After an insanely fun media console styling session last month, Tasha from Tchotchkes Interior Design and I have teamed up again to bring a little nostalgic yuletide inspiration to Holiday gatherings this season. This time we’ve brought Retro Wanderlust (the shop in the Minneapolis area for all things vintage home) along for the ride and challenged ourselves to think beyond the quintessential red and green palette and instead focus on less ‘in-yo-face’ festive cues like greenery, Holiday motifs, cozy textures, and candlelight to bring home the warm, merry appeal. Below we’re talking through how we arrived at this look, so you can recreate for your own gathering!
I’m popping in quickly this weekend to share how to hang garland in your house without permanently nailing it to the wall. This is not sponsored; I’ve just had a lot of questions on my Instagram about how I’ve hung mine, so I thought I’d share what really works. I’ve tried several different hooks that never seemed to be strong enough to hold a full garland. In years past, there were so many mornings, I’d wake up to a sad garland on the floor and cedar flakes everywhere. When I finally discovered temporary hooks that were strong enough for the job, I did a little happy dance. Here’s what we do:
We use big daddy 3M Command hooks. The ones that hold up to 7.5 lbs each. They’re damage free and the packaging has a photo of the hook with a step ladder hanging from it, so you know they’re strong! For the arch pictured, we’re using 3 hooks one on each side plus one in the middle. In years where we have an especially full garland, I’ve doubled up the hooks at each location just to be safe, but looking back it was probably overkill!
The hooks are white, but don’t worry if you don’t have white walls. The hooks are nearly completely disguised by the garland.
The hook mounting instructions (that come with the hooks) are kind of fussy. They involve mounting the hook, then sliding off a portion of the hook, pressing the hook base firmly to the wall, waiting an hour and then re-attaching the hook. It seems kind of unnecessary at first, but following the instructions make for a super strong bond. I’ve tried several different hooks, and have found these to be the strongest by far. They also come down damage free when Christmas is over. Win!
That’s all I’ve got for you today. Hope this little Holiday decorating tip is useful!
Want more Holiday decorating tips? Get the inside on using a basket in lieu of a skirt to disguise your Christmas tree stand. Read more HERE.
As I was naming this blog post yesterday, it occurred to me just how simplistic and all around ‘common-sense-esque’ it sounded. How hard can it be to put your real Christmas tree in a basket? The truth is I’ve been trying to figure out how to use a basket (in lieu of a tree skirt) for my real Christmas tree for the last few years, and I finally figured out a set up that works. So here we are!
You see with real trees the stands are often 20″-24″ at their widest point, making it difficult to disguise in a basket without the basket being MASSIVE. I recently came across a 16″ diameter plastic tree stand that holds a 6′ tree. Our tree this year is a real Fraser Fir, known for its more “open” Nordic feel. The top of the tree thins to a single branch with a few small off shoots. Technically, the tree is a 7-footer, but considering the sparseness at the top of the tree, I decided to give it a whirl with the 6′ tree stand. And SPOILER alert…it works great!
The 16″ tree stand diameter makes the basket so much more doable. Here I’m using an 18″ round sea grass basket from Target’s home storage section. Placing the tree stand in the basket is a snug fit, keeping the whole set up nice and stable. For good measure, I thought I’d detail our whole tree setup this year. See sources at the bottom!
S H O P T H I S L O O K
Glitter Star Tree Topper || Fraser Fir Real Tree || Finial Ornaments || Candle Clips || Candles || Black and White Striped Ornaments || Danish RowHouse Gift Wrap || Black Plaid Gift Wrap || White Plaid Ribbon || Black Border Ribbon || 6ft Plastic Tree Stand || Sea Grass Basket
I have a handful of Holiday decorations that I look forward to bringing out each year. (We’re big on Scandinavian traditions at this house.) That said, I do also try to add new pieces into the mix each year to keep things fresh and festive. Last year, the cedar archway garland was the main event, and this year, I’ve teamed up with incredibly talented fiber artist, Sara Banner of The Forest Fern, to share a fun and easy project for Holiday decorating.
Sara is a devoted macrame + tapestry genius and a wealth of knowledge in all things fiber-related. I’ve been a fan of Sara’s beautiful work for over a year now and was lucky to meet and work with her while she was in Minneapolis last Summer. Together we created a modern tassel garland tutorial for draping across windows, the fireplace mantel and even the Christmas tree. Let’s get tasseling, shall we? Read on for the how-to on this smart, easy project!
