Being Grateful is Always in Season: 10 Great Gifts for Your Support Team

This week’s blog is about celebrating the people that make your life easier.  Right now I’m sure you’re crazed with finding the perfect Christmas gifts for your kids, your spouse and your family.  You probably also have a serious case of  “swiper’s wrist” from all the Pinning you’ve been doing to plan your menus and prepare your house for when your family arrives.  But inevitably you’ll realize (somewhere around December 18th) that you still have a slew of gifts to buy for your assistant, your babysitter, your kids’ teachers, your milk man, the UPS driver, your neighbor or any other casual acquaintance that pops in with an unexpected gift…that naturally you were planning to reciprocate, right?

Well, we’re here to make your life easier (and a full 3 weeks before Christmas!)  Here is a list of our top 10 gifts ranging from $20 – $65 that are perfect for the team of people that make your life run smoothly!

 

 

Insulated Stemless Wine ($22): This has been a top-seller this year (seriously, we can hardly keep them in stock.)  Include a bottle of wine and you’ll be the teacher’s best friend!

 

 

 

 

The Old Saint Nick Latte Mug ($52): Hand-crafted in Tuscany and brimming with old world holiday charm.  Throw in a coffee house gift card and your assistant will never be more productive.

 

 

 

 

Ceramic Oil Cruet ($38): Hand-crafted by ceramic artisans for the foodie in your life.  Whose counter wouldn’t look a little cooler graced by its contemporary vibe?

 

 

 

 

Marble & Wood Paddle Board ($42): Perfect for serving appetizers and cheese, these stylish boards are great for the hostess or the gourmet.

 

 

 

 

Melamine “Paper” Plates ($22): This darling 4-pack of plates is just begging to be loaded-up with cookies and passed out to neighbors, delivery drivers and friends. Did someone say, cookie exchange?

 

 

 

Double Old Fashion Glasses (set of 2 $65): For the cocktail enthusiast or the perfect men’s gift, these mouth-blown glasses come beautifully gift boxed with companion walnut coasters.

 

 

 

Mirabel Mini Vase ($40): You know that friend with the impeccably decorated house, the one who is so hard to buy for?  Our hand-hammered, stainless steel vase is the answer.  It’s sleek and stylish and looks great mixed in with any décor style.

 

 

 

Frasier Fir Jar Candle ($23): It’s like a forest in your living room.  Presented in a gorgeous metallic jar, this candle burns with the scent of fresh-cut forest.  This is the perfect little gem to have stashed in your gift closet for those unexpected gifters.

 

 

 

Linen Holiday Tea Towels ($24): Crafted of 100% European linen and beautifully embroidered with holiday emblems, our tea towels make a perfect gift for the hostess with the mostest.

 

 

 

Laura Zindel Square Bowls ($57): Because who doesn’t love a woodland creature?! Created by naturalist illustrator and ceramic artisan Laura Zindel, these charming little bowls are perfect for appetizers.  We like to throw in a jar of gourmet nuts to complete the gift.

Fashion with a Cause: ‘Tis the Season for Giving Back

The holiday season finds us all in a frenzy of decorating, entertaining and shopping.  It’s easy to lose sight of the true spirit of the holidays while checking-off our To Do and Must Have lists.  This time of year, we like to celebrate and share the stories of a few of our vendors and the incredible work they do around the world.

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Front and Center(Piece)

You can stop searching, this is the perfect centerpiece!  No matter how you’re celebrating, we’ve put together an effortless centerpiece that can be easily updated by season or holiday with three or four simple elements.

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Say Cheese!

The holiday season is officially upon us and that means lots of entertaining. I am a busy working mom with two kids under two and a husband whose job requires lots of entertaining. He is a wine distributor who is always “surprising” me with winery and restaurant-types at the last minute. That said, I am always looking for an effortless yet elegant way to feed a crowd.
Let me set the scene for you…your toddler is coloring on the walls and you’re counting down to bedtime so you can throw on your yoga pants and binge watch The Crown? Then you get a text from your husband saying, “hey, do you mind if so-and-so pops by for some wine?” A momentary panic rushes over you (and probably a little bit of that “I want to kill my husband” vibe) but you want to maintain your effortlessly cool, collected, Domestic Goddess status. So what can you pull together at the last minute that looks totally gourmet but won’t leave you looking like Melanie Griffith in the dumpling cart scene in Working Girl? An effortless spread of bountiful cheese boards is a fast and impressive way to feed a crowd.

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Vietri: From Italy with Love

A celebration of all that is irresistibly Italian, Vietri embodies a love of life, family, and tradition through handcrafted, Italian artisan tableware. Preserving the history and craft of Italian artisans, Vietri brings a world of casual sophistication to your table. Made from the soil of the Italian countryside by artisans who know and love their craft…Vietri is designed to savor those moments that bring joy to our lives.

