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A Winter Tabletop Scheme For a Dinner Party

January 20, 2017

Hello everyone, this is Anke and I thought I’d drop by while Holly’s at the imm Cologne in her decor8 booth to first of all, I am wish you a happy new year and next, bring you some ideas and inspiration for a winterly tabletop. What I did this time was I put every tree-shaped candleholder (plus decoration) I own on our dining table. Admittedly there are numerous in our possession! Imagine my husband rolling his eyes at this point! Of course less will do. (Imagine him nodding!) Moreover, I wanted to catch the beautiful colors one finds outside in the forest here in Germany at this time of the year. Namely shades of grey (sky), brown (wood) and white (snow). I love this natural and fresh color palette at home. Do you?

A Winter Tabletop Scheme For a Dinner Party

It recently snowed heavily outside when I shot these images the other day. Perfect timing for this column! But you can easily let it snow above your table, too! Either you make a garland of white paper dots by using a circle punch and sewing the dots in a row OR you just buy one at the Dille & Kamille online shop, if you are not a DIY kind of person!

A Winter Tabletop Scheme For a Dinner Party

These garlands create a non-kitschy but cheerful and fun decoration. But all regular readers will know that I am generally into paper garlands, I cannot help it!

A Winter Tabletop Scheme For a Dinner Party

In keeping with the chilly season I picked a wreath illustration with bare branches (bought online at Creative Market) for the name tags you see on the plates and attached jute cord loosely.

A Winter Tabletop Scheme For a Dinner Party

As I am a huge fan of hearty soups and stew in winter I cooked one of our family’s favorites – Sweet Chestnut Soup. This one contains chestnuts (surprise!), celeriac, leek, spring onions, beef broth and cream. The topping is made of chopped and roasted chestnuts with coarse sea salt, fresh grounded pepper and maple syrup for a sweet touch. Just the way I like it! An alternative to traditional soup bowls are pretty preserving jars.

A Winter Tabletop Scheme For a Dinner Party

That’s it for now! I will see you again in February when we should definitely have spring flowers for our column, don’t you think? Sending kind greetings – Anke

(Styling, Photography: Anke Illner)






Tabletop

3 Autumn DIY Entertaining Ideas You Will Love

October 31, 2016

Hi dear decor8 readers! How has your month of October been so far? A golden one – is what I hope! As for me it caught me again, the joy of decorating with autumnal colors such as ochre and amber. This is Anke with my monthly column around tabletop settings. So have a look at the one I decorated some days ago if you like! Last week, I welcomed my girlfriends with whom I meet for regularly for cooking dinner together for many years. For our ladies gathering I combined flowers in warm yellow shades and pale pink nuances, accompanied by autumn leafs, pink cloudberry and eucalyptus branches.

3 Autumn DIY Entertaining Ideas You Will Love

1) MENU CANDLES. Usually my brainstorming for a table decoration begins with thinking about which flowers I would like on my table. Not this time! When browsing through Holly & Leslie’s brand-new book “DECORATE for a PARTY“, the Calligraphy Candles (on page 43 made by Canadian Artist and Calligrapher Kate Campbell for the book) were love at first sight! As I’ve never tried calligraphy before (but wish to do so soon) I thought about a version easy to DIY. Result: I chose a calligraphy-like font and printed the menu on transparent bright white paper (100g/m2) and wrapped it around a candle glass. Happy me, as the candles I found at amazon look precisely like the ones in the book. I like the clean style so much!

3 Autumn DIY Entertaining Ideas You Will Love

3 Autumn DIY Entertaining Ideas You Will Love

You could also write/ print the names of your guests or a beautiful quote, that would be lovely too, what do you think?

2. EMBELLISHED FRAMES. On the wall next to our dining table, which I mostly decorate when having guests or shooting for my blog and this column, you will find a small autumnal mood board. I created a tiny graphic design by using photoshop, a chrysanthemum illustration and the color palette of my bouquets.

3 Autumn DIY Entertaining Ideas You Will Love

This was a very good occasion to hang up my MOEBE frame for the first time. I first heard about these gorgeous frames by Copenhagen-based brand MOEBE when Holly introduced them in this post after finding them at the Blickfang fair in Hamburg. Those of you living in Germany can order the frames online at Petite Catrin like I did.

