Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Chic

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There is nothing more American than the joy of gathering together with family and friends to celebrate our nation’s independence day. There is a great sense of joy and pride when you watch fireworks, light sparklers, or simply gather together for a festive meal. Chances are many of you will sit down with an ‘all American” meal of BBQ, burgers, and hotdogs. I just have one request, do it in style. Let’s lose the plastic plates and paper tablecloth. After all, there is nothing more thrilling than having a burger on a fine piece of china. I promise, it will put a smile to your face.

I recently went on the search for my ideal Fourth of July tablescape and I was able to find everything I needed at NorthPark Center in Dallas. From sleek backyard chairs at Design Within Reach to beautiful china at Neiman Marcus to versatile bowls at Pirch, I found everything relevant to create a tablescape that will be effortless, memorable, and festively fun.

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An eclectic mix of timeless designs and current trends- all found at NorthPark Center.

 

Buffalo Check Tablecloth from Williams SonomaWilliams Sonoma Cotton Navy Napkins

Williams Sonoma

I love the navy buffalo check table runner from Williams Sonoma. Would look fabulous with any table setting, classic or contemporary. The navy napkins leave a solid contrast to the check pattern.

 

  Juliska plates from Neiman Marcus Northpark         Glassware from Anthropologie Northpark

Neiman Marcus

I think there is nothing more fabulous than serving a fresh burger on beautiful Juliska delft plates.

Anthropologie

The glassware from Anthropologie is the perfect play on the all American navy hues.

Galvanized Tray from Nordstrom NorthparkPicnic Basket from Pirch Northpark

Nordstrom

This galvanized tray makes serving drinks a breeze. Lightweight, yet strong on style.

Pirch

If you are traveling to a park to watch fireworks, Pirch has the ideal picnic basket to pack your wine, dips, and sparklers.

flatware from Anthropologie NorthparkWatermelon Candle Nordstrom Northpark

Antropologie

This Atleir flatware is very versatile and provides the perfect pop of texture to any place setting.

Nordstrom

How fun are these watermelon candles?!  An ideal summer addition to the kids’ table (and the adult table too)!

Design Within Reach Table at Nortpark

Design Within Reach Chair Northpark

DESIGN WITHIN REACH

The Kayu Teak Dining Table is solidly made for any celebration.
I am in love with the Tolix Marais Chairs for any backyard setting. It is the ultimate chair of low key chic.

 

Muy Bonita

Very beautiful, lovely. That is the translation for Muy Bonita. I can’t help but fall in love with this very beautiful and enchanting Spanish garden by Fernando Caruncho. The cascading archway of wisteria is no short of magical, as well as his topiary gardens and envious amount of cypress trees. A little bit of enchantment to start your Tuesday.

 

Fernando Caruncho Garden Spain

 

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Keeping Walls, Breaking Trends

Let’s talk about this. It might make many of you uncomfortable. Maybe you saw it on TV and got sucked into the light and freedom of it. Maybe you went to a friend’s house and they encouraged you to do it. Possibly, you could have been attracted to these three little words on a shiny piece of new construction. OPEN FLOOR PLAN. I get it. Really, I get it. You have kids and you want to be able to make dinner while watching them watch TV, and soon after watch them eat at the table. You can also see who is at the front door and the backdoor.  You don’t even have to leave your post behind the stove and between the sink.  However, I do not find anything chic about the convenience of an open floor plan. In fact, you are doing yourself a disservice if you like design (If you are reading this I am assuming you do).

I spoke of this in just a small comment at the end of my last post. The comments I received from readers were very reaffirming. Think about going to a restaurant- do you ever get annoyed sitting at the table right by the kitchen door? I do. It makes me wonder why it is so common in our homes. Do we not we deserve peaceful meals? Do you want guests to see the mess of your kitchen preparations in the same eye line of your beautifully set dining room table? Do you really want to display your china cabinet in your living room? Do you really want to walk in the front door and see straight into your kitchen and the backyard? Do you not want the mere privacy of being able to close the door to a room? I would hope your answer is no.

We’ve become so engrained with the concept that the open floor plan is a positive thing. Like I mentioned above, it does have it’s benefit, but to me it is lacking. It is lacking intimacy, poise, and genuine purpose. This article from the BBC says it all, so does this article from Yahoo, and so does this article from Slate. I will quote them below. Really, I am just happy to know I am not alone in this trend to kill the open floor plan. Mr. Builder- do NOT tear down this wall!

Pictures of some of my favorite closed kitchens below.

“…here is one distressingly popular design choice that has spread throughout HGTV’s stable of shows like black mold through a flooded basement, and I can no longer abet its growth by keeping silent. I’m talking about the baneful scourge that is the “open-concept kitchen.”- Slate Article

 

kitchen via AD

I love the simplicity and thoughtful detail of this kitchen, from the exposed shelving on the island to the splash of windows above the second area of the kitchen. A functional and chic enclosed space. Via AD

 gray and white cabinets in kitchen via house beautiful

I love the color combination of this kitchen. Very sophisticated gold hardware and a walk-in pantry that is worthy of praise. Via House Beautiful

Kitchen by Alexa Hamton via AD

 

“Oh and did you know the open-plan kitchen can lead to uncontrolled snacking and is perhaps to blame for the recent obesity epidemic? It also encourages shouting; who needs to walk to the next room and merely talk when you can stand still and yell at the top of your lungs to announce dinner?” – BBC ARTICLE

