This Is My Idea Of Halloween: Decorating With Black And Orange

Traditional Halloween colors look so appealing in these beautiful spaces. This is my idea of Halloween decorating with black and orange!

decorating with black and orangeElle Decor

Subtle hints of black and orange welcome spec & spook-tacular reviews.

black and orange foyerBetter Homes & Gardens

Thom Filicia

Moroccan loungeHouzz

orange bedroomRoughan Interiors

I have used this image in another post to illustrate the undeniable decorative impact of the color duo black and white.  I could not resist using it again to stress how stunning a space can be with the choice and pairing of orange and black.

black and orange curtainsSkonahem

Martha Stewart

black and orange furniture1, 2

These gorgeous rooms, accents, and accessories do not rely on tricks… only decorative and stylish treats for the eye.

Two Recipes, One Party: Strawberry Ghosts and Pimento Cheese

I’m getting ahead of myself with the Halloween celebration for a good reason. A very special 21st birthday celebration is taking place at Places In The Home this week, and this particular October baby favors a Halloween theme.  Strawberry Ghosts and Pimento Cheese top the appetizer and dessert menu.

Strawberry Ghosts


30 fresh strawberries

8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon vegetable shortening

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


Wash strawberries. Lightly pat the strawberries with paper towels until completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening at 50% power; stir until smooth. Stir in almond extract.

Dip strawberries in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts’ tails. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze for 5 minutes.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each face. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen (30 strawberries)

Taste of Home

Pimento cheese is the caviar of the South and great as a dip for a Halloween soiree.  This recipe is my dad’s, and it is as basic as it is delicious with just two ingredients- Velveeta and pimientos.  Grab a package of Ritz crackers or a bag of Fritos and it’s a monster mash y’all!


1  32 ounce package Velveeta cheese

4  4-oz jars pimentos, drained

dash of fine black pepper


Cut Velveeta into evenly sized chunks. Drain pimentos and add to cheese.

Monster Mash the Velveeta and pimentos together with potato masher until well mixed to desired consistency.




When A Classic Becomes The Trend: Houndstooth Home Decor

Houndstooth is trending now!  Fashion and home decor are so closely associated, and the two are keeping close company with the current houndstooth home decor trend.

Traditional Home

Houndstooth is a classic textile originally made from Scottish woven wool.  The most recognizable duotone example of  the houndstooth pattern is the traditional black and white.  Beautiful and traditional are two of my favorite words in the world of decor however, color ranks at the top of the descriptive heap.

Several gorgeous combinations of color currently abound in the world of houndstooth broadening the color choices.  It has proven to be a formidable pattern and a timeless classic.  The Robert Allen houndstooth fabric lines the statement wall of this Tobi Fairley designed bedroom featured in At Home in Arkansas.

At Home Arkansas

Throw pillows make a decorative statement sitting pretty in any space.


Tailored to suit with a stunning houndstooth rug anchoring the space is this residential office designed by the  Jeffers Design Group.

A classic design knows no bounds.


Alexander McQueen Houndstooth Dress

Ferragamo fantastic from the pages of Vogue

Double the look, double the houndstooth style for a touch of trend and function.

houndstooth-ottomansAt Home Arkansas

This example from a past Talbots holiday catalog continues to capture the essence of  two classic beauties, the hostess skirt and Julianne Moore.  The hostess skirt is classic holiday attire, and although not everyone’s style choice, I like the idea of it.  Cocktails anyone?

Trends come and go, but a classic remains a classic.

Love your style!

A Spot Of Spooky Style With A Touch Of Back In The Day Tradition

Spooktacular times and Halloween decorating ideas are brewing. We are celebrating two milestone birthdays in our immediate family this October, and Halloween conveniently furnishes the party theme.  The potion for the proper blend of  Halloween haunt is a spot of spooky style mixed with a touch of back in the day tradition. Shrieks of shabby delight will result when using these vintage and shabby inspired tags and bingo cards found on Etsy.

