By Kelli Hall, Minted Event Stylist
Early this winter, I styled a little grilled cheese dinner at a cabin in the foothills of North Georgia. Inspired by natural shades found in ice and rough wood, the gathering included ingredients for diy toasted treats and warm drinks by a blazing fire. Check it out for details on how it came together.
The vision was drawn from the hues and textures of winter here in the southeast. We rarely get snow, so I imagined an ice and wood inspired tabletop: Pulling in frosted glassware and banded agate slices suggestive of frozen ice patterns, and bark and copper textures to play up the shades from the last few leaves clinging to the trees. I used the Asheville Artisan decor set to create the party’s rustic feel with pops of cobalt, aqua and organic shapes to add unexpected contrast and draw your eye around the table.
To keep things easy, I piled all ingredients on rustic serving pieces. Well-worn cookie sheets, wood bowls and zinc platters worked perfectly for easy service. For condiments and garnishes, I popped off lids and loosely scattered nuts. I even placed a chunk of honeycomb out to encourage unique flavor complements to the grilled cheese menu. After the sandwiches were grilled, we skewered them with a small wooden stick topped with an Asheville Artisan flag stickers.
I served Chai Bourbon Toddies (get the recipe here) garnished with a cinnamon stick and a twist of orange. I always love a special little drink sign, so I labeled my libations with this Crisp Color business card by hi-lighter inc. (re-purposed as a mini sign!).
The full spread was styled on a bare wood table, with a customizable faux bois runner as the foundation. On top of this, I layered birch vases stuffed with loose greens, woodland ferns and winter flowers. To add a little glitter to the table, I dotted the space with and mismatched candle holders and recycled glass votives. To keep things from feeling too rustic, I punctuated the space above the table with a modern copper pendant light suspended from an inexpensive 70’s style arc floor lamp.
The copper shade was inspired by my obsession over the iconic Tom Dixon copper pendant light. Knowing I couldn’t fork out the cash for a real-deal copper shade, I came up with a budget-friendly option to produce a similar effect (but more matte). I purchased this red circle pendant from Land of Nod for only $24! Amazingly, it only needed one coat of this copper spray paint to look like the real thing.
The day was perfectly cold! A wintery mist had settled over our space, adding a chill in the air and
making our spot on the porch feel even more warm. Morgan Blake and Three Pennies captured all of the moments, including this one of matt bringing more wood for the fire.
Gifts for one of the guests were wrapped in herringbone paper and wrapping paper with an agate print. To complement the gathering’s winter feel, I also used these custom tags and added my own vintage snow scene in the photo space.
For after dinner favors, small cylinders of white hot chocolate were finished with deep blue agate patterned stickers.
Each place setting had a mix of frosted Blendo glasses to add just a touch of wintery texture. I also used Annie Clark’s Big Sur invite as a menu to incorporate more warm wood textures.
The soft neutral shade in the faux bois runner lightens up the dark wood of the table to give the whole spread a more wintery feel. For an extra accent of vibrant color, I also added agate slice coasters at each place setting. I love how the agate banding has the beautiful qualities of a wood ring, but in a more saturated palette.
After the side table was cleared, I moved this greenery into place. It’s an effortless arrangement created from foraged magnolia branches and seeded eucalyptus. It sits atop a gorgeous mini farm table from Blue Eyed Yonder vintage rentals.
To pull the agate motif into other details, I created this simple platter. Using Asheville artisan wrapping paper, I layered a piece of clear acrylic on top, traced the outline and cut a circle to fit the disc. To secure the paper under the acrylic, I used a little modge podge.
One of my most favorite details of the day were these icebreaker cards. I re-purposed Linda and Harriett’s Ombre accessory cards and used them as conversation starters at every place setting. Each card had five questions to ‘break the ice’ and get the conversation flowing with the people at each side. Even the watercolor background has an almost glacial depth to the blues, reinforcing the frozen theme.
Wrapping paper and glass tags make s’mores feel more special. I used Jennifer Wick’s herringbone wrapping paper to customize the chocolate bars and these wine glass tags to embellish the s’more skewers.
Another of my favorite details of the dinner was this wood owl statue. He was an original fixture on the cabin porch, and when I saw it, I knew he would be the perfect blanket pedestal! I stacked folded throws on him, hung this New Years sign and pulled him near the fire so guests could bundle up and stay warm.
For a mix of cozy and rustic seating, I incorporated tufted a ottoman and vintage wing chairs from Blue Eyed Yonder. I also found these amazing wood stumps at Accent decor, and placed them closest to the fire so guests without upholstered seating could avoid the chill.
As each guest left, I gave them a little sapling to take home and plant in the spring. These trees were super easy to assemble. I ordered them from Green World Project, and they arrived with a healthy sapling, burlap wrap and a raffia ribbon. I didn’t even have to touch dirt! I just dropped them in a kraft favor box and set them out.
Photography Morgan Blake of Three Pennies
Vintage Rentals Blue Eyed Yonder
Wood Stump Seating Accent Decor
Floral Design Dolores Chavers
Venue Private Cozy Cabin (Thank you Lisa and Dave!)
Asheville Artisan Party Decor Minted
Big Sur Invitation Minted
Ombre Accessory Card Minted
Agate Wrapping Paper Minted
Herringbone Wrapping paper Minted
Birch Vases Accent Decor
Plates Crate and Barrel
Crisp Color Mini Drink Sign Minted
Circle Pendant Shade Land of Nod
Copper Spray Paint Amazon
Arc Lamp Base Target
Sheep Skin Throws Ikea
Navy Linens Amazon
Krafted Frames Gift Tag Minted
Mini Favor Cylinders Wrapped All Up
Blue Agate Coasters Ebay
Blendo Glassware Ebay
Copper Cups Ebay
New Years Sign Minted
Watercolor Pillow Etsy
Tree Favors Green World Project
Kraft Favor Boxes Minted
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