ALL POSTS IN Decorating Guides

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If you’re missing that final gift, find your nearest bookstore and grab one of these fantastic design books. They’ll also make great hostess gifts for the New Years’ Eve party you’re attending or a fabulous addition to your own coffee table.

Michael S. Smith: Elements of Style

Bunny Williams’ Point of View

The Color Scheme Bible by Anna Starmer

Axel Vervoordt: Timeless Interiors

Rooms to Inspire: Decorating With America’s Best Designers

Vogue Living: House, Gardens, People

What are some of your favorite design books?

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Today marks 45 days until Christmas! For those of you who can’t get enough of the holidays, stay tuned to HGTV. Last night, Deserving Design’s Vern Yip and his team of elves gave an early gift to a very deserving homeowner. Gloria Bernard has spent most of her life helping others. This wife and mother makes quilts for those in need including disaster victims, homeless, homebound and soldiers and their families. Gloria won a new French Country kitchen. She got her wish for butcher block countertop, maple cabinets and an island complete with a rooster focal point. The wall between the kitchen and dining room was removed, so Vern continued the theme into that space. Vern purchased three sets of dishes and housed them in new corner cabinets.

Before: Old, Outdated, Mismatched

After: Clean, Charming, Functional

A dining room ready for holiday entertaining.

Vern’s team didn’t stop with the kitchen makeover. They also focused their attention in a room that easily could have been overlooked – the downstairs laundry room. What was once a cramped, cluttered multi-purpose space where Gloria quilted, washed clothes and even cut hair became a jaw-dropping transformation. Vern’s team replaced an ugly drop ceiling with cracked copper finish tile, painted the walls in a deep, soothing green, and created three storage stations. A glass-topped center work table holds a sewing machine and more baskets for storage. “My laundry room” is spectacular,” Gloria said. I would have to agree.


Before: Cramped, Cluttered, Unattractive


After: Stylish, Sleek, Inviting

For more of Vern’s style tips and to see when you can catch this special holiday episode, visit the Deserving Design show page.

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I love fall. The leaves changing colors, cool weather setting in, and most importantly, I get to pull my down comforter out of the linen closet. Of course, my favorite thing about down comforters is finding the perfect duvet cover. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways to update the look of your bedroom for the cold weather.

The Organic Cotton Pin-Tuck Duvet from West Elm is my buy this year. I love how the tucks add a great texture to the simple cover.

Gaiam’s Organic Gold Fiore Print Duvet features delicate red blossoms, perfect for creating a Zen-like atmosphere in your bedroom.

The Iron Gate Crewel Duvet Cover from Williams-Sonoma Home has a cool interlacing graphic design in dark chocolate and white for a more contemporary look.

Now, go cozy up your bedroom and don’t forget to share any of your great finds in the comments.

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Here in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the first freeze of the season is just hours away. Time to protect those sensitive outdoor plants! For me, often that means bringing plants indoors. Plants are a delightful way to add life, color, texture, interest — and even stress relief — to any space. Plus, if you’d like to be more environmentally-friendly, decorating with houseplants is an easy way to “go green” — literally. They can help you and your family breath easier especially in the winter if you spend most of your time indoors. Plants produce oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and actually clean and purify the air of toxic VOCs — or Volatile Organic Compounds found in cleaning products, pesticides, paints, perfumes, laminates, carpets and tobacco smoke.

Take your houseplants to the next green level by planting them in recycled or reused containers. Almost any vessel that will hold soil and water can be considered a planter. Below are some of my houseplants potted in containers that once had previous uses. My husband and I feel good about giving these containers new life while they provide the home for life-giving plants that we love to have indoors. It really is good to be green — all around.

My husband re-potted this growing Norfolk pine in an old, heavy crock pot insert he found at a thrift store for $4.

This hammered metal bowl once held hair accessories. Now, it’s the perfect complement to this Stonecrop plant.

This unique wedding present was intended to be a serving dish. It came with serving spoons shaped like a shovel and a pitchfork. We decided to keep the serving spoons in the kitchen and utilize the wheelbarrow to house a container garden.

