H. Camille Smith

"Trends come and go but good design is timeless."

Camille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors with a touch of whimsy and punch of color. Camille shares a mid-century cottage with two exceptionally pampered pooches and rooms filled with vintage finds.

H. Camille Smith ON PINTEREST

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POSTS BY H. Camille Smith

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Etiquette experts agree that the week after Thanksgiving or the first week of December are the best times for mailing Christmas cards — giving friends and family plenty of time to display and enjoy your thoughtful holiday greetings.

While I can’t say that I’m always that organized, I certainly do enjoy receiving cards — especially when they’re handmade.

I mean, who wouldn’t love opening this oh-so-trendy card with a three-dimensional effect? Just print out our attached templates to make assembling this card a snap3-D Christmas Trees Handmade Card

What would the holidays be without a little snow? Send warm-climate friends and family an interactive holiday shaker card with a magical falling-snow effect: Handmade Shaker Holiday Card

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Yep, it’s snuck up on you — tomorrow is the big day — Thanksgiving! Don’t panic, you can still put together a show-stopping centerpiece using materials you can pick up at the grocery store or find in your own backyard.

Soooo pretty, this arrangement gets its punch by contrasting colors. Hit the floral aisle to select blooms in complementary colors, like dark red and bright green. Here, we used burgundy cockscomb, dahlias and calla lilies paired with chartreuse spider mums and lotus seed pods: How to Make a Sophisticated Thanksgiving Centerpiece

No flowers needed; head outdoors to gather long bare branches for a sculptural statement:How to Make a Branch Centerpiece

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It’s just 1 week till Thanksgiving — is your dining room ready for the big event? If not, don’t worry, there’s still time for a guest-impressing makeover. From disguising a past-its-prime dining table to an easy way to give stock white plates a high-end look — we’ve got you covered with five easy project ideas, each with complete step-by-step instructions.

A plain white tablecloth is great for covering up a scratched or discolored tabletop. For a sophisticated look, stitch on a row or two of ruffled burlap or linen: Give a Basic Tablecloth a Custom Makeover

Enlist help from the kids to glue real or silk fall leaves onto fishing line to create a magical falling-leaf effect over the dining table or buffet:How to Make Fall Leaf Streamers

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of finding new uses for old things. I’m the person you see huddled in a corner at an estate sale turning an object this way and that, brow furrowed, envisioning what it could be used for. Take this old wooden toolbox. It was filthy – as all great estate sale finds are — filled with rusty, old screws and nails and only partially painted yellow. A thick layer of dust covered both the box and its contents so it definitely had some age and looked to be sturdily hand-constructed.

I knew it would make a great magazine rack and I knew I had to have it:chipped yellow paint on old toolbox repurposed as a magazine holder

Other uses I considered: Filling the 3 compartments with potted herbs in my kitchen; using it to hold rolled towels in a bathroom; or as a caddy for organizing craft or gift wrap supplies.

The $8 price tag seemed fair for its condition — dust, rusty nails and all. Once home, I dumped out the metal bits then gave it a good once-over with the vacuum. I then sanded all the surfaces to remove loose bits of peeling yellow paint and smooth the rough areas. Then, I stained it with an oil-based wood stain (Minwax Early American). BTW, I only use oil-based stains. I know some people swear by water-based because there are less fumes and the dry time is much quicker, but I’ve found that wood better accepts oil-based stains resulting in a richer, deeper color and less streaking.

Upon closer inspection, the toolbox is a mishmash of materials: the end pieces are pine, the sides are beadboard and the handle  –  I think — once belonged on a broom. You can see in the photo below how the mismatched woods took the stain differently, which for me,  just adds to its vintage charm:  old toolbox repurposed as a magazine holder

 So, tell us in the comments below, how have you repurposed items in your home?

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Okay, so I know today is Halloween — and believe me, I thought about sharing more Halloween craftiness; but unless you’re looking for pumpkin-carving templates (here and here) or cocktail recipes, the All-Hallows ship has pretty much sailed.

But, in just three weeks (yes, only 3 weeks!) friends and family will be ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. So, if you haven’t started working on your Turkey Day decorations yet, now’s the time.

Start by putting leftover Halloween decorations to good use. Give faux pumpkins a fashion-forward makeover by covering them with trendy upholstery fabrics:  How to Cover Faux Pumpkins in Metallic Leaf

Turn a canvas dropcloth into a custom-fitted dining chair slipcover, perfect if you need to visually unify mismatched chairs:How to Make a Dining Room Chair Slipcover

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Halloween is sneaking up on you fast (only 1 week left!) but don’t worry, we’ve got 23 printable (and free!) templates to make throwing a party, spooking up your front yard, treating your favorite ghouls and ghosties and perfecting your pumpkin relatively painless.

Start with our templates and instructions for creepy outdoor cut-outs:Halloween Outdoor Decoration Template

Get the party started with our printable party favors, like this princess crown: 
Halloween Party Crowns

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The HGTV.com team recently visited High Point Furniture Market to rub elbows with the design world’s movers-and-shakers and take the pulse of what’s to come. After several days of (blissful!) interior design saturation, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that antiques are HOT! Think mid-day-sun-baking-asphalt-in-the-middle-of-the-Mojave-desert hot. To capitalize on the trend, most showrooms had a curated, collected-over-time look that mixed their newly-manufactured products with a few vintage-inspired pieces.

Traditional furniture and accessories have always been a Market mainstay. Reproductions of everything from heavily ornamented Louis XVI settees to pale Gustavian commodes have never really gone out of style; but at this Market they were joined by the real deal: centuries-old case goods, lighting, classical sculpture, architectural salvage and quirky, one-of-a-kind accessories.

Here are just a few of the goodies I spied at Market; unfortunately, most of these gems are available only to the trade so I couldn’t include links — hit local antique shops or online sites like V&M, 1stdibs or Ruby Lane to search for similar items.

Antiques at High Point Furniture Market*burled wood chest: Luisana Designs  *early American ship’s compass: Design Legacy
*iron basket pendants: Bobo Intriguing Objects  *carnival chick: Design Legacy

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When it comes to Halloween pumpkins, I think many of you out there will agree with me when I say that faux can be fabulous. Oh, I know, there are always pumpkin purists who like the squishy sensation of pumpkin innards oozing through their fingertips (You know who you are!) or prefer the look of a real pumpkin or choose real so they can roast the seeds — tasty recipe here, btw — but my personal choice is faux.

Why, you ask? Because, quite honestly, I am a project-aholic. At any given time, I have too many projects started and not enough time to finish them all, so when I buckle down and take the time to bling out a pumpkin, I want my hard work to be displayable for many years to come.

If you’re like me, our Halloween feature  is hooking you up with lots of creative ideas for faux pumpkins. Here are 5 of my faves:

For a sophisticated look, add a trendy silhouette:  Trendy Silhouette Pumpkin

Coordinate your Halloween decorations to your decor by using scraps of leftover fabric for these decoupage pumpkins:Fabric-Covered Pumpkins

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Shorter days and a crisp chill in the air certify that summer truly has come to an end.  Now’s a great time to break out the cozy throws and warm up your home’s decor with a few fall touches.

Take a cue from designer Sarah Richardson and fill vintage vases with autumn-hued flowers:Sarah Richardson's fall floral arrangements

For many of us, fall also signals the beginning of the holiday entertaining season — Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations are coming up fast. Get ready for the impending arrival of holiday guests by sprucing up areas of your home where guests gather, like the foyer
traditional foyer by Thibaut

Image courtesy of Thibaut.

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