Every year the holidays seem to come earlier and earlier, but if you’re planning on hosting any holiday parties or having friends and family crash at your digs, it’s best to start getting things together so you can actually enjoy yourself when the time comes. So to help you out, I’ve put together a list of double duty holiday decor: beautiful things that make the holidays a little bit sweeter, but aren’t holiday-specific. These goodies will last you through the Winter season and then some. Think of them as gifts to yourself that keep on giving.
I’m a huge fan of the bar cart. Full disclosure: I have yet to own one myself. However, I’m five minutes away from getting the Threshold Wood and Brass Finish Bar Cart from Target. This thing is versatile enough to be used as a kitchen cart or a bookshelf when the party’s over.
Threshold Wood and Brass Finish Bar Cart , $130
My aunt had the cutest napkins with turkeys on them when she hosted Thanksgiving this year and it made me smile, so to pay it forward, I found these. The Marimekko trees are a non-committal holiday napkin print that work for any Winter celebration.
Marimekko Kuusikossa Napkins, $6.95
Tired of everyone having to throw their jackets on some bed? Anthropologie’s Antler Wall Hook adds an instant ski lodge look while keeping everything organized.
Antler Wall Hook, $79
If you own an air mattress, please do all of us guests a favor and throw it away already! Unless space is an issue, we would like something that doesn’t feel like sleeping on…air. The Austin White Bean Bag Chair looks like something I could sleep late on, and look fashionable while doing it. Its modern white quilty look makes this a year-round chair that doesn’t need to be stuffed in a closet when guests go away.
Austin White Bean Bag Chair Bed, $175
This King Cube Ice Tray may look unassuming, but it makes everything better. When I first discovered this gadget, I ended up getting several for myself and a few lucky people as a “just ’cause” gift, and they love me forever because of it. It produces extra large ice cubes that melt at a glacial pace (sans global warming). Also, these are the kind of ice cubes served with an overpriced drink at a gorgeous bar – throw these in an ice bucket at your next party and your guests will definitely notice.
Red King Cube Ice Tray, $8.95
Music seems to be an afterthought at many a family holiday gathering. But the right music can really set the mood, especially when you (or other guests who like to DJ) can easily stick an iPod or iPhone into this fun color changing speaker.
iHome Color Changing iPod/iPhone Speaker Dock, $65
Christmas lights are not just for the tree anymore, like these Starry String Lights from Restoration Hardware that I’ve been drooling over forever. I want to cover everything I own in this stuff. Take that, Australian family whose Christmas light display can be seen from space.
Starry String Lights – Diamond Lights on Silver Wire, $15-99
Happy holidays, and don’t forget to treat yourself!
originally posted on ibby.com
Functionality and style haven’t always gone hand in hand in certain parts of the home. Home offices are often relegated to wherever there is an empty corner available, while garages are usually left to toil with their original layouts and don’t come within a country mile of qualifying for a renovation.The need for solid, efficient storage areas is always present for homeowners, but many balk at the thought of improvements due to the impersonal and incongruous style of big-box store products or what they see to be incompatible elements within their home designs. For the sake of your own efficiency and productivity, it’s time to dispel the myth of the difficulties of customization around your office and garage!
photo credit+ California Closets
With modern technology making it easier by the day to get work done from home, it’s essential that you’re able to keep your vital items and documents organized. Customizing a space that includes a personalized home office storage solution tailored to your tech needs will save you valuable time and remove all of the headaches that are synonymous with at-home projects, such as items going missing or clutter building up. With things like cable management systems or new cabinets dedicated to various supplies, you’ll know that your space will be ready for use at any moment, and will look great too!
photo credit: California Closets
Garages don’t have to be the bane of your home. Plenty of companies are able to help homeowners explore the unused potential in these multipurpose areas with customized garage storage solutions. With all of your boxes and outdoor gear safely stored away in closets of your design, chances are, you’ll be able to cross your garage off of your list of annual spring cleaning chores. Let your garage make a positive contribution to your home’s style as well!
photo credit: California Closets
It may be common knowledge that the right lighting can transform a room. For instant drab-to-fab, a chandelier is an excellent choice, but they can get so elaborate that choosing the right one is tricky. Luckily, some chandelier designs have evolved from the typical crystal overload into gender-neutral, classier styles.
West Elm is chock full of gorgeous lighting right now, like this Eclipse Chandelier. The grandeur is somehow perfectly minimized by its industrial looks.
Eclipse Chandelier, $199
It’s a thin line between classy and overdone if you’re going for the Hollywood Regency look The black and gold color on the Meridian Pendant from ZGallerie puts a masculine twist to an otherwise fancy schmancy style.
Meridian Pendant, $349
For a safe bet that pairs well with just about anything, try a George Nelson Saucer Lamp from Modernica. This midcentury original looks like a classic, well-tailored suit.
George Nelson Saucer Lamp, $269
Craving something trendy but worried you’ll eventually hate looking at it? The Regina Andrew Isosceles Chandelier at Zinc Door makes that rare kind of bold statement that you’re guaranteed to love for years to come.
Regina Andrew Isosceles Chandelier, $573
Finally! The Rae 6-light Chandelier from Overstock showcases the popular edison bulbs you’ve been dying to buy but had no good use for.
Rae 6-light Chandelier, $218
originally posted on ibby.com
Sometimes the finer things in life are really just simple things done right. Everything you see here under $20.
Owning this umbrella would make braving the rain much less stressful. In fact, I’d look FORWARD to a dreary day if I were the owner of this umbrella.
FUCK THE RAIN UMBRELLA, $17.60
For the person who has every candle, this candle-in-a-mug from Anthropologie puts a spin on things. Bonus cute mug when you run out of candle.
Enamelware Candle Tin,
The cake candelabra from Urban Outfitters takes the cake for best birthday candle presentation.
Feeling a case of the ol’ artist’s block? Grab one of these Andy Warhol quote pencils for some inspiration. Imagine the possibilities when you’re reminded that “Art is what you can get away with.”
Andy Warhol Philosophy Pencil – Pack Of 8,
A fashionable soap dish with excellent drainage capability is a huge improvement in a small package.
Wire Soap Dish, $18.00
Tired of seeing gray skies and brittle trees every time you look out your window? Hang this bag planter on your fire escape, maybe you’ll fool yourself into feeling like it’s actually Spring.
HANGING BAG PLANTER, $39
For all you christmas light maniacs out there, here’s a grown-up version to cozify the room you’ve been holing up in. Silver or gold.
STARRY STRING LIGHTS – AMBER LIGHTS ON COPPER WIRE, $15-99
There’s no better way to start getting psyched for the summer than getting a donut pool float far in advance. Inflate it and use it as furniture until you can bring it to the pool.
Donut Pool Float, $18
If this smiley face tissue box doesn’t make you smile every time you reach for a tissue, move on to the next item.
Smiley Face Tissue Box, $9.99 + int’l shipping
When all else fails, hide your pale, dry skin behind this unicorn mask until the sun comes out.
Fred Flare Magic Unicorn Mask, $34