A Dream Home, Weddings and a New Baby Boy: Love is Blue

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.

custom gift wrap

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.

learn laugh love happiness

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

What a difference four decades make!

navy blue tuxedo

Elle Decor ~ Chaz Cruz Photographers

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.

love is blue

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.

trimline telephone

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.

ranch house

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.

house becomes a homeStyle at Home

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.

Fate?

Happenstance?

navy blue wedding utensilsElle Decor ~ Amanda MacDonald Photography

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.

love your style

A Spring Cleaning And Goodwill Week Pairing

A spring cleaning and Goodwill week pairing worked to my advantage this week.  Our nephew is getting married next weekend, and Places In The Home is celebration central.  We will be hosting family from near and far, the Canadian snowbird son and his fiancée are coming home, and we are in full on here comes the bride and groom mode.   Company’s coming, and I’ve been gathering, purging, cleaning, organizing, cursing (spring cleaning has been known to drive you to it!) and editing like nobody’s business.  Fortunately, I hit the jackpot on a recent Goodwill hunting visit to our local Goodwill where I found useful and decorative items for my spring cleaning and organizational needs.

And my summer entertaining needs.

And my copper in the kitchen decor needs.

And my front door wreath perfect for weekend wedding celebration decorating needs.

Another celebration I am taking part in is #GoodwillWeek.  Our local Goodwill proves visit after visit to be an excellent source for kitchen, home decor and vintage finds.  From donation to decorating, the Goodwill process is a win-win situation- one that gives as good as it gets. You never know what Goodwill goodies you will find as you shop a little and save a lot browsing Goodwill’s awesomely affordable inventory.

Goodwill WeekSpring cleaning time offers an excellent opportunity to donate items you no longer wear or housewares you no longer use to one of more than 4,700 Goodwill donation centers across the U.S. and Canada.  Goodwill works in communities providing people with skills and job training, employment placement and other support services so that they are stable both at home and in the workplace.

rustic-outdoor-space

Architectural Digest

I love the look in the image above, and will definitely be on the lookout for baskets on my Goodwill hunting trips.  DIY fans and decoristas in search of a quality bargain and stylish decor pieces appreciate the shop a little-save a lot concept Goodwill offers, and donating to and supporting Goodwill and Goodwill week is always in style.

love your style

Curated Style Comes Home: Signature Style Home Decor Pieces

In this companion piece to Do You Know What it Means to Love the Decorating Styles Characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District, we’ll look at interiors of homes in the New Orleans Garden District and selected signature style home decor pieces that exemplify the look.  Creative leeway, contrast, and brilliant juxtaposition work in unison with signature style home decor pieces at varying price points to represent the decorating styles expressly associated with period homes and signature NOLA style.

gold rope accent table

Rivers Spencer Interiors

vintage bombe chest

Vintage Bombe Chest

trumeau mirror

Chateau Trumeau Mirror from Hickory Manor House

French-trumeau-mirror

18th Century Painted Trumeau

When I take a visual inventory of the curated style in my own home and the home decor pieces featured in this post, I’m reminded of the spaghetti sauce ad from campaigns past that proclaims, “it’s in there!”

gilded headboard

Big, Easy Style by Bryan Batt ~ Pinterest

Big impact comes in small accent table packages.  We like to use the term spot accessory.

Spot chair.

Spot table.

Spot the fabulous contrast piece.

gold accent tables

ONE- Amelia End Table ||  TWO- Engenue Antique Mirror Side Table    THREE- Culpepper End Table  ||  FOUR-Bambusea Side Table

The accent table is perhaps the most genius of of home decor pieces.  A contemporary spot piece such as a small gold accent table(s) elegantly lends a modern twist to a predominately classic interior.  These are just a sampling of the many styles and finishes available at varying price points in the home decor market.

gold leaf antique mirrorClassic Wreath Gold Leaf Antique Reproduction Mirror 

pink cottage New Orleans

The Cottage Journal

copper lanternLantern & Scroll CH-29

House Proud Valorie Hart
From House Proud: Unique Home Design/Louisiana by Valorie Hart with Photos by Sara Essex Bradley
 

antique setteeThe HighBoy

Ebanista setteeMontmartre Settee by Ebanista

If you are fortunate enough to have access to the wonderful world of antiques stores, auctions and flea markets, keep an eye out for a diamond in the rough settee.  A stunning French settee at an equally stunning price reupholstered in the designer fabric of your choice could become a custom focal point piece to DIY for.

