DIY accents, add a starfish to a wooden lamp for beach appeal - Living With Color DesignsWhen my sister and her husband were charged with continuing the care of their family beach cottage they decided to make a few updates to reflect their personal style and prepare it for future generations. All this was done while still honoring it’s past history and the memories of those good times. Continue reading →

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

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



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


Bird theme aqua soup mug

Aqua Mug With Bird Perched On handle

    We are finally beginning to feel a little fall here so I thought I would give you a picture of my new cute little soup mug with a bird perched on the handle and share a little of the changes going on.  I haven’t really talked about this on my blog but I recently took steps to make a few major life changes.  Changes which have allowed me to come back to my passion and go for my dream of starting my own full time Interior Design firm.  I have come from a long line of entrepreneurs and that entrepreneurial spirit has been occupying a little space in my heart for a long long time. What has held me back up until now?  I think sometimes it is fear that holds you back and part of it is the timing of things and the fact that I have never really been a risk taker.  So I am pushing away fear, embracing a little risk taking and thinking it is time.
    I received a wonderful start as a young design graduate working for Bob and Priscilla Knox of Priba Furniture and Interiors in Greensboro NC.  My dear friend Vicki still works there and will take great care of you if you drop by.   I then took a slight detour while raising my children and hopefully influenced a few school children to get excited about design, fashion, and food.  I now have the opportunity to follow this long time desire to return and focus my whole attention on working as an interior designer. This is all possible thanks to the never ending support and encouragement of my dear husband which I am sure is not a surprise to any of you that regularly read my blog.  If you are new to my blog then I will just go ahead an let you know that am am a lucky girl, have a great husband, and it shows up in my blog frequently.  We really share this journey called life.
     So….as we set on our way with some new beginnings I wanted to let you know.  The blog will continue to be just a creative outlet for me and will keep the laid back format as before.  Here I will continue to share my love of color, some of the fun creative things I do at home and with friends, my adventures in shopping, things to go out and see and do in our area, creative people, a little travel, and of course the yard and nature with the help of the husband mentioned above.  A website is in the works for Living With Color Designs, the business, and it will focus only on that.  So I hope you will continue to read my blog and do share it with friends.  I hope you will return often to follow me on this journey  – Marianne

 I never knew the emotional connection I had to all the familiar things I see from year to year or day to day until I took a few pictures in my yard and displayed these pictures in my home.  Spring is a great time to capture pictures of beautiful blooms right in your very own yard.  I know it is early spring and there may not be much to take pictures of yet, but I want you to ready your cameras and keep an eye out for new blooms and also wait and watch for flowers to reach full bloom.  I am always taking pictures in my yard.  I just can’t help myself.  I will even stand there and think “you know you took pictures last year” and then go ahead and snap some more.  After you have taken some great shots blow them up, print them out, frame them up and  put them in your home.  You will be amazed at the connection you make to these pictures and the enjoyment you will get from looking at them.

These are some beautiful big peonies that we planted.  I remember when, where and from whom we bought them.  The local garden club sponsored the sale and it was held at the beautiful farm/estate of a neighbors.  One of the ladies in the garden club had dug them up out of her yard.  I can’t remember what I paid but it was a deal. Early Bird Gets the Worm kind of thing. We were early birds.   Every time I look at this picture I am reminded of that fun day.

I was so excited when I found these frames.  They are so unique.  I like the casualness of just clipping the photo a little askew in the shadow box type frame.  The clips on these frames make it easy to change pictures whenever you want.  I haven’t changed them though.  I’m surprised how attached I get to photo’s.  There is a delightful “ah ha” moment when a friend or family member realizes that they are looking at a picture of something they have seen in our yard. 

The statue you see is my favorite birdbath.  Surrounded by beautiful plantings chosen by my husband, the resident gardener.  I also am reminded of whom we got this from and all the places we have used it.  When taking pictures be sure to include items that you love like a tried and true container or urn that you use from year to year.  This item will tie  the location where the picture was taken in with the beautiful plants.  

Of course here in the South we love our hydrangeas.  They come in many varieties and I love them all.  I have taken tons of pictures of them and am so glad to put some of  those pictures to good use.  This picture is actually of a chinese snowball bush (viburnum) which has a similar bloom to a hydrangea.

One of the most beautiful things in my yard is this peach tree.  The bright pink blooms just put a song in my heart.  Bringing this beauty into my bedroom year round was a wonderful idea.    Just a few days after I took these photos the blooms began to turn brown so be watchful.  Timing is everything with these blooms.  Thankfully newer digital cameras make it easy now to take quality photos. 

I chose these beautiful silver leaf frames to honor my peach blossoms.  They compliment the  silver leaf mirror that hangs over my Henrendon dresser which has silver drawer pulls.  The wall is painted with Valspar Paint. The color is 5006-8A Swim.  A beautiful color that I think I will never tire of.  Combined with this wall color the pink blossoms just pop out of the frames.

I hope you will try this little DIY home enhancement activity.   It is an inexpensive and personal way to add art to your home.  Truthfully I had never been a big fan of adding photographic art to my personal surroundings until I took these pictures of things in my own yard and framed them.  And now you can tell I am a really big fan.  I have also added some professional photographic art to my home.

Now it’s your turn.  Go ahead and get out in your yard.  Just don’t forget your camera!  –  Marianne

Footnote: If you read this earlier and notice some changes you can thank my resident gardener.  He gently reminded me that the tree in the backyard was a peach and not a cherry.  We even had tiny fruit last year.  How could I forget that?  He also let me know the picture with the big white blooms was of our Chinese snowball bush not our hydrangea.  This is why he plants them and I just take pictures and enjoy them.