Summer Blues… and Greens!

SUMMER BLUES…AND GREENS!
(a re-post from August 2010)

There is really nothing quite like the cooling, soothing look of cobalt blue in a summer tablescape! Mixed here with grassy greens and cloud-like white, it takes on a casually sophisticated look that is one with nature.

For each place setting, I started with a crisp, white cotton linen. The beautiful blue & white placemats are a vinyl reversible from Bed, Bath & Beyond that caught my eye. The stark white square dinner plates, also from BB&B, are from the B. Smith With Style collection. The deep blue salad plates and graceful finger bowls are from Pier 1 Imports. I like these bowls because they can be used in so many ways! I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of them in subsequent tablescapes. Simple Pfaltzgraff “Legacy” flatware and cobalt blue glass tumblers from Old Time Pottery finish the look.

I picked up this gorgeous green & blue glass compote several years ago, and I am always thrilled to get a chance to use it in a tablescape! Filled here with an abundance of juicy Granny Smith apples, succulent limes, and cymbidium orchids, it really stands out. Orchids are so pricey that I often can only afford a single stem or two. Plucking the blooms and floating them in water (or tucking the stem into a water tube as in the centerpiece) is a wonderful option with a lot of impact. The flames of white candles in the cobalt hurricanes dance when the sun goes down. The potted grass is just another way to pull in the color green and to add texture and interest to the overall centerpiece.

Another way to punctuate the tablescape’s look with a bit more green was to place individual bottles of refreshing Perrier at each guest’s setting.

Want to see a couple of other tablescapes using blue and green?:
Under A Paper Moon
Butterfly Kaleidoscope

          

 

Butterfly Kaleidoscope

This week I’d like to share a casual summer tablescape with you that, with just a bit of tweaking, could work well both indoors or out.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Inspiration piece

INSPIRATION: Melamine dinner plate from Target’s 2010 collection in turquoise, citrus green, brown and white. See how it looks like a butterfly…and a kaleidoscope?

I couldn’t decided whether this reminded me more of a butterfly or an image you might see when looking into one of those old-fashioned kaleidoscopes. I also couldn’t decide whether I wanted to show this inside in the dining room or outside on the deck. So I’m going to show you both in a sort of side-by-side comparison! This might be helpful information as you come up with a Plan A for good weather and a “hope we don’t need it, but just in case we doPlan B to bring it all inside in case of inclement weather conditions.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it to see details up close.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Full room in and out collageBoth inside and out, I started with a full-length brown linen. Yes…ye olde brown linen is back in play! Seriously…brown is a great summer neutral. It all depends on how you pair it up!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Full table in and out collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Multiple place setting in and out collageTop photo – indoors, bottom photo – outdoors. Just look at all that color!!!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Single place setting in and out collageThe elements on the table are a balanced mix of all the colors found in the dinner plate. The charger is a white ceramic from Old Time Pottery. TIP: White chargers may be a little tough to come by, so you might consider buying inexpensive acrylic ones and spray painting them. Great look, great value!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Flatware, rim shot, napkin in and out collageBoth inside and out, a double dose of napkins cascade off the side of the table at each place setting. It’s nice to have two napkins for guests if you’re eating something extra messy like fried chicken or barbecue. One for the lap, one for mouth & fingers. They’ll love you for it! The flatware is a faux bamboo from Home Goods. Notice on the outdoor setting how a butterfly has innocently landed on each salad fork.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Turquoise stemware from Pier 1I LOVE this super chunky turquoise stemware from Pier 1!!! It feels really substantial and holds a lot of whatever beverage is being served.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Full centerpiece in and out collageThe centerpiece indoors is a mix of turned white wood candlesticks from Z Gallerie topped with fun turquoise, green and white striped candles from Pier 1, a trio of florals, and pots of rye grass standing as sentry at each end. The outdoor table loses the rye grass and adds votives to the mix.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Candle collageI get a lot of mileage out of these Z Gallerie candlesticks. Each end of the centerpiece holds a pair in two sizes. Notice the bling on the candle wick. If your dinner party starts early in the evening when the sun is still out, keep the bling on as an added point of interest. When it’s time to light the candles, just snip the wick to about 1/2 inch, pocket the bling, and put it aside for use on something else later.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Floral trio collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Butterfly collageThe fun floral element comes in a trio of white ceramic canisters filled with acid green roses and rye grass. Fun little turquoise hand-painted butterflies from Beau-coup.com flit about, landing here and there at will.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Deep turquoise square glass votive holder

