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Here’s How Our VP of Style is Making Decorating Easy for Holiday Entertaining

Like many people, I feel like I totally missed out on the holiday season last year, and I’m looking to bring back some seasonal cheer this year—but in a super easy, low-stress way. On top of the impact of quarantining during the holiday season last year, my Thanksgiving meal was actually the last dinner I ate before becoming a first-time mom (peek inside my nursery design here)! Needless to say, I was in a haze for all of December (and good few months after that!). So, while it feels like my baby’s first Christmas this year, it’s actually her second!

After the stress, anxiety, and loss caused by a global pandemic, layered with the energy and emotion surrounding a new baby, I didn’t think I could find an ounce of extra energy to get ready for the holidays this year. But I knew I wanted to start some new holiday traditions for my growing family. My best friend, Jacqueline, who is a talented floral designer, brought over a winter wreath and a garland for me, and that got me thinking about other easy ways to usher in the holiday season.

This is the first time my husband and I will be getting holiday-ready with our daughter and doing some light entertaining as parents. So this year my plans are all about making easy updates to my home that can last through the holiday season, starting a few new traditions while also passing down some of my old favorites, and hosting effortless, low-key gatherings that celebrate the people I love.

I wanted to share the updates I made to my home for the holiday season with you, in the hopes that it can inspire you for some simple holiday decorating and entertaining!

Step 1: The Entryway

One of my pandemic projects was painting my front door black, and I’ve been looking forward to a green wreath ever since. Instead of the traditional evergreen, I asked Jacqueline to make me a wreath with some softer greens that would dry nicely for longevity. She came up with a gorgeous eucalyptus and bay leaf wreath with white wax flowers. The look is classic, with a hint of modernity, and it has such a fresh smell that welcomes visitors when they arrive.

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Step 2: The Fireplace

The fireplace is one of the best places to get festive with decorations, since it’s a focal point during colder months. I love using garland atop the mantel, with greenery-filled vases and candles tucked in. You can get an extra-long garland to drape down the side of your fireplace for a relaxed-but-lush look. Or, you can have the garland sit the length of the mantel, which is my favorite way to style because you don’t have to stress about getting the perfect shape or if the garland will stay put.

This year I matched the garland, which was also made by my friend, with my front door wreath for continuity inside and out. I also love smelling the eucalyptus in my space! If there are parts of your garland, such as the wax flowers, that may not last more than two weeks, you can always pull those out as they start to fade and leave it with just greens—or pop in a new highlight such as berries or rose hips.

Reality Check

While I planned for this garland to last a good part of the holiday season, two days into having it in my house, I discovered that my daughter is allergic to flowers and greenery. Sometimes you have to let go of your plans and expectations! So, I put the garland outside and came up with a new plan for the fireplace. I channeled my inner 90s mom and picked up a classic, faux garland. Is it the chic, live greenery I envisioned for my holiday backdrop? No. But it’s traditional and nostalgic and can now become part of my family’s holiday decorating traditions for many years to come!

Step 3: The Bar

In the past, I’ve leaned on my bar cabinet when hosting guests, using it as a drink-mixing station for festive cocktails. However, holiday entertaining looks a lot different for us this year; we’ll be focusing on small family gatherings throughout the season that take minimal effort. No multi-course dinners or complicated drink recipes this year! To go along with a more relaxed vibe, I’ve styled my bar cabinet to be a coffee and pastry bar instead.

If you want to transform your bar cabinet or cart into a coffee nook, start by picking out your favorite potables to add into your coffee, tea, or espresso. For me that’s whiskey and sambuca. You might also like sweet or cream liqueurs, such as amaretto or Bailey’s. You could also forgo alcohol all together and set out some decadent treats to stir into your drinks—such as mint simple syrup, sugar cubes, candy canes, rock candy, local honey, or fresh whipped cream. Once your mixers are set, make sure your drinkware is ready to go and incorporate it as part of your styling. And don’t forget to save a space for a tray of fresh baked goods (store bought, homemade, or a mixture of the two!).

For baked goods, I’m setting out a mixture of homemade mini cakes and store-bought sfogliatelle. My baked goods tray also has a little trick: I use a box cake mix but bake it in an intricate cake pan! I used this Nordic Ware Plaque, which creates mini show-stopper cakes that look like they took hours to create (but take only minutes to prepare). When attending rather than hosting a gathering, this is also the perfect treat to bring to a party when you’re looking to impress the host and get a ton of compliments from other guests!

