Easter table setting, in full bloom….

Easter table setting, in full bloom….

KEEPING IT SIMPLE BUT ALWAYS SPECIAL, EASTER IN BLOOM…..

“The GREAT gift of EASTER is HOPE and we all need a LITTLE more of THAT”

Let everything you do be done with love……Happy Easter!!

This Easter is going to be a little different, a lot quieter and for many a time on their own.  I am sure so many of us had wonderful trips planned for the Easter weekend, family lunches organised and gatheries planned to share with our loved ones.  “Easter Spells out beauty, the rare beginning of new Life”.

I hope my short blog inspires you to let your creativity flow, whether on your own or with those you are in “lock down” with.  Rummage through what you have in your home and add some brightness onto your table for Easter, brunch, lunch or dinner. 

A few tips to make your Easter table extra special by adding detail to your place setting:

  • A joyful colour palette is always good for Easter, its a truly special celebratory time of the year. Now during this time of “lock down” more than ever
  • A simple white table cloth and white crockery  becomes a canvass to work with when setting a lunch or dinner table giving you the felixibity to add colour in any form
  • A single flower, a piece of greenery or a bunch of blooms from your garden always adds a natural element to the table, if you cannot find fresh, artificial will do for this Easter centrepiece
  • Adding small details to your place settings always adds interest

 

 

Mixing PATTERNS and TEXTURES

Combining Vintage Placemats in shades of PINK with BOLD floral napkins added a casual feel to my table setting. This year it seems so much more apt to have just a special yet casual Easter lunch. The placemats inspired the colours I chose. A playful mix of bold colours that follow through with all the elements on the table. Never be too scared to add your own creativity to your table setting, food or home decor.

An ECLECTIC mix of GLASSWARE and SILVERWARE…..

Add a little interest by mixing glassware in different colours, Here I added some antique coloured wine glasses with a small turkish water glass and a simple vintage champagne flute to add interest. My centrepiece vessels were pieces of old silverware handed down from my mother, coffee pots, tea pots and a milk jug. A wonderful eclectic mix of vintage items that added a old worldly feel to this tablescape.

The SIMPLICITY is in the DETAIL….

My collection of antique cutlery given to me by my mother always makes for an elegant table setting no matter the look. For the detail I tied the cutlery together with a lovely satin bright pink ribbon. Adding a simple flower from the Hydrangea blooms in my centrepiece tucked into the ribbon. A dried twig with pale pink dried flowers made for a truly simple yet creative detail, adding a personal touch to the place setting.

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Sharing the love today with an Elegant dinner for two…

Sharing the love today with an Elegant dinner for two…

A TOUCH OF ELEGANCE ON VALENTINE´S DAY WITH A DINNER SETTING FOR TWO…

“Once in a while in the middle of an ordinary life LOVE gives us a fairytale”

Sharing the love today and always….

February is the month of love. Valentine´s Day is a made up holiday but it´s always a good excuse to share a little extra LOVE. Be it with your girlfriends, boyfriend, husband or wife, CELEBRATE it in your own special way. Mine is always celebrated at home. Sharing an intimate evening with my hubby is our way to celebrate. 

Loved creating this beautiful table setting that was inspired by this beautiful antique silk tablecloth given to me by my mother.  I have been feeling rather nostalgic lately so the classic Red and Black seemed the perfect colour combination. This setting can be used for any special occasion when you wanting to share the love with that someone special.  The classic RED rose symbolizes love, passion and beauty. Fresh flowers are always nice to have on the table. Red roses are one of my favourite flowers. No matter your style, setting a beautiful table always makes for a perfect celebration. Sharing LOVE is one of the most beautiful feelings in life. Share it, live it, feel it.

Simple use of red, black and silverware created this tablescape….

  • White crockery layered and placed on black plate charges with diamante detail adding a little sparkle 
  • Black & White marbled cutlery 
  • Antique silverware that we have collected over time, adding a touch nostalgia
  • Antique deep red silk tablecloth as an overlay to the existing damask tablecloth underneath
  • Fresh red roses – the perfect finishing touch, always use fresh flowers where possible, a simple bunch of roses can go a long way if you add greenery to your arrangement
  • A beautiful table setting always sets the mood for the perfect dining experience, make it SPECIAL, no matter what the occasion 

A touch of SPARKLE…..

The sparkle detail on the edging of the plate charges adds a touch of elegance to the intimate dinner for two table setting. 

The traditional RED ROSE...

The RED rose always symbolizes LOVE, no matter whether its just a single stem or a bunch they make the perfect gift for Valentine´s Day.

The PLACE Setting...

