Hannukah is right around the corner, with the period between the 28 November and the 6 December just weeks away. Around the world, those celebrating Hannukah will dedicate nine nights to lighting the nine candles of the Hannukah Menorah – not to be confused with a Menorah, which only has seven.
The Menorah is perhaps the most crucial part of a Hannukah table – it doesn’t matter whether it’s real or embroidered into the tablecloth. Below, we will explore how a modern Menorah design can make your Hannukah table.
The Symbolism Of A Menorah
In Judaism, the Menorah symbolizes universal enlightenment. It’s one of the most widely recognized Jewish ornaments, although many people outside of Judaism may not know its name. The tradition of lighting a Menorah began after slaves left Egypt for the Promise Land, and God commanded the fleeing Israelites to light a candle to represent the seven days of creation.
Now, the Hannukah Menorah is an adaptation of the Menorah that has nine candle holders for each day of the holiday. It’s symbolic to Hannukah, and you could argue that Hannukah would not exist would it not be for the lighting of a new candle on a new day.
How A Modern Menorah Will Transform Your Hannukah Table
Whether you’re going to make your Hannukah steeped with tradition or not, a modern Menorah can transform your Hannukah table to combine class and style with ancient tradition. Traditionally speaking, your Menorah only needs to have the nine candle holders – the rest can be left to the creativity and artistry of the Hannukah table arranger.
When you think about a traditional Hannukah Menorah, your mind might jump to a simple gold design with curving branches that glide away from the stem – modern Menorahs are anything but that. When you buy Menorahs online, you’ll notice bright colors, designs that are anything but the traditional curved horns, and grand designs that boast modern art.
It’s awe-inspiring to watch artists like Yair Emanual and Simon Pearce explore modern-day design trends – but yet they are still able to pay tribute to Jewish Hannukah Menorah traditions. The sanctity of the holiday is upheld by including the nine candle holders – whichever way the artists choose to put them.
Design Ideas To Explore
As mentioned, traditional Hannukah Menorah designs usually comprise a central stem with eight branches spanning from it. Modern Hannukah designs are anything from it. When looking at Yar Emanuel’s work, you can see the combination of traditional artistry with modern-day, vibrant colors. If you want to move further away from traditional Jewish designs, look for any design that differs from the classic central stem and branches.
We also mentioned that a Hannukah Menorah doesn’t have to be a physical ornament. Some households prefer to paint their own Hannukah Menorah onto the tablecloth. It still upholds the traditional values of Hannukah by including the nine stems, of which you could put a tealight candle at the top of each one to light each evening. This idea gives you the chance to be your own artist and create your own stunning Hannukah Menorah designs. There are, of course, plenty of modern-day designs online if you’d prefer to shop for one.
Hannukah is a sacred and beautiful holiday that millions of people celebrate around the world. It gives us a chance to reflect on the creation of life and explore the beauty of light, reminding us that the light of the Lord is there in everything we do. How will you celebrate Hannukah this year?
I got my hands on some newly released books over the past few weeks and I’m dying to share, so let’s get right into them!
The first one is Collected Interiors: Rooms That Tell a Story by Philip Mitchell (and Judith Nasatir). I was not very familiar with designer Philip Mitchell’s work before reading this book but as soon as I started to dive in I wondered what rock I had been living under. WOW!!! I especially love his cottage in Nova Scotia – it turns out he’s Canadian! The elegant, clean classicism of Philip Mitchell’s style is on full display in these homes, where he masterfully incorporates a wide-ranging mix of antiques, vintage collectibles, and contemporary pieces—everything from inherited furniture collections to modern art—in rooms that are filled with memories and warmth. As a master of what he calls modern maximalism, Mitchell embraces the challenge of taking wonderful things that a homeowner already has and making more of them. Brilliant photographs (Annie Schlechter) take readers on in-depth tours of nine homes, ranging from an elegant Upper East Side pied-à-terre to a classic cottage on the water in Nova Scotia.
Next is From Palm Beach to Shangri La: The Architecture of Marion Sims Wyeth by Jane Day. This one was a bit of almost a history book but that’s what made it so intriguing, to see how these properties have evolved over time.
Beauty and elegance mingle with extravagance in the Palm Beach style of architect Marion Sims Wyeth, a kind of home design that takes the standard fixtures of paradise—palm trees, ebullient fountains, glistening pools and gardens, views of the sea—and mixes them with a dash of the exotic—a Moorish-style balcony or doorway, Venetian archways, fanciful courtyards in the Spanish style, and spiraling staircases in stone and iron. Featured here are the legendary abodes of Marjorie Merriweather Post and Doris Duke—Mar-a-Lago and Shangri La, respectively—as well as the less well known but equally spectacular Hogarcito and La Claridad, to name but a few. For those unfamiliar with these dream palaces, intimate homes of repose and reflection, for the enjoyment of life and the living of it, the book serves at once as a revelation and an inspiration.
