Tonawanda News

Features

December 16, 2013

Tips to spruce up your home decorations for the holidays

Tonawanda News — No matter how young or how old we are, each of us can recollect a Christmas memory on the spot, can’t we? Is it the season, the togetherness, the joy or perhaps just the magic of Christmas? 

I have vividly colorful and fond memories of my childhood Christmas mornings: dressed in my favorite red-and-black plaid flannel pajamas, racing down the stairs to see what Santa had chosen to leave me and my brother from our often lengthy lists. Those mornings were without sadness and regret; they were filled with the joy and the magic of Christmas. That is why I can recall them, and with absolute clarity remember the beauty of the tree my brother and I decorated with our mother, the smell of the cinnamon buns in the oven and the sound of Christmas carols being played on the radio.

As I’ve grown older, though, the memories have shifted. I don’t race down the stairs in the morning to see the presents under the tree, and no matter how hard I’ve tried, I don’t fit into those red-and-black plaid flannel pajamas. Now my Christmas memories are filled with the beauty of the season, and creating that beauty for my clients, my family and my friends.

I’ve been lucky to be involved in the annual Lewiston Tour of Homes each holiday season, where houses around the Village of Lewiston are chosen to be decorated by decorators and florists for a weekend house tour that fills tour goers with inspiration, cheer and a big dose of that Christmas magic. 

This year, unlike years past, I had the great opportunity of working with a blank canvas: a barn for last weekend’s event. I designed this space from top to bottom in my own signature style, and can now share tips and trade secrets with you on how to copy this look for your own home this year.

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    Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.

    "I try to keep as much growing in the house as I can," she said.

    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

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    Did you know that the suffix “vore” comes from the Latin word “voro,” which means to devour? I probably knew that once, but I should have paid better attention in my Latin class. “Vore” is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has, such as omnivore, carnivore and herbivore.

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    When Explore Buffalo Tours got started about eight months ago, the business concentrated on specialized tours designed to showcase specific aspects of the City of Buffalo’s history, architecture and culture.

    Now the organization is looking to the future and trying out ways to highlight the other unique aspects of the Western New York region. The tours change out each month, but the more popular ones will circulate back in, according to Explore Buffalo Executive Director Brad Hahn. This month it’s test-driving its “North Tonawanda: Lumber City” tour, one of only a few to take place outside the City of Buffalo. (Although a Lockport tour is in the works.)

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     Following a trend of public, outdoor exercise programs, a number of local venues are offering their own free events aiming to get residents outside and active during the summer.

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    For years, Muscoreil’s Fine Desserts & Gourmet Cakes has been a go-to location for desserts and wedding and occasion cakes in Western New York.

    This summer, even as the bakery deals with the rush of wedding season, changes at its associated bistro aim to create a revitalized focus on that side of the business, as well.

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