Posts filed under table settings

A TABLE SETTING INSPIRED BY ROAD TRAVELS

Like a good majority of you, I'm doing a pretty fair share of travel this summer. My husband and I kicked it off a few weeks ago with an adventure across California where we flew into San Diego, drove east to Big Bear, then back west to Oceanside, then hopped on a train up to Paso Robles, stayed on the Central Coast in Cambria, then road tripped north up Hwy 1 to San Francisco. After retiring home to Seattle, we set out on the road just five days later to drive east through Washington and the tip of Idaho to our destination in Bozeman, MT and then south to Yellowstone for a weekend of camping. To say the least, we have already covered a lot of varying terrain throughout the the west end of the US. Along these travels, I have most certainly gathered a lot of inspiration. This table setting is most definitely a result of some of those things I was inspired by.

Nature has always been a key element in what I am inspired by, and in this case I have been heavily influenced by the open lands I've passed through and their unique terrains. The United States is truly a beautiful land and it is incredible how the soil, rock formations, open fields and horizons vary from state to state. 

In this table setting, I pulled together bits and pieces of things that represent moments of my travel...

There are hints of elements that represent California's cool coastal blues and dry desert lands , a variety of rocks that remind me of the varying lands, and the big sky and rugged wide open lands of Montana which gives the overarching feel to this setting. Oh, and the horseshoe because my goodness I don't think I've ever seen so many horses in such a short period of time!

I love creating settings that have a real story behind them. It is always such a fun, creative challenge. This is how I approach settings for my clients' weddings in order to create something that is unique and personal to them. I recommend playing with this concept! Think about what story you want to tell at your next gathering around the dinner table, then pull together the pieces that illustrate it. I guarantee it will inspire many great stories throughout the evening! What will your story be?!

XO Brynn

ENTERTAINING : SETTING THE EASTER TABLE

I know, I know...it's St. Patty's Day & I'm here blogging about Easter. What can I say? Call me crazy, but I love thinking about mimosas and eggs benedict with braised lamb way more than green beer & corned beef and cabbage. Don't get me wrong, I have a wee bit of Irish in me, so I get it, but I think it was a holiday I enjoyed far more in my 20s. (if you catch my drift) Anyhow, I'm thinking ahead to next Sunday when I will be gathering with loved ones around my favorite place - the dining table. This is a little peek into one idea of what it might look like.

If you have been following along for sometime, you may already know about what I am going to say next, but if this is your first time around here (first of all, welcome & thanks for being here!) I'll share a little bit about my style & how you can make it your own. Ninety-eight percent of this table is made up of objects I've collected over the years. The other two percent is the flowers purchased from the market around the corner. It's so easy (and fun!) to go out and buy a bunch of new goods to create a table setting. But the challenge of using the items you already own - and love dearly - makes for a setting that is far more unique, interesting, and authentic. Authentic - you know, like that favorite pair of jeans that you actually wore in versus the pair you paid a lot of money for with factory-made holes ;)

So I started pulling together bits & pieces together, as I do, that had spring-y Easter-y vibes to get my initial inspiration flowing. It took many tries to get just the right mix of goods together - colors, details, etc. - but that is the way it usually goes. It's kind of like musical chairs, but with dishes & things. I encourage you to give it a try! You might even find it therapeutic...or maybe that's just me.

This Eat, Drink, Be Merry card is one of my very favorite Rifle Paper Co. prints ever and should be owned by every hostess everywhere. And it is truly beside me why it is not offered as a larger art print...but that's just me rambling. Anyhow, back to our Easter table!

Oh, and isn't this little llama just the cutest ever? A little something I picked up on Anthropologie's post-Christmas sale. Ornaments like this cutie aren't meant for just once a year, especially since an Easter table calls for at least one fuzzy little friend.

Spring is such a magical time of year, isn't it?! As the gray of winter starts to fade away, the once bare branches start to bloom with new life. The little birdies are chirping outside my window, once again. And the markets are filled with fresh bunches of flowers once again. In setting this table, it felt important for me to include bits of nature - the simple blooms, billy balls & star anise add just the perfect touch of spring, don't you think? In fact, this Easter table could also easily just be a table setting for any spring occasion!

DANDY TIP: My favorite source for table linens is the fabric store! The colors & patterns are endless. Don't know how to sew? No problem! Raw edges are totally in. Many fabrics tear easily to create that raw edge -  simply snip, then tear to the size you desire. Just make sure the fabric is not cut on the bias, and if you aren't sure what that means, just ask a sales person ;)

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY, friends.

XO Brynn

HOW TO CREATE A VALENTINE'S PARTY WITH GLASSYBABY

Let's think of Valentine's Day in a new way this year. Let's make it a party with our loved ones - friends, family...whomever you love most. We'll start by setting the table in a playful palette inspired by the official candy of Valentine's Day (not counting chocolate) - conversation hearts.

Here is what you need to get the party started. You can follow it to a T with the links and tips provided...

