Building a Better Brunch Buffet

Dropping back in to share with you this morning’s “Better Kansas City” show segment on Building a Better Brunch Buffet! (Try saying that 3 times fast!!!) This quickie 3:45 piece focuses more on structure and execution than the actual dishes, but it’s kinda fun! And away we go…Just click on the link for the video!: The do’s and don’ts for throwing a brunch

And here are a few still photos!

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Join me for brunch! (Click HERE to watch the short television segment!!!)

 

Chatting on the set with “Better Kansas City” co-host Gina Bullard.

 

Linen-lined baskets are always a great way to display breads!

 

Be sure to go both high and low on your food display.

 

Lots of color comes to the table via the foods you choose. Have fun with it!

 

Place plates in two stacks on the end of a double-sided buffet table. Pictured here: gorgeous cobalt blue, yellow and white “Mirandela” plates from Pier 1 Imports.

 

 

Here I used a single large centerpiece – a mass of Spring daffodils in a large white base – that adds another dimension of height, texture, and color without interfering with food service.

Thank you so much for stopping in, and Happy Spring!

To see other Springtime brunch tablescapes on this site, click HERE (Springtime in Paris Buffet), HERE, (Easter Brunch), and HERE (Taste of Wine Buffet).

To see another tablescape using the Pier 1 “Mirandela” plates, click HERE.

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast

INSPIRATION: This beautiful wooden wheelbarrow in our neighbors' back yard.

INSPIRATION: This beautiful wooden wheelbarrow in our neighbors’ back yard.

Right around this time every year I wax nostalgic about childhood visits to our paternal grandparents’ farm in Sabetha, Kansas where my Dad grew up. Little things all around me draw my mind back to that simpler time, and with Daddy’s passing last year it seems there are more and more triggers. My inspiration for this farm style al fresco breakfast was a rustic flower-filled wheelbarrow nestled in a grove of trees in our neighbors’ back yard. It reminded me of wheelbarrow rides, walks along the dusty roads, playing tag in the endless rows of corn, and lazily swaying in an old tire swing in Mom & Dad Wilson’s back yard.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Dining and buffet table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Dining tableWe don’t own one of those big, hefty farm tables like the one at the farm, but boy, do I wish we did! Instead, for this casual breakfast tablescape I draped a standard 6-ft. folding table with a 90″ x 132″ ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. The creamy color allows the bolder colors in the dishes and accessories to stand out.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Single place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Flatware, rooster tea towel napkin collageI wanted to create a tablescape where farm style rustic and suburban refined could easily coexist. Scroll & floral placemats in nutmeg, mocha and olive-green from Pier 1 anchor each place setting. The design mimics that of the background on the tea towel napkins from Dollar Tree. The rooster and chicken wire motifs on the napkin definitely fall into in that farm style rustic category! Pumpkin-colored dishes (purchased for just $1 each at the grocery store 2 years ago) work beautifully with the colors found in the napkin’s rooster. Simple Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware rounds out the setting.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Mason jar drinking mug collageA hearty serving of breakfast juice or fresh milk is served from these Mason jar mugs with a rooster design to complement the design element on the napkin and in the centerpiece. The mugs are from Dollar Tree.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: To further enhance the bucolic feel of the environment, I brought out wicker chairs (last seen HERE in an arbor setting) softened by Pier 1 toss pillows in colors corresponding with those in the placemats and napkins.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Wheat and rooster centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: resin rooster from Hobby Lobby

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Blackbeard Wheat CollageFor breakfast, the centerpiece is simple but reflective of the overall theme. Small sheaves of blackbeard wheat are placed in clear glass milk bottles that are corralled in a chicken wire basket from Michael’s. To extend the wheat theme to the outer reaches of the tablescape, a single stem is casually placed across the plate at the base of each bowl. Between the larger wheat arrangements is a colorful resin rooster from Hobby Lobby.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Buffet table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Buffet table top

