Proper Table Setting

May 10, 2012

Proper Table Setting


With the upcoming spring holidays, I thought I’d share about how to properly set a table.  Perhaps you need a reminder of where the cutlery should be placed around the tableware.  With our casual lifestyles it’s easy to forget how a proper set table should look.  Here’s a refresher showing how to set a table.  If your hosting a holiday dinner or you just want to throw a spring garden party this information will be helpful.






Dessert spoon can be placed above the plate (facing left) with the dessert fork – with the tines pointing right


Salad bowl or dish can be placed to the left with bread plate above fork


Glass above the knife – glasses to be used first go on the outside – glasses line up from the first one















 Remember…Left for eating, Right for Drinking. Start at the outside and work in. 


Napkin Placement:

It depends on your preference and there are many folding variations that can be created. There are napkin folding books that can teach you how. As a default, the napkin can be placed in the water glass, folded on the dinner plate, or beside the flatware on the left. You may not want to use all of the tableware pieces shown in the above diagrams, they are optional and it also depends on what you are serving.

I have a napkin folding book and I like to put my creation on top of the plate. 


There are so many decorative and fun napkin rings that can adorn a folded napkin if you’re not up to learning the napkin folds. 

Buffet Style:

If you’re going to be serving buffet style (I serve buffet style a lot) the plates are not put on the table. They are piled on the buffet serving table.  Put the napkin in the center (where the plate would otherwise go).  

 Easter Table Setting


Elegant and Colorful Table Setting 

table spring

Modern Table Setting

table modern

Simplistic Table Setting

Tea Party Table Setting 

Dinner for Two Table Setting

table romantic

Natural Table Setting


Outdoor / Casual Table Setting


Creating a beautiful table setting doesn’t have to be difficult nor do you need to have fancy expensive tableware or silverware.

Creativity is “key” to a pretty place setting.

Have fun!

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Happy Spring – Tips and Ideas

March 22, 2012




 Spring’s warm breezes and blooming flowers indicate that the warm weather is near and it’s time to “Spring Clean”.

Many people get the urge this time of the year to give the house a good cleaning and re-organize their closets and cabinets.

Spring is a time for renewal and the perfect time to bring “new life” to your living spaces.

Below are some of my favorite tips from Martha Stewart.




Retrieving a jar or bottle from the back of a crowded cabinet can be awkward. For a simple fix, gather the pantry supplies you store on the shelf into a spare baking pan, then treat it like a drawer, carefully sliding it in and out for easy access. The pan will also catch drips, speeding cleanup.  I love this idea since I love to bake.



I use Magazine holders all the time but I never thought to attach a sash lift to them.  Magazine holders are good for keeping old issues in order, but their handleless backs make it difficult to access them when you need to. For a permanent fix, position a sash lift on the back of a holder, and mark screw holes with a pen. With a hand drill, make two holes in holder to accommodate small bolts. Secure the lift to the holder with bolts and matching nuts.



Great Idea for Spring Cleaning!  For easier spring-cleaning, fill a bucket with basics that need to be toted from room to room: all-purpose and glass-cleaning sprays, a sponge, a toothbrush, a squeegee, a scrub brush, hopsacking, and terry-cloth towels in washcloth and hand-towel sizes. Between tasks, hang rubber gloves over the rim to dry.




Wonderful Storage Tip.  Well-organized closets, storage areas, and office spaces can help you save time, open up your living quarters, and restore beauty and order to your home. Follow our easy ideas for storing anything and everything in your home.

Don’t let your matching sheets get lost in the linen closet. Use this simple trick: Tuck a sheet set inside one of its pillowcases, and then stack according to size (twin, full, queen, king) or by the room you use the sheets in (master bedroom, guest room.)



These are a MUST for me!  Bathroom drawers are second only to junk drawers in their potential for messiness. It’s too easy to toss grooming products in there pell-mell. Wooden boxes and trays help categorize the items and are available in various sizes and materials, so they can be mixed and matched to fit any sort of drawer.



Bedrooms are where we go to rest and relax. That can be hard to do if your clothes are strewn all over and your jewelry is tangled. Restore order while maintaining a beautiful space with our easy organizing solutions.

Some of your heels are works of art, so why not display them as such? Line the walls of a walk-in closet or a dressing area with picture-rail molding to make a tidy yet visually arresting display.

Buy preprimed pieces, and have them cut to length at the store. Paint before installing, either the color of the wall or a bold accent shade. Space the rails a foot apart, and attach them to the wall with construction adhesive. Hammer finishing nails every 18 inches (you don’t have to hit studs), countersink nails, spackle, and touch up with paint.


storage shoes

I place my shoes on the shelf with one shoe toe first and the other heel first.  This way here I can see the heel size and toe style at the same time.  It also allows more room to fit more shoes per shelf.

storage handbag

Since I store my handbags in cloth bags I can’t see what handbag is in there.  So I take picture of the handbag, print it and cut it to fit in a plastic baggy.  I tape the baggy shut, make a little hole in the top with a hole puncher and I attach it to the string of the cloth bag. Now I know which handbag is in there.

