Festive Boho-ho-ho Christmas Stockings

Yup, I have become one of those people who does a themed Christmas each year. I am still not sure if this is a sign of greatness of madness! While I admit to having accumulated many boxes of decorations, I … Continue reading

In the Clear… Acrylic Furniture Picks

Beautiful clear furniture in acrylic, lucite, or glass, has always caught my eye. It is distinctly modern but neutral enough to fit in – and add a touch of glamorous sparkle – to any room. When one of my favorite home decor sites, One Kings Lane, announced a sale on beautiful acrylic furniture, I thought it would be a good time to scout out some favorite items.

Here are my picks from this sale:

Jones Bar Cart. Ohhh I want a bar cart so badly. I love the touch of gold on this one. Sadly, I’m afraid my boys would use this as a go-cart, but perhaps you’d have more luck?


Havenhurst Coffee Table. Again, I think the touch of gold makes this modern table feel more transitional. The corners remind me of the campaign style. This clear table would feel so light and airy in a living room or family room.

Whitley Tufted Bench. This bench feels less like going out on a limb than some of the other pieces. I think it is because the top surface, which catches more of your eye, is a traditional upholstered surface. The clear legs add just the right amount of sparkle and glamour. Statement pieces are great, and so are subtle touches like this one.

Havenhurst Etagere. More clean lines and metallic touches. I guess I know what I like this mix of campaign touches on a modern acrylic etagere really set my heart aflutter!

Brigitte Floor Lamp. Here’s another piece, like the bench, where the top looks more traditional, and the acrylic legs turn the lamp into something distinctive and glamorous.

Wow, I would put any of these in my house. How about you?

“Jewels”

Chinoiserie Chic Living Room

Our living room has evolved over the years. Here’s a look at some of our latest additions, including the color block drapes and these pretty turquoise chairs from Article (formerly Bryght). I have to admit I was pretty nervous when the intense color showed up in my living room, but I am so glad I took a risk!

Over on the other side of the room, I have a little bar set up next to the dining area:

I recently moved this painted Chinese screen over the bar area when I was rearranging our art. I really like how it brings the eye up and emphasizes the tall ceilings.

And here are two paintings by my mom that I recently added to the living room. These remind me of De Gournay wallpapers and add an authentic bit of Chinoiserie to our home.

Hope you enjoyed the details in our living room!

“Jewels”

DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper 

As you know, this Christmas, I’m decorating with a retro mid-century  theme. Our tree is trimmed with glove ornaments in red, turquoise, and pink, including these scrapbook paper and washi tape globe ornaments.

I was looking for the perfect tree topper and saw this fabulous atomic topper from Over the Top Finials on Etsy. They have lots of fun products!!

Since I had all the supplies in the house already, I thought I’d try a DIY version, and I’m pretty excited with how it turned out!

Here’s what I rounded up to make the tree topper:

  • 11 bamboo skewers – paint with silver spray paint
  • Medium styrofoam ball – paint with silver craft paint
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Green felt to cover roll
  • Assorted small balls and beads. I used some vase filler (which also came in handy when making my ornament wreath; I might have some trouble filling a vase in the future…)

Here’s how to put it together

  • Paint the skewers and styrofoam ball and let dry
  • Cut the toilet paper roll lengthwise and tape it into a narrower and tapered roll. Push the narrower end into the  styrofoam ball. Cover it with green felt to blend into the tree.
  • Cut the skewers into varying lengths, cutting on an angle to make sharp ends.
  • Stick the small balls and beads into the skewers.
  • Stick the skewers into the center ball, spacing them out in all directions and with varying lengths.

Ta-da!

DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper | Jewels at Home
DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper | Jewels at Home

And here’s how the tree has come together, including the retro Christmas Ornament tree skirt!

DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper | Jewels at Home
 I think our Christmas tree looks far-out and groovy with its new topper!

“Jewels”

Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments

For the last few years, I have had a different theme for Christmas decorating each year. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I need to change all my decorations! I’ve gotten creative about re-purposing and adapting our ornaments and other decor to fit each theme. When I did my white Christmas two years ago, I bought lovely white felt stockings from West Elm. They worked just as well for last year’s white and red Christmas. For this year’s nostalgic retro Christmas, all I had to do was change out the initials on the stockings.

Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

I used felt in our Christmas colors of red, pink, and blue and added white felt monograms. I attached them to the stockings with safety pins, so it will be easy to change them again, when needed! It’s amazing how this small project completely transforms the look of our stockings and mantel!

Here’s a look at last year:

Simple white and red Christmas mantel | Jewels at Home

And this year:

Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

Felt Retro Monogram Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

While we’re enjoying this year’s cheerful nostalgic Christmas, I’m already thinking about themes for the future – Scandinavian Christmas or a metallic Christmas – and it’s good to know I’ll be able to re-use these stockings again!

