Marketed as a party tub in its original retail form, I see the Hammered Copper Party Tub from World Market as a classic container extraordinaire for housing a tabletop Christmas tree, fresh greenery, or rosemary tree.
Dried oranges, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and decorative tassels strung together in a repeating pattern produce a simple yet elegant Christmas through winter decoration for a tabletop, mantel, banister, and Christmas tree.
Christmas decorating ideas often entail a project, and this wonderful pair of early 20th century antique French carved cane seat side chairs are sitting pretty ready to be purchased, primed, and painted in Modern Masters pale gold metallic interior paint.
Wait a minute.
Aren’t you the one who preaches against painting antique furniture?
On the whole I am, however, in certain decorating situations and with certain pieces, a coat or two of matte metallic in a designer color is pure paint project perfection.
Spooktacular Halloween decorating suggestions come alive at 101 Inspiration Lane for the decorista who dares to bedazzle house and home in haunted fashion destined to thrill and delight the eye.
Can’t you just here the creaking floors?
Go ahead and click on the sound effects to set the mood.
I dare you.
The National Retail Federation reports those of who decorate house and home for Halloween will spend $2.7 billion (that’s billion with a b, folks) on Halloween theme home decor items.
Another interesting tidbit of retail information is the total spend for 2019 is expected to be the third highest in the history of the survey. The top record for Halloween spending belongs to Halloween 2017 when spending came in at $9.1 billion.
That’s a whole lotta spooktacular Halloween decorating.
*Halloween Decorating Suggestions Tip*
At first sighting of the cute, scary, and practical Halloween (or any holiday) decorations and tablewares that speak Halloween party must-have to you is the time to buy.
Decoristas plan, prep, and purchase party goods earlier and earlier each year, and as they say, you snooze, you lose.
Same goes for ordering from sites with a 10 day to 2 week order to delivery time.
Halloween is a prime time for showcasing your decorating creativity. Front and back doors, windows, fireplace mantels, staircases, accent furniture, porches, lawns, gardens, patios, and sidewalks become prime players in a game of Halloween decorating dress-up.
Rather it be a pair of jack-o-lanterns, garden statues fraught with frightful air, or a lavish display in spine-chilling style, affordable is the trick and eye-catching is the treat.
Garden statues easily and eerily stand fabulous as centerpieces for the Halloween feast table or bar cart.
Seasonal, special event, and holiday decorating can wreak double, double toil and trouble on one’s wallet; reason numero uno why I like to source and suggest items that can pull double decorating duty.
The wood chip wreath featured above is an example of a decor item that can do just that.
The fiery orange color pairs well with an artificial black raven crow for Halloween either as a door or wall decoration or a centerpiece. When the clock strikes midnight on November 1st, it now becomes a fall into Thanksgiving decorative accessory.
This stove top method brews and steeps the flavor and color of the cinnamon. Begin by adding 2 cinnamon sticks to 2 cups of water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Allow concentrate to cool before adding to cold water and ice.
I discovered the cinnamon concentrate is also delicious in hot or iced tea. The concentrate becomes more potent over time, so you may want to taste test as you go.
My Halloween decorating suggestions thinking cap was on tight when I placed an order for several of these pillow covers to tuck into Halloween party favor bags.
These pillow covers are in the style of a famous Italian designer, and a quick eBay search usually results in a super deal with free shipping.
Fun, frightful, and fabulous Halloween decorating suggestions offer affordable ideas and easy tips ready to help transform your home into the spooktacular showcase it’s sure to be.
It may be too soon for some to even remotely entertain thoughts of fall, but for those of us who love the fall of it all let the countdown to fall begin.
Anticipating the joy of witnessing the changing of the leaves, trying out a new recipe featuring apple and spice and everything pumpkin nice, tailgating times, fairs and festivals weekends spent in quaint little country towns, Thanksgiving gobble and gather, and Christmas spent with the ones you love celebrations is what makes September through December the most wonderful time of the year.
Measure the length of the mantel- door-wall where you plan to hang the garland, including an estimation of how many loops you plan to hang. Add a half foot to a foot more, per loop, to your final measurement.
Gather the magnolia leaves. It will take approximately 25 leaves per each foot of garland.
Flip the magnolia leaves over to the brown/gold side. Take two leaves and put them together with their front sides facing. Wrap floral wire around the stems. Repeat this step until you have multiple paired sets of leaves.
