THE “Holiday Season” and Modern Halloween Decor

I am back!!! Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  Summer was fun and busy, yet devoid of any notable shopping purchases or interiors projects – so no posts.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Summer!

So first off let me start by telling you how special this “Holiday Season” is to me.  BTW, I defined “Holiday Season” as pretty much October 1 through January 1 – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve – we’ve also got Hanukkah, Kwanzaa….and if you’re silly and love Seinfeld like me, let’s go ahead and throw Festivus in there 🙂 OH and for my Italian family we cannot forget the Feast of Saint Martin (November 11th – a.k.a. Veteran’s Day) and my boyfriend and me will be celebrating our birthday on November 1 (four years!!).  Some shopping enthusiasts at this point may even consider Black Friday a holiday by its own rite.

To make a long story short, there are a lot of holidays and things to be celebrated during this period. What makes it even more special for me is that this is the first time in many years that it will be a relaxed, fun, and happy time for me.  2007 wasn’t fun for many reason. By 2008, I was in law school, so this time of year, every year, was marked by classes really ramping up, the beginning of buckling down on papers I had to write and exams I had to study for, and exams…this past year, none of December was a break, as I finished my class stuff by Thanksgiving (managed to schedule classes in the fall that didn’t have exams, only papers) and by the day after Thanksgiving I hit the ground running from then until the end of February with studying for the bar exam.  On Christmas Day last year, I went out for a brief period for dinner but ended up spending most of the day by myself studying. Since I was working full time in a situation where most people study for the bar exam full time, I needed all the free time I could get. It sucked!

Since I haven’t had a holiday season with no school or other big stressors since 2006 (7 years!!!), I am pretty excited about this one. This time of year in Ohio is time to switch to wearing scarves and boots and break out all the smelly candles I can handle – decorate the apartment and keep the Food Network running constantly. I don’t know why, but fall and winter make me want to cook and eat and think about cooking all the time.

I decided to celebrate my freedom this season by decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I’ve got my Holidays Board on Pinterest, and a Michael’s just opened by my house. Whoop!  Ideally some day I will have a fireplace with a mantel, but for now I do not.  My boyfriend hung an Ikea Lack floating wall shelf in our living room above the TV as the main focal point, and for the time being it’s our makeshift fireplace mantel. Since we’re 16 stories up, carving pumpkins to put outside wasn’t really a great idea, so I got some artificial pumpkins at Michael’s.  I don’t know who this “Michael” fellow is, but my god he loves glitter…I got a few shades of Martha Stewart glitter as well. Why? I wasn’t sure when I got it but I do love me some glitter.

I also got some black feather boa’s to use as Halloween “garland” and a few other items such as a ceramic owl (I AM OBSESSED WITH OWLS!!) and some resin skeleton parts.  I tried to stick with all reusable items so I can start to build a collection of Halloween decorations to use from year to year.  It doesn’t take more than one measly trip to Michael’s to realize you have only started to collect decor but have already spent $150 or more dollars.  I DID give in a little – I got some tiny pumpkins from Trader Joe’s for 69 cents a piece.

Halloween Mantel2

Halloween Mantel1

Halloween Mantel4


Christmas decor

I hope everyone had a great week and a good Thanksgiving!  I’ve eaten way too much, that’s for sure. I think I finished decorating for Christmas this week…I never got any glass jars/hurricanes for luminaries, but I am mostly finished otherwise.

We painted the living/dining/entry area in August.  It was so nice to replace that pink-beige/baby blue flat paint combo with a satin grey.  We got this Threshold Criss Cross Fleece Rug at Target.  I love the pretty grey and cream pattern and it’s really soft.  I REALLY wanted the Moroccan Souk Rug from West Elm (or a similar style as you can get this style in many places right now), but it was definitely price prohibitive!  The Target rug was $130.  The West Elm rug of similar size is much flimsier and $500.  NO THANKS!  The Target rug sort of reminded me of that pattern and was a great price.

I got the live cedar/white pine garland from Lowe’s.  It was $11 for 20 feet.  I only needed two spools, so that was a pretty good price. I went last night and they had TONS of it left, and only a couple of the Fraser Fir garland left.  That one was $5 for 15 feet, but I just dont think it is as pretty.  Well, it is more traditional I guess, and I thought the cedar worked better with more modern decor. I don’t know why the fraser fir garland is so much more popular! I’m wondering how well the cedar/white pine will hold up through Christmas. I guess we’ll see!

We got the lack shelf at Ikea a few weeks ago.  We don’t have a fireplace, so it’s as close as we’ll have to a fireplace mantel for awhile!  We TRY to stay away from Ikea stuff, but I swear it’s so hard.  Every time I want something, I see what I like at Crate and Barrel, West Elm, Target, etc., and nine times out of ten, there’s a very cheap same or similar option at Ikea. We looked at the same white shelves at those other stores for $50-100+, and then they have the same darn thing at ikea for $20. How can I say no to that?   And just for fun, check out this cute doggie….a blue heeler by a blue tree 🙂

the bedroom is (sort of) finished!!

After lots of planning (here), I think the bedroom is finished for the most part.  We still have a couple things to do, but overall I am pretty happy with it. I may get a second West Elm rug for the other side of the bed…we need something over the television…we need hardware for all the furniture, and we maybe need something else for the window…maybe?  What do you think?  I would put curtains on the windows, but the radiator is right below it.  I REALLY hate short curtains.  We added those faux wood blinds from Lowe’s (great quality for the price, BTW), but that alone seems unfinished.  I also think that valances look pretty cheesy, although I imagine valances come in many shapes and styles where maybe I’m just not thinking about it enough.  If anybody has any ideas, please, let me know!!  I am at a loss. We also need some accessories – more photos, etc., but we can figure that out eventually!

Source List:

  • Bed, dresser and nightstands: Ikea Malm
  • Cabinets: Ikea Besta
  • Cabinet Doors: Ikea Vara
  • Mirrow: Ikea Mongstad
  • Bedding: duvet – West Elm Pintuck; coverlet – Target Home; pillows – Target Patio collection
  • Rugs: larger one is West Elm Kite Kilim rug and others are from Ikea
  • Blinds: Lowe’s Basic Blindz Faux Wood 2″ Plantation Blinds




Happy Friday!!!

I used to have my own two bedroom apartment, where the second bedroom served as the “office” area where I did homework.  Since I work all week and go to school at nights, it is nice to spend my weekend time mostly at home, even if I am doing homework.  It did help to have that separate space in which to get away from everything.  Right now my boyfriend and I share an 800-s.f. one bedroom.  I love our apartment, but we DO need more space.  Lately I have been daydreaming about how I would decorate my own office area if I again had one.

If you can’t tell already from many of the things on this blog, I am a big fan of black and white and high contrast in general.  I also love metallics and clean, modern lines. Some of my favorite pieces lately, when put together, remind me of sort of a modern Hollywood Regency style.

I have the Audrey Hepburn print and the zebra rug, but everything else is on my wish list.

Have a good weekend!