Saying Goodbye: Vlog Episode 23

This is it, my friends. The last full day. Tomorrow I’ll be walking out of an empty house, taking with me a car full of boxes and the memories of two and a half years spent building a home.

As I sit down to type these words, for the first time I realize that the renovation of this home was a metaphor of my own personal transformation. Walls were torn down so that new foundations could be built. Lessons were learned and new skills gained. At times it was messy and exhausting and I wanted to give up. But tomorrow I’ll leave this house a changed person—a more improved version of myself. Tomorrow, this house and I will start over from a much better place. It took a lot of work to get us here, but the investment is always worth it in the end.

Today I’m sharing the last moments spent in my home. Oh, and there’s a couple big announcements in here…

You may have been able to guess the move to the city, as I’ve been staying there almost every weekend. But I’m also thrilled to embark on this new path of investing in and remodeling homes. A lot of thought has been put into this decision as I’ve had to evaluate the direction of my life after starting over. There are more factors involved and I’ll share more about that soon. For now, I’m focusing on settling into the new place, then I can devote my full time and attention to the next renovation.

The properties I’m looking at are near my current home which is a few hours away from the city. I’ll have to commute quite a bit, but I’m used to it at this point. I’ll work with my team of contractors who I’ve come to know and trust over the past couple years, along with squeezing in DIY projects when possible. But the timeline will be condensed for a fast turnaround to sell, and the process repeated. And of course, it will all be documented on this blog so you can continue to follow along!

On a more somber note, I’m taking Susie with me but sadly, Biscuit has to stay. It breaks my heart to leave her behind but she is mostly an outdoor cat (she was ownerless and living in the yard so we took her in) and she would be miserable stuck indoors in a noisy city. The new owners have graciously agreed to adopt her and love her and I know she will continue to live happy and free where she belongs. It’s going to be difficult to say goodbye tomorrow.

My new place is an apartment in a great location in San Francisco. You may have seen it pop up on this blog already…

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…or at the end of last week’s vlog, or instagram and snapchat and facebook. Trading in a mountain view for bays and bridges. A very different change of pace from this sleepy little town. Bring on the action.

The next blog post will be published from my new home, and you won’t want to miss this one. I’ve put together a complete house tour video, including some never before seen before, during and after footage and images. It’s a great way to have the entire renovation documented in one place and I can’t wait to share it with you on Monday.

This blog may be five and a half years old, but life is just beginning and the best is still to come. I’ll be sharing some behind the scenes action from the move over the next several days on Snapchat @ jennasuedesign, so feel free to follow along and say hello!

Here’s to new adventures,

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Guest Bedroom Reveal

This has been a long time coming, hasn’t it? As promised, the day has finally come to reveal the last unseen space in the house.

The poor neglected guest room had been empty/unused the majority of the 2.5 years since buying the house, as guests normally used the daybeds downstairs. Here’s how it looked before we bought it:
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Right after moving in the carpet was ripped out, and new floors put in (don’t believe the wide angle lens making the room look huge—it’s small):

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At some point down the road a mattress & bed frame, a couple old night stands and a dresser were placed in there and that’s about it. I never bothered painting or attempting to decorate as other projects took precedence.

Then the room was emptied as it came time to sell the house, and I couldn’t simply ignore it. So I borrowed a bed, dresser and mirror, purchased an inexpensive rug, night stands, a chair & chandelier, and grabbed curtains, linens and picture frames from storage. The space was pulled together in a matter of days—and by far the most inexpensive “makeover” in the house.

You don’t have to get fancy to create a calming, put together space…

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The full size bed takes up the majority of the room (that’s how small it is) and Susie sure loved having a new spot to sunbathe in while it lasted.

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Or hide under the covers…

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Fair warning, Susie tried to photobomb this entire shoot.

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A lot of you have been asking about where the bed came from. It was borrowed from a friend and it’s an antique purchased many years ago—sorry to say it may be one of a kind!

