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Holiday Table

I am back here blogging after a most lovely family weekend
just being together!

I spent last week styling the tablescape 
with the luxury of time to let it build into what I had envisioned.

I wanted to combine tradition
with some SoCal whimsy.

But on the very top of my Holiday entertaining list
was rearranging our space 
so that it was truly one 
Great Room
rather than two smaller 'rooms'
it has always been in the past.

I learned from throwing my daughter's Bridal Shower
how impactful
simply rearranging furniture can be 
towards the end game 
 of true group inclusiveness.

We  swapped out our upholstered dining chairs
for some retro rentals
which also made the space feel bigger.

Our house by Southern California standards
is actually quite small
but I have never wanted it's size
to hold me back from luxurious entertaining.

I have  found 
many times over the years
that smaller spaces
can actually add to the feeling of intimacy
when entertaining.

I let go of traditionally well placed furniture
as in
moving couches against the wall
forgoing fireplace usage
in order to truly open up the space
so that everyone could feel a part of conversations.

On the opposite side of the room
shelves under the stairs were turned into a well stocked bar
ensuring more space in the kitchen 
for my husband and daughter's
preparation of an amazing meal!

I brought in the same garnishes
for the bar areas
as I used on the dining table.

The front and back patios were also made ready 
if anyone wanted to be outside.

I had my outfit for entertaining picked and ready
high low dress and kimono
sans hat.

That is something I have learned the hard way.
So many times in years past
I would plan and prepare for hostessing at home
only to realize I had not even paid attention to what I was going to wear.
My hostessing mood definitely suffered for it.

Now I know that how I feel about myself and what I'm wearing
is such an important part in my entertaining
the better I feel about myself
the more I have to give to all of my guests!

I also try to make sure I have all of my holiday styling 
guest room prep
done by the day before
so I can be relaxed enough
to savor visiting family
rather than being rushed and frazzled .

I am  ever so grateful that Jeff and Ellis
love to cook our Thanksgiving feast!

People sharing their individual passions
and gifts
make for the very best in celebrating!

I was most happy with this years centerpiece
that I built up from a huge driftwood piece
on top of a grey flannel tablecloth.
It's the same one I used last year HERE.

I love using flannel straight from the fabric store.
The color choice is large
there is absolutely no sewing involved!

To the driftwood I added a spectacular AirPlant 
with planted paper whites in glass urns
finished with slate pebbles.

Two garden cloches added height and structure.

My newest styling addition
tiny dew lights on copper wires
powered by battery packs
that I tucked under the plants.

I am so tickled with these lights
I have added them all over the house!
They have a timer for six hours
with a safety shut off.

I have seen these lights sold all over this season
now even Target carries them
at a great price!

I sprinkled in some SoCal color
with some small citrus.
I garnished each place setting 
with rosemary from the garden.
I held off trimming so I had plenty to decorate with!

I love adding in
collected whimsical salt and pepper shakers
between place settings.
Functional and fun.

I once again used tiny art easels 
with chalkboard names
for place cards.

In the end
it was family sitting around the table
that was the most beautiful part of the 
Holiday Tablescape.

For me
family gathered around a table 
to share a celebratory meal
is sacred time spent.

It's so much more about the togetherness.
The taking the time
to be together
that touches my heart.

Because I am of an age
that realizes what a tremendous gift it is
to celebrate with loved ones.

To hold hands with loved ones with us here today
to keep those who have passed on in our hearts.

Through years with an estranged child
I have learned how to celebrate those who choose to sit at our table
while always having an open heart for those we miss.

This is the second year our oldest son is back with us for Thanksgiving.
I mention this 
to offer hope to those traveling that same painful path.
Things can turn around.

I am so grateful he is back.
I am equally grateful for all those at our table this year.
It felt like a beautiful exhale
to have everyone
including the newest addition to our family
our daughter's husband sitting down together
for a celebratory meal of gratitude.

Such a tremendous gift
simply to be together.

I am of an age
where I have learned 
I can  celebrate holidays  with joy and gratitude
while also keeping my heart open
to sit quietly with those who grieve
with my arms tightly wrapped around.

For this is life.

This is true holidays.

Not everyone comes to the 
 Holiday Table 
at the same place in life.

We must remember 
to give grace to those who grieve
celebrate with joy those who are seeing life from a peak.

It is the love we share
that binds us tight.

May your holiday season be filled with much
joy, love and grace.