The outdoor table has an added twist of intermittent votives in deep turquoise blue glass holders.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Buffet table indoors collageThe buffet behind the dining table indoors is smothered with turquoise and citrus green paper lanterns. It’s a simple but effective backdrop to the busy design on the table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Buffet table outdoors

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Outdoor buffet table element collageThe outdoor buffet table is covered from head to toe in a smart fitted white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. The pots of rye grass used on the dining table and around the room indoors have moved to the buffet table to add color there.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Turquoise and citrus green paper lanternsThe sides of the buffet table are festooned with paper lantern “towers” tied to the deck posts. Just loop ribbon through the lanterns to create this fun and colorful look!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Paper lanternsMore paper lantern singles are tied to individual posts around the deck to surround guests in color and movement. If you add lights to the lanterns, just think how pretty that would be at night!!!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: Tea cart collageBack inside, a vintage tea cart holds pitchers of ice cold water and lemonade on the bottom and a Ralph Lauren pedestal filled with Granny Smith apples on top.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Butterfly Kaleidoscope: China cabinet and sconce collageFinally indoors the china cabinet has a complementary treatment of paper lanterns, rye grass and roses. The sconces that flank the buffet are outfitted with pots of rye grass visited by butterflies.

Are ya dizzy now? Sorry ’bout that! My point is that you can use the same elements either indoors or out and achieve a great look that is appropriate to the space. Plan A or Plan B…you decide! 🙂

Other posts on this site using turquoise or blue, green & white:
“Under a Paper Moon”
“Summer Blues & Greens”

Another post on this site using paper lanterns:
“Blue & White 30th Birthday”
“Cupcake Colors”
“Under a Paper Moon”
“Easter Brunch”

I’m joining lots of other talented tablescapers again this week at Cuisine Kathleen’s blog party, “Let’s Dish!” (anytime after 6:00 p.m. CDT Wednesday) and Susan’s party, “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT Thursday).

Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape

The upcoming week will be a wild one for many of us as we prepare for Thanksgiving Day. Clean the house (or just throw everything in a couple of closets and put a bear trap in front of them!), polish the silver (or just stand at your front door and dispense those eye drops the optometrist uses to dilate your eyes so no one can see the tarnish!), iron the linens (or come up with a convincing story that wrinkles are the new smooth), stuff that turkey (ick! gross!), get yourself looking gorgeous (see ironing lie above), and create the Thanksgiving table of your family’s dreams (no, seriously…you really have to do this!). A lot of work indeed, but it’s the NEXT day you really need to concern yourself with: BLACK FRIDAY!!!!!!

Yes, ladies & germs, Black Friday! That special day when Americans are so filled with the Christmas spirit that we wear steel-toed boots and pack brass knuckles in our Gucci bags just in case we have to fight over that last coveted and way overpriced toy du jour. That day when we spew words at other shoppers that would make a sailor blush if they “steal our parking space.” The only day of the year that crawling out of bed before the butt crack of dawn to brave the cold and the crowds actually makes sense to us. Black Friday! And after all that early morning bargain shopping with your S.W.A.T. team girlfriends, you’re going to want a civilized break in the action to drop off packages (to make room for Round II, of course!) and have a nice lunch. Here’s a quick and easy Christmas luncheon tablescape designed to re-energize the group and perhaps coax you to put down your battering ram in favor of a fork. 😉

You can only fit four girlfriends in your SUV and still have room for all the packages, so this table is set for five in the library.


Lots of bright colors will rev you up after a morning of guerrilla warfare shopping for bargains. My inspiration for this table is the fun Christmas tree napkin borrowed from my friend, Barbara. It’s packed with both traditional and non-traditional colors in a fun & festive pattern. (Click HERE for a video tutorial or look HERE – Tip #31for picture and/or video instruction on how to make these fun napkins from a half circle of fabric!) A cheery red full-length tablecloth picks up the red in the napkin, while a modern turquoise acrylic charger from Crate and Barrel serves as ground zero for each place setting. The plates are a creamy ivory stoneware by 10 Strawberry Street.

