Special Nonexistent Furniture

  • Happy Monday! I'm Annie Selke, founder and designer of Pine Cone HillDash & Albert Rug Company,and Annie Selke Home fabrics. For nearly 20 years, I've been applying a spirited, design-driven approach to creating bedding, rugs, sleepwear, and home furnishings for you to love—stylish pieces that stand out and stand the test of time.  I also created the blog Fresh American, where you'll find tons of tips on decorating, entertaining, shopping, cooking, travel, and more. So here's to creating happier homes, one idea at a time.

    If you're a regular reader of my blog, Fresh American, you know that last year I embarked on a rather bittersweet journey. After my mum, Googie, unexpectedly passed away, I decided to take on her house and tremendous gardens. So here I am, over a year later and armpit-deep in a major renovation project!

    While it was a challenge at first to go through all of Mum's things, I've come to really enjoy mixing her favorites with my own; it helps me maintain and revisit the truly close connection she and I always shared. And since I am hosting Thanksgiving in Mum's house this year and I love a sassy tabletop, I've been pulling pieces of Mum's and mixing and mashing them up with my own favorite plates and glassware and our newest collection of Pine Cone Hill table linens. Take a look at these four fall-friendly settings, and enter to win a set of our Zen placemats and Treehouse Linen napkins by leaving me a comment telling me which setting you like best.
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    1. Country Elegance

    For this look, I started with two vintage plates -- an English Delftware with a toile-ish design (this was Mum's everyday china), and a hand-painted French faience salad plate that belonged to my great-grandmother. The blue in both patterns caught my eye, so I paired them with Pine Cone Hill's new Chevron napkins in denim. I like the mash-up of vintage and modern graphic. I topped it off with Mum's monogrammed silverware, plus the adorable vintage mustard pots she collected, each with a simple trio of fresh blooms.

  • 2.  Urban Union

    With a focus on organic elements and shapes, this look is modern meets rustic. It's chic, laid-back, and unfussy, but has amazing depth of character in the finishing touches. I used Pine Cone Hill's textured Zen placemat as a backdrop for white plates in two strong shapes, and a contemporary rounded tumbler and flatware. I like to bring the outdoors in, so here I tied Pine Cone Hill's Treehouse Linen napkins with strips of birch bark from a tree in my backyard. The rock crystal votive holder, by legendary decorator Tony Duquette, is otherworldly, yet from the earth. I like to think of it as nature's bling.
  • 3. Warm Wishes

    My mother collected the work of Albany, NY-based potters/ceramics artists (and married couple) Denise and Don Carpentier. They each specialize in reproductions of nineteenth-century porcelain. Denise is the talent behind this timeless dinner plate, while Don is the whiz who created this reproduction earthworm-pattern Staffordshire Mocha ware pitcher. I like the juxtaposition of these traditional elements with midcentury modern flatware. Pine Cone Hill's Hydrangea cotton napkins add an extra pop of color and floral flair.
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    4. White Nights

    For this setting, I was inspired by all the beautiful neutral shades in this granite tabletop, from snow to creamy ivory to dark chocolate. I chose a ceramic charger in a deep stone color, and paired it with an irregularly shaped melamine dessert plate in lighter stone color. The ceramic tumbler, again by Denise Carpentier, has subtle but stunning roller-stamped patterns. I broke up the solids with Pine Cone Hill's Infinity napkin in soft platinum. And since pumpkins are ubiquitous at this time of year, I opted for miniatures in white. Emmet, the naughty dog, sunk his teeth into a few of these! And those the little wooden salt and pepper dishes? Another terrific find from my mother's closet.

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