Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nearing the end!

After a long day with a minimal design crew, Shannon and I felt totally satisfied with ourselves! That doesn't mean we weren't tired. 6 days of 14 hours takes its toll! Take a look at some of the progress we made.

We started out the morning creating a false ceiling or wintry twigs. White is so appealing.
I created this centerpiece using a large oval mirror as a base. My favorite greens, ornaments and my "magic" sugar pine cones made a dramatic statement. It's pretty instant! One of my holiday classes focuses on creating such centerpieces. You can take one home!

Early in the morning, one of our long time designer clients dropped in to get a sneak peek! He raved about my selection of greens this year. He said they we had the best selection he had seen. Now that made my heart sing a bit. It made those 6 days of 14 hours seem validated.
He did, however, make me sigh just a bit when he depleted my orange and green know how I am about my favorites.

We got all of the back stock ornaments into baskets and that was a real accomplishment. *Whew*
I have a great selection of snowy, calm branches...
Loads of quaint mache houses, this one in pale blue glitter!
And more Santas than you can count! Every color and size.
It's been a long week. Lots of help and lots of fun...lots of aching feet and sore backs. Loads of trash. LOADS.  Some discouragement. 

But all in all, a fulfilling week of creativity and vision. Tomorrow we hang the garlands, wreaths and swags. Ribbon selections, design visions and more suggestions for beauty in your home. 

I hope to see you soon!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I think I can I think I can I think I can...

Soooooo tired. Almost done.

Thanks to my dedicated staff and a few outside temps, we are almost ready to put the finishing touches on things. Baskets filled, boxes unpacked and ready for recycling, (sooooo many trips to the dumpster over the past week!) stockroom revamped and reorganized, trees completed, mantles adorned..I guess you could say all is merry and bright. Next, the finishing touches.

Monday we'll hang the wreaths, tie up the holly so to speak and finish decking the halls with garlands,boughs and beautiful satin ribbons. Baring all obstacles, I should be ready for the Thursday night gala to kick it all off!

You need to come in soon for best selection. Our register was busy all day long ringing up Christmas sales.

An early bedtime looks really nice. Hope to see you soon.

(Photos tomorrow...goodnight.)

Friday, October 26, 2012

On Trend...a peacock Christmas!

The creative team arrived at the store this morning with renewed energy and imagination muscles flexing!

We quickly picked up where we left off and began loading our baskets with Santas and tinsel trees, all colors and sizes. (Did we really have this many last year?!) Wow. So many to choose from.

Shannon headed up the team to sort and display all of the greens.I so wish I would have photographed that area for you! It is a veritable sea of greens. 

Anne took on the vintage reproduction houses, Santas and tinsel trees, quite a project!

I detailed and redressed several areas that we had begun yesterday. Mantles, coffee tables, side tables...

There was a creative joint effort to create a beautiful table of lanterns. Lanterns are a big focus in accessories currently. We have every size, finish and style there is! Come in and you will receive more inspiration than you can imagine for what to fill them with!

We ended the day a lot more tired and hope to recover for yet another thrust tomorrow. Take a look at some of the venues we created today!

A tight shot of our lantern display! Whether a candle, Santa, ornament or vintage book, these things are a key ingredient of interior style. Nestled among topiary trees, and earthy containers, this just warms my heart.

This porcelain deer bust might just be my favorite thing in the store right now! Add your own branches-voila! Antlers! Oh. My. love this!

Our teal story this year is all about accents. For the past three years, we have offered a blue and silver story, and true to form just when we moved on, the world embraces the color! We were smart enough to offer some tabletop, including ornaments in this trend color. You'd better come in early to get this color...there's not too much! I love the white glitter deer. The snowy garland adds softness and a lush interest. Gotta love that color.

Just sayin'

We reworked the French cupboard and added some trees, Santas and ornaments. Wow. That cabinet just supports whatever you place in it! Here's just a peek.

Shannon and Anne created an organic Christmas table. So delightful! The two trends to take note of in interiors this year are the impact of modernism and the juxtoposition of organic influences. It's pretty amazing how these two support each other and ground today's interiors.

Close up of my teal and silver mantle...snow really ads impact! Yummy.

This white glitter deer is  personal favorite. We love our deer in Bucks County! This kind is the best! tee hee

As with all trends, todays interiors are changing. Less is more is a good rule of thumb. While that is a bit difficult for me to adhere to, the entire design community rallys around this theme. Better get with the program! I can see the same thing happening with Christmas decor! Here is an example of less clutter, but enough layering for interest.

I created this mantle using a collection of grey/taupe plates,You can barely see the entire collection, hiding behind the cast urns. Signature books, and succulents are married with cherry sculptures and a bust of Shakespeare. Quite a nice little group of friends! These plates in the newest color of grey really speak to me. I had many comments on them already today! (I added a dreamy garland that you'll have to come in to see).
I was trying for bed before midnight. Very close. Tomorrow starts countdown. I'm a bit scared.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Creative slump...

After tackling the six trees in record time, the creative team has hit a little slump...We worked on tabletop most of the day, as well as mantles and garland placement. Anne and Shannon did a little chandelier embellishing with our ever-in-demand mercury finial ornaments. 

Some areas we were pleased with, but as the day into night wore on, we began to get a bit slap happy as we critiqued our designs. I will have to say that it is difficult to feel a sense of accomplishment when you leave the store in such turmoil! 

