There’s nothing like a classy beverage to make a holiday party feel more festive or to whet everyone’s appetite for small bites. My husband and I are cocktail enthusiasts, but as much as I love drinks with lots of exotic ingredients and elaborate garnishes (hello, flaming limes!), we’ve found it’s best to keep it simple behind the bar when you’re entertaining for a large group. It’s also a good idea to keep drinks on the low-alcohol end of the spectrum so guests can sip the night away without feeling the negative effects the next morning. So, what do you mix when you’re looking for something simple, low-alcohol, festive and tasty? Enter the shim!
TWO TASTY COCKTAIL RECIPES TO TRY
BRIANA: I professed my tree & tree branch decor crush back in 2011 (still love you, Cole & Son Woods!), but even back then, I recognized that there was some trend fatigue. Fast forward to 2013. I just noticed an item in this month’s issue of People StyleWatch declaring that Tree Branch Decor was OUT. Their expert says people are going more modern and less rustic these days, but what do you think? Are you still a tree-hugger or do you wish this trend would make like a tree and leaf? (Sorry not sorry.)
DEANNE REVEL: I was just looking at my accessory tree that holds all my necklaces and headbands this morning and thinking, “Man, I need to get hip. This isn’t cool anymore.”
FARIMA: I was never really on the tree train. I say keep it to nurseries only.
MARIANNE: I prefer my trees petrified these days.
Photo: Charles Tilford/Flickr
MORE BANTER ABOUT TREE BRANCHES
BRIANA: Put a fox on it? From the looks of it, this crafty creature has made everyone forget about birds. Abbi suggested foxes as a possible DTT topic a few months back because she was noticing them all over baby goods and nurseries – now they’re all over these products Kayla featured in her mood board*, not to mention viral videos. We may never know what the fox says, but what do YOU say about foxes?
MARIANNE: Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox was my favorite book as a kid (I kind of had a crush on Mr. Fox?), so I love foxes…but it bums me out that they are so overplayed right now. Though I will confess to dressing my kid in a fox onesie and loving it:
KELLY SMITH TRIMBLE: I love foxes. They’re like dogs you can’t tame. They look cuddly but they’re really wild and elusive. I agree they’re getting a bit overplayed, but I’m also glad they’re being used sans hunting scene this go ’round.
MORE FIGHTING OVER FOXES
BRIANA: Move over, orange – there’s a new color in town. White pumpkins were once novel, but now they threaten to usurp the Halloween pumpkin throne. So, what do you think? Do white pumpkins look smashing or would you like to smash them?
MARIANNE: I love all of the non-traditional pumpkins right now, white included. My mom just made this motley gourd tower and I’m digging it.
HANNAH SLAUGHTER: Kelly Smith Trimble is single-handedly responsible for me embracing the white pumpkins. They just seem so elegant!
BRIANA: Barn doors have been making their way indoors and have landed on top of trend lists in the process. What do you folks think of these rustic accents? Do they make you say “OMG ILU” or “E-I-E-I-OH NO”?
Design: Linda Woodrum for HGTV’s 2011 Dream Home
ALYSSA: It’s not a look I’d typically go for, but I actually loved what Tiffany [Brooks] did with one for the winners of our Most Embarrassing Kitchen in America. Choosing to stain it blue allows the natural wood to show through while also making a rustic barn door work in a fairly modern kitchen.
Photo: Victoria Pearson for HGTV Magazine
KELLEY: E-I-E-I-NO! It’s an awfully big installation for something that’s gonna look dated in two years.
BARN DOORS: YAY OR NEIGH?
BRIANA: Bust out your ‘80s bedding – florals and chintz have been back in a big way this year. Though chintz typically refers to a type of floral fabric, blooms have been gracing wallpaper, china – even tech accessories. Are you a fan of all this flower power or do you wish floral patterns would wilt and die?
MARIANNE: I think it depends on the floral. I can’t get enough of Rifle Paper Co’s floral prints, and I’m putting this little lady in my kitchen:
Rifle Paper Co. “Rosa” print
KAYLA: I wish that the floral decor in [the first picture] would die right this minute. Also, I hate those hotel comforters. (Sorry.) I think modern florals or retro florals are perfect. I’ll never get tired of them – on sundresses, throw pillows, upholstered side chairs, or as a wallpapered accent wall.
KERI: I’m with Kayla. The florals in [the first picture] remind me of my grandmother’s spare bedroom (except there would be a waterbed underneath – yikes). But I’m currently drooling over this pressed flowers print:
“Field of Dreams” 18 X 24 Pressed Flowers Limited Edition by HaleyJsNaturalArt on Etsy
DEANNE REVEL: Have you guys seen Kirstie Alley’s former house on FrontDoor? Brace yourselves. So. Much Floral.
