”Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home.” –  Edith Sitwell


Thrilled to have my article published in the beautiful Celebrating Everyday Life Magazine, I hope you will be inspired to relish winter with a small gathering of friends this January!  {ps. This is such a beautiful, inspirational magazine. Order it online at Country Sampler.com, if you still can!}



The serenity of January is a welcome respite after the dizzying pace of the holidays. After all the holiday decorations are put away, it’s time to nestle into the quiet month of January.  During the slower pace of this first month of the year, making time to delight in the company of good friends is a priceless luxury.


Celebrating the quiet beauty of January with a winter luncheon for just a few intimate friends will allow you to catch up with the latest in each other’s lives.



Creating an elegant soiree at home is easier than you might imagine.  Set in the kitchen, or dining room if you have one, let the whites and creams of the winter garden covered in a blanket of snow inspire you, along with the fresh, bright greens in gardens in the more southernly climates.



A small gathering like this is a wonderful time to let your personality shine in the way you set your table. Use your table as your stage to express yourself, displaying things you love, pieces that you inherited or picked up in your travels. Mix your antiques with contemporary pieces; your table should be fun, interesting and even a little bit quirky!



Blanket your table in an antique cloth, such as this hand-woven French sheet, which brings a beautiful nubby texture to the table. The rough linen cloth makes the antique silver and dishes stand out.


Festive occasions are the perfect opportunity to use your most cherished heirloom china. For this table, antique Limoges plates with a hand painted fern design are layered over simple creamware plates.




To bring the garden indoors during this dark month, a garden planter is filled with lacey ferns and white potted flowers from the nursery as a centerpiece.  A larger maidenhair fern nestled inside an antique French tureen and two large antique green glass apothecary jars filled with green hydrangeas all add to the lush garden feel.



Attention to small details all add up to creating a table setting your guests will love. Small printed place cards with each guest’s name in fern green will make each of your friends feel special.


Printing out a menu gives hints of what your guests can expect to enjoy at your table.  Each one of these can easily be printed on your own computer.



Your menu can be quite simple, an appetizer, and a salad with chicken or shrimp is really all you need in this month when everyone seems to want to eat less.




A selection of patisserie desserts presented in a beautiful way is the perfect ending to your meal.



Creating a beautiful table using things you love is one of the best ways to express yourself at home.




Beauty for the sake of beauty will add pleasure and meaning to your every days and special days, and sharing those moments with people you love adds up to making cherished memories.



“Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them.”

–  Vincent A. Simeone



Antique French Monogram Napkins| Glass Fern Etched Compote | MOP Antique Flatware Set | Thumbprint Glass Rose Basket | Silver Fern Service Spoon

Here’s to a Happy January & Happy friendships!

Do you do something special for yourself {or your friends} in January to jumpstart the year with a wonderful time?