Tag Archives: home accents

Bears in the Garden

The end of the winter season is approaching and as the snow melts, common winter birds begin to head back north. Dapper gray and white juncos, beautiful finches, and other species that took advantage of the backyard feeder leave and are replaced by robins and other birds of the summer. As the weather changes, we might also see other types of animals visiting the backyard. If the backyard is big and close to forested areas and green space, such wildlife can include raccoons, opossums, wild turkeys, and even deer. However, as much as we enjoy watching wildlife in the backyard, there are certain animals that we would probably rather see elsewhere. One such animal is the Black Bear, a large animal that has become surprisingly common in certain parts of the eastern United States.

The Black Bear ranges in fairly wild, woodland habitats in much of Canada and Alaska, and a small population also lives in the mountains of northern Mexico. It also occurs in the lower 48 states in parts of the Great Lakes region, New England, the Appalachians, the Ozarks, the Rocky Mountains, the coastal Pacific states, and small populations in coastal forests of the southern states. Historically, this species lived over a much larger area but deforestation and constant hunting caused it to disappear from various parts of its range. Despite those declines, decades of reforestation and hunting regulations have given a boost to Black Bear populations in many places, especially the north-eastern states.

One such place where bears have made a notable increase is northern New Jersey. The proximity of heavily forested state parks to small towns has resulted in many sightings of bears in urban areas, on trails in parks, and some even visiting big backyards. Although most bears stay away from people, some do become so accustomed to people that they lose their fear of humans, rummage through garbage cans, and look for hand-outs. These bears are the ones that can cause problems and even become dangerous because they associate people with food and can lash out when they don’t get what they want. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to avoid such problem bears by just keeping a safe distance from any bear that seems tame, and never giving them food. Instead of throwing it a snack or two, if a “tame” bear is encountered in the garden or elsewhere, the animal control authorities should be called as soon as possible.

The easiest way to keep bears out of the backyard is by removing any sources of food. Some suggestions include not leaving garbage outside or keeping it in a locked container, putting bird feeders into storage until the bear has been removed, not leaving pet food outside (which also attracts other animals), and quickly harvesting berries and other fruits before bears can come and eat them. Large dogs can also keep bears away but it’s better to keep the dogs inside if bears are around because dogs of any size can be injured or even killed by a bear, and small pets could become easy prey.

Although some folks might love to see a bear or two in the garden, both us and the bears will be much better off if we leave those encounters to the wild places. Instead of bringing wild Black Bears into the garden, we can still enjoy the beauty and wild, curious nature of these wonderful animals by way of realistic animal garden sculptures. These include detailed statues like “The Expert Fisherman” Black Bear Statue, and the Lemont the Lovable Lounger Black Bear Statue.

Find the best selection of high quality animal garden statues at Design Toscano.

Getting Patriotic on President’s Day

Happy President’s Day! Also known as “Washington’s Birthday”, or “Washington and Lincolns Day”, this holiday is an ideal time to express patriotism. It was established to celebrate the birthday of the first president of the USA, George Washington, although it has also become a day to remember all presidents.  Even though President Washington was born on February 22nd, the date of this federal holiday varies because it always falls on the third Monday of the second month of the year. Much to the happiness of schoolchildren and many adults, Monday was chosen for celebrating this holiday to conveniently turn a two-day weekend into a three day one.

The combination of a holiday and three-day weekend has also frequently turned the third and fourth weeks of February into a time for bargains and shopping discounts. This probably resulted from stores realizing that more people are likely to go shopping if they have a Monday off, especially when outdoor activities are curtailed by winter weather. No matter what the reason for sales, it’s worth it to keep an eye out for bargains at this time of year, especially on items and clothing we might want for the summer months.

However, in addition to saving money on garden statues and other items that will be put to use in a month or two, this weekend is an excellent excuse to celebrate patriotism. These are a few ideas for celebrating love of country, freedom, and democracy:

Decorate to celebrate: “Americana” is the decorating theme that works best for President’s Day, and these items will look just as impressive long after the end of February. Although we may or may not want to take down the red, white, and blue bunting, showing the flag never goes out of style, and neither do certain statues and other types of high quality decor. Out in the garden, such decor can take the form of garden sculptures like the “Patriotic Flag Children” Statue,  and Western Americana decor like the Cowboy Cody Western Welcome Statue. Just keep in mind that such garden statues shouldn’t be placed outside if the temperature still dips below zero. If so, these and other patriotic sculptures will look just as good in a month or two.

