Favorites of the Week

I’m back again with a bunch of totally disconnected bits and pieces that piqued my interest this week. I hope you have as much fun as I did!

Home decor
  • While looking for wire plate stands that hold more than one plate, I discovered this gorgeous plate holder at Bed Bath and Beyond. I don’t need it, but it’s beautiful and someone among my French decor friends must have to have it to complete her look!
Click into photo for source.

Click into photo for source.

Continue reading

Photostyling Using Vintage Finds

Vintage pieces are everywhere and are the perfect backdrop for interesting blogging and photostyling.

GotMyReservations Lucky Junk Display

This display was taken at Lucky Junk with my cell phone. Interesting blog photos are everywhere!

While I’m still learning about photography and photostyling, I’ve figured out a few pointers that might help people who are starting out in blogging. I’m not a professional photographer, but the difference between my old and new photos is noticeable. Continue reading

Vintage Pottery Floral Casserole

Usually I open my blog posts with a family story, but I’ve got nothing this week. This piece of vintage pottery isn’t even mine. Do you see the tears rolling down my sad face?

GotMyReservations Vintage CasseroleMy favorite local antique shop is special — it’s kind of cross between a thrift shop and a high-end decor shop. Janet at Lucky Junk specializes in found items and French Country decor and mixes them together in a funky design style. Her vignettes in the store are gorgeous and always thought-provoking. I’m sure you know that “I can do that!” moment.

GotMyReservations Vintage Casserole 2

Lucky Junk is open twice a month, usually on the second and fourth weekends. Janet posts the schedule on the shop’s web site and Facebook page. She also sells Vintage Market goods including chalk paint and wax. I took a class there this spring.

GotMyReservations Lucky Junk Painting WorkshopWhen I saw this beautiful casserole in a Lucky Junk cupboard, I knew I had to feature it. It’s just gorgeous! It would be really fun to build a tablescape around its bright but slightly aged colors.

GotMyReservations Vintage Casserole 3

The casserole is marked Japan on the bottom but doesn’t have any manufacturer’s mark. It was quite reasonably priced if you can’t live without it.

I’m linked up this week with Dawn at We Call It Junkin’ and Christine at Rustic and Refined. Be sure to stop by and say hello — and “like” their Facebook pages as well as Lucky Junk’s page.

GotMyReservations Coffee Thank You Sign Off

Floral Fantasy Tablescape

I don’t want to jinx it, but my garden has never looked better! Even with the plant loss from our crazy winter, this rainy June has rejuvenated all of my sad plants. It seemed a perfect week to feature a flowery tablescape.

GotMyReservations Floral Fantasy  Intro

It all started with my inspiration piece –a Nippon Rose pattern vase. I traced its history here. The greens of the piece combined with the yellow and red roses reminded me of English country gardens, overflowing with colorful flowers. The base of the centerpiece is a distressed green wooden tray found on the sale rack at Joann Fabrics. I created a floral centerpiece with faux flowers picking up the yellow, red, lavender, and greens in the vase and the linens. Continue reading

Nippon Rose Vase Tablescape Inspiration

It’s that time of the week again, when I start looking around my house for inspiration for this week’s tablescape. Although I only have a small hoard cache of items to choose from compared with some of the tablescaping queens, there’s still lots of things to share with you. I wish I had a storage room in my house like the one at Biltmore, where I could store all my pretties in one place.


The Flower Room at Biltmore Estate, where the servants would create fresh floral arrangements for the house. Click into photo for source.

I’m just not in the mood to do a fake Fourth of July tablescape, so I’m waiting until next week when I’ll actually use the table setting to entertain friends. It’s still June, and summer has barely gotten rolling here in Chicagoland! Continue reading

Inspiration: Gold, Green and White Tablescape

I love to visit stores with beautiful tablescapes for inspiration. This spring, Macy’s sponsored a flower show at many of its locations and along with the amazing floral displays, there also were beautiful tablescapes. I was a bad girl and didn’t source out any of these items in the photos, but they speak for themselves. Gorgeous!