And don’t forget to allow some time to enjoy the beautiful weather. 

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July 3, 2010

Appliance Rebates started on July 1, 2010 

Good News for Arizonans!  Funds are once again available to buy qualified appliances.  Go to for an online applicaton.  You can do the process online or print/mail it in for the rebate.  This is a limited time offer…Funds will be availalbe until Decemeber 31, 2010 (or until they run out…whichever comes first).  So don’t delay. 

Green Building and DesignBuilding and Designing GREEN

Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors


Top 7 Decorating Mistakes

July 2, 2010


Being an interior designer for over 25 years I’m quite familiar with the most common mistakes most people make (even some professionals) when decorating a home.  Decorating should reflect our taste and style, and it is a very personal thing.  However there are a few decorating blunders that should be avoided.   Below is a list of mistakes and fixes. 

The Line UpMISTAKE 1:  The Line Up…lining up the furniture on one wall.  I see this done a lot especially in bedrooms, where several different size dressers are all shoved against one wall.  This creates a “cluttered” look and feel.  It’s also unbalanced. 

THE FIX:   Be sure to measure the space and the dimensions of the furniture you’ll be placing on each wall.  Place one main piece of furniture on a wall.  You want to make sure the room looks and feels balanced.  Also, be sure to leave enough “walk room” between the bed and the furniture.  You don’t want to be bumping into things if you get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.  Scale is very important here. 

Good PlacementMISTAKE 2:  Furniture Placement…many people think pushing the living room sofa against the wall and by having the open space in the center of the room will make the room appear larger…False.  This type of arrangement makes it difficult to carry on a conversation.

THE FIX:  Since the sofa is the largest piece in the room it should be placed in the center and across from either the entertainment wall or fireplace (the focal point). Rearrange the other pieces around the sofa to create an intimate setting that is more conversational.  (group all piece in the center of the room) Make sure you’re TV is hung/placed at eye level and the sofa is placed at the correct distance from the TV.  The distance depends on the size of the TV and your preference.  A good rule of thumb is to take the size of the TV and multiply it by 1.5.  For example, if you have a 42” Flat Screen TV, you would multiply 42 x 1.5 = 63” or 5’1/4”.  If you feel that it’s still too close you can move your sofa back to about 6’.  The larger the TV the further back the sofa should go.  So it’s important to know your room size before purchasing a TV.  (measure to the back seat of the sofa)

Some rooms are too small for this configuration, if you have to place the sofa against a wall be sure to group the other pieces around the sofa…don’t push the chair against another wall, etc.

Upon entry you see the back of the sofa…that’s a great place for a console table to be placed with a few accessories displayed. 

Fear of ColorMISTAKE 3:  Fear of Color…when I first moved to the dessert I was shocked at how many beige / cream colored houses I went to.  Floors, walls, ceilings and furniture were all beige, which tends to look boring and lacks creativity.  Many of the clients told me that they love color but were afraid to use it.  Many think using a paint color, other than off white; will make the room look smaller and be difficult to match with furniture. 

THE FIX:  Use your favorite colors!  I recommend selecting the upholstery and window treatments first.   You can start with a palette of three colors in different shades and contrast – you can have one dark deep color, complimented by lighter colors.  Select the main color followed by accent colors.  Darker colors tend to ground while lighter colors tend to float.   Don’t use all jewel tones or pastels – mix it up.  After those selections are made then the paint color can be selected.  It is best to select a few colors and paint them on the wall in the room.  Stay with it for a day or so and see how the color looks in the natural light and nighttime light, then select.  The goal of paint color is to enhance the other colors being used and to create a mood.  You can use paint color to make something pop or to create a soft glow.  But always surround yourself in the colors you love. 

Too Many PrintsMISTAKE 4:  Too Many Patterns… using too many patterns can become distracting to the eye, busy and overbearing.  However, you don’t want to be “matchy-matchy” either.  There are many ways to introduce patterns to the décor of a room but there is also a fine line with how many to use and where. 

THE FIX:  I love to decorate a room with different patterns, it creates interest.  However, you must stay true to your color palette and plan. Use patterns and prints very specifically to support the main color and draw attention to the accent colors.  Mix it up with a blend of solid colors, prints, different textures and materials. 

Artwork too HighMISTAKE 5:  Hanging Artwork Too High…you shouldn’t have to strain the neck and eyes to view art.  In most situations art should be hung at eye level for proper viewing and balance. 

