo purdy!

And speaking of Scandinavian, well, it wouldn’t be a white Christmas without these lovely contributions…

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I don’t think I’ve made a paper chain since I was a kid, but what a welcome way to bring on the Christmas count down!Scandinavian-Christmas-Decorating-Ideas-01-1-Kindesign

I love the use of sheepskin as chair covers here.  It adds coziness to the otherwise minimalist vibe that is oh-so Nordic.

Modern Minimalist

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Dreamy dangling white prisms, aka, modern snowflakes!
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Boho-ho anyone?

Scandinavian Bohemian White Christmas

With a slightly more bohemian flair, this room adds a healthy dose of free spirited color against the white walls and flooring.

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I love this twig tree! It nearly looks like driftwood, which would be a great addition to a coastal christmas home. This one is still bohemian with almost a modern cabin flair. Which brings me to….

Modern Cabin…

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Now this is an A-frame I could live in while soaking up all that winter white.

And finally, some transitional takes on Christmas for you, chock full of mid century influences… my fave!

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How about these gold prism ornaments made out of pipe cleaners? Get the clever and easy DIY tutorial for them, here.

I’m loving the white, black and gold glam Emily Henderson recently posted for TargetStyle. And that magical touch of teal really livens up the space. Just enough glitz and glow and still feels like coming home for christmas.

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….And may all your Christmases be white….

xo,

Emily

 

Beach Photography

It wouldn’t be a Friday if this Cali girl didn’t have beach on the brain! Maybe you’re lucky enough to be hitting the sand this weekend, but if not, today I’m talking about beautiful beach photography that is sure to take you there in spirit.

When I first discovered iconic photographer, Massimo Vitali, I knew I was completely smitten with beach photography. Growing up in Southern California, spending long days at the beach from sunup until sundown, I can literally close my eyes and feel a day on the beach. These nostalgic photographs pull you in and make you smell the salt air and feel the sun on your skin. They’re all about color, shape, form, and repetition in the visual sense and all about getting blissed out during the summer.

Here’s a round up of some breathtaking beach scenes. Invite these images onto your walls and they will literally become a portal to the pacific!

Massimo Vitali, where it all started for moi…

 

 

 

American photographer, Slim Aarons, who made beach and pool photography iconic…Can’t you just taste the glamour?slim aaron | Tumblr

Slim Aarons

 

 

Beautiful beachscapes from Chicago photographer, Judith Gigliottioverhead water series #16 judith gigliotti beach rock ocean swimmers photograph

judith gigliotti beach umbrellas photograph

judith gigliotti beach umbrellas photograph

 

The latest man to hit the sand, rising star, Gray Malin, who is making beach photography a household staple these days…

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And my new favorite, favorite, favorite Cheryl Maeder…I love the ethereal quality of her photographs. I SO want one!
Francesca Ritchey California Dreamin

 

Cheryl Maeder

Cheryl Maeder Dreamscapes La Mer III

Cheryl Maeder SeaI’m digging a day in the sand and a dip in the ocean, aren’t you? Let the memory making begin!

xo,

Emily

 

Cravings: A Fab 4th

You know I have a love me a good party and 4th of July is one of my faves because it’s summertime and comes dressed in oh-so preppy red, white and blue. Since I love to find inspired items that aren’t always traditional holiday looks, I thought I’d round up some stylish finds for the 4th that have more pizzaz than a firework!

Pinterest is oftentimes my jumping off point because there is always so much eye candy to choose from. I made A Fab 4th board featuring all my faves, but since I couldn’t possibly feature it all, here is a glimpse of some swoon worthy selections. For more info and inspiration, please visit my Pinterest page.

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Here’s to a Happy 4th of July! We truly have so much to be thankful for, including the freedom to plan parties that celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

xo,

Emily

Designing Holiday Traditions – Part 1

Since becoming a mother, it finally occurred to me that there has been a subliminal passing of the holiday tradition torch. By that, I mean that I never really claimed it. All I did was give birth and now I’m in charge of creating family traditions! Who me? Yikes, that’s a tall order! But it made me realize that much like designing a home, designing a lifestyle for your family that is rooted in tradition both old and new is just as central to who you are as your living space.

Now that the holidays are here, I’ve been giving some thought to creating or passing down long lasting traditions for my own family and what I’d like to do to create meaning, togetherness and fun. In the spirit of giving thanks, my amazing client actually inspired me for her holiday table. She has gathered beautiful autumn leaves from her property for her centerpiece, and from them she hung little chalkboard discs. All of her guests can pay tribute and write down what they are thankful for.  Lovely idea!

She used these wonderful chalkboard discs from Etsy store, thesittingtree

  • Chalkboard Tags - Tree Branch Wood Slice - Set of 5 - Rustic Wedding - Eco Friendly - Storage,Organization, Mason Jar Label, , Gift Tag

And don’t forget to place a few Bistro Chalk Markers on the table for guests to write on the tag!

More holiday traditions and ideas coming up next week, post turkey coma. Stay tuned!