How To Style A Round Table

Quick Post :

There are so many reasons to love a round table.  Round tables really improve both the physical and visual flow of a room.  They also serve to ground a space by literally establishing a center point; a round table forces one to gravitate to that spot, thus fostering conversation.

However, many people struggle with how to style them.  Maybe it is the lack of a straight edge that people find difficult.  Below, I show you a quick and easy way to place objects that make this shaped table beautiful.  This of course, is not the only way, but an easy no fail approach.

table from Pottery Barn

add a stack of books

add greenery

add a group of objects – here, I chose small white vases

add a tray in an interesting shape

add a “crown” to your stack of books

viola! A beautifully styled round table!

I hope you enjoyed my quick and easy tutorial!  Let me know what you think!

XO

Laurie

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My #1 Styling Trick for Holiday Tablescapes

I’ve had some really exciting and fun projects this year.  Clients have kept me insanely busy, which has left me little time for anything else.  This has resulted in my breaking the cardinal rule of blogging the past few months, which is the importance of consistent posts; thus, leading to my official induction into the “Blogger Hall of Shame”!!  As I have mentioned in past posts, I don’t believe in posting unless I have something useful to say.  These last few months of being knee deep in construction dust, hunting for the perfect chandelier, as well as researching the latest trends is the stuff that keeps me inspired, feeds my soul and allows me impart my knowledge on to you.   Putting together inspiration boards for fictitious rooms doesn’t lend one the experience to convey the practical application, or the wisdom in designing, as well as how to avoid possible pitfalls.

Below, I will give you my best tips (as well as my #1 tip) on holiday styling.  Let me first give you a brief background on my (accidental) career in holiday decorating.  Decorating homes specifically for the holidays is a niche.  A lot of people who just decorate for the holidays work in retail merchandising and do things like store windows or holiday displays.  In my case, this is a niche I NEVER meant to get into!!! From September through January, I am usually swamped with clients calling in a panic needing to get their powder room, dining room and/or family room done before they host the holidays.   During this time, I would usually put a few decorations on their mantle or create a beautiful, but simple centerpiece and be off on my way.  Little by little my clients would add something to the list; for one client it was decorating her foyer, another it was decorating her tree, on and on, until one Christmas Eve I was at a client’s house setting her table (this included ironing her linens!!!….which is something in my everyday life that I hate to do).  To my surprise, I always had a blast doing it and it was a really nice deviation from what I do the rest of the year.  I also love to entertain, which allows me to look at my holiday decorating in a practical way.  I know just how much decoration a table can handle while still being functional.

Below, I will deconstruct my tablescapes to help you execute decorating yours beautifully (and stress-free).

So, my #1 styling trick for holiday tablescaping is: USE SOMETHING UNEXPECTED as your centerpiece!  There is NOTHING more interesting than using an item for something other than its intended purpose.  Below, I used a window shutter as the base for my centerpiece.  It is the perfect base for my modern farmhouse centerpiece.  It looks really sophisticated with the muted gourds, greenery, burlap ribbon and candles.  I also like to use a raw wood cheese boards (as seen in the 3rd and 4th images), cloches, cake stands etc…. as centerpieces.  Below, I used a throw blanket as my table linen.  I’ve used scarfs as runners as well.  I happen to love showing my wood table at then ends, so not having the throw blanket covering the entire table was a bonus for me.

Another tip for successful tablescaping is to vary your linens.  I have very few “rules” in design; however, I NEVER, NEVER, NEVER match my tablecloth and napkins.  Is it wrong if you do? No.  However, it is such a missed opportunity to inject style and visual interest to one’s table.  If you are not confident with pattern mixing, choose one pattern and one solid, as I did in the first image.  If are confident, try mixing in another pattern.  In the second image, I added in a gray ticking stripe napkin.  I love the depth that mixing patterns gives to a table.

In the pictures below, I was presenting to a local women’s organization on how to tablescape for the holidays. This is one of my favorite tablescapes because it is not fussy, yet still sophisticated.  I used tons of mercury glass and my favorite pattern of the season, the black and white buffalo check (which I got from Pottery Barn). I LOVE a black and white table!  It is so extremely versatile; if you look to the bottom right you can see all of the different colored napkins I brought to show these lovely ladies how many colors and patterns you can inject with this color scheme.  Every color pairs well with this scheme.

Finally, 90% of the time I create a long linear centerpiece as opposed to a round centerpiece.  Every guest should have something beautiful to look at.  Sticking a vase in the center of the table only allows a beautiful view to the two guests sitting across from each other in front of the vase.  When I’m done, I walk around to every seat at the table to ensure everyone, when seated, has something pretty to look at.  Creating a long linear centerpiece also aligns with my philosophy of having a separate food table when hosting 6 or more guests.

When in doubt (or pressed for time), fresh flowers and candles are always my go-to.  Group the flowers and candles in alternating groups down the center of the table for a simple, but elegant table.  However, I highly recommend keeping a flower-less centerpiece in your closet for when you don’t have time to stop for fresh flowers and you are having last minute dinner guests.

