Monthly Archives: October 2011

Orange you glad I wrote this, 2

Several months ago, I wrote a post about using the color orange as a great seasonal color for decorating your home in Spring and Summer. (You can read that original post right here.) This was a very popular post with all of you readers. So, with the change of the seasons, I thought I would share some more ideas with you. Think of this as my own version of “give the people what they want”.

Orange might seem like an obvious choice for Fall. It is often right outside your window, in the leaves and sunsets of each day. But let me give you a much more personal reason I use it in my home: I cannot wear orange.

I am very fair-skinned, as is Mr. CARO, so there is no orange clothing hanging in our closets. Zero. Zilch. Nada. This is why I love using orange as an accent decor color in our home. I never get tired of it because it doesn’t exist too regularly anywhere in the rest of our lives. You can do this, too.

"Oranges On A Branch" by Winslow Homer, 1885 Image courtesy of art.com

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m certainly not suggesting you fill a room or paint your walls in a color that is not flattering to your own skin tone. Just consider using an off-limits-wardrobe-color as a colorful pop. You can use the “less is more” theory and mix the color, as a highlight of sorts, into your existing decor.

Do you have a difficult color when it comes to your wardrobe? Are you a redhead who can’t wear red easily? Are yellows unwelcome in your closet? Does cream make you look like a ghost? Everyone has at least one color like this in their lives. You can use it to your advantage in your home.

We’ll use me as a guinea pig today and run with orange, which is very easy to find in stores during the Fall. If I wanted to add some orange to the decor of my rooms, here are some of the great, affordable options I could use today:

There’s a little something for everyone here: modern, traditional, eclectic, global, minimalist and retro. I’ve used a neutral grey background for this mood board so you can all see how different shades of orange can really pop. For your (window) shopping pleasure, I’ve also linked all the items on the mood board to their retailer pages online below.

  1. Tree Orange & Olive pillow
  2. Red & Orange Mosiac filled candles
  3. Copper & Rust Weave table runner
  4. Marimekko Biloba queen sheet set
  5. Safavieh Courtyard II area rug
  6. Ceramic vase
  7. KASSETT magazine files

Does orange feel like a more approachable color for your home? Is there anything you saw on this mood board that is going on your “must-have” list? What other colors seem less-than-approachable to use in your home? Leave a comment and I’ll tackle them in a future post!

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Fill ‘er up: free giveaway winner!

It’s time to announce this week’s giveaway winner!

This week’s winner will receive a great pair of mugs proclaiming their allegiance to or freedom from coffee. Using a fictitious historic document to support their opinions, these mugs are sure to get a second glance in your home or office.

And the winner is…Sherry M.! 

Sherry likes hot, hot free trade coffee, black, any time, day or night. Free trade coffee must taste extra good, knowing you are making a positive change in the world.  I’m also a little envious, because I sure wish I could handle caffeine so well! Congratulations, Sherry! I’ll be contacting you soon via email to get your mailing address.

If you didn’t win this week, take heart! There is another giveaway coming in just two weeks. Have a great idea for a giveaway? Leave a comment below with your idea. I’m always on the lookout for great gift ideas for my readers and I’d love to know what you like!

Boo-yah!

October is my favorite month of the year and I love that it ends with parties, costumes and a little silliness for all ages. And lots of candy.

That’s right. I said it. You are all thinking it, whether you steal…oh, excuse me…”safety check” Halloween candy from your own kids or try to look like every piece you scarf down at the office is your very first one. We should all just own it. The candy part is fun!

Image courtesy of wisconsinmommy.com

I also like the wicked decorations. There is something nice about seeing adults get into the spirit of a holiday, any holiday really, by putting up all the fun pieces around their home and offices. Do you decorate for Halloween?

I’ve noticed that some favorite catalogs getting in on the Halloween decor more and more over the past few years. There are some very nice, creative and ghoulishly wonderful items for the home out there now, so I thought I’d share a few lovely sources I have found.

Art & Artifact

This is always a lovely catalog to browse. I have bought accessories for client’s from this catalog and everything is as beautiful and well crafted as it looks on the page. Their Halloween items look great. Here are a two of my (linked!) favorites:

There is something very “Brother’s Grimm” to me about these metal jack-o-lanterns. Maybe it is the hammered metal finishes or their older, worn orange color. I just like them, especially since they nest together for easy storage later.

I also love these little jingle pumpkin lanterns. You can buy the vase, the lit branches and the jingle lanterns separately, if you want the whole look in the picture above. I love the idea of these little bells moving in the wind as trick-or-treaters approach your front door.

Grandin Road

Another great accessories and small furnishing catalog that makes me smile when it arrives. I have bought several of their Christmas decor items for clients and now it looks like their Halloween decor is really expanding. Pictured below are a few of my favorites and again, I’ve linked the pictures right to the items for easy exploring.

This “Spider double window poster” is only $12, which is about the same cost as one of those super-big bags of Halloween candy you can buy at party stores. They have a vampire version of this item, too, which is lots of fun. You just trim the poster to fit your windows and bring on the creepy music!

