March 18th, 2009 |

The Essentials to Setting a Table

Essentials to Setting a Table (small)

The very talented ladies at Elle Decor have some great tips for setting the perfect table.

Setting a table should be an expression of your personal style. But even the most creative stylists need structure to achieve the best results. After deciding on the time, place and guest list, consider the following steps to setting the perfect table.

1. Set a Theme

It’s important to set the theme for your event, no matter how large or small the gathering. Whether it be a birthday party or a ladies luncheon, setting a theme will captivate your guests. Always make sure to create a consistent look from start to finish.

• Make sure to keep a consistent look among the invitations, decorations and menu.

• Choose a theme that represents your interest.   Garden motif, nautical look, tropical themes are always a hit.   Still need inspiration? Look at the items in your closet; it will help you come up with a table setting that mirrors your style.

2. Select Dinnerware

First off, use what you have—with a bit of digging and creativity, your perfect setting is in there somewhere.

• If none of your patterns seem to fit the bill, select your simplest and build from there. White plates are the perfect staple since you can dress it up or down.

• Or if simple doesn’t seem special enough–mix things up. Combine a variety of complementary—but not matching—dishes, cups and platters with the same motif, such as florals or stripes, for a fun, stylish table.

3. Select Glassware

Experiment with your glassware and don’t let classification limit the use—many glasses have multiple uses. Also, don’t feel you must work with one style or color of glassware.

• Most glassware can do double duty. For example, martini glasses make great serving pieces for small appetizers like shrimp.

4. Select & Polish Silverware

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook flatware. But don’t since it adds another stylish element to your summer table. Think of dressing up your flatware with a variety of adornments or buy some unique or vintage pieces to mix in with your set.

• Add flatware with bold designs or vivid colors to your table for a decorative touch

• Ribbons, twine and metal accents can be used to embellish flatware, creating a charming, summery look.

5. Select Linens

Always have fine linens on hand for sit-down dinners since they add a level of sophistication to even the smallest gathering.

• Pay attention to how they feel; they stay with your guests throughout the entire meal. Avoid stiff fabrics and choose materials with a soft or more luxurious feel to them.

• Choose placemats and napkins that pick up the colors of your glassware and dinnerware.

• Textured elements like embroidery add interest, and you can play with patterns – mix a stripe napkin with a floral placemat for added playfulness.

6. Finishing Touches

Plates, glasses and flatware are a given, but it’s the accents that really make your table setting memorable and express your personal style.

• Floral arrangements in low glass containers, partnered with small fruits like oranges or lemons, add a summery vibe.

• Special items used as favors or place cards (seashells, garden herbs or flowers) will distinguish your table and delight your guests. Herbs like rosemary can be wrapped in twine and arranged at each place setting.

• Add glass votives to illuminate a tabletop—it’s an inexpensive way to create warmth and ambiance.

Images: table setting, dinnerware and placecard pictures (elledecor.com), glassware and linen pictures (crateandbarrel.com), silverware caddy (potterybarn.com)

March 18th, 2009 |

Make a statement with flowers

 

Images: reflection thru mirror (via lastoriafoto.com), purple tulips (brides.com),

white peonies (via zoomphotography.com), yellow flowers (via toddevents.com)

March 16th, 2009 |

St. Patrick’s Day

The luck of the Irish will bring you good fortune with these recipes!

The Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th – it is believed that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died that day in 461 AD.  Today, it is a worldwide celebration of Irish culture and history.  People celebrate the day with parades, wearing of the green, and of course, drinking beer!  In Ireland, people traditionally wear a small bunch of shamrocks on their jackets or caps.  Children wear orange, white and green badges, and women and young girls wear green ribbons in their hair.

St. Patrick’s Day takes place just a few days before the first day of Spring….one might say it has become the first green of Spring.

St. Patrick's Day (small)

Your table should be easy – pull out anything green!  I love pairing white, green and yellow together – very festive and Spring-like.  Find some shamrock plants at your local nursery and place a sprig on each person’s plate or napkin (a four-leaf clover is meant to bring good luck).

Here are a few Irish recipes sure to make everyone excited for the celebration:

I hope you enjoy St. Patrick’s Day as much as I do!

Make sure to visit us tomorrow for ideas for your leftover corned beef…..

