Nature’s Nuts, Fruits, Branches, And Cones In Understated Season

It’s time to let your creative imagination get back to nature.  Easy, affordable, and simply beautiful fall arrangements and centerpieces are as close as your yard, local produce market or grocery store, or favorite area of woods.  Decorating for fall with natural elements and accents emphasizes the beauty and color of the season.


What is fall without fall fruits, foliage and seasonal nuts?  It’s a given they are wonderful ingredients for fall recipes, but boy do they shine in fall arrangements and centerpieces!  Let me show you a few ideas that are inexpensive, colorful and beautiful.

Better Homes and Gardens

There is something so elegantly simple about an arrangement of magnolia leaves.  The deep green leaves contrasted with striking copper brown under tones capture the eye and the essence of fall.  I was a goner the minute I saw the magnolia leaves abounding from the copper pail.

Better Homes and Gardens

Pears, gorgeous pears!  How beautiful is this no fuss fall centerpiece? Pears paired (hehe) with nuts and leaves for a fall pop of color is elegance in its purest form.

Take one clear glass vase, six oranges, and five acorn branches and call it WOW!  Another way to go would be to take one clear glass vase, six apples of your color choice, five branches from any hardwood shrub or tree, and one can of spray paint.  Painting the branches with metallic colors such as gold, silver, bronze, or copper adds to the element of decorative surprise.

Better Homes and Gardens

Berries, nuts, fruits and pine cones bring a natural grace to the season in an understated elegance display.


A tray, dough bowl, vintage compote, blue and white footbath or fireplace mantel makes a wonderful display accompaniment.  Add feathers, greenery and fresh flowers for the wow factor win!

thanksgiving-table-9Dimples and Tangles

For a match made in natural fall arrangement beauty think outside of the traditional vase box.  Pumpkins make their debut in the beginning of fall, and these seasonal decorating essentials make a unique and festive vase for an arrangement made with succulents.


Simply Happenstance

Many harvest moons ago when our kids were not yet teenagers, my family and my best friend’s family would spend Thanksgiving week at our local state park.  We rented this lodge- our three bedroom holiday home away from home complete with a huge fireplace and mantel ready for decorating.

A tradition within a tradition was the kids and my friend’s husband going out on Thanksgiving morning and collecting leaves, pine cones, acorns, and basically anything from nature that they interpreted as beauty.

1024px-lake_chicot_louisianaLake Chicot in fall glory

Thank goodness all three of the gatherers had good taste, and no strange or crawling elements of natural beauty were brought back to the lodge.


My friend’s husband furnished a pair of mounted deer antlers from his collection as the focal point of the mantel arrangement.  I looked forward to gathering  morning, seeing what the kids would come back with, and the family time spent decorating the mantel.  Memories- they are the stuff life is made of!   The ideas, combinations, and supplies are in your reach.

I’m Seeing A Pattern: Chevron Home Decor

A pattern alert has been sounded throughout the design and interiors world.  Chevron is a versatile pattern being used in all elements of interior design and home decor.

Elle Decoration – photography by Jeremy Wilson

How gorgeous is this foyer designed by Thom Filicia?  The wood floors with painted silver chevron herringbone pattern are spectacular. That’s the beauty of Chevron home decor.


I’m really coming around to embrace its funky side, but am in love with its elegant design presence. The example below bee-lows my decorating mind.  Julie Charbonneau of De Poitiers Design beautifully executed her vision of European elegance through the use of chevron with this kitchen backsplash.

The Chevron pattern brilliantly defines the firebox opening as a unique attribute to the space.  This example is from the wonderfully mastered design of Phoebe Howard of Max and Company.

Another pitch- perfect example of allowing pattern to carry the color of the space is in this master bathroom design by Dodson and Daughter Interior Design.  The floor is an elegant anchor of the space.  Gorgeous doors!


Designer Michael S. Smith gives a New York town house a touch of romance and elegance by incorporating classic design features. The entryway floors do gorgeous justice to the stunning visual effect the chevron pattern creates.

House Beautiful

One of the best ways to bring pattern into your decor is in a small but effective way through accessories.  Decorative home decor accessories are an excellent option to do just this.

West Elm

You can ride the trend train for the life of it and simply edit out the accessories at trends end.

Chloe and Olive

I have done this plenty over the years, and it ends up being the beginning of something beautiful to add to my design and decor favorites.

