White Glove Service

If you’ve not seen the latest Julian Fellowes installment, “Downton Abbey: A New Era”, don’t worry…no spoilers here. I waited until it came out on Peacock this week to watch myself and would have been grievously disappointed if the surprises had been tarnished.

This is just my way of once again paying homage to the sublime series and subsequent movies that have been so entertaining as I binge-watched in the comfort of air conditioning throughout this blistering hot summer.

The Crawley family may have (often reluctantly) transitioned from the blithely unrestrained indulgences of the Edwardian era to the slightly less buttoned-up/pre-Stock Market Crash Roaring Twenties, but they still dine in a refined manner. I tried to capture the essence of that poised manner with gleaming silver chargers and flatware, fine white china, cut crystal stemware, and crisply starched hemstitch napkins.

This silver epergne is perfect for a lush centerpiece of fruit and flowers.

The vitrine holds all the service pieces including an inherited butter server. With an army of footmen no longer en vogue, who on earth will bring it all to the table?🤷🏽‍♀️

Obsessed? Maybe.🤔 Entertained? Absolutely!😀

If you’re into formal table settings, you might like these:

Celebrating the Return of “Downton Abbey” 2022 with Quotes from the Dowager Countess

Celebrating the Return of “Downton Abbey” 2022 with Quotes from the Dowager Countess

OK…so you got me! Busted! I finally gave into the whole “Downton Abbey” craze after resisting for more than 10 bloody years. (Oops! I sound like a commoner!)

“Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.”

I started watching and simply could not stop!!!!!! I have now watched the entire series 3 times over, the 2019 movie twice, and am gearing up to see “Downton Abbey: A New Era” at our local theater. Satisfied?

So to celebrate the new movie, the glory of all things “Downton Abbey”, the beauty of formal table settings, and most particularly the wry humor and steadfast wisdom of the Dowager Countess, Lady Violet Crawley (quotes in her signature violet color), I’ve created a couple of tablescapes that I think capture a bit of the splendor. This is the first of two…or many…not by any means historically accurate!😉

I read somewhere that a white tablecloth was used in the series only to protect the decades-old table at Highclere Castle where “Downton Abbey” was filmed. (If I read it on the internet, then it must be true!😉) Hmmmmm…🤔 So naked formal table it is for this entry!

I don’t know, nor did I note in the series or the first movie, that gold was used very much decoratively in the 1920s. (Silver – or silver plate, nickel, or zinc for the less monied – had prominently established its place.) I’ve blatantly strayed from that with this gold leaf charger, the flatware, and gold-rimmed Royal Scotland china.

“Nothing succeeds like excess.”

Meals were always served in courses at Downton, and a cream soup bowl and saucer like these from Nell Hills in Kansas City, MO may have been a part of that.

I took notice of the elaborately folded dinner napkins and did my best to replicate a Bishop’s Hat fold. I failed miserably and settled on this one instead. As noted in an article in Victoriana Magazine, the famous Delmonico’s restaurant in New York always employed a napkin fold to hold the dinner roll. Whether or not the Dowager Countess would approve of such a change is up for debate…or not.😒

First electricity, now telephones. Sometimes I feel as if I were living in an H.G. Wells novel.”

My beloved Nell Hills (Kansas City, MO) beverage stem with Cristal d’Arques “Asheville Gold” champagne flute.

While you’ll never, ever, ever see the likes of these little dudes (they rather look like footmen, don’t they?) on a formal dining table at Downton, I felt them right at home 100 years later. I like them, so they stay…unless the Dowager Countess says otherwise, of course! (Source: The Painted Sofa, Kansas City, MO)

Don’t be defeatist, dear. It is very middle class.”

The Dowager Countess referred to Lady Grantham’s floral arrangements as being better suited for “a first Communion in Southern Italy.” Geez…that was harsh! 😒 I don’t even wanna know what she’d say about this monstrosity in heavy lead crystal! (It would, of course, be removed for real dining.)

“Why does every day involve a fight with an American?”

While multi-arm candelabra were more the fashion of the time, I don’t think anyone (except perhaps the Dowager, of course!) would sniff at these leggy gold candlesticks.

