It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Our halls are decked and we’re anticipating the arrival of a certain Jolly Elf. And in the meantime, we have the company of good friends and family to help us savor the moments of this special time.
Time with friends and family…
This year was our turn to host the dinner for the neighborhood progressive party. What a delightful time. We have been enjoying this tradition for eleven years now. I was excited to change up some of my holiday décor this year to liven things up a bit. There is nothing like hosting a good party to get you in the mode to get things done.
A beautiful tablescape sets the tone…
A little holiday decor
A little more holiday decor
Last time, I mentioned some of my other favorite holiday traditions and I’d like to share a few more. My family spends Christmas Eve with our good friends. For the past 20 years or so, we head over to our friends Jeff and Zona’s . We enjoy a white elephant gift exchange and celebrate into the wee hours. By the time we get home, we are usually up until 4 a.m. wrapping gifts. In years past it was just enough time before our eager children would wake at 5 a.m. to see what Santa left for them! Now that my son is older, we have to drag him out of bed to open up gifts. I have to admit the extra sleep is a nice change!
Santa has arrived!
Even my dog, Coco knows this time of year is special. She gets excited when she sees me take out her own Sweet Dreams stocking because she knows it will soon be filled with treats for her to devour! I really think she loves this time of year just as much as I do!
Music has always played such an important role in our holiday celebrations. Part of our Christmas festivities include a party in which most of our guests are also musicians. Our home is filled with many musician friends and we almost always have live music to dance to.
Let’s all sing…
We were very excited to be invited to our dear friend’s, Ron and Troy’s, home last year. They have song books prepared with Christmas carols and we all sit around and sing together. Ron plays the piano and everyone joins in. They have friends that fly in from all over the country to attend, even New York! I have to say it was magical. We will be attending again this year and are very excited to add this to our list of holiday traditions for years to come.
Our last holiday tradition centers on New Year’s Eve. Since 1999, we host a party for our friends and family to ring in the New Year. As you might guess, there’s always music involved. The next morning, (late morning) everyone comes back over for brunch, some still in their PJ’s, except this time, all our guests work together to make delicious New Year’s Day frittatas. Potatoes, fresh fruit, and way too much bacon is always on the menu. We’ll have mimosas and bloody mary’s, which my friend Michelle spices up with her own vodka infused with hot peppers! Of course there is plenty of football to go around. It’s truly amazing!
Adult beverages, anyone?
I do hope that you are enjoying the 2013 holiday season. As always, CoCo Milano’s can help you create new ones with our selection of holiday decor, florals and so much more. I’d also like to take a moment to thank you all for making this another successful year and to wish you all the happiest of holidays! Remember, it’s never too late to start a holiday tradition! We seem to add new traditions to our list every year! It is all about the memories that you create!
It’s no secret – I love the holidays! What makes this time of year so special is enjoying the company of the friends and family I don’t see all the time. The traditions we create also make this time of year so memorable and something I excitedly anticipate as we come into the final months of the year.
For me, I love the wonderful aromas that come along with the holidays, in particular cinnamon and clove. In an instant, a hint of clove reminds me of my great uncle Johnny. He used to carry cloves in his pocket and I always loved that scent as a child. So when I decorate for the holidays, I like to place cloves into oranges, as well as simmer fresh cinnamon and cloves. I also make sure to have an Archipelago Joy scented candle around my home. I love how these alluring aromas permeate throughout every room!
Archipelago is available in store!
When it comes to Thanksgiving, our tradition tends to be a low-key affair. Usually, we go out for a nice breakfast and later in the day, we’ll prepare a mini-Thanksgiving meal. It’s such a nice way to spend the day, instead of slaving away in the kitchen! This year, we’re doing things a little differently by hosting my husband Mike’s family, so perhaps we’ll add something new to our repertoire.
Plus, I like to save my energy to get ready for Christmas! Perhaps my most favorite tradition involves my best friend, Kathleen! Every year we make a party out of decorating for the holidays. We make cookies and apple cider. To liven things up, we like to try new drink recipes. It’s always so much fun with lots of memories made over the years. It also feels less tedious to “deck the halls” when you have the company of good friends to help!
Get custom florals made in store with Amanda…
A simple way I like to spruce up my holiday decor is simply rearranging some of the things I already have. I’ll ask Amanda to put a new spin on my florals. And I can’t help but indulge myself by adding a new Woof and Poof character to my collection. Such a simple way to liven your space – and a time saver!
I’ll share more in my next post. But in the meantime…what are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Remember that CoCo Milano’s is here to help you create new memories this year and for years to come, whether it’s a new wreath, florals or pieces for your holiday decor!