What are your favorite houseplants? What containers have you re-used in an inventive or unusual way? For more information about living green including a list of the best houseplants for cleaning the air, visit

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Mid-Century Modern in Waiting

This summer, my boyfriend, Justin, and I bought our first home — a 1950s rancher with great bones and plenty of potential. Thirty-seven days later, we got married in the backyard.

Our timeline was so tight that by the time furniture was in place, we had t-minus 13 days to unpack, decorate and walk down the aisle.

We had to agree on how to decorate our new space quickly. The process continues, and it has been — for the most part — a lot of fun. It helps that Justin has a great design aesthetic. (You should see his collection of ties!) It also helps that both of us have an appreciation for art, especially pieces made by the people we love.

Kitchen Color: Japanese Fern by Behr

Accessories in the kitchen are a mix of our favorite things including the vintage red chair I inherited from my great Aunt Mildred and a set of metal canisters discovered in an online auction. Justin’s Viansa print reminds both of us of one of our favorite places. Our home (much like our marriage) is a work in progress. We find comfort knowing that even if you can’t plan every detail…Design Happens.

If you’re going through an interiors merger and could use some design direction, sit down with your housemate and take this design compatibility quiz: Design Taste Test: Have You Found Your Style Mate?

If you’ve joined households and therefore merged design aesthetics with someone else, did you compromise on a special piece of artwork, furniture or trinket that your significant other or roommate couldn’t bear to live without? Any tips for others who are in the same situation?

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It’s that time of year again! Time to send the kids back to school, give the yard work a break (it’s too hot anyway) and take a good hard look at your house — the closets, the garage, the overall clutter.

The task may seem a little daunting, but we have the organizational tips, the helpful checklists and the step-by-step solutions for creating a more manageable life. Now, let’s get started.

First: A Little Inspiration
It’s hard to imagine a clutter-free home when all you see is chaos in every corner and cabinet. Check out these stylish, yet organized spaces from our Rate My Space community.

Contemporary Craft Room by lngregory

Little Girl’s Playroom by tnprph

Second: The Clutter
Whether the mail is taking over your house or your husband’s tools have conquered the garage, don’t miss any of our handy checklists for getting your spaces back on the straight and narrow.

clipBoard_icon.gif Four Steps to Less Paper Clutter

clipBoard_icon.gif Organize Your Garage Checklist

Third: The Rooms
Check out our quick organizing tips for every room in your house: bedrooms, living room, kitchens, offices and more.

Organized home offices from Myles of Style

Fourth: Your Time
Too much on your to-do list? The key to staying organized is developing good habits that will last for life. Use our checklist to get you started.

Share some of your favorite organizing tips in the comments.

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Although I don’t have nearly enough time to reply to the kind e-mails you send me, I do read every single one. And let me tell you: Many of you comment that you just don’t have style in your DNA.

I feel your pain. Decorating is hard enough when you lack time or resources, but I’m a big believer that everyone has an inner style voice: You just have to know how to get it to speak up! This is why I love HGTV. There are so many ways to get inspired and find your voice. Here’s some help for a few of you with common design questions.

coffee table arrangement
From SocalRachel on Rate My Space

“i have a round glass top coffee table/40″ round, and i just don’t what to put on top of it. do you have any ideas of what i could use to decorate the top?” — Jan

Round coffee tables are great because they usually have more surface area for showcasing accessories. The trick with a round — or any shape — coffee table is to make sure the arrangement you choose looks exciting from every perspective: from the top and 360 degrees around.

