Thursday, March 26, 2009

Southern hospitality

Coconut Cupcakes (by Brenda Cataldo) on
platter from the
Gail Pittman Veranda Collection

I spent last Tuesday night at a very entertaining event hosted by the regional consultants of Southern Living at Home, a company created out of the continuous requests by readers for products found on the pages of Southern Living magazine. Held at the Hilton Hotel in Dedham, this “Design Showcase” featured the beautifully versatile pieces found in the Spring 2009 Catalog set up as themed tablescapes.

Here are some of my personal favorites ...

Princess Party: Brenda Cataldo and Leslie Milne

This table set for a princess and her friends features some of my favorite items: Chelsea Candlesticks (available in two sizes), Astoria Flatware Caddy (used here to hold sweet treats and birthday noisemakers –– I use mine to hold more formal silverware in one, and special serving pieces like the Hostess Serving Set in another).

Earthly Delight: Cindy Morse

This scape featured
yummmmy pistachio, chocolate, cream and coffee ... in both its colors and its oh-so-tempting display. I loved the cinnamon sticks in each mug, votives surrounded with coffee beans, and the taper candles inserted in grass filled bowls.
Tastefully done!

The Verde Collection (shown above) was just one of the items featured by SLAH Creative Director and ceramic artist, Gail Pittman herself. She filled a number of the adorable oblong shaped bowls with small items (candles, chocolates, guest soaps, etc.), put each in a small cellophane bag, then tied it with a pretty ribbon creating a simply adorable hostess gift, teacher gift, etc. with no need to wrap ... how green is that? I especially like the unique shape of the bowl and can picture it on a desk to hold business cards, paper clips, etc.

Here is Gail
(love the unique colorway of her leopard print top!) signing a piece for my sister-in-law, Susan.

Gail was very sweet, approachable and funny. I loved the stories she told about beginning her career by “painting bowls.” When she was just starting out, her husband would approach friends and strangers alike with the question, “Do you want to buy a bowl?” I told my husband he could just insert the word “pillow...”

An animal print favorite from my Spring ’07 collection

Gaveston Summer: Sue Mulligan

I thought this tablescape was pretty and fresh, with loads of Southern warmth and charm. I love the citrus colors paired with hot pinks and brilliant blues. This linen/cotton fabric from Calico Corners could work well with this summery setting ...

Bipin Ticking Multi

Sun, Sea, & Serenity: Marcia Hostetter

This seashore inspired display was full of great textures and organic beauty. Try creating this look on a smaller scale at home ... here is my version using a favorite Southern Living item – the versatile Hemingway Hurricane.

And I can’t leave out the Hilton lounge ... I am not sure who designed the space, but I loved the copper planters with tall branches, large scale chess pieces on the solid console, and the pretty bowl of moss covered spheres. Planters like these are available online from Smith & Hawken. Contact Brenda Cataldo for Southern Living at Home products.

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