Wednesday, 26 November 2014

I'm Dreaming of a Glam Christmas...

So it's nearly December and I have a bit of confession to make: I have no idea what I'm doing in terms of Christmas decorating. Oh yes, normally my mind has been churning for MONTHS on end, planning out every last detail, the colour scheme, the table...  This year? I got nuthin. Well, maybe that's too harsh. I have some ideas but the actually execution remains a bit hazy. Except for the fact I want to feel exactly like this in a week or two's time:

Oh, yes, the picture of contentment with a slick of red lippy and a sparkly tree. And perfect alabaster skin. And a glamorous gown. Ok, maybe those last two are stretching it a bit.

Nevermind, I'm getting off piste here. What I want is a touch of glamour.

I think when people think of 'glam' in home decor, they may confuse the word with 'tacky'. No, we are not going for "OTT-let's-go-Liberace-on-the-house" style. Subtle glimmer, soft metallics, some natural materials to balance it all out... maybe a bit of lacquer and shine in the mix. Understated glamour is so incredibly chic, don't you think?

So, in pursuit of my dream, I thought I'd round up some of the inspiration I've been checking out on the old interwebs to start that fire in my belly and figure out how to take what I already have and mix it up to create something rather special.

Who says you can't have a sequin tablecloth? Spoil sports, that's who. Ignore the naysayers and combine it with a stunning floral centrepiece in Christmas colours, a few votive tealights and your glam Christmas is sorted.

Every year I decorate my bar cart with fairylights but I adore how simple this little string of lights is. Lush.

I love how simple and inexpensive this would be to recreate - a few feathers from the craft store, a bit of gold glitter and thread. That's it. Hang them from a light fixture or your ceiling and BOOM. Instant glamour.

Speaking of ceilings, what about glittery baubles instead? Black, white and gold is just the chic-est combination EVER. Don't argue with me. You know it's true.

And as for the table settings... oh how I adore this. I mean, the simplicity! The little snip of pine under the black ribbon and the flowers... don't even get me started. All of this. Yes.

How about the gifts? Black and white polkadot gift wrap (I mean, you could DIY that with little imperfect spots, couldn't you?) with a simple black ribbon tied in a bow and a touch of sparkle. It really doesn't get any more understated glam than that.

And for the tree? Mixed metallics, pops of pink and black and white ribbon for the WIN.

How will you be decorating for Christmas this year? Any ideas? Or are you as clueless as I am?

Don't miss a thing!

Image credits: Unknown / Style Me Pretty / Urban Outfitters / Ruffled / Style Me Pretty / Ruffled / Yours Truly / The Hunted Interior

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Competition: You're Invited to my Dream Anthropologie Dinner Party!

So I was contacted this week by the lovely people at one of my favourite shops IN THE WORLD, Anthropologie, to see if I'd like to take part in a little competition they are running. They've asked me to use Anthropologie products to create my dream dinner party to be in with a chance of winning £100 worth of Anthropologie vouchers - and they're giving you the opportunity to win a £100 voucher as well!

(Sound good? Read to the bottom of the post to find out how you can both enter and vote for me!)

Oooh now that sounds like fun. I mean, in dreams, we have no budget, no cares in the world, no worries about being rushed off our feet, burning the canap├ęs or wondering if the guest who's indulged a little too much champagne will spill something on our pale rug. Oh no, this is dreamy dream stuff. How could I say no? I couldn't.

So I'm cordially inviting you to join me on my virtual 'dream dinner party' - yes, you are all invited. In my dreams, I have enough seating for everyone!

So... first, the place settings themselves. I decided to keep the entire soiree quite simple and elegant with one of my favourite combinations of white and gold. Quirky side plates elevate the simple hand pressed white plates and gilded cutlery is always a fabulous choice, especially when resting upon the beautiful gold screen printed napkins. As we are so close now to Christmas, I decided to throw a little bit of festive glam onto the table with gold leaf fairylights and a ceramic feather ornament given to each guest as a favour.

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As well as the individual place settings, no party could be complete without a beautiful brass-topped glass decanter, quirky vases filled with fresh flowers and sparkling candlelight to match the sparkling conversation.

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As for the room itself, well, it had to match my theme as well. And so there are Moroccan style filigree lanterns hanging from the ceiling and piled up in the corners of the room, refracting their soft glittering light on the ceilings and walls. A lattice flotaki rug cushions your feet as lace window dressings with elegant finials sway lightly in the breeze from the open window. Beautiful decanters of refreshments, a cheeseboard with gilded cheeseknives and trays of elegant glassware decorate a nearby sideboard.

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So you may be wondering what I'm serving at this fabulous dinner party? Well, the menu is no less dreamy than the room. For starters, Fig & Chevre Canapes and Mini Mushroom Gorgonzola Bites. For the main, Pan Seared Fillet of Beef with Red Wine Sauce, Garlic Mash and Roasted Asparagas. For the veggie option, it's Garlic Mushroom Quinoa. And for dessert, Mini Nutella Cheesecakes, gilded French Macarons and Gourmet Marshmallows. All washed down with Pink Champagne and frozen raspberries. Oh yes.

