A Simple and Chic Friendsgiving Table

November 20, 2015

If you follow along on Instagram then you know that right smack in the middle of the One Room Challenge dining room makeover, I hosted some co-workers for a little friends, fun, and feast.

For those of you that are fairly new here, you may not know that I am the Managing Editor of Hallmark's blog highlighting our highly-celebrated creative community of 500+ in-house artists. Obviously one of the perks of this job is working with creative people all day every day. So while I'll admit to being a little intimidated having them over, it's always so cool to invite creative people into your home. (Okay, let's be honest; I welcome the excuse to invite any friend into our home!) But I feel like other artists respond to the quirkier aspects of our decor. And that always makes me feel a little less...weird.

Same could be said of setting the stage for a great meal. Just like with my home, I wanted something with a neutral base and plenty of personality. (Ahem...enter ze brass menagerie.)

I picked up an ivory linen tablecloth and some funky, vibrant table runners, but in the end, decided to scrap the runner and keep the table more neutral. I'm going through a neutral life stage. Less visual noise is calming me...and I need all the calm I can get with a toddler and pregnancy hormones :)

White everyday dinnerware and my vintage Thai bamboo flatware (similar here) kept things warm and fresh. Vintage tumblers housed what I can only assume was the most delicious Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria ever known to man because Ali made it. (I really need to stop hosting parties while pregnant.) She also provided a spread of sides. Which is genius, if you ask me, because I suspect only a select few of us get actual joy from cooking a huge turkey twice in one month (or year, if you're me). It was all so incredibly delicious. (Ali detailed and linked the entire menu here.)

 Florals aren't really my game, but I wanted to give it a shot. I played around with incorporating produce into the arrangement and tabletop. I love that the centerpiece really took center stage this way! It was great for conversation, too. "Is that...kale...in there?"

Why yes, yes it is. Details on how I did it here.

The other standout was the place cards. One of my coworkers hosted a feather-painting workshop with several Hallmark artists, and the results immediately inspired the place settings.

Those watercolor floral napkins don't hurt anything either...

Details and downloads for the place settings available here.

All in all, we had a crazy good time, and I'm really excited to start making this an annual tradition at our house. I'm curious -- how many of you are hosting Friendsgiving this year? I feel like it's a real thing now, which is so so awesome. 

This post is in collaboration with Think.Make.Share and Gimme Some Oven. All opinions are my own. Photos courtesy of Jane Kortright for Think.Make.Share.

One Room Challenge Final Reveal // Fall 2015

November 11, 2015

Hello from my new dining room, friends! Also known as my office. Also known as that-room-that-shall-never-be-painted-or-redone-ever-again-or-my-husband-is-for-sure-leaving-me.

That is not a joke.

It's final reveal day for the One Room Challenge, where I've spent a short (but kinda long) six weeks transforming our dining room in every way. We started here:

photos by Jane Kortright

And have ended up with a completely different space. The room was lovely before, yes. Dramatic, bold, and dripping with brass (my favorite!). But as I shared in week one of this challenge, I've learned that I love to look at bold spaces more than I love to live in them. With baby number two on the way and an office getting bumped for a nursery, I had to find a way to make this space do double duty. And we have accomplished just that!

Our new dining room feels fresh, welcoming, and 1,000 times larger. I can accommodate both dining and office hidden storage needs, a place to display some of my vintage shop inventory, and a solution for my magazine hoarding problem. (No book addict here. However, mags are a completely different story. I love revisiting them over and over, so this new easy access solution will hopefully keep me from forming piles all over the house.)

Without further ado:

 All photos by the incredibly talented Jane Kortright 

And you guys know I can't help but sneak Ava into these shoots. She just has such a ball showing off for the camera!

Let's deconstruct, shall we?

First, the wall color. Walls and trim were both originally a glossy royal blue. With this makeover, the walls got 3 coats (yes, three in addition to a coat of primer - not fun) of Farrow and Ball Cornforth White in the Modern Emulsion finish. It's a glorious, soothing color! Trim is semi-gloss Benjamin Moore Simply White. Together, a wonderful combo.

