Liz Gray

"In search of Eames-worthy style on a Craigslist budget. And pie."

Liz is a senior editor at HGTV.com and an co-editor-in-chief for Design Happens. She lives in a midcentury tri-level that’s stuck in the ‘70s…for now. When she’s not working on remodeling projects with her guy and mystery breed puppy, Miles, you can find her buying impractical hats, scheming mad scientist-style in her overworked kitchen and drooling over Danish modern furniture.

Liz Gray ON INSTAGRAM

POSTS BY Liz Gray

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By now you might have heard that the Design Happens crew has teamed up with DIY Network’s Made + Remade to host a handmade holiday party. You’re invited to follow along as we design the invitations, put together our moodboards, plan the menu and make the decorations. And of course, we’ll show you how to create it all in your home.

We’ve already shared our plans for the fireplace and mantel, bar area and main dining table. Now, back to that menu. The party space has a rustic vibe, so we chose casual recipes and in-season produce to match.

Holiday Food Table Ideas

We’ll start with a rustic tree backdrop (1) , then line the table with a wood-burned cheese board (2) , homemade lavash (3) and custom winter relishes (7). A DIY tablecloth made of metallic marbled fabric (4) is the base of the table. We’ll also serve sweet potato soup shooters (5) and a variety of savory galettes (6).

Holiday Dessert Table Ideas
For the dessert table, we went for a mix of refined and rustic. Here’s the plan:

Getting hungry yet? We’ll share the recipes and DIYs for the food and dessert table throughout the month.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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You’ve probably noticed that we’re starting the holidays a little early this year. That’s because we’re throwing a party with our friends over at DIY’s Made + Remade, and we want to bring all of you along with us! This week, we’re sharing the moodboards that helped us plan the festive look and feel. Now that you’ve seen our fireplace and mantel plans and bar area overview, take a look at our plan for the main event: The holiday table.

If you’re hosting a sit-down dinner like we are, it’s important to add festive touches while still allowing guests plenty of room for food, drink and conversation.

Here’s a detailed look at our table plans:

We’ll also bring plenty of sparkle through metallic accents, handmade mercury-glass votives and more. And, of course, we’ll show you how we made all of the elements for the table in the coming weeks.

We’ve teamed up with our friends over at DIYNetwork.com’s Made + Remade to throw a holiday party, and you’re invited!

Follow along as we craft the party decor, set the holiday table and cook up the menu. Along the way, you’ll get the step-by-step instructions and tips to throw a great party in your home. Catch up on all the posts here.

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Home for the Holidays - Holiday Party Planning SeriesHere at HGTV headquarters, we start to plan our winter holiday projects pretty much as soon as we get back from the previous year’s celebrations. Yes, really. As we go through the process, though, certain projects are a little closer to our hearts than others. You know what I’m talking about: That wreath or cake or centerpiece or vase that you *keep* repinning on Pinterest, peeking at in a months-old magazine, gawking at in your favorite retailer, or sketching out on a notepad while at a stoplight (okay, that could just be me.)

This season, we decided to team up with our friends over at DIY Network’s Made + Remade blog to bring those dream projects to life at a real holiday soiree. You’re invited to follow along with our party-planning process all month long, from the color inspiration to the moodboards to the DIY projects to the setup to the final celebration. Along the way, we’ll share tips and step-by-step photos to help you host your own shindig. Here’s a sneak peek of the party as it all came together:

Holiday Party Ideas From HGTV and DIY

Read on to see the colorful moodboard that kicked off our planning process. Later this week, come back to see our moodboards for the four separate areas of the party space.

HGTV and DIY Holiday Party

From the plum, deep turquoise, copper and cream palette, we drew the inspiration for the rest of the party. I can’t wait to show you the rest of our planning process!

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Fall colors are peaking here in East Tennessee, and we’ve just launched a cornucopia (sorry!) of new Thanksgiving ideas to help you plan your fall feast. So this month, we all came to the color showdown with vibrant hues on the brain. It’s no surprise, then, that our final choice was a bright, spicy hue from HGTV Magazine online editor Alyssa.

