A Humble Holiday Table

A Rustic Holiday Table

Do you worry about holiday spending? Does financial stress put a damper on your seasonal cheer? We have some great tips on how you can create a luxurious looking holiday table without cutting into your holiday shopping funds.

Explore Your Home

I’m sure there are many items in your home that don’t scream “festive” but when used well can help create the perfect dining table. A plain white tablecloth can make the ideal base for an elegant yet festive table.  A few small glass bowls can be filled with different colored candy, making a delicious holiday table treat.  A bright scarf can make for a pretty table runner.

Create Your Own Centerpiece

I love candles and often use floating candles as a centerpiece on my own festive table.  They bring a beautiful warmth to the table, and make my home-cooked food look even more tempting.  Another great centerpiece idea is to fill a plain glass vase with pine cones and paper ribbons, or you can even set a bowl of floating apples on your table.  Both these centerpieces cost virtually nothing and create a rustic-chic-feel effectively that will definitely get your guests talking.  You can create your own centerpiece in no time with just a little imagination.  Try recycling a pumpkin and using it as a vase, or wrap ribbons around an old glass bottle and fill it with with flowers.  If you are feeling more ambitious then check out this step- by-step guide on how to build a centerpiece yourself.

Inspiration in Nature

Uttermost Thoro Wood Bowl

You can find some beautiful store bought wreaths and nature inspired decorations, or you can always opt to do it yourself . Step outside and gather pine cones and beautiful fall leaves to scatter over your table. A simple bowl of oranges will add a splash of color to any drab looking table.

Mix & Match

The more guests you invite the more plates you’re going to need. Rather than shopping for a new dinner service, mix and match what you have.   A bit of mixing and matching can create a fun, memorable and cheerful table that your guests will certainly enjoy.

Focus On Taste

As much as you would like your guests to love the taste of your food, you’ll want them to appreciate your taste in design as well. Avoid falling into the trap of shopping for kitsch.  If you are planning to purchase items to decorate your home keep them simple and tasteful.  Make sure you buy classic decorations that you will be able to use again and again, for years to come.

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Sunny Design Jefferson Server

No Table, No Worry

These days not having a table is no excuse for not hosting.  A buffet is a fun alternative to the typical sit down holiday meal.  Decorate a side table or server using any of the table decorating ideas and give your guests a festive party to remember.

Be sure to check out our Decorative Accents sectionfor more design inspiration, and please send us in photos of your decorated tables – we’d love to feature them here on the site!

Bringing Your Garden Indoors

Artevasi-Santori-Tall-Round-Planter

Artevasi Santori Tall Round Planter

Following on the theme from my last blog post, Warm Up Your Winter Home, I have recently come to appreciate just how much my indoor plants have brought a sense of joy and warmth into my home.

Trust me, I am certainly no gardening guru, but  I have actually managed to successfully bring my garden indoors. In doing so, I have brought a breath of fresh air into my home.

Winter can be a particularly difficult time for indoor plants.  We tend to keep the heating on, the windows shut and the curtains drawn much of the time. Luckily there are some plants that will survive and actually thrive indoors during the winter months.

Here I present you with my favorite winter indoor plants that need minimal care and virtually no attention.

Nearly Natural

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Nearly Natural Hibiscus with Vase

This option is for those of us who lack both the time and energy to care for many indoor plants.  Here at Beyond Stores we have a large variety of faux floral and plant options. Though these nearly natural plants lack the fragrance of real plants, they are becoming increasingly difficult to tell apart from the real thing. The Nearly Natural Hibiscus is one such beautiful alternative that will definitely add a nice blast of color to your home.  The great thing about the Nearly Natural plants is that you can put them anywhere in your home without worrying about how much sunlight they will need.

Cyclamen

All of you who do want to try your hand at indoor gardening will love the cyclamen as much as I do. The Cyclamen is a beautiful, flowering plant that thrives in slightly chilly conditions. They can bloom all winter long and their pretty colors make them my top Christmas plant. Simply place the plant on a dish or decorative plate, close to a window, or in an area of your home that’s slightly breezy.  These plants love indirect sunlight and don’t need much watering; just add water to the dish that they’re sitting in, every few days, so that the soil stays slightly moist.

Geraniums

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Bamboo 3 Piece Square Planter Set

I love geraniums and keep them in bamboo planters outside all year-round. I didn’t realize what great houseplants they would make until I brought mine indoors last year. With so many colors to choose from, they have added a delightful splash of color to my home. Geraniums are pretty hard to kill; I have forgotten to water mine on a number of occasions, and they still seem to be holding up well.

 Aloe

I try to keep  aloe in my kitchen at all times.  I love the look of its gray-green, spiky leaves, but I also love its medicinal properties.  Aloe’s ability to soothe any kitchen burn puts it in prime position in my kitchen window all year round.

The Christmas Cactus

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Christmas Cactus source:babble.com

The Christmas Cactus, otherwise known by it’s longer and more difficult to pronounce name, ‘Schlumbergera’,  is a winter flowering cactus that really seems to enjoy living in centrally-heated homes. I can testify that this plant is as low-maintenance as any plant gets, needing very little light and water.

Kalanchoe

I am a big fan of the kalanchoe.  These flowering plants are bursting with color  and  if treated right, they can remain in bloom all year long. The kalanchloe survives on little water, making it easy to care for.  Just be sure to place your planter close to a window to give it as much light as possible.

Your winter home certainly won’t be lacking in color if you try any of our plant ideas. We’d love to hear about your favorite winter plants, so feel free to send us your pics and tips for growing indoor plants!

