Browsing Tag

flatware

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Join Plastic Cutlery

join plastic cutlery ding 3000 colours

join plastic cutlery ding 3000 colours

No time to create an over-the-top tablescape for your next dinner party? Distract (and entertain) hungry guests with colorful, architectural flatware that’s anything but flat.

join plastic cutlery ding 3000 center

Based on a classic Japanese puzzle, the JOIN cutlery set was developed by German product design studio DING3000, which has earned countless design awards for their innovative approach to multi-functional household objects. You may have already spotted their clever S-XL CAKE silicone baking dish or eco-savvy BASKETBIN wastebasket.

join plastic cutlery ding 3000

Check out this video to learn more about DING3000’s design approach.

Kim introduced when it was launched the S-XL Cake which was designed by DING3000 for Konstantin Slawinski.

SOURCING:
+ JOIN Plastic Cutlery via Yanko Design
+ Photos: DING3000 Product Design Studio

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Forest Spoon by Nendo

forest spoon by nendo

forest spoon by nendo

I am in awe with this adorable bird on a tree spoon. The Japanese design studio Nendo made a spoon that is as fun to look at it is to use for the curry chain restaurant Coco Ichibanya‘s annual ‘Grandmother Curry’ promotion, in which 100,000 lucky customers could win curry spoons through a lottery.

When you bundle several spoons, it creates a landscape. I wish I was visiting Japan to have a chance to win mine.

SOURCING:
+ Forest Spoon by Nendo – photos by Masayuki Hayashi
+ via Snow magazine and MoCo Loco

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Colorful Kitchen Knives | Reader’s question

kuhn rikon's colored cooking knife collection

Kuhn Rikon colored knifes

A reader asked me where she could find colored cooking knifes that are similar to the ones depicted in the DIY magnetic rack project. Heather and I united our digging skills to find great options.

Inspired by the colorful knives spotted in this DIY Magnetic Knife Rack tutorial featured a few weeks ago, we were delighted to discover there’s actually a rainbow of bright options for this everyday essential.

kuhn rikon's colored cooking knife collection

We started at Williams-Sonoma – the source for the knives pictured in the tutorial. They’re made by Kuhn Rikon, the #1 Swiss brand of cooking tools, combining ergonomic design with a variety of colors, sizes and styles. And since safety comes first, most knives include a coordinating sheath for protection and storage purposes. This adorable watermelon-themed knife has us pining for sweet summer days.

Komachi and scanpan sprectrum cooking knives

These Kershaw Komachi knives are adorable, but the colored blades actually serve to eliminate cross contamination when preparing food. Stylish and smart! Danish brand Scanpan’s Spectrum utility knife is designed to work not just in the kitchen, but on the BBQ and beyond. The knife features a food-safe non-stick coating for easy clean-up.

spreading knives by Opinel

I love these charming spreaders with brightly hued handles from French-based kitchenware company Opinel. They’d be a colourful companion for tea, scones and jam. While you are there, have a look at the Essential Fifties collection.

SOURCING:
+ Kuhn Rikon
+ Kuhn Rikon watermelon knife $24.95 USD at William-Sonoma
+ Pure Komachi 2 Series 9-Piece Knife Set with Block $65.99 at Amazon.com [affiliate link] – The Kamachi knifes are also available sold individually
+ Scanpan knives
+ Spreading Knifes by Opinel Kitchenware

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Sabre Frosted Acrylic Flatware

Sabre Frosted Acrylic Flatware in bold colors

Sabre Frosted Acrylic Flatware in bold colors

Are you looking for a great option to add color to your buffet table, a dessert table or to a tea party? The colorful Sabre Frosted Acrylic Flatware will cheer up your party. I like the subtle play on old and new.

Sabre Frosted Acrylic Flatware in green and blue

With a choice of 10 colors, you will be able to find one that fits within your party palette. Festive fashionable hues include purple, lapis blue, moss, pink and orange while dark grey, caramel and pearl cover the neutral spectrum.

Sabre Frosted Acrylic Flatware in metallic tones

The Sabre Frosted Acrylic Flatware are available in 4 sizes: teaspoon, demitasse spoon, serving spoon and a salad set. I wish that they were making knifes and forks.

SOURCING:
+ Sabre Frosted Acrylic Flatware from $4 to $35 USD at Gracious Home

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

The Magisso Cake Server really Works

how the magisso cake server works

When Jean-Luc Bouchard of Urban-Butik, the North American distributor of Magisso products, offered me a sample of the new Magisso Cake Server I accepted immediately. I like the concept but I was curious to see if it really works. After all, the practicality of a single serving ware piece instead of the typical cake knife and server set is appealing.

