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Flavor and Flair

Show Your Good Taste with These Tips for Delicious Gift-Giving and Entertaining

Sought-after interior designer Michelle Harper has an expert’s eye for adding flair to a room. Her Right Next Door Designs boutique is filled with furnishings, art, and home accents that are ideal for a quick update or a complete reimagining of space.

Each week on her “Why Not Wednesday” YouTube channel, Michelle and Right Next Door Designs team member Shannon Bailey show viewers what’s current in home decor. A recent episode explored “nature décor,” a hot style that’s reflected in this year’s seasonal decorations. (Michelle said the calendar for the store’s holiday decorating services is filling fast!)

With the holidays just around the corner, Michelle said food-focused gifts are trending. She offers these tips to add flavor to your entertaining and giving:

  1. Bread Boards are Trending. Pair a handsome breadboard with a set of serving utensils, a witty tea towel, a coffee table book, and one of the tasty dips and spreads from the Robert Rothschild line of small-batch gourmet foods. Their “Dirty Martini” dip, raspberry wasabi dipping sauce, or chocolate caramel sea salt topping are sure to be a hit. 
  2. Learn to Build Your Holiday Charcuterie Board Like a Pro. Right Next Door Designs offers charcuterie board classes in which you learn to style their own board and then take it home, a ready-to-serve array of meats, cheeses, and more, perfect for a holiday gathering. On the sweeter side, Michelle said the store offers cookie decorating classes too. 
  3. Jams & Jellies are the New Secret Ingredient. For cooking and for giving, choose margarita jelly, apple maple bacon jam, or one of the other enticing flavors from Right Next Door Design’s stock of Terrapin Ridge Farms artisanal jams and jellies. They’re great for topping a wheel of brie, stirring into a pan sauce for holiday meats--or adding to the shaker in place of simple syrup when mixing cocktails!
  4. Don’t Forget the Serious Snackers in Your Life. The Virginia Diner line of gourmet seasoned peanuts can add zing to a holiday buffet and to the snack bowl when watching the big game. Or, opt for Elias Eats & Meats small-batch jerkies, made right down the road in Magnolia. Their teriyaki sriracha, Caribbean jerk and filet mignon varieties have quite a following. 
  5. Choose Work and Teacher Gifts They’ll Actually Use.  Premium, flavored 100% Greek olive oils and imported balsamic vinegars have universal appeal, said Michelle, especially when paired with a serving dish from the popular Mud Pie collection.
  6. Too many choices? Right Next Door Designs makes beautiful custom gift baskets, combining any and all of the above, to perfectly fit the occasion and the giftee. For entertaining and giving, a visit to Right Next Door Designs makes it easy to be a “tastemaker” this fall and holiday season!

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