Four friends and an HGTV photo shoot

A month or so ago HGTV invited us to participate in a photo shoot for their website, the storyline: using metallics this holiday season.  The deadline was tight, but with the help of my girls (Lauren and Allison) and of course you know it wouldn’t be a party without Marla Carter… (it would have been too easy for all four of us to get into the same photograph ;) ) we managed to pull it together.

Don’t let me mislead you, there were others involved in the making of this HGTV tablescape… but we were the key players. And Marla’s not-so furnished new house acted as our blank slate. I’m just going to let the photos tell the story…

The images above are compliments of my cellular telephone.  The images below are courtesy of Marla Carter’s Canon 5D Mark II.  Thank you Marla Carter.

You can see the story HERE.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!


  1. BEAUTIFUL, stunning and inspiring. I WANT Marla’s kitchen. I’m at the start of a getting ideas for my kitchen remodel and hers just gave me some great ideas. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours :)

  2. Thank you for the GORGEOUS inspiration!! Looks like such a fun day with a beautiful outcome. I’m dying over those gold wreaths. LOVE.

  3. Absolutely beautiful, Erika! You all have inspired me to deck out my dining room with metallics for the holidays! My favorite touch – rosemary on tied around the flatware!

  4. Wow. I am speechless, that is so beautiful.

  5. love the classic with the metallic–wonderful job! do you always lead such a magical life?

  6. Wow, the end result is absolutely stunning!! A little rustic, organic, comforting and inviting, just what a Thanksgiving table should be. Great job!!

  7. I LOVE Marla’s home and this table setting is the perfect blend of comfort, casual–family style. Nice work–and it looks like it was great fun–right down to the Bologna

  8. I LOVE the rosemary around the silverware! If mine didn’t die in the freeze last night I am totally going to do this.

  9. What a stunning table!! The green and gold are lovely and I love the splashes of purple too.
    Do you mind telling me about the table itself? Is it zinc? Can you share where I can get one?

  10. This is wonderful!!! I love the striped runner!


  11. AMAZING, Fabulous, Inspiring, Creative…but i expected nothing less from you creative chicks. Happy Holidays!

  12. Oh Erika – it so beautiful! You and your team totally rocked it out and I’m left very inspired….and a smidge jealous of that amazing table of Marla’s (ok, a lot jealous).

    Have a lovely week of holiday fun with your family!

  13. Gorgeous!! I love the little pops of purple.

  14. That is unbelievably gorgeous!!! I love it. Great use of color and texture.

  15. i’m dying for that artwork and the table below them. so gorgeous and inspiring. everything!

  16. Caroline R. says:

    Lovely work, Erika! You are amazing!

  17. Erika and Co. I am blown away!! Love, love, love! I am already thinking of ways to use some of your ides for a Christmas table!!!

  18. Love it! The gold wreath, whimsical candle holder and mix of pattern/texture really make this space special!!! Wow, and all those little kiddos too. Super cute.



  19. Love the story by pictures! Such a wonderful room and setting. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Gorgeous! Love all of it, and have to ask, what wood are Marla’s floors, they are the perfect color and have just the right amount of variation!

  21. Love it all! You are very talented women. The table is perfection as is Marla’s house!

  22. Just awesome. That’s all I can say.

  23. So simple and totally elegant. Love it.

  24. Erika, this is so beautiful. Earthy and elegant. Would you mind saying where the chairs came from? They are just what I am looking for to go with my (chairless) dining table.

  25. Congrats! What beautiful work. Love the touches of gold! So very festive for the holidays! Happy Thanksgiving to you all! (and ps — thanks for sharing!)

  26. Is it bad that I saw the first color photo and thought, Aw, Darby Doll has a friend!

    Yiiiikes. In other news, I’m stopping on my way home tonight to pick up gold spray paint for my berry wreath!

  27. Stunning!

  28. Marla looks like she could be a sister to you in that pic. This turned our very pretty…I love the large prints and her house is gorgeous. That kitchen! Wow! If I were coming over for dinner I’d have a hard time eating because I’d want to soak everything in.

  29. Everything is soo beautiful! I have a tired wreath that I think I am going to spray paint tomorrow. I only wish HGTV had more of your pictures and advise!

  30. Beautiful! I love the purple flowers with the gold and green! Gorgeous!


  31. love it. a lot of attention paid to details and it all totally works. great layering. good job!

