Holiday Teacher Gifts From Your Kids

Teachers are one of our nation’s treasures.  We hand our children to them to educate, and they give us back more than we could ever ask for.  How can you thank them?  Holidays are a great way to acknowledge their tireless efforts.  Here are some inexpensive yet thoughtful gifts that will let your favorite teacher know that he/she is appreciated!

 

When my children were in school, I would have them write a note of thanks to their teachers.  It seemed like such a small gesture, but it was so genuinely appreciated.  How about taking that note and enclosing it with some personalized stationary or notepad?

Personalized Notecard Set- CurioPress via Etsy

Personalized Notecard Set- CurioPress via Etsy

 

 

A bookmark is always a thoughtful teacher gift, and this personalized one is all the more special!

Personalized Bookmark- Kraze4paper via Etsy

Personalized Bookmark- Kraze4paper via Etsy

 

 

I always love to give a gift that continues to give.  And what teacher wouldn’t be honored to receive a gift whose proceeds go to a charity for children like this coin purse with donations to St. Jude’s Hospital.

St. Jude Metallic Hearts Leather Zipper Case- West Elm

St. Jude Metallic Hearts Leather Zipper Case- West Elm

 

 

Is your child artistic?  Perhaps they can enclose a drawing in this personalized folder to make their gift even more meaningful!

Personalized Pocker Folder- BolandDesignPaperCo via Etsy

Personalized Pocker Folder- BolandDesignPaperCo via Etsy

 

 

Do you have a favorite holiday cookie?  Who doesn’t love fresh baked goodies!?  Present them on this giving plate, and your favorite teacher can continue to spread the “goodies” of the holidays.

The Giving Plate- Crate & Barrel

The Giving Plate- Crate & Barrel

 

 

Even in our digital world, teachers have wads of papers that they must keep sorted.  This is a great and attractive file box they can put on their desk.  It even has matching pen holders, and other desk organizers in the collection!

White Nest Desktop File- The Container Store

White Nest Desktop File- The Container Store

 

 

Maybe just a little something for their desk?  How nice to have cute desktop treasures such as this pencil holder and tape dispenser to keep their necessities.

Ideas in Bloom Desk Organizer- ModCloth

Ideas in Bloom Desk Organizer- ModCloth

Let's Just Wing It Tape Dispenser- ModCloth

Let’s Just Wing It Tape Dispenser- ModCloth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever you choose to give, remember it’s the opportunity to say thank you and show your appreciation that is really what your child’s teacher wants.  So keep it simple, it truly is the thought that counts!

Holiday Gifts For the Host (Without Breaking the Bank!)

Last year our “Holiday Gifts for the Host” was such a big hit we decided to update it for 2015.  I asked some of my favorite party goers what are some of the favorite gifts they have received, as well as some of my own… so, here’s what we came up with!

 

This is one of Jillian’s picks- she loves mercury glass, and just loves the sparkle of these baubles.  They’re perfect for a bottle of wine or her husband, Christian’s favorite scotch!

World Market

Mercury Glass Bottle Stoppers- World Market

 

 

Last year, Justin and Lydia gave me this set as a gift and I just love it.  The acacia wood is beautiful and I love the hammered cheese servers!

Acacia Wedge Server- Crate & Barrel

Acacia Wedge Server- Crate & Barrel

 

 

Is your hostess a great cook?  Does he/she always seem to have goodies that she sends to her friends and family?  A personalized embosser will make their delectable gifts look like they came from a pro!

Personal Embosser- Williams Sonoma

Personal Embosser- Williams Sonoma

 

 

I recently went to a cooking class with Claudine Pepin (daughter of the legendary Jacques Pepin) and she gave me a great tip – I love to have fresh herbs on hand, but they never seem to last in the refrigerator.  She suggested getting some pretty small vases, add water and your herbs, and they will stay fresh for weeks.  And of course, the added benefit is always having something fresh and pretty on the table.  These vases would be perfect for an assortment of different herbs!!

Jayson Home

Ceramic 12-Bud Vase- Jayson Home

 

 

No matter how many wine glasses I have, I can always use more.  These are so festive, and the stemless may mean they won’t fall over and break as quickly!

Flurry Etched Snowflake Stemless Wine Glass- Crate & Barrel

Flurry Etched Snowflake Stemless Wine Glass- Crate & Barrel

 

 

Okay, so this guy is just adorable, and you can never go wrong with a cute ornament!

