The Cozy Charm of English Cottages

 

I’ve always loved the look of an English cottage.  There is an irrefutable charm about them that just makes me smile and want to step inside for a peek. 

cottage-garden-panorama

Take this cozy cottage for instance.  Is this adorable or what!?  I mean…..it doesn’t even look real!!!!  Don’t you just want to peek inside?  Maybe curl up by the fire or have a cup of hot tea?

Cottage

Mmmmmm……love these flowers surrounding the doorway.  If I could do that at my own house I most definitely would! So warm and inviting.

2576890_f520

This one actually reminds me of a German bed and breakfast.  Love all the colorful flowers, the vine growing up on the house, the cobblestone walkway and the cute little gate.

english-cottage

Enchanting.

hg106White1

 

country-landscape-design-ideas-1

 

english_village

What an unbelievably adorable neighborhood!

99177860_wy12vVkd

1043354

1076236

Breathtaking!

405 East Seventh

Okay, well this isn’t necessarily a cottage, but whenever I see ivy growing up on the wall like this it gives me that “cottagey feel” and makes me think of England.  I’ve always loved this look.

Mercy me, I do believe if all neighborhoods were as cozy, charming and inviting as these pictured above the world would just be a happier place!  Don’t you agree?!

Happy Decorating! 

Dynamic Dining Rooms: Define Your Style So You Can Dine In Style

 

Dining in a beautiful, elegant, cozy, comfy dining room is always more pleasant than in a bland, insignificant, uninviting space.  Ambiance and atmosphere set the tone for the entire evening.  Of course a great meal doesn’t hurt either, but a great atmosphere can even make an unpleasant meal more tolerable! 

Dining_Room_CheckerFloor

Everyone has their own perception of beauty and comfort.  When you think of the atmosphere you like in a dining room – what style would that be?

Luxury-dining-room-set-Tiffany-by-AltaModa-6-554x359

  Do you like color, do you like clutter?  Do you like monochromatic, modern lines?  Or traditional styles with lots of curves?  Maybe edgy and off-the-cuff?   So many beautiful styles to choose from!  It’s time to create some atmosphere in your own home and enjoy entertaining family and friends in style.   Don’t settle for boring and insignificant!  Check out these photos of some amazing dining rooms and see if you can define your style.

Veranda-Magazine-HomesRooms-BraysIsland-5-lg

A modern traditional look.  The wall color compliments the chairs and the clean lines of the furniture bring a subtle elegance.  The soft rug adds warmth and personality without overwhelming the space.

venanda8_8_07

The clean embossed white dining chairs look absolutely fabulous with the rustic table.  The palm trees in the corner add warmth, texture and interest.  Very cool!

22419_0_4-9357-modern-dining-room

For the modern yet eclectic, and maybe a bit funkier folks….look how sleek and classic this dining room looks.  I love it. 

43880_0_8-7337-contemporary-dining-room

Hip, modern vibe with the teal chairs, drum light fixture and Pottery “Barnesque” table.

Classic-Dining-Rooms-1

Classic, traditional space with a bit of modern twist. Notice how the mirror enlarges the space?  Great way to give the illusion of a much larger area than it really is.   With the tile floor and no area rug it gives an otherwise traditional dining room a more contemporary vibe.

8b7a93fabc56

Very timeless and traditional.  The round table with a draping cloth, traditional chairs and accessories – always a great look.  Simple, straight panels on the window – again timeless.  By the way notice the color of the walls in the next room?  Don’t be afraid to transition to color.

dining-room-inspiration-cattelan-italia

Black, white and chrome.  Modern, edgy, and incredibly elegant! 

dining-rooms-Best-decorating-ideas-for-small-dining-rooms-furniture-style-Design

They’ve created a cozy sitting room here that can easily transition into a dining room by pulling up the settee and extra chair.  Great idea and great look.  The zebra rug throws a really fun twist to an otherwise serious space.  Love the wall in the background.  It brings tons of personality and interest that a simple painted wall could not.  Great space!

