10 Tips for Hosting & Attending Thanksgiving

This holiday is one of my favorite holidays of the year. As you can probably tell from the last few DBKwords posts I’ve shared, there is just something about this holiday and all of the appreciation that goes with it that just brings out all the good feels.

"give Thanks" Chalkboard decor DIY Chalk Tray give Thanks, Hand drawn pumpkins, wall hanging, thanksgiving decor

That said, if you are the host of the Thanksgiving Soiree, you are likely in panic mode right about now… it is less than 24 hours before your guests will be arriving (and maybe some are coming tonight), and you still have little things to get ready!

Well, let me ease your woes. If you still have to set the table, and add some festive decor around your abode, here are 5 things that are so easy, you can be ready in an hour.

  • Add some festivity to your front door. You likely don’t have time to hang a wreath on the door, but you can easily take some card stock, construction paper, etc., and cut out some leafy shapes, write out “Happy” “Thanks” “Giving” or “Give” “Thanks” on the leaves, (one word per leaf) , attach a string to each leaf, and hang them on the front door. Greeting your guests with something cheerful will get them in the spirit right away. Here is my front door wreath for the season and an idea from That’s My Letter of wooden door tags.
  • Add some festive pumpkins around the house. If you really have zero time to do anything, just grab a handful of mini pumpkins (you can find them everywhere at this time of year). Group them together in a few different areas around the house, and voila. If you have time to do something, check out this doily covered pumpkin from Allyson Baker Design, or this paper pumpkin from Shelterness.
  • Use those mini pumpkins for place-cards  on your Thanksgiving table as well. You can add names, or festive tags, or just put them on top of the salad plates to add a pop of color to your table. Taryn Williford made glitter dipped pumpkins to make for a more glam tablescape, while Jennifer at Celebrating Everyday Life tied ribbons on pumpkins and then wrote on the ribbons.
  • Light Candles. The glow of candlelight adds a nice warmth and ambiance to any space, but make sure on this food filled holiday, you are using basic unscented candles so they don’t interfere with all the smells coming from the kitchen! Get out all your candlesticks and tapers to make this glowing candlestick grouping from Snippet and Ink, if you don’t have a stash of similar candlesticks, then group the pillars you’ve got to create a good focal point like West Elm is showing all together on a tray or cutting board.
  • Don’t forget the food! Take a clear container and fill it up with apples, cranberries or mini pumpkins, as shown on Good Housekeeping. If you are cooking all the food you have on hand for the main event, look outside and use things like leaves or acorns to create layered centerpieces like these ones from Being Better 2Gether. If there were ever a perfect night of hosting to use food as a centerpiece, Thanksgiving is your night!

If you are a guest, there are some things you should remember on Thanksgiving (and well, every event you attend).

  • Manners are key, that turkey make look so good you can’t wait to get your hands on it, but wait your turn and remember to say please and thank you, it goes a long way.
  • Bring a little something for the host. Something as simple as a bottle of wine that can be enjoyed with the meal, or saved for after all the guests leave, is a great gesture that any host will appreciate.
  • Compliments are key. Be sure to offer your host at least one compliment (which should be easy on Thanksgiving). Compliment the decor, the food, his/her ability to be so stylish while cooking up a storm… you name it, a compliment or two will make them feel so appreciated for bringing this all together.
  • Offer to help. There are so many things your host has to stay on top of with cooking alone, be sure to check in to see if you can help with anything from opening more wine to clearing the table, and for the love of all things, please don’t make your host do the dishes by themselves.
  • Respect the hosts Thanksgiving style. Many people will say a special prayer on the holidays when everyone is gathered. Be respectful even if it isn’t your thing, bow your head and go along. Some hosts will want to go around the table and say what you are thankful for. This can feel like a cheesy gesture, but give it some consideration and truly offer up some gratitude before you dive in.

Whatever you are doing this holiday and whomever you are spending it with, I hope you have many blessings to be thankful for, and that you have no trouble finding ways to share your gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Craving A Little Fall Decor

I know, I know, I heavily pushed back the fall season when it was new and people were celebrating it the day after Labor Day. I was all #SummerForever! But let’s be real, we would all die if there was really summer forever (die or move to a desert state). Fall is a very welcome season of fresh air, but because I so heavily pushed back on the season, and because life has been a little hectic on the to-do list side of things, my house doesn’t seem ready for fall at all!

