Thursday, December 26, 2013

What Do You Think Of Radiant Orchid?

By now you must know that that the color of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid. It's a purple pink color that one might associate with a nursery or a tween room. Could it be sophisticated enough in rooms for adults?

Orchid chairs, lampshades on the mantel, and rug pair well with green walls in this pretty trad adult room - The nuance in the stripe slipcovers make it work

I think it could. Like any strong color, if you love it you can use it liberally. If it's not your favorite, you can add a dollop or two to freshen up a room for now. After all, another color of the year will always come along.

This layered room uses shades of orchid - wallpaper, chairs, paint on ceiling, and rug

Orchid wallpaper is a great way to update the entry hall - and you could just do one wall - or you could just pop in a peony posy on your entry hall  table or chest

The bedroom is a perfect place for orchid walls and bedding

Here's the thought bubble from runway to home decor - Adding art work in hues of orchid is certainly a way to go

Paint is the easiest way to update a room - I love these bookcases painted orchid - See how it pairs well with blue

Love the orchid painted bookcases, but maybe you could just recover a couple of stools instead

This pale neutral room takes a dollop of orchid very well

Go big or go home! I tell you where to get an orchid color couch and rugs at Houzz

Throws and pillows are the easy and fast ways to add orchid

Mixing all shades of purple and pink of the same hue and value read as orchid

Adding an orchid area rug will update your room instantly

Orange pairs well with orchid - Mmmmm I have orange chairs in my living room

This month on Houzz, I chose some things you can buy in the color of the year to add to your decor. While some are a direct color match, others are a liberal interpretation in the purple-pink range.

Check out my post at Houzz for  all the great orchid things I found for you

So what do you think? Will you use it? 

You can just add an orchid plant and be done with it!

Something must have been in the air for me this past September when I colored my hair a shade very close to Radiant Orchid ha ha.

Valorie Hart with Radiant Orchid hair - photo by Kate Grace Bauer

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Last Minute

I am sure many of us are still doing last minute shopping, and preparation for Christmas.

Kitty Kitty Bang Bang on a See Scout Sleep pouf - photo by Kate Grace Bauer

I will be signing books today at the Historic New Orleans Collection, so please stop buy and pick up a copy. It makes a great gift.

Also Kate Grace Bauer did a nice post on - take a look.

Valorie Hart Christmas decor - photo by Kate Grace Bauer

Kate heads up "kgb" a multifaceted management, styling, and marketing company based in New Orleans. She has worked intensely in fashion and marketing for over a decade. Her company "kgb" is an umbrella company that works in all aspects of the fashion, design and retail world. It offers brand management, sales representation, personal and editorial styling, photography, art, retail merchandising and social media consultation.

Kate Grace Bauer

Happy first day of winter - photo of Valorie Hart by Kate Grace Bauer for - Audrey painting by Ashley Longshore

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dollar Days

You do not have to spend a lot of money to set a pretty holiday table. Shop the supermarket, the dollar store, and go forage in your back yard.

I did a TV segment about doing this. To prepare for a segment I lay everything out on my dining room table a couple of days before, a kind of sketch and dress rehearsal of what I want to present.

Domino also did a nice little tutorial on easy pretty table settings.




I take photos of my styling jobs for my records, which I now share with you. The settings are not complete, but you will get my thought bubbles.

Use a non Christmas color - This placemat was 97 cents, the ribbon was $2. for a roll, the notecards (which I fold in half) were $5. for a box that will last forever, tea lights in a jar, and all the china and glassware are things I have

This is the nature inspired setting - I use all my white dishes - Bird and nest from the dollar store - Napkin and runner made from a hardware store canvas drop cloth, ditto for twine used as a napkin ring that I tucked a sprig of rosemary into - Place card is a gift tag- Note the frayed edge on the napkin that enhances the natural vibe of the setting - Just cut and rip the drop cloth - It rips in a nice straight line

I foraged in my yard for "flowers", in this case white berries from a night blooming jasmine

Sure you can use paper napkins - These came from the dollar store - I rolled it like a diploma and put a ribbon band around it - Ribbon was a dollar too - And I added little gold stickers (also $1.)  to coordinate with a vintage glass that has a gold medallion design on it - The placemat is paper, and who doesn't have a glass bowl and ornaments to use on the table

Classic red and green  - I used a red melamine plate  and red napkin I had, with a green charger I found on clearance for 50 cents - Cranberries as vase filler, an apple as place card holder -  Plaid ribbon from the dollar store _ I also added a plaid dish towel as a placemat that you can see in the TV segment

Cranberries as vase filler for candles or flowers

The premise is simple:
  • Stick to one or two main colors
  • Use all of the things you have and mix and match, and layer
  • Break up that supermarket bouquet into small posies, and forage in your yard
  • Use fruit as vase filler, place card holder,  or in a tablescape
  • Use jars for tea lights, use lots of candlelight
  • Use ribbons and twine for napkin "rings"
  • Get a canvas drop cloth and cut it into a table runner and napkins
  • Use a dish towel from the dollar store as place mat
  • Use place cards - You can cut a note card in half
  • Don't be afraid to use paper napkins or paper placemats 

Enjoy yourself - a pretty table makes even tuna sandwiches look and taste better (so said my TV host Sally Ann Roberts).

