Owl And Bird Themed Baby Shower Welcomes Baby Skylar

Hand stamped shower napking livingwithcolordesigns.comOh my goodness, our family is growing once again and we welcome the cutest little rosy cheeked baby, Skylar Rose.  That sweet little face must have know her middle name was Rose.  Such a little darling.  We welcomed Skylar this week, but we helped mom (my niece), a few weeks ago, get prepared for her arrival using an owl and bird theme for her baby shower .  I thought you might enjoy seeing this cute little theme.  These baby owls are perched on a decorative metal nest inspired basket, showcasing aqua napkins with a navy hand stamped message “tiny little thing…great big blessing”.

Aqua ruffled vase  livingwithcolordesigns.com

We knew a baby girl was on the way, but instead of pink I chose a predominately aqua color palette and incorporated navy and greens. My ADD never allows me to navigate towards the normal or do anything the same twice.  It’s sort of a curse but one I share with many creatives.  This delicate ruffled edge antique vase in aqua provided a stunning backdrop for these beautiful cream roses and green floral accents..


lime vase with flowers

We felt like the addition of some neutral tones and rustic elements would be in keeping with our owl and bird theme and give some balance to our sweet colors.  This was easily achieved with the salvaged barn wood bird house and painted bird houses, the crystal studded burlap trim strung down the middle of the table, and the birds attached to the metal nest intertwined with ribbon.

Of course flowers always make the day.  Thanks goes out to my dear husband, the gardener and green thumb, for creating the beautiful arrangements. White roses were purchased and the rest came out of the yard.

shower napkins

Snowy owls perch on metal nest baskert

Once I decide on a theme and a color for an event, I go around and round up anything that I already own that might complement it.  Everything usually ends up in a pile on my dining room table.  If it might work I put it in the pile.  This process of gathering up and editing later usually yields a more creative result for me.  Give it a try and let me know how it work for you.  At first thought I considered that the aqua bird soup mugs might look out of place, but in the end I love them as serving dishes.

Cup cakes in aqua and soft green dotted a rustic aqua tray.  Aqua homemade mints and chocolate almond bark rounded out the sweet offerings.  Thanks again to my friend Jan for making the beautiful and super delicious cupcakes.

Aqua and mint green mini cupcakes

As an alternative to cake stands I used a large tray for the cupcakes and dotted it using alternating colors.  A soft ruffled fabric in coordinating colors was used on the buffet and spoke to all the ruffles to come for a sweet baby girl.

Cucumber bites- Living With Color Designs

My sister and I had so much fun working on the shower, you do something for someone else and you will always receive the blessing, i guarantee it.  We were pleased as pie with or pretty little cucumber bites.  Don’t they look all professional.  They are decorated with herbs from my sisters garden.  The addition of country ham biscuits and quiche pleased any hungry appetites.

Baby Shower gift

I do not even think the pictures show you how pretty the occasion was.  I always get a little nervous about how any design will be received, but everything was just beautiful and the day went perfect.  We entertained in a beautiful home, with a delightful crowd of guest, bearing precious gifts.

shower centerpiece and table- Living With Color Designs

The theme all began with a question for the new mom to gage her interest.  An owl theme was then chosen and a hunt for an invitation began.  After finding the invitation at Tiny Prints,  I made a  few custom tent cards with scrapbook paper and stickers to mark various things at the shower. I think a few hand made details make an occasion extra special and deliver a lot of love.  To see some fun extra behind the scenes pictures go to Living With Color Designs Facebook page and like us while you are there.  You might want to check out this book themed baby shower and this pink and grey baby shower also.

Welcome to our family baby Skylar.  We enjoyed celebrating your anticipated arrival and you can count on us to love, cherish, and spoil you from this day forward.   –  Marianne



Inspiration Boards For Your Home

Aqua inspiration board- Living With Color DesignsJust in time for the weekend I have some inspiration boards for your home. When selecting items choose colors that blend.  Choose artwork whose subject matter you really  have a connection to.  Look for interesting shapes.  Add textiles with texture and dimension.  These items available through Living With Color Designs.

fabric inspiration board- Living With Color Designs

Beautiful embroidered fabrics can be found to suite any style or taste.  They add a luxurious dimension and can be worked into most budgets if used on smaller pieces like accent pillows or chairs.  There are just so many beautiful florals available, there again, to suite any style and taste.  I love combining geometrics with more modern florals.  These fabrics are available at Printers Alley.

