Dec
16
2014

The perfect holiday for me is one that is warm, cozy and festive and yet doesn’t add any unnecessary effort or stress to an already chaotic time of year. It should be more about the experience and less about over the top and time consuming décor that gets in the way of memory making and time with my family.

I think achieving this elusive balance is always the goal for me, with our busy lives, large extended family and no less than 16 birthdays between the months of October and January. Of course this is certainly much easier said than done, most of the time. 

White + Gold Candle Holders - In Store Only

This year I have held hard and fast to this notion of an easy and effortless holiday and have decorated with gorgeous holiday décor from my BFF’s at Target. Their holiday collection blends seamlessly with my existing everyday décor and will look amazing well after the holidays are over and I still haven’t managed to take things down. This is of course a crucial component in my plan for less chaos and stress.  

White Small Candle Holder / White Large Candle Holder / Gold Small Candle Holder / Gold Large Candle Holder

If everything I add to my home will look just as good in February as it will in December, then it is a keeper in my book. I have found that the ideal balance between effortless holiday décor and capturing that warm holiday feeling, for me, is in fact a streamlined smattering of festive details and is how I define a modern holiday. My modern holiday is easy and carefree and still looks amazing alongside all of the décor I have worked so hard to create during the rest of the year. 

Bottle Brush Tree Large / Bottle Brush Tree Small / Happy Holidays Glittery Garland / 4.5' Prelit Tree

Sometimes keeping things simple means getting creative with my décor. I like to add a handmade touch to my tree and mantle, but I don’t always have the time to do this. This year I let the folks at Target do the heavy lifting for me, and I added those handmade touches by choosing decorations that are unique and made from natural materials. Glittery paper garlands hung from the mantle and cut into sections to adorn my tree add just the right amount of texture and don’t require any significant time investment on my part. Perhaps semi-homemade is a more appropriate turn of phrase as even some adorable wooden snowflake and tree shaped gift tags I found became the most gorgeous ornaments. Beautiful bottle brush trees grace my hearth and add a bit of that wintery feeling with ease and elegance. I used shimmery tablecloth for a tree skirt and added just the right amount of shine without stealing the show.

 

A cookies and milk station for Santa along with a note from each of my boys is always a holiday favorite in our house. The holiday dinner and barware pieces in this collection make this experience just a bit more special and filled with the type of holiday spirit that I truly adore which is that of gorgeous details and stylish holiday fun.

Faux Fur Stool / Snowflake Tall Tumbler / Snowflake Short Tumbler / Mercury Glass Salad Plate / Gold Porcelain Dipping Bowl / Gold Glitter Tree Large / Gold Glitter Tree Small / Polar Bear Figurine

My home is both festive and carefree with these easy holiday pieces and it has taken much of the thought and effort out of the process. I could not be more glad of that… now that I am finished with most of my holiday chores, I’m off to sit by the fire and watch my boys fight over who gets to redecorate the tree for the eighteenth time. Please tell me your kiddos do this too? It’s a wonder anything ever stays in the same spot longer than a minute. At least if everything coordinates, I suppose it doesn’t matter much if my holiday trimmings end up in a different place every hour on the hour, and it certainly makes things fun for my babes to get involved in dressing our home this time of year.

Faux Fur Throw / Fur Pillow / Bottle Brush Tree / Glittery Garland / Silver Garland / Tablecloth

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

 

Dec
09
2014
Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

I’m back after a crazy busy weekend to share the story of how four pieces of art transformed two rooms and made one gal a very happy girl.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

My living room wall began like this... I only showed you a small portion of this wall because the remainder is very vast and was very lonely and sparse feeling.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

And then it all came together to look like this! Yahoo... I added two gorgeous prints, Inner Light from Kristi Kohut and Sand from Melissa Douglas, and they gave this wall a more modern and youthful look and certainly brought the happy to this space!

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

I made you guys a little animated view so you can see the pieces come together. From start to finish this space now feels full and complete with art that is unique and special. But of course I didn't stop here....

