I thought I would bring back my A Most Fetching Friday series for the spring and summer season. Today’s spring and summer fetching Friday kicks off the series with a collection of images drenched in color and seasonal decorating inspiration.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Everything is right on Target for graduation and Mother’s Day gifts fresh in Lilly Pulitzer colors bright and pattern right. The limited edition Lilly Pulitzer collection for Target will be available April 19th. Can you tell I’m excited about this collection? I read this fabulous remark the other day and found it to hit the bullseye. The cure for spring fever is spring shopping.
I have several selections from the Lilly look book in mind for our son’s girlfriend who is graduating from university next month and a special Mother’s Day gift recipient on my the gift is in the giving list. Allow me to share with you my favorites from the collection.
For chic summer evenings ~
Embroidered Clutch ~ Gold
For a touch of Pulitzer Pattern on the Patio ~
Drinking Glasses ~ set of 4
Nosie Posey Glass Hurricane Candle Holder
For the after graduation getaway or summer beach vacation~
Giraffing Me Crazy Beach Towel
For the home~
Set of 4 Napkins with Pom Pom Trim
Ceramic Mugs with Gold Caddy
Nosie Posey Floor Cushion
Mark you calendars for the arrival of the Lilly Pulitzer Collection for Target gift ideas.
Happy first day of spring. That looks so lovely on the page I believe it worthy of retyping. Happy first day of spring! Traditionally, spring is the season of making things fresh and new, house to home speaking. Today I am sharing with you spring into spiff up, organize and declutter action suggestions for spring cleaning-open the windows and doors-age of Aquarius-let the sunshine in results.
While nature is doing its natural thing getting the outdoors gussied up for the color parade is the perfect time to spiff up, organize and declutter the spaces and places inside your home. All things house that make a nice, neat, organized and tidy home starts spring off on the right note. Here are a few spring into spiff up, organize and declutter action suggestions.
An accent table is a stylish option for extra storage in a bathroom or powder room. There is a vast selection of small accent tables available in the home decor marketplace to fit all space needs and price points. A well placed accent table serves a twofold purpose: (1) a storage companion to the vanity countertop and linen closet, and (2) an unexpected feature of furniture placement brilliance. Unique furniture placement is often the sole design element responsible for creating the focal point of the space.
That’s a crock, pitcher, coffee tin, soda crate- you get the idea. My kitchen utensil storage selections do not runneth over, but they do stand pretty, poised and ready for KP duty.
Kitchen utensils and cooking wares displayed in brand spanking new containers or repurposed vintage treasures from yesteryear place practicality within the cook’s reach while adding personality to a kitchen countertop.
Vanity closets and dressing areas are in vogue at the design and decorating moment. You don’t have to be keeping up with the Joneses, a cast member of the Real Housewives of wherever, a Hollywood leading man or music mogul power couple to get fashionably organized. Select an area, pop a couple of rods up, maybe add a chic rug or chandelier and let the in vogueing begin. Yet another space primed and ready for the addition of an accent table.
When style pairs with function the result can be a chic and organized thing.
If you’ve been using the excuse that decorative storage solutions are too expensive the jig is up. Inexpensive storage and organizing solutions do exist. It doesn’t get any less expensive than lidded jars and curbside boutique finds.
I’ve noticed several home decor sales events in my online sourcing rounds this past week. Sale is the four letter word of the season, but clearance makes my money saving heart race with consumer delight.
I’ve moved away from the constant state of showroom perfection to the life is messy, pick it up-clean it up phase of housekeeping. Decorative baskets and wall hooks lead the charge against clutter, and make decluttering your home an almost effortless endeavor.
Spring cleaning tips pair well with spring into spiff up, organize and declutter action suggestions. All things house that make a home tidied up and in their rightful place goes with spring like design goes with decorating. Julia Millay Walsh authors the wonderful article for Domaine, “How to Clean Practically Everything.” From a lamp shade to glass shower doors to a mattress, this article provides useful tips on how to clean, well, practically everything. Click on over to read her how to get the job done.
Paging Friday, March 20th. I don’t believe I’m going out on a limb here when I say most of us are more than ready for the first day of spring 2015 to make an appearance in weather reports, gardens, flower beds and home decor accessories. Gloomy days and frozen nights of late make a very good argument for the hurried anticipation of spring’s arrival. North, south, east and west- it’s time for spring to get to springing. I’m for less of this…
and much, much more of this. Blooming trees, color on parade flowers and budding plants, warm temps, sunny afternoons and swing time works for me!
This silly rednecks on a road trip resonates with our crowd in a we know people exactly like that kind of way. One particular dialogue exchange between Billy Bob Thornton (as Lonnie Earl Dodd) and Patrick Swayze (as Roy Kirkendall) in regards to the customized Chevrolet Suburban they would be traveling in hilariously hit home.
Lonnie Earl: Nothing’s too good for my friends. We’re gonna be ridin’ and stylin’ and profilin’.
Roy: It smells loud.
