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A Wedding in the Heart of Home

Home is the most intimate of settings for a wedding. Florals: bloominous.com; Floor mirror: Hooker Furniture.

 What could be more charming or more personal than having a wedding ceremony at home? 

We have cherished photos of a loving couple who took their vows in our house. And, one of the most delightful weddings I attended was an at-home wedding– the bride coming down the stairs, bouquet in hand, roses brought to full bloom. If there’s a marriage in the future of your family, here are some ways to have a memorable and intimate wedding day in the heart of home.

A wood rose mantle, built with a simple structure and large art frame, can be a beautiful centerpiece for the ceremony at home.


Surely, you should choose a lovely setting for your marriage planning. So, have a bouquet of flowers, the best china cups, and set the mood for the glorious event to come. To ensure the intimacy of the occasion and that each detail is remembered, meet around a round dining table with comfy chairs for planning.

Be transported to the romantic villas and artisan ambiance of Tuscany, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance with Auberose, a European Country collection. Hooker Furniture.

The Auberose 72-inch round pedestal table makes a delightful setting for planning and many other occasions associated with an at-home wedding.

To help with your planning, we recommend Southern Living Wedding Planner.


“Dear Ones…” Perhaps this is the first line of your invitations. Since most home ceremonies are small affairs, preparing invitations will be a very personal moment for a bride-to-be and her family. Perhaps she will settle in a home office or at a very pretty deskThere are so many ways to make invitations inspiring…formal, informal and fun. It will be the bride’s choice how she welcomes guests to her home.

Brides-to-be take pleasure in creating and sending wedding invitations. Make addressing them an experience at the 60-inch Arabella Mirrored Writing Desk. A center door drops down for keyboard use. Hooker Furniture.

For invitation ideas, you might consult Wedding Paper Divas.

For some couples, a video invitation allows them to tell their story together, as well as imparting all the important information, right down to directions to the home.

From Hooker Furniture’s contemporary Skyline Collection, this bureau with its beautiful polished wood, holds a TV, cable box and DVR. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Find ideas for video wedding invitations at: Exquisite Weddings Magazine. 


The bride’s bouquet is the crown jewel of wedding decor. Photo: bloominous.com

Of course, the bride’s bouquet is the crown jewel of wedding flowers. So special that the bride herself might want a hand in creating her own , with the help of such websites as bloominous.com.  At Bloominous, a bride is taken by the hand, offering floral choices and ways to create not only the bridal bouquet, but flowers for her attendants as well, and decorations for the home. 


A floor-to-ceiling mirror is a must for dressing for the wedding. Photos: Dress: Designer Pat Kerr; Mirror: Hooker Furniture

Many have experienced the flutter of activity around dressing on a wedding day. The perfect scene is a beautiful bedroom, and most important–a floor-to-ceiling mirror so that the bride is viewed from every angle. Attendants also will enjoy their appointed place to prepare for the big moment. These are places where a mother pins on a brooch that has been in the family for years, or the bride thanks her attendants with gifts.

The Chatelet Floor Mirror is not only romantic in style; it has secret storage for jewelry when you open the mirrored door. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

The Vera Floor Mirror is another romantic and functional choice for viewing the wedding party from every angle. Photo: Hooker Furniture


Guests often mingle before the ceremony in the family home– or in the garden, weather permitting. When the ceremony is about to start, all attention is on the place where the bride and groom exchange their vows. Perhaps it is a fireplace in the living room, before a large window or under a rose arbor in the garden.


Home is festooned with flowers and decorations befitting the occasion. They may be very simple if the bride wishes. Here is where the dining room shines as the center of activity, perhaps for a buffet of food. A beautiful dining table is the stage where the centerpiece and wedding cake enchant your guests.

The centerpiece, selected by the bride to share with her guests, may be her own creation with the help of bloominous.com. Here, simple white roses are her heart’s desire.

From the True Vintage Collection, a rectangular dining table with ornately carved pedestals inspired by vintage artifacts and classical motifs. It’s commodious enough to host a wedding buffet. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

An at-home wedding just might inspire the bride and her family to make their very own cake, like this pansy wedding cake from Southern Living. The recipe is available at myrecipes.com.

