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  • The Christmas Table

    My obsession with Pottery Barn's buffalo check spilled over into our dining room this season, where we've already hosted a couple of holiday meals.  These fun, seemingly casual plaid plates looked a little regal and sparkly when combined with a few other simple elements, like clean linens, simple dishes and flatware, and white flowers.

    I'll try to be as descriptive as possible in my table setting below- I just loved how things turned out!

    I paired the checkered salad plates with Williams-Sonoma's Open Kitchen dishware, flatware from Target, and vintage, smokey goblets.  White and flax-colored linens, also from Target, provided a clean backdrop.

    A centerpiece of tulips, hydrangea, kale, and scabiosa fron Mahonia Studio was topped by my horns from Scout on Market.  A silver condiment dish from Williams-Sonoma held a variety of nuts and dates, and kept moving back and forth from dining table to living room, depending on where we had the munchies.

    The simplicity of our linens and dishes, as well as the muted, almost monochrome of the centerpiece really let the buffalo check take center stage without feeling hokey.

    Despite our small table and small amount of guests, I decided to use namecards.  They can be a fun addition, especially when paired with festive holders, like these iron trees, found at Mahonia Studios.

    ** this post is not sponsored in any way **

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

  • Deck the Halls!

    I do love the holidays.  While my Thanksgiving is my favorite (Derby not included), it's the Christmas decorations that get my heart swooping.  This year, I found myself swooning over the black and white buffalo check accessories from Pottery Barn, and decided to keep the rest of my decorations simple.  There's not an ornament on this tree at all.

    Our tree (lit, but bare) stood in the corner by our sofa, where one of our end tables usually sit.  Underneath, a cableknit skirt holds paper-wrapped gifts, while Bobo, the Christmas Cow looks on.  Our stockings hang on the mantle, while metal stars and green mercury glass tealights perch above.  

    I whipped up a batch of Bourbon milk punch, and had it sitting in vintange coupes on the coffee table along with a few chocolates.  Whilte and silver glass trees were scattered around.

    In the dining room (set for company this weekend), boxwood wreaths were strung with black and white ribbon from Sugar Paper for Target and hung from the French doors. 

    In the kitchen, more glass trees are scattered among the cooksbooks and the Bourbon, while a black pompom garland from Mahonia hangs out (pun!) on the cabinets.

    More details on our dining table to come next week. In the meantime, friends, if you're decorating for the holidays, feel free to share!

    ** this post is not sponsored in any way **

    ** photos by Kyle lueken **

  • On the Gallery Wall

    I'm fortunate enough to have a set of neighbors with fabulous taste, a gorgeous home and own Scout- one of the best design and accessories stores in the city.  One thing I almost always see, whether in their home or in their store, or in the houses of their countless clients is a handsomely curated gallery wall.  

    In their home, paintings mix with sketches and shadow-boxed geodes, while the frames all compliment one another.  In the bedroom, either frameless or slim silver frames compliment various pieces in shades of gray, while in the dining room, various black frames- from ornate to sleek- surround over two dozen pieces of various sizes.

    Their advice on how to curate a gallery wall of your own? Jim says to do whatever feels right to you. "It needs a common thread of subject matter, framing, or color.  That being said, the best ones are collections of things you love.  The more personal, the better." 

    ** this post was not sponsored in any way **

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

  • Black Friday: The Gift Guide

    Here it is, friends...  THE biggest shopping day of the year, so they say.  I've never been a fan of the day-after-Thanksgiving early morning rush- I'm a small business Saturday girl, myself, if I shop this close to the holidays at all.  Still, "Black Friday" seems to be a national holiday here, and I can't help but to once again, play on the name, and give a few suggestions on great gifts this year, all in the moody, black-colored goodness. 

    For the Girlfriend:

    Rebecca De Ravenel's les Bonbons earrings are remaining one of the most wanted accessories, from what I can tell.  The long, skinny Shimmy has me swooning.

    For the Cook:

    The olive oil and vinegar set from March is a beauty, and I'd be thrilled to find them under my tree!  (Sidenote: March's website is full of fun accessories... I'm adding it to my to-shop list.)

    For the Techie:

    Cover Up has gorgeous wood cases for Apple products.  I adore the sleekness of the Blackened Ash, while the Cedar and Walnut harken memories of the farm.  Check out the iPhone cases as well, and be sure to use code BF20 to take 20% off before 7pm tonight!

    For the Hostess: 

    These black marble coasters would fit right in in our home, and funnily enough, the Man's mother has the same ones in her house- my coffee mug is sitting on one now!

    For the Puppy Parent:

    This handsome houndstooth collar from Pecan Pie Puppies will make any hound a little more dressed-for-dinner in the New Year.

    To Wrap:

    Sugar Paper's collection for Target has some gorgeous holiday gift wrap, including this boldly-striped grosgrain ribbon, which would be perfect for wrapping your packages.  We have streams of it hanging from the boxwood wreath on our front door.

    To Send :

    Sparkling holiday greeting cards from Missive press are sure to ignite the holiday feels in all of your friends.  Rich letterpress feels a little more special and winter-y.  In Louisville? Pick them up at Mahonia Studios!

    Happy shopping, folks!

  • The Thanksgiving Table

    Friends, today we are on the road (I'm writing on my laptop while tethered to the internet coming from my phone, which is being charged by my car...  Ah, technology!) headed North to Cleveland for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Despite not being in our own home for the long weekend, I still wanted to play around with our dishes and linens to create a moody fall tablescape, and I think I suceeded.

