5 tips for thanksgiving tablescapes


Hello friends.

Looking for some inspiration for your Thanksgiving table?

I am.

There are some key elememts to setting a great table.

1. Natural elements.

There needs to be something green or natural on the table, whether it is plant, flower or some organic object from nature.






2. Candlelight.

Nothing adds more ambiance than candles on the table.

Somehow everything feels more festive with candlelight dancing around the room.






3. Linen

Cloth napkins are a must, but linen takes it to the next level.





The idea of printing the menu and using it as a napkin ring is pure brillance


4. Special tableware.

Several years ago I found a set of Spode brown transferware plates with turkeys on them at TJMaxx.

I’m sure you remember seeing them.


I know it is seems silly to store plates for one day of the year, but to my family it means Thanksgiving.

So #4 is whatever is special to your family and the traditions you have created over the years.

Put it on the table.

It is a day of remembrance and thankfulness. I also use the silver I inheirited from my mother.

She is no longer with us but somehow when we use the silver we always think of her.





5. Thank you’s

Something you can write on to share the things you are thankful for.

Actually writing and sharing verbally with those you love is the greatest act of thankfulness you can do.

It can be as simple as a sheet of paper that everyone writes something down, or a thankful tree with thanks for leaves.

Whatever it is, taking the time in this fast paced, plugged in,

“stop the world I wanna get off” road race, looking back over the past year and counting your blessings

is the best way to spend this one day a year we call Thanksgiving.

President Lincoln thought so too.

Thanks Abe.



So start early gathering these 5 things to make your Thanksgiving table special.

It is worth the planning, time and effort to set a meaningful and memorable table for those you love!



all images via pinterest

You can find me on http://instagram.com/french_grey

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dark + dusky

Hello freinds.

With fall in full swing I tend to enjoy dark and dusky interiors, and since my house is mostly white I am enjoying via pinterest!

I don’t know about every one else, but I like a variety of styles. More specifically I like elements of styles.

So today I am crushing on these…


Black painted walls..




against rustic brick walls black accents add a layer of interest



Some gorgeous black linen…


Love the way the white linen pops in this dark interior.




black urns and chandy’s balance beautifully with weathered wood walls


Now, since I live in Montana where it feels like we have 7 months of winter…

or least the lack of sunshine of winter…

I could probably never paint a wall or even a whole room black, but I love the way it adds that dusky feel.

Maybe California? Florida? Texas?

So I suppose for now I will crush from afar, and pin a whole board black!

Thank goodness for pinterest 🙂

Blessings to you during this month thankfulness,


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natural elements~antlers

Whether they are ‘sheds” big game animals drop every year or “fake” ones on the market today, you can still find this design element today!


I will be the first to admit that I didn’t exactly, how do you say, “like” them for a very long time.

But, I am a person (though I don’t really like to admit this) who is influenced by media.

More specifically, design publications.


Now, I have always loved objects of nature. Bird nests, pine cones, driftwood, lichen covered rocks and twigs, and more recently sea shells and coral.

But antlers?

These have always represented big game hunting to me. And I am surrounded by big game hunting territory! People travel from all over the world for the opportunity to hunt elk, mule deer, moose, etc. in what seems like my backyard. I even know guys who go antler hunting in the spring to find sheds that the animals loose every year.



So naturally, the local decor is influenced by the region……

Lodge style.

Very lodge…

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While I continue to sort out the whole “hacked” thing I have had to take a good look at the way I do things. Not being very tech savvy, I have been spending time redoing passwords, bank accounts, etc. to be sure there have not been any other compromises.

I also took a good look at my office.

Or is it a guest room?

Or both.

Combining the two can be tricky business, but it can be done. Since I have another guest bedroom this space has needs to function as an office first.

To start it needs a great work table, really any great table will do. You can go out and buy a desk unit with every element figured out for you, but what fun is that?!

black table

industrial table

reclaimed wood/industrial

white table

industrial loft

work table

With plenty of storage…

Lately I have been into cubbies, little drawers and an industrial vibe…





Shelves are an obvious source for storage when styled and fitted with interesting boxes, baskets and objects of interest.



Well, this is a great place to start and I hope you are as inspired as I am to get busy! I will post my little office as I go…. so stay tuned 🙂

By the way, I have finally jumped on the instagram bandwagon and you can find me with the user name french_grey !



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i’ve been hacked

Hello dearest friends,

It’s true. My facebook page has been hacked. or stolen I should say.

Please unlike from that page for I fear that if you go to any of the links “they” have posted it will, no doubt, be a virus. Now I would love to go on a huge rant over the lack of support on facebook, let’s just suffice to say when someone hacks your account they change your email address so you cannot log in to report it hacked. A giant tailspin with no results.

