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Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

With Halloween just around the corner and the holidays coming up as well, households are getting ready to entertain their guests. Whether it be a costume party or a simple dinner with close friends, there’s always room to revamp your home in time for the holidays. Here’s how:

Photo courtesy of Lights4Fun

Photo courtesy of Lights4Fun

1. Spooky Decorations

 A Halloween party wouldn’t live up to its name without the classic decorations. Orange and black are the go-to colors, while a pop of purple can be just what the setup needs. Add lanterns, candles and spooky lights for the perfect composition sure to charm your guests. Pumpkin lanterns also add the perfect seasonal decoration. The orange hues bring a warm and inviting light into the space to make your guests feel comfortable.

2. Making Room for Guests

 It’s time to make room around the table for the guests that’ll be coming to join in on the celebration. Add a larger table and comfortable chairs to make everyone feel welcomed. A wooden table adds a rustic style while contributing to the seasonal atmosphere. For Halloween and into the holiday season as well, providing enough seating is a must. 

Photo courtesy of La Residence Interiors

Photo courtesy of Interflora

Photo coutesy of Interflora

3. Prepping for Thanksgiving

Halloween decorations don’t always have to be spooky, though. Add more seasonal options with a cornucopia and a beautiful arrangement of flowers. This way, the decorations can be up well into November and for Thanksgiving as well. These assortments of flowers, haystacks and pumpkins offer a charming composition sure to turn heads during the holiday season.

Whether you’re purchasing a new home or revamping your existing space, there are many different facets of decor theory to consider. One of the most important decisions to make is which colors you will utilize, a decision that will set the mood for your home. The savviest of designers and homeowners will consider the science of color, and further the psychology behind the way our brains interpret different hues and shades. When selecting a color scheme, it’s wise to understand the way these colors will make us feel. Whether working with shades of passionate red or warm tones of yellow, experts at Arhaus, an interior furnishing company, offer great tips on how to execute knowledge based on color psychology in interior design.

Start With Walls


Rooms with the absence of color, especially stark, white spaces with oppressive lighting, can make us feel uncomfortable. We have definitive reactions to color, especially on a subconscious level, so it is important to factor this in when deciding the layout and color scheme of room. Starting with the walls, try and think about the room’s intended purpose, and decide on paint color from there. Is this going to be a living room where the family relaxes as the long day is winding down? Or perhaps it’s a bedroom with a luxurious view of rolling hills or a coastline?


Due to the way that our brains process color, you will want to select a color that will promote a certain mood. Blues and greens can offer a feeling of relaxation, especially in rich, warmer shades. Blue is especially desirable in the bedroom as it can promote calmness and aid in sleep. Green traditionally is perceived as familial, which can be a great choice for a living room. Adding supplementary furniture, such as a patterned sofa or loveseat, can add to the mood of the room and help it become the ultimate room to spend time with the family.

Stock the Room


Surely, a chic and luxurious home will need furnishings; we can’t just live in an empty house! It is important to “stay within the lines” regarding furniture and decorative pieces. If you’re going for a rustic, mountain vibe, an abstract, post-modernist painting surely won’t pull the room together.


We can generally rely on our intuition when it comes to design, and when all else fails, go with pieces that you like! With that said, we must consider each item within the context of color scheme. Neutral colors, like browns, blacks, and grays, can be used to balance a room. Consider a brown or black exterior surface (especially fine cabinet wood), which can help to offset the color profile and bring the room a more subtle, cohesive look. A black bookshelf with matching end tables beside a deep burgundy wall can exude feelings of passion, warmth, and creativity – perfect for a den or a studio.

Finishing Touches


Once you’ve got the room essentially put together, with your color scheme well-solidified, it’s time to add the final touches and make it truly your own space. An excellent way to add a personalized element to your home is through old family heirlooms. Now, we’re not talking your grandmother’s prized Waterford crystal china, but an old quilt she made years ago can add a cool, retro feel to a room – while simultaneously honoring your family and heritage.


The same sentiment rings true for artwork, such as paintings or sculptures. A fine piece of art can add an element of sophistication and elegance to any room, but try to avoid heavy contrast between your room’s color scheme and the paintings! Once you’ve personalized your space and implemented colors you love, you will be ready to enjoy it for years to come.

Imagery courtesy Arhaus.

