Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Organic Touches

Being in the home fashion business, we are always looking for ways to keep our inventory fresh and reflecting the current trends. While the shabby chic look will always be a way of life for us, we are updating it with a more organic approach. In the Bella Notte and Pom Pom area, we removed all the rose oils and floral accessories and replaced them with curly willow branches and some architectural elements. A twig chandelier replaced one with crystals and evokes the feeling of sleeping in a tree house. A palette of creams, greys, and whites was mixed from our inventory of Bella Notte and Pom Pom bedding. An just for fun, we threw a caramel colored cow rug over the bed and topped it with Pom Pom's cute white throw. Our new cow rugs are soft and easily drape over the mattresse. The aged mirror headboard is actually a window cornice, but it adds a little glamour to our eclectic setting. Now the rose oils have found a new home in our French Country display and look quite fresh!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Costco Treats for a Small Gathering

Today we are getting ready for a small wedding at a very special customers home. So again, Costco was our go-to source for our flowers. Spending only $30 on flowers, I was able to create four small bouquets for the powder rooms. Little square vases were stuffed with the shortened stems of the mixed bouquets for only $7.50 each. These little babies would be at least $30 each at a local florist. The key to making them look great is to cut the stems short and make the arrangement tight! While at the store, I also discovered these precious little tiramisu chocolate cups from Chambord in the refrigerated section. Garnished with edible pansies, they are a festive touch to dessert at any gathering. Costco continues to delight me with a new surprise every time I visit their store.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Tablescape

We just received these beautiful new serving bowls at the store and it inspired us to set a new table in our entry. On a midnight blue taffeta tablecloth, we placed silver crocodile glass chargers and layered Arte Italica Pewter rimmed plates on top. The iridescent grey napkins also came in this week and are perfect for the color of the dishes. Folding the napkins in triangles, we then placed the silver lined pearlized bowls on top. Fuchsia orchids and flowering cherry blossoms added the pop of color. Vintage mother of pearl flatware worked perfectly with the dinnerware. Large pearlized bowls held the orchids, but would be perfect for a cold pasta salad, fruit salad, or greens. Vintage crystal stemware mixed with a new silver compote added the sparkle to the table. The overall effect was dreamy, reminding us of a cool summer pool -a perfect tablescape to kick off the beginning of the summer entertaining season! Please be sure to visit to see many new tablescapes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vintage Grandeur

White, cream, and gold- one of my absolute favorite color combinations. These old gilded chairs probably graced a grand European hotel lobby in the 1930's. Today we love to upholster them in white muslin or how about an old grain sack!!!! The tall pier mirror is from Noir and is the perfect one to lean up against a wall. The shabby tall candlesticks look great standing next to it. Four framed etchings of historical figures make a statement when grouped together behind the chairs. The burlap shade on the floor lamp is a perfect compliment to the gilded patina on the chairs. And of course, all of these textures are enhanced when used with a shiny object, so we added the crystal candelabra and beaded creme velvet pillows. An architectural wooden urn sits on the floor by the candlesticks to add more interest to the setting. Two small vintage prints of architectural ruins hang on the wall by the mirror. The overall effect is serene and pleasing to the eye, vintage grandeur at it's best. All of these items are available at Romancing the Home.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tomato Confit Chips and Roasted Kale

I just purchased a great new cookbook about restaurant recipes from Harrah's casinos, The Seven Stars Cookbook. A tomato chip recipe looked fun - brushing a thinly sliced tomato with olive oil, sprinkling with a tiny bit of sugar and then turn over after 10 seconds, place on a silpat and bake in a 250 degree oven for 1hour ( I found that they needed a little more time) . Remove from oven when crisp and place on a plate lined with paper towels to completely cool. My son roasted kale to use as the green garnish, lightly tossing the fresh kale with lemon infused olive oil and a little salt He placed it in a 400 degree oven, watched carefully and removed it as the edges began to brown. Our tiny pimento cheese sandwiches look like they are topped with a red bow. I just love the shape of this tomato- perfect for this recipe. The unusual shapes and colors of heirloom tomatoes make them a great choice for these pretty little garnishes. Be sure to visit for some other delicious foodie treats.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wild Coral Reef at Shedd Aquarium


Coral Exhibit at the Wild Reef in the Shedd Aquarium



Carette in Paris

Colefax and Fowler

It has been several days now since our visit to the Shedd Aquarium and I still can't get the pictures of the coral in the Wild Reef out of my mind. Soft palettes of lacy underwater gracefulness- a very calming sight. I realized that my favorite picture of the coral was also my favorite decorating color scheme- blushy pink, cremes, murky greens and browns. These pictures are exact color replicas of the underwater pictures taken at the aquarium. All of these rooms evoke a calm, graceful elegance, just like the coral picture. I couldn't resist adding the beautiful ladies dressed in fashion inspired by the dancing coral.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shedd Aquarium Jellies Exhibit Inspires

Country Living

domino magazine

After spending 5 hours at the Shedd Aquarium on Thursday with my grandchildren, I truly came away inspired and refreshed! We drove down to the city to see the Jellie Fish , only showing until the 28th of May. I realized how much mother nature inspires our creative process. The jelly fish exhibit was awesome - having no brain, blood or bones, they fascinated me! The colors and shapes were amazing. As a designer, I contemplated their combination of colors for a room. Searching for examples of rooms created in the same colors, I found several that were great. More to come soon on the incredible Wild Reef Exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium- I loved it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Treats

What could be better than antiquing with your best friend all day, getting the dog washed by someone else and then coming home to a meal prepared by your 25 year old daughter and 26 year old son? Absolutely nothing!!! Lynda is visiting for a long weekend because we have tickets to Oprah on Tuesday! But on Sunday, we were able to go to a local flea market and one of our favorite antique malls. I have been looking for chartreuse wine glasses for several years and we found them! We even found a sweet chartreuse decanter and with 6 liqueur glasses. Several pieces of antique antler and silver serving pieces, along with a precious silver and mother of pearl spreader were a great find. Two vintage cake plates and a set of gold etched glasses were a steal! What a great day for finding new things for tablescapes! Returning home, we walked into incredible smells of roasting Poblano chilies and caramelized onions. My son was cooking a wonderful chicken dish, while my daughter was whipping up a key lime pie. Fresh mint had been crushed into kosher salt, ready for the fresh mango margaritas they had prepared. The table was set in a style that only my daughter would do- note the crossed knife and fork on the napkin! A fresh tussie mussie was placed in the old decanter holder along with a candle. They had even bathed the dog for mother's day. How much better can a day get???