The lighting went from the bold and the beautiful to modern meets traditional charm. I LOVE the lighting situation in here! The overhead fixture casts a warm, diffused glow over the room, and is set off perfectly by an ornate ceiling medallion. I've opted for sweet little numbers on both the Kent Coffey Amerasian chest (a beautiful alabaster lamp from sponsor Bellacor) and the wall unit as well (moved from its unused position in our master bedroom). Multiple sources of low light is my jam. I'm pretty sure it makes my husband crazy to have 8,000 lamps on in the house, but it just feels good, you know? Plus, everyone looks great in that kind of light ;)

The table and chairs were pretty much the only elements that carried over from the previous space. Someday I will recover the chairs, but it's not currently in the budget so they remain as-is.

I simplified the window treatments. What was once four drapery panels is now two, and they got a much-needed trimming so they barely kiss the floor. All of which made for a much simpler look.

I created crazy amounts of storage by bringing in a very lovely Kent Coffee Amerasian chest. This is where the bulk of my dining linens, flatware, and bar accessories currently live. I love the unique lines of this piece, and the stunning brass hardware. I am a total sucker for good hardware! The simple bar setup lives on a silver tray my husband pulled out of a dumpster before we met (proof that you can find treasures anywhere!). The pieces on the wall above are vintage and the art is by the incredibly talented Ilana Greenberg via sponsor Minted.

We created even more amazing storage with a custom wall-to-wall floating credenza and shelving solution. This was a major major pain point with such a tight timeline (and a husband out of town for about half of the 5.5 weeks), but I think it was definitely worth it. At least, it will be when we forget how much blood, sweat and tears went into it. We had friends over the night before the photo shoot and I could not have been quicker or more proud to share that Eric planned and built it himself. Very much inspired by the ever-popular fauxdenza Ikea hack, every bit of this was built from scratch with lumber and supplies from sponsor Lowes. I'm trying to talk him into a follow-up tutorial, so hopefully I can provide one of those in the coming weeks/months. We're beyond happy with the results! I'm fortunate to have a side job collecting and selling beautiful things, and it's such a treat to display them in a space that we walk by several times each day. Until they go off to happy new homes, of course. There's also plenty (and I do mean plenty!) of room to display art (some of Ava's even!), family photos, and the bulk of my extensive magazine collection.

I love the mix of metals, clean white, and natural materials that make this room feel as comfortable as it is beautiful. From braided seagrass baskets and found clay vessels filled with greenery to bright white ceramics and traditional blue and white ginger jars, everything creates a sense of balance in here. It's really come together in a way I kind of doubted it might.

Whew. So that's that. Thank you to each and every one of you that came back each week to cheer us on! Thank you to Linda for her flawless coordination yet again. Big thank you to our generous sponsors, without whom this definitely would not have come to life. And biggest thank you to my family, who puts up with my crazy every time I choose to take on this One Room Challenge. It would never happen without your help and patience!

Enjoy visiting the other 19 bloggers that took on this crazy challenge....and the many, many link-up participants as well!


One Room Challenge No. 5 // Fall 2015

November 4, 2015

It's week 5!!! We're still alive (and speaking even!). I don't have a ton of eye candy type updates for you because, well, we've been racing to the finish line on this custom wall unit, leaving little time to focus on other visual delights. In case I haven't adequately expressed by undying love for him enough already, I can safely say that I have scored the most wonderful, patient, talented man I have ever known. Eric has worked tirelessly this past week to make the wall unit happen, even after more than a few "we should scrap this whole thing" comments from the "brains" behind this whole operation. (I use that term loosely.) He has never wavered and I'm so grateful.

Good thing I'm totally worth it ;)

Catch up real quick if you're checking in for the first time: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

Progress since last Saturday morning (yes, mere days ago):

Getting framed in

Ava and her assistant putting the doors on and testing the fauxdenza for sturdiness

Painting underway (at midnight as the Royals win the World Series!!!!!)

The doors are being reinstalled as I type this. They'll get a few coats of paint -- have I mentioned that I am NEVER painting again?! -- and we'll be ready to style this baby up.