The third book is Interior Affairs: Sofia Aspe and the Art of Design. My love of Mexico meant I was pretty excited to delve into this one and it did not disappoint.
A luxurious presentation of the works by prominent Mexican interior designer Sofía Aspe, known for creating unique spaces that balance eclectic character with contemporary eras. Richly illustrated, it captures Aspe’s unique and eclectic style, where modern and contemporary unite in a harmonious mixed equilibrium of approaches and eras, generating spaces filled with timeless character. This exquisite book offers a glimpse into the process of Aspe’s world of interiors, from the international artists and local artisans she works with, to her country’s radiant colors and picturesque charm and her global reach. Reflective of Aspe’s exceptional creativity, this beautifully packaged book will feature a cloth cover with a printed textile. This collection of private interiors is a must-have for the curious, admirers of contemporary design, and art collectors.
And last but certainly not least is the book that really moved me. Vaux-le-Vicomte: A Private Invitation by Guillaume Picon, photographs by Bruno Ehrs. I remember when I first opened it up I was lounging on the sofa in the backyard with a cat and my heart skipped a beat with each turn of the page. When I heard this was a book about a castle I was so excited. This book came a few weeks after I started featuring castles on Sunday. What a coincidence!
Vaux-le-Vicomte’s rich history began in 1641 when infamous French finance minister Nicolas Fouquet, the original owner, surrounded himself with the most skilled and talented artisans of the time: the architect Louis Le Vau, the painter Charles Le Brun, and the garden designer André Le Nôtre, to create a perfect harmony between architecture and landscape. The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and its spectacular gardens fascinated Louis XIV and were the inspiration for Versailles. Classified as a historical monument since 1875 under the impetus of the owner at the time, the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte quickly became a model of the artistic genius of the seventeenth century. This volume traces the château’s history from the seventeenth century through the Belle Époque, World War I, and its public opening in 1968. Exclusive photography and archival documents offer unprecedented access to the château, furnishings, and gardens, and illuminate the extraordinary secrets of court life and centuries of celebrations that include the enchanting candlelit tours held today.
There’s an excellent chance that you’ll never own anything more expensive than a house. We’re willing to spend so much on property for two reasons: firstly, we need to have places to live, and secondly, it offers incredible investment opportunities. If you can read the market well and perfect your timing, you can make a lot of money simply through buying and selling property — all while being your own boss and being fully in charge of your destiny.
Now, you may have clicked on this post because you’re planning to sell your property soon, or maybe it’s simply because you want to have the option of selling your property at a good price if you deem that worthwhile. Regardless, the core point of raising property value through interior design is absolutely worth your time and attention.
To help you make your property more valuable, we’re going to look at some straightforward interior design tasks you can carry out. Let’s get to them.
Prioritize kitchen and bathroom design
There are two parts of a house that inevitably get the most attention from prospective buyers. The kitchen, and the bathroom (or bathrooms). Bedrooms are obviously important, but they’re relatively easy to overhaul. Kitchens and bathrooms take time and effort, which is why you should focus on them for your interior design project.
Concentrate on making these areas feel as luxurious as possible. This can be done on a budget since it’s all about perception: you don’t need to pay much to add some light, clean everything, and distribute some accessories. You can even make a tiny kitchen feel substantially bigger. If you can get this done, you can add value quickly by making prospective buyers feel comfortable in the property right away.
Cater to the pros and cons of the area
To get some added perspective on what can affect the value of property, I spoke to Ade Labinjo, CEO & Co-Founder of the online mortgage company Breezeful. He raised the following point:
“Now that remote working is common, people are free to choose the locations they want, so a typical buyer will care slightly more about the region than the property. Your job as a seller, then, is to make your house best meet or exceed their expectations for the area. Do what you can to play to the strengths of your neighbourhood and diminish its weaknesses.”
“Take Ottawa as an example. Canada’s capital heavily features government-commissioned architecture that was designed to be robust and utilitarian. If you own property that fits that mold, why not add some flair through eye-catching interior design? Visitors will love the mixture of functionality and form. And if they need help finding the best mortgage rates Ottawa has to offer, send them our way. Our online service can do all the hard work for them.”
People prioritizing interior design can forget about the context of their surrounding areas, and that’s a major mistake. There will be things about the region that are drawing the interest of your prospective buyers, so build on those to make your property stand out from the crowd.
Focus on neutral colours and open spaces
When someone buys property with the intention of moving in, they want to have options. It’s unlikely they’ll want to keep everything as it is, so they’ll plan to get to work quite quickly: repaint walls, adjust layouts, change materials, etc. You need to take this into account with your interior design, and the best way to proceed is to focus on neutral colours and open spaces.