As to what to put on top, it all depends on your personal style. Do you have a collection? Do you like flowers? Do you enjoy reading books or magazines in the living room? See what fellow readers put on top of their coffee tables.

glass tile backsplash
From markbrownlee on Rate My Space

“does the backsplash have to match the counter top? We are doing a vanilla bean cabinet with a glaze and our counter top is in the earthtone shades, I saw a subway tile that was so beautiful but the color is pale green or pale blue (I love them both) but im afraid this would look odd since their isn’t any of those colors in the counter.” — Sandy

Sandy, don’t worry about the design police! Go with your gut. In my opinion, matchy-matchy is boring, and your combination sounds lovely and interesting. I’m a big fan of subway tile (so sleek!) especially in the mottled robin’s egg blue color. Take a cue from Candice Olson, who always comes up with interesting backsplashes that vary in material, or this beautiful kitchen from Rate My Space.

red kitchen cabinets
From LaurenThePartier on Rate My Space

“I have no idea why my boyfriend and I thought it would be a good idea to sand kitchen cabinets and stain them a sangria color. I guess its because I love red and we thought it would look beautiful.

But then, I painted the walls orange and green and now the kitchen looks like a Mexican restaurant. Nothing against that – I’m from Puerto Rico myself and love all the bright colors, but it just looks terrible. Since we don’t want to sand and stain the cabinets again (it was hard enough the first time), we want to just change the wall colors.” — Bethsabet

Sounds like a very festive kitchen! Red is a very competitive color when it comes to attention, and right now all the colors in your kitchen are so bold they probably make you feel uneasy. Paint the walls in your kitchen the same color to unify the space and give your eye a breather. I suggest light cream colors (like the above photo), off-white, gray or even a pale green to invoke a traditional/farmhouse style.

If the red is still overwhelming, try antiquing with a dark brown/black glaze. Be sure to test out your technique on a scrap piece of wood before you go to town on the real deal. Or if you want to commit to modern, slap some lacquer on those bad boys IKEA-style and paint your walls stark white.

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I loved reading the Choose Your Own Adventure books growing up, so when we were talking about them in the office yesterday I thought, “How appropriate when applied to decorating!” and knew I had to write some of my own.

If you’re tackling home improvement projects this Memorial Day weekend, like my friends are, pick from the following scenarios to get started. The end result is up to you, preferably involving less office (by Lori Dennis) and more pool (by Kerry Burt) though both spaces are stunning. Good luck!

design by lori dennis (left) and kerry burt (right)

If you’re terrified of color you can:

If you don’t have a big budget to spend you can:

If you need some design inspiration right now you can:

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Last week, despite the heavy nationwide emphasis on Earth Day (it’s about time!), the most read decorating article on was “10 Steps to a Well-Designed Room“. Conclusion: No matter how green we get in our interiors, the problem of actually designing them still remains.

Lori Dennis dining room
Design by eco-friendly designer Lori Dennis

Here’s how to get that designer look by answering 10 quick questions. Answer each of these honestly and you’re well on your way to decorating bliss.

1. How will you use the room?
Try not to get stuck on labels. Just because the builder called it a dining room, doesn’t mean you can’t use it as a game room instead.

2. Who will use the room?
List the family members – and guests – who will be spending time in the room.

3. Find inspiration for the room’s design.
Make a “look book” for your room from designs you liked in magazines or even things you saw in your friends’ homes. I get lots of inspiration online at Designers’ Portfolio and Rate My Space.

4. Draw the floor plan of your room on graph paper.
Doing your measuring now will help determine which scale is best for furniture, artwork and lighting in your room. Don’t worry about being super accurate, unless you know you’re Type A.

5. Consider the design in the rest of your home.
I’m not a fan of matchy-matchy, but if the room you’re decorating is part of an open floor plan, you’ll want to create some sort of flow to keep the space feeling, well, open.

6. Pick a favorite thing and design around it.
Especially helpful for people who have no idea where to start. Top designers usually have one or a few inspiration pieces that serve as jumping off points for the rest of the room.

7. Compile your plan in a portable notebook.
Once you start shopping for decor, you’ll love the fact that all your ideas are in one place. Plus, carting around fabric swatches and small tile samples will let you know right away if the lamp you’re eying is right for the room.

8. Don’t buy everything from one store.
It’s alluring to walk into a furniture store, purchase an entire room and be done with it. But if your style or room’s function changes, you’ll have to start all over.

9. Beware of fads.
Designers do incorporate design trends into rooms, but they do so smartly. For example, area rugs, accessories and art are great places to inject your latest zebra-print obsession, and just as easy to remove when you’re tired of safari.

10. Good lighting is essential.
The most important step to getting a designer look is investing in great lighting: ambient, overhead and mood lighting. Just make sure you’re using CFLs so you can still be green.

What designer tips do you use when decorating your home? Post it in the comments!

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Remember how you felt when you bought (or rented) your first house? Whether you had a ton of work ahead of you or the home was move-in ready, there was probably a moment when you stopped and reveled: “It’s mine — all mine!”

And the next day, the thought: “Now what?”

To turn your house into a home, here are some decorating must-reads on

While you’re at it, get style-inspired with these picture galleries:

Find Your Style contemporary and modern rooms  Find Your Style traditional and country rooms
Contemporary and Modern rooms | Traditional and Country rooms

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In honor of the HGTV Green Home and upcoming Earth Day, I’ve been working behind-the-scenes on some fresh articles about green decorating.

Green Home dining room

I know what you’re thinking: “If I hear one more time about going green, I’ll go crazy!” But did you realize you’ve probably already been green long before the term was coined? If you ever shopped at a secondhand store, reused your furniture or stocked up at a yard sale, you were being eco-friendly. As I found out in a recent chat with Michelle Kaufmann, the leading lady of green building, being eco-friendly is as simple as thinking about new ways to use old things in a way that’s easy on the earth.

Which brings me to a stereotype I can’t stand: Green isn’t shelling out lots of money for the latest, fabulous, reclaimed designer table. It’s about living in a home that uses less energy and less resources from the environment. It’s about creating healthy spaces for you and your family, so you’re not breathing in things you don’t even realize are toxic. New home smell, anyone?

To get you started with accessible, green design, here’s the latest from the editorial desk:

Anything you don’t understand? Have an unanswered question about going green in your decor? Post it in the comments and I’ll find the answer!

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In case you hadn’t noticed, this blog has been pretty sleepy as of late. I confess: I’ve been sick for the past week. But I’ve also been focusing a lot on the bedroom this February. Chalk it up to Valentine’s Day or the fact that I love thinking about (and doing) bedroom design. Treat your bedroom like the haven it is — or should be — with this guide to the best bedroom design on

Bedroom How-tos
29+ Do-It-Yourself Headboard Ideas
My round-up of fantastic headboards seen all over the Internet.

Create the Ultimate Bedroom Escape
Designer Mark McCauley’s 5 essentials for a bedroom sanctuary

Bedroom Hotel-Style How To
Because the irony of creating a “home away from home” at home is too funny.

Bedroom Design Don’ts
This article stayed in our Decorating Top 10 for half of last year.

5 Ways to Make a Bedroom Better for Rest
After all, sleep is a priority…

Design a Romantic Bedroom Retreat

But sleep isn’t always a priority.

All About Color
Click on each bedroom for details.

Get Color! brown bedroom Color Correction antique purple and yellow bedroom Get Color! blue gray bedroom
8 White Bedrooms Color Trends in the Bedroom 12 Sexy, Stylish Bedrooms

For more inspiring bedrooms:

4,000+ Bedrooms By You

Browse the top-rated bedrooms on Rate My Space for inspiration and give good karma to those looking for bedroom help.

5 Unique Bedroom Nightstands
New ideas for storing your bedside essentials.

House Tours: 150+ Designer Bedrooms
Exclusively in our Designers’ Portfolio

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photo by keithbear (hello, Papillon!)

A well-dressed bed can change the entire dynamic of a bedroom, and if you’re anything like me, you agonize over the bedding purchase until you’ve found The One — or at least The One that doesn’t come with sticker shock.

Even more of a shock: The time you spend browsing bedding shouldn’t be just for its looks.

We spend much more time in bed than we do in our cars or at work (well, most of us), yet our money and life investment is spent outside the bedroom. It’s important to invest in quality materials, and I’m not talking solely about the hypoallergenic benefits of certain pillows and comforters. Since I’m currently in the market for new bedding, I’ve put a lot of thought into the shopping process. Here’s a quick go-to list I’ve developed based on my quest for The One.