 Memories to Share

Every moment of an at-home wedding is engraved in memories. And for years to come, anniversary after anniversary, happy moments can be shared in the comfortable setting that was so important on that wedding day.


Celebrate the Look of New American Style

This year, let your American pride show for more than a day. Photos: Keith Scott Morton, Country Living; Better Homes & Gardens, Hooker Furniture.

As a nation, we’re gearing up for our biggest bash of the year.

On the 4th of July, it’s tradition to go all out with bunting, picnics  and tasty seasonal treats.

Aspire to celebrate the independent spirit this day represents year-round, but in a super stylish way?  Now you can with furniture that has an American design point-of-view honed from our unique history as a nation, but updated for how we live today.

Aptly named, Hooker Furniture’s new American Life Collection (which debuts at authorized furniture retailers throughout the U.S. by late summer, is all about how Americans live and aspire to live, evoking a sense of community, easy living, craftsmanship and authenticity that’s culturally relevant today. Pieces tap into design attributes that are distinctly American –in heritage and heart– while mixing beauty with comfort in ways that everyone from millennials to empty nesters will enjoy.

History takes a seat at the table in an updated American way with the Roslyn Country Trestle Table. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

For example, in Washington D.C.’s National Gallery of Art is a trestle table— the oldest type of dining table in America (and possibly the world).  Like its ancestor, the American Life Roslyn Country trestle table is crafted of a thick wood plank top and trestle base, infusing interiors with authenticity and architectural interest. But this farm-to-decor look is also quite of the moment because it taps into the trend of simple, yet luxe, living—especially when the table is paired with the deconstructed upholstered bench in a linen-like fabric and finished with dressmaker details like decorative nail heads.

Sectionals are practically perfect. Photo: Bradington-Young.

Sectional sofas represent one of the most enduring furniture forms in America. The earliest examples still around (there’s one from 1820 in Fredericksburg, Virginia) date back to Civil War days. Many Boomers grew up with sectionals in their rec rooms. And now millennials are discovering their appeal, too, because sectionals can be easily modified to fit the scale of great rooms in today’s open floorplans.  The Grayson Sectional in luxe leather takes modular seating up a notch with premier down seating and lots of custom options—like turned or tapered legs, welt or double-needle seam treatments and the choice of any wood finish offered.

A dramatic dark charcoal finish with silver accenting, carved raised surfaces and decorative nail trim make this bed a sleeping beauty. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Inspired by a pair of centuries-old doors, the Vintage West Wood Panel Bed captures the spirit of the American West in a rustic yet refined way.

Here’s how to make storage a pretty part of the room. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

With its subtle distressed creamy white finish and beadboard accent panel, the Sandcastle Console Table is coastal casual meets cottage charm. American design elements, like spindle legs and floral motif hardware, add soft vintage appeal.

This is American multi-function design at its best. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

At first glance, the Hill Country Pinta Trail Strong Box cocktail table looks like an Old West time traveler. However, beneath the sliding top of this rustic piece (inspired by Texas Hill Country) is a modern storage masterpiece with removable trays, a 9-cell wine rack and three deep storage cubbies.

Who says storage chests can’t be sleek sophisticates? Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Aptly named, the Melange Park Avenue Chest delivers the uptown urban swank that the city that never sleeps is known for. Park Avenue’s rich brown-black, textured finish elegantly contrasts with metal accents that add gleam to its contemporary frame.

This desk delivers va-va-voom that every home office could use. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

The Melange Fluted Desk  adds a touch of Old Hollywood glam with its classic curved kidney shape, lanky legs and jewelry-like drawer pulls. More than a pretty face, this desk houses a practical locking file drawer with a Pendaflex letter/legal filing system, two storage drawers and a center drop-front drawer sized right for a computer keyboard.

Embrace the spirit of the Fourth of July all summer: Salute American style in a new way and for more than one day.




7 Ways to Wow Dad on Father’s Day

Give Dad a stylish break from ho-hum gifts this Father’s Day. Photos: Better Homes & Gardens, Hooker Furniture, Bradington-Young.

