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I was alerted by my dear friend that today is National Cat Day because she knows how much I love my little guy.

HGTV Editor Kayla Kitts Cat

My handsome cat, D’Artagnan.

This (unofficial) national holiday was started in 2005 by pet and family lifestyle expert Colleen Paige to urge the public to recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year, and also to encourage cat lovers to celebrate their own cat(s) for the love and companionship they provide us.

We know you spoil your cat 365 days a year, but give them a little something extra today for #NationalCatDay. Whether it’s a new toy, (extra) tasty treats, quality cuddle time or shelter donations, your cat will love the extra attention. Looking for some ideas? Here are a few to get you started:

DIY Catnip ToyMake a Catnip-Filled Cat Toy >>

More DIY cat toys to make:

How to Make a Cat CondoMake a Chic Cat Condo >>

DIY Cat CostumesDress Up Your Cat for Halloween >>

Celebrate your cat today and everyday. Author Charles Dickens said it best: “What greater gift than the love of a cat?” #realtalk

Get tips and design ideas on making lovable pets mesh with a stylish home on HGTV.com.

Halloween is creeping its way around the corner — just 2.5 weeks left. That means it’s time to plan and organize all of my recipes and decor ideas. Erica’s last post about black walls has me dreaming of how I want my house to look for Halloween.

So take a look-see at what has made my Halloween party to-do list so far.

WIW Halloween Party Ideas

Top L to R: Spider’s Nest Luminaries, Metallic Pumpkins
Middle: Mummy Haystack Snacks, Pallet Board Jack-O’-Lantern, Mr. Hyde Halloween Cocktail, Mini Candy Corn Layer Cake
Bottom L to R: Candy Corn Brownies, Candy Bar Cookies, Bat Pillow, Pumpkin Spice Halloween Punch

I always try to stretch the mileage on my seasonal decor, which is why I’ll always go for items like the metallic pumpkins. While they fit right in for Halloween, they are still good up until Thanksgiving. Plus, they are shiny and we love shiny things. The pumpkin spice punch, brownie, and layer cake are also reusable holiday recipes — and trust me — you can never have too much candy corn. My mom always makes the best haystacks. Last Christmas I made about 400,000,000 of them with her. I might get her help on the mummy haystacks. But the pallet jack-o’-lantern is so cool that I just have to make one. I know I only have 2.5 weeks to use it, but those are 2.5 weeks that I’ll have the best jack-o’-lantern ever. And how cool does that Mr. Hyde potion look? I CAN’T WAIT.

I’ll be counting down the days — and staying pretty busy — with all of these recipes and decorations I have to make. It’s almost more fun than the actually holiday (almost).

What potions and party favors will you be serving up on Halloween this year? Have you found any creep, crawly decor ideas? Let me know and share them here!

 

My infatuation with rose gold began about 2 years ago when I received my very first Miansai bracelet as a Christmas gift. It was heavy and masculine with a warm rose gold hue. It seems to go with everything that I wear, unlike regular yellow gold, and provides a bit more excitement than silver (nothing wrong with silver!). Now, rose gold is popping up everywhere with designers and brands using it in unexpected ways. It was a huge design trend for a while, but I believe the warm metallic is here to stay, at least in small accents.

Rose Gold Grid

 

Top L to R: Cartier rose gold Entrelacés ring, Set of 4 Old Dutch copper canisters, Studiomake gold-plated bowls, Waggo dog bowls
Middle: Samsung gear smart watch in rose
Bottom L to R: Fossil rose gold Boyfriend watch, Miansai fish hook cuff, Mark and Graham monogrammed copper mugs

The Cartier ring is by far my favorite, but the Samsung watch is actually converting me into a wearable-tech guy. The copper pot set from One Kings Lane is a steal: you get 4 different sizes from a great quality brand. With the holidays creeping up on us, I think the dog bowls and monogrammed mugs will make perfect gifts, they are so unusual!

What do you guys think about rose gold? Is it too much — or just enough? Let me know what you think and share with me your favorite finds.

Did you know it’s the perfect time to start thinking about birdhouses? Many birds won’t use a house until it has a weathered look, so some experts suggest getting birdhouses up by late summer or early fall in preparation for the spring. Even if you’re not an avian enthusiast, the charming little boxes can be used in so many other contexts. Take a look at these birdhouse decor ideas and get inspired to feather your nest with some of these structures.

