Mother’s Day Tablescape & One More Announcement…..

So the big news……. I’m Pregnant!


And should you ever hear someone say that  I was, you should seriously question their sanity or their grasp of basic biology and reproduction.

Actually the news is sorta like giving birth but in a creative sense.  A few months ago the kind people at got this crazy idea that I have a point of view and offered me a monthly column.  Yup folks, I am a columnist now joining the ranks of Dear Abby, Ask Heloise and Jackie Stallone (you didn’t know she had her own astrology column?).


So every month I will be dispensing lifestyle, entertaining and design advice all packaged in the “Courtney Out Loud” way – minus the dirty words and sexual innuendos.  This month I tackled creating a Mother’s Day Tablescape that is young, colorful, bright and full of easy DIY projects along with a few designer secrets…….


I love how the table turned out and think it’s one of the best designs I have done to date.  It’s hip and approachable but still looks like you went broke creating it.  I break everything down from the place settings to the flower arrangements so you can create your own version at home.

Swing by the site and take a look and stay tuned for my June column – it will knock your socks off — metaphorically as I don’t condone violence even if it is to socks….

Have a great weekend and take a little time to enjoy the day!

ps:  Have you entered the Joy and Revelry Pin It To Win It Contest?  Don’t miss your chance to win $500 worth of home decor personally selected by me!

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Motivational Mondays: Valentine’s Day “Tablescape”….

Valentines Quote Shot_Horizontal

One of my favorite times of day is that hazy, peaceful moment between awake and slumber. You are zen.  Your mind is calm.  The world is quiet.  It is during those times where I roll over and look at my Partner’s face, so sweet and peaceful as he sleeps, that I am filled with gratitude for having such a special person to share my life with.

This Valentine’s Day I plan on forgoing some elaborate dinner and night out.  With both our schedules, anything that takes us past 9:30pm finds us struggling to stay awake.  So why not make your special person something truly special for the most important meal of the day….breakfast?  So this Valentine’s I plan on making The Partner breakfast  in bed……

Valentines Angle Close

Valentines Day Close Up Plates

Valentines Day Paperwhites

Valentines Day Flatware 2

Valentines Note

It is not quite my usual tablescape, why not mix it up with something I am calling a “bedscape” — perfect for Valentine’s Day.  It’s quick, it’s easy and honestly, who doesn’t think breakfast in bed is the quintessential romantic gesture?

This Valentine’s Day, I am celebrating that my dreams are my reality and my reality is pretty darn awesome!

Sources: Candlesticks & Tray : CB2 //Bud Vase: vintage//Flatware: Zara Home//Dinner Plates: HomeGoods//Salad Plates: Wedgewood//Napkins: West Elm//Champagne Flutes: Ross Dress For Less//Love Bird Salt & Pepper Shakers: vintage//Bed Linens: Crate & Barrel//Accent Pillow: Courtney Lake Interiors

[Photography: Photos By Adza //Styling & Art Direction: Courtney Lake]

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Valentine Day Table: Animal Magnetism…….

Love is in the air.  And smog, but that is a rant for another day……

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and this year I am feeling feisty – like a 90-year-old woman who has just got a new pair of support hose, a sparkly pair of orthopedic shoes and a free bus pass to Atlantic City.  Yes, indeed, Poppa Bear was on the prowl and my creative juices are bubbling.  So I created an imaginary client who was just as saucy as  I was feeling.  Let me introduce you to Maggie, a 55-year divorced mother of 2 teenagers.  She has a full and happy life that keeps her busy.  Between her work as a real estate agent, the boys and her boyfriend of 10 years, Scott, she barely has any time to do anything but eat and sleep.  However, the one day she holds sacred is Valentine Day.  She thinks it may be backlash from the fact that her ex-husband all but ignored the holiday while they were married.  No flowers, no fancy dinners, not even a freakin’ balloon and a stuffed animal.  Since dating Scott, she has made sure that they celebrate the holiday in a special way every year.

This year, she wanted to do something intimate at home for her and Scott.  The boys are at their Dad’s house, so it’s just them.  So she hired a personal chef to cook them dinner and me to create a tablescape that reflected her wants of a setting that was romantic, playful and a bit naughty.  Maggie really wanted the evening to be about showing Scott that she is attracted to him as much as when they met over a decade ago.

