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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

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Host with the Most

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One of my favorite things about this time of year is the opportunity to open my home to my friends and family for some quality time. Before they're knocking down my door, I like to get my apartment ready with a few items:

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A new rug makes a fresh impact when guests walk in the door.

Martha Stewart Rug in Snowberry, $124.

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This sudsy soap is completely nontoxic and works equally well on dishes and hands. Remove the label and there's no need for a fancy dispenser.

Martha Stewart Clean Hand & Dish Soap, pack of six $32.

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Mirrors are a great way to make spaces seem bigger, a must when my living room is full of merry makers.

Martha Stewart Living for Home Depot sunburst mirror, $38.

How do you prepare for the onslaught of guests in the holiday season?

Martha Stewart Living Carpet

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THDCarpet Brooktrout

Even though it’s still warm outside, August is the time to plan and brainstorm great fall upgrades to your home. Think about bright pillows for the sofa, rugs to warm up your floors, new drapes, and a bold, rich paint color to complete the look of a room.

THDCarpet Molasses

Selecting an appropriate color palette can be challenging though. To simplify the process, Home Depot developed color symbols for the Martha Stewart Living collection that make selection and coordination easy. We’ve picked out some of our favorite fall carpets below and paired them with a palette of paint colors that will inspire you to achieve your perfect look and leave you to finish it off with beautiful pillows and drapes.

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Just don’t wait too long to get your upgrade underway. The Home Depot is offering $37 whole home carpet installation on Martha Stewart Living carpet until August 8th.

Holiday Decorations Past and Present

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I finished decorating for the holidays at my apartment this weekend, and I wanted to share some pictures with you. This year, I chose more of a clean, minimalist look, with one tree and a monochromatic color palette. But I also wanted to show you how I decorated (much more extravagantly) last year. I hope you enjoy!

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This year, I've created a centerpiece with oversized kugels and ornament wreaths for my dining table.

1 This year, I've created a centerpiece with oversized kugels and ornament wreaths for my dining table.

The wreaths are made from shatter-proof ball ornaments. I outfitted each wreath with furniture protectors so that they wouldn't scratch the table.

2 The wreaths are made from shatter-proof ball ornaments. I outfitted each wreath with furniture protectors so that they wouldn't scratch the table.

I bought these mercury-glass ball ornaments from Pottery Barn. Aren't they beautiful? http://www.potterybarn.com/products/oversized-mercury-ornaments/?pkey=choliday-mercury-shop

3 I bought these mercury-glass ball ornaments from Pottery Barn. Aren't they beautiful? http://www.potterybarn.com/products/oversized-mercury-ornaments/?pkey=choliday-mercury-shop

I can't wait to gather around this table with friends and family this weekend.

4 I can't wait to gather around this table with friends and family this weekend.

I suspended a gilded wreath from the ceiling in my entryway to welcome guests as they arrive.

5 I suspended a gilded wreath from the ceiling in my entryway to welcome guests as they arrive.

I made the wreath using a 36-inch wire form, from U.S. Evergreens Inc. (usevergreens.com), and shimmery, silver garland from Jamali Garden (jamaligarden.com).

6 I made the wreath using a 36-inch wire form, from U.S. Evergreens Inc. (usevergreens.com), and shimmery, silver garland from Jamali Garden (jamaligarden.com).

Here is a close-up of the garland. I love this soft color palette of glittery silver, gold and pale pink. It's so festive without being red or green.

7 Here is a close-up of the garland. I love this soft color palette of glittery silver, gold and pale pink. It's so festive without being red or green.

This Christmas I decided to go big, stacking two flocked trees together to create this impressive display.

8 This Christmas I decided to go big, stacking two flocked trees together to create this impressive display.

I only used yellow and gold ball ornaments, and the glass icicles that I buy every year, wherever I can find them.

9 I only used yellow and gold ball ornaments, and the glass icicles that I buy every year, wherever I can find them.

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Last year, I did a more elaborate display with three gold trees and playful polar bears.

1 Last year, I did a more elaborate display with three gold trees and playful polar bears.

Instead of going with a monochromatic palette and uniform shapes, I mixed things up with ornaments in different shapes and shades.

2 Instead of going with a monochromatic palette and uniform shapes, I mixed things up with ornaments in different shapes and shades.

Crystal clear snowflakes are so lovely during the day, when they reflect the sunlight.

3 Crystal clear snowflakes are so lovely during the day, when they reflect the sunlight.

As you can see, I also hung pinecone and walnut ornaments on the tree.

4 As you can see, I also hung pinecone and walnut ornaments on the tree.

Traditional shapes work well with some of the more decorative ornaments. I love the combination of aubergine glitter and gold tinsel.

5 Traditional shapes work well with some of the more decorative ornaments. I love the combination of aubergine glitter and gold tinsel.

I also mixed in some cream-colored ornaments with the silver and gold.

6 I also mixed in some cream-colored ornaments with the silver and gold.

Isn't that snowflake gorgeous?

7 Isn't that snowflake gorgeous?

I love this mercury-glass bird.

8 I love this mercury-glass bird.

Decorating all three trees took a lot of work, and a lot of ornaments!

9 Decorating all three trees took a lot of work, and a lot of ornaments!

Another stand-out snowflake. This one is beaded.

10 Another stand-out snowflake. This one is beaded.

How cute are these polar bears, playing around?

11 How cute are these polar bears, playing around?