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These bright pendants are the stars of the show! (And of this month’s High/Low Challenge.)  In the end though, there can only be one winner in the spotlight. It could be you if you answered  “Left: high, Right: low”. The winner of this month’s HGTV Magazine prize package will be notified by email.

high-low-answer

Could you tell the difference?

Topping Sabrina Soto’s High/Low List in our December issue—on stands Tuesday!—these pendants are the perfect way to add sparkle to your home around the holidays. Hung above the table, the pendant on the left will be the show-stopper of your dining room. The fixture to the right, which is slightly smaller, would shine bright in a hallway. Click through to find shopping information for these pendants and other great finds in our High/Low Buys for Any Budget.

Time flies when you’re busy crafting, DIYing, decorating, and shopping! The holiday issue of HGTV Magazine is hitting newsstands Tuesday, and it’s full of great gift ideas, seasonal decorating inspiration, and of course, lots of handmade projects to keep the elves busy.

Take a look inside this month’s issue at these stories that come with a little bonus. In each piece below you’ll be directed to web-exclusive content that can ONLY be found at hgtv.com. Consider it a little gift from us @HGTVMag.

December 2014 cover

What do you get for the person on your list who has everything? A DIY gift that’s one-of-a-kind. We share six easy ideas to choose from.

picture frames

Embroidery hoop picture frames

To say metallics are on trend would be an understatement. And we can happily say they aren’t going anywhere soon. We gilded everything from pillows to pencils in these projects using gold paint. Online readers receive two extra ideas that didn’t make it in the issue.

ampersand pillow

Gold glitter paint was used on this ampersand pillow

When it’s time to decorate the mantel for Christmas, try one of these HGTV star-designed stockings. Each made from two online-only templates, the DIY designs let you make the holidays more creative.

christmas stockings

Made-from-scratch stockings

Let’s get real: when it comes to design coffee table books, you kind of have to judge a book by its cover. These things sit out in the open, center stage in your living room, so it’s important to know if a book is: Hot! Not! A must buy! Or a must skip! Who needs Tinder when you’ve got me?

I’ve “swiped right” on all the best design books, and picked out six that are so darn pretty and chock-full of designery goodness, I would slap anyone who put an actual cup of coffee on them.

1. Black and White (and a Bit In Between): Timeless Interiors, Dramatic Accents, and Stylish Collections by Celerie Kemble

If Pinterest made a book of their most pinned interiors, I’m pretty sure designer Celerie Kemble’s book would be it. While focusing on the most classic of color combos, black and white, Kemble collected gorgeous images from the best of the best in the world of interior design: Thomas O’Brien, Mary McDonald, Delphine Krakoff, Brad Ford and many others. This book makes you feel like: eh, who needs color?

2. Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color For Make-You-Smile Style by Will Taylor

I know I just told you to forget about color, but blogging superstar Will Taylor’s book made me ditch that plan, stomp on it, and then set it on fire. Taylor’s blog Bright Bazaar is like a candy store on the internet: he serves up delicious, bite-size bits of colorful design inspiration every day on his site. His book features a ton of  beautiful interior design projects with color and decor ideas bursting at the seams.

3. ABCDCS: David Collins Studio by David Collins

ABCDCS is a new book featuring the work of the late architect David Collins, and it’s  filled with a collection of showstopping images of beautiful hotel, restaurant, and residential interiors that his firm designed all over the world. Each photo represents a different letter of the alphabet, which is used to highlight various design concepts (from “architecture” to “zzzzz”). While Collins’s interiors might be a bit too va va voom for some, I think there are a ton of inspiring images here with loads of great ideas…especially if you’re decorating a ballroom or a helipad. K-I-D-D-I-N-G.

4. The Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd

I nominated myself as President, Vice President and Under Secretary of the official Miles Redd fan club years ago, so this book has been center stage on my coffee table for a while now. Redd’s projects are all hardcore glamorous, bright, bold and engaging. The book features photographs from his design projects all over the world, and I may or may not have used an entire post it note pad marking ideas that I’d love to copy one day.

