Sage Advice and Astute Observations

Sage advice and astute observations to ponder on this first Friday of fall.

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What Mr. Lagerfeld said.

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I simply can’t argue with this observation.

beaters

I miss the days when no one gave a thought to licking cake batter drenched beaters, raw eggs and all. Lest we forget the days of eating raw cookie dough without an E. coli care in the world.

day-well-spent

Love.

sage advice

It really is all you need.

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Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home to recharge your battery.

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I hope you enjoy the splendor of the season on this first weekend of fall at your little house on the prairie.

Love your style!

 

 

Making A Bold Statement: Bold Home Decor

Making a bold statement with bold home decor and the bold, color wheel wow and oh so beautiful decor accessories drenched in bold home decor color is a bold move in the right and decoratively daring direction.

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My Domaine

If you have been considering going for the bold and the beautiful, but have yet to test the waters, there’s no time like the present.

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My Domaine

Taking an all in approach to bold home decor produces bold results.

Miles-Redd-interiorsMiles Redd

Bold home decor statements in bold and living color are alive and done very well in New Orleans style as illustrated page after unique page in Valorie Hart’s book, House Proud: Unique Home Design/Louisiana. There’s no place quite like New Orleans, and Ms. Hart recognizes and features the interior design and decorating so expressly unique to New Orleans.

house-proud-louisiana-homes-1-xlnElle Decor

Another stunning feature from the pages of Elle Decor further makes the point.  New Orleans based artist Ashley Longshore’s studio is a gallery of bold expression.

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Elle Decor

Bold color incorporation on a grand scale boldly colors the world of some, where as a gradual color progression better sets the tone for others.

bold-home-officeNuevo Estilo

Rather experimenting on a small scale or full-on bold color saturation, working with bold home decor colors may be easier to do in baby steps for the decor timid or undecided.  The shallow end of the bold home decor color pool is a great place to begin.

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This contemporary armoire definitely will not fade into the woodwork, and that is exactly why I love it!  

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Fabulously funky, extravagantly elegant and guaranteed to produce a bold reaction, try coloring your world and space with one focal point piece.

Lisa Mende

Lisa Mende Design – Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Go bold and go home, Dorothy!  There’s no place like it.

Paint-Ceiling

POPSUGAR

From floor to ceiling, a brilliant contrast created through bold color, pattern and texture combined with distinctive accents and home decor accessories notes a truly unique design and decor visual experience.

bold-entrywayDomino

bold home decorFloor to ceiling-

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 “Fiori Di Como” by artist Dale Chihuly in the lobby of Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas.

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Amanda Nisbet

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Lindsey Coral Harper Interiors

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DecorPad

Bold color combinations and pattern selections capture the modern twists and turns of today’s tastes, yet stay true to the core appeal of classic designs.

bold color combinations

Southern Living

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Pinterest

Neutral walls more of what you have in mind for the space?  Introduce bold home decor to the space through spot accessories.

bold-artInterior designer by Ghislaine Viñas – Art Piece by Jason Woodside

Subtle boldness is not a firm contradiction of terms, but more a design approach to keep in mind.  This example beautifully illustrates the role color plays in bold home decor accessories servings as both focal point and integral color infusion.

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Kirsten Kelli

Traditional styles mixed with bold color choices strike a palette balance and speaks to the unique personality of the space.  Take your look boldly where no look has gone before.

one kings lane_kim bachmann_YELLOW ROOM WALL

Family style time in the home of fashion designer Kim Bachmann as featured on One Kings Lane

Revisiting and refreshing vintage posts is the norm for most bloggers in these slow and easy summer months.  Readers utilize every moment of these summer long days and outdoor living nights to get the most out of their summer season, and I totally respect that.  While I hope these new reads and range of topics keeps us engaged during the summer, I also hope you will enjoy the updated posts as well.

Feathered Friends On A Cloudy Afternoon

Storm clouds are hanging heavy over our part of the world this week. What’s up with this weather pattern?  Houston, we have a problem took on a whole new meaning and a whole lot of water Monday morning. Everything is bigger in Texas, including this most recent flooding event. My mother, channeling her inner Jim Cantore, kept me informed of the worsening weather conditions and rescue situations in the Greater Houston area throughout the day.  We watched the following rescue unfold live, amazed at Mother Nature’s power and the strength in numbers good Samaritans who saved this stranded trucker’s life.

