From Home Decor Partner Project to Arrival to I Love It Ojai Mirror Reveal

As promised, here is the reveal and review sister post to You’ve Got Mail: Let’s Home Decor Partner Project Together.   I’ll take you through the purpose and process of the let’s home decor partner project to arrival to I love it Ojai mirror reveal.  Like a decorista at Christmas, I could not wait for Dave the Builder to come home so we could open the package delivered earlier in the day.

To: Places In The Home

From: Serena & Lily

Serena & Lily FedEx arrival

Great and stylish home decor things come in big brown FedEx packages!

Serena & Lily gets the life lived within a home comes alive through personal style and taste aspect of decorating.

Serena & Lily catalogue

When I work with a brand, it is of paramount importance that the reputation of the brand mirrors my appreciation for quality home decor accents and accessories as it reflects well on both of us.

Ojai mirror

The little voice inside my head has been telling me for quite some time now the hallway needed a decorating update.  Home decor accessories and artwork should promote scale, proportion, style and flow in a space, and the pieces formerly in place did not.  What would remain is the antique wall table in a French polished and updated state.  The table is in correct proportion to the size of the area, and stands the test of time and trend.

taste

For years this was the spot of last chance to check your look in the mirror and locate the general stuff one finds they need before leaving the house.

Earrings.

Lipstick.

Car keys.

Pocket change.

Usually when placement or function works, it works.  This foyer adjacent area is perfect for the reason stated above.  I prefer to do my last stop primping out of the view of others, and this foyer adjacent spot is perfect for doing so.  However, there is something missing in this decor scenario.

Ojai mirror reveal

The Ojai mirror from Serena & Lily filled in the missing piece of the redecorating transformation puzzle.  The placement of the mirror offers depth and natural flow of light as a carry through from the foyer. Utilitarian in purpose and stunning in presence, the Ojai mirror from Serena & Lily has the versatility to complement virtually any space, any decor, any design style.  A modern style, classic form and rich black finish reflect quality construction in elegant fashion.

a touch of black

Pairing antiques with modern styles and home decor accessories makes a dramatic statement.  Some may consider mixing non-traditional, modern, contemporary, coastal or bohemian (boho) style with antiques a designing misstep- a decorating faux pas.  Au contraire mon ami.  Granted, a few of these design styles exist on opposite ends of the style spectrum, but it’s exactly the opposites attract contrast that makes a striking statement.

flooring options

After stepping back and taking a decorating inventory, the consensus is carpet no longer cuts the flooring mustard in the hallway.  See how one project leads to another.  Dave measured the area, and at the time of this posting we are only 380 sq. ft. of hardwood flooring away from our next all things house that make a home project.

DSCN0823 (2)2Styling the tabletop is the cherry on the cake.  Apply an abbreviated version of the principle of coffee table styling and it’s off to the races.

Objects of personal significance that capture the soul of the life lived within your home.

Focus on focal point priority.  In the case of the Ojai mirror, it is the focal point. I like to designate and identify the focal point and style around it with home decor pieces, colors, patterns and texture that complement, not clash or compete with.

Choose the primary sight line.  X marks the center spot- the prime location for a medium or low height object placement.  The “outer” areas balance the method with graduated heights to continue the flow, theme and visual engagement.

Unconventional art placement throws the eye a curve ball.  Stepping out of your decorating comfort zone and trying new looks is a way to dare your personal style.

daddy-baby-picture1

The bundled up baby boy in the picture is my dad.  The antique frame that holds his picture also benefited from an application of French polish.  I wasn’t too sure this look would work, but for me it’s a keeper.  A pair of Staffordshire dogs bought on vacation brings back excellent travel memories every time I look at them.  My love of vintage hotel and restaurant china is well represented, as is the sign of hospitality- the pineapple.

dime quarter

My key fob and favorite earrings have found a home sweet home, and the 1973 quarter and 1972 dime hold a special significance.  Throughout my preteen and teen years of the 1970s, the pay phone was the norm.  There was always a dime or a quarter left in a small dish on this table.  Until the day I got married, whenever I would be on my way out the door my dad would remind me about the dime or quarter.  He insisted I call him if a situation presented itself where my safety or comfort was in question, and he would immediately come and get me- no questions asked.  I’ve kept a dime and quarter dated from the 1970s in a small dish on a foyer table in every house Dave and I have ever lived in.

Memories, like the corners of mind.

