We Eat First With Our Eyes

Making Everyday Meals Special

bowl of clam-chowder- courtesy of gatheranddine

Gather & Dine Weeknight Clam Chowder Recipe Here

Cookbooks, and online recipes, do one thing very well.  They provide us with photos of food that allow us to eat the food first with our eyes.  Food blogs have taken the photography of food to a new level.  The love affair with good food grows stronger everyday.

This bowl of clam chowder looks like we could dip that spoon right in and pull out the chunks of potatoes, celery and onion.  We can almost smell the pepper on the creamy surface.  Close your eyes and see if you can envision what the kitchen looks like that got this meal ready for the family table.

Emily, the founder of Gather and Dine, says her most treasured times of day are when her family gathers around the table to share a meal. We met last summer during a photography workshop and enjoy keeping up with each other through our blogs.  I admire this young mother and told her she reminds be of another foodie and mother, Mimi Thorisson of Manger.

Just As We Eat First With Our Eyes, We Envision How A Kitchen Feels

Being in the design field, when I met a new friend, my natural instinct is to envision what their home may be like.  After reading Emily’s recipes and looking at the “make you feel like you are eating with her”  photos,  I just had to know what her kitchen is like.  She graciously agreed to share the photos below.  Her kitchen is exactly as I had pictured.  I can feel how warm and inviting it is simply by the photos.  It is a kitchen where a gourmet chef will be just as comfortable as the family that counts on this space to welcome them each day.  This kitchen is the perfect LBD for Emily and her family.

Emily Nelson kitchen-3

Emily Nelson kitchen-1

Emily Nelson kitchen-4

Emily Nelson kitchen-2

The Everyday Dinner Table

In our design projects, we are seeing a return to cooking and dining at home.  This means that tables are being set and prepared for dinner more often.  As the holidays approach, we are all thinking about setting the table a little bit more.  Our Pinterest Board, Holiday Tablescapes  is full of ideas for beautiful table settings.

But what about our everyday tables?  Wouldn’t it be nice to treat ourselves to a beautiful setting each day?  After all, and mirror-mirror on the wall, we are the most important people!

Design Inspiration From Food and Flowers

We mentioned last week, we’d begin sharing more about how our designs develop.  Planning everyday tableware is not a problem with inspiration from Coco Lapine Design and Sixteen Miles Out.


This contemporary Nordic table just feels like cozy wintery mornings to me.  Maybe it’s the pancakes!  Layering of linens and stoneware gives this table depth without being complicated.


Such a simple and soothing arrangement.  The colors of the leaves are endless in the dark container.  What a nice addition to an otherwise neutral table.

It’s Easy To Eat First With Our Eyes At Pretty Tables


Above is our interpretation of the two inspiration photos above.   We’ll mix up the two dish patterns and use both at the same time.  The wrinkle resistant table cloth will give us a little break from all linen and be a wonderful foundation for the neutral raw linen runner and napkins.  Our copper pitcher will hold the warm pancake syrup and the Japanese vase our single branch or floral stem.  Mix in a set of family cut glass or hobnail pieces and the table is a beautiful example of how interesting our everyday tables can be.  I might just have to keep these ideas for myself!

Look At This Gibson Clarreta Muted Dinnerware -Soft and Bold at the Same Time!

1-Floral Dinnerware Link Here

Raw Linen Table Runners Can Add So Much To A Tablescape

2-Linen Table Runner Link Here

Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 10.04.09 PM

3-Cotton French Stripe Napkins Link Here

Grey Linen Like Tablecloth - Because we all need a break sometimes!

4-Grey Linen-Like Wrinkle Resistant Table Cloth Link Here

Vintage Copper Creamer- Perfect For Cream or Maybe Syrup?!

5-Copper Creamer Link Here

Gibson Grey/White Elite Dinnerware

6-Gibson Grey/White Elite Dinnerware Link Here

Kotobuki Japanese Mini Vase-Just Perfect For A Single Stem or Branch

7-Small Floral Vase Link Here

Opalescent Moonstone Hobnail Set Link Here

8-Opalescent Moonstone Hobnail Set Link Here

The Everyday Table Challenge

This season, as you are planning your holiday tables, we challenge you to make an everyday table special.  Plan an unhurried breakfast, a late lunch or a dinner to wind down the day.  Use a tablecloth, placemats and maybe even cloth napkins. (they don’t have to be ironed to be special!)  Include a salad, dessert or bread plate with your dinner plate.  Decant into sugar bowls and creamers, even butter dishes.  Add in a candle, or some fresh flowers, and see how inviting a table you can set.  Even carry in food tastes better at a nice table!

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10 thoughts on “We Eat First With Our Eyes”

    1. That sounds fun! Agree so much and it does not much longer to have the effort pay off!

  1. Laurel, you are too kind. Thank you for your sweet and encouraging words! I want everyone who steps into our kitchen to feel loved and welcomed, so it means a lot to me to read this post. And I love these tableware tips- we just started using cloth napkins more often and it’s such a simple thing that makes the meal feel more special. I love it! Thanks again, my friend. So glad we were able to connect this past summer!

    1. You are welcome! My pleasure to share a little of your philosophy with our readers. From the email responses, looks like there will be a lot of clam chowder and “serviettes” (french for linen napkins) at our tables this fall. What a great meal to have on hand for the holidays. We hope this is the first of more shared posts to come!

  2. There is a reason that presentation is a large part of a culinary degree. You can have the best food in the world but if you don’t have an inviting setting for people to dine in they won’t come and try it. Love the tableware tips.

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