Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Living Beautifully, New at à la Maison, Our Favorite Things..., Redesign & Interior Style

Our Favorite Things… Spring Stems and Greenery

This polar vortex is really grabbing a good portion of the country. Here is Central New York, we woke up to below zero temperatures with a wind chill factor of -24 degrees!

However, I’m focusing on what’s going on inside – a new shipment of beautiful spring stems and succulents!

Nothing chases the cold away like a room full of flowers and greenery. There’s no time like the present to bring the look into your house – whether fresh or faux. Plants and flowers bring warm and happy thoughts of spring and summer.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Floral branches in white and green. I love a brimming vase of all white and green flowers. It’s so organic, elegant and feminine. Fill a vase and see what it does for a room – just lovely!

Creamy cabbage roses.
White peonies arranged in a rustic green metal can.
Faux Queen Anne’s Lace with ferns.
White and green floral stems ready and waiting for an afternoon of flower arranging.
A mantel decked out for spring with white and green.

Succulents and ferns. Both succulents and ferns are typically easy care options for fresh indoor plants. However, if you are really busy, faux is the way to go. Today’s faux greenery is gorgeous and hard to spot.

Faux succulent and boxwood spheres in various sizes and styles.

Faux succulents arrangements work perfectly on a interior stone wall. No watering required!
Potted ferns are always ready to go at the store. Tuck them in anywhere for a quick pop of green.

Greenery adds a pop of color to this black and white tablescape.

Options abound, so don’t let winter get you down… just bring in the green!

Decorating, Easy Entertaining, Living Beautifully, New at à la Maison, Our Favorite Things..., Tablescapes

Our Favorite Things… Pottery Inspired by Nature

florals and hydrangea leaf salad plate - better

It’s January in Central New York and I’m already dreaming about spring… Sunshine, fresh green foliage and flowers – I can’t wait!

In the meantime, there are so many ways to bring the outdoors in – including freshening up your tablescape.  Fresh flowers, centerpieces and seasonal linens are always an option to bring in natural elements, but how about your dinnerware?

pottery - hydrangea leaf plate display

This gorgeous Riviera pottery is designed by the famous French floral designer, Christian Tortu. The detailed design on these Hydrangea leaf salad plates are amazing.

pottery - white beaded with hydrangea leaf salad plate

Whether used in your tablescape, as appetizer plates for your spring gathering, or adorning a sidetable or night stand – they are sure to add a refreshing touch of nature.

pottery - white beaded platter bowl with laurel leaf plate

These petite Laurel Leaf plates are a perfect little dish for olives, condiments… plus how pretty would it be on a bedside tables and a little jewelry tray for rings and such?

pottery - hydrangea leaf salad plate

Simply to pretty to hide away – consider using them as art when not in use – hang them with plate hangers or display them on your mantel or buffet with an table top easel.  Stunning!

Easy Entertaining, Gift Ideas, Living Beautifully, New at à la Maison, Our Favorite Things..., Uncategorized

Our Favorites Things… Recycled Candleholders

PW mesa group

Who wouldn’t love one of the beautiful new Mesa candles from PADDYWAX?  From the great southwestern inspired pottery to the soothing array of scent blends, they make a perfect gift option.

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However, these pretty little vessels have another purpose and will long outlive the candle within them.  Once the candles are gone, these pottery pieces are designed to be a stackable cream and sugar set.

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I just love multi-purpose products for the home!  Not a coffee drinker?   These pottery pieces would be great for sauces, condiments, etc.

No need to limit them to a life in the kitchen… How about a little greenery?… I can see them holding pretty little succulents arrangements as well!

 

Decorating, Gift Ideas, Living Beautifully, Tablescapes

New Life for Tired Flowers

One of the easiest ways to breath a little life into a fresh cut flower arrangement that’s starting to fade is a fresh water and a snip of the stems.
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Look over the flowers and discard any that are truly past their prime (limp or browning petals, etc). Working with the flowers that have potential, remove them from the vase so you can thoroughly rinse out the vase and add fresh water.

Because you’ll probably working with less flowers/greenery, now is the perfect time to get creative and re-arrange the stems to create a totally new arrangement. Many times, I’ll opt for a trio of smaller vases to create a little floral vignette for a new centerpiece or accent to a tray.

Select the vases or vessels you’ll be working with and clip the stems at an angle to the appropriate high for the vase and style of arrangement you wish to create.

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If desired, add fresh greenery (I’ve just mixed in a bit of lilac greenery that I slipped from the yard) and embellish with ribbon if desired.

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Quick and easy updates that will prolong the life of your flowers!

Easy Entertaining, Events

Easy Entertaining… Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup

When creating the menu for a recent gathering at our shoppe, I wanted a refreshing  non-alcoholic beverage option.  Something special and pretty that would appeal to the guests coming to celebrate the opening of à la Maison’s newly expanded showroom.

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One of the prettiest cocktail ingredients I count on is Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup.  Easy to make and quite versatile, you can take it in any direction you’d like… an elegant non-alcoholic spritzer , a pretty kiddie cocktail, or a delicious vodka blackberry basil spitzer.

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Just a few simple ingredients – fresh blackberries, fresh basil and sugar simmered in pure water creates this unique and fruity twist on simple syrup.  It’s a quick and easy option to prep ahead of your next event.

blackberry basil simple syrup in mason jar

Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup

  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cup water
  • ¼ cup of fresh basil leaves

Add ingredients to a medium sized pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and boil for 15-20.  Stirring occasionally.  Cool Completely.  Pour through a fine strainer and store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for about a week.

