24 May 2012

DANGER – Novice At Work!

No – not Ken Tate’s fabulous dining room setting that appears above, but…me! I have to admit to feeling rather lazy when it comes to showcasing projects at Hill House.

I am in constant awe of the industrious nature of my fellow bloggers, whose posts are littered with calorific culinary creations, fabulous furniture transformations and high drama house renovations on a daily basis.

I tend to be one of those people who sits back and gasps in wonder and delight at the efforts of others, egging on their hard work while casually making lists and planning my own schemes, all from the comfort of an overstuffed chair and a computer screen – a cup of tea and a biscuit always within arms reach. While this of course allows my brain to gratefully receive an abundance of glorious inspiration – the downside of living vicariously through others is that while I know what I want, and am a dab hand at putting a mood board together – the project itself is rarely attempted.

Perhaps my attachment to a permanently seated position has much to do with my previous life in an office – albeit a fairly glamorous one. Throughout most of my career, the majority of my day would be spent on my derriere – all the better to accommodate the wearing of 5 inch stilettos I suppose…

However recently, – and as wellington boots are my current foot ware of choice, – I have decided to inject a bit more oomph into my daily routine. I have endeavoured to attempt (and more importantly complete) more creative projects, and in a (feeble) trial to get the creative juices flowing – my first project – to ease me in gently you understand – has been to play around with table settings – or tablescapes as they now seem to be called.

Indeed it seems that there is a growing industry building up around the setting of a dining table – much fueled by the likes of me – I have at least five hard back books on the topic of ‘setting a table’ alone!

Now, I adore hosting dinner parties, and have long relished the opportunity to play around with a trinket or two when it comes to decorating a table. I have also received a few compliments in my time for my ingenious use of a rice mould – but then guests are paid (in food) to say nice things about one’s table aren’t they? Woe betide the guest who turns up and criticises the hostesses’ use of ornamental vegetables as table decoration, regardless of how questionably shaped these vegetables may be…even a bulbous marrow can add a certain zhush to a table layout – believe me – I’ve seen this done in real life…!

However, attempting to display ones extremely limited styling ‘skills’ in the public arena is a totally different thing altogether, and I have to admit to feeling rather like a pre-schooler showing off a 4 year old’s interpretation of a horse – “What a lovely chicken darling…oh? It’s a horse!”

Anyway dear readers, here it is – a bit basic with crumpled linen – but remember – I’m just playing around – if you were really coming for dinner, there’d be…well…food (and I’d get you too tipsy with cocktails to notice the bare bits!). In reality this is an excuse to get out my new Susie Watson bowls, and please ignore the colours on the wall and chairs…these are all projects that are still a work in progress (you see!), although happily there are dates in the diary, so at some point in the not too distant future, there will be a proper dining room ‘reveal’. Right. I’ll shut up before I go too apologetic and ‘Hugh Grant’ on you.

…Okaaaaay – so admittedly still a work in progress! So here, for the sake of relieving your eyes of my cobbled together efforts, and adding something a tad more sophisticated in the eye candy department, here are some professional tablescapes that cause my legs to tremble and my heart to soar (including Ken Tate’s first image). Forget the food – I think that I would be constantly swatting at my guests hands in an attempt to stop these marvelous vignettes from being tarnished with use. Can you imagine – “Darling, we’re not actually going to EAT in here – this table is just to be ADMIRED – we’re having a take-away in the kitchen!”

Let’s start simple…pretty and simple – and yet SO effective…

I like this one below also because of it’s simplicity…although perhaps I’d offer my own guests a spoon!

Okay, we’re upping the ante slightly with this one – but still quite casual dining – and I TOLD you there’d be vegetables!

A bit more going on here…I’d love to be brave enough to use trees on my table!

How beautiful is this…sigh!

Okay, so going in a slightly more formal direction now…

One day my dining chairs will be re-covered and look similar to this…(project number 1,952!)

…And the ‘piece de resistance’…who would want to eat when you could gaze at a (hopefully fake) peacock all night!

Right then – I’m off to stretch my legs and place a gourd on the table – Bon Appetite!

p.s. For those of you who haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my giveaway from my last post. The winner will be revealed on Monday – best of Luck and have a Glorious weekend!

Paula x

The Diaries

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