38 Prince Street

The townhome at the Residences at Prince combines the strong lines of a late Federal house with the stylistic Greek Revival flair. The expansive open kitchen with its extensive marble countertops will be a joy to cook in for the holidays and leads through a dining room with a fireplace to a large south-facing, bi-level garden.

277 Fifth Avenue

Spacious dining rooms were designed by interior architect Jeffrey Beers as the ideal space for hosting any size holiday celebration. The open-layout floor plans allow residents to easily entertain guests from the gourmet kitchen, while putting the final touches on a meal. The homes’ warm color palette create an inviting, comfortable environment for holiday mealtime.


The ultra-luxury condominium development coming to Chicago will offer residents an intimate, chandelier-lit private dining room with stunning views of the city and access to the sky terrace. Located on the 72nd floor, this space is sure to upgrade any dinner party.

One West End

This Upper West Side condo includes a contemporary chef’s kitchen and private dining room that pair the panache of New York City’s Michelin-starred restaurants with the intimacy of a private home. After sharing a meal together, family and friends can mingle in the media room, which includes a fireplace, billiards and a large comfy couch.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach

The Penthouse, with seats for 14 people, is the perfect spot for a dinner party. Featuring panoramic views, a 20-foot-tall wine cave, a private terrace on the first level, a BBQ terrace, a complete outdoor bar, and a 2,000-square-foot deck area with dining seating and lounge areas, this penthouse will help you and your guests ring in the new year with style.

Brickell City Centre’s REACH and RISE

Featuring an exclusive fête room, these two luxury towers allow residents to host the ultimate holiday soirée with stunning views of the Miami skyline.  Located on the 7th floor, the sophisticated social room features an elegant furnished living room, dining table and eat-in, chef-worthy kitchen, creating the perfect space for a celebration.

Call your friends, pop the champagne, plate the cheese and have the most stylish affair around — simply because you can.

There are many reasons to throw a dinner party, especially around the holidays. Having the right spectacular space to impress your guests is crucial. From sky terraces and amazing views to fireplaces and stunning chandeliers, these dining room’s “wow-factors” will surely be the talk of your dinner party.

Alexander James Interior Design Team shares the secrets behind this season’s most stylish Christmas homes.

“The 2017 Christmas style definitely has a playful edge — it’s about capturing the joy of Christmas and having fun in new ways, while also delivering an elegant overall look.”

UK households spend a staggering £2.3 billion each year on Christmas trees, decorations and trips to the pantomime, according to Go Compare. With so much being spent on Christmas décor, it’s no wonder that our festive displays seem to be getting more stylish each year.  
Creating the perfect setting within the home is a wonderful way to bring alive the Christmas magic and get into the festive mood. As such, the expert team at Alexander James Interior Design have shared their top tips for making this Christmas the most stylish one yet.
“This Christmas, many are going against tradition for a tropical, contemporary look. No longer confined to the summer months, we’re seeing tropical touches being given a sophisticated twist for the winter season,” says Stacey Sibley, the creative director at Alexander James Interior Design. “The 2017 Christmas style definitely has a playful edge — it’s about capturing the joy of Christmas and having fun in new ways, while also delivering an elegant overall look.”
Stylish tropical touches this Christmas include beautifully woven peacock feather and palm leaf wreaths and stunning centerpieces featuring metallic pineapples and cream and white tropical flowers.

Light Style London – Gold Leaves Battery Style, Harrods

Mini Baubles – Copper, Cox & Cox

Metallics will also be big news this Christmas, with new twists added to the traditional bright silver and gold hues.
Stylish, contemporary touches include warm, soft, reflective metallics in copper, brass and rose gold, to provide a sophisticated glow and add an element of understated luxury.  
Copper has been popular in interiors over the summer, thanks to its versatility. It can be teamed with a clock color or with organic materials such as wood to create a variety of feels, from Scandinavian luxury to mid-century cool.  
Now, that versatility is being carried through to the festive season, with metallic baubles providing the perfect contrast the earthy, organic tones of Christmas trees.

“The finishing festive décor touch this Christmas is the wreath. No longer restricted to the front door, we’ll be seeing wreaths adorn the home in a variety of ways.”