Inspiration Board Greeen Trellis  Inspired Wallpapers- Living With Color Designs

Trellis inspired wallpapers are the subject of this third and final inspiration board.  They range from soft muted shades to full on bold contrasting color.  No matter your preference, they are sure to impress and stand the test of time as a classic. These wallpapers are available at Interiors Exteriors.

Here is a list of some of the brands that are represented above Thibaut, Surya, Decor 55,

If these inspiration boards have your creative juices flowing you may also like these posts on color inspiration.  Have a colorful weekend.    –  Marianne


Thibaut Caravan Collection

Banyan Embroidery by Thibaut- Living With Color DesignsYou all know how I am wild about fabrics.  Well I just received the new Caravan collection sample book from Thibaut and I am all excited about the beautiful color combinations. You can always expect Thibaut to play beautifully with color.  These rich and often unexpected color combinations and patterns would make a great foundation for an exceptional interior that will be both timeless and current.

Novia, Jayanti Stripe, and Sevita  by Thibaut- Living With Color Designs

Novia in Green and Blue, Jayanti Stripe in Blue and Green, Sevita in Blue and Green.

Bedroom by Thibaut -Living With Color Designs

This bedroom is beautifully styled with fabrics from the Thibaut Caravan collection and offers plenty of inspiration for how you could use these fabrics.  As you can see, some patterns are available in wallpaper also.  Photograph via Thibaut.

Janta Bazaar by Thibaut -Living With Color Designs Janta Bazaar by Thibaut -Living With Color Designs Janta Bazaar by Thibaut -Living With Color DesignsSix color ways are available in the Janta Bazaar pattern offering a wide array of color inspiration.

Juniper Ogee Embroidery by Thibaut - Living With Color Designs

Let your senses and creativity go wild with endless combinations of these color coordinated fabrics.  Juniper Ogee Embroidery pictured in the center in Coral and Stone.

Shade of taupe, fuchsia and coral by Thibaut - Living With Color Designs Thibaut fabrics - Living With Color Designs

Interesting combination of both applied and embroidered designs in Banyan Embroidery shown in Fuchsia and Coral.  Room photograph via Thibaut.

Caravan Collection Thibaut 11

And one last photo of Banyan Embriodery in Navy.  Navy is so on my radar that it is scary, but I am going to leave that for another post.  The Caravan Collection is just one of many by Thibaut.  Thibaut fabrics are available through Living With Color Designs.  Contact us for pricing and information. Hope you are as wild about these fabrics as I am.   –  Marianne

Tomato Pie

Happy Labor Day!  We are sweltering here in the hot and humid, no one at my house is interested in sweating over a grill.   Maybe you are in the same situation.  Not to worry, I have an option for you that includes enjoying some of Summer’s bounty, the tomato.  I am in love with tomato pie.  I had never eaten or even heard of a tomato pie before last Summer.  How could it be that this Southern girl had not experienced this deliciousness?

Tomato Pie - Living With Color Designs

This is just “Oh My Gosh” good.  After hearing of tomato pies I set out to find a recipe and give it a try.  In the end I could not settle on one particular recipe but combined what sounded like the best of two recipes. The results were delicious.

ingredients for tomato pie -Living With Color Designs

Home grown tomatoes from my sister’s garden and fresh basil from my little front porch herb garden resulted in a tomato pie bursting with flavor.

Tomato Pie Crust - Living With Color Designs

Start by preparing your crust.  I used ready made Pillsbury Pie Crusts from the refrigerator section.  Just follow the instructions on the package.  Sorry my edges are a little wacky.  I did not think about taking pictures and sharing with you until after I baked the crust.  You see, ugly crust tastes just a good so feel free to let go of perfection if you like.

sliced tomatoes for tomato pie - Living With Color Designs

Isn’t the red of these tomatoes just beautiful!  I used about four medium sized tomatoes. Start by slicing them and placing them in a single layer on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let it stand 10 minutes.

