SET A SPRING TABLE

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How are you all doing post-holiday my favorite party people? If you're thinking at all like me (so long 2016!) you are probably over the snow, the rain, the sleet and ready for happy days to be here again. What better way to celebrate 2017, lose the mood and look forward to a new season than some insane tablesetting therapy. For me, dreaming it up is half the fun and setting it...is the finale.

So, here it is, my first spring tablesetting of the new year! And, once again, with pretty PAPER from Sophistiplate. I know I say this every time, but whenever I finish designing and styling a table with Sophistiplate, I always have the same thought. I can't believe this is paper! I mean, can you?

I imagined this table could be set for an engagement party, bridesmaids luncheon, a wedding or baby shower, lunch to celebrate your favorite girls for no particular reason or, the fanciest brunch you ever have set. I thought of this as just pure romantic goodness and exactly what I needed to put some pep back in my step after ALL this rain in California.

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Linens: I was looking for a light background and remembered my kate spade new york 'all wrapped up in bows' off-white tablecloth. I found it at HomeGoods and snagged it. I didn't know exactly what I needed it for when I saw it. I just knew I did. It has a delicate pattern of bows and isn't too ivory or too white, but somewhere in between. The color also coordinates with my black and white striped paper runner from Hester & Cook and I LOVE the look.

Placesettings: People often ask me how I create a tables that look like this using paper products. Good question. I tell them I set with paper the same way I set with my fine china. It's really that simple. I might be okay using pretty paper 'dinnerware', but I'm not ready to move away from the real deal when it comes to flatware, stemware and accessories on my table. For this setting, I layered the Ivory & Classic Gold Collection from Sophistiplate. This 44-piece set and service for eight that includes charger plates, dinner plates, salad/dessert plates, appetizer/dessert bowls and napkins. I mixed and matched solid white pieces, along with gold edged pieces mirroring the way I would set my fine white china and accent plates. Under the dinner plate, I added a black flour sack napkin (from my friends at Merc Textile - who hand make the cutest towels!) to add some color to the placesetting, and topped the settings with mini-bouquets for each guest, that also doubled as place cards. I wrapped a pink flour sack napkin around the bouquet to keep it looking pretty (and the stems neat!). To keep it all together, I added monogrammed leather napkin rings from Mark and Graham and accented the placesettings with my gold flatware from Marchesa by Lenox.

Cocktails or Wine: With a placesetting this sweet, I knew a glass of rosé was (clearly) in order and it needed to be in the perfect coupe, topped with edible flowers. My version of the word 'perfect' here are these stemmed cocktail glasses (yep, Mark and Graham!). Of course, there is always plenty of champagne on ice at my house and...wine.

Flowers: Can I just say that this was my first attempt at a flower arrangement like this?! I knew what I was going for and with hydrangeas, Juliette roses, white mums, an assortment of filler and lemon leaf in hand, I took a stab at it. Yes, I'm very proud and I love them. I used a natural wood covered vase with a rope handle, wood sliced chargers to elevate the single stem filled mini-vases from Design Ideas and added a few votives. I scattered small gifts for my guests wrapped in the same paper as the runner and tied with black grosgrain and pink satin ribbon. I tucked some small florals under the bow for some extra color.

I've been itching to do a bouquet bar and with the heart filled holiday just around the corner, I thought why not let everyone make their own bouquet and add a little flower love right now. Nothing elaborate, but just enough to try the idea on and something sweet to take home. With clean, cut stems (remove nasty leaves and thorns) in mason jars or vases, floral wire to wrap the bouquet, cut paper, flour sack fabric or napkin to wrap the stems, pre-cut ribbon, twine, tags, a sharpie, your golden scissors and poof! Flower bouquets will appear.

To hold all the goodies to make the bouquets, I used Sophistiplate appetizer bowls, which are also good for obviously, appetizers, but also candy, nuts, mini-desserts, cookies and more.

SHOP THE LOOK:

The flowers really inspired the palette for this table and feels like a breath of fresh air for the (very early!) first signs of spring. So, what do you think? Do you want to sit with us?

xx, Deborah

AWARD WINNING VIEWING PARTY IDEAS

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Award season is officially here and so is some of Hollywood's biggest nights. If you're planning on hosting the Oscar's, Emmy's or Grammy's, it's time to roll out the carpet and WOW friends with filmed themed invitations and decor, a photo back drop filled with your favorite iconic Hollywood stars, along with your smoothest cocktails and very best apps!

This year, I opted to take my Award glam in a copper, navy and white direction, mixing in metals where they seemed like a good fit.

SHOP THE LOOK:

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Next, stock the bar with your favorite spirits, line up the barware, put plenty of bubbly on ice and mix up your first batch of signature cocktails.

'Tis the season for grapefruit, and the ruby red's couldn't be any more perfect than right now, which is why Grapefruit and Sage Champagne Cocktails are on my drink menu. You can make the sage infused simple syrup ahead and whip up a batch of these beauties in minutes. I found this recipe on Floating Kitchen.

Simple syrup: Combine the sugar and water over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to simmer and the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the sage and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool. Once the simple syrup has cooled to room temperature, remove and discard the sage. Transfer the simple syrup to a clean re-sealable container and store it in your refrigerator until you are ready to use.

Single cocktail: Vigorously shake 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) grapefruit juice, 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) of the sage simple syrup and 2-3 dashes of bitters in a shaker with ice. Strain into a glass with fresh ice. Top with about 1/2 cup of champagne. Garnish with fresh sage leaves, if desired. Serve immediately in a fabulous coupe

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The Snack Bar! Gourmet popcorn with seasoned salt is always a good idea and It's a great nosh and perfect fill in when everyone is bringing something. I served the popcorn in a family sized popcorn bowl and made individual "cones" out of scrapbook paper, wrapped it with white ribbon and added a black satin bow with a rhinestone center for an Award style look. To hold the cones, I picked up a navy storage basket at Target.

