Thursday, June 23, 2016

Three Unique Ways to Display Challenge Coins

If you or someone you love works in the Armed Forces or as a first responder for a fire or police department, you probably are familiar with challenge coins. For those who don't know what they are, challenge coins are commemorative coins given to someone at milestones of their career or as a result of exemplary service. Many armed service members, veterans, police officers and firefighters have collections of challenge coins - often just stuffed into a drawer somewhere. There are also many collectors of these coins who are military history buffs. And finally, family members of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice have contacted us because they have their loved one's challenge coin collection that they want to display in order to honor their family member. Because these mementos are meaningful, and beautiful, they really are meant to be displayed, rather than hidden away! And all three of our challenge coin displays will keep those beautiful coins away from dust and exploring hands, but still keep them visible for all to enjoy.

challenge coin displays
Challenge Coins come in different sizes and designs

If you have just a single coin, a wonderful and unique way to display it is with an acrylic or brass stand tucked underneath a glass dome.
Glass Domes with Stands to display challenge coins
The brass stand under a glass dome makes for a particularly striking display. The larger size of the glass dome which can accommodate the size of the brass stand allows the coin to "levitate" in the center, which really calls attention to it. Plus, with this type of display, you can see all sides of the coin. This is important, because challenge coins are typically double sided, with text and artwork on both sides of the coin. Alternatively, for a less sizable display, an acrylic coin stand under a smaller glass dome is perfect! While the side of the coin facing out is really on display, you can still see a glimpse of the back of the coin with this type of stand. One other great thing about these coin display domes is that they are available with lazy-susan bases, so once your challenge coin is set up in the coin display dome, you can swivel the entire display to see it from every angle. Fine Home Displays also has larger domes available with acrylic shelves and stands for larger challenge coin collections - and they are also available with lazy-susan bases for full 360 degree viewing.

Challenge Coin Display Dome - 8" x 12" with Shelves

Glass domes are so elegant that they lend themselves to this type of display. As luck would have it, all of these display are economically priced too. In fact, you won't find this type of display for these prices anywhere else on the internet.

The one caveat with glass dome displays for challenge coins is that they have to be set on a table top or shelf. For a more versatile display that is still unique, we like to recommend our line of Nimbus display cases. These cases look like picture frames and can be hung on a wall, or displayed standing on a shelf or table top. It almost looks like magic when you see the coins floating in the center of the frame, but there is some science behind this display! The frames open up to reveal two thin pieces of silicone film attached to both sides of the frame. Once you have the frame open, all you have to do is lay your coins inside, and then shut the frame. It helps to use coin capsules with these frames to keep the coins in place. Coin capsules also help to further protect the challenge coin - especially if they are handled at all. Once the frame is closed, it also helps to rub the silicone film against each side of the coin. This helps the silicone to adhere to the coin or coin capsule and hold it in place.

If there is a larger challenge coin collection to display, we've got the perfect display case - something really unique and beautiful! We work with a case builder who had the best idea for displaying coins in a sort of shadow box frame. But as you know, with shadow box frames, the item on display is inside the box, and is only hit with light on the top of the item, so sometimes it's difficult to see details. And challenge coins have lots of detail to them!

Challenge coins can be displayed in coin domes, coin cases and coin stands

In order to make sure that the display has the most light, he designed a shadow box frame where the glass is not a sheet of glass, but instead a box of glass that sticks out from the front of the frame - sort of like a window box on a house. And he will even make custom sizes, so let us know your specifications, and we can get a price quote for the case that will perfectly house your collection.

Unique Shadow Box Frame for Challenge Coin Display

So there you have it! Three great ways to display any size challenge coin collection - from a single coin all the way up to the sizable collection that's been in the making for years. If you collect coins or medals let us know how these displays would for you. Or better yet, send us a picture of your collection - we'd love to see it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mother's Day Brunch - Don't Forget the Drinks!!

Brunch beverages like Champagne and fruit juices are perfect
Every great brunch needs great beverages!

Mom's big day is almost here! We've loaded you with all of the ideas necessary to make it a great day for her. A spectacular brunch, and great gift ideas for Moms with all different types of interests! But we forgot one important detail about brunch....any great brunch has to have its share of festive beverages - especially a brunch that is celebrating Mom! We love the idea of sparkling wine like Prosecco, Cava or of course, Champagne! We've all heard of traditional mimosas, made by mixing a sparkling wine with orange juice. But how about mixing it with another type of fruit juice? A bright pink berry juice? Or perhaps rich pomegranate juice? Or even deep orange-yellow mango juice? Add some bowls of fruit for garnishes, like strawberries, raspberries, watermelon chunks, and whatever looks good at the market. All of these sound delightful, and would be the perfect drink to offer guests as they arrive to the Mom-centered celebration.