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Instead of purchasing a mattress, I borrowed my dad’s air mattress (there’s a helpful staging tip for ya) and dressed it up with old pillowcases and flea market blankets.

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$20 side tables from Ross flank the bed and they’re topped with Ikea lamps purchased years ago. Custom roman shades from Amazon were hung in the window, along with simple striped Ikea curtains.

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The dresser is also an antique borrowed from my parents, and an Ikea chair sits in the corner.

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The large empty wall was filled with frames and art I pulled from around the house.

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A pretty crystal chandelier adds a little sparkle.

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Oh, and this rug from Rugs USA might be my favorite thing ever. It’s like a giant wool knit blanket.

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And that wraps the tour!

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Source list:

Bed – antique/unknown

Dresser – antique/unknown

Metal mirror – antique/unknown

Bedding/pillows – flea markets

Side tables – Ross

Lamps – Ikea (discontinued)

Flowers/pots – Ikea

Chandelier

Rug

Woven blinds

Curtains

Wicker chair

Art on dresser 

Wall art – My shop & Minted

Wall art frames – Ikea & Minted

So there you have it—the quick and simple makeover you’ve been waiting months for :) And the very last reveal you’ll ever see from this housee… sniff. But onwards we go.

The next vlog will show the final shots of the home as I finish packing up… and the big reveal of what is next for me. There will be a lot more opportunities in this new future, and I can’t wait to share the news! Enjoy your last week of June and don’t forget to check back in a couple days for the announcement,

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A Bachelorette Weekend in Sonoma: Vlog Episode 22

Last weekend, over a dozen girls from across the country came together to celebrate the upcoming marriage of a very special person—my beautiful cousin, Amber:

It was exactly one year ago this week that I stayed with her in Seattle to clear my mind before making the biggest decision of my life. I hadn’t seen her since and we certainly had a lot to catch up on, so I was thrilled to have the chance to reunite with her in nearby Sonoma wine country.

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Memories like these are why I started making vlogs. A once in a lifetime event that passes in the blink of an eye will now live on forever, shared with friends and family and future generations. Documenting life’s experiences—from milestones to small everyday details often overlooked—captured through my own eyes and perspective, has become my mission. The only way to make sure I’ll never forget what I saw, who I shared it with, how I felt in those moments.

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I could go deep on this, and I’m in the middle of projects that are the most important work in my life so far… but I’ll save those for a later date. For now, I hope you enjoy a few minutes of lighthearted & happy memory making with new friends :)

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On another note, packing has officially begun in this house! The movers are scheduled, storage unit is ready and I’m soaking up the last 8 days I have left here. On Monday I’m finally sharing photos of the finished guest bedroom for those of you who have been wondering. Then some more big news about the future is coming your way. Exciting times ahead. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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A Rooftop Deck Summer Block Party

Today is officially the first day of summer! It already feels like the middle of the season with the warm weather we’ve been getting, but at least we can enjoy the extra sunshine on the longest day of the year.

Warm weather calls for outdoor entertaining, and of all the Wayfair projects I’ve done over the past two months, I was most excited about this one. It’s also the last of the video series! Watch here:

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I was asked to show a summer block party setup, and instead of using my own home, I decided to switch up the location and use a friends rooftop deck in San Francisco. It was a blank canvas with a stunning view of the city and bay, just begging for some love.

So Memorial Day was the date, and the often cool & cloudy SF weather decided to bless us with beautiful blue skies.

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The deck space is quite roomy so I decided to divided it up into two spaces—lounging and dining. There were already two barbecue grills along with a table and chairs, so I needed to bring in everything else to execute my vision.

First up, the lounge:

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I fell in love with this hammock when I spotted it on Wayfair months ago, and had it ordered in advance. I think it’s the star of the space.

I shopped my own house to bring in other elements, such as the navy & ivory diamond rug, leather pouf, and a few pillows and blankets. I also picked up a 4×6′ outdoor flatwoven rug with a fun pattern:

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Cushions were placed on the floor for additional casual seating.

