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Got Sparkle? Easy DIY Last Minute Free NYE Idea

Happy New Year's Eve everyone!

I was asked to bring dessert for a party tonight and it got me thinking what will feed a lot of people and how can I make it look fun for a party.... I decided on cupcakes....
but how to make PRETTY cupcakes??

I looked at my Christmas tree and the idea came to me! I took off a strand of sparkly silver (wired) garland and began cutting it into small pieces.... and then simply wound it around a large toothpick! 
Voila, a beautiful cupcake topper! 

I decided to make white cupcakes and add my new easy DIY topper.

Here they are!

What do you think?



Top Posts for 2012

Hi Everyone!

If you're like me you love a fresh, new start and I'm ready to start 2013 with many goals for my business. This year has been amazing! 

 I couldn't have imagined having all of you as readers, have several of my designs covered by other blogs, and have The Washington Post feature JWS Interiors two times!  I am so thankful. 

So, I just pulled stats from Affordable Luxury on the top blog posts for the year. 

Here were some of the top posts for 2012.  I promise in the New Year to have better content and hopefully a lot more "in store" for you! :)

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU for reading Affordable Luxury. It is a privilege to have you as readers.


PS-You can now sign up for Affordable Luxury posts to be emailed directly to you. Just sign up on the right side of the blog!

Top 'Affordable Luxury' Posts in 2012


New Year's Eve Decor

Are you hosting a New Year's Eve soiree? 

I know a lot of people who just have a few friends over for a casual festive event, but like to make it special with some simple decorations. 

Check out these pics for easy DIY New Year's Eve Decor. Don't forget the confetti !


A little confetti!

via Pottery Barn


Countdown Cupcakes


Colorful Bash


New Year's Eve Outfits

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are still enjoying time with friends and family!

I thought I'd check in and say 'hi' as well as write up a post on New Year's Eve outfits! 
I found these gorgeous dresses, skirts, bodices and shoes on Pinterest and wanted to share. 

Which would you wear?? 



All The Best For the Holidays

Hi Everyone,

This is my last post for the holidays. I'll be back in January! 

From our family to yours--we wish you a wonderful, peaceful, and joyful holiday!

 I feel I have much to be thankful for. Thanks to all of you as well for reading Affordable Luxury!
Next year I have a lot of plans in store! 

All the best ,


My Home Decorated for the Holidays

Hi Everyone,

Here are a few quick pics of my home decorated for the holidays. I actually took these weeks ago and have done more since, but thought I'd share these with you!

Tomorrow I will be closing JWS Interiors for the holidays so I can have a break with my family. I'll have one more blog post before January! 

Enjoy the day!


Paperwhites have now all bloomed!

This is the holiday card branch I made and hung from my ceiling!


White Paneling

I am loving paneling! I want to do it in my home. I think any architectural detail you can add to your home can make all the difference.

Here are some photos of rooms that caught my eye thanks to handy woodwork.

Which is your fav?



Recipes I'm Making for the Holiday

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a nice weekend. I'm hosting Christmas this year at my home and since we have kids and lots of mouths to feed, I've decided to go with casseroles this year.  Our Christmas Day runs all day long, into the evening so I have to have a lot of things prepared.

I usually do something fancy, but this year, it will be buffet style. And yes, I'm pulling out my crock pot!

For Christmas morning, I'll have already made the night before a French Toast casserole that I can just pop in the oven in the morning (thank  you Paula Deen!). No mess in my kitchen so I'm happy.

I'll also be making these recipes:

What do you serve for your holiday gatherings? Please share!


Early Morning Breakfast: Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup/Paula Deen  (I'll serve with fruit)

For nibbles throughout the day, I'm making this Hot Caramelized Onion Dip/Coastal Living

Still deciding on my Salad
My mom is bringing dessert!

Holiday Decor--On the Bright Side

Many of us are used to the traditional colors of the holiday season.. Green and white; maybe red & gold, silver & gold. etc. 

So, what if you mixed it up this year and tried pink and green?  Or pink and silver?

I've been seeing a lot of fun, festive colors being used this holiday. 

Check out these fun pics!


Tobi Fairley



ETSY Gold Bracelets Under $50

Happy Friday everyone!!

If you are like me, you like to buy friends and family nice gifts, without breaking the bank. 

I am loving gold at the moment in all things jewelry. I recently found a vintage locket in my aunt's jewelry box handed down to me and I can't get enough of it.

For those of you looking to give a friend or family member a bracelet--check out my ETSY finds below.  All under $50!







Peppermint Bark Recipe/Sneak Peek Holiday Decor Project

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to share with you the Cookie Swap Recipe winner from the party I held last weekend.
Click here for the recipe.

Also, wanted to share with you sneak peek pics of one of my client's homes I decorated for the holidays. I can't show everything now, but hopefully soon!

Hope you are having a great week!


Fresh mixed green wreath; I had velvet burgundy and gold satin ribbons made into a bow

Fresh garland swag up the staircase

I took a few green branches and hung pinecones with ornament hooks to decorate the kitchen chandelier


DC Ladies

Last week, the The DC Ladies kindly posted a Q&A I did with them sharing my thoughts on opening my own business. 

For those interested in decorating, opening your own design business, or any business for that matter, I hope that perhaps this might inspire you !:)



jennifer jws, DC Ladies Home & Garden ContributorUp close and Personal:
Full name:  Jennifer Wagner Schmidt
Age-ish: 34
What part of the DC Metro Area do you live in?  Northern VA–Loudoun County
Career: Interior Decorator and Design Blogger
Education: George Mason University, BA Communications
Socially Speaking:
Blog: JWS Interiors/Affordable Luxury
Twitter: @Affordable_Lux
This and That:
What are your favorite and least favorite things about the DC Metro Area? As a DC Metro native, I’ve seen how much our area has grown and has to offer, whether its parks & recreation, new shops & restaurants, and good public schools.  Least favorite has to be traffic.
What was your first job out of college and how did you land that position? My first position out of school was as an Account Executive at a Tysons Corner PR agency.
What is your mantra? “Life life to the fullest”
What is your favorite DC Cupcakery? My girlfriend Kate of KupKates makes fantastic cupcakes
Coffee or Tea? Tea (Chai Tea to be exact)
What is on your nightstand? Magazines, journals I write in for each of my girls, and kids’ books
How do you balance everything in your life? I am religious so praying helps; great family and friends whom all support each other; great babysitters
If you could give your 22 year old self a piece of advice what would it be?Don’t forget who you are; Don’t Settle; Be Kind
What advice can you give young entrepreneurial DC Ladies to follow their dreams?…  If it is truly your passion, you can’t go wrong because you will always enjoy what you do , no matter how much money you make
How did you start your business..My love of design began as a child and grew into a full-fledged passion and business. I dabbled in design at the Washington Design Center, took a few design classes and realized this is what I’m meant to do. With encouragement from family and friends, I opened JWS Interiors in 2006 on a part time basis while raising (and still raising) my two daughters.

Movie Set Decor

Hi Everyone,

I've been searching online for inspiration for a family room I'm working on and keep coming across a few movie set homes that I LOVE..

Remember Cameron Diaz's LA home in The Holiday?  And who can forget the Hamptons home of Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give?

Here are photos of those movie sets as well as a couple others. Again, I am always drawn towards white upholstery. Clean and simple! 

Which is your fav?


The Holiday

Bedroom set in The Holiday

Something's Gotta Give

Carrie and Big's living room in Sex and The City The Movie

It's Complicated