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

Gazing upon this temporary gallery wall bummed me out every single day so I decided to take on the enormous wall I began in my Master Bedroom several months back, and gave this space a bit of special as well.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

The transformation here is pretty significant, especially in person. I added Marbled Wake by SylvieCeres Designs and Organism 1b by VeryMarta and they make me smile every time I head upstairs. It feels pretty special to have these pieces in this space.

Weekend Wall Challenge Reveal // $500 Sweepstakes and the Domino + Minted Art Collection

The animated version of this cute puzzle is so fun. You guys, it feels so grownup to have real art by real artists on my walls. Everytime I complete a project like this I have that moment of 'why didn't I do this earlier' and I hope that some of you experience this feeling too... So join me in a challenge of your own and get on that lonely little wall you have ignored for far to long! To make it that much more fun, we will be giving one of you lucky folks some art to make a gorgeous gallery wall of your own! Share your adventure with us using the hashtag #dmhappywalls and be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential @dominomag and @minted on instagram as you share your journey toward cute walls.

In honor of the new collection, I’m hosting a $500 giveaway with domino and Minted! Just hop over to check out the 75 new pieces and then comment on this post with an art piece you might choose, should you win. Then click here to enter the sweepstakes. Good luck!

 

Dec
04
2014
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

This partnership and giveaway are sponsored by The Home Depot, Yahoo. All crazy talk and thoughts are my own.

It looks like some of you are definitely on Santa's Good List this year, because at the end of this story, one of you is going to win a $500 gift card to The Home Depot, yahoo!

I had the pleasure of hosting November's #DIHWorkshop at the Elk Grove store,one of Sacramento's local Home Depot locations, and it was a glorious!

Swag Bags from HGTV at The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

There was swag for all, in cute bags, galore.

You must head to your nearest workshop this month to see what is in store.

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

We gave our introductions - that is me on the left - then we got straight into our project! Our fearless leader David, that is him on the right... just in case you couldn't tell, walked us through the general project steps and I could tell that our amazing group was equal parts excited and a bit nervous about getting to use power tools! Truthfully, this is my favorite thing because I have found that I love to watch people come to the realization that they can actually do this sort of thing. Power tools are empowering, that is just the heart of the matter.

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

David brilliantly printed out his drawing of the measurements for the letters J, O, and Y. With this he showed us how to use a T-Square to recreate the letters on our plywood. It sounds trivial perhaps, but trust me when I say that it is a detail that is easily overlooked and has the potential to cause a bit of a headache if not addressed. The letters are larger than a standard sheet of paper, so unless you scale them down you aren't able to print and cut out a template. Drawing them out is the best solution and he made this step easy!

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

Then onto the real deal... It was time for everyone to get to try out the jig saw. I could tell this was initially the part folks were nervous about, but they got to see just how easy it is. They also got a few tips from me about how to maintain control of the saw and use it to their greatest advantage. For any of you who have used a jig saw, you already know how they can shake your head loose if you don't maintain pressure throughout your cuts.

We were shown how to make the pilot hole for cutting out the inside of the O, such good stuff!

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

We talked trimmings of a woodsy variety and our group got to use one of my favorite tools of all time- the Ryobi Cordless Airstrike Nail Gun - to nail on the perimeter trim that frames out the marquee sign. That thing is addicting. I could see it start to take hold of each of the people who gave it a whirl. You just don't want to stop. In fact, you might find yourself looking for reasons to use it and when all else fails... making them up entirely! The letters were nailed in place and everyone was seeing things really come together at this point.

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

While our letters had already been drilled for light placement, so they could be painted inside the holes ahead of time, your version at home will likely get holes after they are secured. If you prefer to drill through the letters in advance, then paint them fully, then once they are secured to the back board you can drill carefully through your premade holes to create a hole in the same spot through the back plywood sheet.

Just look at that gorgeous sawdust. Sawdust smells like progress and productivity, don't you think?

