Eat, Drink and Be Mardi Gras Merry: Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

The parades, good times are rolling state, city and parish wide. The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50, and we are proudly celebrating the team and our Peyton Manning on this Lundi Gras.  I can’t think of a better reason or season to laissez les bons temps rouler. Laissez les bons temps rouler (pronounced “Lay-say le bon tom roo-lay”) is the term most associated with Louisiana, Mardi Gras and our basic approach to life.  Those celebrating Louisianians in their Carnival glory and their Gulf Coast neighbors know how to laissez les bons temps rouler.  We have a zest for life, a taste for tradition, and a food for every festival and celebration.

♫ Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo ♫

Courir de Mardi Grasvia

Our culinary melting pot spans the entire state.  Courir de Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday Run, is the traditional way of Mardi Gras in many rural parishes of Louisiana.  A company of merry masked and costumed hunters gather en masse on horseback, foot and flatbed combing parish country roads for essential ingredients for a community gumbo.  Rooted in tradition dating back to medieval France, the fête de la quémande or feast of begging is part tradition, part necessity and part recipe revelry. Begging townsfolk and voisins (neighbors) for gotta have it gumbo ingredients is a quaint, odd and beloved Courir de Mardi Gras custom- one where history meets heritage.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

Beginning with the Feast of the Epiphany and ending with the culmination of the Mardi Gras season , sweet home Louisiana is the place of cakes and Kings.

573px-Muffaletta_At_Central_Grocery,_New_OrleansMuffuletta At Central Grocery, New Orleans

You say muff-uh-LOT-uh, and I say moo-foo-LET-ta, but everyone who has tasted a muffuletta says delicious.  Staying true to traditional form, no visit to New Orleans is complete without stopping in at Central Grocery for a muffuletta.  I call the muffuletta the Earl of Sicilian sandwiches.  The origin of the muffuletta dates back to 1906 when Salvatore Lupo, the original owner of Central Grocery, introduced New Orleans to the muffuletta. Other Crescent City eateries take a turn at the muffuletta and with great and tasty success, but we always come back to the original and here’s why: a soft, chewy, unforgettable, divine (yes, divine) sesame seed topped bread housing layers of mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham and provolone. Hungry yet?  It gets better.  The crowning jewel of flavor, the signature super-secret recipe Central Grocery olive salad, is without a doubt the best olive salad known to the foodie palate.  Grab an ice-cold Barq’s Root Beer and experience a taste of New Orleans the way the locals do.

682px-Krewe_of_Eve_Mask_FaceKrewe of Eve

I’m hanging out the gone celebrating sign and heading out to eat, drink and be Mardi Gras merry in laissez les bons temps rouler style.

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Fun Facts For a Fabulous First Friday of February

We’re heading into a what can only be called one absolutely fabulous first weekend of February. The weather looks to be nothing less than perfect for a February weekend, Mardi Gras parades are rolling on the river and Super Bowl 50 is on tap for Sunday. I couldn’t help but notice all of the on this date in history and fun facts for a fabulous first Friday of February listed on the calendar in my planner. History gets busy in the second month of the year. February celebrates National Black History month, the birthdays of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Susan B. Anthony and President’s Day.  February fascinates with its every fourth year twenty-nine day month, and February 2016 will, in fact, add a leap day to the calendar.  Happy Birthday in advance to the leaplings in our readership.  February is also American Heart Month.  Ladies, are you decked out in red for National Wear Red Day®?

Go Red for Women February 2016

Red does seem to be the color of the month.  Valentine’s Day certainly confirms that suspicion.

Kirschevia

Did you know that February is National Cherry month?  Tart cherries contain anthocyanins, compounds that contribute to the tart flavor, deep color and health benefits.  Research shows tart cherries may lower the risk of heart disease and promote better sleep.

640px-Necco-Candy-SweetHeartsvia

NECCO Conversation Hearts were created in 1866.  NECCO produces 100,000 pounds of candy hearts each day making Sweethearts the best selling Valentine’s Day candy.  The company adds about twenty new sayings to their classic candy conversation hearts every year.

