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Domino Dining Rooms!

23 Nov

Thanksgiving Prep Time is upon us…so my time is in short supply.

Very eclectic. Love the Canada Dry crate on the left. Looks like it may be an office-by-day, but it works! (image via Domino Magazine)

With a husband working through Wednesday evening and an ankle biter at my heels while I try to clean the floors and chop some carrots, the next 36 hours are going to be long.  Luckily, I have a mom in town who is supplying some key dishes (yay!), a husband who puts in more than his domestic share after he gets home from work, and a mother-in-law who has stated multiple times that she’s ready to start working on some side dishes as soon as she gets off the plane (which I won’t even think about making her do!).  In an effort to keep the blog running but save myself some precious half-hours here and there, here’s a few Domino Magazine dining rooms from years past.  I’d be happy to sit down to a Thanksgiving meal in any one of these spaces, and lucky for you, they’re pretty design-attainable if you’re digging them as much as I am.

Enjoy! …and happy cooking…or traveling…or eating!


Black and White Modern Farmhouse (image via Domino Magazine)

Classic and Elegant and Slightly Punchy. I adore the Oly Studio chairs and would recognize them anywhere! (image via Domino Magazine.

Who doesn't love a good and simple yellow room? I do! (image via Domino Magazine)

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


Guests For The Holidays…But You Don’t Have a Guest Bedroom.

22 Nov

Make room for guests at your house...even if you don't technically have anywhere for them to sleep. (image via Stoopidgerl's Etsy shop).

It happens to all of us, especially those of us who live in DC: your parents/cousins/old college friends are coming to town for a few days and they’re looking for a place to stay.  At your place.  Which has just enough bedrooms for everyone who lives there.

In the middle of July most people would either happily blow up the air mattress in the living room or give them the keys to the street.  For the holidays though, you might want to be more accommodating and create a special, comfortable environment for your friends or family.

Here are a few ideas for making the most of your space, your resources, and your host and/or hostessing skills.

Got An Air Mattress?   Instead of blowing it up at night, by mouth (like my husband once did while my mother-in-law and I watched him), try setting it up in advance and making it with fresh linens that aren’t just your spare white sheet set (Target, Home Goods, and sale-time at West Elm or Crate and Barrel are great places to get a nice set of bed linens on the cheap).  Bonus points for matching your air mattress linens to the room it’s temporarily living in. Also consider hooking the fake-out guest room up with some essentials like a nearby tray or basket filled with bottled water, a nightlight, a tiny alarm clock, some of your favorite books and a kitschy chocolate treat for bedtime.  This may be going on in your den, but at least it’ll look welcoming and make your guests feel special.  Plus, you’ll save the effort of getting them tucked in when you’re exhausted after a day of entertaining.

A guest tray: easy and cheap to make, but a really lush detail. (image via Sunset)

Don’t have an air mattress but have an extra futon, daybed, or couch in a spare room?  Then do the same thing…except just get a cushy, twin-sized foam mattress pad and cover the couch cushions in lieu of a mattress. No one will know, and I won’t tell.

Still want to put your guest to sleep on the floor next to your speakers?  Fine.  Just at least lean the mattress up against a wall during the day so you’re not stepping over it to get to the cranberry sauce.

No unsuspecting grandma deserves being forced to sleep in this bed. (image via Amazon)


Now, if you have kids, sometimes the solution is giving up your own bedroom and crashing with them.  That’s great…except not really fun for you.  Plus, if your kids are at all like my 20 month old they’ll look at this as an excuse for an all night party.  Though this most likely won’t work for a clingy toddler, you can definitely move a little baby (via pack n’ play or bassinet) or an adventurous older child (via sleeping bag) to another location – quiet hallway, open walk-in closet, living area, you get the idea – then take their room over with your lame air mattress.  You get privacy, the child gets quiet (baby) or a fun sleeping experience (older kid), and your guests get comfort and a door to close.  It’s a win-win-win, and all you had to do was be a little creative about the sleeping arrangements.

I’m sure other people have solutions they’ve tried when faced with this dilemma. If so, please share your successes and your not-so-successful attempts in the comments.

Happy Hosting!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

A Little Something to Make Your Monday Sweeter!

8 Nov

Though I’m in the business of interior design – as in stuff that you want permanently featured in your home or office – I appreciate good looking party decorations as much as the rest of you.

Art you can eat! Dessert Bar by Amy Atlas of Amy Atlas Events. I wouldn't trade jobs with many people, but, you know...just saying. (image via Amy Atlas Events)

Dessert bars — those luscious, colorful, whimsical tables of candy and sweets — have been creeping up at all kinds of events the past few years.  I think they’re  a lovely touch to a special event.

This Dr. Seuss themed dessert bar, below, is one of the neatest I’ve seen.  It was created and implemented by Kelly of Paper Stories, and comes to my RSS-feed via Amy Atlas’ blog; if dessert bars appeal to you at all (and WHY would they not!?) I urge you to check out Amy’s website.  She does some of the coolest!

I don't know who Jackson is, but he is lucky! (image via Amy Atlas Events blog)

Love the book backdrop! (image via Amy Atlas Events blog)

These are very Seussical, I think. (image via Amy Atlas Events blog)

Want to see more? You can see lots of Kelly’s images here, including some of the non-dessert food spread.

Want one of these for yourself?  You can have one!  You could hire any number of event planners or dessert-bar creators to do one of these for you, but for a casual affair I think that this is an excellent DIY opportunity.  All you need is a concept, some fun paper signs or labels, and a variety of vessels or cake-stands.   Choose a bunch of colorful desserts and candies and be creative!  Order online, search candy stores and dig in bulk bins, explore international varieties at ethnic food stores, and expand your definition of candy to include marshmallows, sprinkles, and whatever-coated-pretzels.

At your next kid-friendly event or holiday party give it a try…and if you like the results, PLEASE send me a picture!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.