01-Luxury-classic-dining-room-furniture

Over the top, opulent and not for everyone, but for that funky, edgy, “showy” homeowner who’s all about grandeur……it screams perfection.  Notice what pop the lavender chairs create in an otherwise black and white space?  A little color goes a long way in a space like this.  If the over-the-top furniture isn’t your “thing”, maybe the one thing you can take away from this picture for inspiration is the overall black and white décor with a fun pop of color in the chairs.  Just tone down the grandiose style of furniture with simpler lines, but keep the color scheme the same.

elegant-dining-room

Cozy – urban meets country – dining.  Perfect for the no frills, casual homeowner.  Great for a very relaxed, friendly dinner party or everyday dining.

elegant-dining-room-1

Classic urban space.  Love the white chairs and lighting against the dark wood.  Classic, elegant…..perfect for “fine” dining.

elegant-dining-room-furniture

Sleek, modern.  For those who love a modern edge these white chairs and sideboard paired with the bright red table and accessories possess true Hollywood glam.  Does this reflect your style?  Go for it and wow your guests!

fb7c22425279995e_elegant--interior-design-dining-room

This space is contemporary, but casual.  Sort of a modern country style with the daisies.  Love the all white space with the splash of yellow.  Bright, charming and fun.

I-8933%20Photo%20Dining%20Room

And last, but not least – a traditional, French dining room.  For those of you who prefer a formal, almost regal European space here’s a look you might like.  The colorful rug pulls the blue and white chinoiserie fabric on the chairs with the gold silk drapes and gives it that “Old European” look.  Europeans are famous for combining a multitude of colors and patterns for an interesting, very “lived in” space.  It reflects the tradition of old where rugs and furniture were handed down through the generations so that a home was filled with pieces from different homes and family members.  It creates a uniquely warm, inviting , “European” atmosphere.

So did any of these pictures help you to determine your likes and dislikes?  If so, it’s time to create your own dynamic dining room!  Define your style and soon dine in style with your family and friends. 

Happy Decorating!!

Cheap Chic: Get The Classic Look Of Veranda Magazine On A Budget

 

First of all I am SO sorry for the delay in getting new blog posts on!  I’ve just been a bit swallowed up and haven’t been able to devote the time to it that I like to.  (And, then I had computer issues!) So, please forgive me and I’ll do my best to do better and stay timely!

It’s stands to reason if you want some rather grand, opulent inspiration in your decorating to turn to an ever timeless, ever classic magazine like Veranda.  Many of us can’t afford such total splendor, but we can ALL gather ideas and inspiration from the beautiful photos they provide in every magazine.  We can learn about color, style, scale, etc……just by studying their pictures.  For those fortunate enough to replicate the exact pieces – they have the perfect photo-map with which to proceed.  And, believe me, I’m all for high end, high quality furniture. Nothing’s more fun than working with a client who has an unlimited budget.  But, for the rest of us, we can take the overall look of the space and replicate it by combining just a few high end pieces with moderate and even low end pieces to create a similar “high end” look.  You can always create a fabulous look with tons of money at your disposal, but what about creating the same look on a budget?  Trust me it CAN be done.    Check out some of these stunning Veranda magazine covers and see what inspiration you take away.

Rope%20and%20Mirrored%20Furniture%20_0027_Cover%20Veranda%20May%20June%2009

Like this room?  Lowes and Home Depot have black wrought iron chandeliers for under $100.00 and Pier 1, Restoration Hardware and West Elm have alternative rattan chairs for under $300.00 that might work for a similar, but much less expensive alternative.  Ikea has contemporary shelving that might substitute for these cool pieces beside the fireplace.  As for the tree trunk coffee table, believe it or not you can actually google “how to make a tree trunk coffee table” and you can get directions on how to make one yourself!.  I mean, who knew?  An easier route might be West Elm.  They have a tree trunk side table that could possibly substitute as a coffee table if you add a glass top to make it bigger.

veranda_magazine2

You could refinish some old shutters from a flea market and hinge them to create this dramatic look.  Look for similar tables and mirrors at resale shops.  They may need to be re-stained or painted to freshen them up.  Those of you who can sew…….make your own slip-covers and pillows in a fun color like this purple. 

