Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Inspiration

America's favorite meal- Thanksgiving - is  in 3 days!   As I am sitting here writing this post. snow is softly falling outside.  It may be the first white Thanksgiving in many years. The first snow always makes me nostalgic. So  I am going through pictures of Thanksgiving from years past and have found some favorite images.   Looking for a little inspiration for  your Thanksgiving d├ęcor?   Check these out!

Linda, a dear friend of mine  and I have the same china!  But she has this knack of finding just the right touches to elevate the place setting to a sheer delight for the eyes!  Her table is set with twig shaped flatware, a gilded leaf dish, antique linens and stemware, all placed on a silver mirrored tray. 
Just divine! 

Linda's buffet for Thanksgiving

A couple of years ago, I hosted a fall party for my husband's staff.  I asked Jeannie at Twigs to make several arrangements for the table.  I wanted them organic and free form.  I still love to look at these pictures of them.

Using the same color palette, she filled rust eggs with the same colors.  How pretty these arrangements would be on a Thanksgiving table.

It's a hike out to Geneva, Illinois from here.  But it's worth the drive to the third street chocolate store called Graham's  to get these chocolate cornucopias and painted chocolate pumpkin shells.  The ideas are endless for fillings-
pumpkin or chocolate mousse,  fruits, whipped cream, and such a beautiful presentation.

Ghost pumpkins welcome guests on the front porch.
I am not sure what I did for special touches during the fall season, before I discovered
Hot Squash's velvet pumpkins.  Here I am playing with some vintage turkey plates that are now in my friend Mariterese's china collection.   The horn glasses and old linen napkins work well with the turkey dinner plate.

My friend, Lynda's Thanksgiving table in Atlanta.  She used a faux leather croco embossed
piece of fabric as the tablecloth!  Brilliant idea.  Not only did it look good, it was easy to clean up the spilled gravy  when dinner was finished.

Another favorite- a more formal table at my friend Lynda's Atlanta home.  Love the feather placements, the old transferware bowls, antlers and hydrangeas.  The large silver chalice goblets add great shine to the table and are over sized- perfect for that large glass of wine!!!

Again- my favorite little velvet pumpkins.

My Favorite fall flatware, Antler horn and pewter from Vagabond.

 One of my favorite Thanksgiving tables.  I used small antlers as knife rests. A large leopard stenciled cow rug was placed in the center of the table instead of a tablecloth.   Bittersweet, gold painted pumpkins and pomegranates were used instead of flowers.


Several years ago, I set  a cozy Thanksgiving table in the kitchen.  There were only four of us for dinner so it seemed more intimate.  I used a tartan blanket as the tablecloth and placed two faux bois runners as the place mats.  The "runners" were shelf liners that I purchased at the dollar store!
They were vinyl and easy to clean. The orange rimmed dishes were from Blackberry Farm and given to me by friends for my 60th birthday.  I love using them in the fall.

A grouping of the famous velvet pumpkins in the foyer.

Another grouping of the rhinestone embellished pumpkins in a nest of antlers and rhinestone studded twig branches. 
As this special day approaches, I  wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Old Florida Home - New Family and A New Look!

I am just returning from Apalachicola, Florida. I have been  finishing some of the details on an old Florida home, that I have been working on for the past year.  Friendly folks, good food and beautiful scenery abound in the charming town of Apalachicola.   Harvesting oysters and fishing seem to be the main focus, but good Southern food is plentiful.  Maybe the best biscuits in the world are found at Caroline's on the River!

About 4 inches in diameter and almost as high, these biscuits are made  by a magician of a chef! We ate them  every single morning for breakfast- my mouth is still watering !  Those darn biscuits have made me nearly forget the focus of this post-
                                                   the beautiful old Florida home!

Few homes built in the late 1800's remain as pristinely preserved as this gem in Apalachicola.

While there is still work to be completed, I want to share our progress so far! Maritesese's children are coming for Thanksgiving, so our goal was to get the draperies hung, the furniture arranged and the pictures placed. Mission accomplished by the two of us and Pat- her loving and extremely patient husband!

Enter the incredible foyer- and imagine it in 1890.

We purchased a gilded hall table for the center of the great hall.  To brighten the space, we chose a vivid turquoise pattern for the settee on the landing!  

We added two tear drop chandeliers - exactly what  we saw in a picture of the home in the 1800's!

Our arrangement of velvet pumpkins, rhinestone twig trees and antlers on the foyer table.

Notice the incredible craftsmanship on the wood work in this fine old home.

Off to the sides of the foyer are the music room and the parlor.  We added portieres on the opening to the rooms, as  was also found  in the home's original furnishings. The original rods were still in place!

We used  bright color to liven up the spaces. In these rooms the horizontal wood walls are painted with Farrow and Ball paint in  historical colors.
Modern patterns and color update this space.
 In the parlor, we used the very long velvet sofa from Shabby Chic and the purple velvet chairs from Horchow.  The Asian carved door and over sized coffee table are antiques from the home owners previous home.
A fossilized wood table sits between the two purple velvet chairs.
Our next step is to find a rug for the room.
 This photo shopped picture shows how it will warm up the space.

Or maybe a bright green rug?

Or green with purple ?  More hunting to do!

The powder room on the main floor-

Mariterese and I found the cabinet and mirror in Atlanta and converted it to a sink. The wallpaper is
from Cole and Son and features vintage mugs and goblets in bright colors that are used through out the main floor of the home.   Still need to fiqure out window treatments in here too!

Mariterese cooking fish for dinner that her husband Pat caught!

A coffee station by the refrigerator.

The kitchen has been updated with new appliances and countertops, including the soapstone on the large island.  It's large, with plenty of room for several cooks in the kitchen.

Now for my favorite room in the home!

The over sized dining room features a rustic farm table with black leather and gilded frame chairs.

The prettiest dining room chair that I have ever seen!

Imagine dining by the fire in the winter months!

An Aiden Gray chandelier adds a warm antique glow to the paneled room with it's antique color crystal. I love the contrast of the rustic table with the gilded chairs.

Upstairs, off a large center hall, there are four large bedrooms.

The windows are  almost 12 feet tall and add incredible amounts of light into the rooms.

A sweet pale pink bath with a claw tub serves all the rooms except the master.

"The Repentance Room"

A large tapestry was made into a headboard for the "Repentance" room!

A collection of paintings of religious figures adds wonderful history and deep colors to the room.

Long bronze taffeta drapes fall gracefully to the floor.
This bedroom (Emily's Room)  features a collection of gilded furniture that we found in Atlanta. The four poster bed is dressed in Bella Notte linens.

A sheer voile with velvet ribbon details hangs on the tall windows.

Mariterese filled this beautiful old cabinet with large shell specimens. Lovely to look at!
Plans for the grounds of this home ultimately call for vegetable and herb gardens, citrus trees, cutting gardens and a conservatory.  A major overhaul of the front of the home is happening in the near future.
Using  creative license, here is my rendition of what this stately home will look like when the gardens are complete!

 This old house is very lucky.  It found a new family that will lovingly care for it and take pride in owning it for many years to come!  I think it's best years are ahead!
 Lot's of love, laughter and fun will fill it's grand halls.