Casual with Seaside Sophistication Coastal Home Decor

Family took priority over my coastal home decor refresh blog post publication last week, and understandably so.  The Canadian snowbird flew home to Louisiana as a surprise belated Mother’s Day gift, and can I just tell you how full my heart is.

A house full of three generations gathered together to visit with him kicked off the official start of summer and plenty of good conversation.  Seems we have one Millennial couple in escrow and another in new construction talks.

Now we’re talking my kind of talk.

When a season, a destination, or an activity leaves a lasting impression,  it’s only natural to want to add a touch of it to your home decor.  The future first time home owners are going coastal with their design and decorating selections, and of course Aunt Darleen is more than happy to offer coastal home decor ideas and suggestions to accentuate casual elegance and seaside sophistication.

AllisaPortman_Harrison_SeaIsland_1

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

I don’t stand steadfast with the definition of coastal style.

I pull looks from coast to coast; blending in the best of nautical, tropical, gulf, low country, cape, lake and river style that run the gamut of sea to shore.

Nantucket Beach House Kitchen

Ike Kligerman Barkley

As in life, variety spices up the space stylishly embellished in high tide fashion.

The Decorators Unlimited

The Decorators Unlimited

I’m a big believer in choices and options in decorating your cottage-condo-bungalow-beach house-haven-hut.

The core concept of coastal decorating style places an emphasis on creating a comfortable and inviting space rich in layers, textures, natural elements, crisp colors and warm neutrals.

Now, how you define coastal style is up to you.

Regardless if your definition of coastal style is formal to the hilt or no shoes, no shirt, no problem casual, there is no right or wrong.

Whatever coastal home decor accents, accessories, and furnishings floats your boat works.

Rachel Reider Interiors

Rachel Reider Interiors

Spot On Spot Accents

Accent chests qualify as spot on spot accents for a foyer, entryway, living, family, or sun room.

coastal home decor accent cabinetLeola 2 Door Accent Cabinet

Distinctive hardware, sleek lines and an elegant design presence is the criteria to meet when it comes to the perfect accent chest.

Stevens Traditional Hand Painted 4 Drawer Accent Chest

Stevens Traditional Hand Painted 4 Drawer Accent Chest

West Brookfield 3 Drawer Accent Chest

West Brookfield 3 Drawer Accent Chest

Greenport Door CabinetGreenport Door Cabinet

serpentine-3-drawer-chest

Serpentine 3 Drawer Accent Chest

Gorgeous is found in the details of the statement piece.

19th Italian Center Table in Carrara Marble

19th Italian Center Table in Carrara Marble

Leave no stone unturned in your search for a special piece or accent to tie the coastal look all together.

Check out consignment shops, estate sales, and vintage sites for classic pieces that can easily become the focal point of the space.

Part of the fun is the hunt, and the grand prize is in the treasure found.

Euphemia Console Table

Euphemia Console Table

Akersville Console TableAkersville Console Table

distressed console table

Distressed Console Table

Lipe Ruffled Metal Wall Accent Mirror

Lipe Ruffled Metal Wall Accent Mirror

Andtree Ray Accent Mirror

Andtree Ray Accent Mirror

Titanic Accent Mirror

Titanic Accent Mirror

Tybrook Hand-Crafted Accent Mirror

Tybrook Hand-Crafted Accent Mirror 

Alayna Botanic Bone Inlay Traditional Beveled Distressed Accent Mirror

Alayna Botanic Bone Inlay Traditional Beveled Distressed Accent Mirror

Shant Accent Mirror 

  Shant Accent Mirror 

coastal foyer options

traditional-rectangular-mirror

Traditional Rectangular Wall Mirror

Hernandez Greene

Hernandez Greene

Art is the jewelry of the room.

Nautical Windy Race 3-D Textured Canvas Art Print

Nautical Windy Race 3-D Textured Canvas Art Print

Shells 2 by Coastal Print & Design Graphic Art PrintShells 2 by Coastal Print & Design Graphic Art Print

Coastal Birds Framed Graphic Art PrintCoastal Birds Framed Graphic Art Print

Gold Jelly Fish by Coastal Print & Design Graphic Art PrintGold Jelly Fish by Coastal Print & Design Graphic Art Print

Haussmann Handmade recycled Teak Lotus Panel

Haussmann Handmade recycled Teak Lotus Panel

coastal home decor accents

palm tree print

Kaleidoscope Palm Crop Canvas Art Print

Sea Style Underfoot

Jute, seagrass, and sisal area rugs top the coastal home decor area rug or runner list, meeting the durability test without compromising on the natural beauty style factor.

LILIANE HART INTERIORS

Liliane Hart Interiors

Diamond Sisal RugDiamond Sisal Rug

Rugs in natural and serene shades of a traditional coastal color palette gorgeously work the room.

