I’m often drawn to flea markets, thrift stores and yard sales. The thrill of the hunt never ceases to excite me! Certain pieces just seem to speak to me, and vintage china always seems to be on my radar while I’m out treasure hunting. Recently, I’ve been drawn towards antique rose china embellished with beautiful patterns and it’s become one of my favorite things to collect. These vintage patterns are feminine and flirty, and best of all, they work beautifully for a romantic table setting.
Easy to find
The next time you visit a flea market or thrift store, be on the lookout for pretty pink rose patterned plates. You can often find them in small sets, which is my favorite way to acquire them, but unique individual plates are also quite practical and fit in nicely if they’re in the same pink color palette. My favorite patterns are made in England and made of fine bone china, but I’ve found gorgeous German examples that are quite unique and look like they’re hand-painted.
Mix and match for fun
Just like any collection, mixing and matching is made easier when the plates have a common design or color. Dinner plates, salad plates and bread plates all layer beautifully with each other, and especially look lovely in coordinating but mismatched patterns. I’ve found that collecting different size plates also helps when arranging them together at a table setting.
Accessorize with Pink
To get more bang for your buck, tie the whole table together with pink accents. Adding pink glassware, napkins and flowers will naturally accentuate the pink rose pattern on the china, and capture everyone’s attention. Think pink when setting this kind of table!
Include feminine details
What’s the easiest way to turn an ordinary table into a romantic table? The answer is feminine details. Of course our rosy plates add feminine charm, but go ahead and add one or two more girly elements, just remember not to go too over the top with frills and such. To keep this table from looking stuffy, an eyelet table runner does the trick and adds a little whimsy to this whole look.
Incorporate modern elements
A few modern elements help keep the table from looking a little too old-fashioned. As romantic as roses are, a pitcher of pink peonies adds modern flair to the table, while the colors of these fresh flowers work perfectly with the roses on the plates. Vintage bamboo flatware offers the perfect contrast against the pink tye-dyed napkins and both these elements add a much needed dose of fun to this tablescape.
Collect what you love
Vintage or new, rose patterned dinnerware is fun to collect, but if your passion is collecting another type of china, you can still keep these tips in mind when setting your table. The same rules apply for other fun collectable plates like transferware or cabbageware. Just remember to mix and match, accessorize with a fun color, add a modern touch and incorporate feminine details. Your table is sure to be a hit with your friends and family!
Crafting elegant tablescapes is one of Fabiana’s many talents and passions. She regularly shares her inspiring designs on her blog, Ciao! Newport Beach and on instagram.
Sometimes all you need for a new beginning is to start right where you’re at. Rather than move to a new place, opt for a top-to-bottom makeover and turn your house into the home you’ve always dreamed of.
Wanting a fresh start for herself and her two children after a divorce, this homeowner seized the opportunity to redesign every room in her own style. “It was a full facelift for the entire home, and her way of reflecting the new season she was entering with her kids,” says interior designer Kathryn Ivey.
Leaving no detail untouched, they infused her personal style into every design decision, making over the once-ordinary home in suburban Washington, D.C. with heavy, ornate furniture into a more transitional style of home with a light and airy feminine flair.
“Along with bringing the interior up to date, she had a clear aesthetic in terms of what she enjoys, which is very feminine colors and soft textures, and she wanted it to be a relaxing space,” Kathryn says. Here are the details behind creating the soothing, cohesive look.
Delicate hues of cream, white, gray and blue were key to the home’s transformation. Continuing the color scheme keeps the rooms flowing from one to the next and brings the entire design together.
Like most other family houses, the kitchen is the heart of the home and connects to the breakfast area. They elected to remove the kitchen cabinet fronts for show-off open shelving, which the homeowner loves to decorate with her colorful glassware.
The breakfast room serves as a sort of pass-through area, but they covered the walls here in a Phillip Jeffries woven grasscloth to give it a sense of place. “It has a beautiful texture to it with blues, grays and greens in it that lead into the family room where we used Farrow & Ball Blackened paint, which is the faintest blue-gray,” Kathryn says.
While the soft color palette visually expands the space, other design tricks create the light and bright feeling throughout. To bring in as much light as possible, they opted not to hide the windows behind window treatments.
