Shake It Up: Interior Design Trends for The Holiday Season

With the holidays in full swing, we all want tips on “decking the halls” to make the Holiday season unforgettable. From monochromatic to the downright gaudy, one of these styles is sure to tug at strings of your interior designer heart. Here are 3 interior design trends that will have you looking at Holiday decorating in a whole new light.

 

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Griege Holiday Look

Nothing says chic and warm like muted colors all in the same hue. While gray has been an insanely popular color in interior design this year, Greige is slowly taking over and becoming the new IT concept. Rooms featuring warm and cool tones of grays, browns, and beige while highlighting natural materials, hence Greige showcase ease in holiday trends. For decor, a home dressed in these complimenting tones with a mix of metallic and elements from nature, is sure to sparkle long after the holidays are over. Ideas for decor include: Gray, white, and beige ornaments, Garland decorated with twinkling lights and muted tinsel, and evergreen and pinecones with hints of metallic strewn throughout, Candles in various “greige” shades, and lots of natural light really tie this look all together.

 

Plaid

Plaid Holiday Look

While lumberjacks sometimes get a bad rap, we really want to pay homage to their necessity in the holiday season, with a focus on plaid as an interior design holiday trend for 2015. In small doses plaid is a winner, but let’s take it as grandiose as it can be, and make it a showstopper. By breaking down the basic colors in a holiday plaid palette, you now have reds, blacks, and even greens to work with. This look is so rich and inviting, while also having the room to become very edgy and eclectic. Create interest by mixing in your plaid decor with slightly more traditional pieces that you wouldn’t expect to bring into your Christmas. Ideas for decor include: Plaid wreath for your front door, plaid ribbon for your mantle, Throw pillows in complementary tones, Black and gold frames to throw in some minimal elements, and a beautiful table setting involving plaid placemats and complementing silverware. Throwing in some burlap to break it up will definitely ease those a little leery of going all the way with Tartan prints.

 

Bold & Bright

Bold & Bright Look

A favorite amongst color lover’s everywhere, Bold and Bright is sure to increase the joy felt in the home this Holiday season. Be eccentric with your decor and think outside the box. Do a rainbow set of Christmas trees like the image above, or throw that favorite shade of fuchsia that you’re afraid to tell everyone about in your decor scheme. Nothing is over the top when you are bold and bright! If you are afraid of overdoing it, white accents will break up the colorfulness of it all and make it crisp. Throw a modern spin on things, and have your Christmas tree ornaments be DIY origami. Everything is fair game and nothing is off limits when you are decorating Bold and Bright. Ideas for decor include: Lots of exuberant colors, patterns and textures on the walls, hanging ribbon from your ceiling with fun ornaments tied to the ends, GLITTER, and lots of bravery.

An Architectural Masterpiece in Spicewood

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A modern architectural masterpiece nestled in the coveted Texas Hill Country on 4.8± prime acres. This pristine waterfront estate is strategically positioned on 260± feet of water frontage on the Pedernales arm of Lake Travis. The award-winning home hugs the bluffs soaring from the water’s edge while capturing the site’s natural resources. It is a private gated residence within a private gated community that borders one of Austin’s most prestigious private golf courses. Located only 12 minutes from the Hill Country Galleria and approximately 35 minutes to Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Winner of three ASID awards, and featured in Texas Home & Living, this custom beauty boasts meticulous craftsmanship and Beaumaniere limestone imported from France. The design of this 6,733± square foot home is very open yet private and tranquil for day-to-day living while designed as an entertainer’s dream home. Countless features include custom negative edge pool with attached spa area, fire pit on the pool patio, 567± feet of covered Beaumaniere limestone patio which includes covered dining area adjacent to chef’s kitchen. Peaceful self-circulating water feature greets those at front entry and master bedroom patio. Designed by William Resloc. Interior Design by Susie Johnson. Listed by Brian Langlois. See more at: www.RiverCliffEstate.com or click here!

