Weekend Find: Drexel Heritage Blue Glass Lamps…..

This always happens to me…..

You are out shopping for one thing and you stumble upon something totally different.  This weekend I was looking for a bathroom bench for a client and thought that maybe I could swing a deal by hitting up TJ Maxx.  Well I struck out on finding a bench and as I was walking towards the exit, a flash of Tiffany’s Blue caught my eye.  As I turned my head, I was greeted by two amazing Drexel Heritage blue glass lamps haphazardly sitting on a shelf in the women’s intimate’s section.

Who knows why they were perched among the racks of bargain bras and control top girdles but fortunately for me, it meant that the normal TJ Maxx vultures missed these beauties.  So lickity split I snatched them up and ran to the register….

I have been looking for a pair of colorful lamps for the living room for some time now.  I love their shape, vibrant blue color and of course their price at $60 each.  However, what I love most about the lamps are their lucite bases……

I think the lucite adds just that bit of modernity that the piece needs to make sure it doesn’t go too traditional.  I may try to do something with the shades but for now, I am quite happy with my new lamps.

So tell me, did you snag a deal this weekend?  Leave a comment or a tweet and tell me about your amazing score.  Alrighty, I am off to sit at a client’s condo and wait for deliveries as I do work.  Glamorous huh?

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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!

Valentine Day’s Dinner Table Setting……

I am torn when it comes to Valentine’s Day.  It’s one of those holidays that you sorta feel hostage to, like Teacher Appreciation Day or Grandparents’s Day.  Deep down you know that some marketing executive (that was me in a past life) spent hours plotting a regression curve to figure out the maximum price to sell you flowers and other things for that “very special day”.  However, I love any opportunity to set a table and entertain. 

When I was thinking about my Valentine’s Day tablescape, I tried to imagine the client and her needs.  Here is who I imagined……

Her name is Sharon.  She is 36, never married but has a fantastic long-term boyfriend whom she has been with for 5 years.  They are in no rush to get married or have kids.  Both are content and quite happy enjoying each other’s time.  For once in her life, Sharon feels comfortable.  However, she knows she has a habit being too comfortable (she still remembers the time her last boyfriend caught her shaving her legs with his razor), so she makes an effort not to slack on those little things that mean a lot to the other person.  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, Sharon planned to cook dinner at her house this year.  Surprisingly the city where Sharon lived in Northern California was having fantastic weather even in the night-time, so it was decided that dinner would be on the patio.  Dining under the night stars was something that Sharon always found romantic.  However, all the red, white and pink decorations with cupids and hearts were not her idea of romantic.  She wanted to do a something simple, elegant and a tad modern.  So Sharon called me to help her set a modern Valentine’s Day  dinner table ……

I do all of this back story because it helps me think through the vibe and tone of the table as well as plan out what pieces I would need to set the table that the imaginary client would love.  Here is what  I imagined for Sharon…..

Pink, brown and amber is the color palette for this tablescape.  I knew that I didn’t want the traditional color scheme for pink, white and red, so I looked for inspiration elsewhere.  I found it in a steno pad and a chocolate bar.  Seriously — I was taking notes and eating a candy bar.  I placed the candy bar on top of the pad to reach for something and when I turned back, was struck by the color combo….ergo my inspiration.

I used three different pieces of china to create the look.  The charger plate is amber glass and was bought at Ross Dress for Less for $3.99.  The dinner plate is white porcelain and was bought from The Dollar Store for, yup, a buck.  The salad plate is Ralph Lauren from TJ Maxx for $7 — my big splurge.  However, I often will splurge on interesting salad plates since that is what you typically will see in a plate setting.  I layer my salad plates over a simple solid dinner plate and viola — you got alot of impact for not that much dough.

Rather than having a floral centerpiece on the table which would take up space, I decided to do small gifts on each plate.  These rose shaped soaps (yup, I am not above using soap as a prop) were the perfect compromise in my opinion.  Their floral shape is the perfect substitute for flowers and saves me from not spending money on an overly expensive bouquet.  Additionally, the gift is functional and can be used later.  These were only $1 at The Dollar Store, so I bought five boxes ….perfect hostess gifts!

Here is my dirty secret.  I don’t sew. I want to learn but I suck at it.  However, I am an expert presser.  I can put a crease in a cracker if you give me spray starch.  I knew I did not want to spent a fortune on special table linens but I didn’t want to go with standard white.  After reading some of my favorite blogs, I decided that I could make my own napkins.  It was quite easy…remember I don’t sew.  I simply bought a yard of pink linen from Joann’s Fabric for $7 and cut it to size.  With an iron on high, I used hemming tape to create my seams.  For the table cloth, it was even easier.  I went to Home Depot and bought a 9×12 canvas drop cloth, washed it and let it air dry.  It looked exactly like linen but was only $9.99.  I used brown grosgrain ribbon for the napkin ring and pulled out my mother of pearl silverware and standard cutlery.

The brass candlesticks were a find at my local resale shop for $3 each.  The candles….well I am not proud but they are $1 tapers I spray painted in Sweet Pea (Satin) by Rust-Oleum.  I am sure that I will get some horrible cancer from burning them, but I could not find pink tapers to save my life!  Desperation is the mother of invention, so I made my own with a $3.50 can of pink spray paint.  The wine glasses are the luster amber set from Pier One. 

I  know some of you are wondering, why brown and amber for Valentine’s Day?  Well, I find that amber and brown glass have a beautiful reflective quality when lit.  It casts a warm glow and makes everyone look that much sexier in my opinion.  Since the dinner table I set will be primarily light with candles at night, the reflective elements from the charger and the glassware along with the warm brass tones of the salt-n-pepper shakers and candlesticks are going to wash the diners in warn golden tones — perfect when you are setting the mood for romance.

