December 23, 2014
A serving tray puts a festive finishing touch on home decor for the holidays. 
Tray Chic
By Belle Du Chene 

Are you looking for a few more ways to deck the halls during holiday gatherings? Or do you need inspiration for a last-minute gift? We asked K. Renee stylist Dana Luke to share her thoughts on festive interior decorating. Her answer for the home or that hard-to-buy-for family member? A serving tray.

I know it might seem a little ordinary, but a great serving tray can actually be quite extraordinary," Luke says. "It's both versatile and functional and can be used on almost every surface in your home." She suggests using them on anything from an ottoman, to a coffee table or a console table to a nightstand or a vanity.

At the top of her list of reasons for investing in a tray is its practicality for serving appetizers and small bites. "Remember that presentation is everything," Luke says. A slate tray provides contrast, allowing your dishes to become "vibrant and attractive," she says.

A second option is to use a silver, wood, gold or mirrored tray as a centerpiece and then decorate it "with pine cones, evergreen, glittery ribbon and holiday ornaments to create a jolly dining table display." Adding these elements brings a bit of eye-catching holiday cheer to surfaces in your home.

Luke also suggests using a tray on a vanity to create "a calm and relaxing guest bedroom and bathroom." To do this, she starts with a stone or silver tray, then adds shampoo, conditioner, candles, fresh flowers and soothing lotions or soaps. "You can also use an oversize tray to display two cozy robes and slippers for your guests to cuddle up in," she suggests.  


Every year we find ourselves in a familiar place around the end of the year. Family and friends gather...

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fyi: What to Know  

  • Before the new year, pastry chef Katy Nelson plans to open a new bakery in the East Village. Scenic Route Bakery (350 E. Locust St., Suite 104) will serve specialty breakfast pastries, baked goods and desserts, plus a lunch of soups, salads and sandwiches. Hours will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Learn more about the bakery on its Facebook page.
  • Also on the rise in the East Village is a new venue for art fans, Palek's Gallery & Studio (506 E. Sixth St., Suite 200). Custom airbrush artist Shawn Palek opened the gallery on Dec. 13 with his wife, Misty Waters Palek, a watercolor artist. The studio features their work; learn more on Shawn Palek's Facebook page.
  • "The Book of Mormon" returns to the Des Moines Civic Center Jan. 6-11. The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical satirizes both organized religion and musical theater as it follows the story of two young, nave and optimistic Mormon missionaries who are sent to Uganda.The last time the musical hit town in 2013, about 36,000 people attended the show's 14 performances, generating a record-setting economic impact of more than $9 million. Buy tickets here or by calling 800-745-3000.
James Miller plans to open Adamantine Yoga Studio in Des Moines. Photo by Ben Easter.
Adamantine Yoga Studio to Open
By Belle Du Chene 

Former Marine and personal trainer-turned-yogi James Miller plans to open the first-ever Adamantine Yoga Studio by Jan. 1 at 2925 Ingersoll Ave. 

Miller is known for his yoga teacher-training workshops, for founding an Iowa yoga festival that attracts some of the nation's top instructors and for creating his own trademarked Adamantine style of yoga. The core of Adamantine consists of one sequence of 20 poses; the poses are scaleable so that each pose has beginner and advanced levels.   
Interested in learning more about the practice with a goal of teaching? Two "Adamantine Yoga Immersions" will take place Jan. 24-25 and May 30-31. To find out more, visit Read more on Miller and Adamantine yoga in an article in dsm here


Belle Du Chene is senior editor of dsm magazine.

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer. Her coverage of the food and dining scene for dsmWeekly will return Jan. 6. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.  

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