THE FIX:  I see this mistake often, art being hung way too high.   Art needs to be hung at eye level; the main feature of the art (or center) should be at eye level.  Since we’re all different heights, you can use this as a guideline…hang art approximately 60” above the floor, 8”–12” above a sofa, chair or headboard.  6” – 8” inches for a mirror above a chest.  In contemporary settings I prefer to hang art a little lower than in traditional settings.   But don’t go too low because that doesn’t look good either. 

Wrong Window TreatmentMISTAKE 6:  Hanging Window Treatments Too Low…I see this mistake often too.  In most homes the art is hung too high and the window treatments are hung too low. 

THE FIX:  I consider window treatments “jewelry” for the window.  The goal is to dress up the window, add some bling and drama.  Therefore you don’t want to stay in the constraints of the window size.  The higher the curtain is installed the taller your room will appear.  Hanging drapes at ceiling height will give a dramatic effect on the entire room.  For the length, go ½” to 1” above the floor or make the drapes longer to “puddle” on the floor for a little drama.  If you don’t want to go to the floor, than go just below the window molding. (in some cases you can touch the window sill) I don’t like drapes ending midway on a wall because it looks like you ran out of fabric and the flow is wrong.  

ClutterMISTAKE 7:  Too Many Knickknacks…I think it’s important to display personal collections, things that you love to look at or have sentimental value.  However, you can’t display all of them or have collections displayed in too many places, it becomes too messy and cluttered looking. 

THE FIX:   If you do have a collection of knickknacks that you want to display select one area, cabinet or wall and display a few of your favorites.  You can store the others and rotate them seasonally.  It’s important to use accessories when decorating to bring the room together, to add some bling and drama but again don’t add too many.   It’s best not to have too many small items on display.  Instead use fewer but larger pieces that add impact and create drama.  It’s important to have “negative space” so you don’t have to cover everything with a knickknack.  In most cases…LESS IS MORE!



  • Toilet Rugs – unsanitary
  • Too Many Focal Points – don’t know what to look at first…just have one
  • Electrical Cord and Cable Wires – messy…tack them up
  • Too Many Personal Photos – display some and use photo albums for the remainder
  • Buying the “Display” at a Furniture Store – it never looks right in the home…either the scale is wrong or the pieces are too matchy
  • Floating Area Rugs – measure to get the correct size for your area rug…it should always “connect” to the furniture or fit the room leaving 12”-16” of floor space around the rug…for the dining room…the chairs should fit on the rug 
  • Cheap Plastic or Fake Plants/Flowers – this is one area that you must buy a high grade or use real
  • Vertical Blinds – outdated
  • Using Things You No Longer Like – it’s important to surround yourself with things that you love and make you feel good  (use the wall space in your garage for things you can’t part with)


Good DesignWhen decorating a home it’s imperative to have a plan and budget.  When you have a plan and budget you’re going to make better decisions and purchases.   I find that most people struggle with scale and proportion when selecting furniture.  Use books, Internet and furniture showrooms to gather ideas and to get familiar with what works.  Visualization is difficult for most people and if you’re really stuck it is best to call in a professional.   In the long run you’ll save time and money but most important you’ll get the job done right.   Hiring a professional can turn a stressful project into an enjoyable one!  

For a FREE consultation call or click:  480.816.4233 or


Article by Cheryl Sandella, ASID Interior Designer, Fountain Hills, Arizona

©2010 Cheryl Sandella.  Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors, LLC. 

Cheryl SandellaAbout Cheryl:

Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member and CEO and Founder of Sandella Custom Home and Interiors.  She is a talented designer dedicated to providing homeowners with a high level of design standards and expertise, while providing guidance and support throughout the home renovation process.  Presenting every homeowner with a precise plan and customized design.

Cheryl is known for her keen eye and ability to pay close attention to design and details while never loosing site of the homeowner’s lifestyle, budget and dream.   She works closely with her husband and partner of over 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor and together they design, remodel and build homes in the valley.

To read more about her go to   and sign up to receive the FREE Guide, “How to Create a Design Notebook” and to discover upcoming promotions, programs and services. 

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER, BLOG OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Cheryl Sandella is a sought out Interior Designer who specialized in design, remodel and custom home building.  Cheryl is the CEO and Founder of Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors.  She publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want Tools, Tips and Guidance to design, remodel and custom home building, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at  

Sandella LogoCheryl Sandella

Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors

PO Box 18132

Fountain Hills, AZ 85269

480.836.1543 – office

480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line

Green Building and Design

Presenting the New Maserati

May 17, 2010

Join us for a fun-filled evening at the Home and Design Idea Center for the unveiling of the NEW Maserati Gran Turismo on May 20, 2010

Complimentary Drinks and Hors d’oeuvres

From 5:00 – 8:00pm

HDIC and Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors

19120 N. Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

For more information contact Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors – 480.836.1543

The Color Pink by Cheryl Sandella

May 26, 2009
Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors

Bespoke Home with Cheryl Sandella










Welcome to Bespoke Home Ezine
May 2009





Gabrielle SchoeneweisSad News.  On May 20 I received shocking news that one of my past clients, Gabrielle Schoeneweis, had passed.  She was only 38 years old.  She left behind a loving husband, Scott Schoeneweis, pitcher for the Diamondbacks and four beautiful children. Gabrielle had a strong sense of style and fashion. She loved the color pink.   I write this article in memory of her.  May she rest in peace. 