Words truely cannot express the sense of loss I am experiencing over a silly page, but I had built that page over 3 years and it grew with me as my style and tastes elvolved as a true designer.

I am in the process of creating a new account and page, and would appreciate your support. I never solicited “likes” and don’t wish to now, but it took along time to reach 142,000 likes.

And please remember it is french(dash)grey.com …..

Somehow I think that silly little dash is going to help me!!

Blessings to you all and thank you,

With much sincerety,


 Please share on facebook.

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summer’s bounty

Nothing pleases more than harvesting our bounty from the garden.Tomatoes, zucchini, cukes, lettuces, carrots and beets. Well almost everything except…

Green beans.

Of all the summer garden chores I think I like picking green beans the least.

Maybe despise it.


Somehow the rows seem so far apart when planting, yet they manage to grow into one large green blob. I know, I know. We have been organic gardening for over 30 years but still manage to forget.

Gardening is after all an art of trial and error.

Let me fill you in on the task of picking beans. First and foremost it must be stated that they are masters of camouflage. When your are bent over with all the blood rushing to your head, the stalks and beans look the same. You have to literally manhandle the plant to search for the fruit, and you always miss some,


Those said for “hiders” turn into behemoths in about a day!


green beans

So now you are trying to pick the good, bad and gigantic, along with a little plant matter to boot.

Did I mention that the ant pile I stepped on wasn’t too happy that I was picking beans either.

Now, when the kids were still living at home I naturally passed this task off to them, and of course we still had to process “them” too.

On a recent visit from my daughter I offered up produce from the garden (on a u-pick condition of course) and she steered clear of the green beans!! We had a great laugh about it and how we used to use freezer bags and suck the air out with a straw! Not exactly the best method, but it got the job done, giving us a winters worth of beans.

Did I mention that my kids now hate (well hate may be kinda stong) green beans. Not the pale soggy ones that come in a can, but fresh ones that squeek on your teeth. Certainly these by Ina Garten look pretty good!

barefoot contessa

Fresh eggs… no thank you. Too many years cleaning poop off eggs, they want “store eggs”.

I hope they realize that this is “cool” now. Just walk through your local farmers market and check out those prices!!


Garden rant over.

I have checked out the prices of green beans at the market, and they are worth it.
After all, money doesn’t just grow on trees……or plants.
But if it did, you would still have to pick it!!

Count your blessings.
Cindy xo
Oh, and by the way, I bought a food sealer. No more straws.

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open shelves + subway tile

Hello friends!

It has been one year since we sold our home and started building our new one.

Now, I would love to say that everything is finished and we are living in domestic bliss, however, such is not the case.

After taking about 7 months off (hubby had another project to complete), we have begun work again!

In the meanwhile, we’ve been staring at everything that needs to be done, and we, meaning me, each have our own ideas of what should be first, so we had to prioritize !

One of the projects I am eager to start is actually going backwards !! I have always loved the look of open shelves in the kitchen, but totally capitulated going with upper cabinetry, with the ever present re-sale mantra going on in my own head. So needless to say I have been obsessing dreaming of open shelves.

 subway tile

I am also wanting to put subway tile in as a back splash, and the two just seem to go hand in hand!

Sometimes I am a little late to the party, but this is something that can easily be done after the fact.


I have one upper cabinet that is situated between the window and glass door, that can be moved to the laundry room creating the perfect place to add this element.

tile dark grout

One of benefits of taking our time is that I have plenty of time to decide, not counting budget constraints, on what to pick for some of the finishing touches.

tile pantry

simple one shelf

 Of course it also means that I can keep changing I mind every time I see something I like!! In fact I have picked three different light fixtures for the island and can’t seem to pull the trigger on any of them!


And the great debate between rustic reclaimed wood for the shelves….

small shelves+lighting

Or something in a metal wrought iron fashion…

steel shelving

steel+wood shelf

subway tile wood counter

Both equally beautiful when paired with the smooth white tile…

subway tile dark wood

Even this small nook looks great with the simple addition of a shelf.

small space shelf

rustic wood shelf

reclaimed wood shelf

 In Darryl Carter’s kitchen rustic shelves are tucked into nooks…

darryl carter

And this stunning beauty elevated and placed center stage…

darryl carter shelves

 Lauren Liess placed a free standing unit on top of the counter on each side of the range…

lauren liess

Maybe a combination of the two, kind of a Restoration Hardware industrial look…

rustic shelves

We’ll see… not exactly top on the list, but like Scarlet O’Hara says….

I’ll worry about that tomorrow!!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods…




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