Mixing cheese and mayo for tomato pie -Living With Color Designs

While the crust cooks and tomatoes stand; sauté the onions, mix up the cheese with mayo, and chop the basil.

Fresh layers of tomato pie - Living With Color Designs

With crust ready and onions sautéed the layering can begin.  Layer tomatoes, sprinkle of olive oil, herbs, and onion.  Repeat.

Topping the tomato pie - Living With Color Designs

The cheese mixture creates the crust.  Just spread it on top. You can shield the precooked crust edges with foil to avoid over browning.  Now here is the hard part, waiting for it to come out!  My mouth is already watering just thinking about what is to come.

Tomato Pie Recipe - Living With Color Designs

Time to eat.  This is so good my son-in-law, the non tomato lover, enjoyed it.  Check out the recipe below.  Please leave me a comment if you try it and let me know if you agree that it is great.   –  Marianne

Tomato Pie- 1 refrigerated pie crust (boxed), 2 1/4 lbs. tomatoes, 1 1/4 t. salt, 1T. olive oil to drizzle, 1/2 c. fresh basil (1t. dry), 1t. pepper, 1c. mozzarella w/ touch of Philadelphia cheese, 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese, 1/2c. sweet onions, 1/4c. mayonnaise.

1. Prepare pie crust according to pkg. directions.  2. Prepare filling: Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1t. salt. Let stand 10 minutes.  3. Meanwhile, sauté onion and 1/4t. each salt and pepper in a skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until onion is tender.  4. Pat tomatoes dry with a paper towel. Layer tomatoes, a sprinkle of olive oil, herbs, and onion in a prepared crust, seasoning each layer with pepper (1t. total). Stir together cheeses and mayo; spread over pie.  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, shielding edges with foil to prevent excessive browning.  Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Makes one pie. Cut into 6 slices.

Tomato Pie Recipe




Costume Jewelry Passion

Assortment of costume jewelry livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog I’m still basking in the glow of the fun I had this weekend with my Chi Omega sisters from college.  There is nothing like rekindling the memories of being 18-21 to make you feel young and refreshed.  It’s also inspiring to be around such an amazing and successful group of women, some that I had not seen for 30 years.  This year I brought along a little box of costume jewelry because one of my “sisters” designs beautiful jewelry.  Jewelry is just one of her many talents.

Costume Jewelry assortment livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog vintage chain belt and necklace livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog My box contained costume jewelry in various states of perfection and disrepair, collected over generations of the Redding, Sistrunk, and now Millikan family.  Some are truly more special than others, a distinction not earned by monetary value or designer status but a strong and enduring personal connection to someone that I love.

vintage costume jewelry in shades of silver and pearl livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog broken vintage necklace livingwithcolordesigns.com/blogI will be sharing with you, in the future, about this artist and about the pieces she has created for me.  In my mind jewelry and clothing just go hand in hand.  I can’t think about one without thinking about the other, so I paired up my menagerie of costume jewelry with some of my favorite dresses for these pictures, grouping jewelry by color or style.

costume Jewelry in gold tones  livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog Pieces include single earrings missing their partner, pins with backs broken off, pieces with missing parts, random items like a belt buckle or gold chain belt, and some fully intact pieces  which might make an interesting combination.  You can tell that the pieces pictured above are mostly pieces that I have bought for myself and were not handed down. They’re a little more gaudy and not as delicate.  I really went through a colorful jewel stage.

variety of gold toned button covers livingwithcolordesigns.com/blogGold toned and faux jeweled costume jewelry livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog I have never been one to desire real stones.  I guess that is because I could not afford really big stones.  I’m definitely a bold, in your face, costume jewelry girl.  I like my jewelry big and reasonably priced.  That  way I can have a variety of shinny glittery objects.  Just didn’t want anyone to get the wrong impression and think I had an expensive stash.  Some of this vintage costume jewelry looks so pretty you would think it is real.