Corrugate Polar Bear Ornament- Pottery Barn

Corrugate Polar Bear Ornament- Pottery Barn

 

 

I have a little teapot collection and one of my favorites is a cast iron one that Jillian gave me years ago!

Blue Geometric Cast Iron Teapot- World Market

Blue Geometric Cast Iron Teapot- World Market

 

 

Have you gotten a host gift that really stood out?  What will you be bringing this year for your holiday party host?

Holiday Gifts For The Pet Lover

When I go visit my daughter in California, I can barely get my bags in the door before Rocco starts snooping around for the presents Grandma always brings!  We love our furry family members so much, that there is sure to be someone in your life who loves theirs too… and what a perfect opportunity for a gift idea.  We’ve compiled a few Rocco-approved ideas for the pet lovers on your list, so you know your gift will be a hit!

 

IMG_0499

 

 

Recently, Rocco got a brand new bed from Orvis that he just LOVES!  A nice bed can make all the difference for a well-rested pup, and we love these sofa beds for your pet lover’s dog to lounge in style.

Snoozer

Snoozer

 

Take a picture of your friend or family’s favorite pet, and have an artist send back their portrayal of him in a painting!  This one is sure to be a huge hit!!

Etsy

Etsy

 

 

Giving the gift of a BarkBox subscription will give your pet lover a month (or more!) off from having to buy toys and treats to keep their dog happy.  The best part is that they can be customized to dog size and toy preferences!

BarkBox

BarkBox

 

 

Most pets aren’t all that neat when they eat and drink, so save your friend the trouble of constant cleaning and opt for a stylish feeding mat!

Ballard Designs

Ballard Designs

 

Here’s one of our favorites this year- Rocco got a generous gift from Kinn, Inc. to try out their Kangaroo leash and we just loved it!  With a cozy soft handle, the Kangaroo collar and leash set will be the perfect give for both your friend AND their pup.  Not to mention it has a bag pouch attached- so handy!

Kinn, Inc.

Kinn, Inc.

Kinn, Inc.

Kinn, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to gift a cute and personalized way to hang up that leash at the end of the day, we love this one from Etsy!

RuffRuffCreations- Etsy

RuffRuffCreations- Etsy

 

 

When Rocco was crate training, one of the biggest challenges was finding a good place for his crate, as it just looked so out of place in any room.  To add a little flare (and privacy) for that pup, try a stylish crate cover like this one.

Crate Covers & More

Crate Covers & More

 

 

You can never go wrong gifting a framed photo of your friend’s dog, but a frame like this from Mariposa is just SO cute and classy, don’t you think?

Mariposa

 

What’s your favorite pet lover gift to give OR receive?

 

Holiday Mantels

Thanksgiving weekend is the time many of us start decorating our home for the holidays.  A beautifully adorned mantel can be all that’s needed to make your room feel festive.  But what if you don’t want one of the traditional garland and bulbs mantels?  Here are some beautiful inspirations that are not just red and green!

 

HGTV

HGTV

 

 

HGTV

HGTV

 

 

Traditional Spaces

O, The Oprah Magazine (Photo by Gemma Commas, Styling by Jen Everett)

O, The Oprah Magazine (Photo by Gemma Commas, Styling by Jen Everett)

 

 

Finding Home Farms

Finding Home Farms

 

 

Traditional Home

Traditional Home

 

 

Courtney Engstrom via Simple Details

Courtney Engstrom via Simple Details

 

 

Centsational Girl

Centsational Girl

 

 

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel

 

 

DIY Network Made & Remade, HGTV Holiday Mantel

DIY Network Made & Remade, HGTV Holiday Mantel

 

 

We’d love to pass on more festive ideas for your mantels – send us your creations and we’ll pass them along!  Happy decorating!

Only the Best for Your Pooch!

Let’s face it, our pets are members of our family.  And sometimes, that means making sure they are taken into account when designing your home.  Whether they are large or small, here are some of our favorite pet indulgences!

 

Short on space but need a table AND a crate for your dog??  Here’s the perfect solution!  No more ugly crate in the corner of the room!

DenHaus

DenHaus

 

If you have a pool, chances are your dog loves to cool off with a swim.  Make sure they have a float to lounge on next to yours, or their own bone-shaped pool to enjoy!

