Garden Party!

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Apr 18, 2010 | 17 Comments | Category: Dining Rooms, Home Exteriors

This entire weekend has been so dreary here in the big D <sigh>.  I am so looking forward to the weather becoming consistent and it actually looking like Spring around here!

One of my favorite pastimes when the weather is sunny and bright, is to have brunch outside.  The best day for this?  Sunday of course!

A girl can dream of brighter days ahead..but for now, I guess I will have to live vicariously through the magazines that showcase pretty garden parties with bright colors and sun-drenched terraces.

Traditional Home featured one this month in particular that really caught my eye.  Heather Christothoulou hosted a garden party outside her Seattle home complete with silver Chiavari chairs, white ginger jars, pink chandeliers and bright green accents.  What’s not to love?

I immediately recognized the Suzani dessert plates from Anthropologie on her table (I have the same set!)  Her color scheme is very close to my own dining room’s.  I am incredibly girly at heart so her garden party certainly struck a chord with me!

And all that fresh food looks so delish…

These photos are so uplifting that I almost forgot that I am still stuck in rainy and bleak Dallas weather.  How ironic is it that I am jealous of Heather’s Seattle weather right now?

Being a residential designer is wonderful for the most part, but just like any job, it has its good days and bad.  I consider a “bad” day one where I end up spending all day looking for a certain piece and then end up leaving the showrooms empty-handed. (well, empty-handed of tear sheets at least)

Of course interior design has a lot to do with talent, but I also think that it has a lot to do with luck.  I may have the perfect size/shape/color/pattern/texture of an object in my mind, but alas, not one showroom’s inventory will seem to want to agree with my vision!  I usually end up being a bit of a perfectionist on my projects and refuse to give up looking for the perfect piece until I find it.  But the funny thing is, six months after the project ends, I will randomly stumble upon that perfect object- funny how it works that way?


{House Beautiful}

So why do I bring this up now?  Well, I have been looking for a very particular large scale, wall-hung mirror for a client’s dining room for the past three weeks.  I’m not talking about casually browsing stores.  I’m referring to the kind of search where you obsess over it constantly- stalking every store’s catalog, internet site, and showroom for this object (often checking multiple times a week just to make sure that perfect piece didn’t arrive while you were sleeping the night before).  The never-ending search where you start to put social engagements and other work second to the quest for this object.  Any spare time is spent looking for it and even a trip to get gas in your car, ends up turning into a “let me just run in next door to see if they have something…”


{House Beautiful}

It would be fine if we had the time to wait for a custom mirror or for new inventory to come in, but my client needed the mirror for a party on the 16th and as noon rolled around today, the hope of finding it in time was not looking good.  By this point, I had given up on finding the perfect sized mirror before Saturday night, so was willing to compromise for something a tad smaller, a mirror that could at least be a “stand-in” for the party.

Enter- Home Goods.  I randomly made my bi-monthly stop at Home Goods today and guess what I found?  A mirror!  And not just any mirror- a mirror for $150!  One that would work perfectly for the time being and not only that, it looks EXACTLY like the Mosaic Mirror currently on Horchow’s website that I’ve always loved (but is currently back-ordered until March and retails for $450)


{Home Goods Mirror}


{Horchow Mosaic Mirror}

Who would have thought that the best mirror we’ve seen thus far would be from Home Goods of all places! I guess you just never know.  All’s well that ends well, I suppose, and if my client ends up loving it, hey, you never know, we just might keep it as more than a party prop!

House Beautiful came in the mail yesterday and what a pleasant surprise!  Our friend and fellow blogger Julia (Chicago) was asked to participate in the monthly “Send Us a Picture Of…” article.  Be sure to check it out!  Julia was asked “what change in her house has made the most difference?”


To vote for Valorie’s Modern Creole room in the 5th annual Apartment Therapy Room for Color 2009 Contest.

Valorie, our friend over at the Visual Vamp blog, is definitely no stranger to color.  Her bold and vivacious home in New Orleans is filled with lots of colorful Southern charm.





Click here to vote!

Good luck Valorie- we are all rooting for ya!

I can honestly say I am the worst hostess/cook in the entire world.  I was once assigned to bringing a dessert to a pot luck dinner with my girlfriends and brought over a box of uncooked chocolate chip muffin mix instead (which are actually quite delicious!)  But needless to say, no one asks me to bring dessert anymore.  It has become the joke among our group of friends that I can’t cook at all, nor am I the best hostess.