HerringboneIndigoWovenCottonRug

Herringbone Indigo Woven Cotton Rugs

Earnestine Solid Woven Rug

Earnestine Solid Woven Rug

Safavieh Paradise Stone Aqua Viscose Rug

Safavieh Paradise Stone Aqua Viscose Rug

Strick & Bolton Rowan Handmade Braided Area Rug

Strick & Bolton Rowan Handmade Braided Area Rug

Eden hand loomed palm rug

Eden Hand Loomed Palm Rug

Decorative Natural Manzanita Branch

Strick & Bolton Sylvie Handmade Braided Jute Reversible Runner

Strick & Bolton Sylvie Handmade Braided Jute Reversible Runner

Mohawk Nomad Vado Area Rug Mohawk Nomad Vado Area Rug

Accent Chairs in New Traditional Coastal Style

Liliane Hart Interiors

Liliane Hart Interiors

McKenna accent chair

McKenna Blue Floral Accent Chair 

Maharaja Sandblasted White Wood Hand-Carved Arm Chair

Maharaja Sandblasted White Wood Hand-Carved Arm Chair

Bashir armchair

Bashir Armchair

After carefully studying the easy, breezy, comfortable chic form, fabric and function of the Bashir armchair, I decided this super chic affordable chair captures the true essence of coastal decor deeming it a coastal home decor must have times two.

Bashir Armchair Color Choices

The Bashir also comes in three other coastal chic color choices.

Sarah-Gilbane -painted-wallpaper

Sarah Gilbane InteriorsDecorative Artist Brian LeaverHouse Beautiful

Palm Beach style is anything but visually boring.

Pink Peacock Chair with Cushion

Pink Peacock Chair with Cushion

Lind Armchair

Lind Armchair

Lind Armchair1 Lind Armchair

azure window Gozo 4

Flickr

I am so taken with the Azure Window and the rich azure hue of the Chart lounge chair.

Chart Azure Upholstered Fabric Lounge Chair

Chart Azure Upholstered Fabric Lounge Chair

coastal colors

Sherwin-Williams

Endless Sea SW 9150  || Dark Night SW 6237  ||  Ramie SW 6156

Eleanor Armchair

Eleanor Armchair

A black accent chair introduces a touch of coastal elegance.

Giannetti Home-secretary-coastal-home-decor

Giannetti Home

I realize black may not be the color that immediately springs to mind when considering the coastal style color wheel, but it is the color that lends a touch of elegance to any decor style it graces.

Lindsey Lane - Charish

Lindsey Lane – Charish

See (or should I say sea) what I mean?

Chardon Armchair

Chardon Armchair

Bunyard Coastal Arm Chair

Bunyard Armchair

Palm Springs, Palm Bay, or Palm Beach- the colors of the Thacker armchair appeal to the new traditional coastal palette.

Thacker Armchair

Thacker Armchair

Banana Leaf Wallpaper by YorkTropics Banana Leaf Wallpaper by York

It is dawning on me after scrolling through the draft that this post is taking on a life of its own in length.

Looks like a part two is in order.

Part two of Casual Elegance with Seaside Sophistication Coastal Home Decor will feature coastal home decor furnishings, accents, and accessories suggestions for the dining room, bedroom, home bar, and spots of decorating interest.

shop-style

Celebrating the Nouns of Southern Living

Celebrating the nouns of Southern living comes quite easy to me.  Remember back during the holidays when I shared with y’all about receiving a surprise gift from my nephew and niece-in-law, Southern Living 50 Years: A Celebration of People, Places, and Culture?

Southern-Living-50-years-a-celebration-of-people-places-and-culture

I finally found time over this past weekend to sit down with a glass of sweet tea rimmed in fresh mint and take in some southern exposure.

Derby-hats-pink-blackGetting down and Derby in all the excitement of the Kentucky Derby is a Southern socializing-first weekend in May tradition.

roses-Kroger

As horseshoe good luck would have it, the floral department at the local grocery store put a slew of red rose bouquets on clearance Friday afternoon just in time for Derby Saturday.

I love when the clearance sale stars align.

boiled-crawfishOur Louisville meets Marksville crawfish boil shakes a dash of south Louisiana into the c’est si bon.

Boiled crawfish with traditional fixin’s thrown into the pot makes for good eating.  Potatoes and corn have never met a crawfish boiling pot they don’t love to be a part of, but don’t stop there.

Back when Dave the Builder was in the corporate world, we would host the annual crawfish boil.  One of Dave’s coworkers introduced our taste buds to a new way of boiling crawfish.

