Archive for the ‘Entertaining’ Category

Pastel Holiday Party

Pastel Holiday Party from Layla GrayceDesign, styling and photography: Kate Landers

Pastel Holiday Party from Layla GrayceDesign, styling and photography: Kate Landers

Pastel Holiday Party from Layla GrayceDesign, styling and photography: Kate Landers

Pastel Holiday Party from Layla GrayceDesign, styling and photography: Kate Landers

Pastel Holiday Party from Layla GrayceDesign, styling and photography: Kate Landers

Pastel Holiday Party from Layla GrayceDesign, styling and photography: Kate Landers

Pastel Holiday Party from Layla GrayceDesign, styling and photography: Kate Landers

 

Kate Landers here again, excited to share with you lovely pastel holiday inspiration. It probably comes as no surprise that I love pale colors, and integrating them into holiday baking, decorating and crafting brings beautiful results.

Here are five tips to incorporate pastels into your holiday projects and gatherings.

1. Pastel Holiday Baking: No need to run out and purchase new cookie cutters! Keep those traditional holiday shapes, and decorate them with pastel icing or fondant. I loved the idea of pastel tree, sleigh and snow globe cookies. Cupcakes and petits fours alike are sweetly festive with pale green and pink shimmering fondant holly on top. Sugar crystals give a sparkling frosty snow effect to snowflake cookies, and edible gold paint takes pink French macarons from ordinary to extraordinary. Pale pink edible poinsettias with gold centers decorate individual size cakes and make a stunning dessert for your guests at a holiday party.

Candy is a favorite this time of year, and displaying pastel color candy in clear apothecary jars can double as decoration and dessert. Just have a little wooden candy scoops and food-safe goody bags handy for guests to take some home after a visit. I like using medium basic white paper favor bags, folded at the top and sealed with gold glitter tape so no stray candy leaves a mess in their car.

2. Pastel Party Décor: Beautifully wrapped packages in pastel colors is a quick an easy way to decorate your home in your soft color palette. Packages aren’t just for under the tree; they make lovely centerpieces and decorations in entryways, on end tables, and in any corner that needs a festive touch.

Creating a white pom pom wreath with large double-faced satin pink bow is lovely above a mantle, and coordinating yarn-wrapped Styrofoam “trees” complete the look all across your mantle.

3. Pastel Holiday Gifts: Surprise your friends, neighbors, guests (and even your postal carrier or dog walker) with a beautiful pink box full of your pastel baked goods. Tie up with gold baker’s twine or ribbon and attach a label with a sweet holiday sentiment. With all the red and green out there (which I also love!), it surely will stand out from the crowd.

4. Pastel Tabletop: White table linens, cake plates and china are all fantastic investments for your home. Adding a simple pale pink ruffled table runner as I did here can be a wonderful way to add a hint of soft color, and can be used for Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day too! Consider it your next great investment piece.

5. Pastel Party Goods: You can take ordinary clear plastic milk bottles and dress them up for the occasion with custom printed labels, paper straws and a little twirl of baker’s twine. Serve eggnog for a pale creamy look, or consider strawberry milk for children and sparkling fruit juices for grown ups.

Tissue paper fans in pale pink and white create a pastel winter wonderland, and pink baker’s twine is a staple in my home for baking, crafting and decorating alike. Find resources for products mentioned above in vendor credit list below.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the beauty of the season. Cheers!

VENDOR CREDITS

Get The Look: Seaside Inspired Holiday Dinner

Seaside Inspired Table Setting From Layla Grayce
Featured On: The Pretty Blog Photographed by: by Christine Meintjes

Looking for a new twist on your traditional holiday decor? Try bringing a little coastal glam to your season! We’ve taken a cue from Nicola’s stunning Summer Beach Christmas from the Pretty Blog, which was inspired by her childhood holidays near the South African seaside. Using a natural color palette inspired by beautiful sea oysters, she delivers eclectic touches to the home with stunning shells, gorgeous plants and more to tie together an unforgettable yuletide look.

