Four days away from my due date and the artwork is hung, the shelves are styled, and the drawers are organized — the nursery is complete, without a moment to spare! This is probably one of my favorite rooms in the house now. My husband painted it (Kentucky Haze by Benjamin Moore), installed floating shelves and hung up all of the artwork, and I stood in the corner and directed (A little to the left! You missed a spot!) — team effort! After all of that hard work it’s one of the rooms in our home that has a sense of completeness — and will feel even more complete when our little tenant arrives soon. I am so excited to share a few more details below! 

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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some house updates! In general a lot of our home improvement projects slowed down after I got pregnant — not being able to paint has put a damper on some of my DIY abilities. One room that has gotten a bit of a makeover since we moved in that I’m excited to share today is the dining room. We painted the dining room, and removed all the doors that close it off from the kitchen and living room only a few months after moving in. After that, we just popped in some hand me down furniture and craigslist pieces from our apartment and walked away. With the holidays coming up, I really wanted to “finish” this space and have it be a place where we could entertain friends and family. Of course no space is ever really finished, but we did tackle a few improvements to give it a fresh look.img_5790 read more

Last week I had a pinch-me-is-this-real-life moment when I got the opportunity to interview the impeccable taste-maker and designer extraordinaire Jonathan Adler before his new store opening in Chestnut Hill. He was absolutely charming and kind and funny, and I may have tried to hug him about five times during our meeting because I genuinely want to be his BFF. Check out the pictures of the gorgeous new store (taken by my actual BFF who was there to make sure I didn’t totally embarrass myself), plus my interview with Jonathan where he dishes on his entertaining style, favorite hostess gifts, and awesome advice for young business owners:

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K: Tell me about the new store, what makes this Chestnut Hill location special?

JA: Our other local store, Newbury Street, is like a jewel box, but this is big, there’s room to breathe in here. It just has the feeling of a place you want to hang out in, and it’s great to be able to do that here.

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K: Tell me about your entertaining style, what’s your secret?

JA: The key is super-duper casual, very laid back entertaining. Keep it casual and everyone will have fun. Plus some mini-champagne bottles never hurt, those always get the party started.

K: Any tips for at-home entertainers?

JA: I always serve myself first. It makes people feel relaxed and at home; plus I get cranky if I’m hungry, so it’s better for everyone if I’m fed.

K: I can relate to that!  Any particular party theme you’re known for throwing?

JA: I did a huge clambake last year and that was so fun — it goes back to the casual, laid back entertaining vibe. The key is  to mix it up, mix it up with your themes, with your tableware, mix and match, and have fun with it.

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K: One of my favorite parts about this new store is the Gift Bar right when you walk in — it is brimming with gift ideas for every occasion. Do you have a favorite gift to give from the collection?

JA: The Muse shakers are a favorite, they’re great because you have a set for everyone: Mr & Mr, Mrs & Mrs, or Mr & Mrs, and they go with everything.

K: Being in the business of creating beautiful giftwares, I can imagine you bring a stellar hostess gift when visiting friends — what are your go-to hostess gifts?

JA: I love to bring candles, coasters, pottery… the Muse candle is one of my go-to gifts. And one of the best host gifts I’ve received is a good book; it’s so thoughtful and leaves a great memory when you bring a book.

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K: It took a lot of entrepreneurial spirit to get to where your brand is today; what advice do you have for young entrepreneurs starting out today?

JA: The best advice I can give is: Never ask anyone for advice, and never listen to the advice that people give you. If I had listened to the advice of others when I first starting out, I would have never gotten here. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing had I followed the advice I received. Just politely say to those who offer it:  ‘thank you for offering your advice,’ — and then don’t take it. Trust your gut.

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All photos via Bring to Light Photography

 

I hate to play favorites, but I think I saved the best handmade holiday gift idea for last this week — painted cork coasters. Using plain cork coasters, I painted stripes and color blocks in pink, teal, and gold, and then finished off the top of them with a matte sealer to keep them waterproof. You could play around with color combinations that match your gift recipients’ home and style to make a customized gift, and pair them with their favorite wine or spirit. Are you trying any homemade gifts this year?

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Looking for more DIY present ideas? Check them out here.

Mixing patterns from my closet? Bring it on. Mixing patterns in my home? I’m a little less comfortable there. I perked up and listened when Real Simple featured a spread on mixing bold prints in this month’s issue. While I’m probably not adventurous enough to wallpaper my living room with a dense floral pattern, I do think I can learn a lesson or two about adding a few more patterned throw pillows into the mix. What about you, do you experiment with different patterns in your space?

Image via Real Simple, March 2012