Tag Archives: Better Homes & Gardens

Montage: 18 Winter Tablescapes With Holiday Centerpieces

I’m not into holiday decorating, and not just because I’m Jewish. I just don’t see the value of buying and storing extra stuff (clutter!) that is only used a few weeks a year. I remember going into an off price chain store a couple of years ago and being visually bombarded with turkey fingertip towels and the like. Nobody needs those. There are better ways to use both natural resources and money; plus, they’re just ugly.

Seriously though, I don’t mean to be Scrooge-y. I love flowers, garlands, candles. Such winter holiday decor is beautiful. I especially appreciate Scandinavian style accents — Moravian stars, white candles, pine tree springs, sheepskin, and all that. And while I personally don’t favor red, there are plenty of ways to incorporate red flowers and berries into winter tablescapes that look pretty and fresh.

Branches studded with berries standing solo in clear vases are stunning. A simple, wide red ribbon around a white ceramic vase looks pretty as a centerpiece. Plenty of tapered candlesticks and votives. Evergreen garlands. All of these items help create more naturalistic winter feel during holiday time. Here are 18 winter tablescapes with centerpieces geared toward Christmastime decorating.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes Scandinavian Greens

Sarah Winward  •  Honey of a Thousand Flowers

A simple evergreen garland, plain glass votive holders, and black candlesticks make an elegant rustic winter tablescape.

winter-tablescape-photo- marianna-jamadi-tinsel-&-twine

Tinsel & Twine  •  Photo by Marianna Jamadi •  via Ruffled

I’m not sure what kind of flowers these are, but the wintry white blooms mix well with evergreen sprigs and look beautiful in a silver pot. Fluted votives and gold-rimmed goblets add more shine and show that mixing metals can be done tastefully.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes


Red berries on branches in a clear glass florist’s vase adds Christmas color color without confusion.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes

Martha Stewart  •  Photo by Eric Piasecki

I’m not a fan of the poinsettia, but I love the way the large blooms are placed around the based of tapered candles on this classic but simple holiday table.

Rustic Winter Tablescapes Holiday Table Settings

The White Buffalo Styling Co.

A black and cream buffalo check runner pairs perfectly with wood slice chargers and forest green glass, not to mention handpainted deer napkins. The winter centerpiece consists of oversize pinecones, greens, and a hurricane lamp.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes

Better Homes & Gardens

I put together a similar arrangement this summer on the Cape, cutting white roses from my rose bush and pairing with pine tree clippings from the forest.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes

Good Housekeeping  •  Photo by Michael Parantino

Peppermint striped runners made from ticking fabric laid across the table vertically provide a cheerful backdrop to this red and white Christmas table setting complete with shiny red  winter berries in white vases of varying heights.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes Plaid Tablecloth

City Farmhouse

Jen from the City Farmhouse det her Christmas-themed dining table with a fringed plaid blanket (I had one of these as a baby, too bad it’s long gone), a potted mini evergreen tree, lanterns, and woodland creature.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes

Marigold and Mint  •  A Blog Named Scout  •  Photo by Belethee

 Seattle florist Marigold and Mint created the cotton flower  centerpieces for this Seattle dinner party that celebrated the cozy Danish concept of hygge.

DIY Winter Flower Arrangements And Holiday Centerpieces


Blogger Victoria McGinley created this simple DIY Christmas centerpiece using  a clear glass cylinder vase, one bunch of white roses, a bunch of Ilex berries, evergreen clippings from the Christmas tree, and a red and white ribbon.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes Scandinavian Greens

Martha Stewart

A mix of vintage and new vessels holds white spider mums, seeded eucalyptus, and blue Atlas cedar branches frosted with silver floral spray paint. Cluster them as a centerpiece or set them in a row down the middle of a table for a Scandinavian style setting.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes Lush Dutch Inspired Florals

Sarah Winward  •  Honey of a Thousand Flowers

Winter citrus, privet berry, and amaryllis centerpiece on rustic wood table set with organic white ceramic dishes and pewter candlesticks gives this tablescape the feel of a Dutch still life painting.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes

Salt Harbor Designs  •   Millie Holloman Photography

The Wilmington-based event planners used cylindrical, Christmas tree shaped topiaries and white candles in a row down the center of an extra long table.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes

Annabode + Co.

