Thursday, July 28, 2011


A few weeks ago I was at a fundraiser with my husband and a couple of our friends.  When we sat down for dinner, none of us could see the person sitting across the table from us.  There was a gorgeous (and very large) azalea plopped in the center of the table.  We promptly moved the flower to the floor so we could all converse with ease. 

We want centerpieces to be eye catching and attractive.  It's important for the piece to not be too small, as well, or it will look dinky in comparison to the table or the room itself.  There is a fine line between impressive and intrusive for centerpieces.  If a centerpiece obstructs a view and has to be displaced, it's purpose is not being served.  Here are a few photos of some appropriate focal points for the table that still allow conversation to flow.

Low & Spralling: A great go-to style that ensures your guests can see each other, talk openly and pass food without problems. 

Clustered: An interesting grouping can create visual interest and varied levels of height that still don't interfere with the view across the table.

Tall & Thin: When the surface area of the table is important, shooting for the sky is a good idea. 

If you have a table where guests will not be seated, than there are no restrictions as to height or width.  Food tables are often a great place to do something very grand and over the top because function is not important.

The next time you host a party, keep these ideas in handy and create a centerpiece that works for you & your guests.

Happy centerpiecing!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What do fashion greats Badgley Mischka and Polka Dots & Rosebuds have in common??

They both showed their support for the Woodford County Humane Society at this year's Freedom Fest.  Freedom Fest is an annual fundraiser for the animal shelter that provides the majority of their funding for the year.  Each year the event is held on a horse farm in Woodford County, designers transform horse stalls into dining rooms for a weekend, and there is a celebrity speaker at Friday's breakfast (past events have boasted Vern Yip & Jon Carloftis as celebrities supporting the shelter).  This year's keynote speakers were the fashion designing duo Mark Badgley and James Mischka.  They MCed a fashion show of their latest designs while attendees dined on quiche and fruit from Selma's catering.  Saturday evening was the main event where many gathered in designer stalls and at designer tables under the party tent.  That's where Polka Dots & Rosebuds comes in.

For the third year in a row PD&R decorated a designer table for the event.  The themes of each table have varied. This year's theme was the quintessential summer table.  When the heat index is reaching into the hundreds and partygoers are dining outside, the illusion of feeling cool is a useful one!  The color scheme was inspired by fabric ordered for a client's chairs- a navy & white lattice pattern.  White became a major focus for the table due to its clean and cool appeal.  A floorlength white tablecloth was the first layer while white dinner & salad plates were tiered overtop of the navy & white tabletopper.  My take on white dishware is that the usefulness is endless.  The timeless details and color allow them to be so versatile.  You really can't go wrong with them!

The color punch of choice was lime green.  Napkins in the lively shade (reminiscent of limes, another fave for keeping cool) were pulled through white beaded napkin rings for a finished look.  The final, and most important element was the centerpiece.  A four foot lantern stand was set in the center of the table (check back for Thursday's blog all about centerpieces). Three lanterns with battery operated candles were placed inside to create a romantic evening glow without producing any more heat. Arranged around the base were summer florals in crisp colors- white, yellow and green.  This table could have easily been one for a family patio dinner, an outdoor wedding reception, or at a fun summer fundraiser thus making it the perfect summer table!

It was an honor to once again be able to help support Woodford Humane in their great mission of helping animals find homes.  I encourage you to visit their website for more information if you are not familiar with all that they do.  Their work is applauded by many far outside Kentucky and I think it's great that high end fashion designers, Badgley & Mischka, paused their schedule to help keep this cause going for another year!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


A lot of people have the value of their home on the brain.  Some people are scared to make changes because they don't want to sink too much money into a project that won't help them sell the house later.  While I'm not a realtor, I can tell you that kitchens & bathrooms are where the focus should be.  If you are looking to spend some cash and update your home you want to start with those two rooms.  Be forewarned- they can also be the most expensive rooms to update.  Everything from plumbing to cabinets to lighting and floors can be in need of replacing, but you have to prioritize and have a budget in mind.  There are some common missteps people make.  Here are some tips to help you avoid them:

1. Cabinets are not easy to replace, countertops are.  Put the money into a quality cabinet so that the foundation of you kitchen is sturdy.  This may mean you can't opt for granite counters now, but that is something a future buyer can update with ease.

