We are so excited for our first 4th of July at the Amsden! Every year Versailles has a big 4th of July parade on Main Street and all the festivities are going to take place right outside our doors. This week I dug out my boxes of vintage flags + bunting to decorate the outside of the Amsden for the holiday. Stop by to sip and shop with us before or after the parade!Read More
I can't think of a better way to kick off summer than a dinner under the stars in the Keeneland Paddock! Thanks to Keeneland's new Paddock Dinner Series, you too can experience one of these intimate, family-style dinners right smack dab in the center of beautiful Keeneland. I'm not exaggerating when I say this is one of the best meals I have ever eaten in Lexington, and each course was better than the last. The decor and ambiance was also just perfect with live music, delicious appetizers and drinks being passed, colorful tablesettings, and twinkle lights strung across the Paddock.Read More
I have lived in Kentucky my entire life and had never heard of "Kentucky Butter Cake." When I came across the recipe, I knew I had to try it. Kentucky AND butter? It just doesn't get much better than that! Thankfully it tastes just as good as it sounds. Think of a super moist pound cake with a rich, buttery taste. The sugary, bourbon glaze adds just the right amount of sweetness and creates a slightly crisp layer around the edges of the cake. As I've said in the past, I don't have much patience when it come to baking, but this recipe is super quick and easy. I was even able to use my new Nordicware Bundt Pan to make the cake look so pretty without any extra work!Read More
I'm wrapping up our holiday home tour with the center of our home: the living room. We spend the most time in this space so it's important that the decor is comfortable and cozy, but still special and beautiful at the same time. I always like to keep the living room decor semi-traditional and pretty neutral. I use my most favorite vintage ornaments on this tree every year and lots of greenery, cozy stockings, faux fur, and of course lots of gold! I loved having these built-in bookshelves to style this year and had no problem filling them up with a mix of vintage and new trinkets and treasures.
Probably my favorite element of the room is the mantle decor. I used three different gold magnolia garlands draped together off to one side and added wire twinkle lights on top. I have found all these magnolia garlands at different times while thrifting and I seriously use them all year round all over my house (some of my favorite decor pieces ever!). I layered the magnolia garland with a draped pom-pom garland on top and then chunky knit and faux fur stockings.
My other favorite find in here is my new basket tree "ring" from Hayneedle. I had seen similar styles like this at Pottery Barn and Anthropologie, but they were always too expensive for me. Hayneedle's are right at $50 and fit around a standard round tree stand for a unique, textured look that is so much more chic than a standard tree skirt. I've linked all my decor including this tree skirt at the end of this post (if you have any questions about anything not mentioned, just ask!). You can check out the before and after of our living room here for details on paint colors, lighting, furniture + more.
Pom-pom garland: Anthropologie (old- similar here)
Glitter tree topper: Target
Wood bead garland (in tree): Target
Tree ornaments: mostly vintage + some from Target
Gold magnolia leaf garland: thrifted (similar here)
Gold antlers: Miss Molly Vintage
Carved wooden deer figurines: Vintage (similar here)
Copper lit star: Target
Fresh wreath: Trader Joe's
Pinecone wreaths: Thrifted
Gold manger scene: Vintage (thrifted)
Mini flocked trees: Homegoods
"All is Calm, All is Bright" pillow cover: Pottery Barn (old- similar here)
White yarn tree: Target
Plaid throw: Macy's
Concrete pedestal planter (with mini pine inside): Vintage (thrifted)
"Season's Greetings" pillow cover: H&M (old)
Wood house figurine: Target
White twig pre-lit tree: Target
Last week I showed you a little sneak peek of our entryway and a furniture painting makeover I had recently completed for the space. I have never had a true entryway before to decorate, and I really love having this separate little space, both upstairs and downstairs. In my first blog post about our entryway, I discussed all my ideas and design plans for this space including an equestrian-themed gallery wall and painting all the trim dark. To get a better idea of what we started with in this space, take a look at the before photos below:
One big change that we made was closing off this super low doorway you see straight ahead on the lower level. We think this doorway was probably added on as it was not standard size and just looked strange. This doorway went into what is now our butler's pantry, but closing it off made this space feel more like a true entryway.
