A Little Bit French, A Little Bit Southwest…and A Little Newlywed Game?


I’m blessed in many ways, but one of those ways is my wonderful friendships.  My family is fortunate enough to be in a group friendship with four other families.  We’ve all been friends for a dozen years or more – some as many as 20 or more.  We’ve been through thick and thin – watched each others children grow up, graduate, leave for college, come home, get “real jobs”, get married and have babies.  And one way we support each other is showers…..for everything.   Weddings, babies….you name it.  But, one unfortunate young couple was so busy before their wedding nuptials, and our schedules were so hard to coordinate we finally gave up and opted for a “Newlywed Partay” instead.  So we waited until after the big day had passed and all the hoopla had settled back down and finally were able to celebrate. 

Our good friend Barbie opened up her beautiful home for the event.


And this is where the little bit French comes it.


She has a spectacular home with a wonderfully large living room filled with antiques, great textures, French furnishings…..and a touch of Southwest. Notice the picture above her fireplace? An unusual mix, but it works beautifully


Barbie graduated from college with three degrees, one of which was interior design, so notably reflected in her gorgeous home!



If you look closely you can see our group of “moms” in this picture she keeps on display. Our group nickname is the “Rita’s”.  (We came up with that one day while sipping on margaritas on a hot Texas summer afternoon years ago.  Senioritas sipping on margaritas.  Get it?!)  All the hubbies and kids refer to us as “the Rita’s” - and have for years.


Another little touch of France here with these cool wall accessories on the way to the den.  Notice her window dressings? It’s berry vine.  How creative is that!?


When you move into their den/game room you see where the main Southwest Theme really comes in.  Look at this great paneling.  Barbie and Cindy (another Rita) did this technique themselves.  Doesn’t it look cool?



I had to throw in her cool kitchen backsplash.  Very cool.


And, I’m incredibly jealous she’s managed to keep her backyard looking amazing in this stifling Texas heat.



We did what we moms do best – created a great spread of food, some catered by the fabulous Woody B’s Barbecue and some made by us.



After a great meal we moved to the living room – with the “newlyweds” front and center - to have some fun and play our own version of the Newlywed Game!  Just a fun little something to put them on the spot! 


Barbie put me in charge of the game so I headed out to one of my favorite places to gather the props – The Dollar Store! – and picked up these signs.  Then I printed off their names and glued them on.



I bought these baby award ribbons used for baby showers and called them the “High Five Spouse Award” for the winning spouse!


I bought these note pads for $1.00 each (Love the Dollar Store!) and changed out the front cover to make the “contestant pads”.


This is where they wrote their answers.


Myself, my hubby, my son and his girlfriend came up with the questions….


Complete with a score board.


We sat them down on opposite sides of the room (with flower lei’s) and started the questions….


The spectators sat back and enjoyed the show…..


We had some laughs…..


And, more laughs watching them struggle with questions most of us “older marrieds” couldn’t answer either….


And, in the end – Maripat was the winner!


But, we had mercy on Holston and gave him a “High Five Spouse Award”, too!!!


Next they opened their long awaited “Rita” gift….


Matching white monogrammed robes. 

Aaaaaaaahhhhhh, newlyweds…..so sweet!

So there you have it….a little decorating and a little fun!

And as always…

Happy Decorating!


French, Italian, And Swedish Furnishings: Does It Get Any Better Than That?


If you like a mix of European pieces to give your home interest – and that cozy, inviting feel of European decor – take a look at these pieces by Leslie Taylor.  She has a diverse selection of French, Italian and Swedish furniture that will get your heart to pitter-pattering in a hurry.  If you’re like me you will want it all!


 This Traditional Swedish piece has a feminine vibe with it’s creams, taupe’s and hint of blue on a white wash frame.  Doesn’t it look squishy comfy?  Gorgeous!!!!

130_DSC_0014If you lean towards the opulent how about this amazing Traditional French bed in your master retreat  that’s my fancy word for bedroom!  Would you feel like a queen sleeping in something like this?  I know I would!



 Notice all the detail work in these great looking high back Tara Shaw arm chairs.  Mmmmm….love ‘em.


For a more contemporary feel how about this linen Antwerp arm chair?  Isn’t this style interesting and fun?!



 This slat back Swedish bench is a wonderful, versatile piece.  This would add interest and charm to almost any space.


 I love this antique queen canopy bed.  Another piece to make you feel like a queen! I like the white coverlet, antique pillows and intricate throw as well.  How divine!


 She calls this her “hairy mirror”.  How funny and fun is that?  Great conversation piece and great look!


These large vintage Trumeau mirrors are amazing.  Wouldn’t you love to have a pair of these????

There is nothing more elegant and glam than a Traditional European space.  There is just something so regal and elegant, yet cozy, charming and warm about this style.  It lends character and depth – a feeling of history, comfort and interest – to a space like no other.    Is this a style you could see in your own home?  For me the answer is…..yes!

Happy Decorating!

Define Your Style: Interesting Bathroom Idea’s In Decidedly Different Themes


Again, in honor of National Kitchen and Bath Month I’m focusing on the bathroom today.  The master bath is another extremely important space in the house in terms of re-sell.  Why not make it beautiful and enjoyable while you are living there and add value to home for re-sell as well?  Remember to define your style and pay careful attention to detail.  It’s the details that make the difference.  Take a look at some of the interesting bathroom idea’s from House Beautiful. 

