Tartan: A Classic Design Trend For The Home

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Today is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, I love the winter months, it’s the time of year that i like to welcome my family and friends to a warm, inviting place I call home.  Making our home feel warm and cozy for the winter months is a task I take seriously, a task I like to include my kids in, a task that is fun and satisfying, it actually isn’t a task I love putting it all together.
In the late fall when the leaves start to fall and the temperature goes down, I clean up all the accessories in the back yard, and I turn my attention to the indoors, I turn on the fire place and take out the throw blankets, I replace my  flip flops and sandals for boots and warm furry slippers.  I take out my sweaters, hats and gloves; I put away the bathing suits, shorts and tee shirts.  I basically want to spend my time in a cozy, warm home.  Tis’ the time of year that I my love for Tartan reappear, and it seems every year all the fashion and shelter magazines report that Tartan is making a comeback, I never knew it left, did you?
For me Tartan is a classic design trend for the home, especially in the winter.
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Of course no one does Tartan design for the home better than Ralph Lauren, he is a master at mixing tartan, floral, solids and geometric patterns skillfully and making it all look so chic and sophisticated.
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Getting back to creating a cozy home, I certainly incorporate Tartan in my winter scheme, using throw pillows, blankets, dishes, table cloth, basically as many tartan accessories as I can get my hands on.
Tartan

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I even love to wear it!
Tartan

I better get busy and finish up accessorizing for the long winter ahead.  I hope I’ve inspired you to cozy up your home for the holidays and beyond.
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Happy decorating,
by Firoozeh Khorrami
Carmel Decor

You can find a large selection of area rugs, throw pillows, lighting, home accents and wall decor to help you create a cozy home at Carmel Decor.

You can find these images plus more on our Pinterest page here.
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How to Reduce Holiday Stress


The holidays are the most wonderful time of year, for those of us who can manage the stress and pressure of the season. For others who allow the unwanted company of stress and depression to join them for the month of December, the Holiday season is the most horrible time of the year. Let’s face it; this time of year is filled with an array of parties, shopping, baking, and entertaining. Traffic is bad, shops are crowded and there is a deadline for getting it all done! There are ways to reduce the inevitable stress of the Holidays with a few of these tips.

1. Be realistic: Don’t overdo it; it’s important to stay connected but not over committed. Rituals and traditions are to be enjoyed, not stressed about; so if you “should” bake cookies every year it’s ok to pick some up at the bakery this year: remember don’t “should” on yourself.


2. Practice the art of Gratitude!
Instead of making a list of all the things you need to do, and concentrating on what you haven’t done make a list of things you have accomplished.

Count your blessings, and let the people you love know how important they are to you.


3. Keep Holiday decorations simple and minimal, maybe this year you’ll only decorate the family room?


4. Set aside differences for another time and lower your own expectations.


5. Set a budget for gifts; the best presents are the ones with thought behind them, not money.

Handmade gifts are the most thoughtful and cherished. Give to your favorite charity and gift the receipt to a colleague instead of having to rush to the mall to buy them a gift they’ll never use. Magazine subscriptions will remind your loved ones of your gift every time they receive one in the mail.


6. Learn to say No! Saying yes when you don’t want to can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.


7. Don’t abandon healthy habits, a bad diet can make you feel tiered, cranky and extra weigh can quickly pile on. So stick to a healthy diet and avoid excess sugar so you can make it through the holidays. Remember this month’s bad diet, is next month’s bad body.


9. Take time out for yourself. Even if it’s ten minutes by yourself with a cup of tea or coffee, take time to do something you enjoy every day.

The holidays are a time to relax, and renew, spend time with family and friends; a time to find new friends, to find a new sense of purpose and give what we have from our heart and soul, not just our pockets. If the holidays make you sad reach out to your community, your place of worship, and help bring joy to someone else.

Wishing you a fabulous holiday season, full of laughter, and good wishes

Happy decorating,
Carmel Décor

You can find a large selection of area rugs, throw pillows, lighting, home accents and wall decor to help you create a beautiful home at Carmel Décor.

You can find these images plus more on our Pinterest page here.
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How To Set Up The Perfect Home Bar

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Now that the holidays are upon us, it’s time to dress up the home. Although most hostesses plan a delicious meal, and spend days on holiday decor, and the table setting, don’t forget most guests hang out by the bar. A well stocked home bar is a must for a fabulous party; make sure yours is as appetizing as possible.


Stock up on some basic liquor, there’s no need to buy 6 different brands of Scotch or Vodka, all you need is maybe 5 different spirits and a few mixers. Buy good quality spirits, liquor keeps for a long time, especially if stored in a cool and dark place. To set up the perfect home bar you will need these basic spirits, Vodka, Gin, Scotch, Tequila, White Rum and Cognac, and a few mixers like Cointreau, red and white vermouth, and bitters. Don’t forget to have supplies for non-alcoholic drinks as well, a selection of sodas, juices, and fresh fruit, along with sweetened concentrates. Also a few pieces of equipment such as bar spoon, jigger, cocktail shaker and strainer. You’ll also need glassware, a short glass, a tall glass, and a stem. If you will be serving wine invest in a basic wine glass, six of each is all you need for an everyday bar, but for a party, plan on an average of 3 glasses per person.

Now that we have basic supplies let’s get down to the fun part of decorating and the set up of the perfect home bar. If you have a bar area or a bar cart use it; if you don’t maybe you have a chest, buffet or console table that you can use; if not try a fold up table, and cover it with a simple white table cloth to the floor.
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Like any other area of the home, the bar area can be accessorized with beautiful dishes and containers and must be as appealing as the dinner table. Start with your larger items, like the ice container, or you might want to use a large decorative bowl to store the champagne and wine bottles. If you are using a console table of buffet try placing all the spirits on a large tray. Use a variety of dishes and tabletop accessories with different colors, materials and styles, that always makes for a more interesting and eclectic setting. Varying the height of dishes and trays brings attention to small items.

Don’t skimp on the bar accessories, find beautiful tools and equipment to serve your guests, pay attention to the details, it’s what people remember most from your party. After setting up these items step back and see if you need extra light,

Maybe you need to bring in some tall items to balance the bar like tall candle sticks. Flowers and greenery bring color and the outdoors in.


By now you will have set up the perfect home bar; welcoming, functional, and beautiful.

You can find a large selection of area rugs, throw pillows, lighting, home accents and wall decor to help you create a beautiful home at Carmel Décor.

Happy decorating,
by Firoozeh Khorrami
Carmel Decor

You can find these images plus more on our Pinterest page here.
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