Let The Holiday Decorating Begin!

Hi everyone! I’m Kris from Driven by Décor and I’m so flattered that Sarah invited me to be a guest on her blog today. I love following along with Sarah and her husband as they renovate their home and am totally in awe of the projects that they tackle. I mean, did you all see the state of their house when they first bought it? It’s seriously unbelievable to look back at what they started with and compare it to how their house looks today. Sarah has some serious DIY skills (and great design taste to boot!).

Since fall is officially here and before you know it we’ll be sliding on into Thanksgiving and the holidays, I thought I’d share some of my favorite seasonal decorations with you. I don’t go all out with my seasonal decorating (who has time for lugging out boxes and boxes of stuff just to have to put it away again?) but I do like to add a few touches here and there. For fall, I love to decorate with natural elements such as feathers

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and dried grasses:

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but I also like to bring in some brighter seasonal colors like in my window boxes

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and accessories such as this fun DIY witch’s hat:

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For Christmas, I like to make use of all the free greenery that’s right outside in my yard. Last year I used it to decorate our front door, 

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our mantel, and our dining room chandelier:

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And ever since I was little I have loved to wrap presents so I wrap them up as soon as I buy them and leave them out as part of our holiday decorations:

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We have lots of fun holiday traditions, but I’m pretty sure my girls would say that their favorite is the one that we just started last year – making homemade marshmallows and setting up a hot chocolate bar. We are a family of sweet tooths!

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Now don’t be fooled by into thinking that our house is always clean and perfectly decorated throughout the holidays. What you don’t see in these pictures is the chaos that reigns behind the scenes – the dirty hot chocolate mugs left in the kitchen sink, the spools of decorative ribbon laying amok on my kitchen island, the whole family still in their pajamas at 2pm. Now THAT’s real life :)

 Thanks so much Sarah and all of you 702 Park Project readers for letting me come for a visit! When you have a chance, I’d love for you to come say hi at Driven by Decor or find me over on Instagram. Hope you all have a wonderful fall and holiday season!

Cut It Out

You may have noticed that I’m not big on sharing a ton of personal things on this blog.  Sure, I’ll often share about what Charles and I are up to or about my family, but when it comes to me, I pretty much leave that topic alone.  Unless of course I have a really bad day and decide to share an embarrassing amount with you.

That happened back in November and I shared the story of my chronic transformational migraine.  I am now pushing 11 years in my search for a cure for my constant daily headache, and since nothing up to this point has given me any significant relief, I’ve decided to take a leap.

So tomorrow morning I’ll be going in for an “experimental” surgery to see if we can knock some of these headaches out. I’ll spare you the gory details, but basically they will be alleviating the pressure being put on two of the main nerves in my head by cutting away muscle (hence the laughable title of this post).  One nerve is in the back of my head and one is in between my eyes. Yay for black, swollen eyes for the next 2 weeks!

It’s pretty terrifying, and very expensive since insurance won’t cover it, but I’ve got to try before I go 100% insane. So you can pretty much expect this to be me tomorrow night…

But then the drugs will kick in.

I won’t be leaving you completely in the dark, though. I’m super excited about the amazing ladies I have lined up to help me out while I’m gone. I know you’ll enjoy their posts.

Here’s hoping it works. Wish me luck!! :)

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If you have chronic migraines and are interested in learning more about the surgery, here are some sites I have found helpful.  Keep in mind that it’s still experimental, even though it’s been tested for over 10 years now, and results vary from site to site.

CNN Health: Facial Surgery May Offer Migraine Cure

Kirby Plastic Surgery: Nerve Decompression Surgery

University of Wisconsin: Surgical Treatment of Migraine Headaches

Migraine Surgery Centre: The Discovery of the Migraine Procedure

Interview With The Designer: Philip Mitchell Design Inc.

There are so many talented designers that I absolutely love, but none have captured my exact tastes like Philip Mitchell.  Like a lot of other design friends, I first discovered Philip on Instagram and was immediately smitten.  His combinations of neutrals and color, modern and classic styles, formal and casual…it’s just perfect. It was nearly impossible to narrow down my favorite photos, so be sure to hop on over to Philip’s website to see all his talent!

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When and why did you become a designer?

Ever since I can remember, I have been drawing and expressing myself creatively from a young age. I have been blessed with the ability to conceptualize and visualize space and what can be done with it and inherited a great sense of confidence and style from my mother. Simply put, I can’t imagine not being a designer or not being able to continue to do so for the rest of my life.

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What has been your greatest challenge as a designer?

Educating clients on the value that a great designer or design team brings to a project.

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How would you characterize your style?

Classic, timeless, comfortable, and personal.

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Does your personal home fit your design style?

Completely. My husband and I have two residences allowing us the flexibility to express a variety of design ideas and develop our own personal design style further.

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What was the focus of your first paid design project?

The same focus for my current collection of projects: to collaborate with my clients to develop their own personal styles to the next level while providing appropriate, individual and comfortable homes for them.

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Where do you find your inspiration?

From a number of different sources that range from history, travel, experiences, my husband Mark, my staff, my mother, and clients. You can find inspiration in almost anything.

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What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Have a confident, definite, clear opinion and never be afraid to express it in a professional manner.

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Who have been your greatest professional influences?

My husband, Mark, and my mother.

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What is your favorite design era?

Now, without a doubt. I love that we are able to draw upon so many previous eras, historical styles and influences and apply them to design today. There seems to be a current freshness and freedom in design that is very inspirational to me at the moment.

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What’s at the top of your bucket list?

Travel to as many new destinations as possible. My father once said to travel to as many places as possible at every opportunity you can while you’re young and in good health.

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What is your favorite rule to break?

Design rules exist for a reason. Once they are truly understood, you can then bend or break them (obviously with the help of a professional).

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What do you have coming up next?

My office is very privileged to have a number of exciting projects starting up in a number of different locations throughout North America and the Caribbean for some really amazing clients!

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All photos via Philip Mitchell Design Inc.