Erin Menardi

We Heart It: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is right around the corner–and what better way to show her how much you love her than with a handmade gift she’ll absolutely love? This week, take a look at some cute ideas I rounded up for all of the wonderful women in your life!


Keepsakes are always in style–if she loves to cook, something like this adorable hand print apron from Simply + Kierste could be the perfect way to say thank you for everything she does!



Everyone loves getting flowers–make hers extra special by making a personalized vase to hold them in! I love this idea from Homes Stories A to Z.



If she can’t make it to the spa, help her relax with these deliciously-scented lavender lemon soaps from A Pumpkin And A Princess!



If you’ve got a few extra hours this week, try this adorable Mother’s Day sign from Sawdust And Embryos. Personalize the words, colors and shape to express all of her wonderful qualities!



And sometimes, flowers are the perfect touch. If you’re lucky enough to have multiple moms to give gifts to, make a batch of these gorgeous mini bouquets from Homey Oh My! for a simple way to say, “I love you.”



Have a wonderful week! Show those ladies some love.



BHG Guest Blogger

5 Tips for Setting the Perfect Summer Table

Hi! I’m Camille Styles, founder of and author of Camille Styles Entertaining.

I would definitely call myself a “summer girl” — it’s the season I most look forward to all year long. Growing up, my end-of-May birthday usually fell during the last week of school, and even now the day represents freedom in my mind: the time to lighten up and have some fun! There’s nothing like that first dip in the pool that recalls sunny childhood memories and gets me in the mood to ditch work early for a picnic in the park complete with cold fried chicken, juicy strawberries and fresh-squeezed lemonade. This is the season for unfussy, effortless entertaining; fine china and perfectly-arranged flowers just don’t feel right at this time of year! Here’s how I set a table fit for a dinner party that captures the carefree vibe of summer.

1. Dress the table in summery textures. In the same way I might throw on shirts in fabrics like linen when it’s hot outside, think in terms of light, breathable materials like cotton and linen when dressing your table for a dinner party. I have a collection of light blankets from India and Mexico that I repurpose as the most gorgeous tablecloths — their vibrant colors and textures feel festive without trying too hard, and are bold enough to set the tone for an entire celebration.2. Incorporate elements that feel like summer vacation. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than at the beach, and since my home in Austin is pretty landlocked, I’ve always been obsessed with collecting textures and shapes that recall marine life: the wild shapes of sea coral, spiral patterns of shells and roughness of sand are all so beautiful. I place elements I’ve scavenged from past beach vacations around the house to instantly take me away, and place them on the center of the table for a simple, 2-minute centerpiece.

3. Celebrate color! Summer is when I really embrace color on the table. I usually choose either all cool shades (blues, greens, lavender), or all warm shades (pinks, reds, oranges), and then go to town! Layer different patterns like florals and stripes in striking color combinations for a bold look, then pile on vibrant dishes, mismatched napkins and colorful cocktails. I love pieces that incorporate textural or exotic touches like woven Guatemalan patterns or Indian-inspired tassels to satisfy the wanderlust that strikes more frequently in the summertime. If the minimalist in you is cringing at the thought of all that color, try sticking with a neutral palette and adding one vibrant pop. My bright teal tablecloth always makes a statement in our dining room that’s otherwise cream, white and light wood.

4. Let summer produce take center stage. Summer is a constant reminder of the earth’s generosity: just take a stroll past farmers market stalls brimming with juicy peaches, heirloom tomatoes in every shade, and summer squash begging to be tossed on the grill and devoured. Set out a big platter of your market haul – a colorful salad or sweet slices of watermelon sprinkled with sea salt – and let it play double-duty as family-style feast and beautiful centerpiece.

5. Create a glowing ambiance. As the sun sets, create a magical glow with some strategically-placed candles and lights. For my husband’s birthday party a couple years ago, we surrounded the pool with tons of votive candles that lit up the night in such an unforgettable way. String up white café lights overhead, place a few lanterns with candles inside around the patio or scatter bamboo torches filled with citronella oil along the perimeter of the yard. They’ll ward off bugs while adding light!

