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Lord & Taylor just opened a new home department in their flagship store in Manhattan (39th and 5th).  I stopped in at their grand opening this week and snapped a few shots.  Furniture and furnishings are by Ralph Lauren.

Blue-and-white dinnerware complement a plaid-patterned tablecloth and chairs. Designer: Philip Gorrivan

A trio of wolves stalk a well-laden table under a canopy of green. Designer: Brad Ford.

Fall colors dominant with leafy branches,tall branchy candle stands and fringed table cloth with window-pane check. Designer: Garrow Kedigian.

Pistoulet, from Pfalzgraff

It’s no surprise that 2010 will see more of us eating at home rather than going out. And it seems the tableware folks are coming to the table, so to speak, with new patterns and colors in dinner dishes to make it all a little more exciting.

Here are a few 2010 tableware trends to look out for…

More ‘wow’ pieces. Gone are matching place settings where dinner dishes vary only in size. We’re starting to see more variety within a place setting, with each piece making a design statement on its own. A 5-piece tableware setting might include variations in shape and a different pattern on each piece.

More personal statements. With dinner dishes, bowls and mugs within a place setting each being unique, there’s more freedom to mix things up a little and pull together the table in our own way. With a wider variety of patterns, we’re also able to pick patterns that say something about ourselves as a person. Call it eclectic or eccentric… it’s all about creating options, or doing things our own way.

Casual looks. A less disposable generation is driving a desire for beautiful dinner dishes they can be used every day… and simpler flatware with less decorated looks (cleaned up a little rather than outright contemporary). Metallic finishes are also being toned down from bright silver to burnished, brushed and hammered finishes.

Folk influences, especially from Europe. From Provence to Uzbekistan, western and eastern Europe are inspiring everything from flowers and fleur-de-lys patterns to embroidery-like stiches and densely packed swirls. Less-known locations around the world are inspiring new decorative ideas that are proving quite Bohemian.

Redefined formality. A more casual lifestyle is entrenched today, but there are traces of a growing desire for a little more formality.  The trend is less about ornate patterns on dinner dishes and more about a growing appreciation for quality and interest in the right way to serve and eat food. For example, we’re spending more time and money finding the right glass for the right wine or beer, the right serving platter… and wine decanters are becoming a must-have for a growing generation of educated wine drinkers.

Saw these Christmas windows displays at Berdorff Goodman in Manhattan this week.  Apparently foxes eat well. Check out their Christmas dinner dishes!

Here’s a great way to dress up your Christmas table setting without spending a lot of money. I picked up these rolls of  wrapping paper on clearance after Christmas last year. I loved the damask-like pattern on the one, and the Merry Christmas words on the other. There wasn’t any doubt that they’d look as gift wrap, but I wanted to see if they’d also make a great holiday decorating idea.

Good quality wrapping paper makes a great runner for a Christmas table setting. Don’t worry if it doesn’t fit the entire table – it just needs to run down the center of the table, like a holiday table runner would, though the advantage of using paper is that you can create a wide runner and really make a statement! (Fold the edges or ends under to get a clean edge, if needed.)

Another great thing about a paper table runner is that you don’t have  to worry if it gets stained – just toss it out.

Choose wrapping paper that’s a good quality and weight – a raised surface or flock adds texture and dimension. Avoid overly bright gift wrap (unless it’s a solid color) or overly patterned gift wrap that will take over your table!

For more ideas, click on the christmas table setting tab (under tags) on the left-hand column.

For home decorating ideas, visit www.roomplanners.com.

Here’s a quick, inexpensive way to add a lot of drama, color and a Christmas pattern to the dinner dishes on your Christmas table.

There’s a surprising amount of really nice Christmas paper plates out there… nicer than most Christmas dinner dishes, in my opinion!  Large paper plates can make a great addition to your Christmas table setting.  They look like your own set of Christmas dishes (and you don’t have to buy or store dishes you use just one month out of the year!).

For this great-looking holiday decorating idea, simply look for Christmas-themed paper plates that color-coordinate with your existing dinner dishes. Buy the biggest size – it’ll be just a little smaller than your dinner plate and that’s exactly what you want – your dinner dishes will look like a charger plate underneath. (Note! Look for a good quality paper plate – the ones with perimeter edges that are rasied and curved under looks less cheap.) 

