Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday 2016 Home Tour

Since I started admiring all of the amazing creative talent in terms of art, design, illustration, etc. on Instagram about a year ago, I have been getting my daily creative fix this way more so than blogging.  I still LOVE to blog, but I really have to carve out the time...Nevertheless, I wanted to share some photos of our home decked out for the holidays!  I always love decorating this time of year.  It is fun to mix it up each year and try new ways to style our front door, mantle, foyer, etc.  This year, I have added fun colorful plaids, (including Old Navy blanket-scarves-turned-chair-covers), grain sack stockings, striped pillows/runners from Etsy, oversized bells for our front door from At Home, faux magnolia from Michael's, and Target finds such as dollar-aisle stockings for our foyer stairway, and wrapping-paper-turned artwork...Hope you enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Kensington Bliss and have a Merry Christmas!

Last Minute (Very Random!) Gift Guide...

Sharing a few last-minute gift ideas (or perhaps wish list items, ha!)...These are all pretty random for all different ages, just wanted to share some fun ideas!

H&M Santa Hat w Beard
Image result for williams sonoma magnolia branches
Williams-Sonoma Magnolia Branches
(these are not very expensive, and would be beautiful just as shown!)

Copper-Plated Beer Stein
Pier 1 Copper-Plated Beer Stein (or larger Moscow Mule, perhaps?)
Image result for lands end plaid santa sack
Lands' End Plaid Santa Sack (I used these as a pillow covers in our TV room!)

Cuisinart Coffee Center 12-Cup & Single Serve Brewer
(handy for differing coffee tastes, kids' hot chocolate, or an afternoon tea)

Sur La Table Nutcracker Kitchen Towel

Alternate View
Orvis Simoom Tweed Quarter-Zip Sweatshirt

Main Image - Burberry 'House Check' Cashmere Snood (Girls)
Burberry Cashmere Snood (for girls OR adults)
Nannacay Joana Multi Medium Tote
Nannacay Joana Multi Medium Tote (perhaps I have spring break on the brain!?)

H&M Sequin Camisole Top
(for some holiday sparkle!)

Express Geometric Sequin Jacket

Friday, December 9, 2016

Mad for Magnolia!

As we head into the final countdown to Christmas, I love to see all of the unique greenery used for front porches, mantels, and tablescapes.  One type I have always loved is the magnolia leaf!  As the state flower of both Louisiana and Mississippi, the magnolia is certainly iconic in the south in terms of decorating and design.  It is associated with nobility, perseverance, beauty, sweetness, dignity, and a love of nature.  With its large-scale, interesting two-toned leaves of lush glossy green on one side and matte gold/brown on the other, it provides great texture, volume, and impact either on its own or when added to other greens.  I have found that it is hard to find good-looking faux magnolia, as sometimes the leaves are TOO dark.

I was recently visiting my parents in St. Louis over Thanksgiving, and my Mom, the ever-talented floral/greenery designer, had some magnolia sprigs in a small outdoor wall planter, that I loved!  I was surprised to learn they were faux magnolia from Michael's craft store.  I wanted to add some to my front porch, and in a crazy serendipitous moment, (the very same day, after I finished this blog post), I was surprised to open a box full of magnolia leaves from my Mom! I am still trying to figure out how to arrange them, so stay tuned ; )

Meanwhile, I gathered some inspiration photos below...

My Mom's magnolia sprigs from Michael's craft store...

Between Naps on the Porch Blog - love the mix of pine with magnolia!

Susan Harper from AtHomeArkansas.com - how fabulous is this lush garland around her front door! Amazing!

At Home In Love Blog - love these magnolias surrounding the lanterns, so pretty!

At Home In Love Blog - what a fun idea for place cards!

At Home In Love Blog - simple yet so festive gathered in a silver bowl!

EmilyAClark.com - I particularly love the magnolia mixed with citrus or fall fruits!

via House & Home - another example mixed with fall fruits...

via The Happier Homemaker Blog - She made these garland from magnolia trees around her yard
LOVE the beautiful simplicity of this!

SmallStuffCounts.com - another great DIY magnolia wreath tutorial

via Snippet & Ink - how graceful is this garland cascading off the edge of a wood dining table!

StyleMePretty via AtHomeInLove Blog...so graceful and elegant and simple!

TheBridesCafe.com - another example of citrus fruits mixed in, so pretty!

via ThistlewoodFarms.com - you just CANNOT mimic the organic structure, body, and color of real magnolia!! Love this!

Williams-Sonoma - you can now purchase live magnolia sprigs for approx $15/bundle, not too bad a price I must say!

This has nothing to do with magnolia, but I loved this image regardless! So festive and pretty!
Hope you are all enjoying the holidays!!

xoxo Claire