vintage flower pins livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog Mod retro vintage jewelry in white livingwithcolordesigns.com/blogI even have a few more modern, funky vintage pieces thrown into the mix.  I just love the white chunky beaded pin and earrings.  Pin has some spots that need cleaning and one of the earrings needs repair.

vintage costume jewelry earrings livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog vintage flower pin in gold tones livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog snowflake pin costume jewelry livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog And yes, I do like me some sparkle.  Most of these pins and earrings belonged to my grandmother’s or my mother at some time.  They are some of my favorite pieces.  Many of you probably have one of these gold flower pins hiding in your closets.  I see them from time to time.  I was sad I lost one of the matching earrings at furniture market one year.  I had used the earrings as pocket clip-ons on my jacket.  My creativity did not pay off, lesson learned.

vintage beaded elephant pin livingwithcolordesigns.com/blog I found this cute little beaded elephant in a ziplock bag near the bottom of a box I had.  Stuck to the back was this label that my grandmother had attached with her name and address. Smart lady she was. (I did block out the address, the house is actually no longer there)

Dresses: Aqua linen is from talbots, Pink and Orange zipper dress by Joseph Ribkoff, Navy and White patterned dress by  INC International Concepts, Black dress with camel colored stripe and pleated skirt by Loft, and the Navy and Orange chevron dress is by ND New Direction.  Pretty much sums up my High/Low lifestyle.

I’ve just requested that two pieces of jewelry to be designed for me. Nice to satisy my passion for costume jewelry with items that I already have.  There were lots of good pieces and parts to choose from.  I can’t wait to see which pieces ultimately inspire the artist.   –  Marianne

Retro Color Palette: Aqua and Red

Retro color combination of red and aqua livingwithcolordesigns.comSometimes you will be surprised by what you find when you really aren’t  looking.  I found this cute combination of inspirational things the other day when I was out-and-about scouting out some of my back door resources (that’s what I call them, they are open to the public, but unless you know, you drive right by them).  I could just envision this little combination of things making a great big, creative, statement for a little starter apartment, taking a color plunge.

Aqua sectional with retro metal legs livingwithcolordesigns.com

Small barrel back chair in aqua

This cute sofa/chaise sectional came with a coordinating chair.  The aqua sectional has silver finished retro style metal legs and the matching barrel back club chair has wooden legs in a black finish.

Modern red leather chair

Right around the corner I spotted this modern red leather chair with legs similar to those on the sofa.

Red leather twin bed livingwithcolordesigns.com

Continuing our aqua and red color palette, this red leather twin bed would be great focal point and pop of color for a child’s room or the spare bedroom.  Love the pull out storage underneath.

Modern fabrics with retro style. Aqua and red combination.  livingwithcolordesigns.com

Choose from the fabrics above and others to create draperies, pillows, bedding, or table linens to carry your color palette through out the spaces.

Tip: Using the same colors throughout unifies spaces and can make small spaces seem larger.  I would also break up the furniture pieces.  Use the red chair in the same room with the sectional and put the small aqua barrel chair in the bedroom with the red leather headboard.  Spaces feel more relaxed and welcoming to me when furnishings and other items appear “collected” instead of “matchy-matchy”.  So don’t be afraid to split things up.

Retro Vignette at Sub-Zero Wolf Showroom Atlanta

I just love this picture I took at the Sub-Zero Wolf Showroom in Atlanta.  This vignette welcomes you as you wind up the stairwell to enter the main floor of the showroom.  There is just something so charming and retro about aqua and red.  It immediately invites you to take a step back in time.   –  Marianne



Shabby, Rusty, Chippy Cottage Charm

Cloches on white pedestalsShabby, rusty,chippy cottage charm is exactly what you will find at Spade and Broom.  This delightful shop occupies most of the bottom floor of a charming cottage home surrounded by garden, yard, and pond.  Just walking among the furnishing and curiosities on the property invites you to take pause, slow your pace, breath deeply and enjoy the browse.

