Hello there, At Home readers! What a treat we have for you today, because the gorgeous Paloma Contreras of La Dolce Vita is kicking off our Spring Guest Blogger Series! On her wildly popular and oh-so-chic blog, Paloma covers interior design, fashion, travel, great food, and inspiring people and places. Paloma stopped by our blog today to reveal a list of things that are making her happiest this spring. So keep reading, follow the links (by clicking on the images or highlighted words), and then open your eyes to a new appreciation for all of the beautiful things around you, no matter how small.
Thanks for stopping by, Paloma!
Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. It is a season of renewal and promise. This lovely season evokes images of blossoming azaleas, the rebirth of flowers and our warm-weather wardrobes. I love the weather where I live in Houston during the spring. It is warm, but the outrageously hot months of summer are still an armâs length away. On my blog, La Dolce Vita, I write about the elements that make up the good life: interior design, fashion, travel, food, art, and interesting people and places. Spring means so many wonderful things to so many people and it is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Iâve put together a list of my favorite items to help you celebrate the spring season.
1. Invitations by iomoi: I adore this stationery company. Their designs are so whimsical and chic. The three designs I have chosen are emblematic of spring. From the cheery combination of yellow, orange and pink to the classic pairing of turquoise and coral, or the whimsy of pink banana leaves, these fabulous invitations are sure to set the perfect tone for your spring soireÃ©.
2. Peonies: My favorite way to bring the season into my home is by keeping fresh blooms. I love lush flowers like hydrangeas, roses and ranunculus, but my absolute favorite blooms are peonies. These voluminous blooms look fantastic in large bunches, like this arrangement in a room by Suzanne Kasler, but you can certainly put a single bloom in a bud vase and add an instant touch of beauty to any room.
3. Turquoise: This classic color has been deemed Color of the Year for 2010 by Pantone and it is all the rage in interior design at the moment. It works beautifully in so many combinations. Bold tones work in modern settings, like the room by Melissa Warner of Massucco Warner Miller on the left. Muted tones work beautifully in more traditional settings like the bedroom by Tobi Fairley on the right.
4. Giada at Home: Giada De Laurentiis is one of my favorite food personalities. I adore her casual, elegant approach to food and love her newest cookbook, Giada at Home. It is inspired by her Italian heritage and her life in California and is filled with delicious, healthy recipes. The recipe for Pea Pesto Crostini is very simple, but so delicious. It would make an excellent appetizer at your next dinner party!
5. Caldrea Essential Collection for Target: I have long been a fan of both Caldrea and Target, so I was thrilled to find out that Caldrea recently created a more affordable line for one of my favorite retailers. The scents and packaging are absolutely delightful. I have tried several of the products and have been thoroughly impressed by the fact that they are earth-friendly, highly effective and smell amazing. My favorite scents are Olive Oil and Herbes de Provence. Prices range from $5.99 to $19.99.
6. Signature Spring Cocktails: I usually only drink in social settings, a glass of wine at dinner or a glass of champagne at a party, but I do love a good warm-weather cocktail. The next time you are entertaining at home, choose a signature cocktail. Not only is it a way to simplify things, but it is also quite chic. Some of my springtime favorites are Mint Juleps, Champagne or White Wine Sangria, and classic Mojitos.
7. Natural Elements: Spring is the perfect time to incorporate both color and natural elements into your home. You can fill a bowl with starfish or seashells, display a beautiful piece of coral, or arrange some flowering branches to bring the feeling of spring into your home. My friend, Katie Denham, did a lovely job of âdressingâ the table in her foyer for the summer months.
8. Dining Al Fresco: Spring is the ideal time to enjoy dining outdoors, especially here in the South. There is something quite romantic and elegant about dining al fresco. It is easy to make an outdoor meal feel special while keeping it casual. Be sure to keep the menu simple and light, especially in the warmer months. Start with one of the cocktails I mentioned before, serve something simple like a gazpacho as your starter, then pair a grilled dish with a refreshing salad, and you can have something as simple and delicious as pecan praline sundaes for dessert. Remember, candlelight can do wonders for the ambience at any dinner party, whether indoors or outdoors.