Sally Ann Robert and Valorie Hart talk about cheap and chic table settings on WWL-TV

See you at the dollar store!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I Showed You Mine, Now Show Us Yours

A blogger said that holiday decorating for design/decor  bloggers is like our Oscar time. True enough we enjoy decorating above and beyond normalcy. So my publisher Glitterati wants to see your seasonal decor.

Four years ago - the first tree with Tiffany colors and boxes

Three years ago

Last year

Two years ago in House of Fifty

Last year

Last year

Just go to the Facebook page Glitterati Buzz. Submit photographs of your seasonal decor to the Glitterati Buzz HOLIDAY PHOTO CONTEST for a chance to win a copy of my book House Proud: Unique Home Design/Louisiana! (Make sure to use hash tag #houseproudholiday and tag both Glitterati Buzz and Visual Vamp on your submissions!)

And here's a video of my latest Christmas segment of WWL-TV that I just did.

Valoire Hart with Sally Ann Roberts on WWL-TV December 16, 2013

 I show you mine all the time, now show us yours at Glitterati Buzz. Use #houseproudholiday and tag both Glitterati Buzz and Visual Vamp.

Holiday table settings by Valorie Hart on WWL-TV

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Great Giveaway At Cote de Texas

As many of you know Joni Webb has great giveaways on her blog Cote de Texas. There's a really good one there today. Go on over and check it out.

Check out the giveaway on Cote de Texas

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bloggers With Books

The coffee table book niche in publishing seems to be going stronger than ever. Especially hot is the category dedicated to design books. It seems like about twenty new titles come out every week on Amazon.

Bloggers are a community, and we design obsessed ones are indeed a close community. We support one in another by reading each others blogs, sharing sources and experiences, and in general lend an ear when we are endlessly enthusiastic about a world we love. So when one us crosses over from blog writing to getting a book published, the grass roots support is tremendous.

So as you get into the full swing of the holiday shopping season you might consider picking up one (or more) of these books written by bloggers for a gift to yourself, or for someone else who loves decorating. 

I'll start with my book House Proud Unique Home Design Louisiana. Even if you don't live in Louisiana you will love the homes in this book, as I love each and everyone of them. I tell the back story of each home owner. The photography by Sara Essex Bradley is gorgeous, and the homes are gorgeous in an accessible way. And I give takeaways (blogger style) in each chapter for the reader to consider trying. This is a great gift for decorators, the house proud, and for those who love New Orleans.

Buy House Proud Unique Home Design Louisiana HERE

Next, is Reflections on Swedish Style, by Rhonda Eleish and Edie Van Breems, photography by Neil Landino. These girls spearheaded the tremendous popularity of Swedish style in the USA, and this their second book on Swedish style is gorgeous and filled with great ideas of how to incorporate Swedish design into your lifestyle and decor.

Buy Reflections on Swedish Interiors HERE

Ronda Rice Carman has a very popular book out now and  it is already in its second printing called Designers At Home. She cleverly segued her blog style from her interviews with designers on All The Best into a gorgeous print book. I think she needs to do volume two! There are a ton more designers I'd like to see represented in this clever format.

Buy Designers At Home Personal Relflections On Stylish Living HERE

Another very popular blogger, Jennifer Boles has a great book out called In With The Old, Classic Decor from A to Z. This book is destined to become a classic like her idol Dorothy Draper's book Decorating Is Fun. This is a perfect gift for anyone just starting out to decorate, or a nifty reference for the well seasoned designer. 

Buy In With The Old Classic Decor from A to Z HERE

Brook and Steve Giannetti led the way last year being one of a group of bloggers to get a book published, and if you don't have it, get it! Patina Style is a beautiful and useful book that perfectly illustrates the Giannetti's luxe organic style. I heart the Giannettis.

Buy Patina Style HERE

Another book that has been out for awhile is by the wildly popular bloggers Sherry and John Petersik of Young House Love. Their book has the same title as their blog, and it is cute as a button with tons of DIY ideas chronicled from their personal saga of setting up house. 

Buy Young House Love HERE

And lastly the book My Marrakesh by Maryam Montague, another extremely popular blogger that was one of the first bloggers to get a book deal. Again, written in a breezy blogger style that makes for easy reading while offering great ideas of how to use a specific ethnic global style into your decor. 

Buy Marrakash By Design HERE

So there you have it! Go out and support a blogger today and buy their book! They would do the same for you. 
I have every one of these books, and I feel a special connection as I flip through the pages of works done by friends in the blogging world.

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Let There Be (Candle) Light

The days are shorter, and we are in full swing of the holiday season. I am sure candles were on your Thanksgiving table, and as we move forward to serious winter, there is nothing more perfect than the warmth of candle light.

Candles are perfect for the gray clean light of winter

My Guest Picks at Houzz this month feature a great selection of candle holders - take a look!

Valorie Hart Guest Picks at Houzz

And enjoy these images to get you in the mood.

Warm up winter with candles

We are well into Hanukkah, the ultimate celebration of light

Candles and winter greens

Pile on and layer those candlesticks

Or keep it simple and beautiful

Classic  silver candlesticks just waiting for the candles

Line your walkway with candles when company comes over

I use candles in winter more than any other time of year. 
What about you?

Valorie Hart dining room with a winter table setting

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