Khristian A. Howell

Outdoor Oasis – Creating Your Happy Place

outdoor living


Raise your hand if you are doing the springtime happy dance! Now that winter is finally giving up the fight it is time to freshen up or revamp those outdoor spaces. Whether you dwell in the city, the suburbs, or the country any outdoor space you are fortunate to have can become your little oasis during the season. The key to creating an outdoor space that you love is to really think of it as an extension of your living area. This space has the potential to be the place you will spend a lot of time during the spring and summer (and fall if you are lucky!). Think about how the area can function for you. Do you love dining al fresco? Be sure to consider comfortable seating and sun protection. Also think about lighting after dark as those late summer dinners turn into long evenings with pretty cocktails. Do you love to entertain? Create multiple vignettes designed for people to gather and chat. Do you dream all winter long of those wonderful summer afternoons that you can spend with a light throw and a book? A cozy couch, sectional or even a hammock will be on the top of your priority list. Here are three different looks to help you get the juices flowing for your upcoming refresh to your outdoor space. You’ve been living for lazy summer days all winter long. Now is the time to play and enjoy the sun!

outdoor space pied de terre


This look is perfect for the urban city dweller. Carpet tiles are a great option since they can be cut to accommodate your space. This is a terrific way to add a little softness under foot if you have a little balcony or any city outdoor space without grass. Furnishings with a bit of wood are great for adding an organic touch. A little wall planter helps to serve the same purpose and make the space feel alive in an urban environment

outdoor living


Lover of fresh color and pretty pattern? This look is for you! This is also the perfect setting for a sweet Mother’s Day brunch! Keep it feeling well loved and gathered by using a fun mix of different chairs, sweet floral patterns and a mix of serving ware.

outdoor living


Update the all American picnic table and bench feeling by keeping the wooden table and chairs and adding saturated colors and nature inspired patterns to the mix. This looks is the perfect backdrop to your gatherings all summer long.

Jennifer OBrien

Vintage Living — Displaying Your Collections

EditVintage Living-Dispalying Your Collections

Open shelving has become a hot home trend, although a classic idea it has recently made a come back in a big way. You can find this trend in kitchens & pretty much every room in the house. I do love the look of open display and having the creative freedom to style in dimensional way. Open shelving is used throughout my home and through the years I have changed the look countless times. I must confess though, in the beginning I was a little intimidated by displaying my collections. My mindset was that everything had to be perfectly styled but as I realized the perfect part comes from self expression. With that being said you do want to create a visual connection through balance and repetition. Here are a few of my favorite examples of that….

This is a piece I just styled for my kitchen nook with function as a main priority, that helped me narrow down the items I wanted to display. Finding purpose gave me a visual direction.

City Farmhouse-displaying a functional collection


Creating balance through symmetry is always a good rule of thumb. This vintage piece highlights a collected look of natural elements and repeats color & texture through the glass jars, plants and wire baskets.

Liz Marie Blog Gray Bookshelf Styling


This is also a great example of bringing function to your piece while displaying your collections. The warm wood tones, with white ceramic, wine bottles, glass details and aged metal tell a story of simplicity and purpose.Our Vintage Home-Rustic Open Shelving


Displaying a collection of books never gets old, it brings texture and can be a grounding element. The great thing about books is they are very easy to find used for very little money if you don’t feel you have a large enough collection for display. Thoughts from Alice Styling an Eclectic Bookshelf


Another example of creating balance with color, texture and worn details. The transparency of the repeated glass gives a sense of spaciousness

and light .

White Buffalo Styling


These next two images also highlight a sense of continuity through there collections but also are aware that less is more. If you want your treasured pieces to stand out then don’t be afraid to let them be a focal point.

Styled Dining Room Shelving - The Wood Grain Cottage


So Much Better With Age Rustic Open Shelves


This open display of vintage items above a bed couldn’t be more perfect and purposeful. You can find balance here through the repeated color tones and theme.

Christine Choi Photography Style Me Pretty Open Shelving Above Bed Displays Vinatge Collections


An important part of displaying your collected pieces is finding balance through height. Don’t be afraid to go vertical and display on your walls as well. You see a small risk pays off as the art hung on the wall brings the height needed to give continuity.

Rooms for Rent


Displaying a collection doesn’t always mean on shelves, nor does it have to include home accessories. This pipe rack/wardrobe is a perfect solution to a space that may be lacking storage. Here a creative solution is met visual appeal.

Vintage Pipe Clothing Rack via Etsy. Something like this might be useful in the future.


