Entertain

Tablescaping Demo

In case you weren't able to attend our first holiday workshop, we're bringing the workshop to you. Last Thursday, we demonstrated the art of Tablescaping, adding different elements to work together and create a centerpiece or display to your liking. We had a great turnout at both stores, and got some great shots during the Encinitas demo hosted by our Visual Merchandiser/Buyer TJ.

 Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

Tablescape 1: Winter Wonderland

We started with a blank table to show the complete process of building the table from the base up. When working with artificial garland, make sure to bend and move the branches to liven it up.  It's also possible to use live garland in the same way for all of the tabletop arrangements shown here.

Since the first tabletop had a 'Winter Wonderland' theme,  what better way to do that than to add some sparkle. One of the benefits of using faux botanicals is that it incorporates elements like snow, glitter, and more glitter. And in TJ's words, more is better!

The mercury glass vases combined silver and natural elements to create a whimsical yet elegant focal point. Snow covered bare branches combined with circular ornaments and bells contribute to the wonderland mood.

Tablescape 2: Rustic White

 Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

The next arrangement is ideal for someone who likes a cleaner, simple scheme.  And maybe someone who needs a truly functional table that guests can eat it. This look works well in a 'modern farmhouse' decor scheme.

Starting with a casual table runner and clean white accessories: a large ceramic vase and marble candlestick holders. These twig candlesticks are a great way to add a little character while keeping the look minimal.

The next layer that TJ added was a string of beads, some glittery (of course!) stems along with a few more whimsical elements: tiny house and snowflake votives to give the table a holiday touch.

 Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

The vase can be filled with anywhere from 3-8 different items of dried botanicals, keeping in mind that you can interchange some of these with each season. After layering on the fan favorite 'Lastra' collection from Vietri's line, it's easy to see how this table will suit a holiday celebration but can easily transition to a year round tabletop.

Tablescape 3: Santa's Forest

Our last tablescape is a family favorite, and it might be hard to keep the kids away from this one. Once again, we started with a string of garland, this time choosing a more natural look. Next we layered in our tall Santa statues along with a couple different sized deer.

 Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

 Photo by Sonja Landis

Photo by Sonja Landis

To add to the forest theme, our bird ornaments worked perfectly, having little clips so they can be added in securely. Vintage mercury glass brings an elegance to the vignette and we finished it off with antique tree toppers and ornaments, keeping in mind to work with odd numbers when accessorizing.

Don't forget to join us for our next demo: Holiday Homescapes - featuring tree decor, mantel decor and holiday swags. This Tuesday (election day!). RSVP here.

 

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?

10 Outdoor Entertaining Tips from our Team

Even though we are lucky enough to reside in sunny Southern California, we still get excited for the Summer months. The nights get a little warmer and people’s moods are a little more lax- what better time to entertain? And who doesn’t like a perfect little get together of friends, good food and spirited conversation. So the Gardenology team got to chatting and we decided to share our favorite entertaining ideas with you! Start here and make it your own so you can create your own intimate backyard soire.

 Image via: www.elledecoration.se

Image via: www.elledecoration.se

THE SETUP

Tiana - Hang outdoor curtains for a romantic mood. Not only do they add privacy and breakup your space, but it will make your guests feel like they are on vacation at an exotic hotel.

 image via My domaine

image via My domaine

Barbara - Console tables are perfect for creating countertop stations for easy access. Mix it up and use a vintage console and a modern one- multiple beverage stations help ensure that guests can get a refill without waiting.  Top it off with a dough bowl 'ice bucket' for a rustic look.

 image via Indulgy.com

image via Indulgy.com

Jessica - layered rugs and excessive pillows are a good option for relaxed seating at a picnic dinner party. Make it excessive by adding your indoor pillows on the day of the event. I love the mudcloth options we have in store right now for a b/w minimalist look- it makes the colors from the outdoor greenery and the refreshments really pop.

 image via Apartment therapy

image via Apartment therapy

 Left image via My Domaine | Right image via Gardenology

Left image via My Domaine | Right image via Gardenology

THE ATMOSPHERE

Lili  An evening  soirée must have candles and lanterns everywhere.

 image via byzenz.nl

image via byzenz.nl

McCall - Electrical outlets tend to be limited in the outdoor areas so I always have lots of candles lit. Sometimes they are scented other times they are just cute tea lights (tons of them) on surfaces. I also always have flowers in every room or some sort of greenery even if it’s just a couple of bud vases. It makes everything romantic and festive- it also just makes the space feel inviting and fun.

 Left image via Deer Pearl Flowers

Left image via Deer Pearl Flowers

Jeri - When entertaining outdoors, it’s fun to put some different color cashmere wraps on your dining chairs.  Even though we live in California, it gets cool at night.  Our cashmere ruanas come in a variety of colors and they look so elegant.  For a larger event, consider a basket full of scarves. Your guests will thank you for your thoughtfulness.

 Left image via Gardenology | Right image via Style Me Pretty

Left image via Gardenology | Right image via Style Me Pretty

THE TABLE

TJ - For a simple centerpiece, I like potted herbs, African Violets, cyclamen, or small potted shrubs. Place in small pots, mugs, or vases and give as gifts after the party.

 Left image via Martha Stewart | Right image via Gardening Know How

Left image via Martha Stewart | Right image via Gardening Know How

Abel - Add cute little vintage string bulb lights to your outdoor table. They are battery powered and can be mixed in with florals because of the low voltage or used above a table for a soft light. For refreshments, take a fun spin on classics with boozy popsicles - I love Blueberry Mojito flavor. When the party starts, look chic on a lounge chair with your popsicle and the chill vibe of Lana Del Rey playing the background.

