Thursday, July 28, 2022

Less is More: How I Changed a Garden to Reflect a Changing Lifestyle


"Less is more." 

The architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe may have underestimated just how spot-on his pearl of wisdom resonates with landscape architecture~garden design.

Why is it so much more work in order to get to less work?  

See, I’m referencing the Mies quote not just as the finished design but also, and particularly, with regard to the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into changing out and updating garden designs in order to get a beautiful but less maintenance and resources to support the gardens.   

Monday, July 18, 2022

How Old Glory Tablescape Design Celebrates the Stars and Stripes from Memorial Day through Flag Day & 4th of July to Labor Day


Don't you just love a summer tablescape look that stirs up your patriotic feelings while celebrating life, love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

What can be happier than a bold, star-studded look inspired by our iconic flag to gather around? 

Here’s how to layer in Old Glory’s Red, White, and “You”  ~ to create a season of joy when entertaining family and friends at home. 

You’ll be totally  “on-brand” with a table setting you can maintain all summer long with just a few updates. 

Here are some ideas I hope will inspire you to create a grand ol’ flag-infused table design. While freeing you up to enjoy the season’s happy times and sunshine being outdoors.

"Summertime is always the best of what might be." —Charles Bowden.

When creating your patriotic table setting, the stars and stripes of the flag are a natural starting off point. 

From there, I wanted to design a look that was both elegant and whimsical.  

This time, flowers would play the supporting role to the leading actor, the flags.

In accordance with the color theme, I could use the blue and white of my blooming hydrangeas and the red from the rose bushes. 

It’s so lovely to combine garden-fresh blossoms into your seasonal table style.

At the same time, a good tip that I suggest is to use a mix of high-quality faux flowers and real blooms.  This way you can change out the spent blooms without forfeiting the entire look.


When I discovered the hydrangea and flag placemats from Hester & Cook, I was elated!  

I just love when my design concepts are “affirmed” by other tastemakers :) 

Caspari Flags and Hydrangeas Round Paper Placemats - 12 Per Package –  Caspari

I purchased a kind of glittery, iridescent “fabric” rolls of red, white, and blue at Joanne’s Fabrics & Crafts that I used as runners. On sale, too.  (I used the same style in autumn colors last year and it worked so well.) 

The material offers a terrific nexus of glamour and casual.

I ran the blue runner first (and on the entryway table too), cut it to roll under each table end, then topped with the white color. The transparent “fabric” allows you to see through the layers of color. 

I used the lipstick-red runner positioned perpendicular on two sides of the table.

We hosted a big brunch with extended family after our annual Independance Day Fireworks party and Mother’s Birthday party. She turned 97 this year! What a firecracker she is. 

I put in the two additional table leaves in to accommodate our guests. 

This also gave me more of a decorating footprint ^:^

I added faux hydrangea along the length of the table on top of the blue and white runner, weaving in a strand of soft, sparkly, lights. 

Gold votives inserted with battery candles added to the table’s luster.

I used one of my favorite tableware plates: the blue and white Marchesa by Lenox .  

In this way, I could add many of my lovely chinoiserie pieces ~ from vases to place card holders to votives and name cards.

I also added the blue and white shell art pieces I’ve been collecting. 

To allow the plate’s blue and white design to be a key focal point of the blue and white design element, I placed the navy blue, folded linen napkins under the appetizer dish and let them hang over the place setting a bit. Like a ribbon.

I placed a flag on each place setting as the finishing touch. 

I punched up the colors with red, sparkly glass candle tumblers filled with battery-operated lights to illuminate the flags included there. 

I opted for the Italian blue with gold rims for wine glasses and the chinoiserie-like blue design on the water glasses.

The striped, seersucker-looking poppers at each setting with its ring-like flag adornment just screams summer. I love them and use the poppers for most every holiday.  I’d love them for the crowns alone! 

Seriously.  Not seriously.  Ha. It’s a terrific way to start or end a party meal. 

The poppers are filled with quizzes, games, and trinkets. The whistles were a hit in these patriotic poppers! 

I told you it was about the fun :)

Here's the fun of table popping:

Here’s the two video tours of the Stars and Stripes tablescapes ~ from June through Independence Day.

God Bless America.

I sincerely hope you enjoy your gatherings with friends and family.  

After all, as Gershwin wrote and Sam Cooke (along with many others, but he could be my fav, or maybe Ella… ) sang, 

“It’s summer and the livin’ is easy…”