Friday, August 31, 2012

Entertaining For Big And Little People

Now that our house projects lists is down to a semi-manageable level (it will never go to zero, will it???), that has led me to more thoughts about is so fun to finally start enjoying and sharing our home!   And, because we often include whole families many of the ideas include how to keep the little ones happy so the parents can have a good time, too.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas lately:

Chalk board cloth table runner.

Super cute western theme birthday party!
I'd love to have a cowboy-themed birthday party for my son at some point...this is adorable!  I don't think the kids would fully appreciate it, but perhaps parents would.  :)

*All you do is take your favorite cake recipe, bake and let cool. Before frosting, make sure your cake is shorter than a kit-kat bar, if not trim some off the top to leave room for the M’s. Frost with your favorite frosting.    Take a bunch of kit-kat bars (about 4 large packages), cut or gently break each bar into two sections. Place the bars on the cake, gently pushing into the frosting. Tie with a ribbon and fill the center with M’s (about 1 large bag). You can leave some out to pour a...

Sweet little pot of moss for place holder
Perfect for a backyard meal...

Dipped s'mores! #laylagrayce #party #dessert
You guys probably know about how much I love s'mores - these look so yummy!

countryside cake
So charming!

Rue Magazine (May 2012  Issue). Photography by Belathee Photography. Design by Cassandra Lavalle.

stylish version of a veggie tray...

beach table setting

I think the blog has been a bit more of a food blog lately.  After so much for the house being done, I need a little hiatus!  Hope you don't mind.  I'm thinking that when Fall sets in I will be more into "nesting" mode again.  I can feel it coming on, as Summer winds down.  How about you?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Newborn Photography Prop: Who Knew?

Hi Everyone!  Hope you're having a great Thursday.  We are winding down with Summer and I must say I am ready to get into a routine again.  We'll see if I change my tune come October when it's dark and rainy and I just want to stay in bed and snuggle.  :)

A new customer from Linen Haus just emailed me with a whole new way to use one of my products from the shop, and I thought it would be fun to share her idea!  Angee Alvis from Angee's Originals recently purchased a Chinese Water Well Bucket.  She is using it as a prop for her newborn photography - I never would have thought of that, but look at this oh-so-cute picture! 


I spent some time looking at her creations today and she is SO talented.  I enjoyed seeing her creative approaches to capturing beautiful family moments, especially the babies.  :) Pop over there and take a look here.
Thanks so much Angee!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Black and White

Just a quick post today...I thought this black and white room was quite stunning and worth sharing!

black and white.

Have a great day.  :)


Monday, August 27, 2012

New Listings At Linen Haus!

Hi Everyone,

Summer has gotten away from me and I hadn't yet listed all of my inventory at Linen Haus, my online boutique, full of vintage and antique finds from European markets.  However, I added some beautiful items today so I thought I'd share them with all of you.  

A very unique etched glass vase in a beautiful sea blue.  It's hard to appreciate its beauty in photographs but trust me - it's a special piece.

A spanish flask makes a great gift for the man in your life, or part of an earthy vignette.

A vintage school house map of North and Central America in pristine condition!

Don't hate me for saying this but Christmas will be here before we know it!  
These hand-blown German glass ornaments are so delicate and pretty in this icy lavender color and would make a beautiful addition to your tree, mantel or as a unique gift.  I love to tie them on to a bottle of wine or other gift for a hostess or special friend.

More luxurious linens with potential for so many decor pursuits...just lovely.

Antique German Gilded Book
More lovely antique books too!

You can see details on each item here.  Any favorites?

BTW, I am happy to report that the shop has been going well and I'll be doing a shopping trip fairly soon.  Let me know what you're interested in so I can try to find some special gems just for you!.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


You know that feeling when a room looks too perfect and "decorated"?  When is a room just right vs. over the top?  And when does a room have that something about it that's just a bit off that actually makes it just right?

These two rooms look like they aren't decorated at all, but rather like they just evolved over time without a second's thought to design, color or any of the rest.  What's your take?

