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DIY Ombré Dyed Pillows

We have such a fabulous line up for today. Our resident DIY genius and style guru, Jess, is unveiling her son’s ridiculously cute nursery, but because Jess is Jess, it’s completely overflowing with crafty goodness you’ll surely want to tuck away. Starting with these sweet ombré dyed pillows, and since I am completely obsessed with throw pillows, let’s just say I already started on a few for myself. Don’t judge, you’ll want to do the same once you see these images from Ruth Eileen

Materials

White pillow cover
Pillow insert
Teal liquid fabric dye
Plastic bin
Plastic spoon
Paper towels
Latex gloves

instructions

1: Lay down some cardboard or a trash bag on your workspace, and put on latex gloves. Fold the pillowcase in half vertically.
2: Fill the plastic bin with warm water. Add spoonful or so of teal dye and mix thoroughly.
3: Dip the pillowcase into the bin so that the dye comes up about ⅓ of the way. Let it soak for several seconds to a minute until you see the lightest color you’d like to see on the pillowcase. Remove the case from the dye and set aside.
4: Add several more spoonfuls of dye and stir to make your next shade. Dip the pillowcase in, slightly lower than before.
5: Repeat step 4 one or two more times, making darker and darker dye for a smaller and smaller section of pillowcase.
6: Unfold the pillowcase and lay flat to dry overnight. Fill with the pillow insert and voila!

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: SMP Living

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Eclectic Charleston Interior

I am a firm believer in homes with history. It may be that growing up in California everything was so new and stuccoed so I  forever craved high ceilings and crown molding. This Charleston interior checks off all the good bones requirements and is nestled with eclectic furnishings layered over time + really great art. See how an old home is melded with modern flair photographed by Perry Vaile.

This gorgeous interior sits in the middle of downtown Charleston, owned by Southern transplants to NYC (and now returned to the South!) Michael and Liz Damrich. After so long in New York living, the Damriches knew they needed open, bright spaces, white walls and the freedom to design their home with easy access to all that Charleston has to offer.

Photography: Perry Vaile

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Abby’s Slam-dunk Party Recipes

I am a total short cut encourager; especially when it comes to entertaining. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when that machine has already been party tested and approved. And menus and delicious bites are a MAJOR part of that. These 24 recipes are Abby’s go to’s; total slam-dunks that range from super easy to complete crowd pleasers all with great tips tucked inside. Dive in to find your new faves.

Abby's Slam Dunk Party Recipes
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Abby's Slam Dunk Party Recipes
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Throwing a Party? Check out these other gems:

How to Stock Your Entertaining Arsenal | 15 Easy Party DIYsBest Ever Pitcher Drinks

Tips for Decorating Your TV Wall

T.V.’s are a necessary evil. We get it, but why oh why must they be so unsightly? That’s where Jess comes in to play. With these tips you’ll be styling your way to a television wall that is far less ug and, dare we say, pretty? Symmetry, hiding plugs and upping your horizontal book stacking game are all a part of the fast lane to T.V. wall goodness. Read on to see how you can craft a beautiful backdrop for couch surfing.

Click here for the DIY console featured in this story!

Have you ever noticed that all the gorgeous living rooms you see on Pinterest never have a TV? While I totally agree that no TV makes for a better designed and more social room, I’d be lying if I said that curling up with my hubby for a movie after the baby goes down isn’t my favorite time of day. So, what’s a design lover to do when she’s unwilling to part with the TV? Make it work the best you can.

The before of my tv wall is almost too mortifying to show you- it looks like a college apartment yet it is my real house and we are embarrassingly far from having just graduated. My husband’s old (giant) speakers covered in stickers, the TV propped on a hand-me-down bookcase, DVDs everywhere… talk about needing an update! Once I got rid of the junk we were using, it was on to creating a new space.

Tips for Decorating Your TV Wall

• Hang that TV!

And get the cords behind the wall while you’re at it. Nothing looks as clean as a TV that hangs like artwork. The important thing to know about hiding the cords in the wall is that you need to make sure you’re doing it up to code. Just running the power cord through the wall is a fire risk, so either have an electrician install it or save some money and use this kit, which is what we did. Super easy- you do not have to be a DIY whiz to do this!

• Minimize electronic equipment and wires.

Swap large speakers for a soundbar or surround sound system- bonus points if it can connect wirelessly! Obviously, quality speakers are essential for a great movie sesh, but they’re not the best to look at. Any way you can minimize the look while retaining quality is a win!

• Stick with symmetry.

Anytime you have an awkward-to-design area, a safe bet is to keep it symmetrical. Matching pairs add order and give a crisp, intentional look.

• Think of the TV like a painting.

No, it won’t add as much beauty to a wall as real art, but you should think of it as an accessory to an otherwise well-designed room. It should never be the standalone focus.

• Pair the TV with a great table, mantle, or furniture piece with some storage.

It helps ground the TV visually, and you’ll need somewhere to stash remotes, etc. Our secret? We drilled through the bottom of one drawer to tuck a power strip, apple tv, and extra cords out of sight.

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: SMP Living

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Olive Oil Cake with Creme Fraiche & Berries

Even if you’re not much of a sweet tooth, you just might be swayed by this tantalizing olive oil cake featured at Lauren Kelp. With its light and airy texture and bright flavor with a touch of sweetness, it’s the perfect way to cap off a summer dinner party! Take a look at all those luscious summer berries on top of that almond-kissed crème fraîche—is your mouth watering yet?

“This olive oil cake is so light and fresh and only slightly sweet–thus its appeal! So for you fellow readers who lean more towards the savory side, this cake is for you. It pairs perfectly with a dry white wine or a fabulous rose, and it truly is a crowd pleaser!” says Constance of Lauren Kelp.

For the full post and more delicious inspiration, check out Lauren Kelp!

Olive Oil Cake with Creme Fraiche & Berries
prep time
15 Minute/s
cook time
35 Minute/s
total time
50 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons almond extract
  • 4 oz. crème fraîche
  • 1 peach (sliced into thin wedges)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup cherries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Lightly coat one 8-inch cake pan with coconut oil cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the milk, and then gradually add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of almond extract.
  6. Add the flour mixture, and stir until blended.
  7. Transfer the batter to the cake pan.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
  9. In a small bowl, mix the crème fraîche and remaining almond extract until combined.
  10. After the cake has cooled, top with crème fraîche mixture and fruit.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

See more amazing dessert recipes below!

Strawberry Milkshake Cake | Three Ingredient Banana Ice Cream | The Ultimate Brownie Cake

Photography: Constance Higley | Recipe: Constance Higley