Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tabletops--Take 3--Stuff Mark brings home

I read Kathryn Greeley's The Collected Tabletop last year and her tablescapes and designs inspired me to renew my efforts toward creating my own special tables.  I love dishes, glassware, china, crystal, flatware, sterling, you name it, if it goes on the table, I'm drawn to it. But I also like to use pieces in my table designs that aren't necessarily traditional tabletop elements. I like daisies in saucecups and minnowbuckets full of Queen Anne's Lace, I'm just cool that way. I think I will call this table "stuff Mark brings home." I used a couple of my favorite gifts from my husband's travels to create a happy table.  Make sure to scroll down to see the gifts that didn't make the cut.

I used platinum-rimmed Noritake china with my girls' sterling flatware and beautiful vintage blue sherbet and juice glasses that I found at an estate sale for $10!!!!!  I think mixing fine china, sterling and colorful vintage glassware makes the table pretty and interesting. 

juice glass

The girls and I look forward to gifts Mark brings home from his travels.  The blue and white village pieces from Amsterdam look so pretty with the glassware and linens.
The little houses were a passenger gift from KLM Airlines and have wax-covered chimneys that supposedly will smoke if you remove the wax. That would be fun at a dinner party.  Or scary.

Mark brought the candleholders home from Thailand after the tsunami.  They are beautiful and have been used all over our house.  They hold column candles which provide plenty of light for a late summer evening dinner.
The artisans in the markets in Phuket created spectacular pieces, even a few short days after the tsunami.  These Naga Serpent candleholders were a special gift and always make us think about the resilience of the human spirit and the fragility of life. 
These ceramic garden stools are so versatile, this blue and white serves as extra table seating and looks great with my blue and white table decor. 

Bullet Malcolm, exhausted from table design.
This charming couple from Chiclayo, Peru were not used on this table.  I LOVE THEM, they are so vital and uninhibited.  They would actually look fabulous on top of a wedding cake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tabletops--Take 2

I almost always find fabric for my table linens in the remnants bin at local fabric stores--this blue and brown leaf pattern would be a really ugly skirt or sofa, but looks pretty cool as a table runner.  This makes a cozy fall table; I used a variation on my dining table for Thanksgiving last year

Basket weave placemats used in combination with the runner adds interest and texture to the table--LouLou's beautiful vintage china makes every meal extra special
I love to use pretty dish towels as napkins!
A simple daisy in a McCarty's sauce cup adds a touch of summer--I really enjoy the juxtaposition of the fine china and crystal with the pottery.  No rules today. Or any day really.
If you really want your guests to think you have it all together, create a menu card for your next dinner party.  I used card stock and a printer and some pretty ribbon.  Look at the turquoise rim on LouLou's beautiful dinner plate, it matches the cardstock and I planned it.  I have it all together.
I love to give my guests gifts.  The gift tag doubles as a place card! 


Tabletops--take 1

When Trey and I were growing up, and still today, Mom did not cook much.  She actually CAN cook, in fact she cooked a huge, fantastic, fresh vegetable country meal last weekend, she just doesn't like to cook and ergo, doesn't do it very often.  Mema cooked for us for our entire childhood, we were very well fed.  What Mom never failed to do, however, was set a beautiful table.  Whether we were having mac and cheese for 4 or a catered dinner for 40 was irrelevant, Mom created for us a beautiful table with special linens and dishes and flowers that Daddy grew.  When my parents entertained, we often used a gateleg table for overflow guests, and recently I acquired a gateleg almost exactly like that one.  It seats four perfectly and just makes for beautiful dining!
See here it is, I was using it as an end, note that I lovingly placed my lamp on the sofa so I could use the table for photos
The inspiration for this tabletop was the lovely peach and black china, a Craigslist score, you really can't beat Craigslist for incredible china finds!  Below is a better view of the dessert plate.
I rarely set a table without using my LouLou's beautiful pieces, Her stemware with gold accents complements the china.  And I love this napkin!  It totally livens up the table
I like to switch up my gifts for guests, depending on their tastes.  Candles and homemade jellies and  preserves are always popular at my house
We have tons of bunnies in Bayonne right now, we are bunny lovers and this is an old friend.  Using favorite items from my house as part of my table decor keeps it fresh and interesting--I really wish I knew how to photoshop, if I did, you wouldn't see all the background craziness that is a part of life at the Malcolm house. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Space With No Worries

Creating a space for children is always fun for me, some of my favorite projects have been children's rooms and playrooms.  A recent children's project certainly did not disappoint in the fun department, and the kids for whom this design was created are a part of my heart. 

The Children's Room at the Sixth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's Office was totally a labor of love for me!  The kids who frequent this room are unnaturally burdened.  My normal light-hearted whimsical approach to designing an area for children had to be re-thought and amended.  Many hours were spent researching colors, lighting, surface choices, and even aromas that foster feelings of comfort and peacefulness in children.  The result is a cool, quiet, yet still light-hearted oasis, conducive to an effective interview, and an easy atmosphere for children and law enforcement professionals alike.  I hope you love it!
banquette with laminated violet fabric banded in sky--hey who forgot to chop those pillows??

Homework station--or coloring station or masterpiece creation station
These crayons are no longer sharp
Normally, this sweet white pail holds magic markers!
Books, toys, and most importantlly, Legos!
The trucks and games are used much more frequently than the dictionary and thesaurus

Beautiful baby pig by local artist Jeanenne W. Vowell
Detail of gorgeous abstract by local artist Jennifer Waymack
Both pieces were created especially for the Children's Room and were donated by these fabulous artists!

A few of our angels!

Thank you for looking, have a wonderful week!