Martha Stewart has done some designing for this catalog, as you can see by her “animated snake wreath” pictured above. This wreath moves and makes noise (which you can hear on the online catalog page) as people approach it. I would love to put this on the front door when hosting a Halloween party!

ZGallerie

This catalog, which has some store front locations, is a great source for modern and transitional furnishings and accessories. Their Halloween items have a touch of glam and chic-ness that I don’t see many other places. My (linked!) favorites:

These creepy hands could be great, just mingled in with your regular decor. They would certainly make me look twice. I like the shiny metal finish that almost looks robotic, yet still oddly Victorian. Plus, they are actually rather lightweight and only cost $20.

Why have just black candles when you can have a bunch of black skulls burning at your party? I love the classic simplicity of these and the slick black color makes them almost too pretty to use. Zgallerie also sells a large, single version of these candles, but I like this six-pack for $13.

Victorian Trading Co.

This is truly one of my favorite catalogs. I love their Halloween items and I really love their Christmas items. There is just something lovely and old school about their product that makes them feel decadent, without a decadent price tag. If you like the look of their website, I urge you to sign up for their catalogs. They have great sales! Here are a my (linked!) choices for Halloween:

The image on this decoupaged wood centerpiece is taken from an antique nursery rhyme book. I love the wicked cats who are clearly up to no good. At only $25, I think this is a steal. Wouldn’t this look great on a mantle, too?

You know I like a good postcard as an art source. It would be so easy to choose your favorites from this selection of 3o postcards and frame them as spooky wall or table decor, just like I showed you right here and right here. Did I mention these are only $10? Such a deal!

Do you decorate for Halloween in your home? What is the best decoration you have ever seen at a Halloween party? Are you looking forward to the candy part of Halloween? I am already craving some candy corn! Leave a comments and we can all get in on the ghostly spirit of things!

Did you see yesterday’s giveaway announcement? Don’t forget to enter to win!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, whether you are celebrating Columbus Day on the US or Thanksgiving in Canada. I’ll be celebrating my birthday this weekend and I hope you have something fun planned, too.

See you on Tuesday!

Fill ‘er up: free giveaway

*****************This contest is now closed.*********************

With the arrival of cooler weather, some of you may be experiencing what I am feeling every morning. The warmth of cosy bedding in a dark room vs. a colder room and a long list of things to do each day. Sadly, the cosy bedding never wins in this scenario. What’s a person to do?

Well, I’m giving away something you can use on those hard-to-get-started mornings. I’m guessing you prefer to start your day the same way Mr. CARO and I do, with a warm mug in your hand.

These mugs are a little special, because they jokingly celebrate a rather common household divide: coffee or tea? The images and phrases on these mugs debate opinions on a fictitious “historic” 1674 political pamphlet. One mug cries out about the evils of coffee, by obvious tea drinkers:

While the other mug is a defense of coffee by dedicated coffee bean consumers:

Do you have a mix of warm beverage fans in your home? Our home is quite divided over this issue. In fact, when I found these mugs and was in line to purchase them, Mr. CARO suggested I just get two of the pro-coffee mugs. But, no. I stood my ground and would not deny fair representation to my fellow tea-drinkers.

Could these mugs hold the line in the battle over caffeine sources in your home? Could you use a new coffee mug at work? Need a Christmas gift for the tea connoisseur in your life? Could you serve up some delicious irony in your home by filling both mugs with rich hot chocolate? Why not find out?

To Enter:  Leave a comment that begins with “FILL ‘ER UP” and tell me what favorite warm beverage you prefer and how you like it prepared. Do you have to have coffee before you start your day? Do you crave a pick-me-up from a good cup of tea in the afternoon? Have you been known “supplement” your hot chocolate occasionally with “adult beverage” flavorings?

Enter By:  Tuesday, September 11, 2011 at 10pm EST

Number of winners: Only 1!  And only one entry per email address will be allowed, so that everyone gets a fair chance of winning. I’ll ship this giveaway to anywhere in the world, so international entries are welcome!

The Winner:  Will be selected at random from the total number of comments by using random.org and will be announced in a post next Tuesday.

Enter today! How about now? Unless you need to top up your warm beverage first…

Chew on this

Today’s post is a follow-up to the green-clean-up-your-pet’s-accidents post I shared with you last week. I love pets and I keep a list of great sources from my pet-owning clients to share with others. My tip for today is for dog and puppy owners, which make up the majority of pets I see in the homes I visit. This tip may also work for kitties, but I leave that up to the cat owners to decide if it works for them.

I have used today’s tip myself with several dogs and three (yes, three) litters of puppies. This tip does work for canines. And in fact it is designed to curb your canine’s canines. This tip works to solve this problem:

Image courtesy of merchantcircle.com

Have you ever had this problem in your home? Puppies love to chew when they are trying to get rid of their baby teeth. Older dogs might develop a taste for a certain piece of furniture or shoes and return to it whenever they are tempted by the smell. So, when we employ this deterrent in our home, we must also remember to conquer the smell, just like last week’s post.

