Easy Napkin Folding for Thanksgiving


We will have ten people for Thanksgiving this year, but our dining table only holds six comfortably.  Thankfully, two of the people are under the age of three, so they don’t take up much room!  We all like to sit together and don’t want to ship off four people to eat in the breakfast area, so we will be serving dinner buffet style and minimizing the items on the table.

We would still like to have place cards (so each child will have adults around to assist/minimize damage LOL!), but don’t have room on the table for full formal place settings.  So, at each seat we are having folded napkins that contain all the needed silverware with attached name cards.  People will pick up their plates as they go through the buffet line, then find their place at the table.

Here are some easy place cards that can be made quickly:


Lay down a piece of cardboard in your garage. Place a faux leaf on the cardboard.


Spray paint the faux leaf with a metallic spray paint.


When the paint is dry, flip over the leaf and paint the other side.


Use a sharpie or paint pen to write the guest’s name on the leaf.


Then, here is a super easy way to fold napkins with silverware and place cards:


Iron your napkins and table cloth.


Lay napkin flat with “wrong side” facing up.


Place a paper napkin on top of the cloth napkin so that the bottom of the paper aligns with the middle of the cloth. It’s always nice to place a paper napkin inside a cloth napkin in case a guest has any pieces of gristle or fat they need to dispose of and don’t want to use the cloth napkin.  My mother taught me this handy tip!


Lay the silverware on top of the paper napkin.


Fold the bottom half of the cloth napkin up over the top half.


Fold the bottom right corner up to the center.


Fold the bottom left corner up to the center so a triangle is formed.


Gather the napkin together in your hand.


Slide on a napkin ring to hold the napkin form.


Place the stem of the leaf into the napkin ring. You now have a napkin/silverware set you can place in front of each chair!


I hope you and your loved ones have a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

Thanks for reading!


Are Some Rug Pads Better Than Others??

RugPadUSA logo


The topic of rug pads is not very glamorous, but they can make a HUGE difference in how well your rug “functions” and its comfort level.

We’ve all had a rug that never stays in place!  No matter how many times you adjust it, it is constantly crooked and shifting around.  You normally see this with smaller rugs in baths or kitchens.  I’ve tried the inexpensive waffle-like rubbery sheets and the gripper tape and both are not very effective at keeping a small rug in place.

A rug pad should also protect your floors from scratches, damage, or discoloration.  Many rugs come with free rug pads that don’t have any sort of warranty and can result in damage to your underlying floors.  These pads can cause “yellowing” of your floors or adhere to floor finishes over time.

In addition, many of these low-quality rug pads contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your family, your pets, and your floors.

When I was approached by RugPadUSA.com to try out their rug pads, I honestly didn’t think I’d see much of a difference from the higher-quality rug pads I’d been using for the last few years from various rug dealers.  I was wrong.  I tried out two different types of rug pads from RugPadUSA.com and am so pleased with the results!


For a small thin rug in our tiled half bath, I tried the Eco-Solid Non-Slip Rug Pad.  This pad is only 1/8” thick, so it allows the rug to lay flat.  It keeps my rug in place, even with lots of traffic going in and out of this bathroom.  It is mold and mildew resistant, so ideal for a bath environment, and has a 20-year warranty.  Since I started using this rug pad, I have not had to straighten or adjust the placement of this rug once!!


For a runner that sits on hardwood flooring in our living room, I tried the Premium-Lock 1/4” Rug Pad.  This rug pad is thin enough to fit under the adjacent French doors, but plush enough to provide increased comfort, padding, and insulation.


This rug pad comes in three thicknesses, with 1/4” being the thinnest.  This eco-friendly pad is built from three layers.  The top layer where your rug will make contact is a felt surface that reduces bunching, curling, and creeping.  The middle layer is a felt core that provides comfort and protection.  The bottom layer that makes contact with your floor is a natural rubber that prevents slipping or movement.  Since placing this pad under our runner, the rug has stayed in place and is much more comfortable to step on when you come inside from the pool!  I plan to use the thicker Premium-Lock rug pads under bedroom rugs where they will feel great under bare feet!

