Keeping Simplicity in Mind

We celebrated a birthday in my house yesterday.

Our son, Jordy turned 17 years old.

I paired this chocolate ganache cake with vanilla bean ice cream to top off what was an exciting day for all of us.

Yes, little Jordy (my trusty, loyal stagehand and long-time blog helper) is not so little anymore.

He’s almost all grown up… sniffle, sniffle.

Having said that, this post is actually more about the pretty marble server that Jordy’s cake is sitting on.

marble board

I have to say, when I bought the server ($13 at Home Goods), I loved the marble but hated the pretzel-twist, silver handles which just didn’t do the marble justice.

Now, I was initially a bit reluctant to write an entire blog post about handles.  Too simplistic, right?

Then, it occurred to me that not every single post has to be an elaborate, complicated or labor-intensive presentation.

We put that pressure on ourselves, don’t we?

Meaningful blogging is just as much about the simple things we do that make us happy… and then sharing that joy with others.

Keeping simplicity in mind is an approach that is always worth a friendly reminder.

holes in marble

This post is also a reminder that when it comes to finding great props… try to look beyond what is right before your eyes.

If the item has “good bones” and there are things you like about it… don’t let the things you don’t like, deter you from consideration.

Often, it’s quite easy to tweak an item that better suits the style or look you’re going after.

That’s how I felt about this server and all I had to do was remove and replace those ordinary (and unattractive) silver handles.

handles bins

I popped into Hobby Lobby this week to search for new hardware.

Ooh-la-la… they have an entire aisle with bins filled with every kind of handle and drawer pull you can imagine.

This was a good day to pop in too because all pulls were 50% off.

If you’re ever on a similar, replacement mission, don’t forget to take one of the original handles with you to match the right size and spacing for your project.

pewter and wood handles

Regular readers already know I have a penchant for wood and primitive elements.

I really like this combination too.

The wood adds a rustic warmth while the metal clamps give the handles a slightly industrial and modern charm.

marble board wood handles

Now, that’s more like it.

There’s an unexpected contrast in texture that really works with the marble.

I think the new handles give the server more visual interest and that makes it a much more useful prop.

So, what do you think?

wood handles

By the way, you don’t have to wait to find the perfect marble server.

Pick up a few handles and attach them to a wood cutting board or a bread board to create a similar prop.

Can you tell, I now have handles on the brain?

chocolate cake

Thanks for stopping by.

See  you back here next time. 


  • Elisa

    Love everything. You’re so talented.

  • Diego Lopes

    What a great idea!! I have a marble board here and I’m definitely going to add similar handles to mine. Thank you for sharing the pics!

  • holly

    Love the project but I am drooling over the cake……

  • Jeanne

    Breathtaking photos…a very sultry cake on stunning marble…love the simplicity of this post…as always, I am in awe of what you do.

  • Constance Colvin

    Hey there Lisa (-: You have such a beautiful blog site and I always enjoy it…..but I’ve never left a comment to tell you that! And also to congratulate your daughter for her acceptance at Duke…..that’s quite an achievement! My first cousin graduated from Duke and loved it….good times! (-:

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Constance for taking the time to leave me such a sweet note.
      I really appreciate that and your good wishes for Cameron.
      We’re pretty excited about the upcoming college experience for her. Just a couple of weeks away now.
      Hope you have a wonderful week.

  • Sandra L Garth

    The new handles give a little warmth to the marble and the Chocolate Ganache Cake looks divine.

  • Elaine

    Lisa, as always your photography is amazing. And the tray – you have a wonderful creative eye for the perfect accessories. I try to learn from you. Thank you.

  • Laurie Decredico

    Love the new handles! They do contrast much better. And make it easy to carry. (The cake looks great too! )

  • Judy Richert

    Beautiful cake and spectacular change to the marble cake stand!

  • Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things

    First, the cake looks so goooooooood!! And I love what your did by changing handles.

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    You certainly have the creative eye! I really like your new handles — makes the marble piece look antique. Now let’s get to the cake — it sounds sinfully delicious!! Lucky, Jordy! And they do grow up too fast. Hugs!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Yes, Marisa… my kids have grown up fast.
      I’m going to have to find a new blog assistant after Jordy heads to college in the not-so-distant future. Boo-hoo.
      Oh, I didn’t make this cake. For once, I bought it.
      The chocolate is sooo rich, you have to pair it with a crisp vanilla bean ice cream to balance it-lol.
      Happy day to you, sweet friend.

  • Elaine Tutman

    I thought the silver handles were fine but I know you like wood and a more rustic appearance and the replacement hardware is OK, too.

    Happy birthday to Jordan. He is kind, thoughtful, hardworking ( summer job) and a terrific grandson. Love, Nana Banana

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks, Mom.
      Jordy is the best son, ever.
      He’s so sweet and he lets me know he loves me every day in words and deeds.
      We’re proud of him.

  • Shirley @Housepitality Designs

    The photo is amazing and you are amazing! I LOVE that you changed the handles! Great, great idea! Happy Birthday to Jordy!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Shirley, thanks for the good wishes for Jordy.
      I feel like everyone who reads my blog, knows him.
      You know, I’m already looking around my house to see what other handles I can swap out-lol.

  • Dona

    What a lovely transformation!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Dona.
      Yes, easy and simple.
      There were so many pretty handles in those bins, I think I’m going to look for some more servers to transform-lol.
      Happy day to you.

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