Thursday, December 10, 2015

History of Holiday Trees and Trim

Long before Christianity, evergreens held a special significance during the winter season. In a number of countries, the greenery was considered to possess spiritual attributes to ward off evil spirits and illness. Of course adornment reigned in old history; the inhabitants artistically decorated their doors and windows with boughs and greenery.

The early Romans, true appreciators of art and design, decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs for an annual feast at the winter solstice. The Saturnalia honored their god of agriculture, Saturn. Simultaneously and far to the north, the Druids, priests of the ancient Celts, were busy decorating, too. They festooned their temples with evergreen boughs, which they considered symbols of everlasting life.

The Christmas tree tradition we know is credited to Martin Luther, a 16th century Protestant reformer. As he walked home one winter evening, the brilliance of the stars twinkling among the evergreens captivated him. To save the scene for his family, he put up a tree in their home and wired candles onto the branches.

In the 1700s, German settlers brought the Christmas tree tradition to this continent, where it spread. In 1848, the tradition reached back across the ocean again. Very popular Queen Victoria of England had wed German Prince Albert; he put a tree up in Windsor Castle. That was it.

England took a new direction for holiday interior design and yuletide fashion. From then on, the Christmas tree became a tradition in England, the United States, and Canada.

A plain evergreen is nice. However, ornaments and lights make a personalized statement. Again, Germany gets credit for birthing a new industry of hand-made ornaments and exporting them to America. But it was American Thomas Edison’s assistant who came up with the idea of putting electric lights on the trees. The rest is history.

Today, Christmas tree decorating takes on as many forms as there are interior decorators. We can select ornaments, ribbons, garland, and lighting to complement the gorgeous furniture and interior furnishings you already have. Or, maybe you need some new fine furniture or an interior design to compliment your holiday endeavors. Drop by our Dallas Furniture Showroom for a consult or that perfect piece to finish or change the room accommodating your Christmas tree.

Oh, and by the way, did you know Christmas trees are grown in all fifty of the United States, but only Texas has J. Douglas Design?

Friday, November 6, 2015

WINTERIZE Your Home Décor

Winter is officially here - and there is nothing like coming home to a warm, cozy home. Some of us have a fireplace, while others have warm area rugs. Is your décor as "winterized" as the rest of your home? A few extra touches can go a long way in preparing your home for the season.

Decorating for winter can be as simple as choosing the right fabrics or picking the right color scheme. A well-designed home can make you forget that it's even freezing outside! Here are some ways to warm up your décor during the colder months.

Rearrange your furniture. One way to create warmth is to put your furniture closer together, making a room look more inviting and creating lots of space for conversation. Arrange them in a circle or have two or more pieces face each other. If you have a large room, try placing round a designer area rug under the furniture to define the space and add warmth to the room.

Make use of layers. Most people cope with the weather by throwing on extra layers of clothing. The same idea works around your home-add extra layers to your fine furniture, tablecloths, and window treatments. Add topper fabrics to your tablecloths to suit the season, and use a valance on your living room windows.

Add some soft fabrics.
Fill the room with thick, rich materials that give it a warmer feel. Wool and velvet are some of the most popular winter fabrics, especially for throw blankets. Area rugs are very effective at warming up a room, it's just a matter of choosing the right design.

Use some candles.
Candles not only look chic and stylish; they also provide light and heating at no extra cost. Instead of turning on the lamp, light a few candles in your living room to create some ambience. Small rooms can use them as table centerpieces. For large rooms, candles can be distributed along the walls, as it evens out the lighting.

Choose warm colors. Colors provide visual warmth and enhance the heating effect of other interior design elements. For winter, your dominant colors should be in the red-to-yellow spectrum. Pair them with toned-down earth colors such as brown and beige.

Contact J. Douglas Design today to learn more about how we can help you transform your space, into the beautiful, warm and cozy retreat you've been waiting for.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Scary Interior Design Mistakes

It's almost Halloween - and you should know that things can get really frightening - in the world of interior design. There are always 'do's and dont's' - but we've compiled the top 3 "Spookiest Design Faux-Pas" for your ghoulishly fun Halloween reading pleasure. (and it's truly a spook-tacular realistic resource and reference for decorating!)

Top 3 Spooky Interior Design Faux-Pas

1. Leaving color out of your design. Ok, so you are the 'white space' or 'minimalist' style. And monochrome, done right - is very hip. But EVERYBODY needs a pop of real color. You can't live in the 'presence of all light' or the 'absence of all light' (technical terms for white & black) forever. Gotta have SOME sort of splash of color. Somewhere. Buy a plant. Get a pillow or a rug. Bring the spectrum of light into your life. And do it FAST!

2. A Scale-Challenged Space. You think you're pretty good at 'eyeballing' things to fit into your spaces, do you? Just pop into the furniture store and buy something because it's a 'must-have'? Have you ever ended up with a space that is dominated by furniture with only or less than 1 foot of walking space in a room? Get out the tape measure and plan for several feet of walking space, and try to buy pieces that are practical, efficient and timeless.

3. Overboard Accessories. I sure hope we're not talking about you. Because if we are - Neicy Nash and her team at Clean House or the guys and gals at A&E's Hoarders will be in touch soon. HOW MANY KNICK-NACKS does a person need? You don't need figurines and snowglobes all over your house to make it 'home'. Instead - choose classy and timeless pieces that double as accent pieces - such as a decorative lamp, or an ornate side table. These things add an element of accessorizing while still being highly functional. Now, if you have a snow globe that doubles as a fully-functional crystal ball - (with fortune telling capability) - that might just be acceptable.

Of course - you might just need the help of a professional. J. Douglas Design is here for you. Just call us, and Douglas will pay you a visit and get your home sorted out chop chop.

Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween!