Little Black Dress

I’m back this week and feeling pretty good now. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to drop me a note of encouragement during my illness. I felt very much loved! And my husband extends his thanks for your patience with him as well. I’m afraid to ask just what that means! 😉

Congratulations once again to the winner of the Mikasa “Daylight” Giveaway, Marlis Bennett of Creative Journeys!!! All the entries were beautiful and creative, and it pained me deeply that only one person could win. But since those were the contest rules, Marlis was awarded the grand prize and I tip my hat to her. Enjoy, Marlis!

This week’s tablescape is in response to Angela who requested help via Facebook with designing a sleek, sophisticated, uncluttered and inexpensive tablescape for entertaining a prospective client. Tall order, Angela! All that and inexpensive??!?!! Well, here ya go…my interpretation of what that might look like.
(Photos taken in low light for dramatic film noir effect!)

IMG_0620WMI considered what I wear when I’m looking to convey sleek sophistication, and nothing fills that bill like a little black dress! So the table is dressed in a sultry black linen.

Accessories? I usually put on either pearls or understated diamonds and finish off the look with a dramatic slick of juicy red lipstick. There’s my inspiration for this black and red tablescape!


img_0618wm.jpgSleek silver chargers are topped with an inexpensive crystal clear dinner and salad plate (the diamonds) from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Simple and cost effective clear water and wine glasses keep pace with the simplicity of the place setting. (I buy these in bulk from Old Time Pottery and Pier 1.) A simply folded black napkin rests on top of the stack to quietly bring the drama of the black closer to the surface of the tablescape.

IMG_0633WMSleek, unadorned J. A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless flatware finishes each place setting.


Here’s where that slick of ruby red lipstick comes in: brightly colored tulips submerged in glass spheres, anchored with black river rock. Smaller, similarly shaped votive holders extend the candlelight from the floaters in the floral arrangements. A little river rock is added to the bottom of the votive holders for design consistency. (River rock in various colors can be purchased at craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. The same goes for the glass spheres which can be used for myriad tabletop designs. Both are on sale for 50% off about every 6 weeks, so watch the sale ads and pick up twice as much for the price!) Flowers submerged in glass vases allows for an impressive look without the expense of the numbers needed for full bouquets.

The uncluttered design on the table continues on the buffet surface with just the bare necessities. For as much money as you save on the cool red and black tablescape, you can afford to serve a little caviar during cocktails. Nothing complements a little black dress like caviar and champagne! 😉 (My friend enjoyed this caviar – despite the availability of my well-stocked wine fridge – with a bottle of Yoo-hoo after I photographed it. I’m sorry, but no matter how hard I try I just can’t get with the whole raw fish thing! And to wash it down with a Yoo-hoo is just gross…and weird!!!)

IMG_0605WMA simply arranged vase of tulips sidles up to a mirrored charger of Mikasa’s  leggy “Sophia” tall sherbet glasses.

I picked up these cute linen cocktail napkins at Bombay Company before all the U.S. retail outlets closed. They are perfect for dabbing away the remnants of a sip and a nosh before dinner.

More tablescapes on this site using clear glass globes:
Autumn Blues

Well, Angela, this is my take on a slick black tablescape with red accents. While you are planning to use it as a spring tablescape, it would also be great for a fabulous New Year’s Eve tablescape, or any time of year with a quick change of flowers. I hope this helps to get your own table ready for the big night! Good luck to you, and please let me know how it goes!

More tablescapes on this site using tulips:
Welcome Back, Joel
Informally Formal
The Bluebird Special
Easter Floral
Peachy Keen Breakfast Tablescape

Linking to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch on Wednesday after 9:00 p.m. for Tablescape Thursday! Hope to see you there!

35 thoughts on “Little Black Dress

  1. Alycia,
    So glad that you are feeling better after your bout with pneumonia. I really like the theme of “The little Black Dress”. I truly love your tablescape! Very sexy and elegant.
    Today is Matt & Jennifer’s anniversary and I forgot! Oh, I feel like such a bad mom. She is making “Dirty Bananas” for Happy Hour. I’ve never had them but sure sounds good!
    I enjoyed getting my table ready for the give-away. There were soooo many gorgeous tables; I don’t know how you could choose a winner. Your sweet husband answered my email question in between his patients. You are very blessed, my dear, to have such a loving and helpful husband.
    Thanks for stopping by Henrietta’s House.
    Best Regards,


    • Hi, Cindy! Hey…don’t feel bad. I forget anniversaries and birthdays all the time unless I have them plugged into my Outlook Calendar. When my computer crashed a couple of months ago, I was TOTALLY lost!!! I just looked up the recipe for Dirty Bananas, and it DOES sound good!!! Wow…as soon as these antibiotics are all cleared out of my system, I may have to make up a few of those!!! Congratulations to Jennifer and Matt!!! Isn’t it wonderful to witness young love? When it’s good and right and wholesome…it just makes my heart swell! It WAS hard to select a winner. I agonized over it. My sweet hubby helped me to sift through the entries and give points in the various areas I had set up. It was a close race! I am feeling much better now. Thanks so much for stopping by tonight. I appreciate it! Have a great week, and please extend my congrats to Jennifer and Matt!


