Benjamin Moore Color Of The Year 2016 Simply White

Benjamin Moore Color Of The Year 2016 Simply White is simply stunning.  One of the biggest decorating misconceptions is that in selecting the color white as an anchor or primary space color you are settling for a boring, uninspiring or underwhelming color choice.


I am of the strong opinion that all color begins and ends in shades of white.

OC-117Benjamin Moore Simply White OC-117

The color palette power play made by Benjamin Moore Simply White is based in its clean, pristine and polished versatility.  Wall, trim, floor, cabinetry and furniture. Yes, yes, yes, yes and  a resounding yes.


It may only be the base on which you build your color palette, but Benjamin Moore Simply White commands and keeps the attention of these spaces.  Allow me to point out how the fresh palette and layers of natural light wraps the space in warmth.

simply-white-dining-roomHuestis Tucker Architects, LLC

This entire space from floor to ceiling is painted in Benjamin Moore Simply White, proving the visual effectiveness of the color white.  No blending into the woodwork here- the rich tones and glorious golds of the accents and furnishings instantly attract the eye.

simply-white-breakfast-areaIn the Fields – Simply White

In my opinion Benjamin Moore got the 2016 Color of the Year: Simply White right. Thoughts?

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Making Things Pretty

Over this past weekend, Dave the Builder and I were arguing chatting about all things house that make a home. Over the past 30+ years of togetherness in everything from friendship, marriage, child rearing and business, we have been known to have our cuss it and discuss it moments. Making things pretty can get ugly sometimes- it’s part of the process.  The quickest way to diffuse a contentious all things house that make a home moment is to start a new conversation about starting a new project!  The allure of design and decorating possibilities has a very strong appeal.  It works for us, and it worked again this past weekend.


Constructing a fall entryway display wasn’t exactly on my fall decorating weekend to-do list, but neither was a building brouhaha.  I adopted the I’m a decorator not a fighter attitude, and from there decorating inspiration and let’s project something harmony began to“fall” into place.


Our don’t overthink it display evolved from items amassed for decorating times like this- an antique spindle bed post, a wooden garden basket, clippings from our cotton stalk stash, mums, a collection of faux gourds, a piece of wood from the bayou, a planted boxwood, concrete pineapple statue and one lone white pumpkin.

making things pretty

I phoned the Canadian snowbird aka our son several weeks ago with my request for pics of true fall foliage.  Louisiana will eventually see fall colors, but I was looking forward to seeing images of true fall crimson reds, deep purples and tawny maple golds.

JJ-dogsJ, J, Ollie and Caramel the Wonder Rescue Dog

It seems a Canadian cold front/rain event did away with the crimson red and deep purples leaving behind only the tawny maple golds and sweater weather. Although not my first choice, faux flowers and seasonal decorating accouterments fill in the blanks nature can’t.


Sharing in the hand me that and it needs something responsibilities, we spent the afternoon making things pretty for the fall of it all.  As I put the finishing touches on the fall entryway display, a gust of crisp fall air blew across the porch to the delight of Dave the Builder, the kitty cat and this decorista.  Perfect timing!


A pot of strong Louisiana coffee brewed for two made the afternoon near perfect.


Photo editing is a wonderful concept.  I am becoming more and more enamored with this part of the making pretty process.  When you can take something slightly imperfect and invest time, effort and vision to produce a work rich in substance and beauty, the result is visually amazing.  Photo editing, decorating, marriage- you get the picture.


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Filed under decorating, fall, seasonal decorating

Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse Kitchen

As I perused the Places In The Home Facebook page this week an image posted by Traditional Home magazine immediately caught my eye.  The Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse kitchen designed by Charlotte, North Carolina Interior Designer Lisa Mende of Lisa Mende Design is visually captivating.

Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse KitchenLisa Mende Design – Junior League of High Point, North Carolina, 2015 Designer Showhouse

Older homes have a history, a story to tell. Lisa Mende tapped into the home’s history as inspiration for her thoroughly modern interior design concept and execution. Distinctive details reminiscent of the emerging Art Deco times of the 19oos when the house was built, world events of the early 20th century and the sinking of the Titanic all played a large role in the kitchen design inspiration and influence.  Inspiration truly is everywhere!  Click on the link below the images to read the full story and view the gallery of images from the showhouse.

Lisa_Mende_Design_Showhouse_kitchen_1Lisa Mende Design – Junior League of High Point, North Carolina, 2015 Designer Showhouse

You never know when or where inspiration will strike or what home decor item will excite the eye.  Below is the swoonworthy beauty that did just that.


The Pimlico Double Swing Arm Plug In  has found a place on my gotta have it list.


Being the fan of art as a kitchen decor choice that I am, the above image speaks modern elegance to me.


Abstract by Mayberry

The framed art piece and the swing arm lamp combination works, and works beautifully.


I love keeping an eye out for designs, decorating applications and home decor that raises the bar, races the heart and inspires.

Love your style!

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Food For Thought

Food, cooking, and the gathering together of family and friends is an essential source of sustenance and life beyond the kitchen and dining table.  Consider the role food plays in our all things house that make a home life.  Over the prepping, preparing, plating and partaking of a meal we connect with family and friends, build and strengthen personal and business relationships, indulge in the art of expression and discovery, and create delicious and lasting memories.  Food for thought.


“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

 Virginia Woolf

silver-flat-ware via

RieslingCamille Styles

Essential-EmerilEmeril Lagasse

Cheese-and-honey-HonestlyYUMHonestly YUM

 “New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” – Mark Twain

Chef-John-Besh-red-beans-and-riceChef John Besh Red Beans and Rice

J. Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, debunks  five common Southern cooking myths over on the Garden & Gun blog Daily Shot.  I was surprised to learn…  Click on the link below for details.

Five Southern Cooking Myths Debunked


Just a little food for thought.

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Filed under Dining, Food, Home, Meals

Crisp Fall Afternoons Are Made For Memories And An Apple Nut Cake Recipe

To kick off the fall baking season, I thought this reader favorite recipe for Apple Nut cake repost worthy.

Apples. Pecans. Walnuts. Cinnamon.  Thought that would get your attention! Fall is officially here, and although the signs of the season aren’t in full fall reveal, a few brisk mornings have teased the senses turning my thoughts and taste buds to the fall baking season.


Dave the Builder’s mother introduced me to a delicious way to welcome fall which has become a tradition.  In terms of a wonderful fall culinary complement, there is nothing better on a cool afternoon than a cup of strong Louisiana coffee and a slice of old fashioned Apple Nut cake.  I always think of my dear mother-in-law when the first day of fall comes.  It’s been thirty three years since the first time I made this cake as a new bride.  I can see myself standing in the cooking corner of our tiny kitchen pouring the batter into my grandmother’s bundt pan, windows open, flour everywhere and a true autumn nip in the air.  That was many Apple Nut cakes ago, and over the years I have tweaked the Apple Nut Cake recipe to suit my taste.  I think it is an apple nut winner.


My dad is my apple peeling, apple cutting sous chef.  These people know the Apple Nut rule.  If you want to enjoy apple nut goodness you must help in the preparation.


It’s not really the rule, but more the justification that gets me out of having to peel and cut the apples.  Love the cake, but not the apple prep so much.  Trust me, this cake is so good I’ve got ’em lining up to peel apples.



Apple Nut Cake


1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

½  cup brown sugar

2 eggs

½  teaspoon nutmeg

½  teaspoon cinnamon

½  teaspoon ground cloves

½  teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½  cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

½  cup applesauce

3 cups fresh apples, peeled and sliced



½  cup firmly packed light brown sugar

¼  cup butter or margarine

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

½  cup chopped pecans



Peel and slice apples.  Add brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves and lemon juice to apples coating well; set aside.  Mix together sugar and oil.