2. Poor quality work means more work later.  Selecting your contractor based on the lowest bid or trying to do a project yourself will usually result in re-doing the job down the road.  Nothing is worse than a bad inspection report scaring your buyers away.  Get the job done right the first time and you'll benefit from it in the end!

3.  Research products & homes in your area.  Before you splurge for that top-of-the-line stove, be sure other homes in your price range have them.  Instead of blindly going into the bathroom fixture store to buy those massaging body sprays for the shower, research which brand has the best reviews.  The more you know about what you're spending and what you can sell for, the happier you will be at the closing table.

Happy resale!!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Layering isn't just what you do when it's cold outside.  Layering is a great way to turn a room into the space you've dreamed about.  Here is an example of a client's room when she first called me in.  

The goal at this time was to select new paint colors for the whole house, one of the rooms being this dining room.  We picked a soothing but warm shade of green to show off the wood floors and furniture.   
Once that was complete she was ready to update the chair seats.  After narrowing down the choices we found a beautiful faux silk striped fabric that felt sophisticated but not too stuffy.  

A few months later a rug was the item of choice.  Again, we went for something that wasn't too formal but it coordinated with the fabric and paint in the room and provided a soft barrier between the hardwood floors and the table & chairs.  

What we did was take a layered approach to decorating the space. Taking it step by step allows you to replenish your wallet along the way and live with the small changes as opposed to making drastic ones.  This method doesn't work for everyone, but it does for many. (Note: Normally, I would suggest decorating a room around a rug because the paint colors are endless, but the rug options are not.  In this case, the sequence of events couldn't have been any other way and the end result looks as though we did everything at the same time.) The key to layering is not to get impatient and impulsively buy something that isn't the right fit.  The goal is for the space to look well thought-out and to appear seamless. 

Happy Layering!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lawn Art: Friend or Foe

Gnomes. Patio furniture. Water features.  How can we determine what is tacky and what is tasteful?   I, personally, like to apply an adaptation of the CoCo Chanel fashion rule- place everything you want in the yard and then take one thing away.  In the case of my neighbors- more than one thing really should go...but that's really another story. 

One good rule of thumb is to keep most lawn decor  and furniture in the back yard.  There are some exceptions to the rule for oversized plots of land or houses that need a little softening to add to their curb appeal. But most houses don't require a table & chairs set, stone lions (meant to be used as drainage systems for castles), and other shiny yard "art" placed in the front yard.  Oh sorry, that neighbor thing keeps creeping back in.  When you use items that are disproportionate to the size of the house the pieces overpower the house.  They take all the attention off the beauty of the home or the landscaping and focus it on the out-of-place pieces.  At that point you've gone from art to eye sore.  Not a good move.  The same holds true is you fill the yard with a zillion little knick-knacks.  They make things too busy, distracting from your beautiful flower beds.

To recap, here's a few tips on how not to go overboard:
1. CoCo- place everything & remove something
2. Choose decor that is proportionate to the size of your home.
3. Don't overcrowd.
4. Nice landscaping provides more curb appeal than a family of gnomes.

Some of my favorite pieces to use outside include:
1. Wreath on the front door.
2. Monogrammed garden flags.
3. Outdoor sectionals (on the back deck or concrete patio)
4. Table & chair set with umbrella and lights (also on the back deck or patio).
5. Bench on a front walk.
6. Swing on a wrap-around porch.

Happy yard-arting!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quick fixes to drab walls

Some days I just want a change of scenery in my own house, but I'm not ready to re-paint all the walls.  Here are a few quick and gorgeous ways to spruce up a room without giving up a lot of cash and time.

Simple mural to dress up a plain colored wall. A burst of color in the tray ceiling.

Decals.  Peel and stick these babies wherever you want them go.  When you tire of them, just remove.  No mess!