A Paper Lantern Table Runner For Easter

These days there are so many options for decorating the dining table. Flowers are always a default for special occasions, but can be expensive and don’t last. This spring why not try a centerpiece that’s festive and full of personality.

Paper lanterns are usually limited to birthday parties, but they can also serve as a centerpiece for showers, weddings, or dinner parties and holidays. The key is to choose a lovely color palette. Choose a monochromatic color scheme or vibrant assortment of six as shown. Create a pattern arranging the colors in clusters of two or three. For a modern look, mix in black lanterns with spring colors. Choose a gradient or ombre pattern for a stylish look. Since these little paper decorations come in a vast variety of colors, you can really mix them up to your liking.

You can order small lanterns like these in bulk online at very inexpensive prices. What’s great is that they can collapse, store easily and can be recycled for the next occasion. The trickiest part is assembling the actual lantern with its metal frame. It’s definitely great to have an extra set of hands.

For assembling the table runner, there are just a few steps:

  1. Assemble all the paper lanterns by inserting the metal frame that props them open. Be careful not to puncture the paper.

  2. Start with the first lantern and tie a knot on its hook. Twine is very sturdy and easy to hide for the final arrangement.

  3. String the lanterns like beads, creating clusters of the same color so that the pattern is clearly visible.

  4. When completed tie a knot on the last lantern. Lay the runner of lanterns on the table. Some may need to be twisted, stacked or pushed together to achieve the right look. Add in fresh flowers or greens for an added spring feel. (Note: avoid candles as they can cause a fire hazard)

  5. Place a small fabric runner underneath the paper lanterns or try using a full tablecloth for a little bit of contrast.

There you have it, a simple centerpiece that is out of the ordinary for everyday or a particularly festive tabletop!

Planning Pretty
This post is part of a Guest Contributor series. Visit Camille Simmons at her beautiful lifestyle blog, Planning Pretty.

Warm Up With A Moroccan Tea Party

With such a chill in the air here in New York, it’s nice to think of ways to get warm and cozy. Beyond adding extra layers, at these times when so many of us are spending time indoors, why not warm up your interior with a sophisticated tea party? This Moroccan-inspired tea ceremony should provide the perfect inspiration. Tea tables, poufs, and throw pillows all in neutral shades, are accompanied by metal trays filled with Moroccan glassware and a stunning teapot. Even if you don’t have all of the accoutrements, we invite you to set up your very own tea ceremony to warm up inside.

Source: Visit Eye Swoon for more images from this beautiful tea ceremony and the perfect tea recipe for a cold day.

10 Tips For An Intimate Valentine’s Day Breakfast

Valentine’s Day has become a showy and sometimes impersonal celebration of love. We all love a fancy dinner, jewelry or two-dozen roses, but sometimes it’s nice to celebrate in a simpler fashion. So instead, invite the one you love to a romantic breakfast at home. Waking up to the wonderful scent of fresh coffee, quiche or pastries is a wonderful way to show your love. You can prep the breakfast the day before with a simple trip to the grocery store. No running around the mall, scavenging for a gift with all the hectic shoppers. Click through the slideshow for a few tips on planning an intimate Valentine’s Day breakfast.

Planning Pretty
This post is part of a new Guest Contributor series. Visit Camille Simmons at her beautiful lifestyle blog, Planning Pretty.

Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year’s Eve Bash

As the holiday entertaining season ensues, we couldn’t wait to share with you our latest feature for HGTV.com. A colorful New Year’s Eve bash thrown by my sister and stylist, Angela Belt, and I. In collaboration with photographer, Leon Shipp Belt, we captured an inspiring New Year’s Eve event for you, that sparkles.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

Letterpress cards in hot pink and cream, reflect our modern color palette of gold, black, white and pink.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

The table is covered in a glittering gold wrapping paper.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

For simple flower arrangements that pop, use bunches of pink roses.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

A few pieces from the Christmas holiday can also be integrated into your NYE decor. Striped vintage ornaments add a festive touch.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

Keep things sweet and light with a selection of mini desserts.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

For a modern touch, integrate fun plates in black and white stripes.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

A smile booth can be easily crafted using wrapping paper and some white balloons.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

Leftover bows from holiday wrapping also make the perfect silly headbands.

AphroChic: Designer Sisters Throw A Colorful New Year's Eve Bash. Photographed by Leon S. Belt.

See the entire party on HGTV.com!

Produced by: Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason of AphroChic for HGTV.com

Stylist: Angela Belt

Photographer: Leon Shipp Belt


Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

It’s time to break out the picnic baskets, colorful throw blankets, and your prettiest melamine plates and flatware. It’s picnic season! Stylish blanketside gatherings with friends are a must this time of year. It’s just a matter of putting together all of the right elements to throw a super chic outdoor event.

