THANKSGIVING COUNTDOWN

Tory Burch

It’s almost here! I’m watching the clock waiting for it to be time for us to start our drive down to Virginia (fingers crossed we beat the snow!) and I’m looking forward to the holiday in a big way. We’ll be meeting my sister’s new puppy Penelope, and there are pies in our future… it really doesn’t get much better than puppies and pies, right?

If you’re equally eager to start celebrating, here are a few distractions…

To Make Holiday Travel A Little Less Painful: This American Life is our go-to distraction when our 8 hour trip inevitably turns into a 10-12 hour trip thanks to the never ending traffic and construction on 95. We got hooked on their latest venture, Serial, on our drive up for the wedding back in October. It’s so addicting. If you have some combination of planes, trains, and automobiles in your future start listening!

Last Minute Entertaining Tips from Martha: A few tips and tricks from the master. I can personally attest to the fact that number two is a game changer–no more “where should we put the mashed potatoes?!” which I swear happened in my family every year.

  • Lay out all of your place settings to ensure that you have ample plates, utensils, and linens.
  • Label your serving dishes to help get organized, and relieve stress on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Choosing the Perfect Roasting Pan:
    • SIZE – The pan should be just large enough to hold the roast and no larger.
    • ROASTING RACK – Use either a V-shaped rack or a flat grid type rack for even browning and clean pan juices.
    • POSITION – Top of the roast should be in the upper-middle part of the oven for maximum air circulation for even cooking.

Getting a Head Start on Sale Shopping: When it comes to spending, my wardrobe almost always comes in runner up to my home, but I really can’t ignore it anymore. After donating and consigning three huge bags of clothes it’s time to re-invest! Financially, it’s super daunting, but with all the crazy good sales, this is the time of year to start. Here are a few I’ll be hitting up:

  • Shopbop: Up to 25% off with code: GOBIG14. My strategy? Shop the sale section first and double dip on the discount. I have my eye on this jacket and am thinking this will be the perfect opportunity to try out this denim line people are raving about.
  • Net-A-Porter: The site keeps crashing because it’s just.that.good. I’m going to keep looping back on this one because I’ve scored amazing deals in the past!

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG WITH BENJAMIN MOORE

When the wonderful team at Benjamin Moore invited us to spend a weekend in Colonial Williamsburg  for a behind-the-scenes look at the inspiration for their Williamsburg Color Collection my RSVP was an immediate YES. All the better that the trip happened to fall exactly one week from our wedding because at that point I really needed a distraction!

Neither of us had been to Williamsburg before, and I can honestly say that it surpassed our expectations. I’ve been told it’s even more beautiful when it’s all decked out for the holidays, so if you’re in the area, definitely consider making the trip–the drive was surprisingly painless from DC!

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

We kicked off our visit with a tour of the grounds led by Matt Webster, Director of Architectural Resources, at Colonial Williamsburg. The Wythe House was our first stop. Its manicured lawn, perfect symmetry, and classic red brick made this one of my favorites.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The appreciation for color and pattern in historical houses never ceases to inspire me. Of course, there was an element of keeping up with the Jones’ behind these seemingly bold choices, and a home owner’s ability to paint and paper their home indicated a degree of wealth and status.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The Governor’s Palace, with all the pomp and circumstance you would expect for the home of the King’s representative in America, really is breath taking.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Sans the massive gilt framed oils, the Prussian blue walls and patterned carpet could be contemporary, right?

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

With its intricate molding and chinoiserie inspired pediment and door frame, the vivid green Supper Room was my favorite from the visit.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Can you even imagine the level of craftsmanship that went into carving that dentil molding?!