Denver-based interior designer Anna Smith made the black and white striped runner out of wrapping paper, then layered brass candlesticks, mercury glass votives, and an evergreen garland down the center of the table.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes In White With Greens

Floral Designs by Lee

White spider mums, greens, and branches topped with a silver ribbon makes for a petite but multi-level and economic centerpiece.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes In White With Greens

Flowers for Everyone

The simple Nordic winter vibe is very popular in Australia too. One can send a gorgeous bouquet by Flowers For Everyone of crisp green and white flowers in a cardboard box.  This one has Singapore orchids, roses,  lisanthus, lime chrysanthemums, native green brazillia berries, and adorable little bundles of cinnamon sticks.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes


Topiary trees get red and white ribbons for a joyous Christmas touch while burlap accents infuse a rustic feel to this traditional but still fresh holiday table.

Winter Flower Arrangements Holiday Tablescapes With Succulents

JL Designs  •  Photo by Leo Patrone  •  via Be Inspired PR

Mini succulents in low  vases mixed with bright red blooms make for a festive and fresh modern table setting at Christmastime. 


Better Homes & Gardens

Pretty Christmas floral arrangement features red and white amaryllis in a white pitcher tied with a ribbon.

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Montage: 24 Bathrooms With Trough Sinks

For one of last summer’s Boston Globe Magazine home issues, I wrote about a family friendly house in Scraggy Neck on the Cape with all sorts of fun, beachy features, including a bunk room and a kids bathroom with an oversize trough sink. In addition to its extra large size (I think there are five kids, plus plenty of cousins) and cobalt color, the mom loved that the trough sink hasn’t any counters to muss up.

Trough sinks have an industrial feel often associated with schools or art studios. They’re heavy duty, normally mounted to the wall, though some have legs. I think they’re historically made of cast iron, but I’m sure modern models are also fabricated in other materials. Trough sinks are deep and can be extra-long, accommodating two or even three faucet sets, which make them especially good for kids bathrooms. Of course trough sinks make great utility sinks in a laundry room or mud room too.

Here are 24 bathrooms with trough sinks in all a variety of colors (a red trough sink, a chartreuse trough sink, trough sinks in various shades of blue) as well as  an abundance of black trough sinks. Some are indeed in kids’ bathrooms, others are in bathrooms with old time-y, industrial chic, Brooklyn-y vibe.


Godrich Interiors

trough-sink- Elizabeth Roberts-brooklyn-remodelista

Interior designer Elizabeth Roberts own Brooklyn brownstone  •  Remodelista


Hannotte Interiors


Aaron Hojman  •  Casa Zinc


Better Homes & Gardens


Boston Globe Magazine


HGTV Magazine


Kimberly Renner






House Beautiful

trough-sink-ouse in Floreat by Craig Sheiles Homes and Mick Rule

Floreat by Craig Sheiles Homes and Mick Rule OR Esplanade Residence by Emilie Bédard and Maria Rosa Di Ioia

trough-sink-Melbourne home of Simone Haag, via thedesignfiles.net. Photos by Sean Fennessy.

Melbourne home of  interior stylist Simone Haag
The Design Files  •  Photo by Sean Fennessy


Carla Lane Interiors




Scavullo Design


Upscale Construction








Country Living


Terracotta Design Build


Hecker Guthrie



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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Montage: Interior Design Trends

Montage: 24 Kitchens with Built-In + Hidden Microwaves

Lately I’ve been receiving a rash of press releases from appliance companies, like GE and Miele, as well as stores that deal in appliances, such as Home Depot and Tesco. Although I’m a fan of a great appliance (I love my Bosch dishwashers, for example),  I haven’t ever really covered that segment of the home market here. I probably won’t be doing thorough cross-comparisons of stainless steel refrigerators or ultra-quiet dishwashers any time soon, I can certainly showcase well-designed kitchens that display such appliances to perfection.

