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natural look

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

A Sneak Peek at my Christmas Ornaments

Handmade reindeer :: Peek at my ornaments

I typically wait for sales before buying my Christmas ornaments but I could not resist when I saw these Christmas ornaments. Their handmade character and winter cottage feel seduced me.

Peek at my tweed Christmas ornaments :: owl, reindeer and bird

The handmade reindeer (top picture) that can stand of their own were the first to caught my eye. From that, I developed the rest of the design. I like how the knit collection looks against the tweed ornaments. They complement each other.

Peek at my Christmas ornaments

I gave my Christmas tree a couple years ago because it took too much floor place. I plan to simply hang the ornaments on branches. Or, I may get a table tree. I still have to design that part. I aim for an airy composition. My goal is to play on the less is more concept. We will see how it goes. You will get the surprise soon enough.

If you are interested I bought those at Teatro Verde. It is far from the cheapest store for your tree ornaments but they have a beautiful collection. I bought them because I was visiting Toronto and I was not sure if I would find those in Montreal.

SOURCING:
+ Knit ornament mitten, shirt, stocking $13.95 CAD
+ Assorted tweet ornaments owl, bird, reindeer $11.95 CAD

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

David Stark Greener Holiday Collection at West Elm

comfort trend represented by David Stark holiday collection

The way I decorate for Christmas has changed a lot over the years. The cool Christmas looks are miles away from what Christmas decorations were when I was a kid.

It is evident when we look at these pictures. In fact, the top picture constitutes a good example of the Comfort trend, one of the 4 Holiday decor trends for 2009. I love it!

David Stark Sparkly Decor Wreath

Over the last few years, nature plays a big element in my Holiday decorations. This year, you could show that you care for the planet by getting decorations from 100% natural and recycled materials. A stylish collection is the one designed by David Stark for West Elm.

David Stark natural weave trees

On my wish list are the Lupis twine trees and the sparkly decor wreath. The trees are available in a table version and a floor version. You do not need to add a lot to make an impact. See how adding a simple ribbon and a few Christmas baubles enhances the overall look.

MORE:
+ David Stark Natural Weave Tree 2 foot $24, 6 foot $99
+ David Stark Sparkly Décor Wreath $59

HOME + GARDEN KITCHEN design

Modern Rustic Kitchen that Feels More Modern

The wildness of the oak wood kitchen on the cover page of Elle Decoration UK edition caught my eye. I envy anyone who has a kitchen with floor to ceiling cupboards. It looks neat but more importantly for me, it reduces the amount of spring cleaning. Plus, using more vertical space for storage keeps the floor plan airy.

This new kitchen opposes organic and urban through the materials and its design. The metal stools and white tableware help in making the room feels more modern. It fits the beach mood sought by the owner, the interior designer Boyd Ferguson. One superb detail to steal is how Boyd varied the board widths. I like the simplicity and warmth of his kitchen. The wood wall effect shares design elements often seen in the modern Scandinavian cottages. Therefore, the overall effect feels comfortable and natural.

If you are interested to know more about the design philosophy of Boyd Ferguson, read his profile interview on Cape etc.

Elle Decoration UK

I typically prefer the houses presented in the UK edition than the US edition. You know by now that I am partial to European design. Sadly for you, Elle Decoration UK does not have a Web site. Check out for the October 2009 edition at your nearest news stand. I bought my copy yesterday in Montreal. Depending on where you live, you may still be able to grab a copy.

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Rustic Tables for the End of Summer Cottage Season

rustic meets vintage tabletop rustic table inspiration :: menu wheel by anna of rifle design

Fall officially arrived. In a few weeks, the cottage on the lake season will close for many of us that live North. Wood slice trays are nothing new but I still like them. Plus, using handcrafted organic elements to contrast modern pieces is one of the 4 trends for Christmas 2009 (more on that later).

serving meat pie at sugar shack pied de cochon

Wood slices are beloved because they are versatile. Tree slices fit in from a shack style to the modern rustic. You can use them to serve savory pies, or as a natural cheese board.  They can also support your floral centerpieces as you can see on this charming table by the crafty Anna of Rifle Design. Anna took that picture as part of her DIY menu wheel craft project.