The layering of white tableware on black charges placed atop mirrored glass with a mix of antique collectables adds a beautiful elegant style to my dinner for two. .

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Celebrating Ultra Violet Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2018

Celebrating Ultra Violet Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2018

Celebrate ultra violet, Pantone colour of the year 2018

“Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future”  Pantone Color Institute

Simple ideas to add a little magic to your decor styling… 

This years 2018 Pantone colour choice is Ultra Violet, bold but beautifully magical.

Colour has such an influence in our daily lives and this years choice is no exception. Ultra Violet definately encourages us to take a little time out from our hectic schedules and get in touch with our inner selves. 

This magical colour has already found it’s way into home decor, wedding events and table styling. When it comes to colour, it’s where and how you use it, that makes the difference. I love keeping on trend by using smaller items to change the look and feel of my home or my table settings. 

 

An alternative to RED for VALENTINE's Day…..

Instead of Red why not use Ultra Violet tones to set the mood for a Valentine’s brunch.

A pop of COLOUR for a magical affair…..

Adding Ultra Violet beads to this setting adds interest.

LOVE the mix of these colour hues….

Pink and purple can be quite sophisticated and luxurious when used together in the correct palette, especially for weddings.

Small items can make a big impact to your your home decor….

SCATTER Custions in various textures will add a trendy feel to any neutral furniture piece..

SIMPLY accessorize to add the touch of Ultra Violet..

PERFECT colour mix for this bedroom...

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Christmas Eve Dinner with a Touch of Vintage Style & Traditional Food

Christmas Eve Dinner with a Touch of Vintage Style & Traditional Food

In my home country of Portugal our Christmas celebrations begin on Christmas Eve….

“The best gift around the Christmas tree is the presence of family wrapped in love”

An intimate Christmas dinner for four…

I was born in Covilha, Portugal and whenever I go back to this small town at the foot of the Sierra de Estrela mountains I always feel rooted to my Portuguese heritage. In keeping with my heritage, Christmas has always been a time where we gather together to celebrate with Portuguese traditional food and folklore stories that date back to when my parents where children in this region. Our traditional meal consists of a Prawn Bisque, followed by Cod Fish that can be made in various methods, a meat dish and then a variation of traditional Portuguese desserts.

  • The log fireplace inspired the richness of the colour I used to create the table decor and place settings for our Christmas dinner. Their home is richly decorated with ornate furniture pieces and a stunning crystal chandelier that hangs in the centre of the room adding opulence.
  • By layering a white lace table cloth over a red linen one, created a vintage feel to the table.
  • Layering Mom’s delicate vintage porcelain crockery that she has had for over 50 years from www.vistaalegre.pt in white with navy blue and gold etching added to the vintage feel.
  • My DIY wreath was used for the centerpiece with added Christmas greenery, red berries and mistletow. TIP: I sprayed the red berries with a gloss plant spray to give a shinny finish to the greenery.
  • Using gold spotted ribbon to tie around the linen napkins and inserting a sprig of greenery and mistletoe added a festive feel to the place setting.

 

In Portugal our celebrations begin on Christmas eve and prezzies are opened at Midnight….

The Food…

Prawn bisque (Sopa de marisco)

Cod fish (Bacalau)

Leg of lamb (Perna de borrego assado no forno)

The Dessert…

The Kings Cake (Bolo de rei)

Farofias (unable to translate)

Fresh strawberries and Coconut tart (Morangos e Tart de Coco)

 

The table detail…..

Christmas madness is over and with a few days left of 2017 I am looking forward to embracing winter with its calmness.

Wishing all my followers a fabulous 2018 filled with loads of blessings !!!

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Quick & Easy Christmas Wreath centrepiece idea…

Quick & Easy Christmas Wreath centrepiece idea…

Simple Christmas wreath using natural elements

“Let your imagination create the magic of Christmas in your home……”

Ready for Christmas?? Still thinking of what to do for a centrepiece…

There is no better time of the year than Christmas, it’s a time to make memories and share special moments at home with family and friends. Having a plan makes for a more cheerful and less stressful holiday season, so I hope you enjoy my homemade wreath idea as much as I enjoyed creating it!

You will need….

  • You can either buy a simple wreath and add the moss yourself or get one already complete with moss. I love finding ways to make DIY a little easier and less time consuming. My local nursery www.gigagarden.com had a number of fabulous wreaths to choose from in various sizes and shapes.
  • 2 large bunches of fresh greenery
  • Natural decor of your choice to bunch together as focal points
  • Florist wire
  • Bamboo Christmas balls
  • White Spray paint

The wreath....