At first I questioned the addition of cabbage, smoked sausage, onions, lemons, whole carrots, mushrooms, celery stalks, and eggs to the seasoned boil, but quickly became a flavor convert.

The vegetables, sausage, and eggs boil to perfection in the seasoned water, picking up the unmistakable taste of the South.bottle-crawfish

I’ll say this about celebrating the nouns of Southern living- you learn and taste something new at every event, festival, and boil.

blue-white-porcelain-entry-hall-Southern-Living

Southern Living

Blue and white is the classic color palette of choice of many Southern decoristas.

It is seen in the hydrangeas we plant, the china patterns we place upon the Southern dinner table, and the porcelain pretties we decorate house and home with.

Dolly Parton Southern Living

Going up to the mountains (my Tennessee family calls all of Sevier County including Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg “the mountains”) is part of the landscape when we go home to East Tennessee.

I fondly remember the days of family style meals served at Trotter’s restaurant, wild wild west afternoons spent at Goldrush Junction, and the stories of Dolly performing on the Cas Walker radio show.   

A proud daughter of Sevier County who has never forgotten the region, the town, and the county she calls home, Dolly Parton was recently awarded the FBI 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award for the work done to raise money for those affected by the Gatlinburg wildfires in 2016.

For this, the music, the voice, and the local love, we will always love you, Dolly.

Southern exposure

Antoine’s is Louisiana restaurant royalty-a French Quarter icon.

How gorgeous is this facade?

Antoines-restaurantAntoine’s Restaurant

Southern chefs

From pan to page, southern chefs and southern writers craft a delicious, unique, and enduring story.

Southern writers Southern Living

Summer suppers give a Southerner yet another reason to host a get together, not that we need one.

summer suppers

I’m seriously contemplating changing my rule of KISS- keep it summer simple to KISSED- keep it summer southern entertaining delightful.

Field Pea-Tomato Salad With Lemon VinaigretteField Pea-Tomato Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

We celebrate everything summer from a good crop of garden tomatoes to  a barbecue on the bricks music festival.

soul of true barbecue

Courtyards, patios, and porches replete in lush greens fashion and shade southern exposure.

lawn gate Southern Living

Chicken coops are a thing in the South.

People go nuts for these chic henhouses.

Planning, constructing, and styling is serious business, and rival that of the south’s most phenomenal architectural wonders.

chicken coop Southern Living

Distinctive, indelible, delicious, gracious, hospitable, and charming customs, styles, and traditions influence, define, exemplify, and celebrate the nouns of southern living.

love your style

My Personal Interpretation of Modern Farmhouse Style

What do you do when the heat index registers 113° on a hot and humid Louisiana summer day?  You pour yourself a glass of Southern sweet ice tea, you stay indoors in the air conditioning, and you spend quality time updating this farmhouse style post to better show and tell a personal style journey.

Mixing decorating styles piques not only my interest but engages my eye.

Take the modernization of farmhouse style.

Building upon the design and decorating cornerstones of farmhouse style, modern farmhouse accents the mix and mingle of decorating styles, finding the curated look to be an expression of personal style, taste and interpretation through balance, harmony, layers, and visual engagement.

modern-farmhouse-living-room

Polsky Perlstein Architects ~  Michael Hospelt Photography

Inspiration is everywhere, especially in forgotten photo file folders that evoke the thoughts and memories of past that shape my present personal interpretation of modern farmhouse style.

farmhouse-antiques-Hamptons

Domino

On a recent save and purge photo scroll and purge, I came across a fall folder packed with pics from a staging session.

dough-bowl-applesArchitectural Digest

The dough bowl is well represented in many of the photos as it is what I consider the standard decorating accessory depicting farmhouse style.

apples-dough-bowlWho’s ready for fall?

Farmhouse is in my DNA, so to speak.   I come from a long line of farmhouse admirers as you will learn from the abbreviated backstory a few paragraphs down.

Texas-abandoned-farmhouse

Flickr

Abandoned, inhabited, primitive, pristine and historic- I’ve never met a farmhouse I haven’t loved, or at the very least appreciated.  Condition proves irrelevant to the enamored.  A good eye sees past the past straight to the innate beauty found in intricate millwork, stately embellishments, and architectural details.

East-lake-hardware

Design Sponge ~ Photo by Maxwell Tielman

pecky-cypress- ceiling-wall

Pecky Cypress

These treasure-troves of design and decorating leave a lasting and inspiring impression.

Texas-farmhouse-1

Texas Farm Bureau ~ Julie Vrazel Tomascik

Throughout my childhood my mother and grandmother would decide on a whim to load up the Lincoln and point the hood emblem west to Texas.  No trip to Texas was complete without an adventure on the way to my great-grandparents house.

