Ten things that made me happy in December

cute chunky smiley face snowflake

cute chunky smiley face snowflake

  • Falling snow will always make me happy.  I love nothing better than to stand in a quiet spot on the mountain and simply listen to the sound the snow makes when it hits the trees and the ground.  Heaven!  Click on this link and experience the sound and sight of falling snow for yourself.
  • The announcement of this year’s Color of the Year by Pantone–Greenery.  I love this shade of green and am way ahead of the game as I recovered the bench at the foot of my bed in this color green velvet  3 years ago.  You will be seeing a lot of this color in the next year and don’t be afraid to introduce a touch of it into your own home.  It pairs beautifully with almost any color and will add a bright spot to your existing decor.design-color-of-the-year-2017-greenery-pantone-15-0343
  • A successful real estate staging project.  Statistics prove out that a home properly staged sells quicker and often for more $ than a home that is empty or full of the owner’s belongings.  In support of this statistic, my most recent staging project sold in less than 24 hours for a full price cash offering and a short 15 day escrow!  How do I know staging was a factor?  Because the new buyer asked to purchase several items.
  • New holiday traditions.  Admittedly, it has taken me a couple of years to accept and adjust to the fact that my beloved Christmas traditions were being replaced.  But with the recent wedding of my daughter coupled with her crazy work travel schedule, Christmas was spent away from our home and at her place in the SF Bay area this year.  We didn’t even put up a tree for the first time in my entire life!  Still adjusting…..but how proud I was of my daughter and the attention she gives to the holiday and establishing her own traditions.
  • Holiday movies every single day and night on the Hallmark channel.  I could watch them over and over, and did.  And for some reason, the main female character in several of these movies is an interior decorator.  I wonder why?
  • The faces of little children during this magical time is enough to make anyone happy, including me.  How I love their little pre-school holiday recitals, dance class gift exchanges and the look of delight when experiencing their very first performance of “The Nutcracker”, as my 4 year old granddaughter did this year.  And is there anything more delicious than kids in Christmas jammies?  I think not!ella-and-brendan-in-xmas-jammies-2016
  • Having my daughter home for a couple of days during the month made this lonely mom very happy.  She flew down for her company Christmas party and stayed to work in the local office for a few days.  How I loved waking up in the morning and having her under my roof!!
  • Relaxing time with friends.  For some reason the holiday season makes everyone feel just a bit more sociable.  Casual card games, easy dinner parties and long lunches were part of our holiday festivities and I loved every minute of it.
  • The Holiday Bowl is a tradition that makes me happy.  We have attended every single game since 1986 and while our tail-gating has changed a bit over the years we both still enjoy the game and the pomp and circumstance and, most especially, the military presence in the form of the Leap Frogs and, if lucky, an F-18 flyby!
  • In a strange sort of way the end of the football season makes me happy this year.  I am a huge Charger fan so was glad to see a torturous season come to an end.  Who knows where they will be next year but not having to listen to the owner’s rhetoric anymore will also make me very happy!

What made you happy in December of 2016?

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I want to live here


Oh my…I could SO live here.  Let me count the ways:

  • I have to begin with those amazing chairs.  I love what I call funky chairs and these certainly fit the bill.  And if a little more softness is needed for the toosh, just add some faux sheepskin throws.
  • Second only to the chairs are those floor to ceiling windows that make the view part of the room’s decor.  While the snow covered view is my favorite, just imagine how lovely it must be in the springtime with wildflowers or the changing colors of autumn!  Heavenly!
  • I love the mix of rustic elements like the wood table set against more modern elements like the fabric chandelier and colorful artwork.
  • Speaking of artwork, colored glass is one of my favorite forms of artwork and those beautiful vases add a nice pop of color to the otherwise neutral space.
  • The curves of the racetrack style dining table add softness to all the squared edges in the room and is such a versatile shape for dinner parties.

How about you—is this a room you could live in?  You can see more beautiful mountain homes at mountainliving.com.

