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September 25, 2017

Tips for a Great Dinner Party | Cozy Table Setting



Tips for a Great Dinner Party & Setting the Scene

A great table setting isn't really about the elements, it is creating a feeling.  I wanted this table to feel so cozy and comfy that everyone would want to linger for hours.  I layered linens upon linens, creating that collected feeling that only mixing and matching can create.

This setting is all about making guests feel comfortable - come in, help yourself to wine and settle in to this table for hours of conversation and company.  While at first it might look complex, it is created from all very simple elements.  I used simple glass votive candles, roses in tall drinking glasses, and layers and layers of linens.  I put a set of Tall Taper candles (in Edgartown Sand) on the small buffet in the background with self-serve wine area.

I love how wide and long the Block Print Runners are.  They are more coverage than a typical runner, but not an entire tablecloth.  They really help bring a really large table down to scale, making it feel more cozy.

Blue Hydrangea Block Print Runner, 20" wide x 108" length, $36

The Runners come in all prints - here >



On the Block Print runner, I layered a White Hemstitch Runner ($28).  It is slightly smaller and helps to tame the print.  Next, I used Natural Hemstitch Placemats (2 for $16) to soften each setting.  I love how inexpensive and classic these elements are - I will use them every single season, changing out the prints and the flowers to create a completely different look.

Stocking up on essentials like these making entertaining so easy.  I recommend having at least 12 coordinating Napkins and a Runner like the White Hemstitch.  Then you can mix them with prints and different accents (flowers, pumpkins, etc...) throughout the year.  Start with the basics first, then add prints and colors.


I hardly ever make complex centerpieces.  Because entertaining isn't about flowers or centerpieces, it is about setting a scene and creating a feeling.  These low, simple arrangements do just that by being simple, and bringing a warm glow to the middle of the table.  The are not the center of attention, they are part of the entire mood.  For me, there is nothing as pretty as one kind of flower in a simple glass.  Unpretentious and pretty.

 



When I'm entertaining, I like to have every. single. thing. done. before guests arrive.  That even means having the pitcher full of water.  I put ice in, and then by the time we sit down the water is perfectly chilled, but easy to pour without big chunks of ice.  We're not really iced water people - but rather chilled water people.  I know that seems bizarre (and excessively particular!), but I blame Houston's ; )   If you've been there, you know that they serve chilled bottles with cold water.  No ice.  So much easier to drink.


I love self serve drinks - as a guest and as a hostess.  When I'm invited to someone's home, I like to feel like a part of the family, not like I'm at a restaurant. 


 Being able to help myself to more wine, or help someone else to some makes me feel comfortable and relaxed. 


It also helps to keep it out of the kitchen.  That way guests can help themselves without getting in the way of last minute dinner prep - and it helps to move them closer to the dining table when it is time for dinner.


This area works perfect for us, as it is near the head of the table so Mike or I can easily grab an extra bottle to refill as needed.


Candles are so essential.  Turn the lights down and lite all of the candles you have.  It really sets the mood and relaxes everyone.  We even do this for family dinners.  It makes the dinner feel special and the focus - everything else fades into the background.  Including dust and dirty floors.




Don't be afraid to mix and match chairs.  We do it all of the time when we're squeezing more people at the table.  I also mix and match glasses, plates and flatware.  Matching is over-rated. 


I added a few deep purple leaves to the peach roses to give the roses a little more depth and fall-ish feel.  If it were spring, I could add sprigs of fern and it would feel totally different.  



For an extra special setting like this, I would serve a really simple comforting dinner like Provencal Beef Stew (top) or Slow Simmered Beef Ragu (bottom).



September 21, 2017

Fall Baking Recipes

- See more at: http://www.barefeetinthekitchen.com/2013/09/How-To-Create-A-Recipe-Index-On-Blogger.html#sthash.ceXVCTj9.dpuf

September 20, 2017

My Mudroom | Organizing | New Gingham Wraps & Candles


Since school has started, I've sort of reclaimed this space as my own.  During the summer is was the dumping ground of everything.  It is still where we stash coats, shoes and bags, but I've majorly decluttered it this week.  I've also updated my inspiration boards, and re-organized my packaging supplies so I can make quick gifts.  I spent a little bit of time just fluffing it this morning and making it feel like a room that I wanted to spend some time in.  Part of the fluffing included a new favorite candle (in 2 scents) and new gingham wraps hanging on my pegs (all available now in the store).

Store Update : I've added these new items to the store along with re-stocks of Linens (samples from my home that are usually all piled up in this room!) from last fall and the classic collection - acorns, leaves, wreaths, etc.  There are only 2-3 of each being restocked, so don't be surprised if they go quickly.  I'm also adding some custom made cushions from some of the sold out block prints next week, so stay tuned for those being added along with the velvet pillows.