5 Birdhouse Decor Ideas That Aren't for the Birds: Fence Flair

Credit: Janell Beals

Birdhouses –> Fence Flair
Give an old, drab fence some pizzazz by adding a collection of decorative birdhouses. This idea from Janell Beals works well with a mix of different colors, shapes and sizes. Check out her tutorial to see how you can copy the look.

MORE BEAUTIFUL IDEAS FOR BIRDHOUSES

I’m not sure where the summer went (seriously, where did it go?!), but it’s getting to be time for pencils, books and teachers’ dirty looks, aka back to school. Whether you greet the school year with dread or excitement, the upside is that school items and supplies offer plenty of DIY decor inspiration. Take a look at these crafty ideas that totally make the honor roll.

5 Back to School Crafts: Pennant Banner

Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

This vintage pennant banner from Brian Patrick Flynn really gets me in the school spirit. Though it’s intended for a themed party, I can easily imagine this dressing up a kids’ bedroom or even a game room, can’t you? Check out all the instructions over on DIY Network.

MORE BACK TO SCHOOL BEAUTIES

Did you like my post about musical instrument design ideas? Then I’m betting these sheet music crafts will be up your alley, too! If you’ve got old sheet music that hasn’t seen love since your childhood piano lessons, consider turning it into something you can enjoy and admire every day. (Of course, you could always keep an eye out for old sheet music at flea markets, too.) If you object to repurposing the original sheets for crafts, you can easily make copies on similarly-colored paper.

Sheet Music Crafts: Decoupaged Dresser

Design: Marian Parsons

Old Sheet Music –> New Decoupaged Dresser
This idea for old sheet music from Marian Parsons serves another purpose: hiding imperfections like gouges or water marks on furniture. The lovely aged color of the music looks totally at home in this shabby-chic style setting, too.

MORE CRAFTY USES FOR SHEET MUSIC

You guessed correctly if you chose option B. What used to be a tarnished bar cart is now a modern treasure. With a little elbow grease, Catherine Sheppard of The Life Styled transformed this flea market find into an antique focal point.

Antique Bar Cart

We randomly chose one person from the comments, and Cindy is the winner of a burlap Christmas stocking and Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface cleaner in Iowa pine scent and dish soap in cranberry scent. Congrats!

Check back next Wednesday to decorate a new space.

Congratulations to this week’s winner, Cindy!

Can you guess which bar cart belongs in this entryway?

Decorate This Space

Type A, B or C in the comments section, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow. One lucky winner will win a burlap Christmas stocking and Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface cleaner in Iowa pine scent and dish soap in cranberry scent — perfect for Christmas in July! You don’t have to guess correctly for a chance to win.

Choose A, B or C

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win.  All entries (comments) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. ET on July 16, 2014 and 12:00 p.m. ET on July 17, 2014. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $15. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

UPDATE: This poll is now closed. Thanks for spending Christmas in July with HGTV Magazine.

christmas in july

Get a head start on the holidays! Browse the Christmas in July hub where our hgtv.com editors have found the best ideas for handmade gifts and decorations, kids’ crafts, greeting cards and more. But first, take a second to answer the question below. HGTV Magazine is already prepping for this year’s December issue and asks for your input on the long-standing Christmas tree debate: real or fake?

Christmas decorations

The holidays will be here before you know it.

If you’ve been following our Color of the Month series, you know we like to break the rules from time to time…especially Marianne. She was the mind behind our June 2012 neon color choice, and she also proposed the glitter genre in December 2012.

So when she came to our Color of the Month meeting proposing Stripes as the July color choice, we weren’t surprised, but we were intrigued. After all, stripes are practically synonymous with summer: Think crisp, preppy rooms and nautically-inspired decor. The kicker? More than half of our color team were actually wearing stripes during the meeting — a sure sign that Marianne’s pitch is perfect for the height of the season. Bring on the stripes!

Multicolored Painted Stripes  - Learn How to Paint These Stripes on HGTV.com

Image Courtesy HGTV Magazine

The wonder of stripes is their versatility. Depending on the color combinations, they can be everything from playful to classically preppy.  Vertical stripes in coral, white and blue look playful when painted in varying widths, as seen in HGTV Magazine,  while navy and white horizontal stripes in this kids’ room create a soothing, symmetrical look.

Classic Navy and White Striped Wall in Kids' Room - HGTV.com

Design by Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design

More Clever Ways to Use Stripes

It’s no secret that I’m the resident cat lover here at HGTV.com. Don’t get me wrong, I adore dogs. But when I adopted my four-year-old cat, D’Artagnan, I became enamored by these sassy, independent animals. As someone who was raised with canines, I’m still figuring out my cat’s unique personality every day. I’ll tell you this, though: I’ve raised one cuddly cat.

