Vegas Nights: Bright Paint Colors

The final installment in  the Color Your World series is courtesy of my colorful interpretation of America’s playground, Fabulous Las Vegas.

vegas stripCaesars Palace

neon paint colors

Vibrant and bright paint colors take the pulse of our decor choices and supply the essential element, the pop of color.



bright-fabricInside Fabric




Fiori di Como at Bellagio

chihuly_cobaltblue01_org_lFive-Piece Cobalt Blue Sea Form Set with Turquoise Lip Wrap by Dale Chihuly


Dylan Blue Velvet Button-tufted Club Chair with Round Acrylic Feet

Vegas sign

Cameron-Diaz-apartmentElle Decor

vegas nights wallpaper



Designers Guild

Porter Teleo: Ink Blots


Inside Fabric

I hope you have enjoyed viewing this series as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to the page.  Thank you, thank you very much.

Color Your World Series: Decorating With Black and White

The second installment in the Color Your World series focuses on decorating with black and white.

black and white upholstered chair

House Beautiful

Decorating with black and white epitomizes classic elegance.

Atlanta0holidayshowhouse-dining-roomAtlanta Homes & Lifestyles

This timeless color combination choice is the most distinct of distinct color choices- an interior design and interior decorating classic that commands the room while beautifully owning up to the bragging rights of presence through powerful neutrality.

bette-davis-1932-gettyimages-506011763House Beautiful

From fashion to floor to ceiling, decorating with black and white is a color palette choice that allows a space to open up.

black-white-living-roomHarper’s BAZAAR

Let’s look at the color combination instantly recognized as a premier choice in the world of color, design and decorating.

jean-louis-deniot-inc-07Interiors by Jean-Louis Deniot, Inc.

“Color is black and white put together”

~ Author Unknown


Curie Floral Wallpaper



Total Wallcovering

black-and-white-fabric Inside Fabric 


Hans Andersen Home Arsenalsgatan Chandelier


Rodeo Zebra Hand-Woven Rug

black-white-antique-empire-round-center-tableAntique Empire Center Table

decorating with black and white

 One King’s Lane

Decorating with black and white makes a strong and timeless statement. This color combination strikes a stunning scheme resulting in the desired effect- a chic and commanding presence.

Color Your World Series: Decorating With The Color Pink

Decorating with the color pink is a decorista go-to in my portfolio preferences.  Over the next few postings I will be showing a series of color charts, fabric samples and wallpapers for your viewing pleasure. I am appropriately titling the series Color Your World.   I’ve selected a few fun, funky, classic, trendy, traditional, elegant and affordable options.  Who couldn’t use a little color in their decor world?  Let’s kick things off with interiors, ideas and a shades and styles design board featuring ideas for decorating with the color pink.

Amanda Nisbet Design Amanda Nisbet Design

Peacock-Cabinetry Peacock Cabinetry


Tibetan Lamb Ottoman


Amanda Reynal Interiors

Amy_Morris_2016_04_25_9999_7Amy Morris Interiors ~ Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles


Amy Morris Interiors ~ Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles


Abstract Wilderness Canvas by Elisabeth Fredriksson

pink colors moodboard

pink-palette Sherwin- Williams 

color pinkCountry Living

benjamin moore blush paint colorsBenjamin Moore ~  Rose Blush ||  Warm Blush ||  Misty Blush


Burke Decor ~ Inside Fabric


French Rose Antique 2 Drawer Chest by The Bradburn Gallery

Bungalow-Rose-Aquarius-Pink-Beige-Area-Rug (1)Aquarius Pink/Beige Area Rug by Bungalow Rose


Matthew Izzo Oil Painting on Canvas


American Flamingo’ by John James Audubon

Scalamandre Le Tigre PillowCustom Scalamandré “Le Tigre” Pillow

gold-ibis-table-lampFun. Funky. Fabulous.  Gold Ibis Table Lamp from Lamps Plus

She Said A Toast To The Bottle Drying Rack. He Said Nice Rack!

