Life on the Ranch and Setting a Winter Table

I am excited to announce a new interview series featuring tastemakers from around the web. Our first guest is Chloe Mackintosh of Boxwood Avenue, celebrating a lifestyle of beautiful design, old world traditions, and slow living. I was especially excited to get Chloe’s tips on a beautiful table setting. Tablescapes are her forte, and I eagerly look forward to seeing the seasonal updates of her dining room. Her latest winter table is here with simple, crisp elements of nature. Evergreen branches, pine cones, and pomegranates.

All beautiful photos on this article are via Boxwood Avenue.

What is a typical day like for you now that you have left city life behind and transitioned to life on a farm?

Life is a bit slower out here, I don’t have to wake up as early as my husband, he typically takes care of the animals in the morning. I either spend the morning helping him on the ranch or working on my blog. If I am working on my blog I am probably testing or shooting recipes, creating projects, or editing photos. I consider getting to spend time helping on the ranch a treat, and that work varies day to day, usually we are on horse back working cattle!

The afternoons always fly by – I am a high school coach, so I am generally ‘in town’ at practice! After practice I come home, make dinner, and then work until about one in the morning on blog or shop related things.

I love reading recipes on your blog. Your easy spiced syrup is delicious as a base for winter sangria. Is there a certain food pairing you especially enjoy?

Oh that’s a great idea, I just might have to create a recipe for that! I love sweet and salty combinations – anything that mixes the two are winners in my book. I like to sprinkle sea salt on these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies – they are delicious!

Are there any special, sentimental recipes you like to make around the holidays?

For some reason scalloped potatoes have become “my” holiday recipe, but this year my sister requested mac and cheese, so maybe that will become a new house favorite!

I know decorating and interior design are some of your passions. I look forward each season to your tablescapes! Can you give us advice on how to prep our dining room table? Are there key elements in your tablescapes?

Oh yes, I love to spend time adding little special touches around the house. When it comes to a table, I think it’s best to layer it. Start with a great base, like a runner or a garland, then add the essentials (plates, cups, silverware). Once you have those things down, get creative with mixing & matching napkins, adding candles (I like a lot of candles), and finding things to use as place card holders (even a small, smooth rock can be a beautiful touch!

Step 1: Set the base with a table runner or garland (or both).

Step 2: Add the essentials, plates, cups, silverware etc.

Step 3: Use creative touches like napkins, place card holders and candles.

Thank you, Chloe, for the tips! Just in time for setting our Thanksgiving table.

I wanted to share some of my favorite reading material from Boxwood Avenue… In addition to her gorgeous tablescapes, I know you will love her homemade stove potpourri for thoughtful gift giving this upcoming Christmas season. You will also love her cozy, inviting winter porch, the calligraphy Christmas wrapping paper, and of course tips on how to wrap a wine bottle.

Until next time, cheers!