Veranda1

Check Ikea, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel and West Elm for alternative furniture, rugs and prints for this fabulous look.  These prints would actually be easy to make yourself with inexpensive frames. Keep your colors stark and simple (white or cream paired with brown or black) with a splash of greenery in the corner for a clean, modern, hip space.  Don’t worry about finding these exact pieces – just use them for inspiration and look for something similar so that the overall “feel” is the same.  Notice the lack of clutter here.  Clean, sleek, simple. 

verandamagazine

Like the look of a zebra rug?  Check Rugs USA or Fur Rugs for a less expensive alternative.   Use a little creativity and labor to recreate this piece over the fireplace.  Wood from your local hardware store and a mitre saw should do the trick.  No really, I’m not kidding!  Look for the table and small chair at garage or estate sales or maybe Craig’s list.  Paint them black for fluidity and recover the chair seat.  Notice the gold edge on the coffee table?  Get some gold leaf paint (it comes in a tube at craft stores) and rub it onto the edge of the table with your finger.  Pier 1 actually has some similar table styles, too. If you have a sofa and a couple of chairs purchase slipcovers in complimentary colors to coordinate the space.  Or check West Elm for similar styles.

veranda_magazine

Inexpensive vases, candlesticks and floral stems from a local craft store like Hobby Lobby, would duplicate this table arrangement.  Check Restoration Hardware for a similar dining table and chairs or simply slipcover your own current chairs to dress them up.

Veranda-Magazine-Cover

Again, check Pier 1, Ikea or World Market to create a “knock off” look for this rustic, cozy patio.  Rustic wood paired with rattan creates a wonderful, textured look.

1252

Good old flea markets, Craig’s list or estate sales provide nice selections for distressed pieces like this.  Buy an old door and add a shelf with legs to give you a similar, more affordable piece.  Recover and distress an inexpensive chair to match.

9769179

A little harder to go “cheap chic” with these cool chairs, but Pier 1 has something similar in style for around $200.00.  Hemispheres has some similar styles on sale periodically, too.  You can get an inexpensive table at a second hand store, re-sale shop or garage sale (since you don’t see it) and put your money in the fabric tablecloth for this stunning look.  If you are crafty or handy you could even make it with plywood.  For a rectangular tabletop I had Home Depot cut two pieces of wood for me that we hinged in the middle.  When I need to expand my dining room table I place it on top of my marble table top and cover it with a table cloth.  An alternative for an affordable dressy looking table cloth is to buy ready made drapery panels and drape them over your table.  Sometimes you need to use more than one panel to create the length if you want it to drape to the floor.  Just turn them and overlap them side by side so that they drop to the floor instead of using one lengthwise as a topper.  Add a topper (which can be another tablecloth) to hide the overlapping edge.  Much cheaper than a custom made tablecloth and works like a charm.

VER%20JanFeb%20NWSTND%20Cover

Okay, well, sorry I don’t have a cheaper alternative for a gorgeous staircase like this, but it was so pretty I just thought I’d add it!

So there you go……savvy solutions for a high end look – without breaking the bank!  Cheap chic!!

Happy Decorating!!!!

Savvy Solutions: How To Create Your Own Tablescape

 

Many people either just can’t visualize how to get creative with a tablescape or are just too intimidated to give it a shot.  I’m here to tell you it can be done, and it can be done quite simply….using things you may already have around your house.

Step 1:

1

You could go with the traditional and, in my opinion – sort of boring, floral for the center of the table or you can embellish and enhance it by continuing with these simples steps below.

Step 2:

2

Just adding a square tablecloth like this gives it some dimension (this is actually a beautiful, velvet-lined, beaded throw I purchased from Hobby Lobby half price)…….

Step 3:

3

Then adding some vases and candles gives it even more dimension (yes, these are vases I’ve turned into candleholders purchased originally at Hobby Lobby and HomeGoods for different purposes altogether.  I just decided to incorporate them here for a bit of drama in my dining room)…..

Step 4:

IMG_0434

I found a matching candleholder at Hobby Lobby and added it to the mix.  Combining different pieces like this gives your table interest and dimension.  (Of course, this sort of thing is best displayed on a dining table that’s not frequently used, because it will have to be moved and/or rearranged when actually dining here.  But, for everyday it makes an attractive table display.)

A Look At Another Table:

Step 1:

5

This arrangement above looks “okay”, but insignificant by itself.

Step 2:

6

Adding the tray and other pieces gives it more interest, but…..

Step 3:

8

Adding a tablecloth or in this case another throw….(handmade by my friend, Barbie, for Christmas – thanks, Barbie!), adds still even more interest.  Lay it out flat like you see above and then gently scrunch to create folds.

7

Can you see the table taking on a new personality as I add pieces?  But, there’s more…..

Step 4:

9

Adding a trio of candlesticks adds even more interest….

IMG_0393

See how adding several pieces that compliment each other creates a table with personality?  Just moving this throw to the table and incorporating these candleholders that I already had gives my table a much “savvier look”.  (What’s especially nice about this throw is that it’s reversible.  I flip it around depending on my mood!) 

And just one more:

I got so many compliments and questions on the “tea table” I decorated for the CCACL High Tea that I thought I’d do a little tutorial on how to create a similar look.  You can use the same basic principles using items from around your own home.

Step 1:

11

I always like to use a tablecloth underneath a topper.  If you don’t have one a large sheet will work just fine.  White is usually a good choice, but any color can be used depending on your color scheme.

Step 2:

12

To create different heights use stuff from around your house like this salad bowl.

13

Turn it upside down to create a surface for lifting.

14

Add different levels using what you have.  In this case I used plastic storage containers.  I know this looks weird now, but just wait!….

Step 3:

15

If you don’t have a tablecloth topper – as I said for the main tablecloth – using an inexpensive flat sheet works like a charm.  I’ve mentioned this on a couple of blogs and it really does work for a beautiful table.  Just turn under the decorative edge like the one you see above.

Step 4:

15a

Check around your house to see what you might pull together to create “a look”.  I went around my house collecting things that I thought would work for an interesting, attractive table.  For this picture I grabbed this floral I have out on my patio (I used a different one for the actual tea).

16

Here I placed it on the upside down salad bowl to give it height and allow it to make more of a statement.

16a

Next I added these teapots – the same ones I used for the tea.

Step 5:

17

I placed them on these silver cake platters.

17a

I added the birdhouses from my patio.  This one and the one pictured above.

Step 6:

18

I placed one birdhouse on one of the plastic storage containers and the other one on the table.  I added this silver candelabra to the other plastic container.  See all the different levels here now?  It creates a lot more interest that just having everything the same level.

18a

For a touch of charm and whimsy I grabbed this little nest with eggs that I always have on my patio….

Step 7:

19

And I tucked it in between the two birdhouse.

19a

Next I grabbed some pearls.  You can use pearl necklaces from your closet!

Step 8:

20

And, just drape them throughout the display. 

Step 9:

21

Add the chargers of your choice.  They can be painted to match the theme or color scheme of your event. (I didn’t paint these, but I have painted others.)

Step 10:

22

Start to layer your place setting with a basic standard size dinner plate.

Step 11:

23

Then mix and match the dessert plates all around the table if you can or just use a dessert plate from a different place setting.  If you don’t have different dishes you can use them from the same set, of course, and it will still be pretty.  I got these dinner plates from Ross and the floral patterns from Royal Patrician, an English China vendor — mixing the expensive with the inexpensive.