Your home, the spaces within, and the home decor accessories that decorate it should always reflect your personal style.  The Ojai mirror from Serena & Lily frames a space in mine that does exactly that.

Love your style!

 

 

You’ve Got Mail: Let’s Home Decor Partner Project Together

During the holiday hustle and bustle I received a let’s home decor partner project together email from a surprise source.  You’ve got mail never read so good.

So good!

The exclamation point perfectly befits my strong feeling of great delight.

The content and purpose of the email serves as the source of inspiration for a house to home project.  Sourcing and reviewing products is part and parcel of the Places In The Home design and decorating show and tell.  I invite honest and frank feedback and review from clients, and remain true to my own when the roles are reversed.  Working with a brand that mirrors my appreciation for quality home decor accents and accessories reflects well on both of us.

home decor partner project

When the foyer wallpaper install was finally completed, I immediately realized the paint color on the walls of the foyer and hallway had reached its expiration date.  That’s usually the way this remodel-redo-refresh thing works.  One update leads to another, and that’s exactly the reason why “One Thing Leads to Another” by The Fixx leads off my tunes to project to playlist.  In this design and decorating show and tell world of mine, one project always leads to another, and I’m loving every minute of it. “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” by Loverboy is another great song to project to.  I love how music and decorating splendidly complement each other.

bluetooth speaker

UNITEK Wireless Stereo Portable Bluetooth Speaker in Rose Gold

Night Blooming Jasmine from Behr is a neutral beauty that finishes rich. Eggshell enamel is one sheen up from matte, and the texture is washability matched to moderate traffic areas.

behr-eggshell-night-blooming-jasmine

Night Blooming Jasmine from Behr

The image below is a stunning example of how limiting the colors in the palette constitutes contrast.

alicecramer_carson_egd_108

Mindful Makeover~ Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle January 2017

Texture variation, under color painting and quality of the original paint job all factor into how well the paint application at hand covers and finishes out.  Dave the Builder’s expert advice has been consulted, his premier painting skills engaged.

painting-project

Finish again enters the project process conversation.  This antique wall table has served various pieces of jewelry, readers, car key sets, one dime, one quarter (more on that later) and general stuff over the years.  I’ve grown accustomed to it being there, and there it will stay.  The table is in correct proportion to the size of the area.

table1

The old girl is in need of a refresh, but what direction to go in required some thought.

Refinish it?

Paint it?  Being the original finish loyalists we are, Dave shot me one of those “have you lost your flipping mind?” looks when I mentioned the paint it option.

Clear-coat it?

Lacquer it?

French polish5

French polish it is.

foyer-inspiration1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

An afternoon spent perusing image galleries on DecorPad and Domino confirms the decision to go the French polish route is indeed the right one. Inspiration truly is everywhere.

Wow.  This post is long, but when the conversation revolves around the topics of decorating, updating, gorgeous decor and let’s home decor partner project together that can happen.

Part II of Let’s Home Decor Partner Project Together will unveil the big reveal and show and tell how the look comes together.  For now, I leave you with a hint of what’s to come.

project preview-2

Love your style!

Black Friday Cyber Monday Finds Show and Tell

Holiday shopping season 2016 is in full on attention shoppers swing, and I am as guilty as the next savvy consumer who appreciates a fantastic deal. Since Places In The Home is all about the design and decorating show and tell, I thought an overview of the black Friday cyber Monday finds I snagged appropriate.

 

black Friday cyber Monday finds

 

Am I the only one who is totally confused about what day of the week it is? My Black Friday shopping excursion began Wednesday afternoon, and continued into the wee hours of Thanksgiving Thursday morning.  No sooner had I carved the bird, than the Cyber Monday sales were live and beckoning to me to get in on the savings. Spending a good deal (ha!) of time shopping online proved fruitful, but it also was the culprit in me kinda- sorta losing all track of time.

With all the black Friday cyber Monday finds excitement this deck the halls decorista may need a cocktail.  How is it no one ever seems to lose track of cocktail time?  Hmm.

