Category Archives: Holidays

Beautiful Holiday Tablescape Ideas

We are dashing through the web, loading our browser’s cache,
over the blogs we go, pinning all the way….
to bring you beautiful holiday tablescapes!

These memorable centerpieces will set the tone for your holiday festivities and draw “Cheers!” from your guests.

To decorate like a pro, we recommend starting with a theme and then creating your tablescape around that concept focusing on one or two colors. If you want to add a third hue, do so sparingly so the table doesn’t get too busy.

Presenting presents! For an easy, yet impactful holiday tablescape, wrap boxes with moss, beautiful ribbon, metallic wrapping paper — your only limit is your imagination! Small presents for each setting also serve double duty: impactful decor and a thoughtful gifts for your guests to remember the occasion. Wine charms, ornaments, hot chocolate or USB thumb drives loaded with your favorite holiday tunes are just a few ideas for favors.

The_Lettered_Cottage_Tablescapes_For_Christmas

Photo: The Lettered Cottage

House Beautiful Vintage Holiday Centerpiece

Photo: House Beautiful

BeechTree Photography

Bright idea: Transform your existing light fixture to add whimsy or drama to your table. Ornaments, ribbon and fishing line are all you need to achieve these looks:

Real Simple Overhead Opulence

Photo: Real Simple

Modern Living

Photo: 212concept

Branch out this season! To add height to your display, spray paint branches and hang them overhead with jute rope from removable adhesive hooks on the ceiling. Or arrange branches in vases and decorate with glass icicles, lightweight ornaments or small frames with family photos.

branch with birds

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

lily pad cottage christmas tablescape

Photo: The Lily Pad Cottage

digs digs charming winter centerpieces

Photo: digsdigs.com

House of Smiths Holiday Tablescapes

Photo: The House of Smiths

A stop at Candy Cane Lane. The traditional red and white angular stripes are the perfect source for tablescape inspiration. Incorporated candy canes or sticks into your centerpiece or a simple wide ribbon down the middle of your table.

stone walk kitchen candy cane flower centerpiece

Photo: Stonewalk Kitchen

Modern Living & Design Christmas Candy Cane centerpiece

Photo: 212concept

french setting French Larkspur

Photo: French Larkspur

 

Bringing the outside in. Whether your style is rustic or refined, incorporating fruit, nuts, pine cones, flowers or greens into your holiday tablescape is a simple and affordable and option for creating a “wow” entertaining moment.

AO at home christmas tablescape

Photo: AO at Home

Partridge in a Pear Tree Crate and Barrel Christmas

Photo: Crate and Barrel

 

tulips and pinecones

Photo: Midwest Living

Cinnamon sticks holiday tablescapes

Photo: Just Imagine

Better Homes and Gardens christmas tree centerpiece

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

rustic

Photo: Home Talk

Sweet Something Design Outdoor Christmas Tablescape

Photo: Sweet Something Design

finding_home_online_cranberry_vase

Photo: Finding Home Online

We hope that our roundup of beautiful holiday tablescape ideas provides inspiration while you are decking the halls!

Seasons greetings from your friends at Interior Transformation.

Unique and Affordable Gift Ideas

News flash: interior designers love to shop! We thrive on the thrill of the hunt for that perfect statement piece that looks like it was specifically made for our client’s home. This holiday season, we hand-picked unique and affordable gift ideas for everyone on your list. Like our interior designs, our gift ideas combine fun and functionality.


For the home

Anywhere FireplacesAnywhere Fireplaces
Cozy up on the couch or relax in your bedroom with an Anywhere Fireplace. These pieces emanate rich heat without soot, vents or gas lines and the dancing orange flames effortlessly replicate a wood-burning fireplace without giving off dangerous chemicals. $89 to $300

Tahari throwTahari Metallic Cable Knit Throw
Soft and cozy for watching TV, but will still look elegant when left on the couch! $25


For the young at heart – or age!

gameboyRetro Gameboy iPhone Case
Perfect for stuffing a stocking full of nostalgia! $15

520_deckstool_seatDeckstool Recycled Skateboard Stool
Incredibly strong and surprisingly comfortable, every 18” deckstool is created with real broken skateboards and held together by a skateboard truck. The deckstool is made from real recycled broken skateboards. Check out their website for excellent gifts for a skater or fans of reuse and modern design.  $250

PlayTapePlayTape Roads & Rails
Why wasn’t this invented when our boys were younger? PlayTape is the fastest, best way to creatively build roads and rails for playing with toy cars and trains. Like painter’s tape, it sticks to any flat surface, is easy to tear, repositionable, easily removed with no residue and is recyclable! $8 to $10.

catalogv1_maxiscreations_1Max’s Creations: Mug with a Hoop
We love this story: 12-year-old Max Ash, the brainchild behind Max’s Creations, made his first Mug With a Hoop during art class when he was just eight years old. Originally intended for shooting marshmallows into hot cocoa, this mug brings game time fun to everything from berries and cereal to oyster crackers and soup. Max happens to be dyslexic and his patent pending idea showcases the upside of kids who learn differently. Max’s Creations is donating 5% of the profits from the sale of his mugs to charities that support dyslexia research and awareness. $24

polaroid-socialmatic-1Polaroid Socialmatic Camera
How fun is this? Old-school Polaroid camera that prints instantly but you can post your images on social media! The Socialmatic combines the nostalgic appeal of vintage Polaroid instant print cameras with the ability to share using the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi and Android interface.  Start by snapping your best shots with the 14-megapixel forward-facing and 2-megapixel user-facing cameras, and then instantly print (with zero ink!) physical photos and/or share them online via the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It features a desktop-grade Internet browser and email client, as well as built-in GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for geo-tagging and remote printing. Orders are being taken now on Amazon with shipping starting on January 1. $299


For her

Jewelry bowlTall Pedestal Jewelry Bowl
This handmade pedestal ceramic jewelry bowl stores and showcases 20 to 25 pairs of earrings in the holes around the rim, while the interior holds bracelets, rings and other treasured adornments. Perfect for her nightstand. $52

BangeesBanjees Wrist Wallets
Whether you walk, run, shop or travel, the Wrist Wallet is the extra pocket you wish you had to hold your smartphone, keys and cash and credit cards. There are a wide range of styles and options for everyone on the go along with fleece gloves with storage compartments.

