We are so proud of our former intern, Iisha, who was chosen as a volunteer to help decorate the White House for the holidays!  What an amazing opportunity and challenge!  I don’t know about you, but decorating my 1930s cottage for the holidays sometimes seems overwhelming, so can you imagine what goes into decorating a 55,000 square foot national landmark!

Each year a theme is chosen for the White House’s holiday decor.  I wish I could transform my holiday decor from year to year!   This year’s theme is “A Children’s Winter Wonderland” which celebrates the Christmas spirit as viewed through the eyes of a child.  Iisha flew to Washington D.C. on Thanksgiving Day and spent the next five days in a whirwind of holiday decorating, surrounded by tinsel and ornaments galore!  The White House provides the volunteers with decor, tools, and inspiration photos to help them complete this enormous task.  Iisha worked individually and as part of a team to decorate two rooms and a hallway in the East Wing of the White House.

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 Iisha with one of the many White House Christmas Trees!

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A Winter Wonderland!

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Iisha and the Obama’s dogs- Bo and Sunny

This year’s theme also honored the Armed Forces and their families.  The East Wing featured a Christmas Tree decorated with gold ornaments which represented our nation’s fallen heroes.  Iisha also had the privilege of being chosen as one of a few volunteers to greet military families on a holiday tour of the White House.  This was particularly meaningful for Iisha because her dad served in the U.S. Army.

On the final night of her stay, Iisha attended a volunteer reception where the first lady made a speaking appearance!  To top it off, Iisha met Genevieve Gorder, who is hosting an HGTV special on the 2014 White House Christmas decor.  The special will replay on December 24 at 7am/6 c on HGTV, so set your DVR and tune in!

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Be sure to check out #WHHolidays for some behind the scenes experiences of White House visitors.

Congratulations Iisha on this honor and thank you for sharing your White House holiday experience with Material Girls!





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Are you on the hunt for that last minute unique gift? Or maybe the perfect home decor for this year’s holiday party? Well, you definitely need to stop by West Elm- they are killing it in the accessories department this year! There is surely something for everyone here- especially that home decor enthusiast family member or friend!

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Capiz Spheres would make the perfect decorative objects for any bookcase.

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Who doesn’t love candles? The Crystal Votive Holders  and Metallic Owl Candles are so fun.

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One of a kind jewel toned Agate Coasters and Jewelry Boxes.

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These hand blown Glass Knot Paperweights are a definite conversation starter.

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Add some holiday shimmer with any of these beautiful mercury pieces.

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If you are still unsure about what to buy you can never go wrong with a great coffee table book- especially this one by Grace Bonney of Design Sponge!





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My good friend, Tiffany, the owner of Scout Design Studio, is participating in an awesome event this evening- “Holidays on Howell Street”. It kicks off today from 4-8 pm!

 

Holidays-on-Howell

 

Located in the Dallas Design District, West Howell Street is an enclave between Riverfront and Levee that houses an eclectic mix of art, antiques, accessories, modern design and custom furniture.

Scout Design Studio is one of five retailers that will be a part of this 20 day event. So bundle up and stop by for warm cider, tasty small bites, promo sales and a chance to win great giveaways! It’s an event not to be missed!

 

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For more information and to RSVP, check out the Howell Street Social Club Facebook page.





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We just wrapped up the Kappa Kappa Gamma Tablescapes annual event hosted by the Dallas Alumnae Association and for this being our first year to be invited, we could not be happier with the showing and our debut!

Running around Dallas to find the perfect pieces to compliment one another, knowing that no idea was too extravagant,  was draining but well worth the effort when we saw it all completed.

Nathan and I at the Tables by Candlelight event!

We were able to add drama with our centerpieces from Scout Design Studio! And we clearly can’t get enough of agate coasters- these Jonathan Adler coasters were almost impossible to find because of the popularity of blue (the color of the year for 2014)!

The overall theme this year was harvest and so we wanted to play up the gold and orange tones contrasted with cobalt blue.

I love the patterned china plates (from Uncommon Market) balanced with the stems from the Forestwood Antique Mall wine glasses.

After spending so much time with our project, the best part is getting to walk around and see what everyone else has created.

This reminds me of the images Nathan discussed in his tablescapes post from a few weeks ago about beach and “under-the-sea” themes.

