How beautiful is this light and airy house? I love all the windows and all the white, even if an all white house wouldn’t stay all white for long with my current kid- and cat-infested lifestyle. There’s just something so cheery about it, like I feel like I wouldn’t even stay sad for long in an interior like this one. Also, how about that bare log crosspiece in the last picture? It’s such a fun, natural way to give anyone roaming this house a break from those all-white walls and ceilings!
Images via Stadshem
No worries, there’s really no rush. Thanksgiving is only just over, so no one will be expecting you to bust out the holiday decorations. Or will they? I know some people’s families want to see a tree in the living room as soon as the turkey is in the Tupperware.
If that sounds like yours, maybe you can buy yourself some time this season by hanging up this adorable felted wool wreath from Viva Terra and letting everyone know that the tree will be up by tomorrow at the latest. Even if that’s not exactly truthful.
Gifts for people are easy, but great gifts for people’s home can be a lot more difficult to find. With that in mind, Manolo for the Home has put together a Black Friday list of ten(ish) gifts for the home and for the men and women who live in it in case you’ve found yourself at a loss as to what to buy her or her or him. Have a look and see what inspires, then tell us what are your favorite holiday gifts for the home?
1. A less expensive lookalike:
It’s not always possible to give the best when you can’t afford the best, which is why copycats are so pervasive. I can’t afford the Herman Miller Eames reproduction, but I can afford this Eames-inspired cradle rocker at 24% off with free shipping. Not everyone is cool with designer furniture knockoffs, but if you are, this chair isn’t a bad deal.
2. A little DIY inspiration:
We all know someone who manages to have kids (or dogs), a house, a full-time job, and 15 hobbies, none of which get neglected. Me? I don’t have much time for projects these days *sniff* but I’d still love to get some books like The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor, Real-Life Decor: 100 Easy DIY Projects to Brighten Your Home on a Budget, and DIY Art at Home, which are all on sale at 25% or more off the cover price.
3. Something to cuddle:
Too many throw pillows? Not so great. Just enough throw pillows? Great. I love little pillows because they’re such an easy way t add some fun color to a space without a lot of commitment. What’s on my gift giving list? Some of these, definitely: a Owl Nature pillow (a steal at $18), a Union Jack pillow, and a gold sequin pillow. Don’t they look fun and cuddly?
4. You can’t go wrong with:
… aLe Creuset 5-piece cookware set at 34% off! All right, so it’s kind of a big, probably for someone special on your list.
5. Quickie gifts:
Who hasn’t found themselves scrambling for a last-minute gift for someone friendly but not exactly a good friend? The Martha types will keep a store of small gifts around for just such occasions. Here’s a trio of good keep-around gifts for emergencies: a sure to please Burt’s Bees gift set, a Feng Shui gift set (under $20!), and a cute rainbow utensil gift set.
6. A way to keep your books in check:
As recently discussed, book lovers with lots of books can end up with books falling off of every conceivable surface. To keep books in check, give the gift of fabulous bookends, like James the Bookend, adorable Polar Bear bookends, and these neat Arrow magnetic bookends.
7. Gifts for the wintertime green thumb:
Indoor gardening requires the right tools. That’s why I love my Threesixty indoor gardening tool set, which was just $19.99. And I wouldn’t mind receiving a Smith & Hawken mini greenhouse so the cats would stay out of my herbs. Or a pair of toasty, dry Bogs Classic Hi Fern boots, for that matter, when I do have to go out in the muck.
8. A tasty treat or two:
Sweet treats to eat, drink, and prepare make always appreciated gifts. Who wouldn’t want a Bodum coffee press or a nice big package of King Leo peppermint bark or even a Sierra fondue set for those mid-winter get togethers that aren’t precipitated by any particular holiday?
9. A quick fix for almost anything:
It goes without saying that homeowners and apartment dwellers will need at least some must-have tools. Give the tool deficient recipient on your holiday list a Denali 115-Piece Home Repair Tool Kit and you’ll have the comfort of knowing they can deal with all the little mishaps of modern life.