Lincoln

Over the Louisiana bayous and down the Texas farm-to-market roads, to great-grandmother’s house we go with a Glen Campbell 8-track in the Philco ever gentle on our minds and nary a seat belt fastened or care in the world.

Cameron

Now Bryan!  Now Cameron!  Now Heidenheimer and Temple!
On, Belton!  On, Killeen!  On, Hewitt and Waco, too!

My grandmother could scope out a farmhouse among Texas Bluebonnets like nobody’s business.

She was farmhouse when farmhouse wasn’t cool.

Her antiques shops radar was fine-tuned to treasures ahead and a skill I’ve proudly inherited.  To protest was pointless.  I learned at an early age to never question the motives of a native Texan whose eyes have seen the glory of a Texas farmhouse, a hole-in-the-wall junk shop or Bluebonnet field.

Texas-bluebonnets-in-field

Looking back over our adventures, I find an obvious correlation between  my personal style interpretation of modern farmhouse design and the farmhouses, antiques shops and the fields of Bluebonnet dreams waltzed across Texas all those years ago.

modern-farmhouse

Dana Wolter Interiors

To put show to tell, I’ve sourced a collection of images, accessories and curiosities in the manner of modern farmhouse style.

architectural.antiques.carved.walnut.library.table.furniture.furniture.tables.wood.upholstery.fabric.1497376615

Carved Walnut Library Table

wreath-mirror-shimmer

Wreath Mirror in Shimmer

clear-glass-artistic-weavers-table-lamp

Marinette 33 in. Clear Glass Table Lamp

Voss Cement Pot PlanterVoss Cement Pot Planter

“The home should be the treasure chest of living.”

— Le Corbusier

Wood Inlay Trinket Jewelry Box

Wood Inlay Trinket Jewelry Box

Filbert Gerhardt - Horse Sketch - Soicher Marin ArtFilbert Gerhardt – Horse Sketch – Soicher Marin Art

farmhouse-foyer-table

Blur the hard lines of a design style by stepping away from convention.  This 1920s painted pine table is farmhouse kitchen ready to work, but I see a stunning foundation piece for the modern farmhouse foyer.

farmhouse style centre table'

Industrial Island / Centre Table

abel-round-mirror

Abel Round Mirror

hand-painted-italian-decorative-box

Hand Painted Italian Decorative Box

Alessandra-rugAlessandra Area Rug

Alfresco Home Delfina Urn Planter

Alfresco Home Delfina Urn Planter

magnolia-tree-at-dusk

Hitting the Magnolia Jackpot Right Outside the Front Door

framed-oil-painting-of-greyhound-whippet

1980s Portraiture Framed Oil Painting of Greyhound Whippet by Dawne Hill

gallery-wall-art

EBTH

Now more than ever I am convinced the nouns of our lives, the people, places and things that leave a lasting impression play a significant role in our personal style choices.

farmhouse-kitchen-beam

Schoolhouse

modern-farmhouse-living-room-1-1

Domino

beams

From Me to You Upscale Market

When Dave the Builder asked me what I wanted for a Christmas present, I put in my order for one of these beam beauties.  It arrived Christmas Eve with a big red bow on it, and will soon be added a modern farmhouse style decoration to the Places In The Home kitchen.  When the tornado hit, the roof over the kitchen took the brunt of the force from tree branches and debris.  Add to that the water leaks and you get a taped and floated seam that is slowly exposing itself for the eyesore to eventually come.  Necessity comes together with attention to detail to welcome home a touch of modern farmhouse style.

double-sideboard

Loire Valley Double Sideboard

Deville Russelle Sideboard

Deville Russelle Sideboard

farmhouse-table-lamps

Uttermost Treneece Distressed Antique Grey 1-light Table Lamps

Tapered Hex Column LampTapered Hex Column Lamp

canal-sofa-gray

Canal Sofa

sylvester-sofa

Sylvester Sofa

bench-storage

Painted Box Club Sofa Bench

Warmth through color, texture and pattern exemplifies the cozy nature of  of farmhouse style.

bench-pillows

shop-style

white-barn

The White Sparrow Barn

candle-chandelier

Paladino 6-Light Chandelier

farmhouse-chandeliers

Koge Swing Arm Lamp

farmhouse-family-roomFarmhouse Family Room

black-chandelier

Better Homes & Gardens

Muestera Weathered Grey Dining Chair

Muestera Weathered Grey Dining Chair

Parsons Concrete Top/ Stainless Steel Base

Parsons Concrete Top/ Stainless Steel Base 

Years ago when by decorating happenstance I discovered just how aesthetically striking the pairing two styles together there was no turning back.  My future kitchen redesign (always a project in play) involves the marriage of a yet purchased antique farm or harvest table with the Chippendale dining chairs currently round the dining room table.

