Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

This is the season for Holiday decorating! Especially this year, everyone seems anxious to usher in the beauty and comforts of the Holiday season. Choosing your Christmas tree is a great place to start since it is usually the most exciting Christmas decorating project of the season.

If you decide to use a live tree this year, it is essential to do a little preparation before you head out to search for your perfect tree.

 ONE

Measure your ceiling height and take measurements to be sure you know how tall a tree you will need. Leave room for your tree topper, and tilting the tree to an upright position when installing, also allows for your tree stand and tree trunk. Even the most beautifully shaped tree could look like a mess after having to cut half of the tree branches off to stand it in place. Check your measurements, and be sure to purchase a tree that is shorter than your ceiling height!

– Check your doorways, hallways, and stairways, be sure you have a clear path to your final destination. Be sure the length of your tree will make all the turns that it needs to make to enter your room.

– Of course, you also want to be sure you have a vehicle that can transport your tree back to your home, with plenty of cords or rope for securing your tree to your car. Always aim the tree’s trunk toward the front of the vehicle, so the wind doesn’t break the branches during transport.

TWO

When I decide to use a live tree, I purchase my tree from a local tree farm here in Massachusetts, where choosing the perfect tree involves a long hike, down a path, into the woods, through the snow, down past a stream, and up a hill in the freezing cold. Once you reach the peak of this hill, you can see a valley of beautifully tended live trees, all sparkling in the sunshine and all hoping to be my Christmas tree, makes the journey worthwhile. Once you are deep in the woods, it can become challenging to judge these beautiful trees’ height. Luckily my favorite tree farmer comes equipped with a tree measuring stick, a saw, and a pickup truck to haul my perfect tree back to civilization. If you are fortunate enough to visit a tree farm, ask your tree farmer about the different varieties of trees and what to expect regarding the longevity, fragrance, and durability of the needles and branches that vary with each tree.

Your local Christmas tree lot can also be a great place to purchase a live tree, this involves less hiking, less time, and you could also be helping to support a local cause with your purchase. When choosing a freshly cut tree, be sure the needles are not brittle. You don’t want to purchase a dried-out tree that will lose its needles quickly.

THREE

Once you get your Christmas tree back to your home, be sure that your tree trunk has a fresh cut before installing. A new cut allows the tree to continue absorbing water. After installing, fill your tree stand with water immediately, and continue daily watering. Remember, the taller the tree, the larger and stronger the tree stand needed to hold it up safely.

FOUR

Thinking about an artificial Christmas tree? As much as I love the fragrance and the all-day pilgrimage of selecting and installing a live tree. Artificial trees offer many benefits, such as no constant dropping of needles, no daily watering, and much sturdier branches that can hold up decorations that most live trees cannot support. For someone who puts up their decorations early, an artificial tree allows much more longevity. You can also find artificial trees in every shape and size, and variety you could get in a live tree. A quality artificial tree will look very authentic and will last many years if properly stored. There are many trees to choose from, including flocked, pre-lit, and many tree companies offer different varieties of trees, from Frasier firs to White spruce. Remember, decorations and lights go a long way, even with an inexpensive artificial tree.

Until next time,

Gia

 

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

This is the season for Holiday decorating! Especially this year, everyone seems anxious to usher in the beauty and comforts of the Holiday season....

read more

A Peek At My Thanksgiving Table

A Peek At My Thanksgiving Table

This year I’ve decided to hold my annual Thanksgiving dinner a week earlier than usual. My adult children have to go to several homes to attend numerous Thanksgiving dinners—eating Thanksgiving dinner sometimes four times a day. For many years they were more than willing to do this. I decided that this would make it easier for everyone, including the newest 2-month-old addition to the family. Also, giving us more time to visit together as a family during our Thanksgiving celebration. Since my Christmas decorating officially starts on Halloween (this provides plenty of time to decorate my own house and my client’s homes and time to photograph my holiday decor). Most years, my own home is in full-scale holiday decorating mode completing just before Thanksgiving. This year my early Thanksgiving idea lost me a week. However, somehow the house is ready, and I am excited to share a peek at the decorations with you.

broken floor tile

As always, my tablescape is a mix of old and new Items. Some of my cherished pieces of blue and white china from my many years of collecting, mixed with new items like my jewel-toned velvet pumpkins and the beautiful new chinoiserie pumpkins that I stumbled upon earlier this year. I added silver and mirrored chargers purchased for previous events that I have held, antique crystal candle holders, and a few silver pumpkins wrapped with iridescent pearls. This year, I am using cobalt blue and silver for all of my holiday decorations in my dining room, so my Thanksgiving table is following suit. The numerous combinations of colors that I have used for this room are always one of my favorites, so I have used it again this year—an easy transition to my Christmas Decor.

