January 15th, 2014 |

FAMILY ROOM UPDATE with CALICO

family room redecorating with calicoI recently worked with Calico to create an update for my family room – adding in elements to our existing furniture to make it more….well, “me”. This space is heavily used by my family, but also where we do our casual entertaining.  I am thrilled with how it turned out and am excited to share a peek of my house with you today!

BACK STORY:

When we bought the house 5 years ago, one of the biggest selling points for us was that it had this big family room.  I just knew it would be where we would spend our time, and could have a more relaxed look than our formal living room.  However, since it was not the first room you saw when you entered the home, it got pushed to the bottom of the barrel in terms of decorating.  About a year and a half ago, we had a kitchen flood while out of town.  Long story short, we came back to a HUGE disaster and ended up spending the next 6 months renovating two floors of our split level.  Part of that renovation included knocking down a wall, painting and re-carpeting this room.

before family room shotHere is the before shot.  It’s a crazy-boring combination of brown furniture.  My husband likes brown.  And refuses to get rid of that HUGE coffee table!  Boring, yes.  But also kind of like a clean slate to work with.  In walks my favorite custom fabric resource: Calico.

I have been shopping with Calico since I was a young girl, helping my mother and my grandmother decorate their homes.  I knew that they were known for their wide array of fabrics, they are a fabulous resource for custom upholstery and furniture.  What I didn’t realize, until I purchased my home and started decorating, was that Calico had updated their selection of fabrics over the years, and they offer that perfect assortment of traditional + modern patterns.  Which translates directly into my happy zone.

chocolate brown and green family roomI worked with the ladies at my local store to select fabrics that I thought would breathe life into the space.  They were so well versed in what would work, and what wouldn’t, offered great selections in terms of trims, and helped me pull together a look that I am so happy with. We decided to lighten up the space with a lighter shade of khaki/taupe paint on the walls, and I stenciled on a clover trellis pattern on one wall for some tonal pattern. And then we started layering in pillows, accent furniture and accessories in ivory, and moss green.

x-bench detail from calicoAlthough the sectional couch can hold a small village, it always seemed like we never had enough seating while entertaining.  So we added in two upholstery x-benches that we did in a moss green velvet fabric.  Gorgeous.  Luxurious.  And adds a bold pop of color to the room. I literally squealed with joy when they were delivered.

pillows from calicoWe layered pillows onto the sectional in varying sizes, textures and patterns.  I wanted to include my favorite cableknit pillows from Pottery Barn, both for the added texture, but also because those are the pillows we cozy up with.  We layered on gorgeous ivory linen pillows that I had Calico update with a fretwork border made out of green grosgrain ribbon, smaller pillows made out of a green ikat pattern, and then one bolster pillow in a brown ikat polka dot fabric.  To tie it all together, we edged that pillow with the same ivory linen.

orange tulipsAfter the pillows and benches were added to the room, I accessorized with just a few key items.  Bronze hurricanes from Williams Sonoma Home, my favorite quatrefoil accent lamps from Horchow, and a few green accessories to really pop that color against the brown furniture.

boxwood and candles accessoriesTo make this space party-ready, I had Calico create a custom table cover for an old console I had in the room.  Made out of the same ivory linen we used on the pillows, the kick-pleats feature the brown ikat polka dot fabric – adding a touch of prep, and also tying it back to the pillow on the couch.  This is the perfect accessory – it transforms the space for a party and becomes the perfect bar or appetizer set-up!

console and benchWhat I truly love about this combination is that we lighted up the space with all of the ivory pieces, and popped it with fresh, modern patterns and trim.

fabrics used

console detailsAs I mentioned above, Calico was a dream to work with – offering me way more options than I could possibly utilize in this one space!  I would highly suggest you seek out your local store and stop by for your next project.  And if you do, mention the code CALICO20 to receive 20% off your order!  Offer valid from 1/15/14-6/15/14 – Happy Decorating!

THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. THE PARTY DRESS HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT, TRADE AND/OR PRODUCTS FROM CALICO IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTION, HOWEVER ALL OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN.

 

 

 

 

October 21st, 2013 |

PUMPKINS THAT GLITTER

halloween pumpkin with glittered polka dotsWe have been SO busy behind the scenes lately preparing for the book launch, as well as prepping our holiday collection to officially launch later this week.  So, although we have Christmas and Hanukkah on our minds most days lately, I figured it was time to get some Halloween decorations up around here.