Seaside Inspired Table Setting From Layla Grayce
Featured On: The Pretty Blog Photographed by: by Christine Meintjes

Set on a neutral gray tablecloth, the beautiful dining room beach scene features a breathtaking DIY centerpiece. Cost-effective and chic, this seasonal accent delivers an earthy aesthetic with a texture-rich mix of nautical ropes, succulent plants, sea shells and twigs. To provide a simple contrast to the table’s focal point, she chose crisp, white dinnerware for an elegant polish.

Seaside Inspired Table Setting From Layla Grayce
Featured On: The Pretty Blog Photographed by: by Christine Meintjes

Sometimes it’s all in the details! Textured glasses deliver a traditional touch to the dining table’s eclectic array of found pieces and rustic accents, while frosted bottles serve as creative and affordable candleholders.

To get this sophisticated, sea-inspired look in your own home, we’ve put together a distinctive collection of our favorite dining accessories, accents and decor. Shop the products below!

Seaside Inspired Dinner Party From Layla Grayce
1. Rosanna Petite Plate Set of 2 2. Know Your Ropes Serving Utensil Set 3. Regina Andrew Decor Antique Silver Shell Set 4. Regina Andrew Decor Coral Reef Bowl Large 5. Chambord Mercury Glass Tealight Candleholder Set of 3 6. Pom Pom at Home Linens Napkins Gracie Set of 4  7. Aidan Gray Decor Frederick Candlestick Set of 2 8. Giant Lettuce Coral

Get The Look: Formal Fall Dinner Party

Formal Dining Room From Layla Grayce
Featured On: Lonny

We’re excited to introduce our Holiday Hostess series today! Throughout this season, we’ll be exploring fresh and unexpected new ways to decorate your tabletop for guests. When most of us think of fall parties at home, we tend to imagine cornucopias, turkey, warm cider and red and orange decorations. This November, however, we were ready for a new take, and found ourselves spellbound by this Mediterranean-inspired dining room. In captivating shades of white, beige and blue, this formal space’s intriguing tabletop decor sets the stage for a simple yet captivating dinner party.

Formal Table Decor From Layla Grayce
Featured On: Lonny

In this stunning room, white dishes and linens lay the foundation for a stylish formal gathering, while white pumpkins add a touch of sophisticated fall nostalgia to each guest’s space. The designers boldly added blue and white pitchers and urns to the mix for a pop of color, while the shimmering silver tray and mercury glass vases make a dramatic impression at the bar and dining table.

Formal Table Setting From Layla Grayce
Featured On: Lonny

To achieve this ultra-glam fall look for your next formal dinner party, shop our curated collection of dining accessories, serveware and tabletop decor below.

Formal Dinner Party From Layla Grayce
1. Hammered Glass Decanter 2. Jamie Young Lighting Small Etched Glass Hurricanes Set of 3 3. Rosanna La Patisserie Compote Medium 4. Summer Palace Jar 5. Dwellstudio Decor Wooster Street Platter 6. Global Views Decor Charleston Hurricane Vase 7. Eclectic Place Setting Set of 5 8. Global Views Decor Ice Pillar Candle Holder

Our Top 10 Hostess Gifts

 Top 10 Hostess Gifts From Layla Grayce

1. Icemilk Mother & Daughter Full Apron Gift Set 2. Illume Balsam & Cedar Garland Glass Candle 3. Fret Grey & White Personalized Glass Coaster 4. Rosanna Decor Bon Bon Hue Blue Small Rimmed Pedestal 5. Clairebella Monogram Round Cutting Board Zig Zag 6. Jessie Steele Towel Terry Cloth Pink Bow 7. Eclectic Pie Server 8. Yellow Rose Paper Placemats 9. Rosanna Casablanca Small Tidbit Dish Set of 4 10. Jessie Steele Pot Mitt Geranium Pink & White Polka Dot

Looking for the perfect present to give your favorite hostess this season? Our irresistible selection of kitchen and home accessories are sure to do the trick! Shop our hand-picked holiday gifts here.

