Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Inspirations

I am packing for our final  move to North Carolina, so Easter will be celebrated  in a restaurant this year.  But I am remembering many Easter tables of the past in my old home. I loved planning  and  setting spring tables after such gloomy winters in Chicago.

 Here are some of my favorites.

Aunt Ruth's Fresh Coconut Cake

One of my all time favorite florals from Twigs-    wire egg filled with spring flowers!

Sugar flowers with embellished Lindt Chocolate carrots.

Another beautiful Easter arrangement from Twigs

 Spring colors in a gold rimmed antique plate, paired with a Kim Seybert chartreuse silk napkin.
I used artisanal bunches of lettuces in blue opaline glasses to fill out the table.

 Another pink and orange wire egg from Twigs.
Note the beautiful bunches of lettuce in the blue opaline glasses. 
 so pretty and inexpensive arrangements.

Glazed rainbow carrots of a bed of carrot tops and garnished
with Tarragon Citrus vinaigrette.

 Grandkids hunting for eggs in the pretty violet flowers.

Eggs painted gold and embellished with turquoise rhinestones in a gilded nest.

A cantaloupe soup starter with a prosciutto  skewer.

 Pansies in antique egg cups.

Addison in a Easter basket.

 A beautiful artichoke Italian tablecloth that I found at Homegoods- perfect for spring tables.

 One of my favorite pieces of majolica.  Perfect for Easter.
Chocolate bunnies from Vosges Chocolates in Chicago.
Makes me a bit melancholy for this year's Easter festivities.  But next year on the river-
I can hardly wait for  next spring! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fabulous Wall Panels

   Last week, my girlfriend, Jill and I drove down to the Carolina's to check on our new homes construction progress  and stayed at our new apartment.  Having  moved in to a vanilla box apartment for the year while the house is being built, I was craving some design excitement on the walls. I didn't want to hang heavy mirrors or art on the walls as it will damage them.  So I found these wonderful heavy paper panels that my friend and I attached to the walls with push pins!  Voila- instant drama!

They are printed on heavy canvas like paper and will not tear.  We couldn't quite reach the top corner of the picture to pin it, but I kind of am digging the curled corner!  In the new house, I will paste them to the walls. 

This set is a series of 3 panels, but many are available in single panels.
Ideally they should be wall papered to the walls, but for now, the push pins will do perfectly!
These three panels are from Peacock Park Designs. 
I  purchased this one for the entry off the garage in the new house.

It truly looks like an antique painting.  98 inch tall by 57 inches wide!!
Only $110- super wall impact for a small sum of money.
I ordered the cow scene from here-
They are very reasonably priced, especially considering the overall size.
Here are a few more cool ones-

These add so much impact to plain walls and really look very antique! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Candy- You Will Be Missed

It is with great sadness that my friend, Candy, passed away last week from a long battle with cancer.   We had worked together for 30 years.  It was a very sad week for all of the Romancing the Home girls.  
Candy and I  collaborated on many visual projects over the past years.  We started working together at Marshall Field's in 1987 and together renovated the Hawthorn and Lake Forest stores.  Later, Candy joined me at Romancing the Home.  Numerous charity home tours and customers home's were touched by Candy's hands.   She had an incredible talent to quickly access a room and come up with a plan to make it look incredible.  I gave her many challenges in the store with my tendency to "overbuy", but she ultimately made the store look great.  Her greatest talent was her ability to layer accessories without feeling cluttered.  She was a gifted, talented artist and we will miss her everyday.  I spent the morning looking through  pictures from the past 15 years and I want to share some of my favorites of Candy's work.   

Tablescapes were our favorite things to create together-

Candy masterfully used a worn piece of muslin to create the perfect cloth for this sea inspired setting.

 She created this tussie mussie on top of the boxed lunch using wired twine and fresh flowers.

Leopard cowhide rug used as the tablecloth.

She never missed a surface.   She climbed up a ladder and tied all the glittery elements on the chandelier.  It was such an impact in the sunlight filled conservatory.

Christmas was a busy time for Candy.  She personally decorated many homes for Romancing the Home clients.  She started before Thanksgiving and didn't finish until the week of Christmas.
She took pride in every one of them.


The store interior was made exciting for customers by Candy's displays.

We worked on numerous home tours.  This was one of my favorite projects- turning the attic of an old Lake Forest mansion into an artist retreat. 

Another home tour- Candy created a masterful display of food and flowers on the kitchen island.


Dinner party at my house with all the RTH girls and close friends - happy times.
Mariterese, Penny, Christy, Marlene, Jill, Katha, Julie, Candy, Linda, Amy, Lynda, Laurell
(left to right)
So to my dear Candy-  when we look up to the heavens and see a beautiful formation of
fluffy white clouds-in a perfect arrangement-  we will know you have been busy creating your magic!
Love you and miss you forever------