month I feature the first in what is planned to be a series on the
adventures of entertaining. How better to kick it off than with Fiesta
party ideas perfect for Cinco de Mayo and throughout the warm srping and
If you are thinking about updating your flooring,
fixtures or appliance or refurbishing your deck, read below about the
limitations of warranties before making any decisions.
the fun and functional accessory ideas this month, too.
ideas you can use now fill this month's issue. I invite your comments and
suggestions and always enjoy hearing from you. Pam
||Fun Find of the
Month: Mini Cake Candelabra|
Looking for something fun
to make a cake-or any dessert-something special? Try a miniature Cake
Scaled to accommodate regular cake candles, this
unexpected cake topper will be sure to
surprise guests and possibly divert them from counting the number of candles.
I ordered one to have on
hand for an upcoming shower, birthday and
anniversary. I may embellish it a little or leave as is, depending on the rest of the decorations and the
Slice of Tuxedo Mousse Cake anyone?
People tell me all
the time that they love the entertaining
ideas I share each month but that they have no time, energy, confidence or enough of a budget to make their
house look perfect or provide enough food and drink for their
The ideas I give you can be customized to fit nearly any
budget, energy level or time frame. The confidence comes with
accomplishing the steps and jumping right into the adventure. You learn
with each gathering and gradually develop your own style. Trial and error
will tell you whether you and your friends enjoy one type of party over
another. Experimenting and developing your creativity are all part of the
A relatively simple party is the Fiesta, perfect for
celebrating Cinco de Mayo on May 5 or for any time this spring or summer.
It can be an indoor or outdoor event held during the day or night, a
brunch, a large gathering or a small dinner or tasting party.
ahead dishes make any party easier and a self serve brunch, luncheon or
dinner buffet can work well for this gathering. You can make the recipes
yourself, have it catered, ask guests to bring their favorite dishes or
any combination that fits your lifestyle, budget and comfort level. You
don't have to be a fan of Mexican food to have a Fiesta. Make it a cook
out and incorporate the foods that you and your guests enjoy cooking and
eating. Do try to incorporate something of the cuisine just for fun. (See
below for ideas).
Don't forget music! You aren't locked into
Mariachi bands for hours. Try a mix of Latin vocals and instrumentals
geared to the tone you want to set. Check out Latin dance music as
well-especially if you are a fan of Dancing With the Stars.
having your house in perfect order, it's easier to begin straightening
your home well in advance of your date so that you don't stress or wear
yourself out. Set your table days to even a
week before your party so that you can enjoy it long before you guests are due to arrive. If you want to
protect it from little hands, pets or dust,
cover it with a sheet and add fresh flowers or any delicate decorations the day of the party.
inspire you, I've created a Pinterest board of ideas for decorations and
recipes and will be adding to it throughout the summer. Please click on
the link below and as always, I appreciate hearing from you about the
Renovation: Don't Cry-Know Before You Buy|
When you build a deck
(or have one built for you), you tend to have confidence in a name brand
product and/or the reputation of the company who sells it.
problem comes up, you expect that the warranty will be honored and that
the company will stand behind its work. Warranties are in force as long as
the company states or as long as the company is in business. If another
company acquires the company or the division that manufactures your
particular product, the warranty may not be honored. The way the warranty
is written may leave you little or no legal recourse, or the time and
expense of legal options might get you very little in return.
your contractor or installer is not certified or recommended by the
manufacturer (or seller), it may not stand behind any defects in the
product and blame the installer. If your installer/contractor should
retire or go out of business, you may have have no recourse.
you buy a product to save money and hire a contractor to do the
installation, you could be placed in the middle with the contractor
blaming the manufacturer and the manufacturer blaming the way it was
If you are considering any project that will depend on
a manufactured product as well as installation skills, keep these examples
in mind. Using a contractor who is
recommended by the manufacturer or the company who sells the product, even if it costs a bit more, may be worth
it. The contractor will be familiar with the product and will install it
properly, but like everything else, it's not a guarantee. Get everything
in writing. Ask questions. Get recent
references and call them to find out what others have experienced. Do your homeowork-it can be time well spent.
Transitions with Throws|
Spring means warming
days and cool nights. Spring showers leading
to May flowers can mean rainy days perfect for curling up with a good book or to watch a video. What
better weather than this to have a soft,
lighter weight throw?
One of these throws from West Elm can be a practical and colorful accent for a
comfortable chair or draped on a bed with a
decorative pillow or two. You can even take it outside with you to enjoy a cool evening on the patio or
Prices for throws will often be lower this time of year.
(Currently this style is on sale.) Throws are a staple item so if you
don't find one now, no doubt the perfect one
will be in stores in time for the waning days of summer and the cooler fall nights.
||The Blurring of
Indoor and Outdoor Decor|
Outdoor living has been
evolving for many years, but recent
technology has made it easier and more comfortable to take advantage of a home's outdoor spaces.
the annual vacation was once only a time/budget necessity. Now
"Staycations" can be a welcome alternative to the hassles of travel.
Technology, necessity and choice combined to give homeowners the
opportunity to create their own outdoor oasis; a place to escape the 9-5
routine just by stepping out of their back door.
and dining has become more convenient. Grill units come in sizes to fit
even small spaces with easy care finishes. Features can allow multiple
foods to cook with less time hovering over the heat.
lighting styles look and function more like
indoor lighting, extending the time that can be spent outside.
Furniture style options have
increased and quality has greatly improved, resulting in pieces that not
only look and are as comfortable as indoor furniture, but can be even
easier to care for in season and out.
Storage, once a drawback to
equipping outdoor rooms, can be accomplished with the use of heavy duty
covers and decorative outdoor storage structures, bins, containers and
trunks that look like wood, wicker, stone and
Some pieces are so stylish and comfortable you may want to bring them inside at the end of
the season, allowing them to do double duty
and eliminate storage issues. Chairs, ottomans, coffee tables and lamps can find homes in various rooms.
Outdoor rugs may be perfect in the kitchen, family room or bath. Many
outdoor pillow fabrics feel just like indoor fabrics and have the benefit
of being easy care. You may find that you prefer them over your old
Let this be the year you take advantage of all of the
space your home encompasses, both indoors and out. If you thought you
would never be as comfortable outdoors as you are inside, think again. It
can be accomplished affordably and in increments to make your transition
grow with your needs.
For inspiration for your outdoor rooms,
please click below to view a collection of
ideas on my Pinterest board for outdoor living, gardening and entertaining.
...that my redesign
consultations cover more than how to arrange furniture, accessories and
...that color consultations cover more than the
selection of a room's wall color?
...that I can not only tell you how, but but
also show you how to revamp your furniture, art and accessories on the
...that I can help you make informed choices when picking
tiles, countertops, finishes and other items when you remodel?
...that one of the perks I offer my clients is the ability to
virtual shop with me from the comfort of their home?
we shop together, whether virtually or locally, it comes with design tips
and information you can use to be more confident in your choices, now and
in the future? It's like taking Decorating 101!
Redesigns aren't always about re-doing entire rooms and they aren't major
upheavals in a household.
My consultations are chock full of
information you can use right away. The result is easy to live with
changes that can jump-start your decorating projects while stretching your
Are you ready for redesign, staging and
decorating help? Contact me and we can talk about your ideas and needs.
Call me at 703-689-9886 or click on the link below to email me. Let's get