In our previous post, … Brings May Flowers, we shared a very special collaboration we had just begun with an extremely talented floral designer. As we continue to work with Kayla of House of Magnolias she continues to amaze us with her open mindedness to new possibilities in the realm of floral arrangements and how she puts her own spin on things each time. We are excited to welcome her back today with a truly inspirational photo shoot she had the opportunity to be a part of.


Written by: Kayla of House of Magnolias

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of collaborating with an amazing team on a Victorian Gothic inspired Bridal Tea Party. The shoot was set on an amazing property in Temecula among vineyards and pomegranate orchards. We focused most of the set around and underneath an overgrown oak tree. The shoot featured some amazing custom made cupcakes, one of a kind vintage decor, mismatched fine china, couture gowns, and of course over the top florals by House of Magnolias.

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I designed a hanging, lush, and overgrown centerpiece placed over our tea party table. We kept the table free of flowers to leave the focus on the amazing mismatched china by Sugarbaker and Toad. We completed the centerpiece by adding in some metallic gold candles.

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Our “bride” wore flowers in her hair and rocked a couture gown with amazing cut out details. Her bouquet was dramatic and over the top with a beautiful cascade of foxglove flowers.

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We strategically placed floral details all over the shoot to give it an overgrown but sweet touch.

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Check out more of the amazing details from Sugarbaker & Toad, Touched by Time Rentals, Stephanie Papay, and Ellatini Cakes. Photos courtesy of Teresa Nunez Photography.

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We are excited to announce that in addition to our beautiful Side by Side Design Photo Shoot, Kayla has once again agreed to collaborate on a project. We will be working together on a wedding in September! We promise to post photos and details as soon as we possibly can. If you are interested in being our next guest blogger, we would love to include your projects, inspiration, or creative business endeavor in our blog. You can contact us by posting a comment below or emailing us at


In the past, we have used our “T Side / L Side” series to showcase our own personal design styles and how we interpret that into decorating for holidays in our own homes. As twins, we have gotten used to doing so many things the same, however it is a fun challenge for us to take a concept for a project (such as holiday gift wrap) and discover ways to put our own spin on our two separate looks.

Recently we discovered that this relates to cooking as well. Our palettes are pretty much the same (except Lauren can’t stand mustard, and Tami can’t eat her turkey sandwich without it), but our cooking needs at this stage in our lives are pretty different. Lauren finds herself constantly searching for new recipes that will be good for her entire family while not taking up too much time and not utilizing too many ingredients. Tami also likes to make new dishes and has just moved into a new home where she feels she can spread out a bit (in the kitchen) as well as expand upon her cooking capabilities. This new addition to our “Food Fridays” feature will express these needs while staying true to the structure of our “T Side / L Side” posts. We have chosen one key ingredient to work with in selecting separate recipes to try out in our homes. Don’t think it was an easy feat though … remember what Bubba said in Forrest Gump? Shrimp can be used in just about anything.

T Side: My first thought was to use one of my favorite condiments (no not mustard … sriracha). So when I went to do my Pinterest search I typed in these two ingredients and found one I liked right away. I chose to make Zesty Sriracha Shrimp and Quinoa. Mmm Mmm good!


To find the recipe I used, follow this link. I promise you will not regret it!

L Side: Quesadillas are such a staple in our house. They are just so easy when we don’t know what to make. My husband has certain dinners he is in charge of, and quesadillas is one of them. This time, I decided to add some sauteed shrimp and some homemade “guac” to take this easy meal to the next level.

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A recipe I used once for fajitas called for the “3 C’s of seasoning” (curry, cumin, and chile powder). It’s easy to remember and tastes great as well. I added these same seasonings to my shrimp to give them a little kick. For the rest of the quesadilla, Scott has mastered his technique. He toasts the tortilla first in the toaster, then adds the cheese (and in this case shrimp), and sticks them in the oven for a couple of minutes until the cheese has completely melted. I don’t know what it is, but it always tastes better this way.

Like Bubba, we could probably go on for hours listing all of the yummy meals we could make with this delicious ingredient, but we won’t. That’s your job! Tell us, what is your favorite shrimp recipe?



Recently one of our readers gave us a great idea for a feature. They asked us a question that they knew would help them out in finishing off the look of their place while helping others who are looking for similar advice. The question was this … What in the world do I do to style my round coffee table? Do any of you guys have the same problem? We are sure this is not the first time this question has come up, as making accessories work on a round surface is neither straightforward nor easy.

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They sent us photos of their living room and coffee table so we could get a sense of the space and see what they are working with. In order to figure out what type of objects and different layouts would work, Lauren turned to Pinterest to gather inspiration and came up with a few tips that she thinks will help. Good luck!



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Cluster a few similar shaped objects on your table, slightly off-center. This will give them that casual feel as if they were just placed there by accident, even though the truth is it may have taken time to get it right.