I hope this post has inspired you to try something new for the holidays. Most of my resources are listed below.

On a final note, in order to reach those who do not use social media, I will be posting weekly a “Insta-post roll” to keep you in the loop of what trends I’m loving, my client before and afters and just general musings.

Wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

XO

Laurie

List of Resources:

Both throwblankets:  Buffalo check, First one is not available but here is an alternative

Raw wood cheese board base (under tray in black and white tablescape)

Candle sticks, large, medium and small

Mercury glass,

Shutter

solid gray napkins, ticking stripe napkins

 

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Fall 2016 Trend Report

My Summer break is officially over 🙁  I had such an amazing Summer of traveling and relaxing.  I am excited to share my experiences from London, Barcelona and Paris in upcoming blog posts.  I was so inspired by the beautiful architecture and culture of each place I visited.  Oliver Wendell Holmes said ” A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions”.   When I travel, I feel that each place I visit and each experience I have changes me in the most profound ways. It creates a new filter by which I view everything new and old.

So, its back to reality for me 🙂

It is hard to believe during this oppressive heat wave here in the Northeast, that Fall is right around the corner.  Sooner than we would like, Summer will wind down and each day will become just a bit shorter than the last.  Soon we will be sailing into September; salty air and sandy toes will be a (not too) distant memory.

Therefore, now seems a good time to preview fashion and home trends for Fall of 2016.  Even though New York Fashion Week was in February for the Fall/Winter season, I can never wrap my mind around planning two season in advance while I am still wearing snow boots and a down jacket.  Dreaming of Summer in February is the only thing that gets me through the Winter; I refuse to disrespect Summer!  It is only right that Fall waits her turn.

Fashion-home decor posts are among my favorites; the parallels one can draw are endless.  There have been many times when I am designing a room and contemplating color schemes that I ask myself “would I wear that if it were an outfit?”   I draw much inspiration from fashion, and it definitely informs my design choices.  There are so many trends I am loving for the Fall that I am making this a 2 part post.   Here are the first few trends for 2016 that I am loving:

 

  1.   Pinstripes– Menswear is always chic.  Crisp tailoring and a rich navy are as flattering for one’s wardrobe as they are for one’s home.  Navy pairs well with yellow, camel, orange and gold.
Image via Elle

Image via Elle

2.  Velvet – This textural powerhouse creates a soft sheen that is as beautiful to the eye as it is to the touch.  It is a rich fabric that elevates any piece it adorns.

Image via Elle

Image via Elle

 

Ethan Allen Baldwin Settee, West Elm Cross Base Ottoman

3.  Patent Leather – Admittedly this is a hard fabric to make the jump from runway to real life.  Its glossiness adds a smooth surface that reflects light beautifully.  The key to making this look work is to use it in small doses.  Picture frames, stackable trays or boxes are a great way to incorporate this trend without making a big commitment (although, a statement piece of furniture is the way I would go with this trend). Pick a classic color such as the cream or black as shown below, to make this trend more employable.

 

Image via Elle

Image via Elle

4. Statement (faux) Fur –  This soft fuzzy texture conveys warmth and boldness.  Adding fur in unexpected colors adds a fun element to any space. There should always be one thing in each room that people want to run their hands over.

Image from Style Caster - NYFW

Image from Style Caster – NYFW

West Elm Mongolian Fur stool, Lulu & Georgia Dekla pillow

5. Ruffles – this feminine trend is very flattering if the ruffles are structured and strategically placed.  Adding small touches to drapery or pillows is a great way to incorporate this trend.

Image via Style Caster -NYFW

Image via Style Caster -NYFW

One of my favorite apartments in Paris

One of my favorite apartments in Paris

Evelyn Drapes, Flounce Pillow

6. Gold Metallics – Gold is my favorite metal.  I could (and probably will) devote an entire post to gold.  It is warm, compliments every skin tone and gives a luxe feel to any outfit/space.  This trend has been going strong for quite a few years now and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.  If you are still wary of fully embracing this metal, try using a champagne hued gold which will allow you to still incorporate silver into your space.  The list of colors that gold pairs well with are endless.

Image via Style Caster - NYFW

Image via Style Caster – NYFW

MGBW Pillow, MGBW Vase

Great design can be much more obtainable if you view colors and patterns like you would when putting together an outfit.  Pay attention to the scale of each pattern you choose, as well as the intensity of the colors you are pairing.  A good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t wear it together, don’t pair it together.  Most of all, have fun with it.  Trends are a guide, not a directive.  Choose a classic style that incorporates fun trends in small ways.

I’m looking forward to tackling Part 2 of Fall/Winter 2016 trends.

Let me know what trends for the Fall/Winter that you are loving.