French settee

Louis XVI Carved Giltwood and Aubusson   ~   Fabrics from Inside Fabric

12 light crystal chandelier

Versailles 12-Light Crystal Chandelier

4 light crystal chandelierQuoizel Signature 4 Light 18″ Wide Mini Chandelier with Crystal Accents

Empire crystal chandelier

Empire 12-Light Crystal Chandelier

Ceiling Medallions

dupioni silk drapes

Heritage Landing Faux Silk Lined Drape Pair

dupioni silk curtains

 Dupioni Silk Drape in Pewter

decorative curtain hardware

Hickory Manor House Decorative Drapery Hardware

corbet accent chest

Corbett Chest by Century Furniture

accent chest

Hand Painted Distressed Cream and Gold Finish Accent Chest

European key tassels

19th-C. European Keys w/ Tassels

New Orleans interior designer Valorie Hart notes in a recent post on The Visual Vamp that silk drapes continue to be a popular choice with decoristas in New Orleans while the color orange remains a top color preference for draperies.

signature style home decor piecesBetter Homes & Gardens

A look-see of this decorating show and tell counted as the second time in one day my decorating eye crossed paths with orange drapes- reason enough to give a second thought to changing the color of the drapes in the den.

orange curtains

Antiques, lanterns, ceiling medallions, dupioni silk drapes, decorative objects d’art, ornamental accents, chandeliers dripping in crystal prisms, decorative mirrors and frames scrolled in gold leaf- the New Orleans influence comes home through signature style home decor pieces.

love your style

Instalove: Slow Your Scroll Images From Instagram

I am in Instalove with these slow your scroll images from Instagram. Wrapping up the week with a gallery feature of images from Instagram that visually command and hold my attention qualify as share worthy material.

A post shared by Andrea (@theglampad) on

A post shared by vogueliving (@vogueliving) on

A post shared by Ebanista (@ebanista_collection) on

With Love: Mother’s Day Gift Suggestions

May flowers, fun in the sun travel finds, colorful accessories and someone’s in the kitchen baking with Mom gadgets to celebrate and commemorate Mom make this year’s Mother’s Day gift suggestions list.

Once a theme is established the special attention to Mother’s Day gift details fall into place.  Take the following for example.  After playing this fun in the sun and sand video, who wouldn’t be inspired?

Beach weather is here for some, right around the corner for others.  A day of, weekend getaway or week long fun in the sun vacation makes a big splash for Mother’s Day gift suggestions giving.  Wrap up these stylish travel adventure-fun in the sun and sand gifts and Mom is good to go.

Appeal to the whimsical style and the sand and sun aspect of Mother’s Day gift suggestions by presenting Mom the Life’s a Beach Throw Pillow by Beachcrest Home as a Mother’s Day card. 

wishboneLucky Token Keychain

Mother's Day gift suggestions

New Directions® Floppy Sun N Sand Hat

beach tote

Sundry Sea Sun Salt Straw Tote

Burberry sunglasses

Burberry Gradient Lens Wayfarer Sunglasses

Oceane eau de toilette

Outremer Mini Eau De Toilette

Live a great story and make sure to take notes and pictures of the people, places and things along the way.

Live a Great Story Journal

Michael Kors x FUJIFILM INSTAX® Camera

Pearls have long been a traditional choice of Mother’s Day gift.  I particularly like the new traditional style of this Four-Strand Baroque Freshwater-Pearl Necklace from Kenneth Jay Lane.  Classic style with a new trad twist.

freshwater pearl necklace

Flowers come in all colors and styles for Mother’s Day gift suggestions inspiration.

accent chair

Watercolor Floral Ariana Accent Chair

Estee Lauder Pleasures

Estée Lauder Pleasures Simple Moments Set

rose blush

Milani Rose Powder Blush

Handpicked

Handpicked : Simple, Sustainable, and Seasonal Flower Arrangements

wrapped canvas print

Rue Cambon Painting Print on Wrapped Canvas

Baking with Mom Mother’s Day Gift Suggestions

baking

Embossed Rolling Pin  ||  Oven Mitts  ||  Recipe Cards  || Rose Shaped Cake Mould Baking Pan  ||  Tropical Fruit Ceramic Measuring Spoons

Flowers and flour.

The Pioneer Woman Rose Shadow 2.83-Quart Batter Bowl

Color Mom’s World in Shades of Color Love

sonia kashuk brush setSonia Kashuk Cosmetic Brush Set

espadrilles

Sonya Wedge Espadrille Ballet Flats

drop earrings

Oracle Drop Earrings ~ BAUBLEBAR

Style & Co Clean Cut Reversible Tote with Wristlet

Nautilus Bold Plaid Shade Ovo Table Lamp

Fendi Diamond Buckle Watch with Leather Strap, Gold/Pink

18k Two-tone Yellow Goldplated Diamond Accent Greek Key Bangle Bracelet

 

Happy gifting!

signature-pink

 

Deliveries. Issues. Solutions. That’s the Way It Goes With Major Home Improvement Projects

My posting plan to bring you the companion piece post to Do You Know What It Means to Love the Decorating Styles Characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District didn’t quite make it to deadline.  Deliveries, issues and solutions have taken priority over my normal posting schedule, but that’s the way it goes with major home improvement projects.

roofing shingles delivery

Home improvement projects are not without problems, delays and contractor issues.  Don’t you just hate that?

roofing supplies

We are now back on track, and from the looks of things it’s time to get things started up on the roof.

home improvement projects

Lawn and garden cleanup is on schedule.

