Case Study: Create a Casual Table Setting

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If you are like me, most of your entertaining is not formal, but you still want it to be an experience for your guests. A beautiful kitchen eating area, and the right table setting and serving pieces are the key.

This kitchen area is one of my favorite spaces I’ve designed. Don’t you want to sit here?! The core elements are a beautiful table and a very elegant wool carpet to define the area. Check out the pinstripes on the carpet. This is a very special artisan product that I just love. The combination of chairs and benches feels comfortable and interesting.The berry upholstery on the chairs brightens everything up and makes people happy! The light fixture is simple, elegant, and impactful. Gorgeous window treatments add luxury, light control, and privacy. Original oil paintings are custom framed and grouped together to create interest. The perfect backdrop for a casual fete.

Below, we take this lovely space and get more granular on how you can set a table for a relaxed crowd of friends. Thursday night dinner, Sunday brunch, mom and dad in town, calling the neighbors over impromptu. You get the vibe, right?! Who are you most likely to entertain at your kitchen table?

Casual Kitchen Table

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Wooden Tray  |  Domed Tray  |  Flatware  |  Pitcher  |  Dinnerware  |  Cheese Board

Photo credit: Kitchen photo by Laura Moss.

Weekend: Clum House in the Catskills

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You know that feeling, when you visit a place and it sticks with you? You keep remembering it and telling people about it, and wishing you could go back… I had such an experience this summer on a weekend jaunt up to Catskill, NY. My family and I were super fortunate to stay in this beautiful AirBnB called Clum House.

Tucked away on the quietest of country roads, I counted about one car passing once an hour at most. The decor enveloped you in the mood of the rustic countryside. And everything was so comfy it was hard not feel perfectly at home. It was equally hard to leave the house, which had perfect spots for lounging in every corner. After exploring Hudson, Saugerties, and Woodstock, my family and I were so eager to head “home” where my son could play outside, my husband could read, and I could sit and strum my guitar.

If you need a little escape for the weekend please give Clum House a try! Here are a few restaurants we enjoyed as well: Joshua’s in WoodstockMiss Lucy’s Kitchen in SaugertiesBaba Louie’s Pizza in Hudson, and Circle W in Palenville.

Next time I’m there I’d love to visit Angela Jia Kim’s Savor Spa in Saugerties. Check it out, and let me know how you like the Catskills!

Case Study: A Bright and Causal Vanity/Desk Combo

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One of my favorite vignettes we did at a photoshoot at our client’s house back in the spring is this bright and casual vanity table, which is really a desk and can still be used as one when you want a place to prop a laptop or journal in the bedroom.

Making our working areas in the home beautiful to look at can be a challenge. Here, the key element is bold artwork hung over the desk to create a strong focal point that would make any bits of clutter or pile up seem insignificant.

Basic table lamps with shades create a prettier feel than task lighting. In my home, as well as for my clients, I keep stone and ceramic cups on every desk and vanity surface. This makes it easy to drop in pencils, small pairs of scissors, makeup brushes, and more. I also fell in love with these little rattan catch-all containers shown on the desk. A collection of lidded boxes or trays looks clever and corrals your things.

What do you think? What do you love as decorative items on a work surface? Do you like the idea of a desk in the bedroom, or would you keep it strictly as a vanity? See our team’s outline below for sourcing more items that can transform a surface into a functional AND gorgeous spot in the home.

Desk Accessories

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Lamp  |  Vases |  Pencil Cup/Bud Vase  |  Journal Notebook  |  Bookends