POSTS BY Kelley Walters

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Not to be a Grinch, but I’m relieved the holidays are over. I’m glad to go back to my normal schedule and to start thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day and even spring. This month’s color is the perfect looking-ahead color, one that embraces spring’s delicate hues, without totally giving up on the icy tones of winter. Even the name captures that it’s-still-cold-but-I’m-already-thinking-warm feeling.

What’s January’s Color?

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Pantone just released their Color of the Year for 2011: Honeysuckle

They chose the color for its ability to instill “the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.” Interestingly, this color came up as a possibility for the January color of the month in our meeting yesterday. We felt like it was a little too bright and spring-y for January, but we kept it on the “trending” list for later in the year.

Imagine pillows this color with a navy sofa (navy was our December color of the month, btw), or a sage-green and honeysuckle rug in a foyer — so welcoming.

Designer Judith Balis used honeysuckle in a Designers’ Portfolio living room. It really pops against the aqua walls and black-and-white couch. Plus, the zebra pillows are so fun on the pink French arm chairs.

Love It or OMG It’s Pepto Pink?

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Everyone welcome our good friend, HGTV Design Star 2010, Emily Henderson, to Design Happens. Did you see her premiere, Secrets of a Stylist? Crazy good. (If you missed it, she redid Glee co-creator Ian Brennan’s LA bungalow; here’s the Before-and-After.)

One of Emily’s favorite things to do is create a room based on her client’s fashion sense. So every month, we’re going to send her a runway photo from the most recent Fashion Week and she’ll design a style board for it. Check out her first one, Runway to Home — done from the point of view of the runway model. It’s just as fun, irreverent and design-savvy as you’d imagine. Join us again in December when Emily designs a room around Christopher Kane’s latest look!

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Picking the color of the month is like picking your favorite cupcake. Chocolate…so rich. Strawberry? Sweet, ripe fruit. Or how about silky red velvet with cream cheese icing? See what I mean? Practically impossible. How can you abandon any when they’re all so delicious?

In October, we got lucky; consensus came quickly. We all fell for peacock, turquoise’s big sister, which pairs perfectly with this season’s gray, dusty pink and chartreuse.

For November, it took a lot more work to find a color we could all agree on. We argued for gold (the metallic sort), cherry, raisin and even black. Finally, though, we made our choice. This month?

Did We Choose Right?

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Erinn Valencich has been a long-time friend of HGTV, hosting shows like 25 Great Holiday Ideas, doing exclusive video series on kitchen and bathroom lighting and sharing photo features like Fall Table Settings and Centerpieces.

So it’s with a great big “yay” that we announce she’s coming on board as Design Happens’ industry/trends blogger. Every Tuesday, Erinn will cover noteworthy happenings in the design world, adding her insider perspective to the mix. Check out her first post on knits (I love the crocheted poufs).

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Just a quick hi from October market in High Point, NC. I’m here with two of our decorating editors, Chelsey and Camille, and we had a great first day — crisp weather, friendly people and some of the most beautiful fabrics and furnishings I’ve seen this season. Before I turn in after 12 straight hours on the showroom floor, I wanted to share a little of what we saw.

Favorite new store: Carolina George. They’re a NY-based company specializing in furniture for small spaces. We loved their pendulum console table, lacquered in hot pink or preppy green.

Favorite old friend: DB Sources. We featured them on our site at spring market 2009 and were as charmed this year by their vibrant accessories as we were then. New this year: The romantic rose pendant light.

First take on trends: Maps, Ikat, animal prints. For colors: greige, pale blue, taupe…then plum, hot red and the return of true navy. For woods: weathered gray, taupe, caramel.

Tomorrow is the juried section at Market Square, BoBo Intriguing Objects and more gorgeous showrooms. Let me know if there’s something you want me to be on the lookout for, trend- or color-wise. I’m looking forward to reporting back…after a nap.

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Now that all of the dollhouses and our garden

…are in at Operation Dollhouse, Curbed wants to know which is your favorite. Of course, we want it to be us!

So GO VOTE for HGTV’s Zen garden…and feel free to Facebook it, Twitter it or even call your grandma…you’ve got till 6pm, tomorrow, Oct. 15.

If we win, we might even share our leftover bird seed.

Karli plays Vanna with the extra bird seed.

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When Curbed went national at the end of September, they sent six dollhouses to top shelter mags asking their staffs to decorate them, then return pics of the results. We loved the idea so much that we wanted to play, too, so we submitted a garden, modeled after the cover image on our own Jamie Durie’s book, Inspired.

Here’s Jamie’s Zen-inspired outdoor room:

And here’s ours:

Everything we used came from the hardware store or our yards, including concrete pavers, tiles and plants (cactus, thyme and moss). We used acorn cups to approximate the planters on the wall and cut water lilies from larger leaves. The edging pebbles are actually crushed bird seed.

Our goal was to provide a garden that would complement all the dollhouses (even Dwell’s chicken coop…thus, the bird seed).

Want more on the project? See the making of; read how we decided to play along.

And now that our mini-garden is complete, we’d like to see your projects-in-miniature. Got a dollhouse, terrarium or other lovely little you’d like to share? Upload them at HGTV Dollhouses.

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I read this article on Sunday in the Telegraph, and I can’t stop thinking about it.

For 70 years, a Parisian flat was uninhabited, the rent faithfully paid. The owner, who moved to the South of France before World War II and never returned, died recently at age 91. When her estate managers opened the apartment, one said, “Entering the untouched, cobweb-filled flat in Paris’ 9th arrondissement was like stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty, where time had stood still since 1900.”

The find that’s being touted in the news is the romantic Boldini painting of the owner’s actress grandmother, which sold at auction for 2.1 million pounds.

But I have to wonder…am I the only one who’d rather have the flat? I mean, look at it:

The whole story: Parisian flat containing €2.1 million painting lay untouched for 70 years

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