See how I seized a design and decorating show and tell opportunity to share a pic of the self-serve cocktail bar set up for Thanksgiving.

bar

I shared with you all a post or two ago that I love to give and receive the gift of home.

kate-spade-boardsThrow a stylish kate spade cutting board my way with signature pops of color fun and it’s all good from there.

laundry-basketLaundry, shmaundry.   I purchased several of these to use as gift baskets. A fantastic price coupled with the potential for presentation wow factor is a Christmas gift home run in the making.

feast-board-carvingFeast your eyes upon the newest addition to the kitchen in Dave the Builder’s man cave.

utensils-holderPrice persuaded me to add this number to the shopping cart.  It may or may not translate to ooh la la lovely in person, but for the price I could not pass it up.

teak-boards-setHoliday dishes, baked delights and delectable appetizers make an impressive show when served or photographed on a nice cutting board. This cutting board trio will come in holiday entertaining and staging handy.

balloon-ornament

A long standing fascination with vintage or in the style of glass ornaments and hot air balloons came together with the purchase of this glass ornament.  glass-colored-ball-ornamentsBoth will be nice deck the halls additions to the French themed decorations soon to adorn the grapevine Christmas tree and dining room sideboard.

grape-vine-tree

Do you black Friday cyber Monday finds shop?  What holiday deals and steals did you find?

Love your style!

Gorgeous Coming Into Fall Finds View

Gorgeous is coming into fall finds view.  Sprucing up interiors with new and new to you home decor fall finds frames an inviting and stylish picture.

spring-galleryAnticipation

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.”

—Helen Hunt Jackson

fall finds

Satisfaction 

Discovering the overnight temps will be in the low 50s throughout much of the week mixed and mingled with the excitement over the home decor fall finds currently catching my eye is a big fall finds deal.

One may even say reason enough to get their it’s fall y’all prep and pretty groove on.


Now for a little housekeeping and the disclosure portion of this post:

As it in life and disclosure policy compliance with FTC rules, honesty is the best policy. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the product links I have an affiliate relationship with and make a purchase from the retailer, I receive a commission from the sale.  To read the disclosure policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure policy.


Fall Finds

californiaredwood-fall-colors

 California Redwood by Benjamin Moore

Color strikes a chord with the eye, nature inspires as only nature can do, and home decor fall finds carry the theme through to the spaces and places we love to decorate.

owl-moscow-mule

Owl Moscow Mule Mug 

Small and affordable touches of color, texture and pattern refresh the foundation style.

storage-trunk

Broadway Collection End Table Trunk

Stylish storage solution for seasonal throws, blankets and cozy accouterments.

fox-and-hare-serving-bowl

Fox & Hare Serving Bowl

The common denominator of fall color and fall cuisine is the rich, warm and tasteful aspects of their appeal.

ruffoni-hand-hammered-copper-risotto-pan-c

Ruffoni Hand-Hammered Copper Chef’s Pan with Wood Spoon

pumpkin-pancakes Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

syrup

Vermont Pure Maple Syrup

palmergreen-fall-colorsPalmer Green by Benjamin Moore

porthos-home-finnick-leisure-chair

Porthos Home Finnick Leisure Chair

benjamin-moore-greenfield-pumpkinGreenfield Pumpkin by Benjamin Moore

sweet-potato-and-green-apple-soupSweet Potato and Green Apple Soup

I like to set the table for seasonal dishes with seasonal dishes.

pfaltzgraff

Expressions Capri Dinner Plate

marble-gold-coastersOld Hollywood Marble Coasters

benjamin-moore-hot-tamaleHot Tamale by Benjamin Moore

painted_ceilings_ericpiaseckiottoPhoto by Eric Piasecki / OTTO

red-lacquered-chestsRed Lacquered Chest

snow-leopard-throw-blanket

Snow Leopard Throw Blanket

The snap, crackle and pop of fall color naturally evokes a session of seasonal match game.  We associate texture and pattern-fabrics and fibers rich in warmth and coziness with fall decorating and feathering essentials.

tingari-chocolate-17-inch-throw-pillows-set-of-2-24fd99ce-b595-4c82-afdd-47161418cadc_600

Tingari Chocolate Throw Pillows (Set of 2)

Deck the entry halls in warmth and welcome.

leopard-rug

Handmade Leopard Print Cowhide Rug

Nature is the ultimate tastemaker- a stunning source of inspiration.  I’m calling this Twig Accent Table by Three Hands  the fall finds deal of the day. Available at Gilt.com, this spot accent table is $39.  There is only one(1) available and is a final sale and non-returnable item.

twig-accent-table

benjamin-moore-maple-leaf-red

Maple Leaf Red by Benjamin Moore

royal-pig-throw-pillow

Carol Lew Barnyard Royalty Mr. Pig Throw Pillow 

Small spot changes often pack the biggest decorative punch, add decorative interest, and keep updating costs in affordable territory.

