It is hard to believe, here it is the 4th of July! My gosh, where is this year going? We don’t have any special plans this year for the holiday, and quite frankly, that is just fine. I am finding that I prefer to stay close to home, having a little barbeque with family. In years past, we could easily be found down at the Dana Point Harbor, boating and enjoying a day on the water until the sun set and then watching the firework display from the barge that is anchored just outside Doheny State Beach, but those days are over and quite honestly, I am more than fine with that. It was loads of fun when my, now grown children, were younger, but over the years, the harbor has gotten more and more crowded and once you are there, you are definitely committed to staying there the entire day. This means you better get there early and be prepared to get home after midnight…..the traffic is abominable!! Anywho, whatever your plans may be, I wish everyone a safe and Happy 4th! Red, White and Blue….be inspired……
Happy 4th of July
All Images via Pinterest.
The holiday season is upon us in full gear, and, along with decorating, shopping and gift wrapping, we are also planning for holiday meals. It is definitely that time of year when celebrating and entertaining go hand in hand. This year, my husband’s godmother will be turning 90 on December 22nd and to honor her as well as show her how much we have appreciated her generosity and unconditional love, we are hosting a birthday dinner celebration in our home. I have ordered the floral centerpieces, the cake and made arrangements for tables, chairs, linens, china, flatware, glassware, etc., to be delivered, but I am doing all the cooking. I find buffet style entertaining, where guests serve themselves, a popular choice for any occasion. This style of entertaining allows you to mingle with guests and replenish serving containers as needed. It also allows you to serve a larger number of guests.
1. Choose the Best Spot.
A buffet can be set up on a dining table or other large surface, such as a chest, kitchen counter, sideboard, library table or picnic table outside. Place the table where it is most convenient for serving, clearing and traffic flow. A minimum of 18 inches is required for guests to walk between pieces of furniture.
2. Organize the Flow
Arrange plates, food and serving utensils on a buffet in a logical order so guests can serve themselves without backtracking. If the buffet space accommodates only the food, place plates, silverware, and napkins on a separate table nearby.
3. Plan for Cocktails
4. Plan a Workable Menu
Make sure the food on the menu is simple to serve and eat. For my dinner celebration, the guests will be seated at tables, but for guests who will be seated in chairs only with plates on their laps, they will appreciate food they can eat with a fork. When seating space is limited and guests will have to stand, a menu consisting of finger foods is the best option.
5. Dress it Up With Pretty Fabrics
Fine table coverings, heirloom pieces, damask, linen, and sheer organdy toppers are used for formal occasions, but for casual or less formal events, look around your home for ideas. Try a quilt, fabrics that complement the dishes, burlap, or crisp cotton sheets.
6. Stack It Up
Add interest to a buffet by elevating several dishes to create levels. A cake pedestal or a shallow-footed bowl are perfect choices to hold food or other serving pieces. Less attractive items used for height may be hidden under drapes of fabric for the same effect. Take a trial run on setting your buffet, you won’t know if an arrangement will work until you try it. When you find your desired look, make a drawing of the shape of your buffet surface with all items needed as a reference. Set the table the day before your event.
7. Add Beauty With Centerpieces
Centerpieces should contribute to the mood of the occasion rather than dominate the table; otherwise, with the many serving pieces, the table will be too crowded. Also, if you are using a centerpiece on the table, be sure it isn’t too large or too tall which may obstruct the view of each guest. One arrangement in the center is best for circular tables. Scatter several arrangements down the middle of a rectangular table. Of course, fresh flowers are always lovely. Other possibilities to consider are fruits, nuts, greenery, potted bedding plants, ferns and figurines.
8. Go For Mood
The type of lighting you choose can help establish the mood and atmosphere. A dimmer switch that lowers overhead lighting is a necessity in a dining room. Remember to use candles only after dusk and do not put candles on the table unless they will be lit. Make sure all candles are lit before guests arrive. Tapered candles are usually used for a dressier table, while votive candles will work for any style table. Also choose votive holders to help carry out a theme.
DESIGNED TO ENJOY
Images Via My Pinterest
Photography: Michael Garland
Architect: Douglas Burdge, Burdge & Associate Architects. buaia.com
Interior Designer: Emily Sullivan, Emily Sullivan Design.