“Edith, you are a lady, not Toad of Toad Hall.”

Although one would never catch the Dowager in such “hep” fashion as this, it certainly might be found in the closet of the very fashionable Lady Mary or Lady Edith. It’s certainly found in mine!

If you like this formal tablescape and would like to see others on this site:

Powder Blue Memories on Mother’s Day

My Mom often recounted the story of how she and Daddy met back in the early 1950s. He was at work and saw her cruising past in her sleek powder blue convertible. It was love at first sight…for the car AND the lady driving it. Both of my parents are gone now, but I often think of that story. When I saw these fabulous powder blue ceramic vases at Cameron’s in downtown Lee’s Summit, MO, I knew my Mother’s Day table in Mom’s memory would have to include them along with her exquisite Royal Danish flatware. I miss you so much, Mom, and I think of you every. single. day.

Powder Blue Memories on Mother’s Day – A Tribute to Senator Mom, Yvonne S. Wilson

Each Martha Stewart for Wedgwood “Conservatory” place setting is anchored by a plain white charger.

Dinner rolls are neatly tucked into the rear side of napkins arranged in the cream soup bowls from Nell Hill’s.

Mom’s Royal Danish flatware has always been a favorite of mine, and I cherish it.

Godinger “Chelsea” iced beverage and Cristal D’Arques-Durand “Capella” wine stem.

I’m enjoying experimentation with faux flowers these days. The blue thistle here is from Petals & Potpourri
in Blue Springs, MO. The tulips are from Home Goods, and the greenery and Queen Anne’s lace from Kirkland’s.

I kept the flowers fairly soft in color to complement the color of the vases. This could easily become an Easter tablescape with a bit of tweaking.

The white glass vases with pink and yellow (faux from Nell Hill’s) ranunculus blooms tucked in are from Hobby Lobby. They complement many elements on the table.

Dessert and coffee service on the vitrine with Mom’s favorite lemon meringue pie. She couldn’t bake ’em, but she sure loved to eat ’em!

One of my favorite birthday parties celebrating my Mom’s 85th…

Mom and me…and yes, we both just happened to show up in blue!

There are a few Mother’s Day celebrations featured on my blog including:

There are also a few other posts that would be perfectly suitable for a Mother’s Day celebration:

I wish each and every one of you Moms out there a fabulous Mother’s Day. If your Mom is gone from this world like mine is, I wish you peace.

A White Sport Coat & A Pink Carnation

Marty Robbins. Anyone? Anyone? If you’re in my age group, or if you’re a fan of vintage country music, you recognize the name and the tune. And now you’re gonna be involuntarily humming it for the next 2 days! “A white sport coat, and a pink carnation.” You’re welcome!😁

The late, great design innovator Joe Nye and I both have a soft spot for the oft-maligned carnations. Gorgeous? Check! Fun texture? Check! Fabulous fragrance? Check! Affordable? Hell to the y-e-s, CHECK!!! CARNATIONS! I kept my affinity for them on the down low until I soaked up the pages of his book “Flair” years ago. He unapologetically flaunted carnations, pink ones in particular, in his fabulous chinoiserie table designs. So without further soapbox cheering on their behalf, I give you my 2021 Mothers Day tablescape featuring…(insert wild guess here)…pink carnations!

A mix of new and not-so-new purchases make up this proper pink, crystal-laden tablescape. Although the dishware has a vintage look, it is new from Home Goods. Joseph Sedgh “Floral Blush” china with its barely there pink and tinges of gold teams up with a trio of stemware. The red wine glass is a very subtle pink, while the gold-rimmed champagne flute and water glass are clear. A delicate faux pearl ring encircles the crisp white hemstitch napkin.

Fluffy pink carnations crowd gold textured floral vessels to create a dramatic yet very feminine centerpiece. Using multiples in 2 sizes adds visual interest. The crystal candlesticks are dripping with facets that catch the light reflected from the scattered crystal votive holders beneath.

On the vitrine is a simple dessert and coffee set up with some of the same elements from the dining table for continuity of color, texture, and theme.

