MINDFUL INTERIOR DESIGN:
 
Christmas is approaching faster than snowflakes in a blizzard, so this week I want to share some holiday decorating tips from one of my design mentors, Kelly Hoppen, London-based interior designer (kellyhoppen.com). 
 
She’s known for her sophisticated, soothing, and Zen-like design. Kelly also offers an online shopping store so check out her offerings; they’re beautiful and top quality.
 

Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen – From decorating the Christmas tree to how to lay the table for your festive feast, interior designer Kelly Hoppen shares her top festive decorating tips.

Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen 1

“Do not be afraid to have fun and mix textures and colours around your home. I personally like to display decorations with colours matching my tree (my personal favourites being silver and white).

Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen 2

Fairy lights are a great way to add a beautiful magical ambience and are not just for the tree! Decorate pieces of furniture or use within your table to add a glittering look.

Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen 3

See also: Obama Family: Inside White House Private Living Areas

With the nights drawing in and numerous guests to entertain, I like to keep an inviting home. Burning a fire is a sure way to enhance the atmosphere, and draw guests in with warmth.

Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen 4

I love making use of my fireplace, not only for function but because they can be decorated gorgeously to become a focal point in the living room. Try placing christmassy trinkets, garlands or ‘home jewellery’ on the mantelpiece to really adorn the space.

Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen Christmas Decorating Tips by Celebrity Interior Designer Kelly Hoppen 5

I tend to mix up cushions and throws in various materials such as wool and velvet. Using a combination of soft, sumptuous textures such as these really adds a touch of luxury and provides that extra comfort for a cosy, festive feel. Some other fabrics I like to use are cashmere and faux fur.”

 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
Have you ever received a gift that was so beautifully and personally wrapped you didn’t want to open it?
 
It was like being given two presents in one.
 
It’s truly giving from the heart; a joyous feeling for both the giver and the receiver.
 
Here are four ways that illustrate how you can wrap your gifts this holiday season to show how much you really care. Best of all, they’re simple, creative, and inexpensive.
 
NOTE: You’ll notice that in these photos, either inexpensive Butcher paper or white wrapping paper has been used. They serve as the perfect background. What makes them personal is how you wrap them.
 
INITIALS
Your computer can print letters in any size, color, or font. In these photos, matching colored ribbon or metallic gold thread was used for the wrapping. Further embellishment comes from small Christmas ornaments like the red ball or bells.
 
THE EXTRA GIFT
Add something that the person can use after the unwrapping.
 
The first photo is for someone who loves to bake. The cookie cutters will be used by the recipient long after they’ve opened the actual gift.
 
Eclectic by RedAgape Blog
 
This is the perfect bonus gift for someone who loves to write and send letters via snail mail (no emails)! The monogrammed wax seal and wax sticks become part of the present wrapping.
 
PHOTOS
Eclectic by RedAgape Blog
No need to have a gift tag when you do this. The photo quickly tells who the gift is for.
 
Eclectic by RedAgape Blog
 
The photo can also be a place that is meaningful to the recipient and evokes happy memories.
 
Eclectic by RedAgape Blog
 
In this photo, the giver used part of a road map placed on a Christmas tree-shaped tag that depicts a place that the giver and receiver visited together. More wonderful memories.
 

PERSONAL INTERESTS AND HOBBIES

Eclectic by RedAgape Blog
For a musician or music lover, wrapping a present with vintage sheet music will surely evoke a warm smile. You get the idea. It can be anything that is of special interest to the recipient. It shows how much you care  and that you took the time to think of them and who they are as a person. Any gift given is so much sweeter and meaningful.
 
TELL ME: Do you make an effort to personalize your gift wrapping? Please share your ideas in the Comments section below.
 