The designer, her husband and children live in this new house in Pacific Palisades that is very reminiscent of their East Coast roots. She grew up in Washington D.C. and her husband grew up in Chicago. Their memories of Christmas were always dusted in snow. As designer, Emily Sullivan likes to point out, “it’s very much a challenge to make it feel like Christmas when it’s sunny and warm in California.” Nevertheless, they have certainly done a lovely job…East Coast meets West Coast….enjoy!
GORGEOUS GREEN DINING ROOM
Stunning handpainted de Gournay tea paper wallcovering.
FESTIVE TABLE SETTING
Pottery Barn chargers and Bernardaud’s “Constance” porcelain plates. Beautiful!!
THE DINING ROOM BAY
The perfect, intimate spot for morning coffee.
CREAMY, DREAMY LIVING ROOM
“KID-FRIENDLY” FAMILY ROOM
Gorgeous architectural details, framed intaglios hung in a grid pattern, cowhide chairs, chinoiserie stools….dreamy, for sure.
Lovely details, Greek key nailhead trim on the bar stools, patinated, overhead stove vent, and stunning, large scaled orb pendants.
THE GATHERING TABLE
VISIONS TO INSPIRE, DESIGN TO ENRICH
Thanksgiving, the holiday meal where family and friends come together to share and give thanks. It’s also a holiday that has crept up exceedingly fast ~~ my goodness how the time has flown by. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I would be doing the turkey thing at our house this year, but it looks like I am, so I’ve got to kick it into gear! I love to cook and plan my menu and I especially like to try different recipes. Oh there are the standbys for cranberries and the dessert, but honestly, this meal is such a glutinous, calorie-laden, labor-intensive meal. Sooooooo, I’m always on the search for more healthful recipes to bring to the table.
THE PLAN ~ PUTTING TOGETHER MY MENU
I usually like to start the meal with soup and this Roasted Pear and Butternut Soup w/Crumbled Stilton from Eating Well looks really delicious and it can be made ahead of time.
FOR THE SIDES
Sweet Potato Casserole, a healthier version of the calorie-laden casserole with marshmallows. 🙂
Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing. This is a must on our family table and a homage to my Southern mother.
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY
Halloween. . . . .
It’s that one night that I can remember looking back on with fond memories and much delight. It was always so much fun to plan what “we were going to be” for our one night of running around with boundless energy……Trick o’ Treating from door to door. Of course, there was ALWAYS at least one house in the neighborhood that would pull out all their tricks to make their home THE ONE that everyone couldn’t wait to see!!!!!
I have always loved all of the creativity and decorating that centers around this one night….no wonder that this is second to Christmas for decorating…..While it is a night that children adore and parents sometimes abhor……planning something that’s a little more adult oriented can be especially nice when your “children” are pretty much grown up, on their own, or with families of their own. Whether an empty nester or not, planning something for adults to enjoy can still be another wonderful way to bring friends and neighbors together for a night of “Spooky Elegance”……
Hope the following images give you some ideas for Table Decor that leave you feeling INSPIRED…….TRICK O’ TREAT……
A HORROR-IFIC DINNER PARTY
A GAUZY HOR D’ OEURVES TABLE
WITCHY, WITCHY SIDEBOARD
TABLE A’ DEUX
SPOOKY, ELEGANCE UNDER THE STARS
SKULLS, WITCHES AND VAMPIRES
SIMPLE AND CLEAN
Love the simple use of letters printed on cardstock and displayed in apothecary jars. Displayed on a sideboard or entry table, it makes a bold “holiday statement” when paired with black and white botanicals!!!
Creating a theme such as this “Cinderella Pumpkin Party” is another great idea for an elegant-themed adult Halloween Party.
TRICK O’ TREAT
VISIONS TO INSPIRE, DESIGN TO ENRICH
Happy 4th ~~
Well, goodness, gracious, heaven save us! Good, golly, Miss Molly, but this year is absolutely flying by…..here we are, July, and it’s another holiday…..Happy 4th!
Image via my Polyvore Boards.
Images from My Pinterest Board.
HAPPY, HAPPY 4TH OF JULY