So let’s start with microwaves. The design of these 24 kitchens thoughtfully incorporate its microwave ovens. The microwaves are built-in beautifully, whether tucked into an island or stacked with a traditional oven, flush with the cabinetry. Other microwaves are hidden behind doors in dedicated appliance pantries, perhaps combined with a coffee station. I’m not sure I’d want to have to open a cabinet door every time I used my microwave.


J.A.S. Design-Build

I expected to spot the microwave behind the frosted glass barn door, but the microwave in this kitchen is in the island, just under the black countertop. That desk behind the barn door is nifty though.



This sleek IKEA kitchen lines the appliances on a  wall of walnut cabinetry that is oddly perpendicular to the island. Maybe it’s just for show.


Kitchen Architecture

This glossy white Bulthaup kitchen features an appliance garage and two wall ovens; I think one’s a microwave.


Sliding Door Company

Another kitchen in which the appliance wall is perpendicular to the  island. Check out the fridge? drawer at the bottom of the island too.


Better Homes & Gardens

Jade green kitchen cabinets with a microwave in a cabinet with a slide in door, as though it’s an armoire hiding a television. It’s the exact size of the microwave. What happens if it needs to be replaced and that model’s been discontinued?


Photo by Sarah Sherman Samuel for Smitten Studio

I love the brass pulls and expanse of marble, and the larger size of this built-in microwave oven.


Brayer Design    Photo by Nick Smith

Mini microwave in a tall black wood pantry cabinet, along with a toaster, and coffee maker.


Minosa Design    Photo by Simon Kenny

A thoroughly contemporary kitchen that hides everything, microwave included.


Project M+  •  Photo by Mimi Giboin

A compact plan, but the handle on the door of the microwave seems like it would impede usability at the counter.


Divine Design + Build

I like the look of all the compartments in this contemporary wood kitchen, but hide-and-seek comes with a price. Doesn’t it take that much more time to remember where the appliances are, and open and shut the cabinets?



The microwave in this kitchen, which is at once classic and a touch glam, is in a tall cabinet off to the side. I like how the appliances all sport a monochromatic brushed chrome finish.


Modern House Architects

A hard-working appliance wall. Seems efficient to me.


Alison Davin of Jute  •  Photo by Drew Kelly

Another microwave in a cabinet. The mixer display is lovely, but one can’t possibly create a batch of muffins in there.



The microwave in this classic white kitchen is on the front side of the island. Seems inconvenient.


via Zillow Digs

I love this pantry. But I think you’d have to get down on your knees to access that built-in microwave.


Jenna Sue Design

I like how this built-in microwave is completely flush with the island.


Design Dump

Apparently this built-in microwave is not a custom feature, but a DIY solution.


The Sky is the Limit Design

I love how large this cabinet is, and that the microwave has room to breathe.


Photo by Julian Wass for This Old House

Pretty blue cabinets and a convenient service area off to the side of the fridge.


Better Homes & Gardens

Microwave slotted into a tall cabinet. Doesn’t it get hot in there?


Wendy Johnson of Designs for Living    New England Home

Ah, this coffee station pulls out for ease of use.


Yvonne Eijkenduijn  

The microwave in this charming Nordic style kitchen is behind a clear glass door.


SHED Architecture & Design

The microwave is hidden, but it looks hard to use. That gray brick is cool though.


Photo by David Fenton for This Old House

Doesn’t the microwave get more use than the oven. Nobody pulls a door over that.

