Cherry Blossoms

Before the cherry blossom season gets away from us, I wanted to slip this little post in under the wire. I’ve had these Royal Stafford cherry blossom dinner plates for years and have never used them for anything. It’s about time I remedy that!

Royal Stafford cherry blossom plates in a demure pink remind me of the opera I’ve been listening to the past couple of days: Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly”. I’ve seen this opera in person at the Lyric here in downtown Kansas City, and it is magical! The natural choice of flatware here was this (faux) bamboo in the darker color that mirrors the stems in the cherry blossoms on the dinner plates.

I found this elegant yet simple gold tone pagoda candleholder at a local home furnishings boutique. Dipping into obscure shops really pays off sometimes!

My Mom had a pair of these that she picked up in her extensive travels. She still had the price tag on one of them, and I nearly fainted. They’re pretty, but still…!!! Geez, Mom…that’s a car payment!!!

Gold-rimmed stemware works well with the gold leafed chargers and pagodas.

These delicately blown glass vases are from Nell Hills a few years back. They are rice paper thin!

LOOK!!! A new bar cart!!! I put the mid-century cart in our library, and this smaller 3-tiered beauty from World Market is perfect for this corner!

The pink ceramic cake pedestal hails from Home Goods this year.

If you’d like to see a few more Asian-style tablescapes on this blog, check these out!

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you were able to find some inspiration for your own table designs!
Please remember to follow me on Instagram!

Wildflower Easter

Here is the 3rd of 3 tablescapes I’m considering for Easter Sunday…and just in the nick of time! I’ll have to decide by Friday so that I can get the ball rolling! If YOU have a favorite of the last 3 posts, please drop me a comment to let me know which most tickles your fancy! I’ll combine your votes with those from my Instagram account for the final decision!

The inspiration for this tablescape came from my Mikasa Stone Craft dishes in mixed and matched hues of mauve, pistachio, cornflower, and green. SO MANY tablescaping opportunities with a mix!

The Mikasa plates and mugs are paired up with 222 Fifth Bunny Land bowls (Home Goods) that also have varied color checkerboard rims to mix and match.

Bright lavender napkins from LinenTablecloth.com sprout from each coffee mug, and the egg cups are filled with pastel M&Ms that mimic the melange of colors in the dishes and centerpiece.

The mix/match of dish colors at each place setting is unified with uniform white ceramic and rattan chargers, bamboo stainless flatware, napkins, egg cups, and glass cloches from Nell Hills in Kansas City, MO.

The “grass” centerpiece, purchased for a mere $10 at an estate sale some years ago, has been punched up with a variety of Spring “wildflowers” in colors that complement the dishes. You’ll notice the same daisies on the plates are in the centerpiece to tie it all together.

On the vitrine behind the dining table are colorful cupcakes (in cupcake cups and on a ceramic cake pedestal from Home Goods/TJ Maxx) with another small arrangement of daisies. (All flowers used in this post are faux for demonstration purposes. I’ll use the real deal for my Sunday tablescape!)

So…take a peek back at the other 2 entries – “Lettuce Talk About Easter” and “Artichoke Easter” – then let me know which is your favorite. I’ll post the winner!

Looking for more Easter tablescape inspiration? Look no further! See if one of these floats your boat!:

Artichoke Easter

If you’ve still not decided what to do for your Easter Sunday table, I hope this will serve as inspiration and a jump start! I’m still test driving Easter tablescapes, and no, still no dining chairs…or area rugs…or artwork.😢

The inspiration for this tablescape? “Tivoli Garden” dishes by Mikasa! Wildflowers casually dancing around the dish rims make this pattern an easy one to fall for. I also slid a green cabbage plate from Bordallo Pinheiro and a lacy white plate from Pier 1 into the stack. Faux bamboo flatware, pastel napkins gathered with butterfly napkin rings, and aubergine Z Gallerie stemware complete the place setting.

This table for five has an offset centerpiece that allows the table to look more balanced and provides center space for placing serving dishes. The “centerpiece” itself is more utilitarian, too, serving as a functioning dessert prep area. M&Ms on ice cream…yeah, baby!!! (Serving dishes from Home Goods)

Ranunculus in a small white vase provides color and texture on the vitrine. The cake stand is from Home Goods.

I’ve got one more of three Easter tablescapes to consider before making my final decision on Friday. (First one was Lettuce Talk About Easter.) I’ll post the final one tomorrow! Meanwhile, I hope you’re a lot farther ahead in your planning than I am…and that you have chairs!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Remember…you can also follow me on Instagram!
For more Easter tablescape inspiration on this blog, check out:

Lettuce Talk About Easter!