Add eggs; beat until creamy.  Add vanilla.  Combine salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour together.

Add dry ingredients in small amounts to sugar and oil mixture.  Next, add apples, applesauce and chopped pecans and mix by hand.


Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan in 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Well, so much for baking secrets.  Put it this way, baking is my thing.  Oven cleaning is not.  True kitchen confessions shall set you free.

Feast your eyes on that baked apple nut cake goodness!  So fall freaking delicious no icing required, but hold on to your apples.  The icing is fantastic!


For the icing:

In a medium saucepan bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly.  Boil for one minute continuing to stir or whisk constantly.

My other sous chef (my mother) is busy with the icing!

Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and stir or whisk until smooth and continue until it begins to thicken slightly.  Immediately drizzle over cooled cake.  Top with walnuts or pecans.

apple-nut-cake-pecansWith Pecans

apple-nut-cake-with-walnut-caramel-icingWith Walnuts






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Filed under dessert, Holidays, Recipes

Placing the Seasonal Decorating Accent Mark on Fall

Welcome to the Places In The Home first day of fall 2015 home is where the fall is feature. My for the fall of it all decorating is not what I would categorize as a traditional fall home tour, per se, however I do love placing the seasonal decorating accent mark on fall with set spot arrangements and seasonal accessories here, there and about.




Fall flower arrangement inspiration came in the form of neutral colors and natural elements.


I pulled decorative things together from spaces, bookshelf displays, Hopefully Classic Antiques and Interiors inventory, tabletop favorites, ghosts of preserved floral stems past and nature’s arts and crafts store.


A late summer experiment with drying hydrangeas proved successful enough to fulfill my fall and holiday decorating needs.


I bought this framed print at auction.  This particular antiques auction was held off the beaten path in the piney woods of North Louisiana.  The smalls at this hit the jackpot auction ranged from spectacular to premier, and the prices were equally fantastic.


I chalked it up to coincidence, but it seemed the auctions held in the fall brought forth the best finds.  I was like a kid in a big old country barn candy store with a cup of hot chocolate in one hand (it gets cold in the piney woods) and a bid card in the other.  Fall weekends offer up a snapshot, a glimpse from the past of those Saturday nights spent at the auction. This framed print reminds me of a not quite, but almost fall stroll through those piney woods. Good deals, good times and great memories.






Apples, walnuts and cinnamon.


It’s how I roll.


Hotel china demitasse cups are both a passion and a weakness of mine.



The price wasn’t exactly right for the set, but the I have to have these part of my brain convinced the a better deal is out there part of my brain that this was the last set of hotel china demitasse cups on the planet, and if I did not immediately buy them right then and there the treasure hunting gods would forever rain down it’s full price for you wrath on all future treasure hunts and finds.  Retail logic was alive and well.


Layering the look with gold tones and warm textures seems naturally autumn appropriate.


“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.”   ― Jim Bishop

Welcome home, fall.

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Curling Up With Good Interior Decorating, Home Decor and Architecture Books

Curling up with good interior decorating, home decor and architecture books in the name of all things house that make a home is always in style.  Today I am sharing a short list of a few newly released and soon to be released interior decorating, home decor and architecture books I am looking forward to reading cover to cover.

Mrs.-Howard-Room-by-RoomMrs. Howard, Room by Room  by  Phoebe Howard

I love a gorgeous read with an equally attractive jacket for bookshelf, coffee table and bedside table accessorizing.  I believe that’s what they call an interior decorating win-win.

Carrier-and-CompanyCarrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors by Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller with Foreword by Anna Wintour – September 22, 2015

apartment-therapy-complete-and-happy-homeApartment Therapy Complete and Happy Home Hardcover by Maxwell Ryan and Janel Laban with photographs by Melanie Acevedo 

This eclectic and dynamic fall 2015 reading list promises to deliver impressive interior decorating eye candy and inspire interior and exterior creativity.

design-booksHome by Ellen Degeneres– October  27 , 2015

 French Accents: Farmhouse French Style for Today’s Home by Anita Joyce

Eclectic Country by Mary Emmerling with Photographs by Reed Davis

Life|Style: Elegant Simplicity at Home by Tricia Foley with Foreword by Isabella Rossellini– September 29, 2015

It’s never too early to think about the holidays!