One Kings Lane

Jonathan Adler spiral chevron pattern notebook

Do you see a pattern in these Chevron home decor and accessories?

Love your style!

Unpacking A Few Decorative Home Decor Deals And A Surprise!

The happiness I used to find  from a box full of toys like these

is now found from getting a box of toys like this.

My taste in toys has drastically changed, wouldn’t you say?  I’ll give an additional 40% off clearance sale a run for its money anytime Dillard’s wants to offer this deal up.

The set of six (6) salad plates will star in my fall tablescape and was a deal for under $15.00  for the entire set. The fruit pattern and the bold brick red colors of the plates did it for me.  The new decorative pillow ($10.80) perfectly accents this leopard love it accent chair.

An inexpensive freshening up through color and decorative accent pieces has been accomplished.   Unpacking home decor deals and accessories goodness was in full force when I heard the unmistakable sound of the FedEx truck bringing me another package.

A couple of weeks ago the lovely ladies at WUSLU sponsored a contest on their Facebook page.  I love me a contest and along with two other entries, Places In The Home won!  Further building the anticipation, the prize was a surprise to be discovered when you received it. I was doing the WUSLU WooHoo as I opened the package and saw the winning reveal.

The vintage styled decorative metal circle for holding important notes, photos or recipes will keep me stylishly in the information loop.  Get it? Circle, loop- hehe!  Today was a good day for home decor deals delivered in brown cardboard packages!

Love your style!



Turtles, Hotel Monteleone, Turtle Soup And Helen Hayes

William, our four- legged Westie son, let his mama know something out of his ordinary furry routine was up today.  I realized his “I’m ready for my morning treat” bark was different.  When I walked out on the patio with treats in hand, William immediately showed me we had company.

Sir William B- Our Wild & Woolly Westie


Shelly~ The Visiting Turtle

This turtle is huge! The markings on her shell are quite beautiful. “Shelly” is currently residing in a cardboard condo awaiting transport to a more turtle friendly home.  My mother and I commented to each other that we know plenty of people who would view Shelly as dinner, and not simply an afternoon visitor.   Turtle soup with sherry is another Louisiana favorite.  I pulled out one of my favorite vintage cookbooks,  the 1967 edition of  Talk About Good to confirm.

Seventy one pages in and the Hotel Monteleone Turtle Soup II recipe via Mrs. Helen M. Hayes struck a culinary chord.


Hotel Monteleone is as rich in history as their turtle soup .   A New Orleans landmark  in the heart of the French Quarter, the list of Pulitzer Prize winners who have been guests of  Hotel Monteleone include Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, and Richard Ford.  It is reported Truman Capote claimed to have been born there.


Antonio Monteleone opened his historic hotel in 1886.  It still remains family owned and a New Orleans must see, must stay, must order the turtle soup kind of place.  Thank you, Mrs. Helen M. Hayes, for the recipe and the reminder.

Turtle Soup II (Monteleone)


3/4  gallon chicken stock (bouillon cubes may be used)

4  Tbsp. butter

1 c.  green onions, chopped fine

1/3 c.  celery, chopped fine

¼  c.  lemon, chopped fine

3  hard-boiled eggs, sieved

1 c.  flour

1 c.  tomato sauce

1 lb.  boneless turtle meat cut into very small cubes



Prepare chicken stock.  Saute onion and celery in 4 tablespoons butter. Brown the flour in a heavy iron skillet over medium heat stirring constantly.  Add flour to onions and celery.  Mix into stock. Add tomato sauce, sieved, hard boiled eggs, lemon and salt, red pepper and black pepper to taste.

Brown turtle meat and add to stock.  Cook over low heat, simmering 1 ½ hours to 2 hours.  Pour sherry into serving plate (not more than 1 tablespoon per large bowl) and ladle hot soup over it. Serves 10-12.

Mrs.  Helen M. Hayes









Kitchen Styles Now Being Served

The kitchen has become the place to be in most homes. I can’t tell you how many cocktail parties I have hosted for business, birthdays, holidays, and just for the pure fun of it over the years.  Some are more memorable than others, but they all have one thing in common. No matter how fantastic the rest of the house or outdoor space is, everyone gathers and remains in the kitchen. The same is true for everyday life lived in our homes. The kitchen is so much more than the space for cooking, dining, and cleaning.

