Christmas Archive

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All I Want for Christmas

Cheryll Gillespie Media Group, All I want for Christmas

Designers, like everyone, have a Christmas wish list, here are a few of the ‘wishes’ that are on mine and a few gift ideas that I’ll be giving to my friends and family this year.

Rotary Iron – First on my list is totally a #1 want for me, it is the Miele Rotary Iron. I’m not a big ironer but I do love to have my sheets ironed (the ultimate luxury and the best sleep ever!) , my table linens pressed and the look of a perfectly pressed shirt on my man. With the rotary iron you simply sit down and feed your linens, sheets or shirts through the wheels which are controlled with a foot pedal. I might actually even enjoy ironing if I had one of these.

Coffee Table Books – Always near the top of my ‘wish list’ and ‘give list’ are great coffee table books, especially high end limited edition fashion, home design, art, photography or travel books. Don’t forget to inscribe a personal note inside the cover.

Gift Card for Designer Time – This is something that my business is asked for all the time and personally I believe it’s a truly wonderful gift, a certificate for a room makeover or organization. A professional comes to your home to help you make over a space or reorganize a closet, office or kitchen. That fresh, trained and objective eye is worth every penny.

Wine Club- Canada has so many world-renowned wineries and many offer an annual club service where three or four times a year you get a delivery of new releases and old favorites complete with tasting notes. Nowadays, most of the mail we get is bad news bills so imagine how exciting it is when the post office delivers a case of wine. Give the membership card in a basket of wine accessories and a ‘kick-off’ bottle of your favorite.

Flower Service – similar to the wine club membership, imagine a gift of flowers for the year. You determine how often they are delivered and can even choose the type of flowers or plants that will be sent.

Herb Planter- I love to cook and essential to my recipes are fresh herbs. Aromatic and a gorgeous addition to any kitchen countertop is a pot, bowl or basket of yummy herbs. We do these up for clients regularly and they are always well received. Plant a collection of fresh herbs in a beautiful container (we use ice buckets, glass or sterling silver urns, vases and bowls-becreative) Cover the soil with green moss. Wrap in clear cellophane, tie with a beautiful ribbon and deliver with love.

Basket of Beauty- Girls love to play with makeup so give a beauty basket. Fill with glamorous essentials such as makeup mirrors, cosmetic bags and fun new beauty products. Keep a picture of the recipient on your phone to show to the beauty experts at the cosmetics counter so that they can help you choose colors and products that are chosen specifically for their skin coloring and age.

Drill- one of my favorite gifts from my husband was a drill years ago. I love my handy little 12v drill for everything from small projects around the house to crafts.

Great Throw- who doesn’t love a fabulous throw? Cashmere, faux fur, or knit, these are some of my favorites and a home can never have too many. Perfect hostess gift!

Terrarium- a terrarium is hot and high on the trendy list for 2014 so consider giving one to someone special this Christmas. Plant a group of small tropical or succulents in a glass bowl, bottle or orb, add a personal non-living element such as a small statue, quartz crystal or organic element, a little moss and voila!

Massage Package- who doesn’t need to relax and destress? This year, wrap up a portable massage table and a basket of oils along with a gift card for in-home massages from a local massage therapist. What a wonderful and thoughtful gift.

Of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a piece of fabulous Rock House jewelery! Make that list, check it twice and live and give fabulous!

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‘Tis the Season

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas around here! The sparkle, the glitter, the scent of pine and all those fabulous yummy goodies makes me jolly -who can resist shortbread dipped in chocolate, the twinkling lights, the scents of boughs, orange and cinnamon, or even singing along to ‘Jingle Bell Rock’? None of us, so if you aren’t already feeling the spirit, let’s decorate to get you into the mood.