Step 12:

24

  See the cute little silver tea pitcher and the creamer and sugar holders?  I got those as a set years ago from Big Lots for $5.00 a set!  They came with a silver platter to display them on.  Cheap, but charming!   Look what “elegance” they bring to the table!  I bought several sets to use for luncheons.

25

Decorating is like fashion….combining expensive pieces with less expensive pieces creates an end result that looks high end and fabulous.

26

27

I didn’t finish out the place settings all the way around my table, but you get the idea.

In case you missed it – here’s what the original table actually looked like at the High Tea:

IMG_0270

See how simple it is?  Do you feel like it’s something you can do now?  Look around your house for “stuff”, get out some plastic containers for creating levels, maybe a sheet or two or a throw you have tucked somewhere for your tablecloths and see what you look you can come up with!  It doesn’t have to cost a fortune – or anything at all – when you use what you already have. 

Happy Decorating!!!

Surprise Garage Makeover: From Messy To Man-Cave

 

Once upon a time there was an interior designer who had a handsome Harley riding husband.  Her Harley riding husband was a very patient man – putting up with his girly girl wife who had decorated every inch of the house in her girly girl ways.  So one day she had the crazy idea to surprise him and turn his ridiculously messy excuse of a garage into his very own man-cave.  A place he could call his own.  So for months and months she plotted and planned and waited until his big, manly Harley trip and then set about the daunting process of this challenging garage makeover.  She had only four days to transform it from mess to man-cave.    The minute he left the adventure began!

1a

My good friend, Susan, met me at the house at 7:00am to clean out the mess so they could lay the floor.

1

And when I say mess I mean MESS.  Although, in my hurry I didn’t get good pictures of the garage before we started, this is what came out of it.

2

And this.

4

And, this.  Yes, it takes a good friend to sacrifice her morning, time and energy to come take on a project like this.  Thanks, Susan!

6a

The garage was cleared just in time for the guys to come and lay the floor.  (Sorry, in the frenzy I didn’t get pictures of this process either.)  But, I used a floor product called VCT,  from my friend and floor guy, Geoff, at ALL Pro Floors for the surface – a very durable material that is used a lot in commercial spaces.  It comes in numerous colors in the form of square tiles and is durable enough to handle the wear and tear of cars and motorcycles.  I decided on black with white flecks for my motorcycle man.  You can sort of see what the floor looks like in this picture above.

6

After the floor was laid one of my installers that I use for my design business came over to help put all the cabinets together. My dad and my son took on this challenge, too.  The cabinets came in the flat boxes you see above and were a bit of an undertaking to say the least, but between the three of them they got them all put together.  I lucked out and found them on clearance at Home Depot.  I got them for less than half price.  Woo hoo!!!

7

Troy, my installer, carefully measured and hung the rails and brackets.

8

My son, Daniel, and two of his friends were home from college for the weekend and lent a much needed helping hand.  Above, his friend, John, helped me move the lower cabinets into place.  Below Daniel and Brian hoisted the upper cabinet into place.

10

12

My perfectionist dad and oldest son, Ryan, took great pains to level the cabinets.

9

21

My daughter, Alyssa, helped sort his tools and organize them for the new cabinets.

12a

My daughter-in-law, Katie, helped hang some of the signs.

13

Katie and Ryan helped with the finishing touches while my mom happily watched my granddaughter, Kaisley.

14

When we were done, my mom cleaned the floor.  As you can see it was a total family affair.

15

Not only did my friend, Susan, help clear out the garage when we started – being a Harley riding chick herself – she moved his other motorcycle, a Triumph, out of the garage when we began and back in when we finished.  More thanks, Susan!

33

My beautiful granddaughter just hung out and enjoyed the party.  (We did this over a year ago so she’s much bigger now and toddling around all over the place.)

16

Knowing my man would be tired and ready for a beer when he got home from his long ride I set out a bucket of beer and a chair so he could relax and enjoy his new surroundings.

