Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

A Southern Porch Makeover

July 27, 2016 } Blog, Inspiration { by Kelly | No Comments

Home may be where the heart is but the porch is where the fun is!  On a southern porch, it’s all about hospitality, charm and sittin’ and sippin’ and that especially goes for the front porches on Main Street here in Franklin, Tennessee.

I have so many clients that struggle with their porches.  They know what they want but aren’t sure how to pull it all together.  Porch weather here in the south is about 9 months long so it’s important to have one that you love to spend time on.  We offered a mini makeover a couple of month’s back to show you how I design and decorate a porch to hopefully inspire you to make some changes and bring your personality and style to the front of your home.

We had lots of great entries and it was really hard to pick one but I fell in love with this historic home’s entrance and knew I could bring it to life and make it an area that the homeowners would enjoy relaxing and entertaining on.

Here is the before.

Before The bones of the porch were good but it really lacked personality and style.  The homeowner wanted a place to enjoy her morning coffee but also be able to entertain guest.  I got a good sense of her style by the beautiful decor inside and knew that with just a few changes and some additional pieces here and there, we could bring her vision to life and make the front porch a charming place to sit and sip the afternoon away.

Here is the after.  Things a southern front porch should have are a rocking chair or two, a swing, a place to put your feet up and a place to put your drink down.  It must feel comfortable and well-loved and be a place that welcomes guests into your home.  A screen door just about makes it perfect if you ask me!

Front Porch I started with new fabric for cushions and pillows.  We wanted to keep the vintage feel of the original fabric but add some color and pop to the space that it was lacking.  The blue and white floral print was the perfect choice and the inspiration for the rest of the decor.  Next was furniture placement.  Just like the inside of your home you need to consider how you want to use the space and then design the layout to accommodate that.

This side of the porch is for entertaining.  I created a conversational area by moving the chairs and anchoring the furniture group with a rug.  I took the old wicker ottoman and gave it new life with a couple of coats of spray paint and a new cushion.  Now it is a great place to rest your feet or it can be pulled over to use for seating when guests are over.  The homeowners wanted a place to eat on the porch so I found this galvanized round table that is just perfect to serve breakfast for two or cocktails for a crowd.  The small tables beside the wicker chairs are stools that can be pulled up to the table as well.

Porch front viewMake sure to use pieces that have multiple uses when pulling a space together.  We moved the table over for lunch on the porch with the neighbors.  Every southern woman can pull together a delightful lunch when the ladies come over to visit.

Table for twoNew cushions gave these chairs just the punch they needed to add charm to the porch.

Front porch chairI designed this side of the porch for morning coffee and quiet time for reading or watching the world go by.  I found an old bench that serves as both a table and footstool for the rocking chairs.  I wanted it to be skinny so it didn’t take up much space and could also be used for additional seating when needed.  I used a rug matching the other side to anchor this seating area too.  

Porch rocking chairsPillows and a throw make this swing a great place to curl up and read a book.  Porch swingI added an old yellow table that I found on one of my picking trips by the swing.  I put a tray on top to make serving drinks easier and flowers are always a good idea, don’t y’all think?

side table by swingNow let’s talk about the front door….it was very ho-hum (ignore my purse I sat down while taking the before photos)

before front doorI added blue containers and a smaller rug to pull the color palette to the front door.  The topiaries added height and soon the ivy will fill in and add texture.  I added shade-loving flowers and put them in rusty olive buckets.  Rust is my favorite accessory and I use it wherever I can.  The burlap wreath can be used for all seasons and the galvanized welcome sign adds a touch of southern hospitality to the porch.

After pictureThe last things that needed a bit of rearranging were the steps.  I brought the large flower filled urns down to make more of an “entrance” then added the rustic lanterns for the big wow factor.  They are spectacular at night with the glow of the candles.

I hope you are inspired to freshen up your porch decor and add some style and personality to your entrance.

Stylishly yours,





Friday’s Gift Inspiration

June 06, 2014 } Blog, Gift Ideas, Inspiration { by Kelly | No Comments

Rooster Hostess Gift 2Today’s gift inspiration is all about Roosters!  Perfect for that hostess who loves details….and Chicken and Roosters of course.  Gift set includes apron, decorative matches and a rooster chalkboard.  Retails at $72 but mention you saw it here and receive 10% off.  We will also put it in a pretty package all ready to go!


Valentine’s Day Decor Giveaway

January 29, 2014 } Blog, Inspiration, Party ideas { by Kelly | No Comments


Kelly Spalding Designs is excited to be spreading the love this week.  In memory of my Mom’s birthday on February 6 we are having a fun giveaway. Paper straws, Bedazzled Bon Bons, Love gift bag, and a few other surprise goodies.

Lots of ways to enter:

1.  Leave a comment below, we love to hear what you think!

2.  Leave a comment on Kelly Spalding Designs Facebook page on any #ValentinesDayDecor post

3.  Tweet “I entered to win @KSDinFranklin #ValentinesDayDecor”

4.  Follow me on Pinterest and  repin all #ValentinesDayDecor pins.

Winner will be announced February 6.

Make sure to get the new issue of Southern Exposure Magazine for lots of ideas and recipes for celebrating Valentine’s Day with your sweetie and children.

