Style Court

Eight Years of Textiles, History, Art, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

12.30.2008

Romantic Readiness

Sometimes a silver ice bucket, pretty tray, and just a few glasses set out in a casual book-filled room have far more appeal than a ballroom done-up by the hippest party planner.

Obviously New Year's Eve is an ideal time to put together a setting like this, but a silver cooler, pitcher or any sort of serving piece is fun to use all year long. Instant, effortless elegance.

Right now Atlanta is participating in The Literary Center's Big Read. Everyone age 12 to 112 is encouraged to form a book club and read The Great Gatsby before June 2009. So I've been thinking about the scene in the film when Gatsby has all the silver sent to the modest summer cottage for that afternoon date with Daisy.

The silver used in the movie is fairly lavish. These days though only one or two pieces are really needed for big impact. Personally I'm drawn to wine coolers because they make such nice containers for flowers when not chilling a bottle.

This antique wine cooler from Beverly Bremer is sterling silver and engraved with greyhounds and bulldogs. Lovely silver plate examples can often be found at estate sales and gift shops too. In 2009, instead of buying lots of throwaway items each holiday, consider investing in some sort of versatile pewter or silver item that catches your eye.

Williams-Sonoma has a nickel plate and mother-of-pearl option priced at $58.



Here's another small (and free) gesture that requires minimal effort yet speaks volumes: If you use writing paper printed, engraved, or embossed with your name, scratch a line through the name when sending a note to certain friends. This feels less distant, according to Vogue's Book of Etiquette. Over the holidays I received a brief note from a seriously chic person who did this. It was a wonderful personal touch.

Images one and two are from Accents on Accessories. Dan Carithers designed the first setting, Gerrie Bremermann the second. The note card image came from Vogue's Book of Etiquette, 1969. The film stills are from Paramount Pictures 1974 movie, The Great Gatsby.

37 comments:

CashmereLibrarian said...

A lovely post!

Style Court said...

Thank you CL. Happy New Year!

Emily Amy Gallery said...

I have never heard of scratching a line through your name on your notecards...interesting idea. I will have to try that in the future when sending casual notes. Lately, I have taken to sending out thank-you's on postcards (preferably adorned with art on the flip side). It seems so much more personal.

Style Court said...

Emily -- a note from you on an art postcard would be the perfect personal touch for your friends. Great idea.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Many of Mr. Blandings's parents' friends send their notes this way and, I agree, it's quite charming. Toasting you in the new year, dear Court.

Gina said...

I like to send out "Thank yous" just photographs of where I have been in the world.

Please write me a comment.
http://www.ginanews05.blogspot.com/

Happy 2009
Gina from Germany

Style Court said...

Well, if it's done in the Blandings circle it must be correct and stylish. Cheers Patricia!

Style Court said...

Gina -- that has a certain romance about it. Happy 2009 to you!

Colour Me Happy said...

I just discovered your lovely blog through Mrs. Blandings. I look forward to reading it!

Style Court said...

Hi Colour, so glad you stopped by!

ArchitectDesign said...

I love the idea of investing in personal pieces rather than a lot of junk! I think next year, that will be what we do in my family. Anymore it feels like a lot of pressure for a lot of impersonal gifts. I rarely get anything I actually like or will use!

I have seen the scratched out names before -is it to seem more personal? I don't understand the reasoning behind this. If you don't like the effect of engraved stationary with your name, which admittedly is very formal -why not buy seperate cards with a different motif?? I think the practical architect in me has problems with this whole concept...

Style Court said...

Hi AD -- I can see your point about practicality :)

Maybe the idea is meant to be a more intimate -- or perhaps casual is the better word -- gesture or statement.

Pigtown-Design said...

My mother does that when she uses her engraved cards. I like the formal/informal-ness of it.

A Day That Is Dessert said...

I love this idea for note writing.

Silver and tulips are my pick for NY Eve too! - I just bought 20 pink tulips this afternoon.

Happy New Year to you! Thanks for all the beauty you share.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

No engraved cards here...and even worse, I sometimes scratch the whole card idea (not just the name)...I am Sooo not getting invited back. Need to work on that, eh?

Love the first pic! Really interesting the whole CITY will be reading Great Gatsby! Wonderful!!

Happiest New year to you and yours!

Style Court said...

L -- pink tulips in silver sounds great! Thanks for the sweet comment. Happy New Year!

Style Court said...

Happy 2009 Linda!

(Really the ideal would be if a big portion of residence were reading :)

Heather van Breda said...

As a stationery designer, I'm not quite sure how I feel about striking out the name altogether. I have heard of the strike through on holiday cards with printed names. I print my family's names on our Christmas cards, then add hand-write an "xoxo" so that we are personalizing the correspondence.

Anne said...

What a wonderful post. Anything with silver ice buckets, champagne flutes, and the Great Gatsby is my thing! Lovt it!

Style Court said...

I'm so glad Anne!

MIMILEE said...

Lovely post, Courtney! Cheers!

Happy New Year and I am looking forward to more StyleCourt in 2009!!

Style Court said...

Oh thank you Mimi! Cheers.

Style Court said...

Meg, Heather --

It's interesting to see how everyone has a different reaction to the strikeout idea :)

a. @ coterie said...

Happy New Year Courtney!

Thanks for all your great and inspiring posts :-)

Style Court said...

Thanks a! Same to you.

Ivy Lane said...

Happy New Year Courtney!

Style Court said...

You too Ivy!!

coco+kelley said...

oh, gatsby... one of my all time favorites. a million party inspirations could come out of that book! i love the tray set in the first photo! very chic, and you're right - sometimes it's all you need. happy 2009!

(ps - i have old stationery that was given to me with my name on it that i don't like anymore... but now i might have to use it just to cross out the name! love the idea!)

Style Court said...

C & K -- I agree, so many party ideas from the book!

Glad the scratch idea inspired you!

Habitually Chic said...

I think that first photo is just gorgeous! A perfect way to celebrate any special occassion!

Happy New Year!

Style Court said...

Happy New Year Heather!

Cote de Texas said...

just beautiful! love this post.

Courtney = wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new years!!!!

Joni

Style Court said...

And to you Joni. Happy 2009!

simply seleta said...

Lovely post. And how interesting about the line through engraved stationary. It would be fascinating to know who started that.

Happy New Year!!!

Style Court said...

Happy New Year Seleta!

The Peak of Chic said...

Courtney- Did you know that there is great debate over which direction the slanted line should be heading(meaning where the top of the slash should be)? I can't remember the exact protocol for that, so I end up doing a weak little slash through my name!

Style Court said...

Oh Jennifer, another aspect to think about! I'l have to go check the note I received from the tastemaker :)