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17 December 2014

A Red and Green Bedroom for Christmas (Yes, green carpeting...)

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Welcome to our master bedroom.
There are 1,2,3,4,maybe 5 things I love about this space.
There are 2 things I kind of hate.  Can you guess what they are?

Many thanks to Martha Stewart at Macy's Collection for providing bedding for editorial use.


Let's start out with the positives, shall we??

1.  I love our mattress and mattress topper.  It is super duper soft (and fairly cheap...a memory foam from Costco) and gets firm when the bedroom is cold.  Lovely.  In fact, we invested in good mattresses at the expense of actual BEDS.  For about 6-7 years, we have had a box spring, mattress and topper on the floor with a headboard screwed onto the wall (you can see it at our old house HERE).

2. ...which leads us to the BED.  That 4 poster was a Craigslist find.  It is an IKEA bed that IKEA no longer sells and it is EXACTLY what I wanted.  It may change colors in the future, but for now, it is the perfect shape for this large room and anchors the middle section of the room perfectly.

3. Let's dive into the bedding, shall we?  ...because we all know it matters not whether the walls are lime green or puke yellow at night, but it DOES matter how soft the blanket is you are sleeping under.  THIS blanket, dear friends, could make the ugliest room on Earth divine.


The top side is knit sweater material and the flip side is the softest, warmest plush ever.
 I want one of these throws in every room of the house.  EVERY room.


4. See that sunlight over in the corner (above)?  That is "like" #4.  This bedroom has little french doors that open onto balconies.  I can't wait until spring when they are open ALL the time.  For now, they are sealed shut for winter, but frame the bed visually quite nicely.

5.  THE SPACE.  This bedroom is huge.  In fact, it is far larger than we need, so I am thinking of ways to properly utilize the space.  A kid's bed for when they get scared at night?  A sewing table?  Desk for writing?  Planting station for those balconies?

The Negatives:


1.  THE SPACE.  While the space is a definite luxury, it is also a challenge design wise.

2.  THE GREEN CARPET.  You saw it right?  Yes, it is GREEN.  GREEN green.

3.  THE RED WALLS.  Red walls + green carpeting.  Hello Christmas! 
 Since neither the walls nor the carpeting was going to be swapped out before Christmas,
 I decided to jump on the holiday festive wagon and go whole hog with red and green bedding, anchored by neutrals.


The sheets are from the  Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's and are called 'Aracdia Stripe'. The adorable pine pattern pillowcase is called 'Pine Branch'.  They are currently on sale and have a 15% discount on them, so now is the time to jump on that price!  If you have purchased flannel sheets before, you know that sometimes they can be scratchy before they are washed.  By the time you wash them enough to get them soft, they start to get "pilly".  Not so with these luxury sheets.  Soft out of the package and super soft after the first wash.  They warm up the bed all winter long and serve as a beautiful base for more colorful linens on top of the bed.


 NOW.  The bed is decked out for Christmas, warm and cozy for long winter nights and there is all that space to work with.  What are the next steps for this room?  Well, the carpet is a much bigger investment to tackle than painting the walls, so the paint can will come first and I am thinking a nice fresh slate of WHITE will be the direction I go in.  (NOTE:  Our home was a Bed and Breakfast previously and the red and green worked perfectly with the classic furnishings and Victorian stylings -- just not for our style).

The carpet will stay for awhile and perhaps a rug with greens, whites and other neutrals will break up the sea of forest floor.  The windows already have new bamboo blinds that will go up shortly and there are many choices about how the room functions and what furniture will be needed to meet those functions.  Stay tuned!

Until then, grab a warm throw and a cup of hot chocolate and get ready for Christmas. 
 It is only 8 days away!  EIGHT DAYS!

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16 December 2014

Plants that Transistion through Christmas and the Tale of a Bat

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This is the story of a bat skeleton, surprise electricity, twinkle lights and pixies. THAT is where this story begins...
Thanks to The Southern Living Plant Collection for providing the following plants for editorial use.

Sunshine Ligustrum

Everillo Carex

Loropetalum Purple Pixie

Soft Caress Mahonia

 Angyo Star Fatshedera 



The real magic of plants indoors is when they are LIT UP.  Without the sun dancing hither and thither between leaves, branches and flowers, plants lose a little of their magic.  LIGHT gives it back to them.


The Angyo Star (above) really seemed to benefit from twinkle lights...but more on that later.


There are two of these stone planter areas on either side of the main staircase.  Under that brown plywood is this:


OH and a bat skeleton too :)  YAY!
On the bright side, I found two watersafe outlets on each side as well, so YAY for real!


The first thing I did was put back two Mandevilla plants that my in laws are letting me borrow for the winter.  they are quite large and have a strong deep green color.  They anchored each plant grouping perfectly.  The smaller of the two is pictured here, and I combined it with the Angyo Star Fatshedera to give the arrangement some height.


