Domestically Inclined: New Jersey Home Decor

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Instant Mantel: Home Depot, Various Locations

Just in time for the holidays, The Home Depot is marking down some of their more expensive mantels. I call them "instant" mantels, because you don't need to have a real fireplace in order to install them. The mantels can usually be installed in less than an afternoon, and are a quick way to create a focal point in the room.

The mantel at left is 50% off the normal retail price (was $1,400). It's constructed from solid wood and designed in a more traditional style. Would look equally well in a traditional or new home.

If the retail price is still not in your budget, look for a cheaper fiberglass model. When painted, you usually can't tell the difference between fiberglass and real wood mantels.

So what goes inside? You can go with an electric fireplace insert, a gel fuel product, or you can simply use candles. Mix differing sizes of monochromatic pillar candles in different sized holders in order to fill the space.

See for locations.

Photo from

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Black Is Always In Fashion: Various

So what does the tiny kitten have to do with the chandelier?

Well...not much. Trixie, my 2 year old cat (she's mysteriously maintained strangely kitten-like proportions) has black fur, and this chandelier by Schonbek just happens to be festooned with black crystals. Both make an immediate impact on your decor with their tremendous personalities.
But unlike a chandelier, Trixie does not require lightbulbs.
Anyway. I encourage you to consider acquiring a "statement" chandelier, since it will always make you appear as if you have fabulously eclectic tastes. People, I think, will never fully embrace non-traditional chandeliers. And if you're going to buy one, you might as well make the splashiest impact possible.
The Hamilton chandelier by Schonbek is part of the brand's "Back in Black" collection, and is available in a variety of places: Billows Electric Supply (Berlin, Burlington); Capitol Lighting (Eatontown, East Hanover, Greenbrook, Lawrenceville, Paramus); Lighting Expo (Freehold); Ferguson Enterprises (Lakewood); Paramus Lighting (Paramus); Union Lighting (you guessed it, Union).
And as for Trixie...well, I found her in a box in a parking lot.
Hamilton chandelier photo from

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Damask Wallpaper: Direct from Cranbury

Damask is experiencing a revival--must be part of the absurdist Victoriana/Gothic trend that is going on (which is a welcome change from minimalist Zen, if you ask me). At left is a textured vinyl Damask wallpaper--don't curl your nose at the thought of vinyl, it's very durable and easy to install--in a fantastic shade of purple, by Graham & Brown. Though the company lists this product under the category of "Statement Wall," this would work fantastically in a jewelbox of a living room.

I've recently found out that Graham & Brown actually has a base in Cranbury, so ordering won't be a massive headache (the company started in the UK).

Photo from Graham and Brown

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wine/Sock Storage: Flemington

I've decided that if your household is keeping wine in a wine cellar, then you are simply not having enough parties. What is the fun in storing wine, hermit-like, for an unforeseen occasion? What if that unforeseen occasion never happens?

It's for that very reason that I recommend using this attractive, durable and economically priced wine cozy (wine caddie? wine depository?) by Howard Miller as...a sock storage bureau. A place to store your mail. A place to hide your teddy bear when company arrives. A bunny hutch. Tea cup protector. Bath salt curio. Your own private votive candle stash. You get the idea. The wine cabinet system is available at the Flemington Department Store (151 Route 31, Flemington), if you are so inclined.

Photo from Flemington Department Store

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Botanical Bark Vase- North Bergan

Fall foilage is beautiful, but temporary in the Garden State. At least in my area. As soon as the leaves change colors, they immediately and unceremoniously drop from their respective trees.

If you can't enjoy the natural beauty outdoors, you might as well try to bring it indoors. The aluminum Botanical Bark Vase, left, from Michael Aram (2102 83rd St., North Bergan) resembles a log of birch, without all of that messy peeling nonsense. The vases are beautiful enough to display on their own, but you can try filling them with an architectural grouping of branches.

Photo from

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Flapper-esque Curtains: Semplice, Montclair

I think we could all benefit from a little fringe in our lives, don't you agree? Adding an unusual material adds movement and texture to a room, qualities we often forget when decorating.

Fringe will add movement and texture, along with a little whimsy. These curtains, available through Semplice (465 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair) can be used as a wall hanging, room divider or curtain, and are a wonderful shade of turquoise. I'd personally layer them over an existing curtain panel, or underneath drapes, acting as a blind/shade.

Photo from domino

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tortoiseshell Goblets: Nordstrom, Various Locations

The Fall tortoiseshell trend is picking up, now seen (aren't you glad that I didn't say "spotted") at Nordstrom ( Menlo Park Mall, Edison; Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold; The Mall at Short Hills, Short Hills; Garden State Plaza, Paramus). While I have my reservations about colored wine glasses--they have a way of making wine look unattractive--I do like the idea of tortoiseshell glassware.

Think of how lovely these would look on a fall table...the clear stems providing a visual rest between a warm-toned tablecloth and the bowl of the glass; the gold tones of tortoiseshell picking up the warmth of a gold-rimmed china place setting. With a table like that, who cares if your wine looks off.

Photo from