Upscale Interior Design Deep in the Heart of Texas: Interview with Jenna Denson of JDS Designs

We can’t thank social media and enough for introducing us to a fabulous designer out of McKinney, Texas ~ Jenna Denson of JDS Designs. She reeled us in with photographs of her design studio, and then we clicked from project to project admiring her contemporary, clean design. With designs ranging from a sexy bedroom makeover (with beads aplenty) to a custom man cave fit for John Bonham (the lead drummer for Led Zeppelin, y’all ~ we’re having an old school type of day), Jenna brings her creative style sense to a broad range of (gorgeous) rooms.

It seems reasonable to judge a designer partly by her own workspace, right? I mean, she created it from top to bottom and works in it as well So when we found this image showing Jenna’s home design studio, we loved being a virtual fly on her chic patterned wall. Her studio is about as lovely a synthesis of feminine, modern, and efficient as we’ve seen, and we wouldn’t mind doing a little work there ourselves. You know, creating captivating spaces by the light of a chandelier in our perfectly coordinated, perfectly organized studio. With our studio logo and soft graphic patterns scattered about. (Le sigh.)


And were you wanting to see that sexy bedroom that drew our eye as we were perusing Houzz? MmmmKay A wall of bead curtains as the backdrop for this pretty bedroom done in cream and mocha. It reminds us of a waterfall ~ what a pretty MBR on a budget that works in the real world.


So, when we saw these photographs (and many more) from JDS Designs, we had to know more, and we’re so glad that Jenna consented to an interview. Read on to find out how she caters to people with mid-range design budgets and gives them plenty of return on their interior decorating budgets.

Please tell us a little bit about how you became an interior designer.

I started working at a design studio helping new homeowners make all the selections for their new houses and then decided to branch off on my own and start my own interior design business.

What is your favorite part of your work?

I love the reveal at the end of a project. Seeing my clients’ faces and reactions to the rooms is the most rewarding part of my job.

What are the top five ingredients that a great room must have?

A great room must have a well chosen paint color, correct furniture proportions and placement, excellent lighting, a personal touch, and for me personally, I like to have a feature wall that has that wow factor.

What are the hot design trends that you’re incorporating into your work?

It can be hard to stay on top of the trends all the time, but right now I like mixing a few different patterns into my projects.

How do you design rooms that will look fashionable but also stand the test of time?

I design rooms that are transitional and have neutral furniture so that down the road the homeowner can change color with pillows or accent colors without having to purchase a whole new room.

If you could only choose one home accessory to splurge on, what would it be?

If I could splurge on one home accessory, it would be a large scale photograph or piece of art.

What advice would you give a person who is stretching a modest design or remodel budget?

Most of my clients have a modest design budget, so I typically tell them to find things that we can repurpose and change to make it look new to fit in the space. I also tell my clients not to be afraid of the “discount” stores. I love coming up with new Ikea hack ideas. It is also important to focus on one room at a time instead of trying to stretch a budget on a whole house.

What luxuries would you suggest to a person with a super sized design or remodel budget?

I would suggest luxuries such as a room that can be a personal escape a hobby/craft room, music studio, wine/cigar lounge, work out room, man or mom cave. I would also suggest splurging on the latest technology that is out there if you have a healthy budget.

What are your favorite ShopWildThings products? How do you use them, and why do you love them?

My favorite products are the beaded curtains. I have used them as a screen divider, as a backdrop behind a photograph, and as an accent wall for a bedroom. I love them because not only are they unique, they are easy to install, affordable, and it is always the first thing that grabs everyone’s attention.

What is the number one misconception about working with an interior designer?

I think the number one misconception about us is that we are too expensive to hire.

What question do you wish more people would ask you about interior design, or about working with a designer?

I wish people would ask how much time is dedicated to a design job or working with an Interior Designer. For most of us, it is not a 9-5 job. It never stops, and ideas are always flowing.

We hope that you’ve found Jenna’s words (and photographs) as inspiring as we did. We couldn’t agree with her more about the benefits of hiring a professional interior designer, and possibly moving room by room through your home, making over one space at a time. The financial investment will come back to you several times over in the mistakes avoided, the cost savings that experience (and knowledge of local markets) can provide, and the value of solid design that stands the test of time.


Winter Wow from Colin Cowie Weddings

The master of design himself, Colin Cowie, can inject the wow factor into any event, location, and season. Winter weddings are no exception, and we can’t wait to share some of the most amazing details we’ve seen lately ~ all of which would look great at a winter wedding.

Black ostrich feathers with winter white florals and candlelight? Make that sexy with a side of romantic ~ and we don’t mind if we do.