Boxes, ribbons, chenille wraps, more boxes, bubble wrap, wire ornament hooks, misplaced tabletop inventory from a few days all adds up to a rather chaotic state! I'm rather counting on a fresh start tomorrow with a fresh vision as well. We may start with rounds to review the designs of today and rethink several areas. 

see what I mean about the chaos? Boxes, trash, ornaments needing to be organized in baskets...we have to walk around all this to work!

Chandelier dripping with mercury finial ornaments! Yes, I also got gold this year per your requests.

Closeup of Santa, bottlebrush trees, deer and lambs. So cute!

Inside the blue French bibliotech. Those darling houses made it back into the mix again, Robin egg, Pale pink, white and graphite. Great mix.

Look at this unique clock face ( real working clock!) Shannon already took her's from the stock room...the team members get first pick, you might say! So many advantages to working "the night shift".
Maybe it's just the third day slump. 3-4 more days to go.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

6 Trees Later...

Day seems like it's been a week already! We have 6 trees designed and completed. The store looks like complete chaos with tabletops and mantles cleared off for new looks. Because the stock room is so full of holiday merchandise, we can't put everyday merchandise away just yet. It's everywhere! This may look like fun, but I feel differently I assure you.

I documented some of our progress and my employees into some "action shots". No one was very cooperative! I have a great team filling in many blanks this year and trying to get the hang of my mojo.

Anne and myself trimming the silver/charcoal tree...a personal favorite! (Photos of tree later...)

New Christmas team member this year and cutest person ever! Anne, such a find!

Patti-we couldn't do this without her. She is the behind the scenes person, Connie's right hand person in pricing and organizing everything! I mean EVERYTHING. Here she is trying to untangle the ornament hooks, a totally frustrating task. Ugh. Thanks, Patti!

The condition of the retail space-work in progress.

More of the same. Oh. My. Well, the empty boxes look promising!

Shannon, the most energetic member of the team...(we just slip her a few Swedish Fish to get on a high for a few more hours of work!) She headed up the orange and lime tree. You'll love this one!

Mary Carol, newest team member. Okay, she is an admitted part time model. Wow. Style, merchandising sensibility and model all that really fair?

Shannon decided to wear a "velcro sweater" as my sister would deem it.
Mary Carol at work...

Patti, prepping ornaments for us to hang. Gotta love that girl!

Shannon found this favorite of mine and I simply must quote her. I laughed out loud.
"I'm just going to say, If I were a Kugel, I would want to be this one!"

 So funny. But I think she's right! Who wouldn't want to be a pure orange Kugel with polka dots?!

Need I say why I hired this one?! (Mary Carol) We speak the same language.

Stylish Connie working at her desk. In between ringing sales, directing deliveries and solving crisis, she found time to work on the payroll. Thank heavens, someone keeps the company running.

Closeup of silver and graphite tree. So pretty!

This tree is a beauty. Sophisticated. Striking. Stylish.   

Love. This.

When the "night shift" (looks strangely like the "day shift"...) took over, we were prompted to pose for this photo to demonstrate our feelings about moving 6-7 very large, very heavy pieces of furniture from the front of the store the the rear....and all over! I don't think this was in the job description! Shannon, my son Ryan (the muscles behind the work), and Anne. That's me, behind the camera.   

 That's it for day two. I'm counting on new energy for day three. For all of us...stop by to see the action for yourselves. It will amaze you and perhaps scare you just a bit. It's all magic.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Off and Running!

I'm happy to report that day 1 was a success in the holiday setup! 

I neglected to photograph my team, but's on my punch list! Connie headed up the organizational end, setting some big goals! Patty set to work sorting and organizing the ornaments,pulling them out of boxes and endlessly finding more. And more. And more. You get the picture. Anne, Shannon and I set out to design and trim several trees. Never mind the 10' tree we had to light...ugh. Connie and Shannon made short work of that.

My mother always taught me that "you can do anything on the buddy system". She was spot on! Everyone on my staff stepped up to the plate, sensing my heavy heart without Linda to help. I can say that I don't believe I have ever had so much support or help during a holiday setup. How thankful I am for such capable staff and friends. We had great conversation and laughs along the way. I turned the key in the door at 9:00pm! Home in time to watch the debate, download a few photos and post before 1:30am! All good.
This was the condition of the sales floor when we stepped through the doors this morning...

Lots of glitter (really?!) in all sizes. Box after box to unpack and prepare.

Metallic acorns!

This year's "wow" color! Find it mixed with silver, champaigne and creme. Beautiful.

A good start. I took this to show you the color pallet. We sent Linda some progress shots along the way.

Tight shot for detail!

This is Kara! We just call her pink girl. If it's pink, she's in love with it! I couldn't resist documenting her delight at finding these hot pink sequin spheres. You'll have to wait to see how they are used. You can, however, see this stylishly oh so pink velvet chair in person if you visit the store! Kara seems perfectly happy in this setting! So cute.

Gotta love pink! And yes, Linda had a hand in making this a color statement for BES 2012.

After two  tree designs tomorrow, we tackle the stockroom. Patty, we're counting on you!

Those of you who know me, know I'm a pushover for bottle brush trees. Here's a few of my offerings.

Candlesticks, lanterns, glass containers and a few surprises!

Cloches stocked for Holiday event; "Christmas Under Glass". You won't want to miss that one. Check the website for more information.

Connie and Patty were thrilled to see the beginning of several empty shelves. It is a happy sight.     
After a long day with little break time, the early quit time was an unexpected surprise. I'd like to try that again.