Better Homes and Gardens

I’ve been participating in design chats on twitter lately, and the dream kitchen and what defines that term was the topic of an informative chat hosted by #kbtribechat.  Appliances, flooring, color scheme, cabinetry, and countertops are just a few of the design elements that factor in to complete the dream.  The industry has so many unique ideas and user friendly ways to implement them into real kitchens.

Country Living

Gone are the days of a small space with simply a stove, refrigerator, sink, and an exhausted cook going through the motions of getting the food to the table.  Whatever your personal style may be, I say express it through food and the kitchen it is prepared in.

photo cabinets

I’m am so impressed with this expression of individuality in a kitchen. The Georgia lake house of Leo and Kay Berard featured in the August issue of  Southern Living  is my idea of how to camp.  Framed family photos serve as the cabinet doors in their sophisticated camp kitchen.  The photos are backed with thin plywood and hinged. Genius!  And is that copper I see?  Speaking of copper

tyler florence kitchen of the year 2011 copper

House Beautiful‘s 2011 Kitchen of the Year is a good one!   Tyler Florence delivered on many levels and the industry is buzzing.  Can you guess what caught my attention and held it?  The copper accessories compliment the ebony fixtures and countertops beautifully.  I love the copper “vase” on the island.

tyler florence kitchen of the year 2011

A viewing of the KOTY cast inspiration magic.  I was introduced to a great site last week.  Olioboard is a free site for creating interior design moodboards.  One board, two boards, and I’m hooked!  If you have not discovered Olioboard, I highly recommend a visit. I had a ball creating my kitchen board.

The most popular kitchen design element hands down is function.  It is nothing out of the norm for fifteen different tasks, jobs, and conversations to be going on at one time in our kitchen.  Our kitchen is comfortable, multifunctional, and the space where everyone wants to be.  Today’s kitchens serve a stylish purpose.


The King Has Left The Building And All I Got Was This Walnut Table

This one comes from our bartering files.  We have a business friend who is one of our favorite sources for architectural and whimsical finds.  She had gone to a festival in New Orleans, and in her buying rounds found an oil painting of a Mardi Gras King, plucked it up, and brought it back to her shop to sell.  It caught my eye the minute I walked in her shop.  I kept going back to it,  knowing deep down it was coming home with me.   As I was paying for our other treasures I scooped it up and told her I had to have it.  I put it at Hopefully Classic, where it got rave reviews.


I have one very blurred picture of the King that shall remain unposted. The overhead fluorescent lighting/ white walls motif  throughout the entire mall makes it virtually impossible to produce pleasing photos. Please see the proof of it in the image below.  I will post a picture of one funny and revered Mardi Gras King, Mr. Will Ferrell.


In the King’s debut week one of our regular customers fell in love with the painting.  He approached me about a trade, and I channeled my inner Renee Zellweger & Dr. Frasier Crane–  he had me at trade, and yes, I was listening!   We both agreed to the terms of the trade and he did the Mardi Gras Mambo.  Keep the customers happy and the word of mouth positive! My part of the trade resulted in a Walnut wall table.  It continued to grow on me, and I decided it would be better off finding its new home at my new home.

I get the thing home and it sits for a few months.  The next phase of creativity presented two questions.  The where to hang it one was a no brainer.  Now the do we try to improve it one I had to ponder.  Being no strangers to DIY projects of course we will try to improve it!  When our son was four years old he fell in love with the painting Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh.  We jumped at the chance to purchase a copy for him.  While walking past the painting one afternoon inspiration struck.  Dave was in total agreement with the plan.


Out comes the Annie Sloan chalk paint and the Rust-Oleum tintable chalkboard paint.  When the creative process beckons patience is nowhere to be found. Let’s just say you use what is available.   Dave primed it for me with KILZ interior oil primer from Lowe’s.  I painted the entire table with Rust-Oleum tintable chalkboard paint in Periwinkle and allowed it to completely dry.

**Important note**

I asked the paint associate to cut the formula by fifty percent (50%) and increase the black tint by fifty percent (50%).   The next step was to paint over the apron and legs with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Old White. I followed up with a light second coat of ASCP Old White for good measure.   Wonderful stuff!  I hit the  high notes on the apron and legs with fine sandpaper until I reached distressed goodness. Dave took over the final stage of applying Johnson Paste Wax.  It’s a pairing I would not have originally thought of.  I am so pleased the colors in the painting complement the color choices we went with for the wall table. Label this one an accidental selection, but a surprisingly perfect fit in execution. The table really serves no purpose at this time, but our son’s passport and car keys have a home waiting for them on his next visit home.

