Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just in Time for New Year's

Between a very busy Christmas and an early January vacation that just can't come soon enough, New Year's has snuck right up on me.  We've decided to welcome the new decade in a low key fashion... a candlelit dinner with the hubby and perhaps a good start on one of my favorite Christmas gifts:  Underbelly season two.

If we change our mind (yep, we're kinda last minute people... good thing our friends are too!), I'll definitely go with a casual dinner centered around a 'Counting Down' theme.  Grabbing a few things from around this house, I put together our New Year's table this evening.

To establish the 'Counting Down to 2010' theme I included a few clocks and watches from around the house.  Borrowing this brushed silver Pocketwatch Clock from a guest bedroom was a cinch.  By pairing it with our stainless steel Bloom Candleholder, available from Georg Jensen ($100 for a set of 2), the well-lit countdown becomes an eye-catcher at the end of the table.

Pottery Barn Pocketwatch Clock available in bronze, nickel and pewter finishes and in a variety of sizes.  Ranges from $29-$59.

The clock theme is extended down the table with this espresso wooden clock with silver accents borrowed from our bedroom.  Part of the fun in using multiple clocks will be setting them in the time zones that your distant friends or family will be celebrating in... Nothing beats celebrating the new year more than once!  A layered effect is achieved with this Vera Wang vanity box.  It has been left partially open, allowing the vintage gold pocket watch - a family heirloom - to make its presence.

Although this clock is no longer available from Restoration Hardware, they do carry the Federal Alarm Clock - a very beautiful square clock similar in size and sold in either oil-rubbed bronze or nickel finishes for $49.

Pictures of past New Year's celebrations will lend to great conversation...  reminiscing of the good old times... evolving into discussions of new year's resolutions!  Illuminate your photo with the Georg Jensen Lilia Candleholder ($90 for a set of 2) that I used at the bottom left-hand corner of the frame.

Picture frame from Myer in Sydney, Australia.  Any 8x10 nickel picture frame matted for a 5x7 will be a great start for the centerpiece.  Photo of Lou and I (complete with my party hat!) celebrating New Year's 2006 in Atlantic City.

Layer your frames with both portrait and landscape photos to add visual difference and interest.  Two similar yet unidentical frames are ideal.  Use the same metal finish (nickel, brushed, etc) with other points of variety within the frame.  Or, use matching frames in different finishes.  

Jubilee Pearl frame from Lenox sold at Macy's in a 5x7 or 8x10, $72 or $86 respectively.  Lou and I took this photograph of the fireworks spectacular off of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on New Year's Eve, 2008.

Another point of difference can be old versus new.  Using both our vintage champagne glasses and new champagne flutes adds interest and varying heights.  Different centerpiece heights can also be easily achieved through varying either your candle holder heights or that of your tapers.

The Waterford Colleen champagne glass (left) has been discontinued; However, pieces can still be found on websites such as  The Waterford Colleen Encore flutes (right) were purchased at Macy's ($60 per glass).

Finish off the 'Count Down' theme by replacing traditional napkin rings with watches.  Old and new watches in any metal will be beautiful.  Even a metal face on a black or brown leather band could be cool and uber-large watch faces would be very chic.  I stacked our silver chargers (Hotel Silver-Plated Chargers, Pottery Barn, $34 each), Lenox dinner plates (Lenox Solitaire White available at Macy's, $40/plate) and the Williams Sonoma Home glass salad plate.  The silverware, our 'refined casual' (Reed and Barton), is wrapped in Lenox 'Laurel Leaf' napkins (Macy's, $7.50 each).

Bringing out more of the 'old' with this vintage white gold watch, another one of Lou's family heirlooms.

I softened the strictly-silver table by adding some vintage yellow gold watches too.

The clock is ticking, but don't fret... pulling your table together will surely take less time that it took to read this post.  Just go grab all of your table clocks and watches... some picture frames and candlesticks... and you'll have put together a new year's themed table in no time!

And, if you cannot find the 'right' pieces in your home, just make a dash to your nearest Pottery Barn for these amazing clock plates.  They're an easy and cool way set the mood for a fab new year's dinner.

Picture from  Plates currently unavailable online, however can still be found in stores.  The 8" plates come in a set of four.  (The Roman Numeral plates are my fave.)  4" bowls also sold in a set of four.

Whether you plan to have a low-key New Year's over an intimate candlelit dinner and a bottle of champagne (ice bucket below from Williams Sonoma) or you ring in 2010 in Times Square, I hope that it's done in great style!

Until our next rendezvous ~


  1. Hey I really like your blog & totally looooove those clock plates!

  2. So pretty! What a great idea. I'm going to have steal this idea for next year!

    I hope you had a fab new year! So happy that you started blogging. Looking forward to more posts!