Does your town have a Ballard Designs store? Ours does and apparently they have free periodic design solutions events that are open to the public. Did I mention that these events are free? But you do have to register ahead of time. I just found out about these classes! They offer them about five times per year and they are reevaluating whether or not to do it again next year.
Today I attended my first one. After signing in, we were given a bag which contained a catalog, a card (to fill out for two drawings of $100 gift certificates), a pencil (good thing because I switched my purse and forgot to put a pen in it!), a Design Solutions brochure (they offer free design advice) and a gift! The gift this year was a beautiful Moravian Star ornament (valued at $20), a miniature version of a chandelier they carry. (I immediately hung it on my china hutch.)
The first look featured a wreath, flanked with two ropes of garland. Kim showed us how to weave a wire-edged ribbon, pinching it every so often to make it loop and bunch. She also recommended mixing greenery with pinecones and berries to add interest. It’s also okay to use mixed greenery: pine mixed with holly or even boxwood.
For the second look, she took two sprays and placed them over the door, then flanked the door with two garland (different than the previous ones), and finally replaced the wreath with this adorable Adirondack basket. She added another spray to the basket but she told us that it would be equally as cute with wrapped boxes peeking out the top. I bet!
She recommended weaving the burlap ribbon in the garland and she used a pre-tied bow on the basket. (I found a great tutorial if you want to make your own bow! Hint: it’s not tied!) I like this look! Unfortunately the basket was sold out!
Mantel (or Sideboard)
First of all Kim showed us how to create a mantel from a shelf if you don’t have a fireplace. Lucky for me, I do, but I did think this was very clever! The mirror they used is very pretty (the Cassidy mirror in taupe – I really love it in blue!) but we have a painting I love over our mantel. Regardless, I loved the ideas Kim shared. If you don’t have a mantel you can use the same ideas for a sideboard or other small table such as a sofa table.
The first idea used some pieces that are too glitsy for my tastes. They’re from the Suzanne Kasler line. What I did learn from this is to use odd numbers when displaying items. In this case, she used three czech crystal trees. Also, changing the height adds interest. Kim used a clear riser to two of the trees taller, but she suggested books and another woman even recommended a glass block (the kind they use to make windows and showers in bathrooms). Again, she layered the garland with ribbon and added in some ornaments.
Then they switched out the look for something a little more my style. But first they showed how you can use the wreath as an ‘O’ and spell the word JOY. I loved this idea!
The second look included red plaid ribbon (I *heart* plaid!) and mixed metal cone trees. Again, using the magic number three, Kim showed how to style the mantel using red mercury glass garland twined among the greenery and added red and silver mercury glass ornaments (I bought some of these with my discount! I plan to copy this look but maybe use my nutcracker collection in place of the cone trees.)
The final feature was how to decorate the staircase. I completely missed taking a picture of the first look (and it was the one I liked best). She used the Bunny Williams magnolia garland, adding in some adorable Santa canvases.
This was the second, more whimsical look, using felt animal ornaments, felted wool garland (which I loved because it looks like snowballs!) and chalkboard ball ornaments. (I remembered we have leftover chalkboard paint so I may try my hand at making my own balls!)
Thanks for the great ideas Kim! I hope BD continues these classes next year!
Now if it would just cool off…
(Kim is my dear friend, my walking buddy and extremely gifted in the decorating department! She is the one who alerted me to these classes and I’m go grateful!)