Throwback Tuesday: 2011 Thanksgiving Table Setting

This year, I will not be hosting dinner at the house.  I am a little sad by the fact that my home won’t have the heady scent of roast turkey, garlicky mash potatoes and the spicy hint of a pumpkin pie.  However, I am excited to break bread with new friends and contribute to their holiday in my own little way.

While I won’t be setting a table this year, I thought it would be nice to revisit my Thanksgiving table from last year.  Truth be told, it is one of my favorite tables I have done to date.  It has a traditional elements that have been modernized thanks to color and interesting floral arrangements.

So as I take a stroll down, memory lane, I hope this inspires you in our own way to make your home the inviting and warm haven you wish it to be this Thanksgiving…..

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Looks Who’s “Dabbling” With Halloween Tablescaping …

If you follow me on on Insta.gram (CourtneyOutLoud) you would have seen some  random shots of local-based photographer Samantha Cooper as she strained, craned and contorted herself while taking photographs at the house.  I can finally say she was taking shots on behalf of Dabble Magazine’s October/November issue of a Halloween tablescape I created exclusively for the magazine inspired by wine country …..


There is me surrounded by all my “spooky glory” for the magazine.  Check out pages 22-23 for my take on a Halloween tablescape.  And yes, you will see some recycling of last year’s tablescape — I never said I wasn’t thrifty on occasion!  Later this week I will be posting additional shots from the shoot and explaining how you can get the same look for your home.

Until then I am trying to get my body clock back into a normal sleep cycle, slog through all furniture options I found on my trips to Boston and New York last week and wrap up some work for clients.

So how was your weekend?

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Easter Table Revisited……

I am a bad tablescaper.

I have had my head down and nose to the grindstone as of late.  It wasn’t until The Partner asked me what I was going to do for this year’s Easter table that I even realized that the holiday was around the corner.  I leisurely went to the calendar to see what my time-table was and BOOM – the cold hard bitch slap of reality hit.  Easter is early this year – like by 3 weeks.


I panicked and ran around the house for a good 2 minutes babbling.  Then I stopped and said my mantra “Sh*t Happens.  Let It Go..” and that is what I did.  I didn’t want to slap something together for the sake of having an Easter post.  I would rather opt not to do a tablescape than do a bad one.  Unfortunately that means that there won’t be an Easter tablescape this year but I have a great Spring tablescape I am working on that I plan on debuting soon for y’all.

However, until then, I thought it may be nice to take a stroll down memory line and look at the table I created last year…..

I think this one is my favorite tablescape I did – its bold, colorful and full of pattern.  I adore it.  Hopefully it gives you some inspiration to go out and do your own for this weekend……

I am off to sketch some stuff for a client!  Have a great one…..

Quick note about the Joyus competition – You can vote for my room multiple times and each time you vote, you are entered to win a $1500 shopping spree from Joyus, so it pays to click especially in light that none of us won the mega lotto…..

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Where Does He Keep All Those Dishes……

I am still in Ohio visiting family. I can’t say that my childhood home is that inspiring unless Walmart, mullets and gas stations get your blood pumping. So I thought it would be the perfect time to answer a question that seems to be on quite a few of my readers’ mind….where do I keep all the dishes I use in my tablescapes?”

So here is my super top secret……I keep my dishes…..wait for it….. wait for it…. in my garage. Earth shattering huh? I am fortunate enough to have the space in my garage to house a large shelving unit dedicated to the dishes and props used in my tablescapes.

Tucked in the corner is a four shelf unit that is pretty much squashed with dishes and napkins…..

As you can see, I have a lot of dishes. Actually at the last count, I have two complete sets of china thanks to The Partner’s parents and multiple partial sets of dishes that I have picked up here and there. It’s a sickness and an addiction, but I love dishes and all the pretty things associated with them.

On the opposite side of the garage, I have a tall highboy that I use to store my candles, my non-crystal candlesticks, silverware as well as the multiple props I use to create my tablescapes. The crystal candlesticks are used throughout the house in various vignettes – when I need to use one, I just pluck it from the vignette and plunk it down on the tablescape.

And I have a problem with vases as you can see from the picture below. I keep those also in the garage on a low shelf where I keep there rest of my gardening supplies. I love having them all spread out and easily accessible. I keep a variety of different sizes – mostly from the Dollar Store – that I can wrap in ribbon or paper to match whatever table I am creating.

So tell me …how do you organize your collections? Shoot me an email or leave a comment below. I am off to the Space and Aviation Museum today in Dayton, then a final visit with my Grammy before I head off to see my cousin and her two adorable kids. Then Wednesday, The Partner and I are off to Detroit to see my father and step-Mom.

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Tablescapes Revisited……

Hope Christmas was a fantastic and wonderful time for each of you!  I enjoyed a low-key and relaxing holiday with The Partner at the condo in Oakland where we  had a hearty breakfast, opened presents, played with Scruffy and then had an awesome dinner of Butternut Squash & Pear Soup,  Ribeye Steaks with Whiskey Sauce, Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Parsnips & Carrots and Brandied Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream as well as a signature Christmas cocktail; the Greyhound which consists of St. George Botanical Gin, grapefruit juice and simple syrup.  Overall, it was the perfect dinner…… Since my mind is on dining, I thought it would be nice to do a little stroll down memory lane to look at the tablescapes I created this year……

Valentine’s Day

I loved the non-traditional color scheme of this table.  The brown and pink combo was unexpected but totally appropriate for this lover’s holiday.