Glassware from Home Goods/T.J. Maxx in turquoise, green and blue works perfectly with the color palette. Stainless flatware is kept simple.

A melange of “sugared” fruits, winter greenery, red berry clusters, assorted ornaments in turquoise and green, and pine cones is assembled in a citrus-green ceramic planter. Additional fruits and ornaments are scattered at the base.

Lunch is served from the vitrine. Nothing fancy…a heart-healthy salad with grilled chicken strips, assorted whole grain breads, iced tea (but not too much…bathroom breaks are frowned upon once back out there in the shopping trenches! ;-)), and cookies-to-go for dessert. A floral arrangement similar to the one on the dining table graces the corner of the vitrine.

Simple and to the point! Now, ladies, it’s time to arm yourselves with credit cards, bail money (just in case things get out of hand out there!) and Depends (remember…bathroom breaks are a no-no!), and scream that age-old battle cry: CHARGE IT!!!!!!!!

Have a fun Black Friday, y’all! 🙂

P.S. – For those of you in the Kansas City area, please tune in (or set your DVR) to “Better Kansas City” on KCTV-5 on Tuesday, November 20 at 9:00 a.m. (CST). I’ll be featured in a live segment about tablescaping for the holidays! If you don’t live in this area, I’ll post a link to the station’s website after the show so you can point and laugh at me then! 🙂

Surf & Turf Dinner

Back in March I created a tablescape as part of a live auction package for the 13th Annual Taste of Lee’s Summit benefiting the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, Inc. (LSEF). I made good on that prize this past weekend at the lovely home of board member Mary Stilley and her husband, Jim, who hosted a fabulous gourmet dinner for ten. I agonized for months over what to do. In the end I decided to use starfish-shaped plates to represent the “surf” part of the meal, and a play on words and stretch of the imagination landed me at moss-covered balls to represent the “turf.” (Football on the brain already!!! 🙂
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it. All photos by Sheri L. Grant)

Starting with a plain white palette (upper left-hand corner and going clockwise), each layer went down in a painstakingly slow manner, measuring to make sure every element was precisely set.

When all was said and done…and after a few very tense minutes when Mary, Sheri and I found ourselves having to raise the billion pound light fixture to accommodate the height of the centerpiece…this is what we had. (Gosh, I wish I had pictures of that! ;-))

Starting with the photo in the upper left-hand corner of the collage and going clockwise, I started by layering two chargers: One a square rattan, and the other a round silverplate. By layering the two, I felt it gave the table the depth it would need once the plates were removed to the kitchen for the actual dinner. It also added both a sort of rough-hewn texture and a glossy shine, two elements I thought represented the surf and turf theme. The square white dinner plate was a good foundation for the colorful mix of blue and white starfish salad and appetizer plates you see here. These plates were in place upon the guests’ arrival, but then whisked to the kitchen just before the start of the meal.

The flatware is from the hostess’s personal collection. I liked the clam shell pattern that fit in with the “surf.”

The cobalt blue stems, seen in various posts on this site, were for water and the clear stems for wine.

The foundation of the centerpiece is the indigo blue “Logarno” glass vase from Z Gallerie topped with a large moss ball. The vase is lit from underneath with a multi-pinspot LED uplight designed to direct light upward into floral arrangements. (Lower right-hand corner of collage.)


The rest of the centerpiece that extends down the length of the table includes a number of repeated elements. Cobalt blue cylinders with the same color as the water stems have chunky white candles for ambient dinner light. Smaller clear cylinders, mimicking the colorless wine glasses, dot the table with white Fuji mums. Smaller moss balls and a few cobalt blue votive holders complete the look.

It was an honor and a delight to work with Mary Stilley who was most gracious to Sheri, Ramon, and me as we set up and broke down the table. She is indeed “The Hostess With the Mostess”!
Many thanks to the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, its Board of Directors, Advisory Board and staff (including Sheryl Franke!) for allowing me to participate in the auction for such a worthwhile cause.

Other posts on this site using blue and green:
Summer Blues & Greens
Under a Paper Moon

Other posts on this site using cobalt blue:
Daffodillyicious
Peony Power
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Summer Blues & Greens

Other posts on this site with a tropical flair:
Tropicana
Summer Breeze
Hot Tropical
Flamingos in Paradise
Oranges & Blossoms

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen for the fun blog party known as “Let’s Dish” starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday. I’ll also be joining Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” on Thursday morning starting at 9:00 CDT. If you want to see the work of some really talented tablescapers, click on over to join us!

