My posting plan to bring you the companion piece post to Do You Know What It Means to Love the Decorating Styles Characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District didn’t quite make it to deadline. Deliveries, issues and solutions have taken priority over my normal posting schedule, but that’s the way it goes with major home improvement projects.
Home improvement projects are not without problems, delays and contractor issues. Don’t you just hate that?
We are now back on track, and from the looks of things it’s time to get things started up on the roof.
Lawn and garden cleanup is on schedule.
Dave reminded me, “if you think this is loud, wait until the roofers get started.”
A good suggestion for surviving major home improvement projects is to always be prepared.
Admiring lovely images of architecture, design and decorating is one of the ways I hit the blogging, decorating, sourcing reset button. I let the beauty wash over me in a beauty is good for the soul kind of way. All interior design is visually captivating in one way or another, but my eye is immediately drawn to those images featuring the decorating styles characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District.
As I write this post I am listening to Louis Armstrong sing “Do you Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans.” I certainly do, Satchmo, as much as I know what it means to love the decorating styles characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District.
As in love, the interior design and decorating heart wants what it wants, and the interior design and decorating eye likes what it likes.
Both my design and decorating heart and eye knows what it means to love the decorating styles characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District. Over the years of countless trips to New Orleans, Dave the Builder and I have spent hours driving up and down the tree lined streets of the historic Garden District and St. Charles Avenue on our brand of self guided home and garden tours. To say I was and continue to be inspired and influenced is a grand understatement.
Exteriors replete with ornate detail tell the story of real estate royalty, one that takes the reader’s (the drive by admirer in this case) imagination on a trip to I wonder what the inside looks like land.
What makes the interiors of period homes unmistakable is the traditional, Baroque, Rococo or Victorian style features. What makes the interiors of period homes distinct is the contrast, the blend, the mix, the juxtaposition of decorating styles living in stunning harmony with each other. I learned a long time ago all decor choices do not have to strictly follow the primary design style.
The mixing and mingling of contemporary accent and abstract art pieces throughout a room decorated in a traditional, Baroque, Rococo or Victorian style creates contrast fit for focal point distinction. From historic mansions to bungalow cottages- it’s not the size of the space or the style of the home, but the statement the decor makes.
The New Orleans influence is obvious throughout our home and homes decorated by yours truly.
Antiques, Italian lanterns, ceiling medallions, dupioni silk drapes, crystal chandeliers, decorative mirrors scrolled in gold leaf- the curated look comes home.
The companion piece post to Do You Know What It Means to Love the Decorating Styles Characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District features images of, inspiration to decorate by and source information on the home decor accents and accessories that impeccably mirror statement pieces found in the homes of the New Orleans Garden District. It will post at the end of the week.
We have now come to the new roof portion of our had tornado-must home improve show selecting roofing shingles edition. Scope sheets and roofing materials lead the conversation of late around Places In The Home.
Performance, color, texture, pattern, and climate figure into the roofing shingle selection equation. Durability, protection and ability to hold up to normal Louisiana weather (I don’t even want to think about hurricane season) is the first thing to consider when selecting roofing shingles. The next thing is to consider is the style aspect- the color, texture and pattern play.
The exterior colors are not due for a color palette change anytime soon. Based on our preferences I doubt there will be a dramatic shift in color choice when we do repaint.
Louisiana sun and humidity work against the longevity of a shingle’s color. Dave has to continually remind me to take this fact under consideration in the color selection process. Scroll back up to the top of the page and look at the roofs. See the streaked and darkening appearance of the shingles?
Humidity + Algae = Discoloration
Natural weathering comes with age and exposure to the elements, but our harsh weather conditions accelerate the appearance of aged wear.
I flipped over this Heirloom Brown (color) diamond (pattern) architectural shingle (texture).
Hello friends! I hope your holiday weekend is off to a fabulous start. Holidays are a time for celebrating, rejoicing, feasting and sharing. We will practice and partake in all, beginning with a hippity, hoppity Easter’s on its way show and tell on this beautiful Good Friday.
Plastic Easter eggs and a gold bunny from Dollar Tree make eggcellent decoration anchors for the holiday dessert display.
Live lilies as well as porcelain and china flowers take centerpiece stage on the Easter table.
It’s the year of the wedding(s) in the Places In The Home family. There’s talk of silver, china, monograms, cakes and flowers at holiday gatherings with assurances from one very proud mom and aunt that the topic of conversation is one of supreme interest.
The bloom is off the rose thanks to recent tornado times however, a lawn and garden gift of good nature produced fresh blooms from knock out roses row. Bridal shower inspiration bloomed, and rose petal ice cubes became the entertaining diy project of the day.