17

45

And, here’s what he got to come home to.  His brand new man-cave. (I soooo wish I had before pictures of the garage so you could see the true transformation.)

doug in chair with beer

Needless to say he was a surprised and happy man!  Doesn’t he look like a rough and rugged Harley man? (His other life….when he’s not in his conservative business attire at the office.)

IMG_0380

Finally, a home worthy of his prize possessions.

IMG_0381

Since it was an early Christmas present I recorded the event in his own photo album and gave it to him for Christmas.

doug and i together

So in the end the girly girl interior designer and the handsome Harley man lived happily ever-after. 

Happy Decorating!

DIY: Make Your Own Floral Arrangement In Minutes

 

If you’d like a quick, easy floral arrangement for a special occasion or even for your home year round here’s a simple solution. 

First of all, for the most cost effective arrangement – always try to find your flowers on sale.  I know – that goes without saying, but I thought I’d say it anyway.  Especially if you would like a nice full arrangement that requires lots of flowers, buying them on sale can make a huge difference in the cost.  (Great looking containers can usually be found on sale, too!) I like to shop at Hobby Lobby here in town, because they have a nice assortment of flowers and they have them on sale half price at least once a month or more.  (I just can’t bring myself to buy them unless they are on sale, because I know if they’re not this week odds are they will be next week.)

IMG_2736

IMG_2741

If I don’t see this sign I don’t buy.

IMG_2737

Tip number one is this: Not all flowers are created equal.  There are some that are too bright, the leaves are too green, the colors are just “off” and they are just overall too fake looking which gives them a cheese-o-rama appearance.  Look for a higher quality flower or floral arrangement, one that looks natural.  Yes, it will cost more, but it will absolutely be worth it.  The easiest way to create a full floral is to buy these ready-made bushels.  These in particular are loaded with color and have added vines and stems to create a more natural, expensive, custom look.  These florals you see here were originally $24.99, but with the 50% sale I got them for $12.49 which is much more bearable, because I needed several to create the look I wanted.

IMG_2738

I added another bushel to the first one to create more fullness.

IMG_2739

Then another.

IMG_2740

Then still another.  In the end I used five of these bushels too create one large arrangement.  So, you can see that buying them at 50% off was a huge advantage with regard to the overall cost. Tip number 2:  Don’t make them too skimpy or wimpy. Keep adding until the fullness you need is there.  That’ll make them look more custom.

IMG_2742

Next I opted for a clear vase so it would look as if the flowers were plucked from the garden and tossed into a vase for a natural look.

IMG_2743

These vases were a whopping $3.99 so with the sale I got them for, yes – you got it – $2.00!

IMG_2744

I decided I wanted to fill the vase with potpourri for added pizzazz.  I had seen this years ago at a flower shop with a fresh flower arrangement and loved the look.  They had simply added potpourri to the water in a clear vase and it looked rich, elegant and beautifulTip number 3Be careful to choose the right look for your container. Adding interest with the vase helps enhance the arrangement.  The wrong container can ruin the entire look.

IMG_2745

Of course, I looked for a sale on potpourri and – voila! – I was in luck.

IMG_2746

A bag of potpourri – $3.99 on sale for $1.98!

IMG_2753

I filled my glass vase with the potpourri and added a strand of pearls just for fun.  Can you see it tucked inside here?

IMG_2751

Then I added my five bushels of flowers.  I carefully fluffed and tweaked the leaves, the flowers and the stems, arranging them until I got the look I liked.

IMG_2757

Inexpensive, easy to do and the result is beautiful.

IMG_2748

Here’s another arrangement using similar flowers in a different vase.  No, these aren’t professional arrangements done by a professional florist (which I do use frequently and have a definite need for) but, for the right home or event this is an easy solution for a great look using inexpensive ready-made, retail flowers.

Happy Decorating!!!

