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  • Writer's pictureTachic Hickman-Piazza

Southern Living Collection: Exclusively Sold At?

About a week ago, I mentioned to my followers on my Instagram page that soon I'd be releasing a blog post, discussing style details on my breakfast nook and the surprise source I purchased me and my husband's breakfast table from. Well, indeed that's this post. Sooooooooo, let's get into it...

As you all know, or for those who've been following and reading all of my posts thus far...I mentioned in a previous blog post that prior to me and my husband even breaking ground on building our current home, I was busy with planning and visualizing what looks I wanted to execute into our home. I have to say that most of my creative ideas for our home came together rather well (of course with a few changes here and there), but the one room that truly gave me the biggest challenge was our Breakfast Nook. How crazy is that? I totally didn't expect to run into so many style issues when designing our breakfast area. Ironically, I thought it would be the most simple area for me to design and style. I mean after all, it wasn't a massive space...just a nice little quaint area for Charlie and I to have a good meal and a glass of wine.

Boy was I ever wrong!! Our comfy, cozy breakfast area gave me the blues, which I guess in hindsight isn't so bad considering blue is both our favorite color. In addition, blue is the main theme in our living room with a few pops of blue also pouring into our breakfast nook as well. But back to the challenges...

So originally my design idea for our breakfast nook was to stage a console on our back wall, with a painting above it and two large floor vases on both sides of the console. Each vase would display and contain gorgeous florals, branches, and long stems coming out. In front of the console, I would place a large square counter-height table with a marble-top, seating eight people. Yes, eight people!! (I'll get to the reasoning behind so many chairs a little further down.)

The console idea with a large painting above would've totally worked, that I'm positive of. However, my husband and I both fell in love with the Summer Hill Collection by Universal Furniture. The collection included this absolutely gorgeous and southern charming two piece breakfast bar, which consisted of a bar hutch and a serving buffet.

The collection also gave you the option to do the two piece set, as a stand alone console or serving buffet. I'm a HUGE fan of collection pieces that give you options to customize as you see fit, or customize according to what will or won't work best for your space.

To view more of the Summer Hill Collection, please visit

and type in Summer Hill into the search bar to indulge into the entire collection. In addition, here is a direct link for my particular breakfast bar and hutch.

As gorgeous as the breakfast bar and hutch was from the Summer Hill collection, I wasn't completely sold on it. It definitely had southern charm to it, with the wood planks as the backboard and the oval cut-outs at the top of the hutch. But, I wasn't so sure if that's the look I really wanted to execute. In addition, I had plans on purchasing other pieces from the collection for our living area, such as the Summer Hill coffee table and the entertainment center (pictured below).

Contrary to what it sounds like, or how this post reads...I'm NOT big at all on furniture sets. I much prefer to break up sets and introduce other different pieces, yet with the intent to create a more amalgamated and cohesive look. However, this particular collection was speaking to me. It truly was a beauty and I was specifically looking for antique and distressed whites. Summer Hill provided that in the most perfect tone (against all of the rich, dark blues in my living area) so it was hard to not get a few pieces from the collection.

Considering the fact that we were purchasing a few pieces from the collection, I was extremely apprehensive about adding yet another piece and having our home have that "furniture set" look. It's ok to do that look, but it's just not necessarily my thing.

Design Tip: Actually, who am I kidding it's not ok to do that look! It's very old-school and very much so a look from the past. I would highly encourage anyone to step away from the comfort zone of buying furniture sets or complete collections, and have some fun with mixing and matching ;) A few pieces here and there aren't bad. But an entire everything matchy-matchy...just say NO!!!

Ok, back to the topic at hand...So, after I allowed my initial reservations to calm and mainly because my husband really loved this piece and pulled the "Look, I'm letting you pick everything for the house because that's your forte, but can I please have a say in something other than my man cave" card, I obliged and decided to go with ordering the two-piece breakfast bar from the Summer Hill collection. In doing that, I had to really get creative into the way I styled the area and to make sure everything had a cohesive flow to it. And, of course introduce lots of other pieces and decor accents from varying stores.