pear-tea-towel Do It With Love Tea Towel

corbels

French Zinc Corbels

benjamin-moore-butternut-brownButternut Brown by Benjamin Moore

our-spring-cover-girl-jenni-kayne-jenni-kayne-bronze-and-white-and-wood-kitchen-56d486064791784e5ecbcfa9-w1000_h1000Domino

ceramic-cookie-jar

Threshold Ceramic Cookie Jar with Lid 

original_personalised-tinder-sackOriginal Personalized Tinder Sack

benjamin-moore-graphiteGraphite by Benjamin Moore

madura-toile-pillow1

Toile de Jouy

Adorn the walls, layer with texture and pattern, and light up a crisp evening with a new lamp or light fixture.

distressed-black-cloche-edison-lamp

Distressed Black Cloche Edison Lamp

moon-plate

Moon Plate

benjamin-moore-newburg-green1Newburg Green by Benjamin Moore

blue-chair

Traditional Home

door-panel-wall-artTeal Panel

balnil_3

Covington Balenciaga Nile Fabric

alden-rugAlden Area Rug

Warming up home and hearth invites the beauty of the current season to lend a stylish look in the pursuit of feathering the nest.

Love your style!

Adding A Luxe Look For Little Money

I have never decorated, flipped or remodeled for a clients(s) who has not placed a budget in play.  Same goes for the projects we do here at Places In The Home.  An extra penny here and an extra dime there adds up to budget busting dollars. Cost is the four letter word I hear most from project start to finish. If you believe that, I’ve got a Louisiana bayou to sell you.  All kidding aside, it is a known fact that for most of us the price tag heavily factors into the decorating we do and the decorative accessories and home decor accents we purchase in the pursuit of prettying things up around the house.  When the desired outcome is the look of luxe but the moolah to advance full sticker price ahead is not in the cards, these tips for adding a luxe look for little money do the trick.

____________________________________________

Table Lamps

I love, love, love the instant chic factor a decorative table lamp lends to the ambiance of a space.

silver-fil-lamp

Finding luxe look for little money table lamps is a home decor store or online retailer visit away.  I always suggest selecting a table lamp rich in classic style, one that will stand the test of time and trend.  Do not buy into the fallacy that an inexpensive item will invariably look cheap or a quality appearance can only be achieved by spending big bucks.

____________________________________________

Optical Illusions

Installing curtain and drapery hardware at the ceiling or molding line creates a visual illusion of height.

luxe

Take the luxe look for little money concept to the next phase with inexpensive drapery trims and decorative drapery medallion holdbacks found on sale or clearance.

drapery-trim

____________________________________________

Wallpaper Lined Drawers, Shelves & Bookcase Backs 

Okay, you’ve selected a killer designer paint color for the exterior of a fabulous 3-drawer chest, linen armoire or bookcase.  What about the drawers, shelves and bookcase backs?

wallpaper-accents

Add a luxe look for little money to drawers, shelves and bookcases with discounted, discontinued and wallpaper closeouts.  I recently lucked up on a wallpaper clearance sale, and two double rolls for under $10 later a drawer lining plain to polish project awaits me.  Lined drawers, shelves and bookcase backs offer up a stylish follow-through.  It’s all in the details.

____________________________________________

ABCs of Affordable Accessorizing:
Art & Antiques, Bric-a-Brac, Conversation Pieces

It’s not how much an accessory cost but the look it affords.  An inexpensive piece of art, antique accessory, bric-a-brac or whimsical objet d’art piece can easily offer a luxe look when dramatically displayed.  A good eye paired with decorating determination will invariably spot a diamond in the rough.  To guarantee a luxe look result, place a piece above, atop or beside an ebony console or chair.  The color black is classically timeless, adds drama to the spaces it graces, and is considered a premier foundation and/or accent color in interior decorating.

Southern Style ShowhomeTraditional Home Southern Style Showhouse Family Room by Lance Jackson and David Ecton, Parker Kennedy

When I was in the initial buying stages for Hopefully Classic Antiques and Interiors, a local flea market dealer invited me to stop by to shop her inventory.  I did, and the first item I spotted was a small framed oil painting.  The subject of the painting slips my mind, but the frame was the diamond in the rough.  I could not believe how little the dealer was asking for the piece.  Maybe I need to add the words “or how little” to it’s not how much an accessory cost but the look it affords.  Dave the Builder panned the painting and the frame, but I knew it had the potential to be a beauty.  I scooped up the painting, and with a simple cleanup and quick application of matte spray paint proudly added it to the inventory, displaying the piece in a dramatic focal point feature.  The painting sold within one day of being at the shop.