Photo by Colin Miller

Photo by Colin Miller

At this luxe Indian wedding, red string curtainsform the walls of a custom tent that anchors the outdoor portion of a stunning wedding reception. Talk about adding atmosphere to an urban rooftop reception.

We can’t resist including a closeup to show the inside of the tent. Trust Colin Cowie to craft this performance space so that traditional music flows through the reception while the musicians play in an intimate, relaxed setting. And the red string curtains really pop against the night sky.

We love the spare lines of this modern centerpiece of branches and hanging votives suspended over an iced oyster bar. Both the cuisine and the centerpiece are winter delicacies, if you ask us.

Photo by Colin Miller

Photo by Colin Miller

This is simply one of the most incredible transformations of vertical space that we’ve ever seen. Garlands of fresh florals with bead strands and dropped pendantsprovide an extreme makeover for this venue’s ceiling and, along with cool LED lighting, deliver lines of floating elegance above a warm, candlelit lounge. The balance of florals and lighting is a perfect blend of cool and warm for a standout winter reception.

Photo by Colin Miller

Photo by Colin Miller

If ever there were a cake table that would warm a winter’s night, this extraordinary display has to be it. We love the arch of florals over the cake, as well as the bling on the cake itself. Candles in glass votives anchor the cake’s base.

Photo by Colin Miller

Photo by Colin Miller

Do you need a bling closeup fix? Here you go The sparkling florals provide just the right note of opulence against the simplicity of a velvety smooth cake.

Photo by Colin Miller

Photo by Colin Miller

Whether you are planning a wedding in a place where it’s truly cold outside, or you just want to take advantage of winter’s unique palette, we love these examples of perfectly balanced winter wedding decor. Colin Cowiesimply never disappoints.

Five DIY Fall Centerpieces that are High on Style and Easy on Budgets

With a long run-up to Thanksgiving and a short (three week!) sprint from Turkey Day to Christmas, 2013 is a great year to spend a little extra effort on your fall centerpieces. We usually tend toward centerpieces that include a handful of easily available and/or reusable items in creative ways, and this year is no exception. Many of our top five fall centerpieces bring the farm to the table ~ but look equally at home amid modern or rustic decor.

Centerpiece One: Candlelight, Nature, and Texture Meet

We love the way that this long, layered centerpiece combines elements found in nature and at your local farmer’s market (small pumpkins and gourds, ferns, and berries) with tall ivory candles in varying sizes. Add a burlap runner and perhaps some moss and a few sprays for color, and you have a lovely organic centerpiece that will last throughout autumn.

No time for a total redo for Christmas? Replace the pumpkins with poinsettias and pinecones, and this pretty arrangement could stay put well into the new year. (PS: If you haven’t read Anita’s blog, it’s the kind that really sucks you in Her words are genuine and her projects are inspiring in an in-my-next-life-I’ll-refinish-my-own-wormy-chestnut-countertops kind of way.)

Centerpiece Two: Modern Lines in a Spare Fall Centerpiece

No source known; Please contact us so that we can give you credit for your image.
No source known; Please contact us so that we can give you credit for your image.

The simple, authentic feel of this centerpiece wins us over completely. No experience arranging florals is required, because the sturdy trio of pumpkins is a forgiving base for tallbranchesin a highvase. Add a bowl of nuts (or even acorns) for balance, and your table is ready for company. (Swap the pumpkins for some heavy Christmas balls, and this centerpiece can greet Santa in style.)

Centerpiece Three: Traditional Pumpkins in Non-Traditional Colors

No source known; Please contact us so that we can give you credit for your image.

No source known; Please contact us so that we can give you credit for your image.

For an original twist on a tried and true fall color scheme, we love these white pumpkins with fiery fall colors in the red and yellow spraysor beaded garland and orange runner. Beads and votives complete this original interpretation of a classic fall table.

Centerpiece Four: A Tempest in a Vase

No source found; Please contact us so that we can give you credit for your image.
No source found; Please contact us so that we can give you credit for your image.

You can’t beat this centerpiece for charming simplicity ~ we could assemble everything inside the vase in our yard right now. Well, if it weren’t dark. Choose some pretty fall leaves and pinecones, avaseor three, and you have a delightful centerpiece. Best of all, label that vase when you pack your seasonal decor away, and you can recreate this centerpiece on no budget at all next year.

Centerpiece Five: An Array of Fall Goodies

Finally, we love this layered take on a fall centerpiece. It has just the right balance of whimsy and weight, and we’re suckers for a visually appealing hodgepodge of favorite things. (And for any display that includes striped candy sticks.) Combining a tall glass vase, branches and/or sprays, some votives and pumpkin-filled standsis more doable when you have a model to go by, and InspiredByCharm provides a great example here. (We love to see patterns applied to burlap runners, and these shiny polkadots look like a reasonable DIY option.)

