Written by: Tami

Next week, households across the United States will be cooking turkeys, gathering together to tell what they are thankful for, and possibly even catching a football game on TV. Thanksgiving is literally right around the corner! It doesn’t feel like a year has passed since we were getting ready for this joyous holiday last. As I am sure is the case with many couples, my husband and I have gotten into the habit of trading off between his family and mine each year. Gotta keep things fair! As a newer addition to Phil’s family, I feel I have a lot to offer in the form of setting new traditions and giving holidays a bit of a refresh. So when my in-laws contacted me about being in charge of the decor for this occasion I happily obliged. Here is a look back on what I did to decorate our family table for Thanksgiving last year and the delicious meal my mother-in-law prepared.


My first priority when designing how a space will “dress up” for a holiday or event is to make sure that the decor enhances the established look of the space and does not compete with it. Bringing in colors that have not already been introduced is fine when working with a more simple or monochromatic palette, but can look messy in a more colorful room. In this case, I know my in-laws love blue and white and have chosen to use these colors in their living and dining areas so that became my color story as well and my starting point for this design.


Why not make use of items that already live in this space? Karen and Mitch have a beautiful collection of blue and white pots that I knew had to be used as their table centerpiece, and this Williams Sonoma table runner was a gift from me and Phil for the holidays the previous year. 


As I knew the plan was to set up the food buffet style and therefore it would not need space on the table, my goal was to give the table a very full, vibrant feel. 


I planted the jars with a few of my mother-in-laws favorite plants so that they could be used in her garden later and added some mercury glass candle holders and a pop of orange into the mix.


Each place was set with shiny silver chargers and handmade craft paper napkin rings to tell each guest how thankful we were to have them there.


Another plant and some fresh oranges and persimmons were added elsewhere in the room as well.



Phil has also established a new tradition in the last few years. He has perfected the art of cutting a turkey and has gladly shown off this skill in his parent’s home. 


I love that my mother-in-law has introduced me to some new holiday foods such as this delicious mushroom medley …


… and I have introduced some into her home as well. I truly can’t live without yams and marshmallows on Thanksgiving!


From our family to yours, we wish you a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving! I am looking forward to next week’s festivities and all that my side of the family has to offer this year. More than anything, I am thankful for family and friends, knowing that my little girl will be here to celebrate with us next year, and for all of you who continue to follow our story online. Thank you to all of our readers! May you have the best Thanksgiving yet! 


On Monday (as seen in our featured post, Wild Wicked West), we shared details from this year’s western themed Halloween decor. We also mentioned that this year we once again planned a truly magical event (along with a very talented list of vendors) to go with this theme. Our vision while planning for this year’s Halloween party was to go all out in a very casual rustic way by bringing in talent, activities for both the kids and adults, and lots and lots of hay bales and barrels. We believe all of these things were accomplished by bringing in each individual who was the best of the best at their craft. Guests enjoyed a backyard BBQ feel taken to the next level. Here are the details …

Our doorman from Steven Petrarca Events was necessary in making sure to keep this event exclusive. Only the most decked out cowboys and cowgirls were invited to attend (aka 200 of our client’s closest family and friends).

Upon entering the party, guests were greeted with a spooky walkway filled with fog and a few more of LA Circus‘ fun props.

This large grass area was set up with small seating areas (low and high) for guests to take a seat while eating their BBQ meal. We included tons of wine barrel cocktail tables, table overlays made of burlap, wooden chairs, and even two over-sized straw sofas. So cool! Shout out to all of the rentals companies who provided their very best service and supplies; Signature Party Rentals, Imperial Party RentalsYorba Linda Feed Store, and Evans Family Barrels.

On each table, we included a mason jar filled with sun flowers and some bloody body parts, red and clear votive candles, blood-stained bandanas, and some spooky surprises. 

These signs served their purpose of directing guests towards all of the fun activities and things to do that this party had to offer. 