Love your style!

Delicious Debut: Recipes from “The Help”

Recipes from the movie The Help have made Lee Ann Flemming a star in her own right.  Her theatrical debut comes as a movie food stylist for The Help.  Chocolate pies, tea cakes, and deviled eggs  are not an ordinary claim to fame in the movie biz, but seeing your work on the big screen is nice work if you can get it.

The Help poster

The highly anticipated movie of the summer, The Help, stars her chocolate chess pie with a dollop of Cool Whip recipe.  Lee Ann Flemming made every pie in the movie, eaten or not.  It must be tough to see your hard work go to the cutting room garbage can, not to mention that baking being done in the exhaustive heat of unforgiving Mississippi temps.  You kiss a lot of frogs to get to the prince, and bake a lot of pies to get the perfect shot.  I think Lee Ann’s role as chocolate pie baker extraordinaire will be measured in the sweet success of her recipe and her Hollywood culinary debut.

Minny The Help

The Help-Facebook



1 ½ cups sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

¼ cup butter, melted

2 eggs, slightly beaten

¼ teaspoon salt

1 (5 ½-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½  package of rolled pie crust (found in the dairy case)


Let pie crust come to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Flour surface and unroll crust; place to fit in a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edges by using your index finger to make a “V”. Prick bottom and sides with a fork and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar, cocoa and butter in a mixing bowl; mix well. Add eggs and beat with a mixer (or by hand) for 3 minutes. Add salt, milk and vanilla. Pour filling into prepared pie shell. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until pastry edges are brown and filling is slightly set in the middle.  Cool completely before serving.  May be refrigerated or served at room temperature.  Top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream before serving.

The Help-Facebook



1 cup sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup oil

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 ½ cups plain flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup powdered sugar


In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, butter, oil and eggs. Cream well; add vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, soda, baking powder, and cream of tartar. Add to the creamed mixture; mixing well.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until edges of the cookies are brown. While teacakes are still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

dinner table Jessica Chastain

The Help-Facebook

Deviled Eggs


6 eggs

½ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish


Pimiento stuffed green olives, cut in half


Place eggs in a single layer in a medium saucepan.  Add enough cold water to cover the eggs.  Bring to a rapid boil over high heat; remove from heat, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.  Drain hot water and replace with cold water; peeling when cool to the touch.  Halve eggs lengthwise and remove yolks.  Set whites aside.  Place yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.  Add mayonnaise,mustard and sweet pickle relish; mix well.  Stuff egg white halves with filling and garnish with paprika and olive halves. Refrigerate immediately.


Home Decor Gotta Have It List

Good Friday everyone!

I thought I would round out the master suite remodel posts with my home decor gotta have it list.  The home decor and home furnishings accessories treasure hunt is as fun as the finds, and I have had a blast searching and discovering  home decor wonders.  The gorgeous Thibaut fabric is a pop of color dream.

Better Homes & Gardens

A frog anything is always in order, and Butch the Bulldog has a face I can get a chuckle from.  I want to mount the andirons to the wall as easels for a piece of art.  I’m contemplating using the corbels as bookends. What do you think of the wallcovering choice for the master closet?  An alligator and/or croc wallpaper is fittingly appropriate for Louisiana. Please don’t assume I’m a swamp person, but I would be remiss if I did not add a “Choot ‘Em” to the alligator reference.

gotta have it list

Next week I will be featuring a guest post that I’m very excited about.  Be looking for it early in the week.  I hope you enjoy looking at  the items featured on the home decor gotta have it list.  Have a great weekend!











