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I absolutely love the holidays, and today I’m sharing how to put together a very easy and elegant holiday table. First, I throw out all the rules. If you don’t want to get bogged down with the formalities keep reading. This is the perfect foundation table for any occasion. You can make it more or less formal. It’s totally up to you. Below are my basics.

START WITH THE PLACE SETTING

Very basic for some, table setting 101 includes placemat, plate, napkin, done.

placemat // plate // napkin

 For a more formal look, you can add a beautiful tablecloth, formal charger and napkin ring.

THE CENTERPIECE

Candles are the best way to bring elegance to the table. For this table setting, I kept it extremely simple. I purchased a wreath at World Market, and added three pillars in various sizes in the center. The addition of a charger underneath helps protect the table from dripping wax.

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A COUPLE MORE IDEAS…

From this table setting you can add more or less. More candles, more vases with flowers or greenery. For Christmas, I like to add a fresh sprig of holly or juniper to each napkin. If I don’t have time to go out and purchase, I just take clippings from my Christmas tree.

If you are more of a “rules follower,” here’s a diagram from Wayfair just for you.

Most important, have fun & enjoy! Happy Holidays!

Who doesn’t love a good cheese board for the holidays? Below are simple steps to a super easy cheese board that’s perfect for any day of the year.

The finished product

 I found most of the ingredients at Trader Joe’s

What you need for this simple cheese board

  • Any shape wooden cutting board
  • 3 white cheeses, like Brie, Camembert & Manchego
  • Blackberries or figs
  • A honeycomb (World Market has some beautiful ones, as well as Whole Foods)
  • Nuts (My favorite — Trader Joe’s Marcona almonds)
  • Crackers (I like to use a simple cracker like Carr’s water crackers)

*Anything will work in place of my recommendations, these are just easy to find items.

First things first, pour yourself a glass of wine

A simple way to assemble — honeycomb in the middle, cheeses around the honeycomb and berries and/or figs to fill in the gaps.

I served this board with a Rosé but you can serve it with a Chardonnay or whatever you fancy.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

FALL GARDEN PARTY

Last week my good friend and fellow designer, Lisa Woolley, and I hosted a garden party in the courtyard of her San Antonio home. We had just completed the exterior of her home and thought there’s no better way to celebrate than to host an intimate get-together in her newly designed garden.

With the holidays around the corner, the next four weeks, I’ll be sharing super easy tips for decorating and entertaining during the season.

It’s been about two years since we started this exterior project, and the design is maturing beautifully.  Many thanks to my wonderful clients who have done an incredible job keeping up the integrity and look of the initial design. We still have a phase two happening to the front, which I’m really excited about, but for now I’m very happy to share the latest. See before and after photos below.

After

Before

Before

After

Before

A sneak peek of the backyard, which we are still working on. Hopefully, we’ll be done by Fall 2020.

Happy Friday! Today, I’m sending us off for the weekend with this wonderful little gem from the island of Rhodes. The home belongs to Jasper Conran, son of Sir Terrence Conran, and like father, like son, it’s just as low key and lovely as Terrence’s home in Provence.

All photos by Magnus Marding. Click here to read more.

Have a great weekend!

5 DREAMY BEDROOMS

The bedroom–the place we go to rest, recover and dream.

A well thought-out bedroom, whether large or small, should give us a sense of peace and comfort. It should be our refuge from the daily rigors life throws at us.

When designing a bedroom, the first thing to consider is the overall color palette. Depending on your personal taste, it should be a palette that calms and soothes you, and allows you to decompress at the day’s end. Next, bring in texture with a headboard, a beautiful rug, linens and window treatments. Make it personal. Reflect your style with a gallery wall that includes your favorite photos or paintings. Add objects that reflect found travels and books that make you happy. Lastly, de-clutter. Clutter only stresses us out and makes us think of everything we’re not doing at the moment. Organize yourself with good storage, or at least, move all your clutter to another room (hahaha).

Amber Interiors

Amber Interiors

Joshua Smith

 Also, if you don’t have carpet in your bedroom, don’t forget a rug. Rugs ground a room and make them feel cozy in a snap.

Happy Wednesday!

By removing a dated atrium in this Texas project, I gave my clients a much larger dining room, as well as more storage space in the kitchen. See the before and after photos below.

AFTERBEFORE

AFTER

Next time, I’m sharing my 5 favorite bedrooms.

Happy Thursday!

 

 

 

Photos: Madeline Harper

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