Year: 2015 (page 1 of 3)

6 Last-Minute Champagne Cocktails to Ring in the New Year

Champagne cocktails are always a treat, but on a holiday synonymous with sparkling wine, they are an essential!  If you’re a procrastinator like me, here’s a list of 6 last-minute champagne cocktails to serve this New Year’s Eve.

1.  A Twist on a Mimosa

A mimosa is probably the first thing that springs to mind when you hear “champagne cocktails”.  However, they are so closely associated with brunch that it seems like a faux pas to drink them past 1PM.  Luckily, there are more riffs on the mimosa than…well, I don’t know what.  In any case, there’s a lot of them.  I came across this tempting number while trolling pinterest.

Mimosa + 5 More Champagne Cocktails

found on RueMag

If apricots aren’t your thing, try pear nectar, pomegranate juice, or nearly any other fruit bi-product.  Can’t find the thyme?  (Get it?)  Why not substitute rosemary or mint?  The possibilities abound!

2.  Champagne Sorbet Float

6 Champagne Cocktails

Similar to the mimosa is the increasingly popular champagne sorbet float.  Again, just about any fruit flavor will do the trick, but I was particularly intrigued by mango lime combo from willcookforsmiles.  It even seems to lends itself to a punch application, which makes for effortless entertaining.

3.  Sparkling Sangria

Whether you prefer red or white, bubbles always seem to elevate the sangria experience–and this is something I’ve researched extensively!  This recipe incorporates rose petals for extra-fragrant and luxurious imbibing.  Go wild with your fruit, berry, and citrus combinations.

4.  Putting on the Spritz

I was lucky enough to visit the enchanting city of Venice in 2014, where I fell in love with the Aperol sprtiz.  Since then, I have spent many a night in my home sipping the fizzy, slightly bitter concoction–eyes closed–retracing the cobblestone streets and waterways in my mind.  It’s pure magic.  Here’s a straight-forward recipe with fresh orange and thyme.

Tip: If you want to get a little more bang for your buck, buy a bottle of Campari for about $10 more.  It’s twice as potent in flavor and alcohol content, so  you can use 1/2 as much in each drink.

5.  Ginger Royale

If you’ve read any of my Moscow Mule-inspired cocktails, you know I’m a fiend for a ginger cocktail.  So, when I saw the Ginger Royale on instagram the other day, I had to click through to get the scoop.  In a nutshell, it combines spicy ginger with citrus, bitters, pomegranate, and creme de cassis.  Oh yeah, and champagne.  I was instantly sold on this one!

6.  The Golden Boy

The Bazaar by Jose Andres is one of my favorite restaurants and they used to serve this sublime cocktail called “The Golden Boy”.  Why golden?  Because they actually add a pinch of gold dust into the drink, letting the champagne bubbles bounce around the glittering specs in your glass.  Not only was it delicious, but it looked like you were drinking nectar from Mount Olympus.  Luckily, LA Times snagged and published the recipe.  Here it is…

Golden Boy | the Best Champagne Cocktails

May you have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve.  If you happen to have any champagne cocktails from list or something new, tell us about in the comments.  See you in 2016!

Milk and Cookies Aren’t Just for Santa

Traditionally, milk and cookies are left out for Santa on Christmas Eve.  However, that doesn’t mean that you and your guests can’t also indulge.  Substitute spiced rum milk punch for regular milk and serve equally spicy cookies for a holiday-appropriate dessert and cocktail combo.

Having grown up in New Mexico, I have a special bias towards the state’s official cookie of Christmas: the biscochito.  It’s akin to an anise-flavored sugar cookie.  The spice in the cookie pairs well with the spiced rum, cinnamon, and nutmeg of the punch (recipe below).  However, it’s not your only option for milk and cookies.

Norwegian pepper cookies–laced with generous doses of cardamom and (you guessed it) pepper–are another great choice.  I was introduced to these last year by Brookie’s Bites.

I’ve linked to recipes for both cookies rather than providing my own, because baking is not something I excel at.  I do, however, make a mean rum punch.  Here’s how I like to make it…

Ingredients:

1/2 gallon milk

1 cup spiced rum

7 teaspoons of sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Cinnamon and nutmeg

A crock pot

1 day lead time (for best results)

Add the milk, rum, sugar, vanilla, and a dusting of the spices in the crock pot and stir thoroughly.  Set to medium heat to avoid boiling the mixture and burning off all of the alcohol.  Instead, the punch should be just steaming.  Once steaming, let it continue for about 20 minutes.