  • Looks matter, but so does your nose. i.e. Half the time you’re in the bedroom your eyes are closed, so make sure the linens don’t make you sneeze or harbor loads of dust-mites. The Clean Bedroom says pure down comforters are a haven for both dust-mites and mold and recommends natural fibers (wool) instead.
  • Cotton is the best breathable option for sheets. While silk, satin and flannel feel great, they might make you sweat — or break out! Choosing a 200-400 thread count cotton can actually be better for your skin in terms of lessening acne-breakouts. Who knew?
  • “Bed in a bag” is not always best. Yes, it’s easy. Yes, it’s less expensive. But what happens to the sheets after you wash them once-a-week for 52 weeks?
  • Indecisive, like me? Save yourself some time and money and buy a quality white comforter and several duvets. If you live in cold climes, have two on board: a lighter weight for the summer months, and a heavier for the winter.
  • 90 percent of bedding is ugly. Lament, accept and move on to finding the 10 percent that makes bedrooms worth showing off. Like the following:

Barbara Barry, Calvin Klein, Nate Berkus
Barbara Barry Musical Chairs, Calvin Klein Havana, Nate Berkus Maharani

Vera Wang, Crate & Barrel bedding
Vera Wang Poppy Comforter, Crate & Barrel Primavera Bed Linens

Ballard Designs, Shabby Chic Collection Target, Frontgate bedding
Carlyle Jacquard Damask, Simply Shabby Chic Smocked Duvet, Ballard Designs’ Avril Bedding

Gaiam organic bedding
Gaiam Lucia Organic Bedding, Organic Fiore Reverse Print Quilt

Thomas O'Brien, Raymond Waites, West Elm bedding
Thomas O’Brien Jacquard, Raymond Waites Luxe Sky Duvet, Organic Cotton Pleated Duvet Cover

Which is your favorite? Post it in the comments!

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Lots of you write me about headboard dilemmas — or lack thereof — which led me to a crazy idea: What if I could find out everything there is to know about making your own headboard, and post it here? It’s a start. I’ve corralled all the DIY headboards and inspiration I could find from and across the web, and tossed in a few products for good measure. Don’t make your bed suffer another headboard-less day!

diy framed art headboard

1. Video How-Tos: 5 Budget-Friendly Headboards
Five chic and simple headboards you can make without breaking the bank [DIY]

2. Plywood + Foam + Fabric Headboard
One day and $75 for a new head of the bed; as seen on HGTV [DIY]

3. Plantation Headboard
Affordable cottage/country style from JCPenney; $169-229 [Shop]

4. Headboard Restoration How-To
Bring life back into your hand-me-down [DIY]

5. Rich Leather Headboard
Top a leather headboard with floral prints for his-and-hers style [Inspiration]

6. Wallpaper Headboard
6 steps for a no-mess wallpaper headboard [DIY]

4 fresh headboard ideas

7. 4 Fresh Headboard Ideas
Featuring art, architecture and drapery [Inspiration]

8. Shutter Headboard
Shabby chic at its best [Inspiration]

9. Fence Headboard
Inspired by a picket fence [DIY]

10. Door Headboard
Hang doors horizontally for an inexpensive look [Inspiration]

11. Velvet Tufted Headboard
Luxurious chocolate material looks good enough to eat at Urban Outfitters; $270 [Shop]

12. Tufted Headboard and Wall Art
Platform-style headboard that almost takes second stage to a backlit chandelier [Inspiration]

