Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Take-away messages

Invariably, your monthly allotment of shelter magazines comes all at once- it can leave you scrambling to the previous month's issues ripping out those inspirational images that you'll want to hang on to or deciding to save the entire issue because it's "all good!" While there is always something in these editorials that is beautiful, sometimes it can be tricky to see how these images can speak to us, what we can "take-away" from them.

I'm all for seeing hand-blocked wallpaper in dining rooms and tables set with museum quality tableware that seat 12, but I don't live like that. What I try to take-away from these spreads is the structure of the table setting or the mood of the dining room.

Case in point: Veranda has Carolyne Roehm as a contributor who writes a regular piece on entertaining. This month, she shares how she transitions from summer to fall in her dining room much like she transitions her wardrobe. Her tables (yes, plural) get the equivalent of cashmere sweaters. There is a changing of the guard in terms of linens, dishes, glassware, even centerpiece ideas. Flowers transition into bowls of fruit (apples, pears, grapes, etc) as her garden gives its last deep, satisfying breath of dahlias and chrysanthemums. Take-away: fill a bowl with fruit and set it on your table.

Now I know this isn't earth shattering or won't put the economy back on track, but having a bowl you can fill with fruit that you can then eat or juice seems like a great way to set a table.

Further into the issue, there is a editorial of a Manhattan townhouse with interiors designed by Timothy Whealon. There is a pair of pictures of the dining room, one "at rest" and the other "set", and sure enough, the "at rest" table has a great bowl filled with oranges. Impactful, colorful, and practical!

I, too, have a great alabaster bowl that is sitting on my table that happens to be filled with green apples. Even without fruit, this bowl is a beauty, but with that splash of color and realization that in a few days, the apples will be a great glass of juice, it really puts a smile on my face. Carolyne would be so proud!

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