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Alternative Thanksgiving Leftover Food Comas

It’s been a couple of days, and your fridge is still filled with copious amounts of Thanksgiving leftovers. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and, well, the list goes on. Instead of mindlessly heating up the traditional plate of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, why not try something a little more innovative; something no one has ever ventured to cook up with Thanksgiving leftovers?

Here are a few ideas to liberate your leftovers:

Turkey Stock

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If you haven’t already thrown away your turkey carcass, use it to make stock. Put all the leftover turkey bones in a pot. The more meat left on the bones, the more flavor your stock will have. You may want to break them apart so that they fit more snugly in the pot.

Cover them with an inch of water. Put the pot in the oven and turn the temperature to below 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave them in the oven, uncovered, for at least 8 hours (up to 16 hours). If you have an enormous pot of water and bones, you may want to bring it to a simmer, and then put it in the oven.

Remove the stock from the oven and add any leftover vegetables to the pot. Bring the stock to a simmer on the stovetop, turn the burner to low, and cook for an hour on the stove. Once done, strain the stock through a strainer.

Chill in the refrigerator, remove the fat from the top, and freeze. Next time you’re craving your favorite soup, defrost and cook!

Thanksgiving Breakfast

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Mix leftover mashed potatoes with stuffing and some turkey in a frying pan. Fry everything in a generous amount of butter until crisp. Make a hole in the center of the pan and fry an egg. Top with hot sauce if you’re feeling adventurous. Put on a plate and indulge.

Turkey Press

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In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine some gravy and milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and keep warm.

Lather one side of each slice of bread with olive oil. Lay the slices, oiled side down, on a clean work surface. Spread 1 tablespoon of cranberry relish on each slice. Place 1 cheese slice on each of four bread slices. Top with turkey and stuffing. Cover each with one of the remaining bread slices, oiled side up.

Preheat an electric Panini press.

Place 2 sandwiches on the Panini press. Close the lid and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. This should take about 4 minutes. Place on a rack-lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining 2 sandwiches. Carefully open the sandwiches and spoon on the warm gravy. Close the sandwiches, cut in half and enjoy!

After surviving another Thanksgiving coma, share your creative Thanksgiving leftover dishes!

Preparing Your Home for Holiday Guests

Having guests for the holidays can be overwhelming, but at the same time, a lot of fun! Whether it is family or friends staying with you, everyone likes to make their guests feel as at home as possible. Here are a few quick and easy tips to make your guests’ stay easy and comfortable!

Light and Nightstand

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Guests are not used to your space, so providing them with a light close by is necessary so they can move comfortably around the room, especially in the middle of the night. Also, a nightstand by the bed allows guests to keep their personal items, phone, and glass of water close by at night.

Lots of Pillows, Nice Sheets, and Extra Bedding

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Great bedding is the key to a comfortable stay for your guests. Make sure you have plenty of pillows available, that way your guests can arrange the pillows to their exact liking. Soft sheets are always a great surprise to slip into when it is not your bed, and another way to make sure the bed is as comfortable as it can be.  Be sure to provide extra bedding in case your guests get chilly!

Spare Toiletries

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Provide a basket of toiletries for your guests in case they forget anything or did not have enough room to pack it. If you like to store this basket out of sight, make sure to tell them where it is and that it is available for their use. Here are a few things that you can include in the basket: travel size shampoo and conditioner, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton swabs, various common medicines, deodorant, hair ties, a sewing kit, and stain remover.

Set out Towels

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Have towels visible and easily accessible for guests.  Placing them in a location where they dont even have to ask makes it really easy, such as the bed or the bathroom counter.

A Place to Unpack and Store Suitcases

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One of the best ways to feel right at home, is not having to live out of a suitcase. If you have a closet in the guest room, be sure to have ample empty hangers available. If you do not have a closet, be sure to provide a dresser so guests can neatly put their clothes away. Provide a space for them to tuck their suitcase so they do not have to step over it while walking from one side of the room to the next.

