The Perfect Fit of Metal and Wood Furniture Create a Truly Eclectic Style

When homeowners Pat and Dan Stankey tapped Betty Swenson from our Ann Arbor, Michigan, Design Center for help in furnishing their home, they didn’t know what to expect. The home is unique, with lots of metal and wood, vaulted ceilings, and rustic touches. They were worried that she’d want to replace all their furniture with Ethan Allen. They were in for a very pleasant surprise. Inspired by the couple’s preferences and the architecture of the house, Betty helped Pat and Dan choose a combination of mostly casual pieces that gave their home the fresh, contemporary look they were after.


Celebrate the season, farmhouse style

Think “farmhouse style” and a simple, country look comes to mind: A home filled with lovingly used and pleasingly mismatched pieces. It’s a look both humble and inviting, intentionally flawed, forgiving, and easy to love. Decorating farmhouse style is authentic, making it perfect for this, the most wonderful time of the year.

SET THE TABLE
An actual farmhouse table (like our beloved Miller, with its hand-distressed, plank-effect top) is the perfect foundation for country style in the dining room. Everything about this tablescape is unfussy yet elegant, from the scalloped white plates to the striped linen hand towels that double as napkins.

GO LIVE

Bring a holiday tree in from the great outdoors and use natural greenery whenever possible.  Make place cards pop by tying tags to a few winterberry branches.

SHOWCASE YOUR COLLECTIONS
Display similar things together, tucked in amongst greenery, holiday ribbon, and other decorative elements. No collection? Start one for next season! Take advantage of post-holiday markdowns on snow globes, angel figurines, and stylized trees.

THINK VINTAGE

The past is great inspiration for decorating farmhouse style, but you don’t have to go antiquing unless you want to. Our Kata bowls are true found objects, cleaned and retreated for you, perfect in their unique imperfection.

CELEBRATE THE DIFFERENCES
Farmhouse style resists the urge to make everything matchy-matchy. Our Windsor-style Gilbert chairs, finished in charcoal, look striking against the Miller table‘s rye finish.

DO SOME HOME COOKING
Embrace the farmhouse vibe and toss together this simple, delicious dessert. The scent of apples and cinnamon hot from the oven is almost reason enough to make it!

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 medium baking apples
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 stick chilled butter, cubed

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Core the apples, then cut them into 3/4-inch pieces. Place the apples into a bowl and sprinkle them with the nutmeg, the cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Mix to coat the apple pieces, then spread the mixture into a baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining sugar, the flour, and the salt. Add the butter and work it into the dry ingredients until crumbs form. Sprinkle evenly over your filling.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until the juices are thickened, the apples are tender, and the topping has turned light golden brown. Top with a scoop of your favorite ice cream and enjoy!

 

BE CRAFT-Y   

Humble kraft paper is a perfect canvas for creative farmhouse-style wrappings. Add a little raffia or string and a sprig of berries for supremely simple and stylish packages. Remember, you don’t have live anywhere near a farm to style your home with rustic charm. This holiday season, we send you and yours good tidings of country comfort—and joy.


Unique Home Décor and Gifts for Under $100

Great Gifts for Less Than $100

Looking for a stylish and cost-effective way to flatter your design-savvy friends and family this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. This curated gift list includes beautiful accents that run from pretty to plush and from chic to shimmery—and the best part is they’re all under $100.

ARTY FACT. Our brass Patina Painted vase has a rich, variegated finish that complements any décor. ($99)

PENGUIN CLASSICS. Nickel-finished Emperor Penguins are ready to waddle into a loved one’s heart. ($99)

ALL CHOKED UP. Start with an aged-finish Gold Artichoke to create a stunning still life on a holiday table. ($59)

WARM UP EXERCISE. Think soft, cozy, and comforting: That’s our Ivory Chunky Knit throw. ($69)

IT’S A WRAP. Our jewel-toned Serene throws are available in Goldenrod, Wine, and Teal. ($99)

ONE OF A KIND. Every Merryl vase is an original, mouth-blown by a master artisan in Portugal. ($79)

Ready, set, save! Make your list, check it twice, and go here for more fabulous, affordable gift ideas.


New House, New Look

Rick and Donna Devore were ready for what they call “a lifestyle change.” They’d been married for 38 years when they decided to downsize and move into a charming Victorian in the walkable city of Birmingham, Michigan. The couple wanted a new home that was casual and livable, comfortable, with coastal notes. Lucky for them, designer Michele Nestor of our Design Center in Birmingham was up to the challenge of furnishing the house from top to bottom. Michele delivered the cool look and fresh start they were after—and so much more. Take a look and see how this lifestyle change, changed their life.

 


Tips for a Stress Free Holiday

This Thanksgiving, say goodbye to entertaining stress! These simple Thanksgiving tips can help you plan a day that everyone can love.

Make a Plan

Nothing is impossible once you break it down into simple steps! So: Get your menu set and your shopping done a few days before; jot down a schedule (e.g., what’s being cooked in what order, who’s arriving when, how you’ll pace the hors d’oeuvres, dinner, and dessert) and build in some socializing time for yourself; and make sure there’s enough seating for all your guests.

 

Back to the Future

Nothing beats a recipe that’s been passed down for generations. Send happy Thanksgiving memories into the future by preparing a family favorite or two – you could even have copies of the recipes for guests to take home.

 

Get an Early Start

Check those recipes to see what you can make in advance. Stocks for gravy, sides, and dough are all good candidates for pre-prep.

