Monday, December 12, 2016

Open Heart, Open Home

When we think of getting ready for Christmas, images come to mind of trimming the tree, hanging the lights, wrapping presents; but if you have out of town guests, i s your guest room ready for their arrival? 

Here are a few ideas to make your guests feel welcome and at home and you look like a superstar host!

                             Read on, you may be inspired . . .
Open Heart, Open Home

As I anticipate the holidays, I think of the friends and family who'll visit. While trimming my home with festive and cheerful seasonal decorations, I'm planning the delicious meals I'll serve to them.

Even though most of my loved ones are within commuting distance of my home, I'll often have overnight guests. Whether they've traveled from out of state or it's just too late to safely drive home, I want my guests to feel welcome and comfortable in my home as I'm sure you do as well. Here are some suggestions on making your home a 5 star retreat for your guests.

Creating a 5 Star Guest Room

If you want your overnight guests to feel welcome, the first step is to make them to feel that you're prepared for their visit. Whether large or small, a guest room in a soothing color palette that feels as luxurious as a 5 star hotel room yet as comfortable as being at home is a guest room that says "Welcome, we've been waiting for you".

All too often, "guest rooms" are a mere step above storage rooms; a hodge-podge of mismatched furniture from by gone eras. But a beautifully decorated room with pleasant amenities will give your guests a welcome they won't soon forget.

Fresh linens are just a start to having a room at the ready. Begin with a comfortable bed. Have you spent a night in your own guest room? Try it, it maybe quite enlightening. A comfortable mattress with a pretty bed or headboard is a great place to start.

Out with the old and in with newly purchased, high-thread count bedding and add extra pillows of differing firmness and thickness for back, side and stomach sleepers. Put extra blankets in the room because everyone has a different feel for what is  "warm and cozy". The same is true for warmer nights so, if possible, have a ceiling fan to cool the room for guests with high personal thermostats.

Nightstands provide guests with a place for eyeglasses, a glass of water or a place to set a book all without having to get out of bed. Have a bedside lamp for the same reason, to access light without having to get out of bed and stumble around in the dark.

Room darkening window treatments allow your guests to decide whether they want to be an early riser or sleep in.

Have strategically placed lighting. Having a lamp or light switch close to the door makes it easy for guests to find their way into an unfamiliar bedroom. A light within easy reach of the bed makes bedtime reading more enjoyable and safer for those middle of the night trips to the bathroom.

Clear the clutter. While beautiful d├ęcor is desirable, having a lot of knick knacks is not. In addition to scenic artwork, here are a few suggestions for things that serve a practical purpose while beautifying your guest room.

Have a decorative tray on a dresser or plate on a nightstand to provide your guests with a clear surface to empty pockets while protecting your furniture. Make sure there's easy access to outlets for recharging cell phones and other electronics.

Have a trash can, easy to read and set alarm clock and pretty dresser or full length mirrors. All of these can be decorative yet functional and very much appreciated by guests.

Have a chair or bench so guest will have a place to sit to put on shoes or set extra belongings.

Clear the closet, dresser drawers or have a luggage stand so your guests will have a place for their clothes.

If you have a private guest bathroom terrific. You're guests will appreciate the privacy but if they're sharing the hall bath, make sure they know clearly which towels are theirs. Consider adding over the door hooks for their bath robes and towels during their stay. The hooks aren't permanent so they can be removed until the next time they're needed.

Going The Extra Mile 

soap and shampoo
Once you have the foundational pieces in place, try adding some little niceties. Think of the things that most likely to be forgotten and have a little basket of items so guest won't feel like they're imposing on you.

Include Kleenex, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, nicely scented lotion, soap, shampoo and conditioner.

You can add a few extras like a travel sewing kit to repair a loose button or a mini first aid kit with pain reliever, band aids, Tums, etc.

BooksHave a diverse collection of reading materials, such as, mystery, fiction, biography and magazines. Having local guide books may give your guests some fun ideas on what to see and do.

