A Simple Yet Memorable Memorial Day

On May 24, 2011, in Posts, by Warren Sheets Design
With Memorial Day weekend around the corner, I’m starting to plan how we will decorate our dinner table. We always celebrate the holiday late Sunday afternoon, to coincide with the “National Memorial Day Concert,” which airs on PBS (typically from 8 to 9:30 p.m. EST).
 
This year, I’ve decided to use white – a crisp, clean backdrop – as the anchor color. Fortunately, I can use one of the intricately embroidered white tablecloths given to me by my grandmother. 
 
Second on my list is the centerpiece. So, I will look through my vase collection to find a tall metal canister (hopefully I can find the one that is painted blue, with chips of various colors of paint peeking through). I will fill it lots of fresh garden flowers, much like the photograph in Carolyne Roehm’s beautiful book, A Passion for Flowers (shown here).
 
With the tablecloth and floral arrangement, I will have laid some good groundwork. Candles come next. In the middle of the table, surrounding the floral arrangement, I will place 12 to 18 candleholders with varying heights of red, white and blue candles. 
 
Napkins are key to table décor as well. I plan to use red cloth napkins to provide a bright splash of color against the clean white tablecloth.
 
A good host always encourages conversation and camaraderie amongst guests. To that end, I will tie up each napkin with a piece of twine, and attach a small photo of a war hero – mounted smartly on a striped red, white and blue paper with the contact information of their family. That way, each of my guests can chat about their respective heroes, and more importantly, send a note thanking each family for their service.
 
As a finishing touch, I will place a small American flag – the small, inexpensive kind you can pick up at your local drug or convenience store – at each place setting.
 
Because the centerpiece floral arrangement will in all likelihood be removed as dinner is served – so guests can see each other eye to eye – I plan to dress each of the place settings with a small vase of blue and white Sweet Peas, especially since they’ve just begun to bloom.
 
Viola: the stage is set!
 
Simple yet memorable, that’s how we plan to celebrate Memorial Day this year. 
 
 
 

Stenciling Can Add A New Dimension To Your Home

On May 21, 2011, in Posts, by Warren Sheets Design

Reprint from SAN DIEGO HOME/GARDEN LIFESTYLES 5/18/2011

‘STENCILING SAVVY’ by Warren Sheets

Dating back a thousand years or more, the art of stenciling recently resurged as an intriguing way to enliven a room, adding dimension and depth to any space.

In addition to walls — where it can serve as a cost-effective alternative to wallpaper — stenciling can be applied to ceilings and even furnishings.

When applying stenciling, adhere to moderation. Too much stenciling can be busy and overwhelm a room. Ideally, stenciling is used as a decorative border on ceilings and at the top of walls, placed an inch or more under the crown molding.

Sometimes the colors that are used within a space can be incorporated into the stencil pattern. Another interesting technique is to mute the coloration through a process called “aging,” which is accomplished by applying tinted oil-based glaze on top of the painted stencil design.

Stencil motifs also can be carefully applied to wood portions of furnishings, or in and around the back-plate of a wall sconce.

There really is no limit (other than moderation) to how and where stenciling can be used. Applied correctly, it can enliven a room and infuse warmth, bringing color and design to drab surfaces.

 
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