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Montage: 15 Bathrooms With Porcelain Wood Effect Tiles

As I continue my search for bathroom tiles (not to mention a tasteful light fixture for over the mirror to replace the one that looks like it should be in a starlet’s dressing room),  I realize I’ve been seeing so many  wood effect tiles, that it deserved its own post.

I first noticed porcelain tiles that look like wood when the condo board of our building in Boston finally decided to redo our lobby. (It had what looked to be tiles you might find in a hospital, complete with tile baseboard.) Our upstairs neighbor brought a few samples as suggestions. We decided to use them, so the lobby now has tiles that give it a New England-y feel, with medium wood effect porcelain tiles, golden walls, and wood baseboards in creamy white. A huge improvement. (Now I need to get rid of the awful, elaborately framed mirror.)

While I likely won’t be using wood grained tiles in our Florida condo bathroom, as it isn’t a good match with the cork flooring in the rest of the place (though would be an improvement over the existing flesh-toned pink tiles), I think there are some great options. I particularly like the pale gray wood effect tiles, and the idea of doing an faux wood tile accent wall in the shower. Have a look at these 15 bathrooms with wood effect tiles.


Projekt Home


Creative Homebody


Jeff King and Co.


Stone Source


Planete Deco


DKOR Interiors


Home Adore




Vt Wonen


Stephani Buchman Photography


Better Homes & Gardens


Eliot Tuckerman Southeastern Custom Homes


Tanju Ozelgin


Beyond Homes

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Montage: Red, White & Blue Tablescapes

Every Fourth of July since I’ve been with my husband, we’ve celebrated with a beach picnic on the Cape., almost always at Corn Hill. He’s been doing it with his family and their friends and families for pretty much his whole life. We’ve brought a few of our friends in on it, who’ve brought their friends. It’s a really nice evening, and has a very small town, Americana kind of feel, which is of course fitting seeing how it’s July 4th and all.

It’s one of my kids’ favorite times of year, and not just because that’s the one day other than their birthdays that we let them have a soda. They love running around the beach as the sun goes down, and hiding behind the dunes with summer friends. I always bring tons of S’mores makings and dole them out once the kids have roasted marshmallows on giant sticks. And then there’s the fireworks.

Over the years I’ve collected some festive Fourth of July accoutrements, including a bandana beach blanket that I got my sister to make. We always seem to have an abundance of little American flags on wooden dowels too (maybe my father-in-law buys them at the hardware store… not sure). The newest addition to the Fourth of July decorations is a red and white striped tablecloth by LinenMe.

LinenMe is a third generation family business that makes towels, bed sheets, towels, scarves, and throws from high quality Lithuanian linen, which is natural and hypoallergenic. The company’s publicist sent me a linen tablecloth to try tout. It’s strong but soft, and has a really nice feel. I will be bringing it to Corn Hill with me on Friday for our Fourth of July celebration.

I played around with the LinenMe tablecloth last week before I came back to Boston for a few days. It would look great draped over a wood table too. Here are a few photos of the linen tablecloth with some nautical-themed letterpress coasters I picked up at the Kennebunkport Festival last month, plus one of these American flags, some dishware, and wine. (You may have already seen them on my Instagram feed.)

In addition to my mini tablescapes, I’ve pulled together a dozen other red, white, and blue tabletop schemes for Fourth of July entertaining inspiration.




Marni Elyse Katz for StyleCarrot


Styled by Emily Rudda   •  Tou Jours


Tori Spelling/EdiTORIal  •  David Tsay Photography  •  Redbook


Jenny Steffens Hobick for Taste: Williams-Sonoma blog


Hi Sugarplum!


Charles Schiller Photography  •  Martha Stewart

johnny-miller-for-martha-sewart -july-4th

Johnny Miller Photography  •  Martha Stewart




Beverly Farrington  •  Laurey W. Genn Photography  •  Southern Living




 Taylor Made Weddings  •  Photo Love Stories  •  The Frosted Petticoat


Chelsea Fuss for Project Wedding


A Thoughtful Place

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