Tablescaping for a Tea Party

We modern girls are so accustomed to gulping down our caffeine on the go, out of a paper cup, no less!

Wouldn't a tea party be a luxurious change of pace? 

My great-grandma's good china is fussy (and fragile!) so I cobbled together a more casual tea service out of eclectic white ceramics. A flea market tin offers tasty hamentaschen and Adam's vintage toy milk truck is loaded up with condiments with for a witty way to pass the cream. 

It isn't terribly difficult to find an excuse to sip Earl Grey and savor conversation. Book club? Client meeting? Set the table with pretty paper placemats and a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils for jotting down notes. Keep the water hot and the refreshments at hand, and linger over good ideas.

Do you have an occasion that needs some tablescaping inspiration? Email me at shockthebourgeois@mac.com!


Dare to Dream: Starting with Finishes

Back home in Seattle I worked for a contractor, and I was responsible for organizing their resource library. This was a task that required a lot of restraint for someone prone to flights of decor fancy. Those shelves held a wealth of inspiration. One peek into a Flor catalogue or the discovery of some exquisite limed oak plank... the next thing I knew I'd be drawing up imaginary floor plans on my lunch hour.

Design catalogues are a pleasure spiked with pain for a girl who rents!

The Walker Zanger tile catalogue provides quite a sumptuous distraction. Adventurous patterns and patinated shades of greige are things I dare-to-dream about...

Happy weekend, friends.



Pinterest Escapism

It seems like everyone I know is jetting out for a glamorous summer holiday on the coast of somewhere far away. Not I. Luckily I have Pinterest for a daily visual vacation. These pins popped up right next to each other last night- and it was like taking a trip to Mediterranean without having to calculate currency exchange rates. 

Images: Brian Ferry found via Pinterest, Blogged here found via Pinterest
Products: Necklace from Karma Loop via Pinterest, Bags from Beklina via Pinterest, Scarves from Method Home via Pinterest

Quite a departure from my usual style, but these cool colors could tempt even the palest little blogger out of her daytime pajamas and into something breezily bohemian. After all, that zig-zagged bag looks plenty big for a laptop, and I'm sure they have wifi by the pool.

Are you on Pinterest yet?


Not Neutral on Neutrals

No matter how many colorful garments hang in my closet, I always find myself reaching for the black sweater, brown skirt, brass-studded belt, white loafers. I know what works for me.

The same is true of interiors.

Products: English Campaign Chair from Kim Fiscus for One Kings LaneQuail Feather Pillow from Burke Decor, Dark Nostalgia by Eva Hagberg


Spring Greens

Spring in Berkeley has a color palette all its own. Soft gray and white clouds (with teasing glimpses of clear blue), and an incredibly verdant landscape. I've been keeping Rappaccini's Garden lush with shades of green to match.

Floral arrangement & photograph by The Cottage Farm, all others by Shock the Bourgeois

I've got lovely new pieces to add to the shop, and I wish I could style them with Krissy's wickedly romantic bouquet! Such an inspired combination of petals and prickles, I absolutely gasped when I saw it. 

Off to explore my blooming neighborhood...




Hello, Stud.

Growing up is hard to do. I gave up my teenage crush on Brandon Boyd, stopped wearing camo shorts in public, and (sigh) even took out my eyebrow ring. Luckily, pyramid studs have grown up too, in softly patinated metals that give domestic life a little edge.

Bleecker Apron by Birdkage (Image by One Kings Lane), Decor Moderne Champagne Studded Mirror (Image by One Kings Lane), Studded Wrap Watch by La MerPyramid Stack Rings by nOir JewelryPyramid Bangle by nOir Jewelry, Dirilyte Empress Flatware (my own), Charles Fradin Daisy Fellowes Mirrored Table (Image by One Kings Lane)


Dare to Dream: All the Trimmings

Each time I wrap up a present or a package for the shop, I reach into my box of wadded ribbons with a sigh. Wouldn't it be nice to have spools and spools of vintage trimmings... and an equally splendid way to display them?

This wall of rainbow ribbons at Nancy's Sewing Basket is set up for easy clipping on rows of copper half-round gutter. Martha, of course, had the same idea.

Someday, maybe, a craft room. Or damn, at least a bigger closet!


The WarLock Wedding: Pinning Our Summer Ceremony

Are you all on Pinterest? I sure am, curating boards for everything from posh pads to furry critters. Pinterest has been a fabulous tool for organizing my thoughts for the wedding. The creative portion of my wedding planning is gradually winding down, which would be sad if I didn't have another little event to style! Because our priest of choice wasn't available for our big day in October, Adam and I will have a private chapel ceremony with immediate family and a few friends this Summer. It'll be a casual affair, but you know me- I have to fuss over things!

I pinned a few pretty things to show you my vision for a very modest Summer ceremony.

