Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Making of a Thanksgiving Tablescape

This past weekend I co-hosted a Thanksgiving dinner with my friend Nathalie before the week of official holiday festivities kicks off. Like a lot of big cities, DC can be very transient. The city tends to empty out as everyone goes back to their respective corners of the country for the holiday. But in the tradition of breaking bread with those who are important to you, we started our turkey feasting early this year. And you know what that means...tablescaping time.

Here's a real time account of the making of our Thanksgiving tablescape. Those who call stacks of paper plates adequate for holidays will laugh at our level of detail. Those who don't...with laugh and how true this actual is. It stared with our inspiration photo, from the ever fabulous Eddie Ross.

N to A via email:

What if we did something with nuts, cranberries and gourds/small pumpkins for Thanksgiving? I'm envisioning it going down the center of the tables with short candles/voties along a runner on the white table and tablecloths on the extra tables. I can pick up a bag of cranberries at the store and we could mix those in with nuts in the candle holders. The cranberries alone would fit nicely in your glass voties around a candle. This will be my Saturday project...

A to N via email:

I like this!

I like the idea of small dishes going down the center of the table filled with a mixture of all these things. Especially the cranberries since they'll pick up on the red flowers in the dishes.

What about buying little mini pumpkins and spraying them a metallic color like gold or copper to give the table some shine. Too much work?

One more idea. What about taking the big footed vase and putting it right in the center of the table with something tall in it for a dramatic effect when people walk in. Then we can move it over to one of the side tables when we sit down so it's not in the way and we would still have the smaller ones. What could we put in it?: Big flowers, feathers, straw???

N to A via email:

We definitely have enough dishes to fill with nuts, berries and pumpkins! I really like the idea of something metallic or sparkly. Perhaps I can recruit others for a craft project on Saturday.

I also like the idea of that large vase, but I'm not sure where we could put it during dinner ? Not sure what flowers are at the grocery store this week. I saw sunflowers recently and have been wanting to do an arrangement with them in fall colors. Does the market run in the fall? They usually have beautiful flowers. Do we have feathers? I'm not sure about straw, but maybe I can find some natural looking things to add in with flowers.

And in the end, we came out with this:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Style Dictionary: Design Localvores

Design Localvores: Akin to the trend of eating only what's grown within walking distance of your table, Design Localvores immerse themselves in the style of the local area and seek out local inspiration and resources.

While stocking up on gummy worms and water (absolute essentials in my mind) this morning for a quick trip to Providence, I decided to forgo my normal airline reading material (think, anything with 'shocking' or 'scandal' written on the cover) and get into the vibe with a copy of New England Home. One turbulent take off later I was immersed in cape houses, highlighted moldings, and modern traditional at its best.

Regional design magazines have quietly become the champion in this not so successful year for print periodicals. What use to be thought of as a category of kitchy, homemade and unpolished publications have taken this depressing economic condition and capitalized on their small scale markets. Why is it that in a time when shelter publications are falling like dominos it seems as if these regional publications are booming with fresh, original content and updated layouts?

Sure they may not have the global trend reports and huge name designers quoting their favorite paint colors and coffee brands. And they may have a larger Ad to content ratio than some of the nationals (but if that keeps them in business, I'm happy to flip a few more Ad pages). But they do have interesting spreads and stunning homes highlighted that would never stand a chance at making it in the bigger name glossys.

I don't know if this is the trend across the country, but I also found New England Home's website to be chocked full of digital inspiration, including a full digital edition.

Do you read the regional design magazines in your area? What are some good ones out there we may be missing?

And now, my D*S City Guide and I are off to explore Providence!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Tabletop: So Others Might Eat

Today's Thursday Tabletop is a bit different in direction. Thomas over at My White Shirt is a local DC blogger who posted a lovely account of his day volunteering with So Others Might Eat. SOME is an organization that has been serving the DC community for 40 years, providing basic needs such as meals to the homeless and others. SOME doesn't stop at meals, also providing many other services that contribute to their mission of empowering those who are ready to make lasting changes in their life.

Stop by My White Shirt and read Thomas' account of his first time as a volunteer with the organization and the impact it made on him and those who shared the meal that day. Because sometimes we get so caught up in making it pretty (we = me, in case you didn't pick up on that) that we forget to stop and be thankful that we even have a table at all.

Thanks, Thomas for letting me repost. Hope to join you in January to volunteer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

From the Reader Files

From the Semigloss Files, this great tablescape was spotted by a reader while visiting a Florida beach home. A mixture of candlesticks, some white n' glossy and a hint of beach...love it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Look what the magazine fairy brought

Just when we all thought there was not a ray of hope left in the world, I find a stack of vintage Gourmet magazines being passed along to new owners, sitting right on a front stoop. My faith in humanity is restored. Here's some vintage eye candy for you.

My favorite place I've never been...to catch up with an old friend, or share a cozy drink

Image: Gourmet Magazine

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dollars or Pennies: Monogrammed Bedding

If monogrammed linens are at the top of your wishlist, there is no substitute for Leotine Linens. Except when that substitute is a zillion times more affordable and you just can't justify the outrageous expense for sheets that your dogs are going to cuddle up on with you every single night. Is this your dilema too?

Leontine Linens: Hayden + Arch pattern

A few years back, in an old issue of the now defunk'd O at Home magazine, they featured this bedroom in their DIY home makeover contest. I pulled the page out to save for the fabulous monogram idea that instantly struck me as Leotine-esque and compleatly attainable.

A store bought throw was taken to a local monogramer and an instant classic was created. It may not be the coveted Leotine, but the same effect is achieved for pennies on the dollar. A little monogramming goes a long way. Pillows or bedding....in my mind, not both or you'll look like a Pep Rally cheerleader.