In addition, I embellished a simple white frame with flowers. I did this the same way I make wreaths, which means I tied tiny bouquets overlapping to the frame. I used raffia but floral tape might be a better idea! And patience! A little patience is useful also!

3 Autumn DIY Entertaining Ideas You Will Love

3. DELISH COCKTAIL. As an aperitif I offered a Sage Ginger Prosecco Cocktail. Here is the recipe below by Beth Kirby who blogged it on Front & Main. I modified the recipe to add thin slices of pear as a garnish. Cheers!

STORE LIST
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 bunches of fresh sage leaves chopped or one bundle dried sage (about 1 cup or 1/2 a cup respectively)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
Bottle of Prosecco or Champagne

1. In a saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once the simple syrup, which is what you now have, reaches a boil remove it from the heat and stir in the sage and ginger. Cover and let the syrup steep until it’s completely cooled to room temperature, 2-3 hours. Refrigerate after making.

2. To make cocktails, simply pour an ounce or two of syrup into a champagne flute depending on how sweet you like it and top with prosecco! Garnish with sage.

3 Autumn DIY Entertaining Ideas You Will Love

Enjoy autumn with all its blessings and see you again here on decor8 in November dear blog readers! Also, I will be in Hannover at Holly’s Book Party on 19 November at Kukkamari so if you are coming, I would love to meet you – say hello to me! You can attend her party by RSVP’ing here.

And also… thank you so much for your lovely words in the comments on my last post! Your comments made me happy! – Anke

(Text, photography and styling: Anke Illner)






Tabletop

Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

September 28, 2016

I hope all of you had a great summer season, soaked up a lot of sun and enjoyed long warm days. This is Anke and I am back from my month-long summer break with a new table styling for you while Holly is away this week in London and Amsterdam launching her new book, Decorate For a Party. Are you ready for autumn? I guess I am a bit ambivalent (as every year) as on the one hand I love autumn with its rich colors, warm light, fruit and veggie crop, then again I don’t really want to let go summer.

Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

Happily there is the wonderful month of September which is actually always sunny and warm in Germany and makes the goodbye to summer easier. For this month’s table I ordered a white chain of lights, a typical decoration for a garden party and I think also a matching tool for a late summer gathering inside. This one comes from Granit (Sweden) and can be used inside and outside.

Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

To attach the chain, which is very light and for that reason easy to hang, I used two parts of a table clamp from DEENS.nl. I continued with this simple and natural look by using Ball Mason glasses as flower vases and filled them with different kinds of dahlias, chrysanthemum, white bush roses, Astrantia and rosehip twigs.

Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

On the plates are mint green linen napkins and tiny blossom bowls.

Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

The green tumblers made of cut glass are my favorite souvenirs from our summer vacation in the Netherlands! I found them at Sissy Boy shop and they are not only good looking but also a delight in the hands. In German we say “Handschmeichler” which I think is the perfect word to describe it. :-)

Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

Another discovery recently was Bernadette Wörndl’s cookbook “Obst” (= fruit). I knew immediately that I would have to bake one of her delicious fruit cakes for this shoot! My choice fell on her Upside-Down Plum Cake and oh my! – it just tastes of late summer! No wonder as the recipe includes olive oil, blossom honey, vanilla and semolina. I served it with some crème fraîche which I sometimes prefer with cake instead of whipped cream.

Late Summer Tabletop Style In Rich Colors

And while we’re on the subject book recommendation… I am waiting in suspense for my copy of Holly and Leslie`s new book “Decorate for a Party”! Do you already own one?
Without having seen it I know it is a firework of beautiful ideas, images and inspiration! Hopefully it arrives… delayed… next week so I can find inspiration for my next column’s theme for October. :)

With this in mind, I am looking forward to see you again next month and wish you a great start into a golden October! – Anke

(Photos, Styling and Text: Anke Illner)






Tabletop

Tabletop Ideas: Summer Florals + Bread Sticks Recipe

August 2, 2016

I don’t know about you dear readers, but at the end of July/beginning of August I love to be surrounded by luscious, rich colors and lush flowers! Plenty of those, please! You will find all kinds of roses in full bloom where I live and it is just wonderful to stroll along the flowering gardens and through the local market to check them out. For this month, let’s lay a summer table in shades of pink, red and apricot, sip on a berry-infused drink, munch on some bread sticks before lunch is served and enjoy a relaxing gathering with friends, what do you think?

