Lemonade From Bill

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!

IMG_1290WMAnother 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!


IMG_1312WMThe weather finally cooled enough to get out on the deck. Such a shame when we think the mid-90’s is “cooler.” Thankful for the opportunity, though, I took immediate advantage!


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 “Lemon Orchard” dinner plates also from Pier 1. Simple yellow cotton napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond hang in a simple vertical fold off the plate.

Contemporary J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware complements the square plate.

IMG_1303WMAmber stemware with a yellow undertone is set European style at the head of the setting. The champagne flutes are from World Market, and the bubble glass water stems are from TJ Maxx.

Simple clear water carafes are dressed up a bit with a lemon slice.

Tiny bouquets of pale yellow sweetheart roses are placed between place settings.

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.

IMG_1340WMI borrowed the tall yellow ceramic vase from our master suite. I had a massive matching bowl that was broken…check that…obliterated in the recent move. 😦

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!

79 thoughts on “Lemonade From Bill

  1. Your tables always make my heart skip a beat! Just like Bill’s. I think the photo with the sun rays in the large vessel is stunning. Wow. As is your deck. Double wow. The arrangement with urn, tureen, flowers is so fabulous. The plates ate so cool!!!! Wonderful with the woven placemats as a backdrop! This is so wonderful. I know I’m gushing…. Xoxo marlis


  2. Hi Alycia! I love your offset place settings! The dreamy sunlight you captured playing across your table and highlighting your urn arrangement at the end of the table is gorgeous! I adore your sweetheart rose bouquets and stacked pedestals~

    I had to chuckle at “I cradled it like the winning touchdown football at the Super Bowl”… it’s always thrilling to find a bargain and a beautiful one to boot! Another tablescape touchdown from you!


    • Hi, Mary! Thank you! Wow…we were both up awfully early this morning. What was up with that?!?!?!! That dreamy sunlight was a total fluke, but I’m thrilled it happened! 😉 As for the Super Bowl touchdown reference, you can tell it’s football season again, huh? 🙂


  3. Hey there, friend, you did it again. A stunner. You took lovely, simple place settings and whipped them into a frenzy with that end “centerpiece”. Now, THAT was so creatively done. Even the slice out of the lemon. Most people who where thinking to slice into a piece of fruit woud do it horizontally, but not our girl Alycia. (Of course, depending on how you were holding the lemon, horizonally could mean different things!) Come on…. you know what I mean. What would the table freak world do without Bill?
    Linda @ A Toile Tale


    • Hey, Linda! Bill rocks, that’s for sure! He comes up with the best bargains. I don’t know whether to love him or hate him! 😉 That’s my buddy, though. I’m so glad you like this set up. I have long been a fan of end centerpieces because there are so many times I have something really great but it’s too concentrated for an oblong table. More often that not, the dessert ends up as a part of the end piece!


  4. So gorgeous — I am bookmarking this page for sure! One can never have too many lemons. Great idea, staggering the place settings. When you get those table manufacturers straightened out, let me know. Can I pin one of these photos?


    • Hey there, Ellen!!!!! I’m glad you like it!!! I was SO happy to get outside!!! I think I’m going to have to get custom made tables someday….I think that’s my only hope! Oh, and you can pin whatever you want! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!!!


  5. Wow, Alycia, that’s some amazing, casually elegant, showstoppin’ LEMONADE you’ve made today!!! I love the way the colors you’ve used stand out, as they repeat the subtle shades of nature of the background and the warm color of the deck below.

    As much as I love everything you’ve incorporated on the table and the way you’ve arranged it all so artfully, my eye went straight to the neatly tucked and folded corner of the tablecloth in the third photo. That level of attention to detail is part of what makes your tables so special.

    Thank you for the kind mention, Alycia. It was a complete surprise, and I felt truly honored.



    • You noticed that?!??!?!!! Do you know I scrapped several earlier photos because that linen didn’t fall “just so”?!! Of course, you know that! You’re Bill and, as I said in the post, crazy loves company!!! 😉 Thank you for the inspiration! Lemonade sure beats the heck outta the lemons we’ve been dealt recently!