Are you related to one of the 70+ million dads in the U.S.? Then it’s time to shop because Father’s Day is coming! If the search for the perfect present is proving perplexing, pause and ponder this. Like most fellas, yours likely has enough neckties, golf balls and socks to last a lifetime. So resist the temptation to slap a bow on the tried-and-true and call it a day. This year, give dad something really special. 

Go for the wow. Here are seven ways how…

Cowboy up in a chic way. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Inspired by hand-wrought ironwork that Hooker Furniture designers discovered during a trip to Texas Hill Country, the Pinta Trail Strong Box Cocktail Table is trimmed out with rustic metal straps and nailheads that add a touch of the Old West to man caves. And there’s more…

Inside the Pinta Trail Strong Box, there’s a surprise. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

When Dad opens the top of this refined rustic piece, he’ll discover plenty of space to stash his stuff. Inside are two removable trays, a 9-cell wine rack and three deep storage cubbies.

A modern take on a classic, the Greco Reclining Chair is upholstered in luxe leather and embellished with gleaming decorative nailheads that accentuate its streamlined silhouette in a manly way. A power recline option is also available for dads who want to nap like they mean it.

Turn the table on entertainment in mid-century modern style. Photo: Hooker Furniture

The Studio 7H Record Player/Gaming Console puts a new spin on family fun. This retro-inspired cabinet is designed with designated areas for a turntable and speakers, albums and gaming equipment. It’s also outfitted with cutouts for cord management. 

There’s more to this table than meets the eye. Photo: Hooker Furniture.

Dads who are into classic fun like chess or checkers will flip their lid for the Flip-Top Game Table. At first glance, this looks like a side table sized right for tucking next to a favorite arm chair or placing in a narrow hall. 

But with a flip of its top, a game board is revealed that’s also large enough to do puzzles or play cards on. 

Dads and chili are a synonymous pairing, which makes this recipe a great pick. Ed Anderson, Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC

For the dad who loves to eat (and don’t they all?), double the wow by serving him a he-man breakfast in bed after he opens his gift. A Chili and Cheese Omelet from “Big Bad Breakfast” by John Currence is bound to impress.

Chili and Cheese Omelet 

from Big Bad Breakfast by John Currence

2 eggs

3 tablespoons whole milk

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

2 tablespoons clarified butter or your preferred cooking fat

3/4 cup Breakfast Chili (recipe follows), warmed

1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup sliced green onion, green part only

1/2 serrano chile, sliced (optional)

Combine the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend on the highest speed for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, warm the clarified butter in an 8-inch nonstick pan over low heat for 1 minute. Pour the eggs directly into the pan and allow to sit for 15 seconds. Turn the heat

to medium and start swirling the pan vigorously over the heat. Continue until the eggs are about 85 percent cooked, about 2 minutes; the omelet should be nice and fluffy. Flip the omelet with a spatula or a ick of the wrist and return to the heat for 10 seconds. Place 1⁄2 cup of the chili on one half of the omelet, top with the cheese and half of the green onions, and gently fold over the other half to cover the filling. Slide onto a plate and top with the remaining 1⁄4 cup chili. Sprinkle the serrano and remaining green onion on top. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Chili

Makes about 8 cups

2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper

1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion

2 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon hot chili powder

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups tomato sauce

1/4 cup masa (see Note)

Warm a Dutch oven over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and warm for 1 minute more. Add the beef and season lightly with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly to break up the meat, until the meat is completely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl and reserve. Pour off all but 4 tablespoons of the fat from the pot.

In the same pot, add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, until the onion is almost transparent, about 3 minutes. Return the beef to the pot and stir in the salt, black pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and cayenne followed by the stock, tomato sauce, and masa. Continue stirring until fully blended. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Uncover the pot and simmer for 12 minutes more, or until the chili thickens.

Refrigerate in a plastic container for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.

NOTE: Masa is wet ground cornmeal available at most grocery stores.

Reprinted with permission fromBig Bad Breakfast” by John Currence, copyright © 2016. Photography by Ed Anderson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC .



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