 Image via A Daily Something

Image via A Daily Something

 Image via Broma Bakery - click for recipe!

Image via Broma Bakery - click for recipe!

Brooke - a fully assorted charcuterie board filled with aged cheeses, dried and fresh fruits, olives and some salted meats, your night is complete. I love our wooden and marble cutting boards for serving options. An essential part of my entertaining is music.  A carefully curated playlist for me would include the soulful Charles Bradley and Sam Cooke, the harmonies of Fleetwood Mac, the storytelling of Bob Dylan and the pop of TV on the Radio.

 image via My Domaine

image via My Domaine

Lala - Bloody Mary’s are my favorite, there’s many ways to get creative with the recipe and I love our new Vietri glasses to serve them in.  I love Hotel Costes station on Pandora for calming but trendy tunes. If I want something upbeat or lil more funky I’ll put on The Best Man Movie Soundtrack.

 Left image via Liquor.com | Right image via Gardenology

Left image via Liquor.com | Right image via Gardenology

What are your favorite ways to entertain?

Create a Welcome Home

Since our 12 days of Giving started today with 20% off furniture, we’re visiting each room with some tips on how to make your holiday gathering more comfortable and memorable for the whole family. Featured below are some of our favorite set-ups and furniture options by Cisco Brothers.

Need that picture perfect moment? Line the kids up on a timeless sofa in their holiday’s finest and create a memory to last a lifetime. Experiment with lighting to create that perfect cozy ambiance.

When it’s time to tear open the presents, make sure everyone has a view. Sectionals are perfect for creating an intimate circle where everyone can see eachother’s smiles and delightful reactions as they open their gifts. And don’t forget to give the room personality by piling on the pillows.

Whether you’re serving turkey, ham or whatever it may be... create a relaxed atmosphere where the conversation will flow over the wine and food. We love to create some excitement before the holiday meal with a gorgeous tablescape of branches, candles and lights.

After dinner when everyone has full stomachs and is winding down, those big comfy chairs are perfect for the adults to continue the dinner conversation while the kiddies will enjoy spreading out their new toys across a big ottoman.

Entertaining Tips from our Team!

Thanksgiving is upon us, and hosting guests can be such a fun and gratifying experience, albeit stressful. So we all got together with some of our favorite entertaining tips, from centerpieces to recipes to music. Get inspired from some of the Gardenology team’s favorite hosting ideas, we hope it lightens the load!

THE DECOR

TJ (Visual Merchandiser/Buyer) :  For a table idea, I like using real flowers when I have a dinner and Fall has some beautiful colors. Deep burgundy, plum, rich gold and red tones. The magnolia leaves that are displayed on the table can be used during both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am a big fan of using gold as an accent color too.

 image via  Apartment 34

image via Apartment 34

Laurie (Sales Associate Newport Beach) :  I love the idea of using one of our garlands as a centerpiece…running it down the center of the table and then adding all the different white ceramic pots we have in the store right now, small and large.  I would probably fill the smaller pots with small, live Poinsettias and use fresh cut, white flowers in the taller vases (Hydrangeas, Roses, Mums, Snapdragons, and any other variety of white flower that is available). 

Cher (Sales Associate Encinitas) :  A great centerpiece is always ideal for a holiday gathering. For a multidimensional arrangement, I like to use a pumpkin in place of a vase and build from there. I love the softness of persimmons and baby’s breath. And it’s all about those little details! In the days before the madness of baking and cooking, I like to create place cards for a more personal touch.

 images via  A Cozy Kitchen

images via A Cozy Kitchen

THE FOOD

Cyndi (Sales Associate Encinitas) :  My favorite appetizer is always a giant cheese tray, I use a beautiful wood board that my aunt made for me years ago (always save for special occasion), I choose three different kinds of cheese, whatever looks good, put some sort of greenery on the tray for color, add a couple of different varieties of nuts and dried fruit and usually a chutney…Always a big hit!! 

Dani (Sales Associate Encinitas) :  Growing up Italian, I embraced carbs and cheese, among other ingredients. So naturally these staples need to be included in my own holiday entertaining. My favorite appetizer to serve this time of the year is a little spin on a classic Italian appetizer: mushroom, goat cheese and roasted red pepper crostini. It’s also a crowd pleaser for the vegetarians! (click image for full recipe)

{  Bonus reading tip! } Hop on over to Dani’s blog for a fun and witty look at California living here.

 Image via  Goldwire

Image via Goldwire

Lauren (Visual Merchandiser Newport Beach) :  I think a hot cocoa bar is really fun for entertaining. If it’s mostly adults you add some peppermint schnapps or chocolate liqueur to add a little zip or keep it PG for the children and leave out the alcohol.

 image via  Elli

image via Elli

THE AMBIENCE

Lala (Sales Associate Encinitas) : Before the wining and dining, I like to jam out to the Mariah Carey Christmas collection, while putting on makeup or cooking away before the guests arrive. Having a soundtrack for these moments allows you to create wonderful new memories and that’s really what the most festive time of the year is all about.

Jessica (Marketing) :  As the holidays approach, it reminds me of getting together with the family to watch old movies and wishing I could go back in time. I love to recreate the old-timey feel with a little Al Jolson music. It’s happy and melancholy at the same time yet soft enough to allow for conversation while everyone arrives.

And with that, we’re off to enjoy the start of the holiday season- jamming out to some tunes, whipping up some goodies and creating new memories with loved ones. Feel free to share some of your own holiday entertaining tips in the comments below!