Wow Up Your Outdoor Living Area With Colorful Outdoor Rugs

 

So many of us now have outdoor living areas where we can hang out and entertain family and friends.  There’s outdoor kitchens and fireplaces and fire pits, etc.  We’ve taken the time to buy some new furniture to sit and enjoy the fire, but what about the added accessories that give it charm and coziness?  Have you considered taking it a step further?  Like maybe adding an outdoor rug?  Take a look at some of these gorgeous outdoor rugs from RugsUsa and OutdoorRugs and imagine them in your own backyard.  Wouldn’t they go a long way in bringing in some color and personality to your space?  

AU-03-BR-fs

Capel-Rugs-Gaston-Lily-Pad-Red-Berry-Indoor-_-Outdoor-Rug

 

kaleen - 2012-51-room-B

They’re pretty enough to bring indoors!

kaleen - 2018-61-fs

kaleen 2016-17-fs

laloi-AU-03-BR-fs

 

laloi-AU-02-MU-fs

laloi-AU-05-BL-fs

maui-b

bali-c

Home_and_Porch-Palmyra-Chocolate

Home_and_Porch-Juliette-Pesto

HRBLS-fs

HRROOS-fs

Istanbul-a

Home_and_Porch-Rivoli-Beige

kaleen-2011-56-fs

Aren’t these gorgeous?!  Remember, you want to finish out the outdoor area just like you would indoors to create the warmest, most welcoming space.  I mean – how fun would it be to have one of these in your back yard?

So take it to the next level and bring color and charm to your outdoor living area with a beautiful outdoor area rug.

Happy Decorating!

High Tea With The CCA Charity League

 

Some of you are aware of my involvement with our local charity here in town called Christian Community Action.  A little over a year ago a group of women got together to form the Charity League with the sole purpose and mission of filling in where needed and helping spread the word about CCA and it’s efforts to help the poor and needy in the area.  Our group has grown exponentially in such a short time and has found ways to plug in and help with fund raising and filling a great many needs in various areas.  We’ve been able to be a part of the Back To School Store, The Christmas Store, The Prom Dress Drive, The Food Pantry, the Resale Stores, etc.   Our latest venture was our very first Annual CCACL High Tea. Lots of planning and preparation went into the event and, if I do say so myself, it was a huge success.

IMG_0258

One of the main needs for the event were beautiful tables for the guests to enjoy so a group of us volunteered to take on the challenge.  I scrounged up “tea themed” décor from around my house like these teapots above to create my table.

IMG_0278

I bought an inexpensive soft green sheet to act as my table topper.  (Notice my teapots here?)

IMG_0270

Fortunately I used to collect English china and dishware so I had quite a bit on hand.  I decided to mix and match my china and chargers just for fun.

206965_1961843087238_1277664379_2346633_5586875_n

Since I had friends from different groups coming to the event I used place cards to seat them for easier conversation.

IMG_0288

Me at my table just before the crowd arrived.

Everyone did such a fabulous job decorating the tables.  Here are some of the beautiful table displays:

IMG_0268

IMG_0269

IMG_0274

IMG_0272

IMG_0271

IMG_0273

IMG_0276

We decided we needed one extra table so we all pooled our leftover decor and efforts and managed to create this table in a pinch.  Not bad for last minute and leftovers, huh?

IMG_0275

IMG_0277

IMG_0279

IMG_0281

IMG_0282

IMG_0283

IMG_0284

IMG_0285

IMG_0286

IMG_1284

IMG_1287

IMG_1288

IMG_1289

IMG_1315

IMG_0289

My friends, Margaret and Leslie, who had never met before, became fast friends that afternoon.  (I do believe there was even a little conniving going on between them for the auction items!)

IMG_0290

My sweet friend, Cindy, was one of the first to arrive.

IMG_0291

My husband, Doug, volunteered to be a server.  A much needed asset for the High Tea to function smoothly.  Thanks hubby, you’re the best!

IMG_0293

IMG_0294

We had a wonderful turn out.  Susan, our president, informed the ladies of the agenda for the day and CCACL’s function and goals.

IMG_0296

Our “High Tea Expert”, Michelle, explained the protocol for the High Tea and the flavors we would be sampling.