The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop
The Design Confidential Huge How-To Holiday Giveaway + The Home Depot DIH Workshop

When you are ready to string your lights, you will likely have to remove the globe portion so you can fit the lights in and through your holes. When you put the globe portion back on, it will help hold the lights in place so do this as you go along! You can use a little epoxy to secure the base of the lights to the hole so that they don't move around. If you prefer to have your string of lights be less permanent, you can of course simply pull things nice and tight on the backside and use a staple gun to carefully secure it. Yahoo, that is all she wrote... except there were some awesome prizes including our group project and another identical sign and some gift cards as well! Yay! So many winners... and now you boys and girls have a chance to win a huge holiday prize of $500 to The Home Depot! The entry form should show below, if it doesn't, simply refresh. I provided a great many methods for entry so that no one feels left out! Do them all, or do just one, regardless I wish you all the very best luck!

PRIZE // $500 Gift Card to The Home Depot

WINNER // One winner will be drawn at random from the Rafflecopter entries below. It's all very civilized and technical, you know?

GIVEAWAY // This giveaway ends at midnight on December 10, 2014 and the winner will be notified via email later that morning. Make sure the email you use to sign in to Rafflecopter or Disqus (for comments) is valid and regularly checked! It would be sad to miss out on your prize!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

// Make this year a how-to holiday. The Home Depot is the destination for the tools and supplies to deck your halls without the hassle.

// The Home Depot can share the skills and confidence to be a first class do-it-yourselfer. In-store workshops are a great way to get step-by-step instructions and hands-on experience learning to do simple décor and easy home improvements. 

// Do-It-Herself (DIH) Workshops are held monthly at all The Home Depot store locations and empower women to take their home improvement project plans from dreams to done. 

// Clear your calendar and grab your girlfriends the third Thursday of each month for The Home Depot’s DIH Workshop. This interactive, hands-on workshop is a great opportunity to fine tune your DIY skills and pick up tips and advice from the pros for all of your home improvement projects.

Note

This partnership and giveaway are sponsored by The Home Depot, Yahoo. All crazy talk and thoughts are my own. The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their DIH Workshop program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Nov
26
2014
The Design Confidential Home for Holidays // Easy Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte Recipe

If you happen to know me in real life, you probably know all about my love for sweet treats and coffee. This is a love that runs deep and seems to have come straight down the line, directly from my mom and her mom before her. When we are home for the holidays and together, there is nothing better than having amazing coffee shop style lattes alongside my pie. Last week I got a fancy new coffee machine and being able to make my own lattes just the way I like them, has essentially rocked my world.

Coffee Capsules in the Nespresso VertuoLine The Design Confidential Home for Holidays // Easy Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte Recipe

Nespresso VertuoLine has 12 capsule varieties - 8 large cup coffee flavors and 4 espresso varieties, and in truth any of these will work beautifully for this recipe, though I definitely play favorites to the hazelnut and vanilla. This smart little machine can tell which capsule you insert and will serve accordingly, so if you choose one of the espresso capsules, for instance, you will have quite a bit more room left in your coffee cup than if you choose a coffee capsule, so consider this when you choose your capsule and when you choose your cup. In other words... you will need a larger cup to accommodate a coffee capsule and the remaining ingredients for this recipe.

Brewed Coffee for Nespresso VertuoLine by The Design Confidential Home for Holidays // Easy Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte Recipe

PUMPKIN SPICE EGGNOG LATTE

Serves 4 - Double or Halve as needed.

// Coffee or Espresso

// 16 oz of Eggnog

// 1/2 cup of Pumpkin Pie Puree

// 4 oz of Spiced Rum - optional

Begin by brewing your capsule of choice. The beauty of the Nespresso VertuoLine is that each person can choose the variety they prefer so those who like decaf or maybe an extra kick, can have precisely that.

Eggnog Pumpkin Pie Puree for Nespresso VertuoLine by The Design Confidential Home for Holidays // Easy Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte Recipe

Start by adding the pumpkin pie puree to the eggnog in a large shaker or carafe with a lid. Add spiced rum if you prefer the boozy version of this after dinner treat, and mix well by shaking.

Frothy Pumpkin Spice Eggnog using the Aeroccino+ by The Design Confidential Home for Holidays // Easy Pumpkin Spice Eggnog Latte Recipe

Pour about 4 - 5 oz of the eggnog mixture into the Aeroccino+ and set for warm froth. If you want an iced coffee drink, choose the cool froth option of course... that would be amazing as well! Once it is finished frothing, pour the contents into the brewed coffee or espresso, that is likely to have finished it's pour, and stir with a spoon. Serve with a dash of cinnamon or a bit of whipped cream and you will be the hostess with the mostess for many a holiday party to come.