Louisiana cooking often begins with Louisiana Cookin’. When the local crowd craves the c’est si bon of home or culinary curiosity piques the palate of the connoisseur in seasoned search of what Louisiana cuisine is all about, Louisiana Cookin’ magazine details the Louisiana lagniappe.
Featuring delectable details of our unique culture, cuisine and recipes to beat the jazz band, Louisiana Cookin’ is the guide we consult. Crawfish is in season, and this recipe for Crawfish Cheesecake places the season and seasoning spotlight on the regional delicacy and c’est si bon of home.
½ (13.7-ounce) box Ritz crackers
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
½ pound andouille sausage, sliced
½ pound crawfish tail meat
¼ cup chopped fresh jalapeño pepper
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large eggs
½ cup Crawfish Beurre Blanc, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 325°. In the bowl of a food processor, add crackers, and process until finely chopped. In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs and butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes; set aside.
In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add sausage, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add crawfish and jalapeño, and cook until jalapeño softens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside, and let cool.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add crawfish mixture, thyme, salt, and pepper, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition.
Pour cream cheese mixture over prepared crust. Set springform pan in a roasting pan, and fill with water half-way up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until set and cheesecake jiggles lightly in the center, about 1 hour. Remove from oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before serving. Serve with Crawfish Beurre Blanc, if desired. Serves 8
Crawfish Beurre Blanc
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
¼ pound crawfish tail meat
¼ cup chopped shallot
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon hot sauce
4 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 cloves garlic
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Stir in crawfish, shallot, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside, and let cool.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine wine, vinegar, hot sauce, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic, and cook until reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer; return liquid to pan.
Add cream, and cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in butter, one cube at a time, until butter is melted and the sauce is smooth; stir in remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir in crawfish mixture. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
There is nothing pretty about a tornado or tornado damage, and take cover now is a warning best heeded.
This past Sunday afternoon we learned that lesson firsthand as our town-neighborhood-house was hit by a tornado.
We are no strangers to the force and fury of a hurricane. A tornado however, is an extremely rare occurrence in Central Louisiana. This tornado experience was a first for us.
Our local news station was live on the air with the entire weather team covering the storm. The senior weatherman shouted “take cover now” and with that we took cover in the guest bathroom bathtub. We never did hear the roaring train sound so many people remark they hear as a tornado approaches or when one is overhead. What we did hear is the terrifying sound of trees, shingles, and various projectiles hitting the house. The entire top of our neighbor’s magnolia tree was the first thing we saw as we opened our front door.
Salvaged magnolia leaves placed in a mason jar injects a touch of simple beauty and Southern comfort into this otherwise ugly situation.
Utilities are truly a beautiful thing. We lost power Sunday afternoon, got it back a little before midnight, lost it again Monday morning and didn’t see the light of lights until last night at 9:51 pm CST. A big, big thank you goes out to the utilities workers for a job well done and most appreciated.
That was then,
and this is now.
The crepe myrtle to the immediate right is history as is the hydrangea. The bird feeder chandelier was found one street over. Howdy Do (the jockey) and the bird bath may be down but not out of the lawn and garden beautification game.
The roof is heavily damaged and the inside of the house is a victim of stained ceilings, wet carpets, dirty floors, etc… Clorox bleach and Lysol spray is suddenly a hot commodity. My desk/computer is in Dave’s man cave, and a large part of the ceiling in the room is soaked through and through. That’s an odor one can only take for a few minutes at a time. Blogging will slow as the smell increases. I will probably need several more bottles of this stuff before all of this is over.
Roofs, ceilings, floors and sheetrock can be fixed.
Luxury bedding advances a gorgeous blissful beautiful sleep. Hectic, over-scheduled, and thanks to daylight savings time long days of doing what we do tire and tucker. A respite from the grind beckons, and the comfort of luxury bedding sets in motion the restorative benefits of the gorgeous blissful beautiful sleep.
Luxury bedding in the style of European antique heirloom and Italian renaissance textiles bedding emulates the elegant finery of true antique and vintage linens crafted from fine laces and linens. Gracefully romantic on all thread counts, the bedtime story to tell is the stunning presence heirloom inspired bedding and textiles lend to the feel of your sleep sanctuary.
Where Egyptian cotton sateen or seamless silk cotton is the twin, full, queen or king bedding standard for some, cotton percale or linen is the only choice of bedding fabric for others.
Luxurious, comfortable, gorgeous blissful beautiful sleep sheets. A personal style spin followed with the addition of leopard pillow cases. Like a good night’s rest, adding a sense of personal style is essential.
Setting the tone and the texture for a beautiful sleep scene primps and pampers- an at home version of hotel turndown service. Embroidered bed linens paired with monogrammed shams create a dreamy combination.
