Today’s post is an updated version of Home Bar Styling Ideas featuring new finds and classic favorites.
Home bar styling ideas reach beyond a portable card table or kitchen countertop. A home bar serves up more than just cocktails when the spirits, wine, glassware, decor finds and beverage accouterments are stylishly displayed on a bar cart, accent cabinet or table, bookshelf, inside an antique armoire or atop a mid-century modern credenza.
The secret to successful entertaining is creating an ambiance of effortless elegance. This image exemplifies just that as the simple yet elegant touches set the tone and the style for an evening of sips and toasts.
Mix and mingle classic accents and barware essentials with modern with vintage, metals, colors, textures, and patterns. Unconventional pieces shake and stir up interest. I use a vintage creamer as a jigger, and it never fails to start the “where did you get this?” conversation.
Art, stunning glassware, liquor, wine bottles and decanters heavy on color and pattern, a bouquet of fresh flowers or greenery in a vase, jar, or bottle, and one front and center conversation piece pull the look together.
Before many of us became smarter and healthier and the laws of the land changed, the ash tray was part of the cocktail bar landscape. A vintage ash tray repurposed as a cocktail spoon or stirrer holder makes a great conversation piece.
Take the home bar styling ideas outdoors. Cocktails on the front or the back porch strike a chord of Southern charm. I love how a bit of imagine results in an outdoor grill becoming a Bloody Mary bar accessorized with vintage serving pieces of silver, crystal, pottery, and porcelain.
Our Canadian snowbird son called home this past Saturday to show and tell what fall looks like in his corner of the world. He and his lovely wife were welcoming several friends in for an evening of fall entertaining featuring fireside cocktails and fall themed food and drink.
We discussed what cocktails and dishes would be served, the fall decor touches his bride was adding to the mantle, how good of an idea it was for his mom to suggest a first fire of the season to warm up both home and hearth, and at the moment it just happened to be snowing.
Louisiana temperatures can’t see fit to drop below 83 degrees with 98% humidity. Meanwhile, the Canadian snowbird is not only enjoying fall, but winter to boot (or should I say aboot).
Cool, crisp, and cold weather signals it’s time to pull out the blankets and throws, start a fire in the fireplace, bedeck the abode to fit the season, and invite friends over to gather together for a it’s fall y’all celebration.
Part of the fun of entertaining is coming up with festive and creative ways to put a festive spin on the presentation of drinks, snacks, entrées, sides, and desserts.
My daughter-in-law is a loyal Michaels Stores shopper whereas her mother-in-law spreads the loyalty around in the name of the best deal. This past Sunday, I lucked up on a super Sunday sale at our local JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores.
I’m stocked and ready to fall to Thanksgiving tablescape.
Several fall decorating-entertaining-tablescapes show and tell emails between the two of us garnered ideas and inspiration across the miles.
She suggested I take a look at the fall into Thanksgiving themed pillow covers available from Wish.com. The grateful and the autumn pillow covers are on the way, and I can’t wait to see how the pillow covers in real fall decorating time will complete the look I have in mind.
I suggested she print and frame this lovely colorful fall printable from Refresh Restyle as fall favors for her guests. The link to the free printable is provided under the image.
Company’s coming to a State Dinner at the White House. As the White House welcomes President Emmanuel Macron and Mrs. Brigitte Macron of France for the first state visit of the Trump administration, the dining, dishes (china and cuisine) and decorating details intrigue me. The White House released the details of the State Dinner complete with china settings, color scheme, and menu selections, and I do color myself impressed by it all. Let me assure you this post is apolitical in nature, opinion and content. Trump, Obama, Bush and Clinton will be referenced, but only in terms of presidential china patterns, a State Dining Room renovation and the present First Lady’s attention to detail selections for the State Dinner. Months of preparation, tasting, placing, selecting and practice makes perfect pays off in a grand and regal way.
Dinner (see menu below) will be served in the State Dining Room. Former First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the renovated State Dining Room in 2015, and the room is well-appointed in an updated color palette of light and peacock blue, ecru and various shades of white.
Gold accents and accessories lend a new traditional tone while the look of the dining armchairs and side chairs emulate similar design traits of dining chairs designed by Georgetown cabinetmaker William King, Jr. in 1818 for President James Monroe. The dining table and chairs will be removed and replaced with skirted round tables and gold Napoleon Chiavari chairs- ten to the table.
A color scheme of cream and gold takes the predominant palette lead.
Spring colors of green and white will be represented by the green color palette detailed in the Bush china and spring green and white flower centerpieces and arrangements placed on the fireplace mantle flanking the portrait of Abraham Lincoln.
American Silver from the White House Collection and pieces from the Vermeil collection from Tiffany & Co. and S. Kirk & Sons will complete the place setting and tabletop presentation.
