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.
Brushing the grate with oil helps to prevent food from sticking. Take three or four paper towels and wad them up in a bunch. Pick up the paper towels with tongs and dip into a bowl of peanut, Canola or vegetable oil. Lightly coat the grate and proceed to grill.
Ina is a huge fan of the charcoal chimney starter. Using a charcoal chimney starter is both easy and a safe way to get things cooking. I hate the taste of lighter fluid, and am leery of it as well. When you use a charcoal chimney starter there is no need for lighter fluid. Simply fill the chimney starter about ¾ full with charcoal and light it over several sheets of scrunched up newspaper over the bottom grill grate.
Allow the fire to catch and then burn for about 10-20 minutes or until the fire comes out of the top and the coals are glowing orange. Carefully spread out the charcoal in a single layer across the bottom cooking grate, place the oiled grate on top, and you’re ready to grill.
As Ina Garten would say, how fabulous is that?
Speaking of Simple Summer Suggestions, Ina Garten, Summer Fare and Grilling
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.
Culinary experiments put the taste and c’est si bon in the summer entertaining mix. Summer menus require summer classics, new discoveries and improved additions.
Fried chicken is practically required eating in the South and a mainstay of the summer dining and picnic table. Once the Places In The Home gang discovered how good the fried chicken is from the deli at our local Kroger, frying chicken at home has become a thing of the past.
Here’s my tip for simply summer impressive- it’s all in the presentation. I go heavy on the presentation and simple with the preparation. I picked up a pack of mini terra-cotta clay pots at the dollar store to use as individual s’mores supply pots.
Chippy, rusty, and charming- this vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate metal tray would make a great serving tray or decorative accent for the s’mores table.
Vintage ironstone and in the style of vintage table linens set a summer chic table. A quick trip to an antique shop, garage sale or Goodwill store usually results in an ironstone serving piece find or two. Vintage picnic wares and baskets bring memories to the table, and can be used for the actual purpose of food and beverage and/or as decorative accents.
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 and 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.
Pair your favorite frozen treat with a glass of sparkling wine for a little zing. Dipping a frozen treat into a chilled glass of sparkling wine pops the flavor notes and takes summer treat to a whole new tasting dimension. Prosecco grapes is another winner. These frozen treats are super easy to make and quite refreshing.
2 lb. green grapes
1 bottle prosecco
4 oz. vodka
½ cup granulated sugar
In a large bowl, pour prosecco and vodka over grapes. Let them soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Drain in a colander and pat dry. On a shallow plate, roll the grapes in sugar until fully coated, then serve.
Holiday wishing you all a most fetching Friday and a lovely first day of December. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as we trim the trees and deck the halls in glorious bring the holidays home fashion.
It’s the 1st of November. Do you know what your Thanksgiving tabletop and decorating plan is? Inspiration is everywhere, and we thrive on it here at Places In The Home. Let me share with you a few of the Thanksgiving tabletop and decorating suggestions and finds in seasonal color, texture and pattern to set the holiday tone and the Thanksgiving table with the look of the season.
Fall clearance sales are underway much to the delight of the tablescape maven. May I also suggest checking out dollar, craft, hobby, and fabric stores for candles, candle holders, decor, chargers, etc… Dollar stores are inexpensive to begin with, so there’s that. The upside to Christmas and holiday items being stocked and displayed on a store shelf near you earlier and earlier each year is the deep discounts on fall and harvest themed items shoppers see sooner and sooner in the season. The cream craft pumpkin from Lowe’s is 50% off, and the Ashland Finial Vase from Michael’s is on clearance. Both are calling my name.
After creating the gallery I remembered Dollar Tree stocks a white stoneware dinner plate with gold rim. You can’t go wrong with a set of white dinner plates with gold or platinum rims. A simple yet elegant white dinner plate makes a strong argument for the perfect foundation plate, and complements almost every china pattern known to man.
My style preference leans traditional. Classic tableware and vintage linens set most of my holiday tablescapes and Thanksgiving tabletop, but I do like to gift the eye a decorative surprise.
Marry a traditional china pattern to a modern and/or contemporary pattern.
Intermingle pops of bold color with the customary fall palette.
Mix seasonal buds and branches with roses and taxidermy.
I am always impressed and amazed when decor accents and accessories that normally would not be paired together come together in perfected contrast to create remarkable beauty.
One of the best pieces of Thanksgiving tabletop and decorating advice I can offer is this: I embrace the words do small things with great love. Incorporate pieces, finds and treasures you love into your Thanksgiving tabletop and decorating. Personal mementos and collections tell a compelling all things house that make a home story.
Places In The Home is in full-on Thanksgiving Home for the Holidays mode. Pre-planning broadens the window of time between Halloween and turkey day, and although I’ve pre-planned the stuffing out of my Thanksgiving decorating, time is tight. Here is the extent of my Halloween decorating. Happy Halloween!