Hearing Maggie’s request, I asked her to tell me how she met Scott.  She went on to explain that she actually stalked Scott for several weeks through mutual friends until she had the right opportunity and then pounced on him.  The words “stalked” and “pounced” instantly got me thinking feline.  From there, I just ran with the notion of mixing animal prints; cheetah, leopard and faux snake skin in an unexpected color scheme of peacock, silver, and baby blue with a healthy dose of white to balance everything out.  A low centerpiece of hot pink roses along with purple & white tulips adds in a touch of romance as do the rose petals strewn about the table.   It’s an unexpected Valentine Day palette but I think it reflects the animal magnetism that introduced Scott and Maggie but also the romance that keeps them together.

So what do you think?  Does this design light your fire or put a dampen on your groove?  Tomorrow, I will break down the table and explain how I made the super easy octagon cheetah placemats.

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Christmas Table Sneak Peek

I had a really good weekend.  A dear friend came to spend the weekend from out of town……well actually he lives across the bridge in San Francisco but for those you who live in the Bay Area, trying to get your friends to cross the Bay is a monumental task most days.  Fortunately, the lure of visiting the St. George Distillery, Korean fried chicken, baked goods and good company (moi) was enough to entice him over for a spell.

Since my weekend was great, I figured I would be generous and share a sneak peek of my  Christmas tablescape that will be on the Nate Berkus Show this month.  I tasked myself with using traditional Christmas colors and foliage but in a fun and unexpected way.  Here are two shots to give you a “taste”…..

Can you guess what my color scheme was?

So while I should I have spent this weekend making Christmas gifts, I partied like a rock star which means this week I am going to be playing catch-up.  So while I am elbow deep in caramel, entertain me and tell me what you did this weekend……

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Halloween On the Brain….

I don’t know if this is a trick or a treat, but for the last two weeks I have had Halloween on the brain.  I am day dreaming about Halloween tablescapes, carving pumpkins and when exactly the 1 pound bags of Reese Peanut Butter Cups will hit the market so I can stock up.

It’s official – I am being sucked in to the Halloween vortex.  So to exorcise my “demons” I created this quick mood board for my Halloween tablescape …..

If you can’t tell, I am pretty keen on the notion of a black table.  I am obsessed with black crystal, guinea feathers, black and white china and for some odd reason, purple and lime green.

I blame my recent visit to Z Gallerie for enabling my “Halloween brain”.  I had the opportunity to visit their corporate offices and walk their East Bay store.  Needless to say I found inspirational “bling” for the Halloween table…..

I think the skeleton hand would make a great menu or name plate holder.  The spiders are perfect accessories to sprinkle on the table and throughout a buffet line.  However, I am especially drawn to the idea of mixing faux and real flowers for this tablescape, so the black crystal stems that Z Gallerie has in stock are perfect.  I am hoping the stems add sheen, texture and height to the centerpiece.

All that is left is to decide on the accent color (still not 100% on the lime green notion), pick a tablecloth, make the chargers and set the table.  Okay when I write it out, it still sounds like alot of work — but then that’s why I start in September!

So is Halloween on your brain or am I just the odd man out?

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Contest Winner Shares Tablescape in Action…..

The winner of my first give away, Sabrina, was kind enough to send me pictures of the tablescape she won.  The original tablescape was created to celebrate Easter, but she decided to use the setting to celebrate her sister’s birthday…

Rather than simply using the table setting as I sent it, she mixed in pretty blue and white bowls from Pier One and white plates from TJ Maxx.  She capped off her table decorations with some pretty flowers in a white  pitcher.

According to Sabrina,

When I put my name in for your giveaway I didn’t even think about how I would be able to make such a beautiful table setting but everything came together so effortlessly once I started.

I love seeing how she took the pieces from the Easter tablescape and added to it with things she already owned, making it her own.   I just reaffirms what I always say…….that with a little effort and thought, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a project look like a million bucks.

More contests are in the works for followers of the blog, Facebook page and Twitter account.  Don’t miss out on your chance to win.  But speaking of winning, all of this rain is not a winning combo for my new patio.  The poor moss is having a doozy of a time trying to get established.  Fingers crossed that it dries out the next couple of days!

Mother’s Day Table Breakdown & May Give Away

Thanks for the kind words on the Mother’s Day table!  I received confirmation from Shauna that she loved the table and will be executing something similar very soon.  But as promised, here is a quick breakdown of the table…..

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