14 Foot Ceilings

Oh Christmas Tree
December 11, 2009, 2:40 pm
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It’s that time of year again, Christmas cheer, parties, trees, overeating, lots of drinking…you know the drill.  We’ve had our tree up since the Saturday after Thanksgiving (it actually fell on our nephew, making us go out and buy a new tree stand).

My dad happens to grow Christmas trees as a hobby, and so we get a real tree every year.  This year we managed to get one of his largest, at around 8 feet tall.  My husband aspires to have a larger tree, but we will see when that happens.

As far as other decorations, I don’t go too overboard.  I would, but we have cats, and I have a husband who can only take so much.  We have a few stockings, but never fill them, as we don’t really do Christmas presents to one another anymore.  We’re not good with the gift giving, we usually end up exchanging as soon as we have both done our shopping.  And what’s the fun in that?

So instead we just host a party, have yankee swaps, and exchange gifts with our families.  And this year we won’t be doing too much of that either, as we are going to Mexico in the new year with my family.  Which happens to be infinitely better than material things that I want but would never actually buy for myself.

I won’t make you empty promises of pictures from our party, but darn it, I’m going to try.  It looks like it’s going to be smaller this year than average, which will make for a nice intimate holiday party with way too much food.  But that’s how I roll, I like to be prepared.  I feel it’s better to have too much than to run out of food.  And besides, who doesn’t like leftover beef stew or mac and cheese?  And not to mention all the lovely desserts…


November 30, 2009, 2:50 pm
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…was a total success.  We had tons of food (of course), lots of wine, and great company.  Here are a few shots from the day.  I hope to update my other blog soon with more recipes of things we ate, but for now here is the table.

We had no trouble fitting 10 people around it, since we do the food buffet style.  I can’t believe that Christmas is just around the corner!  We got our tree this weekend, and more about that later.  I’ll leave you with a photo of my nephew, watching one of his dvd’s about shapes or animals or whatnot in the corner.  He was perfectly content in his little nook.

Thanksgiving Table Sneak Peek
November 23, 2009, 2:25 am
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So as promised I’m actually sharing a sneak peek at the tablescape BEFORE Thanksgiving.  Amazing, I know.  Anyway, I happened to spend at least an hour in Home Goods the other day, in search of something to adorn my table.

The husband and I actually spent about half an hour there the day before (how I managed THAT I don’t really know), and left without purchasing anything.  We had picked out some interesting pieces, but didn’t want to spend a lot, nor were we totally convinced.  He made a valid point that we didn’t want things that were too tall and would make it hard to see the people across the table from you.

So I came home with these candlestick holders (the fact that I got enough matching ones is a miracle in itself).

They are delightfully rustic seeming, and with candlesticks in them they’re not too tall or hard to see around.  I also found some fun candles to put in them, sparkly and red, to go with my red napkins and the whole Thanksgiving-fall-holiday theme.

All in all I spent around $56 on 5 candle holders, and 3 sets of candles.  Not too shabby for a Thanksgiving tablescape, and one that I can keep up for much of the year.  Especially since everywhere else I looked was much more expensive.  I have a few other things to add before it’s done, and unfortunately you’re going to have to wait until AFTER Thanksgiving to see how it all looks.  But I’m hoping to actually take pictures of the finished product.  I feel like I need to, since it’s my first Thanksgiving in my new place, with my pretty new table.

My table, it has chairs
October 22, 2009, 11:14 am
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Yesterday my husband asked me “are the chairs on the site?”  Not knowing exactly what he meant, I deduced that he was referring to pictures of my now complete table being on my blog.

I told him that no, they were not yet on there.  I had just done a post about my Halloween decorations (or sort of lack thereof), and of course he gave me a hard time about having a picture of the “stupid skull and glitter pumpkin” on the blog, but none of my new chairs.

So that my friends, puts us here.  This is my new table, in all its glory, with my new chairs.  Please don’t mind the fact that there is crap all over my island, or that when these arrived I was in the middle of painting my coffee table (more on that later).

I did a whole lot of research, and managed to find the chairs I really wanted, at a halfway decent place.  Lots of restaurant supply stores had them, but they wanted you to order at least 12.  And I really only wanted 8.  We will be seating 10 for thanksgiving, but that will be a bit tighter, and we have extra chairs that don’t need to sit at the table every single day.

We received a pallet of chairs.  My husband was nice enough to work from home one afternoon, and so when I got home from work on Tuesday, there they were, in all of their brushed aluminum glory.

So now my table area is complete, for now.  Some day I hope to get some rugs up in this place, but they are expensive and difficult to choose.  For right now I’ll live with just this.