If your guest are arriving late, having a basket of individually wrapped snacks, bottled water, soda or juice boxes in their room will give them the option of a late night snack without feeling like they're putting you out. Fruits such as bananas, clementines (a.k.a. "Cuties") and apples are an easy to eat healthy snacks which do not require refrigeration. 

cup of coffee 

A similarly fashioned breakfast version of this snack basket with a mix of granola bars, muffins, biscotti and fruit will relieve a little pressure on the host or hostess.  Set it out along side coffee cups and spoons and a pre-programed coffee maker. Add an assortment of sweeteners, a note that the creamer and orange juice are in the refrigerator and your earlier riser guests  will enjoy the freedom to get up and move about without feeling like they're disturbing the rest of the household.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Giving Thanks!

Giving Thanks . . .
While periodically marked by an election, for most of us flipping the calendar to the month of November brings to mind the Thanksgiving holiday. Today, Thanksgiving is marked by food, football and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it was 1863 at the height of one of our nations darkest periods that Abraham Lincoln called upon us as a nation to express our gratitude for the abundance God has bestowed upon us thus establishing our annual Thanksgiving celebration. 
Despite war, economic struggles and the current political climate our nation is experiencing, there is still so much for which to give thanks. These turbulent times cause me to appreciate all the more my home, family, friends and loyal clients. I would like take the opportunity this holiday provides to convey my gratitude in the manner I know best by sharing with all of you my creativity and resources for creating a beautiful and memorable Thanksgiving Day table.
A Table Set for a Feast!

Giving Thanks
A Thanksgiving Table to Remember

There is so much thought and preparation that goes into the Thanksgiving celebration. Often the menu and guest list requires most of our time and attention leaving the setting of the table to the last minute. Today I have compiled for you some easy and inexpensive yet beautiful ideas to make your table live up to the feast you set upon it! 

Centerpiece with Pumpkins & Gourds
Centerpiece with Pumpkins

A variety of mini pumpkins, gourds, fall fruits and vegetables colorfully mixed in a beautiful bowl create an eye catching cornucopia of vibrant fall colors. Fill in the gaps by tucking real or artificial fall leaves to really add some pop! 

For a more formal setting, use an arrangement of traditional fall flowers then strategically add a few mini pumpkins or gourds for that extra touch of fall.

Formal Centerpiece
Formal Centerpiece
By mixing in photographs, you can bring to mind those who can't join you or remember past Thanksgiving celebrations. Also remember that even on the sunniest of days, candles on your table will provide your guests  with feelings of warmth, intimacy and add a sense of occasion to your feast! 

Photo Centerpiece
Photo Centerpiece

Pear Placecard
While the place cards can be either handwritten or computer printed, you can add elegance or whimsy depending on how you choose to place the cards at each setting.
Some suggestions for a creative presentation are to pin the place cards to a gourd or piece of fruit, such as a pear or an apple, use a gold or silver paint pen to write each name on a silk fall leaf or if you have a crowded table, tie the card to the stem of a wine glass. Another idea which I have used is to place a pumpkin muffin wrapped in cellophane at each place and tie the place card with the same ribbon used to secure the cellophane. 

Leaf Placecard
Leaf Placecard

Flatware Setting
Crossed Flatware Setting
When all the family gathers around the table it is a joyous time filled with laughter and conversation but it also means we are required to sit elbow to elbow and it is hard to tell where one place setting ends and the other begins. Is this your glass or mine? To save space on the table and jazz it up a bit, place your flatware in a less conventional way like crossed on top of the plate or above the plate horizontally. 

The Dove

The Dove 1
The Dove 2

The Dove 3The Dove 4

The Dove 5

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Home for the Holidays

"Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, 'A house guest,' you're wrong because I have just described my kids." 
Erma Bombeck
Home for the Holidays
With Halloween still weeks away, you may be thinking "Home for the Holidays"  is a little premature. But this is the perfect time to prepare your home for the house guests and parties the holidays bring.  Refreshing your powder room, guest room or other areas frequented by guests will make your home all the more welcoming when the holiday and your guests arrive.

