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Welcome 2019 in Winter White

Blending varying shades of white in a room creates depth and dimension. The Modern Romance Console features a textured, lacquered white linen finish with champagne accents. Hooker Furniture

In January, nature cloaks itself in a stunning monochromatic color scheme of winter white.

In the colder months of the year, nature cloaks herself in winter white and the results are breathtaking. From the plains to the mountains to the coast, the absence of color around us during winter illustrates the serene beauty of a monochromatic look. Here’s how to incorporate nature’s subtlest — yet most sophisticated — palette into your home and furniture. 

An eggnog cocktail is a signature drink creation in creamy tones.

Before looking outside for inspiration, kick off the new year with a signature homemade drink creation in these creamy tones. This Southern Living Recipe from country legend Alan Jackson can be made with or without whiskey. Try rimming the glasses in graham cracker or gingerbread crumbs for an extra-special touch. 

A decorative chest like the Amani combines a winter white palette with soft wood tones and natural stone. Hooker Furniture.

A winter white palette doesn’t have to be boring. It can include soft wood tones, natural stone and muted finishes. A decorative furniture chest like the Amani is a great place to start if you’re thinking of trying this elegant design direction.

In a winter white color scheme, the Anders Chair from Sam Moore captures the appeal of the hygge lifestyle. Photo: Sam Moore Furniture.

Whoever said, “White is boring” surely hasn’t seen the Anders ChairEnrobed in a plush, shearling-like cover, it’s the epitome of easygoing elegance and the perfect choice for a winter white color scheme. 

Benjamin Moore is promoting an understated color palette of wall colors with its 2019 Color of the Year, Metropolitan.

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, Metropolitan, is a soft grey that works perfectly with the elegant sophistication of winter whites. As Benjamin Moore puts it, “The calibrated silence of layered grays helps a modern home find its soft side.”

Work is more appealing in a calming, organized workspace like this. Hooker Furniture.

Once the holidays are over, getting back to work seems more appealing in a calming workspace like this one.  Surely, a soft, clean home office will make it easier to stay organized in 2019.

The Miramar bedroom takes a world view of design and soothes in a winter white palette. Hooker Furniture

Use texture to add visual interest to your monochromatic color palette. A chunky throw blanket, extra-plush rug and stone accent wall give this space dimension while maintaining its minimalist color story.

Choosing cream or white leather for your sofa or sectional gives the added beauty of being able to accessorize them any way you like– now and in the future. Bradington-Young.

To get the full effect of the understated winter white palette, start with the largest furnishings in the room — your sofa or sectional. 

The timeworn finish of the Arabella dining room is created with a white finish over maple veneers with a crackle revealing a champagne shimmer beneath. Hooker Furniture.

It’s easy to create a dreamy dining room furniture area with a table, chairs and buffet in a timeless creamy white, such as this one from Arabella.

No matter what room you’re updating in the new year, you can’t go wrong by looking to nature for guidance. Even in the coldest of winters, there’s inspiration to be found. This year, when the weather has you indoors looking outward, consider bringing some of the beauty of winter’s whites into your home decor. 


Best Ever Elegant Holiday Entertaining Tips

Tip: Add nature to your guest list this holiday. Table: Hooker Furniture

Tip: Simple touches create a festive mood.

’Tis the season to make merry and bright with family and friends. Make your holiday gathering one they’ll remember long after the last eggnog toast with these elegant entertaining tips. A mix of pretty, practical and positively wow, each will help you impress -without duress- because they’re also easy to do.

Tip: Glam is good. Hooker Furniture.

The subtle champagne shimmer finish of the Arabella Round Dining Table and Arabella side dining chairs sparkles with a rich luster that reflects the festive tone of the season we’re celebrating. Slender, softly curved legs create an aura of romance as fretwork-carved chair backs, with Arabesque motifs, add architectural interest.

This lovely tablescape celebrates nature with fragrant mini wreaths made of snipped rosemary and a centerpiece of natural greenery.

Infusing interiors with layers of scent is a popular trend and is so easy to do during the holidays. Just take a quick stroll outdoors. This lovely tablescape features a mini wreath made with snipped rosemary, and a nature-inspired centerpiece fashioned from fresh evergreen branches, pomegranates and colorful glass pine cones.

Tip: Couture comfort = happy, stylin’ guests. Settee by Sam Moore.

An on-trend, versatile seating option, the Houlihan settee works the room in style. As a standalone in a small space, it create a fashion focal point. By flanking the fireplace with a pair of settees, you’ll create a cozy conversation zone. Or invite this plush settee to the table as an elegant spot for guests to sit and linger longer after the meal ends.

Tip: Layer in double-duty decor. Hooker Furniture.

The narrow footprint and double shelf design of the Melange Rivata Hall Console will make it a host’s best friend. In the living room, it can serve as a mini bar for cocktails by the Christmas tree. Dress up a narrow passageway by displaying holiday decor on this skinny mini table or place it in your foyer to give guests a place to stash bags and phones when they come through the door.

Tip: Tiny tables pay off big. Hooker Furniture

With portable nesting tables like these, guests can better relax. They’ll have a place to perch drinks and snacks—no more juggling with both hands all night long. And as a design bonus, the dark painted glass tops and silver metal bases of these space-saver tables are so chic they’re bound to make heads turn.

Tip: Comfy seating is a guest’s dream come true. Hooker Furniture.

Family and friends will enjoy your gathering and stay longer with a comfy place to sit and relax. Meticulously hand-crafted in luxe leather with deep plush cushions and arms, the Sydney Club Chair fits the bill and is destined to be the most popular seat in the room.

