Friday, December 27, 2013

Home Tour: Something Old, Something New

"Something old,
something new,
something borrowed,
something blue,
and a silver sixpence in her shoe."

- English folk rhyme

Welcome to my humble dining room, set for our traditional Christmas dinner. While many of the furnishings in this room have been with me through dozens of Yuletide meals, there are also some fresh touches that make the whole effect look brand new to me. Let me show you what I mean.

^ My dishes, silver and tablecloth are tried-and-true Streicher traditions. Decades come and go, but by golly, that Royal Stewart tablecloth is gonna be on my table every December twenty-fifth.  Ditto the Waechtersbach Christmas plates and wedding silver. Rather than purchase fresh flowers for my holiday table, I saved a few dollars by using these succulent bowls which my second-born and I made last summer. I rounded out the woodsy theme with my handmade ornaments, new napkins fashioned from IKEA tea towels, and a few plastic animals painted gold. 

^ On one side of the table stands this big old farm cupboard. Purchased at an antique sale way back in the day when we were childless and carefree apartment dwellers in Chicago, my husband and I carried this 200-pound beast up three flights of stairs one late Sunday evening. That little escapade in patience and teamwork earned this wicked heavy cupboard a nickname: The Marriage Tester.

I use the bottom half to store dishes behind the rustic wooden doors, but the top half is a cherished display space. A framed copy of the classic Durer bunny, a holdout from my teenage years, has recently inspired a rabbit collection to grown here, and in a mad fit of late-night creativity, a mash-up of Thanksgiving leftovers and Christmas baubles was born. It'll do for now and I'm sure I'll rearrange it again soon, undoubtedly after midnight.

^ Oh, my new triangle-y walls. I'm so in love with them. This long wall used to host a large canvas painting but since I slaved over these golden lines, I can't bear to cover them back up. In a minimalist effort to hide the picture hangers, I swagged this 3D paper garland across the hardware and I'm calling it a look. The sweet silver mini tree in the corner beams its approval.

^ This shiny mirrored table, with its glorious geometric etchings, has been in the stores and driving me mad all fall. Fantastically, amazingly, miraculously, three days before Christmas I found that it had been marked down to half price. My mother had sent me some holiday money and asked me to pick out my own gift, so guess who came home with me. I love the way it pairs with my old wooden furniture with a sparkling yet worn feel of its own.

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So there you have it. Old and new mix together in a kaleidoscope of shifting arrangements and subtly different combinations that make my dining room feel comfortable and familiar yet fresh and new, all at the same time. 

That's my idea of the perfect tradition.

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