So if our opening paragraph and the whole three-weeks-from-Thanksgiving-til-Christmas thing freaked you out a bit (as it did us when we realized, say, two days ago), we hope that we’ve redeemed ourselves by giving you some high impact, low cost ideas for dressing your table for the coming holidays.


Pantone’s #1 Color for Spring 2014: Dazzling Blue

Another New York Fashion Week is in the books, and that means that one of our favorite (slightly nerdy) pieces,Pantone’s color trend report, is out. Pantone synthesizes the color trends seen at Fashion Week and boils them down into a color palette that represents the ten hottest colors for spring ~ like a cheat sheet to being in style.



This year’s palette marries cool pastels with vivid brights to create a set of options that includes something for every taste. We love the option of pairing a pastel and a bright to create a unique look, and we also like layering pastels together, or brights together. Basically, this year’s color trends are easy to work with and offer plenty of options for stunning event decor.

And the #1 color according to this spring’s trend report is Dazzling Blue. (It’s really close to Duke Blue Devil Blue ~ a coincidence? We think not. But we digress…)

We’re already seeing a bevy of beautiful options for incorporating Dazzling Blue into spring weddings. We love the high impact items that, well, dazzle ~ they’re bold choices that put this gorgeous color front and center. Like groom’s suits (that he really can wear again)…

And bridesmaids’ bouquets and dresses (they probably won’t wear the dresses again, and that’s okay ~ it’s your day, and this color is hot this minute).

These shoes are some of the most amazing Something Blues we’ve ever seen [wiping drool and lusting after peacock feathers]:

And a show-stopping cake like these beauties from Charm City Cakes is a great way to get max effect (and great taste) with your Dazzling Blue. This picture is really tiny (or maybe the cake is), but we love the cake so much that we just have to eat… I mean include… it.

Source:  Charm City Cakes

Source: Charm City Cakes

Bigger picture, equally cool cake.

It’s no secret that we believe in setting your wedding budget priorities and then hiring the best in key areas, from cakeries to event designers. Money spent on a few splurge items sets the stage for an event that’s high on style without being over the top of your budget. And there’s no better proof than in the ways that reusable decor items can be transformed to repeat Dazzling Blue (or one of her fashion forward sisters) throughout your reception.

For instance, beaded swirl chandelierswith well placed event lighting sparkle Dazzling Blue above pretty (and affordable) centerpieces of hydrangeas and candles.

High impact stemware brings the blue in this dramatic (budget-friendly) tablescape that also features candles in wine glass vases. (Hint: These vases are another staple that your event designer likely has or has access to, saving you $$$.)

Again, dazzling blue in the florals, filled out by branches and held by tall vases (both reusable ~ plus another two points for pro event planners with a stock of staple pieces).

Source unknown ~ please contact us so that we can give credit.

Source: Sherman Chu

And then there’s the totally over-the-top reception ensemble that includes fabulous event lighting in Dazzling Blue to show off glass ornaments, branches, and chandeliers. We risk beating a dead horse, but again… Most of this decor is in neutral colors and lit to show off the bright blue color scheme.

Source Unknown ~ Please contact us so that we can give appropriate credit.

Source Unknown ~ Please contact us so that we can give appropriate credit.

Whether you’re incorporating a hot spring color in a few key details or bathing your entire reception in lights toned to match one of Pantone’s picks, the possibilities are endless with Dazzling Blue and her pastel and bright sisters. We’d love to see how you incorporate color ~ and Shop Wild Things staple pieces ~ to make your wedding and reception truly unique.



Wedding Trend Watch 2014

Engagement season unofficially kicked off a little early for us this year! Two adorable 20-somethings we keep up with got engaged, complete with a stealthily photographed proposal and some of the happiest pictures you’ve ever seen of two people in love. Well, we’ve ever seen ~ I’m sure your newsfeed will have some soon if it doesn’t already.

For the less wedding-focused/obsessed, the high season for engagements is the time from Thanksgiving (Columbus Day?) to Valentine’s Day when rings are bought, knees are got-down-on, questions are popped, and fingers are blinged at a rate that makes the rest of the year seem, well, a little boring by comparison. If you’re wedding obsessed. Which we are.

And all of these proposal pictures, from pro pics to giddy selfies, have already whetted our appetite for the weddings of 2014. We love getting an advance look at THE LOOKS that will grace weddings in the coming season, and we love sharing a little inside track here, too.