____________________________________________

Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers drench a space in color, fill it with fragrance and enhance the surroundings with pervasive beauty.

flowers-antiques Veranda

Gather ye your Mason jars, dollar store containers, crystal goblets, Chinoiserie (SHēnˌwäz(ə)ˈrē) vases (since we’re talking luxe let’s pronounce it vahz, darling), watering cans, vintage crocks and antique teapots and fill them with blooms, stems, vines and/or branches from the garden, field, florist or local grocery flower department.

sage-slider-3

Sage & Co.

Adding a luxe look for little money is a high-end priority for the decorating within budget minded.  The only thing expensive is the look.

Love your style!

Auctions, Estate Sales and Antiques Treasure Hunting

Auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting expeditions write the latest chapter of my how I spent my summer vacation story.

Auctions, estate sales and antiques

Antiques auctions are my thing.  From start to sold, I love the workings of the antiques auction machine.  Dave the Builder and I have clocked many an hour in old barns, metal buildings, old storefronts and convention halls in hope of acquiring antiques and vintage furniture and accessories up for auction.  When live and in person isn’t in the bid cards, absentee bids are in order.  One of my very favorite auction houses, Gallery Auctions, Inc.  invites absentee bidding, offers quality merchandise and is known for superb customer service.

cutting-boards

In the market for an antique bread or cutting board, I searched the listings with gotta have it success. I placed absentee bids on several boards to cover the spread, and was thrilled to receive the phone call that I won the bid I really, really wanted.  The board is big, aged, perfectly worn and rich in patina and provenance.  Score!

bread-boardAttending the highly anticipated local estate sale recently held less than one block from the Places In The Home abode turned out to be a good decision.  This particular estate sale was a treasure hunting must- one where quality meets quantity.  The bamboo light fixture immediately caught my eye, piqued my interest and held my attention.

foyer-chandelier

First day sale prices can send a wave of sticker shock throughout the antiques dealers, estate sale aficionados and interior design and decorating community.  The word on the tree-lined street signaled high prices ahead.  The price I was comfortable paying did not square with the sellers initial asking price.  I told myself if it is meant to be it will be, and waited for the next day price negotiations.  Holding firm with an offer does not always work out for the best, but in this case it did.

foyer-fixture1

Dave the Builder rewired the fixture, applied two coats of gloss white lacquer spray paint and here we are.  You’ll see this image again in a post I’m working on detailing more decor updates.

horseshoe

Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel and Casino

He said, “I need a vacation.”  She said, “Can we go auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting?”

dare-day-clubDo we dare take a gamble on basing our vacation destination on past antiques inventory buying successes?  I’m willing to roll the dice if you are, Dave. He said, “make the reservation.”  She said, “win, lose or draw, I’m ready to go.”

vintage-book

The who, when, where and what anticipation of discovery is the common thread between vacation getaways and treasure hunting .

painted-drawer-chest

First stop on the treasure hunting train: Kings Antique Mall.  The gotta have it list for our auctions, estate sales and antiques treasure hunting trips includes requests from clients as well as items for my personal collections.  A hold tag on the two drawer chest dashed my hopes for ownership, but it gave me an idea for a piece already in inventory. Inspiration is everywhere.

painted-green-chest

applique

antique-butter-dish

I am always fascinated by the nouns of life and how we draw home decor inspiration from them.  Violets remind me of my maternal grandmother, and memories drive the antiques business.

violet-plate1I almost overlooked this small violet adorned dish while shopping at Antique Shoppes at 1100 Barksdale, but luckily spied it sitting pretty atop a dusty shelf.  It currently resides on my bedside table as a holder for my reading glasses.

sheep-statue

statue

Hitting the copper jackpot at Antiques on Gladstone.

vintage-copper-kitchen-utensils

I love when an entire city block is home to antiques shops.  Kid meet candy store.  Finding the hotel silver dome put the cherry on the treasure hunting cake.

silver-dome-Shreveport

face-vasesWe are home sweet home again.

framed-needlepoint

Now comes the fun part.

Love your style!