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Lauren also loves the idea of an off-centered tray filled with smaller objects. Add another dish or bowl to the table to balance it out.

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If you enjoy balance and symmetry in your design and cringe at the thought of an off-centered display, a stack of books with a few objects on top creates height and makes for a great look.

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The thing all of these photos have in common is some greenery. Adding flowers or a small house plant to your table brings life to your space and dresses it up just right. In this particular photo, the flowers steal the show but the stacks of books on its sides are a wonderful addition.

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If you have a rather large table, you can stack books all the way around the center arrangement. However, Lauren thinks it looks best on a round surface to not try and make the books too straight. Off set one or two. We think you’ll like the look.


Do you have one roadblock in the way to your place  or event turning out fabulous? What is standing in your way? We are excited about this new feature and would love to help by providing our own design tips for these type of DIY situations. Comment below or email us at with your questions and / or pictures of your project, and we will do our best to include it in an upcoming post. What are you waiting for!

This past weekend, we took yet another trip out to Lauren’s in-laws to check on the progress of their place and make decisions for the next steps in the design process. As there are usually a few weeks between each of these visits, it is truly exciting each time to see the new developments and progress made. Although Robyn and Joel might not agree, we feel that their house is really starting to look like a home. Many of the cool design features we have planned for are completed at this point and we can finally see an end in sight.
When we started this process, Lauren’s in-laws went back and forth with their contractor trying to decide whether it would be worth it to add onto the house at this time. They were interested in creating a separate wing just off of the game room (as seen in our previous post Under Construction: Modern Dream Family Room) to house a home theater, craft room, and a bathroom easily accessible to those out by the pool. They decided, why not?
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The home theater was built to have a very simple layout. Two windows face the view, which unfortunately (due to the nature of the space) will be covered the majority of the time. A platform was added for maximum viewing pleasure, and the rest of the space will be enhanced through the various design elements we have planned.
Once all of the final plans were made for the room, the seating platform was changed. We decided two rows of seats would better fit the space. The walls were prepared for upholstery, the electrical component was completed, and Joel met with the audio visual specialist to come up with a complete equipment list. After all, a theater is really just any old room without the proper equipment, everything else is just for fun.
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During this past visit, we were so excited to see that the wall upholstery is almost complete. We selected this gray micro-suede to give the room a clean, polished, and ultramodern feel. The wall upholsterer is coming back this week to complete the job. He is installing strips of the carpet we are using on the blank columns which will house sconces for lighting. In addition, the carpet will get installed this week … we can’t wait to see how it looks!
Theater Inspiration
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These bright, red chairs are sure to stand out against the gray walls, but the green door just might steal the show. We selected this funky carpet pattern in order to tie everything together giving this couple (who love color) a room they are sure to enjoy. The silver sconces are another whimsical detail that give this space one more fun element to make it unique.
As we are finally getting close to completing the Under Construction portion of this series, we are growing more and more excited. We have just two more areas to share including the craft room and the gorgeous office we are working on with our dad. However, don’t you worry, this just means we are getting that much closer to showing you the finished product. Each of these spaces truly has its own unique character while staying true to the overall look and feel of the design. We are beyond excited for Robyn and Joel to move out of the one bedroom they currently reside in and to be able to enjoy the home of their dreams.

It’s Friday! Time for one of our favorite things … food! In our previous post, A 3rd Blog Birthday Party, we shared our Asian inspired menu for a very special event. Today (as promised) we will provide the recipe we used for that night’s signature cocktail, a mojito with an Asian twist. The website we found this recipe on said that “a spoon (actually two teaspoons) of honey make the vodka go down in the most delightful way”. We figured, how can you go wrong with a “refreshing blend of pears, basil, honey, and vodka” and our guests agreed. Follow these easy steps to make your own delicious pitcher of Asian Pear Cocktail. Enjoy!

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We decided to modify the recipe slightly, using the same ingredients but creating an entire pitcher full instead of making them by the glass.

1. Begin by slicing 2 Asian pears and 2 lemons in rounds. Add basil leaves all fruit, and ice to the bottom of the pitcher. Fill to about half way (This will ensure that your cocktail takes on these fresh flavors).

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2. Stir in pear vodka (we used Absolut Pears). The recipe says 2 oz. for an individual glass, but as we did not do it this way we were forced to come up with our own amounts (about 10 shot glasses full did the trick).

3. Add honey (to taste) and top off with ginger ale. Stir well and serve.

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We hope you have enjoyed this edition of our weekly Food Fridays post. Sharing these recipes helps us to think outside the box and try new things when entertaining in our homes. Do you have a favorite cocktail recipe to share? We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below with the link or your own unique recipe. Have a great weekend from Side by Side Design!