Men and women, Mars and Venus!  Dave the Builder and I have two completely different views on which way to go with the title of this post featuring bottle drying racks, but compromise equals blogging bliss.

French wine bottle drying rackBetter Homes & Gardens

What we do agree on is the accessory appeal and unique ways to use antique French wine bottle, vintage, rustic or stylish reproduction bottle drying racks.

bottle drying rackWest Elm

reproduction bottle drying rackBetter Homes & Gardens

Antique and vintage items that are repurposed in practical, useful, and stunning ways catch on quick with the reproduction world.  Reproduction bottle drying racks widen the field of affordability, offer broader size and color options, and add to the popularity of these home decor jewels.

French wine drying rack Apartment Therapy

A countertop counterpart sounds better than dish drain extension, doesn’t it?  Super problem solver to one of my biggest dish drying dilemmas. Bottle drying racks provide a stylish option for storage, display, and freeing up a precious kitchen commodity-counter space.

metal bottle drying rackBetter Homes & Gardens

A bottle drying rack will fit perfectly on the countertop and clear the bottom of the cabinet above it.  I’m considering the look and function aspect as a dinner party focal point.  Tea-towels put a fashionable spin on the dinner napkin.  One tier for water or wine glasses, one tier for after dinner coffee or tea cups, and one tier for tea-towel dinner napkins.

bottle drying rack ornaments


What about a bottle drying rack ornament tree?  The prongs are handy hangers for ornaments, craft ribbon, jewelry, baseball or golf caps.


Better Homes and Gardens

What’s not to love about home decor items possessing a unique personality, vintage quality, and what is it wonder?





Chalk It Up: Chalk Paint DIY Project Inspiration

While catching up on my continuing decorating education this past week, I’ve duly noted chalk paint diy project inspiration and love is still going strong.

chalk paint

Home Depot offers great readings and ideas in their forums. I am in the thought before execution stage of project custom chalkboard for my office.


My color curiosity is even more piqued now that I’ve learned the rainbow of chalk paint possibility is multicolored. Rust-Oleum Specialty Chalk Board Tint Base converts surfaces into a usable chalkboard.  Good color choices come in lucky me thirteens!

Benjamin Moore takes its turn at the board in hopes of broadening your chalkboard paint horizons.


Benjamin Moore latex chalkboard paint allows you to turn almost any interior surface into a chalkboard in any color.  Now that is chalk it up to fabulous!


Let’s look at a few examples of chalk it up to fabulous chalkboard chalk paint diy projects:

bee cottage6

I like the quaint yet eye-catching presence of this Frances Schultz designed kitchen and butler’s pantry.  Scalloped edging and burlap ties bring that’s the one I want thoughts to mind.   How lovely is this blue and white plate and platter display?  Gorgeous!


Traditional Home

Chalk paint or in the style of chalk paint paints take to primed and ready pieces such as vintage doors, cabinet fronts, decorative frames and framed windows (yes, it adheres to clean glass) with finish perfection.

chalk-boardTraditional Home

usefullwalltreatments_6_magnetfamilywall Apartment Therapy

A vintage panel becomes both a chalkboard and a dining room focal point for practical and vintage collection display purposes.

chalk-daviddambrosiocondo-09Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

I find myself long on correspondence and short on storage space in my home office. Beauty is not found in the stacks if the stacks are piled all around. In a quest to alleviate and edit, I plucked an architectural mantle from the Hopefully Classic inventory thinking it would be perfect for reference books, design magazines and accumulating correspondence.  It was not.  Let the treasure hunt begin for an antique chest or single drawer table.  This is a super easy project and answer to stylish storage solutions.

MaisonBlancheColorChart2014July001Maison Blanche Paint Company

The design and decorative draw of chalk paint and in the style of chalk paint is found in the no need to prime, strip or sand technique, quick dry time, premier color chart choices, mix and match color your world with your own color invention capabilities, ease of application and finishing waxes.  Although not a miracle worker product, these types of paints tend to cover so well it allows the painter/furniture artist to embrace and go with the imperfections- this stuff covers a multitude of decorative sins.