Wi-Fi Password & Anything Else Important

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Once guests are settled into their space, the next most important thing is getting connected! Be sure to leave a note in a visible location providing your guests with the Wi-Fi password and any other important things they may need to know.

Magazines, Games, & Entertainment

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In the living areas of your home, provide things to do during down time. Allow your guests the opportunity to entertain themselves. Make sure that these options are placed in a visible location so they do not have to ask and feel comfortable using them.

Holiday Atmosphere

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There is no better way to feel festive than to light a holiday-flavored candle! Playing holiday music throughout the home will also help make the atmosphere feel much more inviting with a little holiday cheer in the air.

Snacks & Drinks Available

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Have extra snacks and drinks on hand for you guests. You do not want anyone to feel hungry or parched while they are staying with you. Everyone has different eating schedules and appetites, so this is a great way to be prepared for anything.

De-Clutter and Clean Before Hand

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Before your guests arrive, make sure your home is clean so you are not cleaning while they are there. Furthermore, simply making sure surfaces are cleared of unimportant objects makes a big difference. Do not feel like you have to go through every junk drawer and closet. The most important thing is that your guests should not feel as though they are tiptoeing around your personal things.

Stunning Design, Impeccable Detailing and Architectural Elements on Lake LBJ

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Stunning design, impeccable detailing and architectural elements all designed to frame the enormous view of Lake LBJ as a striking display of modern art. This Texas contemporary lake house Designed by Tim Blonkvist of Overland Partners out of San Antonio features a soothing pallet of neutral shades, local quarried limestone, contrasted with hues of rich warm wood and the beautiful blues of the lake, truly a sight to behold! Situated perfectly with north facing, wide open waterfront, in the exclusive gated community of Applehead Island in Horseshoe Bay, TX. The outdoor living areas are designed to fully enjoy the breathtaking views of Lake LBJ and the Scarbourgh Ranch in the distance. Three separate patio levels with a fourth level observation deck. Open concept living features a wall of windows showcasing the lake views, dramatic stone walls and fireplace, gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances and countertops, and a large dining area perfect for entertaining intimate gatherings or large parties. The space flows seamlessly to the outdoor patio for more lakeside entertaining. Occupying the entire top floor, the master suite boasts a spectacular view, private balcony, spa-like bathroom and abundant closet space. A second large master suite overlooking the lake is perfect for guests. Also find two additional guest bedrooms. The lower level features a large lakeside media/game room with wet bar and outdoor deck. Words and photos cannot capture this extraordinary property – this one must be experienced! Listed by Tammie Bennett. Click here to check it out!

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Get Crafty With Leaves for Fall Decor!

Fall is in full swing!  Cooler weather is coming and going (It is Texas, after all) but the trees definitely know that summer is over and soon the ground will be covered in fallen leaves.  If you’re lucky enough to get some gorgeous autumn colors covering your yard, save some of them to make some great crafts!  These three make perfect rustic decor for your Thanksgiving get-togethers, plus it’s a great excuse to get the family together and create something!

Gold Leaf Garland

Gold Leaf Garland

As much as we Texans hope for gorgeous reds and oranges in our leaf colors, we usually end up with brown.  Not to worry, those can look beautiful too!  By adding a touch of gold paint, suddenly a plain brown leaf looks gorgeous!  Aside from the looks, this craft is a great way to get interaction from not just the crafters, but also everyone at your Thanksgiving shindig.  Set aside the painted leaves in a bowl, have your guests write down what they are thankful for as they arrive, and tie them up with string as they’re done to create a visual of everybody’s gratitude!

