Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Have I ever told you guys that I left apparel retail once upon a time for a brief stint in the furniture/interior design industry?
Well, long story short, I was physically and mentally exhausted from years of running a store for a big box retailer.
Fearing an early death from the stress, I jumped at the chance to work for a home design and furniture company.
I literally went from a staff of almost 100 sales associates to having 6.
I went from having thousands of customers cross my lease line a week to only maybe a few hundred.
In short, it was the most boring thing I have ever done in my life.

The plus side was all the experience and knowledge I gained about furniture design, construction and the fact that I got 40% off.
And pretty much refurnished my entire home.
When an apparel retailer came calling trying to woo me back, I was sorely missing the pace and ever changing world of fashion and bid adeiu to my showroom which only changed seasonally instead of

My home is set up much like a showroom and always has been.
Tabletop surfaces house little "vignettes" if you will, that I have always changed with the passing seasons.
Having owned my own home for the past 16 years, I have amassed quite a collection of "accessories" and am fortunate enough to have a walk in attic that is lined with metal shelving units on which to store my stuff.
In short, my attic is literally a prop closet.
You could shop in there.
If my stuff was for sale, but it's not.
I like it all too much.

The downside of being back in fast paced high volume retail is that it can be physically and mentally exhausting.
The past few years I have been a bit lazy about swapping things out with the changing seasons and have items I love but have not touched in quite some time.

This year is different.
I was determined to shake things up and really make my home exude that "summertime" feel this year.
Objects were moved from room to room to freshen it up and things that have been waiting patiently on those attic shelves for some love have been put to good use once again.

Here are some of my rules of thumb for decorating seasonally without looking kitzschy:

Use the unexpected.
These glass cloches I have been collecting house gorgeous shells I have collected while vacationing in the Outerbanks.

Mix high and low
These .99 tin lanterns I purchased while on line in the grocery store a few years back sit on a hand creweled runner from Williams Sonoma.
We don't eat in our dining room every day, so the tabletop is the perfect surface for a pretty vignette.

Anything can be seasonal.
Hubs and I both love to cook and entertain.
And yes, you guessed it ~ I create table settings for dinner parties much like my little vignettes.
The buffet in my dining room was filled with my fall and winter dinnerware.

Then swapped out for my spring/summer dinnerware.
Freshened and lightened up the look and keeps everything close at hand to be used.

Stick with what you like.
It is no coincidence that these dessert plates almost match my runner.
I am a big fan of navy and white in the summer.
It is a timeless classic and these plates reminded me of Oscar de la Renta ones from a few years back!

Go big or go home!
Statement pieces are like statement jewelry.
These oversized shells make my formal living room coffee table pop!
I am always drawn to the big, bold and obvious.
Just be cautious how you use them!

Use your collections.
I am an avid book collector.
Cookbooks are my main weakness, but I have amassed more than a few design books which I rotate to tabletops seasonally as well.
This iron seahorse is such a whimsical little piece that fits perfectly on top.
Use some greenery.
But be careful!
I am very finicky about faux florals and generally purchase mine from places like Pottery Barn (I am a Pottery Barn addict) because the fabrication doesn't look fake.
Some fake florals look just that ~ fake.
Splurge a little here...with regular dusting and care they will last you forever!
No green thumb required!

Decorating is much like a well edited wardrobe.
Invest in timeless pieces that will do just that ~ stand the test of time.
Opt for less expensive trendy pieces to freshen up and keep things current.
Use your imagination and you will find things to decorate with that you can reinvent again and again.
No prop closet required!


  1. Those cloches are amazing. I love your collection of china, I have six of each plate and that's it, I'm a minimalist but when I see things like this I wish part of me was a maximalist.

  2. I think we have the same bookcase /china cabinet...hah hah hah!! I got mine from Storehouse before they went out of business. There's one like it in Crate and Barrell too. I've also been itching to make changes to my basic white dishes. It's time for some changes.

  3. the glass cloches look amazing, it is just perfect! i have to try this at home. probably not with sea life but you can use so many things... oh and you definitely need some fresh plants, i am not good at keeping plants alive, so i will have some plastic plants too, for the color

  4. love your decoration!! i love the seashell look, and want to try it in my bedroom. I want to give it a more summery feel.

    i love your fake greenery as well! it looks real!

  5. So beautiful stuff!! Wonderful china collection!

  6. I love those cloches and apothecary jars for decorating. They add the perfect unexpected touch sometimes! And how amazing are those jumbo shells on your table?! LOVE! xo

  7. Great tips! I feel like I don't decorate my home well enough, great inspiration.


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