  32. Thanks to you I now have major kitchen and tablescape envy!!! Now I will go through the rest of my day very discontent w/ my own kitchen :) JK (sort of!) Yall did a really beautiful job!

  33. what fun! her dining table is beautiful. and i love that wreath above the stove!

    thanks for the eye candy. :)

  34. Beautiful! BRAVO!

  35. a gold metallic painted wreath is just the touch i need for my dining room! thanks for the idea….pam

  36. Looks GREAT ! ! ! happy thanksgiving:)

  37. Honestly, this is the first Thanksgiving tablescape that I have seen in the last few weeks that I actually like! I have people showing up in 24 hours and no time to copy. Ahhhhhh! Maybe I’ll print a copy of this table for everyone’s place setting and say, “Pretend my table looks like that.” ;)

  38. Angela Alwine says:

    LOVE IT! Did I miss this in the post or who painted those cute paintings on either side of the window?

  39. beautiful!!!!! what type of countertops are in the kitchen?? are they concrete? we are redoing are kitchen and have picked everything out but the floor and countertops

  40. It looks fabulous! I like how you didn’t paint every pumpkin gold and that gold wreath against the black background is stunning.

  41. So, so lovely and fun.
    I love that the kids were plentiful and all around during the creative process. Pinch those cutesy bologna cheeks and happy turkey day. Alcira

  42. What a great post! Beautiful photos, too!! Thanks for sharing.

  43. looks gorgeous! It’s so me, which I am so sure was your goal ;) Marla’s home is quite stunning.

  44. Love the setting. Marla’s house is amazing and I hope we get a photo tour soon!

  45. It is just gorgeous, but I still am waiting to see your kitchen. I am also curious about the table itself.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  46. How fun and beautiful! I love the dining room table!

  47. Lindsey W. says:

    Marla’s home is AWESOME! Her floors are to die for. What type of wood are they? How wide are the planks? I have to know!

  48. AMAZING!
    Happy turkey day to you and your sweet family Erika.

  49. Never fail to disappoint, absolutely gorgeous!!!!!

  50. The final results are incredible, so fresh and original. Thank you so much for this… seeing what goes on behind the scenes definitely adds to the final product and the appreciation of the talent and vision that went into making this happen!

  51. Great post! I love the glimpses of Marla’s home, just gorgeous. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  52. sarah harper says:

    really beautiful… metallics never looked better! ;) happy thanksgiving, erika!

  53. Ok, so did you spray the berry wreath or find it that way? I have an old red berry one like this that I’ve been wanting to refresh…

    Great job, it is very inspiring! I wish I had time between now and Thanksgiving to pull something like this off!

  54. Hi Erika, Wow! Marla’s house looks absolutely beautiful. I love all of the light fixtures that you used. I think that is definately your trademark!!! Beautiful table setting, too. And Sloane, in the Target buggy… sweet. Happy Thanksgiving.

  55. Friends, babies, kids, hubbies, shopping… looks like it was a fun shoot! I loved Marla’s house – even empty! Those floors are gorgeous. And now I want a Canon 5D Mark II too. Stunning photos Marla!

  56. OH MY awesome!!! Love it!! Thanks for sharing!

  57. I love this! Beautiful job. I can see anyone’s family sitting down to this dinner. I have about decided Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Not all the hustle and bustle. Just thankfulness! Have a good one!

  58. Perfect viewing to kick off Thanksgiving. Perfection! Thanks for sharing.

  59. So beautiful! Are Marla’s countertops concrete? I love them! Just starting to build a house and your blog is inspiring! Thank you!

  60. I HAVE THAT CANDELABRA!!! My day has just been made. :D

    It looks wonderful!!! And your youngest helper picked the best pumpkins.

  61. Amazing!!! I love all the photos! Seriously…you, Marla and your team are incredible!!!
    Where did you get that amazing art work hanging up in the dining room? I think I spied it on you sister’s blog, too.

  62. Oh lovely decor!! I’m redoing my kitchen/living right now and trying to decide on countertops… LOVE hers! Can you share what they are? concrete??

  63. Love this! P.S. Please share more photos of Marla’s beautiful home!

  64. I can not get over how lovely this table and home are. I want my thanksgiving table to look just like this! Amazing. Love all the kiddos involved as well.

  65. Wow – i love it – and wish you could do our dining room – if only you were in Australia. :)

  66. Beautiful job. Rock on matallics!

  67. if i wasn’t pregnant i would be spray painting my pumpkins in the dark. beautiful perfection!

