Breathe New Life Into Your Lazy-Sunday Table

Sundays are low-key, but that doesn’t mean mealtime has to be lackluster. Here are four easy ways to make suppertime more stylish.

Add Style to Lazy Sunday Meals

  1. Select a unified color scheme, be it black and white, pastels, or neutrals. Tip: Take cues from your dining room’s décor.
  2. Create layers – charger, napkin, salad plate, silverware. For an informal look, simply stack it all up at each place setting.
  3. Light candles, but try votives instead of tall tapers. They’re less formal, but they still incorporate soft lighting.
  4. Build a casual centerpiece using natural materials. Sprigs and herbs add texture and surprise.

 

Start your laid-back tablescape at our Spend Sunday at Home: Cooking to Entertaining Boutique on Sunday, March 30, at 11AM ET.

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March 30, 2014

3 Space-Transforming Pieces for Tiny Rooms

Small-apartment dwellers, don’t give up your subway-adjacent space just yet. A few smart décor decisions will have you playing penthouse in no time.

How to Decorate Small Spaces

Oversized Mirror
Rest one against an alcove wall to give the illusion of extra space. Or hang it horizontally above the couch for added height.

Decorative Screen
Live in a studio? Create a makeshift dressing space or a barrier between the bed and lounge area.

Nesting Tables
When guests swing by, pull these out to hold hors d’oeuvres. Then tuck them together when you’re on your own.

Feel your place getting bigger? Scoop these pieces up at our Smart Style for Small Spaces: Furniture & Décor Boutique on Saturday, March 29, at 11AM ET.

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March 29, 2014

Dream Weavers: A Look Behind Frette Linens

You know it’s top-notch, but did you know this luxe company has crafted linens for foreign embassies worldwide? We didn’t think so. Read on for more reasons to indulge.

A History of Frette Linens

Fit for Royalty
In 1881, Frette became the official linen purveyor to the Italian Royal Family. Soon after? Over 500 noble European dynasties followed suit.

Gold Standard
Frette’s accolades began rolling in during the late 1880s. The first: a gold medal at the National Exhibition in Milan.

Made to Be Treasured
The altar cloth at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome was created by a Frette artisan in the 1890s. A replica of the original remains there today.

Five-Star Favorite
Celeb-frequented hotels – from the Mandarin Oriental, Boston to The Peninsula Tokyo (plus 748 others) – dress their beds in Frette linens.

Not a royal? No worries. Check out our Frette Boutique on Monday, March 24, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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March 24, 2014

Eat Bistro Style: Almond and Fennel Flatbread from Food52

This week for Sunday Supper, we had our hearts set on something simple, fresh, and not too heavy. Imagine cuisine you might find at your corner café or bistro. With that in mind, we turned to Food52 – our destination for all things delicious – and discovered Almond and Fennel Flatbread.

Almond and Fennel Flatbread Recipe

The main ingredient? Za’atar. Don’t panic – it’s not as complex as it sounds. Za’atar includes cumin, sumac, salt, pepper, and a few other spices. It’s a mixture commonly found in Middle Eastern cooking. (See the recipe here.) But, let’s not digress. As Laura Wright of Food52 writes, “Once you have a good piece of dough, this one’s pretty much in the bag.” So grab the closest apron, a glass of white wine for pairing, and whip it up.

Our Sunday Supper: The At-Home Bistro Boutique opens Sunday, March 23, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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March 23, 2014

The Great Outdoors: How to Create a Chic Alfresco Space

Sprawling backyard or tiny patch of grass? Whatever your outdoor space, Rue Living Editorial Director Nancy Soriano shares must-try tips for taking it from simple to stylish.

 

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Use flowerpots for more than planting. Store candles, games, and flatware caddies in these earthy essentials.”

Roll out rugs in bold hues. Reds, blues, and oranges add contrast to the surrounding leafy scene.”

Create a focal point. Frame your fire pit with Adirondack chairs. They will instantly draw guests out into the yard.”

Start your outdoor living space now with our Go Alfresco: Essentials for Outdoor Living Boutique, opening Thursday, March 20, at 3PM ET.

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March 20, 2014

A Chic Country Aesthetic? Yes, It’s Possible – Just Pick Modern Accents

Think country has to equal cutesy? Think again. Whether your abode is an actual farmhouse or you’re simply drawn to the aesthetic, here are three ways to put a contemporary spin on a country-style bedroom.

