From Spontaneity in Sin City to Hospitality Design in Las Vegas

We’ve all got our Vegas stories. And one of my favorites took place on a random Monday evening. I called one of my best friends and said, “You wanna go to Vegas? Right now?” So we drove to Burbank, hopped on a flight, and $89 and less than one hour later, there we were. We only spent one night there, but we had the best time. It was totally spontaneous, and totally unexpected.

Maybe that’s what I love most about Vegas—the fact that it welcomes spontaneity. You know what else I like? You can choose which Vegas experience you want to have. Some people go to gamble, some go for the food, and some go to shop and see the shows. Vegas nightlife is legendary, but personally, I’ve found that the daytime options have gotten so much better. These days, I mainly go to Vegas for the food and the shopping, but put me next to the  pool with a cocktail in my hand, and I certainly won’t complain.

I’ve been to Vegas for so many events – big birthday bashes, bachelorette parties…you know the drill. My sister even got married In Vegas, which was loads of fun. Also fun? Designing the Downtown Grand, which was the biggest hospitality project I’ve taken on as a designer (and one that began back in 2011).

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Pitching a design in a board room to 20 guys in suits was a much different experience than sitting down with a couple in their living room, but it was a pretty exciting experience.

My concept for this space was factory chic. The casino has great exposed girders, old brick walls, and exposed structural elements, so it was really begging for this vibe. And it’s located in downtown Vegas, so I knew we had to keep things relaxed and causal. But instead of going super industrial, I thought it was important to glam it up a bit. This is Vegas, after all, and I wanted the hotel to feel fun, playful, and also a little sophisticated.

We were able to accomplish this look with an intentional mix and match approach. Think beautiful tufted chair placed next to a steel table. And a mix of eras, too, like a time-worn antique placed by an upscale piece for a super refined work. You know what they say: It’s all in the details. And details are the things that really give the Downtown Grand such a fresh look and feel.

One of my favorite areas in the renovated hotel is the lobby space. The floor has a cool chevron pattern, and there’s so much sparkle and shine—it gives guests that “Welcome to Vegas” moment that can really transport and delight them.

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I’m so excited to share more details about this hospitality design project with you, which I’ll be doing over the next few weeks. There are some fun spaces in the Downtown Grand, and I can’t wait for you to see them.  I’ve also got a BIG announcement to make soon, so stay tuned!

And now that you know how much I love spontaneous Vegas trips, it’s your turn! What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done in Vegas? Share your stories with me in the comments section below.

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Five Designer-Selected Shades for Your Bathroom

We’ve all seen them. White, eggshell, or beige bathrooms that may look clean and serene, but are also a bit…well, boring. If you want your bathroom to stand out from the rest, consider opting for a bright, bold, unexpected color palette.

Color is one of the easiest ways to liven up what is really a quite basic room in your home. And since it’s a small space, it’s a small risk, so why not go all out? Powder rooms are like little jewel boxes in the home, and filling them with gorgeous gem-colored shades will really make them shine.

Red

Red is a powerful accent color that can take your bathroom in a number of different directions. Depending on the shade you choose, it can read as bold and daring, elegant and sophisticated, or traditional and timeless. One thing’s for certain, though—it always makes a statement.

Designer Tip: Instead of using red on the walls, try updating a vanity with a few glossy coats.

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Blue

Watery shades are a no-brainer when it comes to choosing color for the bathroom, but deeper, darker shades of blue can be a little more unexpected and eye-catching. Navy lends itself to a nautical-themed room, while royal blue and sapphire can give your bathroom a more dramatic, upscale, and even Spanish-inspired feel.

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Photo via domianehome.com

Pink

Is there anything more charming than a pink powder room? They were all the rage in the 1950s, and there’s still something sweet and timeless about this feminine shade. To give your bathroom a more modern look, consider using pink in unexpected, updated ways. Painting bathroom ceilings is one of my favorite ways to inject color into the room, and tent striping always adds interest to any space.

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Photo via Habitually Chic

Gold

One of my favorite color combinations for a bathroom, hands down, is black and gold. It’s rich, sophisticated, and dramatic. If you have a small, colorless powder room that needs some serious updating, going for the gold is one of the best ways to make a big splash.

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Photo via House Beautiful

Green

You’ll see plenty of sea-inspired shades in powder rooms (think aqua and sea foam), but if you’re looking for something a little different, consider jade green. It’s a richer, more dramatic shade that can really transform a bathroom. If you love a little old-school Beverly Hills action in the powder room (and really, who doesn’t?), consider going with malachite wallpaper or incorporating a dark, tropical vibe with palm leaf wallpaper.

