Spring Into Spiff Up, Organize and Declutter Action Suggestions

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.

open-windowsCountry Living Magazine

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.

Holden-Arboretum-Midwest-Living  The Holden Arboretum ~ Midwest Living

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.

bathroom-tableHouse Beautiful ~ Photography: Simon Watson

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.

storage-islandHouse to Home

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 actor/actress 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.


Jonathan Adler Vice Calories Canister

New and vintage decorative planters, dresser trays, decorative objects, canisters, saucers and bowls make excellent jewelry holders.

storage-closet-BHGBetter Homes and Gardens

Get creative with the look and the purpose.

jewelry-display-ideasPOPSUGAR Home  ||   Good Housekeeping  ||   Martha Stewart

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.

mason jar storageBetter Homes and Gardens

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.

Love your style!

A Growing Trend: Living Grass Easter Basket

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.

living grass Easter basket

Okay, living grass Easter Temp-tations casserole dish basket, but you get the general idea.

 casseroleGrace Baker with Wire Rack

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.

landscapingOn 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.

Love your style!

Strawberry Orange Jam

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.

strawberry orange jam

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

2 oranges

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!

Sweetly Summervia

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.


Creole Cream Cheese Crêpes with Strawberry Compote.  Need I say c’est si bon?  This recipe from Louisiana Cookin’ is on my recipe card radar.

StrawberryCrepesLouisiana Cookin’

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.

kitty cat

That about sums up this spring afternoon.  Hope you enjoy yours!

Love your style!

Good Things and Warm Temps: Spring Is In Sight

Our local weatherman just made my day with the forecast that pays- sunny with an expected high of 78 degrees.

Can I get a spring is in sight!

The first day of spring didn’t necessarily bring spring like weather to some, but let’s look at the iced tea, water and lemonade glass half full.

Good things and warm temps will come to those who patiently bundle up this week.

beverage stationWedding Chicks– Photographer: Fondly Forever Photography

Now that the weatherman and the calendar have established that spring is in sight, one’s thoughts naturally turn to spring break vacation, daycation and backyardcation destination ideas.

There’s places to go, people to see and parties to plan.

I received an email from our friends at Pinterest inviting me to create a place board of my ideal dawn to dusk daycation.

Any guesses where we’re going?

Beach Blanket BingoDisney Blog

Times have definitely changed and styles have evolved, but fun in the sun with our SPF50+ on is still highly recommended.

designer swimming poolTraditional Home

What colors do you see in your spring into summer color palette future?

tropical entry

Studio M Interior Design

This season’s color crush is brought to you by Sherwin- Williams Aloe and Sherwin-Williams Bunglehouse Gray.  


I love any excuse to contemplate and coordinate bedding with spring and summer colors and textures.

barbara berry celadon

The Barbara Barry Poetical Celadon Collection is about as let’s spring and summer update inspiring as it gorgeously gets.

If the color blue had a scent Pure Grace by Philosophy is it.

The fresh and light scent makes a nice linen spray, and it’s my summer in a bottle scent suggestion.


An acquaintance of ours has recently purchased a beach property in need of a decorative update or two.

Too many miles between us and certain time constraints makes this project a prime candidate for my edecorating services.

I’ve been perusing shops and sites for furnishings and accessories that say beach chic.

I’ll share the design board with you all soon.

Your comments are always welcome!

love your style

Encore Post: Orange And Lemon Almond Mint Tea

I served Orange and Lemon Almond Mint Tea at our Easter dinner as a pre-dinner refreshment and the crowd went wild (well, as wild as an Easter Sunday crowd can get all loaded up on a non-alcoholic beverage).

Figuring we have all seen plenty of recipes over the last week leading up to the holiday, but not wanting to break with the recipe Monday routine, I offer you a repost of this refreshing Orange and Lemon Almond Tea recipe.

fresh mint in vase1

Just in time for spring and summer afternoons, bridal showers, a graduation tea or girls’ night in, Orange and Lemon Almond Mint Tea is a refreshing alternative to traditional iced tea.