Images: napkin with four-leaf clover (marthastewart.com), short ribs and cabbage (williams-sonoma.com), corned beef and cupcakes (bonappetit.com)

March 13th, 2009 |

Friday Night Fiesta!

Fiesta (small)

Send your friends this bright, festive invitation to grab their sombreros and come on over for some margaritas and mexican food tonight!

Welcome your guests with festive music, and an easy menu of items that everyone loves – guacamole & chips, taco bar and of course, margaritas!  Everyone has their own favorite guacamole recipe….but if anyone is interested in a new one, my favorite comes from Williams-Sonoma.

Setting the mood is easy for a Mexican Fiesta….bring out as many bright colors and patterns as you can possibly find!  You can find great, inexpensive serving dishes, paper flowers and lanterns thru party supply stores and websites, such as Plum Party and Amazon.Fiesta Supplies (small)

Images: fiesta invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), centerpiece (realsimple.com), patterned napkins (heatherbailey.com), lanterns (theknot.com), taco bar and gaucamole (realsimple.com), margarita (williams-sonoma.com), floral dishes (crateandbarrel.com), paper flowers and colored serving bowls (plumparty.com), chili pepper lanterns (amazon.com)

March 12th, 2009 |

Chic Birthday Dinner Party

chic-birthday-dinnerA dinner party with friends to celebrate a birthday…

Whatever shall I make?!

First, let’s keep it simple…set the table with black and white china and use a small vase of white flowers as your centerpiece…let the focus be on the gorgeous food and lovely friends.

For dinner, serve a meal that is rich in flavor, yet easy to prepare:

And for dessert…..a delicious chocolate birthday cake!

Images: chocolate cake (theknot.com), Barbara Barry china (bloomingdales.com), napkin rings (tabulatua.com), champagne cocktail (people.com), asparagus and corn risotto (william-sonoma.com), beef tenderloin (epicurious.com)

March 12th, 2009 |

A Clever Placecard Idea

Simply chic, and somewhat vintage looking…these tags would make lovely place cards at my next dinner party!

silverware-tags-petitepearTags by Petite Pear via Etsy

March 11th, 2009 |

Decorating with Moss

 

Add some natural intrigue to your Spring centerpieces with moss.

I love bringing the fresh color of green into my home for Spring, and I think the moss adds a look that is raw yet refined.  Some of these images would be great  inspiration for a wedding or party.  Mixing candles with the moss balls makes a beautiful centerpiece for any party…and hanging a beautiful wreath on the door is a great way to welcome your guests.

There are currently tons of places selling moss items – moss balls at Pottery Barn, antique glass terrariums full of moss on Etsy.com – but you can also find items at craft stores or on-line to create your own (pretty inexpensively, too!).

I found the best assortment at Save-On-Crafts – not only do they have already made moss wreaths, balls, and stones, but they also have moss covered wire.  Take a look…I hope it inspires you to bring a little nature into your home!

 

Top Images: wreath with bows (marthastewartweddings.com), candles & moss centerpiece (projectwedding.com),

moss balls (potterybarn.com), topiary place card (marthastewartweddings.com), glass terrarium (etsy.com),

little girl (via gertrude & mabel), doorway with moss wreath (marthastewart.com)

March 10th, 2009 |

Happy Birthday Cookies

happy-birthday-cookiesNeed to send a “Happy Birthday” fast?

Try these adorable cookies from Eleni’s New York (via Dean & Deluca).

March 9th, 2009 |

Deliciously Artistic Centerpiece

yellow-daisy-jello-rachel-ray

I found this cute idea on Everyday with Rachel Ray….

What a great idea for Spring!

Combine six boes of Jell-O powder with half the amount of water specified, chill the mix in a glass vase for half an hour, the just push flowers into the semi-firm gelatin.  You can customize this idea for any color palette, with all different types of flowers.  Great for a spring dinner, children’s birthday or baby shower!

March 8th, 2009 |

Trend Alert: Vegetable Colors

trend-alert-vegetable-colorsVegetable colors are popping up both in apparel and in home goods this Spring.  Intense colors that remind us of butternut squash, lemons, and leafy greens are being paired together to set Spring-like tables.  Bold and fresh, it’s a great update to any home this time of year.

Images: Dining room and yellow plate (potterybarn.com), green candy bar (amyatlas.com), white, orange & green table (theknot.com), bamboo & lemons centerpiece (tapestryflowers.com) and stripe cake (theknot.com)

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