 

Warm Up Your Winter Home

I love this time of year. The holiday season is fast approaching and summer feels like an eternity away. I look forward to long nights snuggled under a blanket, watching the holiday classics.  With the change in season I find myself indoors more and more.  I want my winter home to be my sanctuary from the cold, a haven from the grey skies and the stresses of work.

Chelsea Home Oneida 3 Piece Living Room Set

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Sterling Industries Coat Rack

Staying warm and cozy doesn’t mean giving up on style. In fact, we have some great ideas for staying warm and on trend this winter season.

Hang  it Up

Returning home late from work on a rainy night? Make sure to hang your wet coat and umbrella on a stylish coat rack before you change into your pj’s.  There is a certain elegance and sophistication  about a coat rack as well as it being a very practical item that you will be able to use all year round.

Create Your Own Space

My home is open plan in design.   While this works well for me during the summer and spring months, creating a cozy space can be a little bit tricky.  One solution that has worked very well for me is to purchase a room divider.  I have been able to create a cozy space within my larger space in which to hibernate.

Howard-Elliott-34053-Cobalt-Blue-Glaze-Ceramic-Vases---Set-of-2

Howard Elliott Cobalt Blue Glaze Ceramic Vases

Think out of the Box

During the winter months you may be tempted to opt for neutral colors with which to accent your home. Most of us feel the need to  to stick to browns, reds and oranges to create a sense of warmth.  Be creative and think out of the box.  I myself love playing with richer textures and color. Midnight and indigo blue are my  preferred colors this season and with just a couple of blue cushions and with just one or two blue ornaments, you can really transform your room.

Indulge

A winter home should be all about indulgence and I am a big fan of textured throws and rugs to create a sense of luxury.  The way they feel is just as important as how they look, so make sure you go for natural materials over synthetics. Sheepskin and chunky knits are two must haves this winter season.  UGG Australia, famous for their boots, have created a sumptuous line of blankets and throws that will make you feel like you are literally walking on a cloud.

Play with Lighting

If you aren’t lucky enough to have an open fire place (how many of us really are?), you can create a beautiful feeling of warmth in your home with both natural and artificial light.  A simple floor lamp and some candles will do the job nicely.  Play around with candles of various colors and sizes and go for scented candles as a way to create atmosphere.

Shop now at Beyond Stores for some classic pieces that you’ll use  year after year to warm up your home.  And most importantly, stay warm and cozy this winter!

A Nursery Fit for a Prince or Princess

AFG Baby Leila Crib Changer Set

What could give us a better excuse to talk about nurseries than another upcoming British Royal birth?  The latest  rumors speculate that William and Kate are looking forward to the arrival of their very own princess.  But with no official word we are all still in the dark.

If you are expecting or preparing to be expecting,  I don’t think there is anything more exciting than designing and shopping for a nursery.  Of course there are some must have pieces to purchase and our collections cater beautifully to every expectant parent.

Modern, Elegant and Classic Cribs

We offer a huge variety of cribs that cater to any taste and style.  Choose one style you love or don’t be scared to mix & match different pieces of furniture from different collections.  I tend to go for gender neutral items that could be used again for the next child.

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AFG Baby Nadia Convertible Crib withToddler-Rail

Chelsea-Home-Cambridge-Crib-in-Asbury-Brown-Stain

Chelsea Home Cambridge Crib

Comfortable Rocking Chairs and Gliders

Our timeless collection of rocking chairs make the perfect addition to any nursery.  I’ve spent more time in recent years on my glider than any other furniture item in my house.

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Monarch Specialties Rocking Chair

AFG Baby Deluxe Glider Chair with Ottoman

Smartly Designed Combined Changers and Dressers

Although I’m sure the Royals don’t suffer from space saving issues if you need to conserve space in your nursery, the changing table/dressers in one make for a perfect solution.

AFG-Baby Grace 3 Drawer Changer

When the time is right, be sure to contact us here at Beyond Stores, and we’ll be more than glad to help you start setting up or upgrading your nursery and kids’ bedrooms.

Clearer Work Space, Clearer Mind

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Hillsdale Gresham Desk with Grand Bay Chair

How on earth do people get anything done in a cluttered work space? I literally can’t deal with a messy desk, too much paper, or even a pen out of place. My home office has to be as tranquil and calm as the rest of my house in order for me to be even remotely productive!

These quick tips for de-cluttering a home office will create a more productive, happy, working you!

Separate work from pleasure

Working from home should not mean working from anywhere at home. Your kitchen table should remain a kitchen table and your bedroom should remain just that. Even if you are short on living space creating a small work area is essential for separating work from pleasure!

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Bisley  Home Filing Cabinet in Light Gray Steel

Put it away

I’m all for filing. If you’re not using it put it away! If you don’t have filing cabinets using a few binders and a shelving unit or even a book case will get the job done nicely.

Out of sight out of mind

It’s amazing how the little things seem to take up the most space. A desk with drawers has made all the difference to my level of productivity. The less clutter on your desk the easier it is to focus on the task at hand. Put pens, paper, pencils, paperclips, staple guns and every other item you are not using neatly in a drawer. Your desk will be free for only the most important items, helping you focus that little bit more.

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Bisley 4 Section Insert for Multidrawer Cabinet

 

A Clean Slate

I can find any excuse not to work! I used to spend up to an hour every morning tidying, organizing and washing my overused mugs of coffee, and that was even before I had turned on my computer! Take a minute or two at the end of each day to clean your desk. You’ll be ready to get straight down to work the next day!