Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio |
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DwellStudio was founded by Christiane Lemieux in 1999 in an effort to bring modern textile design to the world of home. The company quickly established itself as a leader and innovator in the bedding market – and expanded to a fuller offering of home furnishings products, including table, baby, and junior. What follows is a guest post by Christiane regarding her new found Thanksgiving traditions. Take it away Christiane…
American Thanksgiving is new to me. I’m Canadian (we do have a Thanksgiving of our own—in a different month, with a whole different history) and I’ve always used Thanksgiving as an excuse to take a nice long weekend, nothing more. This year is different, though; I’ve got two little Americans at home. It might not be my tradition, but it’s going to be theirs. Welcome to my first American Thanksgiving.
I decided to do some research (apologies in advance if any of this is inaccurate!). The general consensus is that the first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, on a day the Puritans had set aside to celebrate their first harvest, and to mark their first year in the new world. The Puritans broke bread with their neighbors – depending on who you ask, the Wampanoag or Iriquois tribes. I already feel more connected to this holiday; I’ve got Mohawk Indian blood on my dad’s side.
All I knew about the Puritans (or Pilgrims, whatever you want to call them) was their big black hats. But forget all the complicated political issues of colonization; these people left their homes in search of a better life. Isn’t that what we call the American dream? And this year, of all years, there’s a renewed optimism in the air, an excitement about what it means to be American. I’m ready to celebrate that.
But within reason. Our philosophy at DwellStudio (and my philosophy in life) is to keep things simple. I’ve got two kids and a full-time job; there’s no way I’m going to make a papier-mache cornucopia.
Since I didn’t grow up with all the trappings of an American Thanksgiving, I felt free to create my own tradition. On this holiday, the meal itself will be the center of attention, so you don’t need to do much in the way of decorating. The rich cranberry red, the warm orange of pumpkin and sweet potatoes, the perfect honey brown of a crisp turkey — it’s already a gorgeous color palette.
With that in mind, I decided on a simple, monochromatic backdrop; I plan to use our Sketch place mats and runners – the subtle, graphic black and white are the ideal starting point for any table setting. To warm things up, I’ll add some vintage brass flatware, and serving bowls with a beautiful gold interior. Remember, dinner is the center of attention, so I’ll use a monochromatic centerpiece: a grouping of white vases and vessels I have around the house, plus some gourds, spray painted white.
Of course, I’ll loosen things up a bit for the kids’ table; after all, if the kids are restless, the adults won’t get to enjoy the impeccably-set table or the lovingly-prepared meal. It is a holiday, after all, so I’ll pull out all the stops, making dinner for the little ones an interactive experience. I will use all our DwellStudio kids’ favorites (a puppet re-purposed as a place card holder, a fun kit unfurled and used as a place mat) and plenty of crayons and toys to keep little hands busy.
To me, the results will feel special and festive, a nod to tradition but in keeping with the way we live now. It’s the perfect modern Thanksgiving — and I can’t wait to celebrate this way for years to come. Happy Yankee Thankee, from DwellStudio.