Blue and white is a classic combination that is always a great go-to when designing a table scape or deciding on a party theme. I recently hosted a virtual “Blue and White Party” in my Instagram Stories in honor of healthcare workers. The sacrifices they make for us deserves so much more than I can ever give, but I wanted to show a small token of appreciation for what they do for each of us. Blue for their scrubs and white for their white coats just seemed fitting for this virtual celebration of our Health Heroes.
My daughter loves blue, and so I showed her what I was doing~ and she suggested adding some red to mimic the red cross that was on the ship Comfort that came to help those affected in New York. I loved that idea and so we went with it. I also added red with solid red napkins styled with blue and white chinoiserie bead napkin rings. The napkin rings are by Designs by Laurel Leigh
One of my favorite parts of this table setting is the blue and white runner in the middle of the table. I love the pattern and also love that it is casual but looks fancy. The runner is made of paper and is from Hester and Cook.
This table scape feels almost like a picnic with the seagrass placemats and the casual plates. But, it also feels special which always makes your family and/or guests feel special. I kept it simple but still made it feel a little more exciting when you all gather around the table.
Another of my favorite parts is the red ribbon design that we did on top of the runner. It was simple to create with a bolt of ribbon cut to fit the table. My daughter and I then cut two strips of ribbon to lay horizontally across the first ribbon. It created a red cross at each end of the table.
I added in gold touches with flatware and drink coasters~ and even added in a little bit of silver with. mini mint julep cups. I am a sucker for my new mini julep cups. I grouped them in the middle of the table on top of a cupcake stand. I also added a few here and there around the table. I loved that they were sporadic.
I wasn’t sure I could pull of a table setting the way that I would like without any flowers- but I actually loved the way it all turned out in the end. It was a creative challenge that makes you think outside the norm- and makes you appreciate the convenience of beautiful flowers year-round.
I decided to use American flags for the centerpiece- it felt very appropriate as our entire country (and world) works together to overcome this very strange moment in history.
There’s nothing like saluting the healthcare heroes who are working so hard to help us each and every day. I am honored to be able to show my appreciation in this small way. They are thought of each day and prayed for each day! They each deserve so much ~ a virtual champagne toast to each and every one.
Happy April FOO Day, Friends! April 1 was just begging to be re-named with these fun ideas for your home using foo (or fu) dogs!
I have to confess that it took awhile for foo dogs to grow on me. As a child, I always thought they looked too scary. Which, is really the point of them after all. They didn’t look like any dog I had ever wanted to pet. With the confusion of a dog that looked like a scary lion, I just didn’t take to them well.
Interestingly enough, my reaction as a child was exactly the emotion that foo dogs were meant to evoke. What is also interesting to me is that they originated in China, and the Chinese refer to them as lions. We Westerners came up with the name “Foo/Fu Dog”.
The purpose of a foo dog was to be a symbolic guardian. With each pair representing a male (typically holding a ball/globe) and a female (typically holding a pup), the pair guarded a home and the occupants inside of it. Originally, foo dogs were large, imposing figures for the outside of the home. As time passed, smaller versions were created for inside the home. And, the smaller versions are what won me over- especially the ones in beautiful colors.
For April FOO Day, I set the table for Foo, Party of Two. I really wanted to just have some fun with this table~ to make it pretty and different. On April 1, it feels like anything goes! I layered seagrass placemats (from Appointments at Five), white and gold dinner plates, and beautiful pink floral salad plates (from Parker Kennedy Living)
For table linens, I used my great-grandmother’s hand-embroidered table scarves. I layered one as a tablecloth and then added one between each plate and seagrass placemat.
I didn’t intend for the table scarves to be used as napkins but instead to be a layer to soften the look between the seagrass and the china. I wanted to add in the soft colors and hand-embroidery to complement the pattern on the china. For napkins, I wanted to have something that was sturdy and stronger, just like the premise behind the symbolism of the foo dog. And so, I chose a classic blue and white stripe~ with a blue and white chinoiserie napkin ring…
Don’t you just love the chinoiserie beaded napkin rings?? I think having the blue and white beads on blue and white napkins offers a really subtle detail. It isn’t as noticeable at first, and so it is a nice surprise to see~ and it’s a way of tying in the origin of the foo dog. The beautiful napkin rings are from Designs by Laurel Lee
To top off the place setting, I placed a turquoise foo dog in the center of the plate. What a fun and unexpected table guest! This particular foo dog is an antique piece from Parker Kennedy Living, but they have similar ones available.
For the center of the table, I added in the floral arrangement that I made from boxwoods and azaleas from our yard. I put the clippings in a glass and then placed the glass inside my square blue and white cache pot.
I really like the bright look of the gold flatware on the table- it plays off the gold in the plates and the cache pot.