Chippendale-dining-chair

kravet-design

New upholstery.   New space.   New look.

Edit from within and be amazed by the transformation of space and style.

Similarities in Style

What do you get when you cross modern farmhouse style with French country style?

A marriage of clean lines, stunning character and classic sophistication.

Cabinet, Glass Front, Pine, Antique White

Cabinet, Glass Front, Pine, Antique White

Andillac China CabinetAndillac China Cabinet

Benjamin-Dhong-modern-farmhouse-kitchen

Benjamin Dhong Interiors

The tops and shelves of farmhouse and modern farmhouse style sideboards and accent cabinets are made for housing distinctive wares and decorative accessories such as…

farmhouse-green-cabinets

Elle Decoration

black-hutch

Milk Decoration

Transferware.

french-transferwareAntique French Ironstone Transferware Tureen H.B.& Cie.CHOISY-le-Roi

blue-plate

Ironstone.

Ironstone Bowl with Pink Flowers,

Ironstone Bowl with Pink Flowers

display-shelving-farmhouse-style

Verlaine Bookcase

Decorative decor accessories.

Caliope Horse FigurineCaliope Horse Figurine

Butcher blocks and cutting boards.

round-bread-board-vintage

Vintage Large Round Bread Board

curtis-windham-architects-portfolio-architecture-interiors-neoclassical-traditional-kitchen

Curtis & Windham Architects

counter-stool-upholstered-seatEnderlin 24″ Bar Stools

demijohn-reproduction

Boccioni Large Recycled Glass Jug

salt-pepper-cellar

Stoneware Salt Cellar – Cream – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Let’s continue on with the classic farmhouse to modern farmhouse style accents and accessories that make the gotta have it list.

stephens.design.group.portfolio.interiors

Stephens Design Group

Stephens Design Group

Hydrangeas.

hydrangea in pitcher wall art

Art ll Canvas Print

cow-head-wall-accentThe Bessie Cow Head Wall Decor

Cow and/or bull head wall decor.

farmhouse-kitchen-details

Nest

bull-head-wall-decorVintage pitchers and creamers.

white-china-pitcher

white-flat-front-cabinets-black-soapstone-countertopsDecorPad

farmhouse-lighting

Framed and unframed art.

cattle-print

cow-oil-on-canvas

Personal interpretation of interior styles is often subject to life influences. Decorating outside the traditional norms of a design style is an excellent way to further emphasize your personal style and taste preferences.

Love your style!

Imitation, Flattery and the Ooh La La Elements of French Kitchen Design

F is for3is for finally ready to post.  I started writing and sourcing this post last year, wanting to go live with the post on Bastille Day.  Last year’s horrible terrorist attack in Nice, France on the Promenade des Anglais on Bastille Day naturally became the entire focus of our thoughts. Posting a blog post about French kitchen design was the last thing of interest or on my mind at the time; thus, a bump over to the draft file was in order.  In celebration of Bastille Day, here is the out of the draft file and dusted off post.


French kitchen design speaks fluent style to legions of Francophile obsessed decoristas.  Does French kitchen design speak your language? Oscar Wilde tells us imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Imitating the distinctive European elegance vis-à-vis design and decor pays a compliment to the classic French kitchen.  Classic French design marries formality with rustic finesse juxtaposed against a weathered patina. Rustic refinement coupled with old-world charm personifies the characteristics of the country French kitchen.

country-french-kitchen-copper Traditional Style of the Country French Kitchen 

Some say country French while others say French country.  A tomayto, tomahto point perhaps, but Country French is the term used most often in the antiques world so country French it is.

Inspiration is everywhere, and listening to French music is an excellent source of inspiration- my definition of French immersion.  Shall we take a listen?

French inspired flooring

  French Pattern Ivory Swirl ® Tumbled Travertine Tiles  || French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tile    ||  Allure Chateau Parquet  ||  Cabot Slate Autumn French

flooring-French-Kitchen-style

It is said that kitchen design starts from the ground up.  Flooring serves as a principal foundation piece in terms of the overall balance of kitchen design.

country-French-kitchen-blue-whiteCountry French Refined

The above image from Traditional Home is a marvelous example of country French refined.   The very right of the white kitchen is in the complementing presence of provincial color, texture and pattern design greatness.

French-cabinet-doors1

Antique French Pine Cabinet Doors

Subtle drama, a decorating oxymoron if there ever was one, engages my eye past the toile on steroids of the traditional country French kitchen to the accents in the not trying so hard to exemplify the look category.

tole-light-fixtueTole Gilt and Paint Light Fixture

Ralph-Lauren-gold-Windsor-pendantRalph Lauren Windsor Hanging Shade

Cabinet hardware as a focal point?