But this week I was faced with a challenge- to host a small, casual dinner at my place for a group of girlfriends in celebration of this weekend’s big OU/TX game here in Dallas.  I was supposed to cook an edible meal (oh the horror!) and make my tablescape coincide with the Red River Shootout “scheme”.

Aside from the cooking part, my other challenge was that these girls are all Texas fans (and I went to OU).  In the end, I decided that burnt orange and a splash of turquoise was a more fun color scheme than inserting any crimson and cream…(OU people, don’t hate me) and as always, Tarjay came to the rescue with inexpensive and outdoor friendly plates.

picture 016

I may be rooting for Texas’ color scheme, but I can’t say that I will be cheering for UT during the big game (much to my boyfriend’s disapproval).  Boomer Sooner!

Simply Chic

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Aug 09, 2009 | 2 Comments | Category: Color, Dining Rooms, Kitchens

I came across the most simple but lovely photograph today…


{House Beautiful}

All it consisted of was white ironstone and reliefware pitchers set against a background of Benjamin Moore’s Rural Earth paint color.  As basic as this photo was, I completely fell in love with it.  The display just felt so clean, graphic, and organized.  There’s such a nice contrast between the light vases and the dark background.

Sometimes it’s the littlest things that get me.  And what a difference an accent paint color makes here! Such drama in this photo- loves!

What do Tori Spelling, the Kardashians, the Barefoot Contessa, and the Jonas Brothers all have in common?


They heart La Plates!


These monogrammed dinner plates are the cutest things I’ve seen in a while!  Kris K. looks pretty giddy above with her K La Plate.


Cheryl Hines’ daughter’s name is Catherine Rose (so pretty- love this name)- the rosy pink plate fits her name to a tee.

Here are some more patterns they offer- you can change out the background color, font, font color, and personalize it any way you like!


If I were designing a La Plate for myself, I would do the pattern above in chocolate/white with an orange colored font. This is honestly too much fun!



Just some of the plates that La Plates did for celeb tots-





A toolshed is used for…..storing tools? In some cases maybe, but not at Laura McGuire’s M street home in Dallas.

She turned her rundown toolshed into The Dinner Cottage.

D Home featured it as one of their top ten dining rooms.

What a wonderful retreat and such a great place to spend time with friends and family.

Wonder if her tools are under the tableskirt? Not such a bad idea!

Often in Us Weekly or People, there will be that article that shows “day” Katie Cruise and “night” Katie Cruise. “Day” Katie will appear with less makeup, large sunglasses, wearing skinny or “boyfriend” jeans, strolling around looking more casual. “Night” Katie has smokey eye makeup, a tight fitting dress or ball gown on, and looking positively stunning- ready for a more formal occasion.

Day Katie

Night Katie

Your tableware should follow this same transformation. It’s always good to have two sets- one that’s more casual for the daytime and another that is more fancy for when dinner guests come over.

I don’t believe in never using your good china either. Something so expensive and special shouldn’t just be collecting dust in your cabinets! Break them out when good friends are over- there is never a better time than today!

I love Cielo Home and its tableware collections that are categorized under Formal Table (night) and Everyday Table (day)

Everyday table:

This dessert plate was designed by renowned Italian designer Missoni (known for their colorful and creative patterns) Retails at $58

Missoni dress (looks similar to the plate above)

Katie also in casual floral for day wear

Another “Everyday” table item- this Checks Round plate was designed by Thomas Kellar

Katie in a similar pattern

Formal Table:

This plate, designed by John Derian, was an Elle Decor award winner! At $158 each, this plate is worth every penny- gorgeous! Every piece is hand signed by John himself. The colors he used look perfect together as does the mini “brooch” looking piece in the center of the design.

Katie with a similar brooch looking design on her dress

This coral “Cristobal” dessert plate, was designed by Alberto Pinto (he is hired by royals and also celebs to design their homes and palaces!) What a fun job. I love the vibrant, deep hue in this plate- I can see this table setting being really dramatic at night- especially if it was paired with black, white and gold!

Katie also breaking out her fiery red for night!

As you can see, there is a time and a place for different sets of china (informal and more formal)…take it from Katie, she won’t be wearing her boyfriend jeans on the red carpet anytime soon!

Mini Lamps

Posted By Emily-Dallas | Apr 17, 2008 | 6 Comments | Category: Dining Rooms

My friend Lindsey brought my attention to these- Gorgeous Helen– comes in a set of three different wine shades that are designed for you to put over your wine glasses! (You put a small votive candle in each glass and voila! You now have an adorable centerpiece for your party)

$20 for three shades