Holiday Decor from Local Shops

The holiday season is upon us, and with it, our fill of pies, turkey, Maccabees, latkes, and holiday shopping to think about. Please do not stress!!!  While the holidays bring the busiest time of year for many of us, they are also a time to embrace and enjoy the spirit of the season by gathering with family and friends over dinners and holiday parties. What better way to get into the spirit than by decorating with truly unique items and arrangements. We explored the Boston area and found some amazing local stores to check out as you prepare for your holiday festivities. Shop small this season to help keep your neighborhood and local economy vibrant.

SIMON PEARCE

103 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116

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Glass ornaments ($46)

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2013 Ornament ($50)

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Christmas Tree Plates (Big $115, Medium $65, Small $25)

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Tree candle ($22)

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Real Pine Tree Napkin Ring ($20) and Napkin ($24)

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Jonathan Adler

129 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

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Ornaments ($28 each)

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WINSTON FLOWERS

131 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 021116

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White Bouquet ($65)

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An Assortment of Flowers ($65)

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Holiday Arrangement ($95)

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Hydrangea and Calla Lilies ($50)

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Cala Lilies Arrangement ($80) and White Arrangement ($150)

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The Vintage Garden

59 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116

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Yellow Orchid– Three stems set with vase ($36) and one stem with vase ($21)

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Dried Box Wood

Round big one with stem and vase $65, Tree shaped one $48, Round medium one $48

Small ones each $20

Round big dried wood without stem $48

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GiFtED

2 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA 02116

Secret Garden Medium Pumpkin ($56), Small Pumpkin ($42.50)

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Ornament ($32)

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Candle Sticks ($2)

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Chevron: Home Decor Do or Don’t?

We are loving chevron for the spring — how can you go wrong with bold shapes and bright colors?  However, some designers find the trend to be a little overwhelming for the home, especially in large areas like walls, rugs and furniture.

The good news is chevron accessories are available everywhere, so it’s easy to give the trend a try with a pillow, wastebasket or towel set before you go all out.  Will you add some chevron to your decor mix this spring?

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Unused Office Supplies = Quick Kitchen Re-Organization

Today is December 20th, which means you only have 5 more days to get the house in order for your guests this Christmas!  What better room to start with than the heart of the home — the kitchen.  If your kitchen is clean, but still suffering from cluttered items without a home, give these easy DIY ideas a try!  These quick fixes use items you likely already have in your living room or home office, and repurpose them for an effortless kitchen organization.  So easy, you’ll wonder why no one though of these sooner:

Store thin boxes containing kitchen essentials like plastic wrap, wax paper and tin foil in an old magazine rack.  Place the rack on unused counter space or attach to the inside of a cabinet door for easy access.

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Use a metal folder organizer to store cookie sheets or cutting boards upright, making them easy to see and select.  This can double as an extra drying rack during cookie baking sessions.

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Keep plastic bags neat in an empty wipes container or tissue box.

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Organize your Tupperware lids with old CD holders to avoid avalanches when searching for the matching container.

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Happy Organizing!

– The Savvy Staff

 

 

 

 

Holiday Decor Quick-fixes

Hanukkah is nearing its end, and Christmas is coming in 11 short days!  Are you planning a holiday party or family get together, but have little time to decorate?  Try these “quick-fixes” to add some last minute holiday spirit around the house.

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Directions here.

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Or buy these on Etsy.

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This idea comes from Family Sponge.

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All it takes is some paper, scissors and tape.

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Printables are perfect. Get this one here.

 

 

 

 

Holiday Decor Inspiration!

Deck the halls of your home or apartment in style this Holiday season with these classic and creative decor inspirations!

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Holiday Decor: Real vs. Artificial Christmas Trees

Whether you like it or not, your choice to decorate a real or artificial Christmas tree is both a discussion starter and a controversial topic for many.  Many factors play into people’s choices including concern for the environment, budget constraints, allergies, the time factor, and more.  To help you make your decision for this Christmas and years to come, we’ve outlined the major pros and cons of each option, as well as how to get the best deal on whichever type of tree you choose!

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Real Trees

Approximately 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in North America each year, according to the U.S. EPA.

