Showing posts with label Dining Room. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dining Room. Show all posts

Bow Napkin Tutorial

Dec 19, 2017

Make your holiday table a little more special by folding your napkins into these adorable bows! 

1. Start by turning your napkin with the corner facing up. I obviously didn't iron these!

2. Fold it in half by bringing the bottom to the top.

3. Fold in small increments all the way up to the top.

4. It will end up in a long strip.

5. Fold the left third of the bow inwards. This will be one of the tails.

6. Fold an equal amount from the right side inwards.

7. Slide a napkin holder to the middle along the tail and the bow section.

8. Tweak the tail. I turned the right tail to the back in this picture.

It's so easy! It doesn't take long at all so if you have a full table of people I promise you won't be folding bows all night long.


My Thanksgiving Table and Hosting Tips

Nov 11, 2017

I can't believe Thanksgiving is a week from Thursday! I always prepare early for the holidays because everything sells out so fast. I was looking for a few more velvet pumpkins in October, but all I could find was a small amount of fall decor to make room for Christmas. Thankfully, I have plenty of fall decor and didn't have to buy anything new for my dining table. I just used what I had on hand and clipped a few flowers from my breakfast table arrangement.

I have hosted Thanksgiving most years since I've been married the last 20 years. Here's a little rundown of how I prepare.

1. Create a Guest List-I start asking my family their plans in September. We have some out of town family and some who will celebrate with other sides of their family. I try to work around their schedules to decide if we should eat at lunch or dinner. We usually strive for lunch so we can have the leftovers that evening. 

2. Take Inventory-I don't know why, but I have silverware and glassware that goes missing over the year. I make sure I have enough as soon as I finalize the guest list, which is no later than the beginning of October. My silverware is the same pattern I bought when I got married so if I want it to match I have to buy it from Amazon or Ebay. This would also be the time to check your dinnerware and serverware if you don't regularly entertain. 

3. Seating Arrangements-This is probably the most difficult for me. I prefer to have everyone sit at the same table. I would be okay with a kids table if my three boys had cousins, but I don't like them in the breakfast room by themselves while the rest of the family is in the dining room. It is sometimes a bit of a logistical nightmare to get everyone at the same table. I don't assign seats, but the boys know the fabric chairs are for adults and the wood chairs are for them. 

4. Set the Table-There's no point of waiting unless you are going to use the dining room before Thanksgiving. I always use a tablecloth with a rubber cloth underneath in case there are any spills (You can find them at Bed, Bath and Beyond). I have several different tablecloths in different lengths depending on how many leaves I use in the table. This year I have to have both leaves since there are ten of us, which means I need the 144 inch table cloth. I've learned by trial and error to keep centerpieces very low and narrow when you have a crowded table. Real flowers and greenery are beautiful, but keep in mind you will be decorating the table the night before or the day of Thanksgiving so plan accordingly. This is the reason I used a faux garland. I do have small votive holders that will hold candles and small fresh florals. I can easily find any small spray of flowers at the grocery store the day before. Fresh pumpkins are always a good idea because they last a long time. I've had mine almost two months! 

5. Create a Menu and Try New Recipes First-Thanksgiving is always potluck in my family. Each person is known for a certain dish so it's a no brainer who will bring what dish. My kids have asked for mashed potatoes this year so I'm trying to find the perfect recipe. The first one was a miss so it looks like we'll be having mashed potatoes for dinner again this week! 

6. Shop for Groceries in Advance-I will be buying everything that won't spoil by Thanksgiving tomorrow! Don't forget about what you are making for breakfast and what you will need to enjoy the leftovers. Paper plates are always a must for leftovers so we don't have to do dishes all over again. 

7. Make What You Can Ahead-Besides pies, you can also make casseroles without baking them the day before. I usually start cleaning out the fridges (we have two) before the cooking begins so there is plenty of room. You will also need those leftover containers in your fridge. If you share your leftovers be sure to have disposable containers you can give away. If you will be cooking Thanksgiving lunch consider a breakfast you can make ahead. I prefer to buy doughnuts at the grocery store for the kids so I don't have even have to think about it. 

I feel like many people follow a similar guideline, but everyone has their first Thanksgiving at one point! We can't all be Martha Stewart. Speaking of Martha, look at what she or one of her assistants posted on Instagram from her cooking show. 

