Archive for the ‘Dining’ Category


        Thanksgiving is so close and I was remembering I adopted the job as a kid (and favorite task to this day) to set the Thanksgiving table.  I got really Martha Stewart on everyone the year I pulled out my Mom’s leaf-shaped cookie cutters, traced and cut them out of earth-tone colored paper.  Then I lightly decorated them with colored pencil and wrote everyone’s names in my best script.  Perched next to my Grandmother’s Johnson Brother’s English China, antique sterling, and burlap and linen table runner, they looked pretty darn spectacular.

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Comments from onlookers ranged from “she’s crazy” to “well, aren’t you creative!”  It might just be the plight of every creative person on earth to teeter on crazy in other people’s eyes.

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Moving on… I was flipping through our Match Pewter book and realized that this company may as well have been created to set Thanksgiving tables.

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And host Fall-time parties.

Set the Table | Kent Kitchen Works Blog.

Can’t you just imagine how great this footed casserole would look overflowing with Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola and Crispy Fried Sage

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The Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts sat next to it in here…

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And this Mushroom Bowl piled high with homemade dinner rolls

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The turkey cradled by roasted potatoes and onion, rosemary and sage beautifully staged here…

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And, because I am a fabulous hostess, one of these little trinket boxes to go home with each of my guests…

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There are punch bowls and cocktail shakers and jiggers.  Pewter stemmed wine glasses and delicate flatware for every occasion.   I’d love to set the Thanksgiving table this year with Match and possibly even more leaf-shaped place cards.

Maybe next year since most of what I would want to use will land on my Christmas list before the table.

-A.

PS:  I did those cookie cutter leaf place cards before Ms. Stewart did.  My mom called me a couple of years later when she saw Martha copying my idea.  I just thought you should know.    : )

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So, I lied to you last week.

 This sale is WAY better than just Up To 50% off.  We have really gorgeous/expensive merchandise marked OVER 75% off!!

We realized just a little too late that we should have had a Private Preview Sale for interior design professionals, but since we didn’t think of it EVERYONE gets to benefit.  Get here just as fast as you can, because I have to tell you this stuff is so totally affordable I can’t stand it.

-A.

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Dachshund with a pink rose and a ribbon around his neck.

The latest issue of House of Fifty’s online magazine has an article that grabbed my attention.  It’s about the way we adapt our homes and decor to make pet-friendly homes that cater to and work with – not against – our four-legged family members.

The article was written by Kim Myles – remember her?  She won HGTV’s Design Star and has her own show on the network called Myles of Style.

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cat on a bed

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Keeping your Grandmother’s stemware displayed high and away from happy wagging tails is a pretty obvious adjustment, but one thing that I find challenging to deal with is all of the hair.  I know I’m not alone here and it really is a losing battle, but Kim had a wonderfully simple idea.  She upholstered (but you could slipcover) the sofa in a low nap linen which makes vacuuming up hair a two minute job.  Linen can stand up to the abuse – thank goodness – because I need to do this every day.

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 French Bulldog named Petit Louis perched on a chair.

Hardwood or tile floors are a low-maintenance option and Kim says her Roomba was a great investment.  I have carpet and am forever grateful for my Pet-Approved Hoover upright.

Drapes are another thing.  Somewhere I saw a suggestion for making them in two parts.  The top portion remains unchanged, but the bottom portion could be removed with hidden snaps or buttons to be thrown into the wash (or dry cleaner bag) at a moments notice.  And how easy they would be to colorblock…

color blocked drapes.

Once I read House of Fifty’s article, I realized that I had already started collecting ideas for people with four-legged children.  Neighbors of mine were seriously considering incorporating a doggy bed into their island just like this one…

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And disappearing dog bowls are a an amazing idea for pups with a definite dinner hour.  All of the dogs I’ve ever had could nibble at will, which means their buffet must be kept presentable at all times – kind of a pain.  Stylish though since they have a framed black and white silhouette of a Scottie to admire between bites.

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I never thought I’d use the words “cat box” on this blog, but cabinetry built to hide one is so brilliant I can’t stand it.   A litter box hidey-hole!  If ever you need one of these, come on over to Kent Kitchen Works – I’ll set you up.  Deep turquoise paint optional.

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hidden litter box in the cabinet.

Space for dog beds and crates with storage nearby is genius for a mud-room, don’t you think?

built in dog beds and crates.

And, wait!!  There’s one more.  I WILL have this in a home/garage of mine someday…

dog shower… probably just in time for my Great Dane.  Brilliant!!

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Sailor schnauzer

Do you have any brilliant ideas for a pet-friendly home?  I’d really like to hear them!

Really.  I really would!!

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Upholstered benches and banquettes have become a formal option to traditionally informal seating.  Give me a glass of wine, good food and conversation, and who wouldn’t want to cozy up in one of these banquettes?

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Warning: impromptu gatherings may occur.  Keep a well-stocked bar for best results.

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Dinner parties will last all night long!  Lots of seating and when the early birds hit the road, I would guess three adults could stretch out with room to spare.

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This space needs an abundance of candlelight.  And a cheese platter…

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Slightly less formal, but just as inviting…

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No detail is amiss – right down to the cushion’s French mattress edge.

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Original (& un-upholstered) Thonet chairs and bench are just. plain. perfect.

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And suddenly I want to host a dinner party.

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