This bar setup allows us to be entertaining-ready in the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee, tea, or espresso and put some baked goods on a tray! It makes it easy to invite friends over for a cup of coffee or tea, add a fun touch to after-dinner entertaining, or use your bar setup to create small moments of joy for your household throughout the season.

Embracing Nostalgia

The treats on my coffee bar have special meaning to me, as well. Growing up with an Italian family, I learned about adding a splash of sambuca to espresso from my grandparents. Espresso paired with sambuca was a ritual at their home, and the sweet liquorice flavor reminds me of them. My grandfather’s favorite pastries were sfogliatelle, a delicacy from his region in Italy, and these were a staple for family celebrations. Instead of stressing myself out baking, these are my go-to; it’s a treat most people haven’t tried and is filled with nostalgia for me. I won’t lie, I have literally cried after biting into a fresh sfogliatelle at least once in my life!

Step 5: Setting the Table

As a design historian, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love vintage china. To create a stellar tablescape this year, I borrowed a Lennox pattern from my mom and pulled out some of the colors with the table runner, and an easy-but-gorgeous centerpiece. But even if you don’t have anything but white dishes, your table can still look extra special with a few thoughtful touches: a table runner or tablecloth, a full set of silverware, and a floral centerpiece.

A table runner is a great alternative to a tablecloth, and the perfect choice if you have a table that you love and want to show off. For me, showing off my reclaimed wood table top was a perfect pairing with the elegant, fancy china, allowing for a slightly more relaxed atmosphere.

I don’t fancy myself a floral designer; in fact, I don’t think I’m even good at arranging flowers. So, for the centerpiece I simply went to the grocery store and bought a few flowers that spoke to me and had the earthy and blue colors I wanted to highlight. I sat at my table after my daughter fell asleep (in the 60 minutes before she’d wake up again!) and just kept adding flowers to a small vase. The more I added the better the arrangement looked! If you buy flowers that can dry out or have longevity, you can leave them on the table with the table runner and candlesticks and elevate your nightly dinners between holiday meals.

And with that, I’m ready for some small family gatherings throughout the next month!

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Fall Decor Updates: 11 Ways to Transition Your Space for Fall

Changing seasons always makes us want to spruce up and change out some of our home decor. In the spring, it’s all about freshening up your space and clearing out the winter blues. But as the days start getting shorter, the air gets crisp, we’re all about making some cozy swaps to our decor to transition the space for fall.

Fall decorating changes and updates don’t have to be drastic. But small changes—whether it’s swapping out artwork, throw pillows, or tabletop decor—help your home adjust to the season and make your space reflect what’s happening outside.

If you’re ready to decorate for the fall and want some fall decor ideas, keep reading! We’ve got your fall decor checklist ready with small changes you can make in every room of the house!

How to Bring Fall to Your Bedroom

As the days get shorter and darker, we often start spending a bit more time in our bedrooms. This is a space where we can unwind at the end of the day, or slowly start our mornings. And making some textile and color updates can really up the cozy factor for the fall.

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Swap Out Your Upholstery

Swapping out upholstery is a great way to get your bedroom ready for fall and winter. Layer some cozy pillows onto your bed, and swap out lighter pillows for covers with rich, saturated tones. Bring in a duvet that is a bit heavier and warmer, and perhaps even adds a slight pop of contrast. (If you use a linen duvet cover in the spring/summer, swap it out for something darker or with a heavier fabric.)

You can use both upholstery and decor to bring in a more autumnal color scheme as well. Focus on fall color palettes by playing with saturated colors in your accents—whether those are earth tones, jewel tones, or even rich materials like leather. All of these add a great element of warmth to a space.

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Bring in Extra Layers

While in the spring and summer, you might want to focus on simplicity, the fall and winter are all about layering. Layer in baskets to help store more cozy necessities like pillows and throws. Layer in small furniture like poufs or a bench at the foot of the bed to make the space feel more full, comfortable, and cozy.

If you’re in the mood for a more significant change, think about upgrading to an upholstered bed for more coziness and softness in the space. You could also opt for darker nightstands in wood, metal, or stone to add contrast to the softness of an upholstered headboard. Of course, upholstered beds are seasonless and suitable for any time of year—but fall is a great time to make the switch.