  6. You are just the most incredible person, you have such a whit that draws a person in from the get go.. Your table is amazing. Love, love, love the 3 tiered center piece… . I love the way the tablecloth draped so gracefully on the deck.. would love to have been a guest.. hugs ~lynne~


    • Lynne, you’d better stop makin’ me blush! I’m glad you like the floor-length linen. I just love ’em…indoors and out! I spend a LOT of time washing and ironing them, but I don’t care. It’s worth it to me. Also, in summer the young girls sometimes tend to wear sun dresses that are just a little too short for my taste. I consider it a gesture to help them maintain modesty! 😉 Thank you for stopping by!!!


  7. I love the look of a long table — and the end centerpiece is just genius and adds so much to a table. Love the lemon plates and the runner. Joni


    • Hi, Joni! Thank you so much! I must think I’m from Texas because I like everything BIG…especially my centerpieces! Sometimes, though, they just can’t sit in the center, so to the end they go! Nine times out of ten the dessert ends up down there with ’em! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!!!


  8. I adore your end centerpiece – it adds drama but doesn’t get in the way of people talking to each other. Your stacked platters look fabulous and I love your soft lemon colors. What pretty evening lighting you captured! This would be a fabulous table to be invited over for. I saw a new saying that I like even better (probably because it contains more fat and calores ) If life gives you lemons, make lemon bars!


  9. You really did make lemonade out of lemons! Terrific theme for your table and funny comments about Bill! I love the “to the floor” tablecloth and the natural look of the placemats. A “end-piece” is perfect for long tables and yours is lovely!



  10. Gorgeous table, Alycia! It is amazing that so many people have used yellow this week, each one totally different from the next…
    I have always liked yellow, from the palest lemon to the darker amber tones. the roses make for a lovely centerpiece.


  11. Alycia, I’m so glad Bill inspired you to “make lemonade”. Your lemonade “stand’ is gorgeous and the lemony yellow really whets the appetite. Yum! I really like the way you alternated the placemats and turned them vertically. Great idea!
    I’m sorry I’m so slow in commenting on your posts. For the life of me, I can’t get your blog to come up on my list. Thank goodness I signed up to get you on email. I hope things are getting better for you. I know your tablescapes are “lookin’ good”. Hugs and I really like the one you did for your Mom too. Even though I’m slow responding, please know you aren’t forgotten. Hugs,


  12. Alycia,

    The table you set today is a fresh of breath air., and looks so beautiful.

    Bill is one of the best table setter too your so right.

    Loved todays table centrepiece with lemons.

    Karin Şen Cankan


  13. Your picture drew me in to see it! I love the buttery lemon colors! Your stemware is perfect with it too! Those lemon plates make me jealous! Your arrangement at the end of the table is pefect…great idea…glad to see some new ideas with your postings! Don’t you just love Bill! I wonder if he knows how many women love him out there!! He’s so kind and he talked to me when I had some questions on my first tablescape! He’s definitely inspirational!


    • Hi, Liz! I found those plates at Pier 1 at the end of season last year on clearance. I think I only paid like $3 each for them. Talk about thrilled!!! As for Mr. Bill, he’s tops. He knows his antiques, that’s for sure!!! Have a good weekend, and thanks so much for stopping in!


  14. Alycia,
    I love all your tables but I think this is my favorite. It’s so fresh and summery yet really elegant. I really like the way you zig zaged the settings too. P.S. thanks for tipping me off on Bill!


    • Hi, Jo Ann! I’m glad he did, too! I was feeling all down in the mouth and he was just being a friend. I don’t think he realized he was also being an inspiration for a tablescape at the time! Have a great weekend, and thank you for dropping by!


  15. Oh, my friend Alycia, you really made me crack up using Bill’s quotes and applying them to you! Besides it, your tablescape at your gorgeous porch it’s just stunning! I love the three tier arrangement, how terrific that is, the plates with lemons are so pretty, along with the placemats and tabletopper! My daughter has those amber glasses and boy, do they go with everything, don’t they?! I adore the color all around it and yeah, I agree, we should make a nice dinner party with, at least some beans and weanies!! Thanks for coming by and leaving me such lovely comments, I so love your visits.
    Luv ya! FABBY


  16. Alycia,
    This table is so warm and and inviting. Like Marlis, I think the shot of the arrangment with the sun is just stunning! You are so clever to alternate the placemats to deal with the narrow width. You do such beautiful tables and I love to visit and see what’s new. Thanks for your comments on my CO photos and “girl, there’s a whole world of beauty up there on the edge of high places!” Dianne


  17. Hi Alycia,
    It’s nice to meet you too. Yes, this was the first time I joined Tablescape Thursday. I admire other bloggers’ talents for creating beautiful and inviting table settings, but I am just learning this art myself.
    Your Lemonade Out of Lemons tablescape is gorgeous!
    Have a nice weekend!