At this point you have 3 choices.  First, you can serve the rum milk punch right then–hot and in mugs.  However, if you have the patience, let the brew return to room temperature, transfer it into a sealed container, and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  (Most liquid things taste better after spending the night in the fridge.)  On the following day, you can either enjoy it cold or heat it up again.  The third option is to freeze it.  When serving the next day, use a fork or something sharp to break up the snowy concoction and serve it like a slushy.

A few notes…  However you decide to serve the spiced rum milk punch–hot, cold, or slushy style–make sure you garnish with a little extra cinnamon and nutmeg.  Also, experiment with the amount of rum, sugar, and spices to tailor the recipe to your preferences.  I tend to enjoy just a little sugar and a lot of spice.  Finally, when you heat milk, a thin film forms on the top, but it is easily removed (because it can be a little unsightly).

Hope you enjoy this spicy, adult version milk and cookies!

 

6 Red and Green Rooms that Look Good All Year

Red and green rooms get a lot of attention during Christmas time, but what about the rest of the year?  Is the quintessential Christmas color combination appropriate year-round?  Here are six gorgeous red and green rooms that say yes!

Red and green rooms | Dorothy Draper

Chances are: you’ve seen this picture before.  Dorothy Draper and her boldly hued interiors are nothing short of iconic.  Here, a red stair runner combines with the green of the palm wallpaper.  This combination of red and green extends throughout the Greenbrier, making for a perennially beautiful scene.

6 Red and Green Rooms that Look Good All Year | Matthew Bees

Designer Matthew Bees infused his NY apartment with southern charm and vibrant color.  Kelly green walls envelope the small space, peppered with pops of red like the studded stool and candles held in the chandelier.  The resulting effect doesn’t feel too Christmas-y thanks to carefully layered neutrals.

6 Red & Green Rooms that Look Good All Year | Summer Thornton

Summer Thornton designed this bedroom with green striped walls, a mossy-chartreuse headboard, shapely crimson upholstered chairs, and lacquered nightstands.  Black and white also plays an important role in this room, lending it a year-round appeal.

6 Red and green rooms | Daniel Romualdez

In Daphne Guinness’ stunning living room, white dominates.  Small doses of color punctuate the room, most notably the scarlet lacquer side table and velvet upholstery of the side chairs.  Topiaries in the background provide a pinch of green.  Still, glamour defines this space rather than a holiday feel.

6 Red and green rooms that look good all year |  María Lladó

This lovely, red-washed library is the work of María Lladó.  A single green pillow qualified the room for this list, but it’s sky blue companion and the striking white furnishings keep the room feeling season-neutral.  This is just another example of how red and green rooms can look chic and appealing for the other 11 months out of the year.

6 Red and green rooms to love all year | Muriel Brandolini

Last, but certainly not least, Muriel Brandolini’s bohemian-inspired salon boasts a red and green palette–with shades of blue used in equal proportions.  Baby blue walls make for a surprisingly neutral backdrop.  A sapphire blue planter matches the emerald green upholstery in intensity.  Ruby cushions add an extra punch and echo the walls of the adjoining room.

So it seems that red and green rooms have no expiration date.  The two colors are, after all, opposite on the color wheel, making the duo nearly fool-proof.  If these rooms are any indication, when in doubt, add plenty of neutrals or even blue to temper a space that perhaps feels too much like the Kringle residence.

Happy holidays!

Trending: Patterned Lampshades

More and more, I’m noticing patterned lampshades popping up in to-die-for interiors.  This is a tactic maximalists like Alex Papachristidis have exercised for years.  And now it seems as though more designers are hopping on the bandwagon, wrapping lampshades in beautiful textiles.  Patterned lampshades may very well have achieved “trend” status when this Jean-Louis Deniot project hit the Elle Decor servers a couple of months ago…

Jean-Louis Deniot designed Paris apartment with patterned lampshades

Here, Deniot placed a pair of mustard-colored, patterned lampshades in an aqua-hued room.  The contrast in colors focuses more attention on this bold lighting choice.

Trending: patterned lampshades | malachite patterned lampshades | designer Sasha Bikoff

Designer Sasha Bikoff also opted for twin lamps in this vignette, employing malachite lampshades that coordinate with the emerald drapes.

Trend: Patterned Lampshades

In this example, Raji Radhakrishnan‘s home office features a lampshade that resembles an abstract painting.  Is anyone else thinking that this might be a fun DIY project?

Trending: Patterned Lampshades | Leopard lampshades in a Laurel Canyon Home

Leopard-covered lampshades add a little edge to the feminine, all-white living room of late costume designer Theadora Van Runkle’s Laurel Canyon Home.

Trending: Patterned Lampshades | Alex Papachristidis

And, of course, Alex Papachristidis is no stranger to patterned lampshades, which are found in nearly every room of his home.  His magnificent cranberry and aubergine living room is no exception, where a matched pair of table lamps and a swing arm floor lamp all feature shades with prints.  In a room filled with bold textiles, why not cover your lampshades in pattern?

Christmas Decorating Ideas I Borrowed from Mom

Growing up, I watched my mom unleash her Christmas decorating ideas and utterly transform my parents’ house on the day after Thanksgiving.   She hung garlands peppered with big red bows and gold bells over every window.  She filled oversize apothecary jars with ball ornaments and unfurled her homemade tablecloth over the dining table.  Then there was the tree…  While mom furiously bedecked every window, table, and horizontal surface; my sister and I dressed the tree, opening box after box of ornaments, each triggering a memory from a previous Christmas.  It took the three of us a full day; but at the end, it felt like we were living at the North Pole…with central heating.  Even dad would sit in his arm chair that evening and look around in amazement.

Mom set the bar pretty high and I think about her brilliant Christmas decorating ideas and passion for the holiday every time I pull out my own Christmas decorations.  And, while my house isn’t exactly transformed into a winter wonderland, I have to remind myself that mom had 20+ years to amass her Christmas decorating treasures and perfect her set up.  When I sit down and really think about what I can learn from my mom about decorating for Christmas, here are my takeaways…

Christmas Decorating Ideas I Borrowed from Mom:

Establish a holiday palette

6 Christmas Decorating Ideas | Establish a Palette

Mom’s a stickler for a tight color palette.  For the other 11 months of the year, my parents’ house is purely blue and white with a uniform medium honey wood finish throughout.  However, when Christmas rolls around, red and gold nearly take over.  This is a pretty traditional Christmas color combo and a handsome foil to the complimentary blue and white base on which it is so enthusiastically lavished.  However, my house has broader palette with mixed blues, greens, and grays combined with black and white, varied wood finishes, and mixed metallics.  Thus, I opt for a Christmas palette that melts into the existing decor: silver, gold, white, and green.

Employ metallics with abandon

6 Christmas Decorating Ideas | Metallics

Nothing imparts the magical feeling of Christmas quite like the luster of metallics.  As I mentioned, my mom favors gold and has an impressive collection of gold ornaments.  My love affair with gold, on the other hand, is perennial.  My house is no stranger to gold leaf or patinaed brass.  So, for Christmas, I try to incorporate textured, glittering silver.  It feels more precious and festive than the gold, chrome, and gunmetal that’s  already taken up residence in my house.

Make a statement with garland

6 Christmas Decorating Ideas | Garland

Of all the Christmas decorating ideas, few achieve the visual impact of garland.  Mom uses loads of it–on the tree and over the windows.  However, even a little garland can go a long way.  I have one long garland that I drape over my fireplace and decorate with a few ornaments.  It lends a festive feel to the room’s focal point and has the added benefit of echoing the greenery of the Christmas tree in the corner for a more complete holiday look.

Display extra ornaments in vessels

6 Christmas Decorating Ideas | Display ball ornaments in vessels | Motley Decor

Not all ornaments have to hang on the tree.  Ball ornaments, in particular, look fantastic when displayed in vessels.  My mom bought huge shapely apothecary jars especially for this, but even a pretty bowl you already have will do the trick.  This one of the easiest Christmas decorating ideas to execute and has the added benefit of portability, letting you add a dash of Christmas cheer to whatever corner of the room may be lacking.