I am really wanting to spice up our space! So here are some fall spaces I’m inspired by right now… maybe this weekend I can find some ways to implement some fall flavor into our home.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from the Liz Marie Blog.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from A Diamond In The Stuff.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from Opulent Cottage.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from Sarah Hearts.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from Dear Lillie.

I think I see a pattern in the fall decor I’m liking… lots of neutrals and whites and words of thanks. All of the inspiration pictures are linked with where I found them and they are all worth a visit if you have time to check them out, the spaces they are shared with are all quite lovely and you might just find some fall decor ideas of your own to run with!

What are you up to this weekend? Are you all decked out for fall yet?

Layering Our Bedding for Fall

When it starts to get a bit cooler at night, we call that good sleeping weather: weather in which you can open the windows, maybe add another layer to your bedding and really cozy in and get a good night’s sleep. I wanted to share with you how we transition our bed for fall.

Fall Bedding with White Sheets Quilted Layers and Neutrals

I change the sheets and the shams, keeping a good balance between the colors and textures by adding the quilted euro shams and a thin quilted layer, a favorite made by my mom. It is reversible and the sunflower side is perfect for the fall, not to mention that the blues and greens work perfectly in our bedroom color scheme. I keep the plush down comforter with the crisp white and greige cover folded at the end of the beds for when the nights get a bit too chilly and you need to pull up another layer to keep cozy.

This bed is so cozy and inviting that I never want to leave it in the morning to go to work!! How do you transition your linens in the fall? Do you add more cozy and quilted layers like we do, or maybe switch up the color of your sheets or duvet cover? I always love to see and hear what others are doing to keep cozy as the seasons change and the temps begin to drop.

Transitioning to Fall

Fall fashion week is all about the spring season, and my mentality right now is all about holding onto summer. But, whether we like it or not, fall is looming so we might as well begin transitioning.

I’ve been adding cardigan layers back in with my bright, flowing, summery skirts and tees, along with breaking out a few pairs of booties. Cardigans and booties are the perfect layers to add to your wardrobe this time of year. Scarves are also a favorite fall layer to add on, but I am so not ready.

For your home, fall inspires light layers of coziness, all things pumpkin and leaves and at least for us, the transition to sleeping with the windows open at night.

Fall for me is always a good time to declutter — make sure our surfaces are clean and that a gust of wind isn’t going to come in and blow over a pile of papers. It’s a good time to make sure things like window treatments are in order (so you can easily open and close them for day and night), pillows are cozy and you can break out your light-weight cozy blanket to toss over the back of the sofa.

So if you are like me and you need a slower transition to fall, here are some ways you can transition a bit more slowly:

  1. Wash your windows to let all of the sunlight in. If we are really trying to have summer forever, sunlight is key!
  2. Work on decluttering your surfaces. There is nothing like a fresh, clean tabletop to make you feel good about life.
  3. Start considering some of the fun accessories like pillows and blankets for the living room. You don’t need to cover everything in leaves and pumpkins to start to feel a little cozier.
  4. Treat yourself to a new candle. The smells of fall might just convince you that it’s okay that fall is in fact just a week away and remind you why fall is your favorite season. (*It’s my favorite season, but I’m feeling very resistant this year!)
  5. Relax and enjoy your bright, clean and cozy living room!

When October rolls around we can start talking about adding in some pumpkins and leaves.

Designing at Home

As a design professional, one of the largest challenges I face is trying to feel like my home is in a good place all the time. The truth is, your home is a never-ending cycle of projects. From day to day activities like cooking, cleaning, etc., to larger projects and renovations, there is always going to be something to be done.

I work with my clients on this all the time, but it is tricky to actually follow this rule myself. Focusing on one thing at a time, and working with what you have is so much easier said that done, especially when I don’t have a copy of myself to hold my hand and walk me through it. So, do as I say, not as I do!

That said, I have been working on being happier with my space, with what I have and where we are at, without everything being exactly as I hope it will be someday.

I thought it would be good to focus on one room at a time, create a list and tackle it for each space to really get them in a good place. This would focus on the cosmetic only, it’s not a knockdown, drag-out scenario where you are crashing through walls or anything like that, so it keeps things small, dealing only with the finishing touches.

My problem is I don’t know where to start! Maybe I should start small and tackle the completion of our entryway. Hanging those little shoe cubbies was such a great move in that area, but there is more I would like to do… we need to change the light fixture and I would like to add a mirror (or something).

The living room has a few issues too, we have everything we need in there but it’s a matter of fine tuning, finishing the window treatments and getting them up, and the same goes for the bedroom… apparently I have something against actually hanging my curtains.

