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Treasures for Your Table this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Blessingsblog

English transferware like this “Frozen Up” pattern by Johnson Brothers are the favorites in my china collection.

 As I began gathering my special place settings for our Thanksgiving dining table, I realized what a bounty of different pieces we’ve collected over the years.

 I’ll admit, it’s a little bit of an affliction – or as I prefer to say – an “affinity” for lovely china and dishware. I often ask new clients what they might consider to be a luxury wish-list space in their home. For me, it would be a china room. Not a closet, not a piece of furniture or a cabinet, but an honest-to-goodness china room. Perhaps it might not be as grand as the one at the White House, but it would be such a practical space for anyone who loves their collections. Imagine being able to stage out a table to see what works, prior to a party.

My collections began quite by happenstance. Of course, as a young bride, I selected both a formal and casual pattern. As my taste evolved, so did my acquisitions. As you read further, you’ll get to enjoy some of those pieces. My particular favorites are English transferware.


“Over the river and through the woods” is literally illustrated on the Frozen Up transferware pattern.

Living in the southern part of the U.S., snowy holidays aren’t something we often get to experience. My ‘Frozen Up’ pattern, by Johnson Brothers, brings the words of a carol to life, “Over the river and through the woods . . . the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh though the white and drifting snow.” I could get lost in the illustration on my turkey platter as it evokes visions of arriving at that cozy destination. It’s referred to as a “polychrome” piece, meaning it has more than the two colors, often associated with most transferware. Of course, it couldn’t be the only one. I had to find more!


The book “French Country Signature” helped me discover the beauty of transferware.

My love of transferware began as I glanced through the pages of the book, above, by the late interior designer, Charles Faudree. While he often decorated with a French-influenced style, many of his rooms featured this lovely, English ironstone. They were not only used as place settings, but they also graced walls and other furnishings.

You can imagine my excitement, when I spied a country auction listing with many of the pieces you see displayed in one of his designs, above. A lot of the covered vegetable dishes are quite desirable. One in particular, the double vegetable set, has the patterned printed on the top of the lid, inside the lid and in the bottom dish. It allows one to use it in two different ways, either covered or separated. How clever when storage might be an issue, right?


My extensive collection of Mason’s Vista in Red pattern would be beautiful paired with the Red Bombe Chest. Photo credit: Hooker Furniture.

I was determined to win the bid for what began my extensive collection of Mason’s Vista in Red. To get so many of the major serving items, as well as the rarer sets, was a thrill!  I appreciate all of the fine details in the design and in the shape. I think the curves and scallops would be beautifully paired with the Hooker Furniture Co. Red Bombe Chest.

Come to Breakfast

We will enjoy our Thanksgiving breakfast muffins on our everyday Jenny Lind pattern.

I do try to subscribe to the thought of “eat off the good china,” even though showpieces, such as a really rare chowder tureen, will remain behind closed, glass doors. Since other collectors consider it to be the holy grail of Mason’s Vista, I know I might not find another one. Still, as William Morris wisely counseled not to have anything in your home which isn’t useful or beautiful, most of my collection gets swapped in and out of use. You’ll find us enjoying our Thanksgiving breakfast muffins on the “everyday” ‘Jenny Lind’ pattern, (above), named after the famous Swedish songstress.


My small collection of blue and white transferware is a perfect complement to design photo shoots.

One of the challenges with being a designer, is pulling together completed spaces for show houses or photography. In order to get a cohesive image, we have to find accents to fill in gaps. Of course, if those trinkets aren’t able to be returned, guess where they eventually land? That’s right! You now know the reason I’ve got a small blue and white transferware collection brewing. They’re so stunning; it’s quite tempting to build a room around them. To keep the direction a little more casual, the slip-covered look of the Adele Swivel Glider from Sam Moore Furniture would be perfect, in a comfortable pair.

thanksgivingbountifulinblueIf you love the look of transferware, but prefer to keep your place settings neutral, consider adding a toile fabric or wall covering as the accent. Thibaut’s Paysannerie Toile would complement one of my favorite pieces of accent furniture, the Scroll Console Table from Hooker Furniture.


You can never go wrong with a classic black and white or brown and white ironstone combination, complemented perfectly by the Palisade Server. Photo credit: Hooker Furniture.