What is it? Paprika! This bold red-orange hue is a richer version of spring coral. Look around outside and see it in vibrant maple leaves, or spot it in the grocery store in the form of in-season persimmons. (Try Dessert for Breakfast’s Persimmon-Oat Crumble on a cold morning. Mmmmm.)

Persimmon Oat Crumble From Dessert for Breakfast
Get your living room ready for guests with vibrant new throw pillows in this trendy hue. Here are four of our favorites:
Fall Trend 2013: Paprika Throw Pillows 4 Ways

Clockwise from top left: Mira Mesa Pillow, Trinka Turk; Kilim Santa Fe Pillow, Leif Shop; Tassel Pillow, Anthropologie; Bird Pillow, Dwell Studio

Get More Paprika Color Inspiration

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Congratulations to our winner, Megan. Check back next month for another great giveaway!

Halloween is officially over. Daylight savings time ends this weekend (set your clocks back an hour this Saturday!). That means it’s time to start bundling up your home for the cooler weather. The bedroom is the perfect place to start, so that’s why we partnered with Blissliving Home to give one lucky reader a luxurious new bedding set.

Blissliving Home Bedding Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive one of Blissliving’s gorgeous new arrivals: a Birch Duvet set in his or her choice of full/queen or king size. This duvet has a bold, graphic pattern inspired by birch trees, and the 300-thread-count cotton sateen makes this extra soft and cuddly. To round out the new bedding look, the winner will also receive a luxe velvet Addison pillow in vibrant gold and an ultra-soft woven blue throw.

So, what are you waiting for? Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win. This giveaway’s question: How do you warm up your home for cooler weather? Adding soft throw rugs? Firing up the stove? Leave your tips below.

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 9:00 a.m. ET on November 1, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on November 4, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: $425.00. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932

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Congratulations to our winner Josh, who loves to mix up pumpkin martinis with a cinnamon and sugar rim. Come back on November 1 for another great giveaway.

I tend to go a little overboard with Halloween party preparations. Partly because I’m a lifestyle editor and partly because Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, I’ve been thinking about pumpkins, DIY costumes and creepy food for months. But you can still have a low-stress Halloween gathering even if you haven’t planned a thing until this very minute. Yes, really.

Here’s your game plan: Make a sweet and a savory snack (say, maple nut popcorn and creepy chips with guacamole) and both kid- and adult-friendly punches. Kids will love our cemetery slime punch (complete with gummy worms!), and adults will be crazy for this Pumpkin Spice Sangria served inside a pumpkin. For a large group, ask guests to bring an additional appetizer or drink to share.

Pumpkin Spice Halloween Punch Recipe

To help you out with last-minute decorations, we’ve partnered with Target to give one lucky Design Happens reader a free party pack complete with plates, napkins, straws, decorations and more. Read on for the full Pumpkin Spice Sangria recipe, plus enter for a chance to win this party pack.

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN

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Congratulations to random winner smhall820, who plans to retile a bathroom this fall! Check back on October 18 for another great Halloween giveaway. 

As we tick towards the end of daylight savings time (Sunday, November 3 this year), it’s the perfect time to update outdated light fixtures. A stylish new ceiling fan, modern kitchen lighting and pretty patterned pendants are all on my personal fall shopping list. (Bonus: Choosing new lighting is much more fun than raking leaves!)

We’ve partnered with online lighting retailer EuroStyleLighting.com to help you illuminate your home in style this fall. One lucky winner will receive $150 to spend on the light or lights of their choice. Here are some of my favorite trendy pieces, all available for less than $150:

Win Free Lighting from EuroStyleLighting.com

Clockwise from top left: Chevron Ikat Teal Pendant, Dipped Chrome Mini Pendant, Bronze Floor Lamp With Honeycomb Shade, Modern Square Accent Lamp  

READ MORE

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Have you noticed a pattern in our last few Color of the Month picks? We’ve chosen apple green, watermelon red and peach — all inspired by our favorite seasonal edibles. HGTVGardens.com editor Jessica was more than happy to continue the produce-inspired trend this month with a pitch for bright eggplant.