Cut heavy twine to the length of the space measurement and add another foot. Start at one end of the twine and begin adding leaves. Tie the first pair using a simple knot. Continue to add the pairs by looping the twine under, over, and back around stems to secure in place, pushing them right up against the first pair.
Repeat until the garland is complete, tieing an overhead knot around the final pair.
Holiday decorating safety tips can come in holiday handy and gift you with peace of mind at this holiday decorating time of year. There is now a direct link between holiday decorating safety tips and year round electrical safety in general. We got a big lighting up the holidays shock last week which explains my radio silence last week.
Fire is the one thing I am deathly afraid of. Let me share with you several situations and events over my lifetime that have caused and stoked this dreaded fear.
When Places In The Home was being built, a group of delinquents neighborhood kids set the entire order of roofing shingles on fire. The sight, sound, and smell of the roaring pile of burning shingles scared me almost to death and scarred me for life. I was three years old, I remember the scene vividly to this day, and it’s this event that set a lifelong fear of fire into motion.
When I was five years old, my precious great-grandmother lit her gas stove with a match. She thought she blew the match out, but she did not. Prior to lighting the stove, she had emptied a pot of melted hot grease into the garbage can. You can almost be guaranteed that when a lit match hits hot grease, flame and fire is close behind. With expert precision and quick hands to rival Drew Brees, Mama Two grabbed the flaming trash can, used her foot to kick open the back door, and ran with can in hand into the backyard where she extinguished the fire with a can lid. Mama Two innocently marked me for life.
In 1974, my grandmother’s house suffered severe extensive smoke damage throughout from a lightening strike to a television left in front of a window in her kitchen. The television burned up and through the floor. My grandmother was on vacation in Florida at the time of the strike. With no one home to notice, the television smoldered for several days. Every wall, surface, furnishing and floor was completely covered and caked in soot. The soot was so thick it measured close to one inch thick inside closed drawers. Determined to face my fear, I insisted on going with her and my parents to meet the insurance adjuster for the initial walk through. Horrible sight that only served to exacerbated my fear of fire.
My parents and I were at the original MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas on the day before the horrific fire in 1980 that killed 85 people and injured 650. We were visiting with family who were guests at the hotel. Thankfully, they all survived the fire. They have rarely discussed the tragic ordeal with anyone for understandable reasons. The details they have offered are as awful as one would imagine, and haunt me to this day. Dave and I have been back to the hotel (now Bally’s) several times since, but I absolutely refuse to stay at the hotel.
My parents were staying at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1981 when an arsonist set fire to the hotel killing 8 and injuring approximately 200. Tragic details with the less shared with me the better caveat.
Last week, our electrical panel-service-wiring placed a bulls eye right in the center of my fear of fire and plans for the holiday budget. Two weeks ago I discovered there was no power to the master bedroom sitting and dressing area. The A/C would come on (welcome to November in Louisiana) but the compressor would not kick on. I called the electrician, he came out and replaced a breaker in the original and antiquated electrical panel, and power was restored.
Two weeks to the day same problem arises. Call the electrician, he comes by that afternoon, and within thirty minutes three electricians, two city utilities supervisors, and one scared to death homeowner stood in our kitchen discussing how soon Dave the Builder and I could vacate the house.
The electricians and supervisors got straight to the point; “Ma’am, your house is in danger of burning to the ground in its present state. We are going to pull the electricity panel and the electrical service to your house is being disconnected immediately.”
I’m usually strong- the “I’m a willow, I can bend” one in the group however, this was not the case in this particular situation. I completely lost it in front of all parties present. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I cried worse than I did when my daddy died.
Straw, meet camel’s broken back.
I’ll spare you the details of shock, inconvenience, and scrambling to figure out how to pay for the unexpected heavy four figure expense (does anyone really have thousands of dollars stashed and saved for emergency home maintenance repairs). Dave the Builder is a maintenance master at much, but electrical is not his forte.
My fear is fire. His is being electrocuted.
I got it together, found the silver lining, peace of mind, and good will toward electrician men. The new service is in, and power is back up and running, and it’s time to get back to normal (our normal anyhow). All of this got me to thinking a post about holiday decorating safety tips may be as cathartic to me as it is useful to some.
Placement is key. Place a live Christmas tree at least three (3) feet away from any heat source such as fireplaces, space heaters, heat vents, radiators, or candles.
Water a real Christmas tree daily to prevent or at least slow the drying out process.
Use lights with the label of a recognized testing laboratory approved for indoor use. A green holographic UL label means indoor use only, whereas lights with a red holographic UL label mean the lights may be used indoors as well as outdoors.
