[Shown above, detail view of a Tim Street-Porter photograph from Diane Dorrans Saeks' book, Hollywood Style published by Rizzoli New York, 2004. Interior design by Stamps and Stamps.]
I've always liked the way California-based designer Kate Stamps uses a Soumac flat-weave rug in lieu of a conventional tablecloth.
Very reminiscent of a Vermeer still life.
[Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, Johannes Vermeer, ca. 1662, Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889, Metropolitan Museum.]
If you have a beautiful old rug (and have time to make sure it's clean), it might be a great change of pace for your holiday table. Gleaming silver looks so striking juxtaposed against a well-worn rug.
And take a look at the loose and natural gathering of flowers below. Talk about bringing the garden inside.
[Simon Upton photographed Courtnay Daniels Haden's house for Elle Decor, January-February 2010. Styling by Anita Sarsidi.]
The flowers would be too tall for a seated dinner, but a mass of camellias like this could be amazing on a winter table set with a holiday buffet or placed in an entryway. Remember the puffy flower controversy? The year a reader wrote to Elle Decor and compared all those pretty peonies scattered throughout the magazine to "old lady hairdos?" Personally, I never saw a connection to anything remotely frumpy. And it looks like the magazine continues to embrace large arrangements; Anita Sarsidi styled San Francisco-based designer Courtnay Daniels Haden's house with an abundance of big, but very organic feeling, branches and flowers. In fact, be on the lookout for tall flora throughout the latest issue.
By the way, I think art lovers will especially enjoy seeing how Haden lives with her collection, which includes a Kara Walker. I'll be curious to know if anyone but me thinks there is a slight connection between Walker's silhouette and the decoration on a Regency mirror placed nearby. (Afraid of being a spoiler, I'm not posting more images yet since the issue is new.)
Related past post: Barley Twist and Shout.