DO YOU LIKE THE FLORAL TREND? VOTE NOW!
BRIANA: This topic comes to us courtesy of Lili and has been featured on our blog as a Daily Delight, in the Designer MacGyver column as a craft material and more. Yup, I’m axin’ about tree stumps! (Yup, I’m making terrible puns about chopping trees with axes!) So, are you a fan of the tree stump as a home accent? Or are you stumped by their appeal?
Pictured: Phillips Collection tables
LILI: I’ve shown my hand here already by “delighting” these in the not-so-distant past, but I love them. Paint them gold, leave them raw, sand them down and finish them with shellac; I’m in. I love the dichotomy created by how unbuttoned and raw they are when placed in a rather tailored environment like so:
Photo: via Love & Renovations
WHERE DO YOU STAND ON TREE STUMPS? VOTE NOW!
BRIANA: It seems the pouf has always been a divisive piece – even our own Lili wrote a Daily Delight called “To Pouf or Not to Pouf?” That IS the question, indeed. What are your thoughts on the pouf? Is it a fun, versatile accent? Or is it a lumpy waste of space?
LIZ: It’s like a medicine ball and a beanbag chair had a non-functional child. It’s too short to put your feet on and too big to not be in the way. I really don’t get the fascination.
KAYLA: I included a fabric pouf DIY project in my Dorm Room package, because I think they’re perfect in college rooms where space is limited. You can use them as ottomans, additional seating or tabletops.
But, I don’t personally see myself buying one because, for me, it would totally take up space or turn into a cat scratching post. I like the idea, but it doesn’t fit into my home.
DO YOU LIKE POUFS? VOTE IN OUR POLL!
BRIANA: This trend ranks high on the list of must-have amenities for lots of people looking for homes – I’d say it’s almost as popular as stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Yes, I’m talking about open floor plans. Does an open concept give a home an appealing flow and extra light? Or does it make you feel lost in space? (Chad, I’m looping you in because I know you’re moving and in the market. Give us the dirt. Is it a feature you’d specifically seek out, a bonus or a dealbreaker?)
CHAD PARIZMAN: IMHO, it’s a bonus. Very few houses we’re looking at have them, though. Mostly the conversation goes something like, “This is kind of a small space, but I bet we can just knock down that wall and really open it up.”
This is especially true as we’re looking at tiny kitchens with little counter space who share a wall with a dining room twice as big as anything we’d ever need. We’re finding lots of dining rooms that could seat 16 people with kitchens that couldn’t handle more than two people standing in it at the same time.
JESSICA: I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I grew up in apartments where your only option is an open floor concept. I feel super claustrophobic otherwise. I’m also one of those people that has to have every single door in the house open though, so maybe it’s just me…
My family moved into our first house just a few years ago and that has a big open layout as well. I love it – I can be lounging in the living room while someone else is in the kitchen and we are all still together. That’s a luxury I don’t feel in my current home: it’s a very adorable old cottage, but the rooms are all separated and it can make the house feel smaller than it actually is. If I wasn’t renting I’d have already taken a sledgehammer to the walls.
OPEN OR CLOSED? CAST YOUR VOTE NOW!
We’re not shy about being totally obsessed with Pinterest here at HGTV. Shameless plug: FOLLOW US ON PINTEREST! WE PIN PRETTY THINGS! Anyway, I still can’t believe that using Pinterest is part of my job because it’s that much fun. I love it for research and trendspotting, organizing recipes I’d like to try, planning my upcoming wedding and yes, keeping up with what HGTV fans are digging at the moment. Thus, our latest Social Sound Off question!
On Twitter, we asked: What’s the best thing you’ve found on Pinterest recently?
Based on the trickle of replies we got, I’m guessing y’all were probably looking at stuff on Pinterest instead of checking up on tweets (ahem), but that’s okay. I’ll go first. The summer has me feeling very tropical and despite the fact that I claimed I was over my “put a bird on it” phase, this toucan print by komitaart on Etsy has made a liar out of me:
Print: komitaart on Etsy
I am all over that graphic, retro vibe. I mean, how cute would that print be with some classic Martinique wallpaper? It also reminds me of the paintable paper mâché toucan I bought as a souvenir in Cancun when I was 11, but I digress. I found the print through my friend Derya, who has delightfully eclectic pin taste. (Honorable mention: This apothecary bottle with the phrase “Acidic Wit” etched on it. I would love to keep that on my desk and threaten to bust it out at anyone who crosses me.)
But enough about me! Here’s what’s floating your boats lately…
SEE MORE PINTEREST BAIT