Get into the whim of things over holidays

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

SET­TING the ta­ble for hol­i­day par­ties is a great oc­ca­sion to al­low your whim­si­cal side to es­cape. Along with the fab­u­lous food treats, the ta­ble should of­fer good cheer and panache.

De­cide on an over­all theme — would you like to have a sim­ple, spare look or a happy clus­ter of pat­terns and ac­ces­sories? The most el­e­gant ta­ble is of­ten the sim­plest — pure white linen, plain rimmed china, pol­ished sil­ver and sparkling crys­tal al­ways make com­pany feel pampered, But some­times more is called for and there are many el­e­ments to play with, to mix and min­gle for a dy­na­mite dis­play.

Start with a table­cloth or mats if you pre­fer the table­top to show. This is the back­ground layer onto which you place ev­ery­thing. A sin­gle colour or tone on tone de­sign will al­low your serv­ing pieces to stand out. Take stock of your in­ven­tory of plates and linens and how you might build on what you have. Dishes don’t have to match, but look best if they are the same weight or thick­ness. Pat­terns can also dif­fer, con­nected by a mo­tif or colour.

Ac­ces­sories, in­clud­ing can­dles, salt and pep­per shak­ers, a wa­ter pitcher, and condi­ment dishes add in­ter­est and even sur­prise. One of the most en­dur­ing pat­terns is the sim­ple stripe. It can go any­where, pair up with any style and switch moods ac­cord­ing to its shape and shade. Fivestripes.com shows their flair for stripes on ev­ery­thing from can­dles, cups and spoons to car­pets and carry bags. The Ana can­dles started them off, with striped ta­pers and Carousel Pil­lars, shown here in ivory, si­enna and pea­cock. If you fancy a lit­tle art deco style, Wil­liam Bounds has a series of salt and pep­pers beau­ti­fully lac­quered in stripes (and a few polka dots too). The Pep Art twin set in black and white looks great on any ta­ble, fun for the kitchen and fine for a feast.

Dear Deb­bie: My daugh­ter has a large mir­ror that she wants to hang on the wall above her couch. It’s a qual­ity mir­ror, but the frame needs to be up­dated. I would like to paint it to look like frames I have seen that are sil­ver, but when you look closely you can see small brush strokes in black and other shades. Can you tell me how to cre­ate this el­e­gant look? Thanks. Lori Dear Lori: What you are de­scrib­ing is a patina of sil­ver rather than a matte sil­ver fin­ish. Paint the frame with a base coat of black or dark gray, then, stip­ple on the sil­ver paint over the dry base. You need very lit­tle. You can use a sten­cil brush, which is flat ended or a nor­mal bris­tle brush, but hold it with the flat tip to the sur­face. Let the first layer of sil­ver dry, and then stip­ple on more sil­ver un­til you see just a tiny bit of black un­der­neath. It re­ally is very easy. Prac­tice first on a spare board un­til you are pleased with the re­sult.

Deb­bie Travis’ House to Home col­umn is pro­duced by Deb­bie Travis and Barbara Din­gle. Please email your ques­tions to house­2home@deb­bi­etravis.com. You can fol­low Deb­bie on Twit­ter at www.twit­ter.com/deb­bie_­travis, and visit Deb­bie’s new web­site, www.deb­bi­etravis.com.

The fa­mil­iar stripe, left, takes on a party per­son­al­ity in the Carousel Pil­lar can­dles found at Fivestripe.

This salt and pep­per set by Wil­liam Bounds has an art deco edge that’s

fun and fan­ci­ful.

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