Halloween tags

This feather gray ceramic Owl Pitcher will give a hoot to a Howl-o-ween tablescape or vignette.  

owl pitcherOwl Pitcher in Feather Grey

The address for this affordable and easy Halloween grapevine wreath is 101 Inspiration Lane. Orange and black burlap and glitter tuille, natural or spray painted sweet gum balls, and mini pumpkin pails filled with moss, leaves or plastic spiders with spider webbing, and inexpensive costume jewelry keep things in fall and Halloween theme.  Got an old pair of black platforms no longer in your shoe rotation?  Grab the glue gun and get busy, my little pretties.


Rubber mice have never looked so cute! These mice mansion pumpkins bring the right balance of unique, gross, and fright to the festivities. Kids of all ages will love it!  Click on the links to the easy how to guides for the Swiss cheese Mouse House pumpkin from Better Home and Gardens and the Mouse Motel pumpkin from  Martha Stewart.

Halloween carved pumpkins1, 2

This is one time of year you want your soiree to be for the birds!  Hitchcock’s genius was spooky wicked brilliant, and what better theme to go with.  A framed photo of Mr. Hitchcock from Amazon, Halloween Wiccan Lace assorted salad plates from Target,  black and orange round tinsel placemats from Pier 1 Imports, and a set of four Halloween themed kitchen towels from Target will set both the mood and the table for a frightening feast.

Alfred HitchcockAlfred Hitchcock with a Skull and Glass 16″ X 20″ Image Size Vintage Poster Reproduction 


Pier 1 Imports 

This Solar Power Powered Gargoyle Light Eyes Statue Figure will light up the night and the path to the tricks and treats.

The candy is stashed, the pumpkins are stacked, and I’m counting two weeks to go ’til trick or treat time.

Love your style!

Mango Tango Salsa

My brother invited us out to his house to grill fish a couple of weekends ago. I asked what I could bring braced for the answer. My brother is the Forest Gump of request makers- you never know what you’re going to get asked to bring. “I don’t know, just surprise me”.  Well that narrows the culinary field. Something fresh goes well with fish, so Mango Tango Salsa it is!  It’s mango, it’s the right amount of tangy, and it’s fantastic with grilled fish and tortilla chips.


Mango Tango Salsa


½ medium red onion, finely chopped

1 mango, peeled and diced

1 large peach, peeled and diced

1 avocado, peeled and diced

1 tomato, diced

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon  basil

½ teaspoon Creole Seasoning


Peel, chop, and dice the onion, mango, peach, avocado, and tomato. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the lime and lemon juice.

Drain the whole kernel corn and add to the other ingredients. Season with sea salt, basil, and Creole Seasoning.  Cover and allow to chill for at least 2 hours.




Bargains,Thrifting Finds And Imperfections

A good bargain, the perfect find, and a successful Goodwill run is the lagniappe of my day, and I like lagniappe.

Thrifting, flea market, or auction finds aren’t usually free, but if the find is really good or exactly what you’ve been looking for it’s both a gift and a bonus! When we walked into Goodwill I didn’t know I was looking for a triple switch plate cover, but evidently I was. A bargain archaeologist I am not. I do not like to dig through, over, or under anything looking for something- that’s Dave the Builder’s role.

The switch plate cover was sitting between two other items- a decorative box and some item I can’t recall. The first item Dave picked up was the box. He opened it up and loudly proclaimed, “there’s a hundred dollar bill in here!”  Now I’ve known this man and his brand of humor for 35 years however, the two gentlemen standing next to us have not. Bless their hearts, they almost broke their necks looking to see if in fact a Ben Franklin was up for grabs. By the way, Dave’s comedy routine at our local Goodwill got a huge laugh.

Back to the switch plate. I consulted with Dave to get his mechanical and electrical opinion. With a thumbs up things started to get interesting. I noticed a piece of the bottom banner was chipped off.  I reasoned if I could not live with it I would simply chip off the intact piece on the other side. The persuasive pot was sweetened when I realized  the store was having a special sticker something or other additional 40% off sale bringing the total price to $2.17.  Ring- it- up, baby!

The breakfast area toggle light switch situation was updated to the new and so very improved rocker style.