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Merry Christmas from DH Design

Some of my favorite Christmas trees–my gift to you.  Merry Christmas to you and yours!



via Renee Collier facebook


courtesy of slim paley

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Design questions answered: what is a live edge?

I have recently been asked by several different people what “live edge” means, so I thought it might be time to discuss this current trend.

Live edge refers to the natural edge of a table or shelf as opposed to an edge that has been smoothed out, sanded down and/or re-shaped.  This idea is most commonly found on table tops, counters and mantels.  Woods with a naturally gnarly design or reclaimed wood are often the best choices for this detail.

Live edge (sometimes referred to as natural edge) items are versatile enough to be right at home in both a rustic or a contemporary interior.  Take a look at these items and see if this is a look you might want to add to your home’s decor.

Incorporate a trend with small items like this dough bowl from Pottery Barn. Fill it with natural items like pine cones or green clippings or leave it empty to enjoy the beauty of the wood and the shape of the bowl.  And because it is a natural edge, each bowl will be unique.


Live edge dough bowl from Pottery Barn

Coffee and dining tables provide the perfect opportunity to display the natural edge of a slab of wood, as seen here.


Live edge dining table from West Elm

or for those who want something “lighter” in appearance, a live edge slab of stone or marble can become a beautiful and functional accent table:

And how stunning is this live edge coffee table in this contemporary setting?!  The wood warms up all those colder surfaces and the edge of the table adds some softness to the straight edges found in other pieces in the room.

2007 ASO Decorators Showhouse & Gardens


So what do you think?  Is this a look you could use in your home?

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Snowmen, reindeer and Santa (pillows)..oh my

It is no secret that I am a lover of throw pillows.  I have closets and bins full of these colorful decorative accents and cannot stop myself from buying more…especially during the holidays.  You can pick up affordable versions at discount stores like Home Goods, Marshalls and Target or you can opt for something a bit more elegant and unique at stores like Pottery barn, Neiman Marcus and Restoration Hardware.  Not to mention the unlimited styles available on Etsy.

Regardless of your home’s decor or your favorite holiday motif, there is a holiday pillow with your name on it.  Check out these options:

Pier I is always a favorite holiday destination.  They have such a wide variety of sizes and designs and this happens to be one of my favorites.  I especially like the mini size that makes it just right for the back of a dining room chair or to add to a jumble of pillows on your couch.  And who doesn’t love a dog in a cap and scarf?


A long time favorite of mine has been this pillow featuring a car with a Christmas tree in the back.  It just seems to say it all.  This version is available at Pottery Barn but other similar looks are available at World Market and Etsy, just to name a few sources.


Every holiday home needs a reindeer or two or three.  And this pillow from Pottery Barn proves that you do not have to use red and green in your holiday decorating in order to set the mood.


The man of the hour, Santa Claus, is a necessity in every holiday home and this vintage looking Santa pillow from Target is perfect and oh so affordable!



Some pillows can even be educational.  An Advent pillow  like this one from Garnet Hill not only helps teach the kids about the real meaning of Christmas by counting down during Advent season but helps with counting and number recognition and adds to the excitement of the holiday.


A little fur goes a long way in setting a festive mood and the best part, these pillows can be used throughout the winter months, not just during the holidays.  Therefore, more bang for your pillow buck, so to speak.


Typography is popular year round but never more so than during the holidays.  There is no prettier way to express your holiday wishes than with a pillow, beautiful in it’s simple message.


Plaid, plaid and more plaid.  Enough said.


Pillow from Neiman Marcus

And, last but not least, the lovable snowmen that melt my heart and celebrate my love of all things snowy and bright.  And you can enjoy this cute guy from Target all winter long!





