Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

I am really excited to share today’s designer with you because I’ve long admired her work and I find her story and passion so inspiring.  I think you will, too!

TIDBITS TWINE Designer Spotlight Annie Brahler Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

“Be authentic in everything you do, don’t worry about what anyone thinks. Find your passion and go for it.”

 

There’s a very good reason why Annie Brahler’s designs look so inviting and so real and that’s because they are!  She has a love of authentic materials that provide character and a sense of history to a room and freely mixes old and new to create a unique look.  As the daughter of Dutch immigrants, she inherited their lifestyle aesthetic of using things in the moment, not saving your “best” things for a special occasion.  So she uses silver as everyday decor and fine china on the table and if it gets a scratch it’s okay!  That scratch just becomes a part of the piece’s history and adds to its authenticity.

Annie Brahler Home Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

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Annie and her family live in Jacksonville, Illinois’ iconic William Howard Thompson house built in 1868 and renovated in 1901.  While not a classically trained interior designer, her skill and passion are obvious in every space she touches.  Her designs reflect opulence with a lack of pretense.

Annie Brahler Living Room Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

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Annie Brahler Dining Room Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

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Annie shuns reproductions {because of their lack of authenticity} and so shops barns sales throughout Europe, primarily in France, Holland, and Belgium.  She imports her vintage finds for her company, Euro Trash.  Don’t let the name fool you – the items imported by Euro Trash are anything but “trash.”  While the objects may not be pedigreed antiques, they have been carefully chosen for their shapes, textures, authenticity, and of course, for their beauty.

 

“If you really  love something, let it be a part of your persona. Let the world see you.”

 

 

Chandeliers are a favorite of Annie’s and she uses them in abundance in her own home.

Annie Brahler Staircase Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

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hbx black leather sofa in living room with antiques jSOzS3 xln Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

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Her kitchen designs are breathtaking and provide a luxurious feel in a functional space.  She creates a space where a bronze chandelier from Holland and the worn upholstery from an 18th-century French armchair mix freely and comfortably.

Annie Brahler Kitchen Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

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And who says a garage workbench can’t become a functional kitchen island?!

Annie Brahler Kitchen Island Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

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I truly admire Annie’s work and would surely love to sit and learn from Annie in this beautiful spot, wouldn’t you?

Annie Brahler Outdoor Seating Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

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Have a wonderful weekend!
Signature Designer Spotlight: Annie Brahler

 

 

 

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Decoratively Hide TV Components {and Still Work Your Remote}

Today I wanted to share a little piece of technology that helped us tremendously when we were designing our TV media cabinet.  Admittedly, this is more of a tech post, but trust me when I tell you that this relatively inexpensive piece of technology will help you turn ANY piece of furniture into a TV cabinet, allowing you to hide away the gazillion pieces of equipment that seem to accompany TVs nowadays!  {Note, this is NOT a sponsored post, just sharing with you a product that proved helpful to me!}

TIDBITS TWINE How to Hide TV Components Decoratively Hide TV Components {and Still Work Your Remote}

First, let me provide a two key definitions for terms that will be used in this post:

  • Components – equipment that we use in conjunction with TVs, like DVD players, satellite boxes, receivers, etc.
  • Infrared – the most common way for remote controls to command appliances {the method by which a remote control communicates with a component}

 

In the past, the decision on how to store your components was limited by the need for the components to be “visible” to the remotes that controlled them.  It used to be that you kept DVD players, satellite receivers, and the like on exposed shelves so that they could receive the infrared signals from remotes.  Or perhaps you used glass-front cabinets so that the signal could pass through the glass.  Or maybe you would just open your cabinet doors  whenever you were watching TV so that the remotes would work.  When we started thinking about the design for our built-in, none of these options really appealed to me and so I enlisted Hubby to do a bit of research such that we could hide away all of the components and still easily use our remote controls.

TIDBITS TWINE Faux Drawer Cabinets Decoratively Hide TV Components {and Still Work Your Remote}

{Our TV components are all hidden in these cabinets that have faux drawer fronts}

 

One company that Hubby contacted said that we needed a special remote that would work even when not in a direct line-of-sight, but with a $500 price tag, I didn’t really love that option.  Another person told use that we simply needed to drill a small hole in one of our cabinet doors so that the signal from the remote could pass through.  A hole in my brand new cabinet?  No thank you!  Yet another technician suggested that we buy an external infrared receiver that would sit on a shelf and receive the signals from our remotes.  Isn’t that what I was trying to avoid in the first place?!

Instead, we ended up using an Infrared Remote Control Receiver Kit that we purchased from Amazon for $45 {affiliate link here}.

