Valentines Tablescape


Setting a pretty table is one of my favorite things to do and Pinterest supplies me with an abundance of creative ideas and inspiration.  I’m typically not one to decorate with pastels but this gorgeous table decor felt like the perfect Valentine’s Day table setting.  It exudes elegance but it’s not fussy. And I just love the warmth the mix of pinks and gold creates.  With all this beautiful inspiration, I thought I’d show you how easy it is to recreate this look for Valentine’s or whatever special occasion you might be celebrating…


 Silk Flower Arrangement // Gold Charger Plate // Brass Taper Candle Holders  // Glass Votive Holders1/2/3
Luminous Coupe Dinnerware // Gold Flatware // Pink Linen Napkins
Metal and Glass Terrarium //Pink Wine Glasses


Three Styling Tips for an Elegant Table:

 Gold and metallic finishes will make the entire table feel more expensive

 For a dramatic centerpiece, arrange flowers to fill the table side to side and top to bottom

♥  Create layers with candles using different size, shapes and styles of candle holders

What’s great about all of these items is that they can easily be mixed and matched with seasonal decor to create a table for Easter, a ladies luncheon or even a New Year’s Eve celebration.

If you were creating this Valentine’s Day table for two, how would you put your own spin on the decor?

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Absolutely Beautiful Things

Do you ever have one of those fleeting moments when you see the decor in a home and it makes you think about redecorating your entire home.  I have those moments a lot but recently I started delving in one of my design books and it really has me itching to change my look.

The book I’m talking about is Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro.  Anna is an interior designer and shop owner based in Brisbane, Australia.  Her store, my Black & Spiro is filled with a unique collection of colorful, eclectic and interesting decor and accessories.

When it comes to designing rooms, you can tell that Anna’s approach is all about infusing color and vibrancy into the space.  Let’s take a look at her style shall we…

Anna Spiro

The wallpaper above is just one of Anna’s designs available through Porters Paints.

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You have to love this eclectic gallery wall arrangement.

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Classic with a pop of color–yes please!

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The white piping and monogram take these black end chairs to a whole new level.

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Colorful pillows on a traditional settee is the perfect combination.

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I’m crushing on bold sofas these days and love the decorative boxes on the coffee table.

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A traditional chair with a twist–such a statement piece.

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This entire banquette setting has me drooling.  I just love the colorful mix.  It’s such a happy place.

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And if you ever questioned whether bright colors and traditional furniture could mix, here’s proof.

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One thing I know about my personal design style is that I love classic styling, whimsical touches and pops of color so that’s why I’m so drawn to Anna Spiro’s style.  A trip to Australia and a visit to Black and Spiro are on my bucket list but until that happens I’ll keep arming Anna from across the pond.

To learn more about Anna and Black and Spiro, you can visit her site here and follow her on Instagram here.

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Printed Lampshades
Melodi Horne, London

The other day I was flipping through some magazines and I started to notice a design trend that appears to be coming back in a strong way–patterned lampshades. While I don’t think patterned lampshades ever went completely out of style, the last few years it’s been all about neutral, white and black shades.

When you look back at the history of patterned lampshades, I think they have gotten a back rap and are associated with old-fashion, dated decor. Given the right setting and in the right pattern, lampshades with a pattern are be a fabulous design accent.  If you’re not already, here’s a few inspirational photos to get your on board with this trend…

Printed Lampshade


As in any decorative situation, an animal print always works to add a sophisticated and elegant look to any space.



Patterned lampshades on a brass lamp can create an old-world feel which it totally in style.

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I love the idea of a patterned lampshade to match the theme of the decor.

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It’s aways good to have a variety of patterns within a room design and a patterned lampshade is an easy way to incorporate a fun pattern.

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A patterned lampshade that fits the color theme of a room just gives the room more visual depth and interest.

Print Lampshade


A patterned lampshades can add color and energy to a neutral room.

Patterend Lampshade in neutral decor


Patterned lampshades can unify the colors within a room.

Black Patterend Lampshade via

Patterned lampshades can add an unexpected twist to the decor of a room.

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If your crafty, you can make your own printed lampshades.  Here’s a great tutorial that walks you through all the steps.

Printed Lampshade Tutorial

You can find patterned lampshades in most home decor stores, this is a great online source with a great selection of patterns.  And I recently spotted several really great designs at HomeGoods.  To make shopping easy, check out a few of my favorites in stores and online now…

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Seedling–available in 16 colors /  Watercolor Floral /  Giclee Greek Key Lampshade–available in tons of colors
Northern Lights / Animal Print / Diamonds Giclee
Teal Bamboo Trellis / Birch Blonde /Jigsaw Drum Shade

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Valentine's Day Gift Wrap.001

If I had the time I would find an excuse to wrap gifts everyday.  I just love a beautifully wrapped gift and always want my gift wrapping to be part of the gift giving experience.

