Pagoda Paradise In Pink & Green

Bold color. That’s what late summer calls for. We’re broiling right now here in the Midwest, and it’s taking its toll on my beautiful flower beds. (Dear Mother Nature, Please take note: This is Missouri, not Hell!🔥🥵) So if crippling heat wants to suck the life out of what I’ve created outside, I guess I’ll just have to compensate inside!

Our dining room, awash with shades of white punctuated with blue most of this summer, has been taken over by bright hues of pink and green.

The inspiration for this tablescape came in part from this gorgeous custom pillow made by Sew Gracious Monograms on Etsy. A pink pagoda is right up my alley! Thanks, Pam!

The other part of the inspiration came from a pair of these GORGEOUS tea towels from Nell Hills in Kansas City, MO, fashioned into a table runner. Because our dining room is decorated in blue and white, the addition of pink and extension of blue via the fabulous pagodas in the runner and pillows is fabulous!

Each place setting starts with a hot pink Bormioli Rocco “Inca” glass charger, followed by a Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” dinner plate rimmed in blue, a square white B. Smith plate, a Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford – Navy” salad plate, and is topped off with a Granny Smith green Mikasa appetizer plate from their “Daylight” collection. Sleek stainless Hampton Forge bamboo flatware, a citrusy crushed silk napkin cinched with a Z Gallerie parrot napkin ring, and simple stemware round out the setting.

I went REALLY big and showy on the floral pieces using a mix of beautiful fauxs that tower above and around the painted pink birdcage that (somewhat) resembles a pagoda. To give the birdcage a larger presence, I perched it atop a stack of natural (to break up the profusion of color a bit) bamboo trays. Large white Z Gallerie parrots stand sentry in front of the floral arrangements.

This is a wonderful and welcome departure from the staid wash of white we have enjoyed the last couple of months. My way of easing into the deeper jewel tones of fall which is fast approaching.

Thank you for stopping in to visit! I appreciate it and welcome you to leave a comment if you wish. Have a glorious end of summer, and I hope to see you back here again soon. Meanwhile, if you would like to see other creations in pink and green on this blog:

If you’d like to check out other posts on this blog using the parrots, go to:

And if orchids – real or faux – are your thing, check out these posts:

Remember to follow me on Instagram!

Solemn Stars & Stripes

This 4th of July (and always) I pray for peace, true freedom, liberty and justice for all souls on this earth.

Placing the ceramic foot bath on a silver gallery tray adds another dimension and a bit of formality to the centerpiece.

Kate Spade for Lenox “Rutherford Circle – Navy” salad plates and “Rutherford Circle – Red” dinner plates atop white ceramic chargers. A mix of alternating red and blue Pier 1 star shaped bowls and a star-studded napkin folded flag style round out the place setting. I first did this napkin fold for “4th of July – Coastal Style” back in 2014.

Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware.

Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware.

Faux floral stems and blue & white chinoiserie foot bath from Nell Hill’s (Kansas City).

My Mother’s American flag is displayed on the vitrine in her honor.

Don’t forget to share in the abundance of the season including fresh fruits and pies! My favorite: blueberry! What’s YOURS?!!

To see other patriotic tablescapes on this blog, just click below. Have a safe and happy 4th!

Cherry Blossoms

Before the cherry blossom season gets entirely away from us, I wanted to slip this little post in under the wire. I posted it on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, but completely forgot to do it here. Too much technology!

I’ve had these Royal Stafford cherry blossom dinner plates for years and have never used them for anything. I thought it about time I remedy that! The darker (faux) bamboo flatware works well alongside the dark branches on the plates.

This larger gold pagoda is a new purchase from a local furniture store, Cameron’s, in downtown Lee’s Summit. I only bought one. Dumb! Need to get my hips back there to get another before they’re all gone!

My Mom brought these tiny gold pagoda back from her travels. I always admired them and was delighted to have her gift me with them before she died.

Bulb vases from Nell Hills.

A new tea/bar cart in the dining room! I like having 3 tiers to work with. The other vintage cart (from my Mom that dates back to the late 50s/very early 60s) has moved into the library.

A simple pale pink cake stand in stark contrast to the more intricate cut crystal champagne bucket behind it.

Hope this inspired you for some future tablescape of your own!
Happy May, everyone!