  68. SO beautiful!!!!! I love the whole thing- top to bottom- gorgeous! That table is so fabulous- it almost looks like it has a waxed finish on it?

  69. I realize this is so not the point of the post, but those wide wood floor boards are to die for!!

  70. LOVE it…looks great!

  71. Love Love Love the inside story. I am always amazed at the wizardry, genius, creativity, and inspiration that are involved in something like this. I am also very excited that on a lark I picked up some purple flowers to add to the fall mix that will grace my table on Thanksgiving. I am planning to arrange everything in vintage tins…we’ll see how that works out! Blessings to you all! I am now refreshed and inspired!

  72. Love your blog–it is my current fix for no more “Cottage Living.” I was wondering about the HGTV photo shoot and specifically, how did they do the brick treatment on the walls? We have done brick on our family room walls from Robinson brick/thin brick but used grey grout which is too grey. Do they use white grout and whitewash the bricks or is that how the bricks come? Also, what is the wall treatment in the dining area–is that considered “ship lap?” and if so, are there any special considerations in applying it?? Tamara

  73. Love the look of this table…the dishes, the table arrangements, the spray painted pumkins, the candles…love it all!!

  74. Love the photos, thanks for sharing! Great ideas I could def. see myself using, thank you!

  75. Absolutely gorgeous!

  76. I am thankful for great holiday inspiration…

  77. I love the metallic pumpkins! Everything looks so beautiful :) I was wondering where the glass spice jars in the second to last picture are from?

  78. Is it silly that my favorite thing is the ticking stripe fabric holding up the gold wreath? Looking forward to a feature on Marla’s new house – it’s gorgeous!

  79. the table AND the kitchen is stunning? where did you find the pictures between the window – really cool. Are those concrete countertops? How do those hold up?

  80. wow. It looks awesome. I want to see more photos of Marla’s house!!! From what I’ve seen so far, I know I am going to love it!

  81. SO MUCH AMAZING INSPIRATION!! Where to start …. of course, so many questions, love the art, love the paneling, love the unique brick ….. need to see more!

  82. gorgeous. I want to eat at that table!

  83. Hi Erika! Thank you for your beautiful inspiration! I am speechless. I’m so drawn to your clean, elegant, eclectic, fun, modern, yet cozy rooms. Would you be willing to share the artist of the artwork on the walls in Marla’s dining room?

  84. That is quite incredible , oh to have such talent! I love the kitchen and the brick wall too

  85. Wow! How fantastic. You have inspired me to get on with thinking about the decorations on my dinner table for Christmas. Thank you. Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving.

    Pru xx

  86. I love the brick with the white kitchen. It looks awesome! I also like the stairs you can see in the back of one picture. Maybe Marla can show us more someday…!?

  87. You are like….AU.mazing. Love you.

  88. I love the table! I may need to do this with my silverware and some greens for my holiday party.

    LOVE it! You ladies are very talented. Thanks for sharing :)

  90. I have my eye on the beautiful table itself! Also love the tablescape too. Happy Thanksgiving my friend!! xo

  91. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!

  92. My favorite has to be that gold wreath. Thanks for the inspiration–maybe a DIY project?…..On another note, your daughter is the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Those cheeks!

  93. Beautiful ladies, adorable kiddos! We need an entire post dedicated to Marla’s house- with a source list. It is my dream!!!

  94. I love the two paintings on either side of the window behind the table. Can you tell us more about those?

  95. Yey, I am so excited I won the stamp!

    Love this kitchen!

  96. oh good lordy , that is gorgeous.
    as i confessed to darby,
    please don’t think i’m a weirdo pathetic looser commeting at lunch time on thanksgiving day , for crying out loud…i’m at work until 3 at which time, my real life does resume!

    seriously gorgeous & love the funtastic photos

  97. Loved this so much – you ladies inspired me to take some pix of my own turkey day table…

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  98. Absolutely gorgeous! Your posts are always so inspiring!

  99. AH MAY ZING!!!
    Where is the candelabra from? I puffy heart it!

  100. The table setting is beautiful! Definitely using the rosemary idea soon. I am coveting Marla’s house. It looks like it’s amazing. Did you help her design it? Please, please, please do a house tour of Marla’s house (even unfurnished)!!!!

