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Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Village Dinner

This past week I had the privilege of styling a dinner for The Village Magazine, hosted by Ruthy Taylor and Danielle Kartes.

I worked with Renae of Colour & Dust to create a whimsical space for our guests.

The dinner brought twenty five mothers from the Seattle/Tacoma area together to bond over the trials and beauty of motherhood. 

It was a beautiful night indeed.

I wanted to create a classically beautiful space that was both simple and ornate. Filling the table with greenery gave that over the top garden appeal while working with neutral pieces and leafy greenery kept things simple. For the center piece and hanging wreaths, I used salal and added succulents for contrast. I felt a white flower would have taken away from the beauty of the white table cloth, so I went with a monochromatic look with the foliage. My original plan was to wire the succulents into the garland table runner, but as we ran out of time, leaving them potted made the most sense. I would still like to try my hand at wiring succulents into a runner in the future.

Lilacs were added throughout the space to highlight and frame the chalk art done by Renae. She made a beautiful photo booth backdrop, the name tags for our swag bags (filled with goodies from generous small businesses in Tacoma), the menu header and some signs.

Since the salal runner was so intricate, everything else at the table had to be kept extremely simple. 

Long slender menus over the folded napkins and wrapped with jute gave a rustic feel. Renae added place cards with a bit more greenery. To avoid using too many shades of white at the table I went for grey napkins. I think it broke it up quite well. Candles in crystal holders were hidden within the runner.

The hanging wreaths added height and intrigue to the table. I went for a messy, bushy look keeping some of the branches free to dangle downward.

The menu consisted of salmon or chicken with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes and a gluten free rhubarb crumble to finish.

Danielle also served a rhubarb mint mojito, which added a pretty pop of pink.

As night fell, the room lit up with the glow of the candles and the sound of chatter filled the air. It was a night to remember.

Credits -

photography: Julia Sumpter
chalk art & styling: Renae Cooper
tablescape styling & floral: myself
coordinator: Ruthy Taylor

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

If a Niçoise Salad were a Hipster

... It would be a kale, haricot vert and chickpea salad.

Enough jokes. Let's talk about the tastiest lunch you could make. It's dynamic in flavor and delightfully filling. 


• Curly kale (enough for one meal)
• 1/4 cup roasted chickpeas (let them roast in the oven with salt, pepper and chili powder while you get the other ingredients together)
• A handful of green beans lightly sautéed in olive oil (you want them to still be crispy)
• 1/8 cup thinly sliced red onions sautéed lightly with the green beans
• 2 tbsp chopped roasted almonds
• Half a lemon
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste


• Wash the kale and set aside. Place the chickpeas on a cookie sheet to roast in the oven with desired spices.
• Start to sauté the beans, for about five minutes. Add the onions and take off the heat.
• Chop almonds.
• Toss all the ingredients into a bowl and cover with the juice of half a lemon, the tablespoon of olive oil and the salt/pepper.
• Toss until the salad is well mixed and evenly coated.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Gilded Hydrangeas

Decorating with flowers in the winter months can be a challenge. While some varieties bloom in colder months and flower shops will provide important selections, I tend to find them pricey and therefore not worth it. 

On the other hand, fake bouquets seem cheesy to me. Occasionally I'll find a silk arrangement that catches my eye, but again, the price is out of the question. 

Bring in dried hydrangeas (I'm sure you've got some in your own yard, if not look around and you can spot some. Ask a neighbor if you can cut a few). Spray paint those things and display them for a funky looking arrangement in your home. 

What you need: 

• Dried up hydrangea blossoms (sorry I didn't get a before picture)
• Gold spray paint (you could do any color, really)


• If the hydrangeas are wet from the rain dry them out. If you have time hang them to dry in a warm space. If not, use a blowdryer. That's what I did. 
• Get outside and spray paint the flowers. Do not do this inside, seriously.
• Make sure to get the stems too.

It's as easy as that.