Jack Frost hasn't come calling yet, he soon will be. It's the signal to
retreat into your home where it is cozy and warm.
issue brings you tips on getting your home ready for cool weather living
and entertaining now and throughout the holidays.
||Entertaining Guide-Estimating Food and Beverage
Estimating food and drink needs for your occasion will depend on many
things including the reason for the gathering, time of day, whether your
guests will be working up an appetite (or thirst) prior to or during the
event, the age range of your guests, the weather and more. An ice skating
party for several families will require different refreshments than those
for an adult brunch.
Stocking up on non perishable staples will
mean fewer last minute trips to the store just before a party. Buying a
little more than your estimated needs may be a safe bet, but over buying
may lead to waste. There's no magic way to know exactly how much you will
need but knowing your guests tastes, appetites, and the party particulars
in mind will help.
The following are general guidelines for
planning and shopping for a typical drinks and hors d'oeuvres party.
Beverages: 2 drinks per hour for the first two hours, 1 ½ per hour
Wine or champagne 750ml bottle = 5-6 drinks
Ice: ¼ to ½ lb. per person (in addition to ice needed for chilling
Glasses: 1-2 per person per hour
chips, pretzels): 2-4 oz per person
Hors d'oeuvres: plan on 4-8
per person per hour depending on portion
||Photo Phobia Part 2 + Free Redesign Party
Last month I wrote
about a common problem-having an abundance of photos that can become
difficult to manage. Do any of the following sound familiar?
have children or grandchildren and they are adorable. So both you and your
parents take lots of photos. How do you display them?
and have wonderful scenic shots that would look great on your wall-but how
do you frame and group them?
You have, or someone in your family
has, received recognition in someway that deserves to be recognized, but
You receive yearly family photos in holiday cards from
friends and family. You keep them or maybe display them but the collection
keeps growing and growing. What to do?
How to display photos
depends on the content, the size, and the intent. Do you want to tell a
story, showcase an event, feature family members or create a family tree
in photos? Do you want to surround yourself with pictures of family and
friends who may be far away? Do you want to honor someone?
determine why you have the photos you can begin sorting and
selecting those that best fit your purpose. Make piles of those that most
appeal to you, those that you like but don't fit your project and those
you have but don't really need. Let's concentrate on the
Once you have your group of pictures, look at the how
well they relate to each other. Are some in color and some in black and
white? What are the unifying elements? Would some of the photos look
better if they were larger or smaller? Would some look better cropped or
maybe in black and white? (Both of these can minimize distracting details
or colors that don't blend well with your decor.)
that will compliment both the photos and the decor of the room. The frames
don't have to be identical, but should look harmonious as a
If you will be hanging the photos on a wall, mark out the
space you have for display with some blue painter's tape on the floor or
on a table. Make a trial layout moving the individual photos around until
you have found the best balance. Using paper templates of each of the
pieces, place them on the wall and make adjustments as needed. Then taking
each framed photo, mark where the hangers will go and attach each to the
Table top, shelf and piano displays can be more effective
when combined with objects. The pictures may suggest the things that will
add interest to the grouping. Varying the levels and the sizes of the
photos is important. Again, the choice of frames will make a big
difference in the over-all display.
For more on how to
display and accessorize with photos, attend my free Redesign Party this month on November 12th from 7-9.
Learn the secrets of
turning a random assortment of objects and photos into arrangements that
highlight any room. You will also see how to incorporate the feel of fall
into holiday decorations for any color palette. Call or click on the link
below to request more information on attending this month's Redesign
||Dining Room Redesign-Before
Last month we
showed how a new homeowner's predicament with her open plan dining room
was solved using the new Bella and Birch dry paint faux finish product
just below the chair rail for some subtle color and texture. We showed the
application and now we can show the results. (If you missed last month's
article, click on the link below to go to our archived newsletters.)
Here is the dining room before. The homeowner had placed the four
botanicals on the wall in a classic arrangement and was happy with the
effect, but wanted to do more.
||Dining Room Redesign-After
Applying the Bella
and Birch to the lower wall immediately added warmth and definition that
the space needed. Finishing touches such as showcasing the homeowner's
china pieces and adding seasonal color to the dining room table completed
||Quick Tip:Home Improvement Calculator
If you are
thinking about updating or upgrading the look of or the spaces in your
home, check out the Wells Fargo home improvement project calculator link
below. It can help you determine what the effect will have on the value of
||Holiday Entertaining Emergency Kit
Nothing can dampen
the holiday spirit like spills, stains and broken glass during a party.
Accidents happen so prepare an Entertainment Emergency Kit in
advance. Microfiber cloths, stain eliminators, carpet and floor cleaners
or wipes, a lint roller for taking carpet fuzz off of clothing, adhesive
bandages and antiseptic wipes for cuts from picking up broken glass and
possibly a hand vac to get up small debris are some of the things that may
be come in handy or be necessary.
Put all of these
in a decorative container or basket that can be on the spot, literally, in
seconds. Your guests will be relieved and impressed by your fore thought
and you will be relieved of the anxiety of preventing stains and
||Great Idea-An Insulated Sauce Boat
I don't make gravy
very often, but I do make sauces and try to make extra to pass with a
dinner entree or dessert. (Hot chocolate desert sauce anyone?) Keeping
sauces warm can be a problem unless you have a sauce boat with a warming
Most of these are either very formal or very casual, take
up a bit of room on a table or need to be plugged in. The simple sauce
boat pictured can transition from formal to casual table settings and
doesn't draw attention to itself. It works by using hot water in a hidden
reservoir to keep sauces warm.
Click on the link below to read
more, or do your own online search to see other similar helpers.
||Paper Leaves Dress up Holiday Appetizers and
Fall is here and
the leaves are turning all kinds of beautiful colors. This assortment of
die-cut paper leaves from Paper Source includes Japanese dotted
washi and all natural, earth friendly lokta papers. The pack contains 36
leaves in four large leaf shapes in 9 different papers and colors, all for
$7.50. Leaf sizes are approximately 3" - 4", perfect for serving sweets
such as individual fall fruit tarts or mini pumpkin pies, or savories such
as small tea sandwiches or mini quiches.
With a Sharpie pen, write
a short message along the edge of the leaf shape and place it on a serving
platter, cake stand or on individual desert plates. Place the sweets and
savories on top of each leaf. It's a quick and simple way to make your
food presentation more festive.
||How to Fix What's Haunting Your House
In the spirit of
Halloween, no pun intended, I am including this link to the web site,
ManageMyHome.com. In the article, Cures for a Haunted House, it discusses
common noises and problems in a home that can haunt you until they are
fixed properly. Its witty but practical advice seemed appropriate for last
minute "ghost busting".
||About The Redesigner's Notebook
Redesigner's Notebook is devoted to tips and articles relating to
interior redesign, decorating, entertaining, organizing and related
If you have an interest or question that you would like
to see addressed, or a community event that you would like to see included
that relates to these subjects please contact me at 703-689-9886 or click
on the link below to email me. Your comments and suggestions are always
~ Pam Faulkner, Faulkner House Interior