Designhype-Chicago-Metro-Cuff-black-large_grandeChicago Metro Cuffs
This company made its first cuff bracelet of the NYC subway system because a friend was having some trouble getting around the city using her huge fold-out map. Voila – now CTA riders can wear the map on their wrists. (Yes, it’s even licensed by the CTA.) Available in other cities, too. $37


For him

keysmartKeySmart
Smaller than a pack of gum, KeySmart is a compact key holder designed to neatly and comfortably fit in your pocket. No bulk and not one jingle or jangle. $20.

Pangeabrands_chicago_blackhawks_sandwich_mark_grandePangea Brands Waffle and Sandwich Grill with Sports Logo
Make breakfast, lunch or dinner with your favorite pro football, hockey or baseball team! They also offer sport team branding tools for grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. $40

golf_comp_s__43886.1412700412.702.702Mancrates
These swag kits assemble themed collections of treats for guys — ranging in concept from outdoor survivalist to beer connoisseur to meat lover, etc.  They stuff the crates with snacks, gadgets, gear and video games, seal them up tight and ship them with a crowbar. (Ammo cans also available!) Starts at $25

Please share:

Giving Thanks for Family Traditions

Thanksgiving TraditionsAs people whose professions focus around creating happy homes, it’s no surprise that Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. With nature serving the perfect color palette, it’s the time of year that allows us to slow down and remember all that we are grateful for while being surrounded by family, friends and endless food!

We thought it would be fun to share our favorite Thanksgiving traditions and recipes. Please add your Turkey Day favorites in the comments section — thank you!

Linda Fougerousse | Principal Designer

What I love most about Thanksgiving is that the entire focus is about gathering family together and sharing food.  When my mom, sister or I cook, each of us brings our largest Tupperware containers (appropriately nicknamed “The Trough”) so we can bring home the leftovers.

Thanksgiving weekend also includes a family trip to the farm to chop down the Christmas tree. My son and husband have an ongoing joke/excuse that they don’t know how to string the tree lights. So every year, I play along and am the one responsible for making sure the lights are on just right. After that, we all decorate the tree with ornaments — even the cat likes to help with that job!

Bailey’s Cheesecake

Crust: Oreo Cookie (remove all the cream and process the cookies in a food processor).  You can add in some graham crackers or shortbread cookies to mix it up a bit.  Add about 1/4 cup melted butter and then press in to pan.

Mix:

  • 3 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup Baileys irish cream
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Optional: 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips (they don’t sink to bottom like regular size chips)

Top:  Whip cream

Mix the cream cheese, cornstarch and the sugar together softening up the cream cheese.  Then beat the eggs just slightly and then add them to the mixture.  Beat the mixture (2-5 minutes) but don’t over beat it.  The more you beat it, the more air you add and lighter it becomes. We like it a little more dense so I don’t beat it too much.

Preheat oven to 350. When you’re ready for the cheesecake, reduce the temp to 325.

Creating a water bath keeps the moisture high to avoid cracking and also provides a slower, more even way of cooking.  To prevent water from seeping into the removable bottom of the springform pan, wrap aluminum foil completely around the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Then put your springform pan into a larger pan and fill the larger pan with water only going about 1/3 the way the springform pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until the center is just about done. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there for 5-10 minutes.  Crack the oven open just slightly to slowly cool the cake about 30 minutes. Remove cake from oven and let stand for another 20-30 minutes.  It should be cool enough to pick up the pan.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, whip up 1 container of whip cream and pipe or spread on the top.  Sprinkle with chocolate shavings if desired.

Dawn Alpern | Associate Designer

Our family hosts Thanksgiving each year, but the dinner is a collective effort with each family bringing a favorite dish or dessert to share. We eat, drink and enjoy spending time together.

My favorite Thanksgiving dish to prepare is Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes:

  • 4 Pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2/3 Cups packed golden brown sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ginger
  • 2 Cups miniature marshmallows
  • ½ Cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Arrange potatoes in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish.  Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Pour over potatoes, toss to coat.  Cover dish tightly with foil.

Bake potatoes 50 minutes.  Uncover and bake potatoes until they are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes.  Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.  Top potatoes with marshmallows and almonds.  Return to oven and bake until marshmallows begin to melt and almonds begin to brown, about 3 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Karen King | Marketing

How many families can say that their Thanksgiving meal includes Pez candy? 15 years ago, my sister started our annual tradition of passing a Pez dispenser around the table, popping a piece of candy and sharing what we are thankful for. When she got married in Ireland around Thanksgiving time, she had Pez dispensers at every table and wedding guests shared their gratitudes. (I’m sure we confused the Irish attendees who thought Thanksgiving centered around Turkey, not rectangular sugar candy!)

Besides Pez :), my favorite Thanksgiving dish is when my husband deep-fries fresh turkey from Harrison’s Poultry in peanut oil. He whips together some crazy marinade concoctions and injects them into the bird. I always make sure there is a fire extinguisher nearby, but it’s so worth it!

Happy Thanksgiving from our families to yours!