Lifestyle

Setting the Table for a Beautiful Gathering

Setting a Table for Gathering

Setting a beautiful table for family and friends is one of my favorite things to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a small intimate dinner for two or a feast for 12! I come from generations of women who loved to entertain; both of my grandmothers were amazing cooks, and my mom is an incredible hostess. As a child, I remember going to their homes for fun family dinners, and sometimes there were upwards of 20 people with all my cousins, aunts and uncles! We would sit at the “kids’ table,” and there was also an adult table … both were equally charming and special.

Our home is small, so when I set the table I want it to feel cozy so everyone can gather and enjoy one another. Our large banquette seat has seen many a night of sitting around, laughing, talking and eating! My goal is to create a vibe that is inviting — where nothing is too precious — so y0u can pull out all the stops with special china, glassware and silverware. The mix of high/low applies here. For instance, use your crystal wine glasses with bandana napkins from Amazon like I did here!

Thanksgiving Chez Clouser

This Thanksgiving, it’s all about convenience and ease for us, and I’m trying to not add any pressure by feeling like everything has to be perfect. I think we will be ordering some food from a local grocer, and supplementing with some of our favorite family dishes. It doesn’t have to take days in the kitchen for things to be extra special — in fact, I always take a page from Barefoot Contessa’s cookbook by keeping things simple with easy recipes with good ingredients. This allows you to have time to enjoy your guests. That’s what is’ all about anyway, right?! Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays — we love having all the kids home with their friends, and we want to be able to enjoy the day when they are here.

Read on for some easy and simple tips for making a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner and table scape so you can have time to relax and catch up with loved ones!

 

LAYING THE FOUNDATION

 

#1 TABLE AND LINENS

 

I like to think of the table as the foundation of any beautiful tablescape. Leave it exposed and “undressed” with simple place settings and linen napkins, or add a beautiful tablecloth. I’m currently obsessed with this one that I purchased this year to carry through us through the holidays. It’s a classic plaid in a beautiful rich brown, which is an of-the-moment color that will work for multiple purposes. In fact, I may switch it up for Christmas and incorporate rich burgundy accents. You can get this look with similar linens that as well, like this one. I added these bandana handkerchiefs (thank you @theidentitecollective for the inspo!)  to create a casual and relaxed vibe.

Or, if you’d prefer not to use a tablecloth, I own these hand blocked printed napkins and absolutely love them! They are not too “holiday” but they are a gorgeous, neutral accent. Add in some seasonal branches and greens, and you’ll have a simply chic and elegant table like this one below.

source: sugarandcharm.com

 

#2 THE “ACCOUTREMENTS”… DISHES, FLATWARE AND GLASSWARE

This year, I’m keeping it simple with the place settings. I use these everyday white dishes from Hearth & Hand Collection at Target all the time! I love their simplicity — they make your table feel easy and not “too stuffy.” Then I layer in beautiful crystal glassware to create a fun juxtaposition of simple with elegant. I’m loving these wine glasses from the Athena Calderone collection for Crate & Barrel. This gold flatware is inexpensive and pretty, and though we run it through the dishwasher, the finish still looks as good as it did on day 1!

Image: @eyeswoon

 

#3 LAYER WITH GREENS AND CANDLELIGHT

This is where the magic happens! Candles make any table feel more elegant and special. These adorable tea lights from the Amber Lewis Collection for Etsy are really unique. I love the little natural leather band and rivet detail, and bought three sets of three to scatter down the center of the table with greenery.

As for centerpieces, I like to use various containers and arrange them sporadically so it doesn’t feel “too perfect.” In this case, I used some white vases that I’ve owned for years, and a vintage stoneware dish to hold magnolia leaves and seeded eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s. I clipped rosemary from our yard, and added a sprig to each napkin that was tied in a knot. I love the smell of rosemary at the table! This is a fun opportunity to be creative, and to use items you already own and fresh greenery from your garden.

You could also use mason jars, old bottles, and vintage glasses to group small arrangements of greenery and flowers. Keep arrangements low — there’s nothing worse then feeling like you can’t talk to someone because there are gigantic stems in your way!