 

Ready…Set…Set the Table!

Tablescaping game on. Check out our Harvest tabletop here.

 

Card Your Guests

Hosting a crowd? Assign seats with place cards, mixing friends and family to create a more social experience.

 

The Warmest Welcome

Greet your guests with a signature cocktail or a steamy mug of hot mulled cider (with or without the rum!).

 

Open with a Wow

Feel like stretching those creative culinary muscles? Start with one over-the-top appetizer to get your party started.

 

Child’s Play

Set up games, an easy craft, or a space where the little ones can put together a simple yummy dessert, and they won’t have time to ask, “Is it ready yet?”

 

Pass the Sanity, Please

If there are lots of people or lots of dishes, simplify your hosting duties: Set up a buffet near the table and let guests serve themselves.


Behind the Design: How One Partnership Turned into a Friendship

When design consultant Gabriella met her client, Renee, to go over ideas for her master bedroom, the women had no idea that a “wow factor” project would bloom into a fabulous friendship. Renee is now married with a baby—and she’s still happy to call Gabriella a friend.  “As my life has grown and evolved, Gabriella has grown and evolved with me,” she says.

At Ethan Allen, we like to think of it as added value!


Tips From the Design Star

Our latest Design Star, Peggy Fortuna, has been an award-winning design consultant in our Danbury, Connecticut, Design Center since 2012. Before that, the Baltimore native owned and operated her own design and color consulting business. Peggy and her husband have three grown daughters, one grandchild, and a chocolate lab with his own Instagram account. We caught up with Peggy recently and she shared her thoughts on design.

EA: What is your favorite Ethan Allen project?

PF: I had complete design freedom to decorate a client’s four-bedroom home in New Milford, Connecticut—including a large outdoor space. Every room, completely furnished with Ethan Allen furniture and accessories, is both beautiful and livable.

EA: What Ethan Allen item do you currently covet, and why?

PF: I love all the Dynasty and Ming pieces for all their finish options. I also love the sculptural shape and versatility of the Corbin ottoman. It can be used in both traditional and transitional spaces, and it looks great in all kinds of fabrics!

EA: What is your favorite design tip?
PF: I always say the rule is: There are no rules.

EA: Complete this sentence: Every room needs—

PF: Negative space. Color, light, volume, and pattern are important—but don’t forget the space that surrounds it all.

EA: Is there a color you can’t live without, and why?

PF: I love rooms that are all white, but I design using a varied palette. White is needed to balance the other colors in the room.

EA: If you could do any project, anywhere, on any budget, what would it be, and why?

PF: To me, nothing is more beautiful and serene than the beach—so, selfishly, I’d have to say I’d love to decorate a beach house for my family. It would be awesome. And while I am dreaming, let’s say it would be on Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman!


Dealing With Client Anxiety and Second Guessing? You’re Not Alone

When it comes to decorating, we sometimes second-guess ourselves to the point of never, ever making a change. From something as simple as introducing a color to something as complicated as replacing a family heirloom, our fears often keep us from taking action:

  • “What if I decide I don’t like it?”
  • “What if other people don’t like it?”
  • “What if I offend Aunt Jane?”
  • “What if it goes out of style?”
  • “What if it doesn’t work and I end up spending more money to make it right?”

We think it’s time to say “boo!” to your decorating fears and chase them away—once and for all.

You’re Not Alone

If you think you’re the only person spooked by decorating choices, we have good news: you’re not. “I had a client who had a real tough time parting with things,” recalls Joseph Panzer, a design consultant in our Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Design Center. “I understand; you get attached.”

Joseph urged his to repurpose some pieces; they explored ways to mix them in with new Ethan Allen furniture. “Sometimes, just reupholstering a piece can make a client see it a new light and add a nice uniqueness to a space.”

Julie Goss, a design consultant in our Vienna, Virginia, Design Center, had a client who needed a pair of chairs for her living room and a few things for her family room. They looked at many fabric samples together, but her client grew so anxious that became flushed, agitated, and broke out into a sweat.

If you’re feeling anxious about making decorating changes, we have some tips that can make it easier to take baby steps—beautiful baby steps—toward the project of your dreams:

  • Do your homework. Gather inspiration by clipping photos from magazines and tagging websites you like. If you see something that works over and over again, you’ll be more inclined to give it a try.
  • Start small. A whole house redo can be terrifying even if you have all the confidence in the world. Select one room, and then make it over, one component at a time.
  • Remember less is more. Keep things simple; choose a single piece that you love and build a design around it.
  • Lead with functionality. Start with something practical, like switching out a loveseat for a sectional now that their kids are older. If it’s a change you need to make (rather than just one you want to make), you’re more likely to take the plunge.
  • Resist the urge to follow trends. Just because everyone is doing something is usually reason enough not to. Choose looks that will never go out of style—you won’t regret it.

Eventually, Julie persuaded her client to place an order, but even when the furniture came in, it stayed in the service center for months. But when the client took a deep breath and finally accepted delivery, and the pieces were in place, she was delighted. Decorating fears are a lot like ghosts; when you turn around to face them, you see they’re not real.

Decorating doesn’t have to be frightful with the help of an Ethan Allen designer. Treat yourself to our complimentary design service, and we’ll show you our tricks for taking the fear out of decorating.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM ETHAN ALLEN!

Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

There's an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Please obtain a new Access Token on the plugin's Settings page.
If you continue to have an issue with your Access Token then please see this FAQ for more information.