I know the season can be exhausting: too many parties, too much eggnog and not to mention, an overdose of food, so it’s understandable when even the thought of decorating makes you groan like the Grinch. But with a few designer holiday decorating tips, your rooms can look glamorously festive with minimal effort. On with the festive décor-

Designer rule number one- don’t try to change too much, it looks better and is a lot easier if you work with what you already have. Keep to your home’s current colour scheme by simply enhancing each room with more metallics, more sparkle and more glitter. For example, my living room palette is white, gray, espresso, caramel and navy blue so at Christmas I do a lot of white (white poinsettias (spray the tips of the white leaves with a floral glitter or blue colour) group of white , christmas trees all decked out and adorned with white feathers and crystal balls) with accents of metallic silver and depending on my mood that year I accent with either organic elements such as raw pine cones or a series of blues metals. . A little humor is always welcome, so have fun with your tree decor. There are all sorts of great ornaments that will bring a smile to your lips -shoe ornaments, lipstick tubes, metallic skulls and my favorite; the pickle. Have fun change a few ornaments up each year to reflect your current mood.try a giant reindeer next to the sofa or a life size nutcracker keeping guard over Christmas goodies in the kitchen.

Designer rule number two- add a little festive spirit to every room. A wreath hung above the powder room sink, an elegant Christmas candle on your dresser, jars of holiday candy arranged on the kitchen counter.

Designer rule number three – appeal to all the senses. Stock up on seasonally selective essential oils to scent your rooms. Place little dishes is holiday treats throughout the house.

Designer rule number four- it’s easy to be stressed as a hostess so a great designer motto is to always be prepared for last minute unexpected company. Plan ahead and stock up with yummy appetizers and tasty treats such as fig and chutney sauces to serve with cheese and crackers that you have stocked and stored in the pantry. Plan a holiday signature drink, keep garnishes and all ingredients ready to serve- some of our favorites are mulled wine, cranberry cocktails or peppermint white hot chocolate. I also make batches of spaghetti sauce and freeze for an easy dinner to serve unexpected guests.

Happy holidays everyone may all your designer wishes come true and may all your rooms always be fabulous!

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Get Your Glamour On

Get Your Glamour On

I know I know, it’s too early for Christmas – how can it possibly be the middle of November already? Where did a year go? Oh well I suppose there is no point wasting time and energy worry about what we can not change, a year that has flown by is truly in the past lets move forward with ‘spirit’, holiday spirit that is. Its time to get our holiday glamour and festive spirit on! A fabulous little black dress is just that, a little black dress until you add the bling and that what we need to add to our homes in order to bring on the festive season, a little or a lot of bling.

Who doesn’t love a new party dress? Who doesn’t love a few new decorations for the house? There are a lot of fabulous Christmas decorations in our favorite stores right now so there’s no excuse for not creating the tree and the Christmas décor that we dream of. But before you run off with your visa lets put together a shopping list that’s designed to bring glamorous Christmas décor to our homes.

Start with a palette, I think its best to embrace your currant colour palette and simply bling it up a notch, this way the festive touches will feel as if they belong at home. For example if you currently live with a palette of taupe, cream, merlot and accents of silver then we’ll stick with this when we are shopping for holiday glamour. The tree could be an all cream masterpiece or you could do a cream and brown au natural (have you seen the feathered balls?) with a matt silver. Need a new tree? You’re definitely in luck this year if you are shopping for a faux tree as there is a plethora of great options available. For a chic modern feel consider an upside down tree, this is also a great option for on top of a dining table. If you have a lot of space, consider a row of three or five matching trees lined up along a window wall or for a large room group three similar trees of varying heights. The tree itself could be a faux white or you could opt for a real tree and using spray paint (before you drag the tree into the house) spray the tips of the branches with a cream or silver spray paint. Too easy, too sexy! Carry these ideas to the fireplace mantel, the foyer with a coordinating wreath and pots of boughs and balls that flank the door.

Keep the glamour going with loads and extra large grouped arrangements of candles. Place the grouping on trays or wall mirrors laid flat, maintain your colour theme but glam it up with a bed of boughs under the candles , Christmas brooches pinned to the front of the pillar candles and decorations scattered amongst the arrangement. Add lots of peppermint or orange and/or cinnamon essential oil to the top of the candles to help scent the room. Now that puts us in a festive mood!

It is truly, all in the details! From the canapés to the centerpiece to the Christmas cookie scented soap in the powder room – no detail can be sparred for an unforgettable holiday season. May your season be festive and fabulous!

DESIGN NOTES
Make your own Chocolate bark to serve to friends when they drop over for a holiday visit. Melt bars of your favorite chocolate, remove from heat and stir in pieces of dried apricots, cherries and roasted almond or pecans and a tiny pinch of moldan salt, pour onto wax paper and put in the fridge to cool. When completely cooled and hardened break into pieces and store in an airtight container-yummy!