Here are a few more facts about RugPadUSA.com:

  • All rug pads are custom cut to be the perfect size for your rugs! Just enter the exact size of your rug and it will be cut 1” shorter on all sides for a perfect fit.
  • All rug pads have a 20-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.
  • All rug pads are manufactured, cut, and rolled in the USA.
  • All rug pads are made from eco-friendly materials.
  • All rug pads are shipped within 24 hours. Shipping is free to most U.S. locations with no minimum orders.

And the best part…rug pads from RugPadUSA.com are very affordable!!  The prices are comparable or better than the trade pricing I was getting from various rug vendors.

Please check out RugPadUSA.com online to see the many types of rug pads they offer.  You can use the handy rug pad buying guide here to help you select the best pad for your floor type.

If you’d like help selecting new rugs for your living room, bedroom, kitchen, bath, or entry, please contact me here.

Note:  Although RugPadUSA.com provided me with two free rug pads for this review, all opinions are 100% my own.  I only endorse products I have personally used and believe will be good for my readers.

Thanks for reading!

10 Tips for Decorating Your Outdoor Space



This summer seemed like it was hotter than ever…and more humid!  Now that the weather is cooling off a bit, it is time to start enjoying your yard/patio again!  Here are 10 tips for decorating your outdoor space:

  • Create a focal point, just as you would indoors with a fireplace, bay window, or TV. Group outdoor furniture around areas of interest like a pool, water feature, or fire pit.
  • Choose a color scheme that compliments the outdoors, such as rich earth tones, sky blues, or natural greens. Make sure the colors chosen compliment the exterior colors of the home.


  • Choose colors and patterns that are an extension of your indoor space.  It will allow you to entertain both indoors and out with the transition between the two appearing seamless.  For example, if you have a living room that is primarily pale blue and white, you could use a darker shade of blue in the same color family and a medium gray on the adjoining patio outside.  To keep the patio from feeling too “dark”, use fabric patterns that also contain white to brighten the space and tie in with your living room.
  • For outdoor furniture (especially if it will not be under a covered patio), I would normally avoid very light fabric colors like white or beige.  They do look great, but they can quickly become dirty out in the elements.  Most cushion covers can be removed and washed, however.  If you do select a light color of fabric, realize you may be replacing your cushions every year.  For outdoor furniture that requires less maintenance and cleaning, choose a medium shade of fabric.  Popular choices trending are gray, taupe, and any shade of blue.  Then you can bring in additional colors and patterns through throw pillows.


  • Decorate your outdoor space using durable objects that will weather the elements, such as metal sculptures or wooden bowls. Outdoor lanterns are also a great option!


  • For outdoor cushions, pillows, and drapes, use fabrics specifically designed for outdoor use so they will resist fading, water, and mold; and be easier to clean! Outdoor fabrics have been specially treated to resist the elements, as well as stains and spills. The most popular manufacturer of outdoor fabrics is Sunbrella. You can find Sunbrella fabrics used on many pre-made cushions, pillows, and drapes sold by outdoor living retailers and home improvement stores.  If you’d like to select your own fabrics for custom pieces, most fabric dealers (available through interior designers and fabric stores) have fabric lines made for outdoor use using their own proprietary technology to protect the fabric.
  • An outdoor rug helps define certain areas of the space and adds an element of coziness. Use rugs specifically designed for outdoor use as they will be more durable, resistant to water, and easier to clean. Outdoor rugs can be made from polyester, nylon, or other materials.  They have been treated to resist mold and mildew, as well as fading.  Outdoor rugs can be found at home improvement stores, outdoor living retailers, and online.  It is not wise to use a rug designed for indoor use because it can quickly fade, mildew, and deteriorate.  Rugs made from cotton or wool are not normally suited for outdoor use.


