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Ideas & Inspiration

An Easy At-Home Holiday Breakfast Bar For Guests

How to set up an easy and festive self-serve holiday breakfast bar
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

One of the favorite things I have in my home is a makeshift tea station upstairs in my bedroom.  Ove the years, I’ve become a major night-time tea drinker.  And because I spend the majority of my evenings cozied up in my bed working, reading, or watching TV I got tired of running downstairs 2-3 times just to put the kettle on to get more tea. So, to alleviate that last year I purchased an electric tea kettle and turned a bar cart into a tea station. 

It’s nothing fancy, just an electric tea kettle and a tray full of mugs, tea bags, mulling spices, and all-things cozy. So when thinking about hosting all of our holiday guests this season I thought, why not turn my upstairs bar into an at-home holiday breakfast bar.  

If you’ve been following my Blog for a while then you know I have an upstairs loft that I turned into a sort of game room/bar area. It’s an awkward space, that truly doesn’t get used a lot. But it’s beautiful and I knew it would perfect for this self-serve idea.  

So why not set this up in the kitchen? Two main reasons.  One, it’s festive and fun, and I love doing small things like this to really make guests feel welcome and like you went all out for them. 

And two, all of the bedrooms are upstairs while the kitchen is downstairs.  I, like many people, love a slow, quiet start to my morning.  I don’t necessarily want to get dressed, and ready and head downstairs and start my day right away.  By having everything guests need right outside their door they can pop out and grab a cup of coffee or tea, and a breakfast pastry and head back to their room to have that nice leisurely start that every vacation should have.  Plus at night it can be used as that sleepy time tea station has become part of my nightly routine.

Regardless of where you set it up, a self-serve, holiday breakfast bar is beyond easy to create.  First, I made sure that I had all the morning necessities present.  Coffee maker, electric tea kettle, and toaster. I love this new vintage set from Russell & Hobbs.  It’s well priced, works like a gem, looks adorable, and the toaster even has a croissant toasting shelf!

Second, stock your holiday breakfast bar with everything guests would need to make it self serve so everyone can run at their own speed in the morning.  Think mugs, water, tea bags, coffee, sugar, utensils, napkins, etc.  And I stashed all of the extras in the drawers making it super easy if guests run out of anything. 

Third, I made it festive with holiday-themed coffee blends, pastries,  jams, packets of cocoa and tea. And of course, added a wreath and a few of my favorite rosemary and lavender Christmas trees as decor.

Lastly, I always make sure guests know that this is there for them to access at any time.  There’s nothing worse than being a guest who feels they have to tip-toe around their hosts.

And that’s it.  An easy at home holiday breakfast bar that is as festive as it is functional! Tell me, how do you make guests feel welcome in your home? Truly, MKR
 


 

Festive Outdoor Decor to take you from Fall to Thanksgiving

Just a few easy changes make your home's decorations work from September thru November
Filed Under > Entertaining

The minute October, more like September, hits I’m ready to decorate my porch in all of the festive-goodness the season brings.  However, when I first bought my home four years ago, I found that I was spending a ton of money decorating for each season: fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. So over the years, I’ve made it my mission to figure out how to make my outdoor decor able to transition through the seasons with only minimal changes. And after a few rounds of trial and error, I think I’ve finally gotten it down well enough to share.

Before I dive into the details, I thought it important to share that this is not my home.  This is one of my Waiting On Martha Home Retail Manager’s gorgeous home. I think it’s important to state that because you may be looking at this and feel, “my porch is not near this large so this look just won’t work for my home.” Well trust me, my porch is tiny (like tiny-tiny), and this same formula works, I just use less of it.  So whether you have a giant farmhouse with a sprawling yard, a row home stoop, or even an apartment balcony you want to make feel more festive, this will work. I promise. Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty shall we?

When building the “bones” or base of the outside design I first start with the idea of fall. For me, fall means corn stalks, mums, and plenty of pumpkins. The great thing about starting here is it’s obviously the first season, but all of the fall decorations will also work for Thanksgiving.  If you have any pillars to work with, corn stalks are a great way to decorate those.  All you have to do is tie the stalks around the pillars using two ropes and then peel back the corn husks to reveal the corn.  Corn stalks are pretty inexpensive and will last from fall to Thanksgiving. Corn stalks also look great flanking each side of a garage, or any driveway gates or fences posts as well.  For this particular look, I used two bunches of stalks per pillar, so four total, with each bunch costing $10 each. If you know a local farmer, he or she may even give you a few bunches for free!

Next up, pumpkin stacks and mums.  Mums are the quintessential flower of fall. I love them because they come in a variety of colors and as long as you water them they can easily withstand the Georgia heat.  Typically I pick them up at Costco or Home Depot and then place them in my large apple barrel baskets which I get at Hobby Lobby. The apple barrel baskets will be a one-time investment that you’ll have for years to come. I personally love to mix up the sizes and colors of the mums to accentuate all of the colorful pumpkins.

Which brings me to my favorite part, pumpkin stacks.  Warning, this is the most expensive part of the look, but for me going to my pumpkin patch and supporting my local farmers is something I look forward to each and every year so I just bite the bullet and know that pumpkins are always going to cost me a bit of dough.  They’re costly mainly because I love the specialty pumpkins; the whites, greys, greens, and princess pink pumpkins which are harder to find.  These specialty pumpkins are also the easiest to stack because of their shape. I do make sure to work in the less expensive standard orange pumpkins, and also talk to the owner of the pumpkin patch about pumpkin rot which I suggest you do too  Because of the Georgia heat and also the bees, sometimes pumpkins rot before the season ends.  My guy makes me a promise that if that happens to any of my pumpkins I can just come by and pick out another at no cost.  That way I feel like my investment is worth it because I’m assured my decorations will last the entirety of the season.  Another option is to go faux. Faux will save you money year over year, and time. Plus faux pumpkin stacks like these have gotten very close to looking like the real deal.  Completely up to you.