It’s just as important and festive to decorate the interior of the home. A bit of bunting will work along with pictures of the flag, Mount Rushmore, and other iconic American images including the impressive Statue of Liberty (1886) Wall Frieze, and the beautifully detailed “On the Hunt” Native American Statue.

Throw a party: Interior decor is also important for this holiday if we plan on throwing a President’s Day party. Invite friends and family to the house for an evening of classic American recipes accompanied by locally brewed spirits, and patriotic-themed games. These can take the form of trivia about the Constitution of the United States of America, trivia about past presidents, or giving out small, fun prizes to guests who can name all of the state capitals. An apple pie bake-off, most patriotic outfit, and other small contests can also be held. Make a big impression by using the Uncle Sam Yankee Doodle Dandy Butler Pedestal Sculptural Table to serve apple pie and other standard American fare.

Patriotic movie night: Whether we throw a party or not, we can also have fun on this holiday weekend by hosting a patriotic-themed movie night. Show an evening of two or three movies that deal with patriotism in any number of ways, and share them with good friends.

Shop at Design Toscano for an excellent selection of unique patriotic decor, high quality garden statuary, and beautiful antique replica furniture.

Egyptian Decor and Accents for Every Home

Decorating the home is no simple matter. While it’s easy enough to put a few paintings on the walls and a statue or two in the living room, that doesn’t really compare to the art of interior decoration. This is why those who can afford to do so sometimes hire interior decorators to plan the beautification of the home. The decorator might go with certain themes for different rooms or follow the suggestions of the home owner, but will always find creative ways to make a living space look fantastic.

One of the ways they accomplish this is by using unique accents and stunning decor in every type of decorating theme. If a room follows a medieval theme, it might also feature an exquisite classic statue in addition to Gothic decor and antique replica furniture. Likewise, a hallway that follows a classic theme might also be decorated with a few modern items as long as they augment the decorating objective. Egyptian decorations and statues can also be used as accents for just about every theme because they combine a striking, regal look with classic appeal.

This aspect of Egyptian items also makes many of them suitable for every home and just about every decoration situation. Although something as large and regal as a stunning replica of King Tutankhamen’s Egyptian Throne Chair might be better suited to a room dedicated to an ancient Egyptian theme, the following accents and decor are much more versatile:

Small Egyptian accents: Small statues of Egyptian deities and other accessories are an easy way to lend a royal touch to any situation. With its striking combination of jet black and golden colors, a sculpture like the ©”Isis, Goddess of Egypt” Statue gives a bit of detailed beauty to a living room, office, or any space in need of artistic, classic decor. This and other small Egyptian statuary work well as desk accessories, when displayed on a mantle, or in accompaniment with other types of small decor.

Other Egyptian-themed accents can take the form of colorful decor like the Egyptian Eye of Horus Offering Vessel, decorative treasure boxes, clocks, and other items that blend fine details with the regal and mysterious symbolism of ancient Egypt.

Egyptian lamps: Decor that also acts as lighting is an easy way to lend a touch of fine, unique decor to any room. In providing a necessary function, sculptural lamps like the Egyptian Goddess of the Night Illuminated Statue and the Egyptian Torch Offering Table Lamp can also find a place in rooms already decorated with or bereft of Egyptian decor. The smaller sculptural lamps can be displayed on tables to act as eye-catching accents and conservation pieces, while larger forms of decorative lighting can do the same when shown in a hallway or corner of any room.

Egyptian sculptural tables and furniture: Sculptural tables that showcase Egyptian-themed art are another excellent way to decorate with unique, creative, functional decor. The mesmerizing Royal Golden Bastet Egyptian Side Table entertains with detailed depictions of the Egyptian goddess of joy and the royal colors of the ancient Egyptian palette. Since this takes the form of a beautiful golden colored feline, it will also be appreciated by anyone with an appreciation for cats.

The rich colors and fine details of the Egyptian Goddess Eset Glass-Topped Table will also turn heads whether it is used in an office setting, library, or sitting room of a home. It also acts as a lovely complement to the luxurious Cleopatra Neoclassical Chaise and other examples of high quality Egyptian furniture.

Discover a beautiful selection of high quality Egyptian art and decor at Design Toscano.

Display Trophies and Treasures on Creative Mantels, Shelves, and Pediments

We all have our own, personal treasures. When we were kids, those might have been things like interesting rocks and shells from trips to the beach, a note from a special friend, or small gifts from grandparents. As we became older, treasures turned into trophies, photos, and any number of beautiful objets d’art collected over the years. Although some special items are best kept secret, most are meant to be put on display and shown with pride because they represent our achievements, what we enjoy in life, and anything held close to our hearts.