Someone obviously didn't think this through. She looks like she's about to strangle this poor goose on air and cook it for dinner. 

Early Fall Decorating

Sep 21, 2017

Happy first day of fall! I love to decorate for the seasons, but it's hard to get into the spirit when it's 90 degrees outside. I opted for peach, pink, gray and white instead of traditional autumn colors. The peaches and pinks I introduced are fresh florals so it will be easy to change to darker colors if I choose once the weather turns cool. Right now I am loving these pretty peach roses with my velvet pumpkins.

More peach and gray in the breakfast room.

I used fresh eucalyptus and pumpkins in the dining room. The runner helps protect the table from the greenery. Last year I had made arrangements in urns, but I realized no one sitting at the table would be able to see each other over them so I kept this year's table a little more low key.

When I think of decorating for fall the first thing that comes to mind is adding coziness. Candles, throws, and pillows are the most important elements in my living room.

All I need now is for the weather to turn cooler so I can use the fireplace!

A New Rug for the Dining Room

May 25, 2017

I think one of the most asked question I get is about my rugs. It can be difficult to navigate through pages and pages of rugs online so I completely understand. I happened upon a new site called esalerugs on Instagram, and as I was scrolling I noticed one of the rugs advertised was exactly what I was looking for in my dining room. 

I haven't seen anything like it on my other affordable go-to rug sites-Joss and Main, Wayfair, and Rugs USA. I can't complain about the quality for such a good price either. Some of the rugs with a similar sheen will be very thin, but this one is much more plush. There has been absolutely no shedding either. It reminds me so much of the inspiration rug for this room, but at a fraction of the cost. 

Here is the before. I still love that gold mirror and go back and forth about putting it back in here. I'm not loving the blue I had in here at all now that I see it in a picture. I think it only stayed that way for a few days, thank goodness. There's nothing like a picture to tell you the truth about your house. I won't go there about weight and wrinkles in pictures. We all know.

Doesn't it look so much more finished with the new rug?

The builder grade windows and the chandelier are driving me crazy so that's next on the list. I also have a few more things to show you around here that aren't dining room related. We are so close to completing the first DIY project in the house almost two years after moving in. Better late than never!

New Artwork in the Dining Room

Apr 1, 2017

The new painting I bought for the dining room came in early! I actually wasn't sure if it was going to go in the dining room because I loved the gold mirror in there, but once I propped it up on the buffet I fell in love with it. The whole room just tied itself together. It grounded the mirrored buffet and the gray went so well with the drapes. I was worried it was a bit too traditional and that I would get bored with it so I had to live with it a couple of weeks. I can safely say it's going to stay because I still love it just as much as I did the day it was delivered.

Unfortunately, I had to admit the chandelier from the last post was just too small for this room. Here's a bad picture of it sitting on the table. It's really much prettier in person. This gives you an idea of how it all works together once I buy the correct size. When I try to save money, this is what happens.

I really did not want to re-pack it and send it back after putting on the crystals on so I decided to put it in the master bedroom along with the gold mirror. I'm going to try and find a similar one that's a bit bigger for the dining room soon. I'll update you on the master bedroom with the dining room cast-offs once my husband adjusts the chandelier. It's leaning to the side a little and it needs to be shortened a bit. At least he cut the cord too long instead of too short!

Here is the look I'm hoping for once the room is complete. I'm still not completely sold on the linen chairs at the head of the table since I don't really need them. I was completely sold on the rug until I saw the price. If price is an indicator of good style then I am a master at picking out lighting and rugs because I am always drawn to the most expensive ones. Champagne taste on a beer budget, story of my life!

Once I finish the decor I'd love to add trim work and do something with the windows. You can't tell from the picture, but the windows are hideous builder grade ones that are messing up my design. I've considered adding shutters (not my favorite look with this furniture), replacing the windows (probably not going to happen), trim work around the windows for distraction (but then I'd have to do the rest of the house and the windows are still ugly), or sheer drapes (does anyone do that anymore?). The view is very un-lovely of the fence and the side of the neighbor's house. I have a landscaping plan for that and it includes very tall Italian cypress trees. One problem solved!

I've been trying to get the backyard ready before summer is here so I haven't had much time to think about chandelier or rug shopping. We've been getting quotes for a couple of outdoor projects and just getting the quotes is a project! I'm hoping to be done with all of that by the time the boys are out of school so I can go back to finishing up the dining room. By then, it will be too hot to do anything outside so I'll want an indoor project. I'm spending as much time as I can outside right now with this great spring weather. Have a great weekend!