This centerpiece was a showstopper! The inclusion of a rug was a nice touch that added some charm and personality.

This table was so quirky with its library-chic aesthetic!

Most of the tables featured an over-the-top flower arrangement to capture attention. I like how pops of color are brought in to help ground the look with the plates and chair cushions.

There was such a range in colors and themes and it was great to see all the ideas on display at the Dallas Country Club this past week!





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Tantalizing Tablescapes

Posted By Nathan-Dallas | Aug 23, 2013 | No Comments | Category: Dining Rooms, Holiday

Ok, I’ll admit it… One of my favorite things in life is being domestic.  And my favorite part about being domestic is designing and decorating my home.  So of course, this includes decorating my kitchen and dining tables!  Some times I’ll even host a party, or invite people over for dinner, just for the sole purpose to have a reason to put together a new and exciting tablescape!  (If you’re wondering, yes, it drives my partner Tim nuts).  Part of this comes from my love to entertain people, as well as cook.  I’ve always enjoyed dining, weather it’s with friends and family at a restaurant, or at home, and it’s always way more fun when the atmosphere is exciting and pretty!

I was so, so, so, SUPER excited when Emily and I were asked to be a part of the 2013 Kappa Kappa Kappa Gamma Tablescapes hosted by the Kappa Dallas Alumnae Association!  This year, the event’s special guest is James Farmer, the Editor-At-Large for Southern Living Magazine!  Along with being an author, he is also a floral and interior designer, and garden-to-table lifestyle expert.  The theme for this year’s tablescapes is From Garden to Table.  I absolutely cannot wait to get started on this project!  All the tables are always over the top, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what fabulous things all the designers come up with this year!

 

Purple Party Soire

I’ve noticed that purple tones are making a big splash.  How would you like to have a little purple party soire at this table setting?  I know I sure would!  I’m more than obsessed with the purple agates at each place setting, and the amber/gold toned stem ware and dinner plates are totally gorgeous!  I also love how this ostentatious floral arrangement drapes across the table diagonally.

Summer into Fall

This table setting is a perfect mix of summer and fall.  The bight green and white daisies coupled with fiery reds, oranges, and yellows makes for an excellent setting for a goodbye summer / hello fall dinner get together!

Thanksgiving

For those of us who lean a little more to the traditional side when it comes to table dressing, check out this table decked out in harvest colors.  I love the white vases with artichoke bases holding a spray of golden wheat.  The silk autumn leaves hanging from the light fixture above add a little touch of whimsy.  Excellent for Thanksgiving!  Now Im craving turkey and dressing!

Orange and Pink

How fun would it be to lounge around this table for a fun luncheon with girlfriends while sipping on sangria and mai tais?  I’m in love with all the energy this color combo gives off!

Seaside

The Little Mermaid has long been one of my favorite movies…. and when I saw this table, I couldn’t help but want to sit down and enjoy dinner with Ariel and her entourage of  ocean dwelling friends!  I love the use of those gorgeous pearl colored shells used as vases to hold simple flower arrangements.

Beach

Here’s another fantastic sea side set up!  Any seafood meal would taste better if you were eating it at this table!  Check out those awesome silver plate chargers!  The rustic style place-mats and wine glasses, mixed with the blue and silver color palate make a beautiful contrast.

Christmas

Decorating my dining table for the holiday season is always fun.  I typically go with the more traditional red/green/gold color scheme, but this year, I think I’m going to go for something more like this!  I’m obsessed with the non-traditional colors here, but with traditional items like the ornaments and frosted mistletoe.  How pretty are those blue tones with the gold and green?!

Spring

I can’t wait to put together a table like this one!  I think it would be perfect for a tea party, or a mother’s day luncheon!  You can never go wrong when it comes to pink, gold and white on china!  I really like how the china patterns are all mixed here too!





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One of my favorite Christmas past times is driving around looking at all the Christmas lights this time of year.  When I was little, my parents would take my brothers and I out for a drive to look at all the holiday decorations and lights in neighbors’ front yards.  I’ve managed to keep the tradition each year, even if it’s just me driving around by myself, or with my partner Tim, or with a car load of family and friends!  I always bring along hot chocolate, and tune in to the best Christmas radio station I can find!  Here’s a few houses in my neighborhood of the Kessler Park area in Dallas this year that went all out for Christmas!