The Joy Is In The Home Furnishings and Home Decor Accessorizing

The color foundation is laid and now comes the fun part, home furnishings and home decor accessorizing.  The home decor marketplace is on its game with stylish options at every price point.  Manufacturers and retailers have done a great job of offering beautiful furnishings that can be easily found,  regardless if the interior design and decorating budget is on a shoestring or the sky’s the limit.

master bedroom moodboard

Our existing furniture archives will fill out the spots.  Dave’s favorite piece of furniture we own is an antique Walnut Scottish chest, and it will stand out against the wall color.  I have an 18″ X 30″ oil painting of a Victorian lady in storage that I can’t wait to retrieve and display.  The painting will complement the color scheme and furnishings beautifully.  There will be plenty of time and room to fill in when this part of the remodel comes to pass.  I am on a constant treasure hunt for a treasures that will look great. That’s the real fun of all of this!  The Gotta Have It list is growing!

Now for a little housekeeping and the disclosure portion of this post:

As it in life and disclosure policy compliance with FTC rules, honesty is the best policy. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the product links I have an affiliate relationship with and make a purchase from the retailer, I receive a commission from the sale.  To read the disclosure policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure policy.



glidden marshmallow whiteMarshmallow White from Glidden

dana landing by Mohawk

Mohawk  Dana Landing Series in Ice Plant ~ Price available through Mohawk retailers

Kravet acanthus

Kravet Acanthus Gilded Silver Drapery Hardware ~ Price available upon request

Duponi silk pewter

Dupioni Custom Silk Drapes in Pewter

schnadig compositions carleton arm chair

Schnadig Compositions Carleton Series

Emelia Cotton PillowEmelia Cotton Pillow

carly pillowCarly Pillow

Portfolio-Canvas-Decor-Girl-in-Dress-by-Bridges-Painting-Print-on-Wrapped-CanvasGirl in Dress by Bridges Painting

BestMasterFurniture-3-Drawer-Chest3 Drawer Chest by BestMasterFurniture


Marble-top Louis Philippe Chest

artisana table lamp

Artisana Half Corinthian Column Table Lamp 

cardoni gloss white table lamp

Uttermost Cardoni Gloss White Hand-Blown Glass Table Lamp


Antique Gold Rectangle Wall Mirror

Aubrey-Wall-ShelfAubrey Wall Shelf 

antique accent chair zebra upholsteryFrench Carved Wood & Zebra Cowhide Chair

Jennifer Adams gray throw pillow

 Inspired By Jennifer Adams Pillow

leopard gold throw pillow

Metallic Leopard Throw Pillow



Master Bedroom Remodel Ideas

We are on a remodeling roll here at Places In The Home.  Between the DIY projects, the oppressive heat that takes no prisoners, and the decorating tweaks over the last month we are in full-on “what can we do next?” mode.  The next project to eventually tackle is the master bedroom. Due to difficult circumstances beyond their control my parents now live with us and occupy the master bedroom. Dave the Builder and I insisted and would have it no other way.

A picture shows it all and here it is~the master bedroom  in all its pre-overhaul glory.  This photo was taken the day before the new carpet was installed last March.  The reason I am posting this photo is to demonstrate the space I will be working with when the next phase of the remodel commences.  What is not pictured is a very nice master bathroom, dressing area, and walk in closets the length of the sleeping area.  We are talking nice square footage to work with- 800 sq. ft. to be exact. I’m going big with the master bedroom remodel ideas.

master bedroom remodel ideas

I am forever working and tweaking the master bedroom accessory board, and may I just add I am in home furnishings heaven!  I’m not one to jump into the trend pool too quickly or strictly attach myself to one particular style.  If I have a signature style I guess it would be simply classic. Classic styling is the foundation I work from.  It is timeless and can be tweaked by adding current accessories.  The  all important  pop of color  is obtained through paint, wallcoverings, and/or window treatments.

But on second thought…

glidden marshmallow white

Gold & silver are consummate favorites of mine.  Empire Gold from Sherwin-Williams is a maybe contender in the wall color competition. Marshmallow white in all its neutral gorgeous goodness is the front.  I can’t help it- I’m a fan of carpet in a bedroom.  I  swooned when I found the Dana Landing series from Mohawk in the color Ice Plant.

dana landing by Mohawk

The other night we were watching a movie that I can’t remember the name of at this moment. It must not have made an impression.  The big scene with the male star of the movie came up.  I put down my magazine (when a movie doesn’t hold my interest I tend to multitask) and Dave noticed I was paying close attention.  He inquired when the movie was over if I liked it.  He mentioned he noticed the male star got my attention. No, it wasn’t the actor.  It was the crimson red dupioni silk drapes in the scene.  Talk about a scene stealer!

Love your style!