Friday, December 31, 2010

Top Projects and Posts of 2010

Before diving into 2011, I thought it would be fun to take a look back on this past year. It definitely was a busy 365 days filled with numerous projects and house updates. The following are my favorites (in no particular order) from 2010.

Metal Top Table Redo
Using my favorite painting and glazing technique, I transformed a metal top coffee table a friend no longer wanted.

Daughter’s Room Redo
My daughter’s room went from little girl blue and green to big girl pink, tan and gray. Projects included dog silhouettes, embellishing a cork board, creating a marble top side table, and adding ceiling molding.

Dining Room
Paint changed a mismatched group of furnishings – a floor sample clock, thrift store chairs and buffet, and a Craig’s list table – into a cohesive grouping. With the addition of a zig zag rug, Ikat fabric to cover the chairs and a mirror (which has yet to arrive) this space started the year almost empty and finished almost full.

Bye Bye Red Room
We lightened up our red living room by painting it white, removing accessories and adding new curtains. This space is still a work in progress and is on my “to do” list for 2011.

Secrets to Finding Roadside Treasures
Here I shared the three reasons I have been so successful in finding roadside freebies.

Block Printed Pillows
Vintage printing blocks and letters were used to create unique patterns on fabric which were then turned into pillows.

One Dollar Decorating
I found a mismatched group of milk glass vases at the thrift store and created a pretty table and mantle for only one dollar.

My Sewing Machine
The only sewing machine I have ever owned belonged to my Grandmother - proving it does not take a fancy sewing machine to sew!

Worth the Wait
This post highlighted the landscaping transformation our house has gone through since moving in nine years ago. We began with nothing but dirt and have slowly created a yard we are proud to call our own.

So there you have it – the best of Red Door Home 2010. Hope you enjoyed the past year as much as I have. I am looking forward to 2011 and all the great projects and posts the year brings.

I would love to know your favorite post of 2010? What would you like to see more of in 2011?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Blessings from Our House to Yours

Wishing you, your family and the ones you love a blessed holiday season and merry Christmas. May your heart be filled with peace, love and happiness!

I am grateful and so very appreciative to everyone who has taken the time to read this blog and share their thoughts over the past year. Thank you! I will be back after the New Year with lots of new tutorials, ideas and projects.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gingerbread Houses

Baking and decorating gingerbread houses are two of my favorite holiday traditions. I don’t create anything elaborate or complex like the house pictured above. Rather, I use a kit purchased several years ago from Magic Cabin . . .

. . . which includes everything needed – recipes and cookie cutters – to make a simple ready-to-be-adorned house like the one shown below.

Here is a quick run through of the entire process.

To make the dough, melt 1 cup of white Crisco in a large pot over medium heat. Add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup of unsulfered molasses, stirring until sugar is completely melted.

In a separate bowl combine 5 cups flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. nutmeg and 2 tsp. ginger. Remove pot from heat. Add 4 cups of the dry ingredients to molasses mixture. Stir with spoon until combined. Mix in last cup of dry ingredients with your hands.

Roll dough on a cookie sheet using a rolling pin or tall glass. Use the cookie cutters to make the appropriate number of pieces to construct the house.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 13 minutes or until light brown.

Cool completely. Don’t worry if your pieces are not perfect - icing can hide almost any imperfection

Assemble the house using the provided icing recipe or one of your own. I make an easy royal icing of 3 tablespoons meringue powder, 4 cups confectionary sugar and 6 tablespoons water.

 For the foundation I use inexpensive cookie trays from the Dollar Store and a white paper doily. Apply icing to all edges of the gingerbread house.

Let the icing harden before decorating.

To attach the candy use store bought icing. Making your own icing is also an option.

Be creative and have fun! The only limitation is your imagination.  (Above and below are pictures of the house I created this year.)

Notes: You may remember last year when I showcased gingerbread houses made by several of my friends. Sadly, this year time passed me by and I was not able to host my annual holiday gingerbread house decorating party. Hopefully next year I will get my act together sooner and revive this annual tradition. Also, the kit I use is no longer available through Magic Cabin but they do have several other options. Finally, I have never eaten the finished gingerbread, it smells delicious and several friends have said it does taste good. I concentrate all my nibbling on the candy!