Lonnie Earl: That’s probably that Corinthian leather, is what that is.”
My uncle, a Southern gentleman of few words and good taste, was in the carpet and flooring business for years before embarking on his career as the cinnamon bun king of central Florida. Loud was his word of choice when describing busy colors, bold fabrics and pungent foods.
The MacKenzie-Childs Flower Market Outdoor Butterfly Chair is exactly that, loud. Subdued in its statement it’s not, but then again, neither is the beauty of spring. This chair captures the iconic look of the brand with the perfect amount of funky fun, live out loud color flair, and unique interpretation.
A late week project opportunity came about at the last minute, and to say I’ve been otherwise engaged is an understatement. No complaints, but I made a promise to myself and Dave the Builder I would stop and smell the roses, or in this case, magnolias this weekend. My fingers may have been crossed behind my back just a wee bit, but I’ll do my best to take the weekend off. After all, all’s well that weekends well.
Southern Magnolias make a beautiful “it’s the weekend” arrangement. Grab a crystal vase, silver bowl, mason jar or ironstone pitcher, fill it with warm water ( yes, warm water) and add whatever fresh flowers you wish. It’s guaranteed happiness at home. Fresh flowers and maybe a Margarita with Citrus Salt. All the delicious details of this tempting recipe from Jad Driggers the chef, husband and Mr. Mom behind New South Food Company are featured over at How to Decorate from Ballard Designs.
Still loving the Waterlogue app. I am seriously considering having personalized stationery made using this image.
My nephew wrote these words down on notebook paper when he was eight years old. His dad saved the scrap of paper in his wallet all these years. When my nephew recently married, his dad took the piece of precious paper to the printers and had refrigerator magnets made for each member of the wedding party and family members. A faded piece of paper with profound words from an eight year old boy made a priceless keepsake.
Home and garden sites, magazines, retailers and home improvement stores are summer trends central. I say if you can’t beat ’em, roll your sleeves up and play I spy summer. I believe it’s safe to assume we all hope the extreme polar storms of this past winter prove to be weather exceptions and not rules. Although the arrival of spring is not without a few twists and bumps, the current weather is more like it. My dad always says if the weather was like this year round the property values would skyrocket. The mild afternoons and evenings that come with this time of year really do come close to sheer perfection.
We had a late afternoon out of nowhere burst of spring showers yesterday. As walking luck would have it, my mother and I had the distinct pleasure of experiencing the showers first hand. We channeled our inner Gene Kelly and made the most of it as we sprinted back to the house. What I’d tell you about twists and bumps! Like a really good movie trailer, those drops of liquid sunshine, warm breezes and summer trends build home decor and entertaining anticipation. Bravo, summer! You have succeeded in guaranteeing I will be buying a ticket to the best outdoor show in town better known as summer. Here’s a selection of summer trends to get the beach ball rolling.
Corn on the cob is a summer sides staple. Why not dress up the summer delicacy with a set of these silverplate corn on the cob holders. All that will be left to do is stick a corn on the cob holder in it, they’re done!
Metal cage string lights from Smith & Hawken up the style ante. Getting into the swing of summer is almost a required tradition on lazy afternoons. It’s a Kirkland’s 2-for-1. No, not a coupon or promo code, but a one shopping trip, two summer decor items 2 for 1. Great looks coming your way with this distressed floral concrete planter and formal yet casual welcome mat.
Isn’t the watermelon the official fruit of summer? If it’s not it comes mighty close. Watermelon makes a nice light dessert, and the presentation is part of the wow factor process. Serve it to guests in summer fashion on this watermelon dessert plate. Complete the theme with coordinating paper napkins in watermelon tribute.
Last but certainly not least, the addition of outdoor throw pillows is both a preached and practiced way to update for the season. I stepped away from sourcing the obvious choice of bright and light colors to demonstrate the decorative effectiveness of a classic color combination choice. Seasonal color done right is not always taken from the page of the expected. The color black makes a statement regardless of space or decor style- it’s a solid choice of color. Pair black with beige and elegance is born. Talk about pop of color and classic style, picture the pillows sitting pretty on the white swing. Summer swoon worthy!
What summer trends are coming in as favorites in your game of I Spy Summer?
Grass is a quite the topic of conversation lately. Not that type of grass, Easter grass. Which do you prefer, plastic or living grass Easter basket?
A long time spring and Easter tradition involves a run to our local feed and seed store. We ooh and awe at the baby chicks, check out the spring bedding and vegetable garden plants, and scoop up a half-pound of wheat grass seeds. The latter purchase results in a bumper crop of live Easter grass. Egghibit A: my Easter 2013 live and in color living grass Easter basket.
I lined the bottom of the container with black river rocks from Dollar Tree. Next, I filled the casserole dish about ¾ full (about an inch below the edge of the dish) with a mixture of potting soil and good old dirt. Dampen the soil, cover the top with seeds and within two days marvel at sight of growing grass.