Flickr Granny Squares Headboard

13. Granny Squares Headboard
Mount onto canvas for an instant heirloom (by Little Purl of the Orient) [Inspiration]

14. Custom-Lit Headboard
A unique headboard surround that provides light and drama [DIY]

15. Padded Headboard/Convertible Desk
Carter Oosterhouse dresses up a headboard with belts and more [DIY]

16. Fabric Canopy Headboard
Sophisticated fabric canopy [DIY]

17. Storage Headboard
Built-in storage from $249 at West Elm [Shop]

18. Tropical-Style Door Headboard
Canary yellow and crisp white doors make an impromptu headboard [Inspiration]

David Bromstad's padded headboard

19. Dramatic, Oversized Headboard
David Bromstad’s modern, padded headboard fit for royalty [Inspiration]

20. Stenciled Headboard
Chic stencils made simple for beginners [DIY]

21. High-End Designer Headboard for Less
Second-hand furniture made traditional with preformed pillars [Inspiration]

22. Laser Cut Headboard
Simplicity starting at $399-899 from Brocade Home [Shop]

23. All About Upholstered Headboards
Comprehensive instructions for making your own headboard in an afternoon [DIY]

24. The “Headboard Impersonation” Project
Stretch fabric on a frame for under $50 [DIY]

Asian floating fabric headboard

25. Floating Fabric Headboard
Requires plywood, batting and fabric [Inspiration]

26. Red Velvet Headboard
Rich berry velvet with self-welting detail for $599-699 at Crate & Barrel [Shop]

27. Free Headboard How-To From JoAnn Fabrics (opens as PDF)
Printable pamphlet for creating an upholstered headboard from start to finish [DIY]

28. Victorian Canopy Headboard
Four-poster, ornamental headboard idea for those who are fans of antiques [Inspiration]

29. Hang a Curtain for an Instant Headboard
Temporary fix for making your bed pop on a budget [DIY]

This list will grow, and I’m hoping you can help by posting your headboard links in the comments!

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And now, a blast from the past. The critics say:

“Quite possibly one of the most addictive games has ever created.”

“It curbs my inner desire to be on the Price Is Right and play Plinko!”

Wait, that was actually me. Anyway, I found this cute game on our site when I was perusing the archives.
Play it here!
HGTV Drop & Design Game

It’s amazing what you can find once you start digging around on I’m on the site all day (of course) and I still find new things that we’ve published. I was just talking with Monica, aka The Happy Zombie, about this, and how a lot of people don’t know about all we offer.

So, in case you’re new to the site, here are some of the many “must-visit” places in the community, no matter your interest. We’ll return to our regularly scheduled design talk on Monday.

  • Share My Craft and Share My Quilt — Some of my favorite people are crafters and quilters. Go show off your creations and rate the work of others.
  • Rate My Space — An unending source of room inspiration and a great place to get ideas for decorating from other readers.
  • Colorful InspirationPurple, yellow, green, pink red, black, blue… just a sampling of some of the great color-themed articles we have that are all about color and how to get the designer look in your home. Look at all the pretty pictures!
  • Quick Tips for Getting Rooms Organized — Finally, the hardest places to organize in the home, all in one place. Check out our inventive suggestions and stylish solutions.
  • Garden Design Plans — Original to, these plans will make you itching for the growing season so you can whip your backyard into shape. The plan works no matter what region of the country you live in. My favorite is the Meditation Garden.
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Every day, innocent rooms fall victim to bad design. Now you can help! Pledge your willingness to make good Design Happen in your home with one of these shiny, happy badges. Stick it on your blog or website and you’ll be spreading good karma to homes worldwide. Then, post a link to it in the comments so we can be pledge pals. Every so often I’ll feature one of the pledge pals in the Design Happens blog!

  • I Make Design Happen
  • Design Happens
  • I Love Design Happens
  • I Make Design Happen
  • Design Happens
  • I Love Design Happens
Generate Code

Select a graphic above and click “Generate Code” to retrieve the code for your blog or website.
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Designer Kristin Hannah, the principal of Hannah Interiors who has appeared on HGTV, wrote to tell me about her newest business venture with co-founder Brian Waspi: My Dream Home Registry*.


In Kristin’s own words, the site is “an online gift registry for anyone needing help with their homes.” Anyone! As in, you don’t have to get married, move, have a baby or partake in any major life stage in order to con beg ask your friends to help you furnish and outfit your home.

The way it works: You create a registry and share your plans, images and ideas with friends and family. Then they can purchase gift “units,” starting at just $10, toward a room you’re redoing in your home. The registry is advertisement free and doesn’t represent specific vendors, so you can choose any store, designer or builder to do the dirty work once your contributions have reached you. And My Dream Home Registry only charges a 9 percent service fee on the funds, compared to traditional registries which may get you with shipping and tax costs.