Centerpieces are a wonderful way to take your home from drab to fab. Even better, you don’t have to follow the traditional setup with them…I like to add my own personal flavor into the mix. Here are five quick and easy centerpieces, that are just perfect for fall!
Vietri dishes perfectly match this elegant table.
1. Light And Bright:
Using white for your fall tablescape can be a fun change from the traditional fall colors. Maybe it’s the harmonious union of the clean, white gourds and turnips mixed with the greens of the fern and succulents…there is something so fresh and inviting about this crisp color combination. I love how the silver candlesticks and the mercury glass vase add a smooth, sleek contrast. The Italian Vietri dishes perfectly match this elegant table. Simply, beautiful.
2. Frightfully Fun
Who says you can’t have a little fun with your fall holiday table? In this case I used almost the entire length of the table for my centerpiece. The collectable gourds, brought to life by Bethany Lowe, make a delightful impression on everyone. The other thing I love about this centerpiece idea is using color to create a wow factor. The fresh green and vibrant orange combination are always a favorite combination for me!
Tradiional Halloween Elements
3. Sleepy Hollow
This year, I just couldn’t help myself…my love for everything macabre “possessed” me. Who doesn’t love a little Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman this time of year? Here the contrast of bold white and the orange against the dark black make this centerpiece work. The table runner is a new addition for me this year, which I was thrilled to find was made here locally.
4. Red And Radiant
For this table I chose a more traditional theme. The warm yellows of the silver dollars melt into the fresh orange of the roses. The berries anchor the arrangement, softly blending into the rich reds of the Italian vase, made by non other than Vietri. It was fun to mix the Skyros leaf bowls and the Vietri square plates! Of course, you can never go wrong with a traditional bouquet for your centerpiece. You can create a bold statement with the strong use of color…it definitely creates a lasting impression!
5. Simply Sunflowers
I’ll never forget the first time I ever saw a field of sunflowers. As a young girl growing up in California, the endless sea of yellow just mesmerized me. That happy yellow color always brings a smile to my face. I especially love using these cheerful little flowers on my fall table because they are so fresh and vibrant with color. To enhance the flair, I added the green pitcher, surrounded by the yummy orange tones of the gourds and the dishes. To bring it all together, I chose to use a platter to anchor the centerpiece.
Whether your style falls in the traditional category or something all its own, a centerpiece is a great way to bring your home alive – no matter what time of year! Need more inspiration – or maybe a little help? CoCo Milano’s is happy to assist you with creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind centerpieces for your fall home. Just give us a call or stop by!
The holidays are fast approaching and so are your house guests. Are you ready? I’m certainly not, but I have five easy steps to get your guest room and guest bath ready.
Primp and Preen
1. Make sure your bathroom is spotless and well-stocked with the essentials: your “good” towels, toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant, soaps and shower gels and shampoo and conditioner, cotton balls and Q-tips. I also like to have a supply of handy items such as disposable razors and toothbrushes – just in case they are forgotten.
Be well stocked with the usual items.
Pamper and Please
2. Your ultimate goal is to make your guests feel special and at home. So pamper them with a basket of goodies to enjoy during their stay and take home when they leave. Customize your basket accordingly, keeping each guest in mind. Definitely don’t forget the men! My grandfather enjoys dark chocolates, so his basket always includes those. I also like to add candles, luxury soaps and lotions, music, books – the sky’s the limit!
Little items to maker you guests feel special.
3. Make your guests feel like they’re staying at a five-star resort by providing them luxurious cotton terry robes. I like to freshen them up by laundering the robes just before my guests’ arrival. The same holds true for the “good” towels!
Who wouldn’t love a great robe… So comfy!
4. For those unmentionable moments, I always have a new bottle of Poo-Pourri available in my guest bathroom. It works better and quicker than room sprays or candles and it can alleviate any awkwardness for your guests. A must have…I even carry the travel size in my purse!
A little Poo-Pourri…
Good Night, Sleep Tight
5. At day’s end, it’s fun to add a couple of cordials and a nightcap on a bedside table. (Grandpa likes brandy!) I also keep a guest book there so my guests can write a brief note about their stay.
Night cap anyone?
It’s the little extras in life that make all the difference in the memories made. We’re all short on time, no matter the time of year. At CoCo Milano’s, we’re happy to assist you with making goody baskets or whatever you need to prepare for your holiday guests. Just give us a call or stop by!