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Blackbeard wheat arrangement in galvanized bucket on buffet table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Pastries, toast, cereal collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Orange juice, milk, coffee mug collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Eggs in wire basket, wooden egg sign collageThe buffet table is dressed in a chocolate brown full-length cloth and ivory topper from LinenTablecloth.com. Adding the brown layer sets the buffet table apart from the dining area. An assortment of pastries and other breakfast goods are served up on galvanized iron trays (Pottery Barn) lined with warm woolen cozies made by my sister. The galvanized trays are a great match for the French bucket filled with blackbeard wheat to tie in with the dining table decor. Another tiny bundle of wheat appears alongside the toast. Cereal can be scooped from clear glass apothecary canisters from Function Junction, and morning staples – fresh milk and fresh-squeezed orange juice – are served from clear glass carafes. Colorful Pier 1 mugs in ivory, pumpkin and olive-green neatly line up on the table’s edge awaiting a splash of morning coffee. Beneath the umbrella of the wheat arrangement are a vintage wire egg basket and an old wooden sign rescued from a thrift store.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast: Chalkboard signage, basket of sunflowers, eggs in wire basket collageAt the base of the buffet table is a handmade chalkboard sign on a 2-sided sandwich menu board from Kirkland’s. A chicken wire and chipwood basket holds a bundle of sunflowers.

More fall tables on this site:
“Italian Honeysuckle”
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
September Harvest Breakfast
“Quick & Casual Plaid & Paisley Fall Dinner”

Pumpkins & Peacocks
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Best Laid Plans
Serape High Style
Sunflower Simple
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn Blues
“Autumn White Wedding”
“Copper Zen”
“Autumn” page (10 fabulous fall posts on a single page!)

I’m going to TRY to get back here with a new Halloween tablescape next week, but I can’t guarantee it. I’m focusing on designing a number of tables (4 fantasy tables, 1 V.I.P. table, 24 guest tables!) for a Christmas-themed fundraiser that is fast approaching.
Meanwhile, Halloween tablescapes from years past:
“Serpents & Skullduggery”
“Ravenous Raven Graveyard Feast”
“Hollywood Fright Night”

Blog parties I’m linking up with this week:
Rustic & Refined‘s “Table It!
Between Naps On the Porch‘s “Tablescape Thursday”

Go K.C. Royals! Go K.C. Chiefs!!!

Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape

INSPIRATION: The red & white damask side of a reversible quilted throw from Tuesday Morning.

INSPIRATION: The red & white damask side of a reversible quilted throw.

Here in the Midwest it’s hotter than a firecracker already! We’re enduring scorching sun rays and humidity that’s sure to make your hair droop. The winds have been on the high side, too, which makes it very difficult to tablescape outdoors. My solution: create a tablescape using a heavier quilted topper that won’t so easily blow across the prairie. 🙂
(Click on any photo and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: Full tableThis table for 4 on a 48″ round table starts with a 108″ round white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. It is topped with a pretty red & white damask quilted throw from Tuesday Morning. The reversible topper is red & white striped on the other side which makes it a great choice for 4th of July and other patriotic tablescapes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: Place settingThis part table could come into service as a breakfast, brunch, or luncheon setting. The casual nature of the quilted throw and centerpiece items is easily coupled with the more formal china and silver at each place setting. The simplicity of Noritake “Spectrum” china makes it a good choice to work well with the bold design and strong colors of the topper.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: white cotton hemstitched napkin with red & silver napkin ringEach place setting has a simply folded white cotton hemstitched napkin cinched with a silver-rimmed red metal napkin ring from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: red martini glass from Pier 1 used for fruit compoteFor the fruit compote before the meal or dessert after, this graceful red martini glass from Pier 1 fits the bill. This style was chosen because the ball at the top of the stem mimics that in the water glass and the glass orb in the centerpiece. (Quick story about Pier 1…Ramon & I were in the store closest to our home last week buying a few clearance sale items. The young woman who checked us out asked, “Are you the Alycia Nichols who has the tablescape blog?” You can only imagine that my mouth hit the floor with that, but then she said to Ramon, “And are you Dr. Nichols?” You could have blown us over with a feather! It was nice to be recognized, especially by an employee of a store from which I buy a lot of items to use in my tablescapes! She told us that her Mom turned her onto my blog and that she’s also a Pinterest follower. So a shout out to Nikki at Pier 1 in Lee’s Summit, MO, and her Mom, Jan!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: water glassA simple clear drinking glass complements the setting. Notice the ball in the stem that works so well with the one in the martini glass.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: flatwareI used flatware with a design that complements that of the topper.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: coffee cup & saucerTo add to the casual air of the table, the coffee cup, saucer and spoon are pre-set with a little cookie.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape: Centerpiece collageNotice how the centerpiece is pushed off to one side of the table. This allows for greater ease in conversation across the smallish table. The galvanized oversized pitcher is whitewashed for a kind of country appeal and filled with apple tree branches. (I used faux here, but by all means if you have the real thing…go for it!!!) A simple white wicker basket is filled with a bounty of apples. (Add a few flags to the table and serve all-American apple pie for dessert, and this instantaneously becomes an overtly patriotic brunch tablescape for the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Flag Day!) The clear glass orb atop a white wooden pedestal works because of the coloring, the size and the shape.