GotMyReservations Macys Tablescape 1 Continue reading

Wonderful World of Disney Tablescape

This week’s tablescape was inspired by my vintage Ferris wheel (I talked about its history here), and seemed the perfect week to showcase it in Cuisine Kathleen’s “summer whimsey” tablescape party.

GotMyReservations Chein Disney Ferris Wheel

J. Chein Disney Ferris Wheel

Growing up, we traveled in the summer since my father was a teacher. Every June, we packed up the trailer and headed off on a long car trip. The longest — and my brother says the most interminable — trip we ever took was from Ohio to California. It was on that vacation in about 1965 that I first went to Disneyland and was enchanted by Walt Disney’s vision. Continue reading

The Biggest Dish Room in the United States? — Biltmore Part 1

The original photo of the two-story butler's pantry at Biltmore is courtesy of The Biltmore Estate.

The original photo of the two-story butler’s pantry at Biltmore is courtesy of The Biltmore Estate.

Dish rooms are my joy, my thrill, my raison d’être. Well, maybe not quite that much, but y’all know how much I love dishes.

When we began to plan our visit to the largest private home in the United States, I hoped to see lots and lots of dishes. Gobs of dishes.

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore House and its surrounding estate was imagined and created between 1889 and 1895 by George W. Vanderbilt and his all-star team of Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmsted. It is still held privately by descendants of George and Edith Vanderbilt and is open to the public. There is a general tour of the house with an available audio guide that takes about two hours. There are also auxiliary guided tours of areas that are not on the main tour. We spent two glorious days exploring this beautiful estate.

In addition to the regular tour of the house, we also signed up for the Butler’s Tour, which took us “downstairs” into kitchen and mechanicals areas not seen on the other tours. This two-story butler’s pantry just took my breath away.

I’ll share lots more about our trip to the glorious Biltmore Estate, but today I’m going to start with a visit to the gift shops on the grounds of the Estate. After all, it’s dishes that we are interested in — right? Continue reading

Pretty in Pink Tablescape

big-pink-wedding-dress-designs-for-girlsWhat is it about the color pink that make girls’ hearts go pitty-pat?

Pink wedding dresses, pink shoes, pink handbags, pink upholstery — it’s all about pink for little girls and grown women. There’s the pink aisle at the toy store filled with Barbie and her accessories — and remember when our craft stores were replacing Christmas merchandise with pink and red Valentine’s Day stuff long before December 25?

Pink isn’t all about being sweet and girly. It’s the symbol of strength and fortitude when applied to fighting breast cancer. I remember the first pink suit I bought when I felt I was sufficiently established in my career to get away with wearing pink — and I never went back. In fact, I’m just about to add a new pink blazer to my wardrobe in an unstructured knit to match my new more casual lifestyle — a lifestyle in which my inspiration word is STRONG. Continue reading

The Morning After: Downton Abbey Brunch

Setting the table in Downton Abbey style was lots of fun. Hearing from so many of you was wonderful. Having my husband shout at the television last night, saying, “They’re measuring the silverware just like you said!” was even more fun.

GotMyReservations Downton Abbey Tablescape Intro

And so was actually eating at the table.

I will admit that I took down the big candlelabra and replaced it with a five-candle silver candlelabra so that we could actually see each other. Unlike what happened in Downton Abbey last night — remember when they “turned the table”? — my guests were allowed to talk across the brunch table. It’s just not that big.

We removed all the dishes from the staged table in order to serve the brunch plated. Since there were only five of us, it was easy to plate at my kitchen island and serve directly to the table. My husband made a wonderful footman and we had a relaxed couple of hours. We even broke every Downton Abbey rule by keeping the kitchen television on (muted, of course), so Music Man could keep track of the football games. Continue reading

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