Leaf Art

Leaf Art

If you’re wondering what to do with a blank space in your entertaining area, this is a great way to fill it!  This beautiful piece can be as large or as small as you’d like it to be!  Simply find a piece of wood to best fit the area, trace a leaf shape you like, and then go to town with the Mod Podge to adhere the leaves!  If you’re having trouble finding pretty autumn foliage, you can cheat and get some artificial leaves.  We won’t tell!

Leaf Place Cards

Leaf Place Cards

There’s just something about a gold-colored leaf that looks so chic.  Might as well make the most out of the gold paint you bought for the garland, right?  These place cards are a super cute way to personalize your Thanksgiving table for your guests.  These fully-painted leaves just need some twine and a name tag to become some of the most seasonally-appropriate place cards we’ve ever seen!  Plus, you can completely skip the personalization and just scatter some of the golden leaves throughout the table for an added pop of color to your table!

Will you be trying any of these leaf crafts, or others you’ve found?  Let us know!

 

Cozy Up Your Space This Fall

With Thanksgiving upon us, now is the time to make the most of your space and get it ready for Fall and family. These simple touches can make your home an inviting place for all of your holiday guests.

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Switch out Accessories with Earthy Tones

Yellows, browns, and deep reds are often the first colors that come to mind when you imagine the direction of your Fall decor. Changing out a few of your home accessories for ones with deeper tones is one of the simplest ways to instantly improve the coziness level of your home.

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Pile on the Pillows

These quick additions create the comforting environment you need in your living room. Throwing a few extra pillows on the couch makes those chilly Fall nights all the more relaxing.

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Bring it Down With an Area Rug

Area rugs not only provide the illusion of making a room seem larger, they can also add to the overall harmonization of your Fall decor. Using an earthy color for your area rug can up the coziness of your home as well as help fend off the cold.

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Gather Around a Fire

A fire seems like a must-have as the weather grows colder. By having a beautiful glowing fire in a main area of your home friends and family will have no problem feeling warm and comfortable.

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Add a Touch of Tradition With a Quilt

Quilts instantly give off an inviting down-home feel. Pull out all those old quilts to cozy up your bedrooms. For an added comforting touch use quilts as decoration throughout the rest of your home as well.

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Spice it Up with Bold Drapes

Give your space an exciting look this Fall by putting up some eye-catching drapes. Choosing a heavier fabric can also help keep the cold at bay as it gets further into the season.

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Layer on the Bedding

What better place to make yourself more relaxed and comfortable than your own bedroom? Layer up those blankets and make your bed a place you want to stay all day long. Choose a seasonal pattern to add even more to your Fall theme and make your entire home Thanksgiving-ready.

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Make Your Dining Room Unforgettable

One of the most important rooms in your home this season is the dining room. Thanksgiving is a time we all gather around the table to spend quality time together. Prepare to wow your guests by adding some of these touches to your table! Seasonal appropriate table runners and earthy centerpieces will ensure that dining at your house will be the most memorable time of the year.

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Benvenuto a Palazzo di Campagna

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Experience unparalleled privacy, unsurpassed quality and utmost security woven seamlessly throughout this extraordinary estate nestled in the middle of 30± pristine acres, all within ten short minutes of the San Antonio International Airport. A spectacular home of unmatched distinction, this fabulous 23,000± square foot estate is meticulously designed and maintained both inside and out. Enhanced with loggias off every main living area, the home surrounds an infinity edge pool with hand-laid mosaic glass tile and overlooks a scenic lake. The home is crafted with only the finest materials throughout; from the imported French clay tile roof, Venetian plaster walls, exotic stones and marbles, stunning millwork, Downsview custom cabinetry, Miele, Viking and SubZero appliances to the lush, tropical landscaping. The hand-placed paver driveway divides the 20-foot-tall rock wall entranceway with steel reinforced front gates, welcoming you into all this magical estate has to offer. The dual oversized 4-car garage and motor court area is centered by the most picturesque cascading waterscape island with gas-fired copper water bowls. This is a true masterpiece and simply too special to describe; visit palazzodicampagna.com for additional details and information.