G.W. Little

G.W. Little

 

 

One Dog One Bone

One Dog One Bone

 

After a long day of running around, there’s nothing our dogs love more than a cozy spot to rest their heads.  This plush dog sofa by Orvis is the perfect choice- it’s comfortable, durable, and has a 100% satisfaction guarantee!

Orvis

Orvis

 

If your dog prefers a little more “snuggle”, this doggy cave by Snoozer looks just divine!

Snoozer

Snoozer

 

Maybe your puppy isn’t ready for a bed yet (it took Rocco a few years before he stopped pulling the stuffing out of his!)- a nice blanket or mat is the perfect choice to give them their own space to hunker down on without worrying about finding stuffing everywhere in the morning!

Harry Barker

Harry Barker

 

Every dog needs a water and food bowl, so why not make them stylish and fun like these ones?!

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

 

Hartman & Rose

Hartman & Rose

 

Glamour Mutt

Glamour Mutt

 

 

 

What are your favorite ways to splurge on your pooch?

Color Feature: TANGERINE

I started working with a new client this week, and our design inspiration is a painting she has with a very southwestern feel, in color and style.  She wants to use the picture, but not get stuck in the traditional southwest color palette and design feel.  Here are some fresh takes on a more traditional orange palette!

These rooms feel warm and glowy without being jarring.  A perfect color for a north facing room that doesn’t get a lot of natural light.

Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore

 

Behr

Behr

 

Traditionally a fall choice, I think this could work year round by substituting the leaves and pumpkins for some black-eyed susan’s.  You’ve got yourself a summer picnic!

Isabelle de Borchgrave

Isabelle de Borchgrave

 

Elegant… and not a hint of southwest!

Better Homes & Garden

Better Homes & Gardens

 

Not ready to go “all-out-orange”?  Try just using it in a small way in bedding and accessories for a bright change.  Works great with navy, red, yellow and white.

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

 

Serena & Lily

Serena & Lily

 

Chilewich

Chilewich

 

Global Views

Global Views

 

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

 

Orange has an entirely different feel paired with a neutral.

Matouk

Matouk

 

Better Homes & Garden

Better Homes & Gardens

 

Lulu & Georgia

Lulu & Georgia

 

Behr

Behr

 

How have you used orange in your home?  This can be a difficult color- send in your pictures and you could be featured on our brand new “Room Rescue” edition of the blog!

What Goes Up, Down, Around in a Circle, and Takes You to a Different Level?

When I start a project, I always do a little research for inspiration.  But when I began looking for some “unusual” staircases, I got a lot more than I expected.

This staircase from Levitan Architects is a book lover’s dream!  I love the staggered “tab” detail on the treads!

Levitate Architects

Levitate Architects

 

This is a great example of an alternative to a ladder!  Sometimes you just want something a little more!  Not sure about meeting building codes, but I love the functionality for a steep space. The “safety conscious” part me wants to put a railing, though!!

TAF

TAF

 

Ditto for the building code and need for a railing, but these stairs are a piece of art, just as beautiful from the underside!

Lat Forty Five (Photo: Jamie Cobeldick) Via ArchDaily

Lat Forty Five (Photo: Jamie Cobeldick) Via ArchDaily

 

The transparency of these stairs creates a unique and contemporary design focal point for the entire space.  Beautiful!  (As long as you’re not afraid of heights!)

Apple

Apple

 

Olafur Eliasson creates amazing functional pieces of art.  This staircase feels like a rollercoaster in an amusement park!

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

 

To get back to reality, sometimes just a unique application of color will transcend a staircase into a beautiful artistic element.  I love the green tones on this staircase paired with the trees painted on the walls.  Imagine the wall and stairs all white – gives you an entirely different feel!

House to Home

House to Home

 

A grand staircase is just that- its grandeur comes from the workmanship that created it.  Here is a traditional, yet timeless example, straight out of the Titanic!

Orlando Attractions

Orlando Attractions

 

And another beautiful example of traditional craftsmanship in the stairway of a late 1800’s Victorian that I am helping the owners restore to an “modernized version” of its original form.

Susan Hayward Interiors

Susan Hayward Interiors

 

Sometimes we use nature to help us carve a path from top to bottom.  These “built-in stairs” become part of the natural landscape.

Cuyabeno Lodge

Cuyabeno Lodge

 

Hayward Photography

Hayward Photography

 

I love tile as a riser.  These stairs at the Hearst Castle are so vibrant and completely transform the feeling of the space.

Hayward Photography

Hayward Photography

 

Where are your favorite staircases?  Send us your pictures!