Holiday Gift Guides – Men’s Gifts

Today we’re bringing you the latest installment of our Gift Guide! We know it can be hard to shop for the men in your life, so we have compiled a list of gifts to inspire you.

mens-gift-guide

All of these items are available now at Above & Beyond. Click HERE for the full version of our Gift Guide for men’s gifts that go beyond new dress shirts and tools.

Holiday Gift Guides – Stocking Stuffers

From now until Christmas, we will be sharing our gift guides with you. Perhaps this will help make your Christmas shopping a little bit easier, or maybe it will inspire you to start checking things off of your list!

gift-guideAll of these items are under $25 and they are available now at Above & Beyond. Click HERE for the full version of our Gift Guide for some stocking stuffer ideas that go beyond toothbrushes and candy canes.

Christmas Cards – A Thoughtful Tradition

Christmas cards are a tradition that we at Above & Beyond adore. It’s such a lovely time of year to pen a note to the people you care about. We know that the tradition is fading as emails and social media sites make it easier to keep in touch and send a quick note at the end of the year. We are suckers for some traditions though, and can’t help but still appreciate the sentiment of sending and receiving a hand-written card in the mail at Christmas.

firstchristmascard

Christmas cards have been around since the 1800s and were first produced and distributed in the UK. Did you know that the world’s first commercially produced Christmas card was designed by John Callcott Horsley for Henry Cole in 1843? They continued to be popular into the 1900s when two brothers, Joyce and Rollie Mark, founded Hallmark Cards to market their self-produced Christmas cards. Christmas cards gained popularity during the war years as loved ones sent personalized holiday greetings to the soldiers. Nowadays, people opt to send a Christmas card as a tangible card, a Christmas letter, an e-card or a personalized photo. Although the internet now exists, many still take the time to mail a Christmas greeting of well-wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or writing Christmas cards for the first time, we came up with some helpful tips for this year’s Christmas correspondence. So pour yourself some eggnog and put on a Christmas album, because we’ve got some suggestions on how to make this batch of cards the best you’ve ever sent.

1- Don’t procrastinate. Whether you’re sending 7 cards or 87, make sure you fill them out sooner than later. This will allow enough time to write any personalized greetings you may want to write. The holidays are such a busy season, you don’t want to have to rush to get them done in time. Be sure to leave lots of time for the cards to reach their destination via mail. card

2- Christmas letters are a great way to update friends and family you don’t see very often. The age-old tradition of sending a Christmas letter is still alive. This is a great space to detail the highlights of your past year (and your family’s) – but don’t brag. No one wants to read that!

3- Proof read your envelopes! A typo in your card is not that big of a deal, but a simple spelling mistake in the recipient’s address could be. Be sure to double check addresses and names before putting your cards in the mail.

4- Don’t forget to include your return address. This will allow your recipient to know who sent the card immediately. More importantly, it will ensure they have your most up-to-date address.

5- Add a personalized note. Even if you don’t wish to write a lengthy letter inside your cards, be sure to add a simple note of warm wishes. This makes your card seem personalized.

6- Get your holiday photos done now. If you intend to include a family picture, be sure to get it taken soon to allow enough time for the photos to be ordered and for your cards to reach their recipients before Christmas.

 

Be sure to stop by Above & Beyond to check out our selection of beautiful Christmas cards from Papyrus. We have boxed sets and individual cards. Happy writing!

 

 

Mid-Century Modern – Everything Old Is New Again

Mid-century modern is back. A lot of you ask us what trends we are seeing at the buying shows and how they can be incorporated into everyday living spaces. This week we thought we would talk about the design style that has become popular decades after its inception. Mid-century modern is everywhere right now. It has become more prominent over the past decade, and its popularity shows no signs of fading.

You’ve probably heard these design-world buzzwords tossed around a lot, but what exactly is Mid-century modern? It is a term used to describe the design movement within architecture and interior, graphic and product design in the middle decades of the 20th century. It is a broad term, but it applies to the modern design movement from roughly the mid-thirties to the mid sixties. Looking for a visual reference? Think Mad Men.

Here is a picture of the award winning set design from the hit AMC show:

thumbs_80588-matthew-weiner-mad-men-0414-01-jpg-770x0_q95_crop-smart_upscale

SOURCE: http://www.interiordesign.net/projects/10007-welcome-to-1969-mad-men-s-award-winning-set-design/

In particular, mid-century modern furniture is very trendy right now. It is characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes and functionality. We are seeing this style of furniture popping up in all of our suppliers’ catalogues, including the custom-made furniture company, Stylus.

jets-sofa-mdJets sofa

myer-sofa-mdMyer Sofa

Our lighting suppliers also offer fixtures inspired my mid-century design. Look for Sputnik inspired shapes or wire frames.

Click HERE for more mid-century modern lighting.

We understand that some people are hesitant to incorporate this design trend. Trust us, we understand. It seems like we were just getting rid of the second-hand furniture that we grew up with when this design style became trendy again. Or maybe you decorated your living room accordingly the first time mid-century was around.

Here is an example of mid-century modern design, as shown in House Beautiful issues from 1960.

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/4/8/9973300/why-everyone-is-obsessed-with-midcentury-modern-design

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/4/8/9973300/why-everyone-is-obsessed-with-midcentury-modern-design

However, the reinterpretation of mid-century that we are seeing today is a bit different. Gone are the days of the olive greens, browns, oranges and mustard yellows of the sixties. We are seeing furniture in neutrals -plenty of greys- and in fun textures, like velvet. In furniture, look for boxy sofas, clean lines and walnut finishes. The revival of this design style can be incorporated into a room in big or small doses. Incorporate golds or silvers, and contemporary lamps and accessories to keep your room from looking dated.

We love this Brooklyn apartment that incorporates mid-century modern into a beautiful living room:

SOURCE: http://cupofjo.com/2015/03/our-brooklyn-apartment/

SOURCE: http://cupofjo.com/2015/03/our-brooklyn-apartment/

If you’re not ready to re-do your entire room in this style, you can mix and match pieces to add an eclectic or curated feel to any room. Try adding a mid-century modern wooden accent chair, or an accent table.

These gorgeous pieces are from one of our furniture suppliers, Neuvo Living.

Although mid-century modern is popular again, the truth is that many mid-century pieces have transcended trends. In fact, some never went out of style – or production. The Eames chair was designed in the 1950’s by the husband and wife duo, Charles and Ray Eames. It remains popular today and has never gone out of production and has certainly inspired many knockoffs, too.

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/9/28/9916438/eames-chairs-buy

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/9/28/9916438/eames-chairs-buy

Love it or hate it, it seems as though mid-century modern is one style that is not going anywhere. What do you think? Will you be incorporating this trend into your living spaces?

 

 

  • Feature image SOURCE: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/neutral-mid-century-living-room-vignette?_sft_category=styling