  • Throw pillows made from an outdoor fabric make furniture more comfortable and bring in additional colors and patterns. These pillows can be changed with the seasons to make a space look fresh!


  • Paint all your outdoor pots the same color. It looks very elegant to have them coordinate with your home’s trim or shutters.


  • Don’t forget about lighting! Adding an iron chandelier or string lights can make a space more elegant or magical. Also, there are many stylish ceiling fans for outdoor use that make spaces more comfortable during hot summer months.


For more tips on decorating your outdoor space, download a free eBook here.

If you’d like some help making your outdoor spaces look coordinated, elegant, and stylish, contact me!

Thanks for reading!

Featured in Outdoor Décor eBook!


I’m very excited to be featured in a free Outdoor Décor eBook!!  The eBook is published by The Patio at WickerCentral.com.  The Patio is a lifestyle blog about one of life’s simplest pleasures:  the front porch.  WickerCentral.com is an online company specializing in outdoor wicker furniture.  Make sure to check them out for all your outdoor needs!


This eBook contains some great tips on decorating your outdoor space, including focal points, landscaping, and lighting.

Download your free copy HERE!

Special thanks to the editor, Anna Daugherty, for including me in this eBook!!

For tips and ideas that didn’t make the book, stay tuned to the next blog post!

Thanks for reading!

Exciting, Unusual Lighting!


My last blog post covered selecting a ceiling fan (see here).  Today, I’d like to focus on some great light fixtures that will really make a splash in your home!  If you are looking to update a room, switching out the light fixture can really make a huge impact!

Here are some fixtures that would be gorgeous in a dining room:

1 Soft Gold Chandelier


2 Vintage Platinum Chandelier


3 Polished Nickel Chandelier


Here are some interesting pendant lights:

4 Gilded Iron Pendant


5 Polished Nickel Pendant


6 Fat Black Pendant


Here are some elegant lights that can be used in place of your normal hall, bath, or bedroom ceiling lights:



7 Spherical Ceiling Light


8 Silver Flush Mount Ceiling Light


9 Brass Flush Mount Ceiling Light



If you would like help selecting new light fixtures for your home, please contact me here.

Thanks for reading!

How to Select a Ceiling Fan


In the last few years, ceiling fan styles have changed a lot!  The newer fans are more modern looking with clean lines.  There is also a trend to move away from ceiling fans with attached light kits and instead rely on recessed lighting (can lights) in a room.

When selecting a ceiling fan, you’ll need to know the size of your room and ceiling height.  For small rooms (up to 75 square feet), you can use a 36” fan.  For medium sized rooms (up to 144 square feet), use a fan measuring 36” to 42”.  For large rooms (up to 225 square feet), use a 50” to 54” fan.  For rooms above 225 square feet, you may need two fans.  Ceiling fans should be hung 8 to 9 feet above the floor.  If your ceiling is 9 feet or less, you’ll need to use a flush mount (hugger) ceiling fan.

Here are some beautiful, modern ceiling fans:

1 Modern ceiling fan


2 modern ceiling fan


3 modern ceiling fan


4 modern ceiling fan


5 modern ceiling fan


6 modern ceiling fan


7 modern ceiling fan


If you would like help updating the ceiling fans in your home, please contact me here.

Thanks for reading!

Contemporary Hotel Design in Nashville


I recently visited Nashville for the first time and loved it!!  Being from Texas, I grew up on country music.  After visiting Nashville and all the historic sites and museums, I have an even greater appreciation!  Also, Nashville is a very cosmopolitan city with tons of good restaurants, interesting architecture, and…of course…great live music!

I wanted to share some photos of the beautiful hotel we stayed at in Nashville.  The Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel was recently renovated and is gorgeous!!  The décor is completely unique with various nods to the music business.  The hotel is just a couple of blocks from many sites you’ll want to visit.



The hotel has an atrium-style lobby with gorgeous wooden staircases that lead up to the second floor.