The vintage turquoise glasses were the finishing touch and the perfect way to tie it all together. Wouldn’t this be a fun table to set for your friends and family?
No foolin’, I am wishing you a wonderful April Foo Day. I hope that you come back often for fun ideas to make your everyday life at home a bright and cheerful experience! To see more ideas for adding foo dogs to your home decor, stop by join the Foo Party on Instagram too!
Being able to design your own pillows and rugs to fit your home feels almost too good to be true- but June St. George has made it possible for all of us. In 5 easy steps, we can be on our way to having customized pillows and rugs delivered to our doors! And, in one easy step, you can WIN a pillow of your own! See below how to enter…
I am extremely excited to tell you that in honor of celebrating the 2nd birthday of June St. George, we all have a chance to WIN a free, custom pillow of our choice. June St. George has decided to share the love, and one lucky winner will be able to choose a design to order for her/his home! I actually wish I could enter, because I know I would choose a pillow for my daughter’s room! There are bright, colorful options and muted, pastel options. I love them all!
This birthday celebration focuses on the pillows that you can design to fit your home, but I also want to share the rugs that Ally-Catherine designs. You can have your monogram on your rug in a variety of ways- or you can choose to have no monogram at all. Each one is suited to your specific wants! They make a beautiful statement in your home.
The rugs can be made to fit a small area, such as a welcome mat or bath rug- or they can be made to fit an entire room. I love how each one is its own unique design!
When you are ready to design a pillow or rug at June St. George, you simply follow the lead on the website as they walk you through the entire process in 5 steps. You don’t have to have design experience- just a desire to create something unique to you and your home. I love the idea of creating a special piece that adds your own flair (and monogram!).
Remember to enter to win your own customized pillow over on Instagram. Simply follow June St. George and The Party Wagon and tell us your favorite party memory in the comments. I also hope you find something that you love for your home. Supporting small businesses and young entrepreneurs is one of my favorite things! Cheers to Ally-Catherine and her team at June St. George! Happy 2nd Birthday, JSG!
Horse Brass and “Found Objects” made into hand-beaded necklaces are Cara Brown’s signature style- and we have a special sale on both for friends of The Party Wagon!
Cara’s necklaces are hand-crafted after she selects the perfect brass pieces from England. Cara is very choosy when it comes to the brass that she considers for her jewelry. Her selections are based on age, condition, and the story behind each piece.
To complement the brass, Cara sources beads and stones that show-off the beautiful horse brass pieces and hand-knots the pieces together. Each one is owning and wearing a mini work of art with historical significance. If you love mixing antique with a modern twist like I do, you will love the look of these necklaces…
I have a horse brass necklace that has a sun-shape in the middle- I love all of the different designs that Cara Brown finds. I am literally stopped everywhere I go and asked about my necklace. They are unique and fascinating- in addition to elevating every outfit you wear. My horse brass necklace is the best and easiest necklace I have owned.
If you prefer a different size and look other than the horse brass necklace, Cara Brown also has a line that she creates from antique objects that she finds. Cara’s creative eye is always drawn to the most interesting pieces. From the clean lines of the “R” necklace above to the intricate details of owls, mini aquariums, barrettes, and charms…
One of the most charming pieces in this collection that Cara created for us, is the miniature aquarium seen below on the far right…
Here is a close-up view of that aquarium. What a cool piece of jewelry!
The necklaces below have such gorgeous bead details to go along with the antique baubles.
More found objects hand-beaded by Cara…all of these are included in the special sale for friends of The Party Wagon. They are available on a first come, first served basis. Each necklace is a one-of-a-kind.
For my friends who see me quite often, they know I wear my horse brass necklace most everywhere I go. I have enjoyed it so much, and I especially love how it pulls an outfit together. When I don’t have it on, I put it in a bowl to use it as a display accessory in our home. It doesn’t deserve to be in a drawer. 🙂 I travel with it all of the time and enjoy telling people the story of Cara Brown and her creative talents.
To be very transparent, I love being able to share the sale with you all because I have tried out and loved Cara’s necklaces. Cara gifted me the necklace (above) in July, and I have enjoyed wearing it constantly over the past 7 months. When I find something I love, I love sharing it with you all. I suggested to Cara this idea of offering the half-price sale to you because of my genuine love of her craftsmanship and art. This is a collaboration between Cara and me to share her work, and I am not being paid any part of the purchase price when you purchase through me. It is simply my way of thanking Cara for such a wonderful gift and of sharing an opportunity for you.
Cara’s necklaces retail for around $800. She is offering a special sale price to us for $397.50 on the necklaces shown in the photos above. Please leave me a comment or send me an email at lydiamenzies at hotmail dot com if you would like to purchase. I am happy to answer any questions you have. You can also read more about Cara Brown on my site. You can find her online shop at Cara Brown Designs.