This is my favorite fall color palette.  The medium grey with burnt orange and wood tones.

Grey Diamond Throw with Amber Velvet Pillow


I love the light streaming in from that huge window we repurposed from our old house.


This design works so great, because you can't see my desk clutter from the kitchen : )



You can read this post to see inside of these cabinets to see how I organize and use the space.



These boards change every season and help me get a visual of the collections I'm putting together.


My desk is never complete without lots of Grey LePens.


See those candles?  Love the green glass.




I haven't come out with a new candle in a while, because I've been burning this in my own home for the last year - I'm obsessed.  So, I decided to track it down and carry it in the store.  It is everything that I love - it has a softness, and warmth with undertones of white tea, jasmine and bergamot.  The price point for these candles is amazing - especially with the luxurious wax seal. 
Available in two sizes; 2.7 oz ($7.50) and 6 oz. ($15)


Classic Candle, Clove - 2 Sizes

This candle is a pure and simple version of our favorite scents in the fall - clove, spice, warmth and cider. 


Love these wax seals.  The Cider has a warm brown seal to go along with the warm scent.




To the left of my desk, I keep my ribbon spools, and in the basket above, I keep all of my Cello Bags, Treat Bags, and boxes.  In the drawer to the right, I keep a stash of tags.  Keeping everything in this spot helps me throw together gifts easily.  



The basket goes up on the shelves above - easy to get the mess away!


The Wreath Tags have a striped back to add a little charm to gifts.


Here, my stash of tablets, le pens and tags.  The tablets make great gifts, so I often tie them up with a LePen for an easy hostess gift (with a bottle of wine).



Cello Bags (3 sizes) and Treat Bags (Kraft & Glassine)


I also keep a stash of Kraft Boxes with Krinkle.  I can always come up with a cute gift at a moments notice with all of this supplies handy.



The Softest Diamond Throw in Medium Grey with Velvet Pillow



We love our pegs so much.  I love them empty, and they even still look nice completely full and piled with things.



I love this for over my shoulders...


or it makes a really nice inexpensive throw accent.




We repurposed the French doors in here from our old house.  It is so nice to be able to open them up wide on pretty days.




The pegs lining this room have so many uses - from jackets, to bags and wraps, they also hold cleaning supplies.  They go around the entire perimeter of the room.




September 19, 2017

A Little Note to My Friends & Their Photos


 Tessa at Nine and Sixteen

I wanted to give some love to some of my favorite Bloggers & Instagrammers that have given me some love over the last couple of weeks.  I find it becoming increasingly hard to come by fresh inspiration. These ladies are some of the best sources that provide little snippets into their lives and home - and I swoon every time.  

Tessa's impact on my style is no secret!  She is so good at the mix and match and play of textiles, antiques and all things cozy.  Her feed is constantly influencing my store collections and home.

Above she puts a table together with my Blue Hydrangea Napkins.




Her Baked Chocolate Donuts with Vanilla Glaze - yum - pictured with my Privet Sprig Tea Towel (sold out, but napkins and table runners are available).



Almost all of you know Patsy.  She is as good as it gets!  I'm constantly awed by her spirit and her words, and her home full of country house style.

She has an assortment of my block print pillows in rotation on her sofa and in her mudroom.



She used my Cream Hydrangea Napkins & Runner to set a table for her guests.  I love how she fills her giant farmhouse table with candles, Willow Vases ($34), and little pewter pieces.


Allison at The Clever Goose

Allison is using my Aged Bread Boards in her beautiful streamlined kitchen.  I love all of the details in this room and all of her accents are spot on.



Emiy has such gracious style.  Her home (and her chickens) make me want to move someplace by a big pond in the country!  Here she has my Blue Hydrangea 20" Square pillow on her wing chair.




Anyone's feed called the Dutch Door has my heart.  I love how she used my Privet Sprig Runner $36 mixed and matched with layered china.  



Kirby at 15009 Farmhouse

Kirby is a personal friend (and 2nd cousin!) of mine.  She lives in the town I grew up in and I love to live vicariously through her in her gorgeous new farmhouse.  She has my 8x10" Gold Frames & 5x7" Botanicals hanging in her bathroom.  Look at that tub, floor and deep window sill!

This is the sort of thing that I never had time for before - I was too swamped with never enough energy.  It feels great to be able to carve out some time and appreciate the work of these ladies.  Thank you all for your inspiration and work.  You inspire me.

*Product has been provided in some instances to these blogger friends. 
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