Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holiday Table Settings

I know I know I've been going crazy lately with the decorating of the table ideas.  I can't help myself.  For some reason this year I feel more festive than the past three.  So Yes, I'm going to share with you some  table place settings that I love and not so typical.

I'm always draw to style and elegance at this time of year.  Warm and cozy gatherings, sharing of wine with close friends and neighbors and the best is the spontaneous gathering.  I love my loft neighbor and friend Ann's approach....the text message...."do you have 15 minutes"....interpretation, are you ready for a glass of wine?

Enjoy some of my favorite table settings.  I hope they provide some inspiration for your own tablescape creations for the holidays.

 Green glass dishes  sit on top of a gold rimmed charger and topped off with a brown napkin tied with a gold ribbon.  Warm, classy and unique.

 Traditional red toile place setting and crystal glasses are highlighted by a centerpiece of boxed greens, pine cones, and candles.  A very traditional and welcoming table setting.

 Loving this simple napkin setting idea.  Silver utensils embellished with a wooden handle insert states simply elegant.  a sprig cutting from your tree and finished with a gingerbread snowflake cookie.  How creative is this setting?

The natural is staged to be simple.  Set on a wood table but enhanced by creative linen table runners.  Gray plates contrasted with white dishes atop, a white napkin and sprig cutting makes this setting simply perfect.  The addition of tiny white potted paper whites and candles completes this look.

 This white and silver creation promotes a very formal feed.  The addition of silvery gray linens placed over white is beautiful.  Gray, silver white with an embellishment of fresh greens completes this table setting.

This country style table setting is given some added warmth.  Texture is noticed here through the white napkins tied off with a burlap banding napkin holder in natural colors contrasted with red.  The addition of potted topiary trees adds more natural elements to this table.  Rustic and warm creating a casual feel.

 Touches of red and green of course the colors of the season no doubt.  White and gold add elegance to these traditional colors

A red rose napkin sits within a white cup, a very creative idea.

Holy embellished utensil holders complete the look of this napkin setting of red, silver and green. (love the mini pine cones).

Creating table settings for the holidays have endless possibilities.  Rummaging through your kitchen cabinets, china closets and buffets sparks the imagination for creating one of a kind table settings for the holidays. 

Be creative, embellish as much as possible and enjoy the short holiday season.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Decorating RAW

What does decorating RAW mean.  Well to me it means everything and anything including the kitchen sink. My favorite type of decorating style for myself is using raw items.  Which now seems to be the decorating rage.  Reproductions found in Restoration Hardware are nice. However the real deal of searching for that perfect raw item can't compare.

Anything and everything for me means, old lighting, mirrors that are naturally aged, weathered columns mill-work and old farm scales. The re-purposing of onetime functional items such as an old mill table for example. Raw form is just that, not the reproduction kind of decor items. The Brimfield Antique Fair has is a fabulous place to hunt for any raw item.

 Old doorknobs of porcelain and brass can add character and charm to any door in your home.

 Repurposing any of these doors in a home adds interest to a room. Found at Brimfield Fair.

 This window could be used to create a transom on an otherwise plain wall in a room.

 ABC Carpet and Home is the perfect place for raw inspiration as seen in this column.

 The detail on this column has been enhanced with a custom iridescent finish.

This old iron bed inspired a whole shabby chic design style in a bedroom. Found while antiquing in Cape Cod.

 Re-purposing galvanized containers for a tablescape candle display has been used here.

 The walls and mirror here at ABC Carpet and Home are a nice backdrop to this crystal chandelier.

 The texture of this concrete floor was creative. Any artist would know the proper technique used here.

We can't forget the reuse of old marble sinks. Bring us back to a timeless decorating period of  class and beauty.

Old exterior shutters, torn, tattered and distressed naturally that can be repurposed for a divider wall in a loft space.  An old floor to ceiling fireplace mantelpiece with a centered beveled mirror finished with fluted columns and crown molding adds character to a newer space.  A french door with old glass panes and solid glass door knob can also add character to a room.

Reproductions are nice, but the hunt of the find adds a sense of accomplishment to decorating your space.  The raw items found will have more meaning and usually come with a story of times gone by, a history.

What raw items have you found in your antique decorating excursions.  Hunting for the raw is fun!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Passion for Poufs


Poufs seem to be the latest craze in interior design.  Let's think about it....we're always looking for extra seating in a room.  Guests pop in, families gathering in one space, even in a child's room.  What better way to add accent and color in a space than by adding a pouf.

A substitute for the old hassock that my parents had in the living room  of white vinyl with a red piping trim and red button tufted in the middle.  Although now that I think of it I was probably 2 or 3 years old in the family photo and that hassock looks pretty retro for a today's retro designed room.

Today's poufs are fun and eclectic.

The flame stitch is fun and the pattern is hip.

The crochet will add texture to a room with smooth patterns.

The jute pouf will add texture to a natural space.  This will fit well in a 
 room that is Restoration Hardwared.

The geometric paired with a vertical stripe will fit well into a more modern decorated space.

 The ikat pouf is a popular choice in current decorating fabric styles. This particular pouf is more square in style.