Until next time…
 
Blessings from my home to yours,
 
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
 
Via HOUZZ
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
As each day becomes shorter, we find ourselves wanting to be inside our cozy home.
Much better to be looking out at falling leaves, chilly, windy, and rainy weather than to be outside in the midst of it.
Just snuggling into a comfy chair with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa holds great appeal.
Along with inclement weather, however, there are certain colors that remind us of fall’s beauty.
Think of hot mulled-wine or cinnamon cookies for color hints that you may want to invite into your home decor.
It could just be an unforgettable fall season.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Infographic from HUFFPOST
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
Memorial Day is but a memory and we are full-on into summer.
Those glorious days of heat, blue skies and fluffy white clouds.
Balmy evenings and star-filled skies.
Gardens bursting with so much color, we wonder how nature could gift us with such abundance.
Trees with their canopy of leaf-filled branches that help us stay cool.
Notice I purposely have not mentioned hail and thunderstorms, mosquitos and flies.
I know they’re a reality of summer, but prefer to think about the positive aspects of this glorious time of year.
While more time may be spent outdoors, we want our indoors to reflect the lightness and airiness of this season as well.
Here are 15 ideas for summer from my favorite blogger, Laura Gaskill, www.lauragaskill.com.
You’re sure to glean a few ideas that will help you get your home in the spirit of summer.
I wish you a safe and happy one.
The days are lengthening; the nights are warmer — it’s time to start thinking summer. From white curtains billowing in the breeze, sleeping porches, shell collections and wildflowers to fresh juice in the morning and nautical stripes, certain things just beg to be a part of your summer routine. Here are 15 fun, crafty and creative ways to get your home in the spirit of summer.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

If you’re someone who loves floral arranging, this post is for you.

Firstly, there’s the joy of working with the scents, colors, and textures that nature gives us.
Secondly, it’s taking bits and pieces and creating a visual, living work of art. The satisfaction you receive is heady indeed. You look at your hands and then your floral masterpiece and say, “I did this and it’s beautiful!
Even better, this design is a step-by-step process. Almost like painting by number. You’re guaranteed success even if the final result doesn’t look exactly like the photo. It will still be great.
This floral design was created by Guillermo Del Pero of G Fiori Floral Design. The photographer is Carolyn Reyes, Houzz contributor. www.carolyn-reyes.com.
The tools and materials are listed and easily found. You don’t have to choose the purple calla lilies; they can be any color you love. Just match the colored ribbon to the lily shade.
You end up with a floral display that’s elegant, different, and original. And most importantly, you re-created it yourself.
This particular floral piece works especially well with contemporary, contemporary/Asian interior design styles. Here’s how to create it:
Until nest time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Courtesy HOUZZ
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

There’s no getting around it. This time of year is fraught with pressure and a lot of it we create ourselves because we want everything perfect.