With a little help from furnishings such as glass coffee tables, mirrored chests and a buffet, and transparent lucite chairs that reflect light, the clean and simple palette feels very feminine and glamorous.
Maximizing storage and space
Even in a spacious home, storage is necessary. Kathryn worked with the family to figure out how they used every space in the home—and what would make sense for storage and minimizing clutter.
They created storage to fit each space such as custom built-in cabinetry or large bookshelves. In the case of the family room, Kathryn explains, “It was a need for storage, but also a need to take up space because the rooms are so large. You have these large blank walls that need a focal point, but you’re always going to need storage.”
They added a custom uphostered daybed to the master bedroom, daybed surrounded by bookshelves as a casual reading spot. “Her daughter loves to come in and hang out so we upholstered the daybed in a blush linen fabric and added a grasscloth wallpaper behind it and bookshelves as well,” Kathryn says.
One pretty focal point in the entire home is a space that solely belongs to mom: her master closet, which was completely designed as an elegant dressing area.
With such high ceilings, Kathryn decided to use the top perimeter of the closet to add small cabinets for storing hats and seasonal items. “If you have a lack of space, height is your friend,” Kathryn says.
Then in the adjoining master bathroom, they created two pretty vanities with Venetian mirrors, one with a mirrored glass makeup tabletop.
“She loved the idea of white-washed wood floors, which isn’t practical for a bathroom, so we went with a porcelain floor that looked like white painted wood and it turned out absolutely beautiful,” Kathryn says.
3 Ways to Balance Comfort and Clutter:
Choose attractive furniture pieces you love that are also practical. For example, opt for soft furnishings that save space and are easy to clean, like upholstered ottomans and slipcovered sofas.
Add storage to every space, no matter its size. Whether you add built-in cabinets or some sort of shelves, storage is a must. Don’t just go for utilitarian pieces; select the prettiest storage pieces you can find that become design features in a space.
Accessorize, but continue to cull. “The small things (throws, art and lighting) are as important as the large pieces, like the sofas, chairs and bookcases, but they add warmth and personality,” Kathryn says. “You need to always be cultivating your spaces with an edited eye and add those things that mean a lot to you,” Kathryn says.
The traditions of yesteryear included a freshly-cut Christmas tree and boughs of holly brought into the home a few days before Santa was to descend the chimney. Today, reproduction trees and greens are so life-like we are tempted to deck the halls with them soon after the last of the pumpkin pie has been devoured. But doing so leaves little opportunity to display and enjoy the bountiful fresh greenery of the season.
It’s easy to have the best of both worlds, though. You can decorate early with faux greens and incorporate fresh seasonal foliage into your Christmas collections for a cheery holiday look. Here’s how:
During the first week of December, take a walk to your local park or bike path with a large basket or tote. Gather all the greenery you can find, bring it home to soak in a large bucket filled with water. Keep it in a cool spot (garage or basement) until you’re ready to use it.
Tie small green bundles together with festive ribbon, and tuck them into your stockings hung by the chimney, add them to doorknobs, and use them as embellishments on all your Christmas décor throughout the home.
Tie sprigs of aromatic pine branches into your faux wreaths and stairway greens near the front door. The breeze that comes in when the door is opened will fill your home with the fresh aroma of the Christmas.
Always use small branches so that when they need to be replenished you won’t have to redo the entire display.
A little bit of greenery goes a long way in making your home feel merry and bright for the holidays. For a warm and welcoming Christmas style, bring in the colors, textures and beauty of the season.
A candy box at the grocery store can borderline tacky. The love you have for your significant other is beautiful—so your Valentine’s Day treat to him or her should be too. But you don’t need to phone the local bakery for a flashy cake wrapped in layers of expensive fondant. We’ve compiled a list of recipes you can do yourself that will make any pastry chef’s head turn!
Lacy Valentine’s Day Cookies
Make sure your cookies taste as good as they look! This sugar cookie recipe serves as the perfect base to royal icing imprinted with lace.
Want to rekindle the spark in your relationship? This cake will do just that—and not just because it’s topped with lighted sparklers. With an exciting kick of champagne and the dreamy taste of vanilla buttercream, you’ll float higher to cloud nine with each bite.