Now your ready to put your new Blackberry Basil Simply Syrup to good use!  With or without alcohol, it’s a fruity and refreshing choice

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Blackberry Basil Vodka Spritzer

  • 2 tbl blackberry simply syrup
  • 1 tbl triple sec
  • 1 shot of vodka
  • 1/2 cup seltzer water
  • Fresh Basil and blackberries to garnish

Blackberry basil simple syrup, triple sec and vodka to a shaker with ice.  Shake then pour into a glass, top with seltzer water and garnish with fresh basil & blackberries.

Blackberry Basil Spritzer Mocktail

  • Seltzer Water
  • Blackberry Basil Simple Syrup
  • Fresh Basil and blackberries to garnish

Fill goblet with ice, top with a fresh blackberry and sprig of basil.  Fill glass with seltzer water, then top with Blackberry Basil Simply Syrup to taste.

Enjoy!

Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Living Beautifully, Quick Tips, Redesign & Interior Style

Quick Styling for a Wooden Tray

Wooden Tray are not only useful, but also a great staging tool.  Here are some quick and easy styling tips to dress them up…

tray with succulents

1) Think in odd numbers – Three decorative items are perfect. 2) Pick items that are different heights. 3) Add something green – plants & succulents are very popular right now and will add an organic element to the room.

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Your newly styled tray will look great on a cocktail table, buffet, or dresser!

 

Before & Afters, Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Furniture & Accessories, Living Beautifully, Redesign & Interior Style

Dining Room Redesign

dining room after 10 - Copy

The main objective with the redesign/staging of this dining room was to lighten and freshen the space while working with the furniture that was already there.

The first order of business was selecting a new color palette of taupe for the walls, a pale blue for the ceiling and crisp white trim.  Replacing the ceiling medallion and painting it the same color as the ceiling was a quick and inexpensive way to add some overhead detail.

Dining room after ceiling

The furniture needed to stay so the goal here was to minimize the heavy, dark and dated feel it brought to the room.  By simply removing the hutch top and working with just the buffet (which we found was plenty of space once all the clutter and used items were removed), and covering the side chairs with neutral cotton chair covers did the trick.

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Removing the hutch allowed us more wall space which was the perfect location for a great architectural feature – a pair of antique armoire doors.

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Some art and a bit of greenery for an organic touch and this room is complete!

 

 

 

#easy entertaining, Decorating, Living Beautifully, New at à la Maison, Our Favorite Things..., Tablescapes

Our Favorite Things… Blue and White Pottery

Blue and white pottery has long been a tasteful and timeless home decor and dinnerware choice of both homemakers and interior stylists alike.

blue and white pottery

Although I still love the classic blue and white patterns (think Blue Willow, South Hampton, the gorgeous french and Italian patterns), I’m also loving the fun new patterns that are available today.

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The best thing about blue and white style is the more, the merrier!  Whether in my store displays or at home, it’s the perfect “mix and match” choice to create fresh and fun tablescapes and vignettes.

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At the table, blue and white pottery just feels like summer.  I see this place setting for a beautiful summer barbecue.  Add red accents and you’ve got a great nautical look… go for yellow accents to add a touch of southern french style.

place setting blue and white

Adding a touch of blue and white pottery filled with greenery or flowers to a shelf or china hutch to an organic touch and pop of color.

Whether you prefer traditional, contemporary, farmhouse or coastal cottage decor, blue and white pottery would be a smart design choice and look right at home!

Before & Afters, Decorating, Floral arrangements and Interior Landscaping, Living Beautifully

Interior Style… Easy Office Updates

The standard office and modular office furniture in many office buildings tends to be a bit bland and generic.   When you consider the fact that you spend 8 hours or more of your day in this environment, you want to make it a place you are happy to be in.

Office Design Room view Before

By adding a few personal touches and a little color, you can liven up your work space and still maintain a professional, polished look.

To start, we created a focal point for this young woman’s office.  The art on the wall immediately brightens the space and draws your eye into the room.  A small custom floral arrangement carries the color down to the table – leaving plenty of work space for meetings, etc.

Office Design - Table After close up

The desk and window ledge also were in need of a little warmth and greenery.

The lamps add some balance and potted ferns added to the window sills bring a nice organic touch without blocking the view.

Office Design - Desk after

Good quality faux plants are very realistic and an easy care option for busy professionals.

Office Design - ferns

A simple orchid arrangement to the corner of the desk finishes the look.

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The result is a polished, bright and inviting work space!

Office Design - Room View After

 

Cooking & Entertaining Ideas, Desserts, Events

Refreshing Gluten Free Lemon Bars

These gluten-free lemons bars are so refreshing and a delicious addition to your spring dinner or party menu.  I’ve made them gluten-free but you can easily change the flour to regular AP flour if you choose.

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Gluten Free Lemon Bars 

Crust

  • ¾  cup Almond Flour
  • ¾  Blends by Orly Gluten Free Flour Blend* (London Blend) or your favorite Gluten Free AP Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoons water

 Filling

  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour or Blends by Orly Flour Blend

Heat Oven to 350F. Line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, blend until a crumbly mixture results. Add water one tablespoon of water.  Press mixture into the bottom of the baking dished ensuring that you go up the sides of the pan slightly (this will help hold the lemon mixture).  Bake for approximately 25 minutes until slightly golden and set.

 In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, blend the sugar lemon juice, lemon zest together.  Beat in the eggs until smooth.  Pour mixture over the hot crust.

Bake 24-26 minutes or until set in the middle. Let cool on the counter and then refrigerate for a couple of hours.

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To serve, cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator… Enjoy!

*Find Blends by Orly at a la Maison or call 315-440-6637 to order.