Entwine the florist wire around the wreath in order to thread the Christmas greenery onto the wreath easily and this prevents the elements form falling off.

Adding greenery....

Use any form of Christmas greenery of your choice. I loved this hardy greenery as it added a lovely texture and it was easy to thread through the florist wire and retained its shape well.

Adding natural elements.....

To create focal points on the wreath I bunched various natural elements that I had in my DIY box and then added cinnamon sticks, acorns and dried leaves to give an organic feel.

Would love you to share your Christmas centrepiece ideas with me…

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Simple Autumn table setting with natural foliage

Simple Autumn table setting with natural foliage

Simple autumn table setting with natural foliage

“Autumn is a time to gather and share good food, wine and cozy spaces with special friends and family”

Autumn, the season after summer and before winter’s rest !!

Autumn is my favourite time of the year. There is always something special about this season that brings with it a mixture of textures and warm colours. It’s a time to gather and share good food, wine and cozy spaces with special friends and family. Dressing your table to entertain friends or family is always a great time to get creative and have some fun.

As you get to know me a little better, you will see that I always plan my table décor around the food I am serving, the people I am entertaining and my home decor. Entertaining is all about planning, the more you can do in advance the less stressful your gathering will be and the more time you can spend with guests.

Maria’s TIP

Where possible, always try and set your table the night before your gathering. This allows you the time to be creative with your table décor and if the decor is not working out you have enough time to change the plan and find an alternative without getting too stressed that you are running out of time.

Wooden paddle

Wooden paddles are very much on trend now and this one became the base to hold my centerpiece. You can very much buy wooden paddles anywhere and even your old bread board can work with this centrepiece. The seasonal foliage of wild berries, greenery, dried grasses, lemons and apples created an earthy natural feel to the table.

Textures & Patterns

Mix and matching different textures, patterns and fabrics adds a little more interest to the table setting.  I used natural linen table runners and damask napkins to compliment the natural elements of the wood of my dining room table.

The placemat

These naturally woven placemats added a stylish, earthy element to the table setting in keeping with my autumn mood.

Maria’s TIP

Natural wooden paddles in varied sizes are brilliant to serve canapé’s or finger food and can be purchased at most home stores and very on trend

To keep the wood from drying out occasionally rub a little cooking oil directly onto the wood with a soft cloth.

A little bit of triviality….

“real damask is actually a type of fabric which uses a variety of weaving techniques (most commonly satin and twill variants) to create areas of different sheen in the cloth. Because the different textures reflect light differently, the patterns show as variations in tone, and sometimes the weave is given even further emphasis by using different colours in the warp and weft. The fact that the pattern is woven into the cloth means that the fabric is always reversible”

 

The organic texture of the placemat and the contrasting elegance of my Saint James fine bone china crockery brought a touch of sophistication to the place setting. The green and golden yellow detail on the crockery helped tie in the overall look as it combined well with the detail on the dinner plates.

It’s all in the detail….

Adding small sprigs of wild flowers to the inside of the napkins created harmony between the centrepiece and the individual place settings. I tied a knot in the damask napkin to give it a chunky yet simple and elegant feel.

A touch of crystal…

I absolutely love crystal in any form, whether it’s glassware, decanters or vases. Having spent many hours browsing antique stores and markets through out the world. Over the years I have created a beautiful selection of glassware that never dates and no matter when used it always adds a touch of style and elegance no matter the occasion. These particular vintage crystal wine glasses I found on my travels to Cape Town, South Africa and I managed to buy a selection of them in different shades.  I chose to use the amber and green ones as they added the perfect finishing touch to my fall table setting with their warm tones.

 

A little bit of trivia…..

Cut glass” is glass that has been decorated entirely by hand by use of rotating wheels. Cuts are made in an otherwise completely smooth surface of the glass by artisans holding and moving the piece against various sized metal or stone wheels, to produce a predetermined pleasing pattern.

The golden yellow hurricane lamps added to the warm tones of the table setting. Notice that I placed the hurricane lamps at the far end of the table near the curtains giving height to the table. It is not always necessary to have all the table accessories in the center of the table especially if you are setting for smaller groups.

I loved creating this simple fall table and hope that you get inspired to take a walk outdoors and find your own natural elements to add to your home decor or table setting. All the elements from the mix of wild foliage in the centerpiece, the elegant crockery, coloured glass and greenery harmonized together to create a table setting that was simple, elegant and inexpensive.  All the elements reflected the warm tones of Autumn with a touch of nature.

I was undecided on which hurricane lamps to use for the final photo shoot.  Which ones you would have used if you were setting this tablescape?  I would really welcome your comments and suggestions.

 

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