The combination of orange juice and fresh lemon juice pair well together to add the citrus kick, and the almond is the perfect flavor complement.

orange-lemon-mint-tea-in-pitcher1Orange and Lemon Almond Mint Tea


4  tea bags

3  tablespoons fresh mint sprigs

4  cups boiling water

1  cup sugar

¼  cup fresh lemon juice

¾  cups orange juice

2  teaspoons almond extract

additional 2 cups hot water


Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.


Add tea bags, sugar and fresh mint.


Stir well to eliminate sugar from sticking to bottom of pan.


Remove pan from heat; cover and let steep for 15 minutes.

Add orange juice, lemon juice, almond extract and additional 2 cups water together in a 2-quart pitcher; stir well to incorporate.


When steeping is complete, remove tea bags from mixture.  Pour steeped tea mixture into pitcher and stir well.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Serve over ice with optional garnish.

Makes 2 quarts.









Spring Home Decor Ideas

Color, texture, edits and updates usher in spring and spring home decor ideas.

The colors of spring take winter’s edge off our interiors and fashions- the mirror images of style.

Pantone’s  fashion color report for spring colorfully illustrates that  exact point.

Pantone spring 2013 colorsPantone

Home decor items in decorative and colorful choices spring up everywhere this time of year.


Architectural Digest

Regardless if your seasonal update involves a major weekend color infusion paint party throwdown or a more subtle approach of the decorative throw pillow, lampshade, and decorative accent kind, inspirational and affordable ideas abound.


That’s a moiré wallcovering!

Designer Jamie Drake selects a silk moiré wallcovering that not only exemplifies optimum pattern and color choice, but highlights the accessories in the always spring appropriate fuchsia.

I like how the balance between feminine and masculine in this bedroom tips the scale toward perfection.

fuchsia bedroomFreshome

Hydrangeas in full bloom housed in a porcelain pitcher or galvanized metal bucket never fail to take my thoughts back in time to Saturdays spent at my grandmother’s antique shop.

spring flowers in farmhouse sinkCountry Living

A bouquet of hydrangeas sitting atop an oak server, walnut dining table, or mahogany parlor table brings out the natural beauty of the flower and the furniture.

pink wing chair

How spring does love the classic and timeless color combination of pink and green!

Nick Olsen Lee Jofa designer roomKravet

The Featured Designer room at Lee Jofa in New York City features the color inspired brilliance of Nick Olsen.

The  Cheshire Tight Back chair is upholstered in Lee Jofa Ayla Trellis in fuchsia red.

Bold colors in big doses too much  for your tastes?

My advice for that is to practice the ABC’s of impact.

Adjust Big Color.  

A seasonal splash of color through spot accessories can achieve just as big of an impact as color drenching the entire space.

Big and colorful things do come in small packages.

How do you welcome spring into your home decor?

Lemon, Orange, And Rosemary Air-Freshener

I’m all about stopping, smelling the roses and not hurrying through one thing to get to another…usually.  This week it’s all about smelling the fresh scent of lemon, orange and rosemary air-freshener.

Bless Punxsutawney Phil for not seeing his shadow! Winter has been a brr of a season, and is fast on the way to overstaying its welcome.

I was inspired to try my hand at creating an all-natural air-freshener after seeing  a post from Folk magazine on the Places In The Home Facebook page.  Isn’t that what the blogosphere and social media is really all about?  The fresh citrus aroma associated with spring is a lovely thing to enjoy in February.

Homemade fresh from the garden and cupboard ideally puts creative control in your hands, pans, and jars. The citrus of fresh lemons and oranges pairs well with the pungent scent of fresh rosemary.

Add 2 tablespoons lemon extract and spring is in the air. Simmering new or tried and true winning combinations of fresh fruits and herbs, spices, extracts, and essential oils is a natural, clean, and fresh way to eliminate odors and bring the scents of a favorite season indoors.

Lemon, Orange, and Rosemary Air-Freshener


2   quarts water

2  stems fresh rosemary

2   lemons, sliced

1   large orange, sliced

2  Tablespoons lemon extract


Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, adding additional water as needed.