Funky weather conditions can dampen even the sunniest of dispositions. We’ve had just about all the sadness we can take around here lately, making the distract and deflect act I have become abnormally good at a necessary part of a cloudy day.  Lighting plays such a significant role in our moods and energy levels.  The right amount of the right kind of lighting can promote a calming, serene and pleasing atmosphere.  Sunny days and the pristine natural lighting are favored, but not a 365 day reality.  What to do, what to do with the cloudy one at hand?  I know, let’s take a gander at what’s going on with our feathered friends on a cloudy afternoon.

bread-for-birds

Dave the Builder put out bread and filled the chandelier bird feeder pots with seed late Sunday afternoon.  We kept watch to see how well the birds would respond to this first feeding of the spring season.

Robins, blue jays, doves, cardinals, mockingbirds, sparrows –

Feathered Friends On A Cloudy Afternoon

nature is well represented right outside our kitchen window.

mockingbird

You would think a rainy, cloudy day would keep them away, but it seems the weather was just right to entice these creatures to turn out to feed and frolic.

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See the tilted and empty clay pots?

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Meet the culprit.

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Never underestimate the will of an alpha squirrel and the king of the yard swagger that goes along with it. This greedy gut and his partner in squirrel crime worked in tandem to tip each of the full clay pot feed holders over.  This was one seedy ground game.  A determined blue jay with expert aim dive-bombed the spotter squirrel and it was game on from there.  Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal and the sparrows circled the wagons, and the doves noshed in couldn’t care less fashion.  Victory was declared by the feathered finishers, and a pair of crestfallen squirrels cried “fowl” and retreated to the neighbors yard.

Just a view from my window on the world.

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Food For Thought

Food, cooking, and the gathering together of family and friends is an essential source of sustenance and life beyond the kitchen and dining table.  Consider the role food plays in our all things house that make a home life.  Over the prepping, preparing, plating and partaking of a meal we connect with family and friends, build and strengthen personal and business relationships, indulge in the art of expression and discovery, and create delicious and lasting memories.  Food for thought.

contemporary-kitchen-1Houzz

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

 Virginia Woolf

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RieslingCamille Styles

Essential-EmerilEmeril Lagasse

Cheese-and-honey-HonestlyYUMHonestly YUM

 “New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” – Mark Twain

Chef-John-Besh-red-beans-and-riceChef John Besh Red Beans and Rice

J. Kenji López-Alt, author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, debunks  five common Southern cooking myths over on the Garden & Gun blog Daily Shot.  I was surprised to learn…  Click on the link below for details.

Five Southern Cooking Myths Debunked

The-Food-Lab-J-Kenji-Lopez-Alt

Just a little food for thought.

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For Rent: Rental Refresh Upgrades

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter R for rental refresh upgrades. The conversation of late between mama and papa Places In The Home and our soon to be college graduate son heading up to the Great White North to begin his career has revolved around rental property viewings, interiors, exteriors, accents (eh?) and scads of all things house that make a home (rented or owned) furnishings.  This is the time of year when thoughts of apartments, condos, townhomes and single-family houses for rent and rental refresh upgrades begin to take center stage in the minds of college bound students, career starting college grads and newlywed couples.  According to recent real estate and business reports, millennials trend more toward renting than buying.

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The genius of internet listings, video viewings, real estate apps and Skype proves an essential tool in locating a property.  With a few clicks, well placed phone calls and virtual tours, our son has successfully rented a two story Victorian-era style home.  Now comes the fun part- the rental refresh upgrades.  He and his girlfriend are currently in putting a stylish spin on his new abode mode.  This is not our son’s first time at the rental rodeo.  He knows all too well renting comes with caveats, and property management firms have rules and code restrictions that must be adhered to.  Addressing the aforementioned right off the bat clearly defines the can and cannots.  Fortunately, the home owner is on board with the updates and rental refresh upgrades our son wants to do to the property.

BM-revere-pewter-framedBenjamin Moore

Fresh paint  rules the rental refresh upgrade playbook.   I ran across this quote yesterday and it really hit home.