Introducing exclusive pigeon & poodle home accessories

Pigeon and Poodle Salerno Bath from Layla Grayce Pigeon & Poodle Salerno Soap Pump, Tray Set

Just in time for hosting out-of-town guests and holiday parties, we’ve exclusively released the Pigeon & Poodle home accessory collection! Rooted in a belief that it’s the little things that make the biggest impact in your home, Pigeon & Poodle created a captivating collection of handmade seagrass baskets, canvas bar tools, hair-on-hide picture frames and capiz shell bathroom necessities. We can’t get enough of this line, so we’re giving you a sneak peek of their must-have styles!

Pigeon & Poodle Lindon Yellow Basket Set from Layla Grayce Pigeon & Poodle Sedona Medium Handle Basket

Fashioned like a classic medicine bag, the Sedona basket leaves us dreaming of a seaside vacation. While you may not be able to skip town for time on the coast, you can at least capture that lush resort-esque aesthetic in your own bedroom or bath with this sophisticated woven seagrass container.

Pigeon & Poodle Lambeth Chambray Coaster Set from Layla Grayce Pigeon & Poodle Lambeth Chambray Coaster Set, Cocktail Shaker, Ice Bucket, Tray

Since retro bar carts are popping up everywhere in contemporary home design, it’s essential to have cocktail-mixing tools on hand! Pigeon & Poodle’s Lambeth canvas and stainless steel coasters, trays, shakers and ice buckets offer the perfectly practical and effortlessly stylish solutions for entertaining guests.

Pigeon & Poodle Lindon Yellow Basket Set from Layla Grayce Pigeon & Poodle Yuma Basket

If you love when everything in the home is in its proper place (or dream of that kind of organization!), you’ll swoon for Pigeon & Poodle’s extensive line of handwoven seagrass and abaca fiber baskets. Whether you favor the colorful array of the Middleton nesting baskets or the classic rectangular Yuma container, each bin stows everyday essentials while offering a charming decorative touch.

Click here to shop the entire Pigeon & Poodle collection!

Celebrate with Kate: Event Photography Tips With Expert Lee of Lee Bird Photography

Children's Birthday Party Photography Tips at Layla GrayceStyling: Avie & Lulu Photography: Lee Bird Photography

Tips for Candid Photography at Kids Birthday Parties by Layla GrayceStyling: Boutique Affairs Photography: Lee Bird Photography

Photography Tips for Kids Birthday Parties at Layla GrayceStyling: Avie & Lulu Photography: Lee Bird Photography

Event Photography Tips at Layla GrayceStyling: Avie & Lulu Photography: Lee Bird Photography

Photography Tips for Theme Birthday Parties at Layla GrayceStyling: Boutique Affairs Photography: Lee Bird Photography

Candid Birthday Party Photography Tips at Layla GrayceStyling: Boutique Affairs Photography: Lee Bird Photography

Gorgeous Event Photography Tips at Layla GrayceStyling: Boutique Affairs Photography: Lee Bird Photography

Tips for Photographing a Child's Birthday Party at Layla GrayceStyling: Avie & Lulu Photography: Lee Bird Photography

It’s Kate here again, thrilled to share with you fabulous tips on photographing your celebrations! I had the privilege of chatting with one of the most talented event photographers in the business, Lee Bird of Lee Bird Photography, and she had plenty of great advice to share with you. Plus, we have included plenty of her photos to give you lots of inspiration and a little eye candy.

First, a lovely introduction to Lee Bird. Lee is mother to two beautiful young girls, Mia and Zoe, whom she refers to as her inspirations and muses. An editor of a travel magazine, Lee has allowed her passion for photography to flourish.

After the birth of her first daughter Mia, she began photographing her constantly. She continually practiced, learned much and soon realized she needed more variety, inspiration and different subjects. She then began taking photographs for friends, and from there her new business blossomed. Lee turned to mentor Wende Whitfield Trew of Timeless Image Photography, who graciously shared a wealth of information.