The look is lovely, but never use lit candles to decorate a Christmas tree.
Replace lights that are worn, have broken cords, or loose bulb connections.
Do not overload strands connections. Use no more than three standard size sets of lights per single extension cord.
When we were kids, one of the neighborhood families left their outdoor decorations on while away. The way too old and unsafe big bulb Christmas lights decorating one of the Oak trees in their front yard snapped, crackled, popped, and caught fire.
The fire quickly spread and engulfed the entire home resulting in a total loss. Don’t second guess decorations or discount warnings. If your going to be away from home, turn off and unplug your outdoor and your indoor decorations. Always turn off Christmas tree lights before going to bed.
I don’t want to pour cold water on the holiday parade, but water and electricity do not mix. Make sure to keep your hands dry and never, ever stand in water when touching holiday decorations or gadgets powered by electricity.
Do not cut corners with worn out extension cords or Christmas lights. Never run an extension cord under rugs, carpets, or furniture.
Vintage Christmas decorations bring back old memories, and more times than not come with the original wiring. Check for frayed cords which run a high risk of lighting up the holidays in the call 911, the house in on fire kind of way.
Do not burn evergreens, pine, gift boxes, or gift wrap in your fireplace. Dry greens and cardboard act like tender- burning hot and fast. The flames can quickly flare out of control, cause a flash fire, and send sparks out into a room and/or up the chimney igniting creosote deposits. Make sure to keep the screen before the fireplace while burning a fire.
It dawned on me last week as I was dusting (the all things house that make a home chore I love to hate) the bookshelves in the not ready for blog sharing time den could greatly benefit from an update-an edit-a rearrange. That started a I’m tired of-I’m bored with-I don’t like that chain reaction. An inspection of shelf, space and tabletop ensued, and the conclusion reached is I’m ready for a rearranging home decor accessories change.
Did you hear that?
That’s Dave the Builder breathing a sigh of relief as I assure him no painting, wallpapering or furniture moving will be involved in this most current update to our decor.
Oh, it’s coming, but more on that down the redecorating road.
It’s amazing how easy it is to stave off decor staleness by simply rearranging home decor accessories upon the shelves and tabletops of home sweet home.
I’m decorating to the oldies with the soulful sounds of Dionne Warwick and The 5th Dimension. The music is from 1967, but the look in this traditional ranch doesn’t have to be. I’m doing my decorista best to de-1967 this traditional ranch one project, one space, one rearranging home decor accessories at a time.
Stained woodwork works for some spaces, but this den is not one of those spaces. Dave the Builder suggested I give the stained woodwork a chance. I did and have for eight years.
That’s a lot of mulling it over.
This future project is on the fast track to the back burner due to prior “real job” commitments. Dave’s schedule is full through October, and although painting the den bookshelves tops my at home project list, Dave’s projects pay the bills.
Good and stylish things come to those who wait.
Isn’t that how the saying goes?
New cabinet hardware is a must, and let me tell you why.
Changing out cabinet hardware is an inexpensive update, an install I am ridiculously brilliant at, and delivers instant visual gratification.
Move it here, move it there.
Take a look at the look created.
Assign each shelf a focal point accessory and work from there.
To the left, to the right, to the center-no two shelves or vignettes are created equal. Style each shelf with objects of varying sizes and heights to create flow, balance, and to perfect the art of visual interest.
Feature items close to your heart, interests, and memories. The rule of you effectively applies to decorating and should be beautifully evident throughout your home.
This tarnished treasure sterling silver baby rattle is a four generation keepsake. It tells the story of past, present and future family members and reads like a compelling novel.
My taste in decorative porcelain figurines has gone to the dogs.
When I bought this color rich portrait last year, I knew I wanted it and knew the perfect place to hang it would present itself.
I marked the spot today.
One of the best buys at an antiques auction is when you luck up on a box full of old books in relatively good shape. I purchased a box of sixty (60) books for $30 all in.
Another example of a fantastic deal discovered and purchased at auction.
I still love the wallpaper in the foyer, but this Orchid has seen better days.
A meyer lemon tree could work, but I’m also considering the very trendy fiddle leaf fig in my rearranging home decor accessories scheme.
Small lamps, sconces, picture lights or a collection of all three will light up the currently lighting deprived shelves. I’m treading lightly (ha!) with this decision being ever mindful too much of a good thing can cast a particularly unattractive shadow.
Note to summer: We’ve got a lot of irons in the summer campfire. Summer simple suggestions in chic summer style for bedecking interior and exterior settings, entertaining, dishing up summer fare, and outdoor living it up easy peasy is greatly appreciated.