We admit to being a little obsessed with wedding gowns in general, and this year’s trend toward beaded gowns is one that we will be thrilled to see coming down many aisles in 2014. Brides who want to repeat the patterns found in their gowns in their decor have so many great options ~ from chandeliers to custom and DIY embellishments made of bead strands, pendants, and even beading worked into place settings. Choosing bead shapes and tones that are similar to those in your dress’s beadwork is a subtle way to unify your most important decor elements with The Dress.

Jenny Packham 2014

Source: Jenny Packham

Orchids on silver and crystal chains - Photo by Elizabeth Etienne

Source: Elizabeth Etienne and Colin Cowie Weddings

And speaking of beads, one of the most robust trends that we’ll see rev into high gear in 2014 is the use of chandeliers as a way to add luxury, individuality, and of course light to reception venues. It’s really true that nothing changes the look of a space more thoroughly than the lighting, and clearly designers are geniuses at matching the look that you love with lighting that evokes just the right ambience. (We can’t resist mentioning that this sort of heavy hitting decor is among the best reasons to hire an event designer ~ their ability to invest in staple pieces like chandeliers is just one example of the ways that they can save you more than the cost of their services while delivering a smoother and more beautiful wedding day.)

Chandeliers - Colin Miller Chandeliers - Colin Miller 2

Source: Colin Miller and Colin Cowie Weddings

As anyone with a Pinterest account knows, ombre was going strong in 2013, but in 2014 we expect to see more sophisticated uses of this layering of color in cakes and florals. Ombre is a great way to tie a color palette together while emphasizing one or two key hue. Warning: This is one of those trends where a little goes a l-o-n-g way! We recommend choosing bridesmaids’ dresses or the cake or the florals, but not all three.

blueberryombrecake - Love Life Studios

Source: Love Life Studios

Burlap and lace is a trend that is going strong for weddings that range from vintage to rustic to natural aesthetics. This trend is one of our picks for being so-o-o-o budget friendly without looking like you cut corners anywhere. Except on the fabric of your table runners, of course, because one of the best things about burlap and jute is that you can embellish it easily with everything from stencils (new monogram, anyone?) to lace to a decorative edge cut right into the fabric, or use it on its own.



Whether your wedding vision requires layers of beads, crystals, and bling, or your nuptials will take place against an understated palette of natural florals and burlap, we know that 2014 has some elegant receptions in store. We can’t wait to see how you and your event planner personalize these hot design trends for a spectacular celebration that is uniquely yours.




The Delight is in the Details | Colin Cowie Weddings in the Great Outdoors

We say it over and over again ~ one of the best parts of working in this industry is the opportunity to work with some of the most creative minds who are designing events today. Among our absolute favorites, for vision + style + savoir faire, is Colin Cowie. He’s a master of all types of celebrations, and his outdoor weddings (well, all of his weddings, but we’re focusing on outdoor ones in this post) are simply beyond the beyond.

Whether you want to wed in a lakeside affair defined by understated elegance or in a color-infused, tented celebration on the beach, Colin Cowie Weddings translates *your* ideas into an experience that you and your intended ~ and your guests ~ will never forget.

We love his wedding philosophy, including little gems like this one:
Wedding Wisdom from Colin Cowie 3

And the way that he shapes each wedding day to reflect the uniqueness of each bride and groom.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy these inspiring photographs of Colin Cowie Weddings. If you’re awestruck, um, you can come and sit by us ~ we select, pack, and ship a lot of these pieces, but what Colin does with them never ceases to amaze us.

Purple chandeliers, for example ~ a statement piece in an airy lavender beach wedding that includes breathtaking scenery and fabulous florals.

Lavender Chandeliers - Photo by Colin Miller

Photo by Colin Miller

And we love the chandelier so much…

Lavendar Chandelier - Photo by Colin Miller


Photo by Colin Miller

That we almost forgot to show you the floral arches and stunner of an ocean view that served as the ceremony backdrop. (Did your jaw drop just a little? These hanging florals are a Colin Cowie trademark that just delights in every setting.)

Beach Wedding - Photo by Colin Miller

Photo by Colin Miller

For instance, here is a totally different look using this same idea of suspended florals, this time with a green and white palette embellished bylanternsand hanging votives. Oh ~ and a triangle of white chandeliers. Love, love, love.