And loud.

Dave reminded me, “if you think this is loud, wait until the roofers get started.”

tree debris removal

A good suggestion for surviving major home improvement projects is to always be prepared.

bose headphones

Have a wonderful weekend.

love your style

 

 

Do You Know What it Means to Love the Decorating Styles Characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District?

Admiring lovely images of architecture, design and decorating is one of the ways I hit the blogging, decorating, sourcing reset button.  I let the beauty wash over me in a beauty is good for the soul kind of way.  All interior design is visually captivating in one way or another, but my eye is immediately drawn to those images featuring the decorating styles characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District.

Louis Armstrong

As I write this post I am listening to Louis Armstrong sing “Do you Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans.”  I certainly do, Satchmo, as much as I know what it means to love the decorating styles characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District.

The stunning New Orleans home of Grace and Sandy Kaynor as featured in Southern Living ~  Photography by Laurey W. Gleen

Aware of the myriad of decorating styles to explore and consider, there’s been times when I’ve wondered if my interior design and decorating style needle is stuck.  The logic I apply answers the question with an emphatic no.

As in love, the interior design and decorating heart wants what it wants, and the interior design and decorating eye likes what it likes.

Both my design and decorating heart and eye knows what it means to love the decorating styles characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District. Over the years of countless trips to New Orleans, Dave the Builder and I have spent hours driving up and down the tree lined streets of the historic Garden District and St. Charles Avenue on our brand of self guided home and garden tours.  To say I was and continue to be inspired and influenced is a grand understatement.

Exteriors replete with ornate detail tell the story of real estate royalty, one that takes the reader’s (the drive by admirer in this case) imagination on a trip to I wonder what the inside looks like land.

Distinct architectural and interior design features typify the stately homes of the New Orleans Garden District, providing the homeowner-designer-decorator a classic canvas to work wonders with.

My New Orleans

New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles

What makes the interiors of period homes unmistakable is the traditional, Baroque, Rococo or Victorian style features.  What makes the interiors of period homes distinct is the contrast, the blend, the mix, the juxtaposition of decorating styles living in stunning harmony with each other.  I learned a long time ago all decor choices do not have to strictly follow the primary design style.

Rodney-Villarreal-Design

Rodney Villarreal Design

The mixing and mingling of contemporary accent and abstract art pieces throughout a room decorated in a traditional, Baroque, Rococo or Victorian style creates contrast fit for focal point distinction. From historic mansions to bungalow cottages- it’s not the size of the space or the style of the home, but the statement the decor makes.

Cavan

The New Orleans influence is obvious throughout our home and homes decorated by yours truly.

decorating styles characteristic

Antiques, Italian lanterns, ceiling medallions, dupioni silk drapes, crystal chandeliers, decorative mirrors scrolled in gold leaf- the curated look comes home.

The companion piece post to Do You Know What It Means to Love the Decorating Styles Characteristic of the New Orleans Garden District features images of, inspiration to decorate by and source information on the home decor accents and accessories that impeccably mirror statement pieces found in the homes of the New Orleans Garden District.  It will post at the end of the week.

 

 

 

Our Had Tornado-Must Home Improve Show: Selecting Roofing Shingles

We have now come to the new roof portion of our had tornado-must home improve show selecting roofing shingles edition.  Scope sheets and roofing materials lead the conversation of late around Places In The Home.

Performance, color, texture, pattern, and climate figure into the roofing shingle selection equation.  Durability, protection and ability to hold up to normal Louisiana weather (I don’t even want to think about hurricane season) is the first thing to consider when selecting roofing shingles.  The next thing is to consider is the style aspect- the color, texture and pattern play.

Sherwin-Williams
Tricorn Black  ||  Afternoon  ||  High Reflective White 

The exterior colors are not due for a color palette change anytime soon. Based on our preferences I doubt there will be a dramatic shift in color choice when we do repaint.

Louisiana sun and humidity work against the longevity of a shingle’s color.  Dave has to continually remind me to take this fact under consideration in the color selection process.  Scroll back up to the top of the page and look at the roofs.  See the streaked and darkening appearance of the shingles?