The History of Pink 

The color pink

The color pink is a combination of red and white and stands for beauty, grace and goodness. It is associated with love and romance.  It was recorded in the 17th century to describe the pale red color of flowers.  I like to call pink the sweet side of red.
In the 20th century believe it or not pink was actually a masculine hue and it was considered the pastel color of red.  It was the popular color for little boys.
It wasn’t until the 40’s that pink then became the color of choice for little girls. 
In 1949 Crayola Crayons introduced it’s first pink crayon called “Carnation Pink”.  They’ve been introducing new pink colored crayons ever since.
In the 1950’s the new pink color  trend was “shocking pink” or “hot pink”.  When Barbie was introduced in 1959 she wore mostly pink. 
The 60’s were a big pink time  – the band Pink Floyd was introduced and they went on to sell over 200 million albums world wide over the next 40 years.  In 1964 a movie came out called The Pink Phink, now known as the Pink Panther.  That movie won an Academy Award.  And in 1968, Mary Kay Ash purchased her first Pink Cadillac.
In the 80’s pink was a popular color for decor.  It was paired with gray, mauve and cream colors. 
In 1990 the Pink Ribbon was introduced for Breast Cancer Awareness.
In 2006 the Chicago Transit Authority picked the color pink for the name of the new branch of the L’Train.
To date the color pink is still a widely used color in fashion and decor.  In today’s culture pink is the most popular color for girls. Many feel that if a man where’s the color pink he has high confidence while other’s still look at it as a “feminine only” color. 







Decorating with PinkPink Room
 The color pink has the ability to excite and relax.  It can be used to create different looks such as romantic, shabby chic, glam, country, vintage and girly glitz.  It can be soft or vibrant, used as a solid color or available in many prints and patterns. Pink can be used as an accent color or used as the primary color for a room.  It can be paired with other colors such as chocolate brown, black, white, green, blue, gray, beige, or purple.  Pink is considered a warm hue on the color chart and comes in so many variations making it a widely used color in decorating and fashion.  Depending on the shade of pink and how it’s used you can create a soft and romantic room, or a room of sophistication.  Pink is also a color that can be used with so many different styles as it works great with traditional, contemporary or country decor.  Martha Stewart decorated her guest cottage in Maine primarily in pink with some accents of soft gray. 
To achieve the soft feminine look use the softer shades of pink.  The walls could be painted in a soft pink or blush tone.  The trim can be accented in a pearl white color.  The fabrics could be lace, floral, silk and satin.  Sheer silk window treatments with trim at the leading edge could gently grace the windows.  Pink roses are a must have for this room’s decor.
To create a glamorous look use brighter shades of pink and fabrics of velvet, silk and metallic.  Glass mixed with silverleaf wood furnishings will work well.  Large printed wallpaper, a sparkling chandelier and bold prints will compliment nicely. A layered window treatment of cascades, jabots and tassel tied side panels would complete the space. 
For the sophisticated look I like to see pink furnishings atop hardwood floors with warm wood tones for furnishings.  Striped fabrics tend to give a look of sophistication.  A custom roman shade with stationary side panels would add a nice touch for a window treatment. 
The color pink could just be added as a splash of color or you could do what Martha Stewart did and use it monochromatically in the entire house. 
I’ve decorated many nurseries, little girl rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, offices and tea rooms in pink.  I’ve always enjoyed decorating with the color pink – it offers so many choices that allow me to be very creative.  I’d love to do a “Pink” kitchen.  Any takers?
Halloween at preschoolCheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member, works with her husband and partner of 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor.  They own Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors in Fountain Hills Arizona and design and build homes in the valley.  To read more about her go to     
Cheryl Sandella
Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors
PO Box 18132
Fountain Hills, AZ  85269
480.836.1543 – office
480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line   
If you’d like to recieve Cheryl’s gift, “How to create a Design Notebook go to her website and enter your name/email in the box titled “Get Free Stuff”.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want the Tools, Tips and Guidance to design and build your custom home, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at 









Green, Global and Glamour by Cheryl Sandella

February 4, 2009

Green, Global and Glamour


While many of you have been hearing about the up and coming green design it’s in full force for 2009.  The prediction for Arizona is that 10% of all new home construction in 2010 will be constructed green and equating to a $20 billion market share.  Due to our “red” economy many may not be able to build a completely green home but consumers will still be seeking green products for sure.  Many are becoming environmentally conscious so you’ll be seeing more and more green products on the market for 2009 and beyond.  Green has had a strong focus on appliances, solar energy, lighting, heating and cooling.  But for 2009 green goes LUXE.  Be on the lookout for luxurious eco-linens that will feel and look like silk.  Bedding and other high-end accessories will be getting the GREEN treatment. 