Why neutral colours? Because they look crisp and clean, help places feel light and airy, and — most importantly — allow visitors to freely imagine how they might redecorate. When you use bold colours, you make it tougher for people to envision alternatives. A house decorated with neutral colours is more like a blank slate ready to be filled in.
Similarly, the answer to the question of “Why open spaces?” is that they show potential. You want the property to feel as big and flexible as possible. Yes, a densely-decorated room can look really nice, but what if someone looking at it doesn’t like the layout or has a different purpose in mind for that area? Keep things simple and spaced out so the property can have the broadest appeal. This will significantly help the value.
It’s a question that is on the mind of every homeowner, especially if they are buying a house for the first time: which worst-case-scenarios are your homeowners insurance policy capable of covering, and which will still fall onto your shoulders alone?
We will discuss what will be covered under a standard policy in this write up. Of course, the first thing worst mention is that simply having a policy is essential – and, without it, you will be the one stuck paying the bill in terms of repairs and maintenance, no matter what goes wrong.
Before you purchase a house insurance policy yourself, however, you need to know what needs to be covered in order to feel confident that your future is secured. What are you getting for what you pay? Why skimp on an insurance policy that won’t cover everything? Or worse yet, why pay more for extra? Isn’t it about time you saved your money and re-invested it in something completely different?
Keep in mind that while some insurance plans can cover the basics and then some, other plans may lack it. If you want to know what coverage to expect in an insurance policy, keep reading. Let’s dive right in:
Nature can be a destructive force at times. And it will depend on what part of the country you’re in. If you are in the middle of tornado alley, then your house could get damaged by a tornado.
If you live near a flood prone area, your yard or home may be partially submerged if you live close to a flood zone. Environmental damage will usually be covered under an insurance policy regardless of the insurer.
Fire damage can occur due to causes both within or beyond your control. Your home can face minor damage, or it could burn down completely – and you will certainly want to ensure that you and your possessions are covered.
You may lose personal items due to a fire. Whether it can be replaced or not may depend on the policy – and that is why it is so incredibly important that you take the time to read through the policy before signing it.
Burglaries happen every 30 seconds. Most of the time, things can go missing. For this reason, you will need an insurance policy that will replace any items that may have been stolen from the home.
While it is important to keep your doors locked when you’re not home, burglaries can still happen. There are those who can find creative ways to gain access into your house and make off with some items that may be valuable to them.
Someone could slip or fall in your driveway. Whatever danger is present on your property, you may be held liable – even if it’s an ice patch. This could result in you paying medical bills or even legal fees should a lawsuit arise.
With an insurance policy, your insurer will take care of these expenses on your behalf. You usually won’t pay out of pocket most of the time. But it’s a lot better than having to.
While it may be a difficult scenario to consider, it is entirely possible for a home to turn into an uninhabitable space in the blink of an eye – and without any warming. Granted, this may be a temporary thing but, even then, dealing with the clear up while trying to find (and pay for) temporary accommodation is an incredibly difficult and stressful undertaking.
With the right insurance, your expenses will be covered until you’re on your feet again. This will prove invaluable if the worst ever does happen, and you face days, weeks, or even months without being able to re-enter your home.
While house insurance is a necessity, it’s completely optional whether you want to be covered or not. Unfortunately, most people choose not to get covered for one reason: the cost. On top of that, they also want an insurance policy that may cover the basics (while omitting the rest).
So they will feel confused about what’s covered within their policy and what isn’t covered. This is what makes choosing an insurance policy so complicated at times. However, you don’t have to worry about the complexity that comes with choosing a policy – understanding what your non-negotiables are, and ensuring that you read carefully through the policy before signing, will mean that you can cast fears over future worst-case-scenarios from you mind as you settle into homeownership.
For several years Desire to Inspire has proudly partnered with the A’ Design Award & Competition, the world’s largest annual juried design competition with over 100 categories. It honors the best designers, architects, and design oriented companies worldwide to provide them publicity, fame and recognition. Such an exciting competition. Such a prestigious award. A’ Design Award & Competition is an indicator of quality and perfection in design, recognized worldwide, your design front and centre before design companies and professionals. Entries will be judged by an international jury panel of scholars, professionals and media members and the benefits to the winners are inspiring. The trophy, of course, an invitation to the gala night, a certificate of quality, inclusion in the prestigious A’ Design Award & Competition exhibition and the yearly ResultBook but even more importantly press, PR, introduction to industry professionals and companies and international exposure. There is still time to get entries in. You can register here.
Let’s indulge in the wonderful winners of last year’s Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design category (one of MANY categories that are included).
Believe you’ve got what it takes to take on the best of the best design from around the world? You can register for the 2021-2022 A’ Design Award and Competition here but time is short so get your entries in now.
This post is brought to you in collaboration with A’ Design Award & Competition.