For Moms that prefer a savory beverage, this excellent Sriracha Bloody Mary recipe from  Diane and Todd at White On Rice Couple might be worth a try!

Bloody Mary's are the perfect beverage for brunch
Bloody Mary's = Perfect Brunch

The spicy Sriracha would be the perfect complement to sweet french toast or pastries. And look at how festive these drinks are! Along with a pitcher of freshly made Bloody Mary's you can have assorted garnishes along side, including celery stalks, carrots with greens attached, lime wedges, cilantro, cucumber spears, long green beans, cherry tomatoes, scallions, green olives, skinny pepper wedges in orange and yellow...and the list goes on to include anything you think would go well with this delectable drink.

The great thing about both of these drinks is that you can have an alcoholic version if you'd like and also a version "sans alcohol", so adults who'd like a cocktail can have one, but those who prefer not to drink before 5pm still have lots of festive options. And kids will have tons of options too! Either of these would work well with sparkling water mixed in as well for a bit of bubbly.

Non alcoholic beverages like La Croix Sparkling Water are great
Refreshing Lemony goodness

Our favorite sparkling water is

La Croix Sparkling Water, Lemon Flavor, 12 pk.

All of the flavors of La Croix are delicious, but the lemon is particularly refreshing, and will pair very well with Bloody Mary ingredients, as well as the sweeter fruit juices, without being overpowering. And it's is delicious all on it's own too!

Of course, there will need to be plenty of delicious, hot coffee on hand. Brew a pot as your guests arrive, and keep it in a thermal container, or for a more special touch, have small french presses, like this one, Utopia Kitchen Triple Filters French Coffee Press Maker, Heat Resistant Glass with Stainless Steel Glass, 34oz, Chrome available for guests to make their own coffee to their liking.

Use a French Press for Coffee
A French Press is perfect for fresh coffee

If you have some teens there, you could have them staff a "hot beverage bar" with the french presses and some thermal carafes full of hot water so that they can assemble the ingredients for the Moms and serve them. You could have various teas at the hot beverage bar as well so that Moms can have freshly brewed tea too. Herbal, green and black teas are all great to have available so everyone can have their favorite. Having a hot beverage station is a great way to get teens involved in the brunch while also lessening the burden on you as the host of the event.

One last thing to make those drinks and your brunch a success....displaying all of your beverage ingredients! For your sparkling wine and juice bar, or for your Bloody Mary Bar, you may want to use table mirrors. Imagine how beautiful the sparkling wine and colorful glass bottles of juice will look reflected off of mirrors! You could even add a few votive candles for warmth and interest. Your garnishes could be in small glass jars or bowls so that the color of the fruits and veggies is reflected in the mirrors too.

Use table mirrors for your champagne and juice bar
Mirrors and candles add style & elegance

For the hot beverage bar, you could still use mirrors, or you could mix it up a bit and use a glass lazy susan to hold tea bags, sweeteners, and cream. Another glass turntable could hold cups and teaspoons.

Glass Lazy Susan Turntable - 12" or 14"
An elegant way to display tea, cream and sugar

And there you have it....Some wonderful drink and cold....for the perfect Mother's Day Brunch! Let us know how your celebration is! We'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mother's Day Gift Ideas Part Three: Moms Who Love Decorating

In our Mother's Day series, so far we've covered how to have a great brunch, some beautiful jewelry gift ideas, and some great gifts for the Mom who loves to garden and spend time out on the patio in the summer. Now we'll turn our attention to all of the Moms who have a flair for home decor and design. Some Moms just have that knack for creating spaces in the home that are inviting, comfortable, pretty...and, well, just pleasant to be in. Why not let Mom know that you've noticed the amazing environment she's worked on creating by following her lead, and getting her something that might add even more to the home vibe she's got going already. Now, I'm not talking about reinventing her design style....Mother's Day is not the time to hint that Mom needs a new style. But with some simple gifts, you can help to accent any style that Mom has going on at her house.