You all know I have an obsession with white pumpkins (see here and here), but this year, I decided to add a touch of glam to my display.  I found this inspiration on our Halloween Pinterest board (take a look there for more festive ideas!) and am going to try to tackle it this week.  Stay tuned for the finish product and some tips and tricks on how I make it work for me!

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September 4th, 2013 |

FALL DECOR | GOURDS

decorating with gourds for fallAs much as I adore lush, summer gardens, I am looking forward into moving my decor (both inside and out) into Fall.  I love the rich colors, and the addition of pumpkins, gourds and moss to my home.  While perusing around Pinterest the other day, I came across this image from a reader’s flickr account.  Using trellises (empty after the summer season), they filled them with different gourds in a variety of shapes and colors.  Totally unique to anything I have seen before!  I think this could be a fabulous update for my front porch.  What do you think?

July 18th, 2013 |

DREAMING of a LAKEHOUSE

lakehouse inspirationHere in the Midwest, we look forward to our summer months ALL YEAR LONG. Summer brings about bbqs and outdoor entertaining, lazy days at the pool, simple meals often finished off with s’mores or ice cream, and a renewed love affair with the local lakes.  We are fortunate to live just a couple miles from Lake Michigan, but are also within driving distance of tons of smaller lakes in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.  Which brings me to today’s post…..

The Lakehouse.  We are so lucky to be invited up to family lakehouses during the summer – it’s the perfect opportunity for a little boating, some water-skiing (for my husband, I prefer to ride along IN the boat!), and some quality family time.  As our extended family continues to grow, my desire for a family lakehouse does too.  I’m not talking anything elaborate….just a great place where the kids, grandkids and all of their friends could gather up for summer fun.

Since today is HOT (we have a heat advisory for  105 degrees!), I am dreaming about this future lakehouse from INSIDE.  Crisp, nautical decor with lots of white, casual spaces for people to relax in, an attic space full of built-in twin beds to house a boat-load of little kids, and an outdoor firepit, perfect for hosting late-night s’mores.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?!

For more of my lakehouse inspiration, follow along on my pinterest board!

Images:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

June 3rd, 2013 |

RED, WHITE & BLUE | CAKE PLATE CLINGS


red white and blue patriotic cake plate clings for 4th of July and summer partiescake plate clingsSummer brings a whole new collection of red, white and blue Cake Plate Clings to WH Hostess.  Dress up your 4th of July BBQs, summer picnics and clambakes with these festive decorative liners.  Cake Plate Clings {patent-pending} are reusable, non-adhesive, slide-free and printed with environmentally-friendly ink and materials.  They are the perfect accessory to your dessert table or buffet, and also make a fabulous gift!

red white and blue cake plate clingsI love mixing and matching patterns when creating a display of cake stands.  For 4th of July, I suggest mixing our patriotic stars cling with some of the red and navy party basics, such as the diagonal stripe, swiss dot or gingham check.  The navy wave pattern is perfect for a summer pool or beach party, too!

lobster nautical red white and blue cake plate clingsDon’t put away your red, white and blue after the 4th of July….just replace your patriotic stars with our preppy lobster dots pattern (I love it mixed with the navy diamond lattice pattern, too)!  This collection of Cake Plate Clings would be perfect for any summer party!  All clings can be personalized with a name, initial or monogram too…making them THE perfect hostess gift for summer!

lobster and diamond lattice cake plate clingsMake sure to get your orders in soon for delivery for 4th of July parties!

May 8th, 2013 |

BOXWOOD & ROSE CENTERPIECE

boxwood and rose centerpieceMy pink Mother’s Day tablesetting from the Spring 2103 issue of The Party Dress Magazine included this darling boxwood and rose centerpiece project that was so simple to create, I just had to share it with you.

You can create this using silk or real flowers.  The supplies are simple: a footed vessel, a boxwood ball (sized to fit), roses (real or silk), and long sewing pins.

Once your ball is placed in your footed vessel, prep your flowers.  Trim the stems so there is only about 1/2 inch past the bottom of the bud.  Insert a long pin thru the center of the flower bud and then attach to the boxwood ball.  You can scatter your roses about in either a symmetrical pattern or, in this case, a more abstract design.  Voila!  It’s a simple, DIY project that will have Mom smiling this Mother’s Day!

