The Great Pumpkin Tablescape 2 comments

October 9, 2017, posted by Gina – We absolutely LOVE Fall! From the rich colors to the cooler temperatures to the comfort foods. We try to celebrate this beautiful season every chance we get and we did just that last week. Gina hosted a luncheon and we are here to share all the details. We’ll begin with this tablescape that is an explosion of all things Fall. In the coming days we’ll also share some recipes from this luncheon.

Here we see an overhead view of the centerpiece. Filled with roses, tulips, hydrangeas and safflower it brings that Fall feeling to the table with intense color.

Below is a view of the centerpiece as the guests were able to enjoy it. It is low and long allowing for an unobstructed vis-à-vis.

Our place settings were composed of navy placemats, napkins by Kim Duease Designs,  wooden Rootworks chargers, Spode brown and white china, Wedgwood Majolica cabbage plates, Annieglass bowls, silver-plate, green crystal and Lenox crystal.

What says ‘Fall’ more than anything? Pumpkins, for sure! Beyond our mini pumpkins at each place setting, we placed a few odd shaped pumpkins and squash on either side of the floral arrangement.

We hope this table inspires you to create your own Fall tablescape for your guests.



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A Sweet Valentine’s Brunch 1 comment

Coconut Cream Filled Strawberries

February 7, 2017– posted by Gina – Recently, I had the opportunity to treat a few of my close friends to a simple Valentine’s brunch. I set everything up buffet style for this cozy, casual gathering.

Valentine Brunch

I purchased these Gerbera daisies at the grocery store on one of my many recent trips. When I snapped them up I did not have this spread in mind but they worked well with this grouping. I placed them in a rustic galvanized vase with green patina which blended in perfectly with the serving dishes. It was a very simple detail but often it’s the little touches that can have the biggest impact. What is Valentine’s Day without a little candy? I can never pass up the grocery aisle with the seasonal goodies. As I was strolling through the selection of endless sweets, these oversized M&M’s caught my eye and somehow a few bags ended up in my cart.

Gerbera Daisies and M&M's

I set the coffee up right across from the food. Having seen antique tart pans used as decorative items in kitchens lately, I figured I might as well use my current one for something other than baking. It held the white coffee mugs. What is Valentine’s without these little Sweethearts? I sprinkled a few in the bottom of the mason jar and used it as a silver caddy.

Valentine Brunch Coffee Station

It’s great when you can pull things you already have together to create a theme. I didn’t have to run out to buy anything for this set up since I already had the hugs and kisses plaque, the carafes and the  plaid napkins on hand. When you start to think of different ways to use what’s on hand, you’ll find you have an infinite variety of possibilities.

Valentine Brunch Buffet

I served banana bread, chicken salad and coconut cream filled strawberries. For the strawberries and the banana bread I used recipes I had been wanting to try. Both were delicious and easy to make so if you’d like to see the recipes visit our Recipe Page.

Valentine Brunch Banana Bread, Strawberries and Chicken Salad

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A Fresh Autumn Tablescape 1 comment


September 29, 2016, posted by Gina – This is a tablescape that I created for a luncheon I recently hosted in my home. I was very pleased with the way the colors and textures came together for this one. The blue and white ginger jar pattern on the orange napkins set off the Spode Blue Italian plates perfectly. The wicker chargers and black burlap table runner added a rustic feel which was pleasantly offset by the dramatic and elegant Italian platter under the centerpiece. We will post a tutorial soon that will demonstrate how to create this particular centerpiece, so check back with us! Also, checkout the list a little further down to find out a little more about the individual pieces on this table.



Chargers – Pier 1

Plates – Blue Italian, Spode

Bowls – Annie Glass

Flatware – Southern Living at Home

Napkins – Patricia Spratt for the Home

Tortoise Stemware – Pier 1

Blue and Gold Stemware – Paul Michael

Table runner – At Home



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Shopping Excursion: At Home 2 comments

May 23, 2016, posted by Gina – About two years ago a Sam’s Wholesale closed one of its stores in Jackson, leaving the neighborhood with a huge empty building and a deserted parking lot. Never a good look. Finally, At Home, a home decor superstore, moved into the space and opened last week. Garden Ridge re-branded and converted all their stores to At Home; this is their third store to open in Mississippi.

at home wm

Driving up to this store, I knew it was going to be an adventure, and potentially tiring, since it’s 128,000 square feet. I have never been in a store that big dedicated to home décor, so I thought I would share a few things that caught my eye.