Love can sometimes drive you nutty—which is why these pecan-flavored cookies are appropriate for the occasion. But with an oh-so-sweet cherry filling, the soft touch of confectioner’s sugar and adorable heart cut-outs to top it all off, these charming cookies will only bring back sweet memories of love.
This recipe combines the world’s most popular aphrodisiacs—chocolate and roses—for the ultimate Valentine’s Day delicacy. Not only does the ingredient list call for dark chocolate, but it asks to include a secret, adults-only flavor: raw maca powder. No store-bought box of chocolates can inspire the same romantic feelings this chocolate bar will bring.
If you’re not fond of desserts heavy on the sweet side, these shortbread biscuits are your saviors from the usual Valentine’s Day cookies and chocolates. The biscuits’ red velvet flavoring and the cream cheese icing smushed between them will still give you a reasonable amount of sugary goodness.
Chocolate-dipped strawberries are cliche. Reinvent these classic Valentine treats by turning them into strawberry pops! Add stripes of red, pink and white with melting candies, and adorn the cute pops with ribbons and sprinkles. These adorable pops are especially perfect to serve at parties.
Wow your significant other with a dessert that looks like it came straight out of Food Network. This patterned cake roll may look complex, but the recipe actually requires boxed cake mix. Not only is it the epitome of a Valentine treat with its sprawl of hearts and bright pink hue, but this cake roll is the perfect introduction to tackling the often daunting realm of patterned baked goods.
Springtime always arrives like a surprise. When the first hint of spring wafts in on a late winter breeze, it makes us pause, take a deep breath, and then let it out again with the reassurance that, soon, the trees will blush pink and the world will turn green once more.
You can capture that moment of anticipation all year long by choosing the right color scheme for your room. The green walls shown here are color of new plants peeping out of the earth, and provide a nurturing background for the blushing pink pillow on the sofa.
Don’t overdress the simple spring setting with too many accessories. A bit of bling and a bouquet of flowers are all you need to convey the fresh, vibrant feelings of springtime.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which means lots of pink. But October is months away, so we think February should be the official Pink month. In honor of Romantic Home’s favorite color, here’s an adorable pink bedroom and some of our favorite pink finds from around the web.
While most people seek out artwork that match their home decór, homeowner Christine Derderian had different ideas. Chris wanted a living space that not only made her shabby cottage dreams come true, but also showcased her 27-piece collection of artwork by painter Susan Brown. Enter interior designer Catherine Wiley, who was happy to take on the project.
“Chris has a very strong sense of what she likes,” says Catherine. “She knew what she wanted.” What Chris wanted was a home that was soft, feminine, and filled with flowers. Pink was a must.
The 4,000-square-foot home was built in the the 1990s, but had already been through multiple remodels and additions, creating what Catherine calls, “extended cottage architecture.” She encouraged Chris’ ideas of filling the home with true cottage ambiance. “The house can become what you want it to be – in spite of itself.”
The multiple remodels actually helped them out. “It all seems to blend and flow into one another,” says Catherine. “We could get creative and make a cottage out of it because of all the remodels.”
The first step in the design process was deciding which paintings would go there. Once the artwork was placed, Catherine pulled colors directly from the artwork to build the color palette for each room. “I went from color to color, concept to concept, using the artwork as a guide. I pulled colors from the art for each room – pink, soft-green, gray, beige, rouge – so it resembled the romantic color palette of the artwork. That’s how all these soft colors came together.”
Custom paint colors was key to Catherine’s approach. “There wasn’t one paint color taken straight from the can. We mixed the colors tot get the desired effect. I haven’t used paint from a can in years.”
Hardwood floors replaced the carpeting throughout the house, stained to a dark and glossy hue to provide contrast the soft color palette. The effect is striking and sophisticated, highlighting the gorgeous colors and making features like the delicate pleating on the slipcovers and the breezy silk curtains really stand out.
“People don’t know how to tell you technically what they want,” says Catherine, “but they say, ‘This is what I love.'” This, of course, the secret of true romantic design – enveloping yourself in all the things you love the most.
“With the help of Catherine,” says Chris, “This house is everything I ever wanted in a home. It is a very peaceful, welcoming, warm home, and I do believe I will never move from here.”