  2. This is stunning in a very classic way. I love the simple elegance, and it does have a “little black dress” feeling to it. Loved the choice of red for the flowers. You made me grin about lipstick.

    You’re so talented, Alycia. You can take the bare essence of something and make it concrete on a table. I love that.

    And I take it that you’re feeling better? For that I’m truly glad!


    • Hi, Debbie! Yes, I am feeling considerably better and back to some of my old tricks! Trying to ease back into the full swing of things. I’m glad you like the table. My style really runs more toward traditional settings, so to do something like this is always a challenge. I do love a challenge, though! I just hope Angela likes it. I’ve not yet heard from her, so I’m sitting on pins & needles right now. Thanks so much for stopping by, and please know that I truly appreciate your incredibly kind and generous comments. Take care!


  3. Hi Alycia~ so glad you’re feeling better! I love the simplicity of your “little black dress”! Your silver chargers & glass plates are so elegant and provide just the right sparkle and I love the punch of color from the tulips in your glass spheres! I’m not much for caviar myself, but we had a fun wine tasting last spring where they paired a potato chip with a dollop of creme fraiche & a touch of caviar with our Chardonnay & it was surprisingly good! No Yoo Hoo for me thanks 🙂


    • Hi, Mary! Thanks! There’s just something about that doggone caviar…not only does it have a funny taste, but it kind of explodes in your mouth. NOT good! I have tried it as you described from the wine tasting, too, and the best part about it was the potato chip! 🙂 I hope you have a really good weekend, and enjoy your tea! That post was beautiful!


    • Hi, Joan! Glad you like it! It took us quite a bit longer to get there when we last visited in ’04. Not sure why. As I recall the drive was a good 45 minutes. It was raining, cold, dreary out. Not exactly tourist weather. Ramon INSISTED that we get out of the car and stand at the edge of the ocean after having traveled all that distance. Little did we know that the great tsunami of 2004 was going on as we stood there shivering under a newspaper umbrella on a rock with the waves lapping ferociously around us. No one knew we had gone to the Island, so we could have been swept away into the sea and no one would know what happened to us! Ugh! 😦


  4. Tres chic, my friend. Your advise to your writer is great. This is a great table to have in your back pocket. The tulips could morph into red roses for something available all year around. Sooo glad you are better. I’d love to have you in my state. Are there enough dishes in Georgia for both of us????
    Hugs, Linda


  5. Love this.. been wondering how to make my clear glass plates look good for the web.. you’ve shown me the way. I do love the idea of the tulips in the large bowls with floating candles.. how elegant and lovely. The shot of red is perfect on this table. Love, love this elegant black dress on a table!


  6. Sultry AND seductive! I love the simplicity of this table, and yet it is so unique the way you put the tulips in the vases like that. Just wonderful and people would be talking about it for a long time. Just that little swipe of red, sexy lipstick – LOVE IT!


  7. WOW! This is beautiful! I just love the centerpieces and the flatware! Glad to hear you are feeling better! You are the centerpiece master! I am bowing to your greatness! They leave me speechless!


  8. Love your description of your sophisticated table! It is beautiful! Love the tulips in the bowl , very nice!
    Looks like something you’s see in a fancy supper club!


    • THANK YOU!!! I’m glad you like it! It’s not really within the limits of my comfort zone, but I always like to reach a little bit. Whenever someone throws me a challenge, I do my best to nail it. I don’t always necessarily hit the mark, but Angela, the young lady who asked me to create it, was happy with this one!


  9. I am wondering if you completely submerged the tulips under water or just filled the bowl about half way. The reason I am asking is because I have submerged silk orchids in tall vases and it was impossible to tell that they were not real. Your table is lovely and I am happy to have the idea to tuck away for future reference. You are most talented!


    • Hi, Phyllis! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I’ve been out of town with no Internet access. 😦 In this instance I did not completely submerge the tulips, although I have done that in the past. I liked them better only partially submerged for this table. I’m glad to hear you were able to achieve a pretty effect with faux orchids. Isn’t it great when you can use faux flowers that look real??!?!?! I love that!!! I sometimes cheat and use faux flowers as “filler” flowers in arrangements when $$$ are tight or the floral supply place doesn’t have a particular color of something I need. Nothing wrong with faux as long as it looks natural, I think! Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!!!


  10. Alycia, Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I do hope your trip to Savannah was an enjoyable one in spite of not having computer access. I’m commenting, with the little box below checked, to see if this allows me to “follow”. I couldn’t figure why you weren’t in my reading list and now I know why. Duh! Hope this works. If not, I at least have your blog address so I can see more of your gorgeous tablescapes . Have a great weekend.


    • Hi, Babs! Yes, if you click the box below and make sure your correct email address is listed, then you should receive a confirmation email from WordPress asking you to click on a link to confirm that indeed it was you who clicked that box and to confirm that you want to be a follower. Just click on the link as indicated, and then I will receive an email indicating that you are a confirmed follower! That all seems so crazy, but it’s the WordPress way! Thank you so much!!!


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    • You DID rhyme!!! Very good!!! 🙂 I tell ya…sometimes I just gotta go simpler. It’s the right thing to do! 😉 But for me, simpler is actually harder. The elaborate ones just seem to flow right out of my brain. It’s weird!


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