Add or upgrade something each year

Christmas Decorating Ideas | Add or upgrade each year | MotleyDecor.com

Mom’s Christmas decorating arsenal wasn’t purchased in a single year, but rather, over time.  Most years she would add something new or upgrade some element that had fallen flat.  One year she had us string popcorn for a tree garland (which has miraculously lasted for 15+ years) and every time we wrap it around the tree, I remember stringing popcorn with my sister and our friends, watching Christmas movies and eating a fair amount of popcorn in the process.  Another year, she simply switched out our multicolored tree lights for white ones.  In that spirit, I upgraded my tree skirt this year.  Previously, I had a brown velvet one with mother of pearl beads sewn around the hem.  However, after a few years of packing and unpacking, the shell embellishments were cracking and falling off.  I replaced it a silver sequined skirt that feels like a more appropriate partner for the silver star that presides over my tree.

Relish the results

6 Christmas Decorating Ideas | Relish the Results

I think that this is probably the most important step: enjoying the fruits of your Christmas decorating labor.  After you’ve finished, take some time to sit down with some eggnog (or holiday beverage of choice) and just take in the scene.  Let the joy of the holidays wash over you, enhanced by your now-festive surroundings.

 

Motley Decor Kinda Sorta Predicted Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year

A couple of weeks ago, I posted 7 Surprisingly Chic Paint Colors, in which, I listed my top picks for wall and paint colors that might not instantly jump to mind, but often turn out looking fabulous.  At the top of my list, in spots 1 and 2 were Blush and Periwinkle, respectively.  So, you can imagine my excitement when color powerhouse and paint authority Pantone announced that their 2016 Color of the Year–or more accurately their colors of the year–are Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Let’s be honest: the only difference between Rose Quartz and Blush is a pinch of beige in the latter.  Otherwise, they are both soothing, pastel shades of pink.

And Serenity is simply a shade or two lighter than Periwinkle.  Both are blue hues, bordering on violet.

So, if kinda sorta forecasting Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year–or colors of the year–doesn’t lend Motley Decor some serious street cred, then I don’t know what…

Of course, it hadn’t occurred to me to use these two colors in concert as Pantone is clearly suggesting.  This seems like a slippery slope that could result in your “grown up” room looking like a co-ed nursery.  However, here are some tips for avoiding that…

1.  Double Down on One or the Other

2016 Color of the Year Palette Idea 1

The idea here is give priority to one of the colors and then add layers of similar shades.    In this example, Serenity combines with Indigo, Navy, and Turquoise, forming a blue majority.  Complimentary colors Cranberry and Rose Quartz serve as accents.

2.  Choose a Neutral Base

2016 Color of the Year Palette Idea 2

Sometimes establishing a neutral base, allows accent colors to be seen more clearly.  In a sea of neutrals, the eye is drawn to color and that color is untainted by competing hues.  Here, Ivory, Camel, Chocolate, and White are used generously, shifting attention to the minority shades of Rose Quartz and Serenity.  A pinch of Olive (arguably a neutral) makes a small cameo as well.

3.  Embrace Adjacent Hues

Color of the Year Palette Ideas, 3 of 3

The distance between Rose Quartz and Serenity on the color wheel is purple territory.  So, naturally, shades of violet marry well with this color combo.  Above, Thistle, Aubergine, and Grape mingle with Color of the Year 1 and Color of the Year 2 effortlessly.  To add interest, Aqua and Lake are thrown in, representing the hues adjacent to Serenity on the other side of the color wheel.

So, what do you think about Pantone’s 2016 color of the year selections?  Were you surprised?  Will this impact your home decorating plans for 2016?

Did you miss the Benjamin Moore color the year?  Their choice may surprise you…

A Pair of Chet Beardsley Chairs Get an Update

I first saw these Chet Beardsley chairs on Craigslist, advertised by a local thrift shop.  I had been on the hunt for a pair of vintage chairs for  a while and they had all started to look the same–but not these.   These chairs had alluring curves, elongated backs, and generously proportioned seats.  I was enamored and rushed over to the store to see them in person.

Pair of Chet Beardsley chairs

Truth be told, they were in horrible shape with badly stained mustard-gold upholstery and honey-stained oak legs that–while period appropriate–made me cringe just a little.  Still, they were too unique to pass up, so I paid for them and took them home.