Dining Room Plans

Mar 14, 2017

I can honestly say I don't have one finished room in my house. The past year and a half, I focused more on filling up the rooms with furniture instead of on any details. It's now time to go back and completely finish each room, and I'm starting with the dining room. It's mostly because I couldn't take that builder grade chandelier a day longer! I also bought these new white marble lamps for the buffet for such a good deal on Overstock.

I might add a bit of gold rub and buff to the silver areas later, but we'll see how the room turns out. I say that because I just happened on this artwork from ZGallerie I absolutely love. I hate to replace the mirror because I like that too, but this is just so perfect to go with the room and the gray drapes.

I've had my eye on a Restoration Hardware crystal chandelier for a couple of years, but the price made me hesitate. I also knew I was going to have to shell out a ton of money for someone to hang it. The dining room ceiling is about 20 feet high, which means we will need to use scaffolding. I did see a knock-off on Overstock of the same chandelier, but the reviews were terrible with people saying the entire chandelier needed to be re-wired. I found another one on Overstock from a more reputable company, but it was smaller with less crystals than I had wanted so I held off on buying anything. 
Once I decided I needed to buy something I went with the smaller chandelier. It came in last week and it's absolutely beautiful! I'm happy about having less crystals because I like my bling in small doses. I am still not completely sold on the size. The width is the same as what I have now, but it's quite a bit shorter. I knew that when I bought it, but I didn't realize the one long chain at the bottom would make up five inches of the height so it's even shorter than I thought. If I didn't have such tall ceilings it would be fine, but I'd prefer a longer chandelier. It's just sitting on my dining room table right now. I keep going back and forth every day about it. If I hang this one it's going to stay after paying for the labor!

I made my husband hold it up to see how it would look. He looks thrilled, right?

I also moved my bedroom rug in here to try it out. It would marry the gray and blue I have in the room, but it's just too light so I decided against it. I just have to try and talk him into helping me move it back to the bedroom now.  That should go well.

I decided to mock up my different design plans on an app. This is something I did when picking out furniture and was so easy. I could be in a store and paste it all together instead of having to go back to my computer. It's not the prettiest, but it gives you a quick idea. It also saves my husband's patience for the all of the other things I ask him to do every weekend.

Maybe with gray chairs and a gray rug? The artwork doesn't come in for a couple of weeks so I have time to figure it all out!

My Black Friday Find and More Christmas Decor

Nov 28, 2016

I may have finished my Christmas decorations a week ago, but as usual I pick things up between now and Christmas as I see them. These gold reindeer were just calling my name!

I've been eyeing this mirrored tray at ZGallerie the past year for my coffee table and I finally bought it once I noticed there was a 20% Black Friday discount. It's a bit hard to see since I covered it in greenery, but it's the perfect size for this table and it made an instant difference in the entire feeling of the room.

I've been putting off buying it because I've been way too overwhelmed with all of the projects going on around here. Now that I'm coming down to the final details of my living room I decided it was time to finally finish it. Well, the custom drapes and massive chandelier that will require scaffolding to hang because of the tall ceilings will be held off indefinitely because of the cost. I can't justify such minor details when an entire home office remodel will equal the same price. Other than those projects and maybe some future woodwork, I am working hard to finish this room by the New Year. I received my final major piece of furniture today, a console table for behind the sofa. It fits in perfectly and just makes the room feel so much more finished. I'll show it to you as soon as I find decor to accessorize it. 

Now, for the best seat in the house! I popped in the dining room to take a quick picture of the chandelier I decorated a couple of weeks ago. It was then I realized the seat at the head of the table has the best view of the entryway and dining room decorations. 

Like most people with formal dining rooms, we rarely use ours. As I took this picture I vowed to have more family dinners here instead of standing around the island eating with maybe one or two of us at the breakfast room table. There's just something about the holidays that makes you want to bring tradition and celebration back to every day life. I guess that means I need to start cooking again so we have something homemade to eat here!

A Romantic Fall Tablescape

Oct 18, 2016

I just love this year's fall tablescape...white pumpkins, roses, fresh greenery and a bit of mercury glass for sparkle.


 I can't wait to re-create this look for my Thanksgiving guests!