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Style & Grace

The DV Factor

The Expert—TV Personality, Love & Relationship Expert, Celebrity Experience Producer, Wedding and Interior Designer, Author, and Entrepreneur. Diann Valentine shares her best tips for design reminding us to “Keep it simple. Keep it classy. Keep it all about love.”

Meet Diann Valentine.

Creator, Innovator, Game Changer, Pioneer, and Wow Factor describes Diann Valentine. She is an intrepid traveler with connections all over the globe and the mastermind behind The Venus Affect, a matchmaking company for women looking to date internationally. Diann has been in the relationship business for a long time but is more than just a love expert. Most known for her jaw-dropping celebrity and television weddings, this industry veteran has expanded her array of clientele across four continents through servicing corporate clients and high net-worth individuals. As an interior designer, Diann has reimagined homes for clients in Los Angeles and across the globe with her eclectic style that often marries the juxtaposition of modern interpretations of classic elements with her fresh set of rules for how people enjoy their living spaces.

In the event design world, Diann has brought genius to ignite consumer experiences with Nike, Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton Family of Brands, NBA All Star Weekend, HBO, and the Los Angeles Lakers. As if being a renowned event producer and designer sought after by top celebrities wasn’t enough, Diann hosted the wedding shows Wedding in a Week, Wedding Day, and I Do Over and most recently Bravo TV’s To Rome for Love.  In 2019, Valentine entered the beauty space with the opening of Glow + Flow Beauty Experience, a luxury hair extensions studio. In late 2019, a second location opened as Glow + Flow Beauty Supply, bringing hair, beauty supplies, and cosmetics to urban communities in Los Angeles.

As an entrepreneur, she is relentless in her pursuit of business ownership and financial freedom. As a designer, she is the Creative Director of Exhilarate Experiential. As an author, she released Weddings Valentine Style and Going the Distance for Love. As a matchmaker and champion for women, Diann curates bespoke, luxury dating experiences. As a speaker, Diann is electrifying, inspirational, and insightful. As a visionary, she is constantly moving forward, always open to new adventures that inspire and delight. With many titles, roles, and responsibilities, Diann is just getting started, but her favorite role is wife to Damon Haley, mother, and Lola to three adorable grandsons and one granddaughter.

Diann Valentine lives in Los Angeles with her husband Damon Haley. For more information, please visit her website.

First Things First

10 Design Tips to Help You Reimagine Home for the Holidays!
Choose a Theme

Before you start dreaming about Santa’s elves and gingerbread houses, consider a theme that will allow you to mix everyday items and infuse them into your holiday décor. If you love to cook, spray painting spatulas and adorning them with gorgeous bows can add a personal touch to your tree.  Perhaps you’re a “Boy Mom” with male energy ruling your house throughout the year. Consider buying various styles of toddler sneakers for boys and add them to your tree as a nod to the best of times with your boys. The key is personalization, for beauty and creativity can be discovered anywhere with a little extra time and attention.

Furry Friends

I love incorporating toys and animals like teddy bears and dolls into a holiday design such as the denim teddy bears I added to a recent project. Teddy bears were a childhood favorite of my client’s granddaughter, so we sprinkled them throughout the house and on the tree.  The child was met with beautiful surprises at every turn when visiting Grand Mommy and given the task to give each one their own name. A day of crafts with Grand Mommy also allowed her to create name plates and further personalize the home using her own artistic talents.

Geography Matters

For a California-based client, I dreamed of pink flamingos frolicking through the snow and used them as the main focal point in this California Cool design. These were no ordinary flamingos as they were dressed in their winter furs draped with estate jewels, crowns, and afro puffs … fashionable hues that even Carrie Bradshaw would approve of. The lifestyle in Southern California is driven by the beaches and beautiful weather, so don’t be afraid to take some cues from the city you reside in and infuse them into your home for the holidays.

Innovate

So much focus is placed on Christmas trees while the rest of the house gets a little neglected. A fun way to extend your holiday décor is to create ornamental arrangements and place them throughout your house. Floral wire will help you tie all the ornaments together and then add your favorite accents of dried leaves, eucalyptus, and a little mistletoe to complete this style statement.

Designer Tip: Use only plastic ornaments as the glass ones will easily shatter with too much handling.  

Honor Your Family

Creating a family tree can be a great way to reconnect with your family, past and present. Paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to change the entire look of a room. Choose a focal wall in your home and call your local art school to source a great artist that may be looking for some extra work during the holidays. Have him or her paint a large and full Christmas tree on this wall. Take construction or specialty paper to cut out ornaments and add special design accents. Print photos of your family members and place them in the center of the ornaments on the tree to display the family lineage.  The younger generation will respect the history lesson while the elders will enjoy reminiscing through the photo memories and will appreciate you dearly for this gesture and opportunity to honor your “nears and dears.”

Holiday Favorite Rainy Day Reminders

A Sacred Place

Your family lineage can also be honored at a holiday altar. Use a credenza or long table that can be positioned against a wall or in front of a window for emphasis. Add lots of candles, tall vases of fresh pine cones, luminaries, family photos, and cultural elements such as an Irish holly wreath for those with lineage in Ireland.

Whimsical

For a holiday dinner party, consider rental tables from your local rental company. Two banquet tables and a serpentine table lined together can create a great candy cane shape to your dinner table. Alternating draped fabrics in red and white across the top of your table will create the candy cane stripe and a great dinner conversation piece.

Personalize

Add garland to the backs of chairs and hang a personalized Christmas stocking from each to serve as the place card for the place setting. And the garland can be made using just about anything, i.e., strands of crystal, popcorn strings, fresh greenery, Dendrobium orchid leis, etc. The Christmas stockings should complement the color palette of your holiday décor. Another great place card idea is to use mini gingerbread houses as place cards. Local grocery stores carry great kits that make building a gingerbread house a piece of cake. Name plates can easily be added to identify each person’s seat.

Acknowledge

The holidays are so focused on gift-giving, but it is really the smallest and most thoughtful gifts that mean the most. For your next holiday gathering, consider exchanging rainy day cards. Carve out an interactive segment during your party and ask your guests to write a personal note to each person at the party and acknowledge them for something. Some guests may have only met this evening, but they may have been greeted by a warm smile or a kind gesture. Each acknowledgement can be a simple one-sentence note. Encourage everyone to take the time to acknowledge everyone and then use the notes as your gift exchange. We know that the holidays are the saddest time of the year for many so encourage your guests to hold onto their “Rainy Day Reminders” and whenever they are feeling a little down, pull out one of these cards. They will feel uplifted because someone cared enough to sow into their lives and God knew when they would need it most. 

Recycle

After the holidays, most people hang onto the Christmas cards they received from their “nears and dears” or to those cards that have sentimental value. So, as you haul out your holiday décor, use all those stored Christmas cards as a design element. Punch holes in the corner of each card and string a ribbon through them. Using a tack or tape, hang them from inside each of the doorways in the main rooms of your home. As people enter and visit for the holidays, they will be walking under the love and well wishes that have been bestowed on you and your family from past holiday seasons. As you receive more this year, add them to the collection. For a little added pizzazz, hang some random ribbons with ornaments attached to the end to add dimension to your archway.

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