It wasn’t until I had them in the house that I looked under the seat and saw the Chet Beardsley sticker.

Chet Beardsley for Living Designs sticker

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find any information about designer Chet Beardsley online.  From what I’ve read, he was a Danish designer influenced by Adrian Pearsall and active in the 1950s-1970s.  A friend put me in touch with a mid century modern furniture “expert” who assured me that Chet Beardsley’s designs were “good solid stuff”.

Then came the difficult decision of how to refinish them.  Updating them for today while respecting their original era launched me into a tailspin of indecision and paralysis.  But, when I saw this fabric swatch featured in an issue of House Beautiful, the incessant internal debating came to an end.

Robert Allen Fabric Malakos Ink

I knew that the elongated, marbled pattern would suit the unique shape of my Chet Beardsley-designed dining chairs.  From there, all of the other decisions came easily.  After having lived with the wood stain of the swivel base, I was ready to compromise on period correctness and go with something darker.  Because many of Chet Beardsley’s similar chairs had a wood back (instead of fabric on both sides), I thought it was appropriate to employ leather on the backsides (matching the new wood stain as closely as possible) and securing it with brass nail heads.  This was the result…

Updated Chet Beardsley Chair

My husband and I eat dinner of these every night and I absolutely love them.  Perhaps I took too long deciding how to refinish and reupholster them, but in the end, it turned out all right.

Gift Ideas for Design Lovers

Well, it’s officially December and if you squandered all those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals (like I did), you may be realizing (as I am) that it’s time to get serious about gift shopping this holiday season–and that the clock is ticking!  There are only 5 days until Hanukkah begins and 24 days left until Christmas.  And, if November was any indication, the month of December will fly by.

In an effort to help soothe any anxieties you may be having (and that I am definitely having), here are some gift ideas for design lovers…

For the most part, my gift ideas for design lovers fall into 5 categories:

1. Sources of Inspiration

Magazine subscriptions are the gift that keep on giving all year.  When I come home from a long day of work and see a glossy new House Beautiful on my counter, I break into a happy dance.  Elle Decor, Veranda, and Architectural Digest are also great ideas.  If you prefer to watch the recipient rip open the wrapping paper, consider a design book.  Eddie Ross has a new one out called “Modern Mix” and Jean-Louis Deniot’s first book is still fairly new and generating buzz.  Of course, if you prefer to share this wonderful blog you’re reading, good news: it’s totally free!

2. Bougie Barware

The bar cart has been a phenomenon in home decorating as of late, so it’d be hard to compile a list of gift ideas for design lovers without incorporating some fabulous drinking paraphernalia, such as fancy…

  • Bottle stoppers
  • Bottle openers
  • Coasters
  • Decanters
  • Cocktail shakers
  • Ice buckets
  • Wine chillers

Look for beautiful and luxurious barware that your recipient might not splurge on for him or herself.  Alternatively, seek out vintage barware from an era that he or she loves.

3. Hosting Tools

There are certain things that a host or hostess will simply never have enough of, like:

  • Coasters
  • Serving platters
  • Games
  • Cook books

And then there are those items that add a little luxury to a gathering, but that perhaps didn’t make it onto the wedding gift registry, for instance…

  • Dessert forks
  • Espresso cups
  • A cute apron
  • Wine glass markers
  • Digestif glasses

4. Gourmet Gifts

Beyond the predictable bottle of wine, there are plenty of gourmet food and drink items that make great gift ideas for design lovers and epicureans.  Look into quality:

  • Olive Oil
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Specialty salts
  • Craft beer
  • Cheeses

5. Personal Luxuries

Then there are those little luxuries that do wonders for relieving stress…a great smelling candle can be restorative, a beautiful pashmina can be draped over the shoulders or the end of a sofa, and a day at the spa certainly never hurt anyone.

Gift ideas for design lovers on MotleyDecor.com

Above from left to right: Eddie Ross’ Modern Mix, Truffle salt from Williams Sonoma, a handmade apron found on etsy, mirrored coasters from WestElm.com, Kelly Wearstler’s Acolyte ice pail, Cards Against Humanity, Espresso cups by Tom Dixon, glass decanter from Jonathan Adler.  

Hopefully reading this post has sparked some gift ideas for design lovers in your life.  Happy Shopping!