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Photo via Haus of Mason

What are your favorite colors to use in the powder room? Share your top picks with me in the comments section below!

xo,

E

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Ten Treats for Grown-Up Easter Baskets

I love Easter. The bunnies, the chocolate, the floral dresses and big hats—it’s just so fun and festive! And let’s not forget the baskets (filled to the brim, of course).

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When I was younger, my sister give me a huge Easter basket filled with chocolate, toys, and one extra special item every year. Since she’s 18 years older than I am, she spoiled me like I was her own daughter. It was great! My favorite gift ever was a giant stuffed sheep. I used to bounce around the house on it—so much so that eventually all of the stuffing went flat. I think I was six.

I may have outgrown stuffed sheep, but I’ll never stop loving gift baskets filled with springtime treats and treasures. After all, Easter isn’t just for kids, and I think grown-up Easter baskets can be loads of fun, too.

Here are 10 treats I’d love to find in my basket on Easter morning.

1. Sofia Mini

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I just love these sweet little cans of sparkling wine. The four-pack comes in this pretty pink box, which would look so gorgeous in a gift basket.

2. La Maison du Chocolat

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The next best thing to eating these delectable chocolates in the South of France (which I totally did!) is finding them in your basket on Easter morning.

3. Bunny Tealight Holders

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These tiny ceramic tealight holders are just so darn cute. Such a fun way to add some (candy) color to your Easter table.

4. Nest Fragrances Candle

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Nest candles are some of the most fragrant out there, and longest lasting, too. The orange blossom scent smells like springtime in a glass. So lovely.

5. Kendra Scott Cassie Bracelet

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Talk about eye candy! This fabulous pink link bracelet is so girlie (and so gorgeous!).

6. Stonewall Kitchen Pepper Jelly Collection

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This trio of savory jellies would be a yummy addition to any Easter spread.

7. Ceramic Bunny

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Don’t you just love this sweet ceramic bunny? It’s the perfect shade of springtime blue, and a little bit modern, too.

8. Andie’s Specialty Sweets Candy Buttons

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Believe it or not, these beautiful buttons are edible. And if you ask me, they’re also the prettiest thing you’ll find to put in a candy dish. J’adore!

9. Fluff Slide Slipper

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They may not be bunny slippers, but they’re certainly as fluffy as a cottontail rabbit. And they’re pink!

10. Rejuvelle Bath Bombs

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Wouldn’t these colorful bath bombs look fabulous in an Easter basket? (P.S. They’re infused with shea and cocoa butter, so they make your skin super silky.)

What are some of your favorite Easter basket items? Share with me in the comments section below!

Xo

E

 

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Sherle Wagner: More Than Meets the Eye

When I think of Sherle Wagner, the first thing that comes to my mind is over-the-top sinks and faucets—like these:

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Pretty spectacular, but not always the perfect fit for clients who want less of a statement piece in the bathroom.

Here’s the thing. I’ve known about Sherle Wagner for years, but until recently, I had never been to their LA showroom. I always expected to find super traditional designs and florals galore. But once I finally stepped inside, I realized that there’s more to Sherle Wagner than (initially) meets the eye.

The showroom is stunning. And I was pleasantly surprised by their transitional, art deco-inspired, and modern designs. I also fell in love with some of their stone fireplace surrounds.  So much so that I recently spec’d one of their French limestone fireplaces for a house in Bel-Air, along with some bird sconces that we put in the client’s powder room.  Both turned out fantastically.

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I had another nice surprise when I finally had the chance to get up close and personal with the products. I was blown away by the amazing hardware, some of which is made with crystal and semi-precious stones.  The octagon pulls in amethyst and rose quartz are so fantastically feminine, and I’m a fan of these pretty rock crystal melon pulls, too. I’m also obsessed with this modern, sophisticated Apollo basin set in malachite. It’s like jewelry for the powder room! These are really unique accent pieces, and certainly not something you can find just anywhere.

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I guess that’s the beauty of Sherle Wagner. Their products really do have that designer, one-of-a-kind feel. The company was founded in 1945, and for the past 65+ years, they’ve been a premier source of formal, high-end hardware that just screams luxury. And when you’re looking for something eye-catching (and, let’s face it, super fancy), SW is a good place to start.

