I created a fantastic family gathering place and I love it so much! I was inspired by the incredible book Inspired Gatherings by Courtney Allison.
When my dear friend Courtney from French Country Cottage asked if I would share my thoughts about gathering in our home, I jumped at the chance. We have all spent so much time at home this year and I was thrilled to try to find a new gathering place in our home.
Some of you are thinking that was an impossible task. You are probably thinking (as I was) that I had wined and dined my family this past summer just about everywhere in our home.
But guess what, I found a new spot.
Before I share the crazy challenge I gave my self to create this spot, you all need to be aware of Courtney’s new book French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings. It is probably the most beautiful book ever published. Seriously, I am not kidding.
I love looking at Courtney’s book because it inspires me every single time I read it. (The book cover can be seen above. Wow!)
I decided to create my own new gathering place and came up with a challenge to create a new gathering place in our home. Lett’s look at one more photo from Courtney’s book. It’s gorgeous.
I gave myself one hour for the challenge. I limited myself to everything I had on hand (which meant no shopping was allowed).
And I had one goal.
My goal was to create an intimate new gathering place in my home.
So let me tell you how it went.
I set an alarm on my phone for one hour. I went out to the backyard looking for our small white foldable table. It was nowhere to be found. I looked in the Carriage house and looked in the attic. No luck.
I decided I would have Dave help me move our round table by the pool to a more intimate spot in our yard. Of course, he was on a zoom call in his office and wasn’t available. Aarrgh! Only 50 minutes left.
So I studied this area (pictured above) and decided it was perfect. I knew I could move the couches myself and the green trunk was already there. I moved the green vintage chairs out from under the porch and knew I had the perfect spot. Only 40 minutes left.
I spent the next ten minutes cleaning the area. There were a few cobwebs (ok, more than a few) and the hanging light looked pretty bad. I tried to put one of my vintage metal trays on the top of the trunk but didn’t like it. I moved two candlesticks on to the trunk and then went inside the house to throw together some flowers.
Fortunately, I went to trader joe’s yesterday to buy pumpkins and I picked up some greens and a few dark hydrangeas. They were all styled in the green vases on our dining room table but I ripped them out and cut down the stems. I literally threw them in an old crock that was on the back porch. (I did clean out a few cobwebs first.) Only 20 minutes left.
I ran into the kitchen, yes I ran, and opened the fridge looking for food to put on a cutting board. Dave and I gave up dairy three months ago so it is a miracle that I found any cheese at all. But I did! I knew we had grapes so I put them on the board and added almonds and cranberries and that was it.
With twelve minutes to go, I went into the butler’s pantry (which did not come with a butler by the way) and grabbed two wine glasses. I was lucky to find an already opened bottle of wine and I poured two glasses and added them to my seating area.
Ok, I should tell you that the wine was not drinkable (it was open and four days old) but we do have a wonderful wine cellar in the basement that I would have visited if I had more time.
I finished setting up my gathering area way ahead of my deadline.
I had two minutes to spare.
The funny thing is that I spent more time taking photos of this fun new gathering area than I did coming up with the idea and creating it. But that’s the way the life of a blogger works. I think.
What did this one hour experience teach me?
- Courtney’s book has so many incredible gatherings that she created and photographed. I appreciate every single photo of hers even more. Because I know she spent an entire day setting up and photographing each one.
- I way overthink things. Normally I would have spent hours setting this up. Perhaps I need to set a timer more often in the future.
- Even when you think you have already found every gathering spot in your home, there is always another one you haven’t discovered.
- I think we have a spider and mosquito problem. Time to call our bug guy.
So guess what? Now it is your turn!
And I am not kidding.
Set your watch and see what you can create in an hour. Post the photo on your Instagram and tag me @my100yearoldhome.
I will share it on my Instagram stories.