Wine. Snacks. Captivating conversations. Yep. Laurie loves her parties.
From our extravagant open houses to the more intimate gatherings, nothing beats a bout of really fine company.
And that company was especially fine at our Nov. 16 meet and greet with folks from The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.
We had our wine. We had our snacks. Best of all, we had loads and loads of captivating conversations with the compassionate members of one of the most amazing organizations in the Houston area – if not the entire country.
Why We Love It
For those who love horses, this organization can easily take that love to a whole new level. That’s because its overall purpose is to help sick children heal. Through donations, outreach and volunteer support, The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show has been helping kids for the past 61 years.
The first show debuted in 1945, billed as J.S. Abercrombie’s Pin Oak Stables. All proceeds headed right to charity. Two years later, the annual show was already raising money to build a hospital specifically for children. Texas Children’s Hospital opened its doors in 1954.
The Texas Children’s Hospital is still on the group’s list of charities, as are Ronald McDonald House Houston and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance. Talk about worthy causes. And talk about some awesome donations.
Funds are part of the giving, sure. But the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show members also participate in a number of on-site events, created a number of others – and even unleashed herds of Pin Oak ponies at Texas Children’s Hospital Main and West campuses.
Definitely made for some captivating conversations!
Simply rubbing elbows with such big-hearted folks would have been more than enough. But, as seems to be the way of the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, we got so much more.
It’s home tour time. You know the drill. Aunt Laurie comes into your home. We snaps oodles of pix. Talk about how cool it is. Then point out stuff from Laurie’s to show what good taste we all have.
This time the drill has an extra special element. It’s called Vickie Allen. She’s been working with Laurie for years. The home she shares with her husband Tommie is kind of like a history of Laurie’s business.
Vickie has so much Laurie’s stuff she actually calls her style “Laurie-esque.”
Some stuff is brand new. Some goes as far back as Laurie’s McLaren’s days. That was a shop Laurie opened in 1992 that led to lots of English boyfriends.
But we’re not here to talk boyfriends. We’re here to talk Allen home. And there’s plenty to talk about.
Like colors. If you can’t tell, Vickie loves ’em. The purple room is her personal craft space. Even the marker and scissor bins are fashionable. And check out the pinks in the bedroom and bath.
Vickie also likes the Irish pine cupboard. Not just for its looks. For its history and character. It’s her favorite piece in the whole house. That’s saying a lot.
And then there’s the “Just Sayin’ Room.” Once a breakfast nook, the room is named for Vickie’s longtime habit of saying, “I’m just saying….” The chairs, wine cabinet and ottoman all came from various tent sales at Laurie’s.
The room’s lamp has a special function. Vickie and Tommie take it outside on gorgeous evenings, with pizza, wine and a telescope. Neighbors know to stop by when they see the lamp out. It attracts them like moths.
What else should you know? Three more things:
- We especially adore the bedroom furniture. Don’t tell Vickie, but we like the bureau better than the Irish pine cabinet.
- Vickie’s use of textures and patterns is spot on.
- Her husband doesn’t mind sleeping in a pink bedroom.
That’s all until the next one. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving Day is for watching football and eating turkey. The day after, and day after that, are for savings, savings and more savings at Laurie’s.
Come on down Black Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26 for delightful deals across the shop.
New holiday décor is veritably exploding throughout the store, just waiting for you to fall in love and take it home. And that’s not the only goodies you’ll find.
Fall Décor: 50% Off
Think oranges, browns, harvest-oriented and bedecked with birds. Think throw pillows, cutesy ceramic, pumpkin stuff and rustic wood. Then think of how you can get all those autumnal wonders at half their regular price.
Swan Creek Candles: 50% Off
We’re not sure what we adore most about Swan Creek candles:
- The swoon-worthy scents
- The charming vintage containers
- The fact that the soybean wax burns for hours and hours and hours – and the containers can be refilled once the original candle is gone.
Heck, we’ll just go with all of the above. And so can you, with flaming savings on these can’t-miss candles.
Big Savings on Tables
Functional, fabulous and marked so low you’ll need a chair to catch you from fainting, check out our array of amazing tables. Whether you prefer tables that are squatty, boxy, braided or round, no better batch can ever be found!
Chance to Snag a $100 Laurie’s Gift Card
A $100 Laurie’s gift card can be yours if you find Tinsy, our very own Elf on a Shelf. He’ll be hiding out both Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Although he looks a little bedraggled these days, he’s no less magical. We just hope he hangs on to both his legs as he runs through the store!
