Kelly Christakos Stivers
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Monday
May022016

t.s. harris

When it comes to art, I always find myself naturally gravitating toward pieces that remind me of the sea.  So, it's no surprise I'm completely obsessed with T. S. Harris' whimsical, colorful take on summer days spent by the water and the old-school, 40's vibe of each of her pieces.  One Kings Lane has an amazing selection of some of her pieces right now, in different sizes and at amazing price points!  I'm quite partial to "Surfing" but I would have such a hard time trying to pick just one, I love them all so much!  Here are a few of my favorites:

Hope you're all off to a great start this week!

Friday
Apr292016

obsessed: versailles planters

I've been pining for a pair of oversize Versailles planters to flank my front door ever since we built our house six years ago.  Their classic shape is so elegant and not only do they look amazing with a few coats of high gloss paint but they work in so many design styles, too.  Sadly, a pair of these babies (or at least the ones I've seen and fallen in love with) can run close to the same as a monthly mortgage payment so I've settled for zinc lookalike urns made of fiberglass, instead.  But oh, how these planters call to my ever loving heart:

via

Cote de Texas

House Beautiful

Howard Design Studio

Gil Schafer

Bruce Budd via Architectural Digest

Howard Design Studio

Andrew Skurman Architeccts

via

Traditional Home

I got a wild hair a few weeks ago to look online and see if I could find any decent plans to build my own and, much to my surprise, there were a bunch of pretty good ones!  Here are a few that caught my eye:

Love this tutorial for a more traditional (short but wide) planter:

Another great DIY for a Restoration Hardware-inspired pair (I LOVE the ball finials!):

Love the pair Centional Girl built for her back porch!  Her step-by-step instructions are so easy to follow:

I'm hoping to tackle a pair of these for my porch this weekend, so stay tuned to see which ones we go with!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday
Apr272016

beautiful books for mother's day

Mother's Day is less than two weeks away and for the first time in what seriously feels like forever, I've already bought, wrapped and shipped my own momma's gifts out way ahead of time! For any birthday or holiday, beautiful coffee table books are always at the top of my list of gifts to give (and get, for that matter!) and right now, there is a bevy of beautiful books out that would make for a gorgeous gift to celebrate your mother (or to add to your own personal collection!)  Here are a few lovely tomes, from gardening, monogramming and cooking to interior design, entertaining and flower arranging, that any momma would love:

At Home in the Garden / Bunny Williams On Garden Style / A Boat, A Whale and a Walrus / Monograms for the Home / Linens: For Every Room and Occasion / The Book of PalmsPret-a-Party:Great Ideas for Good Times and Creative Entertaining / The Southerner's CookbookCharlotte Moss: Garden Inspirations / The Romance of Flowers / Mrs. Howard Room By Room /

What are some of your favorite books to give or to get??

Monday
Apr252016

3 tips for showstopping planters + pots this spring and summer!

I may be guilty of leading most of my indoor plants to an untimely death, but when it comes to gardening and landscaping, my thumbs are emerald green! With the pollen finally gone and the temps holding steady in the 80's, it's finally time to get my flower pots ready for spring and summer!  I've always had luck with my flower pots, so I thought I'd share a few easy tips that have worked for me time and time again:

Good drainage is key.  If your pots don't have holes, make some yourself!  When I bought my whiskey barrel planters, I ended up having to drill a bunch along the bottom.  It's super easy and will ensure that your plants won't rot.

Put your pinecones to good use.  Filling your pots halfway with pinecones before you add potting soil is a trick I learned years ago and it provides a ton of benefits!  It keeps your pots lighter in case you need to move them, helps with drainage, gives you a break on the number of bags of potting soil you need to schlep home (especially helpful with bigger pots!) and helps get rid of all those pinecones all over your yard!  You can also use empty plastic water bottles or packing peanuts, although, I will warn you that the packing peanuts make a MESS. 

Fertilizer, lime and soil conditioner are a MUST. Our soil is super sandy so a conditioner is absolutely  vital in order for plants to thrive, whether they're in pots or in the ground!  It doesn't matter whether I'm planting six foot evergreen trees along my fence or pansies in pots for the winter, I always mix in some soil conditioner to give them a little more oomph.  I also throw a handful of fertilizer and pelletized lime in for super healthy and strong plants.  You can all of this at your local nursery, but these are the three I use and have always had luck with here in North Carolina - obviously, the zone you live in may dictate what to feed your plants, but this is what I've found amazing for me:

What are some of your tips for healthy looking planters and pots?

Tuesday
Apr192016

spring pillow picks

When it comes to color combinations for spring, I don't think There isn't another more perfect than blue and green.  It's fresh and crisp and reminiscent of all the new growth right outside our door and it's a great way to bring the outdoors inside for the change in season.  Spark Modern is one of my favorite sources for affordable throw pillows in the most gorgeous designer fabrics - I just sourced a pair of these beauties for the living room in a client's beach house and can't wait to see how they look installed!  They also have a pretty good variety of pillows in blue and green so I thought I'd round up some that I'm loving lately.  Any and all of these would look amazing on neutral furniture and would add just the right pop of color and texture!  Be sure to check out the rest of their selection here:

Happy Shopping!