The Gotta Have It List Summer 2015 Edition

Making things pretty on a penny is always a subject of interest to me, clients, friends, family and judging from the emails I receive, most of my readers.


The summer retail season is heating up, and the stores, outlets and online sights we love to call favorites are rolling out seasonal finds much to the delight of decorators, designers and gotta have it guys and gals.  Seasonal decorating is nothing new, but the items in which to accomplish this mission of home decor beautification are.  Summer style spotting with pen, paper and bookmark icon ready to jot and save is proving to be successful on the summer finds front.   Here is the first round of the Gotta Have It List summer 2015 edition.


This is not the first time the Quorum  6 Light Salento Chandelier in Persian White has made an appearance on the Gotta Have It list.  Why the encore feature?   It begins and ends with my all time  favorite four-letter word, SALE!


H & M continues to impress with decorative accents big on visual quality and style at an affordable price.  You just can’t go wrong with an accent piece in the decorating darling duo of black and white.  A classic color combination paired with a trending pattern in pop of zebra detail places this ceramic jar accent at the top of the Gotta Have It list summer 2015 edition.

eastlake-chiarStyle Me Pretty

  Named after English architect Charles L. Eastlake, the design of this late 19th century style of furniture is one of my least favorites.  This mass produced style is actually more of a “in the style of” interpretation of what American professional cabinet makers serving as master furniture designers deemed an authentic replica of Eastlake’s design.  Charles Eastlake was not impressed with the results.  Mr. Eastlake and I are of the same school of thought.  His words say it far better than mine.

 “I find American tradesmen continually advertising what they are pleased to call Eastlake furniture, the production of which I have had nothing whatever to do, and for the taste of which I should be very sorry to be considered responsible.”  

~ Charles L. Eastlake

That being said, the Eastlake style chair in the above image from Style Me Pretty demonstrates how a chic update can transform an otherwise dated piece into a hip and happening accent chair focal point.  Not all antique furniture pieces are prime candidates for paint, but in the case of Eastlake furniture I say pick it out, shake it up and paint it pretty.


Light Pink Shag Faux Fur Fabric ~   Cherry Blossom Velvet  ~  Crystal Upholstery Nails  ~  Faux Fur in Mongolian Pink

Late summer means treasure hunting days at one of my favorite haunts, Korner Shoppe Antiques.  This gem of a joint is full to the gills with my kind of treasures, trinkets and trash.  Inspiration struck as I perused the shoppe’s Facebook page so I did what all deal dreaming decoristas do- I sketched out plans for an upcoming project around copper pots and pans.

Korner-ShoppeKorner Shoppe Antiques

One very brilliant episode of Mad Men placed Howard Johnson’s back into the thoughts of a generation of hungry Americans who ordered up cups, plates and scoops of American fare under the iconic bright orange roof.


This Howard Johnson’s sugar bowl from Fishs Eddy is on its way to the Places In The Home test kitchen counter sprinkled with memories of summer vacations, motor lodges, fried clams and 28 flavors.


What home decor items will you be adding to your Gotta Have It List summer 2015 edition?

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Filed under accent chairs, accents, Antiques, color combinations, fabric, home decor, Interior Decorating, Interior Design, Lighting, seasonal decor, seasonal decorating, summer, travel, Vintage

Memorial Day 2015

On this Memorial Day 2015, we observe a national day set aside to honor and acknowledge the service of our brave and loyal military men and women who gave their lives in the line of duty in order to keep our great nation free and our homeland safe.  We live in the home of the free because of the brave.

“For love of country they accepted death.” — James Garfield



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The Summer Entertaining Season

Memorial Day signals the beginning of the summer entertaining season. That’s ninety some odd summer days and nights brimming with opportunity to gather together with family and friends.  Is there a summer is here big party blowout in your Memorial Day weekend future or is the plan for something in the neighborhood of quality over quantity for just you, yours and a few close friends?  Here are five tips to help you master the summer entertaining season.

Summer entertaining season tip #1

Regardless of the numbers involved, the ultimate party favor you can give to you and your guests is an enjoyable and relaxing time.  Endless hours of planning and preparing does not a successful party guarantee.  However, what does come very close to guaranteeing a successful party is setting an at ease example.  Guests usually take the party lead from the attitude of the host and/or hostess which sets the tone for a comfortable let the good times roll atmosphere.