Have a beautiful week,

Jen-City Farmhouse

BHG Guest Blogger

Letterpress Father’s Day Card Design


Raised by mothers who taught us the value of handwriting and having three children of our own, my husband and I believe there has never been a more important time to slow down and relish the power in handwriting. Our belief in the handwritten word and our desire to inspire others to write was the reason to create our blog, Brown Ink. In 2013, the site expanded to include Brown Ink Paper Goods, an online boutique featuring my favorite stationery, journals, and writing related goods, as well as my own line of letterpress stationery.





My personal line, Brown Ink Paper Goods, is a collaboration with a dear friend and letterpress printer, Jean Glenn of Pomegranate Press.

Jean and I recently sat down to design a Father’s Day card together. Our goal was to create a card to be used when celebrating the Dad in one’s life, but not exclusively for Father’s Day. Jean suggested we create a multi-colored plaid to represent a traditional father’s flannel shirt. I also had in mind the phrase Best Dad Ever. Combining the two ideas, we felt these complemented each other, a classic style with a sentimental modern twist.

Using Jean’s letterpress style and borders dating back to the turn of the century, we selected a traditional type style, Wedding Gothic from 1901. With a variety of colors to select from, we chose three colors which complement each other; stone, amazon, and ocean.

Once we decided the color, typeset and layout of the piece, Jean went to work on her Chandler & Price Platen Press which she purchased in 2002. I adore spending time in Jean’s basement filled with stacks of letterpress samples from over the years, cans of colored ink and wooden boxes filled with a few thousand metal typesets, borders and icons.

Jean first established the placement of the type for proper alignment. She also set pins in the tympan paper which holds the cards to be printed. Next, without ink, she printed a blind impression so we could proof the layout. Not completely satisfied, Jean adjusted the space between the borders to allow enough room for the written note, always checking the print was not crooked.

Finally, Jean inked up the press and printed samples to establish consistency in the ink. Having selected three colors, using vertical and horizontal lines, and then adding the text, each card passed through the printer 5 times! After printing, Jean cleans the press and type, then re-sorts the type back into their cases.

It’s an absolute gift to collaborate with my talented friend Jean who, aside from the love of printing, is passionate about both hand-touched paper goods and writing! This belief is what makes the Brown Ink Paper Goods true to its mission, the power of the written word.


Photos  by Louisa Podlich


PS: Visit Brown Ink for a one-time use of 20% off with the code BH&G20

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Melissa Bahen

Building A Dream House: Mudroom Inspiration Board

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could snap our fingers and magically have projects completed? [insert big sigh here] There are so very, very many projects that need to be done at the Dream House: gardens need to be planted, bees need to be tended (children too), art work needs to be hung on walls, and rooms need to be decorated. In the case of the mudroom, which is a complete blank slate, we are long on plans and short on time. But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming. On the contrary, I know pretty much exactly what I want our mudroom to look like when it’s finished…whenever that might be! I want to keep the mudroom fairly neutral and natural. I want it to be bright, clean, and well-organized. If I could wake up tomorrow to a finished mudroom, here are the features I would want it to have…

white paneled mudroom with hooks and storage bench

  • a paneled wall, painted white: While the house was still under construction, my husband mentioned that he wanted to install horizontal paneling in the mudroom (someday) and paint it white. And I thought, “Good grief, I’ve married a genius!” I love the idea and think it will add brightness and a subtle, understated texture to the room. (photo from Dandee Designs)
  • double wall hooks: In my last post, I said, “The more hooks, the better.” And seriously, I think that’s my new mantra. I want not one, but two rows of double hooks so that coats, scarves, hats, and backpacks have a place to go that isn’t the floor. (photo from Home Depot)
  • lower baskets: We already have five baskets and just need one more so that everyone has a place to store sunglasses or frisbees or stuffed animals or sunscreen–all those little odds and ends that need corralling. (photo from Pottery Barn)
  • a long bench with room for storage: A nice bench (ours will mostly likely be homemade) provides a place for those storage baskets to go and gives everyone a place to sit to put on shoes. (photo fromPottery Barn)
  • vinyl flooring that looks like rustic barnwood: I love the look of hardwood flooring. We put it in our entryway and dining room, and it looks beautiful. But the mudroom floor gets pretty messy, especially during our muddy Oregon winters. I love that this vinyl floor is ridiculous tough, super easy to clean, and really nice looking. It really does look like rustic barnwood; I’ve even started using our sample piece to take pictures on for my blog, and you can’t tell at all! (photo fromMetroflor)