Peony_Summer_(4736032291)via

A little bird told me fresh flowers are on Cupid’s Valentine’s Day gift list.  It’s also that time of year when winter pansies and camellias beautifully bloom.

purple-pansies

To help fresh flowers last longer follow this recipe:  Dissolve two tablespoons each of sugar and white vinegar in a quart of warm water. Another alternative is to mix one part lemon-lime soda with three parts tepid water. Make sure to change the water mixture every other day.

fb

Happy 12th Birthday Facebook! Facebook began as a private website for college students, but soon the word was out, the party grew and here we are all liking, friending and sharing. Facebook logs in with impressive numbers. The social networking site has 1.59 billion monthly users.  That’s a lot of friends.

101934-050-B182738Evia

Music and television history was made on February 9, 1964 when 73 million people gathered round living room televisions to The Beatles performing live on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Five unforgettable songs later and the American music world would never be the same. “All My Loving”, “Till There Was You,”  “She Loves You,” I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” rocked the world of teenage girls and sent the American music scene into an out of this world orbit.  Thank you John, Paul, George, Ringo and Mr. Sullivan.

I hope you enjoyed these fun facts for a fabulous first Friday of February.

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The Places In The Home His and Hers Valentine’s Day Gift Guides

February has arrived with love in the air. A glance of the February calendar shows twenty-nine leap year days, several of which come with reason to celebrate. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day to the roar of the early spring is in our future crowd.  Super Bowl fans are game day giddy with the love of the game. Mardi Gras madness is at an all-time high down Louisiana way.  I have it on good authority that many a thought and heart is zeroed in on Sunday, February 14th otherwise known as Valentine’s Day 2016. Time again for the Places In The Home His and Hers Valentine’s Day gift guides featuring objects of affection for your object of affection.

February-printable-calendarFree Printable Calendar from iMOM

Knowing the likes and loves of your loved one is a huge plus to scoring big points in the Valentine’s Day gift giving game.

strawberry-crepesla Madeleine Country French Cafe

Valentine’s Day 2016 is on a Sunday.  Topping the Places In The Home His and Hers Valentine’s Day Gift Guides is the suggestion for an ooh la la Valentine’s Day weekend breakfast for two.

49136314Conversation Heart Tin from Target

Included in the conversation hearts mix is a match the rose color to the rose meaning guide.

ShakespeareWhat’s in a color and a meaning?

rose-guide

These heart and soul ideas for your Valentine’s Day gift giving pull back Cupid’s arrow and take aim at several not-so-traditional home decor, happy hour and how do I love thee Valentine’s Day gift option.

hmprodYou Will Forever Hold a Key to my Heart Key Ring from  H & M

 His and Hers Valentine's Day gift guides

Audriana Metal Ceiling Lamp      Jubilee Collection Cord Cover in Pink  ♥  Eiffel Tower Plates    Jo Malone™ Red Roses’ Bath Oil  ♥  Too Faced
Love Flush Long-Lasting 16-Hour Blush   Rebecca Minkoff Lexi Leather Bucket Bag   Gianna Rose Atelier Heart Pearl Soap   Joy Bliss Love Non-slip Coir Doormat   Pencil Case   ♥  Karen Kane Rose Stellar Drop Earrings   Heart Candy Dish

love-poem-collectionLove Poem Collection: The Greatest Love Poems of All Time

Bulldog+Authentic+Foundry+Iron+Door+KnockerI love this Open the Door to Your Heart Bulldog Door Knocker  from Design Toscano.  

Valentines fortune cookiesSay it with Lucky in Love Valentine Fortune Cookies

Lindt-chocolate-frog-princeKisses, Frogs, Princes and Lindt Chocolate~ A Valentine’s Day Fairy Tale. 

