Christmas in Silver & Blue

Posted by Amy Swift Crosby on Dec 19, 2016 5:05:41 PM

The holidays are full of gatherings, and not just on the 24th and 25th. The season beckons family and friends to gather around tables, roaring fires and clinking glasses to revel in the magic that this time of year inspires. Artist, designer and Luna Bazaar contributor Jennifer Romans hosted such a beguiling dinner – set to metallic and unexpected pops of blue. This party goes to show that going beyond green and red is not only welcome – but also refreshingly different in the décor pantheon of Christmas! Here, she shares her approach to celebrating the holidays with all of it's decorating escapades.

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The Approach: 
“December is truly one of the most social months of the year. Such a busy time means décor needs wow-factor as much as ease and efficiency. I approached this dinner party knowing that the day-of, I wouldn’t have a ton of time to set up my tablescape. To avoid rushing, I always pull all my candle holders, lanterns, runners, napkin rings, hanging paper lanterns and Christmas ornaments out of drawers and cabinets a week or so beforehand.  Pre-producing as much as possible lets you see what you have, and what you’re missing, so you have time to find or replace it. December is no time for stress. You want to have fun and enjoy yourself, not worry about a missing tea light or wrinkled runner!”

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The Preparation: 
“With little kids in the house, I have to be smart about where the décor lives while I’m organizing and setting the party stage. If not, I find that napkin holders become Barbie hats and mercury glass ends up in the bathtub. I solve this by fully decorating one key room – the main party venue – which, in this case, was my formal dining room. We only use it on special occasions, so my kids don’t even notice it when it’s decorated – and that means they don’t touch anything on the tabletop (which is the idea.) I take my time layering this room with just the right accents – selecting placeholders, assigning seats and writing out names – so that it really feels special when you walk in. Revealing the theme to guests is the best part, and you’re not a hot mess from working on it all day!”

 

The Theme:
“The holidays always put green and red at the center of the color story, but for me, they are a bit expected. Since blue is a consistent accent in my house and also the color of the dining room, I leaned on silver and blue as my core colors – to create reflection and glow.  I painted my ceiling blue so that people would feel immersed in the color. Mercury glass candlesticks and adorable place card holders made the tablescape extra festive. I hung shimmering ornaments and paper snowflake decorations throughout the house just a few hours before guests arrived to add touches of holiday flare, then created clusters of votives to illuminate dark entryways and bathrooms. This inviting glow is low-maintenance, yet really high impact – plus everyone looks good in candlelight!”

The Food and Drink:
“With my weekend packed I opted to have the main course, one side dish, and a fancy dessert catered by a local chef. I was then able to simply add a salad and appetizer to round out the missing pieces. I settled on plain porcelain china for the party since the décor was already so colorfully festive. For drinks, I served assorted wines with a small DIY bar set up in the kitchen. A pro-tip for hosting is to make it so folks can self-serve to some degree. Drinks, cocktail napkins and a light nibble should be easy for guests to find, reach and assemble on their own.”

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Jen’s Tips: What host’s really want!

The traditional gift for your host is wine (which is lovely), but if you want to get creative, here are a few ideas to give your host something unexpected – or something they might use all year long.

1. Hill Tribe Handmade Table Runners – simply tie raffia or festive ribbon around the rolled-up runner – you won’t even have to wrap this hand-woven treasure!

2. You can bake or roast nuts or make chocolate bark (see my recipe below). Put in a mason jar for gifting – this presents beautifully.

3. Doilies – The small ones make for pretty little coasters you can wash! Wrap in tissue and pop them into a lovely gift bag. Easy peasy!

4. Napkin Rings – I love gifting these (especially the teal ones) with a simple ribbon wrapped through the holes and tied into a bow.

Ridiculously Easy Chocolate Bark:

INGREDIENTS

3 bags Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

2c salted cocktail peanuts

2c salted roasted almonds

2c+ mini pretzel twists (GF if preferred)  

 

DIRECTIONS

- Line baking sheet with wax paper (or parchment paper)
- evenly distribute peanuts, almonds and pretzels to fill baking sheet
- slowly heat and melt chocolate chips in a double boiler, stirring occasionally until fully melted (you can fit glass bowl over boiling pot of water if you dont have a proper double boiler)
- pour chocolate over nut/pretzel mixture
- using a spatula, carefully spread chocolate to cover mixture and spread to the edges
- chill to set (approx 30m)
- once set, remove hard chocolate from baking sheet and peel off wax paper from backside. Using a shasrp knife and cutting board, cut chocolate into slightly larger than bite sized pieces.
- store in airtight container in refrigerator 

 

 

 

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Topics: Interior Design, Christmas, silver, blue

Fall Fête! A Rose Gold Color Story

Posted by Amy Swift Crosby on Dec 9, 2016 7:36:37 PM

With 12  days remaining until Winter Solstice, we’re still on the dark side of the season – so we take any reason to illuminate our tables and fill every seat with friends and neighbors. The lighter side of darkness is a cozy, intimate feeling that fall and winter beg to celebrate. Luna contributor Angelina Carrera hosted quite the gathering at Grassini Family Vineyards in Santa Barbara, CA this fall – featuring décor accents perfectly paired with our latest Rose Gold Collection that translate indoors or outdoors with equal splendor. Here, she shares her approach and inspiration to creating this spectacle of organic beauty!