- Single Strand Cotton String – we used 6mm Black Cotton from Niroma Studio
- Hair brush, pet brush or wide toothed comb
- 3-4 various colors of yarn
- Thin cotton string (such as baker’s twine)
- Tapestry needle
1. Construct Tassels. Cut 6 pieces of cotton string roughly 20″ long. Divide the 6 strands into two groups of three. Tie one laynard knot via the video explanation. The video clip details the knot using just two pieces of yarn for demonstration purposes. You’ll use all 6 strands of cotton when tying the knot.
2. Gather the strings in your fist just below the laynard knot and start your first Wrapping Knot. Use a different color yarn of your choosing to form a “U” shape at the base of the knot leaving one tail end out at the top of the “U”. Place your thumb midway up the “U” shape to hold the yarn in place while you wrap the other end around the tassel in a clockwise motion, keeping your rows spaced next to one another.
3. Continue tightly wrapping the yarn around the base of the knot forming a band of color. Tie off the yarn by threading the end through the loop created in Step 2. Then while holding the yarn end with one hand, pull the upper yarn end that was formed in Step 2 with your other hand. As you pull the upper yarn, the loop will eventually disappear underneath the wrapped yarn band. Trim yarn ends close to the tassel.
4. Repeat Steps 2 & 3 to wrap additional color bands around the tassel.
5. Gather the tassel string ends in your fist and trim to a uniform length.
6. Use a brush to separate string into individual yarns. Keep on brushing until the strings separate and are straight (yes, this can take some time!). Then give the yarns an additional trim for uniformity.
7. Repeat Steps 1-7 for additional tassels.
8. Measure the length of your window or fireplace mantle and double this measurement. Cut baker’s twine to this length, and thread the tapestry needle.
9. Thread tassels onto the baker’s twine through the center of the tassel head. Space them out evenly on the string, and hang up your garland!
Follow Sara on Instagram for loads more inspiration and info on her upcoming events + flash sales.
OMG. I can’t believe I’m already writing this, but I’ve got HOLIDAYS on the brain! Our Gold Foil Christmas cards from Mixbook arrived in the mail, and in the spirit of sending out cards, I’ve also been thinking about a way to display cards at our house.
You see, I love giving + getting Holiday cards, but what I haven’t so much loved is hanging all of them up in my house. Until recently I couldn’t find a way to collectively hang them that fit cohesively with our seasonal decor. Usually we designate a basket for them on our dining room china cabinet, but let’s be honest, we rarely look in that basket once the cards are opened. So basically the cards just sit there collecting dust, and where’s the Holiday spirit in that??
This year? This year there will be more card enjoyment and less dust collection at this house. I’ve taken the idea behind the inspiration mood board (you know, the kind you hang at your desk and pin collected snippets to) and created a Holiday edition–a spot for corralling cards from loved ones, patterned paper that’s too pretty to toss, special ornaments, fresh greenery, etc.–all the little things that inspire you throughout the season. Check out this little video on how I made it.
What You Need:
- 2 Nails & Hammer (optional)
- Holiday Cards
- Metal Wall Grid
- Clothes Pins
- Decorative Paper
- Festive Fabric
- Fresh Greenery Branches
- Heritage Bunting
- Christmas Lights
1.Hang the grid on the wall with two nails, or lean it on your tabletop against the wall.
Mood Board Styling 101: Create layers which add depth and interest to your board.
2. Start with a base layer of decorative paper and/or fabric with clothespins. Use larger than greeting card size paper/fabric so that it’s still slightly visible once cards are added.
3. Attach greenery for texture.
4. Begin hanging cards. To help curb the chaos, hang cards straight up and down and not at an angle.
5. Next tie on ornaments and feathers in open spaces or layer them on the cards for additional dimension.
6. Lastly, drape Christmas lights on one side of the board, and add additional Holiday cards as they arrive in the mail!
Here’s a look at our family’s Holiday card from Mixbook we’re sending out this year. About a month ago, we set up a tripod with a timer on the side of our house, just before the sun was about to set, and snapped these pictures of the three of us. We tried alot of takes, and this was the ONLY one where Sylvia was actually looking at the camera. Ha!
Something new this year with Mixbook is their real foil cards. We chose the Holiday Glitter Frame Card, and the gold foil is SO pretty and tasteful in person. I’m really happy with how they turned out.
Not quite ready for Holiday stuff yet? Pin this project for later!
This post was created in partnership with Mixbook. They’re my go-to for Holiday and announcement cards (Remember these?). All ideas are my own.
