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Entries in entertaining (22)

Monday
Jan212019

a new favorite entertaining staple

If you follow me on Instagram you proably have seen I've added a new favorite to my collection of entertaining staples - these gorgeous rectangular water hyacinth placemats from Pottery Barn that Santa left under my tree for Christmas!  Anyone who knows me knows I love all things Ina Garten and these placemats remind me so much of the ones she uses to set her table.  I figure, I already have French wine glasses similar to hers (mine are dupes from Crate and Barrel), why not add these, too?  I love the texture they bring to the table but I especially love how adding these beneath simple white dinner plates just makes dinner feel a little bit more special.  I've used these for takeout as well as homecooked meals and they make me so happy, every time I pull them out of the pantry! 

I've gotten so many DM's about these and so I'm excited to share them here on the blog, as well!  Right now, they're 25% off with code REFRESH at Pottery Barn, if you're interested!  Maybe an early Valentine's Day treat???

I have mine styled here for dinner with the hubby a few weekends back; the navy linen napkins are from Hobby Lobby, the bamboo flatware is from Harold's Finishing Touches (these are going to be back in stock very soon, so if you're interested in these, send them a DM!), the dinner plates I bought at TJMaxx a few years back and the wicker vase was actually a candle that I cleaned out in the oven (see how I did it here). 

Wishing you all a great start to your week!

Sunday
Sep232018

adding fall touches to your entertaining basics

I'm probably the only person on the planet that isn't high fiving fall's impending arrival (I'm always holding on to the end of summer with both hands), but this year, despite the steady 90 degree temps, I've already started to introduce little touches of fall to my daily dinnerware and serving pieces.  I always keep my entertaining basics pretty neutral with lots of texture so that I can make small changes with the seasons without having to buy all new stuff (think rattan chargers, simple white dishes and serving platters and my favorite French wine glasses).  Something so simple as swapping out my woven tumblers for tortoise double old fashioneds goes a long way to bring a touch of fall to my table.  To get the most bang for my buck, I look for pieces that can do double duty, like an ice bucket that can also double as a beautiful vessel for flowers or a maiden hair fern (I'm also completely OBSESSED with these mixed metal planters; they would look amazing down a center of the table with myrtle topiary or maiden hair fern).  Bamboo serving pieces are a great way to add a little texture without having to invest in a whole set of flatware and wicker casserole dishes are festive year round!  I've rounded up some of my favorite basic entertaining pieces, mixed with some pretty touches for fall:

 

Rattan chargers / French wine glasses / Tortoise double old fashioneds / Myrtle topiary

(a great fake option here, too) / White serving platters / Bamboo serving set / Mixed metal planters

Tortoise ice bucket / Marble wine cooler / Wicker wrapped casserole dishes

How are you welcoming fall??

Tuesday
Jun122018

summer entertaining must-haves

Summer is in full force around here and there is nothing I love more than having friends over for a swim, a bite to eat and a few cocktails.  While most times it's impromptu and usually eaten off paper plates while chasing kiddos, there are still times I like to put a little more effort into a chic table setting, even if dinner is going to be buffet-style.  I always pull out my favorite pieces that I use year-round, like simple white serving platters, my budget-friendly water hyacinth chargers, bamboo servers and woven tumblers and add even more natural textures for the warmer weather with wicker wrapped serving dishes, a rattan ice bucket and a chic chip and dip tray.  To keep everything simple and easy, my oversize clam shell adds interest and a coastal, summery vibe and is a great alternative to flowers as a centerpiece.  With all the natural textures, I like to keep plates and serveware white; it's such a laid back but beautiful feel for a summer get together! 

Ada woven carafe / Simple white platters / Woven tumblers / Wicker wrapped serving dishes /

Soare chargers / Atlantis large clam shell / Bamboo servers / Rattan ice bucket / Votives

Rope bottle opener / Water hyacinth chip and dip tray

What are some of your favorite summer entertaining essentials?