5. Elements of Style: Designing A Home & A Life by Erin Gates

Released just this week, Elements of Style blogger Erin Gates’s new book is jam packed with loads of fab photos as well as practical advice, lessons learned and insight from Gates’s own home renovation, as well as her work with her other design clients. She delves into nitty gritty type stuff (like choosing countertops for your kitchen, or decorating a nursery without cartoon characters), and best of all, she also includes an extensive resource and shopping guide with all the scoop on where to go to buy all of the fab stuff you see featured in the book.

6. The Inspired Home: Nests of Creatives by Kim Ficaro, Todd Nickey, Mayer Rus, Sarah Sophie Flicker

Did that invite from musician Moby to have cocktails up at his Hollywood Hills “micro castle” get lost in the mail? MINE TOO. Luckily, The Inspired Home captured pics of Moby’s joint, as well as countless other creative musicians, stylists, writers and tastemakers to give you an inside look into each of their homes. There’s so much amazingness going on in these pages it’s hard to know where to look…but Moby’s “micro castle’ is a good place to start.

This week, I decided I was going to turn one of my best (read: useless) skills — online shopping — into something from which everyone else can benefit. Since September 1st, I’ve secretly been scouring the internet for new pumpkin products but now that October is FINALLY here, I can set my sights on Halloween.

No matter what holiday is around the corner, little things like coffee mugs, string lights and candle holders always get me in the spirit and make life just a little more festive. There are so many new knickknacks out there, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite internet finds that will get your Halloween off on the right foot:

Want it Wednesday: Halloween

Top L to R: Pottery Barn Pumpkin Luminaries, The cutest Jack-O-Lantern Pillow Ever Made, Mason Jar Pumpkins, Skeleton String Lights

Bottom L to R: Printable “Trick or Treat” art Print, Frankenstein Mugs, Spooky Shapes Halloween Pasta, Giant Dia de los Muertos Cookies

If you’re anything like me, the mere notion of Halloween springs to mind visions of endless candy isles at grocery stores. Look at some of these sweet tooth satisfying — and inner child satisfying — treats: White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms (My fav), Candy Corn Hershey Kisses, Hershey’s Candy Corn Bit Bars, Candy Apple M&Ms, and finally Pumpkin Spice Oreo cookies.

We challenged you to spot the price difference between two gorgeous green campaign dressers. Did you guess correctly? You won our vote for “Best Eye for Design” if you answered Left: low, Right: high. One lucky winner will be chosen and notified by email.

As usual, Sabrina Soto’s High/Low List is packed with great items at every price range, but these two really grabbed our attention. The unmistakable campaign-style hardware on the MDF and poplar chest on the left makes it a cost-conscious choice. And eight layers of lacquer means the higher-priced piece at right has some serious shine.

green campaign chests with text

We want them both!

Get the buying info for these two items and lots more High/Low buys in the October issue of HGTV Magazine, on sale Tuesday. Tired of waiting for new-issue goodness? Subscribe here and follow us on Twitter here.

Remember our talk about fall wardrobes earlier this week? If you were wondering where all those new duds would go, look no further than the brand-new HGTV Urban Oasis 2014.

If you were to ask what my favorite room in any home is, the word “kitchen” would quickly slip from my lips — you know, because of the food. But I couldn’t help but dream of the abuse I could inflict on my credit card with the beautifully realized, and enormous, closet of the Urban Oasis residence.

Closet

Master Closet

Lindsay Pumpa, the genius behind such a drool-worthy space, calls the closet something to write home about. The custom accessory storage and handcrafted six light chandelier allow this space to make as much of a statement as the clothing it will store.

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

I had to choose a second favorite: the master bathroom. It gives new meaning to the word “retreat.” The sleek, modern tub serves up beautiful city skyline views of Atlanta to whomever is soaking. The marble-tiled shower and floor meld seamlessly with the ultra-chic fixtures and vanity to mimic the tranquil luxury of a five-star spa.

Located in Buckhead, Atlanta’s mecca for all things shopping and dining, the home’s cozy-gone-chic vibe is definitely fitting.