 

 

 

Summer Entertaining Suggestions

As requested, today’s post is an updated version of a summer entertaining suggestion post from a couple of years ago. Good 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 officially arrives in two weeks 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.

lantern luminaries

John Jacob Interiors

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.

lights-in-trees

House Beautiful

For extra ambiance wrap, hang, drape or string white twinkle string lights from trees, in shrubs and around columns.  Stunning!

 bamboo lantern

Bamboo Cloth Lantern

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.

decorative-outdoor-lanterns

Pier 1 Imports

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.

RECYCLED WINE BOTTLE TORCH

Recycled Wine Bottle Torch for Outdoor Use Only

DIY-ice-bucket

DIY Ice Buckets

The Ball Jar is a versatile party decor darling.

ball-jar

Light them up, fill them up, or chill them down.

ball-jar-purpleThis is my idea of a party 6 pack!

ball-jar-green

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 soirée with caution.

clay-pot

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 soirée 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.

Vidalia-onion

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.

outdoor-tablecloth

Patio in Pink

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.

flamingo-pillow

Celebrate Local Life Together Flamingo Tufted Throw Pillow

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!

tablescape ideasvia

Love your inside dining chairs and know they will be  the key to pulling the entire outdoor tablescape together, but don’t want the chair legs to get dirty?

outdoor-table-setting

Architectural Digest

Why not 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

Hello, my name is summer.  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.

mosquito_sage

Pure Wow

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.

fresh-rose-petals

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.

Cucumber_Cleansing_Towelettes

Enjoy the colors and celebrations of the season.  What better excuse for throwing a stylish summer entertaining soirée!

Spring Home Decor Accessories Gotta Have It List

A new season means new home decor accessories, seasonal decorating updates and a totally new and refreshed blog theme.  The Places In The Home Gotta Have It List spring home decor accessories edition is here to get the refresh and update ball rolling.

flamingo-print-on-wall

Architectural Digest

First up on the list is a home decor accessory considered a quintessential gotta have-must have for the southern, Gulf Coast and Floridian home. We do love and revere these elegant pink feathered creatures.

Flamingo+Bird+by+Tim+Knepp+Painting+Print+on+Canvas ‘Flamingo Bird’ by Tim Knepp

What colors of the spring season speak to the decorating side of your brain?

an-aesthetic-pursuit-portfolio-interiors-stylesAn Aesthetic Pursuit ~ Dering Hall

Bold and bright.  Pastel perfection.  Coastal cool and oh, so chic.

61Tq0aZ0zkL._SL1000_

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Now comes the disclosure portion of this post.

Disclosure:  As it in life and disclosure policy compliance with FTC rules, honesty is the best policy. This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase from the retailer, I receive a commission from the sale. To read the entire policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure page. 

 

spring home decor accessories

Spring Into Color, Texture and Pattern Decorative Throw Pillows

spring-home-decor-colors

The colors of the spring into summer season thaw the last of winter’s remnants and extends an invitation to color and decorate your world.

colorful-world-2-pillowColorful World 2 Pillow

Hand-tufted-Jungle-Animal-Print-Square-Wool-Area-Rug-4-x-4-dd636546-bf60-4d80-a6db-c375bd41321d

Jungle Animal Print Square Wool Area Rug

Color, pattern and texture pairs well with the the best outdoor living spring into summer style has to offer.

Style on the beach~

The Leopard Lady Beach Towel from our favorite maxxinista haute haunt, T. J. Maxx delivers big returns on life’s a beach fun and style. The price is right and the look is spring into summer fun.

leopard-lady-beach-towel

Sunny, Spring Sunday Afternoons ~

We interrupt this sunny spring Sunday afternoons train of thought in the name of Louisiana travel and tourism transparency.  Never let it be said that this native Louisianian is less than honest about Louisiana humidity and the hot as Hades havoc it plays with our unsuspecting visitors.  The summertime humidity levels down Louisiana and Gulf Coast way ain’t for the faint at heart.  Oppressive puts it mildly.

vintage-shoppingWashington Old Schoolhouse Antique Mall Antique Fair

Ah, but spring is a most delightful time of year to visit our fair state. The sights, seasonings and strolls pair well with a sunny spring Sunday afternoon tailor-made for festivals, food and finds of the antiques, vintage and spring home decor accessories kind.

French-antiqueOne Kings Lane

French-armoire

Painted Pine Armoire

apothecary-bench

The Apothecary Bench from Paul Michael Company is a great option for foyer or end of bed seating.

Linen. It is the look and feel of the season.

spring-linen

Linen Pillow Linens  ~  Decorative Shell  ~  Large Glass Vases

Mixing, matching and marveling at the new season of home decor accessories remains my top suggestion for an instant seasonal update. What spring home decor accessories do you have in mind for your gotta have it list?