Dolce & Gabbana Pleated Dress from HauteLook, Pearl Bauble Bracelet from Kate Spade, 
Floral Centerpiece featured on Martha Stewart Weddings, 

Planning a similar occasion? Why not create a look reminiscent of a polished-but-sweet retro courthouse wedding. The coral-colored pumps aren't the only thing that could reappear in your wardrobe. A shorter hemline (or a faint flush of pink) means that your wedding dress could later star as a night at the theater dress, a champagne brunch dress, or an anniversary dinner dress... certainly a selling point for the practical or budget-conscious bride. Wear great-grandmother's pearls, or a new piece that exudes excitement- like this bracelet, clustered with seed pearls and rhinestones. A small-scale ceremony becomes much more intimate when dressed with personal details. Cut flowers from a summer garden have extra charm when bundled in ruby pressed glass goblets (my Cape Cod glass would suit nicely, no?).

Our circumstances allow me to indulge in two very different wedding aesthetics: playfully retro in the Summer, neo-Victorian by candlelight in the Fall. Lucky me! And lucky you, since I'll have many more projects and posts to share...


Girl About Town: Bountiful Home

For those of you who missed this post in its Facebook album form while Blogger was down, enjoy! If you're not yet a fan of the Shock the Bourgeois Facebook page, head on over and click "like" for access to photos that don't make it on the blog!

I know, I've posted about Bountiful Home before. If it seems like I'm gushing, I am! Not only is this one of my favorite places to shop when I'm visiting in Washington, I'm also trying to convince Todd that he needs an assistant... (haha!).

Todd certainly has the knack for styling. Something rusty, something romantic, something a little kooky (just check out that mouse in the party hat!). Bountiful Home & Nursery is a visual treat indoors and out. The garden is lush with Spring blooms, the 100-year-old house is furnished with reworked vintage pieces, and every surface sparkles with mercury glass. I want one of everything.

Working with Todd to decorate my wedding has been an absolute pleasure. Thanks to his recommendation, I've selected Maxine's Floral for bouquets and centerpieces. Things are coming together beautifully- and I'm loving this opportunity to collaborate with such creative people!


Some Girl Time

This post and its comments vanished during Blogger's technical difficulties- I'm reposting as much as I can recall. A good reminder to all of us to back-up our work!

If you were wondering about the conspicuous lack of Mother's Day well-wishes on the blog, never fear: I was delivering them in person! I flew up to Seattle for a girls' weekend with my gorgeous mom herself...

We drove down to Portland for a baby shower (congratulations Samantha & John!) and some quality time with my Uncle Craig (who's officiating my wedding!), my Aunt Amanda, and their boys, my littlest (and thereby current favorite) cousins. I even got to raise a glass with my lovely bridesmaid Kalin, the witty voice behind I'm an Eating Machine

Of course, no girls' weekend would be complete without a shopping excursion... or without doxie gals Ella and Paige. I think Miss Paige enjoys hunting for pretty things just as much as I do! 

It might have been an impromptu visit, but it certainly was a productive one. We managed to whittle down the wedding checklist: shoes, ribbons, trimmings, Mom's dress (stunning, by the way), and decor, just about done! I also made a major decision about our invitations. Hope you liked my save-the-date cards, because I'm designing a whole suite!

What a wonderful trip- I miss you already, Mom!


The WarLock Registry: Setting the Table

Monday's post on my new Art Deco demitasse cups drew a very complimentary response from reader Jessi, who enjoyed the combination of colors and materials represented in my tea and coffee collection. Thank you- I'm thrilled that you noticed!

Variety makes for the most magnificent tablescapes, don't you think? It's been quite a treat to craft our wedding registry with this in mind. Here's how I'd like to outfit my china cabinet...

Our selections are more textural than colorful, juxtaposing white ceramic basics with muted metallics and fanciful forms. It's a versatile setting that will allow my collections of ruby depression glass and vintage goldware to shine- but our culinary creations will always be the center of attention. We'll prepare and serve countless meals on these dishes as a married couple... and a lifetime of cooking with Adam is the happiest thought!


Dare to Dream: Arrows

Why hello there, neo-classical loves of my life...

The WarLock house is in the midst of some crazed Craigslisting- letting go of furniture that doesn't hit the mark in favor of sharp new pieces. I've got an eye for these arrow-themed tables, airy enough for our small space, but pointedly elegant. Right on target, style-wise, but sadly, not within my price range!


Find: Silvered Demitasse Set

Behold, my prize from this weekend's Alameda Flea Market venture: a set of porcelain demitasse cups with a distinctive mirrored finish. I use the word "set" rather loosely, as you must with nearly any lot acquired at the flea market. There are six flawless saucers, five cups (three mint, one chipped, one woefully cracked). Not perfect, but quite enchanting.

I imagine that this set was designed to replicate the look of far more costly silver demitasse cups (like these), and the peaked handle suggests Art Deco origins. A mark attributes them to a German company in Czechoslovakia (which I suppose means they were made between 1918 and 1993), but I'm unable to find any documentation of the mark itself. Very mysterious. Where are those Antiques Roadshow appraisers when you need them?

Regardless of their worth, they're a brilliant addition to my collection of coffee and tea pieces. They'll shine like treasures in my china cabinet... though they would surely glamorize my morning espresso habit!