Interior Styling By: Allured By Design

Photo Still By: Asolid Photography

Shooting Location: House Piazza

Furniture: Table & Chairs revealed further down. C'mon play along ;)

Decor & Accents Atop Table: Rustic Metal 2Tier Holder - Hobby Lobby, Blue Glassware - West Elm,

Chocolate Mercury Votive Candleholders - Kirkland's, Monogram Coffee Mugs - Kirkland's

Decor & Accents On & Near Breakfast Bar - Clear Barcelona Vases - World Market, Vino Sign - Home Goods, Dinnerware & Stemless Wine Glasses - Pier 1, Gold & White Serving Dishes - Target, Wood Panels - Kirkland's


Interior Styling By: Allured By Design

Photo Still By: Asolid Photography

Shooting Location: House Piazza

Decor & Accents: Champagne Tray & Champagne Vase - West Elm, Blue & Silver Rattan Mini Spheres - Pier 1

Clear Wine Glasses - Target, Chocolate Cookbook - Anthropologie, Easy Roasting Cookbook & Blue Ombre Mercury Wine Glasses - Niche Modern Home, Gold & White Serving Dishes & Gold Ice Bucket - Target, Wood Cutting Board - Rouses

However, my biggest challenge was after the breakfast bar and hutch was delivered, I stuck with my original design of adding in the large counter-height table seating eight people. I mentioned above, I'd get to the reasoning behind why I desired a table seating so many people, when it's currently only myself and my husband. The reasoning is simple...

Charlie and I used to give house parties quite frequently when we lived in the city of NOLA. Almost every single house party we gave, I always had to bring in additional seating because our old kitchen table only seated four people. I'd have fold-up chairs posted all throughout our kitchen and living area. And, though people were having a grand ole' time...the design, perfectionist within me, and my OCD brain thought my house looked a hot mess. I wanted to make sure that in our new home on the Northshore, we had more than enough seating to suit our guests for house parties without the need for staging folding chairs. So I went big and massive with a larger table and more chairs.


Interior Styling By: Allured By Design

Photo Still By: Tachic Hickman-Piazza

Shooting Location: House Piazza

Milton Marble-Top Table & Stools - Compass Furniture (I believe this particular product is no longer available)

The table alone was beautiful, with a marble-top in a gorgeous cappuccino color (pictured above). But a massive counter-height table seating eight people was ALL WRONG and a design disaster for our particular breakfast space. Here's why...

  • Our breakfast nook was angular in shape

  • Adding a square-shaped table to an already angular area, only took away from the space

  • It absolutely didn't add anything!

  • In smaller spaces, it's better to go round when your space is angular, and best to go square when your space is round. This helps to create a better flow, better sight-lines, and an overall better contrast

  • The height of the table was all wrong (for our space) and cut off the beauty of our breakfast bar behind it

  • Not only was the shape not right for our area, but the size was way too big

  • 54square inches all around, with eight seating chairs that couldn't all fit underneath the table at one time, left very little room to comfortably walk around the space

  • From a design perspective, it looked very cramped and as if I was forcing a look that just didn't work

  • The table always felt as if it was competing for attention with the breakfast bar behind it

  • The two needed to compliment one another, not compete

  • The brown leather chairs didn't really work with the flow of our open floor plan, where I had beautiful blue and white upholstered sofas and an accent chair.

  • The brown leather chairs felt too hard, cold, and masculine to me. Basically creating a segregated look on an open floor plan, when design cohesion and harmony was needed

Obviously, because of all of the reasons listed above we sold our marble-top table and brown leather chairs to a fabulous couple who had a much larger breakfast area in their home, that could fully accommodate the size. And, in addition serve as the perfect family table for their kids as well.

Crazy Wild Fact: We sold our table to one of the Coaches for the New Orleans Saints. His wife fell in love with the table when I posted it ;) I'm so happy it worked out in their space, both in size and in color.

Right before I listed our marble-top table for sale, I just so happened to randomly run into this absolutely gorgeous rustic round table in a department store. Yes, a department store!!! Of all places that I shop and frequent for furniture, never in a million years would I have thought I'd find the perfect table at a mall, unless it was coming from a Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware location within the mall...but definitely not a department store.

I'd been looking for round tables at some of my go to stores, and really wasn't finding exactly what I wanted. In addition, I really didn't want to spend an arm and a leg on a kitchen table. Why? Because Charlie and I had just spent a great deal of money on designing and styling our formal dining room, with several pieces coming from Restoration Hardware. And, everyone knows that nothing from RH Gallery is cheap. So essentially, I was looking for a really nice rustic round table that would provide the following...

  • A great economic price, yet extremely well made

  • Real wood preferred (always)

  • Wouldn't dominate our space, nor compete with our breakfast bar.