Pros

  • About 93% of trees are recycled through more than 4,000 available recycling programs.  The act of recycling a Christmas tree is a leading reason many experts agree they are more environmentally friendly than their plastic counterparts.
  • Treecycling is an easy way to return a renewable and natural source back to the environment instead of disposing it in a landfill, where decomposition rates are slowed due to lack of oxygen.
  • Christmas trees are recycled into mulch and used in landscaping and gardening or chipped and used for playground material, hiking trails, paths and walkways.
  • Each acre of trees produces enough oxygen for the daily needs of 18 people.
  • In order to ensure a healthy supply of Christmas trees each year, growers must use sustainable farming techniques. For each tree harvested, one to three seedlings are planted the following spring, ensuring a healthy supply of trees.
  • According to the NCTA, the Christmas tree industry employs more than 100,000 Americans, an important economic consideration in the real versus artificial debate.

Cons

  • Christmas trees are farmed as agricultural products, meaning repeated applications of herbicides and fertilizers may be used throughout their lifetime. The ideal tree would be raised organically, using integrated pest management techniques rather than chemicals.
  • For climates where coniferous trees don’t grow, that tree in your living room may have had to travel hundreds of miles to reach the lot, significantly impacting the environmental impact associated with travel.
*Cost saving tips: Browse online and check for coupons from tree farms or deal sites like Groupon and Living Social.  Also, consider waiting until closer to the holiday, even Christmas Eve, to purchase your tree — by then it will likely be deeply discounted.

Artificial Trees

Purchasing and decorating artificial trees is a trend that began in the 1930’s and is still done by many today.

Pros

  • The thought of cutting down a new tree each year can cause environmental guilt for many consumers.
  • Artificial trees are reusable, eliminating the annual expense of a real Christmas tree
  • Convenience is also appealing to consumers as they don’t need watering and don’t make a mess with shedding needles

Cons

  • Artificial trees may actually have a greater negative environmental impact when all aspects of an their life cycle are considered.
  • Most are made from a non-biodegradable, petroleum-derived plastic that cannot be recycled.
  • About 85% of artificial trees sold in the U.S. are manufactured and shipped from China, according to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), adding to their overall environmental footprint.

*Cost saving tips:  Similar to real trees, artificial versions often go on sale the closer it gets to Christmas.  Also, check big box stores like Walmart, Walgreens and Costco for coupons and circular deals.

DIY Holiday Table Settings

Want to make your Holiday dinner party or family meal festive and inviting without spending extra cash?  Try these quick and easy DIY table settings!  Whether you’re going for glam, classic, rustic or something in between, one of these ideas — or a variation! — is sure to work for your decorating needs.

Festive Napkin Rings

Have your guests unwrap their napkins like a present!  Use leftover wrapping paper, rickrack (or ribbon) and double-sided tape.  Simply cut strips of paper roughly 1 1/2 inches wide and five inches long (size will vary depending on napkin’s thickness). Wrap the paper around the napkins, and secure ends with the tape. Cut out 6-inch strips of rickrack or ribbon and tie around the wrapping paper bands for a finished look.

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Snowy Table Top

Create a delicately chic, snowflake table runner!  First, collect enough doilies in different sizes and shapes to run the length of the table you want to cover.  You (or your mother or grandmother) probably have a few of these packed away, but if not, check craft stores or even eBay to score a few!  Also, don’t forget that paper doilies can be used in a pinch. Once you have enough pieces, lay them out across the table however you like.  Consider sewing the doilies together with a piece of thin white thread for a runner you can use year after year.

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Bow Place Setting

Keep your place settings simple, yet stunning with a peace of pretty, wide ribbon.  Choose satin, organza, or even anything you have left over from gift wrapping!  Just wrap each place setting with the ribbon, the way you would wrap a gift box.  You can even save and reuse any ribbons that are still clean and usable after dinner!

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Glass Bottle Candle Holders

Simply wrap glass wine bottles with wrapping paper and tie on a bow for an easy and classy candle lit centerpiece.

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Happy Decorating!

-The Savvy Staff

 

 

 

Choosing Rugs!

Rugs have so many different purposes! They can not only warm up a room but also give it a whole new look. But there is more to choosing rugs than most think.

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Here are our tips and guidelines to choosing a rug!

 

1) Size: Unless you’re getting a custom made rug, rugs usually come in the standard sizes; 4X6, 6X9, 8X10, 9X12 etc. So whip out that measuring tape and measure the area that you want the rug to be in. The measurements won’t always come out perfectly fit to a certain rug size but the abundance of sizes makes it easy to guesstimate!

When buying a rug for your dining room table, make sure to choose a rug that is a minimum of 2 feet larger on each side to keep room for proportions and chairs.

2) Fabric: Fabrics are very important. Choosing high-quality fabrics like wool and silk may be a bit more expensive but the longevity is worth the splurge! High-quality rugs will last so much longer and in many cases, look better with wear than cheaper rugs.