Not too long ago, Parker Kennedy Living hosted a live video on Instagram to share how to make floral arrangements using flowers, greenery, and citrus. I videoed the lesson and took photos while Lance and David worked on creating the arrangements. So many people fell in love with the loving cup that he used on his cocktail table shown below…
After receiving so many comments and messages asking to know more about the “trophy cup” and how to find one, I suggested to PKL that we host another video sharing more about vintage and antique loving cups. They have a wonderful history, and they can be used for gorgeous displays in your home.
While Lance and David headed to Saudi Arabia to work on a design project, I headed to antique shops and scoured for loving cups. I found so many beautiful options, and really enjoyed the hunt. I also developed a new appreciation for those who find antique treasures for a living- it is fun but also tiring! Lol! I was surprised at how exhausted I felt after searching in several large antique shops- but, at the end of the day, you realize how you just spent your entire day walking!
I was pretty excited about my haul after a week of hunting, and I couldn’t wait to show Lance. We had decided we would share how lovely they look grouped together and on their own. We had a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and ages of loving cups- and it was so much fun to put all of this together to share with all of you!
Originally, I was focused on finding loving cups that were the size of the one that Lance and David have on their cocktail table. I quickly realized that it was going to be harder to find that exact look. I am glad that I shifted my focus, because finding the smaller versions proved to be really fun. I loved reading the engraving on each one! My absolute favorite said, “Girl of the Year 1967”.
I also really loved finding a silver ice bucket with two handles that offered the same look and feel of a loving cup. It looks beautiful paired with a bronzed loving cup filled with roses…
Loving cups have a long history of being used for special occasions, and they symbolize unity. With two handles typically placed on each side of the cup, the loving cups represent a union of marriage. The couple would each drink from the cup to signify the union of marriage. Throughout history, loving cups were held in high esteem as they were passed down from generation to generation in families.
Because of the special meaning of loving cups, the shape also became a universally used shape for trophies. Finding antique trophies and awards was a treat- I could imagine the life each one had touched along the way and appreciated how special it was to the recipient at one time. It made me want to keep them all and give them a place of honor in my home. 🙂 The trophy cup below on the right became one of my favorites…
As you can see, Lance and I used cut tulips (I found the tulips at Trader Joe’s) for the loving cups- but we also potted mini plants inside of the loving cups. Lance brought moss to use to cover the soil and to give the floral arrangement a polished, finished look.
In the live video that we did, we shared how to style a champagne bar cart. We added fruit, appetizers, and cookies to go along with the champagne. We discussed cheeses that pair well with champagne- along with smoked salmon.
Below, you can see the small trophy that we used for the tulips- I think that would make such a unique bud vase for a desk, powder room, or other small space. It adds character and is a conversation starter, for sure!
Lance added the tea towel to the cart, and I love how it finishes off the bar cart display. Such a simple detail can add so much- just like adding a bow to the top of a package.
Originally, I had not intended to keep the large brass loving cup champagne bucket- but after using it, I couldn’t give it up! I have loved it ever since and I have used it over and over. I often add plants to it when I need it for something other than an ice bucket.
Below, you can see a closer view of the inscription from the champagne company. It is a beautiful piece, as they all are. I love having the large and small versions of loving cups placed around our home. I hope you have also found some interesting ways to use them in your home, too.
For more photos and ideas on setting up a champagne brunch and tea serving cart, see the sister post to this one. I kept going with ideas after Lance and I finished this set-up. I would love to know what you think of loving cups/trophy cups!
Are you guys ever wowed by all of the creativity that is out there for us to enjoy? I am in awe every single day at the talent and creativity that is apparent when I scroll through social media, flip through a magazine, or visit a website. My friend, Lance, is one of those talents that has an eye for creating beauty that will make you want to stop and stare.
He and his partner David Ecton are the talented men behind Parker Kennedy Living- together they create and install incredible interior designs. And, as often happens when you ooze creativity, Lance stumbled upon a way to pour his talents into a custom product that resonates with his fans. A fondness for the design, shape, color, and overall beauty of vintage jewelry led Lance to create custom wreaths that are chock-full of his vintage jewelry finds.
This phenomenal wreath is inspired by Tiffany. I am amazed by the loads of baubles, jewelry, and other objects that are meticulously placed throughout.
As you can imagine, Lance stays extremely busy around the holidays as he customizes each wreath for each order. When asked how he does it during such a busy time, Lance says, …”I love making them because they are all so different- and I love to add tons of details. It is almost therapeutic for me to make them.”
As word spreads about these magnificent wreaths, demand for the wreaths keeps growing. Parker Kennedy Living is currently setting up a permanent workshop/studio at their office to accommodate the needs. Soon, they will be able to offer them year-round.
You never know how each one will look when Lance starts- which is what makes them so unique and special. Some of the wreaths are youthful and sweet and some are sophisticated and sassy. They have personality, style and beauty that draws you in for a closer look each time.