Hope to see you there!
There’s more to a perfect Thanksgiving table than juicy turkey and plenty of pumpkin pie. You want your guests to feel warm. Welcome. And totally wowed at the gathering you put together.
That’s where all those itsy-bitsy details you may never even think about come in. And just so you know, we think about them all the time. We lose sleep over this stuff.
Comfort and Safety Details
Use any type of table you want. But remember people may be accidentally kicking the table legs or spilling wine. Easy-care tables are a good choice. So are those that actually fit in the room.
Make sure there’s enough room for folks to walk behind chairs when people are sitting in them. You want your guests to feel comfy. Not trapped. Besides, what happens when someone needs a bathroom break?
Unless you like cracked glass in your mashed potatoes, make sure your chandelier is 32 inches above the tabletop. Head wounds bleed a lot. They could wreck the table.
For smaller gatherings, put decorations at the end of the table and you get an instantly intimate feel. Especially with things like these antique dough bowls from England.
Wowing the Guests Details
Go for garland. It’s cheap. It’s easy. It makes a grand statement. And it can be fluffed.
Add depth by creating layers. Layer napkins on chargers. Layer trays on placemats. Layer napkins on chargers on trays on placemats. Build up. Then up some more. It’s a full 32 inches to the chandelier.
Don’t just decorate the table. Decorate the chair backs. The sideboard. The chandelier. Everything.
Decorate the entryway. It’s your very first chance to make an I’m-glad-I-came impression.
Burn candles. Make it smell goooooooood with Fall scents!
With all these details covered, your guests may not even notice if the turkey is dry or you run out of pie. They’ll be too busy being wowed by your perfect Thanksgiving table.
We admit it. We’re rug nerds. We revel in our rug love.
You can revel in it, too, at our first-ever, brand new rug launch.
- The Magnolia Home Collection by Joanna Gaines
- Sat. Nov. 5, Sun Nov. 6
- All day long at Laurie’s
If you, too, are a rug nerd, you’ve heard of Joanna.
She’s on TV
You don’t have to be full-fledged rug nerd to know about Joanna Gaines. She’s one of the stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper show. The other star is her hubby Chip. Additional stars are her exclusive line of rugs, pillows and throws. Stock up on her good taste at Laurie’s.
Instant home makeover
Did you know a single purchase can give a room an entire makeover? No, it’s not with a new floor lamp. It’s with a new rug. Go for a big one that stretches from corner to corner and you’ve just revamped the entire space. Get a smaller area or scatter rug and you can add a pop of color and interest with a single plop.
The choices, oh, the choices
We already clued you in that the rugs come in a wide range of sizes. And just wait until you see the different colors and patterns. We’ll give you a peek at some of the rugs in the Magnolia Home Collection. But we’re keeping others under wraps until you come check them out in person.
- Brushstroke Collection: Hooked wool rugs – complete with that fringe we so adore. Bold yet tasteful colors arranged in geometric and floral designs.
- Carter Collection: Hand-woven polyester. Stripes in subtle shades. As keen in a beach house as they are in a sophisticated living room.
- Drake Collection: Hand-woven jute. We especially adore jute. And we adore the rich colors and contrasts even more.
Come sate your love of rugs at Laurie’s!
Kiddie tea parties are cute. Buckingham Palace tea parties are probably stuffy as all get out. And Laurie’s Halloween Tea?
Well, that’s just something you don’t want to miss. Why not?
Because you know Laurie. And that means you know she’s brewing up all kinds of creepy, crafty and perhaps even crazy things to celebrate the ghoulish holiday.
Oh, before we forget. It’s at 2 p.m. Oct. 29.
And here’s what you’ll get when you come on down.
Spookiest Get-up Contest
Just like you have to wear a tux to those frou-frou events, Laurie’s tea requires specialized outfits.
Bewitching attire required. You’ll even get judged on it.
First, second and third-place contest winners go home with Laurie’s gift certificates. Top prize is a $150 certificate. Winners announced at 4 p.m. You knew you kept that 1960s bridesmaid dress for a reason! Slap it on and head this way.
Real Cheap Halloween Décor
When we say cheap, we mean massively discounted. Not chintzy. Get 50 percent off Halloween décor all day long or until it runs out. Whichever comes first. All that, and you still have two days to use the things this year!
Fiendish Food, Devine Drinks and Freakishly Fabulous Fun
When it’s Halloween Tea at Laurie’s, could it be any other way?
See you there!
Christmas in July is so over-played. How about Christmas in November?