I love this concept, because there’s no hassle of returning unwanted items, and your family and friends still get to feel proud that they contributed to your home. Low on cash? Time to register!

* My Dream Home Registry is not affiliated with HGTV’s Dream Home.

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(Part 2 of the Holiday Decorating Headstart, your gift guide for the home)

You’ve seen the trends in velvet stockings, wreaths and Scandinavian and folk design in this year’s holiday decorations, but I’m just getting started with my catalog browsing! Warning: You might want to check your wallet before you scroll down — there are some serious impulse buys here from Grandin Road, Frontgate, FLOR, cb2 and more.

Holiday Floors, Flor and Smith&Hawken
For the Floor
Clockwise, top left:
Put the forest on your floor with a spice-colored FLOR area rug appropriately called Tannenbaum ($84.99 set of four).
This Reindeer Doormat ($39) from Smith & Hawken is just enough cheer without going overboard.
The Spiroflake ($17.99 per tile) pattern from FLOR is clearly influenced by the Best Childhood Toy Ever: the Spirograph!
Party Dress in Chartreuse by FLOR ($59.99 set of four) is a clever, modern and incredibly stylish alternative to traditional tree skirts.

Seasonal Accents in Wrought Iron and Silver
Clockwise, top middle:
Elf Candleholder ($3.95) from cb2 — Dear cb2: Please make these in gnomes, too. That would be fantastic. Thanks!
Wrought-Iron Mitten Tree ($39.95) from Plow & Hearth
Christmas Tree Server With Train ($168) from Frontgate — A little spendy, but a cute platter to have on the table for candies or cookies.
Jonathan Adler’s Skyline Menorah ($130)

Holiday Mini trees
Mini Trees
Top row, left to right:
Glass Trees ($6.95-14.95) from cb2
Glitter Silver Tree ($24.95) from cb2
Snow Birch Tree ($19.95) from ZGallerie — Birch is the “it” wood this year.

Bottom row, left to right:
Holiday Berry Trees ($79-159) from Grandin Road — Instant decor to last through Thanksgiving and the New Year.
Tree Jars ($14.95-19.95) from Crate & Barrel
Peppermint Trees ($69.99, set of 3) from CHEFS Catalog — Tasty, too!

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How to tell it’s catalog season: when catalogs outnumber the bills in your mailbox. In the past week I’ve received one or two each day, most of them early-bird holiday decorating editions. Time to see if all those Christmas trend predictions came true!

The holiday trends this year forecasted a silver, natural palette; eco-friendly decorations; and a sense of nostalgia/history as the main players. So far, these trends are panning out in holiday previews from Wisteria, Pottery Barn, VivaTerra and Ballard Designs.

Velvet Stockings
Pottery Barn (left) and Ballard Designs (right) are bringing personalized velvet stockings with upturned toes to the mantel this year. I think I have to give this one to Ballard — even though they’re more expensive — because I love the pom-pom trim.

Wreath Wrap-up, clockwise from top left
Magnolia wreaths from Pottery Barn
Alphabet Wreaths from Ballard Designs
Succulent Wreath (five kinds of succulents) from VivaTerra
Birch wreaths from Wisteria

Scandinavian and Folk Design
It’s apparent that cozy Scandinavian design is gaining momentum with retailers. Pottery Barn’s standout textile, the Swedish House Pillow Cover is probably one of the most fetching prints I’ve seen the store do. The only problem is everyone’s going to want — and have — it this season.

I’m usually not a fan of the store because of this, but found a lot to love with their silver aluminum Twig Reindeer and place card holders. I’m a little creeped out by the de-winged angels they have for the mantel, though.


Wisteria’s Scandinavian and folk decor offerings are broader: pretty angel candles (both are Scandinavian Christmas symbols), feltwork tree skirts and felt stockings. Wisteria’s palette starts with silver and then goes retro with ornaments your parents would have had on their trees.

All this, and it’s only two weeks before Halloween!

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