Repurposed desk painted white

The space is light and bright, and jam packed with vintage furniture brought to new life in a shabby chic style.  Abundantly white, carefully distressed, and lovingly refinished.  I met the shop owner Kristen who was so gracious and very willing to share about the process she uses to create her shabby,rusty, chippy cottage charm.  Sprinkled here and there are a few color options other than white, like the little yellow side table above.

Shabby Chic

Among the furnishings are table linens, vintage clothing, mirrors, and accessories to complement this style. Stock is constantly changing.  A preview is posted to the Spade & Broom Facebook page on Wednesday,  those new things will show up in the store on Thursday.  A bonus is that the prices will not disappoint.

Cobalt Blue Salt and Pepper Shakers

Bird cage and desk

vintage linens

We arrived on a Friday as the owner was bringing in some salvaged windows to fill in where items had been sold, apologizing that she felt the store always looked a little empty by Friday.  I thought it looked pretty stocked, but if you are wanting first dibs of what you see on Wednesday, in the preview, you may want to hurry on over.  It always makes me curious about what I may have missed.

Spade and Broom Logo

Spade & Broom is located in Trinity NC.  If you make your way there be sure let them know you saw them on the Living With Color Designs blog.  When I walk among these charming repurposed pieces I can’t help but wonder about the previous owners, the life this piece has already had.  Then I smile for the new possibilities for all this shabby, rustic, chippy cottage charm.   –  Marianne


A Nature Moment: Forsythia

Yellow Forsythia and dragonfly ornamental

In the spring you have to capture moments when they arise in full bloom.  Wait and in a day or two those beautiful blossoms will begin to fade and fall away.  The is a beautiful forsythia plant.  It’s bright yellow makes a showy presence that will delight in springtime.

yellow Forsythia
To learn more about the forsythia plant and it’s delicate petals you can click here,  You might also like this link on Forsythia from Clemson University.
This moment is brought to you by Spring.   –  Marianne


The Weekend

gravity defying wine bottle holder

I have had an extremely busy week.  Full of unexpected and expected things.  I’m glad the weekend is finally here.  If you are headed out somewhere special for the weekend and are looking for a clever hostess gift, I have a suggestion.  Look for something unique that may even end up being a great conversation starter for your host.  This gravity defying bottle holder was a gift to a friend of mine.  I was tickled to see it out and on display when I arrived at her home for supper club.  We all had a lot of fun with it. The unique angle cut on the wood is what makes it work.  This one was purchased at Brightside Gallery in Asheboro NC but is is a popular product offered by woods craftsmen.

I’m excited to be giving a baby shower along with my sister today for my niece.  We have had fun planning and preparing.  Baby showers are my favorite.  Have a great weekend.   –  Marianne


‘Fashionable’ Furniture

Oh my goodness, I am so in love with this sofa that I stumbled upon at Priba Furniture.  Such a great nod to ‘fashionable’ furniture.  I mean this is like having a sofa that is wearing a fine Chanel jacket.

Fashionable Furniture Harden


This beautiful yellow boucle upholstery fabric is just stunning in person.  It provides so much texture and dimension.  The pillows add the perfect touch of softness and color just like a beautiful floral blouse that you would wear to compliment your jacket.  Luxury fabrics are one of the things that sets a Chanel jacket apart from all others.  Choosing interesting and unique fabrics for your furniture will set your home apart from others and create that one of a kind luxury statement.  This sofa is by Harden Furniture.

Sofa fabric yellow boucle

Taking cues from fashion is nothing new.  I was so in love with the menswear trend in interior design.  You saw herringbones, tweeds, fine wools and other suit fabrics in traditional menswear colors showing up everywhere.  If you are struggling to choose colors or patterns to use in your home, just dive into your closet for inspiration.  Chances are if it flatters and looks good on your body it will do the same on your furniture too.

Yellow boucle sofa by Harden

I got a little sidetracked looking at Chanel jackets after finding this sofa and writing this post.  I found this cool video, The Little Black Jacket, documenting the amazing process of hand making a Chanel jacket.  I find these things really intriguing so I thought I would share it with you.  ‘Fashional’ furniture touches might be just the thing for you to use to create a personal statement in your home.   –  Marianne


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