The Summer Entertaining SeasonPinterest

Summer entertaining season tip #2

Popular points of culinary and entertaining interest set an inviting place at the summer table.  I like to take my tablescape in a casually elegant direction.  I know there is quite a bit of considerable thought put into achieving the anything but uptight, stuffy finished result through the right accents, lighting, selected place settings, serveware and flowers, but I want the memo to read effortless chic. This look is achieved with simple finds from my usual haunts- antiques shops, new to you shops, dollar stores, arts and crafts stores and the always handy in-house treasures, trinkets and trash closet.  Visually impressive table settings need not be an expensive or exhausting endeavor.



Summer entertaining season tip #3

Kick off the summer sippin’ season with the unofficial official fruit of summer, the watermelon.  Watermelon Strawberry Citrus Sangria, anyone?  Dazzle the thirsty through sight and taste.  Nothing says welcome to our summer soiree quite like a cool summer appropriate beverage.

watermelon-strawberry-citrus-sangria-700Shape via Joy the Baker

Summer entertaining tip #4

Summer just isn’t summer until something is basted, marinated or smothered in a stellar Southern BBQ sauce.  In Louisiana we don’t need an excuse to jazz it up, fire it up and kick it up, but if we did, summer would be all the excuse needed. Good barbecue is what we call summer stock.  We aren’t afraid to turn up the heat, spice or seasoning, but when entertaining we dial back the kick to a respectable c’est si bon level to accommodate the taste bud timid.  Good cooks and even better hosts know a little goes a long way in the flavor department and account for all tastes considered.

Summer entertaining tip #5

Balance is key.  Entertaining mirrors interior design and decorating in regards to balance.  When selecting the music for the party playlist, I aim to keep the types, styles, genres and decades balanced somewhere between current hits, grooving to the oldies, what movie is this from, smooth and easy jazz, lounge lizard standards and the soundtrack to high school and college days gone by.  Balance the bar to the standard rule of party planning with help from the handy drink calculator from Total Wine & More.  Balance safety with responsibility.  Drink and host responsibly.

Enjoy the summer entertaining season kick-off this holiday weekend.  Happy Memorial Day!

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The Silver Lining Companion Guide: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer

More than 250,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. each year.  This fact hit home when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999.  Allstate is on a mission to help every woman diagnosed with breast cancer by offering a free Silver Lining Companion Guide, helping them and their families through the experience unfortunately too many of us have to endure. Navigating cancer is a scary and overwhelming process, and so much comes at you at one time. To have a resource available that offers realistic advice, hopeful insight and questions answered in a been there, done that format lifts the fog somewhat.

The Silver Lining Companion Guide Cover (English)

My mother’s cancer was caught early through her yearly mammogram.  Let me repeat that, caught by yearly mammogram. Breast cancer can be cured, especially when the cancer is caught early. The abnormality in the mammogram was detected by an extremely competent radiologist to only be dismissed by the surgeon who would be performing the biopsy.  A biopsy is the procedure to remove and evaluate a tissue sample for the presence of cancer.  Dr. No Bedside Manner Whatsoever sternly informed my mother she was wasting his time and her money.  Intuition and insistence stood firm against ignorance.  After all, no one knows your body better than you.  Honest and practical words speak a truth of informed encouragement.


I firmly believe cancer is a family affair, and that it does take a village and a family to educate, promote healing and support, support, support. Cancer is not for sissies. As crucial to the fight of survival as expert medical care is, attitude plays a significant role in this incredible fight for life.  The lifelines, practical matters and silver linings found in the book thoughtfully address concerns, answers questions ranging from what to take to appointments to what to ask your plastic surgeon before implant surgery, and offers healing advice .  I wish we would have had this insightful to the process resource guide available to us fifteen + years ago.  The Silver Linings shared in the Companion Guide do not take away the confusion, pain and emotions that often come with a cancer diagnosis, but they do provide the balance, perspective and hope needed to get through the difficult times. From diagnosis to ringing the bell of I kicked cancer’s butt, knowledge and support arms the soldiers, sustains the supporting troops and encourages the soul of the cancer crusader.


