Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Table Inspiration From Whim Interior Designs~ Let's Get The Party Started!

Wonderful artglass collections and topped off by acorn chocolates and chocolate dipped strawberries from Schmid's of San Clemente.

This is the home of interior designer Eric Guenther and jewelry designer Daviell Maldonado from Whim Interior Designs in San Juan Capistrano. I am continuing the home tour of their unique historical home. This shows the workmanship that can go into a finely set holiday table. And, I get it, not all people want to, desire to or do this type of table. But, my family lineage has focused on the table scape as a fine honed skill. My great grandmother Gaddie, who was a refined French woman, started the china "fetish" in our family (what I like to call it) and the respect from generations for setting a fine table. My grandmother, Nadine, followed with huge collections of Lenox, Waterford, Silver, fine linens, Lladro, etc... and silver place settings. And, my mother inherited more than most and collected more than most herself. But, what these fine women had in common was the desire to create a memorable table that took much thought and preparation for their family to enjoy and to create a tradition for generations to follow.
This type of table doesn't come overnight, well, unless you hire someone like Eric and Daviell or visit a full service shop like Whim. But, takes a few years (or many) of collecting to get it just right. Our family secret is to set your table the night before the feast. It creates much less stress and facilitates more creativity. I set everything except the knives, since I have a little one, the day before. It used to be the Waterford crystal glasses last as well, but thankfully he has grown out of that stage. I organize the linens about a week before so I can send the out for pressing, if needed. Or, I press them myself depending on the condition. Which forces me to decide on the entire place setting and table centerpiece decorations. I lay down the linens first, then I tackle the centerpiece. If I order the flowers for the centerpiece then this is done a week in advance and hopefully is available two days before the dinner. If I also decide to add a smaller personal floral arrangements, l like to buy these flowers a few days ahead of time to get the best choice and to let them open in time for the dinner. This type of preplanning also allows me time to review, clean, plan and replace items where needed. I clean all the china, silverware and glasses the day before the dinner. Then, I proceed to set the table settings. So, this is a process that I savor and is for me a part of the fun of being a hostess.
Another trick is to light candles with a great aroma the morning of the event and an hour before in the main dining, sitting areas and any baths that might be visited by guests. That way when they walk in, they smell the candles and the food. I try to buy the best aroma candles possible and to make all the candles the same scent. The candles on the table are lit just before dinner is served and are usually a mix of taper and votive. Having the centerpiece done a few days before gives me the opportunity to see how much room I have left for candles and to decide which ones will work.
My plan for decorating for the holidays is to add something really special each year. So, the table evolves over time as your taste evolves. But, if I had the means and started with nothing, I would love to do it all at once. But, then, I like to mix old treasures passed down from my family with new pieces to give it a fresh and personal spin. And, I think a table or anything that accumulates over time has more character. But, what the heck do I know? Ha.. Ha...
I wish you much luck in creating a memorable table or decorations for this holiday season.
Are you motivated to get your Thanksgiving decorations or table going? Do you have any table setting tips or hostess tips to share with us?
Let's get the party started!

Fabulous Finds Gal


{ L } said...

Oh! This is one of my favorite posts I've seen in awhile. I so loved reading what you had to write about the art of a tablescape. This table is lovely...every element. I am excited to do up our table this year and will be posting pics soon.

Kristin said...

Somehow I don't think my tablescape will be quite as good as this. Ah ha

Keith said...

Great photos. These are all so beautiful. I can't wait for Thanksgiving. I'll be going to my grandmother's house.