Annie Sloan masters the ooh la la chalk paint techniques, ideas, colors and what wax to use for what effect how-to.


Vintage shops, flea markets, and or garage sales are prime haunts for great pieces to get your chalk paint on with.

Chalk it up to fabulous!

Love your style!



Home Decor Memories Under The Big Top Of The Piccadilly Circus

I hail from the land of Steel Magnolias, Divine Secrets of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood, grand interiors and impeccable tastes.   If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I have flattered with the best of them.  In my attempts to recreate the glory of fine, whimsical and vintage interiors, I have found I like home decor memories and keepsakes weaved throughout my decor.

Steel Magnolias

It is a nice way to incorporate the wonder times of my childhood, friendships, travels, and family. I’m neither a Southern Belle nor Hollywood’s interpretation of one.  What I am is an appreciator of tasteful objects that take me to a place in my life timeline as I pass by, place around and prize them.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

My mother, who is a Southern Belle with a nth degree black belt in retail, is of the firm belief shopping and lunch go together like Visa and MasterCard.  My brother and I were not particularly thrilled to see this idea of a circus come to town.  The brand of circus I speak of was the weekly ritual of lunching and marathon shopping at “the Village.”  The Village was the largest shopping center in town and the epicenter of early nineteen seventies shopping.

venetian-carnival-mole-by-scalamandreCarnival by Scalamandre

When I can’t sleep there is no sheep counting for my inner insomniac.  I think back and place the shops in their rightful storefronts circa nineteen seventy something.  Works every time!   Fast forward to today’s Village where all that is left of yesterday’s retail offerings is one national chain grocery store and a family favorite, Piccadilly Cafeteria.  I believe I have spent a collective decade of my life at the Piccadilly.  When you are the only kid on the culinary block it just works out that way.  With frequent visits came a strange familiarity with the surroundings.  My parents viewed after dinner visiting with fellow diners, local friends and dignitaries as the final course of the meal.  As my childhood patience was tested, I would stare at the chandeliers, grandfather clock, draperies and paintings in the dining area for what seemed hours.

cattle oil painting

I always loved the gold gilt framed oil painting of cows that graced the wall of the dining room with its larger than life presence.  Some years later the exterior of the cafeteria was remodeled, and the addition of eight large decorative pineapples found a new home atop the cafeteria’s exterior pillars.  Word spread fast throughout the community of the Piccadilly renovation and liquidation sale of interior and exterior decorative goods.  My checkbook, my brother and my memories headed to the Village faster than you could say dilly plate.


Piccadilly Cafeteria

The beautiful oil painting proudly hangs over the master sitting room fireplace in my brother’s home, and the “Piccadilly Pineapple” graces our kitchen dining area.  The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, and goodness knows the Piccadilly served up enough of it over the years to my family.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages…  A memorable memento from where we’ve been, what we’ve seen, and who we are celebrates us and brings it all home.



Green Tomatoes In Phyllo Baskets At The Places In The Home Cafe

Creativity is in full force in the test kitchen at The Places In The Home cafe.   A culinary brainstorming session with my brother resulted in this green tomatoes in phyllo baskets recipe.


The recipes is a work in progress and phyllo patience, but it was met with glowing reviews from the family.

Green Tomatoes In Phyllo Baskets


6-8 green tomatoes

1  roll phyllo pastry sheets,  thawed

8 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

1 8 oz. box Tony Chachere’s Creole Dirty Rice dinner mix 0r favorite brand flavored rice mix

½ lb. ground beef

½ lb. medium or hot ground pork sausage

1 tsp. basil

salt & pepper or creole seasoning to taste

8 oz. shredded cheese of your choice

1 tsp. parsley flakes

1 tsp. paprika

1 Pyrex baking dish

aluminum baking pan

6-8 cup muffin pan

sauce pan or microwavable bowl

sauce brush


Remove phyllo pastry sheets from freezer and allow to thaw according to package directions (two hours at room temperature for quick thaw, overnight in refrigerator for following day use).