I don’t know where 2021 is on its way to so fast, but it sure is putting the pedal to the metal! I can’t believe it’s almost April!!! If you’re still looking for Easter tablescape ideas, I hope this post will help get your creativity wheels in motion. I’m still awaiting delivery of our new dining room chairs and artwork, so please just continue to overlook the absence! BTW, I’m also on Instagram now, so please find and follow me! (tablescapes_at_table_21 or Alycia Rodriguez Nichols, or just click on the Instagram block to your right on this page!)

Pink and green with shots of yellow prevail on this bunny-laden tablescape.

Bordallo Pinheiro green cabbage plates and bowls (tuesday Morning) take center stage atop plain white ceramic chargers (Old Time Pottery). White ceramic bunnies hold a head of seasonal lettuce and a few blooms, while the place settings on each end get a cupcake! Soft pink napkins (Bed Bath & Beyond) anchor each place setting.

Gold flatware complements the gold lining of the bunnies’ ears. Green stems are from Pier 1 and both styles of the pink glassware are from Home Goods/TJ Maxx.

The beautiful thing about these bunnies is that you can fill them up with everything from flowers to falafel! Here, faux heads of Romaine lettuce are styled with pink carnations and ranunculus.

I think these laid out bunnies are the only Easter think I bought this season. They’re from Home Goods, and I’m sorry they only had 2. I would have like to have 4 more for dinner parties to serve salads or appetizers, or even dessert! How fancy would THAT be?!!

I bought this long, low wooden piece from Nell Hills several years ago but have never used it. While doing some spring cleaning, I rescued it from the bowels of my flower decorating space. It’s filled with faux (although you could certainly go with the real stuff and cook with it all the next week!) cabbages and artichokes along with soft pink carnations and ranunculus to complement the place setting arrangements.

On the vitrine awaits dessert in fun cupcake holders from Home Goods to be served on more Bordallo Pinheiro plates.

I’m really trying to do better about blogging, but I have so much trouble sitting for very long. I promise to do better, and will have a couple of additional Easter posts in the coming days. Have a fabulous, safe, and blessed Holy Week!

More Easter tablescapes on this blog that you might enjoy include:

Chinoiserie Chic – Classic Blue & White for Spring or Summer

I’ve been floating the idea of bringing a blue & white chinoiserie motif into our dining room. The colors and pattern are classic, and I could work with them all year round. (See Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White from 2017 and Mandarin Bling from 2011.) This is my Spring and Summer take on it! (NOTE: Our dining room is currently undergoing redecorating. These pics were snapped before that arduous process kicked in.)

I kept the table bare to better showcase the contrast in colors.

Although I have several blue & white dish patterns, this Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” is my favorite. This time around it is paired up with Godinger “Chelsea” crystal and black faux bamboo flatware. The extra special touch…gorgeous cloches from Nell Hills in Kansas City, Mo.!!! I wasn’t so thrilled with the white wicker tray, but Liz (Home & Gardening With Liz) convinced me to not spray paint them…yet! Under each cloche is a starched white linen napkin and a beautiful porcelain elephant from Pier 1 Imports.  Small pink blossoms are added to break up the blue & white.

I like to add in lots of detail, color, texture, and varying heights for centerpieces. Silver candelabra with towering white metal case candles (for safety!) are surrounded by white Foo dogs, floating orchids, and greenery in white ceramic vases. The small floral branches alongside the bowls  help to elongate the centerpiece.

A small white foo dog with another Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” plate graces the sconces in the dining room.

The buffet behind the dining table is laden with various blue & white pieces I’ve collected over the years.  Some are filled with orchids, while others hold small cherry blossom branches and tulips. To further tie the florals on the buffet and dining table together, I added more vases of greenery.

Do you like classic patterns, or do you lean more toward contemporary styles?

If you’d like to see more tablescapes in blue & white on this site:
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Peony Power
Blue & White Family Picnic
Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells
Christmas In the Library 2020
Tall & Toile, Y’all!
Autumn Flourishes 2017
Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White
Candy Colored Autumn
Summer Blues…and Greens!
Mother’s Day Brunch

If you don’t already, I’d be delighted to have you follow me on Instagram! I’m slowly but surely learning how to use it!

Christmas 2020 – Bedrooms and Dressing Room

Well, it’s crunch time! So here are the last photos of our home for the Christmas 2020 season! Our bedroom suite and one of the bedrooms are good to go! And for a little something-something extra, there are pics at the end of the outside décor which netted us 2nd place in our neighborhood Christmas decorating contest!