If you would like to see other Asian-inspired tablescapes on this site:

Chinoiserie Chic – Classic Blue & White for Spring or Summer

I’ve been floating the idea of bringing a blue & white chinoiserie motif into our dining room. The colors and pattern are classic, and I could work with them all year round. (See Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White from 2017 and Mandarin Bling from 2011.) This is my Spring and Summer take on it! (NOTE: Our dining room is currently undergoing redecorating. These pics were snapped before that arduous process kicked in.)

I kept the table bare to better showcase the contrast in colors.

Although I have several blue & white dish patterns, this Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” is my favorite. This time around it is paired up with Godinger “Chelsea” crystal and black faux bamboo flatware. The extra special touch…gorgeous cloches from Nell Hills in Kansas City, Mo.!!! I wasn’t so thrilled with the white wicker tray, but Liz (Home & Gardening With Liz) convinced me to not spray paint them…yet! Under each cloche is a starched white linen napkin and a beautiful porcelain elephant from Pier 1 Imports.  Small pink blossoms are added to break up the blue & white.

I like to add in lots of detail, color, texture, and varying heights for centerpieces. Silver candelabra with towering white metal case candles (for safety!) are surrounded by white Foo dogs, floating orchids, and greenery in white ceramic vases. The small floral branches alongside the bowls  help to elongate the centerpiece.

A small white foo dog with another Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” plate graces the sconces in the dining room.

The buffet behind the dining table is laden with various blue & white pieces I’ve collected over the years.  Some are filled with orchids, while others hold small cherry blossom branches and tulips. To further tie the florals on the buffet and dining table together, I added more vases of greenery.

Do you like classic patterns, or do you lean more toward contemporary styles?

If you’d like to see more tablescapes in blue & white on this site:
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Peony Power
Blue & White Family Picnic
Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells
Christmas In the Library 2020
Tall & Toile, Y’all!
Autumn Flourishes 2017
Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White
Candy Colored Autumn
Summer Blues…and Greens!
Mother’s Day Brunch

If you don’t already, I’d be delighted to have you follow me on Instagram! I’m slowly but surely learning how to use it!

Christmas in the Library 2020

Again…not a lot of words. (I am STILL trying to understand this newest version of WordPress, and I’m not doing very well! I keep losing content!😳)

INSPIRATION:

Newly installed hardwoods on the main floor of our home that REALLY open up the space! (And yes…those stairs are next!)

I love this year’s tree in the library! The traditional red and gold are so pretty, and the bold ornaments on the tree really stand out as something special! I used bright red drums and burnished gold stars on the tree and stairwell décor, and this year’s library tree is topped with a vintage topper that has a very nostalgic feel to it. Instead of ribbon, I went with generously sized metal “ribbon” banners all over the tree that say “Merry Christmas”.

So now THIS is the view from the entryway with a clean segue from the hall to each room. I’m in the market for a striking area rug for this space, but so far nothing has wooed me enough to take that plunge. The gallery wall in here has been replaced with a single oversized mirror, and the vitrine on the south wall – now relegated to the dining room – is gone. In its place, a behemoth 9’H x 8’W structure filled with my favorite blue and white dishes!!! I’m going to have a BLAST in the coming years redefining this piece over and over again. I have an uplight trained on it for the interim this holiday season but will be adding permanent lighting inside over the winter months. The lumbar pillow is from a terrific place in Kansas City’s West Bottoms called The Painted Sofa. If you want to do some serious shopping for home décor, THAT’S the place to go!!!

The secretary remains on the north wall, now semi-permanently decorated with more from my blue & white collection. The big foot tub is filled with Jeffrey pine cones with a trailing evergreen garland and a sprig of red berries. The tea/bar cart from the dining room has found new digs in the library to display a few more blue & white pieces that look so pretty with the greenery and red accents at Christmastime!

I haven’t been able to put this oversized photo of my Mom into storage just yet, so here it sits. I created a little tree with cardinals to commemorate my parents that includes a very thoughtful ornament my sister sent. Next year when I’m a little less raw I’ll create a fully decorated tree to honor both my parents and Ramon’s.

Santa is on his way around the world!