Okay, one more shot of the table……

As usual here is a breakdown of the tablescape:

  • Table Cloth: Canvas Drop Cloth (9×12) from Home Depot: $9.99
  • Napkins: 1 yard of linen fabric from Joann’s Fabric: $7/yard
  • Napkin Rings: Grosgrain Ribbon from Joann’s Fabric: $3.49/roll
  • Silverware: Vintage Mother of Pearl & everyday Cutlery from eBay and Costo
  • Glassware: Luster Amber Wine Goblets from Pier One: $5 each (bought on sale during Thanksgiving)
  • Charger Plates: Amber Glass Chargers from Ross Dress for Less: $3.99/each
  • Dinner Plate: White porcelain plate from The Dollar Store: $1/each
  • Salad Plate: Ralph Lauren “Ribbons” salad plate from TJ Maxx: $7/each
  • Salt-n-Pepper Shakers: Antique bird shakers from eBay: $6.99/pair
  • Candlesticks: Brass candlesticks from resale shop: $6/pair
  • Candles: Taper candles from The Dollar Store: $2/pair
  • Centerpieces: Rose shaped soaps from The Dollar Store: $1/each
  • Miscellaneous: Rust-Oleum Spray Paint in Sweet Pea ($3.49)

Total Cost: approximately $75 if you bought everything as laid out brand new.  However, I encourage you to take the tablescape concept and use what is in your home already.  I only spent slightly over $25 on new materials and supplies while everything else was recycled from what I already owned.  Just remember, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune to have your table look like a  million bucks!

Weekend DIY: Trellis Lampshade

Honestly….she is pretty, talented, has an adorable baby girl and gets to live in exotic locations. Come on now, some people have all the luck. For Caitlin Wilson, this is her life and she chronicles it on her blog Caitlin Wilson Design: Style Files….

Her design style is light, cheery and perfectly aspirational.  It’s the look that your best friend has in her home…you know the one…she’s pretty, successful, handsome husband and adorable kids…..yeah, sorta like Caitlin.  Hmmm.  Makes me wonder if all those other women have been using Caitlin’s design expertise?  As I ponder this question, take a look at Caitlin’s tutorial on how she created this tres chic lampshade:


Isn’t it too adorable?  Perfect for just about any room in the house I think.  And it just may be perfect for jazzing up a Jonathan Adler look-a-like I picked up at TJ Maxx for the nursery I am working on.

Off to grab glue and ribbon! 

Have a geat weekend……..

HomeGoods Fu Dog Look-a-Likes….

Over the years, I have  been schooled that many of the things Americans find “Asian chic” or “Asian inspired” can be construed as insulting by many Asians and Asian-Americans.  The Partner has pointed out that many things labeled as above are a jumble of design elements from Japan, Korea and China.   I have become hyper aware of such things as The Partner and his family are of Taiwanese descent. 

Historically, chinoiserie has played fast and loose with its definition of “Asian inspired” and has freely borrowed from a range of Asian cultures.   While I have never been a huge fan chinoiserie, I do enjoy it in small doses.  Done correctly, chinoiserie can add an  bolt of color, vibrancy and history into modern spaces.  Done incorrectly, it can border on insulting, coming off as mocking towards the Asian cultures it is suppose to admire.  That is why I was surprised that I was quite smitten with the Fu Dog Bookends that CB2 is currently selling: 

CB2 Fu Dog Bookends


They are a classic example of chinioserie and definitely add a pop of color and style to any room.  I have been eyeing them for either the Music Room or the Master Bedroom, but in either case, they were going to need to be spray painted a different color.  So paying $50 for an accessory that I was going to need to redo, was a bit of a deal breaker for me. 

However, as with many things, good things come to those who wait.  On Saturday, I made a special trip down to Moraga, CA to visit the HomeGoods store.  If you have not been to HomeGoods, why are you waiting?  And if you don’t have one in your area, move.  I told The Partner that should we ever move, we need to confirm that there is an In-n-Out and a HomeGoods store within driving distance of the respective house, otherwise I am not going.  Honestly, it’s one of my favorite stores.  Imagine, an entire store dedicated to home goods and decorating.  Now imagine that store the size of a large TJ Maxx.  Now imagine everything being sold at TJ Maxx prices ….and that my friends is why I love this store.  Matter of fact, HomeGoods is a division of TJ Maxx, so it’s very likely that you may be find some of the same items in your TJ Maxx home goods department, but it doesn’t compare.  I honestly get a bit giddy going to the store.  I have friends who geek out going to guitar shops, used record stores, vintage clothing stores or wine importers.  I geek out over home decorating and kitchen supply stores.  I can blow a good chunk of change in HomeGoods and not blink , so I typically drag a friend along to talk me down from buying three duvet covers and or a pair of lamps because they are $19.99 each.  Sad but true story….. I am redecorating our master suite based on the fact that I found cheap sheets at HomeGoods.  It’s a sickness….I know. 

Any case, I visited HomeGoods and ran across a set of Fu Dog Bookends that struck me as mighty similar in color and shape to the CB2 set.  I immediately walked over and picked them up to inspect.  They were a tad lighter in weight than I hoped, but when I checked the price, the deal was done.  Each bookend was $3.99!!  Honestly, $8 for the set.  Yup, those puppies were tossed into my basket and I went about the rest of the shopping excursion in a happy daze.  



Fu Dog Bookends from HomeGoods


Along with the bookends, I bought some crystal candlesticks, scented drawer liners and a silver gravy boat.  I feel like I made out like a bandit!  Even better is that when I showed The Partner the bookends, he actually liked them.  Whew!  So now I just need to confirm which room they will go in, so I can decide on a paint color. 

 Isn’t it amazing how stumbling upon a decorating score can elevate your whole day?