 

Compared to last week’s post, this was a super mini!!! I hope you enjoyed it and that you were perhaps able to collect an idea or two for your next summer tablescape!

 

Other tablescapes on this site with an off-center centerpiece on this site:
Lemonade From Bill
Planning in Purple

 

Other tablescapes on this site using a quilted topper or runner:
Tall & Toile, Y’all!
My Sister’s Wedding China
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Love’s Arrow
Rhapsody in Blue

 

Other tablescapes on this site with a patriotic theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
4th of July Coastal Style
Stars & Stripes 
Lauren in the Library
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries
American Royal Tablescape

I’ll be joining Christine at Rustic & Refined again on Monday for “Table It!“. I’ll also join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for another edition of “Tablescape Thursday”. If you come along for the parties, you’re sure to find plenty of inspiration and help with planning your next tablescape!

Spring Green

Join me starting at 6:00 CDT tonight for
Cuisine Kathleen‘s Birds/Eggs/Nests Tablescape Challenge!!!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Full Centerpiece view from side of table

INSPIRATION: Flowers left over from my Mom’s 85th birthday luncheon (Click on photo to go to this post.)

I had a ton of flowers left over from the ladies’ luncheon I hosted for my Mom’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, so I put together a quickie tablescape to demonstrate how some of these same flowers could be used in a less formal but nonetheless pretty luncheon or brunch setting for Spring or Summer. This setting would also be ideal for a baby shower (especially if the gender is unknown!), special adult birthday, bridal shower or luncheon, engagement party, Mother’s Day gathering, rehearsal dinner, or even a garden club get-together.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Spring Green: Full table from end

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Spring Green: Full table from side viewAs with the luncheon, full-length 90″ x 132″ white tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com were used. The table this time, however, is configured to seat 8 instead of 12, with the two 6-ft. tables kissed together lengthwise to create an “almost square.” (Consider this table arrangement in rooms where multiple tables will be set up, too. A mix of rounds, “squares” and oblongs is very pleasing to the eye, helps settle the problem of too few or too many place settings at a table, and can offer varied centerpiece opportunities!)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Green: Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Green: Single place settingThe place settings here are quite pared down compared to my Mom’s luncheon! A square rattan charger from Tuesday Morning anchors the setting. A very feminine and pretty white scrolled plate from Home Goods is set out for lunch.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Green: Napkin fold, Stemware, Flatware, Rim Shot collageA cotton napkin in spring green and white from Stein Mart is simply tented and placed atop each plate. The flatware – also used in last week’s “All A’Bloom in Pink for Spring” tablescape – is Hampton Forge’s “Bamboo Mirror” stainless steel pattern. The glassware is from Dollar Tree.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Green: Full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Green: Centerpiece pitcher, moss pot and plater collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Green: Floral collageAll of the flowers needed to be re-cut anyway to keep them fresh longer, so that was the perfect opportunity to rearrange them into different vessels. Lined moss-covered flower pots make beautiful small arrangements to complement the centralized large whitewashed metal pitcher. Whitewashed metal planters flank each end of the table-length centerpiece, with all of it anchored by a sheet of moss. (Flowers and greenery: white spider mums, peachy pink roses, peachy pink spray roses, fragrant stock, greenish white carnations, seeded eucalyptus, goldenrod, leatherleaf and variegated pittosporum)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Green: Cluster of porcelain birds

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Green: Porcelain birdDecorative white birds from Michael’s and bird salt & pepper shakers from Pier 1 dot the centerpiece. Small birds from Michael’s also rest at the tip of the forks.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Green: Chairs with LinenTablecloth.com stretch coversFinally, the same white stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com are used, this time without the white rosette chair cap or satin sash. Reducing the layers of fabric on the chairs serves to further reduce the complexity of the overall tablescape.

So, there you have it. From over-the-top fab one week to sweet, lovely and a whole lot easier to accomplish while maintaining quality results the next!

