Derby Fever!

We are throwing the most DARLING Derby Party tomorrow…and here is a sneak peek…

How gorgeous are these southern silver revere bowls, overflowing with vibrant jockey silks colored roses?  The tables will vary in color throughout the tent, and are all set with flowing black and white racing check linens.

I honestly cannot decide which of these delectable colors is my favorite…crimson red, vivid yellow, bright orange…the entire tent is going to come alive with gorgeous bursts of racing hues.

And the food…ah the food!  It is bite after sumptuous bite of southern sure fire Kentucky favorites.  The Henry Bain Sauce, the traditional Burgoo (like southern chili with three types of meats) served over cheddar mashed potatoes, the Kentucky Hot Browns, the fully loaded Mac n Cheese bar with a dozen toppings like grilled peppers and onions, balsamic marinated roasted vegetables, succotash, and more.

And don’t get me started on the Pie Bar for dessert…Lovely is baking Derby mini pies right now…a few doors down…as we speak.  We will serve each with fresh fruit chutney, and a big scoop of Mint (my favorite), Vanilla or Chocolate Gelato.  YUM!

We are off to the races!


A Peek at Antiques

At the Antiques and Garden Show at Chicago Botanic Gardens, each and every dealer stall was simply breathtakingly beautiful.  This scandanavian carved wood settee, upholstered in soft, washed belgian sack cloth BELONGS in my living room.  With the pair of Louis armchairs, but of course.  Wrap em up.

I love stone garden urns overflowing with white coral collections:  brain coral, dead man’s finger, sunflower mushroom, and more.  It is the perfect spring and summer permanent centerpiece for dining or living room table decor, seaside celebrations, and any occasion under the sun.

The botanical collections – always hung in glorious displays of pairs or groupings on the wall – were closely followed in popularity by nautical collections.  The sea creatures, coral, fish, and shells were exquisite – as were the artfully designed handcut linen, gilded and french mat painted mats and oversize frames.

The layers of botanical details…the potted ferns in floor urns, on columns, on tables, on architectural elements, on the walls…it was one big garden party filled with dramatic decor from start to finish.

I love so many things about strolling a show.  I love researching what is on trend, I love all the inspiring new ideas (how clever – the vintage cameo frame turned necklace display?), I love the perfection of each visual display, I love it ALL!

I love massive collections and groupings of artwork.  Especially botanical art.  These hand painted mats are just as beautiful as the original artwork itself.

When I had soaked in every square inch of the Antique Show, it was time to conquer every step of the gorgeous gardens.  As you can see, colorful spring bulbs filled every nook and cranny of the flower beds to create a dazzling display.  It was like popping a happy pill.

Happy spring.


Antiques and Garden Fair Extraordinaire

I am still floating high on cloud nine after a sunny Sunday at Chicago’s Botanic Gardens, for the 10th annual Antiques and Garden Fair.

Did you see Tim Burton’s amazing, enchanting, over the top 3D Alice in Wonderland?  That’s the exact feeling I experience each year as I stroll the tents, set with the most lavish, elegant and stunningly beautiful antiques and garden decor, florals, crystal chandelier, Belgian washed linen upholstery, and everything else fabulous under the sun.

This whitewashed pagoda immediately transported me east…to my favorite place in the entire states, The Sconset Bluffwalk along the sunny shores of The Atlantic on Nantucket.  In two short months I will be there in person, but for today, Glencoe.

The orchids, how they dripped.  From glossy urns, from gilded vases, from boxwood covered walls, from ontop gold leafed consoles and buffets.

The chandelier, how they sparkled.  With linen shades in every hue, with crystal pendants in every tone.  With floral chains, with vintage details, with dripping wax candles, they led us through the garden paths in soft, romantic light.

I felt I was back in Paris, strolling the famous Rues and market streets of the 6th.  The architectural details, the statuary, the carts and tables spilling with metal buckets of gorgeous European bouquets…

Oh, to live in this world of woodland enchantment but for a few hours.  I want to curl up with a good book, a cashmere throw, and a cup of Moroccan mint sweet tea.

The succulent “upholstered” cushion had me at hello…

The green glass globe suspended lamp, the black lacquer walls, the pop of the white stone urns, the dramatic rustic mirror…

GORGEOUS!  The hanging spheres of herbs, flowers and ivies are beyond beautiful.

What is the only thing that I love more than a cameo?

A cameo – hanging from an ivy trellis.


One word.  YUM.

Sign me up.

Drama, texture, color blocks, floral groupings – the perfect statement table.

If I had to pick one vignette to spend my day – this is the one.

Coming next…the antique trend vignettes.


Heart Ball Heat!

Last night’s Heart Ball Gala was so gorgeous, I had to share Avery House Creative’s AMAZING photography. They captured each and every detail in such perfect detail – enjoy.

Our vintage reclaimed settees are so elegant and chic – I love the romance and style they bring to our events.

The acrylic/shag combination is light and eclectic – just the right glam accessory for the vibrant red spring tulips.

The cocktail tables were set with two shades of red – a bright cherry red cloth, with a crimson crush runner down the center for texture.  Each crystal vase was handtied with looped silk red ribbon for a sweet accent to the table.

The focal point table, set at the entrance to the gala, featured red manzanita branches emulated coral from the sea, tipped Black Magic Rose bouquets, compotes of red spring fruits, and dozens of votive candles.

All night the strawberries kept vanishing…the most popular fruit of choice on display.

The dining room was just breathtaking…as the sun set the candles created a warm glow that transformed the cavernous ballroom for 900 guests into an intimate, glowing affair.

Tablescapes and Halls crystal chivari and ghost chairs sparkled throughout the evening.  Windy City Linen and BBJ Linen reds ombred from fire engine red to deep merlot throughout the dining room.  J’adore.

The lighting from Freeman was off the hook – it completely transformed the entire room and event.

Oh – the gobo.  I just loved it.  Perfect finishing detail to the ballroom.


Cool Collection

Cool Collection

Big table – big collection of vases to fill the space.

Don’t have one centerpiece – have five!

Combine floral filled vases, designed with massed, dense Red Roses and submerged Ti Leaf with tall rectangular bud vases filled with Red Tulips, Rectangles filled with floating candles, and more.

As always fill every nook and cranny with a dozen votives to create varied height and levels of glowing candles.


Ga ga for gobos

Ga ga for gobos

Such a fabulous finishing touch – the glowing gobo centered on the dancefloor.

It brands every event, adds a personal statement to the focal point of the ballroom, and is noticed as the piece de resistance by all.


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