“Jewels”

Retro Mid-Century Ornament Wreath

So, if you have been following along, you will know that I have a colorful Mid-Century Christmas planned for this year. So far, my preparations have included a new Christmas tree skirt, and next up was this pretty ornament wreath!

I found a lot of beautiful inspirations for this type of wreath, including some beautiful and whimsical examples from Georgia Peachez.

There are a lot of different methods out there for making ornament wreaths, and I read through several examples before starting my own.

I used a piece of foam leftover from another project as my wreath base. It was flexible, but once the ornaments were glued in place, it held its shape. I used a piece of heavy beading wire to create a hanger on the back, before I started attaching the ornaments.

To attach the ornaments, I hot-glued a ring of the large balls in this year’s colors of pink, turquoise, and red around the entire outside and inside of the wreath base. I then added a few large ornaments to the top and filled in with medium and smaller ornaments. I included a few pine cone ornaments to change up the look. Also, I kept the hangers visible on a handful of the ornaments for more visual interest.

Some methods include tinsel on the base or painting the base. Since I didn’t do either, I needed to make sure I filled all the gaps, so I finished off the wreath with some vase filler and large beads. This is definitely one of those projects, like L’s birthday quilt, where it takes a long time and a lot of planning to make it look “random.” By the time I went to bed, I was seeing ornaments float before my eyes…

But it was all worth it! I am not decorating quite yet, so for now, the wreath is adding some cheer to my craft room window, and as Nicola said when she came over for our recent Creativity Circle, it looks pretty good there!

Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home
Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home  Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home
Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home  Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at Home
Mid-Century Retro Ornament Wreath | Jewels at HomeWith the new tree skirt and this wreath, I think I am well on my way to creating this year’s theme, but I do still have a few projects I’d like to add, if time allows! Looking forward to seeing it all come together!

“Jewels”

Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt

I know it is only November, but I am already getting excited about the upcoming Christmas season. The last few years, I’ve changed up our decorations to have a different theme each season. This year, I decided to go with a retro mid-century Christmas theme. You may remember that I am a big fan of the TV series Mad Men, and I really wanted to have a party to mark the series finale this spring, but life is way too busy, so I decided to have some Mid-Century fun for Christmas. One of my inspirations was this Christmas tree skirt that I saw advertised on mod cloth last year.
It’s sold out now, and it was also smaller than I wanted, so of course I decided to make my own. If you are feeling inspired, here’s how I did it.

You’ll need:

Instructions:

  • I sewed the skirt with the same 60″ diameter as our grey and white tree skirt
  • I then cut out and appliqued the ornaments the way I made appliqued onesies. For the print fabrics, I just did a simple silhouette. For the more solid fabrics, I cut out some shapes, taking inspiration from the Mod Cloth original
  • I sewed the ornaments and ribbons in place, and ta-da!

Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home
Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home  Retro Mid-Century Ornaments Christmas Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home

I’m waiting a few more weeks to set up our decorations, and I am so excited to see this pretty skirt under our tree!

Update: Here are some pictures of the skirt under our tree!

Retro Christmas Ornament Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home


Retro Christmas Ornament Tree Skirt | Jewels at Home
“Jewels”

I’m Dreaming of a Retro Christmas

I love Christmas! and I love Mad Men! The last few years, I have changed up our Christmas decor each year.

This year, I’m really loving the look of a colorful Mid-century Christmas. I’m gathering inspiration and have a few projects to show you soon. Here are some of my favorite ideas.

I love everything about Danielle Thompson’s Candy Colored Christmas. This pom-pom wreath is adorable, and the simple white background keeps the colorful theme from being over-the-top.

danielle Thompson xmas

Danielle Thompson

This little bottle brush forest seen at Apartment Therapy is so charming. I made Christmas trees with felt and yarn a few years ago, so I am am looking forward to adding to my collection!

bottle brush trees

And how about this beautiful Christmas tree skirt that was sold on Mod Cloth? It’s out of stock now, but I’m looking forward to making my own!

IMG_8029

One more project I have in the works is an ornament wreath inspired by the fantastic ones by Georgia Peachez.

georgiapeachezwreath

I’m looking forward to bringing all these fun retro Christmas ideas into reality in our house this year!

“Jewels”

A Few of My Favorite Chairs – Whimsical Chippendale Makeover

I’m not trying to hide the fact that I have a bit of a thing for chairs. I picked up a set of Chippendale chairs off of craigslist a while ago. I’ll admit that I didn’t even know exactly where they would go, but I could not pass up these beauties.

A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

There were three armchairs, and you may remember I painted these black and reupholstered the seats with a complementary lattice print. They make beautiful side chairs in our living-dining room.

20140329-171806.jpg

Next up were the four side chairs. I originally thought I would use them for an eat-in area in our kitchen, but when we renovated, we ended up with seating at the island, instead of a separate table.

