May 22nd, 2009 |

Summer Style

wine-toteThis beautiful grasscloth carrier helps you easily tote your wine in style.  It holds 4 bottles of wine and is perfect for summer picnics, outdoor music festivals or even a hostess gift for a weekend at the beach!  Check out Toss Designs for this fabulous product!

May 21st, 2009 |

Seersucker: For Your Table!

seersucker-napkin-ringsIf you are a girl that loves a little seersucker now and then, you are going to love these!  Seersucker inspired napkin rings from Plum Party Supplies.  Perfect for a pool party, backyard BBQ, or a lobster bake on the beach!

May 17th, 2009 |

The Cadillac of Picnic Baskets

picnic-basket

I found this picnic basket on Delight.com today – and am just in love with the bright colors!  This would make a perfect wedding or shower gift for a couple!

You can’t go wrong with this set as it includes everything you’d ever need while enjoying cuisine at the park – four plates, four cups, utensils, cutting board, wine key, salt and pepper shakers, and a backpack that holds it all plus a bottle of wine, a large insulated compartment in the back, and a blanket to top it all off.   Not to mention it is probably the most stylish picnic basket I’ve ever seen!

May 14th, 2009 |

Summer Luminaries

summer-luminariesI am love, love, loving these summer luminaries!  How perfect for my preppy, summer BBQ’s?!

Sold in a set of 12 – they are perfect to use as a centerpiece vessel or hang them off shepard hooks lining a pathway.  So cute and charming….doesn’t it make you want to plan a clambake in Nantucket?!

May 11th, 2009 |

A Memorial Day Pool Party

Memorial Day is truly the start of summer and is typically celebrated by neighborhood BBQ’s – what could be better than a backyard of freshly cut grass, newly planted flowers and the smell of the grill?!

A Memorial Day Pool Party!

My favorite neighbors have had their backyard under construction for the last few months to put in the most spectacular pool!  After all of the planning, working with contractors, and preparations – they deserve a party to celebrate the opening of their pool!
MD Pool Party (small)

There are so many different components that go into outdoor entertaining – decorating, food, drinks and of course, the little details that will set their party apart any old BBQ.

Let’s start with creating the outdoor party space.  You want to create a few different areas – one for eating, one for socializing and one for lounging by the pool.  Make sure to define these spaces by using elements such as umbrellas, an outdoor rug, a series of chairs that are arranged to be conducive for conversation.  Try to carry one color story throughout the whole outdoor area, and use accents such as lanterns and throw pillows to accessorize.  Take a look at my post on decorating with lanterns for inspiration….not only do they add style by day, but the reflection of the candles in the pool at night will add an instant glow to the party!

Since the pool party is going to be Memorial Day weekend, it makes choosing a color story or theme very simple!  A Memorial Day party invites certain expectations – guests expect that they will be celebrating outside, will be eating all-American fare, and will definitely be seeing a flag or two as decoration.  Flags are a symbol of our patriotism, but let’s surprise your guests with how we use them to decorate.

Speaking of cocktails – no pool party would be complete without Margaritas!  With so many different variations out there – it’s hard to choose which ones to serve.  Check out this post for ideas….if you are looking for a quick but yummy mix, Crate & Barrel has a variety of flavors and rimming salts!  Seeing as though you will be outside and near the pool, you are going to want to stay away from using glass or anything breakable.  There is an abundance of acrylic glasses and  silverware, and melamine dishes currently on the market at all different price points.  Seeing as though you may need to buy in bulk – check out target for these great margarita glasses.

md-pool-party-margarita-small

Now, onto the food!  Platters of snacks are definitely important – but for the main course, serve up a pan-roasted corn salad with tomatoes and feta, and barbecued chicken.  For dessert, serve mini-berry parfaits – done in small glasses, they are easy to eat and still carry on a conversation – and by using blueberries and raspberries, they look oh, so festive!

Well, the components are all there – great food, tasty drinks, a stunning atmosphere and good friends to celebrate the new pool!  Enjoy!

md-pool-party-food-smallImages: table with pool and umbrella (wshome.com), lounge chair (potterybarn.com), drinks (emilywongdesign.com)

May 9th, 2009 |

Purple Love

Purple Love

I’m normally a pink girl – but these images from Matthew Mead Style could make me become a purple girl!

