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Yes, the holidays are drawing near which means casual gatherings and holiday dinners. Whether you entertain a lot or a little, having a well-stocked home can take a lot of the stress out of party planning. So I have done all the work for you. Being proactive rather than reactive (I say this to my kids a lot) is the key to making the most out of the upcoming Entertaining Season.
I also selected accessories that are versatile and can be used all year round. Tans, creams, and touches of metallics, making it easy to incorporate new themes throughout the year; whether adding touches of orange and yellow leaves in the bud vases, or incorporating berry sprigs in the tall vases- it will be easy to swap out the seasons with this shopping list (click on the images below to purchase)
My Must-Haves For Holiday Entertaining:
Did I miss anything? Share your own entertaining essentials in the Comments!
Fall is here, and while many of us are working from home + homeschooling, looking for something creative for the kids to do, well the Toscano family has a fun and easy craft for you... courtesy of the $1 Tree!
We recently celebrated my Fall Open House at Toscano Interiors, and to make the occasion extra special our daughter, Harper, helped make these fun goodie bags for my customers who attended the event.
To make these simple bags we picked up the following from our local $1 Tree Store:
* Paper Lunch Bags
* Felty Halloween Stickers
* Halloween ribbon
* Rolls of felt- purple, green, white
* Sticker jewels
* Brown Bakers twine
* Monster Googely Eyes
Then we used some patterned orange craft paper we already had from Michaels, patterned scissors, hot clue, Tacky Glue, and of course...buttons *eyeroll* (refer to previous blog posts about buttons)
We created pumpkins out of the craft paper and green felt. Made ghosts with the white felt and googley eyes...we just let our imagination run with it.
Your homemade goodie bag can be as simple or as a decorated as you want. Place your treats inside the bag. Fold the top of the bag over, and use a hole punch to punch through the folded layers. Thread some raffia through the holes, and tie it to secure it.
Repurpose old newspapers. Fold a sheet of newspaper into a pouch, and secure it with clear tape. Use craft glue to affix Halloween-colored notions and trim to the front of the bag. This package is best suited for flat treats like stickers and notepads.
If you’re looking for something a little fancier to wrap your treats in, make a felt favor pouch. Again, the $1 Store has rolls of felt you could use. Use pinking shears to cut out a long, rectangular piece of felt. Fold the felt in half, and use hot glue to join the two sides. Decorate the front, using scraps of felt indifferent colors. Braid a handle out of yarn. Cut small slits in each top corner. Thread the handle through each slit, and tie to secure.
These goodie bags were a huge hit, something that just adds to the touch of shopping small and local...and it gave our 6 year old something new to do one afternoon while hanging out with mom at her store.
As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, my husband and I both realized we had some tough decisions to make when it came to how our family was going to respond to these crazy times we are all living in; and that was with FEAR...yes, you read that right- FEAR
While most people we knew were frantic, and responded with the other type of FEAR,
As a family we kept moving forward and made the conscious choice to keep things as normal as possible when it came to our family activities. Obviously the activities we had control over, and rely on our already normal routines and rituals- except with more intention.
This is something I love discussing with my design client's who are in the middle of big life transitions, because these rituals we incorporate into our daily lives are also vital opportunities for self-care and self-love.
A terribly wise person once said, “You are the things you do every day.”On the upside, this means that I’m a husband-cuddler, early-morning meditator, and have a daily gratitude practice.
On the downside, it also means I’m a laundry procrastinator, have a terrible sweet tooth and waste a lot of time distracted on the internet when I’m not careful. Not too mention my husband and I are work-a-holics...which means we like to disconnect as much as possible. How that looks for our family- it is a ritual to travel often, especially during the summer months.
We refused to let COVID-19 ruin that ritual for us. With three vacations this summer, we were reminded that this summer Toscano family ritual was an important anchor to maintaining good mental health and dealing with anxiety during this pandemic. We were able to disconnect and feel some normalcy.