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

I did a similar post about this a long time ago, here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Idea of Perfection: The Dining Room

A while back I did posts on my ideas for the perfect laundry room, master bathroom and master bedroom.  It was fun to put together and a great way to compile the cream of the crop from all of the design inspirations I have been gathering over the last several years.  Up next:  my ideal dining room! So here goes...

One thing that is a must if/when we build our dream home is for the dining room to double as a library.  I love the coziness it provides, plus I think the room would get so much more use if we could use it to spread out great research materials, big atlases to plan trips, etc.  (Yes, I'm ignoring technology -- there's nothing like really opening a REAL book, is there?)

Library/Dining room

The art, the natural light and the ladder really make the room!  I'd quiet it down a bit with a bit less going on, but I definitely love this feel...

pedestal dining room table 
A large pedestal table with plenty of room to accommodate extended family and friends...

Linen slip-covered chairs add so much style.  
Typically I'd choose a neutral, but I think these are particularly nice!

large canvas
A large, abstract statement piece would add some contrast to the room.

polished nickel, 22x22
Interesting lighting like this, perhaps with three in a row...or:

honeycomb blown glass pendant lamp
A grouping of five of these, hung at various heights (all above eye level of course)...or:

wow - what a warm room and that chandelier!
All out like this!

I hope you enjoyed this little mind-share.  Thoughts?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Al Fresco & Delicioso!

Hope you're having a great weekend!  We are enjoying the great weather and, seeing as this is Seattle, we have to make the most of it while it lasts!  That of course inspires a lot of al fresco settings for enjoying these warm summer days/evenings.  I have posted about al fresco dining before (here and here), but when the temperatures soar (and I know elsewhere they are MUCH hotter than in Seattle right now!) I can't get enough of it.  

How does this sound for an al fresco dining experience?  We'll sit down here...


or here...

Now that's a porch!

or here...

gorgeous outdoor living area

or here...

reese witherspoon's ojai ranch

or here...

fabulous setting..

And eat this...

Summer salad with fresh vegetables, goat cheese and a light vinaigrette


Post image for Quick and Easy Recipes for Summer Entertaining
definitely this...

Chilled Zucchini, Walnut, and Basil Soup Recipe

AND this...

Pineapple no bake cheesecake

I'd choose this to drink:


How do you like to make the most of Summer dining?

Sources can be found here and here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

My New Favorite Room from Michael S. Smith

I don't have much time to post right now - I'm out and about trying to enjoy the last few weeks of Summer before school schedules and activities kick in - but I had to post this beautiful room.  Check out this gorgeousness from Michael S. Smith...

Michael Smith Interior Design, Montecito

It combines so many beautiful elements...the stone fireplace, the detailing along the ceiling, the beams, the chandelier, the Spanish arches...etc. etc. etc.! 
Which detail is your favorite?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Lovelies!

Just a few random lovelies for your Wednesday...

dark bookcase

What a great place to curl up and read a book!  I love how the green pops against the black.
Rockwork and Roof
Stone, water, urns, and that amazing roof?  Charming!

What a fun detail for a nautical house.

I just thought this was cool.  :)

Anthony Catalfano Interiors

Such a soothing space and I love the touches of blue!

I'm headed out in the sunshine today - what are you up to?

Monday, August 13, 2012

More From John Jacob Interiors

Wow, I really love this guy's work!  If I ever get to South Africa again, I'm definitely figuring out a way to see more of his designs! 

incredible lighting and table | john jacob interiors

dark walls | white furniture | shelving

john jacob interiors

Very unique work, don't you think?  
I can't say that I love every design element, but I do love a lot of it. I truly admire his originality and the feel and eclectic mix of his designs.  Not to mention his pulling in so many travel elements for a mysterious, ethnic, colonial mix.  
(Can those be done together?  Apparently he can pull it off!)
You can see a previous post about his work here .
You can find his entire portfolio here.


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