  • glassybaby votives - colors used in this setting: baby  |  sweetheart  |  princess  |  godmother  |  beach bum  |  sea foam  |  given to fly  |  thank you  |  stormy  |  power  |  sweet pea  |  grammy 
  • glassybaby drinkers - colors used in this setting: bellini  |  sparkling water
  • a white table (or a white tablecloth over any color of table)
  • pretty white plates - you can find the ones used in this setting here
  • a second set of colorful glassware - scour your favorite antique mall, or try here where we are currently loving the selections
  • your finest flatware - here is the set we used
  • pretty cloth napkins - we used a vintage set, but also love these
  • a floral selection in a palette similar to your glassybaby votives
  • conversation hearts galore - we used 4 large bags of these ones because they have blue!
  • favor bags to send your guests home with their own candies - you can make these ones in a snap!
  • tealights 

Start with the centerpiece:

  1. Create a snake-like chain with your glassybaby votives - rosy tones flow into melon-y orange hues, then into minty greens, then baby blues and ends with pretty purples
  2. Surround each color set with matching conversation hearts
  3. Fill every other or every couple glassybaby votive half-way with water and place flowers in matching colors, then cut off single blooms to sprinkle within the conversation hearts
  4. Place tealights in empty glassybaby votives (or if hosting a daytime party, simply leave empty and enjoy the beautiful colors)

Then, set the place settings:

  1. Each place setting will have a white dinner plate, a flatware set, a napkin, a glassybaby drinker, an additional piece of glassware, if you choose, and a favor bag filled with conversation hearts
  2. Be meticulous about each setting, ensuring that each one is set just like the other (this will ensure pretty pictures and an overall pleasing aesthetic) 

Finally:

Have an evening (or daytime) filled with great food, laughter and fun, memorable times with your favorite people, and perhaps a few glasses of bubbly!

So, basically... eat, drink and be merry! Because that is what life is all about. Happy Valentine's Days, lovers!

XO Brynn Renné

ANATOMY OF A TABLE SETTING: A COZY TABLE FOR TWO

Hi there! So this is probably pretty obvious, but I'm just going to put it out there. I LOVE setting the table. First of all, the table is a very sacred space to me with a great deal of meaning behind it. The table is where we gather to share a meal with loved ones, clink glasses, laugh, talk life, dream of the future...it is a place where we create beautiful memories. So why not create a beautiful setting to set the tone of the memories that are to be made? Additionally, designing a table is one of my favorite ways to express my style, or a client's style. The bottom line is that there are endless design possibilities when it comes to setting the table, which makes it that much more fun! Yep, I am a total table nerd.

Anatomy-of-a-table-setting-vertical5.jpg

So, let's talk about what it takes to set the table. I'll teach you how to decide on the style, a breakdown of key elements, and where to shop for the goods. Ready? Let's go!

DECIDE ON THE AESTHETIC

  1. Choose your color palette - I went with a neutral palette with mixed metals of silver and gold for this setting
  2. What is the overall vibe of the setting? Is it for a specific occasion or do you want to go with a certain theme? - I had Valentine's Day in mind and wanted to create a non-traditional setting for the occasion that was cozy and casual
  3. Scour for inspiration to decide on materials, textures, patterns, etc. - My personal favorite way of doing this is to just start grabbing the elements around me - dishes, glassware, fabrics, and fun details pieces that could be used in interesting ways - But there are other ways as well, like Pinterest (of course) or flipping through your favorite design magazines  and look for the elements that stand out to you

KEY ELEMENTS + RESOURCES

  1. DINNERWARE - This is an obvious one, but still worth mentioning. If you love to host dinner parties, then I highly recommend investing in a least one set of pretty plates and bowls (bonus if you mix & match colors / patterns!) | resources for items in photo: white dinner plate from Anthropologie, light gray salad plate from West Elm, small sauce dishes and spoons are from local boutiques - get to know your favorite boutiques for unique knick-knacks!
  2. ORGANIC ELEMENTS - The tendency is generally to go for flowers, but I suggest playing with the unexpected like cacti and air plants - or even better, mix the two with soft, feminine roses! | get to know your local indoor plant shops, succulent shops and nurseries for interesting botanical options
  3. PRETTY GLASSWARE - I am a bit obsessive about pretty glassware and believe 100% in their magic - you can take the simplest, bare bones table, add beautiful glassware and Bam! It immediately comes to life - trust me on this one, friends! Lucky for you, pretty glassware is easy to find in vintage shops, Etsy, local boutiques and Anthropologie
  4. INTERESTING DETAILS - This is where the fun really begins and where you have a chance to really get creative in finding new uses for everyday items. Here are some of the most important details to keep in mind and examples of what I used:  a) PLACE SETTING DETAILS - These are generally the most focal pieces within the place settings and what your guests see when they sit down. I used festive gold flatware and classy gray cloth napkins, both from West Elm b) UNEXPECTED TOUCHES - Just that little something extra that is unexpected and unique, like using a beaded garland to wrap around the dinner napkins c) DIY DETAILS - I like to incorporate one DIY detail into my settings for the extra personal touch, like these gold tipped feathers (bonus! they are super easy to create as long as you have feathers, paint and a paintbrush!)
  5. UNIQUE VESSELS - Have fun with your vessels! Especially so because your pretty botanicals deserve pretty vessels! And go outside the ordinary for this one, too. For example, I loved using the little marble pinch pots on the wood tray, from Anthropologie, in a brand new way with the mini cacti

Additionally, table linens are key as well. Nice linens in solid white and other colors are a great place to start and then add some patterned styles into your collection as your designs call for them. Also, consider incorporating some unexpected items like a leather hide and sheepskin pelt as I have done for this setting.

So, that is the basic breakdown of the elements you need to create a beautiful table setting where your loved ones will gather for an evening of joyous times and memory making. Eat, drink & be merry, friends!

 

XO Brynn