Fete Noir et Gris


I was so taken with the black and white components of last week’s table! So when I volunteered to host an intimate dinner for friends who are running off to New Orleans to get married, I thought I’d use those colors again, this time infused with silvery gray. (Seriously, though…do you really “run off to get married” in your 50s? I’m in my 50s, and it would be more like “leisurely strolling off”…or “limping off.” I actually added the silvery gray to complement our hair color!) 😉  This time the colors are paired with more upscale china, stemware, flatware and other decorative accoutrement. I hope you like it!



There’s just something about decorating with black and white that renders such a profound sense of elegance! Adding touches of gray or pewter or slate seem to make it that much more so.



My sister’s classic Noritake “Whitebrook” china is always a lovely start to conveying formality and tradition. The china is set atop a double layer of chargers – one beaded silver and the other a rhinestone-studded white. Against the black of the table linen, the dishes really stand out. My favorite International Silver “Royal Danish” sterling flatware always looks great on a formal dining table.


When setting a formal dining table, I tend to forego fancy napkin folds and just go with something fairly staid. Adding a sheer silver organza beneath the black adds a bit of flair. The clustered dragon tear napkin rings add a bit more shine without going too far overboard.


These “Bella” wine stems from Z Gallerie are fast becoming a new favorite! The top color reminds me of the color of mercury in the old maximum thermometers. Very sultry!


Each person’s place is marked with a faux mother-of-pearl and rhinestone frame.




Million star gypsophila (a.k.a. “baby’s breath”) makes an airy, elegant statement in this ornately carved silver floral vessel. Baby’s breath floral arrangements are really quite striking and very easy to assemble using floral foam to keep them well-hydrated. (See this silver piece used again at “Rhapsody In Blue.)


I found this fabulous “Josephine” table runner in velvety soft pewter at Z Gallerie. I love the gentle scrolling.



The table’s look is finished off with a couple of “lamps” which are actually tall silver candlesticks with ornately beaded shades from….drumroll!…Old Time Pottery!!!  The shade design elements complement the place card frames. The lamps are illuminated using LED votive candles on a follower. (Tip #20)

Other tablescapes on this site using baby’s breath:
Shake, Rattle & Roll ‘Em!
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Ideas For Throwing A Winter Dessert Party

This would also make a great New Year’s Eve tablescape!!!

I’m teaming up again with Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursdays. After perusing my photos, you’re invited to join us there!

50 thoughts on “Fete Noir et Gris

  1. Alycia.. you’ve blown me away. I love using the shades on the table! What a lovely idea. I love that runner too. Wow it’s so beautiful and classy. Your silver, dishes and stems are perfect with each other. the centerpiece is absolutely stunning! Anyone who sits here would feel like royalty. Fabulous…. a masterpiece!


    • Hi, Marlis! Thank you!!! They had a good time despite my repeated referrals to how old we all have gotten! I love using lamps on the table. Unless you are using a patio table with a hole in the middle of both the table and the linen to run electricity, it can be tricky to use lamps. (Although I have used real lamps with “puffy” runners to hide the cords.) This was a fun table to do! Have a good one!


  2. Alycia,
    You’ve done it again! An elegant tablescape filled with just the right amount of bling to make it sparkle and yet remain understated. Well done!


    • Hey, Denise! I actually just purchased the lamp shades a few weeks ago at Old Time Pottery here in the Kansas City, MO area. They were $12.99 apiece. I HAVE had the candlesticks for years (used to rent them in my fine rentals business), but you can use just about any candlesticks. Be sure to take one with you when you go shopping for shades so you can be sure the proportion is right. As for the followers, take a look on the “Table Tips” page to see what they look like. You can probably pick those up at a store like Hobby Lobby, I’m guessing. Again, I bought them wholesale a thousand years ago, so I’m not sure exactly where to get them retail. Oh, by the way…you can also use wine bottles in place of candlesticks! Hope this helps! 🙂


  3. Alycia!!! This is beautiful! And your blog is amazing! I clicked to see more and I am so impressed with your organization and your tips, and the beautiful tables you have set! I like the idea of converting the candlesticks with that “device” and the LEDs and the shades! I will be back to explore more! Linda


  4. I think those shades together are so gorgeous and elegant. Timelessly chic!!! You have a wonderful post–how kind of you to throw the couple a dinner party!

    Thanks so much for your kind comment on my post!!



  5. You have put us all in the shade today with those fancy lamps today. Seriously this looks like a fancy supper club with jazz playing in the background and all sorts of glamourous movie stars in attendance! I love everything!


    • YOU are much too kind! Thank you!!!! I know I felt kinda fancy sitting there all evening. Really hated to tear it down at evening’s end. But there’s always next time…! Thanks so much, and have a wonderful week!


