Kayla Kitts

"In a world full of beige, I'm not afraid to be neon."

Kayla Kitts is an editor for HGTV.com. You can find her doing at least one of the following: shopping for home decor at local vintique stores, picking out produce at the local farmer’s market, spending quality time with her adopted cat, D’Artagnan, watching the most random movies available on Netflix, or exploring her brand-new downtown neighborhood. Every piece of furniture she owns is proudly secondhand. Her favorite design style is vintage modern with splashes of unexpected color.

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POSTS BY Kayla Kitts

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On Christmas Eve/Christmas morning I’m typically tapping my toes waiting on water to boil while trying to time one dish with another, then fitting in a sitcom while waiting on my oven to preheat (ridiculous!). My ancient appliances take all the fun out of holiday cooking. If you’ve seen our Holiday House kitchen remodel, then you know a modern update can make a huge difference, especially during the busiest time of the year.

Modern Gray Kitchen Makeover

Designer Laurie March outfitted the once contractor-grade kitchen into a cost-saving yet custom masterpiece with brand-new appliances just in time for holiday cooking. To create a more space-saving solution, she chose a microwave range above the induction cook top. This frees up countertop space and is more cost-efficient, too.

Modern Gray Kitchen Makeover

So, what do you do with all that extra countertop space? Set up a sweet and savory holiday brunch buffet, of course! Laurie’s efficient kitchen layout is perfect for holiday entertaining. The remodel’s biggest splurge, a storage-packed, concrete-topped island, is the ideal spot for setting up a Christmas morning spread. Plus, it’s right beside the oven for a quick warm-up.

Holiday Brunch Ideas

Get your home in tip-top shape before the holidays with our must-try projects from HGTV’s Holiday House.

Frigidaire Gallery Freestanding Induction Range helps you get your holiday meals to the table faster. The induction cook top has a Quick Boil feature that brings water to a boil in less than 2 minutes. The oven also has a 6-minute preheat, so you get all of your dishes in faster. Since induction heats the pan and not the cook top, spills can’t burn to the surface, reducing overall cleaning time. Induction cooking uses the pan as a heat source rather than the cook top, creating more versatile, efficient and responsive results. You will also be able to keep all of your side dishes warm in the Keep Warm Zone that keeps food warm until everything — and everyone — is ready.

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Just like pumpkin in the fall, I flavor everything with gingerbread during the holiday season. Traditional gingerbread cookies are great, but why not spice up cocoa, pies and cakes with this classic flavor? Try out some of our favorite ideas just in time for Christmas guests.

Mood Board Monday: GingerbreadMini Houses | Sweater | Cookies | Skirt | House | Cocoa | Cheesecakes | Cake Pops | Ornament

Our favorite ways to use gingerbread:

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

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Home for the HolidaysWhen it comes to hosting, I’m all about making the party look like a million bucks without putting a significant amount of effort into it. Your company is likely coming because of you and those around you, so the food and drinks are just a bonus. Hence, today’s post: dressing up a store-bought bottle of champagne with tasty garnishes … in seconds. I’m serious. I prepped most of these the night before, then popped them in the glass right before our holiday party shoot. Voila! You’ll basically have five fun drink options for your guests right from one bottle.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Our Five Garnishes:

Star Fruit
Gold Sugar Sprinkles
Candied Cranberries, Raspberries + Blueberries on Skewers
Rosemary Sprigs + Pomegranate Seeds
Rock Candy

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Keri sips on champagne garnished with rosemary and pomegranate, while Kristen drinks the party’s signature cocktail.

For the Star Fruit Garnish: Slice the star fruit while on its side into 1/2-inch thick slices, and then cut a slit halfway down the middle so the star can sit on the rim of the champagne glass.

For the Gold Sugar Sprinkles: Sprinkle gold sugar onto a plate. Wet the rim of each champagne glass, then dip into the sprinkles so the rim is entirely covered.

For the Candied Fruit Skewers: Skewer assorted fresh fruits (cranberries, blueberries, raspberries) on a small wooden stick. Rinse with water, then generously sprinkle with sugar. Freeze until ready to use.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

Marianne drinks champagne flavored with orange rock candy.

For the Rosemary and Pomegranate: Sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds into the champagne, then top with a fresh sprig of rosemary.

For the Rock Candy: Put a rock candy stick or rock candy crystals (any flavor you desire) into a champagne glass. Pour champagne over the rock candy in the glass. Watch the drink fizzle and the color change. Soon, the drink will take on a sweet, candy-like taste.

Get more ideas from our holiday bar:

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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Did you know that December 24th is not only Christmas Eve but National Eggnog Day, too? In 1826, U.S. soldiers smuggled inexpensive whiskey into the barracks at the United States Military Academy to make eggnog for Christmas Day, an event now known as the Eggnog Riot. Originally crafted in Europe centuries ago, eggnog eventually crossed the Atlantic and made its way into our hearts, becoming a holiday staple across the country.

Keeping the holiday tradition alive, the mixologists at Mulberry Project in New York combined classic family recipes with their expertise to create a delicious adult eggnog recipe.