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On the other side, we have the dining table…

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There was no shade anywhere, so I used an extra large umbrella for sun protection.

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To give the table some personality, I repurposed items I already owned along with outdoor dishes & glassware.

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Turkish towels were used as runners (a great option for outdoor tables where an umbrella is blocking the center) and wood slab plate charges from my spring tablescape were brought in.

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You can’t even tell these aqua goblets are plastic from afar! Non-breakable items like these are perfect for easy cleanup and stress free entertaining.

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I coordinated them with these fun melamine plates with a hand painted look. I don’t normally decorate with aqua but thought it tied in nicely with the blue water in the background.

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Simple white napkins were used for a clean look, and topped with fruit for a pop of cheerful yellow.

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These lemons serve double duty as napkin weights and name tag placeholders. There are a few restrictions when decorating outside—especially on a windy rooftop deck—so something with a bit of weight was needed!

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For the nametags, I printed out each guests name on paper, cut it into a flag shape, wrapped it around a skewer stick and inserted each into a lemon. Super simple, and emphasizes that refreshing summer feel.

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Extra pillows and blankets to cozy up with when the sun goes down are the final pieces to an inviting outdoor gathering.

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Although most of the time was spent staring at this view…

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Here’s what I used:

Hammock

Large rug

Small rug

Leather pouf

Large floor cushion

Patio umbrella

Turkish towels/runners

Wood plate chargers

Melamine plates

Aqua wine glasses

Green striped pillow

White ruffle pillow

Pom throw blanket

And that wraps up Wayfair’s Inspiration Insiders video series! I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to challenge myself and keep those creative juices flowing after completing my own home—and now it’s time to focus on packing and preparing for the next opportunity.

In last week’s vlog I shared that the official move out date was July 1st, which is only 10 days from now (eek!) so I’m anticipating many long days and nights ahead. Still working on some important videos, posts and news to share during this time, so make sure to follow along on snapchat @ jennasuedesign, instagram and facebook so you don’t miss any announcements. I’ll take all the support I can get!

Happy Monday and see you in a couple days for Vlog 22: Bachelorette Party edition :)

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The City and the Sea: Vlog Episode 21

This week marks the official start of a whirlwind life transition, as I now finally have an official move-out date, revealed in today’s special vlog episode:

I received confirmation over the weekend, and now the chaos begins! My to-do list is growing by the day and there are many projects I’m hoping to wrap up before the big move, including a detailed Before & After house tour video for you guys, along with another special personal project I’ve been putting off for a while—in between packing and planning and continuing to run the shop.

It’s a lot to take on in just a very short time, but I enjoy a good challenge. Change is good. And there are plenty of exciting transitions on the horizon, which I’m looking forward to sharing with you over the coming weeks 😉

This weekend I’m headed to Napa for a quick break from the moving madness, and you can follow the adventure on my snapchat @ jennasuedesign, or check in with me on instagram & facebook.

Have a beautiful week & weekend, and see you back here Monday!

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Summer Deck Refresh (& Video)

One of the things I’ll miss most about this home is the outdoor living space. The view is what originally sold me on this home, and the back deck has seen many memorable days and nights.

Apart from adding furniture, a grill and TV over two years ago—nothing else has really changed out here aside from the occasional pillow swap. So when Wayfair asked me to demonstrate how to mix and match patterns, I decided to show the deck a little love for one last hurrah. Click to watch (and thumbs up and comment if you can!) below:

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A fun patterned rug was brought in (I’m all about the rug layering lately) along with a few new pillows and blankets. Bringing new life to the space was as simple as that!

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The look could have gone in many different directions, but I used the rug as my jumping off point for color scheme and style.

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With navy blue as my primary color, I brought in greens, browns and khaki for some variation without overdoing it.

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The patterns play off of each other nicely and there’s a good mix of them to create interest.

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Solid cushions tie it all together, and a wide range of textures complete the look.

