Decorating for Christmas with SheKnows.com …

I know I am a lucky boy to have a garage (aka ample storage) in the city.  Walls lined with shelving is what helps me to keep my hoarding…errr collecting tendencies in check.  It also allows me to keep a nice little stash of holiday and other seasonal decor at my finger tips.  However, what happens when storage is at a premium and the thought of sacrificing precious closet space for Christmas ornaments is too much to bear?

Well that is exactly what we are talking about this month for my SheKnows.com column…..

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Matter of fact, what would you say if I said with some smart shopping, thoughtful planning and upcycling your year-round home decor, you could fit everything you need for Christmas into one box, including the a tree? Honest!  To get everything to fit into a box, think outside the box…..

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And what if I told you to forget about holiday florals?  Don’t want to waste the money on temporary arrangements?  I am all about ditching the poinsettia for something more hip and perhaps even permanent…..

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So are you tempted to learn more about my Christmas decorating secrets?  Well go visit SheKnows.com to find out how you can have a fabulously decorated Christmas that won’t burst your bank or leave you bursting at the seams!

[photo credit: photo by adza//art direction & styling: courtney lake ]

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Hosting Guests For the Holidays….

I am lucky enough to have a guest room to host out of town guests.  It’s a luxury I don’t take for granted having myself spent many a night on a blow-up mattress or a pull-out couch.  However, with real estate prices skyrocketing and new construction being slim on square footage, the “guest bedroom” is a quickly going the way of the dodo bird.  So for my SheKnows.com column, I show how you can give a room dual purpose with a few simple items and a little forethought……

Dual Use Room

The room may look familiar because it is what we use to call the “Music Room” at the house.  Well it now subs as the “headquarters” for the growing business and an overnight guest if we happen to have two guests staying at the same time which oddly we have on more than one occasion!

More changes coming to the house and to the business that I can’t wait to fill you in on.  But until then, check out how to make the most out of the space you have when guests are in town!

[photo credit:  photo by adza//styling: courtney lake]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Thanksgiving Help from SheKnows.com & Joyus.com ….

Can you believe that this time next week that it will be Thanksgiving?!?  Kinda crazy right?  Well don’t stress out because I teamed up with two different partners to show you how to avoid the Thanksgiving “craziness” ……..

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The online retailer Joyus.com invited me onto their web talk show to discuss my short cuts and tips on throwing a stress-free holiday party and creating beautiful holiday tablescapes.  In the segment I show three different table settings that can take you from Thanksgiving all the way through New Years without breaking the bank or you in a cold sweat!  It’s all about creating a fun and easy approach to decorating.

Courtney Lake Thanksgiving Buffet

For my monthly column at SheKnows.com, I am talking about how to set up a Thanksgiving Buffet.  Whether you are opting for a more relaxed holiday this season or a simply don’t have the room in your abode, I show how you can create a beautiful buffet that will wow your guests and leave you with time to still enjoy the meal!

And next week for all you procrastinators still in need of a menu, I break down my picks for simple, quick and yummy Thanksgiving dishes!  So relax I got you covered this holiday season!  Now I just have to follow my own advice and get started!  Sometimes the “teacher” is the worst pupil.  Now if you will excuse me, I need to start planning own menu…..

[photo credit:  joyus.com//photo by adza]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Weekend Reading…..

If you have some free time this weekend and want a healthy dose of design, check out some of the articles I have written this month as well as one I was featured in……

I remember my first apartment.  It was in the basement of a very lovely home in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington, DC and every time it rained, crickets would invade the space in droves.  It had one closet the size of a shoebox, no oven and every piece of furniture I had come from Ikea.  I loved it!   I channel those memories as I help a young client decorate his first apartment to accommodate sleeping, working and the occasional dinner party  – all in 500 square feet of for my monthly column with  SheKnows.com ….

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Switching gears from studio apartments to prefab homes, I recently wrote an article profiling BLU Home for California Home + Design blog.  BLU is one of the leaders pushing the definition of what a prefab home can look like.  And seriously, just drop the “pre” part because the house I profiled at their Sonoma location is just darn FAB…..

