Posted by: charleskeath | July 1, 2008

Q&A: Decorating a French Country Kitchen

Q: I really like French Country and would like to have a French Country Style kitchen. What do you recommend?

A: Whether you’re looking to add some French Country updates to your kitchen or looking to start over, we would recommend sticking to the french country kitchen decoratingbasics of French Country Style Decorating:

  • stick to typical French Country colors: everything from yellow, golds, rust, cobalt blue, black and white, bright red, etc. Keep your colors bright and cheerful.
  • scratch it up: black, white or beige painted furniture is always popular – and it’s even better if it’s scratched up or weathered a little
  • have fun with accents: bright sunflowers, roosters, pigs and more!

Speaking of roosters, sunflowers and pigs: here are a few of our favorite accents that you can use for your French Country kitchen, whether you’re just looking for a few updates or redoing the entire kitchen…

rooster rugNot sure how much rooster you want to see in the kitchen? Start small with a rooster rug and go from there. Ready for more? We think this rooster chandelier is a fun accent to hang over an eating area or even a kitchen island.

Love bright, cheerful flowers? Not only will these flowers never fade, but they’resunflower and red poppies flower art prints also a great French Country accent for any room in the house. The bright yellow sunflowers and cheerful red poppies of these Fields of Flowers Canvas Transfers will help brighten the room during even the most dreary winter days.  

Good luck with your kitchen project and be sure to send us photos — we can’t wait to see how it turned out!

Have a decorating question? Send us your decorating dilemma!

Posted by: charleskeath | June 23, 2008

The Ultimate Weekend Plan

hammockEven though it’s only Monday, I have already decided what I want to do this next weekend. There’s no one who can change my mind or distract me from my mission.

I’m going to spend some quality time with a book, a glass of lemonade and a hammock. What better way to enjoy the summer weather (and rest up for the Fourth of July weekend next week)?

What’s your favorite way to spend a lazy summer Saturday? Post your comment/idea below!  


Posted by: charleskeath | June 19, 2008

We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Growing up, summer always meant one thing: it was the time when Grandma would start making her famous home made vanilla ice cream.

old fashioned retro ice cream maker machineToday, my automatic Cuisinart ice cream maker isn’t quite the same as Grandma’s ice cream maker, but I do have her recipe. On my best day, my home made vanilla doesn’t taste half as good as hers, but it doesn’t stop me from trying.

What’s your favorite ice cream recipe? Whether it’s been passed down through the generations or if you just made it up, send us your favorite ice cream recipe and if we post it on the blog, we’ll send you a Charles Keath Home gift card for $50!

Posted by: charleskeath | June 11, 2008

Decorating Tips: Asian Style

A friend recently confessed her interest in decorating using Asian style influences, also expressing her reservations: “But I’m not even Asian – would it look silly for me to use Asian accents in my home?”

I explained that she was being too literal. Do only boat owners decorate with nautical design? Must one be French to decorate in French Country? Thankfully, no.

asian style furniture decoratingThe beauty of Asian styleis in its uncluttered design, simple lines and thoughtful coordination. Recently, many have begun decorating with feng shui principles in mind – coincidentally, these same principles of feng shui apply in Asian styled decor.

For example, this Ginza Sideboard (available in either black or red) has both graceful lines and striking Oriental metal accents. The sideboard blends well with the very non-Asian styled Iris art montage as well as the simple floral pattered vine area rug.

asian stackable storage cabinetThe Khyber Cabinet is another great example of a stylish piece of furniture that will work in most rooms – especially modern or contemporary decor.

A few things to keep in mind when decorating with Asian style:

  • keep it simple
  • less is more; remove clutter and extra “stuff”
  • focus on balancing the room (including furniture placement and color)
  • don’t be afraid to use color, especially bold reds, black and gold (mixed in with neutral tan, gray and brown shades)




Posted by: charleskeath | June 9, 2008

Outdoor Entertaining: Ready for Summer?

With the start of summer, June 20, merely days away, we have to admit that ‘summer fever’ has hit us a bit early this year and we’re already in the midst of planning summer parties, BBQ gatherings and picnics.

Armed with four telescoping roasters for toasting marshmallows, I’m ready for some s’mores and am looking for any excuse to fire up the grill. But before checking levels in the propane tank, I have been arranging, then re-arranging the patio furniture to find the perfect combination for our first party of the outdoor patio furniture set wicker woodseason.

Arranging Your Patio
Maybe (probably) I’m putting too much thought into this, but I am really struggling this year with where and how to arrange the patio furniture.