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Congratulations to Our Award-Winning Agents!

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We celebrated some of our top agents yesterday at the annual San Antonio Business Journal’s “Best in Residential Real Estate” awards. Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty had a fantastic showing at the awards. We had 24 winners overall, including 13 (of 25!) in the Luxury Residential Real Estate Agent section, 5 in the Farm and Ranch Agent section, and 6 in the Residential Real Estate section. We are so proud of our agents and look forward to 2015 being even better!

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Our awesome agents!

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A Forever Home In Hill Country Village

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In the heart of San Antonio, just seven minutes from the international airport, is a community filled with open pastures, glamorous estates, wildlife, farm life and luxury. The residents of Hill Country Village have either been here for a very long time, or were blessed enough to finally find their spot. It’s coveted, yet unconventional, steeped with history yet full of modern architecture.

For Deb Ford, Hill Country Village has been a part of her life for nearly 30 years. Ford’s two-plus acre plot on the southern end of the Village boasts a gorgeous home surrounded by mature trees and a sprawling green lawn that makes it hard to imagine the bustling world just seconds away. “The convenience is extraordinary,” says Ford. “This is the walking neighborhood. I can, and have, walked to the post office and the grocery store.”

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The original home was built on the property in 1960. As Ford moved her family in she made two major expansions to fit her growing children, who now often visit with children of their own. The master suite is located on the original, ranch style side of the home and a separate two story children’s or entertaining wing offers a generous great room with a fireplace, three bedrooms with bathrooms and bonus room with a separate entrance.

A huge kitchen adjoins the two spaces nicely and Ford reminisces about the many memories she has had around the kitchen table. “So many kids have grown up in this house, we always had my children’s friends here, they still come back to visit and will be sad when I go.”

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Professed as the “cool house” Ford affectionately calls the home the ultimate entertaining space. Local and National dignitaries have been guests in the home, where Ford is well known for her parties. The canopy of the trees and layout of the home create an ideal setting for speaking engagements with large audiences. “We even had my daughter’s wedding here. Imagine 700 guests, lights everywhere and a dance floor all right on this lawn.” And after flipping through an album of the event it is obvious the setting was not only perfect, it was magical.

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The serenity of the outdoors is carried into the home, through the large windows and French doors creating the perfect flow to one of the many gathering spots. “The front porch is my sanctuary, just heavenly.” The porch leads down to the pool, which rests nicely amongst the canopy of trees and is surrounded by a large patio with a fire pit. “It creates a natural amphitheater which was not intentional, but is as if God planned it.”

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“One of the greatest features of the property is this beautiful barn,” say Ford of the expansive space with fully protected interior. Ford uses it for a gardening center and workshop, but it is suitable for much more. “You can own one big animal per acre and it would be ideal for horses.” Whether interested in raising animals or just looking at them, the home offers abundant natural entertainment. “The wildlife is just incredible here,” says Ford. “I love watching the routines of the deer and there are just so many beautiful birds.”

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Before World War II, Hill Country Village was a hog farm. Then, in 1946 developers began construction of Village Estates, the first subdivision located north of San Antonio. Tracts were a minimum of nine acres and offered residents suburban country living. The Hill Country Village Association was created in 1954.

The citizens incorporated the community in 1956 and established a mayor and council form of government. Given the limitations of selling nine-acre parcels, residents voted to allow the sale of smaller tracts down to two acres, however many lots are still much larger than that evoking a sense of privacy that residents have come to cherish.

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Ford will indeed miss many things about the home as she moves to be closer to her grandchildren, but knows the home will now find its new family to raise. “Hill Country Village is not cookie cutter by any means. It’s an investment in living life beyond the extraordinary, a place to start a life. People come and stay.”

This extraordinary property, located at 211 Hillcountry Ln, is currently available to purchase and is listed with J.P. Martin of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. Click here for more information! 

Article written by Jennifer Pucci Starr.