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Start with color: 
“Autumn has a very rich color story filled with amber and dusty pink hues that mingle with accents of gold. We wanted our party to subtly draw from that gorgeous fall palette. We started by styling our gorgeous new Hurricane Vases with overflowing greenery and burgundy toned florals. Then, drawing from the rustic vineyard setting, we chose touches of rose gold to stitch together the warmth and inclusiveness that I aspired to achieve. I was delighted that the dahlias perfectly matched our red wine – unplanned, but seasonally on point as it's own reward.” 

Then consider light:
“You always want more light than you think – so a smattering of mercury glass and vintage pink vessels filled with candlelight is what we used to achieve this glow on our table. Stay away from anything too tall for a gathering this casual. Height can work for weddings and other formal celebrations, but on a farm table or family gathering, it creates a barrier and distance between people.”

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Choose an unexpected venue: 
“We were at a vineyard, outside, under the canopy of four-hundred-year-old oak trees – so the romance factor was high! People love a surprising environment, something they might not think of themselves. I could see recreating this scene on a sun porch back East, with people bundled up in sweaters and a table set with beautiful runners to reflect the mood of the season. You’re essentially building a hearth in the area of your choice. It could be a big coffee table or a mantel and fireplace – a central focus that generates a magnetic draw for your guests.”

The food and drinks:
“We had a pretty easy win on the drinks since our friends at Grassini gifted us with a signature wine called Equipo, a red blend of 80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% petit verdot. Pairing the right food with the wines took a little more thought. Apples felt natural, so homemade apple pie was a must. From there I turned to Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, butternut squash... and cheese. Cheese for days! Everything felt hearty but healthy and of the earth. It’s important to be thoughtful about the season, to reach for what’s local and reliable, and to create interesting dressings or dips from there.”

Ang’s Tips:
“Prepare, design, decorate – and then let go! No one wants a stressed-out host. Buy plenty of tea lights – you will likely replace a few throughout your evening. Invite people you know well, and include new friends to mix it up. Make water and non-alcoholic drinks easy to access on a nearby table.

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Topics: Interior Design, Outdoor Design, rose gold

New England Summer Style

Posted by Amy Swift Crosby on Aug 28, 2016 1:28:48 PM

Summer in New England is a three month celebration, and we’re reveling in August’s grand finale. Everyone is in such a good mood, still grateful that boots and shovels are months away and looking for any excuse to be outside until the last possible minute. There’s a certain signature style the Northeast does differently than other parts of the world.

And while I love all the historic influences, in my own home I blend a more eclectic sensibility with an old school style to create a less conventional, fresher New England look. We regularly have friends over for drinks around sunset, which is an ideal time to let the art of entertaining shine. The key to bringing New England to anyone’s backyard or porch can be found in a few key elements, all of which are easier than you think.

Don’t get fussy about it, you don’t have to install wainscotting or a six foot hedge! New England summer is about harmonizing a mood of relaxation and adventure. These tips will get you on your way, East Coast style.

1. Start with color. Red, white and blue isn’t exclusive to the American flag or the Fourth of July. Using navy against red and white is sophisticated and adds formality, with just the right dose of patriotism. I love this palette with weathered wood furniture or driftwood accents. My upholstered outdoor furniture combines traditional wicker with a contemporary geometric pattern. You can achieve a similar look with tapestries wrapped around couch or chair cushions, as long as the color story stays within the theme. Nothing nails this look better than pops of crisp white throw pillows against red and navy.


2. Light. The hurricane lanterns and smattering of low lights does favors for anything outside at dusk.It’s particularly appropriate to use jars with a hodge-podge of glassware to soften preppy New England with organic accents. I like varying sizes because I find elegance in the chaos, like pairing mason jars and nautical bottles, best expressed with glimmers of low, romantic light. You don’t want it to be too perfect. A mix of glass options keeps the composition interesting.

3. Drinks! We love a Dark and Stormy here in Massachusetts. I like adding colorful straws because delightful details add a layer of thoughtfulness for guests, even in a casual setting. Plus my kids insist on straws, always, so I like to keep them handy at all times. I love these beveled glasses as they reflect light so perfectly, and add a decorative touch with their vintage pink hue.

