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Entries in hint (20)

Tuesday
Dec082009

Hanukkah or Chanukah?

Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is observed by lighting a Menorah which holds 9 candles. One for each night of the holiday, and an extra light called a shamash—meaning guard or servant. The shamash is traditionally placed higher than the others and is lit each night since it’s used to light all the other candles.

Mark your calenders—Hanukkah begins at sunset December 11th.

Chag Sameach!

Thanks to todd, store designer west hollywood, for photos of their windows which included a Menorah made of blok crystal candleholders.

Thursday
Dec032009

CB2 party hints

Curtis I like to create a party play list on my iPod and try not to touch it for the rest of the night.
Raymond Stay clam. Plan ahead. Don’t procrastinate. Prep anything you can ahead of time. Music and flowers are key.
Sara Keep it simple…beer, wine, chips and dips. For me it’s more about the guests, the conversation.
Jen If it’s really last minute, the quickest clean up you can do is Windex all mirrors and sweep the floors. And turn on an iPod!
April I like to put out a new fragrant hand soap and guest towels in the bathroom and light a scented candle.
Jaime Fill rooms with holiday scents like cedar, pine, pear or freesia.
Ali I usually make one new appetizer or dish when I entertain. It’s a good opportunity to expand my repertoire.
Sandra Tell myself the party starts 30 minutes before guests arrive—so I’m dressed in time!
Ryan I don’t have a lot of parties but I always have a good bottle of wine and scotch on hand, just in case.
Marta Candlelight is a must and no paper napkins.
Amy Music sets the tone and the rhythm of any soiree. Figure out who’s coming and chose wisely. Remember it should be cheerful and inspire good conversation.
Vance No overhead lights…and never invite more than one ex.
Steve If it’s in the budget, call a maid service. Before is nice but after is heavenly.
Tuesday
Nov242009

lighting modern spaces

It’s just four more weeks until the days start getting longer again on winter solstice, December 21st.

Until then, daylight is brief and soft. All the more reason to focus on indoor lighting to enhance a space or create a mood for entertaining.

Start by picking a central location in each room and do a 360. This will help identify problem areas which the following hints may solve.

1. Floor lamps can add drama, brighten a corner, open up space and make a room feel bigger.

2. “Up” lighting can make a room feel taller and more airy. Consider small table lamps on top of low bookcases.

3. Create your own space within a space by positioning a conical floor lamp near your favorite reading chair.

4. When decorating for holiday gatherings, use strings of white lights in unusual ways—such as clustered in a glass cylinder vase and placed on a credenza.

5. Go big or go home—add drama to a dining area by installing an oversized equator pendant.

6. Dimmer switches are incredibly easy to install and allow your existing lighting to go from bright task-type lighting to warmer entertaining-type lighting in a smooth glide—or remote!—operation.

7. If you don’t have a junction box directly above your dining table, hard-wire a pendant lamp where you can and “swag” the fixture so it hangs above it.

8. As a last resort, consider placing an arc lamp near the dining table positioned so the light falls onto the centerpiece.

9. Guide guests throughout the house, to the bathroom or coat room, using directional lighting such as smart candles down a hallway. Bonus: unlike candles, they’re safe to leave unattended while lit.

10. Save energy and use CFL’s instead of incandescent bulbs when possible.

Thursday
Nov192009

10 essentials: the modern buffet

cylinder vases, white square plates, marta barwareYou’ve sent an open invitation for your party—so do you really know who’s coming to dinner?

For large parties, the easiest way to serve is buffet-style. Consider setting up early—even the night before so your day can be spent cleaning, cooking and getting dressed up without sweating the small, last minute stuff.

Following are 10 essentials for the modern buffet.

1. Create a festive mood with cylinder vases filled with Christmas ornaments in fresh colors.

2. Keep the setting clean and modern with stacks of white square dinnerware.

shadow bowl

marta and party cropped

3. Sleek marta barware is perfect for any cocktail, soda, juice or wine.

4. Scatter tealights for the warm glow of candlelight.

5. Have plenty of party flatware for each guest—and each course so you can be mingling instead of washing spoons for dessert.

6. White restaurant napkins are made for hungry crowds.

7. Water in beaker glass pitchers. Be sure they’re never empty since everyone’s drinking more of it.aluminum round tray solo

8. Shadow white porcelain serving bowls for pasta or green salads.

9. An oversized aluminum tray to serve cheese, fruits or breads.

10. Two corkscrews and plenty of your favorite wines. Open a few bottle early to let wine breath before pouring.

They’re all inexpensive—even in multiples. Isn’t that something to celebrate?

hint: Have plenty of everything so unexpected guests feel welcome.

Wednesday
Nov112009

hints for hosting holiday guests

In the next seven weeks family and friends will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa—and New Year’s!

You’ve made the most gracious offer to share your home with holiday visitors for a few days—what greater gift is there? As a guest, most often we’re concerned we’re an inconvenience to our host’s routine and space. Reassure them by saying “Welcome!” with these thoughtful gestures.

cora carafe

1. A simple cora carafe on the nightstand shows you care about their well-being. Adding a slice of fresh cucumber or citrus makes the gesture even sweeter.stainless soap dish

2. To give guests some personal space in the bath, tie a ribbon around a new bar of soap and their own stainless soap dish. Placed on top of folded towels at the foot of their bed, its a luxurious amenity comparable to a 4-star hotel.

3. Make guests most physically comfortable by providing a bed, or a flex convertible sofa, in a spare room. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it and this is just the motivation you need to seal the deal?

4. If your budget for the season will be spent on gifts and an air mattress instead, consider a new set of percale sheets and keep them dedicated to future guests.

flex and cable cropped

5. A cable throw across the foot of the bed can warm feet at night or at the very least, guests won’t have to ask for an extra blanket if they’re feeling chilled.

6. Offer some reading material that expresses how happy you are they’re spending time with you. “Here’s to You!” is a compendium of inspiring quotes to celebrate the special people in your life.

7. Print some of the photos you’ve been sharing via email and post them around the house using magnetic photo frames. When guests are packing for home, be sure to wrap them safely as a momento of their visit.

Some are small, special touches while others require time, effort and a budget. Those are the long-term investments—gifts for yourself perhaps? In the end, guests will feel welcome, less stressed feeling less of an inconvenience, and more able to fully enjoy holiday festivities.

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