HGTV's Color of the Month October 2013: Eggplant

While the dark, plummy hue of Italian eggplant lends itself well to late fall decor and tabletops, we’re loving the brighter hue that long, skinny Japanese eggplant varieties bring to the table. Gorgeous, right? Bonus: This nearly-seedless variety makes the best eggplant chips.  Best of all, this prolific crop is still in season — pick up a pile at a farmers’ market near you!

This almost-glowing purple also shines bright alongside traditional Halloween hues like orange and black.

Halloween Cupcake Decorating Party

Add it into the decorating mix for your kids’ Halloween party or use it as an accent in your DIY Halloween costume. (Get our step-by-step makeup tutorial for this dark fairy costume here.)

Or dress up your everyday decor for fall with a little…

Puple Glass Bottles Accent Color

…or a lot of this saturated shade. Are you daring enough to try purple-on-purple like designer Brian Patrick Flynn did here?

So, what do you think of this month’s color choice? Tell us in the comments below.

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The leaves, they are a’changin. (Cue the Bob Dylan.) Now that it’s officially fall, I’m seeing the first few leaves flutter to the ground. I love this bridge between the seasons, when the summer plants fade and the very first fall color shows up on the lawn. The absolutely gorgeous weather doesn’t hurt, either.

Fall Color Palette Ideas

 Leaf Wall Art | Green Shoes | Park Bench

Take a cue from Mother Nature like Cuppet Architects did here with a display of prime leaf specimens behind brilliant green bottles. Or, just wear green shoes while you rake up some of said leaves or enjoy the seasonal show from a park bench.

Get more color palette inspiration from our previous Tuesday Huesday posts.

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Congratulations to this giveaway’s random winner, CPlusE, whose most successful costume to date was a gypsy. Come back on October 4 for another great giveaway.

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. I love it all: Decking out the yard with completely over-the-top decor, dressing up as someone else in a fun Halloween costume and greeting friends with intentionally-creepy food and cocktails. Plus, any spider webs that might get missed just add to the spooky vibe.

With just over a month left until the big day, it’s time to start putting up Halloween decorations and planning parties. That’s why we’re giving away this party prize pack from Grandin Road, an online style retailer that cares even more about Halloween than I do. Read on to see the whole giveaway list and enter for a chance to win this prize.

Win Halloween Supplies From Grandin Road

Win This Halloween Prize Pack From Grandin Road!

ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY NOW

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In case you haven’t heard, our September Color of the Month is bright and cheery Apple Green. It’s a versatile color that looks as fresh in traditional spaces as it does in modern rooms, but guys? Ever since we announced this color, I can’t stop thinking about caramel apples. Just look at this cookie-crumb-coated version from Cooking Classy:

Caramel Apples - Kitchen Color Palette Inspiration

Caramel Apples | Green Cottage Kitchen

Until I actually get in the kitchen to make a batch, I’m going to fawn over the classic dessert’s color palette. The warm brown and bright green work well together in a traditional space, like this vintage-inspired cottage kitchen designed by Regina Bilotta. Now in addition to caramel apples, I’m obsessing over that green stove. Gorgeous!

Get more color palette inspiration from our previous Tuesday Huesday posts.

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Congratulations to Faye B., who says “My eleven-year-old Cairn is my rehab coach. He walks ahead of me on his leash and makes a soft bark as I work to keep up. He inspires me to keep trying after my heart surgery!” Faye will win a pet-themed pillow of her choice. Check back on September 21 for a special Halloween-themed giveaway.

Fall is (unofficially) here, and that means it’s time to cozy up on the couch. I know I’m ready to settle in with my Corgi-bulldog mix puppy Miles for movie marathons and fall TV premieres. Even if your four-pawed friend isn’t actually allowed on the couch during said marathons, you can add your favorite breed’s likeness to the sofa with this month’s giveaway from adorable pillow purveyor Studio 773 by Eastern Accents. One lucky Design Happens reader will win a dog-embellished pillow!

