entertaining / our thanksgiving tablesetting 2014!

so the carpenter family thanksgiving this year might be a little sad. it will be the first year we are doing it with no family coming in to town- typically we have like a thousand kids running around and twenty people in the kitchen. this year there are going to be six of us- not even our whole family is here (syd is still on her mission). we decided to go super fancy with our tablesetting. we went with a mixed metals theme, and threw in some color with the greenery and flowers.


we started with this awesome brass edged mirror that bobette found at a thrift store (it's mostly covered though). she also recently got the rose gold flatware on sale at target. hence the mixed metals! we are so in love with the geometric napkin holders from west elm.

we also got a few of these vases from west elm- is anyone else as obsessed with rose gold as i am???

bobette made little geometric wreath out of triangle instruments from the dollar bin at target.

i designed menus that we placed in ornament place card holders that we've had forever. we seriously can't get enough geometrics!

and of course we had to throw some greenery on there. bobette knocked on a neighbors door to clip some of his jacaranda tree. that's dedication!

we hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving!!

entertaining / bright and cheery springtime tablesetting


i love this tablesetting that bobette put together. it is possibly the most colorful and cheery table i have ever seen. she start with a runner made of navy blue ikat napkins from homegoods. she layered chartreuse runners lengthwise across the table, creating each 'placemat' (from ikea). the centerpiece is a wooden box that was made for a wedding in our backyard, filled with flowers cut from our garden. she started each place setting with a basic white square plate (from ikea). she then added our thrift store clear glass gold rimmed plates, and a colorful blue salad plate on top of that. she added our gold geometric soup/pasta bowls (from homegoods). we got those bright orange napkins on super sale at world market (they seriously have the best selection of basic napkins). she tied them into a faux bow tie with a pink ribbon. for glassware she used our tall glasses and our vintage blue dessert dishes, on top of our favorite pink and orange coasters.


entertaining / easy tablesetting for a crowd


though we love creating elaborate tablesettings (see here, here and here), often we don't eat at perfectly set tables like that. also, we usually have way more people than our dining room table can handle- we have lots of family and friends with big families. most of the time our tables look something like this when we have guests over. we use our big kitchen table that seats twelve, and keep our normal centerpiece on the table which is low enough to talk over, and small enough to fit the food on the table (we are all about family style).


for this table we used our ikea runners (we got our on sale for $1.99 each). we have 8 of them so we put two across four times. down the center we have a chevron table cloth that was made for my cousin's wedding. we used basic white square plates and my favorite little grey plates. instead of doing cloth napkins we used paper ones (also from ikea!). we brought in my world market dining room chairs and combined them with my mom's wood chairs.


since we are already sharing easy tablesetting, why not share one of the easiest and most delicious appetizers that we frequently serve.


cheater bruschetta:

this appetizer is super easy to throw together last second before your guests come over- plus it has almost all of my favorite foods. all you do is toast some bread (we usually use the rosemary bread from costco). spread some pesto on top, then placed sliced fresh mozzarella (which we also get from costco) and tomatoes. top with freshly shredded parmesean, salt and pepper. then let guests pour balsamic vinegar over their individual servings- if your pour it for everyone they get a little soggy. eat up!


tablesetting / a bohemian valentine's


instead of going with traditional red and pink decor for valentine's day, why not switch to some more fun, still girly, and less expected colors? we loved the combination of purple and coral, along with a little bit of gold and green (because we can't do anything without gold or green). for this tablescape we were really excited to use our new gold rimmed plates that we found at goodwill. it was like $10 for a set of six salad and full sized plates. i was trying so hard to move away from thrift store shopping (because i am sick of hand-me-downs and owning things that i like, but don't love), but sometimes it's just too legit to quit. oh and those gold rimmed glasses that seem to match perfectly, they came from the dollar store. oh, and our savings on this table don't stop there. we got the napkins and runner on super clearance at world market. it was like $4 for all the napkins and about the same for the runner. we also recently got those black and gold rimmed plates on clearance at target ($1 each). the only other things that are new are the little purple vases (about $1 from ikea). we had the succulents and the centerpiece items already. i dug out my gold west elm flatware so that we can finally start having cute silverware to include in these posts!

what are your valentine's traditions? we try to do a fancy dinner in the dining room every year, and usually that means my dad grills us some steaks. i'm hoping we can pull it off this year, luckily we already have the table set!


the anatomy of a tablesetting / christmas

[this is the second part of bobette's table setting class, you can find the first part here]

Last month we talked about how to put your individual table settings together, and this month we are going to talk about how to put your entire table together. (This guide was adapted from Nat Berkus' guide over at Elle Decor)

The Anatomy of Setting the Table.jpg

1. first things first you need to start with a blank slate/blank table. it will make your life so much easier

2. lay down a tablecloth. it doesn't always need to be a traditional tablecloth, you can use fabric, sheets, a shower curtain, a quilt or throw. anything that covers the table will work.

3. add a contrasting runner. again, this can be anything- wrapping paper, rugs, scarves, doilies, trays, mirrors, empty frames, wood planks. 

4. build your centerpiece, and keep it low. you could include fruits, nuts, succulents, candles, greenery, sticks, cylinder vases wrap with ribbon, wheat herb leaves, or burlap and candles in them.

5. create your first table setting (see our instructions here).

6. mix things up. everything doesn't have to be matchy-matchy-green-squared.

7. add flowers. no table is complete without flowers- add them to your centerpiece and even your individual settings.

8. layer in glassware.

9. get creative. you can add to anything on your table, or even decorate your chairs with wreaths, ribbons ornaments. don't be afraid to view things differently- you can pull something off the wall to use as your centerpiece, use dishtowels as napkins, wrap your silverware in a thousand different ways. once everything comes together, no one will second-guess you.


cheery table setting

this is my favorite table setting of today's post. not only does it have the best colors (which i think should be everyone's christmas palette), but also the cutest place card. for this table, bobette chose to forego the tablecloth and just use her chartreuse runners. the centerpiece is a glass vase with succlents. we wrapped the plates with a red ribbon and put her festive napkin underneath. we added a sprig of rosemary to her place card- and a gift for our guests to take home. who wouldn't want that 'we wish you a merry christmas' sign? the glassware is a vintage goblet.

royal table setting

i love the color palette of this one- that rich purple makes it fit for a king. for the centerpiece, bobette used a little reindeer platter with glittered pears. she used her gold chargers and black and white damask plates. she wrapped her napkin with a sprig of rosemary as her place card. 


merry table setting

this table setting uses the more traditional red and green palette, but we've updated it a bit. that red chevron table cloth is actually a rug (we cleaned it, we promise). we did another succulent centerpiece and leaned our mini holiday sign up on it. we used a simple white plate with a red glass one. again, we used the napkin as the place card holder, but wrapped it in red pom-pom ribbon and used our mini chalkboard signs. oh, and we were dying over the addition of the magnolia leaf- it really pulls the whole thing together.