Gathering | Summer Tablescape

An elegant dinner party for friends.  Sounds delish, right?  It is. And, you can totally pull it off tonight. (Okay, you can wait until the next Friday rolls around.)  How do you bring the fancy, fast and without a fuss?  Answer: orchids.  A lovely orchid arrangement as a centerpiece is always a showstopper.  We went all out orchid and dressed up our table in our Nouveau  cloth with coordinating napkins in white and that fabulous shade of pinky-rose.  Layer in simple white plates, fine silver and a variety of interesting glassware.   An elegant tablescape needs nothing more than that.  Just add your classy friends, some fine wine and a thoughtfully prepared meal.  Voila!

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.