Valentines-Day-gifts-for-him

“From Russia With Love” Vintage Advertisement on Wrapped Canvas     Original Penguin Lancer Checked Tie & Gingham Pocket Square Set  ♥  Turn of the Century Resin Shoes 18″ H Lamp with Rectangular Shade    Bottle Openers Collection  ♥  Red Capiz Coaster Set    Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Pen    Twill Cap   Hot Sox Men’s Starry Night Socks   Home is Where the Heart Is Door Mat   ♥  Men’s Comfort Driving Moccasin Style Slip On Loafers    Stuhrling Prestige Men’s Swiss Quartz Kingston Leather Strap Watch

Valentines-Day-kiss

I just want your extra time and your… Kiss

French-KissThe Kiss by Francesco Hayez, 1859 {{PD-US}}

What do these Valentine’s Day gift ideas and Cupid’s arrow have in common? They both aim straight for the heart!  I hope the Places In The Home His and Hers Valentine’s Day Gift Guides get your into the planning, spirit and love of Valentine’s Day.  Happy Valentine’s Day shopping!

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Team, Table and Tap: Super Bowl 50

Super Bowl 50 marks a milestone deserving of an epic Super Bowl celebration. There is a lot riding on Super Bowl 50.  Record breaking attendance, Monday morning quarterbacking the plays, the buzz surrounding the commercials and critiquing the halftime show performances of Beyoncé and Coldplay.  The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will meet for Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium with A game aspirations for a Super Bowl 50 championship victory. Never underestimated the pomp and circumstance leading up to the Super Bowl.  It’s a football force to be reckoned with.

super bowl 50

The Louisiana loyal are Manning up to show support for our man Peyton. There’s a Southern football family tree with roots that run New Orleans Saints, University of Tennessee and Ole Miss deep!  Papa Archie was a New Orleans Saint, Peyton a Tennessee Vol  and Eli an Ole Miss Rebel.

ManningsLouisiana Heart and Home

We would love to see the Broncos win so Peyton Manning, if what the general football nation says is true and he is going to retire, could finish his NFL career on a career high note.  I think it is safe to assume Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers will not be sentimental to Peyton or a shrinking violet opposing team to play.  Any way you cut it, what a difference an impressive winning season makes. The pomp and circumstance leading up to the game is already at a fever pitch.  My job as Super Bowl party coordinator comes complete with a set of game day party rules, and those game day party rules are as follows:

The Man Cave Comforts of Home

Dave the Builder’s man cave is a come in and stay awhile game room for any and all.  Sir Kitty Cat loves to hang out in the cave, and it is the favored space to hang out in when the son, nephews and nieces come to town. In fact, my youngest nephew recently informed me he was willing to take both sofas off my hands in the very near future.  He does not sit on the sofa, he melts into it.  The sofas are very comfortable as sofas should be, and for that exact reason will be staying right where they are for several more years.

Peyton-Tufted-Upholstered-Club-chair-THRE2935

Club chairs capture the art deco style in Great Gatsby fashion.  I like the Peyton club chair for obvious reasons. Of course I selected a club chair named Peyton!

Let The Music Play

record-coasters-set-of-six

These record coaster always put a fun and nostalgic spin on the fifty, thirty and twentysomething conversations.  Remember when?

Disposable is doable

There’s a time and a place for china, silver plate, quality linens and glassware.  A Super Bowl party is not the time nor the place. Repeat after me:  Casual. Comfortable. Easy.  You can find plenty of party items that fit the casual, comfortable and easy bill and stay in Super Bowl theme at your local dollar and discount stores.  Inexpensive.  That’s another point on the Super Bowl party scoreboard.

Put Your Money Where Your Serveware Wow Factor Is

Entertaining can get expensive.  Quality serveware pieces pay for themselves over time.  Interior designer Miles Redd says it best. “Buy the best, and you only cry once.”

pizza-platter

The Games Big Boys Play

Attention spans have been known to dwindle on the other side of halftime and first run commercials. Great eats-n-drinks and a seasoned trash talk session can only take a party so far.

guys-books

I keep a games big boys play themed basket of playing cards, related reading material and wooden travel peg games in Dave the Builder’s man cave for just this reason.

man-cave-decor

Simple is Simply Delicious

This food for thought quote from Nigella Lawson speaks volumes toward the position food plays at a Super Bowl game day party.

