Winter White

The scene along Route 193 is one of brown bare branches against a white background (a cloudy sky or snow, depending on the day) accented with evergreens (holly and pine).These are the stark shades of winter.

Take inspiration from Mother Nature to decorate your table. Use white flowers, white candles, white dishes, all on a palette of browns and greens. Use fresh magnolia leaves, burlap runners, branches, pine cones, and fabrics in greens and browns.

Here I used a simple rectangular-shaped glass vessel and filled it with crystal rocks to hold white flowers in place (both found at Michaels). A brown runner and mossy green tablecloth made the white pop. White candles added a warm glow.

What’s the occasion? Maybe it’s a winter birthday or just a get together for northern folks who need to get out. Here are some ideas for food:

  • Dessert, coffee and a dessert wine or port
  • Soup or stew and crusty bread washed down with a hearty beer
  • Appetizers and drinks
  • A potluck supper
  • A full-course meal

Stay warm!




Simply Spring Tables

Your table says “Welcome, we’re glad you’re here.” Set a spring table with the blooms of the season for a hospitable burst of color. Today my dishes all match, but feel free to mix and match dishes for a whimsical, yet coordinated, look.


Spring flower centerpiece: tulips, azalea bush and dogwood branches, all from my yard. Whatever you have, blooms and greens, trim short for a bowl so the centerpiece is low and doesn’t obstruct vision. I used a Portmeirion Botanic Garden bowl with a spiked flower frog to hold flowers in place. Arrange loosely for an informal look.

Napkins: Whippoorwill pattern by World Market picks up all the spring colors from the flowers.

Tablecloth: Fresh spring green linen by World Market. The color hue is a step up from the wintertime mossy greens.

Dinnerware: Simply white Franciscan china, Nautical sea sculpture pattern.

Goblets: Wine goblets by Kosta Boda. Water goblets by Libby.

Candleholders: from Michaels, inexpensive votive holders for low, dispersed lighting



Poppy Fields Forever

Here in the northern part of Virginia our summers go long. We are a coastal state, really not in the north, and somewhat in the south. There’s plenty of garden left and warm temps. I’m still inspired by the summer flowers and fresh herbs in my beds. Here’s a pretty table created from summer’s best. A table that says, “Welcome, we’re glad you came!”

Get the look!

  • Lime green salad bowl (Home Goods)
  • Opificio Etico plates made in Italy (Home Goods)
  • Scalloped metallic green chargers (Michaels)
  • Wine glasses (Ikea)
  • Gold napkins (Home Goods)
  • Tablecloth and burlap runner (handmade by Cindy Dyer with material from Joann Fabrics)
  • Homemade centerpiece box with three sections, each holding quart-size bags for water to keep flowers and herbs fresh

We did this tablescape for the summer issue of Celebrate Home Magazine. For more tablescapes, go to Celebrate Home Magazine. There’s something for every season there. Photo by Cindy Dyer.

Summer Table — Sunshine Yellow

The staples of summer—sunshine, gardens, birds, the seashore—can be the inspiration for your tables. Whether eating indoors or out, let summer’s bounty grace your tabletops to welcome your family or guests.

Digress from the typical matching set of dishes and a centerpiece. Find one inspiration piece to drive your scheme – a plate, napkin, candle, flower, plant, seashell, and go from there. Be bold when it comes to mixing patterns and contrasting colors. Yellow is a happy color like the sunshine, use a lot of it. 

Look to the outdoors and what you can borrow.  Fresh herbs, flowers, ferns and even tree branches can add green to your table’s palette. Cut or buy a bouquet of summer flowers – sunflowers, zenias, snapdragons, gerberas, daisies – and cut their stems down to put in low clay or glass pots for the table. Accent the flower pots with fresh mint.

Throw some whimsy out there and see what happens. Set a table (indoors or out) that says “We’re glad you came!”

This tablescape was featured in Celebrate Home Magazine, summer issue.

Elements used: Reversible picnic quilt (Williams-Sonoma); hemstitched white napkins (Pottery Barn); wine glasses (Ikea); fiddlehead flatware (Pottery Barn); metal flower napkin rings (Pier 1 Imports); blue plates by Gibson Dinnerware (Garden Ridge Pottery)

Photo by Cindy Dyer.

Celebrate Home Magazine Summer Issue

Go to to download your free issue now. Here’s what you’ll find in this issue:

Up a Creek with Lots of Memories—The Havermann family finds a place to play in a vacation 
home on St. Leonard’s Creek in southern Maryland.

Light and Lively Summer Fare—Chef Emily Doerman whips up a tasty summer meal.

Not-a-Burger—Everyone loves a burger on the grill during summer. If you’re not a meat-eater, here is an alternative that can’t be beat!

Six Summer Sips—Mixologist Karen Covey shares cool summer drinks to beat the heat.

Space Cake—Put down that Moon Pie and try this heirloom cake without-of-the-world taste.

Inspired by the Garden: Garden Muse Tea Reception—A photography exhibit and reception to remember.

Summer Tablescapes—Usher in summer with cool summer-inspired tablescapes.

Shoe-la-la, Ooh-la-la!—A popular children’s book is the inspiration for a mural in 
a shoe-loving little girl’s room.

That 80s House—A bathroom gets a new lease on life.

Rest for the Weary—Create a welcoming guestroom for your visitors.

Ode to a Chicken—Becka Davis pays homage to a beloved feathered friend.

Suburban Agriculture: Confessions of a Brown Thumb—Maria Hufnagel shares her experience as a first-time gardener.

Fashioning a Fairy Garden—Kristin Clem connects with her inner child and creates 
a miniature fairy paradise.

Photographing Your Garden Through the Seasons—Photographer Cindy Dyer shares her tips for creating captivating images in the garden.

Rampant Biblioholism—A book lover shares her passion for  her treasured collection.

So Charming—One gal shares her lifelong passion for charm bracelets.

Fit to Tied (and Dyed): Fun and Easy Wearables Made with T-shirts—Achieve amazing results with inexpensive t-shirts, colorful dyes, simple 
knotting and a pair of scissors!

Celebrate Home Magazine — Spring Issue in Bloom!

The spring 2013 issue of Celebrate Home Magazine is now available for digital download in the links below. Click on either of the links below to download your FREE pdf copy of this issue.

This issue is jam-packed (and there’s even a jam-making feature!), so download today and get started reading.

On the cover: What says “spring” more than colorful tulips? Cindy Dyer, art director, was photographing this bed of flowers and was standing on the edge of the wall when this little girl, clad in a princess skirt with sparkly shoes, came running around the corner. Cindy snapped this one shot and the little princess was gone. Serendipity!

Set a Winter Table for Dessert

Gather friends for an intimate, mid-winter’s night dessert party. This is one of the easiest parties to host by keeping it small and limiting the menu.

Create the atmosphere with an imaginative tablescape. Use candles and wintry colors. Here my table is dressed with silver, gold with winter white. Barren branches dress the table with bird napkin holders and dessert plates. Dress your table to parallel your climate. If you live in warmer climates, use some greens in season from your yard. For example, in south Florida the Calamondin oranges are in bloom. Pick some branches with the small colorful fruit for your table.

For more on how to have a simple dessert party, complete with menu and wine suggestions, check out the Winter issue of Celebrate Home Magazine. Photo by Cindy Dyer.