Also, folks, I still have absolutely NO idea what I’m doing with this new version of WordPress, so please bear with me. I keep losing content, thinking I’ve posted one thing but it turns out to be something totally different. It’s so aggravating!!! I’ll try my best to get better for upcoming posts.

INSPIRATION:

My inspiration was a little different this year. With in-person shopping and other activities severely curtailed, I’ve found myself spending a lot more time upstairs in my bedroom and office over the last 9 months.

Top of the stairs with a peek into one of our guest bedrooms. I decided to keep the décor more traditional in the hallway and guest room as a smooth segue from the entry hall down below.

The vintage tray belonged to my Mom. She bought it from a swanky store called The House of Modern back in the late 50s/early 60s.

My final Pier 1 purchase before they closed the doors on the brick & mortar stores: battery operated candles with VERY realistic flames. The sign on top was a gift from my Mom.

This guest bedroom is my favorite in that I have had many treasured guests bunk in here. While there can be no guests in this year of COVID, I still wanted to treat the space to a few decorative goodies. I really like the double wreaths at the foot of the bed!

Our bedroom décor is fairly simple this year. I was starting to run out of steam! I love this little “Charlie Brown” Scandinavian-style tree. Something about it always makes me smile. The ornaments are always kept to a minimum on it. A decorated swag is perched atop the armoire and gracefully hangs down one side. I used 2 sizes of lights to give it depth. Layered shades of white all over the bed make it so inviting!

Finally, my dressing room/closet! I’ve wanted to decorate it in pink for a long time, and this year I just went for it! I already had the French poodle (longtime readers may remember her from my “French Poodle” tablescape back in 2013 and my 60th birthday celebration “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” in 2018), the pink feather boa I used as a tree skirt, the Paris sign I used as part of the topper, and the hat box. They were the inspiration for this space. I found the fun poodle and Eiffel Tower ornaments at Walmart this year, so that sealed the deal! A long strand of pink lights along the top shelving illuminates the room and makes me feel ultra-feminine!

And that concludes the inside Christmas décor for 2020!!! If you’d like to see bedroom décor from a previous holiday, check out “Waking Up To Christmas“. Keep scrolling down if you would like to see pics of the outside that garnered us 2nd place in the subdivision contest. The photos really don’t do it justice at all, but what the heck!

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM OUR HOME TO YOURS!!!!!!!!!

Christmas in the Library 2020

Again…not a lot of words. (I am STILL trying to understand this newest version of WordPress, and I’m not doing very well! I keep losing content!😳)

INSPIRATION:

Newly installed hardwoods on the main floor of our home that REALLY open up the space! (And yes…those stairs are next!)

I love this year’s tree in the library! The traditional red and gold are so pretty, and the bold ornaments on the tree really stand out as something special! I used bright red drums and burnished gold stars on the tree and stairwell décor, and this year’s library tree is topped with a vintage topper that has a very nostalgic feel to it. Instead of ribbon, I went with generously sized metal “ribbon” banners all over the tree that say “Merry Christmas”.

So now THIS is the view from the entryway with a clean segue from the hall to each room. I’m in the market for a striking area rug for this space, but so far nothing has wooed me enough to take that plunge. The gallery wall in here has been replaced with a single oversized mirror, and the vitrine on the south wall – now relegated to the dining room – is gone. In its place, a behemoth 9’H x 8’W structure filled with my favorite blue and white dishes!!! I’m going to have a BLAST in the coming years redefining this piece over and over again. I have an uplight trained on it for the interim this holiday season but will be adding permanent lighting inside over the winter months. The lumbar pillow is from a terrific place in Kansas City’s West Bottoms called The Painted Sofa. If you want to do some serious shopping for home décor, THAT’S the place to go!!!

The secretary remains on the north wall, now semi-permanently decorated with more from my blue & white collection. The big foot tub is filled with Jeffrey pine cones with a trailing evergreen garland and a sprig of red berries. The tea/bar cart from the dining room has found new digs in the library to display a few more blue & white pieces that look so pretty with the greenery and red accents at Christmastime!

I haven’t been able to put this oversized photo of my Mom into storage just yet, so here it sits. I created a little tree with cardinals to commemorate my parents that includes a very thoughtful ornament my sister sent. Next year when I’m a little less raw I’ll create a fully decorated tree to honor both my parents and Ramon’s.

Santa is on his way around the world!