012816-dt

I learned years ago the game day menu is almost as important as the point spread. Speaking of spreads-my dad was an avid sportsman with a love and appreciation of the game of football first on the roster.

pimento-cheese-ingredients-list

My dad got to attend two Super Bowl games, and he regaled us with his “there’s nothing like being there live and in person” stories of the game.  For the other 48 times, he watched the game from his favorite armchair. His game day snacks starting lineup always included celery sticks and Fritos served with a bowl full of pimento cheese made from my paternal grandmother’s recipe.  Willie’s pimento cheese recipe ingredient list consists of only three ingredients, and is guilty as Southern sin of omitting the house staple of the South, Duke’s mayonnaise.  I don’t believe Willie or my dad would object if a ½ cup of Duke’s mayo found its way into the ingredient list.  Simple and simply delicious.

Willie’s Pimento Cheese

Ingredients

1 pkg (32 oz ) Velveeta®
4  4 ounce jars pimento; drained
pepper to taste

Directions

Allow Velveeta to soften at room temperature. Place the Velveeta and pimentos into large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash Velveeta® and pimentos until smooth  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

What Beer Goes with What Chip

Wondering what beer pairs with potato chips, a Super Bowl menu must have?

gourmet-burgersOmaha Steaks

Wonder no more.  Kettle Brand has got it covered.

Beer Pairing Guide April 2014 Website 4Click on the image to enlarge

What’s on team, table and tap for your Super Bowl 50 party?

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As Seen In Home Accents Today

Winter hats off to those of you who heeded the warnings and weathered #blizzard2016 at home snug as a bug in wool rug. Winter storm Jonas it was not, but this past weekend’s weather here in Louisiana came fully equipped with frigid temps, blustery winds and sunless skies.  I assessed the state of inclement weather affairs and quickly came to the conclusion I had no alternative but to shelter in place with a cup of hot tea and a slew of shelter magazines. How’s that for weekend loafing justification?  Leading the sheltering with shelters charge was the January 2016 issue of Home Accents Today.

Home Accents

The cover had me a gold foo dogs. Note to self:  include these gold beauties on the gotta have it list.  In keeping with the design and decorating show and tell concept that is Places In The Home, I think an as seen in Home Accents Today feature gallery of the home decor accents making a stylish splash at market and coming soon or already in a retail store near to you is in order.

cheval-cocktail-tableCandelabra

With a tempered (glass) balance of finish and finery, the Cheval cocktail table from Global Views reflects back to a 16th century design aesthetic as it crafts a modern day look complete with Equestrian details.

AKN01Jaipur Rugs

The Astor series of 100% wool rugs by Kate Spade New York is stunning.  With Valentine’s Day on the hearts and minds of many, I took the liberty of selecting the Rose Garden pattern in classic Anthracite to showcase.

Aidan-Gray-Leslie-Salon-ChairAidan Gray

I love the his and hers appeal of the Leslie salon chair from Aidan Gray.  Let me explain. Some home furnishings and home accents do lean toward a gender-specific style in design details.  Too one way or the other can be a decorating deal breaker, but a barnwood gray distressed finish and nail head detail never fails to unite Mars and Venus minds.

natural-stone-cheese-plateRablabs Kiva Indigo Rose Gold Cheese Plate

Home Accents Today’s retail editor Susan Dickenson  asked Dottie Mattison, CEO of Gracious Home what’s “hot” in home accents?

“Gold, gold, gold and the continued trend in organic accents like natural stone cheese plates, interesting woods, etc.”

