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Bring the Outdoors In! A Beautiful Spring Tablescape

April 07, 2011 - Linda Grasso

John Robishaw table cloth

Check out this gorgeous table setting by Suzanne Ascher and Jill Johnson of WaterLeaf Interiors in Manhattan Beach.  I particularly love the John Robshaw table cloth and the rustic place setting name tag and chandelier - both of which were crafted from tree twigs.  Suzanne and Jill picked those up fron Brenna Berger Paper & Ink.


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Feeling Festive? Tips for Planning the Ultimate Spring Fling

March 03, 2011 - Julie Pryor

Wedding planners beverly hills

With springtime around the corner, we all start feeling a little festive.  Time to dust off the outdoor pillows, clean the grill and get our melamine plates out.  Here are a few planning tips for your first spring fling - ensuring it has that special spark to make it memorable not just for your guests, but for you as well! 


  • Send out amazing, creative invitations. This will give your guests a hint of what is in store and get them excited about attending. Choose colored or square envelopes and have them professionally addressed by hand.

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Love Roses? Now's the Time to Plant. Plus check out SheSez's Faves!

January 31, 2011 - Linda Grasso

beautiful rose garden                                           A rose garden overlooking the ocean in La Jolla Farms

If you want to add some rose bushes to your garden, now is the time. You can get dirt cheap bare root roses that, if planted now, will blossom like mad in spring and summer. I know it's hard to believe that these ugly, random looking stalks without a leaf in sight will transform into gorgeous plants in just a few months, but that is indeed what happens. 

And, don't be intimidated the the whole bare root thing. They're super easy to plant and most have instructions right on the package. Ask someone at the nursery to help you pick out a good one - typically one that has three thick stalks pointed in different directions. Two things to think about before you check out my favorite rose varieties:

  • Make sure you have at least 8 hours of full sun - otherwise you will be disappointed with the lack of flowers
  • Remember when it comes to choosing varieties - heirloom roses are like heirloom tomatoes - you get a fraction of the yield per season - but the few you do get are mind-blowing. 

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When Money is No Object: The Presidential Suite at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills

December 07, 2010 - Linda Grasso

Pres_ste_west_dining_v1                                                        The dining area in the Presidential Suite

The Presidential suite at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills recently got a makeover by Santa Barbara-based designer Sue Firestone.   Priced at nearly 6000 bucks a night, as you might imagine, it is stunning from every vantage point.  

Swarvoski branch chandelier                                Swarovski Crystal Chandelier over a "silver leaf" dining room table

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A Santa Monica Gal Tries the Coop

November 22, 2010 - Linda Grasso

Santa Monica Chicken Coop                                             Christy Hobart in front of her backyard chicken coop

My friend, the talented writer Christy Hobart (you might have seen her piece last month in In Style on Julie Bowen's home), isn't the first person I'd pinpoint as someone with a chicken coop on her property. However, while visiting her home during a fundraiser last weekend, that's exactly what I discovered. Yep, mingling among the guests as they sipped Pelligrino surrounded by apple trees and trickling fountains were chickens - four of them!

pretty live chickens

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Individual Leaf-Wrapped Floral Arrangements: Check Out Our Easy, Do-it-Yourself Video!

November 11, 2010 - Linda Grasso

Leaf wrapped floral arrangement

These individual floral arrangements are simply stunning when placed on each guest's plate or grouped together and put in the center of the table.  Better yet - they're incredibly easy to make.  I made these pieces back in September with summer colors. However, you can easily choose fall shades using flowers like mums and create something fabulous for Thanksgiving.  Or, if you're entertaining for Christmas or Hanukkah, choose red Amaryllis and white roses or go all white with your flowers and tie in some terrific foliage, like celedon ferns and something with grey, velvety leaves. Below is a step-by-step video that explains how to make them and, then, a list of everything you'll need.


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Home Holiday Entertaining Ideas - from Halloween to New Year's

October 26, 2010 - Julie Pryor

Soup in Mini Pumpkins
The holidays are about to come at us one by one! Whether you're planning celebrations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah (perhaps a unique mix of the two?) or New Year's, you need to get your creative wheels turning now.   In addition to planning ahead – think about breaking out the "good stuff" and going for it - really being creative and dynamic this year.   Get up on the top shelf and bring out your fondue bowls, raid your liquor cabinet for dessert liqeurs stashed in the back, and break out the champagne!

Along those lines, I've come up with some easy tips  - most are simple things you can do - to make your holiday gatherings memorable and enjoyable.

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Dahlias - Get 'Em Now at the Farmer's Market

September 12, 2010 - Julie Pryor

pink dahlia

Dahlias are one of the most spectacular flowers and now is the time to buy.  As most gardeners know, you plant the bulbs in spring and you must be patient for the flowers. Finally, in mid to late summer - the beautiful blossoms show up. And, boy are they worth the wait!

Dahlias add a serious splash of color to your garden as well as in flower arrangements - they can last up to a week when cut. They're in prime season now so pick some up at your local farmer's market while you still can.

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Enchanting Do-it-Yourself Deck Makeover in the Hollywood Hills

August 09, 2010 - Linda Grasso


                                                        Coco's Hollywood  Hills deck "After"                      all photos by cococozy         
 My friend Coco, who runs the fab home decor blog cococozy, recently revamped her outdoor deck in the Hollywood Hills. The results, as you can see, are outstanding. I'm convinced this gal has a second career as an interior designer comin' on!   An interesting little tidbit: Coco pulled off this amazing feat in no less that 5 days!  You see, Coco had a wonderful all-consuming inspiration for her speedy reno -  she had company coming.  "Fear is the best motivator!" is how she explains it.  And this wasn't your run-of-the-mill college roommate variety of guests. "My friend who was coming has a gorgeous, extremely large home in New Orleans and I wanted her to feel at home here." Coco's abode, you see, is a small cottage and she figured by fixing up her deck, her home would seem a bit larger. 

Cococozy 20
                                 Coco's deck "Before" the makeover 

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Stunning & Simple: Single Flower Potted Arrangements

July 18, 2010 - Linda Grasso

Sometimes there’s beauty in simplicity.  Such is the case with these all these gorgeous pots I’ve snapped photos of this summer. Instead of having a variety of plants, these arrangements feature a singular splash of color.  The deep purple alyssum pictured above packs quite a punch - doesn’t it?

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