Christmas Party Prep

Holiday Mantle

One of the best things about getting more space is having room for friends to visit.  I no longer need to rotate people from hallway to bathroom to dining table in the duration of an evening (I kid).  So I threw a small holiday gathering last night and it did double duty:  I got to host many friends at once and try my hand at some new appies, and it forced my butt into gear regarding much-needed design decisions.

Fresh Direct – plus the fact that the liquor store delivers – made the food and drink part manageable.  For the food, I made everything.  Catering can be nice but I happen to love prep work.  I’m one of those people who fantasizes about piping deviled egg filling from a pastry bag into perfect swirls.  (If you haven’t tried it, it’s pretty gratifying). As for decor, my biggest mission was to make sure the living room was up to snuff.  This meant furniture re-arranging, garland-hanging, and committing to a carpet.

Ahhh commitment!  If you remember, I’d been searching for the right coral-toned rug for my living room.  But over time, I saw that there’s a lot going on visually in the space, and didn’t need more pattern on the floor.  Between the bookshelves and pops of color from my chairs, something more neutral would be easier on the eyes.

So my new pink rug I just picked up at ABC (and would love to use in another space) is, unfortunately, out:

Pink Carpet by Madeline Weinrib

And this new gem from West Elm is IN:

Jute Rug in Platinum, by West Elm

I love it!   It lends a neutral backdrop yet still imparts some visual interest given its nubby texture and slight sheen.  And it feels surprisingly soft to the touch despite being made from jute.  And I have to say, West Elm has redeemed itself as a favorite retailer since my wobbly-full-bed-frame-purchase-of-2007.  Here are some more pics of the living room, pre-party.  I’ll refrain from showing any from the day after… : )


I labeled the platters with Post-it notes about a minute after taking this pic.  (Yes, it’s extremely type-A.  My Aunt Jo would be so proud!)



On a Mission: Carpeting

One of the lessons I’ve picked up about design schemes is to start with the floors, and work your way up from there to create a cohesive space.  Ie, find a good carpet that you love, and pull from it, letting it dictate the color palette and style of the room.

I was set on finding a coral carpet, the perfect shade of bright, “off red” that would complement my accessories and breathe life into the living room.  I had my heart set on the below Brooke pattern from Madeline Weinrib in Pink, but not only is it overpriced, the 8×10′ has been out of stock for awhile (probably a sign):

Brooke Carpet in Pink

So I just Zipcar-ed it out to the ABC Carpet & Home Warehouse this weekend in the Bronx and was blown away.  What a place.  It’s spilling with cast-offs from the pricier flagship store in the Flatiron, and there’s a full floor devoted to rugs.  Here are three frontrunners I pulled:


They’re all close to what I’m looking for, but not close enough.  But they say those with an open mind are rewarded!  I found a cute lamp (on the floor, above) that’s already made its way onto a bookshelf:

ABC Lamp

…and a new coffee table as well.  A mirror-topped neoclassical shape that brings a strong masculinity to my space:

Coffee Table

You’ll notice it’s resting on my current carpet.  Babysteps..