Well, that’s it for me this Mothers Day week! I plan to spend Mothers Day at home just puttering around our yard. What are your plans? I’d love to hear them! Whatever you do, I wish you health, wealth, wisdom, and peace.

If you like pink as much as I do, here are a few other posts on this site just bursting with it!

Chinoiserie Chic – Classic Blue & White for Spring or Summer

I’ve been floating the idea of bringing a blue & white chinoiserie motif into our dining room. The colors and pattern are classic, and I could work with them all year round. (See Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White from 2017 and Mandarin Bling from 2011.) This is my Spring and Summer take on it! (NOTE: Our dining room is currently undergoing redecorating. These pics were snapped before that arduous process kicked in.)

I kept the table bare to better showcase the contrast in colors.

Although I have several blue & white dish patterns, this Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” is my favorite. This time around it is paired up with Godinger “Chelsea” crystal and black faux bamboo flatware. The extra special touch…gorgeous cloches from Nell Hills in Kansas City, Mo.!!! I wasn’t so thrilled with the white wicker tray, but Liz (Home & Gardening With Liz) convinced me to not spray paint them…yet! Under each cloche is a starched white linen napkin and a beautiful porcelain elephant from Pier 1 Imports.  Small pink blossoms are added to break up the blue & white.

I like to add in lots of detail, color, texture, and varying heights for centerpieces. Silver candelabra with towering white metal case candles (for safety!) are surrounded by white Foo dogs, floating orchids, and greenery in white ceramic vases. The small floral branches alongside the bowls  help to elongate the centerpiece.

A small white foo dog with another Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” plate graces the sconces in the dining room.

The buffet behind the dining table is laden with various blue & white pieces I’ve collected over the years.  Some are filled with orchids, while others hold small cherry blossom branches and tulips. To further tie the florals on the buffet and dining table together, I added more vases of greenery.

Do you like classic patterns, or do you lean more toward contemporary styles?

If you’d like to see more tablescapes in blue & white on this site:
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Peony Power
Blue & White Family Picnic
Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells
Christmas In the Library 2020
Tall & Toile, Y’all!
Autumn Flourishes 2017
Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White
Candy Colored Autumn
Summer Blues…and Greens!
Mother’s Day Brunch

If you don’t already, I’d be delighted to have you follow me on Instagram! I’m slowly but surely learning how to use it!

Christmas in the Library 2020

Again…not a lot of words. (I am STILL trying to understand this newest version of WordPress, and I’m not doing very well! I keep losing content!😳)

INSPIRATION:

Newly installed hardwoods on the main floor of our home that REALLY open up the space! (And yes…those stairs are next!)

I love this year’s tree in the library! The traditional red and gold are so pretty, and the bold ornaments on the tree really stand out as something special! I used bright red drums and burnished gold stars on the tree and stairwell décor, and this year’s library tree is topped with a vintage topper that has a very nostalgic feel to it. Instead of ribbon, I went with generously sized metal “ribbon” banners all over the tree that say “Merry Christmas”.

So now THIS is the view from the entryway with a clean segue from the hall to each room. I’m in the market for a striking area rug for this space, but so far nothing has wooed me enough to take that plunge. The gallery wall in here has been replaced with a single oversized mirror, and the vitrine on the south wall – now relegated to the dining room – is gone. In its place, a behemoth 9’H x 8’W structure filled with my favorite blue and white dishes!!! I’m going to have a BLAST in the coming years redefining this piece over and over again. I have an uplight trained on it for the interim this holiday season but will be adding permanent lighting inside over the winter months. The lumbar pillow is from a terrific place in Kansas City’s West Bottoms called The Painted Sofa. If you want to do some serious shopping for home décor, THAT’S the place to go!!!

The secretary remains on the north wall, now semi-permanently decorated with more from my blue & white collection. The big foot tub is filled with Jeffrey pine cones with a trailing evergreen garland and a sprig of red berries. The tea/bar cart from the dining room has found new digs in the library to display a few more blue & white pieces that look so pretty with the greenery and red accents at Christmastime!

I haven’t been able to put this oversized photo of my Mom into storage just yet, so here it sits. I created a little tree with cardinals to commemorate my parents that includes a very thoughtful ornament my sister sent. Next year when I’m a little less raw I’ll create a fully decorated tree to honor both my parents and Ramon’s.

