Sunday, September 25, 2011

Purple and Green - Fall Color Palette Inspirations

It's time to pull out the potato vine and impatiens from the front porch urns. Instead of the traditional orange, rust and yellow fall palette, I decided to give lavender, green and purple a whirl! After all, purple is very hot in home fashion decor. Every one of our major fabric vendors introduced many new purple fabric patterns for upholstery and drapery for this fall season.

While in Wisconsin on Friday, Katha and I found some wonderful gnarly silvery green pumpkins and beautiful kale plants to give us inspiration. The pale lavender mums are striking against the mossy verdigris of the cherub statues.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Royalty, Rhinestones and Red Velvet Cupcakes- The Three R's!

While promoting our cookbook this year, we have held several book signings around a Royal Tea and Royal Dinner party concept. Now we are heading to Tennessee for another book event and I am working on some new ideas to present with a royal theme. This past weekend, I found some fabulous vintage rhinestones and decided to use them with one of our new tablescapes for the event. A decadent Royal dinner is being planned complete with its own Queen Victoria menu. I love this gorgeous picture of Queen Victoria in all of her regal cape and crown glory and decided to use it as the menu cover. Using three of my favorite "R"s, rhinestones, red velvet cupcakes and red roses, we created this fun presentation for serving a red velvet cupcake. Vintage silver compotes serve as the serving dish, elevating the cupcake to a whole new level. Vintage rhinestone trim is secured to the cupcake with rhinestone florist pins, while one pin adds a touch of glamour to the top of the cupcake. A simple red rose is embellished with a vintage pin in another compote to add another touch of red to the table. I am looking forward to finishing the details for this table setting - maybe tartan, toile, and transferware- the three "T"s. Stay tuned for the final design!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Late Summer Dinner on the Porch

The nights have gotten cooler, so the roses are finally abundant. I love the way the colors mix together in this antique amphora bowl. The amphora has a soft translucent glow and the blackberries are a beautiful detail. It's just Mr. RTH and I, so I thought I would set a dinner table on the screen porch. My favorite croco pattern chargers and the wide rimmed gold Black Knight plates make a pretty combination. Vintage 1030's crystal patterns mix well with the contemporary acrylic and gold flatware. The white and gold zebra print napkin adds another contemporary splash to the vintage setting. We sell these napkins at the store and they launder so well that you can use them as everyday napkins. The napkin ring is actually a beautiful handle that was purchased for a chest of drawers, but it is so lovely to use on a table. The little crystal tea lights are old salt cellars with a brilliant cut detail. We are savoring our nights on this porch as they will come to an end soon - this weekend the temperatures are supposed to drop to the low 60's in the day, with the nights being in the 40's. Fall is surely here. We will be joining Susan at on Thursday for Tablescape Thursday. Be sure to visit for other inspirational ideas.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kitchen Design with old European Elegance!

The "feature" cabinet in the kitchen! This cabinet was hand painted by our very own Laurell and looks as if it was reclaimed from a chateau in France.

Stone arches were installed in the entry to every section of the "kitchen suite", creating an old world ambiance. Notice the 72 inch wide Sub-Zero that is paneled in a pewter tone wood panel.We designed the top of the refrigerator to mimic the molding above the large armoir feature piece. Looking thru the arch, you are peeking into the servery - the baking and prep center . More to come on that area later!

This cabinet is the feature piece of the kitchen and has pull out shelves in both of the towers for dinnerware and pantry items. The center of the cabinet has a furniture grade butcher block top with 3 large drawers below it for pots and pans and cooking utensils. Each of the drawers has a beautiful detailed long gold pull in the center. It has a 20 inch grand molding detail at the top, with the vintage looking mirror in the center. Antique sconces were hard wired thru openings cut in the mirror. A large crystal samovar from Romancing the Home stands in the center.

A glimpse of the spectacular view from the open french doors in the kitchen - a series of ponds and fountains, creating a soothing background sound.