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But what I really love is that now, with Mr. Wagner’s grandson at the helm, the company seems to have really evolved. They have a great “new traditional” aesthetic—with a twist—that works well in both classic and contemporary homes. And SW products aren’t just for powder rooms anymore. The collection now includes original, hand-silkscreened wallpapers, wall and ceiling lights, and even marble wall coverings. Oh, yes. And fine furnishings, too. I loved this stone fireplace. Really handsome and substantial.

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I love surprises, and visiting the Sherle Wagner showroom after all this time was really a lovely one. Have you seen the new products in their line? Take a peek here and let me know what you think!

xo

E.

 

 

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Let’s Talk Art: A Q + A with Jonathan Wellerstein

The first time I saw one of Jonathan Wellerstein’s paintings, I was instantly captivated by his street-style artistry and fabulous use of color. His works are vibrant and lively, but not overwhelming. And as a designer, I love that they offer a nice complement to a room’s décor.  I also love nature, and Jonathan’s modern approach to botanicals results in vivid pieces that add a nice touch to any space, classic, contemporary, or traditional.

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I recently caught up with Jonathan and asked him about his early beginnings as an artist, influences on his work, and favorite space in his home. I think you’ll agree that this artist is every bit as multifaceted and engaging as the work he creates. Join us!

EV: When did you first know that you wanted to become an artist?

JW: I had a teacher in second grade, Ms. Audrey Paley. Even at that age I was able to recognize that there was something special about the way she thought, the way she acted, and the things she said to us as second graders. (She also might have been my first crush as it turns out.) She asked us to read a book and either do a traditional book report or an illustration of one scene in the book that stood out. My book was Fish is Fish by Leo Leoni, one of the all-time great children’s authors.

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I did a drawing—a huge, elaborate bird with hundreds of feathers, each hand drawn and colored precisely and individually. I spent HOURS on the thing.  When I got called into a meeting with my mom and Ms. Paley, all I could think was, “NO! How did I do something wrong?” Turns out she called my mom in to tell her that she thought I had a gift. She said my drawing was so detailed and elaborate and thoughtful (and a million other nice things)-and that I might be an artist. The next day, I enrolled in pastel classes. She was (and still is) one of my all-time favorite teachers and basically single-handedly altered the course of my life.

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EV: Are there any particular colors and/or color combinations you continually find yourself drawn to?

JW: I’ve always been a fan of plays on complementary colors. Or sometimes two sets of complements. That said, I find it incredibly difficult to limit my palette to such a small number of colors. When I see other painters do it, I think, “Man, that looks so good,” and I’ll go to my studio and try. Looking at my work, you can see that I struggle with it, to say the least.

EV: What kind of art do you have in your own home?

JW: I have a pretty great collection of Russian, Ukrainian and Chinese Communist propaganda posters, but I also have paintings by friends that I’ve been collecting since college. It seemed so innocent to trade work back then (and I did quite alright on a few trades). When I lived in Silverlake in the mid 90s, I bought a set of three Geoff Mcfetridge canvas screen printed panels when he was first starting out—just because I liked them and wanted to make things like his. That was a great $200 investment. I’ve had ‘em over my bed for almost 20 years and I still adore them.

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EV: Do you have a favorite room in your home?

JW:  I just moved into a new place that I designed and renovated from the studs up. One of the guest rooms doubles as my library and writing room. It has an amazing view of a late 19th century Catholic Church. I also built the desk from salvaged roof beams. I kinda feel like there is good luck in the wood grain. It’s been here a good two or three hundred years longer than me. The bookshelves of both my library and my studio are also lined with tstochkes I picked up in my (fairly extensive) travels. I have Chinese hand-painted bicycle license plates and  armbands from the Cultural Revolution. Three-dimensional postcards of Che Guevara from Cuba. A Russian finial to be mounted on a marching flag from the early 1940s. Tons of stuff that was my grandmother’s.  And knick-knacks my students have given me. I just like being surrounded by things with history, with stories, things that meant something to someone else—whether I comprehend the significance or not.

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EV: Which artists inspired you most when you were younger? Are they the same artists who inspire you today?

JW: I’m not sure I can even answer this question. My tastes have matured as I have, but being in front of a Basquiat or a Manet or a Guston or an amazing piece of graffiti or a Persian mosaic that has survived for centuries still moves me. I guess as I get older I know about more artists, but I’m not sure I appreciate them or feel any more inspired by them than I did when I was younger. In a way, the stuff that moves you so deeply when you’re a kid, the stuff that makes you want to be an artist even though everyone tells you to “keep it as a hobby,” that stuff will always be important to you.