Upcycled Chic Tablescape

I challenged myself to take the components of an existing tablescape and upcycle them into something new.  What started out as my New Year’s Brunch table was morphed into an Asian inspired tablescape suitable for any occasion.

Easter Brunch

This was my favorite tablescape of the year.  I was in love with the paisley pattern and the pastel palette.  Totally unexpected for Easter but totally appropriate, this tablescape still makes me smile months later.

Mother’s Day Tea

I traditionally love modern place settings with a geometric pattern.  However, for Mother’s Day I opted to use a more traditional tea service but still threw in modern elements like the boldly banded plate and the Vallerysthal glassware.

Halloween Dinner Party

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, the Halloween tablescape was a mix of gothic and modern with feather chargers, mini gargoyles and beautiful black and white china.  I think the restrained color scheme of black, white, grey and a burst of purple was the perfect backdrop to carry this theme.

Thanksgiving Family Dinner

Purple and gold reign supreme for this Thanksgiving tablescape.  It’s rich, lush and bountiful – exactly the feelings I wanted to convey for this holiday of abundance and sharing.  I am still quite fond of the centerpiece and the different flowers and fruits I used to create its textural quality.

Chinoise Christmas Chic

This most recent tablescape was a celebration of my family’s approach to our pan-Asian Christmas.  It borrowed design elements across various Asian cultures but linked them together through a traditional color scheme of red and white.    This tablescape is also the most meaningful since it was the one I did for the Nate Berkus Show.

New Year’s Dinner

The greek key tablecloth is what does it for me in this tablescape.  Combined with the super simple centerpiece (coffee filter wreath, a dozen purple carnations and crystal candlesticks), this tablescape was simple yet sophisticated.  It was the perfect setting to ring in the new year.

I won’t be setting a table for NYE this year as The Partner and I have been invited to a dear friend’s house in wine country to usher in the new year.  Truth be told, I will miss setting the table a bit but what is really important isn’t what’s on the table, but who is at the table.  I am grateful that you all have allowed me this year to share my random thoughts on tablescaping with you and appreciate your support and feedback.

So what are your NYE plans?  Dinner and toasting in the new year or a low-key evening in your PJs watching the ball drop?

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Guest Blogging Over At Serenity Now On Tablescapes……

Creating a beautiful table is not difficult.  It just requires a bit of forethought and planning as well as the right supplies.  Amanda over at Serenity Now  invited me over to discuss some basic guidelines to setting a show stopping table……

I am sharing my top rules and tricks for saving you time, money and sanity during this already chaotic holiday season…….

Swing by and check out the post…..

I also encourage you to check me out tomorrow on the Nate Berkus Show where I will be discussing how to set a chic and unique holiday table.  I am so excited to finally be able to show you the table.  I will have full photos of the table and details tomorrow!

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Thanksgiving Tablescape 2011

I honestly can’t believe that Thanksgiving is in TWO WEEKS!  Good Grief Charlie Brown — where has all the time gone?  Like many of you, I am scrambling trying to keep ahead of the holiday onslaught.  Fortunately for me, creating my holiday tablescapes is a welcome respite from the crazy world.

It’s a bit crazy to think that I did my first tablescape for the blog over a year ago!  Even funnier (to me at least) is that Thanksgiving 2010 was my first attempt at creating a tablescape.  Prior to that, I just threw plates on the table and focused primarily on cooking.  Looking back at that first tablescape, I have learned so much in regards to presentation, texture, color and judging from how dark the pictures are, how to use my camera correctly.

So this time around, there is no back story or imaginary client.  I created this table solely for me catering to my love of deep, rich colors.  I wanted to create a Thanksgiving table that was truly representative of the wealth I have gained this year and am tremendously thankful for – my friends, family, the blog and a new-found career path that I dearly love.

I envisioned a table that was filled and overflowing with all the things that nature has to offer.  That thought transformed itself into a modern take on the cornucopia/horn-of-plenty as a centerpiece.  I mixed gourds, pumpkins, herbs, flowers, fruit and succulents to create a centerpiece that would anchor the rest of the tablescape.  I then turned to the colors within the centerpiece to dictate the remainder of the table — royal purples, spicy oranges and golden amber with hits of shiny brass and crystal finished off the table.

I think the table is the perfect example of how to pull traditional elements but not get bogged down in tradition.  It is a table I love and am proud to share with you…….

Next week I will break down the table and explain how I created the centerpiece.

Don’t miss one of your last chances to win a free cocktail dress from Shabby Apple!  The give away closes on Monday so don’t miss out!

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Have a GREAT weekend!

Link Parties:

Tatertots & Jello Weekend Wrap-Up Party

Nifty Thrifty Things, Nifty Thrifty Sunday Link Party

Marvelously Messy, A Marvelous Mess #39 Link Party

Be Different, Act Normal, Show & Tell Saturday Link Party

Funky Junk Interiors, SNS Link Party 107

Under the Table & Dreaming, Sunday Showcase Party

C.R.A.F.T., Making Mondays Marvelous 

Dittle Dattle, Amaze Me Mondays

Not Just a Housewife, Show Me What You Got #49

Stories from A 2 Z, Tips & Tutorials

Tip Junkie, Homemade Projects

A Bowl Full of Lemons, Tuesday Link Party

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Tuesday’s Treasures

Between Naps on the Porch, Tablescape Thursdays