Wash and scoop out the inside of  tomatoes.  Place tomatoes in a square Pyrex dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper or creole seasoning to personal taste.  Place Pyrex dish into a deep baking pan. Prepare a hot- water bath by bringing a pan of water to a light simmer on top of stove; carefully pour hot water into a baking pan halfway up the sides of Pyrex dish.  Cover with aluminum foil or inverted cookie sheet to promote a slight softening.  If tomatoes are too soft they will become difficult to wrap.

Brown ground beef  and ground pork sausage together.  Add basil.   Drain and add meats to packaged rice mix; prepare as directed. When fully cooked allow to cool.   Remove Pyrex dish filled with softened tomatoes from hot-water bath.  Melt butter and place to side for use with phyllo dough.  Fill each tomato with cooked rice and meat.  Top each tomato with shredded cheese to individual taste. We Louisianians are big on flavor, seasoning and heat.  I adjusted the spice of the recipe to a  medium spice content.  Tone it down or turn it up to your please your taste buds.

Prepare phyllo sheets according to instructions.  I used two layers of dough per tomato.  Very important to work only with needed dough keeping a damp towel over the remaining layers until ready to use.  It makes it easier to handle and reduces tearing.  Lightly brush the edges of each layer of dough with melted butter.  Place stuffed tomato in center of dough.  “Wrap” tomato by bring dough corners to center and twisting.


Place wrapped tomatoes in ungreased muffin pan.  Lightly brush dough wrapped tomatoes once again with remaining melted butter.  Sprinkle with paprika and parsley flakes.  Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.










The Art Of The Hang: Instructions For Hanging Art

It’s funny how movie titles stick in the impressionable side of my brain, becoming an exercise in conversion to design and decor dilemmas.  Hang ‘Em High is a 1968 western starring Clint Eastwood. It is not the standard rule of thumb for hanging art and decorative accents.

hang em high

What is it they say about rules being made to be broken?


Traditional Home

Many times in many cases and spaces there is an exception to a rule of design and decorating, and I’m all about the exception to the rule rule.

Patricia_Altschul_07Architectural Digest

I have hung my fair share of framed artwork, decorative antique plates, pediments, ironwork and sconces high, higher and at the highest point on a wall.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

Not all spaces, personal style and tastes, and intended results are created equal, a thank goodness!  How boring a cookie-cutter world of design and decorating it would be to exist in.


How low can you go?  This placement is eye-catching to say the least.


Many homes ago we were blessed (or cursed depending on how you look at it) with sixteen foot ceilings.  A traditional rule of picture hanging did not apply in this case, and decorative interpretation as well as adjustment blurred all standard lines and rules of placement.  I honestly believe the concept of the gallery wall was born out of tall ceilings and the decorative pursuit to avoid a void of space.

gallery-wallTraditional Home

Hanging the artwork and decorative accouterments at eye level didn’t flow (there’s that word again) and would have been visually boring. The exception to the rule fit this scenario perfectly.

On Milwaukee

Back in the late 1970’s my family attended a starving artist sale.  My parents went on a buying spree that would have easily wiped out hunger among many an artist community.  Hammer, nails, hangers, and two sets of eyes signaled the hanging process was about to commence.  My parents are big on eyeballing measurements.  Measuring tape?  Don’t need it.  Yard stick?  No, we’ve got this.  I was fourteen at the time, and even I knew this wasn’t the way to go.  I learned that day the “art” of keeping my opinion to myself and the three T’s my design world revolves around – their house, their taste, their decor.