The other major changes we made were removing all the wallpaper and painting all the walls and trim both upstairs and downstairs.
These old light fixtures also needed to go in order to make the space feel less dated.
Removing the old wallpaper and painting the walls, as well as painting the trim for contrast made the biggest difference in modernizing this space. The wall color is a classic white, "Pure White" by Sherwin Williams, which I used all over my house. The dark trim is painted with Sherwin William's "Iron Ore," which is a perfect dark charcoal that's just a shade lighter than black.
I also could not wait to change out those old 80's light fixtures and I really wanted the look of a modern geometric semi-open flush-mount. I was shocked to find several options at Lowe's that were exactly what I wanted (I chose this smaller one for upstairs and this slightly larger one for downstairs). If you haven't checked out the lighting options at Lowe's lately, they recently revamped all their lighting options this spring and they have so many new styles that are really on trend and super affordable.
I still need to add some more furniture/wall decor downstairs but I've started with this console, large vintage mirror, and antique rug.
My favorite part of the entryway is the equestrian-themed gallery wall I created. I have such a large collection of vintage horse prints and I wanted to make a statement wall by clustering them all together. It's the perfect focal point for this entryway and really sets the tone for the overall style of the entire house.
This area both upstairs and downstairs has original wood floors. They are in rough shape but I love them anyways! I think they add so much character to the space and I would rather have old beat-up floors than cheap-looking new wood floors any day!
All of my horse pictures came from garage sales or peddler malls. I've been collecting them for several years and most of them cost $10 or less! I like how they all have slightly different styles, textures, and frames. I think the most interesting gallery walls look truly collected and less planned.
I still need to add a couple more furniture pieces (maybe a bench or shelf downstairs and a small table or plant stand on the upstairs landing), but I'm happy with the progress we have made so far. It is amazing how much a little paint can change a space and make it feel brand new. When we first bought the house this was a space that felt kind of dingy and dark, but now it is becoming a more welcoming and modern entryway.
In my opinion, nothing brightens up a room and makes it feel perfectly styled like plants and fresh flowers. I try to have a little green in just about every room of the house and whenever I can't figure out what kind of trinket or accessory I need to finish a space, I always reach for a plant. Our mudroom was looking a little blah with all white walls and no decor so I decided I needed to take advantage of all the great light it gets with two full walls of floor to ceiling windows.
It all began with the chalkboard wall, which was my solution to break up all the white in the room and I also felt it was appropriate for a mudroom/entryway area. I used this chalkboard paint from Target and painted two coats on the wall, taping off all the edges and trim with painters tape. The Wooster Shortcut is my favorite brush for trim and I used an inexpensive small roller for the rest. Since I'm kind of in love with black walls lately, I love the way the chalkboard wall looks and I may end up doing another small chalkboard wall section in my kitchen too!
I started thinking about what I could hang on this entryway section of the wall that would pop against the chalkboard paint and that I could also utilize writing on the chalkboard for. I had seen some seriously swoon-worthy indoor and vertical gardens on Pinterest but I never dreamed I would have an appropriate space for something like that. Since this room is right off the kitchen and butler's pantry, I thought that an herb garden would be totally practical and also the perfect opportunity to use the chalkboard element to label each plant. I started looking for hanging planter options and was going to order a system from Ikea that was going to cost around $75 for all the parts and pieces I needed. Thankfully I procrastinated ordering it and the next day I found these vintage metal hanging plant holders at an estate sale for $3 each! I spray painted them with this super pale turquoise from Lowe's and purchased small terracotta pots (under $1 each at Lowe's or Home Depot) that would fit inside them. I got all my herbs at Home Depot and was thrilled that they all happened to be the perfect size to fit inside the pots I got.