Whether the treasure in question is a photo of the family, a framed diploma, or a small exquisite accent, it will look best when shown in a beautiful setting. Since the importance of an item is reflected by the way in which we display it, we don’t want to put treasures on the top of a television, on a cluttered coffee table, or other place that diminishes their importance. This is why we reserve space for trophies and other important items on shelves, or on the mantel above the fireplace. However, these aren’t the only places where we can display fantastic decor and other personal items. We can also showcase their importance and beauty in a number of creative ways, including these ideas:

Themed shelves: Although the function is the same, the appearance is what makes these types of shelves stand out from regular pieces of furniture. For example, the Egyptian Columns of Luxor Shelves lend a classic, regal touch wherever they are put on display. Painted by hand and standing seven feet tall, this functional piece of furniture art is fit for the halls of any modern day king. However, the six foot long tempered glass shelves won’t be complete until they showcase small sculptures, trophies, or other personal items. Whether used for showcasing a collection of Egyptian art or anything else, these striking shelves are also an easy, excellent way to give any room a creative touch.

The same goes for shelves that follow classic, medieval, or Gothic decorating themes including beautiful pieces of furniture like the lovely Broadgate Grand Presentation Case. This and other, high quality themed shelves are also fitting additions to the office.

Curio Cabinets: Sometimes, we feel better about keeping accents and heirlooms behind glass, and there’s no better way to do that than with a beautiful curio cabinet. This type of furniture is specifically designed and crafted to display antique dishware, cutlery, and other highly valued items. As with other quality furniture, beautiful functional decor like the Rosedale Hardwood Wall Curio Cabinet lends a classy touch all on its own. Nevertheless, as with themed shelves, it and other hardwood, mirror-backed curio cabinets are at their best when displaying beautiful objets d’art, Faberge-style eggs, and other fine items.

Such cabinets also work well in smaller rooms, or when we don’t have as much space to work with. They can also act as an excellent, easy way to house our favorite books and other personal items in the bedroom, or as functional decor for a library or reading room.

Mantel pediments: Mantels aren’t restricted to the top of a fireplace. They can also act as fantastic, functional wall decor in the living room, and come in various sizes. The Dunbridge Soupiere Mantel Pediment is ideal for celebrating the beauty of fair-sized decor like framed art, vases, and small sculptures, and makes a classy, regal impression by way of hand-carved, rich mahogany. If a slightly smaller pediment is needed, The Bounty of Karnington Manor Wood Mantel acts as a fine Victorian addition.

Find the best selection of beautiful shelves, mantels, and other quality decor at Design Toscano.

Unique Gifts and Decor for Folks who Love the Outdoors

December is here and the calendar is on a quick run to the holidays. This can be an anxious time for folks who are still looking for gifts but we shouldn’t worry too much because there are still several days left to find everything on our lists. Although it would certainly be better to shop sooner rather than later, preferably today, the reason why we still need to buy those final presents might be more related to knowing what to buy. If we don’t know what to give, we can have all the time in the world and it still won’t matter.

However, there might be easier ways that we realize to pick out the right gift. If that special person has a hobby, or loves certain activities, all we need to do is focus on that interest to find an excellent, much appreciated present. Whether they love birdwatching, knitting quilts, or just going for walks in the park, it’s actually pretty easy to find the right gift. The same goes for anybody seriously interested in the outdoors.

If that person in question loves to go hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, or doing other activities that make use of national parks, forests, and other wild areas, we are in luck because there are plenty of gift options. In fact, the high number of possibilities might even make it difficult to settle on the right gift. Since they love to spend time in the outdoors, they very likely already have many objects, gear, and apparel associated with their hobby. They certainly have favorite fishing rods, hats, and footwear, and might also be members of outdoor organizations, and have subscriptions to magazines that focus on their hobbies.

However, no matter what sort of things aficionados of the outdoors may or may not already have, there are still more unique options to choose from than we realize. We just have to know where to look and that means not going to the same stores where they have gone shopping because, in all likelihood, they have gone there on many occasions and bought the things they want. Sure, there should still be some good gifts ideas but to avoid giving them what they already have, we need to think outside the box.