 

 

 

4 Lessons I Learned by Visiting LACMA

If you live in the LA area and haven’t visited LACMA, you’re missing out on one of our city’s gems.  With an impressive permanent collection and fantastic traveling exhibitions on display, a trip to this art museum never disappoints.  It’s one of my go-to places to take out of town guests.  Such was the case on the Friday following Thanksgiving, when my husband, in-laws, and I piled into the car and headed to LACMA.

As I browsed around, taking in everything from paintings by Picasso to ancient Indian carvings with mind-blowing attention to detail, I couldn’t help but relate the LACMA experience to home decorating.  It struck me that some of the tactics LACMA’s curators employ can be put to work in the home.  Here’s what I learned…

1. Use Color to Establish a Mood

4 Lessons I Learned from LACMA | Color

Each room is saturated in a single shade befitting the subject matter.  The the ancient Indian art I mentioned earlier was housed in a sea of deep, espresso brown, imparting a sense of history.  By contrast, more contemporary and provocative works of art hung against a background of sterile white.  Furthermore, as I moved around the various exhibits at LACMA, the different colored walls served as a clue as to what world I would enter next: the sobering world of Weimar Republic or the mysterious realm of “The Magic Medium”.  Regardless of the discipline, color made the first impression and began the process of establishing an atmosphere appropriate for that particular room.  This is also true in the home where bedrooms tend to come in soothing shades, while dining rooms are often painted in energizing hues.

2. Diverse Works of Art Can Live in Close Proximity

4 Lessons I Learned at LACMA | Diversity

Although each room in LACMA is thematic, that theme is not always instantly apparent.  Paintings, sculptures, and installations coexist in a space and, when the common thread that unites them isn’t obvious, I find myself more intrigued.  The same can be said for the art in your home.  If the pieces seem disparate, that’s ok.  The unifying element is your individual  taste–a function of your beautiful, multi-faceted personality.

3. Frames (or Lack thereof) Matter

4 Lessons I Learned at LACMA | Frames Matter

A painting’s frame is an important extension of the art, the artist, or even the art owner.  In some cases, the frame is a better indicator of time period than the art itself.  A frame’s color might pick up and emphasize and important shade within the piece.  By the same token, a simple–or even an absent–frame might focus the attention on the art’s message.  If you’ve ever had anything custom-framed, you know that the possibilities are endless and sometimes overwhelming.  If such an endeavor is in your future, take a page out of LACMA’s book and let the art–and how you feel about it–guide you.

4. Plexiglass is Your Friend

4 Lessons I Learned from LACMA | Plexiglass

A friend with an energetic 10-year-old and Chihuly glass art in storage recently asked me if she should retrieve her delicate treasures and display them in plexiglass cases or just wait until her son was older and skip the plexiglass.  I was emphatically in favor of the former and my recent trip to LACMA only reinforced my position on the matter.  While seemingly overtly utilitarian, a protective encasement can denote a sense of preciousness (not unlike the frame of a painting).  If museums like LACMA use them to to surround priceless artifacts, why can’t home decorators use them to display and protect everything from Chihuly glass art to their children’s pottery?

 

Note: All photos in this post are from LACMA’s instagram feed, which I follow highly recommend.

4 Easy Thanksgiving Centerpieces You Still Have Time to Make

With all of the madness that comes in the days preceding Thanksgiving, there are often little details that are overlooked.  If your tablescape falls into that category, here are 4 easy Thanksgiving centerpieces you can pull off in the 11th hour and still dazzle your guests…

Sugared fruit thanksgiving centerpieces

Sugared fruit sparkles in candlelight and makes for a festive focal point.  Photo from DiscoverYourJoieDeVivre blog.

Edible cheese centerpiece

If any holiday deserves an edible centerpiece, it’s Thanksgiving!  Steal this clever idea from Southern Living and stack cheeses in a cake formation, adorn them with flowers and herbs, and encourage your guests to nibble in between courses.

scattered candlesticks centerpiece

Modwedding cleverly grouped miscellaneous candlesticks together to light and gussy up this table.  If you have a collection of candlesticks, you might try this easy idea…

Pheasant feather Autumn centerpiece

And finally, why not use season-appropriate pheasant feathers in place of flowers?  Nathan Turner did just that in this lovely Domino feature.

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