On another type of grass front yard front ~
Places In The Home is Easter Sunday central again this year. Company’s coming, therefore, a DIY landscaping session made the all things house that make a home make ready list. The combination of looking at ugly winter wrecked beds together with well-timed spring Black Friday sales presents the perfect incentive to get in gear with a front yard freshen up. Ferns for the front porch, ground cover clipped and managed, and sixteen bags of black mulch later we’re making some progress. The jury is still out on the status of the Sago palm. I hope it makes a full recovery.
Exteriors lead to interiors, and next up in my Easter entertaining plans is the tablescape. I’ll share my ideas and suggestions with you all midweek. Enjoy your Monday.
All things house that make a home can be a less than glamorous gig at times- like when it’s cleaning out the refrigerator day. On the upside, I did find the pint of strawberries I bought over the weekend and have overlooked thirty times between then and now.
A rediscovered pint of strawberries connected the culinary dots straight to let’s make something very berry recipe development. An easy Strawberry Orange Jam recipe it is. In case you didn’t know, strawberries are my jam.
Strawberry Orange Jam
1 16 ounce container fresh strawberries
1 small carton frozen strawberries
juice of one large Meyer lemon
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon orange zest
½ teaspoon allspice
3 Tablespoons orange juice
2 ½ cups sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 3 ounce box orange jello
First, zest both oranges and then cut into wedges. Remove peel and white membrane from fruit and discard. Place peeled oranges wedges and allspice in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook oranges for approximately 10-15 minutes or until softened. Drain off water. Meanwhile, slice fresh strawberries in quarters and place strawberries in food processor, pulsing until crushed. Add crushed strawberries to the cooked oranges in saucepan.
Add sugar, lemon juice, orange juice, honey, orange zest and frozen strawberries and mix well. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high and stir in jello. Boil uncovered for 25-30 minutes, stirring often. Remove pan from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Skim off excess foam before carefully spooning mixture into jars. Place lids on sealing tight for optimum storage freshness. The mixture will continue to thicken once refrigerated. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Enjoy!
Southern Living, the holy grail of southern recipes goodness, has done it again. This Strawberry-Lemonade Layer Cake screams spring, summer and strawberry goodness. My maternal grandmother could rock a strawberry cake like no tomorrow. I would love to be able to turn back the hands of time and be standing next to her in her kitchen right now whipping up this cake.
It’s one of those lazy afternoons spring is so well known to host. I went with it and kicked off my shoes, turned up the music and proceeded to jam. I popped over to our next door neighbor’s with a spring share of strawberry orange jam. She’s my Meyer lemon connection and official taste tester, and she gave my latest creation an enthusiastic thumbs up. I returned home to this sight.
That about sums up this spring afternoon. Hope you enjoy yours!
Our neighborhood has suddenly become lawn care central. It’s like a U2 concert block party with the rattle and hum of mowers and blowers. There’s a cloud of pollen as far as the itchy and watery eye can see. Seasonal allergies- oh, how I love to hate thee, but the colors on parade evens things out. Dave the Builder reminds me the work to rid the porch and patio of pollen, refresh flower pots and beds, and paint and clean the outdoor furniture is so worth it. When the man is right he is right. One must prep in order to properly patio- it gets the outdoor living party ball in motion. Do you refresh or replace outdoor furniture, pillows and cushion?
When it comes to the decision to refresh or replace I consider the initial investment of money and retail resource availability. Big $$ = refresh. Small $$ and ample availability = replace. Simple math. Although, the black stripe and white woven armchair from Terrain and these outdoor pillows big on color, texture and pattern make me want to load up the shopping cart.
When is a decorative planter not a decorative planter? When it is a beverage tub. Love this idea!
Vegetable gardens unite and produce- it’s your turn to be in the spring spotlight. From full-on rows of growing goodness to a patio container garden, fresh is best. There is something so delicious about the combination of a warm spring evening and a cold summer salad. I’ll take mine with tomatoes, onions, bell pepper and fresh herbs. My recipe for Summer Succotash Salad is here.
The topic of twitter chat on a recent Interior Designer Chat focused on top trends in outdoor living and entertaining.
The right lighting fixture coupled with the right lighting sets a scene. When I was four years old my parents took the family to Disneyland compliments of my paternal grandmother’s good luck (she won the trip). Past the Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World and Tinkerbell flying each night promptly at ten, the white twinkle lights adorned trees stood out in the magical night and made quite an impression on me. Good lighting will do that.
Deck out the deck, patio and backyard spaces with accent lighting. Vintage chandeliers, mason jars with tea lights, twinkle lights adorned trees, tabletop or paper lanterns- all super ideas! I purchased two iron chandeliers at auction several years ago and repurposed one as a bird feeder and the other as an outdoor candle chandelier. I recently replaced the votive candles with battery operated LED tea lights.
Spending time outdoors is a big part of spring and summer fun, making it easy to understand why outdoor living spaces have become extensions of the life lived within our home- a retreat of heart and home. Is your outdoor living it up escape ready to greet the season?