32.5H-Riviera-Table-Lamp-CTTL3391Riviera by Couture

Blue-and-white home decor accents in one of the most timeless classic color combinations and pattern designs channel charm, elegance and sophistication. Believe it or not, the spring and Easter tablescape season will be here before you know it. 

blue-white-porcelain-table-settingCharlotte Moss Fabrics

Shape, texture, pattern and color are the pivotal points of visual interest in the world of tabletop place setting detail, and the Ming placemat from designer Kim Seybert is a classic in the style of luxury table linen marked for treasured heirloom status sure to impress on all levels.

NM-6HD8_mzKim Seybert Ming Table Linens

Dog-earing pages for this as seen in Home Accents Today blog post ended up being a bright spot in an otherwise dreary weekend.  The comforts of home and home decor magazines pair well together.

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A Taste of Home: Mardi Gras Food Edition

I am an information junkie.  My travel journal is full of fascinating foodie factoids and regional fare ratings.  One never knows when the need for a conversation starter or trivia answer round the water cooler, dinner table or game board will present itself.  “The United Sweets of America” takes the reader on a culinary state-by-state road trip with a map of official and not-so-official desserts. Louisianians love their Mardi Gras food, and one of our absolute most delicious regional dishes came in as the state favorite. Curious to see what sweet treat sensation is deliciously associated with what state?  Click on the image below and the magic of link love will take you right on over to “The United Sweets of America”, a fun read by Slate associate editor L.V. Anderson.  By the way, the dessert ranked number one in Louisiana is, drum roll please, Bananas Foster.

state-by-state-sweetsSlate

Speaking of which regional sweet treat your state is known for, when the calendar points to Mardi Gras season Mardi Gras food is the topic of Carnival culinary conversation. The Louisiana Loyal are finding themselves with a hankering for a taste of sweet home Louisiana. Phone calls, text messages and email requests for Mardi Gras food recipes come fast and furious during Mardi Gras season. Our Canadian snowbird son.  The Missouri snow shoveling nephew.  Floridian flamingos and Don’t Mess with Texas cousins. East Tennessean hills friends. Chicago suburbs aunts and uncles.  I guess what they say is true- you can take the boy or the girl out of Louisiana but you can’t take Louisiana out of the boy or the girl. The proof is in the bread pudding! Gosh, does that sound good!  Wondering what Mardi Gras food recipes inspire the masses to phone home?  Here’s a look at the Mardi Gras food and recipe requests thus far:

Bananas Foster

This legendary Louisiana dessert is the stuff flamboyant flambé tableside preparation and presentation culinary dreams are made of. Bananas, melted butter and brown sugar dance the dance of caramelization awaiting generous pours of banana liqueur and dark rum.  The grand finale of flame and circumstance showcases the art of tableside exhibition, the lagniappe of New Orleans tradition. The recipe for my version of Bananas Foster takes the top slot on our Mardi Gras food desserts menu.

Mardi-Gras-bananas-foster

King Cake

A King Cake is a sweet traditional cinnamon filled coffee cake style pastry glazed with topping and sprinkled with sugar in the Royal colors of purple, green, and gold. King Cake parties rule the Carnival season. Tradition dictates Mardi Gras revelers love the tradition of eating this Carnival confection during Mardi Gras season. The custom of the plastic baby baked into the cake is steeped in culinary Carnival tradition, and if you are the lucky reveler who gets the piece of King Cake with the baby you are named “King for a Day”.  With great King Cake power comes great King Cake responsibility.  Tradition dictates the “King for a Day” is obligated to host the next King Cake party.

Mardi-Gras-food

Hoppin’ John Grits

Hoppin’ John Grits,  a Southern with a kick recipe of black eyed peas seasoned with chopped onions, bell peppers and celery (the Cajun trinity) and ham served atop white grits is low country goodness wrapped in Louisiana c’est si bon flavor. This recipe for Hoppin’ John Grits is another Mardi Gras food favorite.

hoppin'-john

This is the  email I received from the Canadian snowbird that kicked off this post:

Mom,

Thanks for the King Cake recipe!

Could you send me your Big Easy potato soup recipe by chance?