Rustic Tree Cake Stands

diy tree slice cake stands :: rustic cake stands

What I like the most is how you can transform a tree slice and a short thick branch into your own cake stands. Make a least three stands. Ideally, you wish to vary their heights and surface size. They are not complicated to make. See the instructions of Laurie Cinotto. Remember to put a paper between the food and the tree slice, unless you applied a food-safe wood sealer.

If crafting is not your thing, go to Hens in Daisies’ Etsy shop to find large and extra large cake stands. They are ready to use. Simply wipe clean with damp cloth these food-safe sealed cake plates.

MORE:
+ DIY Tree Pedestal Cake Stand by Laurie Cinotto on Once Wed
+ DIY Wedding Menu Wheel on Design*Sponge
+ Large Rustic Cake Stand by Hens in Daisies $45 USD on Etsy
+ Extra Large Rustic Cake Stand by Hens in Daisies $75 USD on Etsy

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY decorations

Wooden Holiday Decorations | Daily Quick Links 2008.12.04

Their warmth makes wood desirable and comforting in winter. As you can see, wood textures are hot this Holiday. With beautiful items like those, there are no reasons to complain.

Karen Kimmel holiday tree ornaments

+ The Nature+Holiday Ornaments by Los Angeles-based artist Karen Kimmel are absolutely stunning. Each wood veneer and colored acrylic laser cut disc comes in a hand silk-screened muslin sack laced with an ultra suede tie. You also get a cardboard letterpress card with a message by the artist. The ornament costs between $18 and $40 each at A+R. It makes a wonderful hostess gift. Via Happy Mundane

wooden decorations

+ Bugs and Fishes by Lupin shows us how to wrap a Faux Bois Parcel. This craft project relies on inexpensive supplies. Via Creature Comforts.

+ Who can resist the Pumpkin and Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches? Certainly not me. I give her a big thumb up for the presentation. Get the recipe on Cannelle et Vanille.

+ I spot the wooden star ornament on the December 2008 issue of Living etc. It is made by PTMD. Sadly, I cannot tell you where to find it.

+ Finally, I am in love with these Christmas stockings. They look magnificent hanging on the rustic mantel. Via Design Hole.

COOKING tools FOOD + DRINK

Remarkable Eco-friendly Kitchen Tools by Domestic Aesthetic

domestic aesthetic reclaimed salt and pepper shares, salad bowl set, mahagony spice dish

I am very thrilled by this new housewares collection made of reclaimed wood. It made me regret that I was not at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in NYC last week.

More than just a pretty face, the culture of Domestic Aesthetic revolves around sustainability. They use responsibly harvested materials and low impact processes. Naturally, their production methods eliminate hazardous chemicals so you and your family can feel better eating and cooking with their products.

Domestic Aesthetic aims to produce well-designed, affordable eco-friendly housewares. I feel that they deliver on their “Live well, Live right” motto. Nike Foley designed pieces that appeal to the senses of both men and women.

The Certified Salad Bowl Set comes with porcelain edged plates instead of the typical salad bowls. I like the usual shape of the large serving bowl. It harmonizes with the Certified Salt and Pepper Shakers.

Made out mahogany waste from a local window company, the organic shape of the Reclaimed Mahogany Spice Dish contrasts against the square edges of the block. It will fashion an impressing view next to your cooking area.

If I did not live with curious cats, I would get a spice dish for myself.

I just sent a request to know when and where to buy? Also how much their products cost? I will get back to you as soon as I receive an answer from Domestic Aesthetic.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: Domestic Aesthetic
Via: domestic aesthetic [the style files] + Reclaimed Wood Housewares by Domestic Aesthetic [Inhabitat]

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor OUTDOOR space

Natural Looking Tree Pot

resin tree pots at sprout homeIf you dream of setting a natural retreat in your urban backyard this summer, you might be interested by these brown and white Resin Tree Pots that I dug at Sprout Home.

These planters can be flipped over and used as an end table. To increase their longevity, use them as a cachepot. Put some moss or wood barks on top to complement the natural look. Each Resin Tree Pot is 15 inches tall and 13 inches wide.

Sprout Home sells them online or you can visit their store in Chicago and in Brooklyn.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Brown Tree Resin Pot at Sprout Home – price: $115 USD
Buy online: White Tree Resin Pot at Sprout Home – price: $115 USD

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

My mantle Christmas decorations

mantle_hollydecorations

For the last days before Christmas, there is still time for one or two last minute inspirations.

I made a simple vignette to decorate the mantle in our playroom at the cottage.

