Perfect Thanksgiving Meal

The fresh hot rolls are the perfect golden brown and the tops shimmer as the butter melts down the sides and pools at the bottom of the serving bowl. I dig the serving spoon in deep to the steaming mashed potatoes and fill one quarter of my plate with the creamy white starch. The smell of butter and baked goods congeal to create an intoxicating ether that fills me with anticipation of my first bite. Next, I place a healthy heap of sweet potato casserole nestled in by the potatoes and finish with two smallish slices of white turkey meat. Finally, the gravy is passed round and I pour two ladles over all the food on the plate. I will take three hot buttered rolls to eat and sop up the last of the gravy. Later, I will have some pumpkin pie with fresh whipped crème and that will be the perfect Thanksgiving for me. I know that everyone has different ideas about what makes a Thanksgiving meal great but one thing we can all agree on is that the meal must be eaten around a big table with family and friends. Let’s take a peek into a freshly updated dining room of a Sanibel Model with a big table that awaits its Thanksgiving Day debut somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Remove the DraperiesUpdated but still traditional - Home Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida.
As much as I love draperies, we decided that the old draperies were not adding enough pizazz to the space. The homeowners had seen the molding that I add to spaces and decided they wanted to update with molding as well. We trimmed out the large window with big four inch casement molding and added a big header at the top of the window. This makes a picture frame around the window. The window looks wider and taller once the framing is added which makes the space look brighter. When we leave the blind in the window and just frame around it, you get the look of the shutter and the functionality of the blind.

• Wainscot
The dining room already had a chair rail around the room and the wall color was the same on the top and on the bottom. We removed the small chair rail and added a large chair rail. We added boxes to the wall using half round molding to add dimension and framework to the wall. Finally, we painted the wall and all the molding white from the top of the chair rail to the bottom of the baseboard and all of the wall in between. The entire wainscot is white. This is a classic and timeless application of wainscot that will stand the test of time. Also, the white wainscot blends with the white molding around the window.

• New Rug
We added a brand new 9’x12’ rug so that the table would have generous room to accommodate the chairs. The rug is a light blue color with a deep royal blue pattern running through it. The pattern is more open and modern feeling on the new rug which provided an update without leaving the traditional look that the homeowners loved.

• China Hutch
To make the china hutch pop a bit more we added royal blue plates along the back of the plate racks. The royal blue plates made all the other collectibles in the case stand out much better. Also, the royal blue in the case visually connects to the rug and the new art in the space.

• New Art
The pictures that were in the space before were painted by the homeowners’ mother and where moved into the guest bedroom to make a lovely collection that inspired the décor of the room. We needed to have more blue in the art than they could provide. Also, the homeowners wanted the house to have a bit more Florida flair. We chose two pieces by Gene Rizzo. One titled, “King of the Hill” and the other titled, “Lord of the Dunes”. One of them is an Egret and one of them is a Blue Heron painted in water color on the beach.

• Buffet
This dining room is large and had room for a buffet. We added a large mirror above the buffet and two buffet lamps on each side for low ambient lighting. The homeowners had a customary silver tea set on a tray that worked well as buffet décor. Again, the mirror and lamps updated the look while keeping the traditional pieces as a nod to the past.

• Table Runner
Table clothes are great when hosting a dinner they provide overall protection. Also, the table cloth will cover the table pads that are often used for large dinners. However, for everyday display I like the wood of the table to show. We layered runners to achieve a more decadent look while remaining casual. The bottom runner is a long white linen runner. The top runner is shorter and has white and royal blue stripes.

• Orchids
We finished the table with an orchid arrangement in a half of a clam shell. The orchids are by Windward and look entirely real. The piece can be moved to the server when the table is in use or placed on the kitchen island. Either way it is beautiful.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below