All things in full-on Thanksgiving Home for the Holidays mode slides right into the home for the holidays motif. A play on words World Series style.
I love planning the Thanksgiving tablescape, sideboard decor, scrumptious sides and delicious holiday desserts. Searching for lovely tabletop finds that capture the essence of the holiday rivals that of decor and menu planning, designing and developing.
I’m seriously considering setting a place at our Thanksgiving table for the guys and gals of USPS, UPS and FedEx that serve our neighborhood route. We see them more than some of the family members who will be breaking holiday bread with us, and they come bearing parcels and packages.
The Places In The Home Thanksgiving table is being set with a trio of china patterns. Starring as the simple yet elegant dinner plate set is the Grace pattern from Pier 1. Autumn by Lenox makes a first time appearance to the Places In the Home Thanksgiving table compliments of my brother. The ex-wife left, the Lenox did not. Holiday desserts will be served on vintage ironstone dessert plates of unknown pattern.
Today’s Home for the Holidays inspiration gallery features Thanksgiving dishes of traditional and new-traditional pattern and color combinations for your holiday tablescape consideration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Crochet doilies and lace napkins dressed the table in vintage style.
Tulle is my gift wrap ribbon and bow material of choice.
Tying the knot in white wedding and something blue tones is simple in theory, beautiful in delivery.
Gifts for a newlywed kitchen filled with love.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Love is Blue wedding week officially kicked off yesterday when the bride and groom to be dropped by to put a bow on last minute it’s all in the details wedding planning. They love the wedding week themed accents and decorations on the dining room table and sideboard- save the date cards for both weddings (local and Canada), photos from family weddings past, and custom wrapped wedding gifts.
Vintage ivory and wedding white lead the color palette, and a subtle hint of light blue celebrates the baby boy coming into our oldest nephew’s family this August.
Light blue ruled the color scheme of the 1960s and 1970s wedding. As I primped and prettied the wedding themed vignettes, the phrase love is blue popped into my head. Boy, does that bring back a fabulous memory!
Mr. and Mrs. Ron Howard ~ June, 1975
These Happy Wedding Days are Yours and Mine
I have always loved the song “Love is Blue” by Paul Mauriat. The beautiful instrumental was a favorite song of a childhood friend. Each time I heard the song over the years my thoughts immediately went back to times spent at her house- one of my favorites in our neighborhood and one I spent countless hours in when growing up. I had no idea a come full circle moment was in my future.
Who knows why I was coming over to my parents house on this particular late Tuesday afternoon in the summer of 1986, but it turned out to be a fabulous decision to do so. As I was getting close to my parent’s house (now our home) I noticed a U-Haul truck backed up to the garage of the house referenced above. Flippers can spot a potential flip property a mile away. This time I spotted a property a block away that maybe, just maybe we could buy, remodel, and call home. I hit the back door heading straight to the kitchen Trimline telephone (no cell phones at the time) to place a call to Dave the Builder. The Trimline telephone was about to put a new home in our remodeling hands.
That phone call was a life changer for us, and the call to action fished out the information I was hoping to hear. The owner (the father of my childhood friend) retained ownership of the house when the parents divorced. He lived in the house a few years, eventually turning the house into rental property.
Financial issues caused the one and only family to rent the property to vacate without notice (the owner learned of their departure when Dave called to inquire about the property). Being in the right place at the right time opened the door for us to put in an offer to purchase the property.
Be careful what you ask for, because you might just get it. Don’t get me wrong, we were thrilled with the house however, disrepair is the best way to describe the interior of the house when we purchased it. A state of disrepair proves a powerful bargaining chip in real estate negotiations, and being seasoned flippers we were unfazed. The ink wasn’t dry on the closing papers when Dave and the crew got down and dirty with the demo. Once the nasty carpet, outdated parquet floors, tacky paneling and biting fleas went bye bye, it was time to make things pretty again. Working, measuring and consulting demands concentration, and I concentrate so much better when music is playing. Standing deep in color fan deck thought, the sound of music pulled my attention toward the Nutone intercom upon the wall.
As if on cue from an afternoon in 1967, “Love is Blue” began to play on the radio.
Whatever it was, the impact of this love is blue very special moment stopped me in my tracks of joyous tears. Special milestones such as realizing your dream of home ownership, celebrating the weddings of a son and a nephew, and the arrival of a new baby have a way of doing that.
The blush color foundation has a pinkish brown undertone to it, blending beautifully as the top color choice on my wish I could replicate as a paint color list.
It is not out of the realm of style and color possibility to make a bold statement with a soft palette.
Our son and his betrothed, as well as our nephew and his betrothed are making 2017 the year of here comes the brides and grooms at Places In The Home. Brides-to-be affirm a blush color crush is in bridal vogue.