Anyone else have an insatiable urge to travel? I’ve been so lucky to spend my most recent summer vacations in Europe. I had the trip of a lifetime to Greece and a few wonderful long weekends in Paris over the last couple of years, but Italy is by far my most favorite (and frequent) destination. So while we can’t travel there right now, I’m here in Connecticut playing Italian cooking music, drinking Gavi, eating overpriced Parmigiano Reggiano and making all of the pasta trying to transport my senses as best I can.
My mom has a beautiful set of custom, hand-painted plates from Positano, and they’re some of the first pieces I break out of the cabinet when I start cooking in her kitchen. Naturally, they became the inspiration for this latest setting, along with memories of summer in Italy.
Whenever I’m in Europe, I’m always impressed by the linens. Tablecloths and napkins are considered everyday pieces, rather than special occasion extras. I chose basic whites for a light and airy backdrop, and left them slightly wrinkled and imperfect for a more casual look.
I love the idea of using ingredients as centerpieces, and nothing says “Italy” louder than lemons. Use about a dozen in a pretty bowl. This particular one has a low pedestal, which brings a some height to the table. I played with a little fresh basil for a fragrant pop of green.
Back to those plates… Hand-painted ceramics are everywhere in Italy. Flowers, fruits and animals make up most of the typical patterns. Some newer shops are exploring more neutral colors and tone-on-tone palettes, but personally (and if you know me this will shock you), I love the bright, bold colors in this collection! They’re the colors of the surrounding environment and the local food, and why wouldn’t I want to be reminded of that?! To me, travel purchases are always an opportunity to play outside of my comfort zone.
Wherever I go, I love to find the vintage shops and flea markets. Old silver is always bountiful in Europe, and like the linens, makes a regular appearance on everyday tables. This set belonged to my grandmother. It’s slightly tarnished, but sometimes I prefer that, especially for a daytime setting. It’s just a little more approachable.
Onto the glassware, featuring some picks from last weekend’s vintage glassware sale! The way the light bounces off of these cut crystal wine glasses makes the whole table feel sunnier, and these sweet amber petites pick up the yellow details in the plates. Both have sold, but many other pieces are still available on the “Shop!” highlight on Instagram.
Cheers to a faux-European summer! I’m ready for my aperitivo now.