Another popular pattern is the Chevron.  This pattern is more fun
and will fit well in a children's room adding adding seating at the children's play table for friends to socialize.
 Gray is very  much still the color of the day.  Embellished  with neutral jute crochet detail, this pouf is classic and simple in style.

 Poufs are a versatile option for additional seating. Why not take the pouf plunge!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lamp Shades Are The Icing On The Cake

Lamp shades in decorating are like the icing on the cake.  They can be the one last touch of style added to a room design.

Sometimes you become tired of your space the colors the furniture the rugs.  Try this little money saving tip in redesigning your space.

Choose a fun, upbeat contrast color to go with when changing out your accessories.  Pillows, candlesticks, picture frames and area rugs are just to mention a few.  However, don't forget the lamp shade.  There are so many fun, funky and playful lamp shades that can turn you blah room into a bling room.

 This one for an elegantly fun look from Pier 1.  However white in color, this would work for the shabby chic room design.
This one from Anthropologie.  Love!!! So many floral embellishments and contrast colors to work with for adding pillows rugs and artwork.

This one also from Pier 1 has a beautiful modern art decor feel but still adding warmth with the dark background shade and gold leaf accent design.

Below are some inexpensive lamp shade choices from Target.  Not your typical lamp shade of ivory or white but the name of the game is  to add some frosting to the cake. 

Loving all of the lamp shade choices.  Changing the decor of your room is easy by spreading a little icing around! 

I'd love to see what others have used for accent lamp shades....share with us!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Table Setting Thoughts for Thanksgiving

My creative juices are flowing and I can hardly contain myself. A creative table setting during the holidays is always fun.  I like to take my time to create a beautiful table to enjoy for the holidays.

This season, I find myself gravitating towards turkey designed plates.  Does anyone remember the Greenridge Turkey Farm in Nashua, NH?  This use to be where the Barnes and Noble store is now on Daniel Webster Highway.  I never thought I'd be writing a blog about turkey designed plates.  All I remember is how I thought they were so unattractive in my childhood days.  Now, I find myself gravitating to them. The different colors and styles allow for a festive themed dining table.  The plate is the inspiration piece offering direction towards colors used to design your dinner table.  Take a look at these,

 These dishes set on a gold tablecloth would be rich in color and contrast.

This turkey plate is set on a red paisley patterned tablecloth.  The contrast of colors on the plates edge of greens and reds compliment the tablecloth and the green charger plates used as a base for the turkey plates.

These antique turkey designed plates are beautiful. Set on a white background allows for the turkey to stand out enhancing all the multi contrasting colors in the plate.

If you have some turkey plates your using for your Thanksgiving table setting.  We'd love for your to share with us.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween on Pine Valley Drive

Ryan, Halloween 2012, Buzz Lightyear
The last day of October always brings fall excitement.  Running to my parent's home on Halloween night to see my almost 4 year old  nephew  Ryan make his yearly costume debut visit. This year a light up and flashing Buzz Lightyear. Buzz visited shortly before he was flying off to infinity and beyond to trick or treat with the cousins. Something felt different. Not only had the costumes changed, the same house where I used to ready for the tour of the neighborhood trying to score  the most candy of the night just didn't seem the same.  
Halloween 1975

The neighborhood was still hustling with little children and the doorbell ringing. My mother still so excited to answer the door as my father sat in his chair reading the paper.  Mom  knew all the little children and I realized that I knew no one, didn't recognize a single face.  My childhood neighborhood was filled with strangers.  As I pulled out of the driveway, I drove past Mr. Martin's to see his silhouette at the front door greeting trick or treaters before he left for Florida in the morning for the winter season.
Halloween 1972
One thing didn't change, the fall decor I rememberd and loved on the night of Halloween growing up  on Pine Valley Drive.  The fallen leaves covering the street, the dark and mysterious walkways.  The hike up the hilly driveways and cutting through the woods and the flashlights glaring in the dark. The memories were all coming back as I drove off.

PVD house lot 1963 Mom, Debbe and Kathy
What was obvious to me now was how caught up I was in my adult life that I had forgotten that this neighborhood full of childhood memories has designed my daily life and molded me into the person I was today.

Summer 1967, Kathy, Randy, Danny, Debbe
Winter, 1967, Kathy, Debbe, Nick
Pine Valley Drive had the best memories for me.  The Marsdens, the Martins, the Edwards, the Callerys, the Pouliots. We had the best neighbors, the best neighborhood for Halloween, the best kickball games in the streets and the best tree forts ever!  The Sunday backyard football games with Dad and Uncle Ted and the snow days sledding down the middle of the street and ice skating in the cove on Beaver Brook; such memories. Why? We all had the best parents, siblings and families.  For myself and my sisters and brother it was our "big fat Greek upbringing". We, our childhood friends, were the original Pine Valley Drive dwellers for all of our childhood to college to leaving the nest lives where some of our parents still live.  This Is Home!

Mom, Spring 1977, Gina arrives in 1976
What had changed? It was the  realization that the aging process had begun and Halloween night took me back to my childhood days growing up in my parents home since I was a one year old.  Pine Valley Drive has played a large part in "designing my daily life".  What childhood memories have designed yours?