I would be happy to live in the master closet and bathroom, but if your design-loving heart can take it — tour every inch of this urban palace. From the guest bathroom with its striking tile shower to the balcony with its sprawling views of Stone Mountain and Atlanta’s city center, every inch of this home drips with luxury.

Peruse our extensive photo galleries and let us know what your favorite space is in the home. Also, be sure to dish your feelings on the master bedroom’s purple walls — I love them!

And don’t forget — this home can be yours. Enter twice daily for a chance to win this Atlanta dream on HGTV.com and on FrontDoor.com.

I can’t lie — the only thing that gets me through going back to school (and the approaching chilly weather) is having an excuse to buy new clothes, because you know, “I’ll be going to class every day and I can’t wear the same things over and over,” or my personal favorite, “There are so many sales going on right now, it would be stupid not to buy a few things for school.” My excuses are limitless. Feel free to use them to justify your own shopping spree.

But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “invested” (another one of those words I like to use) in a new season wardrobe that doesn’t go along with the popular trends. Our interview with Brad Goreski showed us what to look forward to for spring, but now we need to see what trends and styles will be big this fall and winter.

So before you make that all-important pilgrimage to the mall, brush up on the season’s biggest fashion trends so you’re not left with a backseat full of outdated duds.

Sweater Weather

Photos L to R: Mango, Zara, Madewell, Style.com Prada, H&M

Last winter’s dramatic over-sized sweater trend has been scaled back and refined for 2014. Designers showcased quite a few variations of knitwear for fall and winter, ranging from flowing merino wool and cashmere, to barely-too-big fisherman’s sweaters. Sculptural silhouettes were also heavy on the runways, but t-shirts and pants also received a knitty-gritty makeover. Knit t-shirts will also prove useful next spring where merino and cashmere sweaters have an unlimited shelf life.

More Fashion Trends

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

BRIANA: Here’s a seasonable topic from our own Camille: Outdoor living rooms. It seems like people are making their decks, patios and yards more elaborate and bringing all the comforts of the indoors outside. There are plenty of beautiful examples of this trend, like this cabana, but what are your personal feelings on elaborate outdoor living rooms? Are living rooms even greater in the great outdoors or are they big wastes of space?

Do You Like the Outdoor Living Room Furniture Trend?

Image: Courtesy of Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills

MEG: That cabana makes me want to lounge outside in a caftan with a turban on my head and a spritzer in my hand all day long. I think it’s crucial to create spaces in your home that are intended for rest, relaxation, and time spent outdoors. The more we can make our homes invite that type of chill vibe, the better! If I had a backyard big enough to hold my own cabana, you better believe I’d be on that in a heartbeat. And let’s just ASSUME a hammock is involved, okay?

GRANT: I’d love to have a space like this, but l always wonder where the people put all this mess after the photo op is finished.

Do You Like the Outdoor Living Room Furniture Trend?

Design: Jamie Durie

As it is, my tiny outdoor set gets so dirty so fast and I’m super resentful of the citronella candles I need to bring inside.

MORE ARGUING ABOUT ELABORATE OUTDOOR LIVING ROOMS

As crazy as it may seem, it’s already time to stock up on school supplies. There’s nothing quite like a fresh pack of ballpoint pens and a color-coded assortment of spiral notebooks to start the year out right. But for many, it’ll be more than just basic supplies on the shopping list. Some of our HGTV.com readers will be packing up and heading into the brand-new cramped quarters of a shared living space. Yay, college! The key to this new living adjustment is making the space feel as comfortable and homey as possible. And just like living in a rental, there are plenty of ways to add decorative charm to the walls, floors and doors of your temporary living space without breaking the bank.

Check out a few of my favorites:

DIY Desk Accessories

Keep Your Desk Tidy: Make these custom desk accessories >>

DIY Corkboard

Hang Custom Artwork: Make a corkboard map to showcase travel adventures >> 

Top Dorm Room Decorating Ideas

Take a seat and see if you were right. We asked you to look at two similar stools to see if you could correctly tell which one was priced higher than the other. If you answered Left: high, Right: low, then you are correct and would clearly make a good shopping buddy. One lucky winner of the HGTV Magazine prize package will be notified by email.

