This Week's Finds!

I've been seeing so many fun little things lately, little things that add big personality to a space. I thought I'd share some of my favorites from the week with ya'll!  

These votive holders ( seen in BHG's August issue). They are replicas of nautical flags - aren't they awesome? :)  They'd be great in a little boy's room. Or even 1 or 2 in an accessory tray in an entry.



These dreaaaaaaamy plaid throws by Faribault Mill. I LOVE the muted colors.



Fantastic swan arm chairs at an antiques store. The legs need some paint, but other than that - kinda perfect. 



A pair of chinoiserie garden stools. They'd make for great indoor side tables as well, like in the picture below


Bringing the outdoors, inside 



These all white busts would be perfect in a room that's mixing antiques and modern.  



This from a couple weeks ago -  a cheery chartreuse stool sitting pretty under a stack of furniture! 



I like the clean look of this tufted cocktail ottoman at Living Spaces.  They've given the space a  beachy vibe in this setting, but I think it'll look equally good in a more formal setting (with darker legs though)..



Also at Living Spaces, this acrylic & gold tray table. A great example of bringing in big style with a small footprint.  Setting two of these with some flowers & refreshments would create a welcoming ambiance for guests!



And lastly,  I bought this beautiful set of 6 stem glasses for a total STEAL. I used to have a set of green stem glasses I was in love with and they broke over the years. I've been on the lookout for a similar shade ever since. I finally found these with pretty rope stems. I can't wait to use them in a Fall table!



Anything you've seen lately you really loved?!  Something fun that you wanted to bring straight home with you (or had to resist bringing home??  story of our lives!  ;-)) 

From Inspiration to Design

I came across this fantastic Better Homes & Gardens cover not too long ago (it's from the archives, a couple years old!) But this room is still so fresh and relevant,  I thought I'd use this as an inspiration image and show how to take inspiration from a room - maybe you like the overall scheme or certain elements  - and bring it into your own space.

For instance, with this room -

design by Erin Gates / Elements of Style

design by Erin Gates / Elements of Style


I love the clean lines of the bedding and found a similar bordered sheet set in porcelain blue. To capture the navy / orangey-coral scheme, I added on these bright orange throw pillows. The brown faux fur blanket is reminiscent of the the warmer tones in the room, as is the jute rug. These fantastic white night stands seen on Ebay have curved legs similar to their inspiration. I took the fun leopard print from the bench and extended that out to accent frames. Punching in some color with a statement hot pink pillow (that also has a fabulous hand-painted leopard - two birds one stone! ).  

It's fun to look at a room, analyze why you like it and then go pick out your inspirations!

headboardsheetspillows / night stand / jute rug /  faux fur throw blanket / ivory throw / table lamp / accent chair / Dana Gibson leopard pillow - pink / mirror / leopard frames / palm leaf candle holders / flowers - current crush - hydrangeas!

What do you think? :)

Inspired Outdoor Dining

This week's post is all about taking it outside!  

Going back in time a little... picnics were a HUGE part of my childhood. Every couple months, we'd go on one big, glorious, family picnic (we were about 30 of us!). We lived in Dubai, a city that is insanely hot in summer (too hot to be outside) but super beautiful in fall / winter / early spring.  It was sort of a reverse picnicking season!

My favorite park to go to was the Dubai Creek Park with it's sprawling lawns and huge shady trees. And my favorite food was barbecued chicken and this delicious French Toast (we'd call it "slices" for some reason) that one of my uncles made for us kids.  

You'd see many families sitting around enjoying the breeze, playing board games or just chatting up. But inevitably, we'd be the loudest, most boisterous of the lot. 

You could hear us laughing, arguing, pontificating and backslapping from a mile away! Food was being passed around, an angsty toddler or two was on the lose, some kid somewhere just got struck by a ball and another one was climbing the jungle gym like there was no tomorrow! It was mayhem. A wonderful kind of mayhem :) The parents had a hard time keeping track of who was where, but the sun would set and somehow, magically, we'd all end up as a whole again, trotting tiredly back to our cars. It was a glooooorious time. 

Tis being the season for outdoor entertaining, picnicking and the likes,  I was very inspired to pull together a couple of formal and informal tablescapes for anyone taking it outside & making some equally glorious memories with your family & friends this summer!  I've discovered some really good looking and budget-friendly disposables for the season and there's lotsa fun (and not to mention, kid-friendly) melamine out there as well. Creating an inviting outdoor setting has never been easier! :)  




Breezy & Beachy

I liked this seaside, beachy tablescape I saw at the mall the other day... I liked that the simple white dinnerware was combined with a whole lot of texture (rattan, wood, mesh etc.)


You could create a beachy casual setting of your own, but maybe with a little more color?  

I started with this beautiful coral dinner plate (it's melamine) and added some texture with a mesh table cover, rattan chargers and wood flatware.  

