• Plan Easter dinner
  • Hide the eggs
  • Throw a Downton Abbey themed garden party
  • Organize the hallway closet
  • Remodel the kitchen
  • Write a blog post about the parties I wish I could have

This isn't my to do list, but it could be, especially that last item. You see, early March is when we Wisconsinites begin planning our parties and home updates. We have short, unpredictable spring and summer seasons that always need to be taken into account when trying to cross something off our bucket lists.

One item that has been similar across my clients' wishlists is a place to party. No, not a bar-in-the-basement type of party, but real party. A garden party, one that is fit for a bridal shower, engagement party, baby shower, or family gathering. One that is filled with sweet foods, fresh air, and airy linens, a party that can move indoors without losing its beautiful essence.

Ahh.

So I got to work. Below are curated color palettes and inspiration for the garden party of your dreams...and very possibly the vibe of your new interior design project, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

 Image courtesy of Design-Seeds.com

Image courtesy of Design-Seeds.com

This color palette is on trend with Rose Quartz, one of Pantone's 2016 colors, but it adds natural and moody tones (think Downton Abbey) to create a look that is both polished and playful without falling off the style wagon within 10 minutes.

There's another thing you should probably know about Wisconsin (as all of my Wisconsin readers roll their eyes). We can't have beach parties or tropical-themed weddings without hopping on a plane or driving to the nearest lake. (And the lakes are great, but they smell funny...)

We have farm fields and old barns, luscious prairie grass, and weather-torn trees that bear initials from someone's great-grandparents. Our heritage and our homes have always bent with the will of nature. Winter is our white space. Summer is our overload of color. You want Pantone? We'll show you some colors you've never seen before.

Maybe why we crave outdoor parties. Maybe that's why we want to bring the outside to the inside, for our enjoyment on the winter days of -40 degrees F and on the summer days of 85 degrees F and 100% humidity. Our land is dynamic. Our designs--our people--reflect that. Maybe that's why we love Pantone's 2016 colors.  

Ready to make it happen? I know I am. Easter is a great launching pad for this new perspective on interior design, and we've only got a few weeks left to make it happen.

First, the layout of your kitchen. Let's focus on opening up the space by adding windows, replacing or painting the cabinets, laying down a new floor, or maybe adding a backsplash with character. Whew!

The first kitchen photo emphasizes white space and natural wood. The straight lines, minimal decor, and accent lighting on the stairs really make this kitchen a breath of fresh air. The only qualm I have with this kitchen is the lack of cabinetry. (Where would I put all my stuff?!)

I love how the second photo uses what I'd call "industrial farmhouse" bar stools and open shelving blended with tile and wood. The backsplash pattern creates interest and prevents the space from looking bland or overly minimal.

Thiabaut does this white space and pattern combo extremely well in their wallpaper and home decor lines. (I have humongous lookbooks from them, in case any of you want to browse or bench-press). You'll notice that they balance wilder prints with solid colors, then pair them with smooth or slightly textured fabrics. Absolutely delicious!

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