Stylishly Yours





Wacky Witch Party

October 31, 2010 } Blog, Entertaining at home, Inspiration { by Kelly | 1 Comment

This year I had a special Halloween party for my daughter Audrey.  She invited four friends over for a Wacky Witch party.  This isn’t as fancy as the parties I style for my clients, but we had fun doing it together.  With just a few extras you can throw a fabulous party at home too!


We decorated the hutch and used it as a background for pictures….very spooky!

Don’t you love the table cloth?  I bought inexpensive purple satin fabric and found the spiderweb table cloth last year at TJ Maxx.   Layered it and tada!  I found the candle holder at Goodwill a few months ago and knew it would work for a Witchy party!  The girls all loved the glittered pumpkins and the martini glasses filled with gummy worms were a big hit too!  Every girl (no matter the age) loves a pretty martini glass!!

Thank you Martha Stewart…..the bugs and spiders added just the right touch!  I put mice on the stairs too!


This is the table in the foyer….I am sure you recognize it!  It is one of my favorite places to add seasonal decor.   I found the platter at Hobby Lobby for 50% off…isn’t it fabulous?

This is a close up of the table setting…..excuse the photo, I was in a hurry!  I really need to take a photography class.

Aren’t these cute?  I have a ton of mason jars and I found these cute stickers at the Dollar Store and used them to decorate the jars.

The lime drink was perfect for the Ghoul’s Fuel!

The “Ghouls” (girls) loved that there were small bats in the drink…plastic ones I found at Party City last year.

I made the bones out of breadsticks.  I split the ends and curled them so they looked like bones.  The dip was pizza sauce.  Cute addition and very easy to make!

Dessert anyone?  The fingers (pretzels) were fun to make!  The eyeball sushi was very creepy!

What’s a party without a treat bag?  We put lots of fun Halloween things in the bag including a Witch Pez, black cat sticky note pad, spider ring, black glitter headband and green lolly pop.

Have a great Halloween!

and as always…..Party on!



A Rustic Italian Backyard Gathering

September 03, 2010 } Blog, Entertaining at home, Inspiration, Party ideas { by Kelly | 2 Comments

This fabulous summer party is southern sophistication at its best, with stylish lighting, delicious cocktails and incredible food.

I love to entertain.  I guess it might have something to do with being surrounded by Southern hospitality all my life.  My grandmother was an incredible hostess.  She taught me the small details that really make a party special, and as the weather cools off, I like to take the party outside.  Early Fall is the time to bring a carefree relaxed attitude to entertaining.  Light the grill and plug in the lights: it’s party time!

Backyard Dinner Party 101

Things to consider when planning:

How many guests can your backyard accommodate comfortably? You want your guests to be comfortable, so make sure everyone has a place to sit and enjoy casual conversation.

Menu Options: Stick with your theme and pick three to four dishes.  Be smart:  serve things that can be prepared for the day before, along with a few store bought items.  And pick a signature cocktail – one that goes with your theme.

Enjoy yourself: If you are having fun, so will your guests!

A theme is an easy way to develop your menu and cocktails.  Our rustic Italian dinner party is casual, elegant and easy to pull together, starting with a variety of cheeses, crackers and fruit.  Sangria is one of my favorite summertime cocktails and is easy to make.  I set this table up on the deck, where everyone enters the backyard.  Guests can fill their glasses and get something to munch on right when they arrive.

Shop your house for items to pull outside to create a cozy environment.  The table is laid with burlap and indoor plates, silverware and linens.  Vine filled candle holders are tucked around to add a rustic look to the antique table.  A flower arrangement adds color, texture and height to the setting. Put food tables in different areas to encourage guests to mingle, and set up the beverage station away from the food – it helps with traffic flow.  Cold Italian beer is perfect on a warm night, along with Pellegrino mineral water for a non-alcoholic option.

Keep the food simple and easy to eat.  Fig tarts, flank steak crostinis with gorgonzola and penne with goat cheese and panceta are on the main table, and a caesar salad is served once everyone sits down to keep it fresh and crisp.

Bruschetta is a favorite- so easy and very refreshing.  You can toast the bread earlier in the day to save time.  Right before guests arrive you can put it together and on the table quickly.

Make it special-lighting is a great accessory.  I love using old things in my decor.  Antique ladders are one of my favorite props.  I have them scattered through out my home and yard and enjoy displaying candles and other decor on them.  Layers are the key!


I love to seat my guests at the picnic table or a long table in the middle of the yard.  Elbow to elbow is a great way to enjoy a meal.  Good food and great friends always make a party a success!


Flank Steak Crostinis

Ingredients Flank Steak, marinated and grilled to medium rare, Gorgonzola, Crostinis (Italian bread sliced, brushed with olive oil and toasted in the oven) Slice the flank steak thinly and place on the crostinis.  Top with crumbled cheese and cook under broiler for 3 -5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.


Fig Tarts

Ingredients: Mini Phyllo Shells, Fig Preserves, Goat Cheese, Fresh Rosemary.   Fill the shells halfway with the preserves and then top with crumbled goat cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5 – 7 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Place tarts on a serving dish and sprinkle with fresh rosemary.


Photography by Matt Huesmann

Featured in Southern Exposure Magazine