These stools caught the eye of both our market director and Sabrina Soto to make it on September’s The High/Low List. The maple barstool on the left is upholstered in easy-to-clean indoor-outdoor fabric, so you never have to worry about stains. The right polyester pick has such a friendly price tag, you might as well buy a whole set. See what else made the cut by subscribing or picking up a copy when it hits stands Tuesday.

high and low proced bar stools

Could you be the winner?

Find all the shopping info for these products and lots more in the September issue and online here. And follow us on Twitter @HGTVMag to get daily budget-friendly ideas, design inspiration, and exclusive access inside amazing homes.

 

Peach Cornbread Slice

The fragrance of ripe peaches is as sensuous as Number 5. They draw you into their presence and urge you to fit just one more in the bag. Once the juicy flavor grenades are brought home, usually two fates await. They will be quickly devoured within the first few days or left to sit around with the best of intentions, ultimately lending themselves to over ripening. Here is an option for what to do with peaches that are on the verge of too ripe: bake up a rich cakey peach cornbread. The recipe uses up a lot of pantry staples keeping the need to go shopping for ingredients to a minimum. It’s slightly sweet, making it able to be served with a smear of creamy butter for breakfast or topped with whipped cream for dessert.

Get the Recipe

When we launched The High/Low Challenge sweepstakes on the blog last month, we were amazed at the number of entries we received. [Thanks for all the love!] Games are fun, aren’t they?

Getting in on the action is simple. Just take a look at the two bathroom set-ups below. Both enjoy a soaking tub, cute raindrop curtain, showerhead, and blue patterned bathmat. The test: Which group is priced low, and which is priced high?

How to enter: Leave your guess in the comments section below. For example: Left: high, Right: low or vice versa. One lucky winner will receive an HGTV Magazine iPhone 5 case, an HGTV Magazine umbrella, and a copy of the latest July/August issue (on sale Tuesday). You must answer correctly for a chance to win. Come back tomorrow when we reveal the answer.

july aug challenge

Can you tell the difference?

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 2:00 p.m. ET on June 13, 2014. Full official rules are available here. Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba Home & Garden Television, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

You guys LOVE a good guessing game! With more than 1,200 entries and comments, our very first High/Low Challenge sweepstakes was a big success and proves we’ve got some seriously impressive design eyes reading the blog.

You’re correct if you answered: Left: low, Right: high. The lucky winner of our HGTV Magazine prize package will be notified by email.

reveal image 1

Soak up the sun and the savings with this lightweight wicker chair and polyester umbrella in the left look. A chaise with stain-resistant cushions and teak umbrella make for a luxurious lounge spot on the right. Now all we need is a warm summer day and a good book. Find the info you need to snag any of these fabulous finds (plus lots more duos) in the latest installment of Sabrina Soto’s The High/Low List.

I’ve been on a hunt for “ugly things that aren’t ugly,” since last week’s post about modern filing cabinets. I received some really great requests to be on the look out for and I’ve added them all to my list. (If you’ve got a request, let me know in the comments!) This week, Liz wants a good looking ceiling fan. Challenge accepted. Since I wasn’t quite sure what style she might have in mind, I found a variety that could fit well into almost any setting. Here’s what I came up with:

attractive ceiling fans

Top Row, L to R: 1. Stella Ceiling Fan by Dave Ellis; 2. Flyte by G Squared; 3. Haiku Fan; Bottom Row, L to R: 4. Lit Modern Ceiling Fan #4; 5. Avian Ceiling Fan; 6. Plum by Modern Fan Co

RELATED: How to Install a Ceiling Fan

The key to finding a really beautiful ceiling fan, unfortunately, is looking beyond some of the big box home improvement stores. They’re so convenient, but their selection can leave the design enthusiast unsatisfied. And sadly, a lot of the better looking fans come with an equally “impressive” price tag. If you think of them as an investment — one you’ll be staring at every day — perhaps it’ll help get you over the sticker shock.

BRIANA: Happy Valentine’s Day, folks! Let’s discuss Cupid’s weapon of choice, the arrow. Seems like they’re equally popular as a motif and actual styling item these days. What do you think? Are you in love with arrows or do they miss the mark?