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And finally, you can't have an elegant dinner party without knowing what you are wearing! As the host, I decided that there is no reason to abandon a little comfort so this elegant skirt and simple teeshirt combination will allow me to swoop to my guests' every need whilst still looking fabulous. Oh yes, in my dream I am that gorgeous and that tall as well. (Come on, it's my dream here, give me that at least.)

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So have I painted a picture of a perfect Anthropologie-inspired dinner party? Would you attend my party? If so, I need your help!

If you would love to attend my dinner party, I just need you to tweet the name of my blog (Swoon Worthy) OR my twitter handle (@Redlilocks) with the hashtag #AnthroDinnerParty.

One of the voters of the winner (announced on 1st December) will also win a £100 voucher for Anthropologie so please get voting for your own chance to win!

You can also see all 5 of the bloggers taking part at Anthropologie's Blog on Monday, 24th November 2014.

Remember for us both to win, just tweet
I'm attending @Redlilocks #AnthroDinnerParty for my chance to win £100 from @AnthropologieEU!
Thank you!!

Don't miss a thing!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Guest Bedroom/Office Remodel: Mixing Patterns and Removing Stuff

I know it's been ages since I've talked about the remodel that's (slowly) taking place in the Guest Bedroom/Future Office and the truth is, that's mostly because I didn't have much to show. We talk excitedly about certain projects and then when it comes to getting off our arses and actually doing them, well, sometimes life just gets in the way or you need a bit of a chilled weekend or you just don't fancy being covered in dust again. So yeah, that. Constantly working on projects, we've realised, doesn't always work well for us and so we decided to get the mini-makeover of the dressing room complete and then we took a couple of months breather before starting the NEXT BIG THING.

That said, there has been a little bit of progress (Hurrah! Swoon Worthy: Celebrating the little things since 2010.) so I figured I'd share that with you today.

First... the pretty stuff because I'm nice like that ;)

In my post about How to Decorate Fearlessly, I talked about mixing patterns and how much better it was to get samples of things so you can easily see how well things work together. Well, in this particular case, the fabrics were coming from the US and so I asked for the assistance of my gal pal and seamstress extraordinare Hollie from Stuck on Hue (as she was the one I was ordering the fabrics/cushion from) to help be my 'eyes on the ground' as it were.

We discussed a few different options of the best fabric combinations in light of some of the other decorative choices I had made and we both decided that there really needed to be a touch of Chiang Mai Dragon fabric in Jade in the scheme. I mean, I love a bit of Chiang Mai Dragon (I have it in my bedroom in alabaster) and in this colourway, that beautiful coral-pink was such a standout.

She made that beautiful cushion you see below - it's just a small splash but the coral piping really makes all the difference to how it works with everything else.

The peacock print from Cozamia was really my 'jumping off' point for the whole colour scheme in here. While the office will mostly be white, I did want some bright hits of colour to make it an energising space and so the fabrics and accessories will really bring that colour into the space quite nicely.

I have to admit, at first I was a little scared that I'd gone too far into 'crazy person' territory with this combination of coral-pink/navy/green in all this pattern but when you see everything together, it sort of does work, doesn't it? (and if no, trust me on this one, it'll be AWESOME.)

The Thibaut South Sea wallpaper will be on the chimney breast only but that pinky coral colour is picked up not just in the Chiang Mai Dragon cushion but also in the Cozamia print as well as the Caitlin Wilson Navy Fluer Chinoiserie fabric.

I wanted to include a smaller scale print as well in my scheme so Caitlin Wilson's Navy Spotted fabric gives me that little pattern to offset the larger ones in here.

What I am actually doing with the Caitlin Wilson fabrics, however, remains to be seen - I only got a yard of each (on a budget see) so I'm hoping to stretch it a little ways. Stay tuned!

So, that's the pretty stuff - on to the ugly stuff and the progress with the room itself!

We've stripped all the carpeting and have pretty much emptied the room (there's still a few small bits and pieces but let's ignore those for now, they will be gone soon). Shall we picture these floor boards all beautified and pretty? Ahh yes, you can see it now, can't you?

And we ripped out the closet and removed the old water heater...

So basically what we have now is a bit of a manky blank canvas...

The chandelier will be going on Freecycle at some point soon, the shelving removed, and then we'll be scraping all that horrible swirly painted plaster off the ceiling (and yes, it's plaster, not Artex thank god). Following that, the cornicing will be taken down (it'll be replaced) and then we'll start work on completely renewing the ceiling with nice smooth plaster.

Good, messy times ahead before we get to have fun decorating - such is the way of DIY! Meisha is silently judging me with her EYES. I know, I know, it's gonna take a while but it'll be worth it, I swear!

So that's my update for now - what do you think of the fabric/wallpaper/print colour combo? Do your pets silently judge you for your decorating choices? Or is that just Meisha?

Don't miss a thing!

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