The foyer table leading into the family room is heavily decorated (again!) this year. Colossal red temple jars a from Nell Hills flank a traditionally-styled clock given to my Dad some years back. Lighted greenery garland, a small bowl filled with pine cones, and peppermint trees fill out the space. A jovial Merry Christmas banner found its way to the lower front side of the table.

I chose a voluptuous blue & white vase from my stash for the high boy in the foyer. A tall spray of red berries and an evergreen skirt make it extra special, and the convex mirror behind the arrangement doubles back the striking image.

A traditionally styled chair that once sat in my Mom’s senate office now graces the entryway of our home. It is festooned with evergreen garland and a fun Christmas sign, another easy and inexpensive way to add little touches around the house.

If you would like to see images of library and foyer décor from Christmas in the recent past, check out “Better Late Than Never, Part II“.

Thanks for stopping by!

Christmas in the Kitchen 2020

I’m especially pleased with the kitchen this year! I spend so much time in there (always!), and I wanted it to be as festive as possible. And for those of you keeping score…yes, the woodwork has been painted white, the walls pale grey. And the floors have been refinished. BIG, MESSY, expensive job, but necessary.

INSPIRATION:

I’ve been churning out SO MANY desserts this Christmas. Baking has been Job 1…which has made exercising Job 2!

A compilation of leftover decorative items made special with the addition of lighted “snowballs” and bright berries.

We have a light-filled eat-in kitchen area that is so nice to spend time enjoying the view as well as the food. The bunny, Barton, is a perennial staple, changing his “uniform” on a whim for Easter, Christmas, summer, fall….you name it! To see other holiday décor where Barton the bunny makes his mark, check out “Better Late Than Never – Christmas 2016, Part 1“, “Spring & Easter Around the House“, “Easter Bloom“, “Easter Brunch“, and “Barton’s Easter Brunch“.

The combination of a Spiced Gingerbread candle from Bath & Body Works, gingerbread houses, and the gingerbread bakery pot for the little jingle bell-filled tree left me no choice but to ACTUALLY BAKE gingerbread! I hadn’t made any since…what, maybe high school???

The towel hanging on the side of the table says “Sorry for What I Said During the Football Game”. It’s a gift from my super cool friend, Liz, at Home & Gardening With Liz. She knows my rabid (and perhaps a teensy bit unhealthy!) affection for my hometown Kansas City Chiefs all too well!

This little area is always fun to decorate, but especially at Christmas when I can go completely overboard! A simple string of 50 white lights adds a glow beyond that of the the Hot Cocoa & Cream candle from Bath & Body Works. (This candle REALLY smells like cocoa!!!) The peppermint trees add color and are continued across the room in the kitchen windows.

This 4-ft. tree is laden with ornaments that represent my time spent in the kitchen at Christmas. I found the little rolling pins in the woodworks department at Hobby Lobby. The checkered “Merry Christmas” ornaments are actually just gift tags. The crystal platter behind the snowman chef in the window is from my late Mom’s Mikasa collection.

Other touches around the kitchen include small trees and boxwood wreaths EVERYWHERE!!! I added red jingle bells, like the ones on the breakfast bar tree, to each teapot already situated on the window shelves. The boxwood wreaths and peppermint candy trees add more color and texture to the space. The top of the refrigerator gets a simple greenery arrangement that can continue to enhance the space throughout the winter months.

Our little half bath off the kitchen even gets a little something-something for Christmas! The little ornament on the tree is from my good friend (from way back in high school!), Joan Payne Walter, who said she saw it and thought it looked just like me. It IS dressed like me, too. Wild!

That’s it for the kitchen. Next post we head upstairs to the primary bedroom suite and guest bedroom. I just HAD TO spread a little cheer up there, too! Don’t worry…after Christmas the posts will be much fewer and farther apart!

If you’d like to check out other fun Christmas kitchen posts on this blog, try “Better Late Than Never – Part 4“, “Christmas Coffee“, and “Timberland Christmas“. If black & white buffalo check is your jam, peek in on “Better Late Than Never – Part 2“, “Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme“, and “Black & White Barnyard Breakfast“.

Christmas 2020 – Family Room & Doggie Christmas Tree

Time is running out! Five days ’til Christmas!!! Quick…Here are pics of our 2020 family room!!!

Our family room is newly painted a refreshingly bright white, and now decorating is a breeze! The fireplace and built-in bookcase area is adorned with two trees brought over from my Mom’s house that I outfitted in glitzy red ornaments. With the trees and bookcases seeming so busy, I kept the mantel simple with a wood Merry & Bright sign kept merry & bright with a single strand of white lights. (I am BIG on applying a strand of 20 or 50 lights here and there for impact!) Milk & cookies await Santa’s arrival.