Instead of browsing a big box fishing or camping store, we can save time by shopping for outdoor-themed accents and decor online. If he or she loves the outdoors, they probably also spend a fair amount time in their own backyard or garden and might do more with it than we realize. Whether they actually plant vegetables and flowers in the garden or not, folks who love the outdoors are going to be pretty happy with unique animal garden sculptures like a hanging bear cub statue, the Fishing for Trouble Bear Statue, and decor like the Agitated Alligator Swamp Gator Statue. This is because such detailed, high quality animal statues represent the wild, untamed places enjoyed by folks who love the outdoors.

We can also go with a variety of beautiful, detailed wall decor options, including the Freedom’s Pride American Eagle Wall Sculpture. This majestic wall decor item captures the fierce beauty and power of the Bald Eagle and immediately captivates with life-like, grasping talons that extend a full eight inches out from the wall. This and other quality outdoor-themed wall decor like the American Buffalo Wall Trophy make bold statements in a den, living room, furnished basement, or office, and will be much appreciated by folks who love the great outdoors.

See the best selection of high quality decor and gifts for every season at Design Toscano.

Just 40 Days until Christmas!

It’s hard to believe but December 25th is less than 40 days away! In just a month, folks who celebrate Christmas will be marking this major holiday, and many of us host holiday parties well before that date. If we want to celebrate in style, and to impress people of all ages, we need to start getting ready for the winter holidays today. If we wait until after Thanksgiving, we will be joining thousands of other last-minute shoppers and might not even find the high quality decor and gifts that will make this holiday one to remember for years to come.

There’s still plenty of time to find fantastic decor and gifts for everyone but we do need to get started as soon as possible. One of the easiest ways to begin with the search for unique decor is by shopping online for high quality ornaments and decorations. It’s easier than braving early winter holiday traffic, and there’s a lot more options. Not to mention, we don’t have to necessarily see the item in person when we can check out high resolution images and learn more about the decor in question by reading posted reviews.

As far as gifts go, we can also save huge amounts of time by shopping online. Given the huge popularity of various online stores, that news isn’t exactly new but it’s always good to be reminded of the option, even when searching for the unique, high quality gifts for the most discerning of friends and family members.

For example, if we aren’t sure what to get for that sister, cousin, or favorite co-worker, we can start by browsing a site like the Basil Street Gallery. Whether we find something or not, it’s still a great place for gift ideas, and if we don’t buy a gift or two on the first visit, it’s a lot easier to come back and shop compared to driving an hour or more to a specialty store that has a much more limited selection. What makes Basil Street such a great place to look for holiday gifts is the varied selection of high quality items that includes everything from small exquisite accents to beautiful wall decor, and fantastic antique replica furniture.

In terms of accents, the Peacock-Feathered Orbs Decorative Accent Balls: Set of Three is an easy, beautiful gift for people who enjoy collecting small, detailed items. These accents pay homage to the art deco movement and still act as a colorful, classy means of decorating a mantle, and lending an old touch of class to a table, or top of a piano. Likewise, other high quality accents and small items will be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates creative, artistic decor.

Functional decor items also work well as gifts because they can be used to do something while adding a beautiful touch to a room or place of work. Such useful items can include anything from unique sculptural tables to decorative, interesting clocks like the Gears of Time Sculptural Wall Clock, an ideal choice for fans of Steampunk and other fantasy genres.

Speaking of genres, this is also an easy, efficient way to find gifts for many of our unique friends and family members. For example, if we know that they enjoy Egyptian art, we can focus the search on Egyptian decor like the “Egyptian Eye of Horus” Wall Sculpture, or the Ancient Ankh, Egyptian Symbol of Life Wall Sculpture. If that special person likes to read fantasy novels or is a fan of horror, they might like decor and statues with a Gothic flair. If they prefer more conservative themes or spend time in the garden, a beautiful angel statue might be a good choice. Whether we need to shop for ten or twenty people, we always need to remember that we have less than 40 days to work with!

Find dozens of beautiful, high quality decorations, statues, and unique gifts at Design Toscano.

How to Pick Out Beautiful Accents for a New Home

Moving into a new home is one of the more exciting steps we can take in life. Whether we move into our first apartment or into a freshly built house, it represents an emotional new beginning. It’s also the most important time to pick out decor, and with so much open space to work with, it’s the easiest time to pick our indoor statues, wall decor, and other new items for the home.