If you prefer a classic design scheme, the black and white or brown and white ironstone would be a fabulous option. I’m rather amazed that I’ve managed to reign myself in from these beauties. Black is a go-to of mine for frames, shades and some furniture pieces. When a client mentioned she might like to do a wall with this in mind, my heart fluttered a little. A sigh of relief came from my husband as I’ll get to live vicariously through her interiors. The Palisade Server, above, is stylishly compatible.


The Palisade Collection is an ideal complement to black and white or brown and white china or transferware.

You can view the entire Hooker Furniture Palisade Dining Room Collection > Here.


Weave in cones, berries, pumpkins or squash to your Thanksgiving table for a textural effect.

This neutral palette is simply lovely with elements of nature incorporated. Cones, twigs, moss, squash, pumpkins or berries can be woven in and out for a textural effect.


I love putting together unexpected combinations. What allows this Sam Moore Kamea Chair to work with an 1830’s brown plate is the Ikat fabric pattern. Both arrive to the present from a historical past.


Creative place cards like these welcome your guests at Thanksgiving.

Of course, no proper place has been set without a little welcome to the table. Here’s a great collection of place cards and tokens for your guests to enjoy or to guide them to their seats.

As you begin to dress your tables or homes for the holidays, be sure to savor the moments of putting it all together. Reflect on the memories of how your collections came to be. Often it’s not just about the obtaining, it’s about the journey. Think of where you were, who was by your side and the fun of discovery. That’s the good stuff in life.

A Twist of Ribbon for Holiday CheerRemember, if you decorate with the things you love, it only takes a few twists of some ribbon and a few sprigs of green, and you’re all set to go for the next big holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from Hooker Furniture!







Branch out with a Thanksgiving tree, and giving thanks becomes fun and easy. Photo credit: BHG.com

As a kid, I remember Thanksgiving as a really special day filled with lots of family, lots of homemade cooking and lots of thanks given for all blessings received.

These days, though, while the family still gathers and there’s cooking galore, so many things compete for our attention. There’s football and more football, pre-Black Friday shopping and nonstop emails/texts! In today’s frenzied culture, it can be easy to lose sight of what this day is about.

So a few years ago, my family and I decided to grow some gratitude. We created a Thanksgiving tree similar to the one above by using a small faux Christmas tree we had on hand.


Your Thanksgiving guests will enjoy adorning a tree like this one with their “thankfulness messages.” Photo credit: mareadesign.com

Real branches foraged from your yard, then spray-painted a festive color works well, too.

Next to the tree, we placed a basket filled with hangtags fashioned from scrapbook paper and ribbon. As guests arrived, they were asked to write something they were thankful for on a tag (but not include their name!) Then, they hung the thankfulness message on the tree. After mealtime, each person picked a tag and read its contents while the group tried to guess who had written it. To our delight, gratitude began to flow around the table as did the memories–and stories–of times gone by.


The Black Shaped Apron Console Table is slim enough to fit behind a sofa, in a foyer or along your dining room wall.

If your dining room table is a tad too tight for this big of a centerpiece, no worries. Place your Thanksgiving tree table elsewhere, then bring it in during dessert. Or, place it on a sideboard, buffet or console like the Black Shaped  Apron Console Table that holds its own in any room, breaking up matchy-match décor with a touch of chic black and providing storage for extra tags, ribbons and pens in two hidden drawers.


Days Gone By place cards with photos of guests as children will take guests down memory lane. Photo credit: BHG.com

Another idea to turn hearts and minds to the spirit of Thanksgiving: dust off Grandma’s family photo album and create some mystery with Days Gone By place cards. Affix photos of guests as children onto precut pieces of heavy stock paper and take guests down memory lane as they search for their seat.

Beaufort House round dining

Bring your family’s gratitude full circle–dine on a round pedestal table like the 48-inch round Beaufort House from Hooker Furniture.

For intimate gatherings, the Beaufort House 48-inch round pedestal table is a good pick because all guests face one another which makes conversation flow, especially as diners eye each other’s photo place cards
Plus, this table also has an 18-inch leaf so if unexpected guests turn up, there’s ample room to seat them.


Light up the room on Thanksgiving Day with Gratitude candle place cards. Photo credit: BHG.com

Create a combo centerpiece/guest gift with Gratitude Candle Place Cards. Wrap a wide strip of patterned scrapbook paper around a votive candleholder, then affix it with double-stick tape. On a narrow strip of solid color paper, write the guest’s name and a sentence describing something you’re grateful for about them. Layer solid paper on top of the patterned paper, then affix it with double-stick tape. Insert a candle and light prior to dinner.