Allstate, through its ongoing efforts to support the wellbeing of women, is distributing the Silver Lining Companion Guide as a free resource to everyone impacted by breast cancer.  The Companion Guide includes practical tips, important information and inspiration.  A Spanish language version of the Companion Guide is also available to accompany the English version currently being shared with women nationwide.  I invite you to visit to download the free guide and learn more. The Guide is also available for pick-up at select Allstate agencies nationwide.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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Planting the Seeds of Change: A Decorating 180

Inspiration is everywhere made good on its promise this Mother’s Day.  Dave the Builder heard the something out of the ordinary call, gifting me this most unique and exquisite Italian heather plant for Mother’s Day.  This visually striking plant in all its classic pink and green color combination glory is summer planter poised and ready.  Giving thought to what type of planter befits this beauty, the usual suspects in my traditional rotation failed to impress.  It appears a decorating style metamorphosis is taking place, a planting the seeds of change decorating 180.


 “In gardening, architecture, landscape design and interior design the principles are interchangeable – or, at the very least, highly adaptable.”
  — Charlotte Moss


The preferred decorating style of choice at Places In The Home is traditional with a twist, but styles and tastes evolve as they should, and mine are no exception.  If only on an experimental basis for the fresh and updated look of it, try introducing one or two accents, colors or patterns from a different decorating style to the space.  A decorating 180 turns up the volume just enough to keep things visually interesting.


I paid a visit to the Hopefully Classic warehouse (storage unit) a couple of weekends ago to do a bit of shopping.   Shopping from within is a tremendous concept.  I become reacquainted with items in the inventory, an afternoon of hunting and digging for treasure qualifies as an excellent workout and the prices can’t be beat.  I pulled a set of decorative concrete planters (one of which is shown in the above image) to pair with two small boxwood plants I bought marked down at Lowe’s.  The picture does not do the planter justice, and as stunning as these planters are, do these lovelies qualify as my personal decorating 180?

garden-basketOrlandi Statuary Round Basket Planter

Hold the phone!  This Orlandi Statuary basket planter may be all the style sashay towards a decorating 180 needed to calm the winds of change. The style deviation is subtle enough not to overwhelm the process while staying true to the traditional foundation. Throw the eye a curve ball every now and then and hit a style home run.

Love your style!

 Read more from Charlotte Moss Green Rooms in Introspective on 1stdibs


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Happy Mother’s Day 2015

Happy Mother’s Day 2015!

happy mother's day 2015

Son, you outgrew my lap, but never my heart.

~Author Unknown


A bouquet of knockout roses and a homemade coconut cake make the perfect Mother’s Day dessert pairing.



Wishing  Mothers, Grandmothers, Moms-to-Be and the women who are like a mother to many a very Happy Mother’s Day!



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Sink Oh D (as in Design) My Oh: Kitchen Sink Styles

In interior design and decorating celebration of Cinco de Mayo on this 5th day of May, I am featuring five stunning kitchen sink oh d (as in design) my oh kitchen sink styles.

Kitchen Sink StylesTraditional Home ~ Apartment Therapy

First up we take a look at our house favorites, the marble and natural stone kitchen sink.  Marble and natural stone sinks impress the eye with a timeless and tasteful touch of luxury balanced with performance capability.  The porosity of natural marble and stone makes this material easily susceptible to stain which gives pause to some when considering the use of these types of sinks.  Over time the patina “rests” and becomes a perfectly imperfect design feature, one that accentuates the natural beauty of the stone.

sink-metalJohn Derian’s Collected East Village Apartment

Everything old is new again chic is in.  The kitchen sink option in John Derian’s East Village apartment demonstrates that what one person considers functional obsolescence another considers a distinct design feature.

copper-sink1Garden & Gun Magazine

Vintage beauty merges with modern function in the home of Braxton Dixon, the master builder behind the iconic homes of country music legends Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette. Implementing one-of-a-kind architectural elements into the design of his houses sets these works of building and designing art apart from other exterior and interior standard house designs.  This is most prevalent in Mr. Dixon’s choice of a kitchen sink in his Tennessee home.  A vintage copper candy kettle becomes an architectural showpiece, kitchen sink and unique focal point all-in-one while remaining true to the original integrity, storied provenance and design style of the home.

sink-serviceTraditional Home

What do real estate and sink placement have in common?  Location, location, location! The optimum placement for a prep sink is adjacent to or across from the stove and refrigerator and for good reason- that’s the area of the kitchen where the prep magic happens.  Between me and you, quite frankly, the prep sink is the single most helpful kitchen design feature I have ever become dependent upon in the context of cooking, baking and recipe creating.  Convenience and usefulness alone make it easy to understand why I am a huge fan of the prep sink and consider it a kitchen design necessity.  I look forward to the addition of a prep sink coming back into my kitchen culinary life sooner than later.

