Roll out those lazy days of summer...
be as action packed as any other time of the year. What's on your list of
things to do? No matter how busy you are, plan on time for getting
together with family and friends. Schedule in some "down time".
This month I'm including some ideas for one of my favorite summer
parties, the Ice Cream Social. It's a tried and true summer pleaser and
can be adapted to any size and any age group. No matter what your style
may be, informal to formal, this is one party to add to your
Since the 4th of July will be here before you know it, why
not try a practice party before the holiday? Sweet!
||Makeover of the
Month-Warming a Sun Room|
Room makeovers begin with a need and are guided by the existing
architecture and furnishings. In this case, the basics were there, all
that was needed was injecting a little more color and warmth into the
The previous owners had installed the heavy shades which
obscured the view and closed in the room. The current owners' white wicker
furniture with blue cushions brightened the room but what was missing was
the warmth factor. It was a sun room after all!
on the link for the 60 second video of the room makeover.
||A Warm Glow-New
Indoor/Outdoor Fireplace Insert|
Outdoor fireplaces and patio fireplace pits have been popular for
years. They can extend the season for using your patio or deck and provide
an dramatic and attractive glow to a gathering.
there have been few changes to the styles other than cosmetic. Storage can
be a problem off season, too. The introduction of indoor/outdoor fireplace
inserts offers innovations and a solution for storage.
pictured, called The Ethanol Fire Grate, has a unique style that can be
used indoors or outdoors and offers the ability to incorporate ceramic
logs, decorative fire glass, or natural rocks. At the end of the season,
it can replace the grate in your empty fireplace, solving the storage
solution. Could this be this year's unique Father's Day present ?
||Faux Like a
Looking for a summer project? Try your hand at faux painting.
this brings to mind sponge painting of years ago, think again. The
techniques have become more subtle, more nuanced and more interesting.
Tools and paints have been developed to make application easier so you can
unleash your inner creativity.
You don't need to commit an entire
room or even a wall to a project. Faux finishes lend themselves to
furniture and objects. Trays, picture frames, candlesticks, boxes and
planters are easily embellished. Old furniture can be repurposed with a
designer look. All it takes is a little inspiration, a plan, the proper
tools and directions.
I'm a self taught faux painter. One hallway
has been my laboratory over the years for different techniques. I felt
that I couldn't discuss painting options if I didn't understand faux
techniques and how they might enhance or detract from a space.
Though I no longer paint for others, I did take on a project last
year to duplicate a wall that a client had seen in a magazine. The
magazine example was more subdued than he wanted so colors were mixed and
remixed to get the desired effect-a backdrop for some of his original art
The result was rich and dramatic, as you can see from
the photo. Not every faux finish needs to be so. Sheer color washes, suede
techniques, and others can add interest without taking center
Try a small project for fun. You can get tips at craft
stores, online and on TV. A great place to start is a site I found called
Faux Like a Pro. Click on the link below for more information, videos and
||Host an Ice Cream
An Ice Cream Social says it all. The focus is on the gathering to meet,
mingle and eat ice cream. The basics are simple: ice cream, toppings,
beverages, cookies and the means to serve and eat the creations.
So what will you serve? For a classic party, and to make it easier
if this is your first Ice Cream Social, offer vanilla ice cream with up to
5 toppings-syrups, chopped nuts, sprinkles, candies, etc. Enlist a few
plastic gloved helpers to dish the ice cream and add the toppings for your
guests. This helps to keep things orderly and make sure that everyone has
their first before guests come back for seconds-and they will!
a more contemporary version that is even easier, serve ice cream novelty
treats. Pass chilled platters around with an assortment. Be careful
though, it can encourage seconds and thirds!
For a different twist,
line up a few borrowed blenders and set up and ice cream drink bar with
flavorings, toppings and mix-ins. Have additional sodas on hand for ice
Speaking of sodas, thirsty guests will also
appreciate beverages like plain and flavored water, lemonade and
Simple cookies work best here so try classics like, sugar,
peanut butter, oatmeal, butter and wafers.
Locate your serving
station near a sink with easy access for your guest to get to and from the
serving area. If you'll be outside, stay in the shade far away from a
patio or sidewalk which will may retain or reflect heat.
and enjoying the perfect ice cream dessert-no wonder an Ice Cream Social
is nearly the perfect party. If you'd like to know more about how you can
put together this easy to organize party for your guests, call me. In one
consultation session we can put together a party plan like this that you
can use and adapt to your needs year after year, season after season.
||Details Make the
I love to show people how to think creatively when solving decorating
problems and how to repurpose everyday things. Recently I had another
simple aha! moment that I wanted to share.
My husband and I bought
a metal gazebo two years ago and have been very happy with it. It's solid
and attractive, working with any decorations we have used for parties. The
only drawback we have encountered is the inexpensive plastic rings that
attach the mosquito netting to the curtain bars.
One by one they
have broken and I had no luck trying to find a decent replacement until I
thought of shower curtain hooks. Not the old metal kind, but the open,
decorative styles. I found the perfect style at Target, bought two
packages on sale and now we have sturdy, more decorative hangers that
should withstand the elements for many seasons since they are meant to be
used in a steamy shower.
The photo shows the two styles side by
side. The new hooks blend in perfectly. What a difference a small detail
||Handy Find of the
Month: Back of the Seat Coat Hanger|
If you struggle with a way to hang a jacket or sweater in your car
without wrinkling it or obstructing your view while driving, this could be
the answer to your problem.
This backseat organizer doesn't block
your view according to the manufacturer. It installs by detaching the
headrest, installing the coat hanger, and replacing the headrest. The
hanger is wider at the ends to prevent "hanger marks" on the garment.
This could be handy for anyone who carries a summer sweater for
those chilly meeting rooms or times when you want to cover up your summer
look with a more business-like jacket. It's available from Organize.com.
||Are You Ready for a
Have you been promising yourself that you are going to make decorating
changes in your home but Planning Paralysis has stopped you? Did you know
that even small redesign changes in your rooms can make an amazing
difference quickly, easily and affordably?
aren't always about re-doing entire rooms and they aren't major upheavals
in a household. Often during consultations I show how effective quick
changes can be. The result is easy to live with changes that can
jump-start your decorating projects.
Are you ready for a redesign?
Contact me and we can talk about your ideas and needs.