“Fashions Fade, but Style is Eternal” Yves Saint-Laurent. This is one of my favorite quotes, and something that I strongly believe in designing by. While trends come and go in any form of design, I feel that as long as you choose wisely with your staple pieces you can have all the fun you want with the interchangeable ones. In your closet it may be your patent leather pumps and an A-line dress, but in the world of Interior Design it is crown molding and eight way hand tied furniture…. some things just never go out of style. A few years ago a new push happened in the furniture industry. Everyone was done with the “dark ages” of mahogany wood, with jewel tone accents, now many people are working with lighter woods.
A common issue we are hearing however is that consumers went into total color rebellion! With their spaces mostly neutral for the past couple years; our clients are coming to us with a great need of color. The good news is that your timeless pieces, no matter how neutral they are, can be brought to life with a wide range of fabrics and accessories! So no need to fret, we are here to help. I will now take a little time to walk you through some ways to bring that spark back into your interiors! You may just need to add in some colorful pillows or accessories, but if it is re-upholstery or an accent piece you are in need of, we can help you with that as well.
Even though this room is monochromatic, it works beautifully. All the pieces are of timeless design. This is also a Nice mix of traditional and contemporary pieces.
While wandering around a number of showrooms at market I was noticing that I was not the only one dealing with the monochromatic melancholy. While I enjoy the crisp look of all neutrals, I personally love and need a little color. Needless to say I was having a hay day seeing lots of fun ideas on how to revive color within these interiors! The first and simplest way of bringing a little much needed color into your space is through throw pillows. While this is something that I preach every day, it was nice to see all of the options available that are made to complement the neutral/linen look that is so popular right now. And don’t be afraid to pick something wild, give your space a personality. Pillows are easily changed, so if you are in the mood for something different in a year you can easily replace them.
Throw pillows can be a “catch 22” at times. While it is easy enough to spice up your furniture with some fun fabrics, I live for all of the little details. The details make the pillows, and if your room is in need of some personality, pillows are a great way to make that happen! If you like to keep it simple I would recommend throwing in some contrast piping (a band of fabric wrapped around a cord and sewn into the seam of the fabric) for a nice clean trim look, this option is shown in the picture below. Another option would be a flange (a decorative edge of excess fabric, projecting from the pillow). Both of these trims are very clean lined . . . Of course if it was me I would do a self-flange (same fabric as pillow body) with a contrast piping at the seam. Like I said, I love all the little details! If you like to have more elaborate pillows there are all types of ruffles and fringes out there to play with as well. Stop by the shop to see more pillow detail options, there are a few wonderful pillows with mini ruffles that are to die for!
Any one of these pillows could be used to accent this great neutral tufted chair, so pick the one that matches your style!
Accessories are another great way to bring in your color. This is something that I recommend, because again they can easily be switched out. What I thought was really fun at market was all the use of wild bright colors! Orange, Chartreuse, and Turquoise Oh My! So don’t be afraid to use your favorite color! Just because it is for the home does not mean you have to pick muted colors. If the room is done right, you can have lots of fun with color! In fact the projection for next year’s color palette is purples, oranges, and reds! Wild I know! I can’t wait to see what the industry has in store for us. The other thing I would like to point out is that you can mix mirrored and glass objects with the heavily distressed, washed finished woods. Many times people are afraid to mix the contrasting textures, but I’m here to tell you it works!
The use of bright bold colors such as turquoise is a great way to brighten up your space.
These mirrored lamps and bright pottery are an elegant addition to the distressed buffet.
Now if you made good decisions on your staple furniture pieces, and they have been around for a while, but you need to freshen them up, this is a perfect time to re-upholster! You can bring new life into your room for a fraction of the cost. Those strong wood frames and hand tied forms are members of the family by now; there is no need to send them off to live in a dorm room. If you have a piece that you are considering having refinished, let us know, we are happy to help you decide if it is the right direction to go in. If it is not, another option is to add the character on smaller pieces in the room. Have fun with an accent chair! A great fabric can go a long way, and if you add pillows to the sofa with the same fabric (or a coordinating one) it will bring the whole room together.
Here are a couple great examples of washed wood frame chairs with colorful upholstery.
Here are a couple great examples of washed wood frame chairs with colorful upholstery.
Now I don’t want to forget about the dining room. That is one room in the house that has a considerable amount of wood. And if you purchased your whole set in the new “vintage” washed wood, heavy distressed look, you are probably considering how to bring some contrast into the space. The simplest way would be to bring in a bright centerpiece; you can see an example of this at the top of the article. This would add a splash of color with less of an investment. When choosing a centerpiece the possibilities are just about endless. Don’t feel that if you have this distressed furniture that you cannot pick white orchids, because you can! We can help you design a centerpiece that will help bring the color and pop that you need.