Dog Pillows From Studio 773

Whether you have a Bichon Frise like Camille’s pups or a regal Beagle like Marianne, your friend will know he or she is 100 percent a part of the family.  The winning reader will get to choose one pillow of their choice.

To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below. This month’s question: Do you have a pet? What’s your favorite memory of your dog or cat?

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 12:00 p.m. ET on September 6, 2013 and 12:00 p.m. ET on September 9, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of the prize: up to $184. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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The day after Labor Day brings a yearly fashion dilemma: Should I pack up my white jeans and dresses for the winter, or wear them year-round? (Mental Floss has a great explanation about the origins of this wardrobe rule.)

Whether you’re a traditionalist or a rebel, there’s one place you definitely shouldn’t skip white in the winter: your living room. As days get shorter and the sun gets weaker, white interiors keep your home light and bright. That’s why white-on-white interiors are a staple of Scandinavian design. But even if you live in a slightly warmer climate, the white-on-white trend is still worth a second look.

Decorate With White After Labor Day

Living Room | Fall Outfit

If you get cold chills just thinking about an all-white room (not to mention the clean-up factor), this room by Julia Buckingham Edelman creates a beautiful compromise. Warm oranges, yellows and browns stand out next to antiqued gold and bright white.

And the white clothing? I’m rocking my favorite pieces as part of my early fall ensembles. How could something this cute be wrong?

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Fall may officially be a few weeks away, but I’m sensing signs of the new season all around: cooler nights, bins of apples at the farmers’ market and yes, even the first fall leaves.

It was fall’s favorite fruit that inspired Kayla to pitch Apple Green for September’s Color of the Month. In her own words: “It’s time to sharpen those pencils, because school is back in session. Forget classic red apples — we’re all about modern green.”

Now that Labor Day’s end-of-summer parties are behind us, this crisp, collegiate color just felt right. Take a look at some of our favorite ways to use this hue, and tell us: Is this color the apple of your eye?

Apple Green Kitchen Artwork From HGTV Magazine

Photo Courtesy HGTV Magazine

SEE MORE APPLE GREEN COLOR INSPIRATION

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If her irreverent personality and great fashion sense weren’t enough to make you love Nicole Richie, just look at her backyard:

Nicole Richie's Outdoor Entertaining Tips
When she’s not acting or designing pieces for her House of Harlow collection, she loves to entertain outdoors at the Laurel Canyon, Calif. home she shares with husband and Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden, daughter Harlow, 5, and son Sparrow, 3.

She can’t stand the b-word (bohemian, that is), so she designed the outdoor space with a “relaxed and eclectic vibe” in mind. Richie unveiled the newly-revamped space to Domaine Home at a recent dinner party. It’s a stunning mix of classic outdoor elements (like natural stone) paired with modern touches like mismatched, industrial metal chairs.  See the entire space here >>

On her backyard color palette: “It was important to me to keep the color palette strong but not too overpowering. We’re all about having everything be really eclectic and relaxed.” She settled on turquoise, yellow and black as a unifying colorway for her.

On dinner party seating charts: “I’m against assigned seating. I like people to come to my house and feel like they can do whatever they want.”

Nicole Richie's Outdoor Entertaining Tips
On her design aesthetic: “My house has that summery look and feel all year round…luckily for me I live in LA and can get away with it.”

Nicole Richie's Outdoor Entertaining Tips

On her home: “Our house is the one people come to, to hang.”

Nicole, feel free to invite me over anytime! Photos by Justin Coit for Domaine Home

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Last fall, Lili pitched denim blue for our Color of the Month. Sure, I like a good denim shirt, but I wasn’t so sure about this hue in decor. (Grant was another denim doubter.) Fast forward to this year, and well, things have changed. I still don’t want a denim sofa, but I love this true-blue hue mixed with deeper blues and warm grays. It looks especially chic in this living room when paired with a blingy copper chandelier.