Hints of gold & these neat table lanterns "pick up"  the setting. I especially LOVE the small gold tea light holders - spread 'em across a table and they'll create a perfect ambiance for an outdoor setting. Bringing in a a hint of blue with these cracked teal glasses. 

coral dinner plate / natural rattan charger  / nautical net table throw  /  beachwood flatware / starfish place card holders (too cute! from Etsy)  / linen striped napkins /  gorgeous table lanterns (love these to bring some height into the setting) /  cracked teal stem glasses teal / gold tea light holders /  tropical stargazer lillies in a vase as centerpieces



Pretty & Posh

These rose plates by Caspari instantly caught my eye. They're elegant & fun, and they're disposable people!  



Quite perfect for a semi-formal setting..

Throw on a white tablecloth and line with this fancy-looking (but totally disposable!) place settings - lime green and white dinner plates, paired with the rose dessert plates, and some fancy gold flatware.

Scatter chartreuse tea light holders across the table, and add on a beautiful peony centerpiece to  play up the plates. I LOVE this  "First Come First Served" acrylic pitcher by Kate Spade! It's such a classic & so fun.  Perfect for keeping you guests glasses topped with lemonade.



white tablecloth /  burlap pleated table runner /  green dinner plates (disposable),  rose dessert plates (disposable), gold flatware (disposable), paper cups, paper napkins,  Kate Spade acrylic pitcher,    chateruse tealight holder


Classic Blue & White

I came across this beautiful indoor blue-and-white setting and fell instantly in love with it. This table is so stunning, as is the place setting, and the yellow flowers. This could easily be something you take outside!



I was very inspired to do some blue & white for a picnic :) Yet still keeping it classic...




2 easy tips for outdoor entertaining

Here's a couple tips I've picked up from the first lady of Southern design and decor (the wonderful Bunny Williams), on how to take even the most casual setting up a notch and make your guests feel a little extra special...

The Napkin Fold.  Make a quick fold towards the inside at the top of the napkin, then flip the ends to the outside. It's super easy to do and makes for a great finishing touch even for some casual dining.


Floral Centerpieces  x  Hurricanes.  I love this idea for adding some pzzaz to your outdoor table. Arrange a floral centerpiece with seasonal flowers/plants. Flank by hurricanes. The hurricanes should be tall enough that people can still see each other across the table. Etsy has a bunch of  nice vintage hurricane choices!


Statement Pieces

One piece of design advice that has really stayed with me (this one from the inimitable Erin Gates) is this - pick one item you absolutely, die-hard LOVE, something that makes a statement or has an interesting shape or color, and build the rest of the room around it. It's really good advice.  

Right now there's 2 things I'm in love with that I feel make for great design elements in a room.

1. The bold & beautiful federal eagle mirror.  It's definitely statement-making and so so versatile. 


You can put it above the fireplace, in an entryway....


Up the stairs... literally place in anywhere, and it works. It just takes the space up a notch.


2. X benches! They're such an EASY way to bring some style into a space. Especially smaller spaces like an entryway (and they serve a purpose - sit down and wear your shoes people :P)  They're great in the living room too for some extra seating, apart from being so visually interesting.

I love, love these malachite pattern X-benches designed by Erin Gates (from her book Elements of Style). Never get old to look at. Aren't they stunning?

x benches banana leaf.jpg


And here's one that has both my favorites in one place! 

What do you think? Any of these call out to you? :)


Image Credits: Desert Domicile,  Haus And Home, Cup Half Full,  The Gathered Home, Element of Style,  Laurel Home,  Bright on the day, No 29 Design


MET Gala Inspiration

The MET Gala happened last week and of course it was a fashion blitz and a media extravaganza. Everyone who's anyone pontificated on all that went down on the red carpet! What caught my attention though was the interior decor and the TABLESCAPES :)

This year's gala celebrated the work of designer Rei Kawakubo. I liked that the decor was graphic yet very elegant. That gorgeous blue & white china was THE perfect complement to the popping pinks & reds. Also, the sake cups were a nice touch.

I thought it' be fun to pull together a tablescape inspired by the gala, but one that's easier on the purse strings. Have a look at the pictures and then check out my take on it below!



My take on it - a little classic, a little modern & a lotta fun:


1  The china at the gala instantly reminded me of these blue & white appetizer plates

2,3  Pair them with gold & white chargers & dinner plates and you have a winner. Can't go wrong with the classic blue, white & gold! 

4,11  A red table runner  & fuchsia pink napkins ($10 for 6!) bring in that pop of color. You could pair the runner with these placemats which make for a nice neutral base for the setting. Or you could totally just go with a red tablecloth if you REALLY want to bold it up!

5,8  These gold hammered napkin rings (love these from Target) & sparkly confetti flutes, are perfect for bringing in hints of gold.

6,9  Fresh flowers would obviously be amazing, but these faux roses  and candle ring centerpieces get the job done :)

7  And my absolute favorite - marbled candles!  I also found these tapered candles on Etsy which actually work better as a centerpiece, but I prefer the color of the former. 

10  And finally this navy blue planter, taking inspiration from the black sake cups & gorgeous navy blue & gold flatware at the gala. (love this Cutipol Goa flatware. the price tag is a bit insane but they are real cool).


Image Credits: Vogue