Warming Trend: Throw Blankets You’ll Love to Cuddle Up With

We know it’s not like this everywhere, but in the Northeast, which all of us at HQ call home, it’s bone-knockingly, teeth-chatteringly, take-your-breath-away cold. As we write this, it’s warmer in Anchorage than it is here, and not by a little bit. It is, no joke, warmer in Antarctica right now. Can you forgive us for breaking out the blankets and wanting to hibernate until spring? Here are a few of our favorite throws – cozy, of course, and so cute, they’re perfect on that comfy sofa no matter what the thermometer reads!

Faux Fur Mink Throw

A luxurious faux fur adds texture and richness to any room. You’ll love the soft feel and warm taupe color of this extraordinary faux mink. It’s made in the U.S. and pairs beautifully with our Faux Fur Mink Pillow. This throw becomes a conversation piece in any room—and the perfect way to wrap yourself up in lavish comfort.

Herringbone Knit Throw, Black/White

Drawing inspiration from menswear styling, this graphic black and white herringbone knit throw is a real standout. Its handsome pattern is accented with ivory fringe at each end. A soft blend of wool and acrylic, the gently brushed throw is ideal for snuggling on a chilly night.

Cross Cable Knit Throw, Gray

Nothing compares to the comfy feel of your favorite chunky knit sweater—until now. Our wool/acrylic cross knit throw is beautifully crafted and generously scaled for supersize coziness. It’s made from a loosely spun yarn which gives the throw added texture and character. It’s perfect for snuggling up on a chilly evening with a great book—this throw is sure to keep you warm.


6 Inspiring New Year Resolutions for Your Home

It’s nearly New Year’s Day, which means it’s resolution time! We asked some of our team members here to share their “home goals” for the new year. Some are big picture game-changers. Some are small steps that can make you feel good all day. We hope they inspire you to make some of your own!

SHAWN LANG, Consultant/Lifestyle Blogger:  “My New Year Resolution this year is pretty simple but important: I vow to make my bed every morning. And not just throwing the blanket over with the sheets all crinkled up underneath. I’m actually going to make my bed just as I do when guests come over: Perfectly. The way I see it, it’s the first accomplishment of the day! Getting it done will give me the motivation to accomplish other projects throughout the day. And nothing beats coming home to a freshly made bed where you can relax with a good book.”

MISSY GRASSO, Senior Designer: “My place is a tiny apartment on a working farm. I love it. It keeps me in balance, which is really important if you work three jobs, like I do! When I moved here three years ago, I didn’t take the time to reorganize my life, and it’s about time I did. So, I resolve to get organized, especially with my finances, to get a laptop (my phone’s just not cutting it), and despite lack of space, to find a filing solution. I’m looking forward to feeling like things are under control and living happily in my tranquil haven!”

MARIA LAPIANA, Copywriter: “Like a lot of people, my New Year Resolution is to clear the clutter; specifically, the clutter on my dining room table. Most of the time it’s piled high with mail and miscellany. It’s also a way station for pretty much everything that’s on its way into or out of the house. The mess is controlled chaos, but it still drives me nuts. So in 2018, I’m going to give it a clean sweep. Or a sweep. At least a dusting… Well, I’ll do my best. After all, how hard can it be to move everything to the kitchen counter?”

LAURA CHAPMAN, Senior Director of Design: “I may finally alphabetize my spice rack, but it’s not certain. I like the thrill of the hunt when seasoning my food, and it makes my mom and mother-in-law crazy when they visit, so the chaos may be worth keeping!”

KAREN PEASE-MARINO, Senior Art Director: “We recently downsized, so my resolutions involve two spaces in our new home. The first: to make a collage of art, mirrors, and found objects on our blank dining room wall; I have all the pieces – now it’s time to get them up there. The second: to set up my studio. I’m planning to write a children’s book about extreme poverty in Africa, and my goal is to have it finished by June. I don’t need much – just a place for my computer, a table to work on my collages, and an “inspiration wall” for swipe, African fabric swatches, beads, quotes, and any other forms of inspiration that get my creative juices flowing.”

