...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I may not be in need of new lighting, textiles and home decor for my own home, but I still like to browse online to see what’s out there in case a friend or client asks for help. Sometimes just making a wish list curbs unnecessary impulse buys, too. I happened to be clicking through the sale section at Urban Outfitters and came across a slew of goodies that caught my eye. Maybe you’d like to see? All items are currently on sale with free shipping through Labor Day!



images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

holiday hostess 1

Want in on a little secret? I decorated for Christmas before Halloween this year. Cue the record scratch.

holiday hostess 4

For two days in October I pretended it was December. Well, sort of. We normally do a live garland on the mantel and a live tree but those were nowhere to be found pre-Halloween. Mr. Fig was a somewhat believable stand-in. I rummaged through red and green totes in the attic. I saved empty boxes and wrapped fake presents pressies. (My apologies for misspelling the Aussie short form in my previous post. Google can’t be trusted.) I crafted paper dot garlands from glitter paper, a circle punch, hot glue and jute string. I found the cutest little cardboard Christmas tree at JoAnn’s. I rigged two of these paper star lights and one of these in the front window along with a few cheap & easy embroidery hoops turned 90º. Hint: Use fishing line. It’s strong and nearly invisible.

holiday hostess 2

I was simultaneously working on the kids’ Halloween costumes. My kids were baffled by my Christmas in October antics.

So why all the fuss? In short, Joss & Main asked me to be a part of their holiday campaign and I said yes. Deadlines were involved.

holiday hostess

The long answer? I’m only one of four bloggers participating in the #HolidayHostess campaign now through the end of the year. Each week a different blogger will be featured and you can shop their look via a flash sale. You also get an inside scoop on each blogger’s holiday traditions. Today is the first day of the campaign and I happen to be this week’s hostess. If you’re interested, you can check out the sale here and read about my holiday traditions here. There are some great pieces up for grabs. Act soon! The sale ends 12/9/14.

holiday hostess 3

In other news, we’re sticking with tradition and buying a live tree again this year. But I’m nervous! How does one go about keeping cute kitties out of Christmas trees?! You all were so helpful when we adopted Cheetah a few months ago. I’d love to hear your tips for surviving the holidays with a tree and kitty intact.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

vintage rug 1

Nearly a third of the rugs in my home are vintage. I had never owned a vintage rug until last year. But once I bought my first, I was smitten. I’ve gradually acquired more since then and would love to increase their presence in my home. I just love them! Here are several reasons why I love ’em so.

1. They’re one-of-a-kind. Most vintage rugs weren’t mass-produced at the time of creation. As a result, they boast unique patterns and color palettes. These exclusive patterns and colors bring a sense of individuality to ordinary spaces. Because of this, vintage rugs work well in newer homes where some history (or a story) is needed.

vintage rug 2

2. They’re available in non-standard sizes. I don’t know about you but not every room in my house conforms to the standard 3′ x 5′, 5′ x 7′, 8′ x 10′, 9′ x 12′ rug size options. Some spaces require a rug less rectangular in shape while other spaces call for something more linear. Too often I find brand-new rugs in my preferred width but the length is off…or vice versa. And made-to-order rugs? Well, those aren’t in the budget. In these instances, vintage rugs are ideal. It might take some leg work to find just the right size but it’s out there!

3. They feature high quality craftsmanship. Fifty-year-old (and plus!) rugs are still around because they were made well to begin with and, most likely, they were man-made not machine-made. If you fall in love with an old rug don’t worry too much about how much life it has left in it as long as it’s in good condition. It’s made it this long so who’s to say it won’t last another fifty years?! Most vintage rugs are surprisingly durable.

4. They’re already “worn in.” Vintage rugs are used and have been loved well. This takes the pressure off of new owners to treat them delicately. (You can’t say the same for brand-new rugs.) So bring on the kids! and crumbs! and spilled drinks! and dirt! There’s no need to baby vintage rugs. On the same note, some vintage rugs feature a well-deserved patina which only increases their beauty.

vintage rug 4

5. They lend a global vibe. Depending on a rug’s place of origin and style, you have the opportunity to incorporate a design element from another country or culture into your home. This is possible for travelers and homebodies alike. If you travel, you can often times score vintage rugs for a steal from their native land. (Just remember to leave room in your suitcase.) If not, you can just as easily shop for vintage rugs online. Personally, I am not a globetrotter (wish I was!) but I love that I have rugs from Pakistan, Turkey and Persia in my Ohio home.

6. They’re eco-friendly. Buying vintage anything is better for the environment than buying brand-new. Sometimes I wonder about the pollution created by shipping internationally but then I remember that the manufacturing and importing of brand-new rugs churns out way more pollutants. When you buy a vintage rug, you also avoid the harmful off-gassing of noxious toxins (which new rugs typically emit) into your home.

7. They’re beyond the shedding phase. With vintage rugs, there’s no need for obsessive vacuuming during the first few months of ownership to keep shed fibers at bay. This was an unexpected (and wonderful!) benefit the first time I purchased a vintage rug.

vintage rug 3

8. They can be cost-effective. With new rugs, price is directly proportionate to size (when considering rugs made of the same material). However, this isn’t always the case for vintage rugs. Many other factors – including condition, quality, age, demand, etc. – come into play. Of the three vintage rugs I own, the largest one (in my dining room) was not the most expensive. I looked at brand-new rugs for the dining room and they were all more expensive than the vintage one I ultimately bought. Also, most vintage rugs are sold by personal sellers whom are willing to negotiate on the price. You don’t have that option with new rugs and big companies.

Are you convinced of the power of vintage rugs yet?! Haha. I will definitely be adding more vintage rugs to my home. I especially like them in “hard” spaces where they can be the main textile focal point: kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms. And I also like the look of a smaller, colorful vintage rug layered on top of a larger, chunky jute. Hmmm…maybe in my bedroom or the nursery?? As for where to buy them online, I prefer to shop reputable sellers on etsy and ebay. And if there’s ever a question about the true color or condition of the rug, I always ask. So far, I’ve had nothing but good experiences.

Would you buy a vintage rug? Maybe you already own one? I’d love to know what style you prefer and where you (would) use it.

P.S. – Click here to see who won last week’s Cook Smarts giveaway!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking