Mardi Gras

February 16, 2015 } Blog, Entertaining at home { by Kelly | No Comments

Let’s talk Mardi Gras y’all!  My Louisiana roots run deep and I always want to be in New Orleans this time of year but instead I bring a little cajun goodness to Tennessee.  Here are some easy ideas for you to do the same.

MenuGumbo, Dirty Rice, Crawfish Casserole and King Cake are always on my menu.

Mask & BoaBeads, sequin masks and boas make decorating so much fun.  I bought gold, green and purple ornaments at an after Christmas sale.  

HurricanesMy parties always pack a punch and these New Orleans style Hurricanes are no exception.

King CakeThe King Cake is a favorite….who will be the lucky one to find the baby?

Cake with baby

Dirty Rice Recipe:

1lb ground pork sausage, 1 1/2 lb ground beef, 1 med onion (chopped), 2 ribs celery (chopped), 1 medium green bell pepper (chopped), 3 cups cooked rice, 1/2 cup chopped parsley and 4 green onions (chopped) tops and bottoms, 1 T cajun seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and if you like a little more heat add 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper

Brown both meats together, add chopped vegetables to meat mixture and cook over medium heat until they are tender.  Add cooked rice, parsley and green onions.  Stir well and turn off heat.  Cover and let set about 15 minutes.

I hope you have a fabulous Fat Tuesday darling!

Stylishly Yours,





Cocktails & Crafts

August 28, 2014 } Blog { by Kelly | No Comments

We all need a creative outlet and I know Pinterest can set the standards pretty high and if you are like me, the craft supplies can pile up in the closet and judge you every time you open the door.  So we are pleased as punch to add Cocktails & Crafts to our monthly calendar.  Booze, snacks, supplies, guidance and a finished project to take home…..bam!  There will also be special sales and some fun prizes for the attendees.

Cocktails & Crafts

Our first workshop will be all about decorating for the Holiday seasons.  I will show you how to decorate your table, mantel, entrance and front door for Fall and then with a few easy changes use the same decor items for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This month’s craft is a table centerpiece.  You can use it on your dining room table, coffee table, kitchen counter or entrance.  We will start out with a neutral wood base and a basic idea but the exact design will be yours.  You will also leave with a bag of goodies to transition your design for Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Workshop fee is $40 and space is limited so make sure to purchase your ticket soon.  Tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite or you can sign-up and pay at the shop.  Kelly Spalding Designs, 915 Columbia Avenue in downtown Franklin.

Stylishly Yours,






Decorating Guidelines

July 25, 2014 } Blog, Interior Decorating { by Kelly | No Comments

Does your room layout not feel right?  Are you not sure how to fix it?  Here are some guidelines to help you navigate a little room redesign.


Picture from Better Homes and Garden Blog. Great example of scale and proportion and lots of layers of texture.

Scale and proportion  Keeps things balanced.  A small table beside a huge overstuffed armchair, or a narrow piece of artwork over a long piece of furniture don’t work visually.  Think about the size of the room in relation to the furnishings.  If the scale and proportion are right the room will have a good flow even if the pieces are an eclectic mix.

Keep your compositions uncluttered.  Your room shouldn’t be overwhelmed with stuff.  Empty space is important.  Just like with fashion accessories…..less is more.  I like symmetry but to keep things interesting, display items in odd numbers.

Consider how you live in the space.  What is your lifestyle?  Young children? Pets?  Keep those things in mind when choosing furniture and fabrics. I have a fairly inexpensive dining room table and it has two big scratches on it and Audrey’s name imprinted in the finish from an ironing incident……it’s life with lots of kids around the table and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  We use our table every day and I knew I would have a heart attack if I had invested a lot of money in it.

Mix and match furniture, patterns and texture.  Gone are the days of purchasing an entire living room set!  Be adventurous, add interest by collecting things for a room.  Mix old and new, stripes and florals, classic and fun.  Don’t buy anything you don’t love… me on this.  It will always be a purchase you regret.  A room needs contrast.  Dark and light, shiny and rustic.  The more layers of texture the more interesting the room will be.

So go ahead…move things around! Get rid of that piece that doesn’t work in your home and replace it with something you love.  Use meaningful things in your decor, family heirlooms, items from your travels, pictures of your children, quotes that make you smile…..that’s what makes a house a home.

Stylishly Yours,




Star Spangled Picnic

July 01, 2014 } Blog, Party ideas { by Kelly | No Comments

Summer means gathering in backyards, on patios and on park lawns to dine al fresco with family and friends.  And with the 4th of July just a few days away, there’s no better reason to pack a picnic for the fireworks show.

I just love 4th of July festivities.  My entertaining articles in Southern Exposure Magazine are all about celebrating stylishly with food and fun.  This month I focused on a red, white and blue “Star Spangled Picnic”

Kelly Spalding Designs 4th of July picnicI love to make things pretty and functional!  No one likes to have a huge mess after the party is over, especially after the fireworks.  I will confess that I am addicted to chips and salsa but it can get messy when serving a crowd outside.  These boxes are great, easy to load up snacks and then toss when done.  Who wants their chips to get soggy?  Cupcake liners are just the thing to keep that from happening.  Clever right?

Kelly Spalding Designs 4th of July patriotic picnic.  My 4th menu must include hotdogs and potato salad….just like my mom’s and grandmother’s did.  I always serve it in a bowl on ice to keep it fresh and delicious.   Sliders, wings, deviled eggs and fruit kabobs are my family’s favorite items so of course they are on the menu too.

