Just as I was starting to cave to the temptation to watch tevo'd Martha holiday episodes, Ina Garten came to the rescue in the form of her new cookbook 'barefoot contessa: how easy is that?" (I love Martha, but I simply do NOT have time this year to make individual pie dough leaf cut-outs to rim my pumpkin pie!) 


I picked up a copy last week at Costco and have been savoring each glossy page ever since.  I could go on and on about Ina and her fabulous cookbooks which are so user friendly and appeal to all levels of home cooks, but this post is about setting the table, so I'll cut to the chase.  Here's what Ina has to say…

"We've all seen some pretty over-the-top settings with a million crystal glasses, ceramic dishes filled with candy, lots of flowers, candles, napkin rings, place cards and chargers.  Frankly I've never known that kind of party to be more fun; in fact it's usually just the opposite –it's intimidating!" 

Whew – what a relief!  And just to prove she means what she says…

Ina table - town and country

table by Ina via Town and Country


table by Ina via House Beautiful

Ina Garten Table

photo via 'barefoot contessa: how easy is that?'

Ina goes on to explain that when she sets a table for a special occasion, she starts with a 'one-color theme'.

Recalling what I said here last summer about being inspired by this…

and this  ..

Villa Bordoni – Greve in Chianti Italy – urban farmhouse photos

I've got my 'one-color theme' picked; mustard-y yellowish.  Gray pairs so well with this color, so I'll add that with silver pieces – candlesticks, vases. etc. 

A start – big linen napkins.

Then I spotted something I almost threw out last week and am so glad I didn't…

For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, a girlfriend gave me a box of Kiehl's products and this is what was in the box for stuffing instead of tissue paper or cardboard!  Dried (unscented) flowers! 


Not sure quite yet how I'll incorporate them, but the raspberry color looks so good with the other colors and kind of reminds me of this rustic yet festive table setting.

Thanksgiving table - sweet paul

photo via sweet paul

My only purchase other than flowers which I'll probably get at Whole Foods when I pick up the turkey, was some unscented candles and a piece of satin ribbon.

It will be fun to play around with how to put it all together.  My daughter, who's almost twelve, is starting to really enjoy these kinds of projects, so I'll enlist her help and see what happens.

What color combinations inspire you?  Email me your photos and I'll post them!  And if you haven't bought the new barefoot contessa cookbook – put it on your holiday list! It looks like one of her best.




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