Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Counting Blessings

C'est la vie

As the year comes to a close we have the opportunity to take a moment and reflect on our blessings. I count you, my readers, as a huge blessing in my life. Thank you!!! Willow Decor is labor of love and my sincere thanks for reading, and sharing your comments. I never imagined when I started writing this blog it would reach so many readers in so many countries. Your emails, comments and questions inspire me to be better each day. Wishing you all the best for the Holiday Season! I look forward to continuing the journey with you into 2009!



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Decorating in White

Martha Stewart

Why do we love using white for the holidays? Perhaps its the way it sets off the table setting or the tree, or decorations in such a way that makes everything look fresh and magical. Here are some of my favorite holiday decorated rooms. Some of these photos I have been saving for years and may not remember where they came from. If you recognize any as your own please let me know so I can give credit to these wonderful images.

Above, an entry way with fresh greenery and a moss wreath. Cast iron urns and small trees add to the wonderful mix of textures.

Min Lilla Veranda
A small tree decorated in the traditional Scandinavian style with real lighted clip on candles. Windows adorned with fresh greenery and a gingerbread house on the counter. I love the warmth and simplicity of this room.

What a beautiful dining room! I love the small flowers at each place setting. I also like the way the three trees, only adorned with white lights, bring your eye out of the room. They add a simplicity to the what could be a very formal and fussy space.

Perfect for a cozy holiday breakfast. Just the right amount of decorations. Notice the pine-cones and fresh greenery. This is a simple look to duplicate in your own home. All you need is a white tablecloth, a linen topper and them some items found in your back yard. Don't forget the candles!
Marie Claire Maison
Austere, but very chic. Not necessarily something I would choose but I like the interesting tree and the how it adds so much texture to the room.

Another more modern look, but also lovely and elegant. The wonderful chandeliers add drama. I especially love the angels.
I have had this picture so long and I absolutely love it. Is it the black server, the linen, the wreath, the canisters?? I love the pears and the ornaments. This picture makes me want sit at this table and share a cup a tea with friends. (It also makes me think I should start painting some of my pine pieces black.)

Annette Hus
Another room I adore! I especially like the wreaths on every chair. A simple tree with small lights and homemade linen ornaments. (A tip: make sure you hot glue some linen or cloth to the backs of the wreaths so you do not have sap and dirt on your chairs later.)

Magdalenas Hem

Magdalenas Hem
A simple spray of white paint or spray snow transforms the ordinary into extraordinary.
Magdalenas Hem
Is this bark or linen? Either way, with the branches and the berries it had a wonderful unusual texture and makes a unique wreath.


Two more white wreaths-both simple and beautiful.

Camilla at Home
Finally - a sweet vignette that you can do anywhere in your home. Just find a small chair, add a tray or plate with candles and some greenery and at tiny wreath - viola !

Simple, lovely decorations to lift your spirit!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Even More Holiday Window Boxes

The response to the Holiday Window Boxes has been so great I decide to post just a few more for inspiration! These window boxes all include the addition of a wreath or two.Flikr
Here is a great combination of ivy, greens and plumes of reddish flowers. I like how the wreath in between pulls it all together.
This is classic New England! Three tiny Christmas trees and two wreaths on the windows - simple and classic.
Finally here is a great example of adding faux flowers. The poinsettias add a splash of color to a lovely evergreen arrangement.
All this holiday decorating is getting me in spirit - Fa la la la la....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Creating Holiday Window Boxes

I love the outdoor decorations during the holiday season but some of my favorites are the window boxes. Whether you live on a big country estate or in small city apartment, everyone can find room to add a little holiday decor with a window box. Here are few examples:
My Life
This arrangement is wonderful. It is so fresh and colorful. It reminds me of my sister and her shaker style house. I love the small apples, berries and pine cones. I also love evergreen and leaf mix.
Here is one that takes the natural look just one step further with tiny white lights. I bet this looks lovely in the evening.
Sugared fruit, pine boughs and white lights- simple and elegant. Both the window box and the floral decorations are available from the Frontgate catalog.
I love the variety of greens in this box. It has so many wonderful textures and of course, the blue and red berries are a great addition.

Here is another natural arrangement. Perhaps the owners were able to gather everything they needed right from their own gardens.

Cottage Living
This box is filled with homemade snowballs and a string of white lights. I love this!! The snow balls are actually different sized styrofoam balls covered in fake snow. Here is the link for directions to make this yourself! So very clever.

Garden Fairies
Here is a very sweet little "window box". I included this to remind you that anything, even an old mitten, can be made into a holder of evergreens and berries. Be creative! It is so easy to add a special sparkle to your holiday decor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great Kitchen Design

Here is a great design idea I just had to post - this is such a wonderful, ingenious design. I am anxious to use it in my next project. The first view is entering the kitchen. Notice the raised island area where the the stools are placed.
Hutker Architects
Here is the view from the other side. It is the perfect space for storing dishes, bowls and mugs. Isn't that so very clever?