Since I first saw the wreaths, I have told Lance that I would love to do an “art installation” of them in my house- ha! That’s how much I love them. I find them so interesting, and I have seen how much thought and time is spent on each. Recently, Hoffman Media reached out to Lance to ask about doing a feature on his exquisite wreaths. I was excited when Lance asked me to photograph them for the magazine- that mini installation vision was actually going to happen. The image below is the look that Anna Hartzog, at Hoffman Media, wanted to achieve. The wreath over the bar cart is a “Gucci” themed wreath that Lance made and gifted me several years ago…
And this was another option that we played around with while styling the wreaths. I really love all of the colors that combine in this photo…
Hoffman Media requested traditional Christmas colors, and so Lance went to work to create the most beautiful collection of wreaths in red, green, gold, and silver.
We had fun adding the wreaths around our house although we placed the wreath over the stove only for the photo shoot. We definitely don’t suggest putting the wreaths where there is heat or a flame. 🙂
The monochromatic colors are gorgeous in these wreaths and show-off Lance’s ability to create a variety of looks.
There is a touch of new to keep the wreaths current ~and lots of vintage placed with care to tell a story within each one. The wreaths make your mind wander to the history that each holds while enjoying the present-day beauty of it in your own home.
I typically lean toward more gold than silver at Christmas, but this silver wreath has a magic to it. I couldn’t stop photographing it because it was so layered with details. My favorite piece on this wreath is the oversized vintage hair barrette.
I also find the mix of gold and silver on this one to be really striking. It feels so icy and wintry…and gorgeous!
Lance created a green wreath that is traditionally festive, but he took it a step further with the PKL signature twist. The wreath overflows with baubles and personality. The personality that each wreath takes on is a reflection of Lance’s own personality and his enjoyment of nostalgia, whimsy, and sophistication.
Can you believe all of the objects that are put into the wreaths? These photos of the green wreath show a small portion of the wreath, but you can see how much time and effort goes into each one. The combination of textures and colors is amazing (and I especially love that Lance put a spool of green thread on this one- it balances all of the shimmer and is completely unexpected!).
Below is a wreath that has a little bit of a different feel in that it has lots of vintage toys placed throughout the ornaments and jewelry. One of my favorite places to hang this wreath in our home is over the bed in our guest room. The bed is a four-post canopy, and so I used a wreath hanger on the top bar- you could also use a sturdy ribbon.
Lance also has a penchant for creating very playful wreaths out of the most unexpected item- Barbie dolls! His Barbie-themed wreaths have become such a huge hit. The novelty and beauty of them is too hard to resist, and they sell out quickly. You will see why below…they are a stunning conversation-starter!
Notice, below, how Lance found a brunette Barbie and incorporated it into a Barbie wreath made especially for Patricia Altschul. I think the Barbie theme might be Lance’s favorite wreath that he makes. I seem to think everyone he makes becomes my new favorite. Lance says that no matter the theme, his favorite part of making them is the hunt for all of the vintage and antique pieces that he uses. Farther in this post, you will see some of his newest themes- and you will see why it becomes so hard to choose!
If you follow Parker Kennedy Living on Instagram, you will notice that people often remark that they would keep the wreath up year-round. It is understandable how you would want to enjoy them all year- each one is an instant mood-booster like a dose of sunshine!
How funny is that Lance found and incorporated Barbie and Ken together in the wreath below? Do you also notice that he often includes monogrammed jewelry or ornaments? I love how he adds those in when he knows the recipient’s initial.
And, if you prefer traditional red for Christmas, Lance can even make a Barbie wreath in red! Look at those fancy sleeves!
Another hugely popular wreath that Lance has created is his Chanel-inspired wreath. This art piece would be beautiful in a home year round. I can imagine this in a dressing room, vanity, bedroom, or office. High couture that never goes out of fashion, for sure!
Another one of Lance’s newer designs is this “Under the Sea” theme- I can imagine how beautiful and unique this would be in a seaside home. From Palm Beach to Newport to LA, this beauty adds Christmas magic like no other decoration. It is one of my many favorites!
Whimsy, whit, sophistication, glam, glitter, and a whole lot of thought and design talent go into each one of Lance’s creations. Lance says that he loves searching and hunting for all of the vintage and antique pieces that he uses in each. “I am literally on the hunt year-round- always looking for the perfect pieces that I know will work”, says Lance.