 

Kitchen by Mick de Giulio via AD

Entering the kitchen through a pair of doors, love that. A clever way to display pots and pans. Mick de Giulio via AD

Kitchen by Suzanne Kasler via AD

Beautiful enclosed kitchen. Love the siding all around the room. Suzanne Kasler via AD

 

“If I can see my kitchen all the time, I can’t relax,” Roxanne said. “When someone walks in the kitchen, I’ll impulsively start wiping down the counter, even if it’s already clean. An open kitchen is very impressive looking – but it really depends on how you’re living.” –Yahoo Article

 

Kitchen via Veranda

Pretty enclosed hues via Veranda

 

Tasteful Tate

While at my parents’ house here in Florida, I came across a coffee table book on the architecture of Ken Tate. My jaw was in a complete dropped position as I turned each page eagerly awaiting what the heart-thumping architectural eye candy might be on the next page. Tate’s range of skill from traditional Spanish Colonial to Colonial Revival is impressive in itself. He is gifted in his craftsmanship and details from the outside to the inside.

Here is a glimpse at only a small amount of his timeless architectural style. Pure perfection.

All photos from his website: kentatearchitect.com

Ken Tate Architecture 2

My favorite design: white house, black shutters.

Ken Tate Architecture 3

The type of house you would want to grow up in.

Ken Tate Architecture 4

Picturesque and a testament to Tate’s wide range of abilities. I love the sweet balcony on the upper left.  Ken Tate Architecture 6

A dreamy courtyard and covered porch.

Ken Tate Architecture 7

The the woodwork and symmetry of the cabinetry.

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These shutters are everything. I love the row of hedges, as they play right into the architectural element of the house. It would almost look incomplete without them. Ken Tate Architecture 10

Another one of Tate’s charming courtyard areas. This house sure does look like a very interesting and engaging layout. Ken Tate Architecture 11

Another glimpse of detail.

Ken Tate Architecture 14

Modernly established. This face is always relevant.   Ken Tate Architecture 8

Look again at the detail and framing of the rooms. I have said this before and I will say it again, “open floor plan” is not always a good thing. Who wants to hang out in one big room? I love the idea of sitting in the dining room to have a conversation. Hard to do when your dining room is your  kitchen, living room, and breakfast room all in one. I love what Tate did here, he opened the room with archways, yet still kept them as separate entities. It pains me to think the mindset of many would be to tear them down. You can’t create multiple jewel boxes if you only have one big piece of cardboard to work with.

Summer Showers

I’ve recently taken part in helping to host two different bridal showers for two of my closest friends. One was a carefree backyard shower with a preppy pineapple twist. The other was a more modern and sophisticated soiree. While I had more of a planning hand in the later shower, both were ideal for the two different brides. I find there is something so personal about planning showers. You can really capture the bride in small and thoughtful details. I think it shows a great display of love that a registry gift can’t quite capture. Cheers to #WynneTwoBleComeOne and#AlaviYouForever XO

 

Preppy Pineapple Shower

location: friend’s backyard

menu: catered fajita buffet

flowers: yours truly

napkins: LB Originals

Preppy Bridal Shower on The Potted Boxwood 3

LB Originals makes it so easy for me to give a special and personalized shower gift of monogram napkins. These will never go out of style!

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A great set up for a backyard celebration.

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Festive pineapple cookies. Preppy Bridal Shower on The Potted Boxwood

Preppy Bridal Shower on The Potted Boxwood 2

The bride’s nickname is Ble Ble, so my friend had balloons made to keep things festive. Although the wind wouldn’t let them stay straight.

Preppy Bridal Shower on The Potted Boxwood 7

Myself with the beautiful bride.

Modern Sophisticated Shower

location, menu, flowers: Urban Flower Grange Hall

place cards: Alli K Design

cake: Frosted Art Bakery

napkins: LB Originals

Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood

Grange Hall was the ideal spot for this bride. If you are in the Dallas area, you must come for lunch, or to see their beautiful gift store. Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood 5

The florist is very creative here at Grange Hall. I knew I wanted to contrast of all white flowers and to play off of the marble inspired plates that they use. You would never know that those glass vases are painted on the outside. So chic!  Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood 4

Another view of the table.

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The flowers seemed endless…

Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood 2Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood 6

Alli K Design did an overwhelmingly fantastic job with the place cards. Her modern calligraphy is used from something as small as this, to something as important as wedding invitations.  It fits the atmosphere beautifully. Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood 8

The piéce de résistance….Frosted Art Bakery captured my vision in the most spectacular way. They even took the monogram of the napkin and used it as the topper for the cake. It was just as delicious as it was beautiful. Grange Hall added the flowers for a bridal touch.  Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood 10

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Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood 3

LB Originals did such an incredible job helping me pick a more modern and unique monogram for my very Jan Showers inspired bride. I decided to go with a dark grey and white color pattern to compliment the marble.

Modern Bridal Shower Favors by The Potted Boxwood

The Mother of The Bride made very cool terrariums with a very real looking fake orchid and moss. Such a unique and thoughtful gift. If interested in any of her work, contact me and I can put you in touch.   Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood 13

My place setting.

Modern Bridal Shower by The Potted Boxwood 12

I thought it was so fun how their flatware had an iridescent vibe.

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Me and the bride both in blue and white.#BlueandWhiteForever. A fun time was had by all!