Other posts on this site featuring Spring tablescapes:
“Spring Has Sprung”
“The Bluebird Special”
“Daffodilyicious”
“Purple for Spring”

“Zen Garden”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Goin’ Green for Spring”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet”
“Peony Power”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Daisy Crazy”
“French Poodle”
“All A’Bloom in Pink for Spring”

“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
and the “Spring” tab above for a couple of fun Springtime tablescapes

In addition to Cuisine Kathleen‘s Spring Challenge (challenging us to present tables using birds, eggs and/or nests), I’ll be joining Susan again this week for “Tablescape Thursday”. I hope you’ll come visit these fine parties for a lot of inspiration and a whole lot of tablescaping fun!

 

 

Christmas Coffee

If it seems like I’m dumping an awful lot of Christmas tablescapes on you all at once, it’s because I am!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I had 6 tables from the “Art of Tablescaping” class I taught back in October, PLUS 3 additional ones I had to get out of my brain. I hope I’m able to share them all before Christmas Eve for those still scouting ideas!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it to see up-close details.)

INSPIRATION: These fun bandanas to use as napkins found at Hobby Lobby over the summer.

INSPIRATION: These fun bandanas with a flourish of coffee labels to use as napkins found at Hobby Lobby over the summer.

I saw these bandanas at Hobby Lobby and immediately thought, “Christmas!”

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Full roomOur eat-in kitchen is the place to be on Christmas morning as the sun begins its lazy ascent. I like to have lots of good food waiting, and along with that food is lots of coffee to get us through the long day. We’re grandparents now…just don’t have the energy we used to! 🙂 (Click HERE to see another Christmas morning breakfast tablescape!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: TableI draped our 45″ x 45″ counter-height table with a 108″ round Christmas-y red tablecloth and then topped it with an 85″ x 85″ espresso brown tablecloth, both from LinenTablecloth.com. While brown may not be a top 3 color choice that springs to mind when you think of Christmas, it looks great when paired with the bright red.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Place settingBright red Royal Norfolk plates and coffee mugs from Deal$ (same folks who own Dollar Tree) pair with ivory cereal bowls. The napkin, positioned between the plate and bowl, picks up the colors from both the tablecloths and dishes.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: FlatwareRays of morning sun stream in across the Hampton Silversmith “Patriot” flatware.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Coffee bean/cranberry enterpieceA simple centerpiece is all that’s needed for Christmas morning. This one consists of a deep brown basket from Dollar Tree filled with fresh, aromatic coffee beans topped with a handful of cranberries, a few glitzy ornaments and a sprig or two of greenery.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Regina Reindeer & kitchen Christmas tree collageA cute reindeer made of grapevine stands ready to serve by this year’s kitchen Christmas tree. No fancy adornment here…just a few strands of lights to make it stand out in the corner. The stool that lends height to the tree is covered with a cheerful snowflake Christmas tree skirt from the Dollar Tree. For just a dollar, no worries if something is spilled on it!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Wreath, coffee prints collageA largely unadorned wreath in the window is accompanied this morning by a couple of prints that depict the wondrous glory of coffee. Amen to that!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Poinsettia on breakfast barA lush red poinsettia given to us by our neighbor is displayed in a dark urn on the breakfast bar. The espresso sign leaves no doubt what this morning is all about: the coffee!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Black table under breakfast bar collageThis tiered table was moved from the living room to free up floor space for the Christmas tree, so it had to get a little something-something in the way of decoration, too. The top is adorned with a large greenery spray dotted with red berries. A big bowl of cranberries picks up some of the elements in the table centerpiece. On the shelf below is a soup tureen with a holly and rosemary motif from Home Goods. Placing it atop a few books gives it little more prominence.

I hope you’re just about finished with your shopping and decorating so that you can relax and soak up the joys of the season this weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by!

To see other winter/Christmas-related tablescapes on this site:
Woodland Men’s Christmas Tablescape
After the Hunt – Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat

Christmas Fiesta
Kaleidoscope Christmas – Multi-Color Kids’ Tablescape
Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas
Christmas Through the Red Door
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Contemporary Christmas: Fire & Ice
Celebrating the Season
Sugar High Payback
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner 2011
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
Warm Metal Christmas
Winter Brunch
plus NINE additional posts on a single page under the “WINTER” tab!!!