Sent from my iPhone

Big-Easy-Potato-Soup

Big Easy Potato Soup

4 large russet potatoes

4 tablespoons butter

generous pour olive oil

1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped

2 cups chicken broth

3 cups milk

1½ tsp Creole seasoning (or to taste)

Directions

Microwave potatoes on high until tender. Set aside, allowing to cool slightly.  In a Dutch oven or stock pot, melt the butter and olive oil combination over medium heat.  Add chopped onions to melted butter and olive oil combo and sauté until translucent. Stir in the chicken broth and milk, stirring to incorporate.  Add kosher salt and black pepper.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook  for 1o minutes, stirring frequently.  While the liquid stock and seasonings do their thing, let’s prepare the potatoes.  Using a fork, press each potato in center to half and remove skins. Discard skins. Gently mash potatoes with a fork.  Add mashed potatoes to milk and broth mixture, stirring well to combine.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until soup is creamy thick, about 15-20 minutes.  If the soup becomes too thick simply add more milk until desired consistency is reached.

Creole-seasoning

Creole Seasoning

1/3  cup paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

3 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon granulated onion

4 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons granulated garlic

In a medium bowl combine paprika, dried oregano, ground black pepper, dried basil, kosher salt, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, dried thyme and granulated garlic.  Stir to combine.  Can be stored in an airtight container for up to three months.

c'est-si-bon

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The Very Right Of The White Kitchen

Pristine. Classic. Fresh. Timeless. Color trend with traction.  It seems the love affair between kitchen design and decorating and the very right of the white kitchen (or nearly all-white kitchen) is going stronger than ever.

white-kitchen-marble-countertopsKnock It Out of the Tuxedo Park Perfect!  Elle Decor

Benjamin Moore Color of the Year 2016 Simply White is simply an excellent choice for your anchor, primary or accent kitchen color consideration.

The Very Right Of The White Kitchen

Choosing to go with a white or nearly all-white kitchen is by no means a color sellout.  A white kitchen is anything but boring, uninspiring or underwhelming.

54c1a7c66e427_-_devera-edc-04-14-5-xln-xlnElle Decor

The color white in company of designer, winter, off and ivory shades and tones invariably makes a lasting color impression. Let it capture the life and the heartbeat of the space.

evans2Birmingham Home & Garden

Immersed in natural light from floor to ceiling, the kitchen in this historic Livingston, New York, home features antique architectural elements. The kitchen cabinets are fashioned from antique windows, and the well placed pendant lights, center island lantern and black and white tile flooring only serves to further enhance the predominately white color palette. Unpretentious in design, this white hot kitchen is farmhouse fabulous on steroids.

white-kitchens-01Architectural Digest

Highlighting the effectiveness of natural light coupled with distinctive Louisiana architectural elements, this kitchen-dining space combination becomes the design feature of this custom home from award winning St. Tammany, Louisiana Highland Homes.  The rich natural accent colors present in the decorative wood beams and flooring play well to the white countertops, striking center island chandelier, kitchen cabinetry and custom range hood.

New Orleans style white kitchen

Louisiana-kitchenHighland Homes, Inc.

No natural light to be found?  Fret not. white-kitchen-lighting-fixtures

Gorgeous kitchen lighting options in white will infuse the white kitchen with light and style in white hot color palette perfection.

white-kitchen-colorsStyle at Home

When selecting kitchen materials, the color white continues to dominate the field.  Feast your eyes upon the examples below.  Gorgeous, gorgeous, and did I mention gorgeous?

white-kitchen-decorating-elements

A hand-glazed white ceramic subway tile backsplash brilliantly paired with Carrara marble makes a striking decor follow-through.

upscale-kitchen-colours

White ironstone china stands out from the  gallery wall in decorative sync with the herringbone pattern reclaimed elm hardwood floors.

upscale-kitchen-top-tipsStyle at Home

Complementing colors and accents come together to produce a stellar focal point while supplying all the contrast needed to make a bright and bold, white hot white kitchen statement.

32944845_010_b10Anthropologie

I’ve looked at well over sixty pictures for this post, and this one from Apartment Therapy never fails to impress.  I love the clean lines and distinctive design.  The theory of less is more applies here.