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Small details (including greenery, real or faux—a must for every space!) add the finishing touches.

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While shooting these images I realized that the colors I used were all exact matches to the landscape in the background. I don’t think I could have planned that better.

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Biscuit approves.

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Source list:

Furniture set

Brown rug

Patterned rug

Rattan stool

Woven round tray

Striped green pillow

Blue/white damask pillows

Navy herringbone pillow

Olive green pillow

Green scalloped edge pillow

Beaded lumbar pillow

Pom throw blanket

It’s sad to think I’ll be giving up this space soon, but I have a feeling the new owners will love it just as much as I did. At least I still have the memories :)

Next week is my last Wayfair video! The timing works out well as now I have more time to focus on getting a plan together for moving out (still don’t have an exact date yet though, unfortunately). Anyone have any good moving tips? I’m relocating almost everything to a storage unit so I need to be as organized as possible to reduce future headaches. Any suggestions are welcome!

Vlog Episode 21 is coming up next. Enjoy your last official week of Spring!

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Spring Cleaning & Camping: Vlog Episode 20

Even though summer is still a couple week away, we’re feeling the heat here in the California foothills with temperatures looming around 100° for the past week.

As I continue to wait for an official move-out date, reality is setting in that my days in my home are numbered. This weeks vlog captures some of the last footage of this house before it’s filled with boxes and empty rooms.

My spring cleaning routine is followed by the first camping trip of the season in the gorgeous Emigrant Wilderness in the high Sierras—making this episode one of my all time favorites:

Less than 60 miles from home, the Kennedy Meadows area is one I’ll definitely be returning to when I come back to visit.

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A day of hiking & exploring, followed by camping, s’mores, girl time and horseback riding is a recipe for a great weekend.

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And the night sky… sigh.

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The stargazing here can’t be beat.

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Anyone else have any camping trips scheduled this summer? I’ve got the bug and already started planning the next one!

Heading back out to the (much colder) Bay Area this weekend for a family celebration, and I’ll be back Monday with details on a recent back deck update. Until then, catch me on instagram, facebook and snapchat (@jennasuedesign) and say hello!

Happy almost summer,

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Setting up & Styling a Beverage Station

Today marks the sixth installment of my video tutorial series with Wayfair! This week I’m sharing a quick & easy bar area/drink station setup I put together in a pinch. Click below to watch:Screen-Shot-2016-06-06-at-8.18.24-AM

You may remember this DIY bar wall I tackled during the big kitchen remodel a couple years back. It wasn’t the easiest project to do, but well worth it as I entertain often and the space gets quite a bit of use.

There were many directions I could have taken this, but with summer approaching I decided to go for a light & refreshing look. An adult lemonade stand, if you will.

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I began with a simple white fringed runner as the foundation for my layout.

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Then I created small groupings of items, like this large woven serving tray which holds smaller items:

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I also brought in a small slate tray, perfect for preparing drink ingredients & garnishes.

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A pitcher with sliced lemons and ice water (or any beverage of choice) will encourage  guests to help themselves.

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Fun fact: fancy cups always make drinks taste better. It’s true. And these copper moscow mule mugs are not only pretty to display, but they keep your drink cooler and are fun to sip from.

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A good rule of thumb I always try to follow is to make sure there’s plenty of textures like wood, fabric, slate, metal and wicker, in contrasting colors.

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This ensures your arrangement doesn’t all blend together and fall flat.

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And as with any space, flowers and greenery are a must because they pull it all together and make it come to life.

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If you want to recreate this look, here are some of the sources I used:

Table runner

Woven tray

Straws

Slate cutting board/tray

Moscow mule mugs

White pitcher

And if you’re curious about the bar building process, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.

Whew, all this drink talk is making me thirsty! If you have a few minutes to watch the video, please make sure to give it a thumbs up and leave a comment to let me know! Your feedback means the world to me :)

Be back in a couple days with another weekly vlog!