For 2009 there will be a merging of multi-cultural designs.  We will still be inspired by the Asian and Middle Eastern cultures.  Adding to them will be a fresh focus on Russia, India, Morocco and Latin America culture. 



Fashionista Couture – where glamour and beauty from the fashion runways inspire your home.  You’ll see lots of embellishments on accessories.  Pillows will be dressed with belts, sequence, Swarovski crystals and flowers.  Window treatments will have dressmaker details and trims. Upholstered headboards will be glamour inspired using velvet fabrics with silver – leaf finish accented with metallic trim. 


Cheryl’s Top Ten Trends for 2009:

  1. The color Purple is back!   Soft is out and loud is in.  Colors that say “look at me” will be getting the attention.  Red and blue will still be important while herbal green joins the scene.  Due to Asian inspired design, gold and yellow will be shouting out.  White is also making a comeback especially in kitchen design.  And neon colors will be shinning through.  There is power in color and I feel every room should have a shout of it. 
  2. The “New Look” is Traditional with an Edge.  What I mean by edge is a fresh modern look, a fusion of the two.  Old World and Tuscan design are out and Traditional and Contemporary are in.  Modern, minimalism, green with a touch of glamour has got my attention this year.  This will be the year to mix it up – juxtaposition design done right can be very striking. 
  3. Home furnishings will be getting scaled down as will room sizes.  So the furniture must fit the scale of the room so you’ll be seeing a “back to basics” approach in furniture.  Distressed wood will still be popular in 2009 but the shades and stains will get a little lighter.  You’ll also see a fusion of shades being used such a chocolate brown and white. 
  4. Fabrics will be larger in scale, bold and bright with added glitz.  Metallics will still make a statement as they are fun to work with and always add a spark of interest to the piece.  
  5. Popular Patterns of paisleys, geometrics botanicals, mosaics and patchwork will be seen on fabrics and wallpaper.  Texture will also play a major role in décor.  Using the layered look creates visual interest.  I enjoy designing a painted wall with a layer of moldings – it creates architectural interest for the room.  Tile patterns in bathrooms are the rave especially brick glass tiles. 
  6. Lifestyle – a new trend of homeowner is emerging and will be living in their homes longer.  Making a long-term commitment to stay in their homes will be paramount when making decisions on home design and building.  The recent down turn in the housing market will play a part in how they design for the future.   These homes will be custom tailored to their lifestyles and they will be smart about what they want such as flexible floor plans, emphasis on green building and living, and multi–purpose rooms.   
  7. Remodeling and Expansions will be huge in 2009 and beyond.  Homeowners are now in a nesting mode and are willing to update their existing homes to conform to their current lifestyles and personalities. 
  8. Custom Home Building will continue to grow in Arizona and will continue to be one of the fastest growing states over the next two decades.  The emphasis for custom home building will be on “practical building”.  The new homes erected will be a tad smaller in size but without compromising quality.  With a strong focus on energy efficiency, individuality, practical floor plans, multi-purpose room, modern style, high technology and great curb appeal. 
  9. Watch for local, state and federal government programs that will offer homeowners incentives to build green.  There will be tax credits and rebates offered.  Many new websites will be available for information as well.
  10. Express Yourself!  Designing and building your home should be about your personal preferences not on what’s the hottest new trend.  It’s fun and exciting to hear and read about what is new and up and coming but if the trend doesn’t suit you and your lifestyle then it shouldn’t go into your home.  Design with “you” in mind.

Gilles Nouailhac

Gilles Nouailhac






Sweet Pea and Willow

Sweet Pea and Willow

Cote France

Cote France

© 2009 Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors LLC.  All rights reserved

About Cheryl: 

Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member, works with her husband and partner of 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor.  They own Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors in Fountain Hills Arizona and design and build homes in the valley.  To read more about her go to  


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:  Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want the Tools, Tips and Guidance to design and build your custom home, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at

Cheryl Sandella

Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors

PO Box 18132

Fountain Hills, AZ  85269

480.836.1543 – office

480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line








Care-for Linens, Glassware, China and Flatware by Cheryl Sandella

November 21, 2008

CARE – for your Linens, China, Glassware and Flatware

Linen Care:

Did you know that if you iron your stained linens the iron will cook the stain into the fabric?  So be sure to remove all stains before ironing.

I always spritz my linens with water before ironing so the hot iron doesn’t harm the fabric.

