This year I strived to throw a “friends-giving” at my family’s antique beach house. The holidays are always whizzing by jumping from party to party. And this time I took it upon myself to throw a special dinner party with my boyfriend before the big holiday rush. Fortunate enough we had the luxury to escape our 800 sq. ft. apartment in the city and head to the South Shore of Boston.
The dining room in the 1840’s house is spectacular with its high ceilings and nautical lantern light fixture. The year before, my sister and I renovated the outdated room and gave it a new life with bright white Benjamin Moore paint in White Heron. It was hard to see the “Wes Anderson” style room go, considering we grew up here, in the eclectic beach house the family has owned for a century. But with new generations comes new creations.
Inspired by the oversized American flag adorning the wall, I cut white and red wild berries and branches on the property for a whimsical touch. The table was styled with our antique silver and china collection. The plates feature indigenous birds of New England. With this in mind, I hunted local antique shops for “decoy” ducks and even a stuffed bird to place atop the bar! For a pop of elegance and holiday cheer, I draped native evergreens on the neo-classical mantle and along the length of the table.
In the end, I needed a touch of contemporary flare, here I collected acorns and purchased pumpkins which I sprayed in gold and scattered around the room, this was one of my DIY elements. After spending hours online searching for the perfect placemats to compliment my theme, I took it upon myself to hit the local fabric store. Here I found a stunning blue and gray tartan from “Waverly Fabrics”. I broke out the old sewing machines and by a day’s end, I had the custom element I desired. I truly knew this pop of pattern and texture was the finishing touch.
Having so many family artifacts passed down by generations was the real inspiring factor. My grandparents and great aunts were known for hosting unforgettable evenings, and I wished to carry on this tradition. We finished off the night with roasted duck grilled by my brother-in-law and sipped martinis and champagne until the bar was dry. Cheers!