My inspiration was my birch cachepots from small stump. Mason jars served as vases. I selected holly branches because they are resilient and I need a flower arrangement that will still look good for a few days.

A silver tree with a 3D patterned stump base completes the scheme along with a deer from Ikea.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Stylish eco-friendly chandeliers from Propellor Design

caluino : galiano : stratus by

Since a stylish dining room pendant is a must for entertaining, it is best to take the time to find the right lighting fixture to finish up a room design. For the dramatic effect you are after, have a look at the impressive collection from Propellor Design.

And if you wish to be kind to the planet, the new releases from this talented design studio located in Vancouver, BC combine beauty, originality and sustainability.

Caluino

Open spaces called for the need of harmonizing fixtures. Sometimes, you wish a unified look. And you bring variations through dimensions and shapes.

To tailor your lights to the space, mix the Caluino chandelier, a grouping of seven bamboo pendants with a walnut oil finish with any of the Furrow pendants (sedin, parkade or traverse). Repeat as needed.

Galiano

Whether you prefer the appeal of reclaimed Douglas Fir seen on the Galiano with the hanging branch is up to you. No one would argue because the Galiano pendants look amazing. The Arbutus twig is not just decorative since it acts as the pull switch.

Stratus and Culumus

For a magical atmosphere, opt for the eco-resin ceiling mounted chandelier called Stratus. That design can complement many room styles. If you prefer when the light sits lower, have a peek at the Cumulus.

Propellor Design is a multidisciplinary design studio specializing in custom lighting, furniture and interiors. All their light fixtures house low voltage compact fluorescent bulbs.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Galiano Pendant Light by Propellor Design at Supermarket – price: $318 USD
Buy online: Galiano Slim Pendant Light by Propellor Design at Supermarket – price: $260 USD
Learn more: Web site of Propellor Design
Via: Apartment Therapy San Francisco

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Trend | Go back to your roots with a natural sophisticated Christmas décor

natural sophisticated christmas decor

Today, my eco-chic party column plays on a large interpretation of green living. It is about simple old-fashioned pleasures and the wildlife appeal.

There is a debate going on to determine what is more eco-friendly between an artificial Christmas and a real one? But really if you are short on space, the solution is simpler. You simply forgo the big tree.

Pinecone trees, homemade fabric trees, glass trees and twigs on vases are just the tips of the iceberg. Decorative tree alternatives emerge every day to fit any taste and style. I have always been a fan of the legendary Swedish Holiday Herd so I am pleased that their selection is growing.

It is more creative to mix textures within a same family. The Fave of the Month at The Cross Decor & Design in Vancouver, BC is their wooden Deer Heads and Alabaster Stags. It is a cheaper alternative to the charming woodland twig stag head sold at Wisteria.

The concept

The chic natural look is fashionable these days. Pine cones, twigs, moose, felt fabric and stuffed toys are in for home décor. The concept behind the natural sophisticated Christmas décor is to evoke the past while keeping it all fresh.

Christmas is a time of the year where you hopefully feel good because you are among your loved ones. Why not dressing up nature? Celebrate the simple joys of life like craft arts and outdoor ice skating. You feel warmth and emotionally attached just looking at old-fashioned Scandinavian Ice Skate Stocking and the Ice Princess ornaments.

You can personalize this look by salvaging vintage pieces, crafting your own ornaments, supporting local artists and mixing it all with new items.

deerand alabaster stag heads

Sourcing:
Buy online: Pinecone trees at Wisteria – price: $49 USD for the medium, $59 for the large, $89 for both
Buy online: Woodland Stag head at Wisteria – price: $149 USD
Buy online: Alabaster Stags at The Cross Décor and Design – price: $45 CAD for the small, $ 85 CAD for the large
Buy online: A Holiday Herd at Wisteria – price: $28 USD for the small, $49 for the large, $74 for both
Buy online: A Forest of Glass Trees at Wisteria – price: $79 USD for a set of 3
Buy online: Ice Princess ornaments at Anthropologie – price: $24 USD each, offered in 3 models
Buy online: Ice Skate Stocking at Anthropologie – price: $58 USD
Buy online: Felt Penguin Ornament at Anthropologie – price: $12 USD
How to do: White Satin Sheen Christmas Tree on Marlie’s Creative Universe
Via: Anthropologie ornaments published on Black Eiffel