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

The Mother of All Things

Mother.  We all have one and we are all one.  I know Earth Mama, Hot Mama, the Mother of all headaches, Mother May I, MILF, Mama Pajama, Mom Jean, Yummy Mummy, Mommie Dearest, Mother Goose, Yo Mama, Drama Mama, DogMa and Mamma Mia.  And, not a single one of them has ever given birth.  

To be a mother is to nurture.  It's about planting good seeds and watching a tender young thing grow and blossom and become strong enough to stand on its own, so that it may in turn give.  

To all that have raised up beautiful spirits, animals, gardens, businesses, communities, other people's children, and me... I am humbled by your grace, fortitude, and innate drive to cultivate.  

Word to your Mother.

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.  

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!

Hen House Linens | On the Road

From our Creative Director Katherine Poole

I like to bring my work with me when I travel during the summer.  Not really.  But I do bring a stack of cloth napkins along any time I am on the road, checking into vacation homes or visiting friends.  Easy to pack, easy to wash and brings a lovely touch of home along with us.  From our picnic basket packed for an outdoor movie at the North Carolina Museum of Art, to family week at Holden Beach, to our upcoming road trip to New England to visit friends in Maine, the Pooles will be packing Hen House.  

Road Trip Tip: assign each person a napkin and dish towel for long car trips.  It actually cuts down on spills and keeps mama chill.  I have even been known to give my boys a placemat for their laps.  We like to pack a cooler with snacks and easy pick up meals so we don't have to make as many stops along the way and the placemats help contain food and keep clothes clean.  Less mess, less stress.  

Gathering | A Bridal Tea

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something brewed...

Recently, a friend held a tea for her niece who is marrying this fall.  Invitations went out to all the women in her family: mother, daughters, sisters, cousins, aunts and, of course, Grandmama.  It was an opportunity for everyone to gather around the table and share stories about family weddings: the good, the bad and the ugly bridesmaid dresses.  

The table was simply set with our modern, yet elegant Palm Mineral cloth and coordinating ruffle napkins.  Bowls of hydrangeas cut and tied into bouquets served as the centerpiece and as a lovely takeaway from the day.  To help set the scene and inspire story telling, china and crystal dating back three generations (and borrowed from an aunt or two) was laid out.  And as a surprise, my friend's niece was given a china tea service that belonged to her great, great grandmother.  The tea and the tears flowed, the laughter and the finger sandwiches fed them and a new generation of matriarchs was begun.