Decorating your Christmas tree can be the highlight of the holiday season. For some people, it’s a family celebration, where everyone gathers to add their favorite ornaments to the mosaic of memories that covers the pine. For others, trimming the tree is like creating artwork, with each ornament carefully chosen and strategically placed. However you go about it, here are six simple steps for trimming a tree that is as glorious as the season: (more…)
You know how a kid feels on Christmas Eve, electric with excitement to see what wonders are awaiting her in the bright packages under the tree? That’s how I feel every year when I go to market to handpick the holiday decor we will showcase at Nell Hill’s. I’m crazy about Christmas, so I am usually wowed by just about everything I see, from tree ornaments to seasonal dishes to lifelike greenery. But each year, I fall hard for a few dazzlers that become the bedrock of the holiday displays in my home and at both Nell Hill’s stores. This year, five wonderful holiday decorating tools knocked me off my feet. Here are my top picks, plus tips on how to use them to make your home merry and bright. (more…)
I’m an early morning girl. I get some of my best thinking done when I bounce out of bed at 5:30 a.m. But I confess that in the winter, when my drafty old house is chilly, and my bed is snuggly and warm, I’m not always super excited about throwing back the covers and starting the day. That’s one of the down sides of creating a bedding ensemble that’s soft, and warm, and soothing to the senses – it’s really hard to pull yourself out of heaven every morning. Want a bedding ensemble that’s so wonderful you hate to get up? Here are three essentials: (more…)
Want to achieve a big visual impact in your seasonal decorating with a minimal amount of effort? The answer is above your head: your light fixtures. Chandeliers offer a brilliant stage for awe-inspiring displays that will take your seasonal decorating to the next level. The beauty of decorating your fixtures is that you can do as much or as little as you want and still get great results. You just have to know a few tricks of the trade: (more…)
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Dan starts cooking the turkey early while I set the table for 27. At dinner time, our large but intimate party of family and friends packs around the table to raise a toast, share what we are most thankful for, and dig into the best food imaginable. Our daughter calls us the Loud Family because the volume gets high as we all share stories, catch up on each other’s news and roar with laughter.
If you are entertaining this Thanksgiving, I want to encourage you to make the setting for your feast as special as the people who will ring your table. Here are three steps I follow when creating a dramatic and memorable Thanksgiving table. (more…)
The color gray has gotten a bad rap. Think about it. Gray day. Gray hair. It’s time to toss out all your dreary images of gray because the sun is shining on this multidimensional color, and it is absolutely HOT in the world of interior design. Pick a shade of gray, from dove to charcoal, and it’s huge right now. Want to add a little gray to your day? Here are some tips for weaving gray into your home decor. (more…)
I started my fixation with chalkboards at an early age, when a neighbor gave me a chalkboard easel her kids had outgrown. With that dusty chalkboard, all I had to do was add a swirl of imagination and my bedroom was transformed into a school house, a fashion designer’s studio or, my favorite, a grocery store (Mom was very tolerant when I raid the pantry and filled my room with canned goods.).
All my sparkling chalkboard memories came flooding back to me when I saw the chalkboard accents at the Atlanta home furnishings market this year. After too many years apart, my creativity and the chalkboard were reunited. Wanna play in the chalk, too? Here are three fun ideas to inspire you: (more…)
I am so excited to announce that my newest book, Nell Hill’s Rooms We Love, is in! Even though this is my eighth book, I still get butterflies when the first shipment arrives from the publisher. I’m so excited to share the fun with you! Here’s a little taste of what you’ll find when you escape inside the pages of the Rooms We Love … (more…)
I just had the experience of a lifetime. I went to Haiti with my friends who started the Global Orphan Project and left completely exhilarated, excited to support this remarkable organization and the beautiful orphaned and abandoned children it serves. My first step? The Nell Hill’s Christmas Stockings, custom designed by Nell Hill’s, made in Haiti, benefiting the children cared for by The GO Project. I’ll tell you more about these gorgeous stockings in a minute. First, I want to share about the Haitian orphans who stole my heart. (more…)
The weather is too beastly hot in Kansas for me to do much entertaining in the late summer, but as soon as the tiniest autumn chill is in the air, I start planning for a fall fete on my patio. One of my favorite ways to spend a bright, clear fall evening is under the canopy of amber, red and orange trees that fill my courtyard, enjoying a lovely meal with friends. How about you? Here are some tips for creating an inviting al fresco dining room for your fall dinner party. (more…)