10. Something to bank on:
And finally, for the little ones on your list who are hopefully saving their pennies, piggy banks are in again. My faves are the clean white Cilio Piggy Bank, the silly McPig Posh Piggy Bank, and the awesome Pink Piggy Pirate!
I am in love with this All Star wallpaper from Barneby Gates, and not just this wallpaper. Have you had a peak at Barneby Gates? They – where ‘they’ is Vanessa Barneby, Vogue Living Editor, and Alice Gates, fashion textile designer – create amazing wallpapers with a quintessentially English feel.
But if it was just Englishy wallpaper, I’d probably say ho hum. What makes Barneby Gates wallpaper so sweet are the little details like metallic finishes, humorous and unexpected patterns, and fantastic color pairings. As you might expect, this wallpaper doesn’t come cheap, but if you’re too in love not to have some, you can always request a sample!
Got photos in boxes (and boxes and boxes)? Because if you were born before a certain year and had any interest in playing with cameras at all, you may just have hundreds or even thousands of old photographs and negatives in your basement or garage or storage unit. And while, much like me, you probably can’t imagine yourself throwing them away, they are taking up valuable real estate.
So what’s a devoted clutter hater with lots of old photos to do? Here are four suggestions:
- Create an album that tells a story with Rachel of Small Notebook for a Simple Home
- Digitize them super fast with a one-touch photo scanner (then you can put them on a web site or in a digital frame
- Cull them! Keep the ones that really mean something to you and make a totally sweet scrapbook with them, then toss the rest – do you really need all those grainy, out-of-focus shots of your sixth grade birthday party?
- Give them away to your friends and family who either appear in the photos or would just really love to have them – but be sure that the recipient of your extras wants them before you make your photographic clutter someone else’s problem
While a dish called Mushrooms Three Ways would indeed be divine, I am of course talking about mushroom themed decor. Now, no one is suggesting that you fill your home to the brim with mushrooms like the mother of an ex of mine did with country-style ducks (again, not a dish, sadly) all year round and in the wintertime, snowmen. But a mushroom as a showpiece? It’s just unusual enough to work! Here are three examples that I found in my virtual travels and loved enough to bookmark:
In designer Masako Sato own words: “During the rainy season, it’s very humid in Japan. One day I found moldy wall in my room. I was worried if mushrooms were coming up. But at the same time, I imagined how funny mushrooms are growing on the wall. Some people drive nails into walls, but I don’t like it. It may damage my clothes and myself when get caught on and even looks painful. Mushroom Hook is made by silicone rubber. It is soft and welcome your return home.”
In addition to being an obsessive reader, I’m also an obsessive book hoarder. As in, I have hundreds of books I will probably never read again, but I can’t bring myself to give them away or sell them or recycle them. Maybe it’s because my maternal grandmother has an art book collection that takes up most of her downstairs wall space in the form of tomes squeezed into full-to-bursting bookshelves. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, and I wouldn’t want to do with someone else’s book what I hope no one is doing with my book. So as you can probably imagine, our bookshelves look a little something like this (except less color coordinated):
While I implied above that book hoarding might be a family trait, it would only be on my mother’s side. My dad lets books slip into and out of his life – reading them and then passing them along – unless they are some of the few he’s happy to read again and again. The bookshelf area of his home is, as a consequence, tiny, but size doesn’t mater. And yet, I think that’s why I’m so hesitant to part with my books – even the ones that haven’t brought me much pleasure other than hastening the passage of time. I think I am afraid of someone coming into my home, seeing no bookshelves, and assuming that I don’t read much.
But even this strikes me as odd. Because the truth is that some people don’t read much for pleasure anyway, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They just enjoy other things. So why does the idea of someone pegging me for a non-reader make me feel so queasy, and furthermore prevent me from de-cluttering our right now extremely cluttered finished basement (which it should be noted is home to walls of bookshelves)? At this point in my life, I’m visiting the library for books more often than buying them, so it’s not like I’m adding to my collection. I’d wager that most of the books on those shelves have been with me since just after college. Some of them are even textbooks!
Do you, lovely readers, hold on to relatively unimportant books with a similar zeal? What’s keeping you from parting with them?