May 6th, 2009 |

COLOR: Bold Teal and Orchid

color-intro5

teal-wedding-inspiration

A lot of the COLOR posts I do focus on the pretty, pale colors…..not today!  Today is all about bold, bold, bold!

My inspiration today is a beautiful room I found on the Harlequin Fabric & Wallpaper website.  Harlequin is a company in the UK that offers an eclectic, elegant, and versatile range of weaves, prints and wallcoverings that will satisfy the most demanding of tastes.

Shades of deep teal, popped with orchid purple and accents of brown and white….this color palette has a stunning wedding written all over it!

White flowers and dishes look fresh up against the strong teal walls and linens – add a touch of chocolate brown by tying a ribbon on your teal favor boxes and place them on each seat.  You can also bring in the brown color and satisfy your guest’s sweet tooth by offering a lavish chocolate buffet for dessert!  Offer cellophane bags and teal ribbon to pack up some goodies to bring home at the end of the evening.  Deep shades of color, stunning accents and an evening rich in love – perfect! Teal Wedding (small)

Images: teal room (harlequin.uk.com), boutonniere and calla lilly bouquet (weddingchannel.com), table (theknot.com), bridesmaid dresses (swsmag.com), welcome sign (theknot.com), favor boxes (aboutdetailsdetails.com), chocolate buffet (brides.com)

May 5th, 2009 |

Decorate with Lanterns

Lanterns (small)

Looking for the perfect accessory to update your home this Spring?!  Look no further….the hottest accessory out there is the lantern.  Used both inside and out, lanterns add a touch of style by day and a stunning glow by night to any room.  Perfect for outdoor entertaining, you can get so creative with these!

There are so many different ways to customize your lantern-style:

  • Make a bold statement with an over-sized lantern placed on the ground
  • Use a series of lanterns lining a path or patio
  • Hang small lanterns from your umbrella
  • Play with proportion by arranging groups of different sized lanterns on your fireplace mantel or as a centerpiece on your dining room table
  • Fill the bottom of your lanterns with decorative objects such as moss, rocks, flower petals or shells and starfish for summer

Lanterns are readily available this season – different metals, colors – at all different price points.  Check out these at Pottery Barn, Resortation Hardware, and West Elm.

Images: metal lanterns, sectional with umbrella, fireplace (potterybarn.com), seating area with red pillows (restorationhardware.com)

April 28th, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: White!

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This week, I thought I should focus on the most common and readily available napkin – the crisp, white napkin.  Used for centuries, a white napkin has graced many dinner tables – both casual and formal.  You can fold it different ways, tie it with different ribbons, even lay a seasonal bloom gently on top of it.  It’s a clean palette – you can change the look of it in an instant.

The only issue with white napkins?  How to keep them clean!  All it takes is one, tiny little stain – and suddenly your crisp, elegant napkin looks old and tired!  In order to help you care for your white linens, here are a few tips that I thought might be helpful:

To launder white table linens, soak them first before washing. For badly stained tablecloths and napkins, you can use household bleach.  (But use warm water and a mild soap or detergent to wash colored and delicate white linens.)  While the linens are still damp, put a hot iron to them and continue until they are completely dry.

Napkins and tablecloths should be ironed on both sides. To iron a tablecloth fold it wrong side out, lengthwise. Iron it with the thread of the material. Refold the cloth right side out and iron it again, pressing in the center crease. Fold it lengthwise a second time, then crosswise several times without pressing the folds. One sharp crease down the center is all you want.

Iron napkins first on the wrong side, beginning with the corners and getting them properly right-angled to avoid distorting the weave, then iron them on the right side. Fold or roll as you wish.

Image via Pottery Barn

April 28th, 2009 |

The Power of White

If you are a frequent entertainer – this is probably old news for you!

I am a firm believer in having a collection of beautiful white dishes and serving pieces.  Not only do they highlight the food you are serving – but you can change the look of your table or party in an instant by using colorful linens, accent plates or glasses.  Perfect for any type of party – birthday party, dinner party, baby or bridal shower – and the serving pieces are stunning when they are all placed together on a buffet.

Here are a few of my favorite white pieces out there – and if you are looking for more inspiration on pedestal serving dishes, check out Hostess with the Mostess.

White Dishes (small)

Images: placesetting with monogramed napkin and bowl with apples (potterybarn.com), collection of white serving dishes (crateandbarrel.com), pedestal serving dishes (rosannainc.com), square plates (surlatable.com)

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