Sewell Infrared Receiver Kit Decoratively Hide TV Components {and Still Work Your Remote}

This device basically forwards the infrared signals that your remotes emit to your components, even if they are behind closed doors.  Simple and effective!  This particular one works with up to four components, so we have our satellite box, receiver, and DVD player hooked up to it.  The device sits inside the cabinet with the other components and the little plugs {that look like earbuds in the photo above} stick to the inside of the cabinet door so EVERYTHING is hidden away.

TIDBITS TWINE IR Repeater Cabinet Door Decoratively Hide TV Components {and Still Work Your Remote} {I’m pretty sure the above photo wins the award for Most Boring photo ever shared on a blog!!!}

 

So what does this mean for you?  Well, if currently have to open cabinet doors so that your components will work with your remotes, this device means that you no longer have to do so!  But it also means that you can use almost ANYTHING to store TV components now  – a wet bar cabinet, an old armoire, a hutch, a dresser – and you’ll still be able to control them with your remote.  Now your storage solutions can be beautiful while still being functional and really, isn’t that the goal of decorating?!
Signature Decoratively Hide TV Components {and Still Work Your Remote}

 

 

 

P.S. – One word of caution!  If you choose to hide your components, be sure that there is proper ventilation.  In enclosed spaces, the components can heat up and if there isn’t an opening that allows the heat to escape, you run the risk of overheating and destroying your equipment.

 

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10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

It’s official!  We have entered the holiday season and you know what that means – lots of parties and get togethers with friends and family and you never want to show up empty-handed.  Hostess gifts are not an expectation or obligation, but they are certainly a nice gesture and a way of thanking the host/hostess for the hard work that went into preparing for the party.  Some gifts require a little planning, others you can can pick up on your way, but whatever you give, it should be something you feel reflects the taste of your host/hostess so that it is more meaningful to them.

TIDBITS TWINE 10 Easy and Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

1. Soap

Beautiful scented soaps are an nice gift to give and something you can easily keep on hand for those last-minute parties.  I found these beautiful square soaps at a discount store and so picked up a few.  I paired this one with a small dish and a few sprigs of lavender to give as a thank you to a friend.

TIDBITS TWINE Hostess Gift 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

2. Wine

A bottle of wine is always nice, but consider skipping the wine bag and instead, wrapping it in a pretty tea towel.

TIDBITS TWINE Wine and Dish Towel Hostess Gift 2 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

3. Manicure/Spa Set

A few bottles of nail polish in a cute bag makes a nice gift…you can also add a gift certificate for the spa.  As an alternative, you can create a Mason Jar Manicure Kit, tutorial here

TIDBITS TWINE Spa Manicure Hostess Gift1 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas.

4. Tea/Coffee Gift Set

I recently received this beautiful teacup from a friend along with an assortment of teas for me to try.  What a wonderful gift!  You could do something similar with a nice bag of coffee and some cute coffee mugs or some coffee with an assortment of flavored syrups and creamers.

TIDBITS TWINE Jens Teacup 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

5. Baking Gift Set

You can purchase decorative paper loaf pans and use them to put together a small baking gift set.  Here I’ve included some utensils, vanilla extract, and a family recipe for banana nut bread.  Simple wrap it in a cellophane bag and you’re all set!

TIDBITS TWINE Baking Set Hostess Gift 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

6. Picture Frame

A beautiful picture frame is a gift that can also can be turned into an easy Thank You note by adding fabric to the back and using a dry erase pen to write on the glass!

TIDBITS TWINE Dry Erase on Frame Hostess Gift 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

7, Dish Towels

Pretty dish towels always make a nice gift. Here, I’ve wrapped them up with a beautiful wooden spoon and a nice cutting board, but even the towels alone would be a lovely gift.

TIDBITS TWINE Dish Towel Hostess Gift 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

8. Candle

I love beautiful candles, especially ones whose scent fills the house like this candle from Anthropologie.

TIDBITS TWINE Anthropologie Candle Hostess Gift 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

9. Flowers/Live Plants

Orchids and topiaries are two of my favorite types of plants to give as gifts, but indoor herb gardens make nice gifts as well, especially if your hostess loves to cook.

TIDBITS TWINE Herb Garden Hostess Gift 3 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

 

10. Olive Oil

A nice olive oil is a welcome gift for foodies.  You can pair it with balsamic vinegar and some small dipping plates to make a gift set.

TIDBITS TWINE Olive Oil Hostess Gift 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

 

Gifts from the heart that you make yourself are always appreciated, but if you’re looking for an easy and elegant gift that you can buy for your host/hostess, this is my go-to list.

 

 

What are some of your favorite hostess gifts to give or receive?
Signature 10 Easy & Elegant Hostess Gift Ideas

 

 

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