    The gold chargers and squatty vase were inexpensive finds at Hobby Lobby.  Funky black plates and the stemware are from Williams-Sonoma.  Napkins, tablecloth and the gold flatware are all Threshold from Target.  The dish for the cranberry sauce is a dessert bowl from Macy's, and the horn dish (filled with walnuts), the feathers, and the flowers are from Mahonia Studios.

    As we roll into my favorite holiday (Derby aside), I wish you the best feelings of Thanksgiving: full tummies, a peaceful mind, and a happy heart.  The best wishes to you, friends, of time with family and friends over a shared meal.

  • Kitchen Woes

    I'm ashamed to say that last week during the great "Oh-my-God-the-cleaning-lady-is-coming-so-I-must-clean!" madness that occours each month, I tossed 4 grocery bags of food and garbage out of our kitchen.  Weeks-old take out, spoiled salmon that was never made into something wonderful, a strange, brown, milky blob of something that looked like it used to be a pear... All gone.  The inside of my fridge was scoured and I turned my attention to our pantry, and realized how strangely certain feelings manifest.  

    I've always been an emotional eater.  If I'm celebrating, cake and champagne.  If I'm depressed, cold Reese cups and PBJ.  I'm feeling lately, though, like I may be an emotional cooker as well.  Perhaps I need to be in a good state of mind to turn out beautiful dishes (I wonder if Athena Calderone ever feels this way?).

    For weeks, my beautiful, functional kitchen has sat sad and unused, while nightly trips to nearby resturants, morning stops at the Juice Bar, and far too many deliveries of Jimmy John's have taken the place of a happy pot of bean soup or crunchy, salt and peppered Brussels Sprouts.  It's difficult to get motivated to come up with yummy meals every night, and make sure that we're eating enough greens throughout the day. 

    It was this weekend's quick jaunt to Chicago, though, that lit a fire under my rear end to snap out of it, and get back to cooking.  Saturday night, a trip to Bistrot Zinc in our Chicago hood began with a shared bowl of steamy onion soup.  Plenty of melted and bubbly Gruyere and tons of onions, served in a footed bowl sparked a memory in me of the onion soup at the now-closed le Coop here in Louisville.  Chef Bobby Benjamin would top each bowl with a split and roasted piece of bone, marrow warm and game-y and perfect- a simple dish, but one that was comforting and easy to make.  All of a sudden, I wanted to be back in my kitchen, bringing home packages of groceries, setting to work.

    This week is a short one, with us leaving again on Wednesday to head to Cleveland for the Thanksgiving holiday, which means only 48 hours of possible cooking time.  While I don't think I can snap out of this funk quickly enough to churn out two full days worth of delicious and wholesome meals, I'm certainly going to try. 

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

  • Fall Porch

    Overnight freezing temps have finally decended on Louisville, and while there hasn't been one of those wicked, planter-killing frosts yet, I know it's coming.  I'm trying to enjoy the last few days of the beautiful Fall porch we had this year.

    Pumpkins- both smooth and beautiful, and wart-covered and ugly- paired with acorn squach and mini gourds in front of my beautiful purple and green vines.  Green mercury-glass votives held battery-operated tealights, which were scattered among it all.  

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

  • Guest Room Redux

    Our sweet little guest room has seen its share of decor shifts over the last few years.  From plain contractor-white walls and water stained ceiling, to plain, pale gray walls and my 15 year old Target furniture and zero art, to reconfigured for my mom, with refrigerator and microwave included, she's ready for another change, and ready, finally, I believe, to look like she belongs with the rest of the house.

    The entire room needs to be repainted, as the walls have been badly dinged in the last couple of years, and I love the soft, almost-there greige of Benjamin Moore's Apparition.  It's a whispy, comfortable shade that makes me feel like I'm being enveloped, which seems to be perfect for a cozy bedroom.  

    My new upright desk and poster bed from the Lacourte Collection at Williams-Sonoma have been delivered (remember when I was swooning over it?), along with a bamboo-backed chair, and I'd like to keep the bed simple.  I have a white matelasse duvet cover and shams from Target that may be staying in the space, but I've loved our linen bedding from Parachute Home so much that I may have to splurge and grab the white set for the guest room as well.

    The inside of the Lacourte desk is so handsome- a leather worktop, rich wood accents... I'd like to keep accessories just as luxe: perhaps horn bookends and mercury glass accents.

    As for art...  I've completely fallen in love with the simple, calligraphy-like graphics of Lexington artis Elliott Puckette.  Her recent, hot pink piece, Southwind, is calling my name.

    I'd love to have this room finished asap... The holidays are quickly approaching, and I'm sure we'll have folks needing a place to lay their head.  I'm hoping that place will be beautiful as well as functional!

    ** this post is not sponsored in any way **

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

  • NEW LISTING!! 1154 South 3rd Street, Old Louisville

    Completely and immaculately renovated Victorian in Old Louisville's Millionaire's Row.  From handmade, French tile on the fireplaces, marble baths, and a chef-worthy kitchen, the owners have left no detail behind.  

    Aside from a lovely history, and dramatic, architectural details, this beauty offers five bedrooms and three and a half baths, a detached, three-car garage with alley access, and a clean basement.  Two laundry options and a first floor and third floor family room allow plenty of space to stretch out.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.  

    For more information, click here.

    ** photos by Dragonfly Visual **

  • NEW LISTING!! 12603 Sanderstead Drive, Bay Tree

    Well loved home in Louisville's deisrable East End!  Soaring ceiling in the foyer, gas fireplace in living room, and eat-in kitchen allow for living space options, while formal dining room and HUGE finished basement offer plently of space to entertain.

    New roof, ceramic tile flooring, and an option of new carpeting await the lucky new owners.  Three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, a two-car garage, and a finished basement allow plenty of space to spread out.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.

    For more info, click here.

    ** photos by Dragonfly Visual **