Hello Rural Modernistas.  I know it's been some time since I offered my two cents on design and home decor.  If you hadn't heard, I picked up and moved far, far away - to San Francisco.  You know the place....gays, hippies, gays, fashion backwards people, gays, Golden Gate Bridge, gays, etc.

I thought I would check in and drop a few tips and treats to hold you over, as well as a few things I am obsessed with.

As the holidays loom on the horizon, I thought it would be a great time to plant the design seeds for the upcoming season.  Let's start with Thanksgiving.  I think the ultimate tablescape for this holiday is the well-curated but totally mismatched place settings.  Picture a crisp linen tablecloth with different, but similar place settings, splashes of color in various settings, and different shapes and sizes used in the same amounts across the table.  Here's how: 
  • First, start with a solid color tablecloth, and gather solid (tone on tone is fine) color dinner plates.  These do not necessarily need to match in style, but they should match in color and size.  I prefer an all-white dinner plate as a base.  
  • On top of those, place your favorite collected salad plates (from eBay, from yard sales or from my favorite, Fishs Eddy (great place to start your collection).  They don't have to match anything but the tablecloth or dinner plate color, and should not match each other.  The commonality is the size.  
  • Do this again with a smaller bread plate.  Take inspiration from your collections and your taste; if you are into 50s retro, add some jadeite or maybe a few pieces of of Fiestaware.  If you're more of a modernist, go for some graphic pieces or geometric shapes.  The idea is to personalize it, yet vary it a bit.  
  • From the plates, you now have a color palette defined, and use that to choose napkins.  As most napkins are the same size, you only need to choose colors and prints.  This is a great place for a brighter color pulled from one of the plates or even a stripe that corresponds.  Cohesively, the napkins should tell the color story, and you will know how many different ones to use.  The idea is to look simple, not overly chaotic.  
  • Top the setting off with glassware (flatware should be matching) - one water glass and one wine glass.  If your palette can handle colored glass, sprinkle a few around the table.  Ideally, you will make one of the glasses cohesive throughout, and the other can be variations of the same.  Perhaps go for the French look of simple tumblers for wine and vary your water glasses.  
I love this look... it screams "Thanksgiving" to me.

Before your turkey carcass has cooled, it's time to look forward to Christmas,  As you may have sensed by now, I respect tradition, but don't necessarily adhere to it.  To that end, there will likely be no bright red and emerald green and gold flocked Christmas tree.  And retail seems to agree!  I think the color palette that is of-the-moment for this season is going to be purple, teal, kiwi and fuchsia.

I am obsessed with this book at the moment.  The Joy Of Home by Naomi Cleaver.  If you own one home design book, make it this one.  Step by step, room by room, it guides you through learning how to design a space according to your own taste.  From making a working budget to sketching the room, you will have all the tools you need.  Check it out here,

As the weather cools, what is more thrilling than hiberating on a sofa wrapped in a cozy and warm throw?  For me, it is ALLLLL about MIssoni throws right now.  MIssoni's prints are often loud and invasive but there is so much more to this chic Italian house.  Their throws run the gamut from simple to overdone, and I love the range.  They are a great kick for most modern decor, and look as good folded up on the ottoman as they do wrapped around you.  Check out the range and get to cuddling!

I have also recently worked with a few great brands and stores that I think I should share with you:
  • For nursery and children's rooms, I love Duc Duc.  Bold, modern and graphic.
  • Try Spoonflower if you think you have what it takes to design your own fabric.  Get crafty and they will print it up for you! 
  • My very favorite fabric line, Of The Young And The Restless, cannot be recommended enough.  Check out the bold prints and colors.  You DO have a room that needs this.
Lastly, and not really design related, I need to leave you all with a few gifts.  While I have been taking time to immerse myself in my new city and my new pursuits, I still want to reach out to my old kinfolk as often as possible and keep in touch.  One thing that my friends know I love is music.  I love to discover it and share it whenever I can.  So, I have been making downloadable playlists that I send around to my little network every few weeks, and I thought it was time to share some of my recent favorites with you all.  Each playlist contains new music discoveries, rare gems you forgot about. one hit wonders from years past, and a few WTF was that??? moments.  A true eclectic collection that is very me.  I think you may find yourselves in some of these as well.  Here are a few, in order from most recent backwards.  I name them all after me, and hey even have artwork!!!

Joe Armenia from Campagna Home weighs in on his latest design obsessions, tips, and finds on a semi-regular basis for The Rural Modernist. I couldn't be happier since it means less work for me.