Not to worry, though, the side chairs have found a home in our family room. This room is decorated with lots of white, as you can see in our “built-in” fireplace wall, and blue, as you can see in the new graphic pillows, so I found a print for the seats of the chairs that would connect to these colors. I love how the modern print makes these traditional chairs feel more contemporary, and the circles complement the angles of the lattice.
A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

Here’s how the new chairs fit in to the kids’ study space in our family room: A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

And a final look to see how all these chairs were transformed from stuffy to stunning!

20140329-171754.jpg

A Few of My Favorite Chairs - Whimsical Chippendale Makeover | Jewels at Home

So fun! So fun! Funny story. Some of you know that Steve is an avid runner, and I honestly believe I get the same endorphin rush from completing a fun makeover project like this one. Isn’t that crazy?

“Jewels”

Mad Men Party – Setting the Scene

I haven’t had a birthday party in 20 years, but this year seemed like a good time to get friends together for a joint party to celebrate Steve and my birthdays. Really, it all came out of my recent discovery of Mad Men (yes, I am late to the game but twice as devoted to make up for it), and the party seemed like a perfect excuse to dress up in fun 50s and 60s garb while swilling yummy cocktails with our nearest and dearest.

Are you planning a 50s/60s-era Mad Men party? What do you have in mind? Here are some of the props and ideas I can’t wait to try out. (Update: check out the new posts on the Mad Men menu and party wrap-up!)

Clothes

For guys, a suit with a skinny tie will look very dapper. Maybe a fedora?

Girls, the ideas are endless. You can go elegant late 50s or mod 60s. I see 50s- and 60s- inspired styles almost everywhere these days, but some specialty sources you’ll have fun browsing are ModCloth, Etsy, and eBay. Don’t forget your local thrift and consignment stores, too!

I’m still going through my closet for the perfect dress(es!) to accessorize with some pearls or this vintage rhinestone necklace:

Art Deco rhinestone necklace. Fab collection of ideas for a Mad Men party. {Jewels at Home}

Decor and atmosphere

I plan to set the scene with accessories like this old typewriter I found at an antiques store. I think it predates the 60s, but it still creates a great atmosphere. The typewriter needs a new ribbon – perhaps I can call UNderhill 3-2261 for service, as the sticker suggests?

Vintage typewriter - great prop for a Mad Men party! Complete list of party ideas in this blog post.  {Jewels at Home}

And of course, a fabulous bar is a must. I’m putting together a little collection of Dorothy Thorpe silver-rimmed barware, including roly poly glasses that look like them came straight out of Don Draper’s office.

Vintage Dorothy Thorpe monogrammed glasses for a Mad Men party! Complete list of party ideas in this blog post.  {Jewels at Home}

Vintage Dorothy Thorpe roly poly glass for a Mad Men party! Complete list of party ideas in this blog post.  {Jewels at Home}

I considered getting a chip and dip dish, like the one Pete and Trudy Campbell got as a wedding gift, but I didn’t really want to spend money on something so specific, so I’m going to fake it with a bowl and platter.

If time permits, I’d like to make up some mock Lucky Strike cigarette boxes filled with something – chocolates, bread sticks, pretzels, candy cigarettes?

Music playlist – some Jazz and blues classics, Beatles, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Bob Dylan, Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel.

Since this is a big birthday for both of us, I’m also considering doing a slide show – inspired by the Kodak carousel – maybe including some “Instagram”s of recent pictures.

I’ve also started printing posters to frame for products that Sterling Cooper worked on, such as:

  • Lucky Strike
  • Right Guard – aerosol can
  • Menken’s department store
  • Secor laxative
  • Liberty Capital – executive account
  • Belle Jolie lipstick
  • Mohawk Airlines
  • Samsonite
  • Patio cola
  • Heinz – baked beans
  • Sugarberry hams
  • Playtex
  • Jaguar
  • Kodak carousel
  • Pepsi snoball

Menu

This is a tough one. What are some retro dishes that people would actually want to eat? Waldorf salad, quiche, shrimp cocktail? We’re also thinking about some classic dishes to make for fun – I want to make a Jell-o salad, and Steve is talking about Beef Wellington.

For drinks, cocktails of all kinds, including Don Draper’s Old Fashioned, Betty’s Mint Juleps, martinis, and maybe a punch bowl. Another fun addition would be some Heinekens, which were also featured in the show.

Activities
We’ll have plenty of fun just hanging out together, but I’d also like to put out some vintage board games – Scrabble, Monopoly, Yahtzhee, Farkle and some games Steve picked up at the neighborhood rummage sale last year – and maybe set up a card table.

vintage board games

Game of the States from 1960 and Gettysburg from 1958 for $1 each! Looking forward to playing these!

Send any more ideas our way. Can’t wait to show you what we put together!

“Jewels”