Thanksgiving Help from SheKnows.com & Joyus.com ….

Can you believe that this time next week that it will be Thanksgiving?!?  Kinda crazy right?  Well don’t stress out because I teamed up with two different partners to show you how to avoid the Thanksgiving “craziness” ……..

Joyus Screenshot

The online retailer Joyus.com invited me onto their web talk show to discuss my short cuts and tips on throwing a stress-free holiday party and creating beautiful holiday tablescapes.  In the segment I show three different table settings that can take you from Thanksgiving all the way through New Years without breaking the bank or you in a cold sweat!  It’s all about creating a fun and easy approach to decorating.

Courtney Lake Thanksgiving Buffet

For my monthly column at SheKnows.com, I am talking about how to set up a Thanksgiving Buffet.  Whether you are opting for a more relaxed holiday this season or a simply don’t have the room in your abode, I show how you can create a beautiful buffet that will wow your guests and leave you with time to still enjoy the meal!

And next week for all you procrastinators still in need of a menu, I break down my picks for simple, quick and yummy Thanksgiving dishes!  So relax I got you covered this holiday season!  Now I just have to follow my own advice and get started!  Sometimes the “teacher” is the worst pupil.  Now if you will excuse me, I need to start planning own menu…..

[photo credit:  joyus.com//photo by adza]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

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…..

Check out my Facebook and Pinterest pages as well as my Twitter for more holiday inspiration.

 

 

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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Thanksgiving 2011 Table Breakdown

Thanks for all the kind words about this year’s Thanksgiving tablescape!  As I said, I made this made specifically with ME in mind.  This was the table I always imagined for my own dinner and I am happy I was able to create it this year!  Surprisingly, there are not that many elements and many are available at large big box stores.

So let’s  break it down…..

Place Settings

The gold charger was a score from Walmart during their holiday clearance sale for one dollar per charger.  The purple dinner plate is from Crate and Barrel and was picked up at the local outlet for $3.99.  The salad plate was found at HomeGoods for $6.99 for 8.  The napkins are my favorite linen napkins from Crate and Barrel for $4.99 each and the napkin ring was a clearance purchase from West Elm for $0.98 each.  Silverware (not seen) was rolled inside the napkin and is my everyday cutlery.  On top of the salad plate is a small ear of dried Indian corn picked up from the grocery store for about $0.75 per ear.

Tablecloth & Glassware

You may remember the glassware from last year’s Thanksgiving table.  They are the Luster Glassware from Pier One which go on sale repeatedly throughout the year ergo I am sure I didn’t pay full price.  The tablecloth is Ralph Lauren and was a great find at HomeGoods for $14.99.

Centerpiece

The centerpiece is a cornucopia shaped basket from Michaels that I light sprayed with bronze paint.  The basket was $12.99 but I used the ever-present 40% off coupon to get it for around $7.  Inside the basket, I used a variety of gourds, herbs, fruits and flowers including a large succulent cutting to anchor the centerpiece.  Pumpkins were staked to one side to add visual height and interest.

Candlesticks, Wreath & Salt-n-Pepper Shakers

All of these components are part of my core decorating “kit”.  The candlesticks are part of my ever expanding collection of thrifted crystal candlesticks that I use for various decorating vignettes or dining events.  The actual candles were bought from Ross Dress for Less for $4.99 for a set of 6.  The wreath was recycled from last year’s Christmas decorations and augmented with live florals and berries.  The pheasant salt and pepper shakers were a purchase from eBay last year that I love using for their sculptural quality.

And that’s it.  I wasn’t kidding when I said there were not many elements to the table!  If you wanted to get a similar look, here are some options, all of which you can order from the web…..

Credits: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14

Even with the table set, I feel I am still behind the ball!  So are you ready for Thanksgiving?    If so, what is your secret for an organized and chaos free holiday?

Speaking of secrets, I have one to share with you later today.  I will be announcing who won the Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway!

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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!

Check out my Facebook and Pinterest pages as well as my Twitter.

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