Southern, Northern, Eastern or Western Living- regardless of geographical location, summer living and loving decoristas have got the memo, and it’s all about keeping it summer simple and summer simple suggestions.
It’s kinda sorta tough to kick back, relax and savor the season when you notice heavy equipment sitting on the sidewalk in front of your house and you, the homeowner, have no earthly idea what it is doing there.
Seems our city water department has a little curb appeal water line improvement of their own in mind.
This does not make my summer simple suggestions list.
Progress isn’t always a pretty process, and the installation of a new water lines makes it difficult to achieve summer curb appeal style, but we forge on.
We trimmed the unattractive dead sago palm fronds and within a week new green growth emerged.
Here’s a trick in my simple summer suggestions repertoire for getting your Sago palm(s) summer curb appeal ready.
Sago Palm Care
Outdoor planted Sago palm care involves watering the plant regularly until it takes root.
I like the look and the drought tolerant aspect of the mature Sago palm.
Fertilize at least once a month beginning in spring to aid in active growth.
Covering the base of the plant with mulch will help to protect the roots from cold snaps.
In inclement winter weather or fall freeze, we cover the exposed Sago palm with a heavy duty extra large black trash bag to protect it.
If it’s not one thing, it’s this.
Cue The Rolling Stones, cause it’s shattered.
The lawn and garden guy’s super duper heavy duty weed eater took aim at a loose piece of exposed aggregate, obliterating the exterior glass panel of the patio French garden door.
One simply can’t patio pretty with ugly on parade.
Thank goodness for the friend who frequents our summer patio soirees that just so happens to own a local glass company.
It’s time once again to get your summer soiree on, and the ideas for fun in the sun or evening tiki torch, lantern or string light are flowing.
We’re working with what we’ve got in the front of the house, and if you are like us, you’re getting your porch, patio and deck hangin’ game plan down pat.
Comfortable, fun, relaxing, refreshing, simple, tasty and stylish as chic- this is my number one summer simple suggestions formula for a festive summer gathering.
If Ina Uses It
I read with interest an article listing the pros and cons of a charcoal grill.
The pros outnumber the cons, and personal preference trumps all however, the one pro of the charcoal grill worth mentioning is worth mentioning. Grilling on a charcoal grill ups the flavor quotient and gives great grilled flavor.
3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
3 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces grated Gruyere
12 small Brioche buns
4 ounces baby arugula
3 medium tomatoes, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds
2 small red onions, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds
Ketchup, for serving
Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.
Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the mustard, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix gently with a fork to combine, taking care not to compress the ingredients. Shape the meat into 12 (2-inch) patties of equal size and thickness.
When the grill is medium-hot, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the sliders from sticking. Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the sliders over with a spatula and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until medium-rare, or cook longer if you prefer the sliders more well done. For the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place ½-ounce Gruyere on the top of each burger and close the grill lid. Remove the sliders to a platter and cover with foil.
Slice the buns in half crosswise and toast the halves cut side down on the grill.
Divide the baby arugula among the 12 bottom buns, top each with a slider, and finish with a slice of tomato and red onion. Cover with the top of the bun and serve hot with ketchup.
Dave the Builder and I bought a vintage picnic table from a fellow antiques dealer with the express purpose of featuring it in a summer display at Hopefully Classic.
I used a vintage picnic basket filled with hydrangeas for a super easy, super cute centerpiece.
You can make quite the keep it summer simple statement with a collection of glass jars or melamine vegetable bowl and whatever flowers, greenery or veggies are growing fresh in your yard or garden.
No garden or flowers on the homestead?
Check out the floral department and produce section of your favorite grocery store.
Mini watermelons on a natural table runner of Pittosporum paired with Lemon Lime Nandina is summer simple and summer chic.
Ears of fresh corn with the husks slightly peeled back in order to expose the corn kernels grouped in threes and tied with woven ribbon of your color, pattern and texture choice or metallic twisted rope is another fresh centerpiece idea.
Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and cool. Puree the plums, cooled syrup, and lime juice in two batches, using a blender, until smooth. Stir the plum puree and yogurt together in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about ½ inch at the top, as the mixture will expand when it freezes. Follow popsicle mold manufacturer’s instructions and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
Have you heard about these new scratch-and-sniff Frozen Treats stamps inspired by summer and the whimsical watercolor illustrations of Margaret Berg? These will be great for those summer cookout-party-soiree snail mail invitations.