Holiday Table Setting: Tapestries, Sugar Sticks and 3 Tips

We're hosting our West Coast family the day after Christmas and for the table setting, my mother-in-law gave me a beautiful Indian tapestry to use as a table cloth.  Its colors and designs fit right in with our greenish concrete floors and redwood walls.   Evergreen sprigs and sugar sticks will decorate each setting.  The sticks will sweeten our after dinner teas and coffees.  Take a close-up look:

3 Holiday Table Setting Tips***Keep the setting simple, but interesting.  By adding texture, color and natural elements you can transform your everyday dining experience into a holiday event. 

1.  Layer:  Bring texture to your table setting by using different size dishes, adding a tablecloth, napkins and/or placemats.

2. Garnish:  Place an evergreen sprig at each setting.  This eliminates the need for a centerpiece, which in turn, will provide you with more table space.

3.  Celebrate:  Make lots of toasts to family, good friends and all the things in life you're grateful for!


End Of Week Dining Spaces: Which Is Your Favorite?

The week began with table-setting images to generate interesting ideas for the upcoming holidays. Mid-week I revealed a before and after bench that will be used in a client's dining room.  Since dining in style is clearly the focus this week, we might as well finish it with some inspiring dining room areas. Take a look at eight of my very favorites.  Each space is quite different, but they all share certain elements that I would love to incorporate into our next home's dining room.

above image via:

image: the aviary via Jennifer

image via: the diversion project

4. mid century love affair

image via: mcardlet.smugmug

image via: buzz beast pin board

image via: femina

here's my list of favorite dining room elements:

large round table (specifically a saarinen)

cushioned chairs

bold textural art

a great view

mix of old and new

simple lighting

Which one makes you want to revamp your current dining room?!



A Harbor View Event


This past Saturday, my husband and I attended an event benefitting Boston's Camp Harbor View.  It's a summer camp that gives city children the opportunity to escape their urban environment to experience fun summer activities like swimming, hiking and crafts.  The camp's programs are geared to build confidence and leadership skills that will empower the children throughout their lives.  Located on Long Island (in the Boston Harbor), the camp has open fields, wooded trials and sandy beaches all of which can be safely explored and enjoyed.  To learn more about the program click here.

The event was beautifully executed in a classic New England style.   Red and white boat-wheeled tablecloths, tightly wrapped blue gingham fabric and exposed wood tabletops set the tone for the dining hall.  Take a look at a few photos.  (Keep in mind my new 50mm camera lens was being tested for the first time...)





Thanks to NM and GM for inviting us to share in celebrating and honoring a truly wonderful Boston program:  Camp Harbor View.


Everything UK

I'm loving everything designed in the UK.  Take a look at some of my favorites.  Above the candy lidded pouffes have a great shape and texture, their very current color combinations are a great fit for kids' spaces and family rooms.

Funktion Alley's wall hanging desk is perfect for small spaces.  I would need three, one for each of my children.  They could store all their trinkets, crayons and homework.  When not in use, they could close them up and all the clutter would be out of sight.  A dream come true.

Keep all your night-time essentials on this sweet  shelving unit.  When you're finished reading, the pitched roof becomes a bookmark. Too cute.

The powdery finish on these Scavo vases makes them an elegant addition to any vase collection.  No need to fill them with flowers they are so pretty on their own.

All of these items can be shipped to the US  for a premium.  I'm hoping there’s a local distributor for the pouffes.  They are my favorites.  What's yours?

Room Inspiration

This beautiful dress from Flock,  has triggered another room inspiration.  The colors in this dress allow one to wear it from late summer well into fall.  Worn alone, belted or as a  tunic,    you can make this piece your own,  just like you can make a space your own by mixing colors, patterns, and styles. Take a look at how a room could take shape:

A yellow leather chesterfield sofa from Anthropologie sets the scene for this playful living room.

A series of  hand painted butterflies from Bungalow 5 line a wall.

This chair complements the sofa perfectly by adding a punch of playful color and texture.   From Richard Shapiro Studiolo.

I love the elegance of this French Deco coffee table from Crate and Barrel.

Anemone cocoa rug from Marni for The Rug Company.

John Robshaw's Crewel collection is a mix of traditional and modern embroidery.  A great pillow for the chairs or  the sofa.

Ochre's warrior lamps work well with the metal of the coffee table,  adding yet another element to the room.   Place them on  side tables or a console.

Hope you enjoyed my latest room inspiration.  Please check out  Cocoon's Facebook page.  Join if you haven't  and/or  suggest it to your friends.

One last thing......for all you local readers you must go to Flock.  It's an amazing collection of beautiful clothes, accessories and jewelry.  All merchandised in a nature-inspired,  playful yet sophisticated style.