I like to think of my apartment as an atelier—not a studio, an atelier—which is no doubt part of the reason I find the photos of this dinner party so appealing. Held in a lofty, skylit artist's studio in East Nashville, Tennessee, the event was designed and styled by Jenn Elliot Blake of A Blog Named Scout for Anthology Magazine. Complete with painter's drop cloths, splatter-painted brushes in earthenware jars, wild vines, and, of course, art on the walls, the whole scene is something we'd like to re-create, perhaps for our holiday tables.
Above: The studio belongs to painter Emily Leonard; she and Jenn pulled together the setup with help from Emily's husband, Sloane, who actually built the table for the occasion. The rustic benches were rented from a nearby antiques shop. The painter's drop cloth was left as is (paint and oil stains included).
Above L: The studio is set in a midcentury industrial space; the paintings on display are Emily's own. Above R: New and old brushes in ceramic mugs are mingled with the floral centerpieces.
Above: Jenn gathered greenery from Emily's mother's garden: stems of Lenten roses, local vines, and bright green hellebores.
Above: Re-create Sloane's homemade table with Ikea's birch Norden Extendable Table, which seats up to 10; $299. The accompanying Norden Benches are also made of birch; $79 each. Or create your own table from found parts: See DIY: An Old-Meets-New Dining Table (for Under $125).
Above: A painter's Canvas Drop Cloth makes a great tablecloth as well as floor cloth; the 9-by-12-foot size is $22.54 from Amazon.
Above: From Clam Lab studios in Brooklyn, the Pasta/Entrée Bowl in white stoneware is finished with a gloss white interior and satin exterior; $50 each.
Above: Source silverplated flatware in mismatched sets from flea markets, or consider Silverplate Table Settings, five pieces each—a knife, dinner fork, salad fork, large spoon, and teaspoon; $35 per set on Etsy.
Above: For large parties, Ikea's Svalka White Wine Glasses are good to have on hand in multiples; $4.79 for a set of six (marked down to $1.92 through December 23). For more ideas, see 10 Easy Pieces: Entertaining Essentials.
Above: Create name tags by sourcing an inexpensive Flat Chip Paint Brush ($9.97 for a pack of 15 from Home Depot) and splatter painting the handle. Then attach a name card using a Brass Thumb Tack ($4.61 for a pack of 200 from Amazon). Drawing paper works well as placemats. These display the menu, which was made using an old-fashioned plastic label maker (such as the Dymo Organizer Xpress, $13.88 from Walmart) and affixing the labels to a sturdy piece of cardboard—Jenn then overlaid the cardboard with paper and used colored pencil to create a menu rubbing.
Above: Utopia Center Stripe Dish Towels are 100 percent cotton and work well as napkins; $9.99 for 12 on Amazon.
Ready to take the look to the next level? Try:
- Artist Style: 7 Studio-Inspired Smocks
- Steal This Look: A Bright Green Dining Room in Amsterdam
- 5 Quick Fixes: Canvas Drop Cloths as Instant Decor
- Everyday Flowers with Los Angeles Floral Artist Lili Cuzor
This post is an update; the original ran on November 23, 2013, as part of our Dining and Entertaining issue.