Beads Chandeliers Lanterns Luxe Wedding - Photo by Fan Jiang

Photo by Fan Jiang for Colin Cowie Weddings

If you’re lucky enough to have a lakeside reception with an unobstructed view of Mother Nature’s splendor…

Lakeside Reception Tent - Photo by Colin Cowie Celebrations

Photo by Colin Cowie Celebrations

Then perhaps you would want to enhance Her work with simple, elegant lighting like these chandeliers and candelabrasin a reception filled with muted creams, pinks, and grays…

Chandeliers Lakeside - Photo by Colin Cowie Celebrations

Photo by Colin Cowie Celebrations

Or, at a beachside reception, you might want to bring the bling in the form of suspended florals, crystal bead strands, pendants, and striking turquoise glassware and china to complement the view.

Dripping beads and turquoise place settings - Colin Miller

Photo by Colin Miller

To us, the point is that it’s your vision that Colin Cowie is transforming into an event with unique details to thrill every sense.

We can’t resist sharing a few more pictures of this beachfront wedding ~ beads and florals framing an ocean view? We’ll be there.

Beads dripping from ceiling - Colin Miller


Beads Dripping Detail - Colin Miller

Photos byColin Miller

For a completely different look, also at an outdoor reception, we love Colin Cowie’s use of paper lanternswith subtle illumination during the day…

Paper lanterns - Photo by Colin Miller

Photo by Colin Miller

And his equally imaginative use of paper lanterns illuminated with a projected leaf pattern at dusk.

Paper lanterns in tent at night - Photo by Elizabeth Etienne

Photo by Elizabeth Etienne

Whatever the time of day and time of year you wed, we think that you’ll find incredible inspiration in the ways that Colin Cowie Weddings translates brides’ ideas into guests’ experiences. Check out his collections of wedding ideas and take advantage of the wedding wisdom that he shares, complete with images and advice.

Because truly…

Wedding Wisdom from Colin Cowie 4





DIY Princess Rooms | Dress Up Your Little Girl’s Room with Disney Inspired Style and Delightful Savings

We get a little giddy when it comes to all things little girl ~ we love soft pastels, bright pinks and purples, playing dress up, American Girl Dolls, glitter, tulle, and of course princesses. Which princess? Well, if you tapped a wand on our heads and asked us to choose, we’d get down to Aurora (Sleeping Beauty for the less princess-savvy) and Ariel (The Little Mermaid, y’all) pretty quickly.

But then it gets tough. They’re both great singers, have cute sidekicks, meet great guys… Probably Aurora gets the edge as far as better clothes and jewelry, but Ariel has one up on the hair… Castle above ground versus castle underwater…

You see how we can get a little caught up in the whole princess thing, especially when it comes to the lovely ladies of Disney. And what better way to channel our love of all things princess than into easy, DIY-friendly kits to transform little girls’ rooms into royal digs… On mama-friendly budgets.

So, (drumroll + trumpets, please), we’ve created our Room in a Box kits with everything that you need to design gorgeous settings for playing dress up, tea party, castle, and every other make-believe game that requires a canopy and some bling. We’ve already chosen sets that include a coordinating princess canopy, bead curtain, and chandelier. Just choose the colors that will thrill your little girl most, do the tiniest bit of user-friendly installation (we’re talking a handful of hooks), and you have a perfect princess room.

Use the canopy over a fluffy bean bag or comfy chair to create a royal reading space ~ and include the chandelier for light, or hang one over the bed. Hang the bead curtain behind sheers for a little peekaboo bling in the sun, or hang it against the wall as a backdrop for dramatic play. Voila ~ a play-friendly, serene sleep supporting princess room ~ with most of the three piece kits priced at $100 or less.

This is one of the loveliest little girl rooms we’ve seen ~ and you can get a similar look on a much more modest budget by layering bed linens, drapes, and a room-in-a-box kit that includes a chandelier, bead curtain, and of course ~ a princess canopy.

For those of you who like to bake a cake mix but make the icing from scratch (we do that, btw), we love looks that combine a custom detail or two ~ like this estate sale “crown” for the bed ~ with a room-in-a-box kit to get maximum style and maximum savings.

Here’s another great example of a custom crown that would work so well with our room-in-a-box kits. This crown would be the perfect place to hide a bead curtain rod, btw, and what princess bed can’t use a headboard of bling?

This daybed looks adorable with a canopy ~ we’d put the bead curtain directly behind as a focal point and hang the chandelier inside the canopy. Or maybe we’d use the bead curtains instead of drapes. Or we could hang the bead curtain in the doorway for royal entrances.

If money is no object, then may we respectfully suggest that one of these custom carriages (it’s reportedly $48,000 worth of spherical goodness) is hard to beat for completing that transformation into a castle fit for princess play…

But for us, a great value with the key pieces included is a no brainer, and our room in a box kits fit that bill perfectly. As always, we’d love to see how you combine our products with your creativity to thrill the little girl in your life. You can email us images to anytime ~ please put “Customer Images” in the subject line.

