Inspired Table

Styling tables is one of the best things I get do as the owner of Hen House Linens.  (Accounting, not so much.)  We are fortunate to have other gifted stylists in the roost as well and I am always surprised and delighted to see what inspires them.  This tablescape was created by our photographer, Lee Kriel, who was keen on hosting her own fall dinner party outside.  She started with a runner from our Mallory Cottage Collection in rich claret.  The Filligree napkins tie the whole eclectic look together perfectly.  Enjoy!

I just love the blankets draped over the chairs.  What a thoughtful detail that will ensure the party does not end when the sun goes down.

cotton table runner
cotton table runner

A rustic camp thermos full of warm coffee is a wonderful counterpoint to the silver wine chalices.

linens for the holidays
linens for the holidays
outdoor thanksgiving table
outdoor thanksgiving table

A simple arrangement of moss, apples and white pumpkins are simple, lovely and un-fussy.  The antlers are playful and a great conversation piece!

table linens for entertaining
table linens for entertaining
harvest table
harvest table
rustic table setting
rustic table setting

 Lee made this thankful jar with pieces of paper and pens for her guests to share their thoughts and reflections.

junque in my trunk

Each year our Presbyterian churchwomen host a junque sale.  Yes, with a "q".  Katherine (our Creative Director) introduced junque into my vernacular.  It's from her Dad, who loves to haunt estate sales and way, way deep in the country antique stores.  You get it, right?  He also claims to be a redneque, but that is a story for another time. There are so many "treasures" that mysteriously appear on the tables in our Parish Hall.  Unique junque like an Adam and Eve coffee mug with disappearing fig leaves when filled with hot water.  Klassi.   Yes, with a "k" and an "i".  This year, my afternoon of pitching in paid off.  I found a delicate porcelain swan terrine, an antique Fostoria punch bowl with cups and a gorgeous set of Limoge china.

I am starting to daydream about my Thanksgiving table and, by golly,  I believe my junque will be perfect!  I do want to funk the plates up a bit.  Maybe Garden Gate Ochre to really pop the gold trim?  I would certainly add some mossy green...  I think I will just leave everything out on my buffet, so each time I pass the dining room I will get a little more inspired. Also, it is all so pretty and I will be reminded of what a good shopper of deals I am.  I will keep you posted on my Thanksgiving tablescape ideas...

limoge china used everyday
limoge china used everyday
limoge plate found at sale
limoge plate found at sale

succulent arrangement

gorgeous fall centerpiece
gorgeous fall centerpiece

I scored these great looking urns on a recent scavenger hunt at our local antique store.  I was on a hunt for inexpensive silverware to fill out my eclectic mix for entertaining the masses over the holidays.  No silver at my price point, but the sweet little urns filled with succulents were.  The dusty greens, reds and purples felt so autumnal, I knew I needed them as a centerpiece for my table.  I also needed them looking adorable on my deck, so I decided to put together a centerpiece in this great slate trough I have.  The trough is the perfect vehicle for a centerpiece because it is long, low and narrow.  It fills out the table without taking up precious table setting real estate and the view of the person across from you is not obstructed.

I picked out a selection of succulents in various sizes plus some ferns and sweet air plants for texture and, well, flair!  First, I added rocks to the bottom of the trough.  Then I simply removed the plants from their pots, shook a bit of dirt off to loosen the roots and placed them directly over the rocks.  Succulents love all that breathing room!  The sweet air plants went in last because they tuck in so easily, fill in the gaps and they don't have to touch the soil.  Bonus!

Low maintenance and lovely.  Those are arrangements I like to make.

diy thanksgiving table
diy thanksgiving table
centerpieces for thanksgiving
centerpieces for thanksgiving
floral arrangement for the Thanksgiving table
floral arrangement for the Thanksgiving table
simple fall centerpiece
simple fall centerpiece
greenery for the table
greenery for the table
gold and white tablelinens cotton
gold and white tablelinens cotton

Tailgate Party Hen House Style!

Tailgating chili recipe gray and white cotton dinner napkins
burgandy and white cotton cocktail napkins
burgandy and white cotton cocktail napkins
chicken wings cotton cocktail napkins
chicken wings cotton cocktail napkins
gold and white cotton table linens
gold and white cotton table linens

Grab napkins in your school colors.  Use the silver-plated silverware you picked up from the antique store.  Pack a tray to help you serve.  Cook up chili and these EASY but oh so delicious chicken wings (recipe to follow).  You will make it look effortless and your family and friends will remember a great day at the game.

tailgate party cotton table linens
tailgate party cotton table linens
tailgate tray party food
tailgate tray party food

Frank's Hot Sauce Wings

2 1/2 lbs. chicken wings

1/2 C Frank's Hot Sauce

1/3 C melted butter

Spread wings on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. Combine Frank's Hot Sauce and the butter.  Toss wings in sauce to coat.  Take my word for it.  These are good.

Dinner Napkin Nest for your Easter Table

Blue and White cloth cotton dinner napkin fold

Of course we love napkin folds but they have to be easy like our linens.  This one is very simple and will add an extra 'wow' to your Easter table.  You might even get the children to put the napkins in their laps!  

blue and white cotton dinner napkin folding tips for easter
blue and white cotton dinner napkin folding tips for easter
Cotton blue and white dinner napkin fold
Cotton blue and white dinner napkin fold

Steps 1 & 2

cloth napkin fold blue and white dinner napkins
cloth napkin fold blue and white dinner napkins
Blue and White cotton dinner napkin fold cloth
Blue and White cotton dinner napkin fold cloth

Steps 3 & 4

Easter Napkin Fold
Easter Napkin Fold
Blue and White Easter cloth napkin fold
Blue and White Easter cloth napkin fold

Steps 5 & 6

Easter Dinner Napkin fold blue and white cloth
Easter Dinner Napkin fold blue and white cloth
Cotton cloth dinner napkins blue and white
Cotton cloth dinner napkins blue and white

Steps 7 & 8

Cotton dinner napkin for Easter Blue and white
Cotton dinner napkin for Easter Blue and white

Voila!