Absolutely!

French style cabinet hardware

Never underestimate the small details and the ability they have to make a visually grand statement.

French-style-kitchen-tile-ideas

Accenting with as opposed to a total immersion in is the key to alleviating the risk of a dated look.

country French traditional kitchen

Lubbock WTBHA 2015 Parade of Homes

Sourcing home decor items is routine, but never mundane.

Margaree+Side+ChairMargaree Side Chair

Esposito Host Chair

Esposito Host Chair

Grand style is present and accounted for in this excellent option for captain’s chairs.

French kitchen design

I believe my love of the well appointed French kitchen began when I was in junior high.

My best friend’s mother had impeccable taste in home furnishing and home decor accessories, and their home was and continues to be one of the premier homes in our area.

The entire home was gracefully designed and decorated, but the traditional kitchen, appointed with classic French flair, was indeed the design pièce de résistance.

French-blue-paint-colors

A delicate mix of French blues with cream white accents served as both color palette and focal point.

Less is more echoed throughout the design and decor, and the style statement being made was more ethereal than overt.

pic-frenchTraditional Home

Accents in ç’est vraiment magnifique detail translates to it’s really beautiful- the quintessential design element of the curated French kitchen.

French+Country+Double+Handle+Widespread+Kitchen+Faucet

The French Country kitchen faucet by Kingston Brass represents the detail of vintage French country design, bringing elegance of old to the contemporary kitchen.

stone-sink-antique

Antique Stone Sink

Wonderful option for a prep sink.

French-Apothecary-Stone-Sink

Antique 18th Century French Apothecary Stone Sink 

Marielle 1-Handle Bar And Prep Faucet

Marielle 1-Handle Bar And Prep Faucet

bi·be·lot
ˈbib(ə)ˌlō
noun

a small, decorative ornament or trinket.

French-blue-vintage-soup-tureen

 Antique French Blue Transferware Bowl 1878 Earthenware

country-French-cupboard

 Country French Cupboard

French-white-blue-kitchen-cabinetOoh La La Love this Belgian Kitchen Cabinet  

Distinctive European elegance is the standard of style and signature component of French kitchen design.

love your style

Southern Hospitality: Please Join Us For A Bridal Shower

Happy midweek all!  Today, because I am a proud mama and weddings are all around, I thought I would bring you into The Places In The Home fold by sharing with you this photo gallery from the please join us for a bridal shower we hosted for our son and his lovely fiancée when they were home for our nephew’s wedding in May.  Seeing that the happy couple live in Canada, it is difficult to be live and in person for the showers and luncheons celebrating the couple.  Skype and FaceTime amaze me, but pales in comparison to actually being in attendance in the moment.  It didn’t take long for me to come up with the idea of throwing the couple a surprise bridal shower.

bridal shower

The future Mrs. is not only taken with our son, but with Fixer Upper, Waco, Chip and Joanna Gaines and Magnolia Market.  What better way to surprise a Southern farmhouse chic girl at heart than with an afternoon Southern farmhouse chic-Southern charm-Southern hospitality eat, drink and we’re getting married bridal shower.

Magnolia Market

Clear glass jars brimming with fragrant magnolias captured the farmhouse feel and lent a simple yet elegant touch.  When entertaining, I find it helpful to know your audience and to play to their taste.  The thought is in the decorating and entertaining details, and it’s that attention to detail that brings about a rave review.

southern magnolia flower

Faux flowers have their place, and in the bridal/wedding weekend celebration that place was inside an antique porcelain pitcher placed in the center of the dining room table.   I’ve been known to pre plan the s*%! out of a soiree or celebration.  Pre planning affords me the opportunity to find theme appropriate decor pieces and impressive dinner and drinkware at a price point that makes me very happy.

I always like that theme!

It also gives me time to shop sales and order items with plenty of shipping time to spare.  A case in point is the tulip bundles found on eBay.  You must allow at least three weeks for arrival when ordering from China, but the price savings makes it an appealing option.  The quality is apple to apple when comparing the faux tulip bunches to the ones I see in my retail rounds.

pink tulips

The bride-to-be admired the tulips several times over the course of their visit which pleased me to no end.  It was obvious the tulip bundles captured the essence of her preferred decorating style, and that signaled decorating success.

antique porcelain pitcher

Crochet doilies and lace napkins dressed the table in vintage style.

vintage crochet

Tulle is my gift wrap ribbon and bow material of choice.

blue tulle

Tying the knot in white wedding and something blue tones is simple in theory, beautiful in delivery.

bridal shower gift

wedding gifts

Gifts for a newlywed kitchen filled with love.