Country-Living-Christmas-JoysCountry Living Christmas Joys: Decorating * Crafts * Recipes  by Country Living – October 6, 2015 








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Not Too Far But Far Enough Away From Home: Travels to Small Southern Towns

August was a busy month of celebrations and milestones around Places In The Home.  Our son’s graduation from Louisiana State University, commencement ceremony and subsequent celebration(s) made for a busy first part of the month. When Dave the Builder suggested a regroup and recovery getaway for two I could not make reservations fast enough.  I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate the not too far but far enough away from home travels to small Southern towns.  These travel gems brimming with history, old houses, antiques and townsfolk who invite you to take in and be a part of the local flavor make a great weekend getaway destination perfect for recharging one’s battery.

St.-John's-Episcopal-ChurchSt. John’s Episcopal Church – Washington, Louisiana

Our long and winding road travels (well, our straight line I-49 travels) placed us center stage among the small Southern towns of Washington, Scott and Lafayette, Louisiana.  I learned a long time ago not to categorize our close to home jaunts as a non-vacation.  Trust me, these  just roll with the flow discovery excursions can pass a good time and pass for a real vacation.

Travels to Small Southern Towns

Washington, Louisiana is as sleepy as it is Southern, a small town full of history from steamboat days gone by.  Narrow streets shaded by mature oaks, magnolia trees, historical architecture, quintessential Southern homes ranging from the wow to the weathered, and an old high school full to the gills with antiques and vintage goodies seasons the local flavor.

old-houseBeauty does not always strike a pristine pose. This abandoned abode on a shaded street in a small Southern town piqued my interest, struck an architectural chord and became the subject of a subjective experience.  

You know you love antiquing when the indoor temperature almost matches the oppressive outdoor temperature ( 95+ degrees).  Note to self: antiquing in old buildings, warehouses, outdoors and in old high schools is an activity best enjoyed in the fall.  On this particular Louisiana summer Saturday, the Old Antique School Mall was full of hot air and hot finds priced fairly and in shop or home ready condition.  I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for, but something told me I would know it when, and if, I saw it.


Our visit to the school was timed just right for a super sale.  I have been working on a kitchen gallery wall, and no respectable kitchen gallery wall is complete without the all important touch of copper.


I couldn’t resist the lidded copper pan and mold.  Grand total: $10 for both.


That ladies and gentlemen is a copper bargain of the very best kind.

PM-corbel Dear Santa…

The method to my retail madness is simple- pop into shops, boutiques, markets and retail outlets not available in the retail deficient corner of the world I call home.

The Haul~


A familiar sign became a beacon of biscuits and cornbread in the South Louisiana night.

Cracker-Barrel-signIt was a biscuit and cornbread kind of evening. 

I planned our next trip the Southern life fantastic on the drive home.  November can’t get here soon enough.

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Filed under Antiques, home decor, Louisiana, travel