But, as all pet owners know, creating a pet-friendly home is a key element to your pet’s happiness and your sanity. Here are some ways you can keep your home chic, stylish and comfy for your pets, too.

Get More: 12 Tips for Pet-Friendly Decorating

Cat on Bed

Buy washable fabrics. Pets have accidents. It’s just part of it. So, protect your bed by using duvet covers, cotton bed sheets and other durable fabrics that can be washed regularly.

Slipcovered Sofas

Slipcovers FTW! Until you’ve deterred Fluffy from using your beloved sofa as a scratching post, a durable slipcover will definitely do the trick. You can also look into purchasing a sofa made of Ultrasuede, a stain-resistant, machine-washable microfiber your cat will adore.

Living Chic + Happy With Your Pets

Previously on Designer MacGyver…we’ve covered wrapping paper and newspaper, but surprisingly, wallpaper hasn’t made the list. I say “surprisingly” because I am a wallpaper fanatic and my bio won’t let you forget it. I don’t actually own the apartment I live in now, so I’ve had to resort to more temporary solutions there. Rest assured that once I own, I’ll be armed (with as many rolls as I can afford) and dangerous (with these genius uses for wallpaper other than on walls, obvs).

DIY Wallpaper Ideas: 5 Crafts You'll Love

Sherry and John Petersik, excerpted from Young House Love (Artisan Books), copyright 2012

This idea from Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love is perfect for putting wallpaper samples to work. A thrift-store dresser makes a statement when it’s covered in a big, bold pattern. Get the DIY details here.

MORE WAYS TO DRESS UP YOUR HOME WITH WALLPAPER

BRIANA: We’ll call this one “Defend the Downward Trend”: The microwave is a kitchen staple, but Jessica alerted me to the news that its sales in the U.S. have been flagging for almost a decade. How do you feel about microwaves? Are you attached to your “science oven” or are you more into toaster ovens? Do you think they’re an ugly waste of kitchen real estate or would you be lost without one?

Would  you miss your microwave?

FARIMA: I am a stove/toaster oven girl. I can’t remember the last time I used a microwave  — I’ve even switched to making popcorn on the stove (It’s so much tastier than microwaveable popcorn!) If it wasn’t built in, I would definitely get rid of it!

KERI: I’ll be the first to admit that I mostly just use my microwave for heating up water for tea in the morning. If I didn’t have it, I guess I’d just move right along to the stove. Plus, this year, I finally learned to pop popcorn over the stove. (Farima’s right: SO much tastier and healthier, too!) Wait, why do I have a microwave again? Oh wait, I steam vegetables in there, too. It has a purpose!

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I’m with Farima. Ours came with the house and I rarely use it. I say take it out and bring back the appliance garage.

MORE HEATED DEBATE ABOUT MICROWAVES

It seems like staircases only get love during the holidays – little pumpkins for Halloween, garland and bows for Christmas, maybe a few Easter baskets in April. But for the rest of the year they’re just an uninspiring way to get from one floor to another. I’m here to argue in favor of year-round stair decor. Here are 10 simple ways to step up your stair game (mhm, you see what I did there?) without major construction.

Cousins Undercover makeover staircase with wallpaper and accent wall
1. Create an accent wall: Paint a bold color and construct a gallery of knick-knacks and photos on the wall behind the stairs, like HGTV’s John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino did to these stairs on Cousins Undercover.

Cousins Undercover apply birch tree wallpaper to stair risers
2. Wallpaper the risers: Apply a fun wallpaper to the risers to add visual interest to otherwise boring stairs. Go for paper with an interesting pattern in a neutral color palette to avoid going overboard.

See 8 more stairway ideas

No one but Hannah replied to my first proposed Defend the Trend topic of chunky knits (which are a real trend), maybe because we had done macramé and it was just too similar? Maybe because this winter has slowly crushed our spirits and sapped us of our collective will to live? (It’s been tough here in NYC.) Anyway, here are some of our thoughts about marshmallows, marshmallows with Instagrams printed on them and other things with Instagrams/pictures printed on them instead. Enjoy! And eat some marshmallows. Or don’t. I don’t know anymore.

LIZ: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/87609155225659761/

(NY people, just roast them over a radiator in your cubes.)

BRIANA: I’ve seen this with Oreos, but Thin Mints is next-level. Good thing I’m allergic to Thin Mints, because I feel like I’d eat a ton of these.

