The season of socializing is upon us—and if you’re playing hostess this holiday, there are probably approximately a million things you still need to do before your guests arrive. But while you’ve been perfecting your eggnog recipe, we’ve been tracking down some festive entertaining essentials. From cocktail shakers and decanters to dessert plates and cheese boards, click through the slideshow to shop 15 must-have metallic serving accessories that'll help you throw the perfect soiree.
The turkey may be the most important thing on your table come Thanksgiving Day, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your decor some thought, too. We checked in with local interior designer Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey of SCW Interiors to get some tips on how to create a festive atmosphere for giving thanks. The key? Cavin-Winfrey says the surest way to a perfect tablescape is to let your existing decor dictate your direction. “If your dining room walls are pink, then there should be a pink element to your table,” she says. But she does have one hard-and-fast rule: When it comes to your table, don’t use red. “It’s disastrous—unless it’s Valentine’s Day or Christmas,” she says.
Whether you want to go big and use ’em all or keep it simple with just one, read on for more of Cavin-Winfrey’s tips for sprucing up the Turkey Day table.
1) Placemat Photo Collage
A combination of wax paper, vibrant leaves, and old photos of dinner guests can create a table runner that inspires memories from years past. Simply press the leaves and pictures between the paper, then run it vertically down the center of the table. “Create a collage with the leaves so you’ve got a really neat patchwork,” Cavin-Winfrey says.
2) I’m Thankful for . . .
Write this phrase at the top of a note card (or buy these) and place one at each table setting in a Mason jar or dish, along with a pencil. Read them out loud and see if guests can figure out who authored each one.
3) Go for Gourds
There’s no time like Thanksgiving to load your dining room with fall’s colorful produce. Stop by your local pumpkin patch or farmstand to pick up some baby pumpkins, then arrange them on the table or in a bowl as a centerpiece. Add a few flowers for balance, and make sure to keep the arrangement low so it doesn’t block conversation.
4) Rustic Lighting
“Candlelight is always really important,” Cavin-Woodfrey says. Wrapping some straw or twigs around a candelabra will introduce rustic touches into a formal dining room setting. Apartment-bound with no woods in sight? Take the easy way out with this West Elm black aluminum faux-manzanita candelabra, $99.
Looking for a few quick tricks to give your home a little fall refresh? We asked Georgetown-based designer Zoe Feldman to share three ways to transition your decor into autumn—without a heavy-duty redo. Read on to snag her secrets. (Spoiler: texture is key!)
Try: West Elm's pillows combine soft, pale hues and lush velvet texture. Studded velvet pillow covers, $34-$39 at West Elm.
Try: Lafco candle in Den Brown Redwood, which combines notes of coastal redwood, cedar, and huckleberry; or Diptyque’s Feu de Bois, meant to invoke a log fire. Lafco and Diptyque candles, $60 at Bluemercury.
Try: Restoration Hardware’s cashmere throws impart a super-soft bit of luxury. 555-Gram cashmere throws, $199 at Restoration Hardware.
Talk about a rosy outlook: Pink-tinged metals (such as eye-catching copper and its dreamier cousin, rose gold) perfectly toe the line between completely classic and sleekly modern. The result: a look that’s unexpected yet versatile. Lately we’ve spotted the hue on everything from pendant lamps and wire furniture to appliances and tableware. Rose-gold cutlery? Yes, please. Click through the gallery for 20 pieces that’ll help you work the look into your home.
Georgetown is flush with droolworthy design shops: Jonathan Adler, Design Within Reach, Contemporaria—the list goes on. But truth is, sometimes a decor budget is a bit more modest. Enter HomeGoods. Using the same off-price discount model behind its sister store, T.J.Maxx, the retailer sells fun, trendy furniture alongside cookware, dishes, linens, and accessories, all at über-reasonable prices. We’ve never left without a cart full of goodies. The only downside? These stores are typically way out in the ’burbs, which makes bargain-hunting tough for urbanites. Until now, that is. After a long renovation, the former Georgetown Park Mall was transformed into a 50,000-square-foot combination T.J.Maxx/HomeGoods megastore, which officially opened for business on Sunday morning.
We went by for an early glimpse at the new digs last week just before the grand opening. Read on to see a handful of the stylish scores you can snag at the new store.
This year’s DC Design House, a newly constructed, five-level home in Wesley Heights, designed by GTM Architects, opens to the public this weekend. It’s currently on the market for $14.9 million. Tours of the house are available Tuesday through Sunday until May 12. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite sights here, though there are many more. More information about tickets (20 percent of proceeds go to Children’s National Medical Center) and tour availability can be found at the DC Design House website.
Dip dye, a painting technique traditionally reserved for Easter eggs, has taken the design world by storm. Artists achieve the look by hand-dipping ordinary objects in rich hues, leaving a section untouched or lightly shaded. Charlotte Love, a London-based stylist/illustrator whose shoot (above) went viral on Pinterest, says decorating with ombré is easy. So easy, in fact, that you can do it yourself. The self-proclaimed magpie painted thrifted wooden chairs and dyed her own textiles. “I knew pastels were going to be a big trend [last season] so I let that inspire the shoot,” Love says. “It just so happened that the location we used was white, and I think it worked beautifully. The contrast prevented the decor from looking too sickly.” For those who’d rather leave dye jobs to the professionals, we found 14 two-tone pieces for sale. So add some spunk to your tabletop with neon bowls and playful spice cellars, or liven up your entryway with statement-making benches and stools.
Liz Levin of Liz Levin Interiors is known for creating stylish yet livable spaces for Washington families. After being unable to find child-friendly furnishings for her own home, the Georgetown-based designer launched Nesting, an online resource for parents and pet owners. The site offers everything from round-edged tables—including the Oly resin table featured here—to stain-resistant fabrics. We caught up with the designer to learn how homeowners can accommodate growing families without sacrificing style.
It’s no secret that Washington has some of the best vintage shopping around. Estate sales, auctions, flea markets, and secondhand retail shops consistently offer incredible opportunities for the dedicated and creative shopper. I’ve heard, and agree with, the many reasons Washington has such an abundance of vintage treasures, most of them having to do with the area’s unparalleled midcentury leftovers as well as the transient nature of the area. As a vintage junkie myself, I love a good flea market or consignment shop, and I have a circuit of local retail obsessions that call to me on Saturdays (or Thursdays, when most of them bring in new stock). But my true vintage scavenging faith lies in none other than our local Craigslist.
Those of us in the Washington area who are obsessed with textiles count ourselves lucky to be in driving distance of Haute Fabrics in Marshall, Virginia, one of the best sources for premier fabrics at bargain prices. I, for one, have hit the fabric jackpot a number of times at Haute, like the time I secured 18 yards of Kelly Wearstler’s Fern Tree in charcoal grey at $28 a yard—a huge steal considering this fabric normally retails at $200 a yard and up!
If you’re in the mood to try your luck at unearthing your own treasure, head over to Haute Fabric’s tent sale beginning July 20. It’s been a few years since proprietor Roxene Hill hosted such an event, so there will be a wide and varied range of select fabrics from $14 to $16 a yard, and trims will be 20 percent off.