  • Suitable for a party of four :)

Can you believe after all of the hoopla about going big and not running out of seating for our future parties...I was now going back to four chairs? Ain't that some ish!! Life works out that way sometimes, lol. I came very close to having our kitchen table be custom built for us. There were two particular vintage shops (one on the Northshore and one in the city of NOLA) that specialized in using recycled wood and creating custom furniture pieces, inclusive of kitchen tables. And, let me just tell you both of these vendors do some phenomenal work!! I'm talking statement custom wood pieces. One is Furnish in NOLA and the other is Clayton House Marketplace (Norma & Eric's booth).

As much as I didn't want to spend an arm and leg on both a kitchen table and separate chairs, I'd pretty much accepted the fact that, what I was looking for was going to cost us period. If you want a quality wood piece, you're going to have to pay for it. It's as simple as that. Me personally, I'm not big on faux wood pieces. I much prefer real solid wood that will last and not break down.

The only other store I found that seemed to offer quality wood tables was Home Decorators Collection. The Aldridge Dining collection was stunning and I came close to ordering it because I couldn't believe the price. The table was on sale for $699.00.


Aldridge Dining Table - Home Decorators Collection

However, NOLA or the Northshore doesn't have a storefront for Home Decorators Collection. So it would've been an online order. Given I'd just sold our other table due to it not working out and not seeing it in person beforehand, because it was also an online was IMPERATIVE I NOT repeat that same mistake.

Design Tip: When and if possible, I can't encourage you all enough...go into stores and physically see and touch your desired furniture piece or decorative accent before you purchase. Especially large furniture pieces!! It's so important to be able to assess the scale of a piece beforehand to properly judge the measurements and if it really will or won't work in your space. But most importantly, you need to see in person how well the piece is made. Get up close and personal with the type of materials used to create the piece. Trust me it makes ALL the difference and will save you the headache of having to either return or finding someone to sell your piece to, if returning is not an option...especially if your order is a special order.

Sooooooo, finally the reveal!!! I'm in Lakeside Mall picking up some bathroom accessories in a department store. I begin to head back downstairs and to my car. As I head to the escalator, there's this gorgeous rustic wood table staged right next to the escalator. I stop dead in my tracks to get a better view. I touch it, I feel it and I literally get on my knees in the store to look underneath the table and see how it's made. Yes, it's that serious to me. I wanted to see how the pieces were put together. I can't believe it!! It's real mango wood and you can actually see and feel all of the grooves in the wood. This spectacular table is apart of the Southern Living Collection exclusively sold at Dillard's @ a reasonable price of $899.00. Besides Home Decorators Collection, all of the other tables I fancied were in the up range of eleven hundred dollars or more, which was similar in price to my formal dining table. Again, the goal was to not spend the same amount on a kitchen table as I did on my formal dining table. So for me, this was a reasonable deal and of all places @ Dillard's.


See above photo for all details

Ladies & Gentleman...this was a first for me, as I'd never even considered looking in a department store for a furniture piece, let alone a dining table. Now I know that comes across highly judgmental and that's not my intent to look down on anyone that has ever purchased furniture from a department store. However, in my own furniture shopping excursions and experiences...I've never been able to find quality furniture pieces that suited my preference or taste. Or, more so just my liking in general from the very few department stores here in NOLA, (we don't have many) when I have perused through their furniture section. But in this instance, I was highly surprised and learned a very valuable lesson. Don't sleep on Dillard's!!!

What's so funny about the whole ordeal is the moment I called my furniture and home accent bestie, Lauren Boudreaux, to share with her what I found and text her a photo of the table...she said the same exact thing. Her words - "Have we been sleeping on Dillard's?" My immediate response, I KNOW RIGHT?!?! Lord, help us...Lauren and I just may be furniture snobs, lol.

And, to sum it all up...Staying true to my breaking up furniture sets type of taste, I ordered chairs from a different vendor, as I didn't care for the chairs that were staged and on display with the dining table @ Dillard's. My kitchen chairs actually came from Home Decorators Collection. I'd ordered chairs from them before and was thoroughly pleased. They had a beautiful upholstered chair w/a unique tufted back that I knew would pair extremely well with the table from Dillard's. In addition, they were low-boys so the height of the chairs were perfect and wouldn't at all take away from the sight-lines or beauty of our breakfast bar. And, once again I was pleased with my order.


Interior Styling By: Allured By Design

Photo Still By: Tachic Hickman-Piazza

Shooting Location: House Piazza

Lagniappe: Full details of items in House Piazza will be revealed in future videol Home Tours

Prior to my reveal, I've been asked by several folks where both my dining table and chairs came from. The secret's out now folks and both are still currently available (table @ Dillard's and chairs @ Home Decorators Collection). Happy Shopping and may you all be inspired to create and design in a way that will work best for you ;)

With Love,


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