LILI: This looks delicious, even to someone who hates marshmallows.

LIZ: YOU GUYS: https://boomf.com/

FARIMA: Whaaat? That’s awesome. I wonder what else you can put your Instagrams on.

KAYLA: Probably the biggest waste of money ever.

LIZ: OR is it the best waste of money ever?

ALYSSA: This is NOT okay. Even my food instagrams aren’t appetizing as a boomf marshmallow

KAYLA: Depends. Unless I got BOOMF marshmallows that say: “M-A-R-R-Y M-E?” in hot chocolate or on SOMETHING chocolate, I’m not interested.

LILI: I want to instagram a picture of marshmallows and have them boomfed.

BRIANA: Meta BOOMF! Inception BOOMF! (I really like saying BOOMF!)

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: Decorating with Instagram photos is a great topic. We should all be investing in companies that make 4 x 4 frames. (Note: Pottery Barn.) I recently ordered a stack of Instagram prints from Printstagram (who has some nice related products, too). I kinda dig the giant frame with many, many Instagrams, like this:

Do you like the trend of printing Instagram photos? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Although, is Instagram pics in general what you’re talking about? Maybe not. Oh well. Instagram stickers are cute.

BRIANA: We can talk about anything we want! I am enjoying this very mild anarchy!

MORE GABBING ABOUT INSTAGRAM

Doilies are a bit fancy and frilly, but that’s part of their charm, am I right? If you’ve got leftover paper doilies from celebrations or other crafting endeavors, there are plenty of adorable things you can do with them for Valentine’s Day…or anytime you want to add a little sweetness to your life. Take a peek at these paper doily crafts that are so darling, they just may sway the doily-haters. (I’m looking at you, Troy from Reality Bites.)

Make adorable treat cups out of paper doilies! See how on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Making treats for your sweetheart? (Like say, these Neapolitan Bonbon Cupcakes?) Add an extra special touch with these doily treat cups from our own Camille Smith.

MORE DARLING IDEAS FOR DOILIES

A month ago, I spent New Year’s Eve in downtown Nashville, trying to keep my nose defrosted long enough to watch the giant guitar drop at midnight. This weekend, I’m prepping for a more comfortable New Year’s celebration – the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is all about taking time away from school and work to focus on family and cleansing your home before another year.

There’s also some really delicious food involved. Dumplings, spring rolls and long noodles are all good luck symbols for wealth and long life. Nian gao, a sticky rice cake, is the traditional dessert served on the Chinese New Year, but I couldn’t pass up sharing these adorable cookies from The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle made with sugar cookie dough, a few Christmas cookie cutters and icing. They might not be traditional, but they’re a perfectly festive way to bring in the Chinese year of 4712.

Are you making anything special for the Chinese New Year?

Of course, there’s the “big game” coming up this Sunday, but if you’re like me, you’re more into board games, card games and puzzles. I have quite the collection at this point, but some of them have been with me since I was a kid and are missing crucial pieces or are just looking shabby. Fortunately, there are a bunch of nifty craft ideas for old game boards, cards and pieces so I can turn my old amusements into something equally diverting.

Make valentines and more crafts with game pieces from HGTV's Design Happens blog!
Give your valentine a piece of your heart and a few pieces of your games with these card ideas from Camille Styles. Old Bingo cards adorned with hearts have a vintage charm and Scrabble tiles are great for spelling out your sweet nothings.

MORE GOOD IDEAS FOR OLD GAMES

I live in the land of subways and taxis here in NYC, so while I rarely get a chance to drive anymore, I still appreciate the look of license plates. I particularly love vanity plates and the designs on plates that support worthwhile causes. While I may not be behind the wheel anytime soon, these eye-catching license plate crafts mean I can surround myself with road-tested style. Check out my finds and get inspired to snatch up vintage plates the next time you’re thrifting or browsing an online auction site!

Learn how to make this license plate divider and more license plate crafts on HGTV's Design Happens blog
This license plate room divider by Brian Patrick Flynn provides a jolt of color and a little privacy to boot. It looks super cool in this outdoor room, adding a bit of art where it’s usually hard to find.

MORE IDEAS FOR OLD LICENSE PLATES

Brrrrr! It’s cold outside, y’all. Stay inside, make a batch of hot cocoa and craft your heart out until spring.

Mood Board Monday: SnowflakesSisters | Tree | Drink Stirrer | Sweater | Bedroom | Mantel | Mask | Cocoa | Hanging Snowflakes | Cookies | Print

Our favorite snowflake crafts:

Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.

 

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  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

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