Santa is on his way around the world!

The foyer table leading into the family room is heavily decorated (again!) this year. Colossal red temple jars a from Nell Hills flank a traditionally-styled clock given to my Dad some years back. Lighted greenery garland, a small bowl filled with pine cones, and peppermint trees fill out the space. A jovial Merry Christmas banner found its way to the lower front side of the table.

I chose a voluptuous blue & white vase from my stash for the high boy in the foyer. A tall spray of red berries and an evergreen skirt make it extra special, and the convex mirror behind the arrangement doubles back the striking image.

A traditionally styled chair that once sat in my Mom’s senate office now graces the entryway of our home. It is festooned with evergreen garland and a fun Christmas sign, another easy and inexpensive way to add little touches around the house.

If you would like to see images of library and foyer décor from Christmas in the recent past, check out “Better Late Than Never, Part II“.

Thanks for stopping by!

All I Want For Christmas…

Merry, merry, merry wishes of joy and happiness to you and yours this Christmas season! I hope you’re feeling the spirit of the holidays and getting that decorating finished up!

All I wanted for Christmas this year was to be healthy. After months of grueling PT with “Deadly” David to fully recover from the 3rd spine surgery last December, I finally did it!!! Since August I’ve been working out with a fabulous, fun (and cute!) personal trainer I like to call “Killer” Kyle. I’m getting leaner, meaner, and stronger with actual muscles forming to support my spine. Muscles. Me! At 60 years old!!! But then on the last day of November I took a 10-lb kettle bell to the head/face from overhead that rendered me unconscious and earned me an ambulance ride. Concussion, retinal edema, multiple contusions, cuts, and bruises…just a hot mess! Surgery the following week. I’ve posted a few pics at the very end past the comments section. If you’re squeamish, easily grossed out or prone to nightmares, don’t go there.🤢 It’s pretty bad. I morphed from this picture of health at 9:30 a.m….

Me with the Miracle Worker, Mr. Abs of Steel himself, “Killer” Kyle, celebrating my post-spine surgery 30 lb. (so far!) weight loss!

…to what you’ll see at the end of this post. From regular ol’ me…to Rocky Balboa in the 15th round calling for Adrian!!!/ Worf/Quasimodo…to Sloth (The Goonies)…to Gollum…and finally to Uncle Festus within a 7-day period. Ugh!😑

Anyhooooo…Long before all this mayhem went down,  a crew from KCTV-5 graciously came out to our home to tape my segment of “Better Kansas City” so I wouldn’t have to haul everything to the studio. I never got a chance to post the details of our shoot that day or any of our Christmas decor. I hope you find these tablescape ideas handy for this year and beyond, and starting soon I’ll post ideas for around the rest of the house. First the short 5-minute video segment from the show…

And now…pretty pictures with very few words!

Lights, camera…action!

Oops, wait…I wasn’t ready yet!

I chose 222 Fifth “Holiday Wishes” dinnerware for the shoot because of its lavish design. (See this same dinnerware at “Cardinal Christmas” from 2016.) The napkins are tied with red ribbon to mimic the design in the dishes.

Glossy green-stemmed compotes for dessert service. (Also used in “Upscale Irish“.)

The luxurious white faux fur table runner is topped with a very traditional plaid runner and a length of satin ribbon.

Faux snow generously sprinkled over the centerpiece of manzanita and faux Christmas greenery.

This cheerful metal banner from Home Finishings in Lee’s Summit, MO, can be displayed just about anywhere and is one of my new favorites! (I bought several!)

The red ginger jar, carved column cap, and lavishly realistic faux greenery on the end of the buffet are all from Nell Hills.

The semi-permanent display on the china cabinet is enhanced with the addition of a well-lit faux greenery garland almost casually tossed across.

That’s a wrap!

Next post we move into the entry hall and library. Hope you’ll come back by to check it out!

OK,  now…I’m serious…this is bad.😱🤢🤕
The blood was already all cleaned up (probably left a 1/2 pint on the turf!), but still…bad. Just quickly scroll past it if you want to leave a comment but fear losing your lunch!🤮

🚨🚨🚨LAST WARNING!!!🚨🚨🚨

3…

2…

1…

In the ER approximately 2 hours after the kettle bell hit me – see the mash up of Rocky, Worf and Quasimodo with that massive contusion to the forehead and that eye?!!

 

Home from the ER. Starting to look more like Sloth. The extent of the broken nose is more evident.

 

Day 7 – I’ve surpassed Rocky, Worf, Quasimodo and Sloth. A cross between Gollum & Uncle Festus has overtaken my face!!!

 

Day 8 – Ready to head back to hospital for surgery

 

Trying to keep my puny veins warm so the IV will go in a bit easier. In good spirits!

 

The whole staying warm thing didn’t work and my good spirits have expired. The IV hurt…a LOT!!!

Back home in my own comfy jammies with nose repositioned and splinted. The headache is excruciating!!!

Six-week recovery ahead. Hoping to get cleared to go back to working out in the gym mid-January! Meanwhile, nothing gets in the way of daily exercise!!! (Even if it is just walking and the recumbent bike.)

Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – My 60th Birthday Ladies Luncheon

My 60th birthday has come and gone, and all that’s left are the fabulous memories of the ladies luncheon I threw for myself. Yes…I threw my own birthday party! Why? I’m a (retired) professional special event planner. Who else would I put through the torture it would take to make me happy?!! So…here are photos of the June 9 luncheon for 22 of my nearest and dearest in-town friends (all on the guest list were able to attend except one!) who I thank for helping me to celebrate in style!

 

Invitations were created using clearance stationery from Hobby Lobby. I invited the ladies to drape themselves in jewels to go with the theme! I printed the Marilyn Monroe drawing in the corner of each mailing envelope to complement the insert.

 

 

 

 

Me in my party dress, trying to emulate Marilyn Monroe’s look in the pic below!

The inspiration for my party dress!

 

When I go with a theme, I go ALL THE WAY! The backdrop for the opening and closing credits of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” gave me inspiration to create this elaborate “wall of diamonds” against a pink satin drape on the deck for photos. I simply used drapery clips to hang the fabric and crystal curtains from TableclothFactory.com on existing cup hooks. It was so unseasonably hot & humid, though, that few pics were actually taken out here. On the other side of the deck I hung 3 mirrored outdoor LED chandeliers from Old Time Pottery that looked so cool blowing in the breeze. I planted all pink flowers for the occasion, a departure from the reds and yellows I generally favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon entering, the ladies were greeted with 2 WAY oversized hot pink balloons that were originally intended for a display at the end of the driveway. It was so hot & humid, however, I opted to just put them inside so they wouldn’t wilt. The telephone table on the other side was decorated with a “diamond-dotted” rose ball atop a facted pillar. (I’ve done these before for “Should Have Put A Ring On It“.)  The foyer table was draped in a “diamond” sash with a pink ribbon accent. I created a Harry Winston/Tiffany’s-inspired window display on the table for dramatic effect. On the walls were pink and black crowns I bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby years ago but have never used. (Another jewel-inspired post worth checking out is “Diamonds Are A Material Girl’s Best Friend“)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t have a lot of time to get pics, but this is the dining room seating area. (Because ALL but one of the invited guests accepted, I had to create 2 separate-but-complementary dining environments.) This table is draped in a black crinkle taffeta tablecloth with a silver sequin runner, “diamond” sash, pink ribbon, and mirrored trays beneath the centerpiece of tall gooseneck vases visually joined by a garland of crystal and lots of flowers in faceted vases. (I created 19 total fresh flower arrangements!!!) The buffet behind the table is similarly dressed with another jewelry display. My sweet friend, Cindy, was so gracious as to lend me chiavari chairs for this room which I tied in with the other room by threading through a pink crinkle taffeta sash with a “diamond” cuff. I found the cute poodle art on the sconces on clearance at…you guessed it!…Hobby Lobby. Some may remember the poodle from “French Poodle“, the jewelry display pieces from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s“, the mirror treatment from “Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Celebrating Mom’s 89th Birthday Gatsby Style“, the Princess In Pink signage from “Princess Pink Birthday“, and the faceted & mirrored centerpiece trays from “Happy Birthday, Barf!“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The family room dining table was constructed using two 6-ft. folding tables to create more of a square shape. I draped them in hot pink/fuschia crinkle taffeta tablecloths and ran black sequin runners and “diamond” sashes crosswise. Towering glass vases (I taped a hanging facet on the underside at the top!) filled with “loose diamonds” and connected by crystal garland loom over faceted vases filled with roses, mini carnations, tulips, astilbe, white calcynia, variegated pittosporum and hypericum berries. I left some of the faceted vessels empty so as not to overcrowd the table. The bulbous structures in the last photo are simply one vase atop another. Ballroom chairs with black slipcovers are dressed in the same sashes and “diamond” cuffs as in the dining room. The place settings are slightly different with a double stack of chargers – white rhinestone-studded acrylic and hot pink Bormioli Rocco glass – and black napkins instead of pink. (TIP: If you have a behemoth television in the room, make lemonade from that lemon by showcasing photos or playing a movie – on mute, of course! – that relates to the party theme. For my luncheon, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was perfect!)

 

 

I created the menus using the same stationery as the invitations, strategically affixing tiny rhinestones for a bit more glitz. Each menu was outfitted with a sparkling “diamond” brooch.

 

 

 

 

The weather demanded that we move the bar in off the deck. My friend Rachael stepped in as bartender for the afternoon before joining the other guests at the table. Good ol’ Geoffrey beckoned guests to come grab a cocktail.

 

The mantel is simply dressed with more of the facted vessels, some topped with rhinestone studded hot pink rose balls.

 

My wonderfully talented friend Patrick created the glitzy almond-vanilla cake that I further decorated with a couple of the same brooches as used on the menus. (We also served my famous carrot/”karat” cake for the occasion!)

 

Dessert course was served with these cute black paper napkins fashioned to look like a black party dress. I saw the idea on Pinterest and couldn’t resist! That’s two hours out of my life I’ll never get back, but totally worth it for the fun factor! And speaking of fun factor…

 

Pink and black paper fans for cooling down or just looking ultra fem!…

 

…rhinestone studded fortune cookies created by my sister…

 


…a fun game called “Who Knows Alycia  Best?” where Rachael won for having the most and Dixie won for having the fewest correct answers, and this was Dixie’s hilarious reaction!…

…pink raspberry lemonade “diamond” ice cubes served directly to the table…

 

 

…and the take home favors of assorted popcorn flavors from Popcorn Heaven tucked into black velvet bags and prominently displayed in a large silver compote! (Variations of the compote are at “Finally Fall“, “Cranberry Christmas – Square“, “Cranberry Christmas – Long Table“, and “Roses In October“.)

I know this post was super photo heavy, but I always include lots and lots of details in every event I create. If you’d like to see other fun photos from the party, keep on scrolling!

Thanks for stopping in to celebrate the big 6-0 with me and my fabulous pink posse!!!

Such a class act!

 

Jeff and Meghan were wonderful servers for the day!!!

 

With my sister, Berishia, who looked so nice in her breezy outfit, and her daughter/my niece, Yvonne, who always rises to the occasion when bling is involved!

 

My oh-so-elegant neighbor, Leslie, and her equally chic Mom, Dixie (as Ramon photo bombs the pic trying to escape all the estrogen in the house!)

My friend and hair stylist/magician of 25 years, Dorothy

 

Good friends Ebony (another decorator/event planner!), Audrey, and Ty (organizers after my own heart!)

High school mates/lifelong friends Joan and Audrey

 

Friend/neighbor/drinkin’ buddy, Kerry who I simply adore!

Neighbors/Friends Lori and Vicky who are so skinny I just HATED taking a picture with them!!! 🙂

My dear, sweet, supremely elegant friend Marchita who means the world to me!

The stylish matriarchs – Senator Mom and Aunt “Bean Bean Dancing Machine”

I cannot tell you how much I love this woman! Ladies and gentlemen…the fabulous Carla!!!

Ever-fashionable Mom and daughter duo, Barbara and Rachael!

Melanie in her Holly Golightly “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” outfit!!!

Jane took it to the hilt looking positively radiant with her Marilyn Monroe look, while my gorgeous Mary Ellen played it sleek & understated. I LOVE all the different ways my friends interpreted the theme!!!

Best friend, Sheri, and me in PJs, enjoying a well-deserved and much needed glass of wine after the party. Cheers!

This week I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday“, Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday“, the ladies at “Celebrate Your Story“, and Linda at Life & Linda for “Dishing It & Digging It“!

Better Late Than Never, Pt. 4/The Final Chapter – Christmas 2016 in the Kitchen

At long last! The end of my 2016 Christmas decor!!! Took long enough, huh? But I saved the best for last: the kitchen!

Before we hop into the pictures, I want to share with you that I will be having yet another doggone spine surgery on Wednesday of this week. As some longtime readers may remember, I had 2 such surgeries (in addition to a shoulder surgery!) in 2015 that kept me down and out for quite a long time, then 2 more in 2016. This one, too, will be very difficult (laminectomy, hardware replacement and fusion), but I’m hoping to have a clear enough head to bring you my 2017 Christmas decor along with…drumroll, please…a “Better Kansas City” segment taped right here in our home last Friday!!! I’ve been preparing for it since October (walking with the assistance of a cane and walker slows me down considerably!) and wanted it to be extra special knowing I will not be posting again for quite some time. I do hope you’ll look for that post (if the post-op pains and/or drugs aren’t too overwhelming!) coming sometime before Christmas. My husband will deliver a quick post on how I’m progressing along with a “proof of life” photo. 🙂 The surgery itself is expected to take only 3-4 hours (half the time of that 2nd one in 2015 that was 8 hours long!), and my hospital stay will be 3-4 days. Then it’s home to start getting better for 2018!!!

Enough of that! Let’s look at some pretty pictures!!!

 

 

 

 

I spend so much time in the kitchen year round, but especially during the holiday season. I like for it to be as cheery as the rest of the house so that I’m never feel deprived. I played on the existing black & white buffalo checks, adding touches of red in the form of faux berries, candy canes, and the 222 Fifth “Wexford Plaid”. Bits of Christmas greenery and a flurry of acrylic snowflakes add seasonal whimsy. (Check it out…even my reading glasses are black & white checked!!! 🙂 )

 

 

 

 

One of the most fun changes in the kitchen is the aluminum tiered stand on the kitchen table. It generally takes days to figure out all the different elements to add to it each season. ..and I love it!!! Christmas 2016 found the tiered server with a fun Chef Santa on top. Stacked 222 Fifth “Northwood Cottage” bowls, sweet red vases embellished with the word “Noel”, candy canes in a silver julep cup, pine cones, acorns, snowflakes, wooden Christmas ornaments, and red berries mixed in with the everyday essentials.

 

 

 

 

The side table in the window is festively decked with a thick lighted garland draped behind ironstone and ceramicware. Snowflakes in the windows mirror snowflakes hung outside around the deck perimeter. Truly magical even without snow!

 

I had lots of different Santas around the kitchen including this one standing inside a large lantern on the breakfast bar. I put a cluster of string lights beneath a handful of faux snow to set it aglow. The top of the lantern is made festive with a black & white gingham bow, greenery and red berries.

 

 

 

 

I gave up on this utterly useless desk space a long time ago. No need for it since I have a home office upstairs. Now I just use it for dishes, displays, and an extra bar. Here I added a layer of soft “snow” uplit from beneath with string lights, another Santa figurine on a vintage sled and a reticulated ceramic jardiniere brimming with hypericum berries to the existing decor. Up above the decor stayed the same as usual excepting the addition of cascading red berries, a sprig of frosted greenery, and a tiny gingham bow at the base of the coffee cup.

 

 

Even the cookbook stand on the portable island and the sink area got a little somethin’-somethin’! Again…I tend to spend A LOT of time in this kitchen!

So…that’s it, y’all!!! Thank you so much for your friendship and readership over this past year since I’ve been back. It literally and figuratively pains me to leave again, but I hope to return sooner than later in 2018 with a new & improved spine, a positive outlook, and a whole new lineup of tablescape and home decor ideas for your enjoyment!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and may God bless you and yours this season and always!

To see “Better Late Than Never – Christmas 2016” parts 1, 2 and 3…
Better Late Than Never, Pt. 1 – Foyer and Library
Better Late Than Never, Pt. 2 – Dining Room
Better Late Than Never, Pt. 3 – Family Room

I’m joining the weekly link parties, Dishing It & Digging It” at with Linda and “Celebrate Your Story” hosted by Sandra and Chloe.

 

 

 

Better Late Than Never, Pt. 3 – Christmas 2016 in the Family Room

As we count down to Christmas 2017, here is the 3rd of 4 separate posts revealing my 2016 Christmas decor in the family room and basement level. Yes…that late. Poor, pitiful, pathetic, tired ol’ me is just getting around to it! (If you missed them, you can see installments 1 and 2 here and here.)

Say goodbye to this furniture because it’s the last time you’ll see it! We bought reclining leather seating this past summer that is kinder to my spine. Hooray!

 

 

 

 

 

Our fireplace is the focal point of the room despite my husband’s insistence on having a television the size of Montana in the family room. In 2016 I decorated it with lots of faux greenery with sprigs of fresh stuck in here and there, pine cones, red ornaments and berries. Black iron candlesticks with black candles flank the wreath on the mantel, while tall black lanterns rest on the hearth.

 

 

 

 

I embellished a lot of the existing decor with faux greenery and red berries. Deer sheds (antlers) placed in or around white ironstone bowls with berry embellishment gives the bookshelves a festive, outdoorsy look. A white ironstone platter from Home Goods is lightly adorned with Christmas greenery, pine cones and berries. Something as simple as plopping a sprig of bright berries and a bit of evergreen into a tiny vase changes the whole look of the shelf with the candlesticks. (That’s my hubby’s Air Force graduation photo. He was such a little cutie…looked like a 12-year-old!)

 

 

I like to give the family room a fun look that reflects our casual, relaxed lifestyle as a fun-loving couple. Another set of plush animals rests on a miniature park bench beside the hearth. (Other plush animals were beneath the tree in the library as seen here.) Check out how protective he is of her…like Ramon is with me! A lighthearted Mr. & Mrs. Claus lumbar pillow is tossed on the sofa.

 

 

Thought I’d better throw this in. We pushed aside the furniture and had dinner for 12 in here one night. I was not feeling well (still recovering from 2 back-to-back major surgeries) but had to do something quick and easy to install and dismantle. Plain black full-length tablecloths with my beloved 222 Fifth “Holiday Wishes” dishes covered in cardinals, pine cones and poinsettias, black napkins cinched with jingle bell napkin rings, gold flatware, and English crackers that we had a ball with after dinner. The centerpiece of gold vases topped with oversized red ornaments, miniature Christmas trees, and black wrought iron candlesticks to match those on the mantel was anchored by a length of flannel plaid ribbon.

 

Through the family room door and down the basement stairs is a table with a trio of decorated miniature trees that reflect back in the mirrors above. (I wish these photos were better. This was really just so pretty at night!!!) Standing among the trees is a pair of Father Christmas figurines and gold reindeer.

 

A red painted wood open shadow box from Home Goods holds a menagerie of Christmas-related items including miniature antlers, pine cones, a metal wreath, and jingle bells. (Sorry…the lighting absolutely sucks down here in this basement, and no amount of editing can fix it!)

 

We have this weird ledge that runs the length of the south wall beneath the basement windows that really serves no practical purpose. I decided to spruce it up by creating this scene with Santa in a golden sleigh with reindeer moored in a snowy thicket. In hindsight, I should have raised each reindeer on graduated clear acrylic risers to simulate flight. Oh well…next time!

The final chapter of our 2016 Christmas decor will roll out in a couple of days. After that, nothing but 2017…I promise!!!

If you’d like to find more inspiration on this site for your Christmas decorating, type in “Christmas” in the category drop-down box on the sidebar to the right.

I’ll be joining Susan and the rest of the gang for Tablescape Thursday again this week. Drop on by to get inspired by some very talented tablescapers and designers!!!