I would love to show actual sneak peek images of the place settings for the state dinner, but those pesky copyright laws do get in the way of that idea. For that reason some of the images in this posting are in the style of interpretations of the actual pieces.
A trio of gold candlesticks will be placed on most of the guest tables while the tables towards the front of the State Dining Room will have a centerpiece candelabra carrying the desired look of elegance that is befitting such a stately occasion throughout the State Dining Room.
Stephanotis vines from California along with a variety of mixed garden flowers will be featured in the parlors.
Edouard Manet ~ Lilacs In A Vase, c.1882
The menu for the State Dinner is a mélange of America’s dishes and traditions deliciously seasoned with flavor hints of French influences.
Goat Cheese Gateau
Buttermilk Biscuit Crumbles
Young Variegated Lettuces
Rack of Spring Lamb
Burnt Cipollini Soubise
Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya
Crème Fraîche Ice Cream
USA Today has shared the following video on their Facebook page. I am thrilled to share it with you all, and may I just say the room is stunning!
New Orleans celebrates its Tricentennial this year. New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, and remained a French ruled city until 1763, when the city was taken over by the Spanish. In 1803 the French took back control of New Orleans, and in the same year sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase.
The c’est si bon taste of Louisiana and the French-infused heritage of New Orleans will be well represented at tonight’s State Dinner. Buttermilk Biscuit Crumbles, Tomato Jam, and Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya tempt the Southern, French and Creole taste of Louisiana. White House Executive Chef, Christeta Comerford, will prepare the main course of Rack of Spring Lamb and Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya in a true New Orleans seasoning tradition. The dishes will feature the spice trio Cajun trinity of celery, peppers, and onions, and will be spiced with herbs from the South Lawn.
C’est si bon!
Domaine Serene Chardonnay “Evenstad Reserve” 2015, Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir “Laurène” 2014, and Schramsberg Demi-Sec “Crémant” will be served. Selected to complement, these wines emphasize tradition, provenance and the historic friendship between the United States and France will pair well with the menu.
From a state dinner at the White House to a dinner soirée at your house, attention to detail and good taste influence the selections we make when we entertain. An impressive presentation with the accent mark on attention to detail never fails to make a lasting impression.
The epicurean is devoted to the enjoyment of great food and comfort. The first four letters of the word epicurean spell epic, and epic is what this Chinoiserie themed tablescape feature has turned out to be. Color, pattern and texture sets quite the impressive Chinoiserie themed tablescape. Believing and adhering to the notion we eat first with our eyes, the visual appetizer is the tasteful first course of a palatable dining experience.
1. a style of ornamentation current chiefly in the 18th century in Europe,
characterized by intricate patterns and an extensive use of motifs identified as Chinese.
2. an object decorated in this style or an example of this style: The clock was an interesting chinoiserie.
The lines and color palette of Chinese and East Asian influenced dinnerware and decorative accessories create beautifully Chinoiserie themed tablescapes. The retail selections available make it easy to set your table as Chinoiserie chic casual or formal as you wish.
Atmosphere is an important aspect of the memorable dining experience. A table lamp(s) on the dining table promotes soft lighting beneficial to mood and tone. The height of the East Enterprises LPBFW088N Table Lamp, Multicolored is dining tabletop friendly at 19.5 inches tall.
As previously stated, destination decorating creates a passport to dining adventures, where the dining table top becomes an inspired canvas. From place setting to ambiance to gracious detail, a Chinoiserie themed tablescape travels well.
A Super Bowl get-together is a tradition for the football loyal, and Super Bowl get-together ideas buzz is all around. What team will you be rooting for to become victorious as Super Bowl LII champions? Our beloved Saints were so close, but ultimately, defeat was to be. I do not have a dog, Saint, Eagle or Patriot in the fight, so the focus of my Super Bowl get-together ideas is on what drives the party down the field to score a win for the movers, shakers and Super Bowl get-together partakers.
Halftime show extravaganzas.
Commercials of advertising gold.
The commercials have been known to be more must see tv than the game itself. Super Bowl commercials make for interesting post-game observations and Monday morning quarterback conversations. Country Living Magazine features The 50 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time. Can you guess my favorite?
I’ve selected Super Bowl get-together ideas and items with comfort zone wow factor in mind.
Sleek style teams with full, rich sound with the VIZIO sound bar. Enhance the entire Super Bowl experience by boosting the audio experience. Comfortable seating options are essential game watching components and score big points in the comfort zone.