DIY boxwood and rose centerpiece project for mother's dayResources: footed bowl (juliska.com), pink tunic (sailtosable.com)

April 30th, 2013 |

MAY DAY BASKET

may day basket

Start a new tradition this year by giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps on May 1st.  I found this charming basket (with the perfect handle for a door knob) at Hobby Lobby.  It holds a small amount of flowers, so if you purchase 3 different bunches, you can make a few baskets to delight your friends & neighbors.

may day flowers in a basketorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

April 9th, 2013 |

INTERVIEW | MADISON DALLAS

madison dallas home and gift store

Last Spring, I had the pleasure of visiting the charming home decor and gift store, Madison in the Highland Park Village of Dallas, Texas. Owned by sisters and interior designers, Kelli Ford and Kirsten Fitzgibbons, the colorful store showcases unique gifts in every corner. Their broad selection of linens that can be embroidered and monogrammed are what really stood out to me. I very quickly fell in love with the modern spin they were able to put on classic items, such as linen napkins, bedding and accessories using new technology for embroidery. Raised, oversized initals and monograms, multi- colored threads and patterns….so many amazing options that I have not seen elsewhere.

raised embroidery linen napkins from madison dallas

I was so fortunate to use these gorgeous napkins (personalized with my initials) for my ladies Spring luncheon.  While discussing the modern monogram with Madison co-owner, Kelli Ford, she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about using monograms for entertaining:

In what ways have you seen the classic monogram updated in recent years?

I have seen the classic monogram updated in recent years with the style becoming more contemporary, with the use of new tools we are able to do more with size, color, thickness and even patterns.

madison dallas store

Are there new “trends” we should be aware of?

New trends I have noticed are people becoming more liberal with monogramming. Instead of just shirts and linens it has become part of establishing identity with putting your mark on literally everything. Book bags, lunch boxes, makeup cases, socks, dog beds, ipad cases, carseats, you name it! Sense of ownership is very important to the modern day client.

How can the modern hostess incorporate monograms into entertaining and their home?

The modern hostess can incorporate monograms into entertaining and their home by having fun! Guests feel very special when you pull out your “best”with napkins, hand towels, robes, etc. They also can add an expected element of surprise with hostess gifts, shower gifts, or even children’s goodie bags.

books at madison dallas

How has technology changed over the years for embroidery?

Technology has definitely changed, as it use to be done all by hand. You can achieve a really beautiful detailed result with multihead machines with a skilled operator and designer at an amazing speed. One amazing new part of technology is you can basically scan in any image to be then converted with thread. It is pretty remarkable!

cocktail books at madison dallas

If you are in the Dallas area, I encourage you to stop by Madison to shop their gorgeous store and the broad selection of items you can have customized with embroidery.  You can visit their website at www.madisondallas.com.

order a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

 

April 3rd, 2013 |

OMBRE TULIP CENTERPIECE

pink ombre tulip centerpieceTulips are the perfect Spring flower – very accessible, you can buy them at the grocery store for less than $10 a bunch.  This time of the year, they add a great pop of color to my kitchen table. If you are looking for an update, perhaps for a special Spring dinner party, or a lovely bunch to give to a friend, put aside the traditional monochromatic arrangement, and opt for an ombre affect by using tulips in three shades of one color.

For this arrangement, I used white, pale pink and raspberry pink tulips.  Instead of mixing the colors together, I kept the colors clustered together and paired them from light to dark (left to right).  Fun and different, it plays into the ombre trend that we have seen so much in the fashion and home textiles industries recently.

shades of pink tulips floral arrangement ombre affectorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

March 20th, 2013 |

CREATIVE EASTER EGG CENTERPIECE

easter egg centerpiece By the time Easter rolls around each year, I’m looking for unique ways to decorate my home and table with color.  This year, I decided I wanted to come up with a unique way of displaying my Easter eggs, and this centerpiece is just the ticket!  I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that I have a surplus of cake stands around my house (hence my product line, Cake Plate Clings).  I gathered up a few to play with, including a new bunny cake stand from Pottery Barn, and came up with this project.

easter egg centerpiece Supplies:

Cake Stand (s)  |  Glass Dome (s)  |  Dyed Easter Eggs  |  Ribbon (I used Midori gingham ribbon)  |  Glue Dots

Instructions:

Holding your glass dome upside down, fill it carefully with an assortment of colors of dyed Easter eggs.  My large dome took about 4 dozen eggs to fill up, the small one below held about 8 eggs.  Once it is full, place your upside down cake stand on top of the dome opening and together, carefully flip right-side-up.  Wrap ribbon around the base of the glass dome, securing it with glue dots.

easter egg centerpiece on bunny cake standorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

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