macgyverCBS Consumer Products

Dave the Builder is a MacGyver in the name of all things home.  In his apprenticeship years he mastered the skill of hanging pictures, mirrors, artwork, etc… in both a pleasing and appropriate manner. I am going to highlight in bold the formula we use.  Eye level varies from person to person. Let me suggest as a guide working off the average height of 5’6″.  If it doesn’t look right to you, raise or lower a few inches.  After deciding the desired height to hang the picture, measure from the ceiling the distance to one hanger on one side of the picture. Next, measure from the ceiling to the other side hanger to assure a level picture hanging.   If the frame has only one center hanger measure the back of the picture from the center of the bottom of the frame to the center of the top of the frame. Divide this number in half.  That is your centerline.  Mark spot or spots with a pencil.  Pull the picture wire tightly upward as if  hanging on the hook. Measure the distance from the centerline to the top point of the wire.  Add this distance to the eye level line measurement ( your pencil mark or marks on the wall).  This is where you put the picture hook.  Two hooks a couple of inches apart seem to work best for smaller pieces.  If the piece is larger, it is better to use two hooks spaced eight inches from each side.   

The lower the placement the better in most cases.  The frame should give the illusion it is connected to the piece it is hanging above. Design and decorating is a process.  Placing  furniture and deciding on what will be the focal point of the room begins the process.  With decisions reached and furniture placed, I step back and view the walls as the canvas of the room.  It might be that one stellar piece of artwork or favorite painting will carry the room.  Gallery groupings of different sizes and subjects work to capture the wow effect, deviate from the expected and create an off balance balance.  Entertain and embrace a different, out of the ordinary and expected way of decorating- it is rule number one in conversation pieces, placement and personal style.

Great examples via apartment therapy

The late Elizabeth Taylor remains one of Hollywood’s most revered actors.  Ms. Taylor epitomized the essence of a true movie star and a lady of impeccable taste. The July 2011 issue of Architectural Digest showcases exclusive photographs of Ms. Taylor’s Bel Air Estate.  The art of the hang is masterfully shown in Ms. Taylor’s artwork display.

Architectural Digest/Scott Frances

Consider hanging a grouping in a bedroom lower than standing eye level.  The result can surprisingly produce the focal point of the space.

Better Homes & Gardens

Note the pair of mirrors to the left- great choice of placement!  The art to hanging artwork, framed treasures, mirrors, sconces, etc…  is in the scale, placement and arrangement that best suits your tastes and optimally showcases your personal style.

Better Homes & Gardens

Love your style!




French Onion Soup With A Pinch Of Paris, A Dash Of Cajun, And A Smidgen Of Canada

When it comes to selecting a French onion soup recipe,  I find I am beginning to feel like the character Albert in The Birdcage.

Nathan Lane

Albert, brilliantly played by Nathan Lane, convincingly explains his mispronunciation of Armand’s surname in a context I find myself relating to.  “Oh yes… Coldeman. The “d” is silent in America. It’s Cole D’Isle au Man, or Cole of the Isle of Man, in France, where Armand’s chateau is, Cold-e-man in Greece where Armand’s work is, and finally the vulgar Coleman in Florida where Armand’s home is, so actually, we don’t know where we are until we hear our last name pronounced! Ahahahahahahaaaaa!”

copper weathervanePolished Copper Weathervane

I feel his exaggerated pain, and let me tell you why.  We live in Louisiana where we are heavily influenced by Creole and Cajun French.  Our son attends university in Canada where we are influenced by Quebecois French.  Actually, we don’t know where we are until we taste the food,  the “who cares where we are as long as it is French”  food!  Ahahahahahahaaaaa!

French onion soup

Tonight’s menu will allow me to exercise my multilingual culinary skills.  You’re  definitely speaking my language when you’re  talking French Onion Soup.  I know where to go for the best French onion soup from coast to coast.  My son’s friend holds the title in Canada.  I have my own recipe met, mastered and magnifique.  Cafe Bellagio and Mon Ami Gabi in Las Vegas both serve a fantastic French onion soup.  I know the latter is a chain,  but one taste of the French onion soup and you’ll understand!  I would love to be on the Las Vegas strip right now watching the Fountains of Bellagio while enjoying French onion soup goodness.  Since I’m not, I’ll bring a pinch of Paris, a dash of Creole, and a smidgen of Canada to the Places In The Home family table.