To get my napkins crisp, I immerse them in a tub of water and liquid starch.  Then I wring them dry, roll and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Then I iron them flat.  Always iron anything delicate on the reverse side.  Fold and store.  (don’t iron in any creases)

Lipstick stains: rub spot with lemon juice.  Soak in warm water and bleach (if safe for fabric) for five to ten minutes.

Hair spray is good at removing ink.  Place stain on a towel and spray the back of the stain with the hair spray.  The stain should transfer onto the towel.  Launder.

Coffee, tea or soda, soak in cool water.  Use a stain remover or chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric). 

Protein Stains (gravy, egg, blood, cream, milk or ice cream) should be soaked in cold water and enzymes for at least 30 minutes then launder. 

The best way to remove candle wax from the tablecloth is to harden the wax with an ice cube and carefully scrape off with a dull knife.

Red wine stains:  remove with salt then rinse with cold water or use club soda.  Launder

White wine stains: use club soda.  Launder. 

Tomato stains:  rinse with cold water then launder.   

Chocolate stains:  soak in warm water with detergent and bleach (if fabric permits), use a pre-wash stain remover.  Launder


Glassware Care

Water can be damaging to glassware.  If your glassware becomes cloudy or stained give them a bath in warm water with denture powder.  Rinse and dry well.  They will be sparkle!  

Always store glassware dry and in dry places

When I’m washing glassware I line my sink with a towel to avoid breakage

Did you know that you can file small chips on the rim of glasses with an emery board? 

Don’t put lead crystal in the dishwasher.  Hand wash using a mild detergent

Valuable glassware with gold or platinum decoration must be hand washed only!

If you must wash your glassware in the dishwasher then make sure you use a mild detergent, warm water, don’t subject glass to strong temperature changes, mainly too hot or too cold.  Stack glasses carefully so they don’t rub or touch each other. 


China and Porcelain Care

When storing dishes, don’t stack more than eight.  It is best to place a cloth between dishes, coffee filters or paper towels work well too. 

Don’t use scrubbing pads or abrasive powders.  Use mild detergents.

Hand washing is recommended for china because over time dishwashers can dull the surface.

Do not soak bone china it can weaken the china.

Porcelain can be washed in the dishwasher with a mild detergent on a regular or gentle cycle. 

Load the dishware carefully to avoid chipping.

Over sized pieces should be hand washed.

Always check the pattern’s specifications before washing in a dishwasher. 


Flatware – Stainless Steel (18/10) Care

Hand wash in hot water with mild detergent if you want your flatware to retain its brilliance. 

Don’t soak or use abrasives as this will damage the finish. 

Thoroughly dry before storing.   Don’t drip dry it will leave spots. 

Immediately remove food, especially acetic foods because they can cause corrosion.

Polish before using. 


© 2008 Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors LLC.  All rights reserved


About Cheryl: 

Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member, works with her husband and partner of 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor.  They own Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors in Fountain Hills Arizona and design and build homes in the valley.  To read more about her go to     


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:  Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want the Tools, Tips and Guidance to design and build your custom home, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at    

Cheryl Sandella

Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors

PO Box 18132

Fountain Hills, AZ  85269

480.836.1543 – office

480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line


Table Top by Cheryl Sandella of Sandella Custom Interiors

November 20, 2008

Table Top by Cheryl Sandella

Make a Statement this Holiday Season with a Finely Decorated Table

The Holidays are a time to bring family and friends together at the table.  If you’re the host of the celebration than I’m sure you’ll want your table to look its best.   I’ll share some tips here so you can create a beautiful decorated table to be a gift to your guests. 

First start with organization – Organization is the key to a successful dinner party.  Start by cleaning your dinnerware, glassware and polishing your flatware. Then, think about your menu.  Decide how you would like to see the food presented and what table accessories you’re going to use.  Decide on a color scheme and theme.   When I’m deciding on the menu I take the color of the foods into consideration.  I want to make sure I have an array of color that is coordinated, looks beautiful but also looks appetizing. 

Flexible Dinning Area:  You don’t always have to serve dinner in the dining room.  Your dining location should fit your theme.  For example, if you’re just having a quiet holiday dinner for two, why not set up a small table in front of the fireplace in the living room with the chairs facing the fire.  This can be very quaint and romantic.   If you live in a warm climate like I do, you can set up a banquet table for 10 as an outdoor dining room.  If your patio looks onto a swimming pool incorporate the pool into your theme.  You can decorate with votives or garden torches and fill the pool with floating flowers or place potted plants along the pool edge that go with your table centerpiece.  Be creative and include your surroundings as an essential part of your theme. 

Ideas for Table Setting: 

Color and Theme:  I like to have a color scheme and a theme supported by many details.  I want my table to have style and looked put together instead of an overload of chaotic stuff.  Less is more in table setting so there needs to be negative space.  I want my guests to feel comfortable while eating and conversing.  I’m also sure to follow through with the theme from start to finish.   In choosing a color scheme use the colors of the season or you can color coordinate the table with the room’s décor. 