Comfort is the name of the game at the buffet, coffee, and decorative side table as well. The America’s Plate-by-Plate Game Day Food Lineup infographic shows popular Game Day recipes pulled from Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Tablespoon websites. Favorite game day foods in each state shows just how much Super Bowl game watchers love their game day snacks. Sliders, tater tot casserole, cowboy caviar, stuffed mushrooms, root beer chicken and butter cake bars deliciously represent our sister states coast to coast, region to region. Crab au Gratin represents Louisiana as the favorite game day dish. Chicken and sausage gumbo rules the game day buffet table at our house, but I don’t believe anyone would object to a tray full of crocks housing individual servings of Crab au Gratin.
C’est si bon!
Crabmeat Au Gratin
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
2 teaspoons ZATARAIN’S® Creole Seasoning
Hot pepper sauce, to taste
1 pound lump crabmeat
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium-low heat. Add onion and parsley; cook and stir 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add flour; cook and stir until lightly browned. Slowly stir in milk; continue cooking until mixture begins to thicken.
Stir in ½ cup of the cheese, Creole Seasoning and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Gently stir in crabmeat. Pour mixture into greased 1-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble around the edges. Makes 3 cups.
Play off team colors when selecting tableware, serving pieces, and home decor accessories to accent Super Bowl spirit.
Super Bowl get-together ideas and decorations need not be an exercise in difficulty or expense.
For a centerpiece, grab a vase or jar, fill it with vase fillers in team colors, add mascot appropriate embellishments, and let the centerpiece games begin. Fill in the blanks with cuttings from nature’s arts and crafts store (your yard) or floral gatherings from the floral department at the local market.
Scrapbook paper makes great placemats. There’s a time and a place for china, silver, quality linens and crystal glassware. A Super Bowl get-together is not one of those times, in my humble opinion.
You can’t go wrong with items that avoid team colors or logos. Granted, some Super Bowl get-together items are one-time use winners, but I like to buy some items that easily fit with other occasions and themes.
Finger foods and disposable wares go with sporting events and concessions, so why not incorporate that theme into your menu and party decor?
I love this look! These black and white striped popcorn boxes make a good call for serving popcorn, nuts, and party mixes. Paper scoop cups with newspaper design add an extra! extra! snack all about it! fun to the food festivities.
Pulled pork sandwiches. Fried catfish and hush puppies. Slow-cooker Southern barbecue chicken. Creole French fries. Ice cold beverages with just the right amount of fizz. Mardi Gras King Cake. What time do we eat?
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.
Memorial Day weekend welcomes keep it summer simple entertaining, outdoor living, backyard cookouts, and the picnic packing times that go so well with summer. Summer entertaining ideas o’plenty are filling up my notepad file marked hot style in the summertime.
Who remembers when the crudite tray ruled the appetizer course? The ultimate crudite crate is a super cute summer entertaining idea.
Farmhouse chic is for sure the trend with staying power and one tailored-made for summer entertaining. Millennials, brides-to-be, kitchenistas, decoristas, outdoor living entertainingistas love, love, love the ease of entertaining farmhouse chic brings to the table.
Our Millennial son aka the Canadian snowbird and his bride-to-be completed their trip with a quick trip to Waco and the uber popular Magnolia Market. They give the market, bakery and the metropolis of Waco a glowing review.
As far as appetizers go, especially in the heat of the summer, I practice the rule of less is more. Small bites and nibbles make the perfect edible complement to a cold beverage. With that in mind, I think the Modern Wood Shadow Box from Target will make a big summer entertaining statement. Like a picnic basket- pack it tight with fresh veggies for summer snacking.
Potato salad is a picnic-pot luck staple. I don’t know if I would go so far as to categorize it as a vintage side dish, but potato salad has graced the summer picnic table of my great grandmother, my grandmothers, my aunts, my mother and my mother-in-law.
Recipes for potato salad vary in ingredients and styles, serving warm or cold is in the palate preference of the fork or spoon holder, and to add mustard or not add mustard is a whole nother potato salad issue. I came across Doris Day’s recipe for German Potato Salad, and thought it would make a great addition to this post.
Doris Day’s German Potato Salad
6 medium-sized potatoes
1 large stalk of celery, chopped in small pieces
3-4 scallions (white part only), thinly sliced
4 slices lean bacon, cut in small strips
2/3 cup water
½ cup cider (or wine) vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cook potatoes in their skins until tender. Cool slightly, peel and slice into a large bowl. Add celery and scallions. Fry bacon in saucepan until crisp. Add water and vinegar. Pour over potato-celery-scallion mixture, toss lightly. Cover and marinate thoroughly (several hours or overnight) before serving. Serves 4.
Julia Child is deliciously correct. To her words I add entertaining well doesn’t mean entertaining fancy. I’m coming to realize the correlation between vintage and comfortable is undeniable.
I served this fruit salad at the bridal shower and the crowd went yum.
Pretty presentation. That’s what counts.