Wine barrel bars were set up for adults to enjoy hard ciders and other specialty cocktails. 

Great pride was taken by all those who helped to select each of these root beers, cinnamon whiskeys, and spirits. To say that even the smallest detail stuck with the theme is a complete understatement. 

The kids had their own bars as well; one with drinks and one with snacks … Take a chip, if you dare! There was an actual hand that would pop up through this chip bowl and give the taker a little trick! If you really dare, you would eat one of these critter snacks made from real crickets and creatures.

We guess this pup wasn’t really missing (or wanted) after all … Or is that why she is in costume?

The photo booth was the perfect place to stop and snap a quick pic! Our friends at Cliques Photo Booth provided props (such as cowboy hats and lassos) as well as immediate black and white printed keepsakes for all of the guests.

This upper area was turned into the saloon. Large swinging doors, bales of hay, and professional Blackjack and Poker tables could be found here.  

The dealers got in character too! Each put on a mustache, bandana, and a cowboy hat and were ready to roll! Guests loved playing against their families, and the kids even had a few tables of their own with fun prizes.

The BBQ buffet dinner was a huge hit as well. Rosie’s provided tri tip, pulled pork sliders, corn cobbettes, potato salad, and slaw. Other BBQ favorites were devoured as well; ribs from Craig’s, chicken and mac ‘n cheese from Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken, and some good ‘ole beans made right at home. The options were endless and so delicious!


Shout out to Skye for planning some really awesome crafts for the kids to enjoy including mini pumpkin decorating, shrunken heads in jars, and more.

The lights, fog, and old westerns on the big screen that were set up by Party Layne Events were vital in setting the scene for this next activity …

What is a western themed event without country line dancing? DJ Michael and Kyle from Oil Can Harry’s got the crowd on their feet to each country beat! This was by far the most fun to watch from a hay bale on the side and take part in right there on the dance floor.

The zombies came out for their favorite tune as well … Thriller!

Kathy and her Critters were called upon as well to make sure that all guests had a good time. That is if your idea of fun is sticking your hand in a jar full of moving meal worms!

In addition to making up all of the zombie actors she cast, Bria and her crew provided scars and gore for guests in their beautiful make-up area complete with light up mirrors.

Each actor brought personality and charm to this event taking pictures with guests and staying in character as much as possible.

All guests stopped by the candy and dessert bar on their way out. There was something for each sweet tooth in the bunch! We especially loved Rosie’s famous brownies and cornbread, the sliced watermelon, pumpkin tartlets, mini cupcakes, and tons of custom western themed M&M’s. 


What a fabulous evening! This was truly a team effort! Each of this event’s vendors made the theme their own and went to great lengths to make each guest happy. We especially want to give a huge shout out to Ryan and Ryan for their patience and expertise. Hope ya’ll enjoyed the inside scoop on everything this party had to offer as well! 

All photographs taken by Dewey Tann of Cliques Photo Booth and Joel Danto of Danto Photography


Over the past six years, we have been working to come up with new themes to decorate the front yard of this home for Halloween (seen on our previous posts: Haunted GraveyardHaunted CircusHaunted HollywoodHaunted Pirates, and Greek Mythology with a Haunted Twist). As this year’s project quickly approached, we challenged ourselves to come up with something that would be unexpected and even bigger, better, and more scary than the previous years. Once we settled on an overall theme, we began working together with this very special family and a team of talented vendors to create a Halloween scene like no other including large rented props, sound, fog machines, loads of lights, the scariest characters we could find, and the most hay bales anyone has ever put on their front lawn (300 to be exact). What we were most excited for this Halloween though, was to not only create a concept and bring it to life in this family’s front yard for all to see, but to once again plan a Halloween party in the same theme for their guests to enjoy.

Although Halloween is over, and we are all getting ready for the next upcoming holidays, this post is worth the wait and full of details from our Wild Wicked West display #sbsdesignhalloween (Party details are on their way too … Check back on Wednesday!).