“Color is the least expensive thing to put in a house.” —Ruthie Sommers

Color often gives the biggest return on your interior decorating investment. Paint is an instant update and covers a multitude of previous tenant color choice sins and the scuffs, streaks and uh-ohs made when moving out.  As a housewarming gift, Mr. Girlfriend’s Dad is painting the entire interior and key exterior areas of the house.  Going with a neutral color palette allows more breathing room in regards to accents and furnishings.  Landlords and property managers love neutral palettes, and come closer to approving the request for painting with this color choice.

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My inbox is experiencing a high volume of before, during and after pictures.  It’s exciting to be in the loop, share in the progress and to be asked to be a part of the process .

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Does it makes sense and cent$ to make updates and improvements to a rental property?  Absolutely!  Focus less on the fact your new residence is a rental and more on the fact that your new residence is where you call home.  All things house that make a home come together to make the out of your own pocket rental refresh upgrades worth it for the sake of your comfort, convenience and personal style touch.

Rental Refresh Upgrades

So worth it rental refresh upgrades good to go as in take it with you when you go ideas range from a programmable thermostat, stylish mirrors in bathrooms, accent rugs, light switch and wall plates, cabinet knobs and pulls, new shower head(s) and focal point light fixtures to exterior walkway lighting, planter boxes and a decorative mailbox.  Renting or buying, it really is amazing how a sense of personal style, displaying objects of individual interest and decorating with accents that capture and convey your personality makes a house a home.

studded-rug-FlooringHall’s Flooring

I’ll leave it there for today’s post and pick it back up with more pictures and suggestions for rental refresh upgrades.

Love your style!

Do Drop In: Entertaining With Ease

The welcome mat at Places In The Home is working overtime. Several of our family members are taking to the spring holiday road, and our house is do drop in central.  Good visits begin with good hosting and good hosting begins with a stress free host or hostess.  Entertaining is supposed to be a fun for guests and hosts alike, isn’t it?  I know I have a much better entertaining experience if I access and assign a theme, go with the entertaining with ease flow and keep the focus on comfortable surroundings, inviting touches and relaxing times.

Texas_bluebonnet_plant_lupinus_texensis_with_dark_blue_flowers_with_white_topTexas Bluebonnet

Texas times and family memories will be a hot topic of conversation.  Our company’s travels begin in Texas Bluebonnet country, and with Texas being the common denominator of our family tree, I played it up in theme and setting. Farmhouse chic makes an effortless foundation to build your theme upon.

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A simple arrangement of carnations mixed with greenery and placed beside an even simpler arrangement of apples and bananas in a milk glass center bowl provides a nice centerpiece in a farmhouse chic kind of way.

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Fresh flowers from the floral department of the local grocery store are my weakness, and when the word clearance enters into the picture my shopping cart runneth over.  You really get your money’s worth with carnations. Carnations can last for weeks with an every other day water change and a quick stem trim.  I use tepid water, scale back leaves from the stems to prevent contact with the water, and place a couple of drops of food coloring in the water.

pink-carnations

From recipes to table setting decor, I like to source from within meaning I like to use what I have on hand.  A great home decor clearance sale and dollar store items purchased in bulk can provide all the entertaining with ease elements needed for a well designed themed tablescape.

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kitsch
art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.

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Into each case of design and decorating a little if kitchen kitsch is wrong, I don’t want to be right will fall.  The method to my madness lies deeply rooted in the from which I came from principle. I picked up several sets of rooster dish towels at the local dollar store back during the holidays knowing full well they would come in handy. Paired with copper napkin rings I found on clearance at Dillard’s a couple of years ago, the dish towels made great dinner napkins.

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The Places In The Home gang comes from a long line of hen on nest dish collectors.  The women of our family felt no respectable kitchen and/or breakfast room decor complete without the addition of at least one hen on nest dish.

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Rubylane

On the menu front I aim to please.  Round our dinner table, quality rules over quantity which lines up perfectly with easy menu planning.  As long as the iced tea is sweet and I keep the serving sizes in just a bite territory it is all good and tasty. The culinary rule of KISS (keep it salad simple) always applies.

sideboard-partners

I set up a salad buffet for first course serve yourself ease.  Individual Mason jar salads layered with shredded iceberg lettuce, fresh tomato, chopped ham, green onion, Feta cheese crumbles, homemade buttermilk dressing and a dash of kosher salt and fine black pepper were a hit with the just a bite crowd.