Kathryn Scott Design Studio Ltd

Apron-front farmhouse sinks combine utilitarian practicality with decorative adaptability. The look is yesteryear traditional, but the appeal is all modern day must have.  Although these sinks come in both single and double bowl models, the features of the single bowl model seems to make it the most preferred.  Sink size does matter in the day to day KP duty routine we all endure, and the width of the farmhouse sink is a natural fit feature able to hold dishwashing court with pots, pans and bake ware of varied sizes.  Let me also clue you in on another well known design advantage of the farmhouse sink. When there’s too much dish at the end of your I’m pooped out day, the depth of the farmhouse sink works fabulously to your advantage as it conceals many a dirty dish.  That’s my kind of sink oh d (as in design) my oh kitchen sink styles celebration!

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Filed under Architectural, architecture, copper, decorating styles, Design, Interior Decorating, Interior Design, Kitchen, kitchen accessories, Repurpose, Salvage piece

Wrap It Up And Put A Bow On It: Mother’s Day 2015 Gift Ideas Guide

The Places In The Home Mother’s Day 2015 gift ideas guide is here with our beautiful, traditional, classic, shiny and memorable wrap it up and put a bow on it picks for Mother’s Day 2015 gift giving.


May flowers and decadent chocolates have long been can’t go wrong traditional Mother’s Day favorites.


Mother's Day 2015 gift ideas guideGodiva Chocolates  ||  Woodwick Fresh Flowers Candle  ||  Sweet as Sugar by Teleflora  ||  Whitman’s Sampler Dark Chocolates


Beauty for beauty~


mothers-day-beauty-giftsOPI Ticle My France-y  ||  Michael Kors Sexy Nail Lacquer  ||  Pre De Provence Assorted Shea Butter Enriched Guest Soap Gift Set  ||    MAC Retro Matte Lipstick  || HOURGLASS Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Blush  ||  Clinique Happy In Bloom Perfume Spray  ||   Tropical Print Makeup Pouch  ||    L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche La Palette


Classic pattern LOVE~


Espadrille Slip-ins  ||  Tropical Glam Banana Leaf Print Phone Case  ||  Palm Leaf Pillow Cover


One is silver…



  KitchenAid® Professional 5 Qt. Mixer   ||  Baroque Pattern Arm Cuff  ||   Vintage Measuring Spoons  ||  Sterling Silver Chalcedony and Iolite Drop Earrings   ||  Set of 6 Hand Stamped Cheese Markers  ||  Threshold™ Frame Shiney Silver  ||  Tiffany Shopping Bag Key Ring


And the other gold ~



Jardin Textured Links Strand Necklace  ||  Erickson Beamon Rocks Three Band Ring  ||  Uttermost Lorenzello 1-light Antique Gold Leaf Table Lamp  ||  Zebra Jewelry Tray  ||   kate spade new york Posy Court Blue Mug  ||   BG® Women Alligator Pattern Gold Accents Shoulder Strap PU Leather Tote Style Handbag


Love your Mother and love her style!


Love your style!

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Do Drop In: Entertaining With Ease

The welcome mat at Places In The Home is working overtime. Several of our family members are taking to the spring holiday road, and our house is do drop in central.  Good visits begin with good hosting and good hosting begins with a stress free host or hostess.  Entertaining is supposed to be a fun for guests and hosts alike, isn’t it?  I know I have a much better entertaining experience if I access and assign a theme, go with the entertaining with ease flow and keep the focus on comfortable surroundings, inviting touches and relaxing times.

Texas_bluebonnet_plant_lupinus_texensis_with_dark_blue_flowers_with_white_topTexas Bluebonnet

Texas times and family memories will be a hot topic of conversation.  Our company’s travels begin in Texas Bluebonnet country, and with Texas being the common denominator of our family tree, I played it up in theme and setting. Farmhouse chic makes an effortless foundation to build your theme upon.


A simple arrangement of carnations mixed with greenery and placed beside an even simpler arrangement of apples and bananas in a milk glass center bowl provides a nice centerpiece in a farmhouse chic kind of way.


Fresh flowers from the floral department of the local grocery store are my weakness, and when the word clearance enters into the picture my shopping cart runneth over.  You really get your money’s worth with carnations. Carnations can last for weeks with an every other day water change and a quick stem trim.  I use tepid water, scale back leaves from the stems to prevent contact with the water, and place a couple of drops of food coloring in the water.