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Ten things that made me happy in November

happy face american flag from floozeesdoozeesdotcom

from floozeesdoozees.com

  • Nothing makes me happier than the fact that this election is OVAH!  Enough said!
  • Creativity always makes me happy, especially when it comes from my own daughter.  Look at this pretty vignette she created in her own kitchen with found items she already had.jenna-pic-of-striped-vase-and-polka-dot-mug
  • Weekends away with discoveries of new places.  Visited Jerome, AZ and what a fun old mining town it is!
  • Thanksgiving with new friends and family.  Traveled to Austin, TX to spend the holiday with my daughter’s new in-laws and was able to see my favorite Aunt as well.
  • Polishing off a bottle of wine and solving the world’s problems with one of my besties (can you have more than one bestie?  I hope so)  I so enjoy these evenings in her pretty home filled with candlelight,  girl talk and wine!
  • Stores filled with holiday decorations and familiar music.
  • Sirius radio because I can get Christmas music all day long beginning on November 1st and lasting through December.  This girl is very happy about that!!
  • Wearing long sleeved shirts!  San Diego finally had some cool weather that made it possible for all of us to put on those new long-sleeved shirts and sweaters we have purchased this year.  Hope it sticks around for awhile.  And for those of you who wonder what cool weather means here in southern California…the high today was 69 degrees and the skies were cloudy all day.  (I think that is the lyric to a song ie Home on the Range)
  • The smell of pine and fir in all the parking lots filled to the brim with Christmas trees.  Oh my how I love that smell!  I could stand there all day long and soak it all in.  Fortunately for me, there are many candles that provide a very believable aroma that makes it possible for me to avoid standing in parking lots into the night.
  • This stunning, magical, peaceful, dream-like photo on Instagram.  I can’t copy it but here is the link...enjoy.
  • It was a good month as I found 11 things that made me happy.  Sometimes life in these United States can seem overwhelming and we all just need an escape.  That has certainly been the case for me this past month with the never-ending posts on the election, both pro and con.  When this happens to you I suggest a visit to this Instagram site and you will be reminded of not only this incredible earth we live on but also that there are a lot of things more important than whether your side won or lost this election.  My gift to you is here.

What made you happy in November?


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5 holiday curb appeal ideas to use on your own home

Now that the dishes have been done and the guests have left and you have begun your after a holiday meal exercise program, it is time to get serious about your Christmas decorating.  One of my favorite Christmas memories are the Christmas Eve drives we would take to look at all the neighborhood decorations.  To this day I look forward to walking or driving through neighborhoods and oohing and aahing over the lights and trees and even the Santas perched on the rooftop.  Not really a fan of the blow-ups but the kids seem to enjoy them.

You can turn your home into one of those holiday drive homes with just a few simple ideas:

  • My own personal decorating motto is definitely less is more.  The simplicity of an arrangement like this makes it possible to enjoy the beauty of each item in a display.Natural items like pinecones, greenery and berries make this an arrangement that can be enjoyed long past the holidays.


    via BHG

  • While I love a red, green and white color scheme I can also appreciate something different.  Combinations of silver and gold or multiple shades of blue or green, for example, can look just as pretty as the more traditional color combinations.  A bare window box is filled to the brim with colorful plastic ornaments in unusual colors like turquoise and lilac, along with traditional reds and greens.  So fun and SO easy!
  • Celebrate your inner child when decorating the exterior of your home.  Look closely and you will see that even Santa can be elegant!
    Christmas Holiday Decor
  • Nothing could be easier than wrapping an item with strings of lights.  If it is not breathing you can light it up!  This bicycle looks like a pretty package in the snow wrapped with battery operated lights.  And don’t you just love the old-fashioned”fat” lights?
  • christmas-lights-on-bicycle-from-bhg

    via BHG

  • The best outdoor decorations are those that look as pretty during the day as they do at night.  I love a festive and welcoming front porch or path decorated with seasonal flowers and candlelight.  With flameless candles you can safely use any container to create your own luminaries that will look inviting during the day and cast a warm glow when dark.christmas-luminary-from-better-homes-and-gardenvia BHG
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