With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, I had the perfect opportunity to get creative and wrap gifts for the favorite people in my life.  I decided to keep things simple and use embellishments to add the wow factor to my gifts.

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Have you ever heard the saying, ‘decorating is in the details?’  I believe that the design details within your decor are the that bring it to life and give your home its personality.  Take decorative bowls for instance.  They look good on coffee tables, console tables, on bookshelves and just about any other place you put them.

The other day I was shuffling some of my accessories around and put a decorative bowl on the coffee table and one on the console table in the dining area.  The bowls looked great where they were but the question of what to put in them popped up.  After rummaging through my stash of accessories and crafts, I came up with a few options.  Here’s what you might consider putting in a decorative bowl.


Scrabble Pieces

I’ve bought a couple of old scrabble games at thrift stores, planning to use the tiles in other projects.  Since that hasn’t happened, I decided to use them as decor and placed them in a beautiful blue and white bowl I have.  The tiles add an eclectic and fun detail to the coffee table.

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I’ve got two baskets filled with pinecones that travelled with us all the way from Seattle when we moved 15 years ago.  They add a rustic and wintry feel to my decor this time of year and look really great piled up in a vintage brass bowl.

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When my store was open, these alphabet balls were a bigger seller.  In the store I displayed them under a glass cloche or in a lidded glass jar but for my decor, I love them in this gold pedestal bowl I found at Hobby Lobby around Christmas.  The balls are whimsical but still have a classic vibe to them.

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Here’s another look I created for my coffee table last week using Dominos in a gold leaf bowl.  What I like most is the contrast of the black and white dominos against the gold bowl and animal print tray.  The dominos also add a playful feel to the table.

Coffee Table Dominos

If you’re looking for something to put in the decorative bowls in your home, these are just a few ideas. You could also try one of these decorative accessories…

DICE or VINTAGE POOL BALLS ( This set of dice is a great price and I just bought a set for myself)



MARBLES (Etsy is a great source for really unique vintage marbles)



OLD BOOK PAGES (hit up your favorite thrift store)

Book Pages


MOSS BALLS (check out this great source of all types of unique bowl fillers)

Moss Balls

Of course you know I’m going to ask?  What do you fill your decorative bowls with?

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SIX Ways To Style Your Coffee Table.001.jpeg.001

There are several areas in my home where I am constantly tweaking and changing the decor and one of those is my coffee table.  I love changing the look by rearranging the accessories, switching up the items or adding flowers.

If you search coffee table decor on Pinterest you’ll find hundreds of different ways you can decorate your coffee table and trying to recreate those looks can be challenging. To make decorating a little easier, I’m outlining SIX of the most common (and easiest) ways to style a coffee table using items that you probably already own.

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Inspiration Notebook--February 2016-2

Inspiration Notebook--February 2016

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At Home.001.jpeg.001

Over the weekend I made a shopping trip to a new to me store, At Home.  If you’re not familiar with At Home, it’s the old Garden Ridge brand that has been completely revamped and rebranded.  Garden Ridge carried a small offering of home decor items  but the main offering was mostly a craft, seasonal and faux floral items.  When the store rebranded to At Home, the product mix changed to all home decor including outdoor furniture and garden decor.

Before I get into what I liked about At Home, let me tell you about some of the drawbacks…

♦  If you’re looking for investment pieces, you won’t find them At Home.  What you’ll find are decorative pieces that are will last years but not a lifetime.  Take for instant rugs.  The store carries hundreds of styles and sizes but the quality isn’t the best on the market, meaning mostly synthetic fibers.  And they have a massive selection counter and bar stools but if they’d be used on a daily basis, I don’t think most of the styles have a lifespan beyond 5 to 6 years.

 They don’t offer the best prices in town.  Many of the items in the store you can also find in HomeGoods/TJMaxx, Target, Wal-Mart and other big box stores and in many cases the big box stores have better prices.

Selections are limited in some categories of product. The dinnerware and tabletop category was one of the weakest areas of the store.  There wasn’t a lot of variety and when you did come across a style you liked, they didn’t have quantity on hand that would allow for multiple place setting.

 The store is a bit messy.  I’m going to give them the benefit of doubt and blame it on post-Christmas business or a busy shopping weekend but some areas of the store were a total disaster.  Pillows were all over the floor in the pillow aisle and in the bath department things were a hot mess.



