Holiday Tables

Are you planning a holiday table for a special dinner? Whether a gourmet feast or a pot luck, setting the mood for the gathering can be achieved with a table that says “I’m excited you are here!” From table linens, china, centerpieces, even chairs, the key is color! Repetition of color is what you notice first! It gives the setting continuity. Not enough dinner plates from your china pattern? Every other place setting can be from two different sets or every other one can be a totally unique plate. Once you have used coordinating dishes for a unique look, matched dishes will look boring! The challenge is using variety while maintaining the color theme. The personal details on the table can lead through family history, travels or collections. Adding a garland of fresh greens is aromatic. Candlelight is flattering. If children are coming, provide a craft activity and extend the table to include them! Have appetizers ready before guests arrive and a use a simple menu to enable the hostess to enjoy the guests. Many dishes are fine at room temperature. Here’s to a happy holiday season! #Champagneforall #HolidayDining

Dining During the Holidays

Recently I was working with clients with an insurance claim who were starting over with furniture! It was a similar situation to many home owners when they move here without the baggage of past homes! Over numerous years working for a design studio that was within a furniture store, it was quite interesting to see the continuity achieved when we weren’t dealing with existing furniture.

Whether you are replacing or starting over, some consider key furniture pieces as keepsakes to treasure forever! Others in today’s world, consider everything disposable and just want a fit for the current location! Therein lies the challenge of acquiring dining room furniture. During the holidays we’re looking for family dining areas. After the holidays, we’re looking for free space.

After a lot of entertaining, designing custom homes and working on spacing issues in remodels, my favorite solution is the least expensive and easiest! I combine light weight outdoor tables or folding tables (not necessarily the same size and width but square or rectangular) into as long of a table as we need usually in adjoining spaces. Matching or coordinating tablecloths are added for unity. Use whatever you have in abundance for the centerpieces – candles, fruits, pumpkins, squashes, small limbs with foliage or flowers to create a one-of-a-kind table. It is more flexible than a big table that never accommodates the exact number of spaces we need for a given group. Sometimes existing furniture has to be moved for the day but it is always festive and inclusive. #FriendsfortheHolidays! #HolidayDining

Sherwin Williams 2019 Color of the Year

What color do you think of first when the Southwest is mentioned?  Terra Cotta!  With the tile roofs, Mexican tile interiors and patios, chimeneas, pots and sunsets, we are already there for Sherwin Williams new color for 2019 – Cavern Clay!  Maybe it was a natural reaction to warm up the ongoing gray trend!  Over the years many clients have preferred this color base in rugs for an inviting interior.  Mexican tile patios have always been a favorite of mine as I can find pots to coordinate in all sizes and shapes.  Although this is a departure from our current modern, mid-century trend those of us in the Southwest know our influences from Mexico and Spain will always be classic. 


If you have changed to a more contemporary look, warming up those grays with textiles, rugs and wall hangings in this warm color palette will add the color and coziness you are looking for!  Cavern Clay on the walls with white cabinetry is a fresh look. But right now – on with red (my fave) for the holidays!

Contemporary Backdrops

Contemporary backdrops! Roche Bobois ads illustrate the huge difference between plain drywall with a lonely piece of art compared to a backdrop with significant interest! The settings vary from Asian, Old World, color drops, extensive lighting and some are quite simple. Our current contemporary trend allows for expression or a clean, simple less is more look!

Beauty of Mosaics

Remember all of those mosaics in the entries of McMansions? Initially those were made in the US with laser jet cutting techniques. Then they started to come in from China and the local market diminished. With the recession behind us the technology is being used for the most beautiful mosaics! You may not want to clean or maintain them in high use or water areas, but if that is not an issue then their beauty is significant for a great focal point wall or backsplash.

Personalization Can Affect Your Home’s Resale Value

Personalizing your space may involve photos you love including friends, family trips, favorite mementos and colors that make you feel glad to be home! BUT these can be added in a manner that allows the next owner to make the space personally theirs!

European Style Porcelain Tile

While looking for client tile choices recently, I saw this indoor/outdoor porcelain tile. So European and inviting! It would make a perfect outdoor table top for the patio table with glass that is such a maintenance issue! My regular tile contractor had the new top completed in no time with indestructible support and silicone grout. It is now a focal point instead of an eye sore!

Halloween is fast approaching!

Halloween is fast approaching! The witches and goblins are out. You probably need to have some friends over or just enjoy a few changes in your interior, The friendly witch on the fireplace hearth is standing in front of an antique mortar and pestle filled with the popular headbands that instantly create a festive air without the need of a full costume. The new tiny LED lights are perfect to highlight your decor. 

How High Is That Ceiling?

Ceilings should be in proportion to the total space of the room! Many years ago, John Romack from Romack Builders and I were analyzing his newly built home and discussing this. We have worked on many homes from many architects and architectural designers since 1982. We came to the conclusion that the space doesn’t feel cozy if the ceiling height is higher than the width or length of the room. Yes, rules are made to be broken but generally this is a guide.