  6. This is a very pretty table scape! I would like to invite you to link this up to my new link party, Masterpiece Monday, at Boogieboard Cottage. The link will be up all week. Take care, Mary :O)


  7. This table is just gorgeous. I adore the black and silver napkins paired with the beautiful napkin rings. The tall lamps really add to the drama of the table. How fun to have the placecard in a frame that dresses it up just a bit more. Fun and flirty yet elegant. I think in my 50s I could still run off someplace warm and romantic! Maybe not my 70s, but we will see!!!


    • Hey, Christine! I have seen pictures of you, and you are VERY youthful-looking. I can see how you were still able to “run” off and get married in your 50s! Again…I would have to hobble at this point! 🙂 Have a great week, young lady!


  8. Ms. A, I adore this table and I LOVE Old Time Pottery. Quick question, I liked the doubling up on chargers, is this to add demension to the table or color? Should you only do it for a formal table? You are still my She-Ro. Tell Ms. Sherry I said hi. Have a good day?


    • Ebony!!!!!!!! Hi, baby!!! How are you??!?!?!! I think about you every time I go to the Price Chopper near you! I hope you, Steve, and the kids are doing well. I double up on the chargers for both dimension and color. It’s really not a traditional formal table practice, but the rules have relaxed a lot. It’s more important to me for a table to be interesting than “correct.” I’ve doubled up on chargers on a couple of other tables that have made the cut to the blog (See https://tabletwentyone.wordpress.com/fun-stuff/ – “Proud as a Peacock” and https://tabletwentyone.wordpress.com/wedding/ – “Rhapsody in Blue”). The salad plates are on top of the dinner plate just for the photos, but removed before guests arrive to chill in the fridge so as to keep the salad cold & crisp. The dinner plates are also removed and put in the warmer so the entree will stay hot longer. All that remains when guests sit down are the 2 chargers. The first one remains throughout the appetizer course (not to be confused with hors d’oeuvres which are served during cocktail hour), and then is removed at the conclusion of that course. The second one is there for the salad or soup course and then removed at the end of that. There is no charger (as formality dictates) for the entree or dessert courses. Of course, you can relax those rules however you wish, especially if the chargers are really fabulous and you want them to stay throughout the entire meal! It’s 2011…go for whatever makes you feel good! Love you! Have a great weekend!!!


  9. Alycia, yes I do like it a lot! And do you know what I really like? I am in love with those silver sheer napkins and also with the little feet on the candlesticks among other things. It’s funny how one or two things will just grab me, and those were mine this time. The whole scheme works perfectly, and I love how you matched it to the bride’s hair. 😉 You are too funny. And yes, at this age, I’m more like ambling off to NOLA! LOL!


    Sheila 🙂


  10. Hi Lady A,

    Am always late but at least I came to visit you, anyways. Just too much to cope with family, the holidays & of course the winter sickness stroke D´Nics and it’s hard to rid of it. Cough & colds are really a pain…

    Anyhow… OMG… what an elegant settings. TY as always for giving me the American inspirations. So much to blend in my 2 styles but I am loving with the 3rd one.

    Have a blessed week, dear…


    • Hi, sweet Chie! I hope everyone in your household feels better soon! I know what you mean about the crazy holidays, etc. Very hard to keep up with everything. Thank you so much for being such a sweetheart to stop by! I’m so glad you like the tablescape! Take good care of yourself, and I hope to talk to you again soon from halfway across the world!


  11. So glad that I stopped by this evening. Gorgeous, sophisticated tablescape…perfectly suited for the event. I’m going to dig out the candle holders and add my LED votives…what a great idea…can’t believe that I’ve never thought of it. Using the followers with regular candles just always came with more issues than I was willing to tackle. Thanks for sharing your lovely design. Cherry Kay


  12. Thought his table was created a very long time ago but I can’t stop my hand in writing a simple complement with what you did here. The table is so fabulous and elegant. You are awesome and that what I like on your blog co’z I found a lot of inspirations especially on tablescaping. You are heaven sent to us. 😉


  13. Pingback: Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve « Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  14. Pingback: Platinum New Year’s Eve Wedding | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  15. Pingback: Be Still My Heart – A Valentine’s Day Tablescape | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  16. Pingback: My Sister’s Wedding China | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  17. Pingback: Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  18. Pingback: Shake, Rattle & Roll ’em! | Tablescapes at Table 21

  19. Pingback: Dinner For the Ladies In Waiting | Tablescapes at Table 21

  20. Pingback: Ringing in the New Year | Tablescapes at Table 21

  21. Pingback: Smoke & Mirrors – Sensational at 70 | Tablescapes at Table 21

  22. Pingback: Butterfly Bleu – The Grand Resurgence of Melamine | Tablescapes at Table 21

  23. Pingback: Celebrating the Return of “Downton Abbey” 2022 with Quotes from the Dowager Countess | Tablescapes at Table /Twenty-One

  24. Pingback: White Glove Service | Tablescapes at Table /Twenty-One

Thank you for visiting. If you would care to leave a comment about this post, please do! I appreciate the feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.