I have a complex love/hate relationship with the TV. Netflix and of course, The Bachelor, are integral parts of the simple American life we lead, but that black hole of a rectangle throws a big ‘ol wrench in making your media console area look good, am I right? For years, while watching TV at night with my husband, I’ve secretly also been analyzing our media console trying to figure out the best configuration and way to style it out.
Since we all have TV’s, and they’re probably not going any where anytime soon, why not make the most of this area? Today, I’m teaming up with interior designer and vintage curator, Tasha Schultz, of Tchotchkes Design Studio to demystify the process and share concrete tips for creating a balanced composition around the TV.
Let’s take it from the top, shall we? Here’s bare-bones look at my TV area. So sad and cold feeling. The media console is a two piece Besta cabinet from IKEA that we’ve mounted to the wall with a finished height of 31″. The TV is attached to the wall with a pivoting arm mount 11″ above the console. The designer in me wants the TV placed higher on the wall than it is, but the TV watcher in me (and my chiropractor too) want it placed at sitting eye level. We’ve mounted it about 6″ higher than “sitting eye level” as a compromise.
Since this 1936 house of ours has plaster walls in all it’s crumbly glory, we decided not to run the cables behind the wall and instead, run them down through a grommet on the top of the cabinet.
Adding visual interest to your TV area doesn’t have to run you the big bucks. If you follow along on Instagram, you may remember Tasha and I venturing out to one of our favorite thrift stores in Minneapolis, The Salvation Army (North Loop) to look for accessories. With thrifting, you don’t always know what you’re going to find, so we didn’t have specific pieces we were necessarily looking for, we just knew we wanted to add height and texture on either side of the TV and something low slung to hide the Apple TV.
P.S. Are you not dying over Tasha’s vintage plaid dress?! BECAUSE I AM!
Back at my house, we used a combination of our thrifted finds, vintage pieces from Tasha’s Chairish shop, and a few new, store bought elements to turn this sad, naked TV corner into a happily dressed media center. Here are Tasha’s fast and friendly tips to pull everything together:
- Start with Greenery for Height and Texture – On the right of the TV, we’ve used two low maintenance plants in matching plant stands that we found thifting. Plants add a wonderful organic texture and stands give the plants a nice height boost.
- Use a Low Slung Piece Below the Mounted TV – If you have small electronics like an Apple TV that can’t be hidden within a cabinet, use a long and low decorative piece like our wooden horse to keep it out of plain sight.
- Conceal Electronic Cords – Ikea cord covers are less than $10 and can be painted to match your wall color. Done and done.
- Stack Pretty Books for Height and Layering – To the left of the TV we’ve used 2 hardcover books as a platform for grouping accessories.
- Use a Range of Materials and Textures – Marble, wood, brass, terra cotta and greenery all work together to create visual interest and draw your attention away from the TV.
- Get Creative with Unlikely Storage – If your media console is wall mounted or up on legs, capitalize on the space underneath with book storage. They don’t need to be “cool” design books either. Here we’re using a mix of Erin’s college textbooks and new mama books!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever sorted through 1000 YouTube tutorials or read even more DIY blog posts just to figure out how to do a common household repair or improvement? Well pull yourself out of that internet black hole, and join us for a one night DIY Crash Course. I’m teaming up with several local DIY’ers to demystify a variety of home improvement skills IN PERSON. There are a few spots left, so sign up and take 15% off your ticket with promo code: CRASH !
- Wall Treatments
- Wallpaper (I’m heading up this station! We’ll cover recommended tools, installation, removal, and additional resources. Plus, a discount code for 20% off Milton & King wallpaper!)
- Ask an Expert (plumber, electrician, handyman) ask your questions and see demos!
- Test Drive Power Tools
- Drinks and Apps
- Giveaways & More!
See you there!
Anyone else geek out over innovative materials–ones that make you stop and rethink the widely accepted use for a common item? I came across this paper product that’s WASHABLE. Yes, you read that right: Machine Washable. It has a resemblance to leather that ages and patinas with use, but it’s waaaaayyyy easier to sew on than actual leather. (Hint: no broken needles!) I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this stuff and make a grommeted paper leather tote for–you know–toting around town. I used two different colors of paper and added a little surface pattern with fabric paint. I think it came out kinda cool! Read on for more…
Find my full DIY tutorial over at Sugar & Cloth!
A couple things to note: A) Make sure to remove the handles/grommets before washing. B.) If you make it, tag me on Instagram so I can see your rockstar work!
Digging this project? Pin it for later!