 Holy mistletoe Santa! What have you been feeding those reindeer this year?!  Prancer is as big as a house!

I love how this homeowner mixed blue and white LED lights to create a frosty look!  Well done!

Nice pose Frosty!

This is one of my favorite homes during the holidays.  I’m a sucker for traditional Christmas decor.  I just love the green lights with a few sprinkles of red, and that big gorgeous tree in the bay window is dynamite!  I’m in love with the use of their garlands and wreaths!

If you’re unable to string lights around your house and roof line, do what this person did!  They created a great little Christmas scene right on their fence!

There’s no need to explain this one… it’s already spelled out for me!

This house I found to be a little original.  Instead of stringing lights along their steep pitched roof with the complicated numerous lines of their eaves, they hung lit ornaments in their trees instead! Genius!

You just can’t help but love the simple elegance of the homes that are trimmed in clean white lights.  If you’re concerned about taking away from any architectural embellishments or features of your house, this is a great solution to accentuate them!

Check out these cozy little cottages!  Don’t they just look warm and inviting?! It’s like a ginger bread house come to life!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The piece de resistance, the cherry on the cake, the STAR atop the tree! In Emily’s neighborhood each year, a true lover of all holidays, Liz Simmons, decorates her home to the max! Just take a look at this beauty!

Now when I say Liz is a true lover of the holidays, you can see what I mean!  This awesome display is made up of over 100,000 lights!  Liz powers so many lights, that she had to hire an electrician to install a separate 200-amp electrical panel just to handle the load from all those lights!  If it weren’t for the additional electrical panel, her lights would cause an electrical surge and it would black out Emily’s whole neighborhood! All that extra power comes with a price tag too.  Liz reports that her monthly electrical bill is three times larger than her normal billing.  Sporting an entire brigade of Santas, snowmen, penguins, and other holiday creatures, Liz’s house just can’t be missed!

Here’s a picture of Liz herself dressed as an elf at the annual Christmas block party! To read more about Liz and her awesomely extreme holiday exterior decor, click here!





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The holiday season is by far my most favorite time of year.  As soon as Halloween is over, I start planing Fall gatherings with family and friends, autumn decorations for the house, and of course, the Thanksgiving menu!  But, before I begin even thinking about the food, I start daydreaming about the tablescape for the big meal!

There are so many directions and options to choose from when it comes to creating your holiday table.  The possibilities are truly endless!  Maybe it’s my Southern roots, but, I’m a big fan of dining etiquette when it comes to meals like these.(especially when it comes to sitting down at a large dining table in a separate dining room- as opposed to the “eat in front of the TV while watching football” type meal which my family has been known to do a time or two)

The best part about a big dining table is that you can create an amazing tablescape!  A great tablescape just seems to make for a more dramatic production.  I also love to mix in some elements that help make it not quite so formal, and more relaxed.  Above all, you want your guests to feel welcome and comfortable.

As you put together your place settings, there are two layouts that I like to use as guides. You can use variations of each, depending on the type of meal, and your menu.

Here are a few more place setting layouts for different meals.  Just as there are different meals throughout the day, there are also appropriate place settings for each meal.  I also like like to mix and match these depending on what I’m serving!

 

Here are some great examples of fun Fall place settings.  I love how they mix and match a bunch of different patterns, textures and materials.  That is the best way to do a table so not everything is so matchy and stuffy!

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite types of centerpiece for holiday tables are ones that are relatively low in height.  I’ve found that it’s much more conducive for your guests to be able to converse with each other if the table center piece doesn’t impede their view of the people sitting across the table from them.  I also like to use up as much of the “dead space” left on the table as possible, so I like to make my center pieces run the length of the table.

These tablescapes have a great contemporary feel, while still holding on to classic Thanksgiving elements.  I just love the soft colors of the gourds with simple, basic white table linens, flatware and stemware.

 

 

Another great way to set your table for the holidays, or, for any time of the year, is to mix and match different china patterns!  I have a few different sets that are all completely unique, and I love layering the different colors, patterns and shapes.  It really makes for a diverse table!

And how about doing the unexpected with your Thanksgiving color scheme this year? I love how this atypical Fall scheme incorporates a yummy teal blue and brassy gold to boot!