Routines and rituals help us stay grounded, giving us a sense of security by providing structure.
They give us a sense of accomplishment. Routines and rituals typically have a beginning and an end, and we plan our day and time around being able to prioritize them and accomplish the most important tasks of the day for ourselves and our families.
And our family's rituals look different to your family's rituals and routines- and that's okay. And maybe this pandemic is the perfect opportunity for your family to incorporate new routines and rituals, or be mindful and intentional with the ones you currently have. And let's not forget...
Home is the container that holds your rituals.
Your home is so much more than four walls and a roof. It’s a sacred space, filled with personal meaning and stories. It is so important now more than ever to make conscious choices about what rituals and routines you fill your space with.
Pro Design Ritual You Can Incorporate In Your Life Today-
Eat real meals, at a table, with beautiful place settings
No more of this “in front of the computer, right out of the container” business. At least not all the time! Make even the most run-of-the-mill meal something special. Break out those lovely placemats and cloth napkins. Set out your best China, light some candles, and put on some music — even if you’re alone, eating leftovers. Ambiance is everything … and you deserve it!
We’re all creatures of habit — and our habits define us. So … what if we stopped going on “autopilot,” and instead made the very most of our daily routines and rituals? What if we infused them with luxurious awareness and self-love? What if, every single day, we took an extra moment or two to love ourselves?
Slowly but surely, we’d feel happier.
Calmer. More Resilient.
More loved and more loving...
Even during a pandemic.
Ready for some great tips, courtesy of Guest Blogger, Shirley Martin, from Tidy Life Today? I know I am! This week's blog post is great, especially since most of us are stuck at home. Let's focus on how we can still enjoy the smaller things in life- this post Shirley shows you how.
Just because you’re still stuck at home due to COVID-19 doesn’t mean your summer has to be boring. Especially since one of the perks of having more free time is that you can take on fun summer projects that will improve your home, including creating the ultimate backyard kitchen and dining space! Then, you and your family can take your summer meals outside for some fresh air and sunshine. You can get started by following these tips.
First, Let’s Talk About Your Home Value
If you’re still on the fence about sprucing up your outdoor spaces, and you plan on selling your home, you may want to read through these tips. Because as you read through tips for boosting your home’s value, you will see that updating outdoor spaces tops the list. To get the most return out of your improvement project, be sure to snag some killer before and after photos and keep up with receipts. That way an appraiser will be able to calculate just how much value your new outdoor kitchen and dining area adds to your home. Adding curb appeal by updating the landscaping around these spaces can also increase your home value and help it attract more potential buyers. So, this is one summer project that home sellers will not want to skip!
Next, It’s Time to Think About Your Space
Now that you understand how outdoor spaces can help your home value, it’s time to get to work on updating yours! If you are starting from scratch that may mean starting with your yard and gardens. If you’re looking for low-maintenance landscaping to surround your dining and kitchen space, then using planters and containers may be your best option. Then, you won’t have to worry about spending hours watering and caring for a lawn. However, it can also be pretty wonderful to have your own vegetable garden out back so you can create authentic farm-to-table recipes without leaving your yard. Planting colorful vegetables and flowers together in your garden can really add some style but adding an archway or beautiful containers can also work. Also, think about whether a deck or patio is best for your entertainment needs.
Now, You Can Pick Out Appliances and Furniture
Since a backyard kitchen is such an extensive project, you should think about what sort of appliances and setups you would like to include in this area. Having at least a grill is a must but you may also want to add a cooktop, a smoker, or even a pizza oven. Typically, these appliances can be built into your space, which means you’ll need to hire a contractor to help out with this project. While inviting a professional into your home during a pandemic may feel stressful, practicing social distancing and asking about safety precautions can ease your mind. While your contractor is working on building your dream outdoor kitchen and dining area, you can pick out some outdoor furniture. You can shop online for furniture that will fit any budget.