XO

Laurie

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5 Things To Buy In Multiples

Since going to Paris last year, I am obsessed with the Parisian concept of the capsule wardrobe (read about it here).  Parisians believe in buying the best you can afford, but only buying what you need.  When I was in Paris I saw very simple (yet very chic) clothing that was well made and fit beautifully.  Don’t get me wrong, Parisian women love to dress on trend; however, they are not slaves to trends and would never be caught dead following more than a few trends each season.  A Parisian acquaintance of mine revealed that women in Paris view simplicity and minimalism as “tres Chic”.  Conversely, Americans believe that luxury is acquiring as much as we possibly can.  I admit, I fell prey to this way of thinking as well.  My shoes were crammed on my shelves, I could barely fit one more hanger in my closet and I could go at least two months without repeating an outfit. This past year I have done a complete 180. I finally realized that true luxury is in owning a few beautifully crafted items that are current with timeless appeal.

As seen in my post on the home-fashion connection (read here), Parisians feel the same about their homes as they do about fashion.  The key is selecting and showcasing pieces in a refined and restrained way . Their minimalist mentality regarding their home results in a home that is equally as chic as their outfits.  In a typical Parisian home you will find a few well made pieces of furniture, gorgeous fabrics and a few chic, well placed accessories or art.  As with my wardrobe, I have also seen the value of fiercely editing my home.

Below is a REAL Parisian apartment that my husband and I will be renting when we go back to Paris this Summer.  Although it is not professionally designed, it illustrates the chic, minimal and well edited design philosophy of Parisians.

paris apartment

 

So, with this concept in mind why did I title this post “5 Things To Buy In Multiples”? Because, while there is beauty and freedom in a well edited home, there is also a need for functionality.  Spending time enjoying the company of our friends and loved ones is the truest extravagance.  Therefore, there are things that help one in creating a beautiful environment, thus enhancing those special moments.  My short list of items will undoubtedly make life more pleasurable and functional when entertaining those we love.

Here is my list:

  1. Stools/Ottomans:  I love any item that has multiple uses. Stools and ottomans are as beautiful as they are functional.  They can be used as seating or a landing place for a cocktail or small plate.  They are easy to store away when not in use, or artfully arranged to form a chic conversation area.

Here are a few that I love:

Serena and Lily Moroccan Pouf

Serena and Lily Moroccan Pouf

Pottery Barn Vince Stool, West Elm Cross Based Ottoman, Christopher Knight Rosalynn Ottoman, Serena & Lily Moroccan Pouf

2.  Picture frames:  Unless it is a showstopping piece, groupings always look better than a singular piece of art.  Therefore, using the same (or similar) frames creates a stylish and unified look. Read my post here on how to hang art.  The frames below are the ones I use most frequently for my clients. These frames are well priced, have professional quality mattes and are easy to hang.

Here are some of my favorites:

West Elm Mirrored Frames,  WS Home Gold Metal Frames,  Pottery Barn Black Wood Gallery Frames

3. Throw pillows:  Surprise, surprise 🙂 There is no faster, easier and least expensive way to update one’s home than with throw pillows.  The key is variation.  Choose at least three pillows of various sizes, textures and patterns for your grouping. This is the perfect time to update your home with fun, bright accent pillows.

Here are some that I am loving right now:

Z Gallerie Modena Pillow,  Coco Cozy embroidered pillow, Lulu & Georgia Melia Pillow

4.  Lanterns:  Lanterns are such a fun way to make a statement.  They can be grouped together to create a dramatic centerpiece or scattered around to create mood lighting.  My favorite way to use lanterns is to place them along the edge of either indoor or outdoor stairs to illuminate the stairs in a dramatic fashion.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Pottery Barn Malta Lantern, Wayfair Iron Lantern, Pier 1 Bay Harbor Lantern

5.  Throw blanket:  Throw blankets add a well placed pop of color and pattern.  The flat weave throws also make perfect table covers.  I love to drape it in the center of the table and let the ends of the table show.

Here are a few gorgeous throws:

Jonathan Adler Greek Key Throw, Serena & Lily Brahms Mount Throw, Dot & Bo Lattice Throw

I hope this post helps you to reevaluate the way you think about decorating your home.  I truly believe that design is an art and one’s home is the canvas.  Challenge yourself to start editing out the things in your home that no longer serve you.

As  William Morris stated:

Have nothing in your house

that you do not know to be useful,

or believe to be beautiful. 

XO

Laurie

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Happy Memorial Day!

Most holidays have a correlating color scheme.  Some color schemes such as the red and green palette of Christmas have a short life, while other holidays such as Easter have a scheme that can last for a whole season.  Memorial Day falls in the latter category.  It’s patriotic palette of red, white and blue looks crisp, fresh and can last from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Memorial Day also brings some of the best home sales.  Pottery Barn is offering 25% off orders of $1000 or more with code: SAVEMORE (this is a rare sale for PB!  Need a new sofa? NOW is the time to order it!).  William Sonoma Home is offering up to 40% off bedroom furniture, Lulu and Georgia is also offering 25% off of $1000 or more with code: MEMORIAL25, Grandin Road is offering 40% off select outdoor items with code: MEMORIALDAY2016 and Ballard Designs is offering 25% off when you spend $750 or more!.

Here are some of my favorite items to help you ring in the Summer season!

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day!!!

XO 

Laurie

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