Note

This project was created in partnership with Nespresso, but my love for sweet treats, coffee and their VertuoLine is all my own! Thank you for supporting the amazing sponsors who allow me to create exciting and tasty new content like this. I heart you guys!

Nov
11
2014
Details of The Design Confidential Entryway Update for Honeywell Lyric Thermostat with iPad iPhone App

 

The Design Confidential Entryway Update for Honeywell Lyric Thermostat with iPad iPhone App

Jackets, scarves, shoes and keys all need a clear and present place to live that feels easy to access and looks out of sight. I prefer not to see clutter and chaos — it makes for a much more welcoming place to come home to at the end of the day or a business trip. I am a creature of habit for the most part, but having a place for Mr. TDC to put his keys and wallet helps him keep track of them so he doesn't spend 20 minutes on the hunt each time he tries to walk out the door. At the moment, I am on the hunt for a small tray and a few vintage hooks to add to this space, and once I source the right pieces, this area will be complete — until I switch things up again, which I am known to do rather frequently.

View of City from Airplane Leaving for Business Trip and The Design Confidential Entryway Update for Honeywell Lyric Thermostat with iPad iPhone App

With the nature of our work, both the Mr. and I see a great many sunrises and sunsets from jet-plane windows. If we aren't traveling as a family, it is a fair guess that I am away for business and he is overwhelmed by all of the little things required to run the household with any sort of sanity. With the rise of smart technology for the home, there are quite a few things I can do from my phone or tablet while I am on the go. Every little bit counts when you are caring for two little boys and trying to work simultaneously, so when I can use an app from abroad to keep our home running smoothly, we are both all the merrier for it. I don’t have to hand over a to-do list a mile long, and our utility bills aren't going to skyrocket with no one manning the controls or remembering to turn things off when they aren't in use.

Coordinating Modern Devices for The Design Confidential Entryway Update for Honeywell Lyric Thermostat with iPad iPhone App
Lyric Thermostat App in Use for The Design Confidential Entryway Update for Honeywell Lyric Thermostat with iPad iPhone App

I recently installed a Lyric Thermostat by Honeywell, makers of the original round thermostat, and it has already earned major brownie points in my book. Not only does it look cute with its gorgeous face and white mirror finish, but I can program it to adjust throughout the day and night automatically and from my mobile devices, which I adore.

Lyric Thermostat in Various States of Use and Functionality for The Design Confidential Entryway Update for Honeywell Lyric Thermostat with iPad iPhone App

I can even make changes on the go using the app if we decide to take an impromptu trip somewhere spectacular. Since it lives in our newly styled and organized entryway, which is quite a jaunt downstairs from the master bedroom, being able to sit in bed and turn up the heat when a cold front moves in is nothing short of lovely. No need to drag my cold toes out from under a warm blanket in the middle of the night just to make sure Baby Bird isn't freezing at the other end of the hall. Everyone is happy and most importantly well rested.

View of Sunset over New York City from Airplane Window and The Design Confidential Entryway Update for Honeywell Lyric Thermostat with iPad iPhone App

I much prefer to focus on a view like this than worry about missing my plane because I couldn't remember to turn on the porch lights or turn down the thermostat. Being able to travel in comfort is certainly one of life’s little luxuries.

Sources

Lyric Thermostat / Honeywell

Baskets for Shoe Storage / HomeGoods

Copper Planter / Smith + Hawken for Target

Black Candle Holder / Dot + Bo

Vase / Vintage

Table / Vintage

Copper Coat Rack / DIY - coming soon

Accent Rug / HomeGoods

Oct
27
2014
The Design Confidential DIY // A 6 Second No-Sew Pillow Vine Video with Lowes

I'm back! Did you miss me? Did you notice I was missing in action? No? Shucks... Well you just might have noticed this project from a little while back, and if not, feel free to check it out... I shall be here! 

Design 
TDC 

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