vintage ladies handkerchiefBride

Vintage handkerchiefs make lovely wedding and bridal gifts, and my almost daily Etsy search for just the right one for each recipient became second nature.  I purchased vintage monogrammed handkerchiefs for the bride and groom-to-be, her mother, and each member of the bridal party- a to/from gift from me and Dave the Builder.  I also purchased vintage monogrammed handkerchiefs for my nephew, his bride, his brother who was his best man, and for my brother- the father of the groom.  Did I forget anyone?

mens handkerchiefGroom

We began the bridal shower nibble and nosh with a cheese board featuring several cheeses, fresh Louisiana strawberries, blueberries, fruit dip, mixed nuts, dried cranberries, dates and figs.  The future groom loves my chicken salad so chicken salad it is.  I served the chicken salad with a tropical fruit salad garnished with avocado slices, Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.  We also dined on a true Southern favorite, buttermilk biscuits and honey ham sandwiches.  I made a mayonnaise and Dijon mustard dressing to go with the sandwiches.  The beverage station featured water with lemon slices, raspberry tea, almond peach tea, Riesling and Merlot wine.

white wedding cake

For dessert, we decided to surprise the couple with a cake in true bridal shower fashion.  The cake decorator and I got together and came up with an abbreviated version of the above wedding cake.  The icing color was a soft shade of ivory and the cake decorator suggested a “bouquet” of roses to top it off.  Dave the Builder thought the silver wedding bands added a nice touch, and the monogrammed cake topper was an on trend accent.

cutting cake

It’s become somewhat of a tradition to give each bride and groom in the Places In The Home family a heirloom silver sugar spoon as a wedding gift.  To this we added a silver-plated wedding cake server set and the monogram wedding cake topper to complete the gift package.

wedding cake server set

The bridal shower was a big surprise and a big hit.  Our son finally figured out why I kept insisting he bring an extra suitcase with him. The extra baggage fee charge is a bargain compared to what it cost to ship items from the US to Canada.  I was informed the Kate Spade cutting boards were used the night they arrived back to Canada.

That’s all the thank you needed.

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Practicing Design Instinct and Inspiration

Photography is a lot like interior decorating in regards to working or not working with color.  Design instinct and inspiration guide the creative process. Light, forms, tone and balance optimize not only the shot but the space. Forgive my simplistic explanation, but plainly put, some photos only work in color and others only work in black and white.

simon&garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel 

Since finding a renewed popularity complements of a current political campaign, the Simon & Garfunkel 1968 single “America” is once again on my playlist.  The impact of a great hook paired with powerful lyrics mirrors the impact of classic design coupled with an impressive decorating style.

Red-River-Candy-Co-watermarked-initials

While discovering “America” I rediscovered another Simon & Garfunkel favorite, “My Little Town.”  You may be wondering what possible connection there could be between a couple of Simon & Garfunkel songs and design and decorating.  Design instinct and inspiration, my friends. One never knows where one will find it.  I hit the streets of my little town photographing local landmarks.  Although photographed in color, a monochromatic color scheme captured aspects of the images that color failed to.

WSH-watermarked-initials

Photo editing, enhancements and touch-ups generate a refined result. It’s the same with decorating.  Editing, enhancements and touch-ups help to achieve a polished look.  Making pretty is an exercise in trial and error, correction and confidence.  Gorgeous isn’t always achieved right out of the gate.

design instinct

Going with your first design instinct, or at the very least a tweaked variation of it, proves visually successful more times than not.  I failed to practice what I preach with this chandelier.  I was convinced a pop of designer color over my first choice of painting the fixture white would put to rest any doubt my decorating choices were in a rut or unimaginative. Fan deck after fan deck, I could not get a peace about any other color choice other than white.  The lyrics from “My Little Town” kept running through my mind.

And after it rains
There’s a rainbow
And all of the colors are black
It’s not that the colors aren’t there
It’s just imagination they lack

The pieces of the color palette puzzle finally fit when I decided to go with my first instinct.  I remembered one of my standard decorating solutions- the color white never fails to make a classic statement. The color is there, and imagination is not lacking.  I showed decorating doubt the door and practiced my own brand of design instinct and inspiration.

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A Haven Within A Haven

A phone call from my son earrrrrly Friday morning led off with the question asked round the streaming world, “Do you remember what streams today?”  For the Netflix loyal, you get it.  Binge watching every episode of your favorite show is a weekend marathon-not a sprint.  Popcorn makes a delicious case for the ultimate binge watching snack.  I will be popping up a batch of Rosemary and Sea Salt popcorn for streaming sustenance.

rosemary-and-sea-salt-popcorn

Rosemary and Sea Salt Popcorn

Ingredients

½  cup popcorn kernels
¼  cup canola oil or grapeseed oil (or other high flashpoint oil)
1  tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
3  tablespoons unsalted butter
½  teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat the oil large pot over medium heat. After the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels and the 1-tablespoon of rosemary, and then shake the pot to gently toss the kernels until they are all coated with oil. Cover with a splatter screen or a lid that is placed slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape.  Cook until the popcorn popping frequency slows to several seconds between pops. Remove from heat, allow a minute or two for any final pops, and then pour into a large bowl.  In a small saucepan combine the butter and remaining ½ teaspoon of rosemary.  Melt the butter over medium heat.  Drizzle over the popcorn and season with salt and pepper, tossing occasionally as you butter, salt, and pepper the popcorn.

