Archive for the ‘Dining’ Category
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
It’s amazing how one design can inspire so many and never seem to date.
The fibreglass DSW chair, with its Eiffel tower style steel frame, was originally designed by Charles and Ray Eames. It was one of the first chairs to be manufactured with a comfortable modern moulded seat.
That classic chair design from the 1950s continues to influence designers today, with many replicas available. Still suitably comfortable and made from durable materials, the chair design looks as functional and stylish now as it did in its heyday.
If you’re in search of an Eames style dining chair, then look no further than these, in their pretty soft pastel shades. Whether you’re a fan of mint green, dove grey, sky blue, pastel pink, lemon or white, these chairs will elegantly serve your seating needs.
They’re made to order in your choice of colour and design (with arms or armless), and with either a wooden or metal base. The dining chairs can be ordered online from Ciel.
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Nothing beats glamming up your dining table, lowering the lights and enjoying a romantic meal for two. And what better way to do it than with beautifully made ethical and British homeware products.
We’ve recently been introduced to Duckydora, a family run business launched in 2012 by two sisters, Judith and Sally. They specialise in top quality homeware and gifts made by themselves and other British artisans. Their hand-painted pottery and matching linen tableware is perfect to use for a special occasion when you’re laying your table properly, so we put it to the test.
We chose to use the Amalfi range, which is characterised by the fresh shades of blue, yellow and pink. The tableware ceramics are made from ethical terracotta and each piece is hand-painted and unique.
There are various pieces available, including side plates, dinner plates, bowls and serving dishes, and you can buy them individually or as a dinner set. As we wanted to create a romantic dinner for two, it worked out well that pieces are available individually.
We particularly like the fact that the striped design on the plates is limited to around the rim, as this means they can be mixed and matched easily with other Duckydora designs or ceramics you already own (we teamed them with Denby white plates, for example).
The range is complemented by a selection of matching fabric designs, so you can coordinate your tableware for special occasions. We used the Amalfi table runner down the centre of our dining table, which worked well over white tablecloths, and a pair of matching napkins. Both of these feature a bolder stripe design, which worked well alongside the more muted stripe around the rim of the plates.
To bring the scheme together, we used one of the plates as part of a table centrepiece. Add to that plenty of flickering candles and a cherry blossom Sakura style LED tree light in the background, we felt it produced the ideal effect for a romantic meal for two.
All of the Amalfi design items we used come in at under £60 and goes to show that you don’t need a huge budget to create an attractive dining style.
If you want to explore the range of Duckydora products, now is a good time to order in time for Christmas. In fact, all orders placed before 24th December 2015 are entitled to free delivery. Just enter the code, “FREESHIP” when you place an order online.
(Disclaimer: We were sent the products to review, but all views and opinions are unbiased and our own).
Thursday, November 26th, 2015
What would your dream Christmas dinner party be like?
That’s the question being posed by Furniture Village, as part of their ComeDineWithFV competition, where you could win an Emily dining table and a set of four crossback chairs worth over £1600.
To enter, all you need to do is follow their competition guide and put together a Pinterest board highlighting your dream dinner party.
Here’s a glimpse of what ours would be like:
Follow FreshDesign Blog’s board Dining with Furniture Village on Pinterest.
A good dinner party needs a theme and ours would be gold and white. The Compton extending dining table from Furniture Village is a lovely piece of wooden furniture and the four slatted chairs the set comes with look comfortable. The fact that the table could be extended is ideal for a dinner party, as you could make it bigger to accommodate more guests or have extra space to use for serving dishes and food.
We’d dress the table with a white tablecloth, then have a gold table runner going down the length of the table. Gold and white linen napkins would be laid at each of the four place settings, along with place name cards to indicate who should sit where. We like the idea of the DIY gold leaf place cards for a rather different approach.
Our ideal china would be white and gold – white plates with gold rims look stylish and elegant and the look can be enhanced by placing gold charger plates underneath smaller.
Having the right glasses ready for the drinks and all the right cutlery is of course essential, but so too are the finishing touches.
Dinner parties by candlelight are fabulously atmospheric, so we’d use candles in the centre of the table, with a few in lanterns or hurricane glasses. Small vases of flowers or green foliage – well out of the reach of naked candle flames – would complete the look.
As it’s Christmas, we’ve got to include some crackers too, plus a few other decorative touches around the room, such as a hanging bauble wreath or a bowl full of twinkly baubles.
In terms of our special guests, the focus would be on enjoying a lighthearted evening, with good company and plenty of laughs.
So our three invited guests would be Ant and Dec, for their humour and ability to give the lowdown on what really goes on during I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (and the contestants, of course) and Nigella, as we know she loves food and her dinner get-togethers on TV always look relaxed and laidback (and maybe she could give us some cooking tips too!).
If you fancy trying your luck at winning an Emily dining table and four chairs, then enter the ComeDineWithFV competition today!
Monday, November 16th, 2015
How easy is it to add a cosy winter style into your home using home accessories?
When Barker and Stonehouse got in touch to ask us this, we were happy to take up their challenge. We focused on creating a cosy winter feel in a dining room, using selected and on-trend copper and wood home accessories.
The time between autumn and Christmas, when dusk falls early and days can often seem dark and dreary, can be a bit bleak. So livening things up with a few well chosen home accessories can transform the a room when it needs it most.
This year we’re loving the reappearance of metallics, especially copper. The rose gold shade of shiny copper can help add a warming hue into a room, so seemed the perfect choice for this task. Alongside it we chose a gorgeous piece made of natural wood, for its colour, design and ability to coordinate with other existing items in the room.
So, what were the pieces we chose to use?
Three geometric copper candlestick holders, £12.50 each
A large wooden plate, £49
A set of three copper votive bowls, £49
Sometimes it’s hard to tell online what items are going to be like and, in this case, everything was a lot nicer in real life and many of the pieces were actually bigger than we’d expected (although clearly we should read the product size information more!).
Using copper and wood to create a cosy winter style
We used the medium sized copper votive bowl, two of the geometric copper candlestick holders and the small copper votive bowl to liven up the look on top of a wooden cabinet in the dining room. Both of the votive bowls are filled with lit tealight candles, making them light up the wall behind with a warm copper glow.
All other items seen are our own, but Barker and Stonehouse sell an almost identical wooden ampersand for £14.
The contrast in shape of the round votive bowls and geometric candle holders worked well together.
The wooden plate came into its own as a dining table accessory:
The wooden plate – which was considerably larger than we’d imagined – is perfect for creating a table centrepiece. We added the third geometric copper candle to it, to add a bit of height and help bring the cosy theme of the room together.
The design of the plate is reminiscent of a leaf, so we filled it with lots of collected seasonal pine cones and conkers to represent the changing seasons.
The largest of the votive bowls is huge. We filled it with some fairy lights to add more light and sparkle into the room and light up a dark corner, but reckon it would also be ideal to use as a large plant pot. The fresh green leaves of a houseplant would work well alongside the shiny copper.
Here’s how it all fits together:
Overall, we were impressed by the quality and design of all the items used. The wooden plate was beautifully crafted from wood and we loved the freeform leaf style of it. The copper votive bowls and candlesticks were shiny and bright and, with the addition of candles, produced an ideal glow for warming up a winter room and producing the cosy style we were striving for.
(Disclosure: This post is in association with Barker & Stonehouse)
Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
Oh my, these have got to be the best napkins we’ve seen in a while – they’re origami polar bears!
These cute napkins make the art of origami folding easier and definitely rewarding. They’re brilliant for use at family meals and are made from good quality heavy cotton.
The polar bear napkins come in a set of four, for £29.95 from Lollipop Designs. They’re definitely a hit with us.
Monday, December 22nd, 2014
If a traditional Christmas colour scheme of red and green isn’t your style, try something a little more elegant and understated this Christmas. We’ve put together our top ten blue and silver themed accessories for a contemporary festive dining table this December.
1. Ledbury linen napkins, Ochre and Ocre
These soft organic cotton napkins, £20 for four, are a generous size and have a neat mitred corner finish. In muted stripes of grey and blue, they’re ideal for dressing up with sparkly napkin rings for an under-stated festive feel, and they’ll be useful for the rest of the year as well. For a quick decoration, roll the napkins up loosely and tie with a length of blue grosgrain ribbon. Slip a holly twig under the knot, and tie in the ends on a bow. Available from Ochre and Ocre.
2. Winter Woodland table mats and coasters, Sophie Allport
From British Designer Sophie Allport comes this festive Winter Woodland collection, featuring falling snow around Christmas trees and wildlife such as foxes, hares, owls, deer and squirrels. The mats and coasters are wipe clean melamine, so would make an attractive and practical choice for Christmas Day. Placemats £27 for four, coasters, £12 for four.
3. Spectra wine glass set, Drift Living
These pretty coloured wineglasses, £19.50 for two, are mouth-blown, and have jewel-coloured stems to lend your party a festive feel. They’d also be perfect for summer cocktails later in the year. Available from Drift Living.
4. Wine and champagne glasses, Tesco
Alternatively, if you’re planning a lively Christmas party and are worried about your best glassware, these silver lustre glasses and flutes from Tesco should fit the bill. £7 for two, also available as highball and mixer shapes. For more information or to buy, visit the Tesco website.
5. Noche grey candlestick, Artisanti
This Noche etched grey glass candlestick is made from dark glass etched with golden leaf designs. This would make a lovely centrepiece for your Christmas table, or standing on the mantelpiece to add a soft glow to the proceedings. £42, available from Artisanti.
6. Silver table runner, Tesco
Add a little festive flair to a dark, plain wooden table with this metallic table runner from Tesco. It’s an easy way to dress a table without it looking fussy, and at £6 it doesn’t matter too much if it’s a little worse for wear by the end of the Christmas period.
7. Syrian silver salad bowl, Jasmine Way
This unusual silver-coloured bowl is handmade and polished in Syria, and has a delicate wavy pattern in beaten aluminium. Pile it with glass baubles and holly to make a table centrepiece, or use it as a serving dish. Was £63 reduced to £31.50. Available from Jasmine Way.
8. Octagonal blue plate, Boutique Provencale
Dress these plain blue plates with white napkins and silver accessories for a festive feel. They’re hand painted and hand crafted in the workshops of Souleo, a small, artisanal pottery maker based in Aix en Provence, and are part of a range including side plates and bowls. Octagonal dinner plate £15.95, available from Boutique Provencale.
9. Silver cake stand, Annabel James
This two tiered silver-plated cake stand has a variety of uses on the Christmas dining table. Pile it with bread rolls, after-dinner chocolates or petit fours or use it keep all the condiments together, ready for passing round. Was £69.50, now £39.50, available from Annabel James.
10. Silver rim carafe, Laura Ashley
Keep the red wine at drinking temperature with this elegant carafe from Laura Ashley. It would also double nicely as a water jug. Was £30 now £21, available from Laura Ashley.
(Top image credit: Shutterstock)