I would love to hear about your experiences with gingerbread houses. Have you ever made a gingerbread house? Did you design your own or use a kit? What are your favorite candy decorations?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Holiday Decorating Inspiration

Creative Home Magazine / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

Over the years my holiday décor has incorporated an ever increasing amount of natural elements. I have traded in much of the red and gold for a more subtle palette of white and silver. This transformation began about four years ago when I discovered the article shown below.

Creative Home Magazine / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

The story which appeared in the no-longer-existing Creative Home Magazine featured the home of designer and friend Elizabeth Tanny.

Creative Home Magazine / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications 

Her mantle with its fresh wreath hanging from a vintage garden gate set me on my own quest for a gate – which I finally found last year!

Creative Home Magazine / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications 

I fell in love with the way her holiday decorations were incorporated into the existing décor of her house. She did not simply set out more stuff.

Creative Home Magazine / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications 

Instead, she swapped her usual all white throw pillows for ones of green and brown. She also replaced white ironstone with presents covered in coordinating wrapping paper

Creative Home Magazine / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications

Her use of fresh flowers makes it a simple transition from holiday decorating to beautiful winter décor.

Creative Home Magazine / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications 

As you can see, Elizabeth’s holiday decorating style has definitely stood the test of time. Her décor looks as fresh today as it did four years ago and has inspired many of the decorating choices I have made in my own home.

Creative Home Magazine / Photographer - Michael Partenio
Stylist - Donna Talley, Regional Editor and Producer for Meredith Publications 

Have you ever been inspired by a magazine article or friend for your holiday décor? I would love to hear where your ideas/inspiration comes from!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Paperwhite Perfection!

Here is a quick update on the paperwhites I potted back in November – almost exactly one month ago.

Today they are blooming and are at the peak of perfection!

For some reason this year adding alcohol to the water did not keep them from growing tall. I have used this trick in years past but to no avail this time. Oh! Well! They are still beautiful and fill the kitchen table with prettiness.

I have so enjoyed watching them transform from bulbs . .. .

. . . to buds . . .

. . . . to flowers!

I will probably have a few more days until the flowers start fading. Until then, however, I am going to enjoy these wonderful white flowers in all their glory.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Dining Room Reveal

This past week everything came together in my dining room. I finished covering my new-to-me chairs (tutorial coming soon), the rug I ordered arrived and I completed my Christmas decorating! I am thrilled with the final outcome.

The chair fabric is from Calico Corners and is called Kalah blue. The rug is from Madeline Weinrib and is the one big splurge in this room. I choose the zig zag pattern to bring down the formality a notch and to add a more modern looking element into the space.

The buffet features a mixture of mercury glass, silver and clear glass. Once the mirror arrives it will take the place of the wreath.

You may recognize the two small topiaries as their normal home is on my family roon mantel. I did not have two matching containers so I simply wrapped the pots with burlap secured with raffia.

The table top also features a mixture of similar silver and white finishes. The sticks are from my yard and are housed in an upside down vintage column. Since I no longer can place my Christmas tree in this room, this table top display is a great substitute.

Hope you enjoyed this tour as much as I enjoyed creating it. I will be back soon with more holiday decorating.

Linking up to some of my favorite parties HERE
Met Monday
Hooked on Houses
handmade projects

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Christmas Tree Shuffle

When we first moved into our house finding a place for the Christmas tree was easy. We had very little furniture so every room was a potential site. Today, however, things have changed. Over the past nine years our house has slowly filled up and for the first time ever, we had to move furniture to make space for the tree.

Last year, you may remember our Christmas tree was in the dining room (picture below). This location made the outside of the house look pretty as the tree was visible through the front window. The inside was a little different story. Although it was in a convenient spot, the tree was hard to enjoy as it was not in a part of the house which was used often. This year with the addition of the buffet and extra chairs, the dining room was no longer an option.

So where did we put our tree? Ironically, right back in the very spot we placed the tree for our first Christmas in our house – the family room.

We have less seating now but the trade-off of seeing the tree all day is well worth it. Having the tree in the family room makes the entire house more festive. I think we have found a permanent home for our Christmas tree for years to come!

So, where do you place your Christmas tree? Have you tried different locations in your house or do you always put your tree in the same spot?

Hooked on Houses
Met Monday
The Nester Christmas Tour
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