Add rich color.

This year, I’m using cobalt blue satin napkins folded with the silver metallic linen blend napkin. Silver napkin rings trimmed with rhinestones will hold these napkins on top of my place settings. As I’ve mentioned before, don’t be afraid to mix and match when you set the table. When I use my blue and white collection, you might notice that there are about four different patterns of blue and white in one of my table settings. I prefer this layered look of compatible patterns mixed rather than the look of just one pattern on the table, which gives it a lot more interest. It also allows me to add pieces to my collection without worrying about having a certain amount of plates. I know I can always mix a new piece in with the others.

If you prefer a more clean-lined look, you could certainly use one pattern or solid colored plates. When using solid plates, I like to add some contrast to the table with color or pattern in another way. Maybe a more colorful centerpiece, or even a simple floral strong in structure, like an orchid, gives you a much more modern look. When I’m setting the table for a sit-down dinner, I try to keep any centerpiece or center decoration low enough to where you can see over it, especially crucial during Thanksgiving when you are probably going to be sitting at the table for a while. Depending on your table’s shape, you will need to decide how much space you need to create a centerpiece accordingly.

I always use place cards at my holiday table. When my kids were little, it was always a fun project to create place cards for everyone. I still enjoy creating different place cards for everyone joining us for dinner and coming up with different ways to display the place cards. When it comes to glassware, I treat this the same way I treat my china or plates. For this table, I’ll be mixing and matching. This year I combined two patterns of cobalt blue glassware with silver goblets. I also mixed in a few silver-rimmed antique glasses since we were using silver on the table. I try to mix glasses of complementary proportions; this is the key to mixing glassware.

Instead of fresh flowers, which I usually use, I used a few potted flowering plants on my tables for this tablescape. The small lacey blossoms on these flowering plants were pretty and delicate, and I knew they would look great with all of the chinoiserie patterns. I placed these flowers in white ceramic pots. The details on these pots complement the Chippendale details in my high gloss white dining room chairs. I have enjoyed these potted flowering plants in my home all fall and decided to work them into my Thanksgiving tablescape. A few ice and glitter-covered greenery stems add some additional sparkle to the table and complement the room’s Christmas tree, which is ready and waiting to greet guests in this dining room. I’ll add a few more small details to finish out this tablescape, but I thought I would give you a quick peek. Happy Decorating!

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

This is the season for Holiday decorating! Especially this year, everyone seems anxious to usher in the beauty and comforts of the Holiday season....

read more

Preparing to celebrate the holidays at home

Preparing to Celebrate the Holidays at Home

After a crazy year of making adjustments in our lives due to the pandemic, many of us might be adjusting our holiday plans slightly. You may have fewer events to attend, smaller events at home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and more time at home. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t still celebrate the holidays with style and beauty.

broken floor tile
Add rich color.

Here are a few tips:

ONE

Decorate! Over the many years of decorating professionally, both year-round and for Christmas, one thing I know for sure, your environment affects the way you feel. Walking into a warm, inviting, and well-decorated house can be a great boost to your mood throughout the year and the holiday season. Maybe this year, you are working from home; this could give you a little more time to try some of those Christmas decorating ideas that you never seem to get around to doing. Start early to avoid the stress of getting your home in order. Make your home as festive as possible. If the kids are home, involve them in the process by making some decorations. It’s an excellent idea for a kid’s activity and a great way to personalize your decor with handcrafted ornaments or decorations.

TWO 

Mix things up a bit. If you usually host a Thanksgiving dinner for 30 with paper plates buffet style. This year, since you might have just a few people, bring out your china and be a little more elaborate on your table setting. Allow yourself to explore some possibilities that you couldn’t do with 30 people. Setting the table for a sit-down dinner might be a fun way to do things a bit differently

THREE

Instead of one large party or gathering, try hosting a few smaller gatherings with friends and family throughout the season. Spread out the fun and visit with your guests on a more personal level. Maybe plan an activity done with just a few people, like cookie baking or gingerbread house decorating. Take advantage of the smaller-scale gatherings and plan accordingly.