If you don’t want to serve your dinner on a paper plate, serve just a first course on it – salad, bread or hors d’oeuvres, then remove them for the main course. Or use them just on serving dishes… or for display before you eat. 

For more ideas, click on the Christmas table settings tab (under tags)  on the left-hand column.

For home decorating ideas, visit www.roomplanners.com.

Happy holidays!

For a change from the red and green color standards for the Christmas dinner table, try a silver and gold holiday table instead this year!

It’s easy to do because you may already own more of these colors than you realize. Dig through old boxes of Christmas ornaments  for some Christmas table decorating ideas – you might be surprized what you come up with!

Start with a white or cream-colored dinner plate (lined with gold or silver is nice, but not necessary) and polished silverware.Then just start adding. Here are a few ideas:

Scatter some white snowflakes on top of a white tablecloth. You can buy these at a craft store, dollar store or make them by cutting folder paper. (They don’t have to be super well made – they’ll just add a layer of texture.)

Add white napkins, plain or lined with gold. (Layering white on white is a good idea – it’ll tone down all the glitter!)

Fill glass bowls or glasses with silver and gold round Christmas balls. 

Add a silver or gold charger plate underneath the white plate, or an accent bowl or smaller plate in either color.

Look around the house for simple silver, gold or white anything – candles, candle holders, decorative boxes, ornaments, angels and add them to the table. Freely mix all three colors. Nothing doesn’t match in this scheme, as long as you stick to these three hues.

Curl a thin strand of silver or gold ribbon around the base of your wine glasses.

Add a white wreath in the center of the Christmas table. Tie gold and silver Christmas ornaments to it and put a large candle (or several smaller ones) in the center.

For more ideas, click on the christmas table settings tab (under tags) on the left-hand column.

For more home decorating ideas, visit www.roomplanners.com.

Jaclyn SmithLooking for some new holiday decorating ideas for this season? 

Jaclyn Smith was in New York recently to premier her new Christmas collection for KMart, along with some easy to create hoiday decorating  and Christmas table setting ideas.

You’ll notice the berry color trend that promise to be popular for this holiday season , along with some dressy damask patterns for Christmas table settings and napkins.

A few of Jaclyn’s suggestions:Jaclyn Smith for KMart, Decorating Ideas

* wrap cloth napkins with cord and attach a small ornament (in this case, a  high-heeled gold shoe)

* instead of running a runnner down the center of the table, place several runners across the width of your Christmas table. The effect is to frame the plate and placemat.

Jaclyn Smith, Christmas holiday decorating ideas at KMart

 * cut holiday ribbons the width of the table runner and let them drape down on the edge of the table

* use round Christmas tree ornaments to create a centerpeice. Stack assorted colored balls into a centerpiece and add candles.

* place small colored glass tumblers over top of chandelier bulbsJaclyn Smith, Christmas holiday decorating ideas. Attach some cut-glass ornaments to add an extra dose of sparkle.

* angle a holiday tablecloths over another tablecloth on your dinner, or a small accent table to create a rich, dressy layered effect.

* mix damask patterns in berry tones with gold accents

Jaclyn Smith, Christmas holiday decorating ideasJaclyn Smith’s new holiday decor products are available at KMart.

For more ideas, click on the Christmas table settings tag on the left-side column.

For more home decorating ideas, visit www.roomplanners.com.

Trip to Kitchener Sept 09 008

Autumn is a great time to rethink not just our menu, but how we present it. With Thanksgiving around the corner, most of us tend to be captivated by the rural country. Even if your tastes don’t run along the rustic country lines, your dinner table might be the one place you rethink that. Bringing a little of the rural countryside to our dining table decor is akin to eating comfort food. It’s good for the soul.

Here are a couple of ways to add some country warmth to your dinner table this fall…

1. Dress for the weather.  With cooler temps, we tend to pile on heavier textures and warmer fabrics… so adding extra clothing to our tables isn’t so far fetched?!

