Strawberries in the Library

I shared this idea with my first “Art of Tablescaping” students in early March, and I just love it for so many reasons! (Too bad I couldn’t use real strawberries for it…the ladies would have loved that!)

We have a small library in our home that is just the perfect size for a self-serve dessert table. This 30″ round wooden table (the kind you screw the legs into that sells for about $8 at stores like Walmart) is draped in a soft buttery yellow 90″ cotton linen. It’s just the right size for people to walk around without tripping over the existing furniture. The point of setting it up in the library is to get people moving around the house. They can pick up a dessert and then linger to chat or take in the decor. I like to set small stations like this up in 2 or 3 rooms (don’t forget about hallways or the foyer!) starting with hors d’eouvres. Note: Something like this works really great for cocktail parties!!!


A 20″H stone urn is filled with a simple arrangement of creamy yellow and ivory roses and centered on the table. (This is real stone. Those little tables can handle a lot of weight! I wouldn’t push my luck, though…opt for the lightest weight you can if using one of these do-it-yourself tables.)

Inexpensive clear wine glasses from Old Time Pottery act as serving vessels. Pictured here are 23 wine glasses, but a 30″ table can accomodate up to about 40 depending on the size and how they are spaced. I opted to leave an artistic open space at the front of the arrangement, but a full circle would work just as well.

Just about any size, color or fun-shaped glasses or serving dishes will do including martini glasses, beer pilsners, champagne flutes, compotes or even tiny dishes the size of votive cups. Desserts served can range from fresh fruits to trifles to plain ol’ Jell-O®. This is also a fun arrangement for hors d’eouvres served in shot glasses, miso spoons, or other such vessels. Try it, too, for a signature drink, champagne, or wine display for guests to pick up on arrival. (Cuts down on the line at the bar!)

A few votives in holders that are a shape similar to the glasses give shimmer and shine to the table. It looks absolutely gorgeous at twilight!!! For a daytime event, simply omit the votives.

I’m linking up with Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” again this week. Join us, won’t you?

20 thoughts on “Strawberries in the Library

  1. Great idea to have strawberries in the library and they look fabulous. We have a small house and I’d love to have dessert or drinks in another room. Thanks for mentioning the 30″ round table. I need one that size, and I like using the 90″ table cloth… now, if I could get everyone out of the kitchen at the next party. Maybe this will work.


  2. What a great idea.. This way the dessert could be set up and less for you to do with guests to which to tend!! Love the idea. You are quite brave to place that heavy urn on top.. call me chicken. LOL.. Beautiful and great tips Alycia. Thanks so much for sharing! xo marlis


  3. Hey what a great idea! I love the idea of having different tables in different spots to get people moving around! I love the idea of a dessert table! My aunt used to have one that she’d set up with a big punch bowl and hand made desserts all around. It was always a popular spot! I find people stall in the kitchen or near it and make it very uncomfortable. This is a good way to get them moving along somewhere else!


  4. I too like to move my guests around the house. I love your strawberry table set up but the last one of those screw-in-leg table I had was very rickety and would definitely not support a huge urn! Thanks for the tips–keep them coming! Linda


  5. Hi Alycia,

    This is beautiful, makes me want to have a party! especially while strawberries are fresh at the market. I like Ellen’s addition. A stand-by of champaigne for those of us who would like to drink our dessert 🙂


  6. What a great idea, and I’m writing this down for my future parties. Having different tables in different rooms will help get some of the folks out of my kitchen! (I hope) LOL!


  7. I am with that other Ellen, too! Champagne and strawberries are a great dessert! You always do everything so beautifully, and we always learn something important about entertaining from you.


  8. I want REAL strawberries in YOUR library! I love dessert served in stemmed glasses~ it seems more festive…heck, I love anything served in a stemmed glass 🙂 Beautiful & dramatic presentation with the urn on the table!


  9. Oh I like these ideas a lot. I have several ( a cabinet full of) medium sized ice cream soda glasses that I inherited that would be great for fruit. I’ve done puddings in them before for desserts but never ever thought of fruit, even though they are the perfect size for that. I love the idea of setting up several different stations. I’ve never really done this before either and would love to try it out! Those small round tables are wonderful for this type of thing. Excellent post chock full of great entertaining tips! Thank you!!!!


  10. How pretty — I know your ladies are loving all the ideas you’re sharing. What a fun class to offer. Love the idea of tables filled with pretty presentations of little desserts, drinks, hors d’eouvres…how fun to eat your way around the house.


  11. Alycia…you totally make sense..all the time…I will have to do that the next time I have a group of people over…yes, it certainly would make people flow throughout the house…The table is beautiful…love the yellow with the red strawberries…


  12. I bet your class is fantastic! Those ladies are getting more than what they paid for. 100 times more! The strawberries look beautiful but I either need some champag~ne or some whipped cream! Not that fake stuff either…
    XO Cindy


  13. Beautiful! I have to go measure those tables I have. They are in the basement. I used them for night tables while waiting for our furniture to arrive. I never imagined they could hold that much! I could even use them outside to spread out the hors d’s!
    I would scream if champagne was the only dessert though! You better have some cake or brownies for this tea totaler! :). A glass full of strawberries with whipped cream would be fine though!
    Thanks for linking up to Let’s Dish!


  14. Pingback: Blueberries & Lemons | Tablescapes at Table /Twenty-One

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