Vintage Tea Party Theme


Okay...the final theme. Finally! Thank you for being so patient with me.
I have been so busy, my head is spinning. Completed my last residential decorating installation yesterday, so now I can catch up with the blogs and my own holiday prep...and cleaning up the office here, which looks like Hurricane Deb swept thru on a rampage.

This theme is all about nostalgia, memories, childlike wonderment.
Reminiscent of Grandma's kitchen (yes, I have a grandma theme going on in my life! and it SO reminds me of my Grandma Fritzie's kitchen that I hung out in as a kid), you can almost smell the sugar cookies in the oven when you look at the vintage linens, sweet treats, and fun accents.Family treasures & heirlooms are the focus - and no, that does not mean 'valuable' heirlooms. It means cooky cutters and embriodered tablecloths and handmade ornaments. The look I created is in the 'traditional' red, white and green (with the green kicked up to chartreuse, just because I can!) - and yet, it would look equally as sweet done in 'Shabby Chic' colors like pastel blues, pinks, silvers, and whites. Or try the uber-cool red, white, and aqua blue combination for a hip rendition! By adding in MORE colors, like maybe every conceiveable color in the rainbow, this look is perfect for a childs' room, playroom, or party.


Things to do with ornaments:
Well, yeah, sure, you can hang 'em on the TREE....but that limits you to a certain number. I mean, when the tree is FULL...you're done. But start filling up other containers, and you'll have an endless supply of decorating opportunities! Those yummy 'bon bon' ornaments above are simple to make and display: plastic resin ornaments (www.dollartree.com) get a pom pom hot-glued in front of the hook (hides it but you could still hang them) and then gets displayed in several ways: sit them in layered cupcake papers as I did, and fill up a cupcake stand or a baking tin; OR hot glue them onto the tops of REAL ice cream cones - those can be displayed on the tree (just hang from the ornamen'ts hook) or by sitting them into cute little sundae glasses at each place setting. Great favor! And unbreakable, so terrific for kids. This is a fun craft project for them, too. but get lo-temp hot glue.

Heaping bowls and candy dishes full of ornaments is a fabulous way to display ones that are heavy or broken - if the top is gone, no problem: flip it upside down. If part of the ornament is missing, nestle it among others to hide the damage. I have a few old bells that are really just half bells - no one knows it, tho! For big, tall vases, get more resin ornaments so they are lightweight, then pile them in there. Add lights for sparkle.

Or, take something that is not a 'holiday' item, and foof it up! My wire mannequin has become 'Miss Holly Daze' for the season, with vintage aprons, a garland 'boa', and some more resin ornaments as giant pom-pom trim under her apron. I filled her with lights and she now stands in the corner of my (very messy) office to cheer me up! Note the apron used as a chair cover in the first photo, too - great idea for a girls' tea.

Tabletop ideas....snug the flatware & napkin into miniature stockings. Works great for buffets or place settings, and is an idea that people go GA GA over every time I show it! That sweet cupcake pincushion favor is my version of Amy's cupcakes that she was selling last year...I DID ask her permission to copy it, I swear! (She doesn't have any on her site right now, but maybe in the future?!!!) I made mine in a teacup, and it's a lovely little goody for the girls to take home after you host a Christmas tea for them at your place. They also double as placemarkers. You could create dough ornaments that look like cookies, or give bags of a special blend of tea as favors, too, to coordinate with your theme. Just be ready for the 'How SWEET!!!!!' comments you'll get!

Wishing you all the merriest of holiday seasons...and whether you celebrate with a tree, a menorah, or something else, let's all remember that the reason for the season is LOVE...

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my take on retail visual design:

"The thing is, retail design is driven by psychology. It is by manipulating space, visuals, lighting, sound, smell, and mood that we influence customers to enter, stay, browse, buy, and return. It is an endless exercise in change, endurance, growth, education, and imagination that enables retailers to stay on top of their game and at the forefront of their customer's minds. Yes, what you sell IS important - but even the very best merchandise won't sell at full price if it's presented in torn boxes on dirty shelves in a store that is too crowded to turn around in. Visual impact is a huge part of business, and utilizing the principles that have been proven to work can help you build a better business." ~ DWK