I am sharing just a snippet of a spectacular kitchen. We have been enjoying the process of remodeling this kitchen for the past several months and the details are starting to come together. It is a contrast of elements- crystal versus stone, silver versus gold, wood versus granite. This week, my favorite element in the kitchen was installed- a mirror that lists the menu of a Paris bistro. Laurell stripped this mirror and applied the wording to the back and gold leafed over the design. Installed in the center of the large pantry armoir, it singularly defines the elegance of the space. Antique sconces, wired thru the mirror, create a magical feel. Another key feature installed in the last few weeks, stone arches really add to the elegance of the kitchen. We have much more to share with you in the weeks to come as we add the details to this "5 room" kitchen suite - a gallery showcasing fine crystal, a servery for prep work and baking, an intimate dining space with a fireplace, a separate clean-up area, and of course the actual entertaining kitchen. As we all know, you just can't get your guests out of the kitchen, so we decided to make it as elegant as the living room! Stay tuned!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Summer Whites and Fall Nights

Fall is definitely around the corner- the nights are nippy and people are wearing sweaters and sweats on their morning walks. And as momma said " it's time to put away your summer whites"! As the leaves start to fall and the flowers start to fade, I really notice the white elements of the garden. I love the mossy patina of the cherub bench that hides the air conditioning units. The shades of white and grey in the face of the lady statue add contrast to the garden, while the lacy pattern of the garden chair's back is graceful and bold. The old white garden cloche has done its duty for the year and made the basil grow. The white hydrangeas that surround the driveway are starting to fade, while the Queen Anne's lace, zinnias and phlox are happy with a little cooler air and make beautiful bouquets. The flirty white tablecloth peaks through the porch railing and says " its time to wash and put me away until next year". And the little white dogs are looking forward to fall and naps by the fireplace.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Food is Comforting

Losing a loved one is very tough. While I love sending beautiful flowers, sometimes I think food can be a more comforting gesture. My friend, Laurell, lost both of her in-laws within the last 3 weeks. I knew that she had been wanting this special Ruffoni cookware with the pumpkin handle, so I decided to get it for her and her family as a gesture of sympathy for their loss. The Lake Bluff Farmers market provided me with many options to fill a food basket and that special sauce pot. Brie cheese layered with apricots and almonds, fresh blackberries, apple cinnamon bread, sugared pecans, home-made salad dressings and vegetables for roasting were all available. Scented geranium, petite roses, stems of cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs with lambs ear completed the basket. Every time she uses that pot, she will remember the good times with Jack and Helen, especially the times at the lake, their family retreat in northern Wisconsin.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Arrives at Romancing the Home

Our mirror center table as you enter one side of the store.

Mix and match gold and crystal stemware - every guest chooses a different one!

New Michael Wainwright dinnerware- so modern, yet it goes well with antiques.

Our wonderful washable tiger print napkins - so chic!

A collection of white and gold table accessories - available now!

Love this yummy animal skin platinum plate with the platinum napkin on the silver charger.

Our new florals - so dramatic and they do make a statement!

Vintage crystal light covers look beautiful resting on a candlestick.

Gilded bowls for salad or soup - how pretty!

Our new collection of Alexa Pultizer Stationary is too too cute!

Alexa's mouse pad - have to have it!

Our new French Dinnerware line - so cute, so nice!

Is this not adorable???? How sweet for pastries and muffins - it is another new line!

The most realistic faux violets that I have ever seen! Watering not necessary!

Mor's smashing new bath and body line - the black glass bottle of bubble bath is gorgeous!

Who makes a glass bottle this gorgeous these days??

We are so excited - so many new things are arriving at the store. Today, Candy, Laurell and I spent the day merchandising much of the store. The pictures above tell the story much better than words. We strive to bring our customers a fresh assortment of merchandise for every season, always different, always in tune with the current trends. Fall is almost here, our favorite season of the year!!!! We are being featured on today and are so delighted! Hop on over and check out her wonderful blog. Her home was featured in Fifi ONeills new book " Prairie Style" and is so inspiring!