FOUR

Fill your house with the sounds and scents of the holidays. Even if your holidays will be more low key than you might have envisioned, enjoy the holidays’ sounds and smells throughout the season in your home. The sounds of the season’s holiday music and aroma can be uplifting and enjoyed even if you are just by yourself working from home.

 

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

This is the season for Holiday decorating! Especially this year, everyone seems anxious to usher in the beauty and comforts of the Holiday season....

read more

Country Estate Project- Kitchen/Family Room and Video Tour

Country Estate Project - Kitchen/Family Room and Video Tour

A few weeks ago, I showed you the transformation of the master suite. This week, I am excited to share a video tour of my finished country estate project. I would like to tell you about the transformation we did in this lovely home’s kitchen/family room area. 

Recently the home’s new owners contacted me to design an extensive transformation of the space. Dated cabinetry and materials, old appliances, and an inferior layout frustrated the new homeowners, who were very excited to see what I had planned for the space. 


This stately home is an older 1700s era colonial. In the 1980s, a large contemporary addition had been added to the back of this home, keeping the large old original fireplace but adding a multitude of contemporary features that were not fitting to the home.

The awkward kitchen layout did not allow for any flow into the kitchen but created a strange barrier you continuously had to walk around to get in and out of the confined small feeling kitchen. The two stairways added in the previous addition, a pink and brass spiral stairway, and a strange drop-down set of stairs into the family room created more strange barriers in this home.

Add rich color.

One of the things that I wanted to improve in this kitchen space is the flow from one room to the other it’s a vast space that’s open to a living area. I wanted to open things up to give them more seating, more entertaining area, and I wanted to open up the kitchen floor so that you didn’t have to walk around the peninsula to get into the kitchen space like the former kitchen.

I came up with a design that incorporated two large custom islands. Designing beautiful custom cabinetry allowed us to develop exactly the right sized islands with the room’s proper configuration. Creating needed storage, more entertainment areas, and countertop space drastically improved the space’s design proportionally and visually.

The stairways were both changed. The homeowners immediately removed the spiral stairs before the design. We updated the look of that oak stairway with gleaming white paint to tie in the architecture to the rest of the design project. The awkward set of stairs and existing cabinetry in the living space were all removed, re-configured, and re-built. Now you can walk right out of the kitchen area into the family room. All new custom cabinetry in the living area allowed us to create a larger walkway around the stairway, which was necessary for this family. It also allowed us it clearly define the family room area and display their beautiful collections.

This kitchen and family room did come with the most beautiful view of the surrounding fields and woodland areas, so I developed a color scheme that took advantage of nature’s artwork. My homeowner’s love of traditional design elements inspired me to create this space, which ties in perfectly to the original older, more traditional style architecture.

However, we also added state of the art Decor appliances, complete with interactive cooking technology, quartz countertops, gleaming hardware, classic fixtures, and custom furnishings. I hope you will take a few minutes to tour the space with me in the video.

Until next time,
Gia

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

This is the season for Holiday decorating! Especially this year, everyone seems anxious to usher in the beauty and comforts of the Holiday season....

read more

Adding Vintage Furnishings

Adding Vintage Furnishings

We all might have a piece of vintage furniture, art, or decorative furnishings somewhere in our home. Whether you have scoured an antique show or flea market to find such a piece or you were lucky enough to own a particular piece, or you inherited a vintage treasure. It can still be challenging to know how to use these items in your home without looking dated or old.

broken floor tile

Incorporating antique pieces into your home can add that well-curated look that only a vintage piece can provide. Vintage pieces can help create a well-designed room that has developed over time, the layered, detailed look of a well-designed space. One of the latest design trends leans away from straight modern lines and toward reproducing the look of European antiques. But how do you do this without creating a museum-like look?

Add rich color.

Here are a few tips:

ONE

Use antique pieces mixed with more contemporary pieces. The juxtaposition of new and old can create an exciting look and keep the room looking fresh and modern.

TWO 

Use a vintage piece as a focal point for your room. An antique fireplace mantle or a vintage cabinet can make a beautiful focal point in a room mixed with other furnishings.

THREE

Don’t be afraid to refinish a furniture piece. Unless you are a die-hard antique collector or you might want to consider selling your antique piece to a collector, you can consider refinishing or painting an antique piece of furniture that you love and want to incorporate into your home. Paint can add a fresh new look to the detail of a vintage piece. Just be sure you have this done by a pro to ensure quality results as old furniture needs to be prepared for paint properly.

