The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

This post is brought to you by Pier 1 Imports.

A party just isn’t a party without gorgeous décor and special treats for your guests to delight in. This wintry holiday season, I am partnering with Pier 1 to help spread some holiday cheer with inspiration for your next holiday shindig. With just a bit of prep and some stylish accessories, you can transform your party from bleak to chic and perhaps even leave yourself free to enjoy the party right alongside your guests.

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Lay the foundation!

I like to use my existing home décor as the starting point for holiday décor. This gives me a direction for color and style and lets me build on that to create a beautiful and chic look that feels intentional and complete. I will scatter chic wintry details like faux snow and frosted pine branches throughout my home and then turn my focus toward creating those special entertaining moments that will excite my guests and delight their senses. The chic matte gold bar ware and tool set are absolutely perfect for a self-serve drink station and with their beautiful, subtle finish and amazing quality, these pieces absolutely top my list as a holiday party must-have! Truly. The faux fur table runner sets a stylish wintery scene and secretly catches drips for your rotating mixologists. Daring decorative touches like the metallic party crackers dangling from the glittery ornament tree, create a dual function focal point for your fabulous party station, and help your guests find their way to the fun – which is of course, both in the party crackers themselves and the surrounding setup. A perfect ice breaker, the party crackers help get the party started and set the tone with a wine charm, a joke, and party hat for each to don.

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Put it all out there and leave no stone unturned!

I try to have everything set out and at arm’s length so I don’t need to play bartender or server throughout the evening. Single-serve and easy-serve food and drink options make it easy to grab, nibble and go. This leaves everyone more time to mingle with new friends and old. The gorgeous striped plates and adorable coasters are so chic you won’t want to toss them out, but naturally they help make the cleanup painless, which is always fabulous. I love to scatter about a set of stylish bowls and plates, filled to the brim with chic edibles. With the visual excitement already happening on the table, I chose to keep these neutral with gorgeous bowls and plates in the most perfect shade of gray. Adding a neutral to my color scheme is a fabulous way to ground the high contrast white, gold and black that are so prominent otherwise and should help entice my party goers to throw caution to the wind for one night of indulgence. These stylish paper products have celebration written all over them and together with the gorgeous bowls and plates in grey are simply the perfect party pairing for enjoying the sweets and nostalgic treats that only come around during the holidays.

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Mix it up but keep it straight!

A glamorous mix of patterns on your drink ware is not only chic, it will help everyone keep tabs on their drinks throughout the evening. The Luna Double Old-Fashioned glasses, with their glamorous gold starbursts and gorgeous plaid stripes, are so fabulous you will want to work them into your entertaining regime forevermore. While you keep your champagne on ice, a monogrammed stopper is nice! The champagne flutes, each with a different worldly salutation, have an understated elegance that is sure to make your bubbly even more special with a fun reminder to toast to good health and a night well enjoyed. Cin Cin, Cheers and Salud!

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Put it on ice, a signature cocktail is nice!

Along with champagne and chic treats to eat, no party is complete without a special cocktail creation. I try to choose a concoction I can prep easily beforehand and isn’t too difficult for my guests to recreate later. This is a great way to show off your skills as an entertaining genius and is such a fun addition to the standard beverage selection. Presentation is key, and with stylish and inspired glassware and bar ware, crafting a libation that is clever becomes fun (like my Naughty and Nice Holiday Mules - coming later this week!) and will add to the ambiance and get the conversation flowing like nothing else!

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

When seconds and thirds are in great demand, if you have everything your guests need to craft their own drinks at the ready, they will be mixing and mingling the jingle bell way in no time. The matte gold bar tools and accessories lay the foundation for your self-serve cocktail station and provide both a good looking and sophisticated way to measure, pour, and pop some bottles with glee. Fabulous small square bowls are a chic way to display a cocktail garnish or a mid-evening treat and look amazing surrounded by a sprinkling of snow and a smattering of frosted pine and eucalyptus branches.

The Design Confidentials An Easy Recipe for a Chic Holiday Party

Chic décor, stylish self-servebar ware, and party crackers galore –does indeed a fabulous party make. Add your favorite people and mix, for a wonderful evening, enjoyed by all – but especially by you, since you won’t be stuck behind the bar watching your guests have all the fun! Pier 1 is seriously knocking it out of the park this holiday season with fabulous and festive accessories that will elevate your party, no matter the occasion.

Essentials from Target for The Design Confidential Feeling Fall // Essentials for Creating a Cozy Mantel

We had a brief moment last week, where the temperatures dropped slightly and it was rainy and overcast. It was glorious and just a taste of what is to come. It left me wanting nothing more than to sit by the fire and snuggle in with my boys. So naturally, my mantel is the first area of my home to get a seasonal update.

My favorite way to usher in any new season is to add a few easy pieces to my fireplace mantel that have the feel and color palette I am craving.  No major sweeping changes, just a smattering of new details to create the perfect ambiance. Target is my first stop when I need change in my home, and I never leave empty handed, or without an overflowing cart full of gorgeous décor. My recent field trip there to find some fabulous fall accessories for a seasonal update was no exception. I found so many amazing pieces to help me set the mood for the coming months.

This fall I am coveting simple and pared back decor with natural elements and warm subdued brassy touches. I always adore a timeless black and white look, and this season I am giving this classic a fresh take by adding neutral and natural decor, graphic geometric lines, and warm brassy metallic accessories.

Light Sparkle and Natural Elements from Target for The Design Confidential Feeling Fall // Essentials for Creating a Cozy Mantel

Must Have Essentials for bringing a warm and cozy feel to your Mantel //

Light / As the days begin to grow shorter and a the temperatures begin to drop, having more light and warmth in your home is necessary. I add a bit of both by lighting a fire in my fireplace. When a fire isn’t possible, I love to add an extra light fixture or two to my space. Since I love to do something unexpected, adding a lamp or pair of lamps to my mantel is one of my favorite ways to spice things up and add a bit more functionality to my room.

Subdued Sparkle / Since the Winter Holidays tend to require an overabundance of sparkle, by nature, I like to get my feet wet by adding a bit of warm subdued sparkle to my home during fall. Muted gold and brass is a great way to amp up that cozy feeling I am craving this time of year. The beautiful and unassuming ceramic bowl on the mantel provides just a hint of what's inside with it's gorgeous gold rimmed edge. 

Natural Elements / Nothing says fall to me like changing leaves and sparse branches so I love to add natural elements to my mantle, and bring a bit of the outdoors in. This creates the perfect textural layer to my decor.

Comfort and Simplicity from Target for The Design Confidential Feeling Fall // Essentials for Creating a Cozy Mantel

Comfort / As a family, we spend quite a bit of time on the floor. I suppose that comes with the territory when you have young children, especially boys. The boys are mesmerized by a nice fire in the fireplace, so adding a plush rug in front of the hearth and having a soft chunky cable-knit throw and several throw pillows within reach is the ideal way to entice the adults to join in and gather around to spend some quality time unplugged and enjoying each other.

Simplicity / With the chaos that is typical during the summer months, the Fall is when I want nothing more than simple uncluttered décor and life to move a slower pace. This time of year is my calm before the storm of the winter months, so unfussy surroundings that are easy to maintain and enjoy, bring me great pleasure.

Taste of Fall from Target for The Design Confidential Feeling Fall // Essentials for Creating a Cozy Mantel

Taste / We are a home filled entirely with boys, with the exception of me, so naturally food is something of a large focus here. The fall just happens to bring all of the flavors that I love most, from apple to pumpkin spice to every fall-inspired drink and baked good in between. These things provide a taste of the season that is so very welcome after the blistering summer months here. I always have healthy and easy to prepare food in my home, but during the fall this is one area where I love to do away with convenience and take the time to make and bake from scratch. It’s actually the only time of year I tend to do this so I try to keep these flavors close at hand and a cute accent table near the hearth is ideal for this. A well placed pitcher and ice bucket take an otherwise standard daily ritual to the next level and make it a bit more special. There is something magical about picking apples and choosing pumpkins as a family, and then making those fall fresh things into a sweet treat. It forces me to slow down and focus on nothing more than the task at hand and that is nearly impossible to do otherwise.

Are you excited to celebrate the cooler months? Do you have any family traditions that you are excited to rekindle once the fall season begins? How will you add a taste of fall to your home this season? I am a summertime loving gal, but it never fails that the soft metallics and natural elements of fall always pull me in. Bring on the gorgeous hues of changing leaves and a fire in the fireplace… I am finally ready.

This post is sponsored by Target. Shop Home Décor for modern luxury made easy.

Bowl / Applique Pillow / Fur Pillow / Gold Wire and Wood Table / Spotted Ceramic Vase / Chunky Cable-Knit Throw / Stainless Steel Pitcher

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Valentine's Day Inspired Table-Scape

I used 4 silk flowers (counted by the number of stems, since one stem can have multiple flowers) that remained from the making of my bouquet and trimmed 3 of them down to bud vase height. A couple of the stems had more than one flower on them, so I removed the extras and I beheaded the 4th stem completely. I placed a series of mint julep cups (these can be purchased inexpensively, are fabulous as vases and obviously beautiful for drinking out of as well) around the table for that tarnished silver ambiance that I find soooo romantic and added a votive candle to each. If you have never paid attention to this before, take a look at any silver you may have, that has not been recently polished...pinks, browns, greens...its beautiful!

I used the china from my wedding registry, which has a beautiful romantic quality to the design, and mixed and unmatched estate silver at each place setting (also tarnished on the handles a bit).

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I was feeling the need for a sweet cupcake inspired table for my little family's Valentine's Day dinner. I took the remainder of my color story from my wedding bouquet (to be shown at a later date with a DIY tutorial) and added elements from around my house that I already had.

I keep a silver (yes tarnished) candelabra in the center of my table, most of the time, and two silver candle sticks on either side of it. So other than setting the table and scattering a few added elements a table-scape can come together fairly quickly.

I added 2 jar candles that formerly sat atop my wall piano, and then scattered the leaves and branches from a few of the silk flowers around the center of the table as well.

Then I added cupcakes to each place setting and a few to the table-scape as well and voila...beautiful table!

This table-scape would also work well for a tea party theme or girl's's a celebration of pinks, browns, greens and whites.

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