Friday, September 25, 2015

FOR THE HOME: Antelope Stair Runner

Happy Friday everyone!  So glad the weekend is hours away.  I'm soooo tired (did I stress I tired I was??).  Fur baby, Quincy is getting up in the wee bit hours (anywhere from 2-4 a.m.), throwing my sleep pattern off balance.  Getting through the days and nights have been a challenge.

Now with two doggies in our home, we made it a point to add a runner to our stairs.  I was looking for something stylish, something with a print, and something that would be durable for us and the pups to go up and down.  I was debating for months which direction to go.

After finding inspiration on Pinterest, I really wanted an animal print.  But, which one?  I love the leopard prints but was gravitating towards the antelope print.  I thought it suited our home a little more.  Plus, this was a big step for me - taking a walk on the wild side.  I usually play things safe and look for classic items.  But, this print is neutral in it's own respect and makes such a statement for the staircase.

While researching for antelope carpets I came across a couple of rug companies that carried them.  The first, Exotics Aberdale Antelope from Karastan, is the one we purchased.  The fabric is Karalon nylon with 3M scotchguard and stain release protection.

The second, a high end version is the Antelope Ax Animal by STARK (100% wool).  It comes in two colors - Chocolate (similar to the one we purchased) and Stock.  STARK also carries another antelope design, called Antilcarpa (100% Polyproylene) and comes in 10 different colors.  I really fell in love with the Mushroom color (seen below).

While I love the pattern above, it didn't have the design like the one we purchased; creating a waterfall affect.  Take a look at our new runner. . .

This particular pattern has variations of browns and creams; from light to dark.  After discussing options with the installer, I decided to go with the deeper brown in the center.

Here's the entire pattern, uncut.  This picture was taken outside (with my iPhone), where the carpet was laid on our driveway.  So, the color pattern is a little lighter.  But, you get a good idea of how pretty this design is as a whole.

 It creates such a beautiful, waterfall-like pattern, cascading down the stairs.  The other option would have been to have the lighter cream color pattern cut as the center piece.  I wish our stairs were wide enough to accommodate the full pattern but you work with what you have, right?

Now if I could convince my husband to paint the spindles white (sigh).

 A paint job is also on my list to revamp this space.  I would also love to add some stairway moldings.  I have a serious addiction to adding/changing our home.  Help!

I really love the way it turned out.  Even Mr. D is in agreement (say, whaaat?).

If you are considering a new carpet for your home and want to go wild, here are some inspirational pictures.

Love this pairs so nicely with the neutral colored wallpaper.  

This homeowner decided to fill the entire width of the steps

Such a gorgeous design and neutral friendly

This version has a thinner, deep brown stripe cascading down.  Still fab!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

FASHION: 2015-2016 Fall Color Trends

The change of weather is slowly making waves and I'm loving the Fall colors this season.  From pale creams, tans, lavender and grays; going deeper with plum/wine, olive green, brown, and rust colors.

Take a look at some of my favorite color inspirations:

Henri Bendel
Ellie Saab

J. Crew

Banana Republic Fall Fashion 2015-2016


Monday, September 21, 2015

DOG PARTY: Celebrating Monty's First Birthday

Hi!  So sorry for the lapse in posts.  I've been so busy these past couple of weeks; preparing for Monty's first birthday party.  And, to add to the craziness, we just added another pup to our family.  Things are a little overwhelming at the DiGiacinto household.  But grateful for it all!

I wanted to share with you some pictures of Monty's birthday, which we celebrated  last Saturday.  It was a fun idea and it was a great time to get together with family - even if they think I'm nuts.  Like my husband says, "I'm crazy but I do a great job".  Thanks honey.

For Monty's party, I incorporated some dog elements as well as keeping it adult friendly.  Navy, cream and greens were the color theme for this dog party.  Monty looked dapper in his bow tie, purchased from The Rover Boutique ( 

Baking sounded like a great idea at the time but late nights after work; baking and decorating was a lot of work. 

I think I went a little overboard, baking over 100 cookies and packaging them.

Wooden bone cutouts, painted by yours truly, decorated with a picture of the birthday boy, set the theme for this table setting.

I created this floral arrangement, using blue hydrangeas, yellow roses (could not find cream colored roses) and greenery. 

One of Monty's presents - wrapped up with the same color scheme.

The cake was such a great hit because it was decorated to look like Monty.  Credit goes to Anna of dogcakesfordogs.  She did an incredible job and was so great to work with.  Anna works out of NYC but ships worldwide.  The cake was shipped to my home in New Jersey (with a tracking number). It arrived in perfect condition and packed carefully.  We also received candles and a birthday hat for Mr. Monty.  

I wish I would have gotten a better picture with them together (Monty and the cake).  But Monty was all over the place, playing with his fur friends. 

Monty and my family had a great time. Monty literally passed out in the car ride back home. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

ENTERTAINING YOUR GUESTS: How to Create a Sweet and Salty Assorted Cheese Tray

Hi!  Hope everyone enjoyed the Labor Day weekend.  The weather was beautiful and more warmer days are predicted in the forecast.  Summer isn't over yet!

For those who were entertaining, I wanted to share with you a fun and easy collaboration I created with my sister on how to create a sweet and salty assorted cheese tray.  Paired with you favorite wine, it's the perfect appetizer (or in my case, a meal).  Trust me, there is a lot going on! From an assortment of cheeses, meats, crackers, bread, nuts, fruit and chocolates.  How can you not be full?!

If you ever had those last minute guests or wanted to just gather around with some friends/family and chit-chat, this is a perfect idea to whip up.

We usually have meats and cheeses in our fridge as a go-to snack.   And, I always store an assortment of crackers in the pantry.  You can add your favorite fruits to compliment the assorted meats and cheeses.  We added concord grapes to this tray (yum).  We also added some nuts and dry fruit.

To add to the sweetness, we included different chocolates to compliment the assorted tray.

No gathering would be complete without a lovely arrangement to compliment the display.

I don't know about you, but we always have plenty of bottles of wine stored away.  It's no fun drinking alone, so it's always pleasant to open a bottle that I can share with my favorite peeps.

It was nice to gather around, chatting and laughing, while enjoying the food and wine.

Head on over to my sister's blog, Design by Occasion to view her post.

You can incorporate your own foods for this assorted cheese tray.

Here's what we used:

Cheeses:  Havarti with Dill; extra sharp Cheddar Cheese; Baby Swiss; White Stilton with Apricots

Meats:  Beretta Hot Sopressata Salami; Pepperoni

Crackers/Bread:  Twisted Cheese Sticks; Raisin Rosemary Crisps; Multi-grain crackers; Garlic and Parmesean bread (toasted and cut into little squares)

Nuts:  Cashew Macadamia Trek mix with Pineapple, Cranberry & Almond

Fruit:  Concord Grapes

Chocolate:  Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts; Chocolate Coconut Almonds

Wine:  Red (Carbernet) and White (Riesling)

Florals:  Pink Spray Roses; White Roses; Blue Thistle; White Delphinium stalks; Burgundy flowers (not sure of the name).  If anyone knows, be sure to comment.