Here in Los Angeles, we had fall for two days earlier this week. Temps hovered in the 70s, and clouds made pretty sunsets. Now it’s the dog days of summer again — it’s supposed to be 99 degrees today and tomorrow.
Even if we don’t have consistent autumn around here when it comes to weather, I have my own special way of marking the change of season (and it has nothing to do with Starbucks’ menu): I know it’s that special time of year by the glut of writing assignments on my calendar, all centered around fun seasonal food and decorating ideas. Writing these pieces is my equivalent of the pumpkin spice latte. It signals: Fall is here and it’s fun!
To inspire your seasonal crafting and cooking projects, here’s a little shortcut to the roundups I’ve pulled together over the last couple of weeks:
Here in Los Angeles, we don’t have many weather-related indications that summer is turning to fall, so we have to embrace the signs wherever we can find them — so basically, in Starbucks.
For me, the special sense that fall is creeping in comes with the annual flood of lifestyle writing assignments that turn my attention to the season’s decor, food, crafts, and all the other good stuff. These stories are like pumpkin spice lattes for my laptop. They make me kind of giddy. My job doesn’t suck.
Allow me to share the joy! Following is a little roundup of some of the stories I’ve written in the last couple of weeks, in which I rounded up some of the best ideas from around the Web for Thanksgiving decorations, food, crafts, flowers, tabletop, and plenty more to buy or DIY:
File this one under B for better late than never — but since I’m on a remodeling-post roll, I’m inspired to share a couple of before-and-after photos from our 1930s kitchen remodel… which we completed two years ago.
I can’t overstate how much I loved this house when we first saw it. It felt so right. It was like that magical Say Yes to the Dress moment. Is this the one? Oh yes, gurrrl, this is the one. But I’ve said a hundred times before on this blog, the only thing not ideal about this house is its size, at about 1,350 square feet. (Fine for a couple, but not so much for growing into as a family.) The kitchen was among the rooms in particular that did not feel large, but part of the problem wasn’t actually the size itself, but rather the dearth of storage. There seemed to be just a few cabinets willy nilly, but nothing that maximized the space.
As you know by now, I’m in the middle of a house remodel that has necessitated our move out of our house — and in with parents and in-laws. As disruptive as this is (and I’m sure I could think of a few other choice adjectives to describe it as well), it also provides a great sense of excitement: When we move back in, we’re going to have a brand-new-feeling place and a fresh start.
To go with our new bathroom, new office, new dining room, and revamped dressing and laundry room, we’re definitely eyeing plenty of new furniture. (Obvi!)
LA Furniture Store has a couple of locations right near us, at the Westside Pavilion and in Downtown L.A. (not to mention e-commerce and locations in Florida and New York as well), and would be a great place to pick up some key pieces. Here’s what I’m thinking…
OK, dear readers and impeccable home decorators! It’s giveaway time again. And I’m pretty pumped on the latest prize.
The modern home decor, furniture and accessories retailer LA Furniture Store is offering Homebody in Motion readers a $125 gift card toward its super chic and sleek modern styles, available online as well as at locations all over the country (including several right here in my home town of Los Angeles — DTLA and Westside Pavilion holler! — plus New York and Florida).
Put your (free!) money toward a huge selection of modern furniture, or use it to completely cover one amazing accent piece — like this gilded starburst mirror with kind of a mid-century modern feel, a steal at $125 on the nose. (It reminds me of my fave Palm Springs, and I totally want it in my house — we can be twinsies).
It’s here! It’s here! Remember how I was all excited about Crane & Canopy‘s gorgeous and affordable duvet sets? Dreams really do come true, people.
Here’s our humble queen bed, with the Sutter duvet and shams in white on it. I feel like its so simple and understated, but the ruching somehow lends a sense of opulence too. The ruching is done with elastic, which I sense will be sturdy and will hold up well. And right out of the box this thing had like zero wrinkles — another auspicious sign!
On Sunday night, while Hannah was obsessively counting Utz potato chips and Charlie was doing the Dougie in the new offices of Forbid, something really fun was sharing the airtime on Girls.
Did you notice the statement pillows in Shoshanna’s apartment? (I totally did and drooled a little bit, though I loathe her and her maddening side braid.) Replicate the look with these cheeky versions by Alexandra Ferguson, all available right now on AllModern.com:
Squee! I just think these mason jar snow globes are the most darling things. Shout out to Michaela Noelle Designs for the fabu project idea.
Here’s what you’ll need: mason jars, masking tape, flocking or glittery spray paint, fake snow, fake trees, hot glue, and glitter if you like (I like)
Must be the California in me: I’m a super casual person. The good news is, I think it makes me look younger. Seriously. I get carded a lot because I’m usually wearing gym clothes with my hair in a giant curly bun on top of my head. Maybe the Trader Joe’s checkers figure no employed person in her thirties would jaunt around the city like that, so I’m clearly 20. Or probably it’s just because they admire my unblemished visage and taut physique. I’m going with that.
The point is, our household is an unfailingly unfussy one. We don’t entertain with china or silver (though I am lusting over this cut crystal, uncharacteristically), and we don’t mess with look-but-don’t-touch decor.
That’s probably why denim decor appeals to me overall. It’s a great way to inject style and personality — not to mention youthfulness — into your look. And blue denim is so neutral that it can go with tons of different colors and patterns. To that end, here are three great ways to get the look in your own home:
Let’s say you’re intoxicated by the concept of estate sales — obvi — but feel intimidated by the prospect of schlepping out amid the people who really know what they’re doing on the scene. Totally get that. Today I bring you guest commentary from Melissa Arnold, the owner of Succor Estate Sales in Los Angeles and all-around cool, effortlessly stylish lady. She’s here to tell you how to shop the sales like a pro. Read on…
Tip No. 1 for How to Shop Estate Sales:
“Be sure to inspect every part of the item you plan to purchase. Estate sales are usually only three days, sometimes less. And because of this short amount of time to sell every item, refunds are not accepted. Most companies that host sales try to note if that crystal vase has a chip, but they miss things too. It’s up to you to make sure you’re happy with what you’re purchasing — so plug in that Kitchen-Aid mixer and don’t take anyone’s word that it works.”
Tip No. 2 for How to Shop Estate Sales:
“If you plan to buy furniture, find a mover in advance. Estate sales are a so-called ‘cash-and-carry’ business. This usually means there will not be someone on hand to help you move things. Many companies can recommend a mover but it’s often easier and less expensive if you price one out in advance. Craig’s List has loads of people who will move stuff for you. However, if you buy something breakable or of value, you may want to go with a reputable insured mover.”