It is pretty amazing how quickly things can be transformed with a vision, constant work, lots of sweat, and a deadline! Luckily, with this guest bathroom remodel, I knew how I wanted it to transform from the start. My husband re-designed the layout of the bathroom in CAD and removed everything that was in the original room. Before we began the remodel of this entire home, we made an agreement with the sellers to keep the outside facade the same structurally. We were also bound by many historical preservation association rules. Inside the home, we were able to put our ideas into play for how to redesign the layout to make it work for our family. It was a challenge, but I feel like we were able to restore and remodel to create a fresh look. The guest bathroom was at the top of the list to re-do as it needed new structural support from the ground up. You can see how this bathroom looked when we first started by going herefor Week 1. To follow the progress…you can see Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, and Week 5. And, now, here are the photos of our One Room Challenge “Final Reveal” of our guest bathroom …
For this bathroom remodel, I wanted to have a crisp, white, clean feel to the room to bring it up to date. Because the house was built in 1918, we had to give up on perfect lines and everything being “plumb”. We put in a new foundation under the house and stabilized everything, but we still have the quirks of a home being 100+ years old. I like the idiosyncrasies of a home that is historical- it adds to the charm and also makes us realize not to sweat the small stuff.
One of my favorite pieces in this make-over is the antique mirror that I bought about 11 years ago. It was originally in my home office at our previous house. I have loved it since I laid eyes on it and wanted it to be used and enjoyed in our new home.
I also love the Ashley Longshore painting that I chose for the room. I bought it and kept it in storage until we were ready to move into our home. The houndstooth pattern is one that I have always been drawn to, and I loved seeing it in this painting. What’s funny to me is that the background in the painting is very similar to the drapery fabric I am planning to use in the guest bedroom that adjoins this bathroom. Those two patterns and the pink won me over!
The lighting is also another of my favorites- the sconces and the chandelier complement each other in material and color. As you can see, I like to mix metals, materials, and colors.
My friends at Parker Kennedy Living always have unique finds and beautiful accessories, and so I made a late night run to pick up items that were from their shop. These helped me put the final touches on the room. I added the new accessories to the guest bath and felt like I needed to scale back on the countertop decor. I snapped a photo and sent it to them, and Lance suggested a few items to edit. It was just what I needed to hear and helped finalize the look I was trying to achieve- clean lines with lots of personality tossed in the mix.
I love how this room has turned out. It is bright and airy and happy. We were able to preserve the feel of an old home while updating everything in it. I love the combination of old and new…from the antique mirror to the pop art on the walls, it was fun to watch the transformation~ and it’s even more fun to live in it completed. There is also something special about doing this project with my husband and knowing we survived it! Lol! My parents always jokingly said not to hang wallpaper with your spouse because it will cause a big argument- and so I am extra proud that we accomplished this home restoration, and I have enjoyed sharing with you the first room that we fully finished!
There are so many really wonderful homes to see at the One Room Challenge- everyone is sharing the finished room that they decorated. I have started looking at each one, and I am loving what I am seeing. I’m excited to see the rest over the weekend when I can take a virtual tour through more of the rooms. I hope you will stop by and see all of the hard work that has paid off in beautiful room after beautiful room! Also, thank you to Linda, creator of ORC, and Better Homes and Gardens, sponsor of the ORC. What a great community!
Wall Paint ~ White Custom Mix ~ I really wanted a glossy, lacquered paint but was convinced to go with less shine- I don’t know exactly what our painter put together to give it a little shine.
Thanksgiving table decoration ideas that are easy to create are my favorites. I had a chance to set our Thanksgiving table for the first time this past year as my husband and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house. In the past, Thanksgiving lunch has been at my parents’ house or my aunt and uncle’s house. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we would celebrate with my mom-in-law at her house. This time, we invited everyone to our house for a big ole’ feast. All of the moms in our families are great cooks, and so they offered to bring their favorite Thanksgiving side dishes so that all of the family and the family-favorites would be together under one roof! We were in charge of cooking the turkey and a few sides- which left plenty of time for me to set the tables and get the house ready.
When our family arrived, we had light appetizers to enjoy while everyone trickled in- and I prepared a punch bowl with a Thanksgiving cocktail…
For the cranberry cocktail, I served it in a brass punch bowl so that everyone could serve themselves. I had the bar cart ready to serve when they arrived and added the ice ring to the bowl last so that it looked its best.
I wanted to add foliage or flowers around the house, and so I put cabbage in my Majolica pots and set them out. This was such an easy way to add greenery – and I could plant the cabbage later. 🙂 . I like to decorate with food items for Thanksgiving to go along with the idea of a bounty of a harvest.
For that same reason, I chose pepper plants to use as the centerpiece for the dining table. I put them in my dough bowl and added pumpkins and ornamental corn. I loved the flowing, nonchalant grouping of the pepper plants and pumpkins paired with the more formal look of the roses and hydrangeas.