#4 FINAL TOUCHES- ACCENTS OF BRASS AND ANTLERS

Add something naturally “architectural” for added interest. In this case, I used antlers — I love using antlers for styling! They add a beautiful natural element to any space. You could also use pomegranates and pears, or pinecones and leaves to give a layered effect to your table. And lastly, add what I like to call the “jewelry”– I love these European Salt and Pepper mills from @shopmeridianny. They give a bit of and old world feel, and elevate the entire tablescape.

 

Subscribe to Clouz Houz! On Thursday, we will be sharing some fun recipes you to try this holiday season. Subscribe for updates to your inbox when new blog posts are live. Every Sunday you’ll get an exclusive mood board, or Clouz Faves for your enjoyment and inspiration. 🌟

 

 

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Hi! We are Clouz Houz.. Follow along for home renovation tips, interior design inspo, living a slow lifestyle, and of course making time for simple pleasures like cooking, entertaining and some self care..

We have changed our lives realizing our motto : Life is Short. Make it Beautiful. ✌️

About 5 ½ years ago, we had a real eye-opener experience. After 20 years in the financial industry,, Derrick lost his job. If it hadn’t been for that, I’m not sure we would be on this journey today. But it was then when we truly realized we were not happy with where we were in life. Our life was moving at an extremely hectic and fast pace and we were having a hard time keeping up. We needed to find ways to slow it down. I truly believe the universe had a plan for us because our life trajectory was forever changed. It was then when we came up with our motto and promised ourselves to live by it that day forward.

We picked up our family and moved to Bend, Oregon for a simpler way of living and a fresh perspective on life. We had always dreamed of what it would be like to live here, so we took it as an opportunity to make it happen.

We realized our passion for investing in our personal homes over the years was real… we’ve lived in nine homes (soon to be 10) and flipped three houses over our 26 years of marriage. Each home holds a special place in our hearts…full of memories made in them. Ha, we can’t say it was always a walk in the park- designing and renovating homes involves not only time, energy, money and sweat equity; but also lessons in patience, diligence and grit.

Derrick set out and studied for his General Contractor and Real Estate license so we could continue to invest in homes for resale, but also to partner with me acting as Principal Designer for client projects. I am a self-taught interior designer that has worked in the industry for the past 20 years. We founded Clouz Houz in 2021. Some may think starting a business in our 50s would be just as hectic, but for us, doing what we love makes it all easier.
Transport yourself to spring in Italy ☀️ A year ago this month, I had the opportunity to go on an unforgettable journey to Firenze for a @boxwoodavenue retreat. 

Surrounded by like-minded creatives, I immersed myself in the rich history of Italy’s streets, indulged in cooking classes, scoured antique markets for hidden treasures and learned from local artisans about their centuries old techniques. That trip left an indelible mark on my creative soul, reshaping my design perspective and inspiring me to embrace timeless classics and heirloom pieces. Italy truly is a place where creativity thrives, and I’m forever grateful for the experience. 

If you ever have the chance to visit, seize it! And if you’re already planning a trip, here are my top 5 must-do’s: 
1. Learn the art of making fresh pasta.
2. Lose yourself in the vintage flea markets for unique finds.
3. Experience the charm of Il Salviantino hotel - every corner is a photo op!
4. Savor some of the best espresso martinis (IMO)!
5. Join a guided walking tour to learn and soak in the sights effortlessly.
Join me behind the scenes as I add the finishing touches to our Tumalo kitchen! We sourced these brass pulls from @sumnerstreethardware. We then stumbled upon the coolest brand, @walnutstudiolo, known for their handmade leather hardware.

We opted for the the Tilikum + Flanders handles and the Oswego leather wraps for our kitchen. And let me tell you- these wraps are seriously ingenious! You simply wrap the leather around the handles for an instant rustic vibe. 

I’ve been itching to infuse a leather element into our kitchen design, and I have a feeling this is going to be just perfect. Stay tuned for the grand reveal – it’s all coming together so beautifully!