Hutker Architects

I think this design idea would work especially well in a vacation home. Guests getting up in the morning at all different times and they can simply find everything they need without feeling uncomfortable rummaging through the cabinets. What do you think? Like it or love it?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Playing in Tents!

With summer in full swing, I am reminded by my children the fun of spending the night in a tent. The billowy canvas sides create a secret retreat. Let's look at some more luxurious ways to spend the evening and ways to create this atmosphere in your own home. Hunter Hotels
This is a tented suite from Marataba Safari, part of the Hunter Hotel Group, in the magnificent Marakele National Park, north of Johannesburg in South Africa. This exotic tented suite is a beautiful mix of canvas and stone, furnished and decorated in an African style. I love the way the tent fabric billows above the bed, so luxurious. Notice the en-suite stone bathroom with copper tub. Each of the 12 suites each have their own private deck overlooking the sweeping plains.

Let's look at another opulent resort for inspiration.

Aman Resorts

Here are the lovely tented suites of Aman Resorts in Rajasthan, India. The 10 air-conditioned tents, have soaring six-metre canopies above draped cotton partitions.
They are designed and decorated in a clean modern style. The subtle hues of creamy canvas, swathes of airy-white cotton, khaki cushions on toffee coloured leathers contrast the soft elegance of the tented exteriors.
Here is another "bedroom" in the tented suites. Notice the dressing table, comfortable chairs and animal hide footstool. What luxury in a tent!
Lovely at night and so romantic at sunrise.
The tented suites are enchanting and exotic ways to spend an evening, but lets look at some ways to bring this feeling into our everyday homes.

Marie Claire Maison
The simplest way of course, is to drape mosquito netting over the bed. Here it is done very romantically with the addition of the crystal chandelier above and crisp white linens on the bed .
Marie Claire Maison

Another bed is simply dressed with a gray silk - It becomes more dramatic by lowering the bed almost to the floor and adding romantic sconces.Marie Claire Maison

This room is draped in a simple airy-white cotton, but what makes this room so interesting is the draped, gathered fabric ceiling over the bed. A very traditional bed and side tables, but with the addition of the fabric overhead it becomes a more exotic retreat.

Marie Claire Maison
Here a beautiful canopy is built over the bed and draped with a lovely embroidered sari. I love the purple velvet duvet and the dressmakers' mannequin wrapped in a pretty shawl. The walls, painted cream above and gray below wraps the room in an interesting way.

Marie Claire Maison
White linen creatively hung above low to the floor twin beds. Bright linens cover the beds and a dark accent wall lends a more mysterious feel.

Marie Claire Maison
Here is a more middle eastern feeling room done in bright silks. I love the hanging lantern inside the canopy. Notice the silk screen used behind the bed as a headboard. Deep magenta walls and darker trim add to the luxurious atmosphere.

Marie Claire Maison
Here is a much more modern take on the canopy. I love the crisp, nautical feeling of this bed. The canopy is tied like a sail, bed linens are a soft sun-faded blue. This room is restful and fun at the same time.

Marie Claire Maison

This room also has a nautical feel. A simple way to include a canopy without a custom bed or structure is hang it above the bed with wire and a small rod. I love the bold, blue striped fabric canopy and matching headboard. I also love the bench at the end of the bed. The green stripe on the bench adds freshness

Marie Claire Maison

This attic room uses the angles of the room's windows and fabric to create a tented feeling. Soft quilts and comfy chair add to the cozy cottage feeling. Lying in this bed at night you could easily spend hours wishing on stars.

Marie Claire Maison

We end with a serene outdoor room. Crisp white linen bedding and pillows, airy-white cotton billowing on a deck that overlooks the ocean. Now this is an exciting tented retreat anyone, young or old, would enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Velvet and Linen

Please check out my new favorite blog - Velvet and Linen. It is written by Interior Designer, Brooke Giannetti. Brooke has some wonderful photos of her work and the work of other designers. She showcases some very inspirational rooms. Below are two photos from her recent posts. It's no surprise to me that Velvet and Linen was just selected as a "Must Click Blog" by the Washington Post!
To check out Velvet and Linen click on the link below under My Favorite Blogs!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Transitional Spaces

I have been crazy busy with my home renovations, so unfortunately my posts have been less frequent. Here are two wonderful transitional spaces from Banks Design Architecture. They are my inspiration to remind me of the light at the end of the tunnel.
In a few weeks time I will post some of my personal before and afters! Until then I'll be waiting for the dust to settle and the paint fumes to clear!!!