  101. So beautiful. Love the photo from above the candleholder. That must have been a lot of fun.

  102. Wow that looks amazing! I absolutely love the wreath, and would love to know more about it!

  103. Stunning! I’ve been so reluctant to throw out my precious fall pumpkins–now I don’t have to! Love, love, love!

  104. Marla: I loooooooove your new house!!! Been waitin’ to see more, thank you!!

  105. Ya girls done good! Natural with bright pops of color,perfect choice. I see I’m not the only to admire Marla’s floors. Since I’m contemplating doing the foyer and possibly the adjacent rooms, I’d love to know the manufacturer of those gorgeous planks!
    Marla’s home is charming.

  106. Wow. I am in love with this! The wreath is so simple but really stunning. I am in love with her kitchen. And let me say… I am so jealous of Marla Carter’s Canon 5D Mark II. That really is the camera of my dreams. Great job! Everything looks fabulous.

  107. A Co Worker refered this blog to me. It looks interesting. Great ideas! I’m a big craft person.

  108. Erika,
    Hey! I found your blog through your sister’s and needless to say y’all are both very talented gals! Thought I would pass this along, my sister and her friend started a non-profit ministry for refugee women teaching them to sew in Wheaton, IL. They recycle old fabric and make beautiful creations. She also is a huge AU fan and lived in Watercolor while her husband was on a Sabbatical for 3 months.
    The website is if you have any old fabric or fabric samples you need to donate somewhere :)

    Suzanne Jones

  109. I love the silver and gold, and your beautiful pictures! I’ve done a few balancing shots over the table myself! Just amazing and it looks like you are all doing what you love. Amazing! I am your newest follower!

  110. I love the table decor,the candelabra is a WOW factor. Really beautiful shots, thank you for sharing and always inspiring.

  111. Gosh…everything you do is GORGEOUS!!! I’m not the visionary, but I always know what I love when I see it…and recently all I’ve had to do is come look at your site and I say, “I want that!” :-) Keep it up, Erika. Question: Do you have the brand/pattern of the beautiful china you used in this shoot?? That blue/green is one of my most favorite colors! Let me know if you get a chance! Thanks again!!

  112. AMAZING!!!! Great job girls. And Marla’s kitchen looks insanely cool. Can’t wait to see more pics of her house!

  113. What a beautiful photo shoot! Very inspiring.

  114. Love the back story to such a beautiful table and decor. Shows your really how much goes into all this. Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  115. Quick question..Do you know what camera lens she was using? The photographs are lovely.

  116. sooo pretty!!!! and looks like so much fun!!

  117. I love the end result and all of the photos (kids included) that provide the back story!

  118. Kelly Rainer says:

    My sweet mother in law will be so happy that the silver the gave me was useful!! It turned out beautiful girls :) The light in that house is AMAZING!

  119. goodness that it gorgeous!

  120. What great ideas! I love all the photos! Did you make the gold berry type wreath or just spray paint one you already had? I think it is my favorite thing in both rooms, just love it!

  121. Your table turned out amazing!! Love the metallic pumpkins : )

  122. What a talented group of people you are – seriously, how do you all stand it?! :)

  123. Love the candelabra would love to know where I can purchase one??

  124. Gloria Chiras says:

    Such a beautiful table scape! I already purchased: the gold chargers which I spray painted. I am currently searching for fabric to make a runnner, a berry wreath, and the paper ribbon. so far no luck. Thanks for the inspiratio.

  125. I am new to your blog (actually all blogs) and am totally addicted! You and your design comrades have amazing and refreshing taste! I love everything I’ve seen so far especially this dining room and kitchen. Can I ask where the table is from? We recently moved to D.C. from Florida and I have been desperately looking for an industrial yet warm breakfast room table that will seat 8.

  126. Know you’re all busy, but when do we get answers and updates about this post? I’m dying!

  127. I just discovered your log and m devouring everyy post. In Marla’s kitchen whre are the measuring spoons from? Also where are those spices from ? or are they decanted into a jar?

  128. I just posted a link to this on the Noritake Facebook page! We love to see vintage Noritake dinnerware in action. What a gorgeous table!

  129. Actually, I would love to create a blog post about this with links to your posts and photos as well as the feature – please send me an email if you foresee a problem with this.

  130. I just found you! Love everything about this from the striped runner to spray painting the wreath. Beautiful work and inspiration for the whole year. Thank You.

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