Two donkeys and their weary farmer are found way out at the edge of this over-sized lawn. We love working with LA Circus for all of their large props that they provide, but it is the small details that really make the biggest difference. You wouldn’t believe all of the old fashioned farm tools they had just lying around ready to be used for this specific theme.

We hope this cowboy and his bull don’t get a snake bite! Aren’t they spectacular?!

As we mentioned, we ordered 300 hay bales from our friends at Yorba Linda Feed Store. When they started coming by the truck-full we had to get real creative with how to display each one. This scary skeleton calf finished off the look.

You can’t have cowboys without horses! We love this mix of old beat-up carousel with the skeleton kind.

This wagon, though, takes the cake! Especially with creepy crawlers coming from inside.

We set up a viewing station for the undead to watch old black and white westerns.

Here’s a few of our favorites … We just couldn’t resist this horse mask! A little humor goes a long way on Halloween night!

These steam punk guys are just too cool for words!

A hay-lined walk up to the front door and loads of wine barrels too! By now (if you have been following this project for a while), you might have noticed that these zombie girls always make an appearance. We like to leave a little bit of us in our displays. This year, their matching hats and bloody cowgirl gear were a perfect finishing touch!

The boy who calls this place his home took great pride in creating these wanted posters to decorate the trees outside. He used his family dog as the culprit and made each sign with a different picture. 

The sheriff and his pet vulture keep watch over the front door and just how many chocolate bars each trick-or-treater trys to get their hands on.

Fog and lighting were key in making this display come to life. Shout out to Party Layne Events for their audio visual expertise!

These boots were made for walking! 

What brought this saloon to life were the fun strung lights, the old west backdrops for passers by to take photos in …

… and these two kooky banjo players!

The last area was turned into the graveyard. Another fun photo backdrop was used here as well. Ever wanted to take your pic in county jail?

Piles and piles of bones came spilling out of this hay bale cave. Keep your distance from this area after dark!

See what happens when you go mosey-ing around a graveyard! They got this cowboy and his little dog too!

We filled this cart with bloody body parts … So gross!   

Just in case this display wasn’t scary enough, zombie cowboys were set free to roam the property the night of our big event.


Shout out to Bria, Kyle, and Michelle for doing such an amazing job with casting, make-up, and costumes! These zombie cowboys and cowgirls looked the part and stayed in character the entire time.

The party is just getting started! Stay tuned for more from this fabulous event on Wednesday here at Side by Side Design!

All photographs taken by Dewey Tann of Cliques Photo Booth and Joel Danto of Danto Photography



We are so excited to once again share our monthly inspiration with all of you! Each month, we look forward to getting the chance to sit down and really think about what’s inspiring us, make predictions for the month ahead, and reflect on the past month. As usual, we have each selected a photo that represents our overall inspiration and have paired it with two interior shots and two events that coordinate with its color scheme and overall concept. In addition, we have provided you with our designer tips to keep you on trend for the month ahead. 

Tami’s inspired: This November, I have so many things to be thankful for! Top of my list being the little girl that is rapidly growing inside of me. I am so lucky to finally be feeling great and to have the energy to get stuff done especially with all that I will need to prepare for her arrival. Don’t get me wrong … I still want to eat heaping spoonfulls of anything I can get my hands on, but that’s what Thanksgiving is all about, right? I do have a major excuse this year to gorge on all of my favorite foods.

What’s my designer tip this month? Truly appreciate your space! Keep it nice, clean, and ready for guests at all times. Who knows who will be in town for the upcoming holidays. If you are hosting, bring in fresh florals in a crisp white color scheme and incorporate some fun unexpected details such as these magnolia leaf seating cards. 