Maintenance, especially in a house with kids or animals is an important thing to take into account. How often would you clean it, how messy are your kids, are your pets indoor pets etc.

Sisal, jute and grass rugs are cheaper but don’t last through a lot. If you spill wine on it, it’s difficult to salvage it.

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3) Colors: When coordinating your rugs with your furniture, it is very helpful to have a swatch of your furniture fabric or your wall paint color. Not only can this help find rugs that go with those colors, they can also help you see color combinations that you hadn’t thought of before.

4) Trying it out: Some stores offer a service that will deliver and lay out the rug in your desired room in hopes that you will buy it! Take advantage of this!

5) Buying: Buying rugs is difficult because online may have more choices but when buying a rug, the look, feel, and texture are important and that requires in person shopping. Search for local stores that sell a variety and go in person!

Referrals by friends are extremely helpful because there are many rug dealers that sell different rugs at a cheaper rate.

Price is a big concern but looking with just your eyes first is a good starting point. Usually if you find rug that you like, there will be many similar ones in a variety of colors and prices.

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6) Price: More expensive doesn’t necessarily mean a better rug. Ask questions! Ask about the wear, the longevity, clean-up of the rug…anything that pops into mind.

Happy shopping!

Love,

The Savvy Staff

 

 

Map Wall

You know how you get a high from splurging on a new handbag? Well, saving up your money to splurge on a trip will give you longlasting memories!

You won’t be attached to a bag more than your memories.

The memories you create when you take a trip will be more precious and will outlast any souvenir or material item you bought.
I recently lost a family member and I can say firsthand that I appreciate and am more attached to the memories I have now more than ever. Even though my family and I have  all her belongings, it is the trips we took as a family to Monterey and Lake Tahoe during the summers that we look back on and cherish the most.

Here is a cute way I found to showcase the trips you went on!

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Make a map wall to keep track of your trips!

This is such an easy and creative way to show others where you’ve gone while keeping track yourself!
We love the idea above where you stick little needles or even thumbtacks on the places you’ve gone.
Another cute idea is to get postcards from all your trips or pictures of you in the landscape and attach them to the map!

This is a fast and cheap way to decorate a blank wall!

Here are some maps that we love! Click on the images to grab the ones you like for your home!

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This map is clear, colorful and it’s laminated so it will last longer than normall paper maps! Plus it is only about $12!

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I love this map because it looks vintage and artsy! But the best part is that it costs $0.03. You read it right! Three cents!

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Another cool idea is to get a vinyl wall decal like this one! Using colorful tack or pins will pop against the black! And it’s only about $20 but it can totally transform your wall.

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My personal favorite is this cool scratch off map from Urban Outfitters! It is a little more expensive at $34 but it is SO COOL because you can scratch off the places you’ve been too!

I hope this gives you some decorating inspiration and motivates you to save up for that new trip! Remember to take tons of pictures to capture those memories forever!

Love,

Nicole
Unclipt intern
1st year at Emerson College

 

 

 

 

Give an Old Toy a New Shake!

In my house, we have two young kids, 4 year old boy and a 1 year old girl.  We all know what that means: chaos.  Every so often that also means another broken toy.  That doesn’t mean you have to throw it away.  You can repurpose them.

Today, my daughter broke one of those plastic Mardi Gras bead necklace.  I threw away the really small pieces and saved the larger pieces.

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I looked around the house for some small plastic container with a good tight seal.  You can also use those plastic Easter eggs.  We save all of ours to either reuse the following year or to repurpose them.   Saving those plastic eggs isn’t going to save you a whole lot of money seeing how they’re dirt cheap, but saving the landfills from all that plastic is going to make you feel good.  Plus there are a number of great things you can do with them.  Today’s shakers is one, we’ll show you more ideas next time.

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Put in some beads in each container and seal it off.  I use crafting glue just to make sure they don’t accidentally open up.  I am guessing maybe even a hot glue gun would work, though I haven’t tried that.

Now you’ve turned a broken toy into some new musical instrument for your kids to play with.  If you don’t have a broken bead necklace but want to make some shakers, you can use some common household items like dry rice or beans.  We’ve made some egg shakers for my son’s classmates during Easter time.  They were a bit hit during music and movement time.

Since I was making them today for my daughter, I decided to use the plastic container with a screw cap just to be doubly sure.

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How do you repurpose old and/or broken toys?  We’d love to see some of your ideas.

– Mychelle, My Savvy Way contributor, mom of Kyle & Alyson