Finally, Add Some Finishing Touches to Your Space
Okay so now that you’ve put all that effort into planning and building your new outdoor spaces, it’s time to have some fun with decor. Creating the perfect summer party space comes down to picking the right decor, so look for fun throw pillows, boldly colored outdoor rugs, and sophisticated table accessories to complete your outdoor oasis. Since you plan on hosting lots of outdoor dinners and parties this summer, be sure to top your new dining space off with some quality outdoor dinnerware and look for options that are as cute as they are durable. Pick a pattern that complements the rest of your decor to really help pull your space together.
Nothing says summer quite like dining al fresco with your family. So get to work planning and creating your ultimate backyard kitchen and entertainment space! Who knows, you may even begin to prefer your own backyard to dining out on restaurant patios. Which could make time go by a lot faster when you are stuck at home.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
It is no surprise that workplace has changed significantly due to COVID-19. It crucial for companies during these times of change, to create workplace settings that encourage efficiency and improve productivity while abiding by social distancing preferences.
This week's blog topic is a great infographic courtesy of guest blog writer, Skylar Ross with Avanti Systems. Discover the details of how a workspace can improve productivity through architecture and design with the below infographic.
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Recently I was given the opportunity to design a small apartment at a local assisted/independent living facility. This little apartment is going to be used a model/virtual tour for future retirees. I was so honored to take the project because several months ago I staged one of the independent cottages affiliated with the same company, for a Realtor who was referred by another Realtor...talk about a long list of referrals!!! That was what made it such an honor and so exciting!
Anyhow, this cute one-bedroom apartment was so much fun to design, but there was just one issue...it was small. So how do I make the space look functional for future resident's? That was my biggest challenge going into this project.
Starting with the living and dining area, these two rooms share the space; that there wasn't a lot of. I wanted to use a regular sized sofa and oversized accent chair, but what about the small dining area? Well the good news is there is a restaurant inside the facility for it's residents- so the dining area wasn't something I really wanted to play up. I used these fun gold barstools and a small bistro table and chairs set, allowing for at least 4 guests to sit comfortably in the dining area. Without having to sacrifice the living area, I added the ottoman that functions as a coffee table and storage- because yes, the top comes off! This piece serves 3 functions!
SMALL SPACE PRO DESIGN TIP- Adding texture to the room helps create dimension in a small space
That oversized wall art above the sofa- one wouldn't think incorporating something really big in a small space would be right. Wrong! Texture gives the eye something to investigate, something to sink its teeth into, something that makes the whole space feel a lot bigger.
I think texture is something most people forget when designing a small space. They focus more on storage solutions, often it’s intentionally overlooked for fear of cluttering up an already small space.
You can add some small extra home décor pieces to add textures to your space. Focus on the finishes of your existing furniture pieces too. Like the faux fur rug I draped over the ottoman, the gold side table and gold hammered lamp. It could even be a simple fabric couch with wooden arms and legs. The key to achieving visual balance and to keep visual clutter at bay is to have one or two pieces of furniture in similar textures. The faux rug on the ottoman ties into a larger faux rug under the dining table.
Another way to work in texture in small spaces is through adding texture to walls. Textures on walls make a big impact and they don’t take up any floor space. You can do so through a variety of ways including wallpaper, textured paint like Dulux’s Ambiance Paints (the paints can offer up anything from a rustic linen feel to a luxurious marble finish), wall cladding or wall moulding. In the living room I added a hanging ladder to a decorative hook then folded some textured throw blankets. An easy and unique way to not only store extra blankets, but also adds texture!
FINAL SMALL SPACE PRO DESIGN TIP: When adding textures to your space, use juxtapositions e.g. metallic vs matte, weathered vs smooth, see-through vs opaque. Keep in mind that textures don’t have to be felt to be sensed; they can also be visual to make an impact
Author, Candance Toscano
"You can design the life of your dreams and acquire that luxurious, fulfilled and empowered lifestyle you know you have always wanted."