Peacock Pizzazz!

 Peacock feathers. There’s just something about them. They’ve just got that snappy, snazzy, razzle dazzle kiss-my-foot-and-call-me-Your-Highness pizzazz about them. This time of year a peacock feather centerpiece or side piece can really jazz up a tablescape as well as add texture, height, and implied motion.
(Click any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

No table linen or placemat for this one. The natural wood of the dining table just felt right. What I did for this tablescape, however, was to mix colors and china patterns to mimic the pageantry of the peacock. A goldleafed glass charger is the foundation for an American Atelier “Florentine Gold Scroll” dinner plate topped with a 222 Fifth “Ornamental Scroll” salad plate. The white in the dinner plate helps to break up the heavy concentration of color in the place setting.

The deep teal poly-cotton napkins from Home Goods are cinched with a Pier 1 “Beaded Circle” napkin ring that reminded me of a male peacock’s tail feathers when I first saw them. (Would someone please explain to me how it is that the male peacock got to be the showier one??!?!?! What a rip off!!!)

This goldtone flatware really gets a workout around here in the fall and winter months!

A mix of teal blue stems from Stein Mart and Dollar Tree green stemware pulls from the colors of the male peacock’s plumage.

I found these jeweled peacock place card holders at Tuesday Morning many years ago. For this occasion, a faux gemstone, like those in the holder, is added to the place card.

The peacock feathers I have are 52″ in length and interfered with the light fixture above the dining table. I did, however, want to capture the colors of the feathers in the centerpiece, so I used a single teal glass cylinder with a floating candle centered between clusters of goldtone candlesticks. Like the dinner plate selection, white candles were my choice in order to break up the high concentration of deep hues.

The peacock feathers, arranged in large Vidrios San Miguel green vases from TJ Maxx (also seen HERE), were moved from the dining table to the buffet behind it with a repeat of the teal glass cylinders and goldtone candlesticks. It took a total of 50 quills (25 each vase) to achieve this look. A feather, cylinder, and candlestick display similar to this would look great down the center of a reception buffet table, too!

As a side note, I wanted to demonstrate how this table could be easily transformed to a dramatic Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras look with the simple addition of a mask adorned with peacock feathers at each place setting. This would also make a kickin’ New Year’s Eve tablescape!!!

I hope your Mardi Gras celebration is a safe and fun one! When you finally wake up from your hurricane-soaked gumbo coma, please join me for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch!

Another tablescape on this site using peacock feathers:
Proud As A Peacock!

Under a Paper Moon

I’ve still haven’t regained my mojo to the point that I can create, so this week I am sharing photos from a birthday dinner party last summer.

IMG_2911WM

Sultry summer nights with a few close friends means casual dining under the stars…and a few colorful paper moons! My friend doesn’t like anyone to “fuss over” him, so a casual outdoor tablescape was totally in order.

IMG_2926WM

This easy, breezy table starts with a white cotton linen. Next is a length of cheery lime green, turquoise, aqua & white floral fabric. The place settings are kept relatively simple so as not to fight with the strong pattern in the table covering. Clear acrylic square dinner plates in turquoise from Target are topped with sheer green salad plates to allow the pattern to shine through. Each place setting is topped with a turquoise square glass votive holder. White flatware from TJ Maxx and a white cotton napkin with a fun Tuesday Morning turquoise & green stone ring doesn’t get lost in the linen pattern. The centerpiece is very simple: a trio of Home Goods aqua glass candlesticks with fat white candles illuminate the evening’s festivities.

Fanciful turquoise and lime green paper lanterns float easily above the dining table, lending color and movement to the night. (I will never forget teetering like a tightrope walker at the top of that ladder as long as I live!)

So there you have it: casual summer dining in its simplest form.

For more posts using paper lanterns on this site:
Cupcake Colors”
“Butterfly Kaleidoscope”
Blue & White 30th Birthday”
Easter Brunch
Fairy Princess Party for Little Girls
Chinese Takeout

Thank you for stopping in!
Meet me again this week for Tablescape Thursday with Susan and the other tablescape fans over at Between Naps on the Porch!