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And the lovely folks over at Interior Canvas blog interviewed myself along with fellow designers Jonathan Savage and Grant Gibson (love those boys) as part of their profile on the online retailer Zinc Decor.  I love the store’s modern slant and the ladies behind the brand are honestly two of the most amazing folks I know – design savvy with business acumen…..plus they are super cute to boot (some folks have all the luck!) ……

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(Wendy & Tiffany of Zinc Door — told you they were hot mommas….)

Okay I am off to do a final push for a client presentation on Monday!  Have a great weekend……

[picture credit: Photo by Adza/BLU Home/Zinc Door]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Fall Organizing With SheKnows.com ….

courtneylake-kirstenjulia-58One of the strongest impressions I have growing up with siblings were their Legos.  They were EVERYWHERE it seemed…..the stairs, the dining table, under the couch, simply where ever you looked you were bound to find a Lego.  I thought of them as a child’s version of a land mind….I still have the indentation on the heel from where I stepped on one late at night going to use the bathroom so when I said “impression” I wasn’t kidding!

So this month when it came to writing my SheKnows.com column, I opted to focus on giving tips and advice on how an active family can get their homes ready for the school season and beyond…….

courtneylake-kirstenjulia-40I cover tips on how to create a “take-off/landing strip” in your home, organizing your home office and easy ways to incorporate children’s toys into your decor.  Not only was it a fun column to write, I had to chance to shoot in a home I have long admired.  I have been enamored with the light filled home of Oakland-based architect Mike Pitler for some time, but then I am bias…..he built our home as well!  But nonetheless, it as a treat to have Mike, Rachel and their two adorable boys open their home to me and my photographer to shoot.

And if you must know, I did step on a Lego or two during shooting 🙂  Some things never change…….

[photography: kirsten tamme//styling: courtney lake]

Feel free to read my other SheKnows.com articles or partake in the all the other “crazy” that I do around the web via  PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Design Is All About Space Planning……

You will hear time and time again that in design, the devil is in the details and that is true.  However, I think the sin in design is not planning properly.  Yes, it’s great to goo buy that table you have been coveting for months but it also kinda blows when said table can’t fit up your staircase or overpowers the space that it was meant to occupy.  This is why designers rely heavily on floor and furniture plans when creating a space.  I believe in them so much that I dedicated my July SheKnows.com column to the whole idea of space planning ……..

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In this month’s column, I show how the same room can look completely different using the same furniture but adjusting the furniture layout.  In addition, I give some simple tips to help guide your furniture placement and ensure you don’t make some costly mistakes when purchasing furniture for your home.

And I have some really sweet room sketches I am sharing also …. I think this is my favorite post to date so far, so check it out!  You can also check out other columns for SheKnows.com here.

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Okay, time to entertain my parents who are visiting from out of town along with my little brother.  Putting on my tour guide hat now…….and if you notice to your left……

Check me out on PinterestFacebookTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

Motivational Monday: Entertaining …..

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Entertaining guests is one of my favorite things.  I love touring folks around San Francisco and wine country, cooking fancy meals and having the opportunity to open the “good wine”.  Guests mean I can splurge on cut flowers, spruce up the guest room and indulge myself a day or two to rediscover the area I call home.  I wholeheartedly believe that being a good host is part of paying it forward with friends and family.

Well for three days…… On the fourth day, you get cold cereal in the morning, directions to the airport and a bus pass.  I say this in jest, but I do believe that there is an art to being a good host and I share my tips and recommendations in my June column for SheKnows.com where I discuss how to prep your home for the inevitable summer visitor…..

Special thanks to Kelley L. Moore for allowing us to shoot in her beautiful San Francisco home and my partner in crime Adza for capturing the images.  Writing this month’s column got my itching to spruce up my guest room but alas I think I need to turn my attention to the master bedroom.  So many designs and so little time and money…..

So this week, I ask that you be gracious and kind to those who visit you whether it be at home or work.  Once a stranger but your actions may soon make them your friend!  Have a great week!!!

Check me out on PinterestFacebookTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness.  You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.