the holiday season: a celebration of light by juliana schafer

Every year, between November and January, there are many aesthetics that come to mind. For some, it is the colors red and green, for others a well decorated tree, but probably the most powerful thing is the presence of light. A certain romantic atmosphere of twinkling lights that appeal more to our hearts rather than our critical minds.

 In looking at different displays, I was inspired by some creative ones such as this north pole scene in Japan featured below.

 It is a time of year when everybody is designer, carefully conscious of whether their exterior lighting expresses the things they wish to experience this season: beauty, joy, and peace. But even though one house may be decorated more sensibly than another, you still have to admit that it is the collective displaying of lights that is essential to producing a truly magical effect.

It occurred to me that holiday lighting is the single most symbolic expression of unity during the holiday season. So as we wrap up 2011 and head into the new year, let us remember to continue appreciating light the way we do around the holidays. Let us become inspired to guide it, filter it, and produce it in ways that are meaningful to us.



Tips on Achieving Balance by Kimberly Reuther

Who doesn’t need more balance in their lives?  We are all seeking the right combination of work and life, income and expenses, needs versus wants.  In design, we are striving for a balance of scale, proportion, and textures in the rooms we create.  In addition, there is an increasing desire to balance aesthetic appeal with function, especially in the case of technology.

Here are a few photos and tips on achieving balance in design.


Tablescape at Pottery Barn

This dining room tablescape illustrates asymmetrical balance of shapes and textures.  The cream and silver color scheme is punctuated with pops of green.  The slender tapers add height without being overpowering and their form is complemented by the spheres below.


Art collage in stairwell

An art collage of this scale is balanced by the larger photo in the center.  The variation of frame colors and mat choices combined with the lack of color in the photographs creates a cohesive grouping.


Loft Display by Kimberly

Balance in this room is achieved via color and texture.  The rough composition of the brick walls combined with the warm wood ceilings is contrasted by the sleek white furniture and lighting.  The butter and putty color scheme enhances the existing concrete and natural maple woods.  To avoid an overly stark, minimalist space, we added the playful circular themes in the art and bedding.


Modern Living Room by Kimberly

This client had a unique affinity for clean lines and brocade design elements.  We incorporated solid, modern furniture pieces with a few touches of the French-inspired elements to constitute harmony in the space.  The damask wallpapered panels take the place of art and balance nicely with the scale of the walls and the furniture.

Previously written by Kimberly for St. Louis AT HOME magazine. View it here. View more of Kimberly’s work here.


“Come & Knock on Our Door” by Kimberly Reuther

Holiday Tips for Your Front Entrance

There’s a quote, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  Never is that statement more true than at the holidays as you prepare to welcome dozens of guests and proudly showcase your home in all its festive splendor.  By now, you’ve brought out box after box of ornaments and garland for the tree, you’ve traded your first born child for the dining room centerpiece, and you’ve tucked beautifully wrapped packages in every nook of your home.  But don’t forget your front door & walkway as this is truly the first impression of your home.

Here are some tips and photos to help you make it just as stunning as your interiors:

1.  Think outside the circle.  Yes, the typical circular wreath can be beautiful on your front door and there are so many varieties.  But why not do something more unique?  I love this idea of using stockings on the door; it adds so much personality.  I’m also always a big fan of the coned swag which complements the shape of your front door.


Twigs & Moss Swag


Front Door Inspiration

Williams Sonoma Tree Wreath

2.  Make a statement.  Again, this their first impression so don’t be afraid to go overboard with ribbons, garland, lanterns, hanging ornaments, oh my!  Add details to your existing architectural features or just make it up as you go along!  Incorporating elements into you walkway makes a cold walk to your door much more inviting!

Make a Statement


Twigs & Moss Inspiration

Extend Your Entrance

3. Be organic.  It’s outside so it doesn’t need to look like a staged holiday card.  Make it asymmetrical, add a few branches and functional elements.  Forge a ribbon out of tree bark, or add feathers for a bit of unexpected whimsy.  As long as it reflects your personality, you can’t go wrong!

Feathered Wreath Idea

Twigs & Moss Bark Wreath

Rustic Inspiration

by Kimberly Reuther, Interior Designer & Founder of DesignSpeak (previously posted on AT HOME’s website).  Read more of Kimberly’s blog posts here.

Photos courtesy of Twigs & Moss and Pottery Barn


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