Instead of our home being the haven it should be, it often ends up becoming chaos central. This is even more true if we’re having guests in our home.
We get so caught up finishing our to-do lists, that the real meaning of the holiday becomes lost and the “joy” becomes a bit tarnished.
Here are 8 ways that can help you slow down, take some deep breaths, and feel better, maybe even great.
1) Look at your list and eliminate tasks that don’t really matter. I guarantee they’re there and
    aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things. Ask yourself if what you leave off of will
    even be missed or remembered a month from now.
2)  Hire someone for last minute house cleaning. It’s worth it, especially if you’re having guests.
3)  Take some time for yourself. Get a massage or go for broke and add a manicure and
     pedicure.
4)  Don’t forget exercise which is a great stress-buster, even if it’s just a short walk.
5)  Do some yoga stretches or meditate. Even 5 minutes will really help you slow everything
     down to a healthier pace.
6)  Try to eat and sleep well. For instance, instead of eating the whole cookie, try just a couple
     bites and get rid of the rest. Your taste buds won’t know you didn’t eat the whole thing. You
     don’t want the added stress of having to lose weight  in January because you over indulged
     in December.
7)  Stay mindful of alcohol intake. It’s so easy to drink more during this season and while it may
     be fun at the time, we generally pay for it in the form of not sleeping well, added poundage,
     dehydrated skin, and even feeling depressed.
8)  Give yourself permission. As women, so much falls on our shoulders, and much of it we do
     ourselves. Take some time on each of these busy days for yourself. You will feel and act
     calmer which in turn helps calm all of those around you.
Who knows, maybe we can extend this permission business into a year-round way of living. And wouldn’t that be terrific?
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
No matter how hard we try, no matter how each year after the holidays we say, “next year it will be different I will keep it simple. I won’t run around like a chicken with its head cut and each moment thinking of what’s next on “the list.”
Sound familiar? And guess what, when next year’s holiday season comes around, we do it all over again. It has to stop for our own sanity. We have to be able to take a deep breath in order to truly enjoy this beautiful time of year and enjoy all of the gifts it offers and I don’t mean those that we find under the tree, although those are great, too!
This week’s post comes from my favorite blogger, LAURA GASKILL (http://www.lauragaskill.com). Her suggestions are sure to strike a chord and give you ideas that really can give you not only a more joyous holiday season, but stay with you throughout the year.
My personal favorite is #1.
Ready or not, the holidays are here! If you find yourself wrapped up in the holiday bustle without a moment to pause, you are not alone. Between the gift shopping and wrapping, cookie baking, party throwing and tree trimming, it’s all too easy to let these precious weeks fly by without savoring the experiences we love. Commit to making this year different by setting intentions, rethinking traditions and letting go of things that you do not enjoy. Here are eight ways to get started.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
You’ve done everything to prepare for your party; a terrific menu; clean home; fresh flowers; etc.
But have you ever wondered how your present furniture arrangement will work for a gathering?
Does it allow for a good flow or does it seem crammed when envisioning a room full of people?
What works on a daily basis might not be right when you’re entertaining and want guests to mingle; and not necessarily in your kitchen either.
There’s hardly a living room/great room anywhere that can’t be re-arranged in different ways depending on what your needs are.
Here are a few examples of furniture arrangements that are perfect for entertaining. If you change your layout, you just may find you like it enough to keep it that way, even when the guests are no longer there.
Usually, furniture is flanked around the fireplace, but by opening up your sight line you create more open seating into different areas. This plan makes it easier for guests to move around.

This arrangement works very well for a larger room because you’re able to provide groups of furniture that allow guests to have places for intimate conversation. They don’t have to raise their voices to be heard.

Rustic Living Room by Alix Bragg Interior Design

Multiple seating with a console separating the two seating areas. Because the furniture is mostly mismatched, the room feels like pieces gathered over time and not a furniture showroom.

Beach Style Living Room by Catalyst Architects, LLC

This room has been arranged for entertainment by placing the two sofas back-to-back. When not entertaining, you still have the one sofa facing the fireplace for T.V. watching.

Contemporary Living Room by Dick Clark + Associates
This back-to-back sofa arrangement uses a very narrow console table between them which works in a smaller space.
Eclectic Living Room by Mandi Smith T Interiors

This is an excellent example of how a room should flow. None of the furniture placement impedes the circulation allowing guests to easily move around this room without jostling into one another.

Again, there is usually more than one way to arrange your furniture. We get so used to seeing our spaces one way, that it seems it’s the only way but that isn’t the case. Give it a try and I bet you’ll surprise yourself.
Happy entertaining!
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Photos via HOUZZ
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
Most of us love to entertain, especially this time of year when friends and family gather together to share the joys of the season.
However, there’s often too much pressure; mostly that which we put on ourselves.
The house must look perfect with no dust bunnies in any corners; our decorations have to have visitors gasping in awe at our cleverness; the food must be gourmet causing all mouths to water in anticipation.
These are all normal thoughts because we take such pride in opening our door and offering our home to be enjoyed by all, if only for a little while.
Somehow, in all of this Martha Stewart snow globe that we create in our mind, we forget that our guests and loved ones accept our invitation because they want to spend time with us. They don’t need to be impressed. They don’t want or need perfection.
If you think about it, “perfect” entertaining requires only 3 things:
  • Refreshments
  • A place to sit
  • A bathroom

REFRESHMENTS

Have the basics out like a carafe of water. Add a few lemon slices to make it special. Bowels filled with nuts and other finger foods. Don’t forget cocktail napkins. Place them in such a way that guests know and feel comfortable helping themselves.
or:
Have a bar cart  that holds glasses, wine, beer, or even the makings for cocktails if you wish. It’s a comfortable feeling for a guest to know they can help themselves and not feel they have to be waited on.