As you can see, the other side didn't need the height as much because THIS Mandevilla is HUGE, tall and very "viney".  I decided to place my second highest interest plant here, smack dab in the middle. The lime green of the Ligustrum is the sunshine punch this side needed.  Contrasting with that punch in the face is the soft and flowing purple pixie and a couple smaller greens filled out this second pot.



The purple really fades into the stone, so I combated that tendency with two techniques.  The first was to place another strong color in the same reddish tones -- in this case a seasonal poinsettia.  The second was with LIGHTS.  Adding a strand of twinkle lights through the purple pixie makes it come alive!  The ligustrum doesn't need the help, but darker foliage plants really benefit.


Case in point:

Now we take a little break, step back and evaluate.NOTE: This was NOT mess free.  NOT.

...but all worth it...

Note the teensy tiny little poinsettia on the far left -- she is a pixie!
The Norfolk Pines made an appearance too!
 ...especially at night!


See that pretty red on the right?  That is a fluffy, frilly 'Christmas Rose' poinsettia.  Pretty right?


I accented my base collection of plants with the pops of red for:

A: General Christmas FestivenessandB: Coordination with the Christmas Tree (see photo of limes and reds on tree above)


Once the poinsettias stop the color show, I will attempt to root a few while focusing on the purples and limes for winter accents.  
Here is how the colors broke down:


Note that the white poinsettia offers a yellowish counterpart to the sunshine ligustrum across the staircase.  Also note that each color has three plants flower OR leaf color) and each color forms a triangle, not a row.


The effect is a calm feeling arrangement that seems to "make sense" visually, but also feels a bit random like nature.


Time for the MVPs!

A. The Angyo Star Fatshedera.  First of all, the leaves look like stars -- how festive!  They are more beautiful in person than on film and the height they add is majestic, yet light.  I am a major fan.



B. LIGHTS.  In general ALL lights, but in particular THESE little Martha Stewart twinkle "moon lights" disappear into the foliage and twinkle and blink for utter magic.  Really.  I cannot encourage you to put lights in your plants enough.  The "uplighting" in each corner are simple cheap desk lamps and they make SUCH a difference.  Add light.  Even if it is not Christmas anymore.  Leave the twinkle lights alone.

C.  The Poinsettias.  They are so "Christmasey" and seasonal, but I love them all winter long -- particularily the "whites".  I also love the rilly 'Christmas Rose' and the "pixies".  So much more variety than the simple red poinsettias of old, yes?


Again, here are the links for all the Southern Living Plant Collection plants with notes on care and zones, etc.


Everillo CarexSoft Caress Mahonia Angyo Star Fatshedera Loropetalum Purple PixieSunshine LigustrumChef's Choice Rosemary
Also pictured:
Norfolk Pine (from THIS POST)The Christmas Tree (from Treetopia)LIGHTS including THESE Martha Stewart lights

For additional ideas and plants, please check out these Southern Living Collection partners:

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LAST MINUTE Printable Christmas Gift Tags

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Last contributor post of the season!! We are starting to wind down here at the Nest and focus on celebrating the birth of Jesus. A few more posts this week and then we are signing off until the New Year! We have a couple last minute ideas for you, starting with Aki's adorable little gift tags. She has made a FREE printable for you, so get that inkjet loaded and start printing!!  Take it away Aki >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

LAST MINUTE PRINTABLE CHRISTMAS GIFT TAGS

If you're anything like me, chances are you'd still be wrapping Christmas gifts to give to friends and family. I have a bad habit of leaving things to the last minute, and when Christmas comes, I'm up to my eyeballs with work and decorating and life in general. I also have a problem with choosing which gift wrap to use for my gifts - there are tons of cute gift wrappers out there (not to mention the pretty printable ones too). Most of the time, I find it difficult to match cute tags with them, so I made a couple of printable tags in different colors that you guys may want to use (if you're still wrapping gifts). 

LAST MINUTE Printable Christmas Gift Tags

I am loving a teal/red combo this year so that's what I used for the majority of the gifts I'm wrapping, but I also used the black ones as well (they're great for chalkboard-looking gift wrappers). Print them yourself or have them printed at Staples or Kinko's - I had mine printed at Staples and they looked great!

LAST MINUTE Printable Christmas Gift Tags

The printable comes in a pdf format, yours to use personally, as always. Don't forget to download them here
I thought it would be fun to make some embellish-able striped ones as well - you can find and download them on my blog!

LAST MINUTE Printable Christmas Gift Tags

Are you a procrastinator like me or are you done with all your Christmas-wrapping? 


Visit Aki's {amazing and OH so cute} blog at Minted Strawberry
then go give her a little love on facebook or pinterest

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