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How about this monogrammed copper tiered serving stand from Mark and Graham? I love the copper twist to a traditional piece and the height it adds to the table. Calling all brides: Consider this an A-List registry item!

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My newest and very favorite app: Individual (homemade!) star shaped garlic tortilla chips and guacamole. I got the idea from Courtney at Pizzazzerie and the recipe from Sweet Savory Life. Just my opinion, but these are show stoppers. Fill mini dessert bowl's with 2-3 tablespoons of guac and top with a tortilla chip for individual style. Serve extra chips on the side.

Baked Star Tortilla Chips: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat each side of a corn tortilla with vegetable oil. Cut with a star shaped cookie cutter. Place chips on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Season chips with Lawry's seasoned garlic powder and salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Using tongs, turn over each chip at about 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven when golden and serve. Chips are best when consumed within the same day. Enjoy!

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Tuxedo napkins anyone? I made these with Aleene's Clear Tacky Glue (it's washable) and paired them on the table with CRU Monaco gold luncheon plates and Marchesa by Lenox gold flatware.

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Add dessert! Champagne Trifle in Libbey mini parfait glasses are easy, can made ahead and are just enough after snacking all day.

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To create this backdrop and photo wall, I printed 35-40 black and white 8.5" x 11" vintage Hollywood images and hung them five across and eight down using double face tape. Warning: Get ready to take some fun pics with your friends and don't be afraid to dress the part. PSA: It's always a good idea to have a white feather boa on hand when it comes to a photo wall!

So, are you ready to throw your next best Awards party? Visit The Inspired Home for all the details on this one. I'm sure your critics will say the winner is...you!

xx, Deborah

                                                              

                                                            Design: Deborah Shearer | Photography: Stefanie Schoen: The Style Safari

HOSTING FOR HANUKKAH; SET A BEAUTIFUL TABLE

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Hanukkah may be late this year, but latke alert, the first night of Hanukkah is this Saturday night on Christmas Eve!

Eight nights, eight lights is the theme of this year’s Hanukkah fest and I couldn’t have had more fun designing this table. While I wanted it to be a typically pretty holiday table, I also wanted to mix in some whimsy for the kids, because after all, Hanukkah is all about the kids. Oh, and eating a ridiculous amount of latkes. If your family is anything like ours it’s also about our traditions, and at least one night during Hanukkah we get together with our closest friends for a great big latkepalooza. And like any other year, we’ll all be ready and waiting for the first latke to come out of the frying pan. 

On the Hanukkah table: White, silver, shades of blue and my collection of menorahs, which really do all the work. By now you all know I love to layer my placesettings. Here, I layered a white felt snowflake placemat from Pier 1, a Lenox Federal Platinum Dinner Plate, a Lenox Federal Platinum Monogram Accent Plate (I'm all about monogram right now!), a silver trimmed napkin and topped each placesetting with these adorable Hanukkah Gelt Bags from Mark and Graham. The gelt bags absolutely made the placesettings and the table. I added gelt to the bags and dreidels to the placesetting so everyone can spin!

From pretty linens to your favorite latke platters, an easy way to play up your Hanukkah celebrations is with your glittering menorahs.

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Let's talk about these Etched Footed Blue Wine Glasses from Lenox, because I love that they have a vintage feel and are absolutely the most perfect shade of blue for a Hanukkah table.

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For the latke station, I folded these DII Eight Nights, Eight Lights kitchen towels as napkins, added a menorah, a gelt bag, a few dreidels, some snowflake charms to the glasses and finally, the stars of the show, latkes, applesauce and sour cream!

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Love all the pretty, but more about easy entertaining? Create it! Sophistiplate is the pretty paper line from Italy I've been talking about and I treat on my table just as I would my fine china, layering and accessorizing it with my flatware and stemware. You can get the look with Sophistiplate's navy and silver Hanukkah set.

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Speaking of glittering Menorah's, how beautiful is this kate spade new york Oak Street Menorah? I really love all my menorahs, but being the huge kate spade fan that I am, adding a modern day menorah to my collection that reflects my own personal style was just a little special to me. And, you can never have enough menorah's or Hanukkiah's on the table for Hanukkah.

For more ideas on how I set my Hanukkah table this year, head over to The Inspired Home for all the pretty little details.

Happy Hanukkah from our table and family to yours. Let the latkes begin!

xx, Deborah

A PLAID RUSTIC HOLIDAY TABLE

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Hello my holiday party people! Is Christmas sneaking up on you, too? It's hard to believe we're already through the first week of December and I, for one, don't want this season to come and go as quickly as it seems to be. I've got Christmas carols playing in my studio and I'll even admit to singing out loud to Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas" a few (ahem) times a day. Sammy (the cutest pup, ever!) looks at me like I'm a little crazy, but 'tis my season.

If you follow along on my blog or social channels, you already know that I've been mad for plaid this year. And while I don't live in the country or on a farm, I'm in love with the warm and cozy feeling of rustic charm. It probably doesn't come to any surprise that this year's holiday table will be a mixture of plaid and some of my other favorite things:

Black + white plaid flannel.
Fresh garland runners.
Pine Cones.
Snowflake charms.
Gold flatware.
Marchesa dinnerware.
Merry Christmas stir sticks.
kate spade new york black dessert plates.
Gold jingle bells.
Baking holiday cookies.
Christmas cards.
Glittering white reindeer.
My family around the table.

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For more details on how I set this table, head over to The Inspired Home!

xx, deborah