Inspiration: David Tutera Events

If you’re a sucker for some bling and a good story, you might be with us in spirit when we take in celebrity and high style weddings by every means necessary ~ magazines, television shows, wedding blogs, and (of course) Facebook. And we do love high end events styled by David Tutera. For those of you who have lush budgets and a keen sense of style, David is a wedding and event planner who can translate any vision into a top-of-the-line affair. If your goals and budget are a bit more modest, sit back with us and be inspired by his grand vision, and check out our tips to add budget-friendly style to your weddings and events.

This “diamond studded” floral display is a statement piece for a wedding ceremony ~ whether you are transforming a hotel venue into a spiritual oasis or showcasing memorial or unity candle arrangements in a more traditional space. The simple wine glass vases and delicate bead strands atop a wall of florals look classic and modern in any space, and they can serve a religious or spiritual purpose as well.

Wine Glass Vases and Beads

This detail image shows the light and reflections that the wine glass vases and bead strands add to the show-stopping floral display. And if the wall of florals isn’t in the budget, warm candlelight reflected in these pretty beads looks chic on a table with linens or table runners, too.

Wine Glass Vases and Beads Closeup

At the reception, a sweetheart table for the B+G is a perfect place to splurge ~ after all, it will be the focus of toasts, a place to stop and chat, and just generally prominent in the room. We love the sumptuous violet lighting, the arc of florals, and the dripping orchids, bead strands, and pendants.

Bead Pendants

A closeup of the sweetheart table shows thebead strands that embellish the centerpiece and the diamond wrapped napkin. This attention to detail on the most important table in the room is a high impact way to stretch your design dollars.

Bead Strands

And if you’re feeling really posh, what better way to emphasize that it’s your special day than with a whimsical canopy? If that canopy happens to be dripping beads and orchids, too ~ well, we won’t tell.

Bead Strands 2

If there’s room in your budget, a version of this uber luxe look can be repeated on every table. Or, make your private sweetheart table a public work of art by giving a little extra design TLC (and flowers) to get max bling on a mini budget.

Bling Wrap

We did promise fabulous, dramatic, super luxe events, David Tutera style, right? How is this for over-the-top stunning? Tall, artfully arranged florals with a heavy presence of bead strands and uplighting? We would *probably* try to attend. You know, if we were not *too* busy that night.

Bead strands on altar

And you kinda hafta (those are words, right?) carry the tall and stunning thing through the reception if you set the bar that high at the ceremony… We think that this centerpiece carries the drama of the ceremony space into the reception. We love the artful arrangements of the beads, the internal lighting tucked away in the tall florals.

Centerpieces with beads 3

Finally, for a truly jaw-dropping, sky-is-the-limit addition to your wedding reception decor, we adore this custom floral chandelier accentuated by swagged strands.

Bead chandelier and bead strands

A closeup shot is the only way to do justice to the chandelier itself. To get a similar look on a more modest budget, a bead chandelier and bead strandsis a stunning, wallet-friendly option that still adds height, drama, and sparkle to your event. (PS ~ We really love and kind of want that elephant.)

Bead chandelier

Whether you’re shopping for an event planning specialist or shopping for ideas to personalize your own celebration, David Tutera is a master of opulence, style, and glamour. We love what he does with beads and bling, and we never tire of seeing how he innovates at event after event.

Our thanks to David Tutera for the use of these images. For more gorgeous wedding and events by David, be sure to check out his website and blog.

All Things Tablescape: How to Choose The Right Size Tablecloths and Runners to Get the Look You Want

If the devil is in the details, then he’s probably frolicking happily in the linen choices that are out there for weddings and special events. With tables topped by everything from rolls of kraft paper (we do love some Maryland steamed crabs, after all) to custom dyed, hand sewn linens imported from India, there is really no end to the options for events from rustic to over-the-top, and at every price and formality level in between.

To help you sort through the details and figure out how to get the look you want on enough tables to fit the guests you expect, we are going to take you through the calculations for today’s hottest tablescapes, step-by-step.

Many venues include some standard table options in their rental prices, so our first insider tip is to find out what types of tables are available at your venue. If your venue includes tables in your rental fee, you can save $$$ by using the ones that they provide. In general, round tables are widely available, and with good reason ~ they maximize seating for the space and offer plenty of options for tablescapes that fit almost any design inspiration.

