Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Travel Arrangements" and a brief home tour

I loved last week's dinner party flowers  so much that I could not wait to bring them home to enjoy them while they lasted.   Who wouldn't love fresh flowers in every room ALL of the time?


Since that kind of extravagance is not realistic for us, I did the next best thing....took photos of the two beauties in a few spaces where around our home.  I loved the pictures thought this would be a good excuse to give you a brief tour! 

 Cockscombs have become one of my new favorite fall blooms.  The rich red color complimented almost every space in our house. 

Bar in living room

Too bad fresh flowers cost so much.   If my friends had not convinced me that artificial flowers are bad "Feng-shui" I would have faux arrangements everywhere!   In truth, I do have quite a few that I k put away when I'm expecting those "critical" guests.

Corner round table vignette in living room

I also buy planted flowers, mostly orchids, because their beauty and their longevity work well for our family budget.

Master Bedroom

South wall

We redecorated the master bedroom last year.  We painted the walls the same color as the living room, Cream Wave by Dunn Edwards.

We added picture frame molding on the walls as well as vintage torchiere sconces from Carlson Galleries Antiques.

I Had slipcovers made in a chocolate brown velvet fabric with greek key border trim.

The Secretary desk and chair were purchased at an estate sale.

All of the window drapes,bed canopy and skirt were made by Linda of Lindas Window Dressing.  Great workmanship, prices and fast delivery.



The seating was purchased from World Market in 2013.   Original cushions were just the solid white. I added black squares using 1 1/2" grosgrain ribbon trim to give them an updated look.

Instead of purchasing new chaise lounges, I repainted them black and highlighted the carved decorative details with an outdoor metallic gold paint.  I did the same with the black garden stools.  Installed sconces over the chaises for candlelight in the evenings. Finally, covered the wood fence with black and white striped outdoor drapery panels.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour.  Thank you for visiting.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fete de la Bastille

The past weekend Dan and I co-hosted a fundraiser auction dinner with our neighbor Robin benefitting our neighborhood association. Ten Francophile winning bidders were entitled to a feast.

Robin graciously offered her French revival architecture home and she and Dan prepared the menu. Of course, I was responsible for the tablescape.  They didn't have to ask me twice.

 Our dinner was originally set for July to coincide with Bastille Day which was our event theme.   However, due to extensive water damage in Robin's home, the dinner had to be postponed.  Unfortunately, two of our generous donors were unable to attend the rescheduled dinner so we were set for 8.

   As soon as I received the menu it was clear that a formal ambiance would be the only fitting setting for these l'eau a la bouche dishes. The " French Empire" era immediately came to mind.

 I went online to Zazzle to create personal menus for our guests.  I found a very beautiful shade of blue for the cards which also became an inspiration for a 3rd theme color with the already decided burgundy/red and gold.  I used a combination of the most baroque fonts available on the site which are Flemish Script,English Adagio/Presto/Vivace and Garamond Bold/Italic.  

I chose Haviland china for the first 2 entrees.  Host Robin's beautiful deep red silk drapes in her dining room was the inspiration for the colors burgundy-red and gold.  I immediately knew this set would compliment the table and room perfectly. 

Flowers were purchased from my favorite local wholesaler, Flora Fresh Inc.  Floral design is probably my most favorite part of creating tablescapes.  

I used Valhalla china by Noritake  for the 3rd and 4th entrees.

Mocked table setting

A couple days prior to the dinner I created a couple of mocked table settings that included the Noritake set which I shared with my Facebook friends/family to help me decide between the Noritake and Haviland.

Noritake Navy/Gold border china on deck in the butler's pantry
The Haviland received a few more votes but since the Noritake was such a close contender I decided to use both.  The Haviland for the first and main course.  The Noritake for the 3rd and 4th course.  Finally the glass gold rim plate for dessert.  It worked out perfectly.

First up on the  menu was the "moules en crème et Pernod" (Mussels with cream and pernod).

Next was the "Boeuf en croute" (beef wellington) with creamy green peppercorn sauce!

Beef tenderloin brushed with dijon mustard sauce wrapped in duxelle and prosciutto in a puff pastry served with steamed asparagus and fingerling potatoes,fresh herbs and garlic.

The  third entree was pan fried goat cheese salad with hazelnut vinaigrette.

The fromage cart was rolled out for the 4th entree with delicious cheeses from various regions of France with cranberry raisins,dried apricots, quince and sweet liqueur.


Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the photos.  I will be linking this post to Naps Between The Porch's Tablescape Thursdays so be sure and visit the website for other great table setting ideas. Until next time, au revoir.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Little American's "Big Boy" Room Makeover

Amazing how time flies....My little American turned 10 in August.  One of his birthday wishes was to convert his play room into his big boy room so he could move in.

Play room Christmas 2016

2 days after his pool party celebration, we began our DIY transformation.....

Initially we were going to hire someone to paint the room.  Surprisingly, our little guy wanted us to do it as a fun family project.

East wall Before

Well, after about 10 minutes of taping off the trim, guess who gave up leaving everything else to Papa and I?

East wall after

The wall color was completely his idea.   Both Papa and I were originally  unhappy with his choice.  However, once the color was up we were both sold.

We found the indoor/outdoor area rug  at

West wall Before

West wall after

The 3 cubby storage benches by Martha Stewart were purchased 9 years ago to furnish the play room.  The bench cushions and storage bins were unsalvageable after years of the Little American's numerous art projects.  Unfortunately, the unique size of the bench made it difficult to find a replacement.  So, instead we used chair cushions found at Ikea.  Red and Blue bins from Target.