AphroChic: Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

For a unique backdrop to all of the yummy food you’ll be serving, gather your favorite scarves, pillows and blankets to create an eclectic lounge area. We love the idea of mixing cultural pieces like kilim pillows, suzani blankets and a few Persian rugs for a colorful display.

AphroChic: Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

For picnic parties, think about bringing in unique seating. Cushions are wonderful and comfy for guests and poufs are perfect too. Look for poufs in summer shades like bright white, pastel pink or sunshine yellow for an unexpected touch.

AphroChic: Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

Layer a few of your favorite rugs to define the picnic area. Don’t worry about a matching design or color palette. A funky mix of bright area rugs with geometric designs will create a modern and vibrant display.

AphroChic: Stylish Ideas For A Summer Picnic

And if you’re feeling daring, put up a tent to create an intimate space for a casual luncheon. This is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic for two.

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

The Gentleman’s Bar Cart Essentials With Courtney Lake

We love the work of interior designer Courtney Lake. His design company, Monogram Decor, is known for impeccable and classic style. So, when we had questions about how we could help gentleman of all ages style the perfect bar cart, we knew Courtney was the man to talk to. He shares with us his tips on creating a flawless bar for any gentleman who loves entertaining.

So Courtney, what are your tips for styling the perfect bar cart?

I am not 100% sure when I fell in love with bar carts but in almost every project I have done, one has found its way into the final design. Whether mid-century cool or Hollywood Regency glamour, I think bar carts are the perfect ways to inject a tiny dose of masculine flair into a space with the added bonus of booze. Seriously, booze and design – it’s a match made in heaven in my book! In all my bar carts, I follow a base set of rules for what they should house including:

Five Liquor Stickler – Stock List

I strongly believe that bar carts should have the 5 basics: dark rum, whisky/bourbon, vodka, gin and a “wild card”. At the moment, I am smitten with mescal – think tequila’s more refined older brother. Made from agave, like tequila, the distillation process produces a smooth, smoky and potent libation that I am gaga over. I recently experimented with the liquor and came up with a recipe I call “Pink Heat”. Don’t let the name fool you, the drink is like a beautiful, intelligent woman – full of surprises and may knock you flat on your arse if you aren’t careful.

Recant the Bottle – Decant Your Booze

We are adults now, so it’s time to lose the handle bottles. I go to Costco too but that doesn’t mean I want to show the world how big of a lush I am! Invest in beautiful decanters to store your spirits. And I know some liquors are light sensitive, and by no means am I saying destroy your stash for the sake of beauty, but for as little as $10 you can definitely class up your bar cart. I personally am smitten with these beauties from West Elm.

Man Up – Tool Up

The best cocktails I have had follow some simple rules. They follow a recipe – aka – someone measured the ingredients. Nothing worse than a poorly mixed drink. So man up and invest in the following: a jigger, a cocktail shaker and strainer, a stirrer and most importantly a cocktail book. I think this book can do no wrong – it has over 1000 recipes and covers the basics to the esoteric in simple language.

Courtney’s Pink Heat Recipe

1 jigger of Hanger One Chipotle Vodka

1 jigger of Cielo Rojo Bacanora

3 jiggers of Wild Poppy Blood Orange Chili juice

1 teaspoon of agave syrup

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

chili flakes (decoration)


Mix sugar and chipotle powder on a small saucer.  Moisten rim of glass and roll edge in sugar mixture.  Set aside.  In a cocktail shaker add vodka, bacanora, juice & agave syrup with ice and shake.  Place one large ice cube & strained mixture into rimmed glass.  Garnish with a pinch of chili flakes.

{Image 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5}

Bryant Terry Entices With Afro-Vegan

Chef Bryant Terry entices us with Afro-Vegan, an innovative cookbook featuring over 100 vegan recipes influenced by the culture and heritage of the African Diaspora.

Throw A Glamorous Brunch With White And Metallic Accents

Winter is the perfect time of year to throw a cozy get-together with close friends. And what could be more fun than throwing a glamorous brunch for you and your girls? From modern white china to golden flatware, here are some pieces that will help you set a drool-worthy table for your event.

These Lotus Plates have a lovely feminine design, perfect for a girls brunch.

You can never go wrong with gold. This Gold-Dipped Flatware is very distinctive, with a stainless steel finish that shines through.

Add graphic impact to your table with a set of DwellStudio Chevron Napkins.

Make your table shine with this modern Gold Napkin Ring Set. They’re like jewelry for the dining table!

Seal each guest’s place setting with a kiss from this fine bone china Lip Tease Mug.

For more inspiration check out my Glam Brunch moodboard over at Keep.

{Image 1}