Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Alphabet Christmas Tree

The idea of a Christmas tree decorated with alphabet cookies has been stirring in my head for several years, and recently adopting two kids made for perfect time to bring this idea to life. Michael and I have been collecting cookie cutters for several years which include a set of all 26 letters. Our three year old, Nick, and I both share a love of the ABC’s and are quite happy to sing their praises any chance we get. With these elements and a little extra free time at the end of November I seized the opportunity.

Like many projects I take on, this one proved to be a little bigger than I had expected. It took three batches of gingerbread cookie dough and a LOT of rolling (doing this in small batches was key) to ensure the tree would be properly decorated. Cutting the cookies was easy but remembering to make a hole at the top for string wasn’t. After all the baking was done I lost my free time; thankfully the cookies sit around without trouble and made the kitchen smell wonderful. We decorated at least two dozen of the cookies late one night and tying all the red string so they would hang “just right” took me about three hours. But it was a labor of love and I am thrilled with the results.

In all the projects around our house, I strive for a twist of modern luxury and I think this happened so nicely on the tree. A simple color palette was used to decorate the cookies: white icing, white sanding sugar, peppermint pillows and silver drages. By keeping many of the cookies in their natural state the tree is kept from being too folksy.

Nick is so excited about the tree and he can pick out the ornaments that spell his name … which I’m sure will impress Santa when he comes for a visit.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

After: Magnolia Condo

Amazing how a little color can completely transform a space. For several months this Magnolia condo sat empty and my client was eager to get it rented. The plan was divided into two phases: new paint and carpet first, followed by a kitchen update. To capitalize on the views and make the space feel bigger, we chose a Benjamin More Beachside Green as the primary color. We worked from the same color strip for the fireplace wall, picking Sage two colors down and continued down for the trim choosing the lightest color on the strip as the primary. The dining room light fixture went from a dated glass and gold number to modern stainless steel. To tie everything together all the white plastic switch plates were replaced in matching stainless. Immediately the condo felt more elegant with its modern color pallet and a bit of dressing up.

The makeover worked some magic --- before we could get the tile guy in to start on the kitchen, the condo rented. Phase two will just have to wait until next time.