The outdoor section was huge. I think there were 12 aisles dedicated to outdoor furniture cushions. I mean, really, this has been a struggle for me every year but not any longer. This blue and chartreuse cushion caught my eye as well as a metal medallion that would be happy somewhere in my outdoor area.

cushions and medallion wm

I have been on the lookout for outdoor urns for the front of our home for quite some time now. There were several choices and I honestly could not make up my mind.  Maybe you can help me decide:

urn choices wm

Next, I moved on to the furniture section. I have to say that with a big store like this I was not expecting the furniture to be so sturdy nor for there to be such a wide variety of styles and colors.

monotone furniture wm

I was becoming a bit tired at this point because there was just so much to look at but I soldiered on to the kitchen area where I saw these cute carafes. I don’t know why I did not bring these home with me but I plan on returning in hopes they will still be there.

carafes wm

This utensil holder with galvanized tray and mason jars with chalkboard tags would work well for an outdoor function.

utensils wm

And these cupcake holders were so cute. After all, there are cupcakes that are pretty enough to be put on pedestals.

cupcake pedestals wm

The next few items made their way into my cart.  I have been wanting a casserole carrier as I am always toting food somewhere.  This one was very reasonably priced and attractive. The sea grass rug with its hints of blue had to come home with me as I have a bit of blue in every single room in our home. A while back I purchased new linens for one of our bedrooms. I’ve been looking for a few coordinating pillows with a pop of blue and these linen ones filled the bill. We are always in need of citronella candles and they had ones below in every color imaginable.

purchases wm

In the decor section I found a silver vase shaped like a purse. There were some frosted vases that I could imagine grouped together with the same type of flower in each. They had this candle holder in several colors and I think it would be great on a dining table with an unscented candle in it.

vessels wm

The last area I visited was wall art. Since Son 1 has a new apartment and Son 2 is moving at the end of the summer, I thought some of these would be great for them. Selfishly, I like the lab picture and while I did not get it today, I think I will have to return. It reminds me of our sweet Emma lab and would be perfect in her room.

lab wm

There was a lot I did not see even though I spent close to two hours looking around. It was a lot of fun experiencing a new store and getting to know their brand. I’m also looking forward to seeing seasonal items as well.

We’d like to hear from you. Which urn did you like? Maybe none or all of them? If you’d like to leave a comment, just click on the title of this post and the comment form will appear at the bottom of the page.

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Before and After: The Chest

January 8, 2016, posted by Gina – Many years ago we inherited this little chest straight from the 60’s from my mother-in-law. I wondered what I would do with it and ended up painting it bright red at the suggestion of a couple of ladies who were helping me redecorate my home. We stored a set of crystal in it and loved it both for its beauty and usefulness.

Red Chest - Violet

Over the years I grew tired of the red and now the colors in our new home are more neutral. So, for the past year whenever I would pass the chest, I told myself I was going to paint it.  Finally, I decided to take the plunge.

I went to a really cute store that sells Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I settled on a color and learned about the process.  As I began working on the chest I saw that everything the salesperson shared with me was accurate.  The paint was thick, did not need a primer and dried in about 25 minutes.  It’s like a miracle.  So in one afternoon (and a little into the night), I transformed this little chest.  Here is the after:

Transformed chest - Violet

What do you think? Do you prefer the red or the new neutral color? Have you given a piece of furniture a facelift with paint? Let us hear from you! To leave a comment, click on the title of this post and the comment form will appear at the bottom of the page.