FOUR

If you have a collection of vintage art, pottery, or china, display your collection grouped together. If it’s something you love, you can use it to decorate your home.

FIVE

Proportion, scale, and balance are still significant when using antique or vintage pieces. Mix in other pieces that have similar proportions. However, pieces do not have to match or be similar in any other way. The key is to use a mix of pieces with different finishes and to balance the look throughout the room appropriately.

Until next time,
Gia

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

This is the season for Holiday decorating! Especially this year, everyone seems anxious to usher in the beauty and comforts of the Holiday season....

read more

Why I Should Hire A Designer To Furnish My Space

Why I Should Hire A Designer To Furnish My Space

As a full-service design firm, clients often come to us for complicated renovations, interior design, and the design and selection of construction selections.
The complicated nature of these selections can be maddening, and mistakes made can be costly. With hundreds of design selections needed during a renovation project, most clients are happy to have a designer to defer to and discuss these details when considering such a project.

However, sometimes when a client has room to furnish, they often think that this process will be much more straightforward and that they can quickly walk into a furniture store and get all of their needs met quickly. Unfortunately, the results are often less than the “designer look” that they expected.

broken floor tile

Selecting furnishing for a room or a home can be a very complicated process. The process involves much more than just picking pieces that you love. It involves a thorough knowledge of proportion, balance, proper space planning to create flow throughout the area, mixing of finishes, color undertones, and an understanding of mixing numerous fabrics to be harmonious. The design’s success relies on all of these details, and without a mastery of these skills, what could have been a beautifully designed room can fall flat on its face, regardless of the amount of money spent on furnishings.

Add rich color.

Reasons that you should have a designer furnish your space.

ONE

To create that luxurious well-curated designer look, furniture shopping should not be a one-stop shopping experience. A room with all matching furniture pieces looks like a furniture store display. A space created by a designer is much more exciting and much more visually pleasing. Sourcing pieces from numerous vendors and knowing where you can find what you are looking for, in the finishes, price points, and lead times needed. Special ordering or customizing items specifically to meet your needs. Your designer knows how to source items that work well together quickly and efficiently and what will not.

TWO 

Designers have access to hundreds of trade-only vendors to source products for your project. Not just the products that you can find at retail on the internet. Opening up a whole world of products and options that you might not even know exists. Even if you can “find” one of these options at a retail internet source, you will undoubtedly be paying more for that product. You have also wasted lots of time and energy, and will now have to hope for the best regarding ordering this product yourself from an unknown source. You will also need to deal with any shipping cost or complications involved with shipping the piece to your location. Many times freight shipping will not ship to a residential area, and you will have to source a private shipping company if you are not purchasing from a big retailer. Ordering from a designer, you merely have to approve the selection and await all the furnishings’ arrival at once. Designers often warehouse deliveries of furnishings, then transport everything to your home and install everything at the same time, including any art and accessories. The cost of this installation service is well worth it when you consider the endless hours, frustration, and errors that can make in this part of the process. With a designer, experienced skilled on board, the final results will be that customized designer look that you hoped to achieve.

Add rich color.

THREE

Most homeowners overestimate the amount of space they have and what furniture pieces will fit into it. The results will be furniture that either does not match the room or is unproportioned to the area. Or the furniture purchased might fit into the area but not where it’s intended, or with no room for proper space needed around items. A designer will create a floorplan and elevations of your space so you can see the entire room put together. Your design will show suggested pieces and the proper space plan for maneuverability throughout the area.

FOUR

A designer’s goal is to personalize the space for you. An experienced designer knows fabrics, finishes, and products that will work for individual circumstances. This wealth of information, knowledge, and creative problem-solving skills are what can make a room from just “ok” to “fabulous.” Creating longevity for your finished space. The durability of finishes and selections and a design that suits your needs for a very long time.

FIVE

Furnishing a room requires a financial investment. You’ll want to be sure that you love the results.

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

Selecting Your Christmas Tree

This is the season for Holiday decorating! Especially this year, everyone seems anxious to usher in the beauty and comforts of the Holiday season....

read more

Free Design Tips

Submit your email for free design tips and announcements!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Areas Servicing

Massachusetts  •  New Hampshire  •  Connecticut  •  Rhode Island

© Designs by Gia   |   508-847-6221   |   Contact Us 
Designed and Developed by inConcert Web Solutions   |   Site Map   |   Privacy Notice