Tabletop

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.

 

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?

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!

Tabletop Etiquette

Thanksgiving is approaching and aside from the recipes and baking prep, don't forget to prep your tabletop! We're featuring a quick little guide to Table Setting etiquette, so you can set your table according to the type of evening you'd like to have. A good place to start is with the centerpiece, obviously in the center of the table, then geometrically space everything out from there, at equal distance.

FOR A BUFFET

buffet.jpg

You'll likely have your plates on a buffet table (arranged with food at varying heights for optimal visual appeal), however this doesn't mean you should leave the dining space bare. Create distinct seats and lend the informal atmosphere an air of sophistication by setting places sans plates.

FOR CASUAL DINING

Consider this your basic everyday table setting. Include a water and wine glass, and of course your favorite linen napkin along with theappropriate dishware, most likely your salad or soup bowl, appetizer plate and dinner plate. Stick with the basic flatware, using this age-old trick: fork has 4 letters and so does 'LEFT'. Knife and Spoon both have 5 letters just as 'RIGHT' does.

FOR A FORMAL MEAL

formal dinner.jpg

If you want to go all out- perhaps you have wedding china that's collecting dust or an inherited set you'd love to put to good use- the formal setting is the way to go. Keep in mind, this will be no ordinary dinner. To do your setting justice, the meal must include salad, bread, soup, drinks and a main course, followed by dessert and coffee. Wine glasses should be positioned according to size. Don't get overwhelmed by the plethora of flatware, simply start from the outside and work your way in. Traditionally the dessert flatware sits above the plate and below the place card, however, more modern formal settings tend to place the dessert flatware after the entree has been cleared and before the dessert is served.

We wish you and your family a wonderful celebration and joy, happiness and health through the rest of the year and beyond.

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!

National Men Make Dinner Day

Ladies- You’re gonna love this one. Guess what we found out today is? National Men Make Dinner Day! This traditionally falls on the first Thursday of November. It’s possible that this holiday was created by women as a ploy to start training a team of helpers in the kitchen for the upcoming holidays, pretty clever if you ask us!

We know it might be overwhelming for the men in your life to whip something up last minute, so we’ve rounded up some quick and easy Autumn recipes, apron optional. And since presentation is just as essential to the dish as the taste and flavor, take a look at some of our favorite dishwear to go along with it! Click on any of the images to view original recipe.


Oh, and tell him we said that National Men Make Dinner Day also includes clean up afterwards!  After all, we don’t want you to have to help out!  So go ahead and share this post with the men and boys in your life, and start building your kitchen team to compete with Thanksgiving day football.  

Meet the Maker: Monica of Montes Doggett

With the addition of this new collection of white ceramic tabletop and serving pieces, we thought we'd introduce you to the creative brain behind the brand. You may have seen the collection in House Beautiful or on the Food Network, with intentional imperfections on traditional shapes, giving it the character that creates memories cherished by the family for decades. So let's delve into Monica Porter's world. 

GARDENOLOGY: Where do you get your inspiration?

MONICA: A palette for good food is always an inspiration! When guests are coming to dinner, it can take me 30 minutes to get ready, 45 minutes to prepare the meal .. but it takes me 2 hours to set the table! Both my mother and mother-in-law (the Montes and the Doggett) shared a passion for the home and table, so I wanted to continue the tradition of creating memories at the table.

 left : Pinterest | right: NE Home Mag

left : Pinterest | right: NE Home Mag

GARDENOLOGY: What's your favorite food to serve on Montes Doggett?

MONICA: A good traditional Mexican dish, since that's where my roots are. But something as simple as a sliced tomato also looks amazing on a white plate, or chicken noodle soup will find comfort in a simple bowl. I love the versatility of each piece so a serving bowl in the pantry can easily be a fruit bowl on a kitchen island, as well as an art piece on the bookshelf.

GARDENOLOGY: What is your production process like?

MONICA: Clay of the highest quality is ground, shaped and fired for durability and to make each piece lead-free and appliance safe. From hand throwing in the wheel, to construction with clay slabs- each piece is shaped to beautiful imperfection. Amazing and skilled artisans understand the simplicity of our designs, and are able to highlight the beauty and character of handmade pottery.

STUDIO.jpg

GARDENOLOGY: How do you like to display your product?

MONICA: Monochromatic, clean and simple displays or cabinets. I love being a part of the tradeshows and showrooms, from setup to breakdown, and meeting with new and repeat buyers. Getting one-on-one time allows me the opportunity to personally get feedback from my customers and their customers.

View the Montes Doggett Collection here, and stop in to prepare your Holiday tabletop!

A Halloween History Lesson

Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year- between the change in weather, pumpkin recipes, and the adorable trick-or-treaters, what’s not to love about this traditional celebration?  And of course at Gardenology, we get creative with the latest décor. Although the modern world has changed the way we decorate each Halloween, much of the symbolism we use in our Halloween décor has its roots in ancient folklore found deep in history. Let’s take a look at what inspired our latest Tabletop décor in the slideshow below.

Rare Old Soda Bottles

In nostalgia for the past, many people collect old vintage seltzer bottles. The seltzer bottle, used to hold carbonated water, dates all the way back to 1790 in France when the concept of an "aerosol" was used to pressurize carbonated beverages. In 1892, siphons were created in an effort to help maintain the pressure of carbonated liquid inside of a bottle, thus preventing the soda from becoming flat. So why are we giving you a history lesson, you ask? Well, there are many vintage seltzer water bottles out there, but one of the most prized antique bottles is one from Shasta, which we just got in at Gardenology!

Hand picked by our buyers, these bottles are embossed on one side in large capital letters with ‘SHASTA WATER’ and the other side is embossed ‘Property of The Shasta Water Co’. These were used sometime between 1928 when the company name became Shasta Water Co, and the 1950s. What do we love? The fact that the bottom of each bottle notes they were made in Czechoslovakia, which no longer exists!

These bottles are typically very thick due to the fact that they needed to "withstand" the pressure of carbonation. Because antique seltzer bottles were built in a way so they could be used continuously over a long period of time, they are rather abundant today and it’s easy to repurpose these for other projects. We scoured pinterest for a few of our favorite uses…

For a clean look, line a variety of bottles up- keep them clear for a white on white look. Alternatively, add branches and botanicals to add some color or keep it festive per season, think creepy branches at Halloween and Evergreen branches at Christmas.

While we're on the holiday note, another option is to use these bottles for your dinner setup, perhaps to serve mineral water to your guests. Or consider lining these up with other vintage bottles in a range of colors and sizes for an eclectic centerpiece.

Gardenology Ties the Knot

Well, sort of. In truth, we were swept off our feet by Carmen (Carmen Santorelli photo) and Kasia (Plenty of Petals) when they popped into our Encinitas location with plans to shoot an exquisite photoshoot at Hamilton Oaks Winery. Naturally, they fell in love with our Vietri tabletop pieces and requested to feature them in a shoot they were collaborating on with a group of talented local creatives. Kasia also made use of our Whitestone urn in one of her stunning floral designs. We featured some of our favorite shots from this ethereal photoshoot below. You can view the full feature on Style Me Pretty!

Photography: Carmen Santorelli | Floral Design: Plenty Of Petals | Venue: Hamilton Oaks Winery | Bridal Boutique: Elle Bridal Boutique | Event Planning + Design: Meadowsweet Events | Furniture Rentals: Hire Elegance | Hair + Makeup: 10.11 Makeup | Linens: La Tavola | Paper + Calligraphy: Type & Title | Ribbon: Bellame Ribbon And Co. | Tabletop Rentals: Gardenology