Do you like arrows in design? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

Photo: Jeff Romaniuk

KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: Best example:

Do you like arrow motifs? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

I think they’re a fun way to direct the eye and give a design an overt focal point.

MORE TAKING AIM AT ARROWS

You know how you can live with something and think it’s great for years then one day you look at it and decide that it has to go — stat?! Well, that was me and the shower curtain in my guest bath. When I originally bought the Waverly “Norfolk Rose” shower curtain in 2007, I was going for a cozy cottage look and it fit the bill perfectly. Fast forward to 2014 and — while my taste is still traditional — my color preference has shifted to grays and blues and I like my patterns a little more graphic. Thus, the hunt for a new shower curtain commenced.

Here’s a peek of my guest bathroom before:
Cottage-Style Bathroom Before Makeover
See how I updated for less than $25

As design director of HGTV HOME (HGTV’s product line), Nancy Fire is leading a team to produce stunning home decor that encompasses the looks and styles seen on HGTV and HGTV.com. If you’ve ever shopped HGTV HOME, then you’re familiar with Nancy’s remarkable attention to detail and her keen eye for what’s beautiful. It’s Nancy’s style and expertise that made the decision to choose her as our first ever HGTV.com guest editor a no-brainer. What exactly is the “HGTV.com guest editor?” Glad you asked!

This year, our team will be bringing in a few extra movers, shakers and visionaries who possess interesting perspectives on the world of design. We want these industry insiders to jump into the mix of everything we do here at HGTV.com. So, we asked Nancy if she’d be our first guest editor, and she happily agreed. Welcome, Nancy!

HGTV.com Guest Editor Nancy Fire

HGTV.com Guest Editor Nancy Fire

In the coming months, you’ll find Nancy offering her expert commentary here on Design Happens, adding insight on 2014 trends throughout HGTV.com, and even taking over HGTV’s Instagram here and there as she travels the globe. (Catch her this weekend on Instagram while she’s at Heimtextil, Germany’s international trade fair for home textiles.)

For you to get to know a little more about our guest editor, we recently interviewed Nancy.

Our Chat

Most of us probably still have a lot of holiday shopping left to do. I always leave the men for last because they’re the hardest to buy gifts for, and I tend to procrastinate. Does he really need another sweater? Do I really want to spend a lot of money on the newest gadget? I’ve learned over the years that making something is the best route to go. Bonus: You can skip the crowds!

However, handmade gifts for guys can be a bit tricky — you want to make something useful but also something he can brag about to his friends. While we’re at it, let’s make it really easy to make (Nobody has time to spend hours crafting!).

Here are our top 5 DIY holiday gifts for the men in your life:

 Felt Gadget Case

How to Make a Felt Gadget Case

He may already have the latest gadget, so get him a felt cover to help protect it. If you don’t have basic sewing skills, try this project with fabric glue!

Get the Full Instructions Here>>

4 More Gifts For Guys

Outside the days might be getting shorter and colder, but inside the pages of HGTV Magazine‘s December issue, we’re having a lot more fun! You’ll find merry DIY ideas, a cheerful gift guide, and loads of happy holiday decorating ideas!

December 2013 cover

Come on, we know you’re already listening to Christmas music. Get in the holiday spirit with us!! Here’s a sneak peek of what subscribers are getting in their mailbox, and what you can look forward to when the issue hits newsstands on November 26.

Every year, it seems like Santa’s list has grown. We made shopping a little easier by narrowing down picks from some of our favorite stores in one collective gift guide. Buy presents: Check. (p.s. The elves put together a printable PDF for a wallet friendly list you can take with you.)

hot cocoa set

Hot chocolate ceramic pot and gold monogrammed stoneware mugs, williams-sonoma.com

Decorating for the holidays adds cheer to a home, and no matter if you buy or DIY, the December issue has fun new ideas to help gear up for a celebration. How cool are these personalized gingerbread houses?

gingerbread houses

Personalized gingerbread houses, redenvelope.com and llbean.com

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