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Better When We’re Together: Vlog Episode 19

I hope you all had an extra lovely Memorial Day Weekend! I’m still trying to transition back into normal weekday work, but going back through the photos & footage from the past several days makes me wish I could do it all over again…

It was a weekend of amazing food, company and memories. The highlight was a road trip to SLO/Pismo Beach and wine tasting with friends, followed by a quick stop in Morro Bay before heading back to the city to host a Memorial Day party.

The party was my last Wayfair video project, and I had the honor of decorating a rooftop deck with incredible bay views. Thankfully the weather cooperated all day and I got the shots I needed! The full video will be released in a few weeks.

Coming up Monday is my fourth Wayfair video covering buffet/sideboard setup and styling. I still don’t have a move out date, but I’m expecting those details to be finalized soon so I can start packing for the next big life adventure.

Less than three weeks until the official start of summer now! Let the countdown begin. Happy June,

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A Spring Dining Room Refresh

Happy Memorial Day! I’m in sunny San Francisco preparing to host a summer block party (coming to the blog in a few weeks) but wanted to drop by today to share my latest Wayfair project!

I always get excited when Spring comes around, because I get to pull my prettiest things out of storage and can use as much pink and floral as I want. This season only lasts a few months, so why not?

When Wayfair asked me to give my dining room a refresh, I hunted down the perfect blanket used it as my inspiration for an earthy, fresh vintage look. Watch how I pulled the space together:

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Lightweight blankets are great as makeshift tablecloths/runners, and I was able to pull my color scheme and patterns from the design:

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This was my focal point, so I layered neutral and solid colored pieces on top, starting with slabs of wood as plate chargers.

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The ivory plates and napkins add subtle elegance and were flea market finds, helping to keep costs down.

Vintage glass bottles in shades of amber, mint and clear were pulled from storage, along with old brass candlesticks—all flea market scores as well (my relentless shopping trips paid off!)

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Including natural elements is a must for any space, and I was going for a predominately botanical theme, so I picked up 12 bundles of faux olive branches and mixed them with a few dried caspia stems I already had:

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Including one on each napkin:

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The faux stems might be the biggest splurge, but there’s a lot included so I was able to use them in multiple places throughout the house. They’re also super realistic looking and I’ll use them forever, so totally worth it, IMO.

You also can’t go wrong with a large woven tray to hold extra supplies…

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No matter the season, pillows and blankets are important elements for providing a cozy space to dine. Taking cues from the tablecloth, I mixed in a few cushions in shades of olive green and gold, along with my favorite pink ruffle throw from Kohl’s.

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The patterns were kept simple as to not compete with the tablescape, and instead provide a nice coordinating backdrop.

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I’m such a fan of this look because it’s simple and casual enough for every day, but also perfect for dinner parties or special celebrations.

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I can’t bring myself to put any of it away, and am looking for an excuse to host a dinner party soon :)

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Or, you know, breakfast or lunch or brunch. Who wants to join?

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There’s so many different ways you can achieve this look, but here are the exact items I used if you want to recreate it:

Blanket/tablecloth – Wayfair

Wood plate chargers – Wayfair

Plates & napkins – Flea market

Glass bottles & candlesticks – Flea market

Faux olive stems – Wayfair

Ruffle throw – Kohl’s (no longer available)

Light olive linen pillow – Wayfair

Solid olive green pillows – Wayfair

Solid golden yellow pillow – Wayfair

Golden patterned pillow – Wayfair but currently available on Birch Lane

Black pendant lights – Lighting Direct

Dining chairs – Overstock

DIY Farmhouse table info here

You can find the full kitchen & dining room source list here

And there you have it… a simple, foolproof table arrangement that can be adapted to any style and budget. One of my favorites to date and definitely one I’ll come back to in the future when I need some party inspiration. What do you think of it? Please make sure to give the Wayfair video a thumbs up and leave a comment if it provided any value, and I’ll keep making more of these tutorials!

Off to set up & shoot the last minute details for my summer kick off party… be back soon with more!

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