Friday
Mar302018

easter table 

One of my favorite parts of any holiday is going all out with my table setting; it's one of the things my family has grown used to anticipating whenever it's my turn to host and I love it!  I always loved helping my mother set out dining table growing up and now I am thrilled to do the same with Lydia - she loves to put the flatware out and pick which kind of flowers and napkins we will use!  With Easter only two days away, I'm still finalizing what I'm actually going to be serving but, after a little run through a few days ago, I know exactly what my table will look like. I'm sticking with my favorite basics that I use all year round - water hyacinth chargers, my beloved bamboo flatware and woven tumblers and dress them up a bit with a gorgeous linen runner, a handful of hydrangeas in my favorite woven vase and a navy and white color scheme in honor of this glorious weather we've been having lately!  Blue and white and green is so fresh for spring and my favorite color combination; and, let's face it, stripes are always a good idea! When you have beautiful basics as your foundation, you can elevate your every day table setting so easily with some flowers and table linens!

Water hyacinth chargers / Bamboo flatware / French wine glasses / Navy linen runner

Plates, napkins, woven tumblers, vase all from TJMaxx and HomeGoods.

Happy Easter! 

Friday
Jan262018

my 5 favorite basics for a beautifully set table

Thank you all for entering Tuesday's giveaway!  And thank you once again to Lauren Marttila for offering up one of her gorgeous prints for us!  Marcie Newman is the lucky winner of "Lineup"!  Are giveaways something you guys would like to see more of?  If so, leave a comment below! 

Switching gears here for a minute to share some of my favorite basics for setting a beautiful table. My house is completely upended on a daily basis with toys, books, sippy cups, princess dresses and now matchbox cars and various construction vehicles all over the place, so the one thing I try to do as often as possible to offset all the disorganization is to set a beautiful table for dinner.  If you guys follow me on Instagram (@BungalowBlue) you've seen me post pictures of a fully dressed table for sushi and leftovers.  It's just something so simple that makes me so happy and at the end of the day, that's all that matters, right?

Over the years, I've accumulated quite a few entertaining pieces that that make it super easy to not only set a beautiful table for company but to also elevate your every day place setting to something extra special.  When you have beautiful basics to start with, it makes it so much easier to mix it up and swap out beautiful linens and fresh flowers.  Here are five of my must-have basics that I use every day and that can be easily dressed up for special occasions:

1.  Simple white dinner plates.  I think white looks so fresh against rattan or seagrass and the OCD side of me loves how food looks against a blank canvas.  It's also super easy to swap out patterened salad plates when you want to add a little pop of color, too!

2.  Woven placemats and chargers.  Wicker, rattan, water hyacinth....give me all the texture!  I used to think my table didn't look complete without fresh flowers but now I think it just looks like it's missing something without the warmth and interest that texture brings.  I rotate between my Soare placemats from Ikea ($4 a pop!) and my Artesia Honey Rattan Chargers from Crate and Barrel

3.  Statement flatware.  I ordered some stunning bamboo handled flatware from Australian retailer Harold's Finishing Touches right before Christmas and I'm completely OBSESSED with them.  With the conversion rate, it ended up costing a little more for eight place settings that ONE from Juliska, and that included shipping to get them here in a week! It takes a little more effort at cleanup to hand wash them because you obviously can't stick them in the dishwasher but it makes me so, SO happy to use them so often and they are a killer conversation piece (everyone always comments!)

 4.  Versatile glassware.  These French wine glasses are one of my favorite purchases for entertaining.  I use them for wine, water or holding small arrangements of flowers.  I love their shape and they look amazing paired with my woven tumblers for a little more of a casual feel.

5.  Fresh flowers.  You don't need to spend a fortune on arrangements; two hydrangea stems in a woven vessel (I got the one above at HomeGoods!) is so simple and adds a beautiful breath of fresh air, plus they will last for weeks on your table!

What are some of your favorite essentials for setting a beautiful table?