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

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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)

April 23rd, 2009 |

Creative Spring Centerpiece

I love this idea from Simply Stated…..what a great centerpiece idea for Mother’s Day, a baby shower or little girl’s birthday party!

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What You’ll Need:

  • Sharp scissors
  • Drinking straws
  • 2 boxes of wheatgrass (sold in flats or boxes at health-food stores and flower shops)
  • 12 to 16 gerbera daisies
  • A pencil

For such a creative look – this is so simple to put together.  Cut the straws to match the height of the grass.  Then snip the daisy stems so they are slightly longer than the straws, and gently slide each stem into a straw.  If the straws are too narrow for the stems, slit the straws from top to bottom.  Poke holes in the soil with the pencil. Stick the straw-sheathed flowers into the holes.

Don’t forget to lightly water the soil to help the flowers stay fresh!

April 23rd, 2009 |

Trend Alert: Grey & Yellow

Trend Alert Grey & Yellow (small)

Yellow – one of my favorites!  By pairing it with different colors, it can take on so many different lives.

Pair it with pink, orange, turquoise – it becomes a bit of a fiesta!  Placed with black & white – it is bold.  Nestled between sky blue and pale green, it is the ideal palette for a baby shower.

This season – I am seeing a ton of yellow and pale grey mixed together.  It’s somewhat of an unlikely pairing, but is really attractive!  I like it especially in the home.  Grey is a great neutral backdrop that gives you the opportunity to change up your pop colors seasonally.  This season….I hope you will choose yellow!

Images: pillows (styleathome.com), little girl (ba-reps.com), yellow dress (jcrew.com), place setting (theknot.com), patio set (crateandbarrel.com), gift (carolynroehm.com)

April 22nd, 2009 |

May Day Flower Basket

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One of the most popular May Day traditions is to hang a basket full of spring flowers on a neighbor’s doorknob. The trick is you don’t want the neighbor to see you.  If you get caught, you are supposed to get a kiss!

Put a smile on your neighbor or friend’s face this May Day!

April 21st, 2009 |

Napkin of the Week: Roll it up!

roll-it-up

Simple and sophisticated, this rolled napkin will make a stunning companion to any placesetting.

You can accessorize your napkin roll with a ribbon tie, a napkin ring, or even a piece of twine with a placecard attached to it.

Perfect for a luncheon, bridal shower, or special dinner party….I hope you will try this napkin roll at your next party!

Image via The Knot

April 20th, 2009 |

Celebrate: Earth Day 2009

April 22, 2009 marks the 39th Earth Day celebration.  Celebrate by planning a day of activities that will encourage your children to learn about planting and recycling, followed by an alfresco dinner with friends.

Earth Day Planting (small)

If it’s true that you are what you eat, then you might want to take a look at the food you are picking up at the grocery store.  The average meal travels roughly 1500 miles before it’s consumed – why not try to plant and eat organic food from your very own garden?!  It’s not only better for you, but it’s better for the earth.

Invite the neighborhood kids over to help you plant a vegetable garden.  It’s a great way to get everyone together and to teach kids how they can make a difference.  Have your garden mapped out before the kids get there – separate the kids into groups, and assign them a vegetable to plant.  Check out these great chalkboard stakes at Crate & Barrel – they are perfect for identifying what’s what!

Send the kids home with a plant of their own to nurture – you can plant them in small terracotta pots or a wooden box.

Earth Day Recycle (small)

Earth Day is a great time to teach kids about the importance of recycling.  Reuse.  Reduce.  Recycle.  Talk to your kids about why it’s important to recycle – that making new things from recycled ones takes less money, less energy and less of the Earth’s resources.  Talk to them about how they can make a difference, and help you to recycle at home.

After a day of activities with your kids, invite your friends over for a nature-inspired dinner alfresco.

Earth Day Dinner (small)

Set your table using eco-friendly linens (which you can find plenty of these days!) and use bamboo or cork serving dishes.  Use natural elements such as birch candle holders, twigs and plants as your centerpiece.  Try bringing in some other garden elements to your table – such as attaching a butterfly on to your placecard or favor box.

Menu ideas for Earth Day may include creating only foods you do not need to use energy for. This is a great way to remember the importance of the day. You can barbeque, create pasta salads, and make vegetable platters with home made dips….ranch dip with sour cream, french onion dip, bean dip are all popular.

Have all of your guests, young and old, leave their mark in your newly planted vegetable garden.  Have each one write their name on a rock and place it into your new garden.  It will be a wonderful reminder of good friends and a great day!

Images:

Recycle Images (via inmagine.com)

Dinner Images: girl (inmagine.com), table setting (rebeccathuss.com), butterfly napkin (estiloweddings.com)

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