Cotton dinner napkins for Easter napkin folding
Cotton dinner napkins for Easter napkin folding

 Pick your favorite goodies and stuff the napkins for a sweet treat on the table.

Easter Table-escape | 2017

I live in Maryland.  I used to live in Hawaii.  Ask me where I wish I was right now?  This winter took a toll on me.  That is abundantly clear from the direction I gave our photographer, Lee as she was preparing to shoot our Easter tablescapes.  "I want orchids.  Water.  Sun.  Glorious Sun...  Go!"  She went.  I like to call this our table-escape.  Heading to the shore for Easter?  Pack some gorgeous linens (they don't take up any room) with your jellybeans and bunny baskets.  Enjoy the renewal that spring brings.  

Fatten up your regular old Tuesday routine this Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras table linens cotton green gold purple

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Fatten up your regular old Tuesday routine this Mardi Gras, March 4th.

Set a table with rich purples, golds and greens.

Throw some Mardi Gras beads in a glass vase or bowl.  (I can always find a fine selection of broken beads in my kid’s toy chest!)  Fold your napkins into this fleur-de-lis shape.  Light candles and don some gold, green and purple lone Ranger masks!  Voila!

cloth napkin folding gold and white
cloth napkin folding gold and white
gold cotton dinner napkins napkin folding
gold cotton dinner napkins napkin folding

Now for the Gras to your Mardi!  Here is our menu fit for a King!

Mardi Gras place setting cotton table linens green purple
Mardi Gras place setting cotton table linens green purple

Thank you to Este for providing these delicious recipes!

Sausage-and-Shrimp-Jambalaya Hen House Linens
Sausage-and-Shrimp-Jambalaya Hen House Linens
King Cake Hen House Linens
King Cake Hen House Linens

The Hen’s Thanksgiving Table

purple and white cotton table linens
purple and white cotton table linens
simple decorations for Thanksgiving
simple decorations for Thanksgiving

I am back on the Thanksgiving tablescape!  My yummy junque sale finds are still making me happy, but not actually striking the right giving thanks note for me.  We traditionally host several families for turkey and trimmings and the formal pattern of the limoge doesn't really fit our laid back vibe.  The rustic crate I use in my office to hold sample fabrics is our vibe and it all started to come together after a recent trip to my favorite garden shop.  White pumpkins.  Simply perfect white pumpkins.  The owner of the shop informed me that they were part of the "largest, most interesting crop" he had ever seen.  Then I came across these gorgeous fall cabbages and sweet potato vines in the deepest darkest purple-y plummy yumminess.  The linen selection was a cinch.  Aubergine all over.  And the place settings?  I went with my mother's wedding china.   Casual yet sophisticated with a nod towards what has come before us and a wink to what is here and now.  That is totally our vibe and a lot to be thankful for.

cotton table linens for the holidays
cotton table linens for the holidays
easy centerpiece for Thanksgiving
easy centerpiece for Thanksgiving
white and purple cotton cloth linens for the table
white and purple cotton cloth linens for the table
setting a table for thanksgiving
setting a table for thanksgiving
the perfect tablesetting
the perfect tablesetting

Don't RUFFLE your feathers! This napkin fold is easy...

Ruffle napkin fold
Ruffle napkin fold

1. Start by folding into a triangle.

napkin fold for Thanksgiving
napkin fold for Thanksgiving

2.  Fold up the corners.

fun napkin fold for Thanksgiving
fun napkin fold for Thanksgiving

3.  Flip it over.

gold napkin for Thanksgiving
gold napkin for Thanksgiving

4.  Fold up the bottom corner.

fun cotton napkin folds
fun cotton napkin folds
napkin folds for the kids table
napkin folds for the kids table

5.  Flip back.

gold cotton napkins
gold cotton napkins

6.  Fold in the sides.

turkey fold for Thanksgiving
turkey fold for Thanksgiving

7.  Tuck the right side into the left side

napkin fold for the Thanksgiving table
napkin fold for the Thanksgiving table
fun napkin folds
fun napkin folds

8.  Stand up.  Adorn with feathers or tuck in a name card.

tablesetting for Thanksgiving
tablesetting for Thanksgiving
cotton napkin folds
cotton napkin folds

Tips for YOUR perfect Thanksgiving table

1.  Let your table reflect your style. traditional, bohemian, casual.

2.  Don't stress about an over the top table.   Keep it simple with great color, a festive centerpiece and a few personal touches.

purple table linens cotton
purple table linens cotton

3.  Set the table the night before.  It will save your sanity and guest will arrive and immediately feel relaxed and welcome.

orange white cotton dinner napkins
orange white cotton dinner napkins
gold and white cotton table linens
gold and white cotton table linens

4.  Linens distract and dazzle!  A colorful cloth napkin on a bare tabletop will steal the show. Or if you want to hide the table (too many crayon marks), lay a seasonally inspired cloth down.

cotton tablelinens for the holidays
cotton tablelinens for the holidays

5.  Eat out!  If your dining room can't accommodate the masses or you want to shake it up, dine outside!