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French Garage Sales (without the garage) 2 comments

September 27, 2015, posted by Michelle – September is a big month for vide-greniers (attic sales) in France, or what we’d call garage sales. But in lieu of actually being in garages, the sidewalks of a main street become packed with tables of household items and clothes being sold by residents of the neighborhood. It was a sunny, crisp fall day today so I took advantage of it by visiting several vide-greniers. You never know what you’ll find but I always find some wonderful things and today was no exception as I picked up some beautiful vintage linens and a few other items. Enjoy the photos(click on any individual photo to enlarge it):

Let us hear about your garage sale or estate sale experiences. To leave a comment, click on the title of the post and the comment form will appear at the bottom of the post.

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Red Sunflower Tablescape

September 12, 2015, posted by Gina – For some reason I always seem to find red sunflowers this time of year. I absolutely love them and in fact they were the inspiration for this whole tablescape.

Red Sunflower, Spode Italian Collage
I was trying to create a natural, farm fresh vibe with this table and decided adding artichokes and arugula to this arrangement accomplished that look very well. The ceramic containers are a perfect fit for a regular brick of oasis. This makes creating arrangements in these containers so easy and I have used them many times for similar centerpieces. Also, the fact that they are low makes having a lovely conversation easy since you don’t have to peek over or around an arrangement.

To keep the natural, farm feel going I chose a great burlap table runner and combined it with red and white toile placemats, striped napkins, white wooden chargers, and Italian Spode china. Somehow, the pheasants just seemed to fit in with the theme so I placed a pair on each side of the table. If you run across some red sunflowers be sure to pick a few up as they will brighten up your table.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Click on the title of this post and the comment form will open at the end of the post.

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French Shopping Excursion 1 comment

September 10, 2015, posted by Michelle – September is a big month for us as there are several big braderies (sidewalk sales), brocantes (flea markets) and vide-greniers (garage sales) in and around Lyon. We’ve mapped out a few and plan on showing up early and finding some beautiful French linens for our shop. In the meantime we visited our favorite garden center/home décor shop where we found these great iron house numbers with fleur de lys details and the cutest snail candle holder:

Numbers and snail

But we were really excited to discover that they carry one of our favorite planters, the Goicoechea.

Goi PotteryGoicoechea is a family owned pottery in the town of Ossès in the Basque region of France that’s been making their planters and pots by hand for three generations. Their trademark technique is throwing clay onto a form covered with thick rope. The rope is carefully removed when the clay is only half set and the resulting rope imprint in the clay is so striking. This shop didn’t sell that particular planter but had a large selection of other Goicoechea creations.

Fait Main potteryThis is a very beautiful video in which the family members and workers in the Goicoechea pottery explain their creative process and the importance of transferring know-how from one generation to the next. You can see their pottery, including the rope pieces, and some quick shots of how they actually make it…it’s in French but the images speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Visit the Goicoechea Website

Have any comments for us? We’d love to hear from you! To get to the comment form, just click on the title of this post and the form will appear at the bottom of the post.



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6 Essential Elements of Tablescape Design 2 comments

August 30, 2015, posted by Michelle – Want to take your so-so table setting to so-sophisticated? We’d like to share  our guidelines for decorating your table for a special gathering. These elements are naturally overlapping and if we had to use one word that all of these ultimately produce it would be *harmony*.

1. Cohesion – Based on the theme of the event (birthday, holiday, bridal luncheon, graduation, anniversary, dinner for friends, etc.) decide what the overall look of the table will be. Traditional, modern, ethnic, rustic, seasonal, retro – whatever it is, think about how all the place settings, linens, flowers, accessories, etc. will work together to present a cohesive grouping.

2. Color – Once you’ve decided on the overall look, choosing a color scheme is important. Whether you have a matching set of dinner plates or a mix of patterns, keep the colors coordinating and pleasing. Choose a principal color and mix in analogous or complementary colors. Consult the color wheel for help. Sometimes small pops of color can make a big impact, so consider colors when choosing flower arrangements, candles, chargers, etc.

Color Wheel3. Coordinate – We’re not huge proponents of matchy-matchy yet all of the pieces on your table should coordinate well together. For example, a set of traditional vintage napkins may pair well with a set of funky retro place mats. You may have several glasses that are all different shapes but are all green glass. For small arrangements spaced out on a long table we once used a dozen vintage French tin cans of the same height but each had different designs and colors. The key is finding commonality among the different pieces for a harmonious design.

