Thrilled & honored to be in House Beautiful this month. They asked me to shoot a dining table I had set at Hawthorne. What fun it all was! Pulling all the green things from around the house that have special meaning to us on a beautiful sunny day. TPS cut hydrangea from the yard. We pushed the table all the way to the window so you could see a bit of green from outside. Fun to include bits of things from Seattle, Hudson, our travels, and gifts we have received. The green leaf dish from Mary, a TKW blog reader since day one, that she sent to me in congratulations of my book. It really is a table filled with some of our most meaningful green things. The above taken from the page of the magazine. The below a clearer shot the magazine sent me after it had been cropped. House Beautiful really is one of my very favorite design magazines, so it tickles me to see a slice of Hawthorne grace the page.
Just arrived, Swaine Street Woodworking products. I have always been somewhat at a loss on what to use to revivify wood cutting boards and other wood kitchen items like stirring spoons. Swaine Street Woodworking products to the rescue. Rosemary lemon cutting board oil is a food safe emollient formula which penetrates the wood to bring it back to a happy revivified life. Beeswax polish doing a similar trick but also providing a food safe protective finish. The ditty ‘whistle while you work, whistle while you work’ playing in my head. Again, great packaging. I am a sucker for a Weck jar, and the simple apothecary glass bottle with the black top is just right.
From my favorite leather chair–up early and ready to tackle the day.
A lovely, lovely Friday to you all,
We are still receiving new goods that I ordered at the New York show back in January. I love a constant stream of new things showing up throughout the year. Keeps the assortment fresh–so you always spot something new when entering the shops. Just in, Victoria Amory gourmet condiments.
Bumping up the quality quotient to everyday things we use can elevate the everyday experience. While I know we don’t use ketchup & mayonnaise everyday, to have really excellent bottles of it at the ready when we do, just creates a more memorable experience. Case in point, I tried the Champagne ketchup the other day with my lunch at the shop. I was blown away by the flavors. Complex, not overly sweet. When was the last time you even though about ketchup?
The Fine Herbs mayonnaise just waiting for crudités at the next cocktail party. Plus you all know how I love great packaging. These bottles are sharp enough to leave out in a pinch on a sandwich board. They would look stellar wrapped up in clear cello bags for host/hostess gifts.
Collections can really be just about anything and they can start just about anywhere. It can be as simple as shells from walks on the beach. A collection can be a few things or many things. Rare or not. Expensive or not. A vintage pair of cufflinks you find on a trip and then you start doing that on each vacation. A small bud vase you spot at an antique mall that you like, then you build on that and start collecting more on future shopping excursions. A collection can be just to look at on a shelf, or my favorite, things you actually use. I know someone who has a collection of hot sauce culled from over the years. End result, a collection should bring you joy. Joy in the hunt. A satisfaction from finding the needle in a haystack sort of thing. A collection can be something you began in childhood, or something you begin today. However it is pulled together, collecting should bring enjoyment to your life. Happy collecting!
The light Saturday morning in the Market was something else. Diffused, ethereal–just dreamy. It made the tulips seem like watercolor drawings. This Tulip Tuesday image in yellows and oranges and reds my favorite of all I snapped that day. Each single tulip a natural work of art and as a whole they become a masterpiece.
Rest. We all need it. Time to just do nothing. Rest our mind, our eyes, our spirit. Time to recharge. Whether it be a comfy chair, a hammock, your favorite spot on the sofa–fitting in a little relaxation time into our busy week is such a healthy thing to do. For both mind and body.
The purpose of this post is hopefully to show how setting a table need not all match, need not be stressful, and should encourage us all to invite friends over for a meal. I know for a fact that the very thought of this makes some folks break into a sweat. I have had so many conversations with customers who say they just can’t bring themselves to have guests over.
First off, throw out all the rules. Really the only rule to entertaining and setting a table is that you & your guests have fun. After that, however it rolls is up to you. If you don’t have enough matching chairs to set a full table, then mix and match. We do this all the time. I prefer it. The look is casual and eclectic. Same goes for plates, silverware and glasses.
Use a tablecloth, don’t use a tablecloth. Use placemats, don’t use placemats. There is no right or wrong. Just add things that bring a smile to your face. I have been collecting these little English trophies for ages. I just recently came up with the idea to put tea lights in them. For this table they added sparkle once the sun went down. I sometimes like to have the fork and the knife side by side, as it makes room for the napkin on the other side of the plate. I know this is not traditional, but I like the look.
Use flowers, don’t use flowers. Your call. Or buy a simple bunch at the grocery store and run them down the middle. It fills the table with flowers, does not break the bank, and adds a bit of jaunty flower happiness to the scene. If the idea of cooking for guests makes you nervous, order out. We entertain quite a bit, and this is a trick we learned ages ago. Sometimes we cook the entire meal, other times we augment with store bought things, other times we order the entire meal. This table was for the other evening where we ordered pizza to be delivered. Set out a few nibbles before and we were set. My point with all of this is having guests to your home is such a gracious act. One that is filled with love. Sometimes our want for ‘perfect’ or comparison with others gets in the way. We all have so much to offer. We just need to be comfortable doing it. Cheers to no rules when it comes to setting a table! Cheers to no rules entertaining! Make your own rules. End result, have fun!
Rearranging at the shops is really not all that different from doing it at home. Yesterday I decided to refreshen a little area at the Market shop. This happens to me at home as well as the shops, I walk by a spot and I think to myself time and again ‘I have got to change/tweak/move that’ but then I go onto something more pressing. My lesson here is to start small. A major re-do of a room can be completely overwhelming, so we put it off and it does not get done. By breaking down the room, and in my case yesterday, the store, into segments/areas it is far less daunting a task to tackle. Rehang a few pieces of artwork, rework stacks of books, change out candles in candlesticks, move around lamps, swap out decorative objects–whatever stirs you at the time. You will be amazed at what it does for the rest of the room. Kind of like wearing a new pair of shoes and it completely spiffs up the rest of your outfit, even if you have had it for ages.