However, if you are willing to take a bigger leap, and really make a statement; contrasting captain’s chairs are the way to go! As you can see in the picture below, the captain’s chair being used looks like a wing back accent chair. This feature is one that I have fallen in love with. Dining chairs are not as strictly defined as they once were. You can pick an upholstered arm chair, the difference lies in the dimensions, and the seat cushion. Make sure that you are not choosing a chair that will not fit with your table. Some things to consider are the arm height (the chair needs to be able to slide under the table), overall width (make sure it will fit between any legs or decorative features), and seat height (make you will be at a comfortable height for dining). Dining chairs are also not as plush; they have a firmer structure so that you do not sink below the table. This is especially a problem for more petite people like me! Plus if they are too comfortable, your Thanksgiving guests may fall asleep before even making it over to your sofa!
Captain’s chairs are a great place to add a fun fabric with some color to your dining space.
Now with lots of options to think about for adding a bit of color into your neutral space, I would like to leave you with one of my fondest memories. While walking the streets of Paris, I passed by many beautiful store fronts. But I will never forget this red dress I saw in the window of Yves Saint Laurent. That beautiful dress stuck with me. Now it would not have had the same impact if all the dresses where bold, but because it was a statement piece, it made just the right impact. Don’t you want that same feeling in your home? A beautiful pop of color, on a timeless piece, that makes you smile every time you pass by! Needless to say we can easily make this happen for you. So if you are looking for that wow factor in your interior give us a call, we love to put the pieces together and turn ordinary into extra-ordinary!
My memorable red dress, and a room, with the same concept, at the Palace of Versailles, France.
My memorable red dress, and a room, with the same concept, at the Palace of Versailles, France.
If you have any questions that we can help you with feel free to give us a call. Or you can stop by the store and get firsthand advice or help!
Posted in Interior Design - Written by CoCo Milanos on July 20, 2013 - 0 Comments
For more information on dealing with your specific window treatment needs, read Those Tricky Windows! by Amanda. If you’ve already considered your options and are ready to take the next step simply call, click, or come by the showroom and schedule a time to speak with one of our designers.
With all the custom options available today, we’re sure to find a perfect solution for your home!
In today’s day and age it seems as though you cannot even blink without changing the technological world. As soon as you purchase the newest tablet or mp3 player they have released a newer version with more features. And to make it worse, to people who know a bit about technology but are not gurus, all of the recent advancements can make one uncomfortable.
My husband is a true “geek” he cannot wait for self-driven cars and artificial intelligence, but that stuff makes me cringe! So if you are anything like me, you probably have not given much thought to the idea of “smart homes”.
This prospect may seem out of reach, or too complicated to dive into. However, to much joy of my husband, my eyes have been opened to the world of integrated home technology. And I’ve got news for you; it’s not just for the kids! Technology can be assimilated into your existing home, or added in as part of a new build. What I want to touch on today is that integrated home technology is easy to use, has practical purposes, and can enhance your home’s aesthetic value.
Controlling and monitoring window treatments, lighting, and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) can be as easy as the push of a button.
When was the last time you checked your cell phone or tablet? Minutes ago? I know that I cannot go a whole day without checking email, messages, or statuses from one of my remote devices (and yes i have multiple)! What if it was that simple to control features of your home? How many times have you left the house in a rush and cannot remember if you shut the garage? With the growth in products, you no longer need a wall full of switches and panels to bring technology into your home.
While you do need to store the main control system, the controllers come in many forms from wall mount to hand held, plus they have apps for that! I know it’s crazy. …. They seem to make apps for everything! But in all seriousness, aside from the usual control stations, you can also control all of the features from your mobile devices. The controls that are physically installed in home are simplified. Truly integrated technology can control many features from one device.
The ability to control multiple features from a mobile device is one of many new advancements in integrated home technology.
Now I know many of you are now thinking that these features must be extras that you do not see the “need” in adding to your home. While there are some phenomenal features that are strictly aesthetic, there are also many ways that technology can be of assistance in “aging in place” or accessible design. One example that really stuck with me is a lighting system that is controlled by a floor sensor. The application? How about next to your bed? The client had terrible eye sight, and due to health issues had to wake up during the night. Instead of fumbling over to a light switch, the sensor turned the lights on when they got out of bed. That way they would not hurt themselves trying to find the switch. This may not be something that you are thinking of now, but by planning ahead, your home can be made to suit your needs for years to come.
While universal (or accessible) design is always a good thing to keep in mind, let’s talk about some practical features that affect everyone. As I’ve mentioned before, green design is very important, not just for the planet (although that is the main reason), but also for the consumer. Having an integrated intelligence system can help you save on energy consumption, and as a result: costs.