* use heavier textures such as jacquard weaves, wool and heavier brushed cottons for table linens
* layer it on… now’s the time to use it all –  the tablecloth, placemats,  runners and napkins. A rich layering of coordinating fabrics feels warm and cozy. 

1. Mix and match your table linens. Autumn is all about abundance and dinner tables look more abundant when we layer on a variety of patterns in a variety of  colors.

* layer checkered cloth napkins with a plaid tablecloth or vice versa. If that sounds too country for your tastes,  invest in a set of checkered napkins (they’ll work in the summer too) and mix them with solid colored placemats.
* instead of mixing patterns, mix a variety of solid colors in rich, autumn shades. Try a pumpkin-colored table cloth with mustard-colored placemats, rich tomato napkins and moss-colored plates… or something along those lines.

 3. Opt for country colors. Take a look outside your window, then bring those earthy, autumn colors inside. Choose a color palette around any earthy vegetable color… tomatos, squash, peas, corn, etc.. These earthy, autumn colors feel warm and woodsy.  If you stay within this garden palette, you can mix any variety of colors.

* put a handful of dry, colorful leaves in a simple glass bowl in the center of the table.
* place a simple fall wreath in the middle of the table and place a wide round candle in the center in a complementary color.
* bring in some yellow – turns out we all feel instantly warmer and more content around a harvest gold-colored pitcher, napkins or placemats.

4. Add rustic textures. Replicate some of the dry, rugged textures of autumn on your table. Not sure what it is about those rough hay bail-type textures, but we all seem drawn to touch them. 

* place pine cones in a glass bowl as a centerpiece, or place a few of them on each dining plate prior to serving dinner.
* spread a few dry branches in the center of the table and place votive candles among them 
* put a few serving dishes inside rustic baskets; it’s a whole different experience to pass aroun a straw or woven textured dish than one made of ceramic or glass.

Fall clothing can be a great inspiration for dinner table schemes. Observe the way textures, patterns, fabrics and colors of popular autumn wardrobes are mixed for inspiration!

Just when we were getting comfortable looking at the minimalist pages of RealSimple magazine and the barely-there furniture of Design Within Reach, it seems we’re trending back to a little romance and clutter… at least in the kitchen.

According to the trend-tracking Home Furnishings Monitor, the clean contemporary styles that dominated dinner dishes and other tabletop acrutements the past decade are declining in popularity. Claiming 51% of the tabletop market in 2007, contemporary styles are expected to drop to 28% by 2010.

Driving the new trends are European styles, growing to 29% by 2010… and expected to be on par with contemporary dinner dishes offerings at your local tableware store.

No surprise, favorite European styles are proving to be the well-entrenched French Country style (who doesn’t crave a French kitchen and a baguette?) and feminine English Country styles (Laura Ashley is looking for a big comeback). But aggressive growth is also expected in more sophisticated European styles, including formal French, stately neo-classical and lavish Rococo designs. Picture upscale table settings with tiered plate or footed cake stands, elegant punch bowls and glowing candelabras and you’ve got the idea!

Source: Home  World Business, Spring 2009.

It seems the days of owning one set of good china for life… may be coming to an end.

New patterns for tableware are coming out at a faster rate than ever before…. partly to entice us to spend money in a tough economy… partly because more of us getting a little more eclectic when it comes to our dining tables… partly because dining is less formal and fancy china just isn’t used (or even bought) as much anymore. 

Tableware companies are showing a bigger variety of patterns and colors in 2009  introductions than they ever have, so there’s a lot to choose from. (But patterns have shorter life cycles today so you may not be able to add pieces in the future.)

Here are a few 2009 kitchen trends and what you can do to give your kitchen, table… or both, a facelift.

1. Mix new tableware with your current china. If you’ve got solid colored china, add serving dishes, chargers, bowls or luncheon plates in a coordinating pattern. Or layer solid-colored luncheon plates or bowls plates on top of your existing patterned china.

2. Look for kitchen counter accessories that pack a punch. Canisters, colanders, spoon rests in a bright color, or slick stainless steel can add color, polish and practicality.

3. Add more color. Tableware has never been more colorful than it is today. Even adding a colored serving dish or a set of bowls can lift our spirits and add life to an old set of dishes.