5-Wolf-0209-xlg-46904732-7481006 If you are contemporary something like this might make you sigh with a happy smile.  Would you like to soak in this fabulous tub?



Do you have a bent towards the rustic?  Or unusual?  Do you like a conversation piece to wow your guests?  What about this unconventional rustic bathroom?


0610-bath-mirrored-furniture-deOr are you more opulent?  You like the glitz, glamour and bling.  Maybe this Opulent French bathroom is something you’d like to see yourself in.



Would a traditional bathroom lure you in for a dreamy bath?  Maybe you’d prefer a more traditional look, but with a bit of a twist.  The addition of the black floor, black granite and bold stripes give this bathroom a modern traditional vibe.


12-warmth-bath-1107-xlg-23883405Do you prefer a modern twist on a country style?  Perhaps this modern country spa like retreat appeals to you. 



If you tend to like minimal clutter and the modern flair you might be most comfortable in this eclectic modern space.


bathroom-wallpaper-sink-0710-bathofthemonth-14-deThe wallpaper and country accents in this charming space may be just what you’re after.  If so you lean towards classic country.

                                                                                       Images by House Beautiful

Whatever your style you can make it happen in your home.  This is another area where hiring a professional would be a very good idea.  They are skilled at coming up with a polished plan, and paying careful attention to the details that will accentuate and define your style.  So give that idea some serious thought before you begin.

Have fun and happy decorating!

The Creative Kitchen: Great Idea’s For Your Home


Since October is National Kitchen and Bath Month I’m going to largely concentrate on these specific areas of your home for the next few weeks.  I will continue to blog about other things and other areas, too, but in honor of  NKABM  I will focus each week on these very important, personal spaces in particular.  Hopefully this month’s focus will give you some wonderful ideas for the kitchen and baths in your own home.  Today I want to concentrate on the kitchen.  The kitchen is probably the most important, most frequently used space in the home so giving careful attention to detail here is highly recommended.  This is not the place to skimp.  Not only is a grand, interesting, charming kitchen great for gathering with family and friends it is also an extremely important space to consider if you decide to put your house on the market. Whether you are a cook or not everyone wants a fabulous kitchen!


Blue And White Take a look at this fabulous kitchen with the incredible blue and white wall and barrel ceiling.  Consider all the interesting details here that make this such a warm, inviting space.  Notice all the textures and mix of colors?  The terra-cotta tiles, the iron stools, the stained island, the white cabinets.  All this mixing and matching is what gives this kitchen its charm.  It’s important to remember this for your own space.


Soft Blue Kitchen

How about this charming kitchen with its soft blues and whites and hardwood floors?  Notice the country charm with the farm table look for the bar and all the little country bar stools.  How cute is that?  The distressed white washed cabinets framed in the blue look wonderful as well as the glass front cabinets and row of pendant lighting.  Great look!



Okay, now…..talk about creative and cozy!  Check out the unique details in this space.  The shaped tiles on the floor, the interesting island, the busy, colorful backsplash, the soft green cabinets.  And, of course that amazing ceiling!  Wonderful, warm, unique and inviting.


This interesting, eclectic kitchen has a multitude of unusual elements.  The rather simple cabinetry and rustic island paired with the rather ornate, colorful backsplash.  The somewhat modern looking barstool with the country details on the island and simple pot rack hanging above gives the space character.  And the diagonal wood and marble floor lend a fun, unexpected twist.


This wonderful kitchen is ultra charming with it’s French flair.  The large space with it’s incredible vent-a-hood, huge urn filled with flowers and unique island exudes interest, warmth and charm.  Again, take notice of all the textures they’ve used in this space….the iron, the tin hood, the hardwood floors, etc.  All of these elements evoke charm, charm and more charm. 

white-brown-kitchenI think this brown and white kitchen is a vibrant, fun, “happy” space.  I love the checkerboard floor turned on a diagonal.  The chocolate walls with the stark white cabinets are hip and “happening!” and give a country kitchen a very modern, updated vibe.  Notice the backs of the chairs are monogrammed and the brown banding with the simple white shades give the windows punch. 


4-kitchen-otm-0508-xlg This eclectic space combines country charm with modern elements.  The wood floors, the distressed, rustic cabinetry and country table paired with the modern chairs is the perfect blend of the two distinctly different styles.  The clean, bare windows give off a modern vibe and the rustic lighting helps anchor the space’s modern country atmosphere.

If you are in the market or mood to re-model or enhance your kitchen take careful time to consider what “style” and colors you would like to see in your home.  Take the time to peruse magazines and books (and my blog!) and compile all your pictures and notes in your decorating file.  I suggest calling a professional for help with this tricky space as it can be a bit challenging.  Be brave and daring and don’t hold back.  Make this space as detailed, interesting, charming and creative as you can afford for it to be.  You and your family and friends will enjoy it for years to come and when it’s time to sell you have a wonderful, inviting focal point and great selling feature for your home. 

Images by House Beautiful

Happy Decorating!


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