The animal head planters were purchased from my favorite home store outside of Charleston, Celadon, but I noticed that they also carry them at Anthropologie now. I didn't purchase them with this project in mind but I found them packed away in a closet from the move and thought this would be the perfect place to hang them together. They are a little trickier to get the plants in because the opening is small but my herbs that are in them seem to be thriving so far! I finished off the wall with a little sign from Target that kind of brings all the colors together and centers the space. I typically don't like these inspirational quote signs but this one was just too perfect for this wall!
I'm about two weeks in and all my plants are still living and many of them have grown significantly since I planted them! This is actually the perfect location for a vertical garden because it's the spot we walk past most each day so I never forget to water! So far I have watered every 2-3 days and that seems to be working well. I'm thrilled with how this little DIY project has brightened up this room and it's the perfect cheery greeting when we walk in the door! You can shop all my materials and sources for this project at the end of this post.
Caprese is the perfect fresh summer dish whether it be in its traditional appetizer form or a bright and light pasta. This caprese pasta with marinated tomatoes is not only a great way to use fresh herbs and produce from your garden or the farmer's market, but it also makes a great side dish for picnics, cookouts, or barbecues. This is another recipe I have fallen in love with after trying it from one of Southern Living's summer issues. It's too easy (and delicious) not to try! You can get the full ingredients list and step by step instructions below:
2 pounds assorted tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped
1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
12 oz. marinated mozzarella balls
1. Prepare the marinated tomatoes: combine the tomatoes, shallot, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small dish or jar.
2. Toss, cover + refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
3. Cook your spaghetti according to package instructions until al dente.
4. Drain your spaghetti then toss with your tomatoes (including all the vinaigrette), basil and parsley, and fresh mozzarella balls. Serve immediately.
This pasta tastes just like summer! The combination of red wine vinegar, garlic, and shallots add so much flavor while the herbs and fresh tomatoes add a ton of brightness keeping the dish super light overall. These marinated tomatoes are a great recipe on their own and could also be used for bruschetta, salads, or to top grilled chicken or burgers! I'm going to add this recipe to our summer dinner rotation- I hope you love it as much as we did!
Summer means plenty of picnics, cook-outs, and pool parties, and one of my favorite dishes to share for summer gatherings is pasta salad. I'm on a roll with Southern Living recipes lately and this one is no exception. I've already made it twice in the past week and everyone who has tried it has LOVED it! It is the perfect light and flavorful summery pasta salad and the perfect opportunity to use fresh in-season green beans. This recipe is also super easy to make and you can put it together in about 15-20 minutes. I've included all your ingredients and step-by-step instructions below:
12 ounces casarecce (or penne) pasta
1/2 pound green beans
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
5 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted salted pistachios, plus more for topping
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups loosely packed arugula
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Trim the ends off of all your green beans and cut them in half.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions and throw the green beans into the boiling water for the last 2 minutes.
3. Drain your pasta and green beans and rinse with cold water.
4. Add pasta, green beans, thyme, and 3 tsp. lemon zest to a large bowl and toss together.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup pistachios, white wine vinegar, olive oil, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, and remaining 2 tsp. lemon zest.
6. Pour this oil and vinegar mixture over your pasta mixture and toss to coat.
7. Top with arugula, some extra chopped pistachios, and Parmesan cheese.
Yum! The oil, vinegar, and spices add just the right amount of flavor while still keeping this dish super light and fresh tasting. I LOVE this "casarecce" pasta and it is one of my new favorites for any kind of pasta dish. It has a slightly firm texture but still really soaks up all of the flavors of the dressing. I especially like the crunch that the green beans and pistachios add, as well as the contrasting bright, peppery flavor of the arugula. The lemon zest adds just the right touch of citrus without being super overpowering. I hope you love this dish as much as we did- plan on getting plenty of requests for it after you share with your friends!