I know that SRP has made usage information available on-line for consumers to monitor, but wouldn’t it be nice to have the information at your fingertips. Just this past week my husband asked me how many loads of laundry I did during the day, because our usage sky rocketed in comparison to the other days of the week, he had looked at the charts online.
Regardless of what energy provider you have, the ability to monitor your consumption, from anywhere in the world, would allow you to adjust accordingly and thus save money. Ahhh Yes, now we’re talking . . . What do we get out of it? Right? There are so many theories on energy efficient products. They cost more initially so will we ever receive the benefits? I’m not saying you have to install solar panels (that’s a whole other soap box!). The integrated system simply allows you to monitor and control your system. So, if you went on a day trip and forgot to set the thermostat, turn your lights off, or lower your shades, you can change it anywhere from the backyard to Europe.
IHT Providers such as Crestron provide apps to monitor energy consumption
When I was growing up, it was ingrained in me as a young woman to never walk to my car alone in the dark, stop for gas by myself, or answer the door for a stranger. Shouldn’t these same values be applied to your home? While many people have alarm systems (which can be integrated as well), let’s go a couple steps further.
The first instinct is to get video monitoring systems that can be accessed from remote devices, I am not an expert on all of those, but if you would like to set up an appointment to meet with an interior technology designer, we are happy to help you. What I am an expert on is how interiors affect the resident, so, if a home is lit, and looks alive, even if it is empty, it would give an outsider the impression that someone is home.
Like many of our loyal customers, some good friends of mine are winter visitors. When they leave, they take special steps to make sure that their home looks inhabited. One thing they do is leave a couple lights on constantly, so that when it is night time it looks like someone is home. This could be resolved by having programmed rooms, that way you would save energy by not having the lights on 24/7. During the winter, it is dark out when I get home. I would love it if I could program my home to “come alive” when it starts getting dark out, that way when I get home I don’t have to worry about any lurking strangers in the dark.
By providing ambiance at night, your exterior can feel just as welcoming as your interior.
While light, sound, and HVAC can be viewed as necessities, there are also aesthetic purposes behind controlling these features in a home. Take a moment and imagine you are in your happy place, at an enchanting restaurant, resort, or theater. What about the space makes you feel so good? Is it the comfortable lighting (not blaring fluorescents), the ambient noise (soft music), or perhaps it is that you are just the right temperature?
All of these aspects go into making a space comfortable, and all too often we forget about them. An integrated system would allow you to dim your lighting (or shut it off from bed when you are too tired to get up again ;)!). Another feature that is often forgotten is sound as part of your design, built in speakers throughout your home. Background music can make the party, whether it is a family gathering or just you sitting out by the pool. Both of the features mentioned above, plus the ability to control your thermostat from your remote devise will bring a new sense of ease to your life.
I realize that this all seems like a lot of information, but try to think of it this way: shouldn’t features that come standard in your car be in the comfort of your home as well? You walk up to your car, and the remote can start and unlock your car, as well as turn the lights, radio, and thermostat on, just by being in its vicinity. Now it’s time for us to take the next step in home design, and bridge the gap between technology and our interiors. If you have any questions on integrated home technology feel free to give us a call!
Posted in Interior Design - Written by CoCo Milanos on May 25, 2013 - 0 Comments
These truly unique works of art and design by Arthur Court are currently available for purchase in our showroom here at CoCo Milano’s!
For decades now these fantastic metal works by ACD have been featured in the finest retailers around the Country… And now, with the success and wide acclaim of the product and company brand, ACD donates a portion of each product sold to support education and research on environmental matters.
You too can share in the Arthur Court story… Call, click or come by the shop to learn more about the items and the colorful story that is Arthur Court!
Happy Memorial Day Weekend from all of us at CoCo Milano’s!
Posted in Sid Dickens - Written by CoCo Milanos on May 18, 2013 - 0 Comments
Jody Jackson’s Winning Sid Dickens Display
Congratulations are in order for Jody Jackson! She is the winner of the Sid Dickens Display Wall contest.
In addition to bragging rights for the near future, Jody won a free Sid’s tile of her choice… This tile, which is already on order due to extreme excitement, should arrive shortly and we’ll repost with the winner and her prize.
You could be next… But not if you don’t participate in the next drawing or contest! Come on down and be sure you’re on the list for the next one.
"We look for things that are both classic and different. We want to offer our customers their own distinct interior design that is second to none."
Coco Milano’s Can Help
Whether you want help with In Home Design Consultation Services, exquisite Floral Arrangements, or Holiday and Party Decorating... CoCo Milano’s can help you transform your home or space into the environment you desire!
Call (480) 641-2626 to setup a consultation with a designer today.
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