I NEED TO THROW A REAL DINNER PARTY!!! It has been so long! Even if all I serve is beans and weanies…I’m going through serious withdrawals here!!! I know it’s weird, but I can’t just dream up these tables without a target guest or group in mind. I was stumped a couple of weeks ago until I remembered something my friend Bill from Affordable Accoutrements said to me a few weeks ago. If you are not familiar with Bill’s blog, I encourage…no, I INSIST that you pop over there to bathe in his immeasurable talent. Anyway, I was all down in the mouth and Bill tossed out that old adage about turning lemons into lemonade. When he said it, I swore I could hear the theme music from “The Twilight Zone” in the background because I was drinking lemonade at that very moment! Coincidence? I don’t think so. Serendipity? Perhaps. Was Bill spying on me despite the fact he lives hundreds of miles away? I got up and pulled the shades just in case. 😉
So, Bill, I took your sage advice as I set out to create a casual, lemony summer tablescape!
Another example of making lemonade out of lemons: These crazy standard outdoor tables are only 30″ wide. (I need to have a serious talk with the manufacturers!) The narrow dimensions would not allow for the placemats to set properly, so I zig-zagged the seating. I have done this before, and it actually works quite well in practice. You’d be surprised how much your guests appreciate the extra elbow room (think gnawing on ribs or cracking shellfish!) and are still able to chat comfortably with one another. This layout adds a little more visual interest, too!
I am so fond of the look a full-length table linen provides. It adds a touch of subtle formality to the most casual table. The base white table linens here are enlivened with lots of sunny, bright yellow. A dark woven placemat from Pier 1 is topped with lemon-laden dinner plates also from Pier 1. Simple yellow cotton napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond hang in a simple vertical fold off the plate.
Yet another reason to close my shades is that Bill’s post last week featured an end centerpiece, too! I think we’re telepathically sucking each other’s brain! Either great minds think alike, or crazy loves company! 🙂
I echo Bill’s sentiment that an end centerpiece is a great way to balance things out when you have more table than place settings on an oblong table. By placing the smaller arrangements down the center as I did with the sweetheart roses, the theme is repeated but in not such a dramatic fashion. Another advantage of an end centerpiece: Sometimes you have a tall centerpiece arrangement that would go great with your dishes but is better suited for a round table. No problem…put that bad boy on the end! Also great for centerpieces that would otherwise obstruct your guests’ view during dinner conversation.
I bought the creamy yellow tureen from Pottery Barn a couple of years ago. It was marked all the way down to $12. I cradled it like the winning touchdown football at the Super Bowl until I was able to make my way to the check out counter to confirm the unbelievable price! The mix of yellow and cream-colored roses are displayed here in two clear ginger vases as well as clustered in bunches atop stacked cake stands. This is such a lush look and easy to achieve when you haven’t the time/energy/skill/inclination to fuss with an arrangement.
Lemonade out of lemons! Thanks, Bill! I made it through another week!
Both Bill and I will be joining Susan and all the other fabulous tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch this Thursday for Tablescape Thursday. I hope you’ll join us. There is an awful lot of talent out there! You can also find me at BeBetsy.com!
Thank you for stopping in!