Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SMALL SPACE DECORATING 101: HOW TO ENTERTAIN & HOST GUESTS IN A SMALL SPACE


The size of your living space shouldn't limit you from opening your home to friends and family. As with most small space decorating, hosting and entertaining guests in a small space requires a little creativity and thinking outside of the box.
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In this edition of Small Space Decorating 101,  I'll answer questions on how to prep your small space to host guests as well as provide you with creative ideas for hosting family and friends in a space that's short on size.

Here are 7 commonly asked questions on how to entertain in a small space.

1. Where will everyone sit?  

Try pulling your table up to your couch for a cozy dining experience and to better accommodate guests. Invest in a set of matching folding or stackable chairs (like these) to add to your table for an instant dinner party set up.  Folding chairs are compact and easy to store.  While stackable are great multi-tasking space savers, taking up less space when not in use. In the photo below, a table is set up in front of a sofa creating the perfect setting for a dinner party.

2. Where Can I Put Extra Food or Desserts? 

Believe it or not, an ironing board is the perfect for staging additional food items if you run out of table space.  In the photo below, a simple white cloth, bouquet of flowers and a vintage wood ironing board is used to stage an Italian themed Bruschetta Bar for guests. Simple but amazing!  Modern day ironing boards are metal so they are perfect for holding small hot dishes too.
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3. How Can I Keep Guests' Coats and Bags from Taking Up Space?

Closet and storage space was really limited in both our first apartment and home. Entertaining a large group meant figuring out where to place for guests' coats and belongings when they visited. Store guests coats and bags in a bedroom to avoid limiting the amount of space you have to party. Just make sure you tidy up the room before guests arrive.


4. How Can I Maximize and Organize Space for Food?

Don't just use horizontal table space when setting up your food table.  Use vertical space too. Elevating your dishes on tiered trays maximizes your buffet space,  makes the food more accessible to your guests and also leaves you with extra table space for more great food!
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5. I Don't Have Alot of Refrigerator Space. How Do I Keep All of the Beverages Cold and Ready to Serve?

Think multipurpose. Use your sink as an ice bucket. Fill your kitchen sink with ice, place bottled and can beverages in the sink, then toss additional ice over the bottles.  Voila! An INSTANT SELF SERVE BEVERAGE COOLER! Guests will enjoy grabbing their own drinks from this unconventional beverage cooler.
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6. How Can I Make A Small Space Feel Cozy and Elegant

Inexpensive holiday string lights (in white) are festive and fun when draped above a dining table setting.  You could also use fresh flowers and simple tea lights or votive candles along the table to create an intimate mood for your guests.  
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7. How Can I Rearrange My Space To Better Accommodate My Guests?

Don’t be afraid to make your living room into a dining room for a day. Create more space for your dinner party by rearranging furniture. Try swapping your dining room table and chairs with some f the pieces from your living room furniture and bring the party front and center. 

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Now who's ready for  great food, great company, and a great evening?  Try a few of these entertaining tips and let me know how it goes.  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

YOU'LL WANT TO ADD THESE TO YOUR GIFT LIST : IMPORTED HAND BLOCKED QUILTS


I'm still putting the finishing touches on Zaria's nursery. This project means alot to me, so I have really taken my time selecting quality pieces for the room that are both functional and unique. Through using custom art pieces, decor and accents, I am slowly creating a cozy eclectic space for Zaria to call her own. So when;Khadijah Gurnah, owner and founder of Safiya's Room, offered to send me a couple of her company's exquisite hand made quilts to review and share with my readers, I jumped at the opportunity.

Safiya's Room offers unique hand blocked quilts made by artisans in Jaipur, India using traditional block printing techniques.


"These treasures are 100% cotton and carefully crafted by hand; starting from the preparation of the cotton for the filling; to the beautiful hand blocked designs and hand stitched finished product."

The JAIPUR and the RABIA toddler/crib quilts arrived at my home carefully packaged and were even more beautiful in person than online.  Each quilt is unique and a true work of art.  Just look at the vibrant hues and detailed stamping. 

"It’s important to me that my products are not only beautiful and unique, but its also very important that the artisans who make the quilts are valued and given fair pay for their work", says Gurnah"

The art of hand blocking is such a detailed process. Each quilt takes up to 3 weeks to make! Gurnah's artisans first create the outer cover using block stamps to create each individual floral motif, a process that can take up to two weeks. Once the outer shell is printed and has dried, it is hand-filled with cotton to ensure even distribution and softness. The quilt is then hand stitched using cotton thread for durability and longevity." Gurnah considers it a privilege to work with artisans who are so passionate abut their craft.

Gurnah works directly with artisans to ensure every item is unique, authentic and of the highest quality.



The quilt has been perfect for wrapping Zaria in on chilly winter afternoons.  Because of it's superb quality, the quilt will make a great heirloom piece that Zaria could even pass down to her own children. We love to wrap Zaria in her quilt at nap time. It's combination of softness and warmth make a perfect combination for sweet dreams!

 I like to keep the quilts in a woven basket when they are not in use.


The quilts come in both toddler/crib size and twin size and make a great baby shower present or perhaps a holiday gift for an expectant mom. These quilts look great all around the house.  Have a twin bed in your spare or guest room? Use a quilt to add some welcoming color and pattern to your guest room.


  You can see more of the exclusive selection of quilts at the Safiya's Room website here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

WHAT MAKES A GOOD KITCHEN DESIGN GREAT? - MY TOP 10 FABULOUS KITCHEN DESIGNS

Whether hosting a crowd, a smaller more intimate affair, or visiting family, I'm sure many people spent some time in a kitchen this past holiday last week.

We did the latter.  We packed up the kids and traveled to New York to spend time with my family.  One of the highlights of our trips to New York is eating my mother's home cooked meals and getting to spend time with my mother in her kitchen. 

I don't claim to be a chef by any stretch of the imagination, but I can certainly appreciate a good meal and a fabulously designed kitchen. What makes a good kitchen design fabulous/great you ask? Is it the lighting, the hardware, state of the art appliances, custom cabinets, or exotic stone counters?  The answer is E) ALL OF THE ABOVE.

A fabulous kitchen combines contrasting design elements to create a unique aesthetic.  


These elements can include the combination of rustic and modern elements or perhaps the combination of metallic and matte finishes. I find that incorporating a good mix of design elements and styles yields amazing results.

Here's a look at a few fabulously designed kitchens I definitely wouldn't mind spending some time in.













Want to see more of my favorite interiors? Follow me on Pinterest to check out what interiors inspire me plus helpful design tips and home decor styling advice.