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Turn Your Bedroom into a Sanctuary

Make your bedroom a crisp-weather sanctuary with your favorite candles, layered lighting, and a spot to curl up and read (or space to meditate, if you prefer). It’s all about turning it into a space where you can slip away for a bit of peace and quiet. Color schemes, textures, and layout all have big impacts on your mood, so make sure to consider these things when creating your sanctuary. If you’re looking to feel more grounded, go for earth tones. They’re perfect for fall, but are lovely to use year-round.

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Add Travel-Inspired Elements

Most of us aren’t traveling this fall, so what about adding elements of your favorite destinations or hotels into your own bedroom? Consider splurging on that luxe hand cream that your favorite hotel has, and keep it on your nightstand. Or perhaps keep a beautiful tray at the foot of your bed or on your dresser with a few favorite trinkets collected from your travels. (Or use it as a serving tray to enjoy coffee or tea in bed!)

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How to Bring Fall to Your Living Room

Living rooms are central to your home year-round. But as the weather cools off, they tend to become more of a gathering place than they are in the warmer months. Like your bedroom, a living room is a great place to bring in a fall color palette and cozy textiles and materials to make this room feel like a place where you can really unwind.

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Layer in Cozy Accents

In your living room, layer in cozy fall decor and accents. This is a great time of year to incorporate some chunky woven poufs to your space, along with more pillows in earthy, bold hues. You could even layer in some fun patterns on some of the pillows to add a pop of contrast!

We love layered lighting year-round, but in the fall it’s especially important. Incorporate some lanterns, candles, or string lights for touches of sparkle and warmth. And don’t forget to layer in some fall-inspire plants as well! Swap out the fresh greenery for dried florals or pampas grass, which is full of those fall vibes. You can also get your living room ready for the season with these fall mantel decor ideas.

Play With Contrast

If you have a cooler wall color, bring in warm touches in the accent decor to warm the space up for fall. You can do this through pillows, throws, and even natural materials that are on the warmer side, like rattan and seagrass. In fact, fall is a perfect time to take advantage of natural textures. Incorporating materials like jute, seagrass, and cane add a really lovely textural element to your space, which will make it feel more cozy and dynamic.

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How to Bring Fall to Your Dining Room

In the fall, dining rooms are typically the “it” room of the home. This space becomes the center of the home as you prepare for fall gatherings and holiday hosting. While things might look quite different in terms of hosting this year, dining rooms remain the center of the home. Not only are they where you gather for family dinners and potentially host guests—but it’s also likely become a space for working from home or where your kids spread out for distance learning, homework, or crafts.

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Layer in Seasonal Decor That Can Be Easily Moved

To transition your dining room for fall, as well as make it work for all of these multiple functions, all you need to do is make a few small changes. Bring in warm hues for fall in small accent pieces that can easily move around when you need to make adjustments for different uses of the space. You can bring in an autumnal color palette through small artwork, mirrors, vases and bowls, or even fall decoration like pumpkins or gourds.

Add Cozy Elements

You might not think of layering throws and pillows in your dining room—but this is actually a great way to cozy up your dining area. It gives the space extra comfort and warmth. If you want a more significant change, swap out two chairs for a bench or antique church pew, or switch from wooden chairs to upholstered options. A church pew will add rustic warmth to your space—perfect for fall—and upholstered chairs definitely make the space feel cozier.

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Create a Reading Nook

If you have a small dining room, add multiple functions by layering a bench with extra throw pillows in soothing but saturated earth tones. This will not only make dinners more comfortable, but also gives you a little reading nook to curl up with a book in the evening!

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How to Bring Fall to Your Entryway

Seasonally, entryways tend to get overlooked. However, this is a great space to place a bouquet of your favorite fall arrangement or even a few pumpkins or a wreath if you have the space.

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Make Room for Seasonal Necessities

As the weather gets colder, it’s crucial to make sure you have enough storage space for things like extra coats, shoes, scarves, and masks. So, baskets of varying sizes are great additions for an entryway, along with hooks for hanging coats and bags, and small catch-alls for your keys.

Swap Out Tabletop Decor

You don’t have to strictly use autumn seasonal decor to freshen up the look of a room for the fall. You can also make simple decor changes. Layer in some artwork that you don’t put out all year around for a special fall touch. Bring out the smaller bowls and catchalls for storing autumnal decor like pumpkins, gourdes, and leaves. If you have a darker corner in your space, maybe now is the time to upgrade to a table lamp for that spot. Introducing warm lighting is a must for fall.