Table Linens – I tend to break the rules when it comes to linens.  I’ll use recycled curtains or sheers, flannel blankets, a matelasse bed coverlet, or a silk scarf as a table covering.  I do use the traditional lines or table runners, but at times I like to be different depending on the theme.   Sometimes I will layer my table linens, scrunch a large scarf in the center or just use plate chargers or place mats.   The tablecloth used for breakfast or lunch should hang six to eight inches down and dinner tablecloth eight to twelve inches down.  You could also get creative with cloth napkins; just make sure the folds are all the same at every setting.  I prefer 100% cotton for informal and linen or damask for formal.

Dinnerware / China:  Use different sizes, shapes and heights for dishes you will be serving from.  Scale the size and shape of serving dishes to the type of food being served.   White dinnerware or china is a must have as it works with everything but for a little flair try using one colorful plate among all the white.   Try mixing formal and rustic.  I’ll coordinate my dinnerware to the colors in the centerpiece. Have fun with this!

The Centerpiece:    Every table needs a focal point and the center of the table is the best place to show off something you’d like seen.  Flowers are the centerpiece of choice but they don’t have to be.  Try using objects such as figurines, small boxes or bowls of different heights, or some natural greenery you pulled out of your garden such as a vine.  The vine can be stretch out to be garland for the center of the table.  Hollow out a pumpkin and fill with seasonal flowers such as dahlias, mums and stems of berries.  If you have an heirloom piece such as a teapot, vase or pitcher, fill it with fresh flowers flanked by candle sticks.  A trio of glass bowls, the center bowl being the largest, filled with seasonal flowers, fruits and stems makes a stunning arrangement for the center of the table.  Be sure the centerpiece is low enough for guests to see across. 

Illuminate:  The glow of candlelight is so important for the table.  Candles create warmth and ambiance.  Candle holders can be formal or informal depending on your theme.  They can be candlesticks, candelabras, hurricane shades, or votives.   If you’re going to use candlesticks or candelabras use the no drip candles.  Also, make sure they are tall enough so they don’t shine in the eyes of your guests.  Scented candles can interfere with the aroma of food so I recommend scentless. 

The Menu:  At times I will use menus.  I type the menu on fancy paper with a themed font.  I will either do individual menus at each place setting or I will display one or two at the heads of the table in a photo frame or photo clip. 

Be Creative:   If you are not serving tea but have some neat cups, use them to serve a pudding, soft desserts or ice cream.  Use martini glasses to serve sorbet, shrimp cocktail or sliced fruit.  Serve appetizers, cranberry sauce or sorbet on tablespoons or Asian soup spoons.  Mix and Match by using unusual containers like metal, exotic wood or glass to present breads and crackers. Use soup urns as flower planters.  Plant flowers in milk glasses or silver beakers and place one at each place setting.  Fill ice trays with fresh or frozen cranberries and water. Freeze and add to water glasses right before guests arrive.  It’s a splash of color for your glassware.  Use what you have and have fun!

Other Tips:

Be sure your table is large enough for the number of guests you’ll be serving. Measure 24” from the center of one place setting to the center of another. 

Before I place the tablecloth on the table I like to use a soft felt underneath.  It will protect the table and also muffle the sounds of platters, dishes and glasses striking the table. 

Place the dinner plate one inch from the table’s edge and center the plate with the chair.

Place the knives and spoons to the right (knife edges pointing at the plate) and forks to the left of the plate.  Place the flatware in accordance to how it will be used beginning from the outside working in towards the plate.  Dessert fork and spoon are placed above the plate.  The coffee spoon should be served with the coffee cup on the saucer.  Place flatware upward.  I sometimes don’t follow these rules and I get creative with the placement of flatware.  The one thing I never do is place flatware on the table that won’t be used. 

Napkins go to the left of the forks or on the center of the dinner plate.  The napkin fold can go either way but just be continuous all around the table. 

Butter plates are placed above the forks with the butter knife on the plate.  I like to make butter shapes using candy molds.  Place the candy mold in ice water until it is cold, and then place the softened butter into the mold.  Gently remove the butter from the mold with the tip of a paring knife.   Arrange the butter molds in a serving dish and place on the table.  I usually do two molds per person. 

Red or white wineglasses and water glasses should be places at the upper right of the dinner plate, at the tip of the knife.  You can arrange the glasses in a group of three but never use more than three glasses at a place setting.  I usually place mine in a triangle in the order they’ll be used. 

Salt and pepper shakers can be place evenly around the table – a pair for two guests.  I like to use the miniature salt and pepper shakers and place a set at each place setting. 