IMG_0295

IMG_0298

IMG_0301

Friends Julia, Diane and Susan were also in attendance.  Thanks, girlfriends, for coming!

IMG_0302

IMG_0304

IMG_0305

IMG_0307

Thanks to Terry, we auctioned off lots of wonderful prizes.

195914_1961864647777_1277664379_2346718_7251802_n

My sweet friend, Leslie, and I.

All in all considering it was our first High Tea, and considering we served 185 ladies or more, it went – surprisingly – very smoothly.  A great time was had by all, a substantial amount of money was raised, great gifts were auctioned off and the message of CCACL was spread to more and more women.  We expect to grow by leaps in bounds this year as a group and in our efforts to help those in need.  

 We’ve already had several comments from guests who are looking forward to next years High Tea!  How cool is that!

Happy Decorating!

Fun Easter Tablescapes!

 

For Christians, like myself, Easter is upon us this month.  And for many, also like myself, you will be having Easter dinner at your house.  And, you’ll be thinking – maybe even stressing a little – about how you might create a beautiful table or tables for your guests……without spending a fortune.  Well, have no fear – below are some gorgeous Easter table displays and centerpiece ideas that will help put your mind at ease.

practicallyporcelaineggs0406-de

Bring out your pretty china to use on the table for color and personality.  Clip foliage from your backyard and cluster it in a vase or a teapot.  Throw some colored candy eggs in a beautiful bowl with some foliage for color.

easter_table_eddy_ross

Love this blue and white theme.  Don’t have this look?  Create your own with what you do have.  Bring out different dishware and layer it for an interesting fun look.  Create your own glitter eggs in your color scheme.  Sometimes an inexpensive flat sheet can act as a beautiful table cloth for a lot less money.   Large craft paper squares can act as placemats, and your local grocery store many times has excellent prices on fresh flowers.  Buy a few bundles, clip them short and cluster several small floral displays around your table.  The local Dollar Store has small crystal bowls, candleholders and dishware for – yes, you got it – $1.00 apiece.

10271677

Frame a pertinent Bible verse or saying and place it on your table for a lovely, meaningful touch.

SF15-0749

This is a great look for a fun, fresh kid’s table.  Just a plastic purple tablecloth, lots of plastic eggs, colorful jelly beans sprinkled around and Easter bunny marshmallow candies.  Little clipped flowers sprinkled throughout adds brightness and color.

images

Here they’ve created their own three tier display for colorful Easter goodies.  A nice, inexpensive way to create a centerpiece.

easter-table-070410-lg

Be creative with twigs and tree branches like these above and below.

hoobycraft_easter_table

 

3434833120_56d7044af8

More great ideas below:

outdoor-easter-decorations-table

Martha-Stewart_tulipbasket

southernliving2

imagesCAMI91NS

Easter-Table-Place-Setting-GTL0407-de

If you opt for paper plates make it fun and colorful.  There are so many beautiful patterns to choose from there is no reason not to have a beautiful table and still have an easy clean up.

easter-table-setting-1

an_easter_table

1127_craft_runner_l

easter-centerpiece-070403-lg

Fun ideas for floral arrangements!

EasterTable1

table_setting_90

Easter_table_9

easter-table-setting-craft-fb

A fun, inexpensive favor for each place setting.  This could also be a place card with an egg in the center bearing the name of the guest.

Lots of fun, colorful ideas here to help you with your own table.  Here’s the review:  1) Check out the Dollar Store for inexpensive dishware and doodads.     2) Consider colorful paper plates. 3) Use what you’ve got and layer 4)  Use Mother Nature’s own materials from your yard  5) Use things from all over the house for a creative look 6)  Take a look at colorful, patterned flat sheets for a tablecloth alternative 7)  Consider craft paper squares for colorful placemats 8) Use inexpensive Easter candy, Easter grass and Easter eggs and voila!  You will have the most fabulous table for your guests.  Have fun, enjoy your guests and most importantly – don’t forget the reason for this most important season!

Happy Decorating!!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 168 other followers