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The arms room cleared up any questions about who was boss…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

I loved this grouping of black and white engravings on mustard walls.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

I left the trip desperately wanting a canopied bed…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Definitely one with scallops…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

After our tour we headed over to the lab where we learned more about how the colors for the Williamsburg Color Collection were created. The level of historical and scientific research that goes into the process is actually really fascinating. The Colonial Williamsburg team has some pretty high powered tools at their disposal that enable them to analyze the tiniest specimens–looking back through centuries of paint layers to get to the true color.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

Once they establish the make-up of the paint they grind the pigment by hand with mortar and pestle to recreate the color. Verdigris (formed by giving copper an acid bath) is one of the key pigments for some of my favorite colors.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

After our science lesson we headed over to the museum to take in their beautiful collections. The import porcelain was one of my favorite exhibits.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

But there was also inspiration to be found in the textiles–I thought this quilt would be beautiful framed.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

We had free time on Sunday to explore on our own and given that it was a week before our wedding and our vows weren’t exactly written we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to find a quiet spot and spend some time working on those. The gardens at the Governor’s Palace proved to be the perfect spot.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

I mean, look at this…

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

The sentimental sap in me thinks it will be pretty cute to re-visit the same spots when we’re old and gray.

Williamsburg | The Pursuit of Style

We stopped by Williamsburg at Home on our way out of town where I picked up a bolt of leopard print fabric for a steal. In typical fashion I have absolutely no projects in mind for it at the moment but I know the perfect thing will come up eventually–maybe a pair of x-benches?

A big thank you to the Benjamin Moore and Colonial Williamsburg teams for hosting us for the weekend. If you’re not already familiar, be sure to check out the Williamsburg Color Collection it really is an exceptionally well curated collection and learning more about the research process gives me even more respect for a brand I (and I’m sure you) already know and love!

BITS & PIECES

The Pursuit of Style | Matisse Cut-Outs

We made a whirlwind trip to NYC this weekend to celebrate a friend’s engagement and I’m still pretty impressed with all that we were able to pack into just over 24 hours!

We stayed at my favorite hotel (this visit I obsessed over the artwork in our room), I chatted design with Sarah over brunch at Claudette, crossed Palma off my to-visit list, and made our way through most of the cocktail list at Margaux. We wandered around the West Village real estate stalking and spent hours in Strand where I ultimately settled on a copy of New York, New York: How the Apartment House Transformed the Life of the City.

Aside from celebrating with great friends, by far my favorite part of the trip was our visit to the MoMA for the Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition. It was absolutely fantastic and I’d highly recommend a visit if you’ll be in NYC before February 8th–if not, definitely pick up a copy of the catalog, which would also make a great gift!

THANKSGIVING STYLE: BLUE & WHITE

The Pursuit of Style

Ah, blue and white… has there ever been a more classic combination? I think not (although I’m admittedly biased, our wedding was blue & white!) These fantastic napkins in the prettiest shade of gray-blue were the jumping off point for today’s tablescape. Horn comes in a close second to my tortoise addiction so you know I’ll be buying these napkin rings.

I nixed formal china from our registry in a last minute freak out (too many patterns to choose from, was I picking the right one?!) but Hermes’ Chaine D’ancre is going on my short list when I finally get around to making a decision.

This bamboo serving set did stay on our registry, along with the corresponding flatware. I love that it can be dressed up or down and bamboo always seems to work with blue and white. Beautiful ribbed glassware and ginger jars filled with bunches of white blooms round out a timeless Thanksgiving table.

THANKSGIVING THROWBACK: EDDIE ROSS FOR LONNY

Eddie Ross | Lonny

Eddie Ross | Lonny

Eddie Ross | LonnyWhen it comes to setting a table, Eddie Ross is definitely part of the Master Class which is why I wanted to revisit one of my favorite Thanksgiving tablescapes featured in Lonny wayy back in 2010 (oh the good ol’ days when Michelle Adams was at the helm!)

One of the reasons I love Eddie’s tablescaping style is his uncanny ability to mix the old–often flea market finds and vintage treasureswith the new in a way that is always fresh, inspiring, and expertly layered.

I’m hardly DIY savvy, but this particular spread suggested a few tips that even I could imagine executing successfully, like giving vintage napkins new life with Tintex dye, or spray painting mini pumpkins and adding construction paper leaves to serve as place cards. Totally achievable, right? Famous last words…

Any plans for Thanksgiving DIYs this year, or something you’ve pulled off in the past you’re particularly proud of?
Do tell!