Tropical Fruit Salad
2 cans tropical fruit, drained
1 can pear halves, drained
1 pint blueberries
juice of one(1) lemon
1 large ripe avocado, halved and cut into slices
1 small container plain Greek yogurt
2 Tablespoons honey
In a mixing bowl, toss together canned fruit with juice of one lemon. Cover and chill 1 hour. Add to a small container of Greek yogurt two Tablespoons of honey and you’ve got the dressing. Garnish with avocado slices, yogurt dressing and black pepper.
Dollar store wine goblets in the style of oatmeal glass make a lovely serving presentation. I am snacking on this fruit salad as I write up this post. Delicious, if I do say so myself.
In a small pot, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Remove the skins from 2 of the peaches, reserving the third. Cut an “X” in the bottom of each one, and place them in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Transfer the peaches to an ice bath, and peel when cool enough to handle. Slice each peeled peach in half and remove the pits. Cut peaches into cubes, place them in the blender or food processor, and puree until liquified.
In a large pitcher, combine the pureed peaches, the cooled simple syrup, the sparkling water, the lemon juice and the vodka. Stir to combine. Add ice and stir again.
Cut the remaining peach into thin slices. Stir a few of the slices into the lemonade and use the others to garnish the glasses. Serves 4.
Summer entertaining suggestions and information is always worthy of repeating, and I am happy to share these suggestions new to the Places In The Home summer entertaining repertoire. Summer is in our sights , arriving with the summer solstice gift of extra daylight. Talk about the ultimate summer entertaining hostess gift! Invite vibrant color, easy entertaining tips, and fun home decor touches to the party and prepare to impress.
Summer nights frame the art of entertaining with a canvas of color and hosting ease. For an evening under the stars, bring down the house lights and light the night with soft accent lighting. A casual yet dramatic effect can be easily achieved by strategically placing lanterns or glass jar luminaries along a walkway.
Tiki torches, table lamps on loan for the evening from your interior home decor, garden chandeliers, and decorative paper lanterns also make great options in the quest to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.
Considering a summer soirée diy project to light the summer night? Here’s several simple, effective, colorful and refreshing summer entertaining diy ideas. Click on the link below each image to get the diy how-to scoop.
A midsummer night’s entertaining dream becomes a reality with these quaint and stunning homemade hurricanes. I discovered this impressive look last week in the new issue of Ladies Home Journal and pinned it to my Pinterest account.
Simply fill clean canning jars with dried beans to hold the votive candles in their upward position. Securely hang the mason jars at various heights from trees with twine. A simple and affordable look to add to the perfect summer evening. The vintage look fits right in with the KISS of summer- keep it summer simple. Glass is slippery when wet and breakable to boot, so summer soiree with caution.
DIY summer citronella candles how to video from Southern Living show us how to make a DIY bug-be-gone candle that is not only visually impressive, but an essential must for comfortable summer soiree nights.
If you’ve hung out at Places In The Home in person or in readership, you are aware of my entertaining relationship with the clay flower pot. Give me a reason to turn a flower pot into a serving piece and it is summer soiree party on. I’ll never forget the look I got the first time I announced we were having pot brownies at our pot party to a co-hostess. I don’t believe I have ever clarified something so quickly before or since.
Anywho, clay flower pots are an inexpensive and summer appropriate alternative to traditional serving pieces. Baked beans, barbecued wings, Creole seasoned french fries, baked Vidalia onions, summer sausage- all great “pot” options.
An average patio table pops a pretty party look when topped with a stylish outdoor tablecloth and paired with chairs, cushions and outdoor pillows decked out in bright summer colors. Decoristas have long had a trusty trick up their sleeve. Home decor and furnishings that work gorgeously inside our homes will rock an outdoor living space like a Led Zeppelin concert!
Wrap the bottom of each chair leg with clear plastic wrap. It may be a tad time-consuming, but it will save time on the clean up end of the party. Be as pre-party proactive as possible with certain tasks. It’s a summer entertaining essential skill for the host and/or hostess to hone.
Hello, my name is summer.
Hello summer. It’s nice to see you again.
With the very, very good points of summer outdoor living and summer entertaining comes the very real concern over controlling mosquitoes. It is suggested that burning sage or rosemary repels mosquitoes. The mosquito killing power is in the smoke so I’m thinking summer fire pit or campfire natural necessity.
I like the point in the party when the food and drink has hit the spot, the music is summer smooth, the outdoor party life is kicking up a notch and the company and the conversation is hitting all the right notes. Now comes summer relaxation party pail time. I make up these party pails beforehand and add the chilled and cold items before handing them out.
I fill plastic beach pails from the dollar store with his or hers flip-flops, individual aluminum spray bottles filled with chilled homemade rose water (the guys love this stuff almost as much as the gals), cold cucumber slices in freezer bags and Burt’s Bees Cucumber & Sage facial cleansing towelettes (love the scent). These always make a big splash.