Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Easter! Some Beautiful Easter Tablescapes & Some Last Minute Easter Gifts!

It's Easter!  I love this holiday because it's a harbinger of spring and warm weather - and you really don't have to go crazy buying a million gifts like you do at Christmas time.  It's just a lovely holiday that you share with your family and friends.

It's a great time for I thought I'd share some great ideas for tablescapes and more.  I'l be sharing some great places to buy last minute gifts and decorations also.

With Easter table settings, you can express your creativity - and more is more. So bring out your pastel tablecloths (a soft pastel paisley tablecloth would be great!) and napkins, white dinnerware and cups - and head over to Michael's for some inexpensive faux daisies, forsythia etc.  Check out the wedding aisle for some tulle and other fabrics that you can fill an inexpensive vase with - and you're on your way.

Oh - and don't forget some pastel M&Ms and other goodies!

An "aerial view" of the tablescape by Courtney & Phronsie Dial from CourtneyOutLoud blog

If you would like a more vibrant way to dress your table, this setting (in my favorite color combination of green and orange) would be right up your Easter alley.  A clear glass vase with cloth carrots is a creative centerpiece.  I adore the dog topiary with the orange and white bow!  If you have some patience and time, you could make one from a foam model and then stick faux greenery through it.  Add a checkered tablecloth and white plates (love the square ones used here), personalized orange and white Easter baskets with name tags - plus some white tulips (faux or real) in milkglass vases and you have a beautiful setting...ready for guests.

Courtney & Phronsie Dial from CourtneyOutLoud blog

Courtney & Phronsie Dial from CourtneyOutLoud blog

You could also add these little numbers of you are a great baker.  My friend and dynamo realtor - Dianne Scalza of Netter Real Estate in West Islip NY could whip these up in a heartbeat.  She is such a talented baker - among other things.  And probably as I am writing this, she is whipping up some conconctions.  If so, I'll add them to this blog!  But even if you're not a baker - how easy are those skewered Nabisco's Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies.  I could do that!  You could also just add your own creative toppings to a plain cupcake!

Susan Herrin from the blog BetweenNapsonthePorch

Continuing with the green theme - but adding more kid flair, add some decorated egss on faux grass in pastel colors on a plate...with a beautiful plush bunny as the centerpiece. Use colorful plates, green napkins, placemats and stemware - and a colorful cookie to greet your guests. 

If you are looking for a more ethereal, natural tablescape - here is a great inspiration for you.  Use a clear, glass vase and take some curly willow or some long, bare twigs from your yard and add some beautiful butterflies to it here and there.  I purchased some great, inexpensive ones from Michael's around Christmas time - hopefully they still have them.  But you could use clip on birds or bees - anything natural would do to attach to the branches. In smaller clear vases, add some white flowers and have some curly willow flowing from the centers or sides. 

This is a fun and easy tablescape to do.  A natural runner is the starting point, with a serving tray with with a bed of straw (or you could use faux grass), with a wire bunny, eggs - and for fun - some faux ants!  The surrounding plates are easy - with a napkin folded underneath the teacup filled with a pear - or you could have colored eggs or candy.  I see that the faux ant makes an appearance on one of the cups as well.  Hanging from a chandelier could be an egg wreath with grapevine wound around it.  You could place a bunny on either side of the table as well.

All images above are from HGTV where you'll find other ideas as well.

You might want to shop for some other goodies and fun items (or perhaps get crafty and make some things for you and your family).  Here are some great. last-minute ideas...

Some decoupage eggs from Pottery Barn

Some copper cookie cutters from Sur la Table
Some decoupage eggs from

Easter egg candles from Pier 1

Egglings from Urban Outfitters - which have herbs in lovely on a windowsill

A pretty basket for the chocolate lover from Red Envelope

Don't forget your four legged friend with this Hop-A-Long outfit from Etsy

Some Mommy & Me matching aprons from Sur La Table

Some Easter Bunny glasses from CB2

These are just a few ideas for you to consider - so use your imagination and unearth all your pastel table items - and have wonderful and decorative Easter.  And - Happy, Happy Passover to all my Jewish friends as well.