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Biscuit BLTs with Peach Mayonnaise bring back memories of summers spent in Texas at my great-grandmother’s house.  Traditions tastes so good!

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Entertaining goes hand in hand with spring and summer, and entertaining with ease goes hand in hand with y’all come back now, ya hear!

Love your style!

 

Easter 2015 Plans, Prep and Pastels

Recently I was interviewed for an interior design and decorating publication. One of the questions asked was how would I describe my design style. Traditional with a classic twist answers the question.  Confused?   Allow me to clarify with a visual explanation starring the Easter egg.  Featured in our Easter 2015 plans, prep and pastels is a selection of the traditional plastic pastel Easter egg.

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The following two impressive examples of interior design, decorating, home decor and home furnishings that illustrate the new traditional with a classic twist Easter egg point.

pink-green-dining-roomHouse Beautiful

Pretty makes the perfect dinner guest.

Horchow-dining-roomHorchow

Our Easter Sunday dinner menu is almost finalized.  Numerous do you/will you eat ________  phone calls have been made to the picky eaters collective.  Dave the Builder submits his requests early in the menu planning stages, our son specifies his desire for his favorite dishes to at least make one plated appearance during his visit home, and the youngest nephew wants only one thing- my Vanilla Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce.  It’s almost a side dish at this point, and I no longer regard it as the star of the dessert table.

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I guess I should be more selective with the way I frame the topic of dessert with The Places In The Home gang.  The look Dave the Builder and my mother had on their faces when I informed them we will be going naked for dessert was priceless.  Naked cake, silly.  This naked cake recipe from Just Destiny is right up my alley.  It’s easy, made from the box and the can, and a delicious excuse to feature fresh flowers.  Destiny advises bakers and cake decorators not to get caught up in perfection.  I like her style.

naked-cake

Smart and savvy diy projects always catch me eye.  These terracotta pot napkin rings from Cottage at the Crossroads will set a stylishly spring is here table.  The tutorial for this project is easy to follow and the materials list is not expensive.  Click here for all the how-to information.

terracotta-napkin-rings

I’m contemplating making up a few how does your garden grow themed favor baskets.  A quick trip to the dollar store will provide the essentials- individual packets of assorted seeds, garden gloves, gardening tools and couple of packs of mini terracotta pots.  A cute print out of the terracotta pot napkin ring tutorial will complete the baskets.

Easter 2015 Plans, Prep and Pastels

 

All colors are fair game for Easter decorating.   I love using pastel colors in my Easter decorating color scheme, and a soft and serene shade of pale blue is simply one of the best.

Eggshell-blue-paint-colorsBetter Homes and Gardens

Speaking of an Easter decorating and tablescaping dollar store run and the color blue ~

We need another set of plates in our kitchen cupboard like we need a another set of plates in our kitchen cupboard.  Can you say obsessed?  Simple and understated dinner plates have their place on our Easter dinner table.  I prefer to let the crystal, linens, flatware and centerpiece live out loud.  I am one of the last Southern hostess holdouts when it comes to monogramming the vintage linen dinner napkins my mother brought me back from her last trip to Tennessee.  I’m still on the fence about committing this particular set of napkins to a permanent applique and color choice. Thank goodness for hemstitch cocktail napkins.

Easter-2015

The jury is still out on Martha Stewart’s getting bunny with it napkin fold decision for this year’s Easter tablescape.  It’s got the look, and the men of our family, including our adult son and two nephews, have absolutely no qualms voicing their wishes and requests for traditional holiday menus and decorations. I kid you not, these men like the details.  I’m in the memories business, and far be it from me to buck with the traditional practices of all things house that make a home.   Be it ever so humble…

bunny-fold-napkinMartha Stewart

 

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Holiday Open House

From our holiday open house to yours ~ may I present a glimpse into the holiday life lived within at Places In The Home.

holiday open house

The dining room is holiday decked and detailed in the new color. Our one more coat standoff is ongoing- hence the bare walls.  Small steps to big changes.