I think just about everyone loves the ambiance that candles add to a space. Something about that soft flickering light is relaxing and welcoming at the same time. Now there are so many wonderful scented candles available...they don't just add style, they add a beautiful fragrance to the environment. Even if Mom already has candles, she can always use more, especially if she burns them every day like I do! It might be a nice idea to get her some candles in fresh, spring and summer fragrances. My favorite candles, hands down, are the three wick jar candles from Bath and Body Works. The pack a lot of fragrance punch, and they are really affordable. There may be better candles out there, but I haven't tried them, because I don't have a spare $150 laying around for a candle!  Bath and Body has so many amazing fragrances to choose from, it may be hard selecting. We've got a few ideas for great fresh scents to try for summer.

With the fresh scent of the sandy beach, beach grasses and the salt air, Oceanside is sure to remind everyone of fun summer vacations.

While Oceanside is lovely, my absolute favorite candle scent of all time is Island Waters.

There is just something about this smells fresh, clean and if smells had a color, this one would be the exact color of the candle!

If Mom likes a tried and true fragrance that can really be used year round, you can't go wrong with French Lavender.

The timeless fragrance of lavender is instantly relaxing and homey. This one would be great in the bathroom near a soaking tub.

Candle Holders - Rustic Antler Hurricanes - Set of Three

Once you've got these fabulous smelling candles, you may want something pretty to display them in. I love the look of candles in a tall glass hurricane candle holder. This one has a great rustic feel with metal antlers holding up a faceted glass holder. Imagine how beautiful the three flickering lights on the jar candle will look as they bounce reflections off of the glass! And, it comes in a set of three, which is perfect for lining up along a table, or putting them in different areas of the home.

For even more versatility, you may want to give these Footed Hurricanes a try. They look great even with nothing in them, but look how pretty they make this collection of river rocks mixed with a rustic popourri.

Glass Decor - Footed Hurricanes
Elegant Footed Glass Hurricanes

Simple in design, they would be perfect for holding your scented candles, but Mom could also use them as a vase, or to display a collection of sea shells, or really just about anything. So this would be a gift that keeps on giving...and every time Mom pulled them out or changed how they were displayed, she would remember how thoughtful you were this Mother's Day! Check out some of these ideas!

Versatility in a Hurricane!

One other super cool way to display those beautifully fragrant candles is to keep them covered with glass bell jars when they aren't in use. Obviously, you can't burn a candle that is covered completely with a glass cloche, but keeping the candle covered when it's not burning is a great way to keep dust off the candle, conserve the fragrance and make an elegant design statement at the same time. Plus, when Mom blows out the candle, she can cover it immediately with the domed cloche to prevent smoke and soot from permeating the room.

Elegant Bell Jar Cloches as Candle Covers
Bell jars are perfect candle covers!

Alright, so we've got brunch covered, and a few ideas for gifts. We'll see what else we can dig up for you to help you make this Mother's Day the best ever for that special Mom in your life!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Great Gift Ideas for Mother's Day Part Two: Yard & Garden Decor

Ahhhhh.....Spring is in full swing in May!

May is one of my favorite months of the year - Spring is really settled in, and most  years, the sun is out just about every day, the temperatures are warm, but not too hot yet, flowers are in bloom, and all of the trees have fresh, new and vibrant green leaves. The weather in May just makes me want to spend as much time as possible outside.

My guess is that there are many people (in the Northern Hemisphere anyway!) that feel the same way about this magical month, including most Moms! Why not capitalize on this time of year by getting the special Mom in your life something to help her enjoy time in her own backyard, on her patio, front porch or balcony as a Mother's Day gift?

These yards are missing any decor items
What's missing here?

Check out these back yards...
Beautiful right? Manicured grass, stunning patios, natural looking stone walls....but what's missing? None of these back yards have any kind of decor items. It would be like walking into a home that only had stunning architecture, but only a couple of utilitarian chairs, and maybe a table in the rooms - no artwork hung on the walls, not personal mementos anywhere. We would notice how strange that was right away. Why should our back yard be any different?

Bird Baths are a great way to attract nature to your yard
What bird wouldn't love to take a bath here?

I'm sure any Mom would love to hang out in one of these back yards, but why not make these beautiful back yards even better? I love that each of these yards has landscaping with trees and bushes that will attract birds. Adding in a bird bath or a bird feeder could make these yards even more inviting to all types of feathered friends. One summer day, I looked out in my back yard and saw no fewer than 20 robins taking turns playing and cleaning themselves in the bird bath I had recently put out. I spent about ten minutes watching them, wondering how they all communicated to each other that my yard was the place to be on a hot summer day? Does your Mom enjoy bird watching? If so, then a sweet bird bath might be the perfect Mother's Day gift for her!