Love your style!

House of Cards Inspired: A Haven Within A Haven

A phone call from my son earrrrrly Friday morning led off with the question asked round the streaming world, “Do you remember what March 4th is?”  For the Netflix loyal, March 4th is the highly anticipated and touted premier day of House of Cards season 4.  I haven’t decided if I will be staying in for a weekend marathon or settling in on a weeknight for some must stream TV, but Francis J. Underwood has granted full pardon unto any House of Cards fan for any important meeting, activity or appointment missed during the period from March 4, 2016 until whenever they finish Season Four.

president-pardon

The opening credits featuring Washington, D.C. landmarks and the House of Cards main title theme music by Jeff Beal hits a haunting note that lingers in your mind and thoughts.  Captivating, to say the least.

House of Cards Main Title Sequence from Drew Geraci (District 7 Media) on Vimeo

Popcorn makes a delicious case for the ultimate binge watching snack. I will be popping up a batch of Rosemary and Sea Salt popcorn for streaming sustenance.

rosemary-and-sea-salt-popcorn

Rosemary and Sea Salt Popcorn

Ingredients

½  cup popcorn kernels
¼  cup canola oil or grapeseed oil (or other high flashpoint oil)
1  tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
3  tablespoons unsalted butter
½  teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat the oil large pot over medium heat. After the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels and the 1-tablespoon of rosemary, and then shake the pot to gently toss the kernels until they are all coated with oil. Cover with a splatter screen or a lid that is placed slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape.  Cook until the popcorn popping frequency slows to several seconds between pops. Remove from heat, allow a minute or two for any final pops, and then pour into a large bowl.  In a small saucepan combine the butter and remaining ½ teaspoon of rosemary.  Melt the butter over medium heat.  Drizzle over the popcorn and season with salt and pepper, tossing occasionally as you butter, salt, and pepper the popcorn.

~Food & Wine

12694649_1000498136639619_533532507270580177_o

Our gift giving millennial on board with the newest and greatest gadgets son insisted we accept his gift of Roku so we could get our House of Cards on. Streaming and binge watching entire seasons of television series and series made for Netflix, HBO, Showtime and the like in an entire weekend is how several million people watch television these days.  I was a slow convert, but House of Cards, how you draw me in.

10986656_882211301801637_3275288279165421643_n

No streaming spoilers here, but as it plays out in the House of Cards game, Frank Underwood & Co. prove the more things change the more they stay the same.  Never in a million years did I believe I would be enthralled by a fictional series.  Let’s face it: House of Cards mirrors the nonfictional times we currently find ourselves living in.  See what I mean?

main.original.640x0c

Cunning characters with a penchant for political advancement veiled in brilliant plot twists play to the camera and today’s political climate with art imitating life inside the Beltway mastery.  Makes for excellent viewing.  I’m the type of viewer who doesn’t immediately realize how much of an impression fictional and nonfictional scenes and characters are making on me. It’s the same with inspiring and impressive interior design and decorating. Impressive interior design and decorating has the same effect on me.  There are spaces that grab the eye at first glance and others with a wash over you presence that slowly and surely draw you in.

Claire-Underwood

The brilliant writing, captivating story lines and foreboding theme song make me sit up and pay attention, but it is the sleek set designs of House of Cards that impress.  Somewhere between an obligatory nod to traditional Washington, D.C. townhouse decor style and an overly emphasized attempt to marry modern to minimalist is a space found in many a home sweet home- a haven within a haven.

main.original.640x0c (1)

For those of you who are familiar with the show I don’t need to explain. For those of you who are not familiar with the show, a quick synopsis to put you in the loop…

The married Washington, D.C. insider powerhouse couple, Francis  and Claire Underwood, come together at the smoking window (as I referred to it all weekend long). Cutting deals and stabbing backs on a daily basis is not for the faint at heart. When the proverbial house of cards begins to fall, and the weight of the Washington, D.C. world becomes heavier than usual, the cooler heads and blacker hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Underwood divide and conquer the day over a shared cigarette.  Harm to the body is trumped in favor of this downtime ritual set with Frank and Claire seated atop a radiator and a shutter framed window. An otherwise forgettable and basically unimpressive space suddenly becomes a design focal point.

tumblr_n1q144hb3v1ttrynvo1_500

tumblr_o0yohvzrER1sjzfa9o1_540

The forged alcove serves as a small space of shelter and refuge from circadian shenanigans- an in-house haven to vent away the foul of the day.  I am by no means advocating smoking, but I do suggest if you do not already have a haven within a haven space entertaining the thought of getting one. I am, however, a huge proponent of recharging one’s battery.