I have never been a big fan of orange roses until recently. My friend, Lance (who is so talented with flower arranging), won me over with his beautiful use of them. After seeing how pretty they look arranged, I decided to try them to add in the traditional orange for Thanksgiving. I paired them with lime green hydrangeas, and I loved how they turned out…
I have always enjoyed the history of why we celebrate Thanksgiving- the positive sides of the celebration…surviving the harsh conditions, growing and thriving in spite of all of the setbacks, coming together in unity and friendship, the teaching and learning that was an integral part of the journey. For this table, I wanted to have small touches of history and harvest and that is how the idea of the antique dough bowl with plants, corn, and pumpkins came to be. A little bit of a rustic look coupled with more formal touches represented the history and the present day. I went with the same idea for the dishes- using antique plates (made in England) paired with present-day white plates (designed in New England).
Name cards are also a nice touch to add to a table so that everyone knows which place is just for them. It eliminates the sometimes awkward moments of trying to seat everyone at the same time- it takes the guess work out of “where should I sit” for your guests and makes the table feel a little more special. I also like to add more than one set of salt and pepper shakers to the table for convenience for guests. Below you can see the two small turkeys…they are perfect for adding a whimsical touch that also makes the table feel warm and welcoming rather than formal and stuffy. You can also see that I tied a plaid, silk ribbon around each napkin to add the colors that I wanted to add. This is always a pretty and simple way to tie in the colors of any table setting or party.
Here are my y suggestions for creating a look you love for your own Thanksgiving table…
Start with a tablecloth and build from there. I knew I wanted a tablecloth with a white background with green because I wanted the overall look to be light and colorful. Decide if you want light and bright or darker and moody.
Choose a charger that coordinates and gives you a different texture or color. I chose brown rattan because I like how they grounded the table and kept it from feeling overly formal. The brown also coordinated well with the dough bowl in the center of the table and the chairs all around the table.
Choose the plates that you want to use and layer them to add interest to the table. I decided to only go with a salad and dinner plate because I liked the design of the green plate and wanted it to be what we noticed first in the place settings.
Coordinate the napkins. Again, I liked the lighter shade of brown for the napkins and I really loved the green border. I wanted to have the napkins monogrammed, but opted for tying a ribbon around them instead. The ribbon added color and interest.
Decide on the centerpieces and be creative when choosing plants or blooms. Remember to add fruits, veggies, herbs for different colors and textures. Or, if you are doing a more formal centerpiece, add something such as berries or small branches in seasonal colors to counterbalance the formality.
Choose glasses that coordinate or blend well. Stemmed glasses often look the prettiest.
Add silverware/utensils- if you have different types, choose the best color or material that suits your table. Some of the types that look great on a table are silver, gold, bamboo, Mother of Pearl.
Make place cards or be creative with name cards. You can put them in fruit with a skewer or add them to a napkin ring. Simple or a little extra- either way shows your thoughtfulness.
Add personality to the table with mismatched or miniature salt and pepper shakers. Or, add an interesting salt bowl or butter dish. It is okay, and often more fun, to have a few conversation starters at the Thanksgiving table.
Make sure everyone has enough space at their place setting and can sit and chat comfortably.
Now that you have the adult table set, remember to make a special table for the kids, too! All of the “kids” at the kids’ table at our house ranged in age from 13-25 and so I set more of a “young adult table”. I wanted it to be casual, comfortable, and pretty. I also thought a more minimal approach would be a good idea. 🙂
I kept the centerpiece simply with a pretty orchid and bowls of acorns. The tabletop is mirrored and I added a gold confetti charger and then the white plates with green cabbage leaf plates. I topped the plates with pumpkin mugs or pumpkin bowls to use with the seafood soup we served.
I hope you have found inspiration in some of these ideas! I enjoy mixing and matching and finding a pretty balance in all of the choices. Most importantly, I love how Thanksgiving brings us together to catch up, reminisce, enjoy a meal, and celebrate togetherness. It is one of my favorite holidays! Happy Thanksgiving!
Time is winding down until the One Room Challenge for Fall 2019 is complete! I wish I could say the room is complete for the guest bathroom remodel that we are doing! Lol! The biggest challenges are finished and now the final touches are trying to come together right down to the wire. We had one big glitch, but we have made peace with it. 🙂 Mainly, the decorative touches that I sometimes spend too much time deciding on are the ones that are slowing me. But here is what we have so far…
Because of the age of the house (built in 1918), I liked the idea of simple white subway tile for the backsplash and surround. I wanted a crisp, white, and clean feel. The cabinets went in and then the tile was installed.
Then the floor tile was laid…which is where our big glitch happened. Let’s just say we left the tile guy by himself too long. Ugh- a little wonky- and he ran out of tile that was carefully measured and ordered.
My husband came to the rescue and was able to fix the problem. In one of the previous week’s posts, I mentioned that I wanted to have 1918 in the the middle of the decorative tile. I let that idea go, but maybe one day I will find a way to incorporate it somewhere in the house. I am just happy we have a new floor!
