A Fall Table, Two Ways

The fall season is all about gathering, entertaining and eating great food over great conversation, right?  So what better place to do that than over your beautifully decorated dining table? 

We know that for many, the holidays bring an added stress of making everything "perfect," and we're here to help!  A beautiful tablescape doesn't have to be time or budget consuming.  We're big proponents of using what you have and making it count.  So we've both designed some easy table setups to share with you guys.  I'll feature mine today, and Jessica will follow with hers.  Let's get started!

IMG_3468.jpg

I started by laying down a piece of plaid houndstooth I found in the fabric bin at the thrift store for $3.  Fabric isn't a necessity for a tablescape, but if you do want to use some, don't feel like you have to splurge on a table runner or tablecloth--sometimes a piece of fabric is just as good, if not better!  I bunched mine to create some movement and texture in the middle of the table.

IMG_3553.jpg

Next I added my vintage brass candlesticks that I've collected over the years (largely at thrift and antique stores).  Are you sensing a pattern?  I love the hunt and thrill of a good deal!  I swapped out my normal white tapers for some marigold ones for warmth and a nod to the traditional fall colors.

IMG_3472.jpg

Once I had my candlesticks spaced out how I wanted them, I started to add in the magnolia branches I clipped from the tree in my yard.  Greenery is one of the easiest and cheapest (free if you can use trimmings from your own yard or a sweet neighbors!) to build a table centerpiece.  I stuck to just magnolia on mine, but you could certainly use a variety of clippings for a more layered look. 

IMG_3520.jpg

Next I added some mini white pumpkins I picked up on a trip to the grocery store for $1.50 each. Nurseries and farmer's markets are another great place to look for more selection.  And remember, you don't have to stick to pumpkins.  My grocery store had some beautiful green squash that would have been a fun choice too--and they were 99 cents!

IMG_3488.jpg
IMG_3491.jpg

The next layer to the table was my dishes, which themselves got layered.  Layer, layer, layer friends!  I also added some green napkins and glassware that used to belong to my mom.  Who said you can't use green for fall decorating?

IMG_3524.jpg

The finished product cost me $13.50 ($3 in fabric and $10.50 for pumpkins!).  The best part is that it didn't take long at all to put together. 

IMG_3500.jpg

When you're shopping for entertaining decor remember to look for pieces that you will be able to use in a variety of different ways for different events.  That way the next time you have a function, you won't have to run to the store, just to your storage closet!

IMG_3529.jpg

GET THE LOOK

IMG_3499 copy.jpg

Happy fall, y'all!

signature+Mallory.png

A Spring Affair

We've finally busted out of the low temps and are embracing the 70's nearly every day for the next coming week.  Spring has sprung here on the coast, and it has me ready to be outside.

With the warmer temps, comes more visitors (a perk of living by the beach), and I am excited.  Spring and summer are the perfect time for hosting guests and gatherings...especially outdoors.  As you may have noticed, design for us don't stop in the home.  Pillows and furnishings are great, but we love a beautifully done shower setup or tablescape too.  Here are a few images that have me inspired and ready to play hostess in my home...or backyard.

I love the idea of a brunch gathering or shower.  Especially one that involved a pancake "cake" like this one featured on  Camille Styles .

I love the idea of a brunch gathering or shower.  Especially one that involved a pancake "cake" like this one featured on Camille Styles.

Here's a great idea of using a runner (either fabric or kraft paper) as an entry sign like seen here on  100 Layer Cake-let .

Here's a great idea of using a runner (either fabric or kraft paper) as an entry sign like seen here on 100 Layer Cake-let.

Make inexpensive mylar balloons shine with a metallic paint pen and a beautiful script (tip: recruit your friend with the best handwriting) shown here via  Hello May .

Make inexpensive mylar balloons shine with a metallic paint pen and a beautiful script (tip: recruit your friend with the best handwriting) shown here via Hello May.

Switch up your normal table decor with changing your white tapers to gray ones.  This has bee a favorite I've seen lately.  Image via  Southern Weddings

Switch up your normal table decor with changing your white tapers to gray ones.  This has bee a favorite I've seen lately.  Image via Southern Weddings

Think small.  Even a small gathering can have a big look if you make everything mini--like these desserts at Desiree Hartsock's wedding shown on  Inspired by This .  Think mini cakes, mini banana puddings, macaroons, etc.

Think small.  Even a small gathering can have a big look if you make everything mini--like these desserts at Desiree Hartsock's wedding shown on Inspired by This.  Think mini cakes, mini banana puddings, macaroons, etc.

One thing to always remember when trying to create a stylish and cohesive design is the color palette.  Here are a few favorites for spring.

Cheers to new gatherings and memories made at the table!




Bar Carts and How to Style Them

Now is the time of year when everyone is entertaining in their home.  Aside from having a beautiful dinner table (you can purchase our table setting packages here if you haven't already), I love a nicely done bar cart.  If your space and budget allow, I think these are a great investment for entertaining--they are fun, stylish and portable...what's not to like?  I've compiled a list of a few of my favorites below.  For smaller budgets, tray tables are a great option.

Once you have your cart, you need to set it up right.  This can be easily done with these essentials.  So grab the necessities and interject your personal style for a cart that you and your guests will enjoy.

 

How to style a bar cart:

  • Small decorative bowl(s): For snacks or drink garnishes
  • Straws: Paper straws are my favorite, and they come in every style/color you can think of these days.
  • Florals/greenery:  A great way to add color and life to your cart.  You can keep everything else on the cart the same and simply change out the flowers for an entirely different look.
  • Glassware:  Forgo the plastics and get a set or two of essential glassware.  West Elm is one of my favorite places to find these, and they just so happen to have their glassware on sale (with free shipping!) right now.
  • Ice bucket (and tongs):  Because no one wants a hot drink.
  • Cocktail shaker: Another no-brainer.
  • Bar tools: Purchase a jigger, stirrer and bottle opener if nothing else.  You can often find these tools sold in a set.
  • Mixers: Have your favorite mixers on hand for quick pouring. Swap juice containers for glass carafes and cohesive look.  
  • Alcohol: Unless you prefer the virgin variety of course.  Serving liquors from decanters instead of cheap looking store-bought packaging is optimal (especially for style points).
  • Decanters:  See above.  
  • Coasters:  Protect your furniture and add your style with a personal monogram.  I love these options from Mark & Graham.
  • Tray: They are a great way to corral your glasses and alcohol and keep your cart looking organized even when full.

6 Place Card Ideas for Fall

I don't know about you, but there's just something about fall and all of its gloriousness that makes me want to gather up with friends.  The cooler temps, the football games, the groups of families at the local pumpkin patch-- this season just brings people together.  It's a time of gathering and a time to enjoy a slower pace before the hustle of the holidays--and that makes it the perfect time to throw a dinner party.  

We love dinner parties here at 3A Design Studio and have some big news coming up in regards to throwing a great one, but until then, I wanted to share with you a tip on how to make your dinner party stand out from the rest.  Making your gathering personal is easy to do in one simple step--thoughtful place cards. 

You can eliminate the "Where should I sit?" awkwardness and greet your guests with a personal place card with these simple fall ideas.

Easy enough right?  So get your craft on and gather your friends for a dinner in!

Stay tuned for our big announcement coming soon!