Few tables can hold a candle to the design of the sleek, elongated shape of the Eastridge rectangle dining table. Photo by: Hooker Furniture.

Gratitude place cares are an easy and elegant way to add warmth and drama to gatherings of any size, but especially large ones (imagine the sight of two rows of flickering candles running the full table length!) For big crowds, pair this idea with the Eastridge Rectangle Dining Table–a 72-inch long table that comes with two 18-inch leaves.

Thanksgiving comes but once a year. Gratitude should be expressed daily.

How will you inspire your guests to show theirs?



High Point Furniture Market Fall Trend Alert


The Euphoria wing chair from Sam Moore Furniture epitomizes this fall’s home furnishings trend outlook: bold, colorful and graphic.

If you’ve ever wondered where the trends originate that you see when you shop for your home, it all starts at “market.” Every April and October, the home furnishings industry gathers for the High Point Market where the latest looks and introductions make their debut. From sofas, chairs and tables to bedroom furniture, recliners, lamps and accessories, if it’s for the home, it was introduced in High Point, N.C.

Since market is only for the trade, we’ve brought you a behind-the-scenes High Point Market Fall Trend Alert: what was hot at the most recent October furniture market, and themes you’ll be seeing soon in retail and design stores.

Color Connects

There’s always a color story at market, and this year blue continued to dominate. Shades of cobalt, peacock and deep, saturated ocean hues were omnipresent in textiles, leathers and accents.


Rug and accessory source Surya shows how deep blues work when paired with equally saturated shades of fuchsia and teal.

“We’re seeing every hue of blue mixed with greens like mint green, cypress and even forest green,” says Sandi Teague, vice president of Hooker Upholstery.

As notable as the dominance of blue was the prominence of color in general. From sofas to lamps, color this market was bold and intense–and popping up in unexpected places.


The new Ultra Red finish takes the Sanctuary dining chairs from Windsor to Wow.

In a nod to the trend of chalk-painting vintage furnishings in bright colors, the Fifth Anniversary Edition of Hooker Furniture’s Sanctuary Collection offered a colorful twist on its best-selling Windsor dining chairs, above.


The new Sanctuary Windsor dining chairs are available in shades of blue, cream, black, red and wood tones.

If red is not your style, these fashionable Sanctuary dining chairs are also available in shades of blue, cream, black and wood tones. In my own home, I’d love to use the cream for guest chairs and the blue for the host chairs for a pop of color at the head and foot of the table.


The colorful Sam Moore display at furniture market welcomes and beckons with color.

A look at the Sam Moore Furniture showroom display at furniture market illustrates how colorful upholstery choices are hot right now. The Euphoria wing chair is front and center and features an oil-on-canvas look in mid-tone citrus, red and green hues.


This deep purple lamp from AF Lighting is bold enough to change the feel of a room with its color alone.

What’s Old is New

Drawing  upon the past for inspiration, many of today’s hottest designs give a nod to timeless shapes and forms. New interpretations of classic styles can be seen in introductions for every room of the home.


The retro record player console is part of the new Studio 7H Collection of Mid-Century, Scandinavian and Rustic Chic pieces.

Designed for the vinyl record revival led by young music enthusiasts, Hooker’s new Studio 7H Record Player Console and Gaming Console Combines Mid-Century Modern flair with cutting-edge electronics management.

The true beauty of these retro-inspired beauties is their focus on functionality. Furniture designers have taken the best of the best in design and paired it with features that function for today’s lifestyles to create the ultimate combination of vintage and modern.


The Aon upholstered bed in the Studio 7H Collection offers a chic storage footboard.

Graphics are Inspiring

Supporting the color story at market is an emphasis on pattern and graphics. Bold shapes and lines are making waves with a focus on scale–both oversized and miniature.

In pattern, “We’re seeing some modern and fresh versions of flame stitches and Greek keys, as well as updated mini-patterns,” explains Hooker’s Teague.


The new Greek Key Console from Melange is an over-scaled interpretation of the timeless Greek key motif.

This Greek Key Console is a new introduction from Hooker’s Melange Collection. An over-scaled interpretation of the timeless Greek key motif, it features a bold, saturated shade of cobalt blue and soft, gold-tone trim and hardware.


This area rug by Surya combines two of the top trends from this market: bold, graphic patterns and a blue color palette.