Better Late Than Never, Pt. II – Christmas 2016 in the Dining Room

This is Installment #2 of 4 from a very late reveal of Christmas decor around our home in 2016. The first installment peeped around the entry hall and library. This time we move into the dining room.

I like to use black in Christmas decorating because it’s a wonderful neutral that really showcases gemstone colors and brilliant metals. I draped this table with a 90″x132″ black diamond pintuck tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com  that skims the floor.

 

 

The centerpiece is a flat woven basket from Tuesday Morning filled with mounds of red and gold glass ornaments in varying sizes to lend depth and dimension. Frolicking amidst the ornaments are two playful gold reindeer with beaded antlers from Pier 1. (The ones they’re selling this year are similar to these, but cooler with little red scarves!) A smattering of gold mercury glass chargers complete the centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

Gold glass chargers sit beneath Ciroa gold-rimmed black & white buffalo check bone china dinner plates. Austere white cotton napkins are cinched with ornamental red berry picks from Hobby Lobby twisted to create a napkin ring. (I used this same technique for “Christmas Progressive Dinner” on a much different table.) The pattern of the Longchamps crystal complements that of the dinner plates. A red and gold English cracker is set alongside each place setting for fun after dinner. (Our family has TOO MUCH fun with them!)

 

 

 

On the buffet behind the dining table is another flat basket loaded with spirits for guests to help themselves at will. A creamy white ironstone pitcher filled with red berry picks from Hobby Lobby (the same as used for the napkin rings) dresses it up a bit. On each side are painted gold manzanita “trees” from LinenTablecloth.com that I ordered on a whim. (“On a whim” means when I was taking medication that had me doing weird things that I don’t even remember doing!!! Still…not a bad purchase!) In front of those sit shiny red mercury glass lidded canisters clad in black & white gingham ribbon bows. The gilded bay leaf wreath on the mirror is uplit at night.

 

 

The tea/bar cart is ready to serve after dinner coffee and/or libations by way of a Grace’s Teaware white lattice coffee set accented with Ciroa plates on a silver tiered stand. A metal champagne bucket from Home Goods brims with gold glass ornaments.

 

The wood & metal sconces hold more of the Ciroa plates with a shiny red ornament hoisted in front to draw the eye up.

 

The china cabinet in the opposite corner of the room is topped with more metal wine/champagne cooling vessels. The center one is filled to capacity with bright red glass ornaments to complement the table centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, the skinny tree in the window with a fun stovepipe hat topper! (See another tree topped with a stovepipe hat at  Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver.) A load of ornaments on the tree include more stovepipe hats (Dollar Tree), red lanterns (Walmart), red berry picks (Hobby Lobby), frosted pine cones and acrylic snowflakes, grinning snowmen and twists of black & white check ribbon. (Other tablescapes using these snowmen are Black, White & Red All Over Christmas Tablescape, Checkered Christmas, and Frosty the Snowman.) Beneath the tree are piles of snowflakes, snowballs, and baskets of pine cones with black lanterns lit up for the season.

That about does it for the 2016 dining room. I’ll be back in a couple of days with pics from the family room that I hope you’ll enjoy. Meanwhile, there is LOTS of other Christmas inspiration on this site. Just type in the word Christmas under Categories on the right-hand sidebar to hit the jackpot!

I’ll be joining Susan later this week for Tablescape Thursday as well as Sandra & Chloe for Celebrate Your Story and Linda for her Dishing It & Digging It Link Party! Come on along and get inspired!!!

Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver

I said I wasn’t going to do much decorating this year. I lied. So sue me. Actually, Ramon was a huge help since my shoulders are still torn up, so I was able to do more although not as much as in previous years. So  just kick back and take a gander at our Christmas 2012 living room and kitchen decor. Next week’s post will bring photos of the dining room, library and foyer. Enjoy!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.
Photos by Sheri L. Grand and Alycia Nichols)

IMG_0427WMWelcome to our home! Ramon has lit up the outside just for you!

IMG_0419WMCome right on in. We’re glad you’ve stopped by!

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Mantel vignetteI wanted a sophisticated yet fun look in the living room, so I went with traditional red in a snowman theme much like last week’s “Checkered Christmas” post. (You’ll also see how it fits in with tomorrow’s regular tablescaping post!) Even though there is lots of Christmas bling throughout the room, the snowmen temper that just a bit.

Thanks to my good blog buddy, Liz at Infuse With Liz, I was finally able to create the type of mantel decor I have always wanted. Liz uses those Command Strips from 3M to attach a lighted length of garland and then builds out from there. Fearing the Command Strips would not be sturdy enough, I enlisted Ramon’s help to drill small holes into the top of the mantel into which he then screwed rubber-coated cup hooks. (Our mantel sits quite high. After Christmas when the decor is gone, we’ll remove the hooks and the only people able to see the holes will be really nosy folks who stand on the hearth looking for dirt or NBA players. 🙂 ) In the coming years all I’ll have to do is screw those hooks back into the existing holes, and I’ll be good to go! I started with a 6-foot lighted greenery garland that I secured with the hooks. I then strategically nestled in individual pine branches. I finished the look off with bright red ornaments, lots of bling, and fun “icicles.” Black wrought iron candlesticks topped with red ornaments balance out each end.

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Hearth urn collageTwo black urns are topped with oversized red ornaments sitting on a wreath that is dripping in acrylic icicles and bling. The “snowflakes” cosied into the top of the wreath are actually rhinestone brooches I bought at a closeout sale years ago! I actually have something similar in mind for a wedding tablescape centerpiece later this year. Stay tuned for that! (Something like this one pictured, of course, would be great for a Christmas wedding!)

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Tree collageOur tree is all decked in red and silver ornaments with lots of bling this year. I wanted to make it a little bit playful, so I finished it off with a stovepipe hat just like the snowmen sitting among the gifts beneath the tree. The “tree skirt” is actually a round black linen folded in half which is a pretty good substitute!

Goose collageThe wooden geese take on a whole new look with a necklace of pine branches. Red votive candle holders with LEDs are peppered throughout the book shelves for a little extra ambience.

Hot chocolate, Stocking, Chair gift collageWhat’s better this time of year than hot chocolate by a roaring fire? Mmmmmm!!! Our first “couples” Christmas stocking was a gift from a friend. I put it up every year no matter what color the decor is!

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TV Armoire collageThe television armoire is decorated to complement the fireplace and tree decor with lots of snow-covered branches and trios of red Christmas ornaments tucked here and there. Behind the lighted greenery are black wrought iron candlesticks kissed with teardrop crystals. I went with black candles to complement the rest of the black throughout the living room and nearby kitchen. I like the subtle sophistication they lend to the room.

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LR window vignetteThe half console table in the south window hosts a black urn like the two on the hearth. The urn is filled with shiny red ornaments and topped with a green wreath spattered in bling. I used pieces of an old chandelier to create the small droplets hanging from the wreath and candlesticks. I used those pieces to make stylin’ little necklaces for the snowmen, too!

Stereo vignetteSitting atop the stereo case is a silver footed bowl filled with red & silver ornaments and frosted pine cones. Let’s head over to the kitchen area.

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Breakfast bar vignette collage

Kitchen decor collageI wanted the kitchen decor to be a bit lighter than in the living room, but I still needed to somehow connect the two. On the breakfast bar that separates the two rooms is a length of lighted garland embellished with additional pine branches much like the mantel and television armoire. A few random silver ornaments are tucked in along with icy snowflakes for more of a 3-D look. The rear of the garland displays a parade of silver Revere candlesticks with chunky black pillar LED candles. I stayed with black to match those in the living room and to complement the black appliances and furniture in our kitchen.

A sparse “Charlie Brown” tree was my choice for the kitchen this year with just a small strand of red lights and a few red ornaments. The wreath in the breakfast nook is lit with red & white lights and flecked with more snowflakes. A single snowflake peeks out each window. Over the kitchen sink is a pair of lighted wreaths that look fantastic from the street and a beautiful poinsettia from my neighbor, Jane!

IMG_0327WMThat’s it! Next week, the front rooms of the house just might surprise you! Meanwhile, happy shopping and Merry Christmas from the Nichols family!!! 🙂

To see last year’s Christmas decor, check out “Really Red Christmas“!!!

This week I’m joining host Kathe With An E for a mantels & tablescapes “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” blog hop and The Tablescaper for “Seasonal Sunday.” LOTS of talent shared there, so check it out!!!

Sugar High (Payback!)

So what do you do when you want to render a little payback to your adult children for their snarky teenage remarks regarding your parenting skills? You throw a little party for THEIR children that includes almost nothing but sugar…then send the little ones home for THEM to deal with! 🙂 That’s my plan for later this week. Bad, bad Grandma!

IMG_3249WMEven with children, I like to dress the table in washable linens. A white full-length linen is topped with a red poly-cotton cloth that is rife with whimsical gold stars and swirls. I bought several of the top layer linens several years ago on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond but have never had occasion to use them.

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Lunch will start with fruit-filled red or green Jello (cut into Christmas tree shapes) served on the green glass salad plates. That will be followed by grilled cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks with ranch dressing, and crispy sweet potato fries on the white Corelle plate.

The simply folded napkins are actually plush white wash cloths tied with green and red curling ribbon. I pick the cloths up at Sam’s Club to stock our bathrooms for use as hand towels like this:

 I keep a separate stash just for little hands at luncheons (and barbeques because I’m masochistic like that! :-)). After lunch just toss ’em in the washing machine with a little soap and Clorox® to soak for a day or so, and they’re good as new! (If a stain remains, I use the cloth for polishing silver.)

The white flatware is from TJ Maxx and is just “formal” enough for 7-10 year olds.

I bought these fun ice cream soda glasses several years ago at a store that is now defunct. You can probably pick up something similar from Pier 1, Old Time Pottery, or even Dollar Tree where I bought the red & white reusable straws. I’ll be serving a choice of strawberry or chocolate fudge ice cream sodas.

I went rogue on the place card holders. I don’t know what these things are intended to be, but I thought they’d make great holders! I bought them from Hobby Lobby a few years back.

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IMG_3276WMKeeping with my infamous motto of “go big, or go home”, I plopped this massive sleigh in the center of the table filled with  a big ol’ snowman and all sorts of goodies that the kids can take home after the party. I bought the sleigh and snowman wholesale about 10 years ago. The giant red, green & white Christmas candy canes are from Dollar Tree (2011). Man, I love that place! I created a very different snowman tablescape last year that you can see by clicking here.

Beneath the sleigh is plush cotton “snow” scattered with oversized ornaments that look like wrapped candy from Dollar Tree.

IMG_3226WMKeeping with the candy theme in the sleigh is a huge plush “wrapped candy.” I had 2 of them, but can’t find the other one! Maybe by Wednesday…..

I bought these fun painted wood “Ho, Ho, Ho” signs at Pier 1’s Christmas clearance last year.

IMG_3247WMI couldn’t let the china cabinet go unadorned. I bought this cute little dude at Burlington’s Christmas clearance last year for $1.97 (90% off)!!!!! This is another store that has great everyday prices and phenomenal clearance sales!

I am still grinning about the great deal these giant Santa hat chair covers were at….you guessed it…Dollar Tree! They fit nice and snug on our dining room chairs and give the room a really festive look! (I’m just praying they don’t discolor the chair fabric!)

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IMG_3231WMAnd the pièce d’ résistance…the candy/dessert buffet!!! Candy, cookies, cupcakes…lots, and lots, and LOTS of sugar!!!!!!!! Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! The fun figurines on the candy bar came from Burlington’s Christmas clearance last year. The assortment of glass canisters are from Hobby LobbyTJ Maxx, and Home Goods. I created a more glamorous candy/dessert buffet for a friend’s Sweet Sixteen x Two birthday earlier this year. Click here to see it!

I’m picking the kids up around 11:30 and bringing them back to my house. I don’t want their parents to drop them off for fear they won’t come back to get them once they see what’s on the menu! 🙂 I can’t wait!!! I’ve never felt so deliciously evil in all my life!!! 🙂

Please join me at Susan’s place, Between Naps on the Porch, for Tablescape Thursday again this week to check out what other tablescapers from around the globe are doing to celebrate the Christmas season!

Frosty the Snowman

ME: “Hi. I’m Alycia”

GROUP: “Hi, Alycia!”

ME: “I’m a tablescaper for adults.” (Group collectively gasps in horror. OctoMom and Kate Gosselin both reach for their cells to dial 911.)

There you have it! The truth is finally out. When it comes to tablescaping with children in mind, I’m like a man in Victoria’s Secret at closing time on Valentine’s Day: I haven’t got a clue and I’m desperate at best! Yes, I have a child for whom I threw parties of all kinds when he was growing up, but I never felt quite comfortable with the whole process. Kids are fickle. What’s “fly” today is “whack” tomorrow. (Even those terms are probably “whack” by now!) Who knows what will make me the cool grandma?

This week I am challenged…and I do mean CHALLENGED…with creating a tablescape for a group of “tweeners.” (For those of you like me who would have to look that up, that means kids at that age somewhere between little kids and teenagers. Middle schoolers, I suppose.) These kids don’t want to be babied, but they’re not ready for a glass of wine with dinner, either. They don’t believe in Santa Claus, but they still have a bedtime curfew and have to be reminded to wash behind their ears. You get who I’m talking about. So…..

Here’s the result for a tweeners’ Christmas luncheon to be held here on Thursday! Pity these children, for I assure you…I know not what I do! 🙂

Frosty sits in his sleigh at the front door to welcome our young guests!

 

Cheery red, snow-white and chimney black are the predominant colors used for this “tweeners” Christmas luncheon.

 Each place setting consists of a black acrylic charger topped with a white plate, a frosted snowflake, and a cheerful red & white Hallmark salad plate in one of four designs. A happy little snowman with a sprig of seasonal greenery tops it all off.  White cotton napkins, everyday stemware, and simple white flatware complete the setting.

I used these same red buckets over the summer for a picnic. For these photos each is filled with faux snow, but we’re expecting frosty weather to move in so each will be filled with the real thing to keep the Coca-Cola icy and refreshing. Using foods or containers with coordinating hues (like the red, white & black of the Coca-Cola bottle) is a great way to add color to the table.

Shiny black buckets with tasty candy canes are decorated with faux snow and shimmering snowflakes that are smaller versions of the snowflakes at each place setting. The buckets are placed on opposite ends of the table.

The tablescape is filled with 2 sizes of decorated miniature trees, bright red lanterns from Pier 1 , and more snowmen all on a carpet of cottony “snow.”

Snowmen in the lanterns, clad in jaunty black & white gingham scarves, are surrounded by mounds of snow and other seasonal elements.

On the outside of each lantern are additional snowflakes that resemble falling snow. Styrofoam “snowballs” are scattered about the blanket of glistening snow.

I bought a dozen or so of these tabletop trees in 2 sizes a few years back. A couple of years ago I handwired in all of the red & gold ornaments which took several hours and a couple of tubes of arthritis cream! 🙂

The luncheon table is fun for the young people with all the red & white. The miniature trees decked in red & gold coordinate perfectly with the red & gold-laden lighted greenery on the buffet behind the table. After the luncheon, we adults can enjoy the buffet decor on into the evening with the help of warm multi-level candlelight.

A few other winter tablescapes on this site include:
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas

I am once again this week pleased and proud to join Susan and tablescapers from all over the world for Tablescape Thursday. After you check out my photos, feel free to slide on over to get more great tablescaping ideas!