    • Thanks for stopping by, Olga, and welcome to Tablescape Thursdays! You are going to have so much fun!!! This is a great group of people, and it really helps us to hone our skills. I look forward to seeing your posts!!!


  18. Hi Alycia, thank you for stopping by and for leaving me the tip to check Pier 1 for my wicker arm chairs. Another blogger had mentioned she purchased hers there some years ago. I’ll have to check it out this weekend.

    Your table is delicious to the eyes. I would not hesitate to accept a dinner invitation from you but I may never leave such a beautiful setting. Can you imagine? What a rude guest, huh? 😉 I smiled the minute I clicked on your page because yesterday during my Tablescape visits, I thought how wonderful a lemon theme would be. I am giddy about lemons.

    You’ve done a beautiful job here, my dear.
    Enjoy your weekend.


  19. YUMMY~~~~Those tables drive me crazy too! I do the same thing, but I never thought to put the centerpiece on the end!!! What a great idea…rather than trying to find something to fit in that tiny little space on that tiny little table! Kudos and Bravo!
    Love the table….for some reason I am thiiiiirsty!



    • Hey, Wendy! Glad you like that idea! It really gives you a lot of wiggle room – literally and figuratively – when it comes to decorating those narrow tables. I wish I had a handy hubby who could whip up a sturdy 42″ wide outdoor table for me! 😉 I’m thirsty, too thinking about all those lemons. Think I’ll mosey on down to the kitchen. Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping in!


  20. Oh , me thinks someone has a dish crush on Bill! 🙂

    Bill just loves all this attention you are giving him, he had to buy a bigger hat! 🙂

    I would love to live next door to him so I could borrow his accoutrements! I am running out of room. 🙂
    Love your table, such pretty glasses too.
    The roses are just gorgeous!
    Love the table, A. Did Bill come visit yet? He makes himself scarce! Oh wait, I see he has been here.
    You did a great job on this table. Magazine worthy!
    And I also put ketchup on filet mignon. Ketchup is a food group for me! 🙂
    Can’t leave home without it!
    See you soon unless we blow away! Irene has her eyes on us here on LI!


    • Bill’s my buddy. He totally rocks with his tables. I think we’d ALL like to live next door to him so we could borrow his accoutrements! It never ceases to amaze me just how much talent…and how many dishes, etc!…is out there. I’m going to have to have a little talk with you out in the alley about puttin’ ketchup on filet mignon. Girl, don’t you know I’m from BEEF country??!?!?!! Just like the saying “Don’t mess with Texas”, we have a saying here: “Don’t beef with the beef!” I’m watching this pitiful Governor’s Cup game between the KC Chiefs and the St. Louis Rams. I think it’s time to open up a few liquid refreshments to be able to stomach this debacle! DO NOT BLOW AWAY!!! Batten down the hatches and hang on tight or skidaddle on out of there ASAP! Be safe, Kathleen. I’m praying for you guys out there.


  21. I love this yellow, mellow tablescape and the end centerpiece flowers are beautiful. What a wonder job! Thanks so much for sharing another great tablescape and for coming by for a visit.


    • HI, Jan! Thank you so much! I love cream and yellow roses together! You just made me think of that old Donovan song “Mellow Yellow”, although the meaning of the two are clearly worlds apart!!! 😉


  22. Pingback: Hot Tropical Tablescape « Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  23. Pingback: The 19th Hole – Golf & Forever Love | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  24. Pingback: Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  25. Pingback: Summer Luncheon for Two | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  26. Pingback: Picnic Ants | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  27. Pingback: Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings | Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

  28. Pingback: Blueberries & Lemons | 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 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.