Jazzmine is everything it means to be a Houston belle- southernly sweet with city charm. Her Dash of Jazz blog brings her eclectic style to her home decor and food musings. Her journey is one that any BSB could learn and get inspiration from. Read below for more and find five tips exclusively from Jazzmine on planning a dinner party on a budget.
Food & Lifestyle Blogger
Dash of Jazz
What is your favorite room in your home?
My favorite room is my home office. It is very colorful and I feared it would tread into tacky territory but am so pleased with how everything came together. This room gets the best natural light and I can look out on the neighborhood goings-on while I work.
For the holidays, what are some of your favorite decor pieces to incorporate?
As a passionate home cook and hostess, a lot of my seasonal style is displayed through meals and the dishes in which I serve them. Christmas is my most favorite holiday and I love adding a Christmas-themed “layer” to my existing decor through a couple of full-sized trees, garlands, and a wreath; then style them with ribbons, bows, and ornaments. Since this is my first home and a bachelorette pad, I have fun incorporating feminine things like leopard-print burlap ribbon and soft blush tones in addition to more traditional prints and colors.
How would you describe your home decor style?
My home decor style is certainly eclectic and I try to make sure that it is warm and inviting. There are nods to my Nigerian heritage via art and ankara fabric as well as my American Southern upbringing through mixed prints, cowhide, and the like. Antiques and family heirlooms are mixed in with more modern pieces and finishes. I like to maintain a neutral foundation (large furniture pieces, linens, etc.) in order to have cohesion.
What is your favorite piece of art in your home and why?
My favorite piece of art is a black and white painting of a woman’s profile on stretched canvas. I painted it myself and refer to her as “my girl”. She hangs in my office and symbolizes strength and beauty–the woman I want to be.
Did your mother inspire any of the pieces in your home?
Of course! My mother is the ultimate Southern belle–she was born and raised in southeast Houston (where I now live), went to finishing school, and taught me a thing or two about home decor. We both share an affinity for mirrors and you’ll see a number of them throughout my home as well as mirrored furniture. She likes for things to be cozy and I incorporated a lot of fuzzy fabrics with her approval in mind.
What is your motto when it comes to decorating your home?
When it comes to decorating my home, I treat it like building a quality wardrobe–it takes time. I look for pieces that speak to my aesthetic and try to discern a timeless, investment piece from a trendy, seasonal one. We all have favorite elements of our wardrobe or home decor but they may not necessarily jive when all thrown into the same “look”. Leopard print is a favorite of mine. I consider it to be a neutral but I know it can easily be overdone so, as with planning out what to wear, I limit it to one piece per outfit or room–like the leopard throw pillows on my couch.
Did you do any DIY projects in your home? If so, what did you do?
Oh, most definitely! I love to DIY the things I can in order to attain higher-end looks that don’t fit into my budget. There were a number of projects but the first bit of DIY you’d likely see upon entering my home is my couch. I purchased a comfy, neutral-colored couch from a local store then added nail head trim to the sides of it to add a touch of structure and charm. Another example is a furry ottoman inspired by luxe versions I saw all over Pinterest and in home decor stores. I updated an existing piece with a staple gun and dreamy piece of fabric. It sits at the foot of my bed.
What are some uniquely southern items in your home?
Before stepping over the threshold, you are greeted by a welcome mat that reads “Hey Y’all!” It sets a good tone for what’s inside. As a Texan girl, there are certain touches I love to incorporate into my personal fashion as well as the style of my home that others might not. I have a cowhide rug in my dining room and am on the hunt for a pair of antlers. Although pineapples have recently become a hot decor item, they are originally a Native American and later American Southern hospitality symbol. You’ll see them in many different forms around my home. You will also see lots of different prints.
How does living in the south affect your home decor style?
Ceiling fans are one aspect that you just can’t get around down here. So, while I would love to have chandeliers and other fun fixtures in each room, I have to be practical in some places and leave the ceiling fans be! Also, because of our mostly mild climate, I feel comfortable using linen curtain fabric and bright, white elements year-round.
Do you utilize local furniture brands?
Yes, whenever possible. I love an item with a story, especially one tied to this area.
Do you have any family heirlooms?
If so, what and tell us more about them? Yes, I have a blue and silver China set passed down from my Great Grandmother that I absolutely love! She also passed down a floral-painted tea set and a set of 12 painted decorative plates. The plates have different ducks and birds painted on them and I haven’t quite figured out where to incorporate them into my home. I tend to use cookbooks in the way others use coffee table books so you’ll find them in the kitchen, home office, and living room. Her copy of Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, which was printed in the year my mother was born, is another item I treasure and keep in kitchen.
What are some of your mother’s home decor traits or styles that you inherited?
I inherited my mother’s love of incorporating fresh fruit and flowers around the house as well as the desire to highlight my family and heritage in my decor. We also both use candles to create warmth and ambiance.
In your kitchen, what piece of decor is the most functional and stylish and why?
There are very functional and attractive shelves built into my kitchen island and they house different spices, cake stands, cutting boards, and cookbooks. I love having these things in easy reach and on display.
Top 5 Tips for hosting a dinner party on a budget:
1. Stick to a simple menu with one “wow” dish.
2. Have a signature cocktail or just one type of wine, depending on the cuisine.
3. Use existing decor elements, such as candles, to create warmth.
4. Jazz up a store-bought or frozen side dish or dessert to save time and money.
5. Use veggies. Fresh vegetables are cheaper than meat and can help create a filling meal. Consider adding them to a soup or chili or adding chopped mushrooms to a pasta or meatball dish to increase the portions without adding more meat.