In my design work, I am very often ask about my preference for the shape of dining tables…round, rectangular, square,oval, etc. My first preference is round or square because I feel these shapes tend to make for better conversation. However, first of all one must consider the shape of their dining room or dining area. A square room lends itself to a round or square table, and a rectangular or oval table works better for rooms or spaces that are rectangular. RULE NUMBER 1…. the size and shape of your dining room or dining area. This assures good scale and proportion . Several years ago, I read a wonderful book, Dining with Churchill, by Cita Stelzer. It is no secret that I am a big fan of Mr. Churchill and was pleased to read that he insisted on round tables, with all arm chairs. Churchill often used the dining table for diplomacy and deals and felt that a round table created a sense of equality, no opposing sides, nor corners, and no one below the salt! In honor of our mutual philosophy on tables, I designed a Churchill Dining Room at the Cathedral Antiques Show in Atlanta a few years ago. My space was square , so my round table was perfect. and of course, I used all arm chairs!
I used these custom round tables for a client’s beach home, as well as their primary residence. There is definitely wisdom in Mr. Churchill’s ideas for dining!
These great outdoor dining tables are used in a clients “outdoor living space” and were featured in The Collected Tabletop.
Depending on the space for a client’s dining area, I often use oval or rectangular shapes.
Both the eating area in my kitchen and in my great room call for an oval table.
Yet I must admit…my favorite shape for dining is a lovely round table…inside or out!
What is the shape of your dining table and what is your preference, if your space wasn’t a consideration?!
Oh dear, it is late February and my peonies are pushing their tiny red stems up out of the ground. As I said last week, I am SO worried for my plants! But with the tiny red shoots appearing, my thoughts turn to peonies! Beautiful, lush, fat, pink peonies!
Today my peony thoughts turn to a lovely bedroom I designed in Waynesville for my “Study in Pink” client. The client wanted an English chintz pattern with pink peonies. After much searching and a “come to Jesus meeting ” with Lee Jofa (they were about to discontinue the perfect fabric I found), we began work in this sunny guest bedroom.
Notice the symmetrical alignment of the framed botanicals!
A lovely collection of antique porcelain fills the pine bookcases.
With a palette of pinks, greens, and white, this bedroom fits perfectly into this little cottage that I call “A Study in Pink”. I even have a chapter about this cottage in my book, The Collected Tabletop, called of course a Study in Pink! The pink and green palette weaves itself through the entire cottage…
- Crisp green lattice carpet…which certainly speaks of spring!
- Crisp white (washable) bed linens with beautiful monograms. (I do love a beautiful monogram!)
- Vintage and antique pieces, in a combination of paint and stain.
- A mellow pine piece to hold a lovely collection.
- Framed botanicals that are additional “flower power”.
- Only one print other than the peony chintz, which is the small print on the chair.
Oh my…spring seems to be arriving early at Chestnut cottage… hellebores by the dozens, early spring daffodils, the heavenly scent of daphne, sweet little purple crocus, tiny white snow drops, and flowering cherry trees! The “early birds” are always the beautiful hellebores and oh how I love hellebores!
I love the way the hellebores surround my little garden cottage.
I made an arrangement for the weekend with the hellebores from the garden and some “super green” roses. The roses made a nice textural combination with the hellebores and they had a casual look in the flow blue cachepot.
A few weeks ago, I made this arrangement in a silver container with some heather from the garden and hydrangea from the flower market, which looked a bit more formal.
A variety of colors in hellebores give lots of options for cut flower arrangements. Again, I used the green roses and hellebores in a sweet little ribbed glass vase.
All I can do now is hope that everything that is blooming and will soon be blooming doesn’t get wiped out by a March freeze! What’s in your garden in the middle of February?!
I feel a closeness to the readers of The Collected Room through their lovely comments. I recently sent a copy of The Collected Tabletop to a special blog reader, Kelley Dibble, who lives in Guam. I love how I can connect with readers around the world and feel very grateful for this blessing. Not long after Kelley received her book, I received a beautiful handmade card from her, which I have framed! I am fascinated with her work…especially the “shades of blue” on the card.
Gratitude is a very important aspect of my life. I believe that gratitude takes so little time and can change not only the receiver, but also the giver!
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
I love this quote by Marcel Proust (perhaps because it speaks of gardeners!) and do believe that gratitude makes our souls blossom. I was so touched by Kelley’s time and effort spent making this very personal thank you card. I write in a prayer journal each day and at the end of each entry, I try to write several things that I can be grateful for that day. How do you practice gratitude?
What an honor it was to be featured on Million Dollar Decorating Podcast this past Sunday! I met James Swan at the High Point Market in October and he asked me if he might interview me for his podcast. I was delighted to be included and had lots of fun thinking about the questions he planned to ask. They were indeed “food for thought”!
The link below will take you to my interview.
Here’s to making our lives and our world a more beautiful place!