Tabletop Ideas: Summer Florals + Bread Sticks Recipe

You might have noticed my preference for small bouquets on the dining table in columns past as they allow guests to see each other, which makes conversation much easier. This time I combined various types of roses with Milfoil, Hydrangea Annabelle and some sprigs of Mint.

When the weather is beautiful I do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and so I prefer quick and easy recipes such as a Raspberry & Plum Secco! All you need is Prosecco, berries or suitable fruits of your choice, a little bit of syrup like raspberry, elderflower or blackcurrant and ice cubes. I also added some thyme and wooden sticks adorned with ribbon flags that I simply tied on.

Tabletop Ideas: Summer Florals + Bread Sticks Recipe

Below I’ve included an easy recipe for homemade bread sticks that I found on ein fach malein fach Blog, and they are delicious and perfect for a starter to munch on right before you serve your salad and pasta dish.

Tabletop Ideas: Summer Florals + Bread Sticks Recipe
The crispy sticks taste particularly good when dipped into flavored olive oil. I brought the small pink tins of marjoram olive oil that you see here back home from Cote d’Azur last week and they worked perfectly as small gifts for my guests.

As I am a big fan of paper I often use beautiful wrapping paper as a wall hanging to decorate for a special occasion. My flowery gift paper teamed up with a matching magazine tear showing roses, a welcome message I made using rubber stamps and a simple tassel made of tissue paper and ribbon – my DIY decor idea was ready for the wall. Easy and with little effort!

Tabletop Ideas: Summer Florals + Bread Sticks Recipe

Tabletop Ideas: Summer Florals + Bread Sticks Recipe

Tabletop Ideas: Summer Florals + Bread Sticks Recipe

Tabletop Ideas: Summer Florals + Bread Sticks Recipe

Maybe you feel like adopting one or another idea from this posting for your summer party. I would be very happy if you did. Have a beautiful summer vacation if you plan to go away soon and if not, simply enjoy a staycation with plenty of (hopefully) sunshiny weeks at home until we meet again here on decor8 in late summer. All the best, –Anke

(Photos, styling and text: Anke Illner. Editor: Holly Becker)






Tabletop

Tabletop: Springtime Pink Confetti + Tulips

May 2, 2016

Hello everyone! April was a running joke with typical rainy-sunshiny-snowy-icy-rainy weather where I’m at in Germany yet I only had eyes for all the breathtaking “cotton candy trees” around filled with cherry blossoms. This month’s tabletop column is a homage to this petal-confetti time of year and though I’ve not used cherry blossoms, they inspired this overall look for the perfect spring tabletop which is lovely for tea time.

Tabletop: Springtime Pink Confetti + Tulips

Anke Illner for decor8

For my flower bouquets I chose pale pink clove, dark ruby colored peony, white bleeding heart, tulip, fancy frill tulips, parrot tulips and ornamental cherry to bring the eye candy colors from outside to my table. Continue Reading…






Tabletop

Tabletop: Spring Green + White Luncheon With Friends

April 4, 2016

April is here! Hello dear decor8 readers, this is Anke with some fresh tabletop ideas for you today. I am already dreaming of relaxing on a green summer meadow which is why I’ve decided to create a green garland for my table theme this month. Everything else was inspired by my garland which was made using several branches of my all-time favorite eucalyptus and shepherd’s purse along with white wax flowers and tender pink flowering boronia anemonifolia (called “Duftsternchen” here in Germany).

Tabletop: Spring Green + White Luncheon With Friends

Anke Illner for decor8

But first things first – I wove a long braid out of raffia which served as a basis. Next, I attached the shorter branches and flowers in small bundles, overlapping them as I secured to the raffia with wire. I suggest choosing flowers that can do without water for a few hours, otherwise your garland may look wilted once guests arrive! This is one reason why I use and suggest eucalyptus as a base. In the image above I have shown it on my wall but you can also lay it down the center of your table as you can see below. Continue Reading…






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