It’s easiest to start with a center focal point — you can use something simple like a small table or even an outdoor fireplace, and place your furniture around it, but there’s still more to consider.

  • Think about sunlight: if most of your entertaining will be in the mid to late afternoon hours, look for a patio umbrella or covered outdoor awning so your guests aren’t squinting into the bright afternoon sun.
  • Don’t forget the lights: be sure that outdoor lightingoutdoor fountain garden patio is adequate for night-time parties and be creative with soft lighting using candles, votives and even solar outdoor lights
  • Relax: my favorite part of our patio is the small garden that’s adjacent to where we placed our outdoor furniture. Not only is something always blooming year-round in our (low maintenance perennial) garden, but the sounds from the outdoor fountain we have placed within the garden are the perfect final touch.


Good luck with your own outdoor decorating — and be sure to send us photos of your outdoor oasis. If we feature your photo(s) on our blog, you’ll receive a gift card from Charles Keath Home!

Posted by: charleskeath | May 30, 2008

Romantic Style: Decorate Like a Pro

romantic style decorating desk furniture

Beautiful botanical prints. Soft colors. Intricately-detailed accents. What’s not to love about romantic style?

Don’t be afraid of prints, though. While you don’t want to go overboard with florals and chaise lounge chairpatterns, don’t be afraid to update your look with floral pattered rugs, a fun toss pillow or throw or go all out with new bedding or even an elegant chaise lounge chair.

Looking for a new style for your patio? A relaxing deck or balcony can easily be updated to become your very own  romantic style retreat. First, you’ll want to start with decorative or scrolled patio furniture. romantic style outdoor patio furniture set

Be generous with flowers: fill your planters with flowering plants, overflowing ivy and even evening-scented blooms.

Now sit down, admire your new look and if you’re relaxed…mission accomplished. Enjoy your new romantic retreat!

Posted by: charleskeath | May 27, 2008

Retro Style: Summertime

Summertime relaxation essentials: lemonade (or margaritas), great weather, bug spray, good company and stylish patio furniture.

retro style patio furnitureWhether you’re decorating a huge patio or an outdoor balcony, we can help with the stylish patio furniture part — our latest favorite is this retro styled metal tulip lawn chair and table.

Try mixing and matching the colors for a unique combination!

Posted by: charleskeath | May 22, 2008

Gifts With Attitude For Under $50

The only thing worse than getting a boring gift is giving a boring gift.

Good news: it is possible to give a great gift for under $50! Here are a few of our favorites:

high maintenance cashmere pillow gift‘High Maintenance’ Pillow: This luxe green cashmere blend pillow is perfect for a friend with discriminating taste…and a good sense of humor.

Naughty or Nice?: A perfect hostess gift during the holidays, these embroidered fingertip towels are sure to bring a chuckle.

friends welcome door pillow‘Friends Welcome’ Needlepoint Door Pillow: This hand-stitched wool needlepoint design makes a clever gift for either friends … or family!

Pink Plaid Bag or Tote: Not only is it stylish (and pink!) it’s environmentally friendly, virtually indestructible and water-resistant.

Posted by: charleskeath | May 16, 2008

Q&A: Hidden Pet Beds

Q: Do you have any advice on how to hide our dog’s bed? We love our dog, but would like something a little less obvious that blends with our decor.

hidden dog bedA: Just because you love your dog (or cat) doesn’t necessarily mean you love all of his “stuff”. Our pup has his own box of toys – he takes the toys out, we put them back in their place – and we, too, struggle with keeping the house from looking like he owns the place. 

Your best option is a more decorative pet crate like this wicker dog residence. cat box hidden litter boxThankfully, it comes in small, medium, large and extra large sizes, so even large dogs can have a place of their own. 

The same type of hidden pet ‘residence’ is also available for cats, which is especially helpful in keeping litter boxes hidden. We especially recommend these in houses with either young children or with young visitors who may mistake a litter box for a sand box.

Have a design question or decorating dilemma? Send us an e-mail!


Posted by: charleskeath | May 13, 2008

Love Your Balcony: Create an Outdoor Oasis

photo courtesy of chicago apartment therapyWe can’t stop thinking about the latest finalists in Apartment Therapy’s “Small is Cool” contest

Stephanie from Chicago’s fabulous balcony oasis is a perfect example of optimizing a small space with clean lines, a simple color palette and a focus on comfort. (Of course, the amazing view doesn’t hurt, either!)

Do you have a backyard or patio that you’re proud of? We want to see how you’re creating your own outdoor oasis – send us an e-mail with photos! Be sure to let us know your design story: what inspired you, where you found your decor and how you put the new look together.

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