To finalize our fall (which remember will also be our Thanksgiving) design I completed the look with a great wreath and doormat. I chose to go with a green pumpkin wreath rather than your traditional orange because I knew with the mums and pumpkins I’d have a lot of oranges already present. Totally your call though on color, just buy a good wreath. Wreaths can be a bit of an investment, but I believe they’re the one thing you should actually invest in. Out of everything you’ll see in this post I’ve had the wreath the longest, 4 years now.  And it’s still in perfect condition. I’ve purchased less expensive wreaths in the past and what I’ve found is they simply fall apart. So if you’re able to, listen to Miles Redd and “buy the best and you’ll only cry once.”  That and store it in a great wreath box like this

Lastly, adding a festive doormat is the perfect way to cap off any design. Because I typically find that all the fun, festive doormats, to be too small for the actual space I love layering the doormat on a larger rug such as this.  It adds depth to your design and allows you to switch out doormats easily. I’ve got a pumpkin doormat shown here, but just after our shoot, my new one came in that’s a bit more on the fun side.

I’ve scoured the internet and the closest I can get to mine (the one in the picture) is this one from Frontgate. Typically my store has these exact ones, but we sold out within the first week of putting them up. I promise next year I’ll buy more for y’all.  But there are some gorgeous harvest colored ones I’m loving like this one from Williams Sonoma that would look just as good.

And with that, we’ve completed the perfect outdoor design for fall and Thanksgiving. Now, without disrupting the overall scheme, it’s time to add a bit of Halloween into the mix.

To take my porch from fall to Halloween all I did was switch out the wreath and doormat, plus added a few crows and witches brooms.  

Because the crow wreaths were smaller, I decided to hang two vertically with fishing wire to really make a statement.  The doormat, witch-themed, to match my overall theme. Crows from Amazon I placed in the mums and on the pumpkin stacks. And lastly two crooked, old witch brooms from my shop. I mean how easy is that? Changes that took me less than 10 minutes to complete, with items I’m able to use for more than one season.

*Sorry the brooms are too tall to ship, but if you’re local stop in we’ve got plenty left*

Halloween Porch Ideas Halloween Porch Ideas

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the way this look turns out each and every season and I know you’ll love it too and let it transition you from September thru November.  Happy fall-Halloween-Thanksgiving friends! Truly, MKR
 


 

Photography, Rustic White Interiors

Creating A Cozy Space with Serena & Lily

Switching up my favorite little nook with the help of an amazing rattan daybed
Filed Under > Get The Look

Styling a daybed, Waiting On Martha Styling a daybed, Waiting On Martha rattan daybed styling, Waiting On Martha Styling a daybed, Waiting On Martha rattan daybed styling, Waiting On Martha

I’ve always been a fan of the daybed, and as of late daybeds are showing up everywhere in the home.  Outdoor space, add a daybed.  Nursery, add a daybed. Breakfast nook, add a daybed.  Plus they’re chicer than ever.  Take for example this Avalon rattan daybed from Serena and Lily.  When I first spied it I knew I had to find a space for it.  That space turned out to be my sitting room in my bedroom.

Let’s pause right here to discuss something for perspectives sake.  When you read the sentence above you probably thought, if I have a sitting room in my bedroom then my home must be quite spacious.  Not exactly.  My home is great, but it’s not a McMansion by any stretch of the imagination. For some reason when they built our home they added a sitting room to the master making it larger than our family room and dining room combined.  However, because we don’t have a basement and only a family room, I was committed to making the sitting area an actual space that was used and not just a pretty room to look at. 

Since my husband and his abnormally large television took over the family room, I naturally retreated to our bedroom.  Which was fine by me because the bedroom is, and always has been, my favorite room in every home I’ve ever lived in. I know most sleep experts would warn against it, but there’s nothing I look forward to more than cozying up in my bed with a stack of magazines, a great glass of wine, and the apple tv fired up and ready. It’s like that Drake song; “I only love my bed and my momma.” Preach Drake, preach.

Anyway, I’ve gotten off track, back to the Avalon rattan daybed.  Before the daybed entered our life I had a whole sitting area set up with two very large chairs, a coffee table and ottomans.  That worked, but over the years how I’ve used the space has changed.  Before I really only used it to watch a movie.  Now I was craving a new space I could spend my morning quiet time, work, and watch a movie when the mood hit.  And the daybed was the perfect way to make this new vision become a reality.

The chairs and coffee table went bye-bye, and the whole room shifted.  I put the Avalon rattan daybed against the wall and loaded it down with my favorite gingham sheet set and quilt from Serena and Lily plus a few throws, and a good amount of pillows. This created the perfect, and most cozy spot, to spend quiet time in the morning and movie time at night.  Because there wasn’t room for a coffee table I added an end table that can easily move around to where it’s needed most.  And lastly, I brought a small white desk up and placed it opposite the daybed. By positioning the furniture like this I maintained the square shape which helps it feel like a separate space rather than just an extension of the bedroom.

I’ve been living with this new set up for a few weeks now and I’m loving it.  And I’m not the only one, you can see that Addison has really taken to the daybed as well! Truly, MKR

Photography, Rustic White Interiors | This post was in collaboration with Serena & Lily.  A brand I love and adore.  Opinions are 100% my own.

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