Kelly Spalding Designs 4th of July patriotic picnic.  Fruit kabobs.These kabobs are super easy but make a big impact on your guests.  I do these first thing in the morning on the day of the picnic and cover them tightly in plastic wrap to keep them fresh.  Plus it’s not really a summer party without watermelon!

Kelly Spalding Designs patriotic picnic.  Firecracker marshmallowsDon’t forget dessert.  These little firecrackers are a crowd pleaser and they add a lot of pizazz to your table decor too.  I found some great cardboard star cut outs to serve them on.

Kelly Spalding Designs patriotic picnic.  Poptail, ice pop with sparkling wineThis summer my favorite beverage is what I like to refer to as a “Poptail”  A twist on a childhood favorite.  I have tried lots of combinations (for research y’all), this one is a pomegranate ice pop with sparkling wine.  You’re welcome!

Kelly Spalding Designs patriotic picnic  Poptail, lime ice pop with Corona So pull out your picnic basket and make it a portable party.  Food just tastes better when it is served on a quilt during a warm summer night.  Don’t forget a lighter, citronella candles, bug spray, wet wipes, salt and pepper shakers, ziplock bags, flashlights (very important when cleaning up in the dark) chairs, blankets and of course some sparklers!  Have a wonderful 4th of July.

Stylishly yours,



Wedding Weekend Wisdom

June 07, 2014 } Blog, Wedding inspirations { by Kelly | No Comments

Bride Flowers_1

I have done several events and weddings over the years. From backyard gatherings like Jordan’s (pictured above) to Carnton Plantation to church ceremony with country club reception and a couple of rock n’ roll ones at The Red House.  Each couple has a vision and a unique personality that I want to focus on.   I love details…the small things that make your guests feel special and make it an experience for all who attend.  Some have been big budget, do what you want (within reason) kinda events and some have been pick a couple of things you want to splurge on and the rest we will fit in as budget allows.  I tell my brides to let me know what is most important to them….the pictures, the flowers, the food or the party.  Once we have our priorities in order….let the designing and planning begin.

In this day of Pinterest and 24/7 access to websites and Etsy, brides start making decisions (and let’s be honest some of y’all started looking before you were even dating someone) on locations and vendors before they ever consult a wedding designer (makes it pretty) or planner (organizes and coordinates).  Some think they can’t afford a planner or that they don’t really need one.  Let me take you through a couple of examples on why a planner should be your first call.

WE KNOW VENDORS, we have either worked with them or know someone who has… if you aren’t around the event/wedding world most likely you won’t know all of your possibilities.  You might have some suggestions from friends that have recently been married or attended a wedding that they were involved in.  That being said….we know how they work, how they staff, how they handle mistakes (and there will be mistakes) if they can be counted on to make a vision come to life and most importantly how they perform under stress (and there will be stress).  We can also help you negotiate your contract so you are getting the best price and exactly what you want with no surprises the week before.

I had a couple come to me with most of their vendors already chosen.  No problem….except when I started looking over the contracts.  Because the couple didn’t know what questions to ask or what was reasonable to charge for extras they wanted, they weren’t getting what they really wanted from a few of them.  They were told “this is how we do it” and didn’t know that there were other options that would have fit their budget and plan so much better.  Over and over again the couple told me they really should have hired me first because it was one thing after another.  Looking over the costs, I could have easily saved them over $1000 and delivered the “extras” they wanted.

Another bride and her mother had started buying decor here and there….in the excitement of it all it was hard to wait.  When we sat down for the design consult what they had bought and the look and feel of what they wanted were not the same.  They admittedly had no plan and had they waited until after our meeting they would have saved several hundred dollars and had exactly what they wanted.  They wanted to do some DIY, not so much for the budget but for the enjoyment of it but were a little overwhelmed with all of the possibilities.  So we choose a few projects (I was able to get the supplies at better pricing than they could get retail) and put deadlines on when everything needed to be completed.  They had fun and left the rest of production up to my staff and me.

I plan the look and feel of your wedding from invitations to the grand exit.  I take into account how everything will impact your guests and plan for the unexpected.  I make sure the vendors are giving you their best and that we have a back-up plan.  Yes you can get a checklist from a website and browse through magazines and blogs and be an informed bride but the week before your wedding when you are trying to organize the vendor timeline and deal with late RSVPs and making sure there will be plenty of beer at the reception and what do you do if they run out of ice….yes those are the details planners take care of… will really wish you had someone else to take care of it.

So many horror stories come from “I thought Aunt Betty could take care of the reception”  expect Aunt Betty is also a guest and in the end will want to participate in the festivities instead of being in charge of making sure the photographer is there for the cake cutting.

Your photographer can do a timeline for the pictures but will they coordinate with the florist and rental company to make sure things are in place for when the pictures start?  Will they make sure the ceremony decor is perfectly placed and everyone behind the scenes is on time and double check deliveries?  I don’t think so. Yes your DJ can do your reception timeline but is he going to make sure that the bartenders have the signature cocktail recipe just right and that the caterer has the food station decor set up correctly?  Doubtful.  I want the DJ to be responsible for keeping the dance floor packed all night long and helping with the flow of the reception.  I want the photographer to be able to get those shots that will make you gasp when you see them, the ones with emotion and love that you will cherish not worrying about when the florist is going to deliver the flowers.

Yes a designer/planner will cost you money and in the beginning it might seem like an easy way to save on the budget but in the long run we can save you money, bring your vision to life and take the stress off the day so that you (and your family) are in the moment and soak up every minute of it.

Stylishly Yours, Kelly