Going Green for Spring

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INSPIRATION: Fun acid green woven favor boxes from Beau-coup.com

It’s finally starting to feel a bit more like Spring here in the Kansas City, MO area. Hooray! This time of year means a round of Spring cleaning (ugh! :-(), which means it’s time to reduce, recycle and reuse. So here’s a tablescape to remind us to go green (have a garage sale, donate to thrift stores, use old items for new creations, vow to stop shopping…..whoa! Wait a minute! Who threw that last one in there??!?!?!!). In other words, time to go green!!!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

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IFThis fun green & white table for 8 begins with a fresh white full-length linen from LinenTablecloth.com. I was so happy to once again have a chance to use this fabulous Mikasa “Daylight” dinnerware. With its freshly sprouted leaves on a wispy branch, it says Spring to me like no other dish I have whether it’s for a birthday, a ladies’ luncheon or Sunday brunch! (Click HERE to see these dishes used in another colorful Spring setting AND in a subdued Asian-inspired theme. They’re just that versatile!)

Flatware, stemware, charger collageSimple clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery doesn’t compete with the flurry of decor on the table.  The “chargers” are rustic grapevine wreaths. (These were also used as chargers for an American Royal tablescape HERE.) Dark faux bamboo flatware from Home Goods works in concert with the chargers and branch design on the plates.

IFThe good folks at Beau-coup.com sent me these eye-popping acid green woven favor boxes. They look terrific “as is”, or you can dress them up with any manner of flourish. Here, to keep the organic look and  theme of recycling to go green, I hot glued pieces of broken from the chargers. Imagine these with a pretty silk posy, a tilted bird’s nest, a pouf of ribbon, or a simple twine bow. Just go wherever your imagination and theme take you! TIP: This shade of green is often hard to “match.” Don’t even try to go there. Take your cue from nature’s variegated colors and strive to complement rather than match.

Agapanthus, butterfly collageI found the squared-off green vases at a nearby wholesale store that always has something fun to tempt me. The shape of these vases lends itself to a variety of looks. On this table the arrangement is merely 3 majestically tall faux agapanthus. (I used these same green vases on the buffet with lots of orchids overflowing HERE.) An oversized acid green butterfly with pretty mesh wings perches on the side. To bring the moppy heads of the agapanthus down closer to eye level, I snipped and plopped a few into sleek white ceramic urns.

Mercury ball on candlestick collageCandlesticks aren’t just for candles! I used these white turned wood candlesticks from Z Gallerie to hold large, heavy mercury balls that sow a little shine into the otherwise unpolished setting.

Rose collageI bought a bunch of these little rose bundles wholesale a while back in several colors. I’ve seen similar ones in stores like Michaels. They look really good massed together as seen here in this white weathered aluminum planter. A single bundle is just enough to fill a smaller white ceramic urn.

Buffet collage

Wreath collageOn the buffet is a massive grapevine wreath that carries on the look of the chargers on the dining table. In the spirit of recycling and looking for something with a funky little beat, I used the stems cut from the agapanthus on the table to create a rambling design on one side of the wreath. The asymmetrical design is balanced a little with the presence of 3 more of the large butterflies. A mercury ball finial brings shine to the vignette, while dessert plates and forks peek out from beneath a floral arrangement.

Tea cart collageOn the tea cart are faux bamboo spoons and gorgeous Mikasa “Daylight” cups & saucers. A Ralph Lauren pierced cake pedestal (Tuesday Morning) holds more of the Beau-coup favor boxes, this time unadorned and filled with cookies for guests to take home. Your choice: favors on the table at each individual place setting, or displayed en masse for guests to pick up on their way out the door.

Many thanks to Beau-coup.com for providing these pretty favor boxes for me to play with! It was tons of fun! Beau-coup has a wonderful variety of “favors, party supplies, gifts, and more for all of life’s celebrations.” (I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I didn’t even try…I just plagiarized it! :-)) Stop by and check them out!

Other posts on this site with green and white tablescapes:
“The Party She Deserves”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Upscale Irish”

There are lots of fun blog parties out there with ideas from the creative minds of bloggers all across the United States and around the world. Partying hearty here in the Midwest (U.S.A.) are blog buddies like Marigene “In the Middle of Nowhere“, Lynne at “Lynne’s Gifts From the Heart“, Cindy at “Beaux R’eves“, Cherry Kay at “Entertaining Women” (she had a gorgeous green & white table last week!), Judy at “JBiggs Little Pieces“, sweet Pat at “Back Porch Musings“, “The Home Girl“, and newcomer Christine at “Rustic & Refined“. Join us this week at:
Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday

Blog parties are a wonderful opportunity for you to learn from tablescapers who do this regularly and have lots of tried and true ideas!

Peony Power!