EV: You’ve also taught painting. What’s the biggest takeaway you hope to give your students?

JW: The single most important thing I try to teach my students is to ask why, even when people around you, people you trust and care about, are telling you not to. The other is that we change. Our interests and tastes won’t be the same at 40 as they were at 18. And that’s ok. Get into lots of stuff. Try out things you never thought you would. And if it means putting some other things aside for a while, no big deal. You can always come back to them. Just be curious. Want to know more.  That’s the best advice I can give to any student of any discipline.

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EV: What’s next for you in terms of projects or installations?

JW: Well, I’m actually editing my first novel of all things. I wrote it last summer and I’m trying to finalize a version. I took a bit of time off painting to do it, and have traveled to a dozen or more countries since. I’m dying to get back into the studio and begin my next body of work, inspired by what I’ve seen and learned.

 

 

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5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day All Year Long

Valentine’s Day may only come once a year, but that doesn’t mean your home can’t reflect everything this romantic holiday stands for long after the 14th has come and gone. Here are five fun ways to celebrate all year long—and fill your home with love in the process.

1. Rethink Red

Red walls, red sofas, red wallpaper  –  I love them all! And not just because red is such a romantic color. It’s also energizing and eye-catching. Red rooms will always be iconic, and red accent pieces can add some visual interest to any space. That said, I’ve found that orange reds and pink reds  are the most harmonious shades to work with when designing a room. Looking to wake up a sleepy space in your home? Try adding a little red to the décor mix for instant mood enhancement.  (And, yes, it’s sexy, too!)

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2. Hang Heart Art

It’s a classic Valentine’s Day symbol, and also an every-month-of-the-year design element  that works in any room of the house. Sweeten up your home’s style with some heart art. What’s not to love? This “Love Carries All” print from Uncommon Goods is made-to-order and so apropos for Valentine’s Day. It has love written all over it (literally!) and would be so charming in an entryway or small powder room.

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I also love this Cartier Heart Strings art piece from Natural Curiosities. It’s so clever and elegant—a true statement piece. The gold leaf glimmers and shines, which is incredibly romantic.

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3. Send Yourself Flowers

Exquisite floral arrangements are the stuff that Valentine’s Day dreams are made of. But there’s no reason you can’t have a dozen roses (or peonies, or dahlias) on your table every month of the year. Adding fresh flowers to your design scheme is an easy way to bring the outdoors in, add some color to your space, and show your home a little love.

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Photo via The Everygirl

4. Invest in Mood Lighting

I’ve never thought that candlelight dinners should be reserved only for special occasions. Lighting a few candles right before mealtime or at the end of a busy day is such a lovely way to unwind and make your home feel more like a sanctuary. It’s also the perfect way to set a romantic mood. This spectrum set by Pelle is a no-brainer when it comes to Valentine’s Day décor, and it’s such a charming gift idea. How pretty would these candles look lined up on a mantel? I love the variation of colors, and the wax looks really fantastic  when it’s dripping all over.

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5. Fill the Candy Dish

We all have those pretty little decorative bowls that only come out for holidays. But I say, why not leave them out all year long? Think a pretty dish with creamy mints on the entryway table, or maybe a bowl filled with chocolate truffles in the kitchen. They both say, “Today’s worth celebrating,” and I couldn’t agree more!

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xoxo,

E

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Cool Cats

I recently saw a collection of art prints hanging in the bathroom of a diner in Dallas, and I thought they were just so cool.

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The prints look totally one-of-a-kind, so I was pretty excited (and equally impressed) when I discovered that they came from an Etsy shop… and sell for less than $10 a pop!

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Collage-O-Rama creates these quirky, colorful images and prints them directly onto old dictionary pages. Pretty cool, right? I think they’d be a great conversation piece in any room of the house, and I love the idea of grouping several prints together, just like the diner in Dallas did. It’s easy, affordable, and totally unique art.

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Do you love these prints as much as I do? Check out the collection here and let me know!

xo

E

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Pop, Fizz, Clink.

There’s never really a bad time to open a bottle of bubbly, but this time of year, it’s pretty much a prerequisite. New Year’s Eve without a champagne toast? It’s almost unimaginable. But as a designer, serving (and sipping) champagne is only half the fun. Styling a champagne bar with fancy flutes, shiny ice buckets, and pretty little garnish trays is my idea of a good time, too.