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Trend Spotlight: The Cozy Color Palettes We’re Loving for Fall

With fall, there often comes the desire to change out decor and bring cozier elements into our homes. A big way that you can change up the vibe of your space is through color. Bringing a different color palette into a room can completely transform how it feels. While you might have used a lot of whites, blues, and yellows for summer, fall is a great time to incorporate deeper and more saturated hues.

When refreshing the color scheme of a room for fall, you can always go with the classics, which mirror the colors of changing leaves—reds, oranges, golden yellows, browns. But you could also take a trendier approach for something a bit more bold. There are some great fall decor ideas and color trends out there right now that bring both warmth and personality to your space.

Our designers have been spotting bold colored rooms and deeply saturated hues throughout the design world that are making a big splash this fall—and we want to fill you in on what they are and how to incorporate them into your home. So, if you’re looking for simple and attainable ways to bring fall color decor trends into your space, keep reading!

 fall color schemesWays to Decorate With Trendy Fall Colors

When making fall decor updates, the colors you choose are just as important as the decor swaps you make. Opting for rich, saturated hues (like the ones we’ll show you in this post) will bring coziness and warmth into your space—perfect for when the weather gets cooler! And you can incorporate these colors in big or small ways.

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 fall color schemesTexture

Textiles are a perfect way to incorporate trendy fall colors. Whether through accent pillows, throws, or even a rug, you can bring in pops of these fall colors throughout your space. Bonus points for layering in different textures through these textiles as well! A lot of what will make these trendy fall colors come alive is textures, since they’re more saturated colors; the texture of a textile will bring more depth to the color.

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Decorative Accents

Tabletop decor is another great way to subtly incorporate these colors—through vases, decorative bowls, candles, or even the florals and greenery you choose. In fact, fall is a great time to swap out greenery for dried florals, sculptural branches, or grasses. We also recommend adding in more candles for that warm, layered lighting (and some cozy scents).

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 fall color schemesBold Moments of Color

Of course, if you’re in the mood for a bigger change, you can certainly incorporate these color palettes in a larger way, too—say, through painting a wall or swapping out an accent chair for one in a trendy fall hue. This will make a big impact, but each of the trendy fall color palettes we’re unpacking today will have legs far beyond the fall. They’ll still be relevant in winter and far beyond—so you don’t have to paint your walls seasonally or constantly be purchasing new furniture.

But, whether in big ways or small, these trendy color palettes are a fun way to breathe new life into your home this fall. Keep reading for four of our favorite fall color trends!

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 fall color schemesDeep Olives and Woods

Is anything quite so cozy as deep greens mixed with warm wood tones? We’re going to go with no. The combination of wood elements with deep olives is one of those very warm and cozy fall color schemes that we can’t get enough of. Woods mix really well in this color palette, since they pop against earthy, saturated greens, and can range from lighter to darker wood tones.

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Why We Love It

Not only do earthy greens go beautifully with wood pieces, but this duo can also be accented with other earth tones like terracotta, tan, sage, khaki, and cream. Leather accents also bring out the richness of both wood and green tones. All of this allows for a layered look and the opportunity to really personalize this trendy color palette.

Stylist Tip: Layer in some dried branches as another wooden element and a piece of quintessential fall decor!

Earth Purple and Brown

We’re seeing a lot of this deep, inky, earthy shade of purple this fall. This heavily saturated hue pairs perfectly with deep brown woods and other natural materials such as seagrass and jute, which really make this color pop.

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Why We Love It

This deep, earthy purple makes a great base for a jewel-tone color palette. It has a luxurious feel to it, and depending on the colors you pair it with it can bring out both purple or deep red undertones—which makes it easy to further personalize this look. Either way, it pops against neutrals and brings a resonant depth to your space.

Stylist Tip: Try pairing this color with dried florals that have deep purple or red tones to add to the fall vibe.

 fall color schemesCharcoal with Saturated Earth Tones

If you want a more nuanced and layered color palette that’s also on-trend for 2021 color schemes, try mixing charcoal with deep greens and pops of earth tones and crisp neutrals. This shade of pine green has cooler undertones, but placing it alongside natural materials really warms it up.