Round Tables

Standard sizes for round tables:
48″ Round ~ Seats 6
54″ Round ~ Seats 7-8
60″ Round ~ Seats 8
72″ Round ~ Seats 10

Calculating Tablecloth Size for Round Tables:
You can choose to use either square or round tablecloths on round tables. To find the size tablecloth that you need, multiply the desired drop by two, and then add the table diameter. The resulting number is the diameter/width of the tablecloth that you need.

(Desired drop is just the number of inches of tablecloth that you want to fall off the edges of the table. For weddings, most people choose to have the tablecloth drop all the way to the floor, or about 30″ on each side ~ or all the way around a round table. For tablecloths to graze the top of guests’ laps, 10-12″ per side is about the right drop.)

On round tables, round tablecloths give an even edge around the bottom for an elegant, finished look. (These tablecloths are actually slightly puddled on the floor.)

Green and White Full Drop - From

Source: Home Edit

For a layered look, many people add a square table topper over a round tablecloth, often tying in two wedding colors. (For this effect, the table topper can be anywhere from 10″-30+” longer than the table’s diameter. The bigger the square topper, the smaller the amount of round tablecloth that will peek out from beneath the table topper.

Square topper - from - Aniko Productions

Source: Aniko Productions

We also love this original look ~ floral sheeting is the perfect tablecloth for a garden wedding, and it can be stapled together to cover virtually any table.

Floral Sheeting Tablecloth - from

Source: Home Edit

A burlap table topper is an easy and cost effective way to incorporate a vintage or rustic note into your tablescapes (often while using the standard tablecloths that come with your venue).

Rustic Topper - Mollie Tobias Photography_WDMF0941_low

Source: Mollie Tobias Photography

Rectangular Tables

Standard Sizes for Rectangular Tables:
30″ x 42″ ~ Seats 4
30″ x 72″ ~ Seats 6
30″ x 96″ ~ Seats 8

You’ll occasionally see rectangular tables set individually, but the rectangular table formation that dominates weddings right now is the *extremely* long rectangle. (Usually several long rectangular tables dressed as a single table.)

To calculate the right sized tablecloth to dress a single rectangle:
Multiply the desired drop x 2 and add the table width to find the tablecloth width.
Multiply the desired drop x 2 and add the table length to find the tablecloth length.

For very long rectangular formations, the width calculation is the same. Often several tablecloths are used to get the required length.

The result is a very long, flexible, elegant table arrangement. (We don’t love late RSVPs, but think how easily an extra guest or two can be accommodated with this arrangement.)

Here’s an example of a long rectangular table with a short drop (10-12″ per side) that is perfect for the setting:

Short Drop - Aaron Delesie Photography

Source: Aaron Delesie Photography

Often, brides choose to have tablecloths drop to the floor (about 30″ on each side) for a formal look. (Especially if the tables are standard rentals with well loved legs, a full drop also hides any unsightly dents, etc.) And We LOVE the monogrammed burlap runner here.

Burlap Runner Full Drop - from

Source: Home Edit

We also like a series of bare (beautiful wood) tables with just a burlap or jute runner. The only calculation needed here is how wide you want the runner (usually up to a third of the table width), and how far you want the runner to drop off the ends of the table(s).

Long Jute Runner - Perpixel Photography

Source: Perpixel Photography

Chair Sashes

To put the finishing touches on your tables (and to take a break from all of that math), we think that chair bows are perfect.

We love chair sashes that tie in the wedding colors…

Chair bows - from - alante photography

Source: Alante Photography

And burlap sashes that bring in a bit of rustic charm…

Burlap Runner - Andie Freeman Photography

Source: Andie Freeman Photography

(Shameless plug: These adorable curtain tie backs are begging to be used as pretty chair bows or embellishments. If you are the first to do it, please ~ pretty please ~ send us a picture?

Our table topping options are fancy enough to fit into a chic soiree, with plenty of choices to lend a custom feel to your event, but we’ve searched out the best combinations of color, material, price, and quality so that we can offer superior table toppers, runners, and chair bows at prices that won’t break the bank. If you have any questions about the sizes or shapes of tablecloths, table toppers, runners, or chair bows, feel free to call us. For a great website that goes much deeper into the specifics of table sizes and formations, check out this link.

Three Key Elements of A Fabulous, Functional Space to Welcome Baby

Whether you are well into the nesting process or have just birthed a Pinterest board in anticipation of a little bundle a few years down the road, it’s never too soon to start stockpiling ideas to make your baby’s nursery a soothing space that works for all of its many functions. After all, your little one will spend more time in her room than in any other space during that first year, and you’ll be there quite a bit, too.