Green glasses4. Creative – It goes without saying that your table setting should reflect some personal creativity but isn’t that easier said than done? A simple exercise is to take one place setting and start trying out different table linens and stemware with it. Try using certain pieces in different ways. For example, instead of placing a table runner down the center of the table, why not use three runners – place one down the middle and the other two across the width of the table. The runners are now serving double duty as placemats. The possibilities are endless; just take some time to experiment and try out a variety of combinations.

TR5. Clash (just a little) – Add a little interest to the table by using  something a little unusual that clashes with the rest of the table. This is tricky but you can pull it off in surprising ways. I recently went to a dinner party and the whole table was done in very tasteful, understated creme, beige and silver. But the centerpiece was a geometric, matte purple rhinocerous planter with the most gorgeous purple roses and purple and green hydrangeas spilling out of it. The colors on their own would not have provided a clash against the neutral colors of the table but the super modern and unexpected rhinocerous planter, well, let me just say people talked about it for a least 15 minutes. It worked!

6. Convivial – The most important element of your table is intangible; it’s warmth. Your hospitality shows through everything you’ve done to receive your guests: the tablescape, flower arrangements, the food and all your special touches exhibit your desire to make your guests feel special and comfortable.

What do you think about our guidelines? How do you get your table ready for a special gathering? Do you have some fun, unusual ideas to share? We’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts. Please leave us a comment by clicking on the title of this post to open up the comment form.



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Artificially Dyed Flowers, Mums & Pumpkins

August 27, 2015, posted by Gina – I visit the grocery store by my house almost daily. It is a sickness and I just can’t seem to change it. Upon these visits, I can’t wait to glide into the front doors and be greeted with all kinds of floral goodness. But alas, the other day I was assaulted by not only one but two artificially dyed flowers!

First, I saw the multicolored hydrangeas garishly sporting hues that are not naturally occurring. Then I turned the corner and saw the BRIGHT BLUE orchids. I think I audibly gasped!

dayglo hydrangea

BLUE Orchids

Now I realize this post is a slippery slope as some readers may think these are pretty or at least not a travesty and I don’t want to be a flower snob but some things should not be tampered with. I think back to a presentation I did for my Garden Club. While standing in front of the 60 women attending with a microphone in my hand, I was asked what I thought about manufactured colored flowers. I felt like a deer in the headlights but spoke my truth. I DO NOT LIKE THEM. Thankfully, this was the sentiment of the group and so I was highly favored for my remarks. Dodged a big one there. And, just so you know, I just used a ladder to come down from my perch.

In fairness, I don’t want to say that I could never find a use for such flora. We all do some crazy things for very sane reasons that make sense at the time and I freely admit to occasionally using manually colored carnations in an arrangement. They are small and how much trouble could they get into?

Moving on. It’s still August, right? I thought so. On my same trip to the grocery store, these FALL goodies snuck in:

Mums at garden center

Ceramic pumpkinsNothing says FALL more than mums and pumpkins. (This is where my “slow your roll” speech usually begins). I am a planner and love to get a jump on things but these pumpkins and mums just seem a bit out of place. I think Mother Nature may be feeling a bit rushed. It has been my experience that mums have a short life. Either the summer sun is too hot for them and they dry out or the blooms wilt if they are rained on. I usually limit my purchase of mums to only a few. I am going to let Mother Nature be my guide. In my neck of the woods we do have temperatures about 10 degrees lower than normal right now. Maybe Fall is closer than I think. One thing I have done this year is mix a few small mums into my indoor planters.

mums, fern and ivyIn this planter, I chose a lavender mum to go alongside a pretty fern and some ivy. It is just one little nod to fall.

The blue and white pots in the next photo always sit on this coffee table in my family room. I change the flowers seasonally and chose these white mums. Just a few simple changes can put a smile on your face.

mums blue and white pots

We would love to know your thoughts on the colored flowers and your use of mums. When do you begin putting your fall decorations up? Do you like to bring seasonal plantings inside as well? To leave us your thoughts just click on the title of this blog post and the comment form will expand at the end of the post.

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