Next on the list was the glass for the shower. That went a lot smoother than the flooring. 🙂
We bought and installed a bamboo shade for the window in the bathroom. I am trying to like it, and it is growing on me. But I just don’t love it. I would like to have a fabric shade or something that is prettier than the bamboo. I have ordered the fabric and now we will have to see if it arrives in time for me to have the shade made. My problem was choosing the right fabric to coordinate with another fabric that I want to eventually use in the adjoining bedroom.
So…next week will be what the One Room Challenge calls “The Big Reveal”! I am really excited to put the final touches in place and share it. You can also see many other fantastic rooms coming together when you visit the ORC website. There are so many talented, creative designers and bloggers working hard on getting their rooms completed! Go check it all out! Thank you to Linda (the creator of the ORC) and to Better Homes and Gardens (the sponsor of the ORC). See you all next week!! Thanks for stopping by!
It is time for our weekly progress check in for the One Room Challenge. As I mentioned in the previous weeks, my husband and I bought a house that was ready for a complete make over. The home was built in 1918 and, as part of the purchase, we agreed that we would keep the front facade and most of the home as it was when it was built. We were also bound by strict housing codes in our area.
After securing the foundation and beginning to add a basement, my husband redesigned some of the layout on the main floor and then redesigned the attic to create more livable space. This is, no doubt, the biggest project we have ever taken on. We have re-done every room in the house (and still going), and for the One Room Challenge I am sharing our guest bathroom. I hope to share more of the rooms as we go along, but for today…let’s get back to where we left off with progress on our guest bath. The “old” is out and the “new” is in!
Here’s the old…
Here is the “new”…
The cabinets are in and the sink and commode have been replaced. The tile floor that you see in the photo below is original to the house. We are replacing it with a small tile to keep a similar feel but to be fresh, new, and clean! The original tile was put right onto the concrete floor…we also had to correct the sloping in this floor by securing it from underneath the floor.
My husband’s to do list looked more like this at this point… HVAC, electrical, insulation, sheetrock, tile for walls and floors (we found these together), and paint.
My to-do list consisted of faucet hardware, light fixtures, window treatment, accessories. My list seems way more fun than his, poor guy.
I showed you the brass hardware that I love for this room last week. Here are the lights that I found that I really love…
I fell for these light fixtures when I saw them on Oyster White Interiors’ Instagram feed. I think I am going to go for it with this. It is fun and unexpected- so let’s do it! 🙂
I know this is a short update…I will have more to share next week! Be sure to go see all of the other rooms that are being transformed over at The One Room Challenge! Also, thank you to Better Homes and Gardens for sponsoring the ORC! You can also see the previous weeks of this project here…Week One, Week 2, Week 3.
See you next week! Thank you for stopping by to see the progress!!
Whew! Sometimes things get a little crazy with home remodels, and this little room was big on drama for a minute. Here is where we left off last week…demolition of the guest bathroom (you can see how it looked when we bought the house here). You can also find Week 2 here. Below you can see the ivory tile with the decorative pink border that was removed from the bathroom.
After the tile came down, we also took down the wall that was at the end of the bathtub. That wall blocked a lot of the natural light and so it immediately opened up the room when the wall came down. Even in all of the mess there was literally light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
The photo above shows the floor of the bathroom that was the top layer floor. The photo below shows the tile that we uncovered when we took up the top layer. The smaller tile is the original flooring that was put down 100 years ago. The original tile was placed directly into the cement floor. For us to be able to put in new tile, we will have to add leveler to the floor and put the tile on top of it. The original tile floor is pretty, but the floor is also sinking and so we need to redo it all. Speaking of sinking…that is where the drama came in. The very, very heavy cast iron tub had a small leak in it over the years (decades?) and the original floor joists were made of wood. The moisture + the wood attracted termites…and the termite damage caused the floor under the tub to become unstable. I am not sure if I have mentioned this yet, but we also had the house lifted in order to build an entirely new foundation and to add a basement. With the house lifted 6 feet, we were able to go in and repair and replace floor joists before the entire tub ended up, unintentionally, in the basement. That was slightly terrifying to know that at any time it could have fallen through. Needless to say, when I say “we” fixed this room, I really mean my husband and several excellent and brave subcontractors. I stayed far, far away and basically said lots of prayers for them all! 🙂
With that stressful piece of the puzzle under control. one of the main goals at this stage of the remodel is rerouting the plumbing. We want to change the plumbing from one end of the bathtub to the other end so that the shower head and faucet will come from the wall that connects to the guest bedroom. This exciting photo below shows the very old mixture of galvanized and copper plumbing pipe from 100 years ago that we removed. 🙂
I don’t know a lot about the plumbing behind the walls, but I enjoy choosing the fixtures that go along with the plumbing. I want to maintain the historical nature of the house and carry it through with the vanity fixtures- while also adding in fresh, new details that will mix the old with the updated. My goal is a great balance of historical preservation and youthful liveliness. One of my favorite pieces that feels historical is this bridge lavatory faucet from Newport Brass- I love the shapes of all of the pieces…