Their story starts in 1983, when sisters, Susan and Frances Gravely, traveled with their mother, Lee, to the Amalfi coast of Italy. The three women found themselves captivated by their hotel’s colorful, handcrafted dinnerware and, after meetings with the artisans who created it, returned home with suitcases full of ‘mix and match’ pieces. Stateside, friends and family fell in love with these unique designs and the Gravely’s recognized the treasures they had found and decided to import this iconic Italian dinnerware to the US.

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Jan Barboglio Visits Homefest

Wrapped in the mysticism, history, romance and the spirituality of old Mexico, the Jan Barboglio collection has been a cornerstone of the decorative accessories and table-top offering at Homefest from the day Jan released her first collection.  To say we are big fans of her beautiful designs goes beyond understatement.

Jan’s artisanry found its roots in north-central Mexico where she spent her childhood.  After many years designing clothes with her sister Christina, Jan turned to sculpting decorative accessories, furniture and serving pieces for entertaining at home.  Embellished with crosses and crowns, scrolls, guardian angels and symbolic bleeding hearts, Jan’s collection is well-known for bringing the spirituality of old Mexico and the casual sophistication of Western living to home décor.

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Black and White Kitchen Design Project

Over the course of Homefest’s 20+ years, several customers have asked us for help designing the interior of their home. It wasn’t a service that we originally had planned to offer, but it made sense with our mix of lighting, furniture, artwork, bedding, decorative accessories and area rugs. Since the first request a dozen years ago, we’ve been involved with projects that range from a one-room kitchen re-model to several top-to-bottom total makeovers.

We recently finished a kitchen remodel for a couple of empty-nesters who wanted to open up a small, awkward kitchen and create a more functional space that would become the heart of the home for their large, extended family. We love the way Black and White Kitchen Design Project turned out.  The simplicity of the black and white color scheme is classic and modern at the same time.

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Take it Outside!

If you saw our first post, All in the Family, then you’ll remember the rambling picture of kids, dogs, and grandkids.  I’m Mike, the old guy in the back row. Together with my wife, Lindy (the pretty lady standing next to me), we do all of the product sourcing and buying for our store Homefest and our website, HomefestDecor.com.  Mine is one of the many voices you’ll be hearing from on this site, mostly to share information about the products we source and the artists and craftspeople who are behind all of them.

You’ve probably noticed that we are in the dog days of summer, I guess the upside here is that with the end of summer comes the beginning of Football season…both good reasons to move the party outside to get the last few weekends of summer entertaining in or possibly plan the first tailgate of the season.  Either way, we’ve got the dinnerware, barware and serving accessories to do both effortlessly and elegantly. Read more

Copper Polish…The Moscow Mule Elevated

Moscow Mule Mugs and recipes

We like our summer to last through September…maybe into October. If you’re anything like us, we’re guessing you do too. Our suggestion for an extended summer…a signature cocktail for the last parties of the season or an impressive hostess gift to bring along. A Moscow Mule solves both dilemmas; a stylish vessel and a great tasting send-off to the summer season.

Other than the fact that Vodka comes from Russia, we’re not really sure why this drink is called a Moscow Mule (unless you make them the way we like them…with a little extra kick!).  Either way, what we are sure of is that we have one of the nicest Moscow Mule Mugs we’ve ever seen.

Beautiful, heavy gauge copper is hand-hammered by an international artists cooperative with its roots in Santa Clara del Cobre, a village located high in the Sierra Madres of Southwestern Mexico and a stateside workshop in Austin, Texas. The tradition of Mexican copper work originated over 1000 years ago.  Obviously, we think these Master copper artisans make the best Moscow Mule mug around.

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All in the Family…

Luxury Home Furnishings Style Blog

Welcome to Homefestdecor.com, the latest version of our website and blog. Now that we are re-launching, we think a little introduction is in order.  Lucky enough to live the country life in Northern Colorado, we also have the good fortune of doing it surrounded by family while doing work that we love.  We are three generations of Coloradans (and assorted dogs and chickens) who love to work, dine, celebrate and play together.

Over the past 24 years, we’ve built a luxury retail business that emphasizes and celebrates the increasing rarity of the artisan craft. If it’s hand thrown, mouth blown, hand carved, hand hammered or hand woven, it’s what we seek out. We think one of life’s greatest luxuries is the experience of owning a piece that someone made by hand and made all the better if it’s a treasure that can be used every day and later passed down. Our goal at Homefest has always been to bring those artisan products to the wonderful customers who come to our Denver store and now, we’d like to share them with new friends who might be looking for a more convenient way to have the Homefest experience. Read more