Denim Blue Fall Decorating Ideas

Blue and Denim Living Room | Denim-on-Denim Outfit

The best thing about this combination? Just like this cobalt-on-denim outfit, your pieces don’t have to match. In fact, your room will look all the more sophisticated if you layer slightly different shades of blue.

What do you think? Are you a fan of denim decor?

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What’s on your weekend to-do list? My plans include creating my own wall stencil and pulling up some outdated carpet. More on that soon! But this is about you. Please, someone: Spend your weekend making this amazing door:

How to Upholster a Door

If this door looks familiar, you may have spotted it over on Apartment Therapy or Our Style Stories. It’s just one of the amazing features in Meredith Carmichael’s ultra-stylish ’60s ranch-style home. (Seriously, you have to see the rest of the house!) Meredith is the client services manager at Spruce, a vintage-inspired upholstery shop in Austin, Texas, where this door was created.

Amanda Brown Door on Apartment Therapy

Photo by Hilary Rose Walker

“Isn’t upholstery difficult?,” you ask? Not when you have the experts here to help. We asked Spruce founder and upholstery genius Amanda Brown to show us (and you!) how to make this stunning door at home. “I found this diamond in the rough at my local Habitat for Humanity store for $9, which was good as new with a light sanding and fresh coat of paint,” Amanda says.

Upholstered Door How-To

She then chose three shades of vinyl to create the eye-catching geometric design: Robert Allen Splash in Sapphire for the door’s base and Robert Allen Splash in Carolina and Marine for the two accent hues. After attaching the vinyl base, she draws on a square guide with chalk, then attaches triangles of the two accent shades. She finished the door with 3/8″ French natural decorative nails and a Schlage Siena Doorknob in Antique Brass.

How to Make an Upholstered Door

Ready to make your own? Get the step-by-step upholstery instructions on HGTV.com.

GET AMANDA’S STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE THIS DOOR >>

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Though it’s only mid-August, the unseasonably cool weather here in East Tennessee has me plotting for fall decorating projects. I’m a huge fan of the honeycomb pattern trend, and I kind of want to create my own version of the Almost-40-Year-Old Intern’s shimmering wall. The wall is hand-painted. Impressive, no?

Gold and Purple Bedroom Color Palette - Tuesday Huesday on Design Happens

Hexagon Wall Treatment | Lavender Field

Yellow and purple flowers pop up together each spring (remember this Tuesday Huesday?), and this golden grass and blooming lavender is nature’s early fall version. This bedroom evokes early fall’s best features, with bright golds, cozy neutrals and a touch of purple.

What decorating projects do you have planned for fall?

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Almost everyone has that color they love, but can never, ever wear. Mine is neon yellow. It’s bright, it’s cheerful, it’s uplifting…and it looks terrible on me.  Since it’s a no-go for my wardrobe, I make up for that by obsessing over bright yellow interior accents. I especially like the color when paired with classic black and white. (I mean, what other color combo has a whole blog devoted to it?) The bright yellow just draws your eye in, whether it’s on a tabletop or peeking out of bathroom vanity drawers.

Black White and Yellow

Drinks | Vanity

A little goes a long way with this vibrant color, though — I don’t think I’m ready to sport an all-yellow room anytime soon, but I would happily rock a bright yellow barn door.

Get more color palette inspiration from our previous Tuesday Huesday posts.

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It’s almost move-in day for college freshmen across the country! Sure, some dorms are nicer than others (my freshman-year room featured a dormer that left me constantly hitting my head on the 4-foot ceiling) but they all have the same basic elements: white walls, a dresser, a bed, a desk.  The fun part? Making it your own. The challenge? It all has to be temporary.

Since the white walls are there to stay, add color with super-saturated brights, like this easy-to-create artwork from Design*Sponge or a confetti-hued geometric pillow. Or fill a colorful terrarium with succulents that will survive even if you forget to water them until midterms. (Just kidding, water them once every week or two.)

Neon Dorm Room Color Palette Idea

 Artwork | Terrarium | Pillow

Get tons more dorm room decorating ideas from our brand new Back to College feature.

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