Last week, I spent the afternoon with my talented friend, Susan Muzio, of Muzio Design and Consignment in Essex, MA. Our focus was to show you how easy it is to create a beautiful table with vintage textiles and finds. I hope that we will inspire you to think outside of the box this Holiday Season .....look around your own home and see what hidden treasures you may have just dying to be re-purposed.
If you are starting new, I have created a few links for some of my personal favorites. If you are local, come over to Essex and see my friend Susan. I know you will not be disappointed!
The first place to start when you are having a holiday dinner party is to determine the number guests and choose the table size accordingly. For this project, we planned to have 3 people over for a intimate dinner party. A good tip in buying furniture is to buy a piece that can be many things. For example, this great looking tasting table is beautiful in its own right. It is the perfect size for a dining table, a game table or a pretty foyer table with flowers and stacks of books....BTW....I am VERY interested in grabbing this beauty this weekend for my own home!
Susan always has lovely textiles available at "The Barn." We selected this pretty linen that has a neutral backgound as the base. Then we started to layer the linen with a gorgeous Kafta in autumnal colors. When you layer, it instantly adds a sophistication to the table. Since the Kafta was wide, we doubled it up by folding in half to create a gorgeous table runner. Kaftas are a prefct staple for your home. They can be many things: a throw on the back of a couch; a bedcover or a chic wrap to keep you warm when sitting around a fire or walking on a beach. Today it is our Holiday Table Runner! One thing to note on Kaftas, they are one of a kind textiles, so if you see one you love, GRAB IT! I buy piles of them when I travel and have them available in our studio. (They will also be available on our on line shop, which will be live soon.)
The next step is to create the feel of the table with accessories. We wanted a elegant yet organic feel for this setting, so we grabbed vintage brass candle stick holders in various shapes and sizes. The tapers also varied in height, but here we selected various shades of autumn to keep with our theme and layering of the table. Here is another tip, BUY good candles! It is well worth the investment. Long lasting and drip-less is key! Who wants messy wax all over your beautiful textiles?!!! To keep things a bit modern and fresh, we went with large crisp white dinner plates. I have to admit, I do have a thing for dinnerware and secretly wish I had the space for a china closet! Yes, that's right, I said it... a whole closet dedicated to china. Maybe in my next house! One can only wish! On this table, the white plates provided a nice contrast to the linens and a great backdrop to the main attraction, the FOOD! Large white dinner plates always work and are worth the investment!
My next tip is linen napkins! I am a fan! Susan always has great ones on hand so we went with a pretty simple cream and embroidered napkin folded and layered on top of the plates. TIP: We placed at each setting a small vintage jar filled with local honey tied with rafia. This small detail instantly added a homey touch to our elegant organic table theme.
Cutlery runs the gammut in price and style. If you have silver....USE IT! So many people have it locked away. Honestly... break it out! I have a set of mixed match silver that I love, created from my numerous adventures antiquing. I am ok with the variety, but if you are not up for scouring the countryside, it is time to invest! I love this set from France and the pretty wooden box always makes using it feel special. This gorgeous setting looks GREAT on the table!
We set vintage stemless glassware and a good bottle of red wine to the right of a single table setting.... This is a fun tip that gets your guest involved with the dinner and starts the celebration of sharing. Instead of flowers as a center piece, we went with simple greens gathered from the yard. Stems of assorted greens have loose yet elegant feel and look perfect in a clear vase, or glass pitcher as used here. These types of greens should remain fresh right into the holiday season! I love how this table came together using new and old! I hope you are inspired to use what you have in new ways and to welcome your friends and family into your home this Holiday Season!
Here are some of my go to favorites! You can click on the link and it will take you to where you can purchase it.
Flatware: I love this set. 8-12 to start.
Recipes: Who elese to be inspired by than the MasterJulia Child!
Candles: I am lucky enough to live in an area where I can find local hand dipped tapers, but I always have a box of Colonial Candles. They are little more money but worth it!
(By the way, I am sending you to links of products that I think would be useful to you and I do earn a fee on qualified purchases. I have not been asked by the following manufactures to recommend their product.)