A Lucky Day

Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen

Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen

Scandinavian design, noted for its simplicity and functionality, is a popular contemporary style.  Said to have emerged in the 1950’s, it is possible it was influenced by earlier work.

Blue Chair by Eliel Saarinen

Blue Chair by Eliel Saarinen

Take the Blue Chair, for example, a classic by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. Designed for his wife in 1929 and now in MOMA’s collection, it has characteristics similar to newer pieces.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 1983, a limited edition was released by Adelta.  I had seen the original chair in a book of classic furniture and fallen in love with it but never thought about owing one.  Some years later, on a very lucky day, I stumbled across two in a resale shop.  They had just been brought in by a designer who was redoing a client’s office and didn’t think they would go with her proposed new style.  I could hardly contain my excitement and snapped them up as soon as the shop owner gave me a price.  I didn’t even bother to bicker because I was sure I was getting a very good deal!

Blue chairThe chair’s dark teal color, with its gold accents outlined in dark green, easily mixes with a variety of colors and could fit in with any number of decorating styles.  Isn’t that what we look for in classic design no matter what the medium?

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Same Place, Different Look

daffodilsDaffodils were 3 bunches for $5 at the grocery today, a very good thing since last week’s tulips were done.

daffodilsNo need to use anything other than the same bottles which fit very nicely into the holes in this barrel stave which is actually a candle holder. (Ouch, the ISO was way high on this photo!)

daffodils Not too long ago I shared using burlap strips in a centerpiece, and they work perfectly here.  This is an idea I will use many times!

tablescapeThe bright yellow of the flowers highlights the same color in the handwoven  runner that has been on the bar the last few days.

tablescapeAs for the dishes, they were a spontaneous decision.  I was unloading the dishwasher and as I looked across to the bar, I thought there was no sense in putting them in the cabinet when they added such a playful touch to the runner.

tablescape I always love using this handpainted Italian pottery because each piece is different both in color and design.  I think it’s also a favorite of Michael Lee West at Rattlebridge Farm.

tablescapeNo point in going conservative now, so these wine glasses do their part to continue the energy of tonight’s setting, which, coincidentally goes right with our dinner of black beans and rice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpeaking of, this dish is always a favorite no matter to whom it is served and oh so easy to prepare.

Black Beans and Rice

1 lb. black beans

1 c. chopped onion

1 can Rotel tomatoes

3 cloves minced garlic

1 T. cumin

1 lb. smoked sausage 

salt and pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight.  Drain and add water to generously cover.   Add remaining ingredients except for sausage.  Cook over medium heat for about 2 hours or until beans are soft.  About 30 minutes before beans are done, add sausage sliced 1/4″ thick and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Serve with white or yellow rice and have cheese and salsa for toppings.  At our house, cornbread muffins are a must when we have beans and rice.

There you have it, another dinner at the bar!

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Tablescape Thursday

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Thursday Favorite Things

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

lobster guyDuring the summer months it doesn’t get fresher than this.  My lobster guy calls me on his way in to the dock, and I meet him there for my quota of lobster minutes out of the bay.

lobsterA few minutes later they are being readied to go into the pot.  I’m always a little squeamish about cutting the rubber band from the claw cause that lobster still has fight left in him.

lobsterOut of the pot, these guys are ready for the hubby to clean to go into lobster risotto, lobster pot pie, lobster ravioli, lobster stew….well, you get the picture.   Sometimes we don’t bother with doing anything more than dipping the warm meat in melted butter.    Hmmm, I can’t wait till summer!

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Weekly Photo Challenge

Bar Talk

Most nights the hubby and I eat at home, and because it is easy, we more often than not have our meal at the bar.  Casual? Yes, but that doesn’t mean ignoring serving the meal attractively.  Typically, there are flowers, a basket of fruit, bottles or some other simple decorative element on the bar that serves as inspiration for selecting dishes, glasses and flatware.

tablescape/barThis night yellow tipped tulips grouped in cute French yogurt bottles provide the starting point.  By the way, if you are not familiar with Kinfolk, check it out as it is a gorgeous publication.

tablescape/barFrom there, it was easy to select these dishes,

tablescape/bar napkins and placemats, all taking their colors right from the tulips.

tablescape/barAdd to those, green Fostoria stems that were a gift from my now hubby long before we ever thought about being a couple!  

tablescape/barThe last touch is the flatware from Ross that keeps the color theme going.  Though it’s always a fun addition to a table, I have to confess that it’s kinda flimsy which validates you get what you pay for!!

tablescape/barThere you have it, about 2 minutes of effort that will add to the pleasure of the evening meal.  Whether or not the hubby ever pays attention who knows, but I’m guessing he would notice if such little touches disappeared!

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Tablescape Thursday

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Share Your Style

Floral Friday Photos


Thinking Green

Just as the grass begins to green and leaves shyly appear on trees, here comes St. Patrick’s day wearing its own cloak of green.  It may not be as widely celebrated in Houston as in some parts of the country, but there are a few Irish pubs where green beer will flow and Irish music will spill from the speakers.

St. Patrick'sAs for me, I will don my sparkly fedora

St. Patricksand head to World Market to gather my usual basket of Irish goodies.

corned beefI am a creature of habit when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, so we will have the same corned beef and cabbage that slow cooks in one of those Irish beers and fills the house with warm aroma.

St. Patricks tableAs for the table, not much changes from year to year.  White plates set on green placemats  always appear with the same green Fostoria glasses and maybe a new napkin.  And, yes, I do like using those fedoras over and over.

white azaleas/springAnd because they are beginning to bloom, white azaleas festooned with green will add their special beauty.

Here’s to all of you with shining Irish eyes who share in one of Cuisine Kathleen’s favorite days.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl

Tablescape Thursday

The Real Thing

French country has been  a popular decorating style for a number of years now.  With its understated simplicity and warmth it is easy to live with and can be interpreted in many ways.  When I think of the real thing, however, I return to this wonderful house in Provence which we called home for a month.

Provence houseFrom the minute I saw the stone house perfectly nestled into the landscape, I was in love.

Provence houseNothing could have been more perfect than the interior, not fancy, just quirky and artistic.

Provence houseEverywhere were fun touches like the old sled used as a coffee table.

Provence houseColor and texture, two of my favorite elements, were in every room.

Provence housePlaster walls washed with warm tints 

Provence houseand rustic board ceilings worked their magic.

Provence houseNo fancy bathroom but even that was part of the home’s charm and was ample enough.

Provence houseSpring in Provence is full of sunlit days, the kind that make you want to be outside enjoying their warmth with a glass of wine and entertaining company.  Yes, that is the real thing!

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