The shadow box was a gift from my friend/neighbor, Barbara, after one of my infamous spine surgeries. I LOVE it!

We recently added this spacious metal armoire to the family room. Because it is black, lighter elements show best, and it’s the perfect candidate for lots of twinkle lights. I planted flickering LED candles in the 2 white urns to light it on multiple levels. Next to the armoire is our dog’s tree! Sebastian has been a very good boy this year, so I created his own personal Christmas tree. (Thank goodness he hasn’t hiked his leg and peed on it!) Down front is a moss dog holding a basket filled with berries. I have 2 of these, used first in the post “Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous” back in 2014.

The bar area always seems dark despite the new coat of white paint and all the reflective glass and mirror there. A simple strand of 20 white lights intertwined among the liquor bottles literally shines a whole new light on the situation. It doesn’t take much…just 20 little lights!

I promise I’ll do better in future posts. I’m just in a time crunch right now with several more rooms to go! Thanks for hanging in there with me as I gingerly wade back into the Land of Blog!

This year’s mantel décor is intentionally spartan, but if you’d like to see past Christmas mantels that are more generously decked for the holidays, check out “Christmas 2012“, “Christmas 2016“, “Cardinal Christmas“, “Contemporary Christmas” (still a teensy bit spartan by comparison to some others), and “Celebrate the Season“. Each has its own unique flavor…a little something for everyone!

See ya tomorrow with Christmas in the Kitchen. I think you’ll like it!

12 Days of Christmas Dining Room for the Christmas That Wasn’t

So…my first real post after a 2+ year absence. Hmmmm…I think I’m just going to let the photos do most of the talking. I’m still feeling this whole new WordPress thing out, but I decorated inside and out like it was 1999! No matter that parties and teas and luncheons will not take place here in these times of COVID-19. This is for US…for you! I’ll start with the Twelve Days of Christmas dining room and then move through the rest of the house in follow-up posts.

DESIGN INSPIRATION:

“12 Days of Christmas” dinnerware from the Better Homes & Gardens Christmas collection purchased 2 years ago but first used this season.

The pink dresses worn by the “9 ladies dancing” on the dinnerware drove the color scheme this year. I did my best to incorporate other elements from the song on the table including the “swans a-swimming” (the white porcelain swan centerpiece and the Limoges salt & pepper cellars), the “geese a-laying” (salt & pepper shakers my Mom brought back from her Bucket List trip to Dubai in early 2019), the gold (numbered napkin) rings, the partridge, and pears. The candelabra are from my days as a fine rental shop owner. As I’m still trying (without much luck) to select new dining room chairs, ballroom chairs with metallic gold covers fill the void.

I have never bought flocked trees because of the mess, but this year I couldn’t resist. Pencil trees are my jam now as a space saving measure, and these fit nicely in the dining room. Ornaments pick up the bright, festive colors from the dinnerware and include the “ladies dancing” (with a nod to Misty Copeland) and various wind instruments representing the “pipers piping.” The large gold metal reindeer have been used in other Christmas settings past including on the porch for “Better Late Than Never, Part 1”, flanking the single large tree for “Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner“, and actually ON THE DINING TABLE for our “Christmas Progressive Dinner” back in 2011. A smaller version of the big boy reindeer makes an appearance here atop a storage chest on a silver tray filled with festive fruit, lights, and greenery.

The vitrine that was in our library for 15 years has now taken up residence in the dining room. Makes serving before and after dinner drinks (the norm if you’re a guest here for dinner!) much more convenient.

The smaller china cabinet on the east wall gets the full lighted greenery treatment that snakes through the collection of aluminum vessels, some filled with faux pears for the season. Inside, a simple pair of small evergreens (with more geese a-laying!) add a touch of Christmas. A trio of rustic evergreens tucked on the side of the cabinet add even more light to that corner.

That’s it for the dining room! It’s getting pretty close to Christmas, so I guess I’ll have to hustle it up getting the other rooms posted. See you soon!

If you’d like to see more Christmas settings from years past, just scroll down to “Christmas” under Categories toward the top of the sidebar to the right. You’ll pull up 30+ holiday entries from which to choose including a couple of my all-time favorites, “Black, White & Red All Over” and “Tartan on the Tee“. If you’re specifically looking for more pink-infused Christmas celebrations, pop over to my 2012 dining room, “Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas” or a little something-something from 2014 called “Confectionery Christmas” both of which are very kid-friendly.

Thanks for seeing me through my return to blogging!
I hope to see you again and again in the coming months!