The Dark n’ Stormy

  • Lot’s of Ice
  • 2 ounces Gosling’s Black Seal rum
  • 6 ounces Source brand ginger beer
  • 1 lime wedge
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Topics: Interior Design, Outdoor Design, New England

Love and White Light

Posted by Maia Bissette on Aug 3, 2016 5:06:31 PM
Lifestyle blogger Leah Forester puts white paper lanterns against this Gray Malin photograph to beautiful effect. White on white perfection.

The one can’t-go-wrong, must-have color for any summer interior is… you guessed it, white. White epitomizes timelessness, working well in residential, commercial and event design. As décor, white contrasts and illuminates everything around it, creating subtle dimension to alluring effect. If you want to make white the star of your palette, the right layering of soft tones will give your space a crispness and intensity in contrast to any pop of color you throw into the mix.

Luna contributor and lifestyle blogger Leah Forester featured our white paper lanterns in her Venice, California beachside townhouse against Gray Malin's Hitchhiker with stunning success. The temptation might be to use color against this photograph – to bring out more color – but her minimalist approach makes it fresh, modern, and turns white into the main event! Brava, Leah.

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Topics: Interior Design, Event Design

Three Ways to Decorate an Ocean Inspired Home

Posted by Angelina Carrera on May 24, 2016 4:01:27 PM

At Luna Bazaar, we're always looking for new waves of inspiration to share with our audience of interior designers, event planners, creative hosts and artful homemakers. Today, LB Stylist Angelina Carrera talks about ways to bring the spirit of the ocean into your home, inviting you to dive in and explore her concepts drawn from the deep blue sea:

Two thirds of the human body is made up of salt water. The sea is a part of us. Beyond the chemical, our minds are linked to water in more ways than we realize. Science suggests that for most people the ocean reduces stress while creating peace and balance. If the ocean has a neurological impact on our brain, awareness of this connection can change the way we live.


Color

Use the natural colors and elements of the ocean to create a grounding, yet ethereal feeling in your home.

This Yasmine tapestry is soft and inviting ― it reminds us of when the ocean meets the sky.

Royal blue tones offer tranquility and peace for spaces that require calm and rest, such as studios, quiet common areas and bedrooms.

Applying Color

White-on-white-on-blue is a meditation in itself.

Creams and whites love each other ― adding almost any color of blue creates depth and resonance.

Illuminate from below with fairy lights in apothecary jars. Om my goodness.

Stunning.

Photo, styling and DIY macramé by Charlotte Smith of Ciburbanity.

Flow

The ocean brings rhythm ― ebb and flow. The ocean inhales and exhales as each wave meets the shore. Allow your home to have a similar cadence by changing and adapting to seasons or feelings. Pink from a summer sunset adds vitality, while natural elements like driftwood and metals infuse an earthly essence and accentuate areas of focus.

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Applying Flow

Searching for the perfect piece of driftwood is almost as fun as repurposing it as table decor. Layer with votives, lanterns and textiles ― then add food and good company! We’ve pictured this outside, but truly this concept goes anywhere, from bedroom dressers to indoor dining rooms. Kids especially love building with driftwood to emulate a fairy house effect.

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Texture

Adding a textured throw, a vibrant pillow, or mercury glass candle holders to a home keeps the flow and creates a perfect balance. For us, the ocean in all of it's majesty inspires an infinite array of texture. Be bold ― tap into the magic of texture.

We love what Aster B Flower Farm does with leftover florals in vases from a dinner party ― just repurpose onto the mantle! The key to this look is varying sizes: keep it eclectic and a little unplanned. The best décor looks effortless.

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Applying Texture

Tiny bouquets do heavy lifting when it comes to meal time, and mercury glass accents offer textural beauty like no other.

They’re low ― conversation flows freely around and over them ― but their delicate presentation feels thoughtful and sincere.

Also, nice for nightstands.

Photo and styling by Charlotte Smith of Ciburbanity.

The ocean is so many things: a place to create memories and teach your children, a place to meditate and heal, to be active and hang with friends, to get in touch with nature. With the endless inspiration, the ocean is a continuous source for humans.

The ocean inspires an innate connection, one like the moon and sea ― an ebb and flow tied directly to each other. A vastness, a fullness ― furthering the stream of ideas about perception, emotion, creativity, health and healing.

Our ocean makes up about 70% of our planet. It is a world within a world. Keep the harmonious flow, allow yourself the space to breathe.

Inhale slowly and exhale slowly. Find peace in the vast sublimity of the sea.

“I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea ― whether it is to sail or to watch it ― we are going back from whence we came." ― John F. Kennedy

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Topics: Interior Design