Bathroom - Before

Powder rooms and guest baths
with new towels, shower
curtain and an updated
style will make guests feel
that their arrival has
been anticipated. 

Bathroom - After


From kids' bathroom
to guest bathroom.


Too often guest bedrooms are just a repository for unwanted and mismatched furniture. A newly painted room and fresh bedding will create a cohesive look that says, "Welcome! We've been expecting you".

Don't forget a luggage rack or bench so guests have somewhere to set their luggage.

summer Bedding 
                        Are your rooms ready for the holiday guests?
                     If not, Call Celeste Jackson Interiors! 847-381-0535
                            Cultivating Individuality in Your Unique Home
                                                Celeste Jackson

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Windows That Wow!

Many clients put a great deal of thought in to the type of furniture they want, how they want their home to feel, personal style and color preference. But the potential of window treatments is often limited to the practical features of light control and privacy.  Window treatments are functional and do work to control the amount of light that comes into a room. They also provide privacy especially at night when light from inside makes everything and everyone clearly visible from the street. But decorative window treatments are as important to the finished look and feel of a room as any furniture, art or accessories.
 Dining Room Window Treatment

Dining rooms can provide a unique challenge because unlike a living room which has upholstered furniture, dining rooms are largely comprised of mostly wood furniture with little opportunity to add the color, pattern and softness fabrics add to a room. The upholstered seats of the dining chairs are small and hidden under the table. This makes dining room window treatments doubly important. To balance the large quantity of wood, to quiet acoustics and to add color and interest to the dining room above, Celeste Jackson Interiors designed a multi layered window treatment. The soft folds of fabric brake up the rectilinear lines of walls, table and china cabinet. Combining fabrics adds visual interests, pattern and color completing the room and giving it a distinct style.
Living Room Window Treatment
Custom window treatments turn an ordinary room into an extraordinary room because they're tailor made for you to fit your windows perfectly. With access to thousands of fabrics, Celeste Jackson Interiors, Ltd. selects fabrics that are the perfect style and color match to the room they're in. We know which fabrics are best suited to the style; how a fabric will hang, fold and pleat. 

trimsJust like choosing the right jewelry to compliment a favorite outfit, embellishments will enhance a window treatment. Adding just the right amount of tassels, beading or trim will give you the kind of window treatments that "WOW" a room.

Large Scale Faux Iron InstallationWindow treatments can also change the appearance of the window. They can add height and width to add grandeur to the room. In the room above, look how the window treatments elongate the windows and frame the fireplace changing the focal point from the fireplace alone in the center of the wall to widening  the focus to make the entire wall the focal point of the room. The curves of the cornices and the gentle lines of the drapery panels pulled back, soften the straight lines of the window panes and frames. The combination of complimentary fabrics add extra layers color and interest.
Powder Room Window Treatment

Cultivating Individuality in Your Unique Home
Celeste Jackson

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Baby Boomers: Still Booming with Style & Elegance

Your best ideas, those eureka moments that turn the world upside down, seldom come when you're juggling emails, rushing to meet the 
5 p.m. deadline or straining to make your voice heard in a high-stressing meeting. 
They come when you're walking the dog, 
soaking in the bath or swinging in a hammock."

Carl Honore, Canadian Journalist

master bathroom

Last  month I spoke about how the Millennial Generation is gaining in size and retail influence to the Baby Boomer Generation (who currently holds this title) but let's face it, they may be shaking things up a bit, but it's we "Boomers" who've learned how to really live. 

Take a look at what this Baby Boomer couple did to improve their lives . . .

  A Master Bathroom to Inspire and Indulge             


Reflective wallcovering
Beautifully crowned vanity with backlit frosted glass

Elegant wall-mounted faucet

Porcelain tiles, the look of wood without worry of water

Luxuriously deep soaking tub

Beauty with LOTS of storage!

Open and airy glass shower with bench

   With a freestanding bathtub, full length drapery panels are not a problem

With His & Hers vanities the morning routine has never been easier. There's room for you both!
Don't live your life in the house you bought, 
live your life in the home you created!
Cultivating Individuality in Your Unique Home.
Celeste Jackson