This weekend, Jaithan and I were visiting friends up in Hyde Park, New York, right along the Hudson River, not too far from where I went to culinary school.


For years now, one of my favorite places to go antiquing every time I
visit the area is The Hyde Park Antiques Center, a sprawling,
multi-dealer operation with lots of great stuff at reasonable prices.


As soon as I walked in, I saw this gorgeous chandelier, a 1950s reproduction of a French antique. How pretty would this be in a foyer or sophisticated master bedroom? With Thanksgiving just around the corner, this piece would also make such a striking statement over a dining room table, don't you think?


Even more striking would be a table set with these beautiful black, yellow and white transferware plates.


When I turned them over to check out the markings, my jaw dropped: Tiffany and Co! Can you believe it? I wish there had been an entire set! They really would set the most incredible table for an elegant autumn dinner party. 


This Spode leaf dish is actually quite similar to one I already have. In fact, I just used it for a fall dinner party a few weeks ago. Now that I've started a new collection, I'm hoping to find enough to do a grouping on the wall. I think they'd be so stunning in a dining room, don't you?


This platter totally reminded me of the black and white transferware one from last week. Both have that Asian-inspired pattern of bamboo and cherry blossoms. For the holidays, how perfect is this piece for serving something super elegant, like Pomegranate-Glazed Duck Breast?


Antique linens are such an easy way to change up your holiday table settings. I loved how much pride this dealer took in their collection. Each bundle of napkins was tied with a ribbon in a coordinating color. What a great hostess gift!


A box of silverware, and oh how I love to dig!


Check out what I found! Serving forks and a carving set perfect for adding vintage charm to a Thanksgiving table.


This large wooden bowl I loved for its scale. How great would this be for serving a delicious wild rice at Thanksgiving? The dark wood tones would really complement the colors in the rice. Talk about vintage charm!


I'm such a huge fan of vintage Fire King, and this polka dot punch bowl totally reminded me of a set of nesting bowls I have. In fact, ebay has a few right now. For a holiday party with plenty of retro charm, this piece would be perfect for serving brandied egg nog (emphasis on the brandy), don't you think?


Pair it with these adorable red and white checked napkins that Jaithan found and it's a match made in heaven! Or at least Hyde Park!


Every great holiday table needs a centerpiece. My advice? Keep it simple, so as not to overwhelm the eye with too much. Here's one idea using this etched crystal centerpiece bowl I found. The top part I'd fill with flowers; the bottom, fruits and nuts. Come Christmas, sugared fruits are especially beautiful because they look like frost!


As a chef, I adore vintage tins and cookware, so this old copper mold with a pretty spiral design definitely stood out. After its polished, what a perfect vessel for a Thanksgiving centerpiece. I'm thinking burgundy and orange dahlias, perhaps some bittersweet. What about you? 


It's not often you find an entire punch bowl set, and even though this one's not super old, I still think it has a lot of charm. But punch bowls aren't just for punch! I'd use it for serving salad at a big holiday buffet. I can also see it on a pedestal table in a foyer, filled with a big beautiful arrangement of red and white variegated carnations, dusty miller and holly. With all that holiday entertaining you're planning to do, couldn't you use a little drama in your decorating?


For a less dramatic but equally intriguing centerpiece, this collection of glass vessels would be perfect. I know they look a little like glass Legos, but stay tuned—these Legos are going to make the most stunning holiday centerpiece!


Even though I was in holiday entertaining mode, I couldn't resist a couple of furniture pieces with knockout potential. First, check out this reproduction of an antique highboy. Personally, I don't care for the wood tone, but the lines I think are great. If it were up to me, I'd lacquer it high gloss black, line the drawers in velvet, then use it in a dining room for all my linens and serving utensils. How chic is that?


This old Chippendale-style wing chair I thought was great too. Sofas aren't the only slightly unconventional but totally interesting way of sitting around a dining table! A wing chair like this would be great, especially if it were updated with a fun, modern fabric, like this one from Rubie Green by my friend Michelle Adams.


So that was it for Jaithan and me, but just before heading out, I spotted this basket full of old wall shelves.


Wouldn't they be great painted, then grouped together over a fireplace with a collection of, say, Japanese porcelain? I think collections are such an important way of adding a personal layer to any living space. What do you collect and how do you display them? I'd love to hear about it.