SEATING

Everyone should have a place to sit and there are many ways to add seating so everyone is comfortable. Few of us have ready seating for 25. Most of us have to pull furniture from other areas of our home or have pieces already in place that can be used as extra seating when needed.

A BATHROOM

We all have at least one of these. When guests arrive and you’re taking their coats, let them know where the bathroom is so they don’t have to ask when they need it. Be sure to have extra toilet paper placed where it can easily be seen and room spray if needed so no one is embarrassed. Hand towels, pretty soaps, and maybe a fresh plant or small bouquet of flowers is all that’s needed for your guests to feel special and taken care of.
There you have it—just 3 things that insures you having a wonderfully successful gathering.
Don’t insist on perfection. If you do, you’ll avoid entertaining because it’s just too much work. The result of that? You’ll miss out on all of the joy and laughter that comes with sharing your home with others. You’ll also miss out on creating the memories that makes your home so very special and like no other.
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
(Photos via HOUZZ)
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email
Summer is but a distant memory for sure.
Each season has it’s pros and cons, but in this darker and colder time think about would make you feel warm, happy, and content; what would you allow yourself to embrace this late fall/winter time of year.
Here are a few ideas that just might work for you. All of them stimulate one or more of your five senses and that’s a good thing.
Take a look:
Don't get your hot cocoa with marshmallows confused with your S.O.'s peppermint drink ever again.
Pictured here: Monogram mug, $8 for one; anthropologie.com
MONOGRAMMED MUGS
What can be better than your own personalized mug. Enjoy your favorite tea, coffee, warm cider, or even a hot buttered rum. Put your feet up, sip and sigh while looking at the nasty weather outside your window.
Nature tends to disappear during winter, and it can be rough to go without seeing some green leaves for months on end. Finding some low maintenance house plants to keep around your space can help hold you over until spring. Succulents are always an easy option for those lacking a green thumb.
FRESH GREENS
Much of nature settles down for its long winter nap. However, the human need for living growth continues regardless. To have living plants and trees indoors feeds us emotionally as well as physically because they help keep the air we breath clean. They tide us over until the earth comes alive again in the spring.
When it gets too frigid to enjoy Mother Nature's sweet scents, burning a woodsy candle is the next best thing. 
Pictured here: Diptyque holiday candle in Sapin, from $35; diptyqueparis.com
SCENTED CANDLES
Whatever your favorite scent might be, there’s a fragrant candle to satisfy it. It could be scents of the winter season like pine, fir, or cinnamon. It could also be something more exotic like bergamot or tobacco. It only matters that it pleases you.
Surviving winter is all about layers, so the more throws the merrier.
Pictured here: Faux fur throw, $395; calypsostbarth.com
THROWS
What could be better than a soft, cozy throw to cover yourself when chilled. In fact, you don’t even need to feel that cold as it’s like getting a big hug and who doesn’t love that?
When the cold weather kicks in, your tile floors practically become blocks of ice. Keep your toes toasty with thick (and playfully patterned!) socks.
Pictured here: Textured and printed socks, $16.50 a pair; jcrew.com
TOASTY SOCKS
Guaranteed to keep your feet warm and you all the happier for it. If you use them as slippers, have several pair and rotate them so they last until spring.
These are simple pleasures and sometimes those are the best of all. Photos via elledecore.com
Until next time…
Blessings from my home to yours,
Nancy,
Dedicated to helping you live your rooms—not the other way around
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • RSS
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Print
  • email

More About

Read more about Nancy Meadows and her work as a designer...

Services

Find out how Nancy can help you in solving your design dilemmas...

Contact

Begin the process of decorating your home or work space with Nancy Meadows...