023Apartment Therapy

Size does matter, but it is not always the design feature afforded the space. The kitchen in this New York studio apartment demonstrates how proper design can result in optimization of space and function. Big or small, that is the desired design result of today’s working kitchen.  The custom cabinetry is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Dove Wing.

white-kitchen-cornerElle Decor

It may only be the base on which you build your color palette, but the color white commands and keeps the attention of a space.  It is the neutral of choice.

a96483fa5bf0Molly Frey Design ~ DecorPad

“White has stood the test of time because it’s clean and fresh.  And those two words — clean and fresh — are classic words for describing a great kitchen. There isn’t a better way to approach design.”

 Mick de Giulio


Houzz

The white kitchen (or nearly all-white kitchen) is still going strong.  Does the clean, fresh, crisp and pristine look of the very right of the white kitchen (or nearly all-white kitchen) continue to appeal to your design and decor taste?

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Icons of Individuality

Did you know Elvis and David Bowie share the same birthday?  I find this information strangely fascinating in light of recent events.  On more than one occasion David Bowie’s musical masterpiece “Changes” has played over and over in my mind as I make ch-ch-changes to a design and decor space oddity.  Shocked and saddened by the news of David Bowie’s untimely passing, I began a session of connect the dots to the similarities and commonalities between these two icons of individuality.  There is no mistaking the contribution these larger than pop life figures made to the world of music, fashion and design.  The art of reinvention is the cornerstone of relevance, and Elvis Presley and David Bowie mastered the art form in a style all their own.

Icons of Individuality

The King’s kitsch jumpsuited his flamboyant taste to a tee, while David Bowie’s penchant for brilliantly navigating the waters of fearless originality placed his persona in a time capsule of out of this world self expression.  Individual style and taste is often influenced by the nouns of notion- the people, places and things we come into contact with that make a thunderbolt impression upon us.  Sensory experiences inspire the brushes we use to paint the canvas of our life.

David-Bowie

Elvis and David Bowie prove moxie mixed with just the right amount of nonconformity produces heroes and icons of individuality for so much more than just one day.

little boxes crush culdesac tumblr_lz5sa98fJr1qkmrfvo1_500

Look to the “stars” for inspiration as you master the art of individual design and decorating style.

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New Year, New Home Decor Trends 2016

A new year inspires fresh beginnings and clean slates. The Places In The Home New Year, New Home Decor Trends 2016 is complete and ready to inspire.  You will spot several carry over trends from last year’s list, perhaps question the prediction of renewed interest in decor trends of decades past, and hopefully agree with and look forward to implementing one or more of the new introductions making a big style splash into your decor.

home decor trends 2016

Decade Design

Interior design and decorating loves a good comeback story.  In the world of trends, a revival of styles in an everything old is new again manner is inevitable.   Early home decor forecasts show decade design on trend for 2016. Dynamic colors, textures and patterns of the glam 1970s and the large floral prints reminiscent of the 1980s are inspiring home decor accents and home furnishings lines.  Gold drenched metals, geometric patterns, bold floral pattern- all present and accounted for.

and now for the granddaddy of decade design …

Mid-Century Modern

Didn’t you just cover Decade Design?  Yes, but Mid-Century Modern design is a design marvel unto itself.  When it comes to mid-century modern home furnishings, Eames and Nelson set the standard and Herman Miller brings it all home and office.  Vintage period pieces and pieces in the style of  from the decade of clean lines, nontraditional materials and modern utility complement most of today’s decorating styles.  It’s a Mad Men mixed material modern world we design and decorate in.