Eggnog Cocktail Recipe

Eggnog Cocktail

Ingredients

1 ounce white port wine
2 ounces white rum
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
3/4 cup milk
dash vanilla extract
cinnamon, for garnish

Instructions

Dry shake for 2 minutes, and then shake with ice for 1 minute. Lastly, sprinkle the edges of the glass with cinnamon. Drink up and enjoy!

Eggnog Cocktail Recipe

Photos by Monica Muller of Mulberry Project

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If you’ve been following our holiday party coverage, then you’ve seen everything from how to prepare a cheese plate to how to hang a branch chandelier. We’re not just showcasing holiday food and decor over here, though. We’ve got festive party attire that’s perfect for upcoming shindigs. As a matter of fact, my sister borrowed the handmade glitter shoes I debuted last week to wear to a holiday party.

Walk in the door sparkling from head to toe with an easy-to-make, ’20s-inspired headband. You may even have everything you need on hand for this project.

Home for the Holidays: '20s Headband

Photo by Jeff Romaniuk

DIY '20s Headband

Here’s what you’ll need:

one yard neutral grosgrain ribbon
assorted ribbon trim
feathers (optional)
brooch (optional)
hot glue gun + hot glue sticks
scissors

First, measure the grosgrain base ribbon around your head and make sure you leave enough excess to tie. Cut the ribbon’s ends at a neat diagonal. After your headband ribbon is measured, you can apply your assorted ribbon trim as freely and creatively as you like. I glued my three favorite pieces of metallic trim onto the ribbon and allowed them to dry before applying the brooch embellishment. Since our party hues included plum and mixed metallics, I thought this brooch was a perfect fit. Pin on your embellishment, tie on your headband and that’s it!

More holiday attire you can make:

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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I. Love. Plaid. It brings a classic holiday touch to modern spaces and instantly warms up any space. And let’s face it, as much as we tried to forget about plaid years ago, it’s a cold-weather staple that will truly never go out of style.

Mood Board Monday: Tartan PlaidScarf | Deer Print | Throw | Table Setting | Pants | Gifts | Blazer | Table Setting | Cat

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

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I’ve been wanting to glitter shoes for a while now, but I didn’t have a pair I was willing to transform just yet. It wasn’t until that last toe-stubbing moment I couldn’t shine out that I decided these heeled loafers were ready to be beautified.

I decided to go for a wintry, metallic color scheme that would look perfect with my cream holiday dresses, plum accents (like those tights) and even black. They made their debut at our uber-festive holiday party a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to wear them again! The best part? I’m a perfectionist and I was done with this project in less than an hour.

Home for the Holidays: DIY Glitter ShoesPhoto by Jeff Romaniuk

Here’s what you’ll need:

shoes
Mod Podge Gloss-Lustre Finish
ultra-fine glitter (in desired color)
painter’s tape
paintbrush with synthetic bristles
polyurethane spray
plastic container (for mixing glitter + glue)
drop cloth
ribbon for laces (optional)
spray paint (optional)

Get the complete step-by-step instructions here >>

Check back next week for more holiday party fashion you can make before your upcoming soiree.

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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Welcome to December, friends! From festive string lights lining the city streets to holiday tunes jazzing up local shops, this month couldn’t get any better. What’s your favorite part of the holiday season? Eggnog? Gingerbread?

Mood Board Monday: Christmas HollyHair Clip | Vintage Cat Card | Vintage Kid Card | Holly | Cake | Cupcake| Cocktail | Garland

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

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, because I have the most wonderful family to spend it with. Plus, there are some recipes my grandmother and mother only pull out once a year. Annual traditions are what make the holiday so special to me. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? What are some you hope to start this year?

Mood Board Monday: Thanksgiving InspirationCider | Natural Decor | Apple Pie | Centerpiece | Cake | Chain of Thanks | Friends | Cranberry Jelly | Table

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

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Home for the HolidaysI hope you’ve enjoyed following along as we share our holiday entertaining ideas straight from our own festive gathering with the DIYNetwork.com Made + Remade team. Each week we’ve focused on a particular area, from the fireplace to the table and now to the bar. You saw the inspiration behind the bar — lots of sparkle, a magnolia garland and an assortment of cocktail ingredients and garnishes within reach. Now, take a look at how the bar came together.

Home for the Holidays: Bar

Made + Remade contributor Hannah prepares our signature drink, the Pleasant Evening cocktail.

Home for the Holidays: Evergreen Swag

We framed some of our childhood Christmas photos (I’m third from the right in the gift box), attached velvet ribbon to the frame and hung each from twine behind the evergreen garland. This served as a perfect backdrop for our bar area. Learn how to make the magnolia garland at Made + Remade >>

Home for the Holidays: Bar

We stocked the bar with a variety of liquors, spirits and garnishes, something every hostess should keep in mind when prepping for an event.

Home for the Holidays: Champagne Garnishes

We wanted to separate the wine and champagne by setting up a bar cart. Here, we set out fun garnishes like candied cranberries, rock candy and starfruit to dress up champagne coupes.

Check back for more ideas on setting up a bar for your upcoming holiday parties.

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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