Our Secret Weapon

Didn’t see that coming, did you? I bet most of you already have some variety of hairspray in your home already. Here’s how you use it:

Just spray the area of chewing temptation lightly with hairspray and let it dry. I’m using the legs of a wicker chair, which was like catnip for our dogs. You can use this on any wood furniture piece or leather shoes (not fabric shoes). It will not hurt the finish of your wood furniture or leather.

When you are done needing it, when your puppy has grown up or your dog has learned not to chew the vulnerable item, you can just wipe the hairspray away with a damp cloth. (I use the eco-friendly cloths I discuss in this post.)

You can also leave the hairspray on indefinitely if you are worried about protecting your items forever.

How It Works

The alcohol in the hairspray is a natural odor absorber. It is a great way to disguise the natural scent of the tempting item. In addition, many hairsprays have artificial scent in them to smell fruity, floral or feminine for the human customers. These scents take care of the older dogs tempted by the items natural scent. You may need to top of the layer of hairspray every now and then to protect it from…”repeat offenders”.

Image courtesy of mylot.com

The way the hairspray works for puppies is even simpler. Puppies are looking for anything they can wrap their gums around, just like human babies love teething rings. If you were teething, would like to get the taste of hairspray all over the inside of your mouth? Neither do puppies. Just be prepared to top off the layer of spray on the “targeted” items because puppies have a slower learning curve about taste than older dogs.

Easy solution, right? And you probably already have the “secret weapon” in your home. Okay, one last thing to share with you…

Puppy Bonus!

It is no secret that I am a big fan of our National Parks Service, which you can read more about in this post. I learned something new about the NPS just last week and I had to share since it involves these three little cuties:

Image courtesy of nps.gov

The National Parks Service raises a litter of sled dog puppies every year at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. This years litter of pups are named Koven, Carpe and Tatum. You are paying a tiny, itty-bitty portion of their care through your tax dollars going to the NPS. So, in a sense, these are partly YOUR puppies.

Your puppies have grown up a lot since that above picture. Now they frolic and play, greet their keepers when it is mealtime and take naps in a big furry pile of sibling-hood. How do I know all this? I check on them, almost every day, and you can, too.

Just click on the still picture below and it will take you (past a ridiculously long web address) to the NPS Sled Dog Puppies Kennel Webcam. The camera refreshes the image approximately every 18 seconds.

Remember that Alaska is 4 hours behind Eastern Time, which makes it even easier to watch them during the day and in the early evening. Two days ago, the pups woke up to their first major snowfall and they were so excited!

What does all this puppy-cam stuff have to do with interior design? Well, the point of great design is great living. Pets are a great reminder that sometimes the smallest things can bring beauty and joy into our lives and homes. Even if they slop their drinking water all over the floor and carelessly leave paw prints in their wake. Few people ever welcome us home the way our pets do.

Image at learningthelight.com

What is the silliest thing you pet ever chewed up or destroyed? My puppy got into a sewing box and unwound every spool of thread by chasing them all over the upstairs. She certainly had a good time but she also managed to tie her own legs together. When we came home, it was really hard to be mad at her since we found her stuck at the top of the stairs trussed like a turkey, quietly whimpering.

Got a good pet story of your own? Share it in a comment!

Pinterest: Go for Baroque Powder Room

It is the beginning of a new month, which means it is time for a new FREE monthly mood board on Pinterest. I’ve created a whole room design and linked every item to it’s retail source to make shopping easy for you. It’s a full room design by a professional interior designer for FREE. What’s the catch? It’s only on Pinterest for one month. On November 1, the whole thing is gone and a brand new board goes up online.

This month’s mood board is for a powder room. I’m calling it the “Go for Baroque Powder Room” because I’ve chosen iconic silhouettes from one of the most bold art movements in history. The first thing I like to do in a small room is add a little sparkle, which always makes a room feel luxurious. You can see the sparkle elements I’ve chosen in the lighting and accessories.

 Little rooms, like powder rooms, can feel larger when you use bold and big pattern. This can be a great opportunity to break out you favorite bold color and explore a busier wallpaper than you would consider for the rest of the rooms in your home.

While big patterns and bold color can add a lot to any small space, you also want choose only one or two colors so that the room does not have too many focal points. For this room, I’ve chosen a black and white palette with silver detailing and a couple or real pops of peacock blue. Using the blue on the ceiling is also a great way to give the room more height, because it naturally draws the eye up.

So, how can you see this new mood board? Well, you can click on the Pinterest button below or on the sidebar, which looks just like this:

While you are on the CARO Interiors Pinterest site, you can browse around and look at some of the other boards I’ve created showing beautiful things for the home. Or you can jump directly to the “Go for Baroque Powder Room” by clicking right here.

Could your powder room use an upgrade? Do you like Baroque patterns? Do you have an idea for a future Pinterest FREE monthly mood board? Leave comment and I might use your idea for inspiration next month!

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