Make that November 5 and November 6 to be exact. All day. Laurie’s.
Don’t be that tacky holiday host who pulls out the same-old, tired Christmas décor year after year after year. Please don’t. It’s so mundane. Even the grandkids are bored with it.
Spruce up your place with new Christmas stuff from Laurie’s. Quaint and charming. Sparkly and snazzy. Modern and magnificent. Whatever your taste, you’ll find it here. As long as your taste is good, of course. And as long as it doesn’t include giant plastic, light-up Santas.
All this happy holiday stuff is will be screaming your name at the open house. We can hear it now:
“Hey, [ENTER NAME HERE]! Buy me, buy me!”
If sprucing up your home with Christmas décor isn’t enough, give your guests something else to rave about. Like…
A brand new rug!
For the first time ever, Laurie’s is introducing a brand new rug collection. Magnolia Home Rugs by Joanna Gaines. Same time, same place as the Christmas Open House.
New rugs. New décor. Happy grandkids. Amazed guests.
Christmas in November is pretty keen, no?
See you there!
Mesmerized. That’s a good word.
And that’s exactly what happens to people when they drop by Laura’s house to check out her Halloween décor. You remember Laura.
She’s our fall decorative tray master here at Laurie’s. Who doubles as our Halloween display master.
Her 5-year-old granddaughter, Valerie, heartily agrees.
Valerie is mesmerized by Laura’s Halloween cabinet. Stares at the thing for hours, dying to touch all the holiday goodies inside. Cute kid. And we can’t blame her – either for being cute OR staring at the Halloween cabinet.
Want to make your own mesmerizing Halloween displays?
Take some tips from Laura:
Do mix it up. Laura uses a mélange of vintage-y stuff and real antiques. But you can use a mix of this, that, the other thing. Metal, wood, handmade-looking and streamlined. Mix and match as you wish. Think of your Halloween décor as a big, fat trick-or-treat sack with a big, fat variety inside.
Don’t gross out your guests. Unless your home is being used as a set for a third “Evil Dead” remake, keep the gore factor low. Gory is garish.
Do know you can be spooky without being gory. Spooky is spider webs on purple and happy skeleton rats. Gory is spider webs with dead flies dangling in it and red-eyed, live rats. Anything with fake blood tends to fall in the gory-garish category.
Do know you can be cutesy without being nauseating. Happy skeleton rats = just the right cutesy. Baby rats with orange bows and big eyelashes = nauseating. It’s Halloween, for goodness sake. You gotta have some creepiness involved.
Do feature concentrated collections. Laura’s Halloween cabinet is a prime example here. All the Halloween you can stand arranged in a central, handsome location.
And we know it works.
Just ask 5-year-old Valerie.
But you don’t need to be 5 to enjoy Halloween!
Grab a chintzy aerosol can of some pumpkin-cinnamon scent. Spray it freely throughout every room. Now sit back and gag.
That, our friends, is the WRONG way to bring fall scents into your home. But we got some aromatic ideas on the right way below.
Take your pick of cinnamon sticks, cloves, diced apple, oranges or other fruit and spices. Put your pick in a pot with water. Boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer your way to la-la land.
Caution: Add more water to the pot as needed, or your la-la land will be interrupted by the fire department.
Wreaths or Garland
Add dried fruits and spices to add fall scents to a ready-made wreath or garland. Hang in areas where kids won’t eat it.
Caution: No matter how cheap you find them at the dollar store, do NOT add plastic pumpkin picks. But, if you’re looking for a great way to decorate with pumpkins, check out our how-to on decorative trays for Fall.
Pump up your home with that fresh-baked smell. Go for fall scents with fall-inspired goodies. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin cupcakes with sugar on top.
Caution: Again, no plastic pumpkin picks.
Coffee alone smells good enough to make you swoon. Add fall scents to the mix with a pumpkin spice latte and you can swoon with an autumnal theme.
Caution: Don’t drink right before bed unless you want to swoon instead of sleep.
So many choices, so little table space! Some of the most sensational fall scents, believe or not, can come from a glob of wax. Laurie is especially keen on citrus-scented candles, but we’ll let you pick any one you like.
Check out our fave candle brands like Allure, Aromatic, Himalaya and Lafco. Swan Creek is another one, with fall scents that include bourbon maple, whipped pumpkin latte and spiced orange and cinnamon – just to name a few.
Caution: It’s easy to overdo candles. Don’t. Unless you’re fond of that same gagging you got from the chintzy aerosol spray.