Crochet pillowcases, crisp cotton sheets fresh from the clothesline, a vintage chenille bedspread, and a bedside window raised just enough to allow the morning breeze to fill the room with the scent of African violets made a lasting impression on my soul and senses. The combination of comfortable surroundings and simple yet elegant furnishings equated to a brand of luxury I only wish I could replicate.
That crazy blue jay has the right idea about spring activities. A refreshing dip in the pool was just the ticket to recharge his battery, and a spring road trip will be just the ticket to recharge mine.
“Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink”
I was referencing violets and pansies in a yet to be published blog post. Walking past the kitchen table on the way to afternoon coffee, I glanced down to see the April issue of Better Homes & Gardens opened to the feature In Praise of Violas. How’s that for happenstance?
I’m not a practicing member of the ladies that lunch club, but I love the idea of it and the Southern Living feature The New Ladies Lunch. Planning the Mother’s Day menu is soon to be the task at hand, and the Neiman Marcus Cheddar Cheese Biscuits look to be a Southern scrumptious must make.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk
Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas and dough is crumbly; stir in cheese. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times. Place dough in a bowl; cover and chill 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll dough to 1-inch thickness; cut with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.
Unbaked biscuits may be frozen up to 1 month. Bake frozen biscuits as directed for 26 to 28 minutes or until golden brown.
Spring is all about the new, the fresh, the green. There is something so classic, Southern chic, and spring front porch perfect about a Boston fern hanging basket. My brand new, full to the spring green Boston fern basket is the curb appeal accent piece hanging around the front porch creating a spring scene.
Budding and blooming spring curb appeal lawn and garden enthusiasts know the beauty and the value of curb appeal. First impressions make lasting impressions. Curb appeal traditionally is the topic of buying or selling a home conversation, but what about the value of curb appeal between the bookends? I want the ooh and aah effect of gorgeous curb appeal to impress me, the homeowner, first and foremost.
Spring motivates home improvement. The first day of spring rollout makes it official, and by the look and buzz of things around the neighborhood everything’s coming up roses, azaleas, marigolds, verbena, zinnias, impatiens, begonias, sago palms and hanging baskets of fern. We’ve got this budding and blooming spring curb appeal covered.
Succulents make a lovely showing, and the decorative box Dave the Builder made for me a couple of years ago is the inspiration for a container garden.
Color leads the way when orchestrating palette and planting. The Barn Nursery’s Fool Proof Color Guide to Container Gardening gives color combination advice for creating beautiful color combos, height and size suggestions and recommendations for low-maintenance blooms. You can download your free copy of the guide here.
Speaking of budding and blooming spring curb appeal gorgeous DIY projects, here’s an idea for an address number wall planter from HGTV.
Difficulty is the word that springs to mind when it comes to our efforts to plant and successfully grow hydrangeas. A planting debate ensued over the recently purchased pink hydrangea.
I suspected failure would follow if we prematurely planted the hydrangea under the assumption of the “we had no winter” temperatures of late. Last week the overnight temperatures dipped into the mid 30s. I had a feeling.
Painting the front door instantly adds a zip of spring spectacular color. Decorative stepping stones walk the garden path walk of function and curb appeal style. Outdoor planters have come into their own, stylishly speaking. The round copper patina cast stone pot and tan wash round rim clay planters from Home Depot deliver on all curb appeal fronts.
Dress up gutter bottoms while steering rain water from the downspout to the lawn with a lawn and garden decorative downspout statue.
Dave snapped a shot of the new recessed LED retrofit downlight with his cell phone. The yard and beds show winter wear and are no where near spring ready, but you get the idea. Looking at the house from the street/curb/sidewalk, the light is not as bright as it appears in the photo. It is a very pleasing choice of exterior accent lighting.
Lamp(s) on a front porch create such an inviting ambiance. Isn’t that the idea?
From season to season, garden statues benefit from a quick cleaning, paint touch up or even a color change.
Our side yard factors into the curb appeal equation. In fact, it gets more lawn and garden attention than the front yard. It has quickly become a bird bathing-bird feeding-bird watching neighborhood attraction. The DIY chandelier bird feeder sees plenty of visitors, and the fourth generation bird bath (that bird bath is older than I am) is quite the gathering place. Mama Places In The Home tends to the bird bath water (from the looks of the above photo, somebody needs to get to get to filling it up). The antics of our winged friends supplies us with hours of bird-watching entertainment.
Budding and blooming spring curb appeal goes a long way in making the right first impression. It announces style lives here.
What color should be seen Where our fathers’ homes have been But their own immortal Green? ~ Author Unknown
It is believed the color first associated with St. Patrick was a shade of light blue. The color connection between the St. Patrick’s Day and the color green dates back to the 17th c to what some perceive as an association to the lush landscape of the Emerald Isle.