Normally, we tend toward simple tablecloths, ones that will serve as a solid backdrop for our fabulous food and table settings without drawing too much attention of their own. But when it comes to summer, picnics, and eating outside, we say bring on the color!
Knife in the Water, a Seoul-based Etsy shop, uses this strong, vibrant print across pillows, tea towels, and napkins, in two striking colorways. I especially love the dark grey napkin, printed with gold and lilac inks. (Also, it's easier to keep darker-colored napkins looking clean!)
This pattern also comes in a Pale Khaki colorway, with terracotta and navy inks.
I found a Stelton bread bag in front of my plate at one of my favorite restaurants. It was filled with excellent housemade bâtard, but I was distracted by the soft, crumpled cotton bag, and I turned it over surreptitiously to find the brand. The bag was light and easy to pass around, but structured enough to cradle the bread and to keep crumbs inside. It folds up flat for storage, and it's easy to clean. A really lovely option for serving bread at table.
100% cotton. Colours: Tomato, Saffron, Chocolate, Dark Brown, Pistachio, Black/Black, Sand/White. Dimensions: dia 9.06" h 9.06".
When it comes to competence in household matters, laundry ranks very near the bottom of my personal list. Clean laundry rarely makes it into my bedroom dresser; my longsuffering husband and I pick it out of overflowing baskets in the guest room. But there is one sort of thing that always (always) gets folded immediately upon its removal from the dryer: Cloth napkins. And there is a very good reason for this — also stemming from my loathing of laundry.
All you need are the crayons. This is a cheap and rustic way to dress up your table—just lay out some butcher or craft paper, and write your guests' names as place cards. You could also write the night's menu or identify dishes on the table, if it's a buffet. See an example of that, below.
We see quite a lot of pretty aprons these days. There's a cottage industry on Etsy and elsewhere, creating aprons that appeal to the Mad Men-inspired hostess. The cutest aprons I've seen lately come from an unlikely source: A perfume and fragrance company based in San Francisco.
There are many wonderful posters and other art objects being created and sold to raise money for Japan relief efforts. These hand-pulled block prints by Berkeley artist Rigel Stuhmiller are especially beautiful and 100% of the profits will go to Save the Children to benefit Japan.
Has spring arrived at your home yet? Here are five lovely, handmade tea towels to celebrate the coming season. Whether you're already planting your first seeds or waiting for the snow to melt, they are certain to bring a little freshness and cheer to your kitchen!