From recipes to table setting decor, I like to source from within meaning I like to use what I have on hand.  A great home decor clearance sale and dollar store items purchased in bulk can provide all the entertaining with ease elements needed for a well designed themed tablescape.


art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.


Into each case of design and decorating a little if kitchen kitsch is wrong, I don’t want to be right will fall.  The method to my madness lies deeply rooted in the from which I came from principle. I picked up several sets of rooster dish towels at the local dollar store back during the holidays knowing full well they would come in handy. Paired with copper napkin rings I found on clearance at Dillard’s a couple of years ago, the dish towels made great dinner napkins.


The Places In The Home gang comes from a long line of hen on nest dish collectors.  The women of our family felt no respectable kitchen and/or breakfast room decor complete without the addition of at least one hen on nest dish.



On the menu front I aim to please.  Round our dinner table, quality rules over quantity which lines up perfectly with easy menu planning.  As long as the iced tea is sweet and I keep the serving sizes in just a bite territory it is all good and tasty. The culinary rule of KISS (keep it salad simple) always applies.


I set up a salad buffet for first course serve yourself ease.  Individual Mason jar salads layered with shredded iceberg lettuce, fresh tomato, chopped ham, green onion, Feta cheese crumbles, homemade buttermilk dressing and a dash of kosher salt and fine black pepper were a hit with the just a bite crowd.


Biscuit BLTs with Peach Mayonnaise bring back memories of summers spent in Texas at my great-grandmother’s house.  Traditions tastes so good!


Entertaining goes hand in hand with spring and summer, and entertaining with ease goes hand in hand with y’all come back now, ya hear!

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Filed under decorating, decorating styles, Dining, entertaining, flowers, Food, Home, home decor, Kitchen, Meals, spring, summer, tablescapes

Kentucky Derby Days Are Here Again

Kentucky Derby days are here again.  The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports 2015 takes places on Saturday, May 2, marking the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby.  Louisville, Kentucky rolls out a Southern welcome to thousands of attendees while Churchill Downs takes the lead as Kentucky Derby festivities and finery celebration central.

churchill-downs-kentucky-derby-louisvilleArchitectural Digest

Iconic to sight and tradition, the landmark Twin Spires of Churchill Downs were designed by architect Joseph Dominic Baldez. The twin hexagonal spires stand tall as the premier architectural feature so closely associated with Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby.


Time-honored traditions and thoroughbred horse racing reigns supreme on Kentucky Derby Saturday. Red roses, mint juleps and fascinating choices of Derby Day finery fill the grandstands, box seats and infield of Churchill Downs as well as themed Kentucky Derby Days parties.

Derby Guys and Dolls Finery




My parents and I attended the Kentucky Derby in the late 1970’s.  Experiencing the Derby live and in person is a thrilling event, but once was enough for us. Expensive?  Yes!  Crowded?  Oh, dear goodness, yes, and that was 30+ years ago! I can only imagine the crowd control issues involved with the attendance numbers of today’s Kentucky Derby.  Are we glad we attended?  You betcha!

 Get Down and Derby Playlist

Our current Kentucky Derby Days party is an at home affair.  We are not above breaking out the good stuff as in fashion jewelry, hats, tableware, get down and Derby tunes and Kentucky bourbon in My Old Kentucky Home fashion.


The Run for the Roses is a win, place and show tradition for this horse racing enthusiast family, and it’s a sure bet next Saturday the hats, the party and the race will be on.  The Derby Day tablescape always includes red roses, a hat of top, feathered or derby style, a toast to jockey silks and a creative spin on cocktail and dinner napkins.  I’m using the red rose paper cocktail napkins and considering red toile fabric dinner napkins.  Silver mint julep cups are the traditional favorite, but I’m taking the long shot odds the copper plated mint julep cup will make a stylish showing.  Pewter stirrup hors d’oeuvre forks keep the theme going, and the ebony dinner plates from Dollar Tree round out the field.

Derby Decor


It isn’t a Derby Day party until traditional Kentucky Derby delicacies are served. The fresh rosemary in Roasted Brown-Butter Pecans is the perfect taste complement to the minty bite of a Southern strong Mint Julep.  If it doesn’t bite, it isn’t right.  Tea sandwiches spread thick with Benedictine spread and garnished with radishes, pimento, cucumber slices and bacon are bite sized samples of traditional deliciousness, and a classic Run for the Roses Red Velvet cake topped with a gold horse is a Kentucky Derby dessert must.


And they’re off!

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