The foyer table leading into the family room is heavily decorated (again!) this year. Colossal red temple jars a from Nell Hills flank a traditionally-styled clock given to my Dad some years back. Lighted greenery garland, a small bowl filled with pine cones, and peppermint trees fill out the space. A jovial Merry Christmas banner found its way to the lower front side of the table.

I chose a voluptuous blue & white vase from my stash for the high boy in the foyer. A tall spray of red berries and an evergreen skirt make it extra special, and the convex mirror behind the arrangement doubles back the striking image.

A traditionally styled chair that once sat in my Mom’s senate office now graces the entryway of our home. It is festooned with evergreen garland and a fun Christmas sign, another easy and inexpensive way to add little touches around the house.

If you would like to see images of library and foyer décor from Christmas in the recent past, check out “Better Late Than Never, Part II“.

Thanks for stopping by!

Autumn Flourishes 2017

Welcome to the Nichols’ home for a quick room by room peek at a few little flourishes for fall 2017!

 

 

 

 

 

Flourishes in the library include a crown of bittersweet on a bust of Diana that sits on a stack of vintage cigar boxes, a feathered owl on the vitrine, and a floral piece adorning a vintage (almost antique!!!) violin on the secretary. On pedestals flanking the vitrine are grapevine balls encased in the same (but smaller) open wrought iron garden orbs as those on the front porch.

 

 

 

 

Our modestly sized foyer has a few touches of fall including a fragrant candle encircled by a bittersweet wreath, an ample cluster of fall foliage in a heavy  ivory pot, a pair of mirrored, open-sided hurricanes from Home Finishings flanking the front door, and another feathered owl balanced on a stack of vintage books on the foyer table.

 

 

 

 

 

The dining room has changed several times as I created different tablescapes for publication this season, but this is the final look for the remainder of fall. Blue & white chinoiserie pieces, orange and white mini pumpkins and fall foliage are seen throughout the room including a flat basket of pumpkins on the dining table topped with a berried branch. The china cabinet holds my collection of aluminum ware from Home Goods. Bright orange mini pumpkins, a bit of foliage, and a white pheasant figurine add a fall feel. (To see this room completely decorated with the table set with chinoiserie for fall, visit Autumn Chinoiserie.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband spends most of his time at home in the family room, so everything has to be comfy, cozy, and “out of harm’s way” in here! It’s such a dark room with oak shelving and wainscoting, so I used a combination of deep fall colors with white. Bookshelves get lots of white pumpkins partly shrouded in a trio of wreaths that lend color and texture. A mix of familiar and new pillows make seating on our new caramel leather reclining loveseats more comfortable and add a mix of patterns. (The room is small, so a pair of roomy loveseats made more sense than a sofa that overwhelms the space. I have chronic spine troubles, so recliners are a way of life now! 😦 ) A tall basket holds an assortment of quilts, throws and blankets to help ward off the autumn chill.

 

And finally, the kitchen…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t help myself. I go a little crazy in the kitchen with decor. It is, after all, the place where I spend a great deal of my day preparing 3 square meals for hubby. Gotta make it as relaxing as possible! The huge stone bunny rabbit is a great decorating opportunity, and I really enjoy decorating the 3-tier galvanized stand on the kitchen table. This year’s autumn decor includes a small wreath made of faux hops, bundles of birch branches, bowls of fragrant whole spices, and brightly colored berries. Front and center is a homemade sign that reminds us daily to “Always Stay Humble & Kind“. Thanks for that Tim McGraw. This world needs a little nudge.

Another post on this site with general fall decorating:
Finally Fall!

If you’d like to see more fall tablescapes and home decor, head on over to Susan’s “Between Naps on the Porch” for Tablescape Thursday #472!

Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White

I recently did a “Better Kansas City” show segment on using unexpected colors and patterns for fall decorating. I’ll publish that clip next week. Meanwhile, here’s a taste of that decorating style that I have come to embrace with great enthusiasm: incorporating autumn touches into existing chinoiserie decor.

 

 

 

Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” dinner and salad plates rest upon a stark white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery.

 

 

I found these lovely cream soup bowls at Nell Hill’s in Parkville, Mo., about 40 minutes away from our home and only 5 minutes from my orthopedic surgeon’s office. (Best place to regroup after bad news!)  I LOVE that place!!! I never spend less than an hour when I visit. A crisp white cotton napkin is fashioned into a variation on the classic crown fold. A sprig of autumn berries brings color and additional texture to the place setting.