Lauren’s inspired: Work hard to play hard … With Halloween behind us and our biggest event of the year completed, I thought this month would provide a chance to slow down. This may not be the case. We have a Bar Mitzvah mid-month and I am working on a hair salon redesign which will be completed this month as well (amongst many other interior design projects I have in the works). I know I will need to work hard to get all of these things done, but my plan is to enjoy the down time and relax as much as possible. 

What’s my designer tip this month? Give your space a relaxed feel! When your home is calm, it helps you to calm down as well. That doesn’t mean you can’t add in playful touches such as this fun dining room light fixture, but keep your colors basic and your overall tone natural and mellow. When entertaining, put up a pot of seasonal cider. A warm drink is always appreciated and the smells of the season will set a comforting tone.

Here at Side by Side Design, we look forward to an exciting month including the photos from our fabulous Western themed Halloween decor and party, a hair salon redesign, a special Bar Mitzvah, and many many more things we are thankful for! Don’t forget to check out our next Get Inspired post on December 1st for all new looks and inspiration! 


We are beyond grateful for all of the design challenges and experiences that have come our way this month, especially in regards to one particular project we are working on. Today, we continue to show you five favorites (But sorry, they are all about our upcoming event because that’s really all we can think about at the moment!). It just so happens that this year is our sixth time planning our big Halloween event so we have five past years to look back on (… and boy has this project come a long way!). We are excited to share this story with you, let you in on a few sneak peeks of what we have in the works for next week’s festivities, and highlight a few vendors that deserve recognition. Enjoy!

#1: This spooky scene! In the beginning, we decided to come up with a Halloween concept to keep things cohesive throughout this over-sized front lawn (as seen on our previous post, Haunted Graveyard). As it was our first time creating a design for a space this large, we knew we needed lots of props and therefore came up with the graveyard theme. We sure were learning the ropes! We are very proud of what we accomplished that first year as it allowed us to grow exponentially since.

#2: This theme! The next year, we came back with a vengeance (as seen on our previous post, Haunted Circus). We stepped up our game in a really big way and our lives were forever changed when we met our girl Wini at LA Circus. Bringing in large circus props such as wagon trains, tents, and ticket booths were just what we needed to start filling up that space. It was so fun to see passersby react to this animated and lively Halloween scene.

#3: This local reference! From there, we knew we had to come up with a new and creative idea each year to keep things interesting. Our Haunted Hollywood theme is still one of our favorites to this day! What a fun way to reference this awesome city that we live in and the industry that our clients love. We brought in an actual 8 foot tall Hollywood sign, a casting couch, set up a cast party and movie screening complete with theater chairs and all. Skeleton paparazzi made an appearance and so did all of our clients friends and family on the red carpet at their first Halloween extravaganza. 

#4: This party! Year number four was huge for us as well. Not only was this custom built pirate ship larger than life (as seen on our previous post, Haunted Pirates) , but we were asked to plan this Haunted Pirates Halloween Party as well. We brought in actors, kids activities such as a parrot petting zoo and sword fighting, tray passed appetizers, a delicious buffet meal for all of their guests, and an overflowing treasure chest of candy too.

#5: These kids’ choice! Last year, it was kid’s choice all the way! Our client’s twins were studying Greek Mythology and wanted to create a scene with all of their favorite mythological characters, and thus Greek Mythology with a Haunted Twist was born. In the front yard, lions, chariots, and Greek gods and goddesses were in demand, and a Haunted Toga Party was planned for the eve of Halloween night. We are not going to lie … Those kids gave us a real challenge with that theme, and we could not be more proud of what we came up with. 

Next week is Halloween, and as we have shared we will be creating another spooky scene in a Wild Wicked Western theme. We have brought back some of our favorite vendors from years past and have met some really awesome new ones along the way that we can’t wait to work with. Of course, we will post the details and photos here as soon as we possibly can! We plan to share our “Favorite Five” for the month of November on the 24th, and of course will be sharing what’s inspiring us for the month ahead on the first Friday of the month. See ya soon!