Lee absolutely loves her job, and enjoys learning and growing as both a business owner and photographer. She currently focuses on family, newborn, events and food styling photography, all of which she truly savors.

When asked to name a favorite or stand-out party she has photographed, Lee said it is simply too hard to select just one. I am absolutely thrilled she has shared so many images for us to enjoy!

Three Pieces of Advice To Improve Your Event Photography

These questions are geared for non-professionals who aspire to capture better pictures of personal parties using a digital SLR camera.

Q: Is lighting important in event photography? What do you suggest for providing the best light for your event photos?

A: Lighting is important in ANY photography. The ideal set-up for a dessert table is opposite a big window, which allows an even fall of light. Secondly, observe the spot carefully to determine during what time of day it receives the best light, and try schedule your photos around that time. You actually don’t want direct sunlight falling on the table or set-up, but instead a nice, even light that won’t cause harsh shadows.

It’s hard to specify the best shutter speed and aperture as it depends on the amount of light in the area. However, in an ideal situation, try keep your aperture around F/3.5 to f/5.6 and your shutter speed around 1/200 or higher (kids move fast and anything lower may cause a blur).

Q: What is your short list of shots parents should capture to ensure the most memorable moments of the party are caught on camera?

A:

  • Child’s first reaction to seeing their party all set up
  • Child greeting guests and receiving gifts
  • Birthday song and blowing out candles
  • Party games and activities
  • Full shot of the dessert table
  • Close up of cake

Q: What is the best time to take shots of dessert tables, and what lens would you recommend using? Do you have any other simple tools that might make a big impact when trying to capture the details of the cookies, cakes, etc?

A: I would definitely recommend taking all the dessert table and event styling photos before guests arrive. You can even take them really early on and then put all perishables back in the fridge. I use my workhorse lens for the main images of the table – a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. Most zoom lenses would work just great. For the close up shots I use a Tamron 90mm Macro lens which gives the most beautiful, crisp macro images. I have used a reflector in the past and it really helps lighten some of the shadows. If you don’t have a reflector, you can use a big piece of white cardboard or styrofoam to bounce some light into the shadows. Another trick I’ve utilized on really sunny days is having someone hold a big white sheet over the table so I don’t have harsh shadows or blown whites.

Five of Lee Bird’s Top Tips In Getting Better Event Photos

1. Capture even the small moments. Looking back, you’ll never regret getting those images of your child’s excitement upon her best friend’s arrival.

2. Try to achieve the best lighting possible. Help yourself out by preparing the light prior to the event so you’re not left floundering.

3. Avoid too many narrow stripes as they can go wonky in photos.

4. Avoid bright reds and yellows. They are difficult to photograph and process.

5. I am a stickler for straight horizontals in photos. I don’t enjoy extreme angles – more often than not it looks like that cookie plate or cupcake tower is sliding off the table and out of the photo. If you can’t fit it into the photo while it’s straight, take a few steps back until it does. You can always crop closer in post processing.

You can find Lee on her blog here, where you can learn more about her new event photography workshops. A tremendous thank you to Lee for sharing your expertise with us all!

Introducing the Rosanna Fall 2013 Collection!

Rosanna Farmhouse Pantry Hobnail Pitcher & Condiment Set @Laylagrayce
Rosanna Farmhouse Pantry Collection

Rosanna’s lovely Fall 2013 Collection is finally here at Layla Grayce! We love how this season’s line combines fashion-forward design with functionality for everyday use. The perfect fresh accents to the home, this fabulous collection of dining essentials and decor dazzles with a stunning array of retro patterns, romantic French influences and vibrant colors.

Rosanna Alhambra Containers & Trays @LaylaGrayce
Rosanna Alhambra Collection

Looking to add some vintage glam to your vanity? These beautiful Alhambra Storage Vessels are perfect for holding makeup brushes and accessories. Fusing 1960s revival style with Moorish architectural design, the 24K gold-accented porcelain containers exude effortless elegance.