You guys don’t even know how excited I am for Thanksgiving.  I have so many table scape ideas, you might as well call me Sandra Lee or something.

A little bit of Halloween fun
October 21, 2009, 1:12 pm
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I love Halloween.  I have an extreme sweet tooth, and can consume those mini candy bars like no ones business.  I also happen to love to dress up, so it’s no surprise that Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays.  You dress up, and people give you candy?  For FREE?!  Sign me up.

When I was a senior in high school I went trick or treating for the last time.  My mom told me my friends and I had to go to peoples houses we knew, and we still made out like bandits.  I don’t think I could get away with that now.

On all the design blogs I follow, everyone and their mother has been putting up Halloween decorations.  I figured I would get into the spirit as well, and I made a trip to Target.  I picked up this pretty awesome (in my opinion) skull candy jar for only $20.  My husband did give me an odd look when I brought it home, but he has just had to deal with it.  I also picked up a glitter pumpkin for about $5 there.  Who doesn’t love a little black glitter?

The mini pumpkins I picked up at my local orchard.  I know it’s nothing much, and not nearly as cheap as some of my faves out there, but it’s my little slice of Halloween fun.  I also got a carving pumpkin, which I have yet to carve.  I actually won’t be home on Halloween, I’ll be at a hockey game (and I want to try and dress up for it, we’ll see), so my pumpkin will just have to sit in the window by its lonesome.

My New Dining Table
October 12, 2009, 3:14 pm
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I can’t really say dining ROOM table, as all the rooms are open to each other.  So it’s the dining area table, but that implies that it’s small and undefined.  And this table is anything but.

When we bought our condo (actually, before we had finally closed) I somehow came up with the idea that we should get a giant farm table for our dining space.  The space could handle it, we like to entertain, we “called” Thanksgiving AGES ago, and we had previously been using my awesome 50’s retro kitchen table, but it was time to change it up a bit.  That table didn’t really fit in the space all that well to begin with, and didn’t go with my chandelier so much.  It was more of a kitchen table, not a dining table.

I set out upon a journey, starting with craigslist.  Now I normally love craigslist, but I don’t know what it was lately, hard economic times, people just being crazy, but everyone wanted top dollar for their old and outdated dining sets.  I’m not really a set kind of girl, so it took me a long time to weed through all the ads that didn’t apply to me.  And people, if you paid $5,000 10 years ago, there is no way I should be paying $2,500 now.  That doesn’t work out so well when you sit down and think about it.

I was like Goldilocks, no table was just right.  This one was too small, I hated the finish on that one, this one was far too expensive, etc.  People would give us suggestions, but nothing worked out quite right.  So I resigned myself to the possibility that we would not have our table in time for Thanksgiving.  Far worse things are going on in the world, but that made me pretty sad.

And then, one day, Apartment Therapy stepped in.  I follow them on my reader, and normally just look at the pictures for design inspiration.  But one day I actually read an article, an article about a man in RI who makes farm tables.  Well, I happen to live in Boston, and since RI is super tiny, that’s not very far away.  I checked out his site, and that was it.  He was reasonable.  REASONABLE rates for a custom built farm table?  What?!  What alter-universe was I living in?

I contacted him, we went to see his workshop, and next thing you know, we had commissioned a custom built farm table.  The man who made our newest member of the family is David Ellison, of the Lorimer Workshop.  He is incredibly friendly and welcoming, he’ll show you around his workshop, help you pick stains and finishes, and make the table to the size that you want.  And he delivers.  Well, I assume just in the “local” area.  I’ve never had something custom built before, and also never been so excited about a piece of furniture before.

He keeps you involved in the process, sending photos along the way, and letting you pick whatever stain and finish you like.  We struggled with the stain, as we have dark brown floors, brown leather furniture in the living area, and not a ton of bright color everywhere else.  The stain is actually a bit darker than the above photo, but I am in love.  You can see the woodgrain oh so well, and the character of the wood really comes through.  He uses reclaimed wood, which is both good for the environment, and also you never know what you are going to get with it!

We will be getting new chairs (and updates on that when we do), and plan to host many, many dinner parties around this new beauty.  In the process I also somehow was able to convince my husband to let me paint the coffee table teal, so I can’t wait to share that when it’s finished!

My table is coming! My table is coming!
October 5, 2009, 4:30 pm
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I feel like I’m in a war, screaming about the redcoats coming or something.  But my amazing custom built farm table is coming this week, and I could not be more excited about it!

I promise more details to follow (that is it unfinished), as it’s a long story with a happy ending.  Life is extremely busy, so I apologize.  But after this week, I’ll be able to breathe a little more.