French Onion Soup


2  Tablespoon butter

2  teaspoons olive oil

6  medium onions thinly sliced

1  teaspoon Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 bay leaves

½ cup white white or sherry

2 quarts (8 cups) low sodium beef broth

French bread baguette

8 slices Gruyère cheese


For Creole Seasoning


1/3  cup paprika

3 tablespoons dried oregano

3 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon granulated onion

4 teaspoons dried thyme

4 teaspoons granulated garlic



Heat butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven over a medium- high heat.  Add sliced onions and bay leaves to the pan, saute for 5 minutes or until tender.  Sprinkle sugar and Creole seasoning over onions, stir to incorporate.


Cook onions and company for 30 minutes or until softened and reaching a caramelized stage.  Add sherry and bay leaves to onions.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.   Turn heat back up to medium-high and add beef broth.  Allowing broth to heat through, reduce to simmer, and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes in order for ingredients to marry and live happily ever after. Remove bay leaves.



Slice French bread baguette and place on a baking sheet.  Place under broiler until slices reach a light golden brown.


Place crocks, ramekins, or oven proof bowls on a large cookie sheet.  Fill each with 1 cup soup.  Place one slice French bread in each bowl and top with 1 cheese slice.  Broil on high until cheese is melted and browned. Serves 8.


Directions for Creole Seasoning

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

The Paris influence is this wonderful soup, and to that I say merci beaucoup.  The Creole influence is the addition of the Creole seasoning.  We put it on everything here in Louisiana.  Give a try, shâ.  The Canadian influence?  That’s the best part!  Our son is home to enjoy this dish with us tonight!  Bienvenue, Bon Appétit and C’est si bon!

Love your style!








images via Northern Virginia Magazine/Anjali Pinto, Vegas 4 Locals, Exploring Las Vegas

The Cows Have Come Home: Cowhide Home Decor Accessories

The cows have come home in a grand and stylish way in regards to cowhide home decor accessories.  The look created by introducing one regal piece of home on the range chic can leave a design impression on even the biggest skeptic.

cowhide chairBrantley Chair

A trip to Dallas, Texas proved my theory correct.  I think it’s safe to say this style may not be for every space and taste, but as long as there is farmhouse chic and home on the range style it is not going to roll the way of the tumbling tumbleweed.

turquoise_chairRustic Interior Design

Uttermost Chahna Wood Bench


Uttermost Chahna Velvet Accent Chair

I first took notice of cowhide furnishings in 2004 while browsing through a Neiman Marcus catalog.  The chair delivered a one-two punch.  The frame was stunning, but the price tag was numbing.  I archived the look in my mental Rolodex, and when I spotted a cowhide chair at auction a few years later it was go time.  I won the bidding battle, but soon lost the design war when a client literally begged me to sell her the chair.


Comfort Pointe Jaxon Arm Chair

How about a pair of these beauties as captain’s dining chairs at the ponderosa, partner?  Did I really just type that?  Yee-haw!


I found this dusty yet affordable cowhide upholstered accent chair at one of my favorite home design haunts, Paul Michael Company in Canton, Texas.  The rich deep fawn and black hide paired with my favorite accent feature, nail heads, make a chair in this style a big contender for office or study use.


Cordia Arm Chair

cowhide rugOverstock

Faux or authentic, cowhide furnishings lend a chic presence to the sleekest and most modern decor.

cowhide-pillowElle Decor

faux cowhide Kathy Kuo Home chair

Kendra Rustic Lodge Faux Cow Hide Velvet Linen Wing Chair

cowhide pillows

If you’ve contemplated this design choice but feared the look would come across as too rustic, practice the rule of less is more.  Go with one piece and place it in an optimum setting.

cow print cotton table lamp

A little trial and error is to be expected, but when it comes together it will be the right balance of town and country chic.