I darkened the plate with a thin coat of Americana acrylic paint in raw umber. What areas a foam brush can’t get to and the initial coat won’t cover a Q-tip dipped in paint will.

The color deepens the details and camouflages the imperfection. I’m debating leaving the switch plate in its present form. Would performing decorative surgery by removing the detail on the left side in order to smooth out the imperfect edges make such a huge difference to the finished look, or would it not move the needle enough to matter?

As odd as it sounds, the story is found in the imperfection. That’s the wonderful thing about certain items and objects we use in our decor. The story, the memories, and the tales of the hunt that go along with the bargains, thrifting finds and imperfections is often what is so appealing.

Love your style!


Keep Calm And Harvest On: I’m Not Quite Through Enjoying the Beauty of Fall Decor Just Yet

Fall decor confirms what I’ve known for sometime.  I like, no, I love this fall decor time of year.  Fall excites the senses through seasonal colors on parade, thread counts of warm and cozy fabrics, tastes of pumpkin, apple, cinnamon and spices, and pitch clear sounds floating through the air of a crisp fall evening.  Those of us who live for and love the fall season savor the season, knowing fall is best enjoyed when we keep calm and harvest on.


Fall is the gateway to the season of warm colors, cool weather fairs and festivals, and home for the holidays celebrations.

diy-fall-scentsHouse Beautiful

I wait all year for this time of year to roll around and I want to enjoy the look of fall decor for as long as I can.  I’m adopting a stop and smell the cinnamon and apples attitude.

fall decorSouthern Weddings

Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decor ideas and decorations are in stores and magazines, but I remind myself to keep calm and harvest on. I’m not quite through enjoying the beauty of fall decor just yet.



This space definitely got the natural elements works memo.  Stone masonry, white cedar logs, and birch bark veneers carry out the Adirondacks feel year round.

The spot on twig chandelier and stag horn candle holders emphasize the season and put the finishing touches on the rustic package.


Wildwood Branch Chandelier

Stag+Horn+Resin+CandelabraStag Horn Resin Candelabra

You are good to go with nature inspired home decor pieces from September to spring.



The Soho Chesterfield Leather Chair from COCOCOHome puts a non-traditional twist on a traditional look.   Who’s thinking green apple?


Balsimo 30″ Wide 8-Light Spanish Traditional Chandelier with Chandelier Shade in Copper

Copper cookware and home decor accents lend an element of warmth and distinction to stove and space.


Williams Sonoma Professional Copper Saucepan

John Derian’s Fall Frolic fall collection of digital notecards and party invitations has a vintage vibe.  The artist based them on 19th-century pieces from his own decoupage archive.  These fall frolic invitations are anything but boaring.


This time of year gives our seasonal home decor choices a permission slip signed go ahead- get cozy, relax, and stay awhile.

Cinnamon Mocha Vanilla Coffee

Cinnamon Mocha Vanilla Coffee is simple to make and simply made for cool weather mornings, afternoons and evenings.  Coffee lovers will love it, hot cocoa drinkers may discover a caffeinated twist of taste is the way to go in and cinnamon coffee connoisseurs of the coffee drinking nation will have a flavorlicious #NationalCoffeeDay reason to celebrate.


This is a one or two or three cup(s) of oh-my-goodness deliciousness that is as tasty as it is easy to prepare with ingredients most coffee drinkers and bakers have on hand.  Skip the lines at the counter or drive-thru, spend the money saved on $$$ coffee shop coffees on a Yeti Rambler (a hot or cold beverages best friend) and let me know what you think!




4  Tablespoons ground coffee

1  teaspoon ground cinnamon

1  cup 2% milk

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons cocoa

1  teaspoon vanilla extract

4  cinnamon sticks



Combine the coffee and ground cinnamon in coffeemaker basket.


Add water to fill level and brew coffee.

In a medium saucepan combine milk, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Heat over low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved and small bubbles begin to form.

Pour ¼ cup of hot milk mixture  into each coffee cup.


Fill each coffee cup with desired amount of the brewed cinnamon flavored coffee.  Garnish with cinnamon stick or a light dusting of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.   Makes 4 servings.