I also love the porcelain taps on this brass faucet…
I found the flooring design that I also think will be a good fit for the room. I love the Greek key pattern and so it was easy to decide once I saw it at the tile shop. The pattern is classic and just pretty to look at each day. I really want to put 1918 in the tile somehow…
These are the details that I get excited about- deciding on the cosmetic touches- while my husband is thrilled with the fact that we survived the bathtub adventure and that the plumbing is all new. I am really thankful for his knowledge and experience during this renovation- he has said a million times that tearing it down and starting over would be a lot easier and smarter…but we made a promise to the previous owners to keep the house with its original facade and basic structure. I am actually really happy to be able to preserve an old home, and I am thankful my husband is willing! His basic uniform for this project- dirt with a side of more dirt. 🙂
And so, that concludes the Week 3 Update for the One Room Challenge- as you can see we took on an entire house at one time and I am focusing on the design of one of the rooms. The guest bathroom is actually one of my favorites- I think because I have known what I wanted it to look like since day one and I’ve enjoyed executing the design. For the next three weeks, I will focus more on the design and watching the parts and pieces come together. Cabinets, floor, paint, and lighting are next up on the list to share with you. Fingers crossed that I can get the fabric delivered in time to have the drapery made for the window. Thank you for checking in each week- and be sure to see all of the other rooms being transformed at the One Room Challenge. Thank you to Linda for hosting such a fun way to motivate us all to get one room completely finished!! Please check back each week and see the progress! Have a great week!
Ah, the dirty, dusty, demo week is always a sight to behold! The whole concept of getting worse before it gets better is so accurate here. But, thank goodness for demo because that gives us a clean (ok, dusty) slate to start fresh! For those of you who are new to my blog and my Instagram, my husband and I have been restoring a 1918 house for more than 2 years. We are finally in the design stages, and so I am sharing the design process that we are finally tackling. I am retroactively sharing the original state of the house when we bought it and this demolition phase. You can see the way the bathroom looked when we bought the house here. And, below…here is how it looked after we removed the tiles, the shower wall, the wallpaper, the ceiling, the sink, commode, etc.
You can see that we took down the floating wall where the bathtub ended. We have wanted to move the plumbing to the other wall so that the shower head and faucet will be at the other end. Our plan for this room has been to replace the bathtub with a shower only and use glass to open up the space rather than having an entire wall that blocks the light from the window.
Also, the bathtub is SO HEAVY! Cast iron is no joke and that sucker is hard to move! These photos bring back so many memories and make me realize how far we have come! I can’t wait to tell you more about the saga of the bathtub in my next update. Whew- sometimes things get scary when you undertake a huge restoration!
Just for reference, here is how the bathroom looked before demo…
You have probably seen all you want of the demo process, and so I will show you what my inspiration board has looked like all along. My “inspiration board” is also known as “texts I send my husband so he understands what I’m going for”. LOL And his texts back to me usually look like :-/ I told you in my last post that I am obsessed with black and white tile floors. I really love typography mosaics in tile- there is something so beautiful and meaningful about them. Little works of art on the floor- the fine details are always my favorite ones! Here is the feel I was going for…
What I would love to have on our guest bathroom floor is the year 1918 in black tiles on a white floor. I would like for the year to be outlined with a decorative pattern. I love to give a nod to the year the house was built. Other ideas on my list that I want to add to the guest bathroom…
~I want to go with white subway tile to keep it simple and because I really like the clean lines. It is trendy right now but I also hope it will be relevant in decades down the road as it has been around forever. If it isn’t, well…it was just subway tile and we can change it without feeling too terrible about it!
~I also mentioned in the last post that I want to paint the walls white and have white cabinetry. I think it will make the accessories in the room stand out. For knobs and pulls and other hardware, I really love brass and/or gold. The hardware is so good looking in the inspo photo below…
And, I really want to hang an Ashley Longshore painting in the guest bathroom. I am always drawn to her vibrant use of colors and the beauty of her Audrey Hepburn paintings. She posted one on Instagram that jumped out at me and I was able to get it for this room. I saved it in its box for over a year. The photo below is when I visited with Ashley at her show in Atlanta…it gives you a sense of her bold and bright artwork.
That is what I have had planned for this room for quite a while now and it is fun to see it all coming together. I am happy to share the remodeling process at the One Room Challenge each week as we actually completely finish this room. All of our rooms feel like they need to be a part of this challenge! It motivates me to get it done! Please be sure to check out all of the other rooms that are being transformed over at One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda Weinstein.
See you all next week for more photos of the remodel and redesign process!