Place cards can be placed on the top of each napkin or dinner plate.  I like to get creative with these too.  Tie the name card on a small fruit stem with ribbon (crab apples or tiny pumpkins work well), personalize a favor box and fill with a petit four or a small treat.  Place a card between the tines of a dessert fork.  Tie a card with ribbon onto a flower bloom or small potted flower.  Use a miniature photo holder – get creative. 

Never place condiments with labels on the table – everything goes into a decanter or serving dish of some sort. 

Never let the complexity of the theme or color scheme exceed the quality of the food being served


Rules to Remember: 

Your water glass is on your right.

Your bread dish is to the left.

When eating bread, break off bite-size pieces instead of biting the whole piece of bread.

Use the utensils from the outside in.

When cutting, hold the knife in your right hand (if right-handed) and the fork in your left.  Place the knife down on your plate and switch the fork to your right hand to eat what has been cut.

After you’ve used a utensil, don’t place it down on the table cloth, put it on your plate. This ensures that the table linens will stay clean.

When you’re done eating, place your knife and fork across your plate pointing to 11:00. 


© 2008 Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors LLC.  All rights reserved


About Cheryl: 

Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member, works with her husband and partner of 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor.  They own Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors in Fountain Hills Arizona and design and build homes in the valley.  To read more about her go to


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:  Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want the Tools, Tips and Guidance to design and build your custom home, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at

Cheryl Sandella

Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors

PO Box 18132

Fountain Hills, AZ  85269

480.836.1543 – office

480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line

Home Office Tips by Cheryl Sandella

October 12, 2008


Home offices are very popular and we plan them in almost every home we design and build.  Home Offices are being designed for work–from-home business owners, personal use and some serve both.  The home office has become a necessity and a convenience for many, especially in today’s telecommuting business world. 




The design and feel of the office should work with the existing flavor of the house.  Some people will just throw a desk and a few file drawers into a room.  It then becomes cluttered and it just doesn’t make a nice environment to work in.  The furnishings in your office should compliment what’s in the other rooms of your house. 

There should be ample room for what you want to achieve in that space.  I like either an L or U shape configuration for the workspace.  I also like to have built-ins to hide most of the equipment.  Lots of file drawers and storage are a must.  If the office is used mainly for pleasure then I like to purchase a unique desk and set it center stage on an area rug with built –ins to the side for display / storage. 

Decisions need to be made if the space will be used as a “dual purpose” room.  I’ve installed Murphy Beds and stored computer equipment in a stylish armoire so the room can double as a guest bedroom.  If this is your plan, and space / budget permits, then I would recommend a private bathroom and a closet that can contain storage for office staples and clothing for the guest.

Some people like their offices to also double as a personal “hang out”.  Many prefer to have a focal point, such as a wall of windows to glance at a mountainous view (which is what I have), a fireplace, or a built in bookcase showcasing photos of loved ones, collections or treasurers from a favorite vacation spot.  I feel it is important to surround yourself with your favorite things.

Create a space of comfort.  Purchasing an ergonomic chair is a must!  Some of the offices I design and decorate feature a sitting area of either two chairs or a small sofa.  Most offices also feature a flat screen TV and piped in music. 

The right color scheme is a must.  Color can have an effect on your mood.  Good colors to choose are green, blue or neutrals.  Other more intense colors like red, yellow or purple can be used as accents.  Green is calming, earthy and easy on the eyes.  Blue is the most versatile color, it is also calming and relaxing.  Red stimulates, yellow energizes and purple can bring out your imagination. 

Lighting is another must.  Over head and task lighting is very important, not only to properly work but to create a nice atmosphere.  I like to put my lights on a dimmer switch.  I also like having a ceiling fan – it helps to keep equipment running cooler too.  Make sure you have enough electrical outlets installed for all of the equipment that will be used.  When I custom design the furniture,  I make sure to hide all of the wires. 

For the full time home office – custom framed cork boards (they come in all colors now) or custom framed white or black boards can be a good idea to hang on the wall to keep track of projects and schedules. 

Art and Décor complete the space so leave some money in your budget for the accessories.  They pull the room together and speak your personality. 

For best results hire a professional.  They will access your needs and make sure you have ample space and a style that fits your personality. 


Custom Home office by Sandella Interiors

Custom Home office by Sandella Interiors



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About Cheryl: 

Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member, works with her husband and partner of 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor.  They own Sandella Custom Homes &Interiors, and Enhance Remodeling in Fountain Hills Arizona.   They design, build and remodel homes in the valley.  To read more about her go to

 WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?  You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:  Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer publishes a monthly eZine called “Bespoke Home”.  If you want Tools, Tips and Guidance to design and build your custom home, be sure to get your complimentary subscription at


Cheryl Sandella

Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors

Enhance Remodeling

PO Box 18132

Fountain Hills, AZ  85269

480.836.1543 – office

480.816.4233 – Cheryl’s personal line