Winter Decor


With the new year and a rough economy, what better time for a little bit of navel gazing? I like to do my cleaning seasonally as I’m taking out new candles, digging up appropriate clothes, changing sheets, and swapping home accessories. Since winter is a few weeks in and I’ve been on the prowl for some fresh design ideas, I’ve grown more and more frustrated with what I’m seeing.

We all know that mass consumption has got us overwhelmed with clutter and debt, but all sorts of “lifestyle” sites and blogs perpetuate the problem by advocating more, more, more. I don’t think I’m alone in this frustration. See, for example, Apartment Therapy’s Predictions for 2009 post, which seemed all in good fun but drew a lot of bitter comments. I guess the readers got a bit tired of being told that a $1000 table is a great! find! in November 2007, then being told it’s out a year later. Or being told that “obvious mid-century modern” (a phrase that if I never hear again, it’ll be too soon) is so last year, but we should all run out and redo our home Mad Men style because that’s what’s on the TeeVee. 

Ok, I’m giving AT a hard time, but there are good ways and bad ways to approach your home and lifestyle that don’t require a complete overhaul every twelve months. Read the full rant after the jump. (more…)


Now that the holidays are over and life returns to normal, whatever that may be, we are entering an odd time of the year for flowers. The late fall chrysanthemums, pumpkins, and decorative gourds are all past their prime, but it feels like the early spring flowers are a lifetime away. With that in mind, I went hunting for a few ideas for bringing the outdoor greenery inside. The look that I like best is combining a bit of evergreen with a classic flower such as a carnation. Apartment Therapy had a cool example of this meant for the holidays back in December, but I see no reason that we can’t use this in the new year, too. Carnations make this cheap, too!2008_12_05-carnations061Or add cranberries for an extra splash of color2008_12_02-carnations-1Of course, Martha Stewart can be counted on for winter floral centerpieces, too. I love candles most during the dark January days, and a white pillar is perfect here:a98259_1200_pinedouble_xlThis one, however, is my favorite. I’d take away the pine cones and extra greenery around the base as it seems too Christmassy and fussy, but the birch tree vases remind me of winters up north. Love it!mla102728_1207_birch_vase_xl-1

From Sooooound's esty Shop

From Sooooound's esty Shop

In addition to decals, classic framed wall art works to spruce up a room for the season without the hassle of removing the vinyl. I like the idea of a basic wall color that works well year round, with a space set aside for your own personal rotating gallery. Start a collection now, and when the season changes your wall can change, too. Then next year you can reevaluate your winter art, keep what you like, and donate/sell/recycle the rest.

Just as with rotating throw pillows, this is an easy way to keep a room interesting and refreshing. It also cuts down on clutter and old items you no longer find attractive since you are reevaluating your choices every few months. After the jump, a few finds from etsy to get started.


Vinyl wall stickers are popping up all over the place lately. They are great for renters who can’t paint  the whole room, and they are lifesavers for people like me who constantly get bored with room decor. While it may not be practical to choose new decals for every season, it isn’t really a stretch to change them every six months or so. In case anyone is looking for some good winter designs, I like ShaNicker’s bare branches il_430xn48088666and Gecko’s simple snowflakes (I especially like that Gecko lets you customize the colors of their decals).floco_de_neve_01

Sine we spend so much time in front of a screen all day, it only makes sense to use all the customization options to reflect our moods and personalities, just as we do in our homes. Now that winter is officially here, I’ve updated a few themes and backgrounds to shake things up a bit. Also, living here in San Francisco, I miss the snow like crazy, so having some real winter to peek at makes me happy.

59_colinthompson_bluewillow_500-white2After the jump, details on updating a Mac screensaver and desktop with Flickr, iGoogle and Gmail themes, and other ways to winterize your tech.


It just so happens that I’m changing my living situation in the next few weeks, and it’s starting with a complete bedroom makeover. I’m going to have a much smaller bedroom space, so I’m going to have to be very selective about what goes in there. My goal is to select foundation pieces that serve as a blank slate for all seasons, meaning I can easily swap out a few items to change things up and keep it interesting throughout the year. I haven’t decided exactly how I’m going to arrange the furniture, but I think the only pieces I’ll keep will be my bed (obviously), a night stand, bookshelf, and dresser. As of now the only piece I’ve decided on for sure is the bed, everything else is up for debate. I’d like to keep my existing night stand, which has a shelf for my printer and a file drawer below. I’m getting moving my desk out of the bedroom, but I’d like to keep a small workspace in there.