Here’s the things I liked about ‘At Home’…

♦  They carry a huge selection of items and At Home is a great source of basic pieces.  If you’re needing decor like baskets and containers, decorative accessories or mirrors you should definitely check out At Home.  The mirror department was impressive with a wide range of styles and sizes (lots of oversized mirrors).  I spotted several (0k, many) mirrors I wanted for myself or for clients.  And I thought the prices were good, especially for the larger mirrors.

♦  You’ll see the latest product trends and colors.  At Home is definitely up to date on the latest product and style trends so if something is HOT, you’re likely to see it (or a version of the trend) in the store.

♦  They have a great lampshade selection.  One of the reasons I made the trip to At Home was to look for a black lampshade.  I haven’t been to Scott Antique market in months to hit up my usual source and when HomeGoods has them, they sell out pretty quick so I’ve been on the hunt for one.  At Home has hundreds of lampshades in every sizes, color and shape you can imagine.  Their prices are pretty good with a basic black drum shade prices between $14.99 and $29.99.

 Lots of fun, whimsical and themed seasonal decor.  If you like to decorate for each season you’re sure to find some cute stuff like these adorable bunnies with gold ears.  These bunnies were about 12″ to 14″ tall and I think these were either $12.99 or $14.99.  Also, if you have a need for faux flowers or greenery they have a selection that rival Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or JoAnn.

♦  Lots and lots and lots and lots of wall decor and artwork.  When it comes to artwork, think HomeGoods on steroid.  There must have been 15 or more aisles of wall decor and artwork so if you need inexpensive wall decor this is your place.

I think that’s enough about what I liked about At Home so let’s take a look at a few items that caught my eye when I was shopping.

The cutest darn ceramic bunnies.  I think there were $12.99 or $14.99.


Great wood crates for flowers, a kitchen caddy or for organizing magazines and such.



Loved these ceramic horse head bookends.  They had lots of styles to choose from but many are some separately which resulted in lots of solo pieces on the shelf.



Here’s just one row of their mirror offering–I think there were about 9 or 10 rows in total.


Here’s a classic starburst mirror that could be used in a gallery wall arrangement or layered on top of a larger mirror.  Notice the price.


I feel in love with this mirror below, both the style and the $129.99 price.


This Pagoda style mirror below was another fave and priced at $199.99 which was good given its size.


Here’s some Pagoda inspiration for you…

Pagoda Mirror

  Laura Tutun via La Dolce Vita

A pretty scalloped edge mirror.


Sunflower mirror below…$99.99



Quatrefoil Mirror below…$199.99


There are lots of oversized (and regular sized) clocks.


The store carries baskets in all shapes and sizes but I think you can find better prices at HomeGoods/TJMaxx.


I didn’t love this open end basket but if was the only one and it didn’t have a price on it.

p.s.  At Home is the size of warehouse so going to ask for a price is like walking the length of a football field (not really, but almost)


Here’s an on trend gold fretwork table with a glass top.  $49.99 if I remember correctly.


Cute and colorful accent tables.


Ok, let’s talk chairs and bar stools.  At Home has a large selection of accent/side chairs and overall the styling and fabrics are nice.  The only thing I didn’t  like was the construction details of the legs.  A lot of the legs were wobbly and just didn’t seem solid.  The hubs and I did tighten a few legs and it made the chairs better but I question how long these chairs would really last.  As a side chair that doesn’t get used often, I do think there were some good options.


I loved the design of this wood and chrome chair.


And these bar stools were very Ballard Design without the price (or the quality).


Great oversized ottomans–a nice size for a coffee table or at the end of a bed.


Bench with acrylic legs. I think this was priced at $129.99.


The lucite ghost chair priced at $99.00.


and also available in black.








You’ll also find upholstered headboards.


I did run across this tartan plaid dinnerware and almost bought it.  There were dinner plates, salad plates, bowls and cups.


This table runner was pretty and would make a great backdrop of a summer tablescape.


At Home has a ton of different typography letters to choose from but all of the really common letters like S, L , M were sold out.  This rope design was pretty cute.


Probably my favorite items in all of the store were their garden stools.  Prices similar to what you can find at HomeGoods but with more variety to choose from.

I loved this elephant stool.


And really, really loved these blue and white stools.  They were all $49.99.



What else I’d buy At Home?

♦  Outdoor umbrella–great prices and great selection

♦  Garden planters–definitely something for everyone

♦  Picture Frames–From large to small and I spotted some lots of uncommon sizes which I’m often on the hunt for

♦  Glassware–great selection of glassware and at great prices.

So there you have it, a mini tour and scoop on At Home.  Despite some of my drawbacks, I will definitely be shopping at the store again and look forward to checking them out around Christmas.

If you’ve shopped at At Home, what do you like most about what the store has to offer?  I’d love to know.