Lastly the kitchen. We just have storage and organization limitations there, but I think that will entail more planning to get to, so I’m not sure I would start with that. And the bathroom is off limits. Nothing is going to change in there, it is what it is and it’s perfectly fine and functional as is… though I do still need to share the little things I did there to increase the organization and visual appeal.

Anyway, so that’s where my house is currently… and that is what I’m considering to get moving in the right directions with my home? What space would you tackle first and what space do you think I should tackle first in my house?

Just remember, it’s not about everything being 100% finished. Your home is the story of the progression of your life. It should grow and change with you, so even if it is 100% done, there will still be little things that change in your space as time goes on and things happen. That’s a good thing. Let your home be the expression of you and give it the room to evolve with you.

Holiday Hosting

This year P & I hosted our first-annual holiday soiree! I love getting friends and family together under one roof and the memories you make when everyone is together. To me, this is the reason for the season: to be together with loved ones making those memories.

I don’t have any good pictures of the tree, so this is as good as it gets! Note the DIY garland strung across the otherwise bare windows.

Doing what I do and being who I am, I needed everything in its place. The house needed to be in order, the halls perfectly decked and the food perfectly plated.

I love how this garland came out, strung across the wreath on our front door wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

Instead, what we did was minor holiday decor, a wreath on the front door to welcome guests and a tree in the living room corner as the focal point. The rest was all candles, florals and greenery.

I found this jingle bell garland at Home Goods and decided to string it up as a card holder in the entryway.

We let the day be about eating, drinking and merry-making, instead of about perfection. I joked with my mom while planning and mentioned that as long as there was food prepped, showering and being a pleasant host were more important that the holiday decorations. (She said being pleasant was more important than showering.)

I love this little Christmas gnome, found at Target.

P & I moved the dining table into the living room and used that as the food station, where we served a variety of meats, cheeses, veggies with dips and pigs in a blanket. Since there was no outlet here, we used a coffee table in the corner as a station for the little crock pot which contained spinach artichoke dip and a freshly cut baguette.

We cleared the coffee cart to be used as a coffee and dessert station, and we set up the small counter next to the fridge for drinks, using an ice bucket for the white wine, champagne and sparkling cider, with a bottle of red and a stack of cups along side.

Nobody commented on the decor or lack of decor, everyone ate the food, enjoyed the wine and bubbly, and there was plenty of laughter to last the night.

Brantley didn’t shower, but he was very pleasant and had a great time with all the company that was obviously there just for him!

Did you do any hosting this holiday season? How did it go?

Spaces We Love {Styled for the Holidays}

Since my home isn’t currently ready for a holiday home tour, I have been searching for some incredibly beautiful spaces styled for the season. There is so much out there that I just love that it was hard to choose which spaces I wanted to share, so I narrowed it down to three lovely and fully decked-out rooms.

First things first. If you have been reading along here for any length of time, you know I’m obsessed with flowers. Obsessed. I couldn’t look away when I found this incredible table-scape that is quite literally overflowing with florals and greens. Top it off with those layers of light (again, mildly obsessed), and I am fully in love with this room.

This dining space was styled for a wedding. Link over for more images and details from this shoot

Next up, this nature-inspired cabin in the woods is a real winter wonderland. Through my favorite social media outlet (Instagram) I found Brian Patrick Flynn, an interior designer in Atlanta. He does incredible work and his commentary on his feed is hilarious. Last week, he shared his cabin all decked out for the holidays I linked over to his post as well as the post in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles to soak up all the little details!

Color, texture, pattern and the holidays. Cozy perfections.

The natural details from the greenery, to all of the different trees and woodland critters, this is a holiday scene I can definitely appreciate. Not to mention, that cabin in the mountains… I’m sure it is stunning year round, what an incredibly backdrop for design!

Lastly, Toronto-based interior designer, Jessica Kelly, combined traditional festive details (wreaths, candles & greenery) with a bold hit of hot pink. I am in love with this combination! It is such a cheerful twist on the classic green-and-red holiday color combination.

The elegant way in which Kelly implements the pinks (again… I’m a little obsessed) is so charming while keeping it very sophisticated. Her pink and green holiday theme was featured in Style at Home, and it is definitely worth linking over and flipping through the images.

This year, we have already picked our scheme, and unfortunately I don’t think it really represents any of these styles. This year we have been so busy that I make no promises that it will be fully decked-out. That said, next year I might just be sharing some hot pink additions to our holiday decor!