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life


  1. We are such kindred spirits - albeit you are a more stylish spirit. My husband and daughter love to cook for the family. Having two sons and a daughter I always thought I would connect with my girl on the decor aspect of entertaining - strangely enough it is my son ( the one that left us for a bit) that is my strongest ally in that department. He helps me create the setting and light the candles etc... He and his sweet wife are all about presentation and I so value their input. My oldest is the calm in the chaos- directing us all. You are right - we all have certain gifts and when we see it and let it just flow ..... The outcome is just perfect. Thank you Tamera for your blog - I enjoy it so much.

    1. Pam how wonderful to have you visit my dear! I love hearing about your family's traditions!! Sending you big hugs and holiday wishes!!


  2. I think this is one of the most beautiful/poetic posts on parenting, gratitude, family life...that I've read in a looonnng time. So glad I came across your blog during Thanksgiving weekend - how appropriate!

    1. Roxanne thank you so much for visiting and your gift of words! I loved seeing your beautiful paintings on your blog! What a wonderful talent you are my dear!


  3. Gorgeous table Tamera, I can't tell you how much I enjoy seeing the little details of your beautiful holiday spread. I'm also going to share your wise sentiments with my Mom too. This year one of my brothers missed thanksgiving and she really had a hard time with it. Being estranged from his family seems to suit him and it's tough for my parents especially during holidays. Unfortunately he's very self centered and not likely to change at his age--(50) so it requires a lot of letting go on my moms part and it's difficult for her. I think your own story will be an uplifting one for her to hear. I'm so happy to hear that not only is your son back in the family fold, but now you have another wonderful son--with Ellis's new hubby. Life is good isn't it?

    1. Leslie how good of you to visit darling!! I am so sorry to hear of your Mom's heartbreak regarding an estrangement. Such a painful path for a Mother. I hope she finds the peace in the situation she must be searching for. What a blessing to her ... to have you as a daughter!

      Sending hugs of comfort to you both!

      We need to meet for coffee when you have the time my dear!


  4. As always Tamera, the details you impart are gorgeous. I love your floor - is it cement? If so, how does it work out for you? I also live in SoCal and was seriously thinking of having cement in the house, as opposed to wood floors.

    1. Catherine my floors are indeed cement! Not only do I love the aesthetics of the floors ... they function wonderfully! They were great when the kids were little and now still fabulous with their visiting dogs. Best of all ... my many trees and plants have never done them any harm!

  5. Tamera, I just adore your style. Your home is wonderful. The candles along the staircase are soulful and cozy. And the way the light shines in.... Of course, your clothing choices are supreme. I am such a fan. So....big question. Where do you store everything? I live in a teeny cottage in California. As you know there is no attic, no basement and a garage full of cars. Where do we keep our stuff? I would love to know.

    1. Connie great question my dear! I stay organized in our small home with the addition of a paid storage unit a few miles from our house. Inside the unit I keep everything sorted in labeled boxes ...since I change out my decor seasonally. We do have an attic, where we store items for the kids until they have homes and children of their own. Without an organized storage unit, I don't think things would have run as smoothly as a family of five ... with a Mom who was so into styling spaces. Now that we are down to just the two of us ... it is my plan to consolidate and cull what I have ... into a tiny storage unit. Thanks so much for visiting and asking my dear!

  6. Your style is inherently smashing and chic. Thank you for giving us a peek into your imaginative world. Brenda

    1. Brenda thank you so much for visiting my dear and your lovely gift of words!!

  7. Such beauty on that table, Tamara, and love all around it.
    I love that you put in such thought and time to create an inclusive space. I am inspired to put extra thought into my Christmas day plans. Thank you for sharing.

  8. I wish I could meet you in person. Your soul is so good. Merry Christmas.

    1. The same feeling ... Tamera is so warmhearted and do everything with passion and perfection.
      Would be a great friend where you can rely on and learn some important rules of life

  9. Very beautiful photos, interesting arrangement of interior and the table. This is inspiration for me. Best:)

  10. Oh Tamera...a beautiful post and I so appreciate the words about grieving. Crying as I type this. You are truly an amazing person.

  11. I can't type. Love you. Crying.

  12. This table is absolute perfection. The styling is original and beautiful, and celebrates life with the wood and plants and light-reflecting glasses.

    Your words in this post are so beautiful and thoughtful. I always love your perspective on things. You really inspire me so much, Tamera. I wish you the happiest of holidays this year, enjoying treasured moments with your loved ones. Thank you for sharing a peek at your home and sharing a piece of your heart with your readers. xx