Grandin-Road- Rebecca-Swivel-ChairGrandin Road

A couple of years ago I won a Rebecca Swivel Chair after entering the Beautiful Black and White Pinterest Sweepstakes from House Beautiful.  This is my “in my own little corner, in my own little chair” chair.  It resides in a haven within a haven part of the house where downtime meets me time and helps me lose track of real time for a short period of time.

haven within a haven

A phone call laaaaate Friday night led off with the question asked round the streaming world, “Have you watched it yet?”   To quote Frank Underwood, “I’m only getting started.”  Dave the Builder’s man cave will pull double-duty as both screening room and a haven within a haven over the next few evenings.  Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home to stream and decompress.

Love your style!

 

Pinterest Home Trends: Too Much of A Good Thing?

Bandwagons can get awfully crowded.  I proceed with caution before jumping on most bandwagons, carefully picking and choosing the ones to get on board with. There are some who would definitely categorize Pinterest as bandwagon central. Well if Pinterest is a bandwagon, then I say giddy-up!  Pinterest is the ultimate virtual photo album, an all-in-one place where you can find everything from free fonts to fondue recipes to fabulous home trends.  I use it as a visual catalog, look book and client presentation tool as well as a vehicle for gleaning ideas from other decoristas.  Beauty is in the Pin of the beholder.

pinterest-bandwagon

Kenton Overland Circus Band Wagon

Fascinated by the power of the trend and the role that pinning it plays in the spread of its popularity, Pinterest reminds me of the and they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on Fabergé Organic shampoo commercial. Recently I came across the article “8 Home Trends That Pinterest Ruined for All of Us” from House Beautiful.  A headline with home trends and Pinterest in it is my kind of headline.  I could only guess at what the list of 8 would entail. Scrolling through the list of the too much of a good thing offenders, I shook my head in agreement with several of author Lauren Smith’s selections.  Let me show you what I mean.

Steven-Tyler-quotePurple Clover

1. Chevron Anything

 Pinterest Home Trends

It is hard deny the fact that this is one pattern that has fallen victim to the done to death effect.

ball-jar-estate-sale-finds

2.  Mason Jars

Let the record show I love these jars, but fully understand the too much of a good thing point.  The unpretentious utility and multi-purpose what’s in a jar appeal of the iconic mason jar reaches all the way back to its inception in 1858.  I mean, come on. It’s mason and ball jars!  The popularity of these inexpensive jars is well preserved.  See what I mean?  These babies were in high demand at the estate sale we attended this past weekend.  Numbers three through seven on the list rank as mild offenders, mere this trend shall pass mentions.  It was not until I got to number eight did I realize Ms. Smith may just have a point.

gallery-1453847998-pinterest-ruined-painting-furniture

8. Painted Everything

I believe the time has come for this keyboard confessional.  Painted everything is the please put down the paint brush and step away from the ______________ trend I love to hate.  There, I typed it.  I emphasize the word everything.  I will be the first to admit that a well applied coat of paint on an inexpensive piece of junk mass produced furniture that isn’t all that to begin with in the first place can’t hurt the look.  An even better applied coat of paint in a designer color(s) on a home furnishing with good bone structure can render a piece thoroughly modern magnificent. Feast your eyes upon this stunning French Provincial dresser finished in a “frenchy” blue color by Cindy at Edith & Evelyn.   Magnifique!

DSC_0154

Paint dipped beverage glasses, dipped furniture legs, plastic toy animals, dollar store china, lampshades, countertops, flooring- everything is fair game. You name it and someone will have the DIY idea to paint it. Pinterest is peppered with painted everything projects, some gorgeous and some not so gorgeous.  As far as calling out the not so gorgeous, I believe it is best to apply the Thumperian principle to mouth and keyboard.  If you can’t say, type, post or link something nice, don’t say, type post or link nothing at all. Do I think the painted everything is on the way out?  The popularity of painted everything pins and boards on Pinterest suggest the answer is no.  I do wonder about the staying power of the painted everything home trend.  Is painted everything a Pinterest home trend that is here to stay, or one with an expiration date marked sooner than later?

Love your style!