Rosanna Voyage Trays @LaylaGrayce
Rosanna Voyage Trays

To add a little joie de vivre to the home, the Rosanna Voyage Collection showcases playful Art Deco-inspired travel memorabilia on porcelain trays. Unique in size, shape and design, this worldly tableware collection serves up whimsical French charm.

Rosanna Flashcard Trays @LaylaGrayce
Rosanna Flashcards

Perfect for both children and the young at heart, the nostalgic Flashcard Tray Collection takes classic learning tools and transforms them into delightful dining accessories. Each youthful porcelain piece displays rich colors and illustrations that are sure to entertain!

Rosanna Casablanca Tray, Mugs and Dish Sets @Laylagrayce
Rosanna Casablanca Collection

To put it bluntly, we simply can’t get enough of Rosanna’s eclectic and charming fall collection. Whether your taste is ‘60s cool, globally-inspired or sweetly sentimental, we’re sure this season’s line offers the right look to suit your style!

Rosanna To The Letterds 3D Letters @LaylaGrayce
Rosanna To The Letters 3D Letters

Our Top 10 Hostess Gifts

Top 10 Hostess Gifts @LaylaGrayce
1. Macaron Soaps Gift Box 2. Pom Pom at Home Linens His & Her Towel Set 3. Three Designing Women Personalized Self-Inking Stamp 4. Illume Boho Large Tangerine Teakwood Candle 5. Indigo Paper Placemats 6. Beveled Glass & Brass Box 7. Global Views Decor Branch Bud Vase 8. Blue Ikat Photo Frame 9. Rosanna Alphabet Studio Trinket Tray 10. IceMilk Halter Heirloomed Apron

Whether you’re attending a summer BBQ or a couple’s first housewarming party, we have the perfect little gift to help say “thank you.” From personalized gifts to grab-and-go items that are perfect for any occasion, your hostess is sure to be smitten with your token of appreciation. Click here to see our entire hostess gift guide!

Pin to Win a $500 Pom Pom at Home Shopping Spree

This giveaway is now closed!

Pom Pom At Home Pinterest Giveaway @LaylaGrayce

Pin your Dream Bedroom for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree towards Pom Pom at Home on Layla Grayce! To celebrate our favorite new Pom Pom at Home styles – embroidered and ruffled linen pillows, throw blankets, diamond quilted coverlets and more – we’re giving one winner a $500 shopping spree towards ANY of your favorite Pom Pom at Home bedding, decor, table linens, throws, and more! To win, simply follow the steps below. Boards will be judged on originality, creativity and adherence to the rules. Good luck and happy pinning!

To Enter:

  • Join Pinterest.com, and follow Layla Grayce and Pom Pom at Home‘s Pinterest boards
  • Launch a new Pinterest board, and name it “Layla Grayce/Pom Pom at Home Pin to Win.”
  • Fill this board with at least 10 pins – a minimum of 5 must be pinned from our Pom Pom at Home Pinboard
  • When you’re done, click here to submit the board’s URL and be entered to win!

Giveaway closes Sunday, August 4, 2013, at midnight EST. Winner will be announced Tuesday, August 6. Winner will receive up to $500 credit towards Pom Pom at Home on Layla Grayce, in the form of a one-time use promo code. If product winner selects totals less than $500, the remaining winning dollar amount will be forfeited. If product exceeds $500, winner agrees to pay the difference. Click here for official Layla Grayce contest rules.

This giveaway is now closed!

Editors’ Pick: Jessie Steele Bombshell Apron

Jessie Steele White & Red Polka Dot Bombshell Apron featured in Woman's World @LaylaGrayce

It seems we aren’t the only ones who love the fun and flirty Jessie Steele Bombshell Apron. Woman’s Day recently featured this vintage-inspired retro apron as a way to brighten up your home with polka dots, and we couldn’t agree more!