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Dinner in White ~ Milwaukee

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We had our first annual Dinner in White ~ Milwaukee on Sunday, August 24.  We modeled our Pop-Up Picnic after the Diner en Blanc in Paris. Guests know about the date in advance, but don’t know the location until 2 hours before the event. You must wear white and bring your own table, chairs, food and drink. They’ve been doing it in Paris for 26 years and this year over 15,000 people attended!

Ours was held at Burns Commons, a charming little park near Milwaukee’s lake front. The weather was perfect and everyone had a good time, even those who had no idea what to expect!


We cannot wait to do it again next year. If you’re interested in an invitation for 2015, drop me an email.


Paris in Summer

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Most of you know I’m a total Francophile. J’aime toutes les choses franҫaises! This summer I got to share my love of France with Tom. His first trip to Europe and he loved it too. We spent several days in Dublin (that will be a later post) and the rest of the time in Paris and Beaune with our friends Bonnie and Tom.

Of course we hit the highlights:

A glass of wine at a street cafe.

It’s not a cliché; the Eiffel Tower is truly spectacular.

So is the view from the top. Not for those who suffer from a fear of heights (Bonnie and Tom).

Le Louvre. Can you believe in the height of tourist season I was able to get photos with few people?

Le Jardin du Tuileries is a beautiful (and huge) public park across from the Louvre.

The Musée d’Orsay, an old train station, houses the biggest collection of impressionist paintings in the world.

We witnessed the ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at L’Arc de Triomphe. A group of school children led the parade. They actually closed several blocks of the Champs-Elysées for the parade.

The Palais de Justice was once called the Conciergerie. It was a prison during the Revolution. Hundreds of prisoners were held here before being executed at a guillotine including Marie Antoinette.

The tower of Saint Jacques is still standing. The 16th century church was destroyed during the Revolution.

Lovers have been publicly proclaiming their love by attaching padlocks to the Pont des Arts in Paris for years. Part of the railing collapsed in early June because of the tremendous weight. This pedestrian only bridge had re-opened by the time we arrived. Unfortunately, people have started to attach locks on other bridges too.

Paris Selfie!

Of course, Tom would be the one to find a Packer bar in Paris. What a hoot. It’s called WOS (Wide Open Spaces) on Rue Saint Jacques. The owner is French and the bartender, Matthew is Scottish. What a fun bar. They have quite a collection of Parker memorabilia. Matt has even been to Lambeau for the Packer-Atlanta play-off game. He said it was so cold, it was the first time he ever wore underwear under his kilt! Now we know.

Paris in the morning.

Sunset in Paris doesn’t happen until after 10 pm. So many hours of daylight to enjoy my favorite city.


Painted Accent Walls

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Accent walls are a quick and easy way to add color to a room. If you are one of the many homeowners who are afraid of color, introducing a contrasting color to a single wall isn’t as scary!

How to decide?

  • Choose a hue from a painting or fabric in the room as your accent color.
  • Go bold and bright
  • Look at the color wheel. Go with opposites or complementary colors.
  • For a more subtle contrast, pick a darker or lighter shade of the same paint on the rest of the walls.
  • Bright white or black can be great contrasting colors.
  • Be totally unexpected. Try orange, fuchsia, lime green. After all, it’s only paint!

Which Wall?

  • Choose a focal wall: fireplace wall, window wall or wall with the bed.
  • Paint the wall behind a dramatic, bold piece of art.
  • Try painting the inside (back) of a built-in bookcase.
  • Paint the short wall at the end of a hall. Add a mirror and a fun table.
  • Still not ready  for the family room? Create a contrasting wall in a bedroom. playroom or guest bath.
  • Spotlight an interesting architectural element.
  • Paint a door!
  • Instead of ignoring odd spaces, highlight them with paint: sofit in the kitchen, beams, awkward bump-out walls.
  • Emphasis the ceiling or window/door trim
  • Outline the window trim,door frame, fireplace, art or mirror (see below).

A bold color makes a dramatic painting stand-out!

Amber Road~Cronulla Residence, Sydney, Australia. From Est Magazine

 A dark charcoal wall adds intimacy to an all white room. Keeps it from feeling too stark and cold.


Bright pink in a teen’s room sets off the white shelves.

The color might be neutral, but the contrast between window trim and ceiling beams is very dramatic.

HGTV Dream Home 2014

Instead of a focal wall, “frame” the mirror in a small bath.

Do you have an accent wall in your house?

Doors in Dijon, France

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We recently returned from a vacation/buying trip to France. One of the stops was the charming city of Dijon. (Yes, it’s where the mustard originated from). Although only an hour and a half south of Paris by high-speed train, the difference between the two cities is remarkable. Dijon is more relaxed with fewer tourists. We practically had the city to ourselves.

I took almost a thousand pictures (don’t you love digital cameras?). Many of the architecture of the buildings and houses. I especially love doors and windows. Here are a few of my Dijon favorites.

Lovely door with an art nouveau look. 

Old, old door knocker. 

Great door with a giant stone entablature. 

Basic door in the guard station. 

Beautiful door leading in the Duc’s Palace. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go in. Can’t you see yourself walking down those steps in a fabulous ballgown?

Huge stone archway over a wood door leading into a courtyard.

Which one is your favorite?

Don’t Take Interior Design Too Seriously!

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There should always be an unexpected element in every design. After all, if you take it too seriously, you end up with a boring design. No one wants that. Panajachel Ceiling Lamp by Iris Design Studio

Check out the 3 golden birds perching on the top edge of this lamp shade. This room is still sophisticated but in a playful way.

From Holly Becker’s decor8 blog

Amsterdam’s Desiree Groenendal loves black and white interiors. She painted an old armoire black and used chalk to scribble verse. What a fun idea.

Eclectic Suburban from Hudson Interior Design

Here’s a homeowner who loves color and books. Instead of setting up his library in the usual way (alphabetically? subject?) the designer created a rainbow wall. The poufs add texture and pattern. You can’t help but smile.

Stacy Garcia’s Poppy Wallpaper

Another room that will put a smile on your face. Poppy wallpaper in teal. Are you brave enough?

I would love to hear from you!




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