Hey friends! Lea here. If you’ve been following my dining room design agony (open concept design challenges are real) then you know I haven’t gotten very far. I take that back, considering supply chain issues and the whole trucking driver shortage we’ve come leaps and bounds. But…I don’t want to come on here and sound like a whiny baby over first-world problems. I also don’t want to take for granted how grateful I am to even have a roof over our head while considering myself immersed in a design agony.
But that’s not to say I don’t suffer from self-comparison and surfing around the interwebs with too much time on my hands can do real damage to my psyche.
Wow, did I just hit you with a dose of heaviness right off the bat?
Okay, let’s get back on track. Dining room update: we did receive our beautiful curio cabinets and they could not have come at a more perfect time since all of the things were spread out over our dining room table until then.
You also can see a glimpse of the dining chairs we switched to because cushioned seats are the best. Especially since our dining room is often an office and/or study space and craft table.
I really love open shelving but I also don’t like to dust all the things so having cabinets with doors on them but glass to see through was a great solution for us. So I bet by now you’re wondering so… how does cabinet styling relate to this post? Hang in there with me, it does. Here’s why – during the holiday season (or any season for that matter) surrounding yourself with pieces you love or that spark a little happiness when you look at them, it matters more than you think. Styling your shelves or curio cabinets (in my case) allows me to take inventory of what I have and therefore, avoid what I don’t need to go out and buy. Gone are the days where digging through storage closets or the basement for those special serving pieces that you have to dust off or fight to find or if you’re like me, fight to even remember you have. Displaying and arranging the pieces that you love in a meaningful and useful way also helps add layers of interest to a space. I’m naturally a neutral lover here (big shocker, I know) but I know myself and my comfort zone so I embrace it. I tend to buy and collect pieces that fall into these color categories and when grouped together look pretty dang good in my honest opinion.
Top Middle Ceramic Vase | Ceramic Bowl – Top Right | Wood Serving Board Ceramic vase – Top Left (Lulu & Georgia discontinued) | Marble Tray (No longer available – similar) | Glassware (vintage) | Framed art (vintage) | Blue and white serving dish (vintage)
Also, not cramming your shelves or cabinets to maximum weight capacity allows your dinnerware, glassware, and serving pieces to display in a more presentable and artful way.
HOT TIP: Add in a dried bouquet, lean art for a more effortless ‘it just happened’ look, weave in utilitarian pieces that share the same color pallet and leave negative space for ample breathing room – this keeps your pieces looking well balanced and creates a little movement and the spacing helps to allow your eye to rest.
The holiday season is busy and stressful enough, so creating beautiful storage to allow you to see and grab what you need (or better yet, allows your guests to help grab serving pieces when you’re still in the kitchen silently freaking out if the turkey will actually be done in time) will make your life better. Staying well organized can look beautiful too.
When styling our dining table, I like to lean more into the season than the actual holiday because I like to keep the table set up (mostly). That way when the holiday is over for the day, there’s no real rush to take it down and swap in something new. This year I was feeling quite moody – could you tell by my intro to this post? I also am learning to be ok with that and to stop forcing myself into feeling something else because toxic positivity is also real. Especially this time of year. So bah humbug. Just kidding. Back to the table: I don’t like to store a lot of things (also just kidding, but we just talked about creating a beautiful and practical solution for that) so I turn to nature. Friends! Mother Nature leaves us little gifts all year round to use as decor in our homes even if they are also found at the grocery store instead of out frolicking through a woody forest foraging nature’s bounty.
Instead of using our tablecloth the traditional way, I wanted to create a little bit of drama by swagging it down the middle of the table (sort of like a table runner but more billowy).
Then I just used what my mama gave me (as in Mother Nature) and sprinkled in pinecones purchased from an arts and crafts store, because bugs – that’s a story for another day and a fast lesson learned in foraging. I also picked up citrus (grapefruit, lemons, and oranges) from Trader Joe’s and dried them out.
Bonus: Use dried fruit slices to garnish your cocktails for a pretty impressive presentation. Dried dragon fruit slices are hands down my fave.
Again, I just sort of peppered the dried citrus down the table weaving in some candlesticks because is any holiday table really ready without candlesticks?
Also, this botanical arrangement, amirite? My friend made it and I love its movement while also remaining low so that as we sit at the table and across from one another we aren’t stretching our necks to talk and to see one another.
Are you feeling the mood yet?
Lulu & Georgia recently launched a new dinnerware line and I was lucky enough to try it out, they are so pretty and truly give that handcrafted, irregular and organic feel I love so much.
I love adding in little personalized touches that just make table styling that much more inviting. Table topics will be sure to keep the conversation flowing and if you have a family like mine, it will help direct conversations in a non-controversial way. But then again, is it ever really a family gathering if someone’s not getting fired up? Just kidding.
This dress is technically a ‘nightdress’ but I love it and it’s so comfortable and feels good so it’s my day dress too. When styling for the holiday or season I like to add greenery to the chandelier too for added ambiance. Our light bulbs are LED so they don’t get hot but also these dried ferns are preserved so they’re not crispy and brittle which I wouldn’t recommend keeping near a hot light bulb. A little goes a long way and you can get as creative as you want. This would be fun to do for a garden party as well. Hmmm…maybe you’ll see it hanging around (no pun intended) for spring.
Call me nuts but I love drippy candles. The dripless are nice but those drippy candles sure can look dramatic.
Are you team dripless or bring on the drips?
I’m not a wine aficionado by any means but this Cocobon red California blend wine is probably my favorite (thank you TikTok – it’s where I get most of my useful information these days). It’s not too dry and it’s not sweet but has a really smooth flavor.
I hope this post helps inspire you with a few new styling ideas and if anything, a good new wine to try out!