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greenery

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bright-light

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angel

candy

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Love your style!

Ice Ice Baby It’s Too Cold! Preparing Your Home For Cold Weather

Thank you, Vanilla Ice,  for your catchy lyric and befitting words.  This blast from the past catchy little lyric keeps on giving,  and it could not be more appropriate than at this I’m freezing my tuchus off time of year.  Ice Ice  Baby it’s too cold!  Let’s look at preparing your home for cold weather.

preparing your home for cold weather

I recommend following the principle of P-plan, prep and protect.

winter storm temperaturesvia

Wind-resistant and waterproof gear for people, places and things who will come in contact with extreme outdoor temps and exposure a must!  Preparing our son for his move to Canada taught us that lesson.  Base layering applies to people, plants and pipes.  Protect exposed skin from frostbite by basically NOT going outdoors in freezing temperatures.  If being outdoors is absolutely unavoidable, dress in layers beginning with a base layer and protect the ears, nose, toes, fingers, chin and cheeks.

tubular pipe insulationvia

Wrap exposed pipes with cloth or insulated tubing.  Further protect pipes by keeping the  wind and frigid air off and away from them as much as possible.  Elevated or raised houses such as those with a pier and beam foundation  have exposed pipes that need to be protected from harsh, frigid winter temperatures and blowing winds. Wrapping the exposed space between the bottom floor and ground with plastic sheeting or tar paper will protect the pipes from the elements.  Allow water to drip from interior faucets to maintain water flow activity and to keep pressure from building up in the pipes. It’s also a good idea to disconnect water hoses from the  exterior spigots.  In case of leak or pipe burst,  turn off your home’s water supply at the water shut-off valve to avoid further damage.

thermostat

 

Dave the Builder, the resident HVAC expert, suggests leaving the thermostat on a consistent setting keep the pipes warm. If  circumstances call for you to be away from your home during periods of extreme winter temps, Dave suggests leaving the thermostat temperature set at 60ºF.  A consistent interior setting will reduce temperature fluctuation and help to keep pipes warm.  Open cabinet doors in the kitchen, bathrooms and  laundry room to allow the heat in your home to circulate around the pipes.

sink and cabinet

Stay warm and safe!

Holiday Household Hints and Tips

Home for the Holidays comes with its joyful share of pulling out all the decorating, baking, entertaining, and celebrating the season stops.  Here’s a few holiday household hints and tips that may prove to come in holiday handy, and here is a few more holiday hints and tips from holiday posts past.  I’m all about kicking off the holiday season in a no problem November zone.

candles

Remove wax drips from candlesticks by placing them in the freezer for thirty minutes.  The “drips” will come right off.

garlicvia

Garlic belongs in the gumbo, not on your hands.  Handling garlic and onion goes with the culinary territory and with that comes the smell that is  left on your hands.  Rub your hands on a stainless steel surface such as the kitchen faucet to cut the smell.

coffee carafe

Remove coffee stains from a glass coffee carafe with a simple recipe of  1 tablespoon salt, a handful of ice cubes and 1 tablespoon of water.  Add salt, ice and water to the cool carafe and swirl until clean.  Rinse well with water and dry.

 clear vasevia

Cloudy vase?  Fill vase with luke warm water and drop in a denture cleaner tablet. Let the tablet do its thing overnight. Pour out solution, wash vase with luke warm water and dry.  Do not use hot water- it can cause the vase to crack.

baking pans

Gunk, funk and baked on junk left behind on roasters and baking pans is not my idea of a welcomed holiday leftover. Baked on will be gone in two simple steps. Grab a couple of dryer sheets from the laundry room.  Fill the pan half full of warm water and place the dryer sheets in the warm water.  Soak the pan overnight.

wedge shaped pie box

Pack guests a parting piece of  pie in these deluxe Wedge-Shaped Pie Box Kits from A la Modo on Etsy.  The kits include:

25  wedge shaped boxes

25  wooden forks

25  food safe parchment liners

14  yards of traditional red & white bakers twine

 

seasonings swapvia

Here’s a couple of helpful conversion charts to assist with the aforementioned pie and all your holiday seasoning and measuring needs.

kitchen conversion chartvia

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