Retro-classic-White-Accent-Chairs-Set-of-2-1c682c44-64ec-4379-8b5e-90465194bf03

Tile Pattern at Play

Play with your pattern.  You’ll be amazed at the statement it can make.

trend-alert-penny-round-tiles-1602368-1450449001.640x0cMy Domaine

Mirrors

Discovering or rediscovering a classic home decor accent that brilliantly reflects decorating fabulousness is always on trend.  A mirror is the ultimate home decor accent master of illusion.  Spaces devoid of size, light or depth become prime candidates for the presence of a mirror or mirrors.  Mirrors cast the illusion of depth which contributes to opening up the space.  Placement is key when using a mirror to bring more light into the space.  Place, hang or prop a mirror perpendicular to windows in order for the light to saturate the space.

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Mirror, Mirror on the Kitchen Wall or Backsplash

No smoke but definitely decorating with mirrors in the kitchen is gaining trend traction.  In the pursuit of openness and light, a strategically placed mirror in a kitchen solves the issue.  Now for the part I love about using a mirror(s) in the kitchen- decorative oomph.  

mirror-backsplashPinterest

All traditional, transitional, modern, contemporary, urban, farmhouse, eclectic, coastal, antiques or vintage runs the risk of the decor style of the Jack or Jill decorista being categorized as unimaginative, dated and boring. Throw the eye a curve ball and the space a pop of personality by mixing styles.

greekmodern_3Apartment Therapy

The success of a trend is often measured by the acceptance of the designing and decorating public, ease of functionality and implementation into established decors and the decorative ability to show staying power.  A passing fad, epic fail, emerging classic or blast from the past must try- what’s your opinion of the New Year, New Home Decor Trends 2016?

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Filed under decorating styles, home decor, Interior Decorating, Uncategorized

Show and Tell Worthy Home Decor Items of Note

Searching, sourcing and scouring home decor and interior decorating sites over the holidays brought forth several show and tell worthy home decor items of note.   I put the copy and paste command through its paces and filed the need to know info under home decor items of note.   This stuff comes in handy at one time or another in the daily all things house that make a home process.

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Design and decorating cheat sheets are wonderful, and this one is check it out worthy.  9 sofa styles you should know is just one example why Domino is a Places In The Home favorite.

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Informative (as we like it) tidbit of how to stop the slide of an uncooperative area kitchen rug with Velcro information from CNET.

LenoxSeaglassWoolWovenRug_RDA302_product_listLenox Seaglass Wool Woven Rug

This next item of note 2016 is not a spring cleaning hint or tip, but rather a year round dust busting must do. Cleaning light fixtures, light bulbs and lampshades isn’t the most glamorous household cleaning jobs, but one that shines a little light on a dust free situation. Did you know cleaning your light bulbs can make your room up to 20% brighter?  Cleaning your light bulbs also helps to avoid the disgusting burning smell often associated with a dust-coated bulb.  I hate that smell!

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Make sure to only clean a light bulb or lighting fixture that is turned off with all bulbs cool to the touch.  Do not spin-turn-rotate the light fixture to clean or wipe bulbs as this can cause the fixture to fall or wiring in the housing to fray.  I learned this lesson one Saturday afternoon at the antiques shop.  I was cleaning a gorgeous antique Williamsburg chandelier like the one in the above image.  We had a good crowd in at the shop, I was in my height of great deals glory and the style conversation was lively.  Being too tuned into the latter and less into practicing safe light bulb and light fixture cleaning techniques, I Valley Forged on.  I spun the fixture and the sparks flew, literally.  Lesson learned!  One final bulb and fixture cleaning note: never spray cleaning solution around lighting fixture or light bulbs.  The good people at 1000Bulbs.com offer great info on How to Clean Your Light Bulbs, Lampshades and Fixtures.

insta_roundup_sfawnd_2The Elementalist: @sfawnd

From the fabulous decoristas at One Kings Lane comes 21 Must-Follow Insta Feeds for 2016.  One Kings Lane comes through with a nice balance of styles with the accent mark on something for everyone.  If you are so inclined to make it 22 Must-Follow Insta Feeds for 2016, I would love to have you follow Places In The Home on Instagram.

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It’s the good home decor info and tips that keeps us in the all things home decor know.

Love your style!

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Filed under cleaning tips, home decor, Home Furnishings, Lighting