~Food & Wine

Brilliant writing intertwined with captivating storytelling makes for the sit up and pay attention TV, and sleek set designs aim to impress.

A forged alcove serves as a small space of shelter and refuge from the hustle and the bustle of it’s all in a day’s work- a haven within a haven to vent away the foul of the day.  I am a staunch supporter of the haven within a haven concept for recharging one’s battery.

Grandin-Road- Rebecca-Swivel-ChairGrandin Road

A couple of years ago I won a Rebecca Swivel Chair after entering the Beautiful Black and White Pinterest Sweepstakes from House Beautiful.  This is my “in my own little corner, in my own little chair” chair.  It resides in a haven within a haven part of the house where downtime meets me time and helps me lose track of real time for a short period of time.

haven within a haven

A phone call laaaaate Friday night led off with the question asked round the streaming world, “Have you watched it yet?”  Dave the Builder’s man cave will pull double-duty as both screening room and a haven within a haven over the next few evenings.  Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like a haven within a haven to stream and decompress.

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New Year, New Home Decor Trends 2016

A new year inspires fresh beginnings and clean slates. The Places In The Home New Year, New Home Decor Trends 2016 is complete and ready to inspire.  You will spot several carry over trends from last year’s list, perhaps question the prediction of renewed interest in decor trends of decades past, and hopefully agree with and look forward to implementing one or more of the new introductions making a big style splash into your decor.

home decor trends 2016

Decade Design

Interior design and decorating loves a good comeback story.  In the world of trends, a revival of styles in an everything old is new again manner is inevitable.   Early home decor forecasts show decade design on trend for 2016. Dynamic colors, textures and patterns of the glam 1970s and the large floral prints reminiscent of the 1980s are inspiring home decor accents and home furnishings lines.  Gold drenched metals, geometric patterns, bold floral pattern- all present and accounted for.

and now for the granddaddy of decade design …

Mid-Century Modern

Didn’t you just cover Decade Design?  Yes, but Mid-Century Modern design is a design marvel unto itself.  When it comes to mid-century modern home furnishings, Eames and Nelson set the standard and Herman Miller brings it all home and office.  Vintage period pieces and pieces in the style of  from the decade of clean lines, nontraditional materials and modern utility complement most of today’s decorating styles.  It’s a Mad Men mixed material modern world we design and decorate in.

Retro-classic-White-Accent-Chairs-Set-of-2-1c682c44-64ec-4379-8b5e-90465194bf03

Tile Pattern at Play

Play with your pattern.  You’ll be amazed at the statement it can make.

trend-alert-penny-round-tiles-1602368-1450449001.640x0cMy Domaine

Mirrors

Discovering or rediscovering a classic home decor accent that brilliantly reflects decorating fabulousness is always on trend.  A mirror is the ultimate home decor accent master of illusion.  Spaces devoid of size, light or depth become prime candidates for the presence of a mirror or mirrors.  Mirrors cast the illusion of depth which contributes to opening up the space.  Placement is key when using a mirror to bring more light into the space.  Place, hang or prop a mirror perpendicular to windows in order for the light to saturate the space.

083578e93a648b4ac8aae1a2b1c2b405Rue

Mirror, Mirror on the Kitchen Wall or Backsplash

No smoke but definitely decorating with mirrors in the kitchen is gaining trend traction.  In the pursuit of openness and light, a strategically placed mirror in a kitchen solves the issue.  Now for the part I love about using a mirror(s) in the kitchen- decorative oomph.  

mirror-backsplashPinterest

All traditional, transitional, modern, contemporary, urban, farmhouse, eclectic, coastal, antiques or vintage runs the risk of the decor style of the Jack or Jill decorista being categorized as unimaginative, dated and boring. Throw the eye a curve ball and the space a pop of personality by mixing styles.

greekmodern_3Apartment Therapy

The success of a trend is often measured by the acceptance of the designing and decorating public, ease of functionality and implementation into established decors and the decorative ability to show staying power.  A passing fad, epic fail, emerging classic or blast from the past must try- what’s your opinion of the New Year, New Home Decor Trends 2016?

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