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Why We Love It

There’s something very sophisticated about this color combo. Charcoal is also a great way to bring low-key contrast into a color scheme. Charcoal pairs beautifully with earth tones, offering both contrast and depth. But it’s not as harsh as black, so it creates a softer look.

Stylist Tip: Fall is a great time to layer in more natural materials to your space, giving it added texture. Jute rugs, woven poufs, knit woolen throws, cane, seagrass, and other natural textures, all coming together in an earthy palette to create warmth and textural diversity in your space.

 fall color schemesHigh-Contrast Neutrals and Blues

Blue and beige might not be a color combo you naturally think of for a fall color palette—but high-contrast neutrals are actually a very trendy color combo this fall. When paired with other warm neutrals, a blue and beige palette takes on a rustic warmth that’s perfect for fall.

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Why We Love It

The coolness of a blue and beige palette is warmed up when paired with natural wood, warm tans, and leather accents—resulting in a space that feels quite cozy. Not big on decorating with bold colors? This is a perfect way to warm up your space while staying among neutrals.

Stylist Tip: Bring contrast into your space in a bold way by swapping out light and airy curtains for heavier navy drapes.

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6 Fall Tablescape Ideas That are Sure to Impress Your Guests

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about hosting! While the holidays are about being together with the people you love—not impressing them with a Pinterest-worthy home—it is fun to gussy up your house and make it extra inviting for guests. One simple way to get your dining room holiday-ready is by designing a beautiful tablescape!

A tablescape is an artistic arrangement of objects on your table. Obviously this involves your dinnerware — but to create a truly stunning tablescape, you can also work in additional objects like greenery, candles, and linens. Depending on the objects you choose, you can embody different design styles that will compliment the overall style of your home while playing up those fall vibes. Keep scrolling for fall tablescape ideas for 6 different styles!

modern tablescape ideas

modern dining room

1. Modern and Minimal

For a look that’s more modern or transitional, keep your tablescape free of frills and too many decorative objects. Take a minimal approach to styling, with only a few simple and thoughtfully curated accents. We love white pumpkins for a modern touch of fall style. Complete the look by opting for for contemporary and simple serveware.

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modern rustic dining room

eclectic tablescape ideas

2. Mid-Century and Rustic

This dining room features a more eclectic take on a fall tablescape. For both mid-century and rustic looks (or the perfect combination of the two: modern rustic), gravitate toward a warm color palette and play with interesting or unexpected forms. Here, we love the organic shape of the wheat stalks, a handleless carafe, and even the surrounding artwork.

Next, play up the texture. We incorporated texture with woven placemats, featuring tassels that tie into the color scheme. What results is a look that is cohesive, visually nuanced, and interesting enough to get your guests talking about something other than politics.

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glam dining room design

chic tablescape ideas

3. Elegant and Glam

If you like tablescape ideas that are chic and a little over the top, this one’s for you. When styling your tablescape, layer on gold, crystals, and statement pieces — like gold chargers, a stunning chandelier, and these crystal geode candlesticks.

And speaking of those candlesticks, they contrast perfectly with the delicate glassware. It’s the perfect pairing of glamorous and luxe materials with sleek forms to keep the look balanced.

But despite all the glitz and glam, this fall tablescape idea still takes a traditional approach to styling for a look that’s both sleek and feminine.

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rustic dining room design

rustic tablescape ideas

4. Rustic and Traditional

This look embodies the classic sense of “fall” in all its glory. With rugged woods, a farmhouse dining table, Windsor-style chairs, and plaid accents, you have a tablescape that’s truly rustic and cozy. Family-friendly to its core, the table decor is pared back yet creates a cozy sense of place.

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coastal dining room design

elegant tablescape idea

5. Classic and Contemporary

Elegant and sophisticated, this fall tablescape idea relies on simple styling for a fresh and clean feeling. It’s the perfect look if you like more classic or coastal styles, as it has a more formal air to it. While it features a fall color palette, it’s in a more subtle and contemporary style topped with simple, fall-inspired decor.

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boho dining room design

boho tablescape ideas

6. Rustic and Eclectic

This dining room mixes a few different styles in one space—a little bit bohemian, a little rustic, and a lot of eclectic. With that, you’ll notice unexpected pieces and styling moments, like wishbone chairs and basket wall art.

This look is grounded by saturated earth tones and a solid wood table with a live-edge look. And the tablescape idea is finished by layering on a lot of textures and natural materials — including plenty of plants and greenery.

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