I first discovered the Magisso Cake Server through a NYC Gift Fair report done by Maxwell of Apartment Therapy. But the video posted on AT did not convince me because Miika served a sponge cake at the fair. Too easy! I wanted to make sure it cuts through more demanding cakes before introducing the Magisso Cake Server on my blog.

To simplify my life, Jean-Luc offered to bring me a cake. He showed up at my door the next day with the co-owner Anne Foged. They brought me a soft interior cake with an icing top similar to what you get on a mille-feuilles minus the pastry. This is more what I was looking for. Plus, the cake was delicious.

How the Magisso Cake Serve Works

magisso cake server cuts and serves cake pieces with one tool

The curve side down, you start on an angle by pressing at the center of the cake and move the cake server flat to neatly cut a cake piece. You squeeze a little bit the handle while you transfer the cake on a plate. Release. Voilà! It is super easy and it works every time. Your kids will be able to do it.

Get one for yourself and stock a few for your Christmas gifts. Your friends and family should appreciate it.

SOURCING:
+ Magisso Cake Server – you can buy it online $69.95 CAD

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Inspired by Vintage Silverware | etsy finds

Silverware wind chime at Finnegan\'s market

You can repurpose vintage silverware in several ways at the end of their useful life. You can make you own wind chime by flattening forks and spoons.

Custom Vintage Silverware Garden Markers by monkeysalwayslook on etsy

Etsy seller monkeysalwayslook converts old silverware into custom garden markers or picture holders (see last picture). What is cool is that you get a custom piece.  You will be able to select from her collection which silverware pattern you prefer and specify what to write on the garden markers.

Vintage Silverware Tags and Picture Holders

On Etsy, petitepear uses silverware images as a stamp for gift tags. For a special occasion, you could hang the tags so that each tag falls above the place setting of each guest. The tag becomes the place card.

SOURCING:
+ Custom Vintage Silverware Garden Marker by monkeysalwayslook $8 USD each on etsy
+ simply chic vintage style silverware tags by petitepear $3.50 USD each on etsy
+ Custom Silverware Picture Holders by monkeysalwayslook $13 USD each on etsy

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

New dinnerware arrivals at Horchow

recamier flatware : scribed poppy dinnerware : gracious good pitcher pastry dome and platter at horchow spring 2008Even though I am a modernist, I still fall under the spells of old-world charm. That is why I enjoy browsing the Horchow’s online catalogue. For spring 2008, their inventory is getting better.

I selected some pieces for designing an easy entertaining Spring / Summer tabletop. These are pieces that you will cherish for years to come. You can mix and match them with lots of things.

An inside look at my Spring tabletop

The star of your table will be the hand-painted Scribed Poppy Dinnerware. The pattern looks fresh and fun.

For the traditional look, place a natural tone tablecloth on your dining table. If you want a fresher look, opt for the hip Chilewich Tablemats. To reproduce the look of the wooden table on this picture, use the Woodgrain Tablemats in driftwood or pecan.

The Santa Fe Stoneworks Steak Knives add character to the table. Dad is sure to like those steak knives. So make a note for Father’s Day. The handcrafted stainless steel Recamier flatware by Marisopa set is made of Norwegian birch handles with a dark teak finish. Overall, the table look is gender neutral.

Timeless serving ware

From Gracious Goods, I select pitcher with a beautifully ornate cast aluminum base. A pitcher is a must for serving water and ice tea. For a dessert table, you cannot go wrong with the Domed Pedestal Servers and the matching Round Platter. The dome pedestals are all the rage for a few seasons now. I do not think this trend will go away soon because they add sophistication instantly. Therefore it makes sense to splurge in one or two remarkable pastry dome pedestals.

It seems that several products I selected are quite popular because a bunch is back-ordered right now. Some items will be available in April, others will arrive early May. So you should be able to get everything for the upcoming Mother’s Day brunch if you want to.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Recamier Flatware at Horchow – price: $188 5-piece setting, serving spoon and fork are $106 each
Buy online: Scribed Poppy Dinnerware at Horchow – price: $169.90 USD 16-Piece Dinnerware Set, $65 for 4 dinner plates
Buy online: Gracious Goods Pitcher at Horchow – price: $130 USD
Buy online: Gracious Goods Round Platter – price: $175 USD
Buy online: Gracious Goods Domed Pedestal Servers – on sale: small $103.90, large $175.90

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

My recipe to successfully design a tabletop

tabletop design guide : dinnerware : flatware : placematWith the death of packaged theme for home decor, the art of coordinating can scare some of you. Not everyone knows all to mix products into a tailored yet cohesive design.

Beginners who wish to mix styles can rely on a proven, simple method. Start by finding one thing (furniture, accessories, painting or plate) that you like and derive the rest from that element.

Practice with small projects like designing every week end a new tabletop. Why not reinstate the old-fashioned family dinner every Sunday? Use this occasion to also practice new recipes and food plating. Ask your family for help so everything runs smoother the next time you have guests over for dinner.

My 5-step guide to better design your tabletops

To teach you the basics, I developed a 5-step guide. More design rules are involved but these 5 steps will help develop your sensibility.

  1. Consider all the dinnerware and the home accessories that you have on your house.
  2. Examine them carefully individually and collectively.
  3. Pay attention to the shapes, colors, textures, finishes and emotions.
  4. Look for both similarities and contrasts.
  5. Let flow your creativity and explore compositions and concepts.

If you are new to this, practice often and you will see that it becomes easier. Remember that not everyone has the inner style to be a designer, so do not discourage if you have trouble successfully mixing stuff. Some people are great at sports, others at design.

New video series

Since I know that nothing beats seeing someone doing it, I hope to start publishing instructional videos on how to create tabletop after I planned a little recording studio.

My first video may feature the nature Asian inspired Chirp dinnerware set by Lenox. I will demonstrate several table linen options including the Birds ‘n Trees placemats by Modern-Twist that I bought at Lekker while I was visiting Boston.

Flatware as jewelry for your table

Just changing the flatware can totally change the look of your table. Think of it as jewelry. To get the right look, do not be afraid to rent flatware for your events. In fact, Sarah Dennis of Table and Toasts said the same thing on an interesting post yesterday about Trends in flatware rentals.

I displayed Beaded Antique flatware by Towle available at Cooking.com, several models by MEPRA available at Lekker and the fun colored Fantasia Millennium Flatware by MEPRA available at Plastica.

SOURCING:
+ Chirp Dinnerware by Lenox – price:$99.95 per 5-piece setting
+ Silicone placemats by Modern-Twist – price: $22 at Lekker
+ Beaded Antique by Towle – price: $49.95 per 5-piece setting
+ Natura ICE Five Piece Place Setting – price: $37 per 5-piece setting
+ Italia ICE Five Piece Place Setting – price: $44 per 5-piece setting
+ Levantina ICE Five Piece Place Setting – price: $47.50 per 5-piece setting
+ colored Fantasia Millennium Flatware by MEPRA – price: $50 per 5-piece setting

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Autumn scenes dinnerware for an elegant Thanksgiving table

autumnal themed thanksgiving tables at micheal fina

For my last look at a Thanksgiving table this year, I want to finish in style. As I mentioned before, I am fond of pewter tableware. I enjoyed their craftsmanship and their eternal elegance.

With winter coming, people living in colder climates are looking for warmth in their home decor. Even if I am truly a modernist, autumn has this effect on me.

As a Canadian, I am not a specialist in the American culture of Thanksgiving. But basically, Thanksgiving celebrates the end of the harvest season. So we take time to thank Mother Earth and the people that work on bringing us fresh food at the table. It is also the hunting season.

With the kind of food that is fashionable right now for entertaining at home, the Country styles both from France and Italy are in right now because they better complements the meal. When I talked with the sales director at Arthur Quentin last month, she confirmed the trend. Many of their customers live in hip modern décor house.

Autumn and winter woodland scenes

The first tablescape displays Solonge by Gien with the handmade Pewter Gallic Charger from Match. The plate you see is one of the 6 drawings from the dessert ensemble. A fabulous combination that can take different look depending on the table cloth you select. For example, the look will be softer if pale blue or pure linen was used instead of the orange.

Gien is known as the number one producer of the highest quality earthenware in France. Match pewter is handmade by artisans in the North of Italy. Each piece is crafted of an alloy that is food safe and lead free which explains the price.

Italian ceramic and pewter fall table

Depending of the type of cooking you are doing, you may prefer solid color plates. Also from Match, the Convivio Green collection is available in dinner plates, soup/pasta bowl and salad/dessert plate. You have the choice between a mug or the cup and saucer.

For the flatware, the translucent quality of Zambia by Ashandi is out of the ordinary. The Victoria Decanter with Pewter from L’esprit & le vin reminds me of a duck. It was a propos with both of my table schemes. Wine decanters are a must when you set an elegant table. So it is appropriate to own one or two if you are entertaining a lot.

Menu

Look at the end of Thanksgiving menu to see my meal suggestion for the Canadian Thanksgiving. It is a new twist on the seasonal meal. I have to warn you, there is no turkey.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Solange dinnerware by Gien at Michael C. Fina – price: $45 USD for a dinner plate
Buy online: Match Pewter Table Service Charger at Michael C. Fina – price: $180 USD
Buy online: Convivio Green collection at Michael C. Fina – price: $84 USD for a dinner plate
Buy online: Zambia by Ashandi at Michael C. Fina – price: $ 168 USD for a 5-pc place setting
Buy online: Victoria Decanter with Pewter from L’esprit & le vin at Michael C. Fina – price: $425 USD