Another great way to add a personal flare to your table, is adding name place cards at each table setting.  I always love to go to a dinner party and see my name on a cute card next to my appointed seat!  Below are a few of my favorites for Thanksgiving.  This is such a fun and easy idea, and, you can almost make a place card holder out of anything!

Hope these ideas have inspired your table for tomorrow.  Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!!





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This past weekend we participated in the Hope for the Holidays event with Catholic Charities.

Pettigrew Associates in the Dallas Design District was kind enough to host the event at their fabulous new showroom off of Market Center Boulevard.

Back in September, we were asked by Catholic Charities to select a few pieces from their World of Goods store and revamp them using paint, fabric and other materials.  We love a fun vintage “Before and After” and also helping out a good cause, so of course we were more than thrilled to participate!

With the painting expertise of RetroChic Renovations, the upholstery skills of M&M Upholstery, and the mirror knowledge of Alamo Glass, we were able to take these pieces from old and worn to modern and fresh!

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(All furniture pieces are available for purchase via Catholic Charities, so email us if you are interested!)

EJ Interiors was also asked to decorate a Christmas tree in the theme of our choice that was to be auctioned off the night of the event. Our “Hollywood Regency Holiday Tree” incorporated a chartreuse and white geometric printed skirt, gold peacock feathers, damask ribbon, and an assortment of funky decorations including- white feathers, gold and silver sunbursts, crystal droplets, solid chartreuse, mercury glass, pearl and mirrored ornaments. We were lucky to find the “tree topper” at West Elm which we had created using silver feather-like fans.

On Friday afternoon, we toured the new Pettigrew showroom, which had lots of amazing abstract art, incredible chandeliers, rock crystal accessories, and luxurious pieces of furniture. I loved their mix of traditional and modern in each vignette.

The best part of all, is that Pettigrew makes their own lighting! We went back to the shop where all the magic happens. They showed us a chandelier from England that they are currently working on for a client in Dallas. The scale of it was pretty amazing. Taylor is standing next to it (so you can really see how humongous this thing was!) Now if only we could see the house that this incredibly tall piece is going in….

Some more of their lighting. Isn’t the piece on the right gorgeous?

If you are a local interior designer and haven’t visited Pettigrew’s new showroom yet, it’s a must! It’s a great trade resource for clients with lots of unique and diverse pieces!

1805 Market Center Boulevard, Dallas, 75207





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The La Plates giveaway has come to an end, and the winner is Kristin from Moscow, Idaho! She is the proud new owner of a set of 8 fabulous dinner plates and a matching platter! Congrats Kristin!!

Kristin sent us a little info about herself and her fave material, paper! She and her husband used to own a bookstore together (so cute!), and that’s where her love of old vintage prints and well designed end pages began! Kristin said, “One time I struck gold and found a box filled with hundreds of vintage wrapping papers. It made my heart sing!… So I got busy. I found basic white and black frames – and framed away! It was great too because if I got tired of a pattern, out it went without much expense and on to a new one!” She also uses decorative paper as matting for pictures! Kristin is definitely a Material Girl at heart, so creative!

She likes the idea of the red block geometric pattern with just a simple initial similar to the one below. Perfect for holiday parties!

We hope you enjoy your gorgeous new set of plates and matching platter Kristin! Thank you to all of our readers who participated and the good news is- the La Plates giveaways are not over either! They are giving away tabletops on their Facebook page within the next few weeks!





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Now that we have entered the month of November… tasty holiday drinks are back on the menu, stores are stocking shelves with holiday decorations, and it is finally time for the once-a-year Dallas Sample Sale!! Trust us you don’t want to miss it!

This fabulous event starts with a preview night this Thursday, November 3rd, from 6-9 p.m. and lasts all weekend! The Dallas Sample Sale takes place at the Dallas Market Center (see directions here).  This is your chance to get a head start on all of your holiday shopping and get amazing gifts at wholesale prices! There is something for everyone on your list… Jewelry, toys, children’s clothing, home accessories, holiday decorations, furniture… you name it there’s a showroom for it!

Also, the Salvation Army Angel Tree program will kick-off during the preview event on Thursday! Shoppers can make selections for their angel and drop them off that night, if they’d like!

The sale takes place Thursday evening from 6-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Last year’s sale drew more than 15,000 people! Tickets are only $20 at the door so don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity! See you there!

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