Frog Butler Bird Feeder
This adorable bird feeder doubles as a side table!
Bird feeders are also tons of fun....It's always interesting to see what kinds of birds show up to eat what kinds of food. If the important mom in your life really enjoys the birds in the backyard, it might be worth considering getting her a book like this one, National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America (National Geographic Backyard Guides). She could sit out in the backyard watching all of the birds come in to bathe or eat, and enjoy learning more about them. Plus, if you get that book ahead of time, you can always use it to help you figure out what kind of food goes with the types of birds that frequent your backyard!

Singing in the Rain Frog Lantern for Back YardWhile it's always lovely to sit outside on a warm spring day, I always enjoy it when it gets warm enough to be out on the patio in the evening. That time of day, after work, when twilight is approaching, and the world slows down a bit. If this sounds like something your Mom would enjoy, some back yard lanterns might be the perfect gift for her!
Lanterns can be used with traditional candles, or even better, with LED candles that can be put on a timer. I'm betting that Mom would love to look out into her backyard and see a beautiful yard lantern with a glowing candle, without having to go and actually light the candle!

A lovely chiminea like this one is another great gift idea for the Mom who likes to hang out on the patio in the evenings. I love the rubbed bronze finish on this one, as well as the screened lid that can be laid on top to help keep sparks from flying about.                

                                               Just imagine roasting marshmallows over the fire and enjoying smores as a family, or Mom having some down time out by the fire, relaxing all on her own. Sounds like Mom Heaven!

If none of this sounds like it is up your Mom's alley, but she still loves the outdoors....that is, the wilderness of her own back yard, then maybe some decorative planters for herbs, annuals and other plants would make a great Mother's Day gift for her.

Frog Patio Planter
Another Adorable Frog!
Precarious Planter with Bird and 6 pots
A Cool Asymmetrical Planter

Moms who enjoy gardening would surely appreciate a gift like this! You might also get a few lovely plants to fill the planter you choose and have it all set up for Mom on her special day. The plants will brighten the yard all through the summer, and the planter will last a lifetime of summers!

Be sure to tune in for the next post in the Display Days Mother's Day series where we'll help you find the perfect gift for the Mom who loves decorating!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Great Gift Ideas for Mother's Day Part One: Jewelry

Fine Home Displays is doing a series on Mother's Day. Our first post was about creating the perfect brunch for the Moms in your life. Now that you've got a great Mother's Day Brunch planned, it's time to think about the perfect gift for the Moms in your life. We've got a few recommendations for you to help get the ideas flowing, and we're starting with jewelry....circa1910 jewelry, that is.

While many Moms care for their families, nurture their loved ones, and oversee the household, each Mom has her own unique spin on her "job". So when you're thinking about Mother's Day gifts, we think it's good to take that individuality into account. That's one of the reasons we LOVE circa1910 Jewelry. Kayla Derrick, the founder of and designer at circa1910 has a motto, "Our designs are one of a kind; you are unique, shouldn't your jewelry be too?" What could be more fitting for the one of a kind Mom in your life than a one of a kind piece of circa1910 vintage jewelry? 

Circa 1910 Jewelry - Key to My Heart Mid Length Necklace
Can you find the hidden seed pearl?
Circa 1910 Jewelry - Key to My Heart Mid Length Necklace

This Key to My Heart Necklace features African brass beads with larger moonstone stations with charms that include vintage chandelier crystals, antique buttons from the 1800's and of course, that vintage brass key. And every single piece of c1910 Jewelry has a hidden seed pearl tucked into the beadwork, and features a handmade circa1910 tag. Just like with this necklace, each piece is hand-crafted from vintage beads, crystals, buttons, keys...many of which are true antiques. Kayla Derrick mixes the vintage with new precious stones like aquamarine and labradorite to make incredibly unique boho-chic jewelry.

Circa 1910 Seascape Dreams Necklace
         Beautiful aquamarines!
Circa 1910 Victorian Crystal Long Necklace
Vintage chandelier crystal!

Fine Home Displays has many of Kayla's one-of-a-kind pieces to choose from, so you're sure to find that perfect piece for that special Mom!

If beautifully stylish statement necklaces are not just the thing for the Mom in your life, we've got more ideas for you! Tune in for our next post, featuring some ideas for the outdoors!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Easy Brunch to Celebrate Mom
on Mother's Day!