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  1. Hang traditional floral prints in an unexpected blue or black palette.
  2. Give upholstered and tufted furniture an of-the-moment look in neutral or grey hues.
  3. Pick a side table with a classic and demure shape – and a smooth black finish that brings the wow factor.

 

Find these pieces at our Furniture & More for a Modern-Country Bedroom Boutique on Monday, March 17, at 11AM ET.

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March 17, 2014

Prep for Passover: Jewish Cooking Pro Joan Nathan Talks Brisket

Meet Joan Nathan, Rhode Island–born and Harvard-educated author, as well as the premier authority on Jewish cooking. Now, I’m not religious. But I am a foodie with a soft spot for comfort dishes that bring family and friends together. And Jewish cooking happens to do just that. Case in point: Brisket.

“It is a dish I serve frequently – on Friday night, at holidays, and at dinner parties,” Nathan writes. “The whole piece of meat, from three to ten pounds, is potted (hence the term pot roast) and cooked slowly for hours. Brisket needs to be simmered slowly to transform it into the succulent morsels I remember as a child.” First time hosting? You’ll need a wow-worthy recipe. And it just so happens that Nathan is sharing one of her own. So grab a roasting pan and get started.

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Click the recipe to download and print.

Craving more? Check out Joan Nathan’s latest book, Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, then shop our Sunday Supper: Celebrate Passover Boutique on Sunday, March 16, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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Joan Nathan considers food through the lenses of history, culture, and tradition. She regularly contributes to The New York Times, Food Arts Magazine, and Tablet Magazine, and is the author of ten award-winning cookbooks. Her most recent book, Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France, was named one of the ten best cookbooks of 2010 by NPR, Food & Wine, and Bon Appétit.

Ms. Nathan lives in Washington, D.C. and Martha’s Vineyard with her husband. For more information, visit her website at joannathan.com.


March 16, 2014

Beyond Entertaining: 3 Creative Ways to Use Crystal

Serving with these clink-ready pieces at a dinner party is just about as classy as it gets. But that doesn’t mean they should hide away in cabinets between special soirees. Here, three ways to work them into everyday living.

Creative Ways to Use Crystal in Entertaining

1. Citrus Centerpiece
Fill an ice bucket with lemons or oranges for a piece that will awe any dinner or buffet table.

2. Vanity Tray
In the kitchen or bedroom, store perfume, earrings, or bobby pins in crystal coasters.

3. Dip Dish
Glam up casual get-togethers by spooning store-bought dips into crystal candy dishes.

Get your creative juices flowing in The World of Waterford & Wedgwood Boutique on Friday, March 14, at 3PM ET.

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March 14, 2014

Two Centuries of Tradition: The Story Behind Waterford & Wedgwood

It graced your grandmother’s holiday table, and you’ll likely pass yours to the kids. Why? Because, like white pearls and little black dresses, one-of-a-kind crystal and china never go out of style. Here, a brief history of the tabletop labels.

Waterford Wedgwood History

In 1783, exporters and brothers William and George Penrose of Waterford, Ireland, set out to create the finest crystal for decorative and practical uses. Over 200 years later, credited with achieving just that, Waterford merged with Wedgwood, one of the world’s premier manufacturers of high-quality china. Together, these labels became synonymous with taste and timeless tabletop style.

Start your collection in The World of Waterford & Wedgwood Boutique on Friday, March 14, at 3PM ET.

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March 14, 2014

Upstage Your Entrée with Serving Pieces by Portmeirion & Spode

If you’re an enthusiast of classic tablescapes, you’ll recognize the brand names below. The epitome of timeless, fete-throwing style, these two enchanting patterns are our top picks.

Portmeirion & Spode Tabletop Pieces

Botanic Roses by Portmeirion
This pattern is a surefire hosting win. Light, cheerful, and ever brunch-ready, its fresh blooms infuse a little English sophistication into every meal.

Blue Italian by Spode
Designed in 1816, Spode’s signature style features scenes from the Italian countryside and a border inspired by Japanese art. It’s stunning over a crisp white tablecloth – or even when peeking through a glass cabinet.

Our Garden-Inspired Tableware by Portmeirion, Spode, & More Boutique opens Thursday, March 13, at 11AM ET.

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March 13, 2014