Before we get started, we can let our imaginations run wild and pick which room would look best with Asian-themed decor, which space would work well with Egyptian statues, and the best places for replicas of antique furniture. But why stop with picking out the big items? We also need to figure out which accents would look best on that new dining table, treasured side tables, and above the fireplace. Try these ideas to find the best accents for a new home:

Start with a plan: Before even looking at decor, we can save time by starting with a plan. Look around the new home and pick which rooms or space will act as places for dining, sleeping, and relaxing. Once we have that figured out, we can them move on to thinking about where the large furniture items will go, followed by smaller items. These can of course be moved around but picturing where those items go can make it easier to pick out the best accents for each room. If we still need to get new furniture for the home, take into account the amount of space we can work with and purchase the furniture before going any further.

This is a good idea because knowing what the furniture looks like plays an essential role in choosing the most appropriate accents. For example, although we might not want to put something like the Chateau Chambord Clock and Candelabra Ensemble on an average table with a modern appearance, it will look fantastic and right at home on the beautiful English Gothic Refectory High Table.

Don’t forget about the hallways: It can be easy to overlook hallways even though they play an important role in welcoming people into the home. They also act as a good place for hanging portraits and other types of wall decor. Fortunately, if we do forget about the hallways, it’s also just as easy to decorate them after the fact. In addition to paintings, we might want to try tapestries, and masks that act as Egyptian art.

Get something different: To mark this new start, why not pick out something totally different? Browse sites with unique decor and let the imagination run wild. If the former home used a vase and a few other accents on tables, we might want to try a vase crafted in a different style and in different shades of blue or peach. We could also lend stunning colors with Faberge-style decorated eggs, use sculptural table lamps for elegant, artistic lighting, and pick out fun accents for the home office. Folks interested in the realm of fantasy might enjoy dragon, and Celtic-themed accents.

Choose a couple of sculptures: Whether the old residence was decorated with indoor statues or not, it’s always worth it to pick out one or two inaugural sculptures. While browsing indoor statues, think of how the sculpture would look on a desk or other space in need of decor. Consider beautiful, bonded marble statues, medium-sized sculptures for a corner, for a small column, or for space near the fireplace.

Find the best selection of unique accents for the home and place of business at Design Toscano.

Where and How to Showcase Antique Decor

Some of our most treasured decor items are new, but the most valuable, heirloom items tend to be antiques. Like portals to the past, we touch a pewter goblet crafted more than 150 years ago and feel a connection to the person who drank from it. We put an antique chair on display and wonder who enjoyed that treasured seat more than two centuries in the past. Did former owners read a book while sitting in that decorative chair? Did they relax in it while smoking a pipe of Virginia tobacco? Or, did they just admire its creative beauty like we do in modern times?

Antiques lend themselves to collecting just as they are made to be admired, and every piece merits display. They can also be shown in a variety of creative manners, including the following ways:

 Glass cabinets and shelves: Although we might me tempted to put some antiques into storage (especially when we have collected dozens of small items), this is far from necessary. Hiding them away undermines one of the main reasons why we acquired those items in the first place, and doesn’t let us share their beauty with guests. Instead of keeping them hidden, give antiques a stage in accordance with their importance, and put them in a curio cabinet. A beautiful, mahogany cabinet is fit to act as fine decor on its own, but looks complete when showcasing the importance and detailed beauty of small statues and other fine antiques.

Put small objects together: Although carved curio cabinets are ideal places for showcasing small antiques, we can also display them on a sculptural table, or other piece of furniture. We can create our own artistic displays of small antiques that share the same colors, represent the same eras, or belong to the same cultures. The most important thing is showing them together instead of scattering them throughout the house. In essence, this helps make one large, creative type of decor out of many small ones.

Refurbish when necessary: Although we don’t want to ruin the appearance of any antique, we can still do some things to improve their looks. For example, if we have a chair in the basement or hidden away in the attic because the upholstery is too worn or just looks bad, we can always have that chair upholstered with new colors that improve its appearance. Likewise for a table that needs a bit of work to convert it into an impressive, beautiful piece of decor.

Use antiques when possible: Some antiques are too fragile to be put to use or are accents only fit for display. Other items, however, were crafted with a function in mind and can still be put to use in a modern home. When we use antiques, we give them new life and lend character to the home. Furniture items are probably the easiest ones to use but we might also be able to use items like an heirloom tea set, coffee grinder, or even fountain pens. We can also leverage antiques for use as vases, planters, and in the case of shelves or other furniture, places for displaying personal treasures.

Antiques as accents: Antiques make wonderful accents and we shouldn’t shy from using them for this purpose. For example, if we have a room decorated with modern furniture, we might want to accent it with a few antiques. Likewise, if a room mostly features white or pale colors, we can accent it with a few dark antique items.

Find beautiful replicas of antique furniture, decor, and other unique items for excellent prices at Design Toscano.