So given its heavy use and precious occupant, to us a fabulous nursery means a space that is chic, tranquil, and organized ~ after all, those cute little ones are a *ton* of work, especially in the beginning, and crafting a space that works for mama and baby will be well worth a little extra effort on the front end. And we have a soft spot in our heart for a nursery that keeps baby happy while making mama’s life a little easier. So let’s dish about three unsung heroes of a working nursery.

Mama’s Rocking Chair
The main thing that you’ll wish for your little one ~ and for yourself ~ in those early days is likely to be sleep. And good baby sleep hopefully ends in a bassinet or crib, but it is likely to begin in mama’s arms. So treat yourself to a really great chair to do your baby-feeding-baby-burping-baby-holding-baby-rocking in. To us, that meant an old fashioned wooden rocker with a plush chair pad. For you it could be a glider, or even the holy grail of nursery furniture ~ a glider with a storage ottoman. But whatever your taste in wood, fabric, and style, it needs to be a comfortable chair for a couple of hours at a stretch. So test drive and be a little picky. You’ll thank us.

We think that this one is a really good candidate for chair of the year.

And we wouldn’t mind if this one suddenly appeared at our house, either. Especially if that is (sigh) an ottoman with storage. (Note to Santa: It even matches our nursery.)

Baby’s Changing Table
Is it surprising to you that the crib didn’t even make #2 on our list? (Actually, it doesn’t make this list.) That may say a little something about our babies and their sleep habits, but it also says something about how *not* picky a newborn baby is about types of cribs. As long as yours is safe and clean, we think that your baby will like it (and like to sleep in it). Or she won’t. But the crib itself will have little influence on the baby’s decision to sleep or not to sleep.

Whereas your choice of, say, a changing table can really make quite a difference in how easy it is to get and stay organized with all of the little creams, gadgets, and what-nots that a tiny baby needs. We really like the trend toward repurposed furniture for changing tables. Dressers, sideboards, and buffets make great changing tables, as they tend to have generous storage and to be a little longer than the average changing table. We like them in traditional wood, in bright colors, distressed… Basically, they just work, and choosing a finish to match your nursery is half of the fun.

Here is an adorable dresser repurposed as a changing table with tons of storage. The mismatched knobs add a quirky touch, and the neutral color will transition well to another life in a big boy or guest room down the road. Room for a lamp that will provide light without shining in baby’s eyes is also key.

This shabby chic dresser is another adorable, functional changing table with plenty of room for baby’s accessories and clothes. We love the candlestick lamp, too ~ a soft light to changing midnight diapers by, with a few beads thrown in for good measure.

This bright, fun painted dresser is a functional statement piece, with plenty of character and a ton of room to store baby’s necessities. We can see this one growing up with your child, maybe getting a new coat of paint once in a while as your child’s tastes evolve and change.

And the awesome use of a small space goes to this amazingly organized closet, complete with a dresser-turned-changing-table inside. We love the little hanging bottles and the horizontal mirror that’s sure to keep baby happy during many a diaper change.

Fun Stuff To Look At
Finally, as your baby gets just a little past the newborn stage (think weeks, not months), we think that adding some visual elements that are interesting to her is key to creating a space that will be inviting to your little one as she grows. We’re always on the look out for budget-minded, design-conscious, baby-friendly ideas for nursery decor, and we have a few tricks up our sleeve that work in almost any nursery.

Possibly the easiest mobile that you’ll ever DIY is one made of tissue poms. They’re available in pretty much any color that you can imagine, they hold up well, they can be cut to different sizes and edged with craft scissors for a variety of textures… And babies *love* them. Suspend them with fishing line at different heights, let a little breeze give them an occasional jostle, and your little one will be endlessly amused.

And did we mention that they look really pretty?

We love the asymmetrical arrangement of blues and greens in this otherwise neutral nursery.

And you can see the impact from just three poms in this feminine room (with a bed for mom ~ genius!)…

Similar to tissue poms (and also very visually appealing on a budget), paper lanterns are easy to install and captivating to little eyes.

Just a few white and orange lanterns against an aqua wall make an adorable statement above this unique crib.

The repeating color blocks in this room (even on the ceiling fan ~ fab) are easily carried through the paper lanterns for a simple mobile that is sure to amuse baby.

And paper lanterns in soft colors against a darker wall soften the look of the room so well while giving your little one something to focus on while she’s drifting off to sleep.

And there you have it, folks ~ three unsung heroes of nursery decor. In our opinion, these are the things that make life easier for you and better for baby. They don’t say, “new baby!” quite the same way that a new crib and matching bedding do, but we think that they’re unrivaled for their ability to maximize your nursery’s comfort for you and that precious bundle. Whether she exists in utero, in a bassinet, or in Pinterest-fueled dreams at the moment.