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Bit by Bit, Piece by Piece

20141213-051747.jpg Bit by bit, and piece by piece, we add things to our home that makes them unique, personal. Our own. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a collector, we all really are. For our home is one big collection of things that tell our story. Being in the biz of “things” I am constantly/daily seeing, looking, buying goods for the shops and website. My motto for buying has always been that I have to love something so much that I would be happy to have it in our own home. So at times, it can be quite tough not taking everything home. But every once in awhile something just speaks to me even louder than usual. I came across these napkin rings a few weeks ago and just knew they were ours. Wood banded with sterling silver and tiny little crests with the numbers 1 thru 6 on them. I think we are really just custodians of things for the time we have them. I could just tell these had lived a good life–and we will do our best to make sure they continue to do just that.





A Fresh Table

20130919-061022.jpg Yesterday and the next few days are all about display. We have so much new product coming in daily at this time of year, it really necessitates us moving things around. The dining table at the Home store went from a shell theme to a table all about varying shades of green.

20130919-061255.jpg As things go in retail, certain loved items become discontinued by the maker. Such is the case of one of my all-time favorite pitchers, this monkey style. He had to grace one of our tables one last time.

20130919-061616.jpg Then the layering begins. Truly, setting a table is so much like getting dressed. Layer after layer gets added. First the placemats, then the plate choice, then the silverware, then the glassware, and on and on. If something does not look or feel right, take it off.

20130919-061915.jpg The square fern plates adding a bit of nature to the overall table theme. I will pick ferns this week-end to add to the table next week. The fun thing about these tables is they get added to over the coming weeks and the layering just continues.

20130919-062157.jpg The napkin rings with the numbers a fun new addition to our stock. But the monkey was the key element that brings the whole table together. Such a happy fellow!



A Table in Whites, Creams & English Brass

20130215-064419.jpg In the crazy busyness of Valentine week I got the bug to take apart the dining table display in the middle of the Home store. I am sure Amy and Sarah thought I was nuts the other day. But when the creative juices get going, I think you should run with it. The zinc dining table had not had a re-do since early November, so it was time.

20130215-064930.jpg For me most times, re-doing a display means taking everything away from the previous table. I like a clean canvas. The vintage English brass candlesticks TPS found on our trip to our niece’s wedding would be the main focus of the table. It was the day after the wedding where I did the flowers for the event, and I was beat. There was a freakish warm spell in May outside of Chicago and it was in the high 90’s during our stay. I opted to sleep in. He was ready to go vintage shopping–and boy oh boy, he found some gems.

20130215-065648.jpg He found the most gorgeous assortment of vintage English brass candlesticks. Many are over 100+ years old, with most being cleaned up to shiny perfection. Filled with beeswax candles, they would work swimmingly running down the middle of the table.

20130215-070052.jpg The placemats gave an earthy quality to the table that I really like. Tortoise color handled French Laguiole would pick up on the horn pieces I would scatter about the table.

20130215-070521.jpg A vintage black and white photo would be tucked under the soup bowl for a little extra visual fun.

20130215-070820.jpg A few John Derian trays would be added, along with resin cauliflower to make it seem like a meal was set to take place.


20130215-071126.jpg A bloom at each end of the table in an old apothecary bottle would give a bit of life to the table that I think is key.

20130215-071400.jpg I snapped this photo on my way out that night after I had set the alarm. The lights from the lamps left on in the shop added an extra glow. The table was set. Not necessarily for a real meal, but the meal or dinner party made up in the minds of those that wander past it each day.



Crowns and Numbers

20120606-081834.jpg The crown plates arrived months ago, but I had yet to use them on the table in a fully set display. Yesterday was the day. Designed by Rae Dunn, artist extraordinaire from San Francisco, the plates combine 2 of my favorite icons–crowns & numbers.

20120606-082144.jpg The red numbers would pull the number theme together and give the table that red burst I was going for. The white lilies, adding height and softness. Clear glass to make it all light and airy.


20120606-082345.jpg I used the linen dish towels we just got in a few weeks ago that have a red stripe as placemats, along with the red striped napkins. Then I start adding ephemera with hits of red.







Laguiole Stainless Steel Flatware

20120515-054857.jpg I was straightening up displays yesterday and clicking away at some final photos to add to my book proposal, and captured this set of spiffy stainless steel Laguiole flatware. The Dubost family has been creating this famous flatware for four generations. The iconic bee gracing the handle of the knife–the design was inspired a shepherd’s tool first made in the village of Laguiole in the 19th century. This silverware setting would make any table sparkle.




Apple of My Eye

20111024-082653.jpg Having forgotten the apples for the table last week-end, I made doubly sure I had them for the table yesterday. Red dahlias were nowhere to be found, so an all out apples fest would be the plan. Our friends Peg & Brian, along with pooch Sammy were on the 2 o’clock ferry, so I knew I had the morning to put the table together.

20111024-083244.jpg It turned out to be a lovely, non-windy day, so we decided to have the table under the covered porch, just in case rain did decide to drop by. I wanted to leave the zinc table bare, without a table cloth. I thought the scattered apples looked better on the zinc, so I folded the apple motif flour sack dish towels and used them like a place mat, and added another for our napkin.

20111024-083918.jpg Our new red handled Laguiole silverware would give an extra punch of color. The dish towel/napkin has green apples on them too, so I added green apples and a few green glassed votive holders to play off of that. Bailey’s head poking out at the top of the table, as she watches TPS at the grill.

20111024-084503.jpg The variety of apples out right now is amazing. It was so much fun looking for different sizes, shapes and shades.

20111024-084751.jpg And what better way to end the meal than with a rustic apple tart.