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I’m really loving this whole bar cart revival that’s happening. I think carts are the perfect blank canvas for a New Year’s Eve champagne bar, and who doesn’t love a party on wheels? I also like the fact that there are so many shapes, styles, and finishes to choose from these days (price points, too). Take a look at a few of my favorites:

Deskey Bar Cart via One Kings Lane, $309

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Prost Bar Cart via Crate & Barrell, $599

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Manhattan Bar Cart via Z Gallerie, $199.95

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Tamsin Chinoiserie Bar Cart via Neiman Marcus, $795

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Brooke Bar Cart via Pottery Barn, $499

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Threshold Bar Cart via Target, $129.99

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I’ll be sipping Sofia this week (or, if I’m feeling extra fancy, Nicolas Feuillatteand) and toasting to 2015, which I just know is going to be fabulous. How will you be celebrating the new year?

 

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Window Shopping

Don’t you just love window shopping this time of year? New York has some of the most iconic holiday storefronts in the country, but Los Angeles holds its own. The Christmas displays at Sticks and Stones Floral Design on Robertson are a perfect example. These oversized toy soldiers and moss trees totally caught my eye. So chic. And so fun!

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I also think the icy palette of this winter scene is gorgeous. And it would be so easy to replicate this look on a smaller scale with a can of silver spray paint and some old wooden branches. And of course, you can never go wrong with a snowy white tree. It’s just so magical…

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This place really gets its!

Tell me, where do you like shopping for holiday décor, and what are some of your favorite Christmas window displays?

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Erinn V’s 20 Hottest HGTV Holiday Decorating Tips with How-To Videos

Looking for some quick, easy, and totally fab holiday decorating tips? You’ve come to the right place. So grab your glue gun, click on one of the links below, and get ready to make things merry and bright.

 

1. Bubble Wreath
Follow Erinn’s simple steps for creating this modern bubble wreath made from craft store supplies.

2. Rustic Holiday Décor
Erinn helped singer-songwriter Jewel transform her home for the holidays with simple, natural elements. Watch the video at HGTV.com to see how to bring these same rustic elements into your own home this Christmas.

3. White, Gold, and Copper Tree with Feather Garland
Need a little inspiration before trimming your tree? Watch Erinn go to work with metallic accents and a fab feather garland.

4. Christmas Greeting Gift Bags
Learn how to use old holiday cards to make darling gift bags that are perfect for small gifts or holiday party favors.

5. Christmas Lanterns
Transform store-bought metal lanterns into festive holiday decorations with stencils and paint.

6. Pine Cone Ornament
Erinn show you how to turn a plane pinecone into a beautiful holiday ornament with paint, ribbon, and decorative beads.

7. Snowy Candle Centerpiece
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Erinn will make them all come true with a snowy candle centerpiece that’s perfect for a mantel, console, or entryway table.

8. Christmas Ornament Chandelier
Ornaments aren’t just for hanging on trees. Erinn shows you how to add some extra sparkle to your home with this lovely ornament chandelier.

9. Glamorous Glitter Garland
With cool colors and fresh fabrics, this glitter garland is sure to add a little glamour to your holiday home.

10. No-Sew Tree Skirt
What you put under your tree can have just as much impact as what you put on it. Just grab some felt, a hot glue gun, and a few decorative accents, and you’ll be good to go!

11. Giftwrapped Stocking Holder
Erinn shows you how to create this fun and festive mantle decoration that doubles as a stocking holder.

12. Glistening Green Centerpiece
This tone on tone centerpiece is modern, inexpensive, and completely DIY-friendly.

13. Homemade Holiday Cards
Making your own holiday cards isn’t just for kids, but they can certainly take part in this family-friendly holiday craft.

14. Ornament Topiary
Create this charming ornament topiary, which doubles as a candle holder, using inexpensive items you can find at the craft store.

15. Cone-Shaped Stocking
You don’t need a sewing machine to make this modern corn-shaped stocking—just a few tips from Erinn, who shows you how to put a new twist on an old favorite.

16. Felt-Topped Christmas Balls
Here’s a Christmas craft for young and old alike. It’s easy, inexpensive, and lots of fun, too.

17. Exotic Giftwrap
Little packages can make a big impact when you add a little creativity and some designer wrapping tips from Erinn.

18. Butterfly Tree Topper
Looking for a non-traditional tree topper? Craft store butterflies (and some gorgeous copper accents) will add a whimsical touch to your holiday decor.

19. Glitter Glass Bulbs
Add a modern—and gorgeous—touch to everyday ornaments with glitter, glue, and a little creativity.

20. Square Feather Wreath
Fabulous and festive, this square feather wreath makes a wonderful gift—but it may be hard to part with!

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