Never Forget: September 11, 2001

Alan Jackson’s haunting melody frames his equally poignant question, “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?”   That is a question the majority of us know the exact answer to.  Tuesday, September 11, 2001 began like most of our routine work and school mornings.  The smell of strong Louisiana coffee brewing wafted through the house, The Today Show was on the television and our three member family was making morning connections to get our day started right.  Dave and the little one headed off to school and to work, respectively. Milling about the house figuring out what direction to take my morning in, it was difficult not to notice the serious tone and shift The Today Show had suddenly taken.  Horror, shock and disbelief set in as I listened to Katie Couric report and repeat the words a Cantor Fitzgerald associate said to a Today Show producer who had called the offices to inquire about what was actually going on.  Cantor Fitzgerald occupied the 101st to the 105th floors of One World Trade Center, and on the fateful day lost 658 employees.  Still to this day that is one of the many facts of 9/11 that shakes me to my core.  Dave the Builder stayed in almost constant phone contact with me throughout the morning.  I remarked to him I felt the principle behind the countless Las Vegas hotel implosions we had viewed may apply to the World Trade Center Towers.  He vehemently disagreed with my observation, mostly out of hope, and goodness knows how I wish what I felt in my gut would have never played out.  There is no other way to put it, pure evil came to call and it unfolded in front of the world’s eyes.  As it was then and evermore true today, our memories will forever be filled with the events of that horrific day in our history.  What’s too painful to remember we should never choose to forget.


As it was then and evermore true today, our memories will forever be filled with the events of that horrific day in our history.  What’s too painful to remember we should never choose to forget.  God Bless America.





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Autumn Accessorizing For Home and Hearth

It is amazing how quick my pictures and downloads files can fill up with images. The save image as option on my devices sees its share of action.  I utilize the weekends for blog housekeeping, deleting images, updating fonts and the like- too much to see, source and save during the week.  In my latest save or delete session,  I ran across this picture Dave the Builder snapped last year of our local garden district bayou in full fall glory. Gorgeous, n’estce pas?  Funny how an image or a subject in that image alerts the senses and inspires ideas for autumn accessorizing for home and hearth.


This colors on parade color palette touches upon seasonal shades traditionally associated with autumn’s color wheel and nature’s neutrals.   Seasonal updating through tones, textures and palettes inspired by nature translate well to seasonal home decor accessories.  Decorative throws and pillows, lamps, rugs and spot furnishings are the mainstay of seasonal go-to accents.  Fall is the season for the senses, and throw pillows instantly introduce the all important cozy pop of color, warmth, tone and texture while keeping seasonal updating costs in check.  A rule of thumb I follow when selecting seasonal accessories, especially throw pillows,  is to go with a smart and stylish choice of color (go ahead, try a new-traditional color!), pattern and texture that picks up the warm and cozy feeling associated with the season while blurring the hard line of strictly a fall or winter accessory.

autumn accessorizing

Copper crush meets federal meets farmhouse gotta have it.


Timpani Drum Solid Copper Chandelier Fixture, France, circa 1900

Warm metals continue to be hot on the what’s on trend for the season radar.

fall-lampPier 1 imports

Speaking of copper and warm metals…

apple-cakeApples, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, Louisiana pecans- oh yeah, they’re in there! 

Our son snapped this image over this past Labor Day weekend while visiting Riding Mountain National Park.  The pair of bison caught his eye and the white birch trees caught mine.  I am a wee bit envious of those of you who are fortunate enough to live in the land of four seasons, white pumpkins and white birch trees.

bisonBirch and Bison

White birch logs make a lovely decorative fall accent for home and hearth.Birch-Log-Bundle

Birch Log Bundle

The concept of seasonal updating is nothing new.  When the seasons change, decoristas naturally become inspired to add to and/or take away from the look of the last season and breathe a bit of fall fresh air into their decor with current home decor accessories of the new season.  I believe a space, like a good red wine, must be afforded the opportunity to breathe.  Uncork a more expressive look by releasing aged accessories, stale color(s) and settled for furnishings with selective seasonal edits.  I find that in most cases when a phenomenal investment home decor accessory or home furnishings piece appeals to the personal style and taste side of my brain in one season, it typically continues to hold my attention through to the next season(s).

Benjamin-Bolero-Cherry-Leather-Press-Back-Chair-e7254af1-35c9-43d7-9553-a7406e305bb4_600The Benjamin Press Back Chair

Usher in a new season with a new look with this in mind- warmth, comfortable luxury and coziness remain the design features of the autumn accessorizing for home and hearth season.

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Filed under fall, seasonal decorating