In my home in Great River, NY, I will be fast at work the next few days - getting my tables ready for Easter.  I'll be borrowing some ideas like these above.  It's fun to finally bring some bright, happy colors to the table after the dreary winter we had on Long Island.

If you would love to have some beautifully decorated rooms in your house, call me at 631 793-1315. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Kitchen Cabinet Makeover: From Drab to Fab

One of my favorite things to do is to redo kitchen cabinets.  It's a great money-saver and it can really transform your kitchen.  Here's one that we did not too long ago.

First, we had the homeowner add some crown moldings - then we did a base color and the first coat of glaze

Here I am putting the first coat of glaze on...

I then did a oak woodgraining that matched the cabinetry.  Since the tones of the oak were different in some places, I had to change my recipe a bit here and there!  I then did a border stencil to look like inlaid wood on the soffit to bring your eye up - and to be more decorative.  

It really changed this kitchen!  The cabinets appear taller and it's a more modern look disguising the soffits!  This is a great idea for anyone who wants to update their kitchen...but especially when you are selling your home - this can really make a difference to a potential buyer.

We are doing another kitchen makeover like this the end of this month - only we are doing an antique cream finish over oak cabinetry. I will post those pics as soon as the project is finished!

If you would like to transform your Long Island home creatively, call Linda at 631 793-1315 for a complimentary design consultation.

Studio of Decorative Arts has two locations:  Great River NY and Huntington NY. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Colorful Life with Studio of Decorative Arts: Stencilmania: How a Simple Stencil Changes Your Walls, Furniture, Floors and More

The Colorful Life with Studio of Decorative Arts: Stencilmania: How a Simple Stencil Changes Your Walls, Furniture, Floors and More

Stencilmania: How a Simple Stencil Changes Your Walls, Furniture, Floors and More

I love stencils!!  I remember the first time I ever tried to stencil, I was living in the Pacific Northwest and I bought a few stencils to liven up my bathroom.  Well, true to form back then - I didn't read a manual or book or anything on how to actually use a stencil...I just tacked the stencil up on the wall, took a stencil brush and put some paint on it - and away I went.  Well - the paint seeped through the stencil (because I didn't "offload" the paint) and, in short, my project came to a schreeching halt!

I've since learned how to work with these beautiful bits of plastic and there are never ending ways to use them.  Melanie Royals - who is my go-to designer whenever I want a stencil - has the most incredible line of stencils in her online store Royal Design Studio.  There you can find very traditional stencils - like damasks and other allover well as some more modern, transitional patterns that would fit in beautifully in today's interior designs.  She has come out with a new line of stencils that I feel the younger, more contemporary homeowner would love.

This is "Chain Link" from her new collection. It looks very modern and "today, " unlike what many people feel about stencils - old and grandma-like!  I just love using geometric patterns in interiors.

This is "Linked In" - how's that for being current?  Again, a great overall geometric that many of my younger clients would gravitate toward.  It's subtle - but it has a great energy to it.

This is "Hollywood Squares" - and it's, again, geometric but there's a definite Hollywood glam and retro feel to this pattern.

This is called "Feather Damask," and it has a modern Swedish kind of feel to it, I think.  This can be used as an accent wall - perhaps with a neutral gray on the other walls.  Add some yellow and gray and cream fabrics and you have a simple but elegantly modern room.

Here, just taking one single motif - in black and white...over a stried glaze and you a have a modern interpretation of a traditional pattern. 

Another pattern I see a lot of (and I love) is the Suzani pattern.  But this time instead of being on a bed or a pillow - it's on an entire wall. This is refreshingly beautiful.

This is the Donatella Damask - a beautiful, more traditional pattern.  It looks lovely in a bedroom in soft, hushed colors.  Using it as only an accent, as above, is a very inexpensive way to add some pattern and spohistication to a room.

And finally, for the true traditionalist, how about adding a poem in French on an accent wall!  I have always loved this French poem.  I've used this on dressers and on tables as well to give them that special touch! You can read more about this beautiful French script pattern here - we used this stencil in a Designer Showhouse last year,

If you would like to give your home a special look and feel, call Linda at 631 793-1315 for a consultation.
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