Liberty has opted for a fan-tailed peacock offering. This year, decorating for the holidays is all about mixing vibrant colors tastefully with more traditional Christmas tones.
Candles, naturally, should also form part of the Christmas décor. Stunning glass and metallic lanterns add to the overall sophistication of this year’s style.

“The finishing festive décor touch this Christmas is the wreath. No longer restricted to the front door, we’ll be seeing wreaths adorn the home in a variety of ways,” says Robert Walker, the managing director at Alexander James Interior Design. “Contemporary elegance can come in the form of real branches interwoven with LED lights, or more modern wreaths made of twisted wire with tiny twinkles throughout. Once more, we’re seeing metallic come into play, bringing modern elegance to this Christmas tradition.”
With the home interior looking perfectly stylish, all that remains to be done is to give it the ideal festive scent. The White Company’s Winter Botanical Large Pillar Candle will help to capture the spirit and scent of the season.

Winter Botanical Large Pillar Candle, The White Company

Fan-Tail Peacock Decoration, Liberty London

Photos courtesy of Millgate Homes

As ever, the perfect lighting is also key to creating a magical Christmas ambience.
Far from being limited to the Christmas tree, this year lighting will feature throughout the home, from garlands to tumbling showers of LED lights to table centerpieces.
If it’s not sparkling delicately, it should be! Anything from a pile of gifts to a simple tree branch can be brought to life with the right lighting.
Understated twinkles spread throughout the home can create a truly stunning overall impact.
Decorating for Christmas is one of the most exciting parts of preparing for the festive season. With these styling tips in mind, every home can create a stunning, elegant Christmas ambience that brings the magic of the season alive.

Photos courtesy Nicky Hamila.

By Kristen Ordonez

With the winter holidays already in full effect, there’s no better way to liven up some of the traditions of the holiday season then to uncork a bottle of wine. However, whether it is for a casual get-together among friends or the annual holiday party, figuring out which wines go with certain foods can sometimes build more stress during this busy time of year. What better way to alleviate the stress then through some wine pairing tips from a seasoned sommelier? Kris Margerum, Head Sommelier at Auberge du Soleil and the genius behind the newest Wine Series event for the first residential Auberge Beach Residences & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, has several interesting tips that he follows with his own family every year.
Bring something that you would enjoy.
One of the easiest ways to enjoy a nice bottle is to bring a type of wine that you want to enjoy, no matter the level of appreciation of the rest of the group. In other words, do not skimp on quality just because some of the attendees may not be super wine savvy. These are the people you love, so it is best to spend time with them over a good bottle of wine.

Set out a plate of sushi.
For the holidays, my extended family has a couple of interesting traditions. First is that everybody cooks and we are all assigned tasks to do. After a bit of culinary work we take a break with, of all things, sushi. We all enjoy this with a glass of off-dry German Riesling.
This year I am planning on bringing a 2010 J.J. Prum “Wehlener Sonnenuhr” Kabinett from the Mosel. The off-dry notes and acidity pair wonderfully with the heat of the wasabi that we all love to have with our sushi. It is a refreshing and unique tradition that we all look forward to.

Don’t forget the soup.
Another practice my family follows during the holidays is starting with a soup course before the main course. For this, we always prepare a pumpkin peanut butter soup. Over the years, I have matched this course with many wines including White Burgundies, Californian Chardonnays and Viogniers. This year, I am bringing a 2015 Truchard Roussanne for the Carneros District in Napa Valley.
Pair wines with the usuals.
The main course of many holiday meals tends to be the traditional turkey with all the usual sides like stuffing, potatoes, gravy and veggies. Here, I generally bring one bottle of a fuller bodied chardonnay for the non-red wine drinker(s) and several bottles of medium bodied reds.
Don’t be afraid to pair dessert with dessert.
Pumpkin Pie is paired this year with a dessert wine from my cousin Doug’s winery, the 2014 Margerum “Late Harvest” Viognier – Santa Barbara County.
If all else fails, try these wines this holiday.
Here’s my lineup for 2016:
– 2014 Hamilton Russell – Chardonnay – Hemel en Aarde Valley – Walker Bay-South Africa
– 2009 Williams Selyem “Ferrington” Pinot Noir – Anderson Valley-Mendocino
– 2011 St. Cosme “Valbelle” Red Rhône Blend – Gigondas-France
– 2014 Ghost Block “Pelissa” Zinfandel – Oakville-Napa Valley

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