Pastries displayed under glass bell jar cloches
Don't these beautiful pastries under bell jars
remind you of Mom?

Mother's Day is coming up soon, and it's never too early to plan a special day for that special Mom! We've got some great ideas to help you let the Mom in your life know how much you love her...We've got so many ideas that we thought we'd post a Mother's Day Series on Display Days during the month of April, so you have plenty of time to prepare.

First off, it's always great to start Mother's Day off right with a nice breakfast or brunch...not made by Mom! We thought posting this Mother's Day Gift Idea early might be helpful, because it does involve planning a meal and inviting guests! When planning your guest list, it's a great idea to consider whether you'd like to celebrate by inviting people who you think your Mom would like to celebrate with or maybe instead, you'd like to involve and celebrate many mothers together in one room! Whatever your idea, Mother's Day plans fill up quickly, so send out an email invite, and if you're feeling really ambitious, follow up with a paper invite. Everyone loves to get a nice card in the mail!

Invitations to Mother's Day Brunch with Fine Home Displays
Send paper invites to make Mom feel even more special!

Now....on to the most important part of any brunch...THE FOOD!! Some of my favorite brunch items are egg casseroles, french toast, and fruit salad. We found a few recipes to help you get started!

Check out this delicious looking Broccoli, Mushroom, Egg and Cheese Brunch Casserole from The Perfect Pantry. This one is even vegetarian and gluten-free!

Broccoli, mushroom, egg and cheese casserole, for breakfast or worknight dinner.
A Cheesy, Vegetarian Brunch Casserole!

If your Mom is more of a meat and potatoes kind of gal, you may want to take a look at this Tater Tot Sausage Brunch Casserole from Plain Chicken.

Tater Tot Sausage Breakfast Casserole - great make ahead recipe!  Sausage, cheddar cheese, tater tots, eggs, milk, garlic, onion and black pepper. Can refrigerate or freeze for later. Great for breakfast. lunch or dinner. Everyone loves this easy breakfast casserole!!
Mmmmm.....Cheesy Goodness!

If your Mom is a foodie, you may want to try this slightly elevated version of the same type of recipe from The New York Times Cooking section. This recipe for a buttery baked breakfast casserole includes toasted croissants, Gruyere cheese, sweet Italian sausage, scallions, and herbs in combination with standard ingredients like eggs and cream that truly make it a high class dish. For more ideas on how to kick it up even more, check out this write up on the recipe, which suggests adding smoked salmon and cream cheese - Yum!

Buttery Brunch Casserole with Croissants and Sausage
Fancy Breakfast Casserole - Perfect for the Foodie Mom!

All of these recipes are wonderful because they are both tasty, and very easy to prepare. You can even prepare them ahead of time and bake them off the morning of Mother's Day.

It's always nice to have something sweet and bready at the brunch table pick is French Toast! Keeping with the theme of tasty and easy, I found a recipe that can be mostly prepared ahead of time, to keep things simple on the actual day. This Overnight French Toast from Tablespoon looks absolutely DIVINE!

Overnight French Toast -- looks way better than my other breakfast casserole recipes.  Must try it.:
Sweet and Delicious French Toast!

This would be great with challah, brioche or even crusty baguette! Ooooooooooh - How about making it with buttery croissants?!

Moms like to make sure you eat healthfully, so we thought that her Mother's Day Brunch ought to include a healthy dose of fruit. You don't need a recipe for fruit salad...just head to the supermarket and pick out the most colorful fruits you can find, paired with some staples like apples and pineapples. Cut everything into bite size chunks (this is wear a mix of berries comes in handy...minimal cutting!), and toss together in a bowl, or arrange artfully if that's what your Mom likes. That's it! So easy, and so delicious!

Sunburst Fruit Salad
Artfully Arranged, Healthy Fruit!

If cooking is absolutely not your thing, an arrangement of bagels, cream cheese, donuts and pastries is a wonderful idea! Fine Home Designs & Displays has some beautiful glass cloche domes that are perfect for making your store bought brunch look like a million bucks!

Glass Bell Jar with Pedestal - Short
Just Add a Food Safe Liner, and Display those Bagels and Pastry!
Glass Dome - Bell Jar Cloche - Various Sizes
What Mom could resist pastry, bagels and tea under these elegant bell jars?

We'd love to hear your ideas for a Mother's Day Brunch! Have you got any special family recipes that are tried and true? Let us know how you plan to make the Mom in your life feel special and loved.