Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Dacha Table Setting From Matthew Mead

Modern Dacha Christmas

I fancy myself a storyteller...or maybe a filmmaker. My mind works like a motion picture and the ideas and designs I dream up play like a movie in my head. I'm often inspired by colors or objects, things I've seen or memories that vividly play in Technicolor. My design and still life work grows from these images and I am able to neatly file away inspirations and ideas for concepts in the future. 

For my Christmas table setting this year I was first inspired by winter. The cool shades of gray and white against the black winter skies. I love nature and wood, and the bare branches of woodland trees illuminated by the moonlight and casting shadows over the endless fields of winter snow. 
I love layers of texture and the warmth of tactile fabrics like faux fur and silk velvet. I am drawn to tone-on-tone design and shapely things that stack and create layers. From the winter influences I dreamed a rustic, remote, woodland dacha. Hand-hewn wooden siding washed in black set out in a winter wood surrounded by a stand of birch trees. I accessed early memories of a children's book illustrated with a fairytale place. Simple spare interiors with wooden surfaces, pewter dishes and natural touches like pine cones and logs. These thoughts all melded together to aide me in selecting pieces to bring my work to life. 
Old washed wooden boards, pieces of simple black pottery. Stones, earthenware and a sprinkling of snow to complete the look. Some might say its not "Christmas" enough!!! Others might glean an authenticity to the mix of pieces I've collected. Each holiday, each gathering of friends and family conjures more then just a place to eat. I long to share experience, perspective, add something "magical" that might not come to be by just placing food on a plate and a plate on the table. 
My goal is to transport and share the running film in my head. And maybe surprise or make readers see things in a way it might have never been seen before. Mix and match with new and vintage elements, consider textures and layers and use elements including items from nature that might not be traditional. Gather, stack, study and create and then make a table- scape that is personally your own. 

A photo from Pinterest brings the exterior of the country dacha to life

Stacking up the style can be the first step in mixing and matching all the elements you might want to include in your holiday centerpiece.

The theme of "winter" broadens the reach of this table setting and opens up the possibilities to using all mix and match elements from faux fur surfaces to vintage flatware and stemware.

Vintage silverware in shades of gray and black team with natural stone stenciled with the season. Use stickers and paint makers to create your own theme or place card holder.

Black stoneware plates are layered with vintage gray soup bowls. Adding a vertical element makes the table- scape more interesting and adds to the menu by providing a service option for stew or chowder.

Vintage wooden cutting boards can serve as chargers to set off each place setting. An old board highlights the center of the table and provides a great place to show off a collection of black pottery. Consider it for creating a runner of candlesticks, a stemware collection or a runway for side serving dishes.
A pulled back view of the table shows a quiet and simple arrangement that beckons guests to come sit and enjoy delicious food and friendship.

A wide weave napkin gets a simple tie with twine and twigs. Gather other elements like pine cones and pods from your own yard.
Vintage glasses in a smoky cast of gray become instant terrariums fitted with faux snow and miniature bottle brush trees.

Use vintage pottery in shades of black and gray as a simple and stark centerpiece with twigs. Paint pottery pieces with Matthew Mead Studio Metallics Fusion Mineral Paint in Brushed Steele to get a similar look for wooden or basket material containers.

Mismatched by similarly hued dining pieces like serving platters, cups and creamers have a casual but curated look and keep the thread of the entire story.


Check out all the fabulous blogs participating in this fun blog hop~~

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Where I've been...


My words have been absent from my blog but are definitely still out there floating in the ether.  Since Christmas I've been focused on three large projects.  Two newsstand issues, back to back (RECYCLED STYLE AND DECORATING), which I styled, photographed and wrote in their entirety and are still out on the newsstand.. And a new, free on-line digital magazine for Wagner Spraytech all about easy and impactful paint projects for dressing up your home.  There is lots to tell about the printed magazines (which I will save for a future post) and much joy about announcing my decorative paint magazine FINISH  which will be posted quarterly and which you can view HERE.
I am super excited to share this FREE content with all of you.  Rooms, projects, easy DIY that you can create and adapt to your own projects.  I can't wait for you to have a peek and share in the exciting projects to come.  We tell you step by step how to achieve the finishes and also all the beautiful hues and shades of paint we used to accomplish the look.  Please, take a look, relax, enjoy, and engage all the colorful, do-able content that will lead you to "paint your own world."

Here is the link to the  free on-line magazine for Wagner spray tools.  It will be quarterly and always filled with inspiring paint ideas that have been made as easy as possible. It is my hope that you might share the link on your blog and social media this Friday, as I think that this may be a great way to reach my readers. 
 Thanks so much, and I hope you enjoy the ideas!