Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jan Barboglio Dinnerware gets a Spring Touch

The new Jan Barboglio dinner plates made of a heavy glass are unique and wonderful. I simply love the crest design on each plate. We set the table with her new nickel chargers and used a wonderful selection of her small vessels as salad bowls. Manzanita branches and chartreuse hydrangeas added a little dose of spring color to the table along with the chartreuse napkins. Large bread boards were used for place mats for the host and hostess . Vintage wooden flatware was placed on each plate for the salad course. Just to add a little visual interest, vintage diplomas from a baking school in Brussels were rolled and placed in the wonderful wooden bowl that is graced with pewter birds. Hand blown decanters with iron stoppers were placed near the center of the table, ready to be filled with wines and water. The large vessel with the crest can be used for flowers, candles or as a wine bucket. Adding the artichokes to the cake stand added another burst of the green to the table. Be sure to visit to be inspired by other tablescapes.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Color at Costco

Wanting to make a fruit basket for a friend, I went to Costco to purchase blackberries, nectarines, grapes,clementines, strawberries, apples and pears. They seem to always have beautiful selections of fresh fruit at a great price, much better than the local grocery store chains. After gathering the fruits together in my cart, I was on the way to pay and saw these vibrant, beautiful foil wrapped eggs in spring colors in a large cello bag and I just couldn't resist them. So I bought 2, one for me and one for my friend! After arriving home, I arranged the fruit on a platter with a selection of Costco cheeses. I couldn't decide which was prettier, the fruit or the colored eggs. I think I just need a dose of a little spring color- I'm tired of gray and brown.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blue Mystique Orchids

I went to the grocery store to pick up lunch yesterday, and was suddenly stopped in my tracks-- a gorgeous blue orchid was sitting on the shelf in the floral department. The blue color was exquisite. At first I thought it was dyed, but after reading the tag, I realized it's a new orchid. I just had to have one- well, maybe another one for my friend too! This morning, I was off to Home Depot to get small plants and additional less expensive orchids ( they have an awesome assortment at great prices) to make an orchid arrangement for the window at the end of my butler's pantry. Using reindeer moss and angel vine, I "dressed" the orchids and then placed them in an old wine crate. I love the contrast of the elegant orchids in the more rustic container. Adding smaller plants from Home Depot filled in the gaps in the box. I then created another arrangement in a basket to give to my friends who had just loss their mother. Orchids are easy to care for and last a long time, so hopefully they can enjoy it for many months to come. Be sure to visit to explore other ways to feather your nest!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winter Dinner Party

Last week temperatures were in the 50's, and now there's snow on the ground in Chicago and the forecast is for more snow this weekend. So we will settle in for one last winter dinner party. Maybe the little touch of turquoise will remind us that blue skies are coming! I love the little touches of sea shell that foreshadow upcoming days at the beach. But for now, the touches of rhinestone add brightness to our day. Antique Rosenthal plates sit on top of capiz shell chargers. Vintage and venetian glassware are mixed to evoke romance for this evening dinner party. To mix it all together, we have used a stenciled zebra cow rug as the tablecloth- yes, it is a bit of everything- but so is the weather in Chicago this time of year! Be sure to visit for more beautiful tables.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Powder Room in Antique Italian Style

I simply love the way this powder room turned out- simple, easy to maintain, and beautiful. In a new construction brownstone in the city, we designed a main floor powder room with these gorgeous tiles from Chadwicks International Surfaces, located here in Libertyville. The bottom 3 feet of the wall were covered in larger limestone slabs and then capped with the beautiful bull nose and laser cut tiles. We left the edges between the slabs a little rough, so that it appeared as if the walls had been there forever. A floating limestone counter held a bronze sink. The simple roman shade's pattern, a rich Kravet silk, perfectly mimicked the pattern in the tiles on the wall. An iron mirror and iron sconces completed the powder room's main elements. The walls were done in an ivory venetian plaster treatment. Small decorative bronze tiles added interest to the limestone floor. Now we just need to find the perfect soap dispenser and hand towels to compliment the room's elegant features.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bistro Shelves get a Makeover

I am ready for a change on the bistro shelves on my kitchen island. Since Christmas and Valentines, I have kept the shelves full of "pretties" - cut crystal, pretty desserts, silver, glitter, you know what I mean! So now I feel like going a little earthier- pottery, pressed glass and pewter. I found a couple of old jugs and a great little hotel dome at the flea market on Sunday. The old ironstone pitcher has seen better days, but I love it's patina. Knowing that it will probably not hold water anymore, I simply stuff it with vintage linen dishtowels. The pressed glass celery vase holds vintage flatware. The old Plaza Hotel coasters were sent to me by an online store that had purchased a large inventory of hotel silver from the closed and now recently reopened famous New York Plaza hotel. Putting all of these new finds together, I realized I needed a shot of color to remind me that Spring is really coming soon! So the pretty grocery store flowers were placed in square glass vases on the vignette. On the back of the shelves, I placed the round pottery tray with the writing- it's perfect for keeping vinegars and oils from staining counter tops. Please be sure to visit to see other great ways to feather your nest!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Birthday Luncheon

One of our customers asked us to create a special tablescape for a birthday luncheon that she was hosting in her beautiful home. Since March can be such a dreary month in Chicago, we decided to use bright spring colors to set the table. Sheer rhinestone studded throws were placed over the cloth, and gold branches placed down the table. A collection of brooches were placed in the branches to add sparkle and whimsy. Mixing a collection of different antique service plates with Moroccan tea glasses and vintage crystal gave the table a unique personality just for this special client. A spring border of flowers was placed down the center of the table with a mossed edge. The tall silver candelabra held additional flowers and added height to the table. Gold flatware and chargers were regal, a birthday fit for a queen! Be sure to visit for more beautiful tablescapes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Masquerade for a Good Cause

I spent the weekend antiquing and making masks and props for an upcoming fundraiser in May. I am not sure which I enjoy most, the antiquing or the joy of using my glue gun and Mod Podge! But it was fun to find little bits of trim, feathers and trinkets that I could use on the masks. Since this upcoming masquerade ball is going to be an elegant affair, I used Venice as an inspiration for my collection of masks and props. Covering old World Books with Venice Carnivale sheet music and pictures of party goers in full costume, I used the books to prop my masks. Decoupaging the dress maker form with Italian song graphics, I added a tulle skirt to the costume for the ivory lace mask. I am not sure how all of this is going to come together, but I will keep you posted!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Desserts under Glass

Romancing the Home customers have always been fond of little vignettes under glass. Selling everything from large cloches, terrariums and now dessert cloches, customers can create their own miniature world under glass. However dessert cloches have become very popular with our foodies. A set of 4 sweet little dessert cloches are etched with divine, decadent, delicious and delightful. Tall venetian style cloches work perfectly for a tall stack of freshly baked cookies! We even have rectangular cloches for loaves of breads- and the list continues to grow. One of my favorite cloches was found on a trip while visiting my friend Marlene in Cookville, Tennessee. She took us to one of her favorite lunch spots and the restaurant owners presented savory treats under large cloches, which they had lettered themselves with First course and 2nd course. It was definitely an idea to steel! Be sure to visit for more cloching ideas.