Setting a table often, while also adding a bit of variety to mix things up is always high on my list. For this table out came a few treats that were gifts from friends as well as a some natural elements to add a freshness to the table. Vintage green glasses from CoCo and bark encrusted napkin rings from Peg & Camilla add a personal element. The bamboo handled silverware and hand woven water hyacinth placemats lend an earthy touch. Then we were all set for guests to arrive!
If the idea of entertaining friends for a dinner makes you want to hide under the covers, but you still feel a desire to host guests, consider Sunday brunch. Brunch food can be casual so the effort is not as great as a full-on sit down dinner. Think bagels with lox and salmon spread, a large quiche or frittata to feed the crowd, a big bowl of fruit salad, yummy sweets bought from your local bakery. A big pitcher of OJ, coffee and maybe an offering of a mimosa or a Bloody Mary, and you are all set for a swell time. Sunday tends to be a relaxed day, but Saturday would certainly work too. Have jazz playing in the background. Light a few candles. Then get ready to have fun at your own party.
Just In, monogrammed anchor plates. For all of us blue loving nautical themed fans out there! We had these whipped up for WestWard, but choose either one or two letters for a truly personalized gift to give. Or gift for yourself. Canapé sized, just the perfectly proportioned plate for appetizers or toast. Or a little bedside plate to hold a glass of water or rings.
If you are setting a table this Thanksgiving, or really anytime, keep in mind flowers don’t have to be just for the center of the table. You can scatter blooms about, in addition to a stunning grouping in the middle. Or create little arrangements and have them at each setting or dotted around the table. Bottom line, getting a little creative with your flowers, however simple or grand, will bring huge visual enjoyment to your guests. And you.
I was again honored when the folks at Pottery Barn asked me to put together & shoot an Autumnal country lunch at Hawthorne. The piece was introduced this week-end. Click here.
The weather was just extraordinary on our stay, and the day I shot this table was no exception. The leaves falling around me as I clicked away. A super simple butternut squash soup was part of the menu. It just felt right for the time of year. The PB pumpkin bowls just perfect. Kale was the centerpiece. Floating lilies in handled hurricanes were a hit as the wind blew so there were no worries the blooms would blow over. The extra long white picnic that was a gift from friends who had a grouping of them made for their wedding, has been such a joy at the back of the house. Bailey scurrying about as I snapped away. All the goods sent by Pottery Barn (which is every item on the table short of the wine–was such a treat for me to gather & create the setting from their website) worked to set a lovely, inviting Autumnal table. Such a fun day, such a fun memory. Hope you enjoy…
Be careful of what you ask for, is something I can hear my dad say often. I had hoped for good weather for the photo/video shoot yesterday and received it in spades. My oh my, 82 degrees and stunning. The funny part is I had brought one of my all-time favorite shirts to wear, a flannel Burberry with bits of green running through it. To pull out the green of my slip-ons that pulled the whole ‘Ghent Green’ look of the house together. Please know I am laughing myself silly thinking/typing this. Minute details are what make me happiest. But a flannel shirt in 80+ degree weather was just not going to cut it. So I quickly pulled out one of the few long sleeved shirts I had pressed and away we went. I felt a tad, ok a lot, sweaty, the entire shoot. Between running around making sure things were photo ready and cooking up a storm, I was not as ‘pressed’ as I like to be. That aside, it was just a blast from start to finish. Stacey & Susanna are pros and had the entire shoot mapped out within minutes of walking around the house. Oh, one other very funny detail that must be mentioned before the video comes out which added to my sweaty-ness. Mister Sive was away spending a few days with his brothers at the Sive family farm in The Catskills. So I was flying solo, with watching Bailey and making sure she did not dart out an open door or get underfoot. Well, she most certainly did not. She would not leave my side and chose to bark if I did not pick her up. SO, not only was I a tad sweaty, ok a lot, I was also holding a dog in most of the shots. Again, I am laughing so hard tears are streaming down my face from the memory. A middle-aged gay man holding his small dog while showing you the details of how to use double stick tape to make a nifty art installation. I write this all to share some of the behind the scenes details that usually never get shared when you read/see things on people’s homes. Truly, it all could not have been more fun and I know it all turned out swell–it is just fun to share a few funny life elements that go into a photo shoot or making of a video. Stacey’s post and the video will be up at the end of November. I will write again about it all then to give you a heads up when it is running. These photos of the picnic table I set out back–with the leaves falling about as I set each spot. The whole experience was just magical, non-Burberry shirt and all.
Today a fun day awaits, as Stacey Bewkes from the video series & blog Quintessence along with author Susanna Salk are coming to Hawthorne to film a segment for an upcoming video as well as photograph the house. The above & below the beginning stages of the table I am setting out back. The leaves creating a carpet that I so love. A country supper of roasted chickens stuffed with herbed chèvre along with an assortment of root vegetables is on the menu. I will post more later this week, but thought I would give you a look at the start of the table. It is supposed to be 80 degrees today, so a crisp Hudson Valley day it will not be. Warm or chilly, it will be a blast. Happy Tuesday all!
This time of year at both the grocery store & farmers market, kale is king. The leafy green is not only amazing to eat but can be so pretty to look at. Before you cook with it or chop it up, give it a chance to aesthetically shine by enjoying it on your dining table in a vase or planter.
Setting a table should include things that make your heart sing. If melons are looking particularly fetching, add them. If you have a collection of shells you have found on the beach over the years, put them here & there. The table should reflect your taste, your interests, and ultimately make you smile.
The dahlias just so perfect from the Market on Saturday I about shed a tear as they were being wrapped up. They would be just the right colors as we say good-bye to Summmaaa and welcome in Autumn. The red bowls a Christmas gift from last year that we have used time and again and adore.
Part of my collection of number 11 pool balls would be called into action as well as dominos and a matchstriker plus 11 plates from the shops from ages ago along with a few other random red things. All stuff that makes us happy plus it pulls from the colors of the dahlias so it brings it all together. We were set to have our season ending meal with dearest of friends who we have a 10+ year tradition of sharing an alfresco supper with at WestWard during the sunny season.