Dining Room

5 Tabletop Essentials

It’s officially ‘the time to dine’, what with two of the largest entertaining holidays of the year coming up. So whether you’re playing the role of hostess with the mostest or if you are simply planning to bring your signature dish somewhere as a guest, we’ve got 5 dinnerware items that are perfect for the holiday season.

1 THE SETUP : Bistro Stripe Table Runners

Set the tone of your table with this two-tone striped cotton runner. The soft neutral colors of this piece lend a warm touch to the tabletop and the textured stripes lend a rustic charm reminiscent of the popular farmhouse style. The fabric measures 3.5 feet long, to accommodate most dining tables and the cotton fabric is washable for easy clean up. Score!

2. THE DISHES : Classic White Dinnerware

Is that dinnerware collection you received at your wedding getting outdated? These modern yet classic pieces are ideal for holidays. A sophisticated look allows for a more formal setting, perfect for this time of the year, but the simplicity keeps them casual year-round. The elegant matte white finish beautifies the irregularities of each shape. We love that these pieces are created by artisans here in the great state of California and each piece is signed by the artist.

3. THE APPETIZERS : An Olive Boat

We just love this piece! Not only does it’s 13 inch length make a statement on the table, but this simple and stylish stoneware piece is the perfect way to showcase your culinary creations- whether you choose to use it for olives, nuts or cheeses!  Buy 3 and stack ‘em for a unique way of plating!  The rustic shape is inspired by an overlapping wood mold, with a tinge of color on the edges to highlight each silhouette. All Vietri pieces are hand formed in Tuscany and are microwave, dishwasher and oven safe- making for an easy clean up!

4. THE APPETIZERS : Cocktail Utensils

If your signature dish is crudite and such, then bring along matching cocktail forks and spoons. These hand-forged pieces are crafted from food-safe nickel plated iron, with squared handles joined to artistic shapes. The matte pewter-like finish keeps things contemporary and looks fresh next to a crisp white plate.

5. THE SERVING PIECE : An Artisan Bowl

Evident when flipped upside down, this bowl is inspired by a coat the artist saw in Paris. And we can't think of a better conversation piece!  If  you look closely, you can see the pleats and a button. This strong piece combines stoneware and porcelain to keep it chip-resistant, made in Peru in a super casual way to allow for imperfections that make it unique.

What's your favorite tabletop element to use at this time of the year?

Workshop Recap : Tablescaping 101

Tis the season for holiday decorating, and that means everything from the tree to the table. In case you couldn’t attend our Tablescaping 101 workshop in November, have a look through our photos and read through to see what we learned. And don't forget, Tabletop is now 20% Off as part of our 12 Days of Giving.

A great starting point is to let the occasion/menu dictate the theme. With the holidays approaching, we featured a rustic holiday theme. After you choose your theme, build a foundation. Start with a textured tablecloth- we chose a simple natural linen. Once your foundation has anchored the color scheme, you can build the palette form there, but we suggest keeping it to 2-3 colors. We are purveyors of neutral tones, so our color comes mainly from the botanicals featured in the centerpiece.

Start with a base, we used garland to build a focal point off of. Since we used a longer table, we played with scale by interspersing pillar candles and votives at varying heights using rustic pots. Flowers add life and you can never go wrong with a vase full of peonies. We accented these with our bead spray, pine cones and ornaments.

Add depth to the table with serving pieces in different shapes and sizes. By using Montes Doggett’s sculptural ceramic serving bowls and pitchers, we mixed things up with a modern effect. To keep it interesting, we chose iron handled demitasse utensils.

Finally, choose your place settings. Mixing and matching china is de rigueur these days. We chose elegant Italian pieces from Vietri, adding a statement with the charger. Mixing and matching glassware is another key to creating a beautiful tablescape. The Vietri swirl glasses add a playful element while maintaining a subtlety that pulls everything together.

Stay tuned for more workshops in 2016!

Daylight Savings Tips

As we move toward shorter days and longer nights, more lighting becomes necessary in the home. With the upcoming holiday season, we’re sharing some of our favorite ways to light a dining room. The looks below incorporate hanging pendants and chandeliers, creating more space on and around the table for entertaining, one of our favorite things!

When dealing with a long rectangular dining table, opt for one of the multiple hanging pendant lights that mimics the shape of the table. This ensures that light hits each seat evenly. We love how this challenge was addressed in the rustic room above and included one of our fave options available at Gardenology.

If you don't have a designated dining room and are trying to create a dining space in an open floor plan, we are all about the geometric shaped pendants. These differentiate the area by giving it a specific style; the lines make a statement while the openness of the design keeps the overall room light and airy.

For a more architectural look, keep things polished with a petite wrought iron and glass pendant. The French black finish of the Clifton pendant lends an air of depth and richness.

If you're going for a modern organic look, combine elements of wood and metal. The winery chandelier at Gardenology adds a touch of rustic elegance.

So don't forget to change the clocks this Saturday and stop by Gardenology to keep your home light and bright!