The drapes are hemmed and will go back up tonight. Can't wait to see how perfectly accurate my measurements are (said with palms pressed and head to sky). I think I've committed to scrapping the bamboo shade for a simpler look. While I love the texture the shades bring, I think I can get that elsewhere. It's just too fussy with both.

I've also run into more than one issue with curious little fingers and accessible items on the Sarreid chest, so I conned begged by brother to come by and help Eric move this beauty into the space in its place.

It's a Kent Coffey Amerasian chest that I have listed on One Kings Lane right now. It's actually been listed for quite some time, which I kind of can't believe. If no one else wants it, I guess I'll be forced to give it a good home....Frankly, it's perfect for this space in terms of storage, and looks amazing against the light gray walls. Those of you that know me know I have a thing for contrast! And brass. And that delicious brass hardware just slays me. My only concern is the visual weight of it, especially once the large dark table is back in place. So I'm still keeping my options open.

Things left to do:
Not even going to list them lest I crumble into a weeping pile. But it's going to get done! Because photoshoot this weekend. Wish me luck filling those beastly shelves and zhushing things up just right. I so appreciate everyone's support through this ORC (especially last week). I love hearing your feedback and the encouragement truly gets me through this adequately-titled challenge. That I say I'm doing for the last time. Every time.

I suspect the people closest to me will hold me to that promise this time....

Hope the other players are feeling the burn making great progress in this final stretch! Big reveals next week!! So many of these spaces I'm just clamoring to see!

One Room Challenge No. 4 // Fall 2015

October 28, 2015

You guys, I'm going to be honest. I'm so delirious right now, I have no business writing this post. Feel free to just cruise on by to the next ORC participant on the list this week. I won't be offended.

If you're just joining us and that somehow intrigues you, see the starting point and previous progress of my 6 week dining room makeover with week one, week two, and week three.

This is the week that things went wrong. But first, the positive news! Window treatments are up.

I'm still debating whether the bamboo shade will stay. I love the warmth it adds to the room, but wonder if the light fixture demands for the more formal feel of drapes alone? What do you think?

Art from sponsor Minted arrived!

DYING. I love them allllllll so much. Candidly, it's been awhile since my last art purchase from Minted. Super impressed with their current print options and frame quality. And you're talking to a real art snob here. (Left to right: Untitled 4 by Jaime Derringer, Gentle Embrace by Ilana Greenberg, and visionary 2 by Taleen Bedikian.)

My picks from sponsor Bellacor also arrived. My little fiddle is happy in her sweet seagrass basket next to the newly-shined Sarreid chest.

The not-so-fun news: there was some miscommunication with the custom window and it was never ordered. So we can cross that right off the to-do list.

Not awesome. But maybe a sign that we should do the french doors I've always dreamed of?!

Since Eric was out of town all of last week (read: my electrician/installer/carpenter was unavailable), that left the weekend to hash out our (final, I swear) plan for the built-in storage wall. I've settled on something low with shelving like this:

1 // 2

We'd originally planned an IKEA hack, but with a Lowes credit burning a hole in his pocket, Eric suggested that we do a custom build instead.


Except TIME. And DEADLINES. And no hammering after 8pm because baby.

But he got to work making a plan, so I'm going with it.

Here's hoping that arrow isn't pointing to the end of our marriage. He did get to buy new tools, so he can't be all mad, right?

The room is nowhere near ready and since I committed to a photoshoot for work in this space TODAY, I had to do a quick solve for the soon-to-be storage wall...which I'm actually pretty okay with looking at for the time being. These astrology prints (a generous gift from Jessica) normally live in our "formal" living room, but are perfect pretty much anywhere.

Let's all just pray that we Eric can get this storage unit in once the shoot is over tomorrow....and in time for any sort of final reveal.

Once done, I get to find homes for all of my new art and accessories. Yesssssss!

On to the next party:

Simplified Bee | Style Your Senses | A Thoughtful Place | Kimberly Whitman | The Zhush | TM by CIH

 Thanks to generous sponsors Farrow&Ball, Minted, Bellacor and Lowes for their help transforming our home!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

© Because It's Awesome All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger