It used to be, back in the much more fickle days of my youth, that setting a table meant running off to some random (most likely a chain) emporium to scoop up whatever fanciful items I felt made it all “just perfect’. In full disclosure, this generally was limited to colored napkins, or perhaps a runner of some kind. In truth, I didn’t pay as much attention to the details of it all. As I aged, paying attention became an act of “Oh,this needs more red…”, the result of which ended up being an odd assortment of candlestick holders, odd numbers of quickly purchased plates and lord knows how many napkin rings that never really added up to a well curated collection (as younger me would never have even thought to curate a collection!).
Two life occurrences changed my “tabletop path”: first, we bought a home in Palm Springs, which increased (for quite a while at least) our at home entertaining rather substantially. Then we downsized our lives with our move out of Orange County. At that point, all the mismatched plates, impulse purchased platters and a large array of red and green napkins all made their way to charity. What was left, I discovered, was a lovely set of items that had been with me or my family for more than one generation. This, i daresay, was where my obsession with vintage tabletop items began to flower. It was the use of these items that re-engaged a version of Joseph that was 12 years old and helping my grandmother set tables. For you see, it was she who taught me the proper East Coast manner of setting tables. As such, setting tables (which lately have involved use of her formal china) has become a much more personal exercise. At times, I daresay, more personal than even I might care for myself.
In any case, as I digress, in pulling together this year’s Thanksgiving table, quite a few memories ended up on the menu…
- Candle stick holders: an incredible pair of (very versatile) sterling numbers that were gifts from my parents on a rather historic day in 1987.
- Vase: A momento from an earlier 1990s visit to Tiffany & Co in NYC on a trip with a (then) boyfriend. While he is no longer around, this vase remains one of my favorites!
- Silver place settings: are from Hal’s personal (and pre-me) collection.
- Dinner plates: are incredible vintage French stock with a provence that leads to one small town who’s biggest claim to fame is an abby…. and these plates!
- The napkins: are, naturally, monogrammed numbers that I picked up for our very first Holiday meal in Connecticut.
- The tablecloth: is a woven silk textile that was a gift from Alexa after a trip to Thailand. It traveled many miles to be here! Pity the fringe doesn’t show.
Believe it or not (the choice is completely yours!), I really do have a job!
Granted, it does include a lot of out and about, event going types of activity – which i really do enjoy. One of my goals as 2014 turns into 2015 (who can believe THAT, btw?) is to keep the loop as closed as can be. Meaning, if you don’t keep track of what is going on over at The Cypress Group, or if you’re not such a great Twitter user, or (G_d forbid!) are not a Facebook user, you can still keep track of the craziness that is La Vida Aldrich. I mean, there certainly is enough technology out there to get all this stuff out there. So why not use it? Right?
In the meantime, here’s some fabulous images from The Cypress Group’s web site.
[ with Anita Jacobi (Judy's Custom Workroom)
photo via Interiors, CA Magazine/Modern Luxury Media ]
[ with Rob (Pitt Cooking), photo via NKBA Manhattan ]
Given what it is I do for a living, I spend more than my fair share of time looking at stuff that goes into people’s homes. Be it sofa’s, textiles, tables, out door furniture, art, paint, ‘objects d’art’, or any combination thereof, my desk is awash in new releases, hot trends and notes from ‘style spotters’.
Needless to say, I am officially jaded and lack a clear line of demarkation between “want” and “need”. Also needless to say, Hal has become very adept at his use of the word “No”. He has an intuitive grasp of when I am going to rationalize why my dressing room is simply not complete without gold leaf wallpaper on the ceiling. (I mean, it really isn’t , is it?)
“No”, he says in after less than four syllables come out of my mouth.
“What about this incredible cashmere glen plaid fabric. Wouldn’t this make the best bed cover ever?”, I ask in rebuke.
“No”, he says without even glancing up.
So, you can only imagine his response to redoing our guest room with this incredible Fornasetti wallpaper I ran across in the course of putting together an upcoming editorial piece.
I mean, really, who wouldn’t love a guest room full of incredible graphic underwater creatures?
[ Original image via Cole & Sons ]