Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Would You Rather ...

Christopher Simmonds Architect  //  Bruce Palmer Designers & Decorators

Would you rather have a modern, private, serene, shady lake house?

or ... a traditional, bright, open beach house among other beach houses?

A modern lake house ...

modern lake house

... or a traditional beach house?

traditional beach house

Modern Lake House?
modern lake house pool
Windmere Real Estate

Or traditional beach house?

traditional beach house pool
Modern lake house interior
Topsider Homes

Or traditional beach house?

traditional beach house interior

Modern lake house ...

modern lake house bedroom
Finne Architect Bedroom
Or traditional beach house ...

Traditional beach house bedroom

This conflict proudly brought to you by


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Last-minute Easy Halloween Costumes

Even if you're not planning to make a last minute Halloween costume, you'll want to scroll down because these cuties are irresistible. Coastal themed costumes for kids rock! Click through for directions on how to make them.

Octopus Baby Costume


Octopus Child Costume


Rainbow Fish Costume

Flip Flops Costume

Source: unknown // How To

Lobster Baby Costume

Photo Source: unknown // How To

Hula Girl


Surf Hair


Monday, October 28, 2013

White Kitchens that Inspire

White kitchens inspire me. White kitchens feel fresh, clean, bright.

Design by Jennifer Worts

Do you feel that white kitchens are only clean in photos? I wouldn't know, because mine is all grays and neutrals, but I have a theory about white kitchens. Since white would show a splash of sauce immediately, you would clean it up more immediately. This constant maintenance cleaning would cancel out the need to scrub your backsplash or the fronts of your cabinets once every couple of months. What do you think?

Designed by Kathleen Hay

White kitchens are pristine, uncomplicated to look at, and the perfect canvas for highlighting a few interesting pieces like bar stools, pendants, or a spectacular floor.

Who could resist the urge to put some colorful kitchen towels or warm bar stools to match the wood floor in a space this white?

White kitchens are coastal.

White kitchens are ... beautiful.

Friday, October 25, 2013

7 Easy Halloween Treats for the Lazy Party Planner

OK, so Halloween is just a few days away, and if you're like me you have done nothing to prepare. I don't know about you, but I have a crowd of cuties coming to my house expecting interesting and spooky treats before they head out to brave the haunted path that ends in Sugar Nirvana, and if I know what's good for me I'd best provide.

So I went in search of the 7 easiest Halloween treats, cross-referenced with cuteness, cleverness, and originality. I tried to cover the basics: mummies, ghosts, witches, vampires, body parts, and excretions. What can I say, I aim to please.

1. Poop
Yeah, that word. I'm sorry about that. We try to be classy around here, but if you're looking to rate your success in the loudness of the laughter and the pitch of the squeals, you just can't do "easy" any better than "pumpkin poop" or "ghost poop." It takes no baking skills at all, but if you can write something funny (or Google something funny) you are golden. And none of the kids are even going to complain that you didn't slave over a hot stove all day. What kid doesn't relish having permission to eat "raw" marshmallows right out of the bag? It's as if they were in the pantry for 10 whole minutes. Alone. Without being caught. Score!

2. Ghost Jello
Again, no baking skills necessary, but you will very likely be a very popular host if you are giving your guests a very large dollop of whipped cream to plow through.


3. Pretzel Mummies
These come in a ghost version too, but I just can't resist the mummies. Easy peasy! All you need are pretzel rods, white melting chocolate, (Be sure to follow the incredible slow directions for melting it. It will pay off.) and mini chocolate chips to complete the look.


4. Vampire Cupcakes
I love how it can take you a second to "get it" on this one. Kids will think you are a genius, and all you did was make a couple of holes and add some red gel icing. There are versions where the middle is red velvet cake, and I have linked up to a tutorial that has the middle "bleeding" but it's not necessary to get this effect. If you are pressed for time, take the shortcut! They won't notice!

How to:

5. Frankenstein Cake
This might take a bit of talent in the baking and decorating department, but it doesn't look too hard, right? It's a sheet cake, for crying out loud, so you don't even have to be a good baker! In my mind, the bonus of this one is that you make one thing, feed a crowd, and dust your hands off satisfied with your work. No assembly line decorating necessary.


6. Spooky Bones
These bones give me the creeps. Which is a very good sign. These would be a great companion to the Pretzel Mummies because they both require the melting chocolate and pretzel rods. Besides, I'll bet they taste great, if "regular" chocolate covered pretzels are any clue.


7. Meringue Ghosts
If you have a reason to serve a gluten-free treat, these fit the bill. They are super cute, too! I have included the photo credit, because that is the right thing to do, but I also included a recipe that I thought was an easier version. (If you are compiling a list of treats for lazy people, you do not leave them with a recipe that calls for a type of sugar I have never seen in my local grocery store.)

How To // Photo Credit

 8. Witch Hat Cookies
Here is another one for the non-bakers among us. This is an absolutely no-bake treat for Halloween. It's easy to see you'll need to assemble Hershey's Kisses, icing, and striped fudge cookies to get these cute little witch hats ready for your party.

How to:
Each of these treats would be a cinch to put together at the last minute, but you might need a few ingredients. I can't do everything for you people, gah! ;) Grab a few ingredients this weekend while you're out and then forget about it till the last minute. (Hey, I almost called this 7 Easy Halloween Treats for Procrastinators.) And when you're running around at the last minute, scrambling to get these simple Halloween treats together, know that I am right there with you. There is a reason I compiled this list!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Perfect Bed in 5 Simple Steps: Part 2

Yesterday's post covered the building blocks of what it takes to create the perfect bed which will cradle you thoroughly in a nest of luxury and warmth. Today, I would like to address the design, color, and texture elements of creating the perfect bed.

Step 1. Choose the right bed. Beds have personalities, and there are many choices available for every budget and style. When you choose, consider how the bedding will look on it once dressed: whether you will tuck or drape, and whether or not you will need a bed skirt. Also make sure that it connects with the rest of the decor in the room.

The City Queen Size Bed

Amelie Bed [Available upon request: StylishBeachHome at]

Manse Four Poster Queen Bed [Available upon request: StylishBeachHome at]

Step 2. Consider Color: Whether you are looking for conformity or contrast, your bed is most likely the central focal point to your bedroom decor. Once you decide which direction your are going, take a cue from your current wall color, or paint with your goal in mind. Varying shades of one color create a monochromatic storm of color. In this case, you can vary your bedding with pattern and texture.

Color Conformity

Step 3. Alternate patterns. Whether you are going for solids, stripes, florals, geometrics, or some of everything, be sure to limit yourself to a few good ones and always juxtapose one thing against something of a different variety or shade.

Step 3. Introduce Texture. This can be done by using bedding items that actually have texture, something you can feel with your hands. But there is visual texture too, as in these Bamboo Viscose Herringbone ThrowAlso consider adding texture with other elements surrounding the immediate space of the bed, such as accessories or rugs.

Step 4. The Head. Draw the eyes of your admirers right to the head of the bed. Whether you are using a bed with a headboard, hanging stunning art, or installing a customized headboard, you will want to give lots of thought and attention to this part of your bed. Your headboard can set the mood, perhaps more than any other element! [Look for a post next week on creative and unique headboards.]

(We have many unique oars available.)

('s "Beachscape" is a handpainted scene on woven raffia canvas mounted on wood panel.)

Step 5. The Foot. Finish off your project with something unique and functional at the foot of the bed. A table, baskets, a bench, chairs, even a loveseat!

There is so much more to a beautifully designed bedroom, but if you can get the bed right, you are more than half way there!