 

 

Faux bamboo flatware is perfect for this setting.

 

I bought scads of this sturdy cobalt blue stemware at Pier 1 some years ago, and it has served me well.

 

A very autumn-y pattern of plaid in the table runner with shades of russet, orange, amber, burgundy, cobalt and white is a perfect contrast to dishes. The riot of color contributes to and enhances the overall  boldness of the tablescape. The runner is from TJ Maxx.

 

 

 

 

Ginger jars from Nell Hill’s and temple jars from Home Goods make up the main part of the centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

The length of the centerpiece is punctuated with deep orange mini pumpkins, real and faux acorns, and a meandering garland of berries. Latticed white ceramic planters hold mounded arborvitae.

 

 

The buffet behind the dining table holds its fair share of chinoiserie pieces including a pitcher, an octagonal bowl filled with oversized acorns, and Victorian foot baths mixed with silver candlesticks. The white foo dogs are a nod to the chinoiserie style and add a little unexpected touch.

The bar cart in the corner extends the touches of chinoiserie including the bowls filled with acorns.

Other tablescapes integrating chinoiserie on this blog include:
Mandarin Bling
Mother’s Day Brunch
Blue & White Family Picnic
Blue & White 30th Birthday

Peony Power

I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her 471st Tablescape Thursday! I’m seeing lots of fall and Halloween tablescapes over there today, so drop on in to get inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

Blue & White Family Picnic

What better to do on a warm August evening than gather with friends and family for an old-fashioned, fun picnic…with an elegant twist?  

Grandpa Ramon entertains the little ones while Grandma Alycia rushes to finalize details.

 

When the weather is warm, cool colors for the outdoor tablescape are definitely in order! A classic blue & white checkered tablecloth anchors the setting and renders a true “picnic” feel.

 After a few family photos are taken…
…the food is set out, the champagne expertly poured, and it’s time for everyone to sit down, relax, and enjoy!
 Reflective silver chargers, icy clear dishes & stemware (Bed Bath & Beyond), and faux mother of pearl flatware (Target) were perfect for the occasion. White pillar candles, which bring one of three levels of candlelight, are protected from the breeze with standard clear glass hurricanes.
 Silver candelabra brimming with luscious grapes are outfitted with white candles to be lit after the sun leaves the sky. (Table linen and chairs from All Seasons Tent & Party Rental.)
 Silver julep cups are filled with pure white and citrus green carnations along with hosta leaves from the garden. (They were later transferred to faux silver juleps for the guests to take home.) Notice the votive candles in addition to the pillars under the hurricane shades and candelabra. I like the look offered by multiple levels and sources of candlelight that make any tablescape dance!
 Sweet bing cherries and plump, ripe blueberries are set out in beautiful white ceramic vessels from Hobby Lobby for guests to munch on before and after dinner. I love this white jardiniere…wish I had more!
 The dessert table is dressed up with a larger version of the carnation & hosta arrangements on the dining table.
 I like to think of new ways to present old favorites. On this day fresh strawberry lemonade was served from a clear glass apothecary jar (available at Target or Function Junction). A custom engraved silver tag strung with ribbon identifies the contents. (I had several of these tags made up for various beverage and candy displays.)
 
 Guests all dressed in blue & white raise a glass! To family!!!

Summer Blues… and Greens!

SUMMER BLUES…AND GREENS!
(a re-post from August 2010)

There is really nothing quite like the cooling, soothing look of cobalt blue in a summer tablescape! Mixed here with grassy greens and cloud-like white, it takes on a casually sophisticated look that is one with nature.

For each place setting, I started with a crisp, white cotton linen. The beautiful blue & white placemats are a vinyl reversible from Bed, Bath & Beyond that caught my eye. The stark white square dinner plates, also from BB&B, are from the B. Smith With Style collection. The deep blue salad plates and graceful finger bowls are from Pier 1 Imports. I like these bowls because they can be used in so many ways! I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of them in subsequent tablescapes. Simple Pfaltzgraff “Legacy” flatware and cobalt blue glass tumblers from Old Time Pottery finish the look.