ILENE DORENBOSCH, Design Manager: “A good friend breeds golden retrievers, and as of Christmas, we have a new addition to our family! Our new little girl joins Cassie, our beloved  12½-year-old Golden – it’s been a long time since we’ve had a puppy in the house.  Our dog-driven New Year Resolutions are to give Cassie as much attention as the puppy, to make sure we don’t leave socks and anything that can be eaten within puppy reach, and to not argue about who will get up in the middle of the night to take the puppy out in the winter cold. We’re so excited for the sound of little paws running through the house again!”

We at The Daily Muse wish you a safe, happy, and prosperous new year.


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.


How to Style a Mantel for the Holidays

If you have a fireplace—working or not—and it has a mantel, you’ve hit the holiday decorating jackpot. A mantel, or mantelpiece (or chimneypiece in England), is by definition a shelf—but it really is so much more. It’s prime real estate in any room: an instant focal point, an opportunity not to be missed.

Often, the architectural style of a mantel (and surrounding millwork) dictates how you decorate it—but not now. From candles and crystal to cherished collectibles, anything goes during the holidays.

Mantel decorating “rules” still apply:

  • Choose a center of attention.
  • Design with odd numbers.
  • Keep scale and balance in mind.
  • Add depth by layering.
  • Stick with your theme.

Following these principles, we styled our own holiday mantel to show you how it’s done. Let us take you through it, step by step.

  • Focus! Center a large mirror or work of art on the mantel and lean it close to the wall. For our spectacular statement piece, we chose our Aged Silver Provincial mirror; it always sets an elegant mood.
  • Go green. Place natural evergreen garland along the length of the mantel, dangling some over the sides for a lush look. Drape greenery on your mirror or artwork, too—for dramatic effect.

  • Add a little color. We chose sprigs of red winterberries.
  • Go glam with a few metal accents. Our lovely Pomegranates (available in gold, brass, or nickel finishes) and ever-popular Song Birds add some shimmer.
  • See the light. Amp up the ambience with candles in hurricanes wrapped in red ribbon. DIY tutorial: A RIBBON RUNS THROUGH IT 
  • Turn on the sparkle! We finished our mantelscape with mini battery-powered LED lights.

 

No mantel? No worries! Try this on any long-ish horizontal surface: a buffet, a console table, or the top of a bookcase or china cabinet.

 


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.

 


Crafty Ways to Decorate With Ribbon

When it comes to seasonal décor, ribbon is one of the most versatile materials there is. Everyone knows ribbon can transform a gift—even one wrapped in plain brown paper—with a simple twist, knot, or bow. Ribbon can give a tired wreath a festive twirl in seconds. It can dress your dining chairs for dinner. And it can stand in for garland, then top a tree with sparkling finesse. We love ribbon of every stripe, whether wide, wired, plaid, pinked, grosgrain, or velvet.

We unspooled some holiday classics (a pair of tartans and razzle-dazzle reds) to jazz up a couple of our favorite everyday accents. With a snip here, and a snip there, we used ribbon to create holiday statement pieces—and you can, too. Let’s get rolling!

Wrap candleholders with lovely tartan ribbon to give your tabletop or mantel a quick holiday update. We used our simple glass hurricanes, available in three sizes. Cut lengths of ribbon two inches longer than the circumference of the hurricanes. Wrap ribbon around each hurricane, folding over the extra. Secure with double-sided tape. Layer narrow ribbon over wide for added cheer!

Our Oval Link tray is fab as is—perfect for displaying decorative objects, candles, flowers, or for serving up your favorite cocktail. We used narrow, red satin ribbon to add a pretty punch of color. Just weave your ribbon through the links, leaving about two inches to neatly fold over and secure with double-sided tape.

 

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