Tip: Limit trips to and from the kitchen. Hooker Furniture.

Although you’re the host, you are not a maid and should enjoy the party, too. Sized right for holding extra food or dining essentials, or to work as a self-serve salad station or dessert bar, the Miramar Aventura Maricopa Buffet will keep you more in the party scene than away from it. There’s spacious storage below, too, including a removable silverware tray and felt liner.

Tip: Send guests on their way with a sweet treat. Ed Anderson.

Offer the tastebuds of your guests a decadent end to the night. This recipe for semisweet hot fudge sauce is easy to make ahead and is wonderful served over ice cream, brownies or cake.  Make an extra batch and treat guests to a jar wrapped in festive paper and ribbon as a take-home party favor. They’ll remember your gathering as extra-sweet and special.



The Perfect Scoop Revised and Updated by David Lebovitz

Makes 3 cups (750ml) 

This sauce is very rich and very thick. If you prefer your hot fudge on the sweeter side, this is the one for you. 

1 cup (250ml) heavy cream 

6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 

2 tablespoons light corn syrup 

2⁄3 cup (130g) sugar 

8 ounces (230g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

  1. Heat the cream, butter, corn syrup, and sugar in a large saucepan until the mixture begins to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure it doesn’t boil over. 
  1. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Serve warm. 

STORAGE: This sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Rewarm it gently in a microwave or by stirring in a saucepan over very low heat.

Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Scoop Revised and Updated , copyright © 2018 by David Lebovitz. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photograph copyright © 2018 by Ed Anderson. 


How to Design Your Own Holiday House

The textured green, blue and metallic color palette in the holiday garland on the soaring stone fireplace in this lakeside home creates a look of laid-back luxury. Photo: Wanda S. Horton Design, Charlotte, N.C.

Wanda S. Horton Designs, a leading interior designer in Charlotte, N.C. shows you how to create your own holiday house of simple elegance.

Do you love visiting your local holiday home tours as much as we do? Because many holiday tours are in older, vintage homes, the day is filled with delight as we enjoy both the festive decor and the historical settings. 

The beautiful lakefront residence we recently designed called for holiday decorations with a relaxed elegance. Wanda S. Horton

Recently, we completed the interiors of a beautiful lakefront home  with a color scheme of mostly neutrals, grays and blues with a teal hue. When the homeowners asked if my team could bring in the merry, we said an enthusiastic “Yes!” We thought you’d enjoy “touring” this new holiday home online, and seeing how the magical wonderland took shape, working within the existing color scheme. 

We’re passing along professional holiday decorating tips as well:

HOLIDAY DECORATING TIP #1: Create a canvas or foundation of ball ornaments that use the same colors in the room. 

Put ornaments coordinating with the room’s color scheme on the tree, first. Then add the varied ornaments. You’ll see that this approach brings even the most unusual item into harmony with your interior.

Repeat the same color of balls for greater impact throughout your room for a lux look. Note how, in the photos above, we mixed satin and shine in the garland and in a nearby bowl.

This holiday floral arrangement uses the dominant neutral palette of the home, while punching it up with sparkle. Wanda S. Horton

Mixing of metals is a big trend for interiors, and we took it to a whole new level in the main living area’s Christmas tree by combining metals both in the ornaments and in the ribbon. We found a lovely ribbon with copper edging, silver striping and a meshed gold middle.

HOLIDAY DECORATING TRIP # 2: Buy ribbon in bulk to use throughout your decorating. 

Using ribbon throughout the room adds softness and color consistency. We even tied some ribbon on table vases to add texture and shine.

Every detail makes for special discoveries! We tucked some snow owls in the packaging. The ottomans, which form a cocktail table, have a tray. We swapped out the floral arrangement there for something more wintery and festive.

Even after Christmas and the New Year’s Eve parties have passed, it’s nice to be able to keep some festive pieces out for another month or two. 

My local go-to, August Lily Florist, created both of the lovely arrangements above.

Though some have special china just for holiday dinners, others may not. We set the table with my client’s white dishes and used chargers we had marblelized to bring in the surrounding blue palette. Rather than use a tablecloth, we used white, lacquered placemats for another layer.

Centerpieces were kept simple with a mixture of greens tucked into foam platforms, and the bases were covered in felt to protect the table top. Some frosted leaves and sprinkles of pearls added the perfect touch.

HOLIDAY DECORATING TIP #3. Elegant but simple candle arrangements can be used in lieu of flowers. Position between place settings so they’re not in the way, and keep them unscented to be able to enjoy the food being served.

If your inner child is still captivated by the traditional colors of Christmas, we’ve got that covered, too! On another level of the home, there’s an area we call the fun room, and it has a multi-colored area rug, giving us permission to run free with almost any color under the rainbow.

HOLIDAY DECORATING TIP #4: Find an area to create an extra tree, be it large or small, to mix in all of the fun, family treasures. Let it be a riot of color and playful elements. Kids of all ages will love it!

Of course, no holiday home tour is complete without a cup of hot cider and a cookie or treat. It’s simply more welcoming and sets the tone for what’s to come.

HOLIDAY DECORATING TIP #5: Tis the season to enjoy. Don’t forget that when aspiring to do it all. Sometimes I have to divide and conquer, so I keep a list of experts near for when I need the extra set of helping hands. Perfection is not as important as being present with one another during holiday gatherings. 

Happiest and Merriest of Holidays to you!