All rooms in the 27-floor hotel open up to the atrium and glass elevators offer spectacular views of the long chandelier.



The lobby bar is gorgeous with fantastic lighting and music-themed gallery walls!


The lobby area also houses a pool table, library, and various seating areas backed by this fantastic 3-dimensional wall!



The rooms are very modern with references to the music industry.  I love this art ledge…especially the piece that mentions Dolly Parton!


This electric blue accent chair adds such a fun touch!


It’s a little hard to see, but the wallpaper looks like cowhide!


I love this contemporary lighting in the bathroom, as well as the wallpaper!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of the Sheraton Downtown Nashville Hotel!  All opinions expressed are my own and I did not receive any compensation for this post…I just like sharing beautiful design with you!!  Let me know if you plan to visit Nashville and I can give you some tips on things to do, restaurants, etc.

To see other hotel related blog posts, click here and here.


Thanks for reading!

Bathroom Makeover: Before & After



I recently had a client who wanted to redo their guest bathroom.  The bathroom was completed approximately ten years ago and the client was tired of the bold colors…and the shower was TINY!!  So, the two main goals of the project were to: (1) Make the shower as large as possible and (2) Create a space that was light and bright!

Here are some “before” shots of the original bathroom:






The original bath had a standard sized tub, so we found a tub that was about five inches shorter than normal length.  There were walls between the toilet and the tub, as well as the tub and the shower.  We removed those walls and replaced them with frameless patterned glass that was seven feet high to create a more transparent, open space.  Niches were added in the tub and shower to hold soap and shampoo products.  We were able to reuse the existing cabinetry, but replaced the tile counter with thick granite.  We also added a tower cabinet between the two sinks.  We replaced the three-hole faucets with single-hole faucets since they are easier to clean around.  Instead of the vanity lights, we hung lanterns over each sink and added large framed mirrors.

Here are some “after” shots of the bathroom:












Thanks to the following vendors for their great work:

Bayou State Tile

Concepts in Glass

ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings

Menzie Stone

Hope you enjoyed this makeover!  To see other Before & After makeovers, click here, here, here, and here.

If you’d like to talk about transforming your bathroom, click here.

Thanks for reading!


Decorating with Abstract Art


Abstract art is a wonderful way to update your home!  Even if your furniture is more traditional, abstract art can still be used to give your room a more modern look.

I often use a painting as the starting point for decorating a room.  Find a piece of art that you love, then use that as the basis for your color palette.  I normally recommend buying larger furniture items in neutral colors so they will work in a variety of situations and are more timeless.  Then, color can be brought in through art and accessories.  Lamps, pillows, rugs, and frames can be an inexpensive way to tie your color palette together and make a room feel fresh!

Here are some interesting pieces of abstract art:



I love the fuchsia and turquoise in this piece!



Copper is very popular right now and you can find a ton of accessories that will match the metallic copper accents in this painting.



This painting is still abstract, but the neutral colors and landscape scene make it a little more traditional.

Falling Leaves Paris Giclee


This piece would work well with navy upholstered furniture and orange accessories!

Purple Rain I


I love the soothing colors in this piece.

Do you have any abstract art in your home?  What are your favorite sources for art?

Thanks for reading!

Relaxing Home Office


I recently completed a home office makeover.  The space was pretty dark and needed to be brightened up, but still remain relaxing.  We used a pale gray/beige paint to lighten up the space and focused on a palette of navy, blue, gray, and tan.


The client needed a desk area, but also wanted additional comfortable seating.


The client liked to watch TV while working at home, so we removed some shelves from the built-in bookcase, added an electrical and cable outlet, and brought in a TV.


The client has very athletic kids, so they have tons of trophies and plaques they like to display.


This area rug gave the room a cozy feel and brought in lots of color!




If you’d like to talk about transforming your home office into a place you love, click here.

Thanks so much to Louisiana’s Own Total Renovations LLC for the great work on this project!  I hope you enjoyed seeing this office makeover.  Thanks for reading!