Humidity + Algae = Discoloration

Natural weathering comes with age and exposure to the elements, but our harsh weather conditions accelerate the appearance of aged wear.

I flipped over this Heirloom Brown (color) diamond (pattern) architectural shingle (texture).

GAF Sienna Heirloom Brown Value Collection Lifetime Shingles 

Budget should be a four-letter word.  I know it makes me swear I will stay within ours.  For just that reason, I am choosing several options with budget friendly price points.

Landmark Premium ~ Weathered Wood

Owens Corning Trudefinition Duration in Estate Gray

roofing shingles

GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles in Weathered Gray

Curb appeal is returning, slowly but surely.

Hippity, Hoppity Easter’s On Its Way Show and Tell On This Beautiful Good Friday

Hello friends!  I hope your holiday weekend is off to a fabulous start. Holidays are a time for celebrating, rejoicing, feasting and sharing.  We will practice and partake in all, beginning with a hippity, hoppity Easter’s on its way show and tell on this beautiful Good Friday.

gold-rabbit

Plastic Easter eggs and a gold bunny from Dollar Tree make eggcellent decoration anchors for the holiday dessert display.

beautiful Good Friday

Live lilies as well as porcelain and china flowers take centerpiece stage on the Easter table.

blue-iris

antique-plate-1It’s the year of the wedding(s) in the Places In The Home family.  There’s talk of silver, china, monograms, cakes and flowers at holiday gatherings with assurances from one very proud mom and aunt that the topic of conversation is one of supreme interest.

coconut-cake-cut

Dorothy’s Homemade Coconut Cake Recipe from Alex Hitz is the perfect choice of Easter, bridal shower or bridesmaid luncheon dessert.

Poncahtoula strawberries

May I suggest a dessert pairing featuring fresh Louisiana Strawberries

sugar-spoon-table

topped with a heavy handed spoonful of granulated pure cane sugar

glass-sherbetsserved in “watermelon glass” pattern sherbets in spring and summer shades of pink and green.  Presentation wow factor now being served.

freezing-rose-petals-in-water

The bloom is off the rose thanks to recent tornado times however, a lawn and garden gift of good nature produced fresh blooms from knock out roses row.  Bridal shower inspiration bloomed, and rose petal ice cubes became the entertaining diy project of the day.

rose-petals-frozen

It’s all in the details.

rose-petals-ice-cubes

Remembering, reflecting, celebrating, decorating and wishing you a blessed and beautiful Good Friday.

Love your style!

C’est Si Bon of Home: Crawfish Cheesecake

Louisiana cooking often begins with Louisiana Cookin’.   When the local crowd craves the c’est si bon of home or culinary curiosity piques the palate of the connoisseur in seasoned search of what Louisiana cuisine is all about, Louisiana Cookin’ magazine details the Louisiana lagniappe.

Louisiana=Cookin'

Featuring delectable details of our unique culture, cuisine and recipes to beat the jazz band, Louisiana Cookin’  is the guide we consult.  Crawfish is in season, and this recipe for Crawfish Cheesecake places the season and seasoning spotlight on the regional delicacy and c’est si bon of home.

Crawfish Cheesecake

Crawfish Cheesecake

Ingredients

½ (13.7-ounce) box Ritz crackers

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

½ pound andouille sausage, sliced

½ pound crawfish tail meat

¼ cup chopped fresh jalapeño pepper

24 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 large eggs

½ cup Crawfish Beurre Blanc, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°.  In the bowl of a food processor, add crackers, and process until finely chopped.  In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs and butter.  Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes; set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add sausage, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add crawfish and jalapeño, and cook until jalapeño softens, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Set aside, and let cool.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add crawfish mixture, thyme, salt, and pepper, and beat until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition.

Pour cream cheese mixture over prepared crust. Set springform pan in a roasting pan, and fill with water half-way up the sides of the springform pan.  Bake until set and cheesecake jiggles lightly in the center, about 1 hour.  Remove from oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before serving.  Serve with Crawfish Beurre Blanc, if desired.  Serves 8

Crawfish Beurre Blanc

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

¼ pound crawfish tail meat

¼ cup chopped shallot

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon hot sauce

4 sprigs thyme

1 tablespoon peppercorns

2 cloves garlic

½ cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup unsalted butter, cubed

Directions

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add oil.  Stir in crawfish, shallot, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook until shallot is tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside, and let cool.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine wine, vinegar, hot sauce, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic, and cook until reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer; return liquid to pan.

Add cream, and cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low.  Stir in butter, one cube at a time, until butter is melted and the sauce is smooth; stir in remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Stir in crawfish mixture.  Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Louisiana Cookin’

cest-si-bon