I picked up this gorgeous green & blue glass compote several years ago, and I am always thrilled to get a chance to use it in a tablescape! Filled here with an abundance of juicy Granny Smith apples, succulent limes, and cymbidium orchids, it really stands out. Orchids are so pricey that I often can only afford a single stem or two. Plucking the blooms and floating them in water (or tucking the stem into a water tube as in the centerpiece) is a wonderful option with a lot of impact. The flames of white candles in the cobalt hurricanes dance when the sun goes down. The potted grass is just another way to pull in the color green and to add texture and interest to the overall centerpiece.

Another way to punctuate the tablescape’s look with a bit more green was to place individual bottles of refreshing Perrier at each guest’s setting.

Want to see a couple of other tablescapes using blue and green?:
Under A Paper Moon
Butterfly Kaleidoscope

          

 

Mother’s Day Brunch

This colorful brunch tablescape in Springtime shades of blue, white, and cheery lemon yellow punctuated with bright pink paid homage to my Mother. The bouquet – my son and his girlfriend’s way of honoring me on Mother’s Day – was perfectly coordinated to the setting, especially the fresh fruit compote! (Please pardon the horrible fold lines in the table linen! This is one of my very early blog posts before I realized just how awful lines look in photos!!!)

These placemats from Bed, Bath & Beyond caught my eye because of the playful lemons adjacent to the traditional & decidedly staid damask. The lemon yellow cotton napkins are also from BB&B. The cornflower blue juice glasses and compotes are from Old Time Pottery, and the cobalt blue chargers from Pier 1. The plates are basic white Corelle.

Fresh, fragrant lemons in blue & white transferware bowls with a few lemon leaves tossed in for color elongate the tablescape’s centerpiece. Not one to be wasteful, freshly squeezed lemonade is on the next day’s menu. (Oh, for heaven’s sake…those folds in the linen are killin’ me!!! :-()

I embellished the lush mix of lilies, roses, Fuji mums, orchids, hyacinth, button mums, monkshood and carnations with a few butterflies.

Coffee cups in the colors of the day are from Old Time Pottery.

Pre-sliced bagels are presented in a long napkin-lined basket. Find the recipes for the homemade vegetable or honey cream cheese spreads HERE or by clicking the “Recipes” tab above.

Nothing like a little fruit juice to get the day started! Here, clear glass decanters hold a choice of pink grapefruit, orange or apple.

I just love to take something basic and make it special! Plain white ceramic pitchers from Home Goods are gussied up with the addition of custom silver tags that mark the frothy, cold chocolate and strawberry milk.

The hostess awaits her guests’ arrival!

Other posts suitable for a Mother’s Day celebration on this site:
Peonies & Pearls
Showered in Pink
Pink Plaid & Posies
Days of Wine & Roses
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pleasant Under Glass

Another tablescape using lemons on this site:
Lemonade From Bill

A few fun accessories that will help make your Spring table feel fresh, inviting, and alive!

  • Budding branches (you can get these from your yard or nearby wooded areas)
  • Fresh curly willow (adds a lot of character and dimension to arrangements or can be used alone)
  • Grapevine
  • Flowers in seasonal colors (e.g., daffodils, tulips, hyacinth)
  • Potted green plants
  • Topiaries
  • Moss
  • Freshly grown grass in pots or flats
  • Nests
  • Birdhouses and cages
  • Glass bell jars and wire cloches
  • Chicken wire
  • Baskets (plain, moss covered, embellished with twigs or pussy willow branches, etc.)
  • Pots and vases with a vintage look
  • Parasols
  • Fresh or faux veggies (e.g., lettuce, cabbages, carrots)
  • Easter eggs
  • Smooth river rock
  • Floral wreaths
  • Softly colored solid and patterned fabrics: plaid, paisley, floral
  • Ribbon and twine
  • Candlesticks, chargers, and other tabletop items made of wood, grapevine, straw, iron and other natural elements
  • Flatware with handles made of wood or bamboo
  • Figurines of woodland animals (e.g., rabbits, squirrels, birds)
  • Figurines of Spring- or Easter-related animals (e.g., chicks, hens, roosters, sheep, butterflies)
  • White or pastel spray paint for lightning and brightening everything from branches & twigs to….you name it!