Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

To many Memorial Day is just an extra day off from work 
to Bar-B-Que and celebrate the beginning of summer...

To many others it is a meaningful holiday commemorating those who 
have fallen in military service for their countries.

  My husband is an Iraq War Veteran, and while we fire up the pit and celebrate as countless other Americans do on Memorial Day, there is always a moment of reflection and the remembrance of what this day truly means.

Today, we honor the lives and memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. 


Monday, May 23, 2011

First Dance Photos

Taken by Collin Richie

Taken by Collin Richie

Taken by Collin Richie

Taken by Collin Richie

Taken by Collin Richie

Taken by Collin Richie

All photos taken by {Collin Richie}

Roots and Wings.

Our wedding was what I like to call "Modern Old South."
The reception took place at the Paul and LuLu Hilliard Art Museum and A. Hays Town house on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus. The original museum was built in 1967 by the nationally celebrated Southern architect A. Hays Town and was designed after the 1812 Hermitage Plantation in Darrow, Louisiana. The new museum directly contrasts as well as compliments the old museum. The new museum has a fourth wall of glass that reflects the old museum during the day and casts a blue light every evening, creating a dynamic juxtaposition between old and new that is visually striking. 
I thought there was no place more fitting for a wedding than a space that is the new and modern counterpart arising from an older structure; the new modernized museum speaks to the past and pays homage to its predecessor by reflecting the former museum in its glass wall. When looking at the old building it is visually heavier than the new museum and almost feels "rooted to the ground" while the new building seems to float above the ground... 

Roots and Wings, people. Roots and Wings.

All images Via {Paul and LuLu Hilliard University Art Museum} and {Google Images}

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nouvelle Candle Love

Few things can compete with the warmth and ambiance a lit candle creates. To me, candles bring a sense of comfort and homeyness to a space, making things feel warm and inviting. I light a candle almost everyday just before my husband comes home and we pour a glass of wine and have cheese before eating dinner. I'm not sure if other parts of the country do this or if it is strictly a Southern/ French/ New Orleans, Louisiana type of thing, all I know is this is a custom I grew up with. Every afternoon that my Dad was home (he used to work offshore a lot) my Momma would light a candle pour them each a glass of wine and they'd have cheese and crackers while playing a couple hands of Gin Rummy or BourrĂ© (pronounced Boo-ray, a French card game similar to Poker). It was a way for them to unwind and come together as a family and a moment of stillness in an otherwise chaotic world where we can connect, much the same as it is for me and my husband. 

For some reason, lighting a candle brings that nostalgia back for me; it helps me unwind and go to a simpler place and time. Your reasons for lighting a candle may be completely different, and probably are! However, I would like to share with you my favorite candles, made by Nouvelle Candle Company. Nouvelle Candles are all blended, poured and packaged by hand in a little town called Scott, located just outside of my hometown of Lafayette, in South Louisiana. Nouvelle Candle Company began in 2001 and has since become well known throughout the nation for their exotically scented candles that invoke a sense of old world charm whenever they are lit. They are the only scented candles I burn in my home, not only because they burn clean with no smoke for long periods of time, but because of the truly exotic custom blended fragrances of their candles. 

 Some of my favorite fragrances are:
Orange Vanilla, Sweet Olive, Mahogany & Tobacco (reminds me of sitting on the porch while my Gampi smoked his cigars when I was little), New Orleans, Pomegranate Peel & Amber, Savoir Faire, and Parterre.

My two ABSOLUTE FAVORITE SCENTS are both discontinued and when I found out I bought every candle in these scents I could find! If anyone from the Nouvelle Candle Company ever reads this- Please, Please, PLEASE reintroduce these scents! My stock is running low!!!! They are Bamboo Noir and Mandarine Amber and they are both absolutely heavenly!!! 
They also have absolutely enchanting Holiday Fragrances which they usually introduce in early to mid-fall. Fireside, Mandarine Spice, Fall Festival, Fresh Cut Fir and Menthe de Chocolat (another discontinued frangrance).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vivacious Vignettes

A vignette is a  pretty grouping of items on a tabletop, such as a nightstand or bookshelves,  or in a small space, like an entryway or the end of a hallway.
Its like a snapshot or a still life and can help make a room look more polished and put together. Arranging accessories helps give a home its personality-- its what makes a house a home!!! Here are some tips for creating vignettes.

 Pick A Spot, Any Spot! 

Obviously there are places in your home that naturally scream "Accessorize Me!" like console tables, mantles, dressers, and nightstands, but you can create a vignette pretty much anywhere, like an odd corner in your living room, at the top of the stairs, on top of the fridge, or a windowsill. Use your imagination! Think outside the box- or tabletop, as it were. 

{Mustard Ceiling}

{The Lennoxx}


Choose A Theme. 
A theme can be centered around an idea, like vintage, love, or travel, a color, or a specific object or collection.


 Inject Some Personality. 
When creating your vignette don't just go to your favorite home furnishings store, pick out the first pleasing arrangement you see, buy it and plunk it down in your home. While it will probably be pretty it won't be "YOU." when I create vignette's in my home I go about it the way an artist goes about creating a painting- it’s a labor of love, created with materials I love, objects that mean something to me. Go through your home and find special items that mean something to you. Your wedding photo in a beautiful silver frame, great! Grandma's antique teacup you inherited, perfect! Seashells you found on your honeymoon, fabulous!

Color Your World. 

Vignette's can be wonderful opportunities to inject some life into a stale room. choose colors that compliment the room's dominate color scheme and will help the vignette blend in. that being said, sometimes I will incorporate little "pops" of contrasting color into a vignette which helps give it life and makes things interesting. Flowers and fruit do this incredibly.

{The Lennoxx}


Play The Odds. 
One of the first things I learned (from my creative and artistic Momma) about accessorizing a space was that items grouped in odd numbers are more visually appealing than items in even numbers. For some reason it is just more pleasing to the eye. Does this mean you can't use the pair of beautiful crystal candlesticks you love? No way! Absolutely use them! Just put a vase filled with flowers between them! So long as you end up with an odd number of objects in the end.

High And Low. 

Vary the height of objects in your vignette. If everything in your vignette is the same height it becomes boring. Use books or boxes to help elevate items and give them a stage on which to shine!

{Mustard Ceiling}

Back To Front.

Layering your items helps to create a sense of depth and helps to keep the eye moving, making a vignette visually appealing. Create a backdrop by hanging a mirror or painting on the wall behind a vignette or by simply leaning it against the wall. Arrange items from back to front instead of simply in a straight line along the length of your surface. This helps draw people into your vignette and study it, and isn't that the point?!? Why spend all that time and effort just to have people pass it by? Layer, layer, layer.


{Elizabeth Kimberly Designs}


Mix up the textures of the objects you use in your vignette. Hard and shiny next to rough and natural. Place a shiny silver photo frame next to a vase filled with soft fluffy flowers like hydrangea. A piece of coral placed on top of a mirrored tray along with a pretty candle. 


{Mustard Ceiling}

Mix It Up! 

Think of your vignette as evolving. Keep it fresh by changing things up. You don’t have to display everything all at once by changing things up you get to "rotate" your accessories. Incorporating seasonal items is another way you can do this.

{Mustard Ceiling}

{Decor Pad}

Take A Chance! 

Experiment! Play! Use your imagination!  Designing vignettes is a great way to play creatively without spending a ton of money on new furniture. Have fun!

{Mustard Ceiling}