Do you remember those 1970s Chiffon Margarine commercials with “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!” as the slogan? Apparently someone didn’t get the memo, because this has been one of the weirdest weather years in recent history. We experienced one of the mildest, driest winters, and Spring has rapidly turned to Summer without so much as a “How do you do?”.  To quote yet another, more contemporary TV commercial, “Wasuuuuuuuuuuuppppppppp??!?!?!”

Peonies generally wait to pop their big moppy heads out sometime in mid-May, but it’s only May 1 and most blooms are nothing but a memory around here. Pitiful. But that won’t stop me from sharing this with those of you who still have a few weeks of peony power on your side! This would make a great Mothers Day celebration table, or work great for a birthday, rehearsal dinner, engagement party, or bridal shower.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

This Tuscan-style table for 12 on the deck starts out with a full-length white linen topped with a beautiful piece of blue & white fabric I found at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store.

A basic white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery is topped with a cobalt blue glass dinner plate from Pier 1.

Each place setting has a white hemstitch napkin gathered with a fun napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond. I just love napkin rings that look like jewelry!

The very subtle pattern of Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection works well with the busy topper.

I favored this flatware because the design on the handle looks a lot like the pattern of the fabric. I always look for similarities in shapes, patterns and angles to make details mesh.

A mix of small and large peony arrangements in cobalt blue glass vases line the center of the table. These peonies are not real for this demonstration table (alas and alack, those bad boys have long since met their Maker!), but when you use real ones, be sure to check for those pesky little ants that like to hang out in the blooms. (There are 2 schools of thought on whether or not ants actually promote the opening of the multi-layered blooms. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and spare them a date with a can of Raid. ;-))

After the sun retires for the evening, these reticulated canisters – set at intervals between the florals – are great for disguising a chunky LED candle that will make light dance across the table.

Visit other posts on this site oozing with peony power:
Peonies & Pearls
Peaceful Peonies

Other posts on this site using cobalt blue:
Daffodillyicious
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Surf & Turf Dinner
Brilliant Italian
Summer Blues & Greens

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. Pop on over to see what a bunch of other ladies and gents are up to this week with their tablescaping!

Springtime In Paris Mother’s Day Buffet

Mother’s Day is inching ever closer, and I want to start now with ideas for a fresh and very flowery buffet table. This is yet another buffet tablescape I created for my Spring 2012 “Art of Tablescaping” class students. I wanted to demonstrate – among other things – how placing a “centerpiece” at the end could be just as effective as centering it and how extending the look across the back side of the table makes it all work.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

Wow…that’s a lot of stuff!!!!!! But it’s all very effective in illustrating the intended look of Springtime on the Champ de Mars in Paris where the Eiffel Tower shares ground with hundreds of fabulous blossoming cherry trees. This is one of those tables that is a loose interpretation of something rather than getting absolutely literal. (Ramon was NOT letting me bring actual cherry trees in this house!!!) In addition to Mother’s Day, this buffet setting would work well for a post-nuptial brunch or luncheon if the couple is honeymooning in Paris.  As with many tables, I started with a full-length white linen.

I love to present flatware and napkins in fun, different ways. Here a gallery tray holds a silver julep cup filled with forks. Surrounding the cup are soft pink napkins rolled tightly to resemble rosebuds…or cinnamon rolls…or however your imagination wants to interpret them! (Click HERE  and scroll down to Tip #33 for a tutorial on how to create these cute little gems!) You may prefer to place the flatware and napkins at the end of the buffet rather than the start.

Why just sit the plates on the table if you can elevate them to new heights with something like this silver beaded edge plateau? Crank your brain and use your full imagination to come up with plateau ideas from around your home like candle stands, hat boxes, teacups, books…whatever! Just be sure the plates cannot be easily knocked over!!! Porcelain “doily” plates here from Pier 1.

A tiered stand is ideal for displaying cookies or other two-bite treats. Don’t have a ready-made tiered stand? Create one using plates and glasses or candlesticks or teacups. Again, just be sure the structure is secure. Cling® or a similar non-permanent floral adhesive is a good choice to make sure everything stays in place. Be sure to hide your mechanics with a few flowers or by piling the food high. You don’t want that ugly stuff showing through!!!

Here I used 2 sizes of silver cake plateaus to display cheeses and dessert. The breads are brought to the table in an old-fashioned but still quite pretty and very functional silver wire bread basket. A small branch laden with ripe plums is casually placed across the top for color and interest.

It’s all the rage…and even if it wasn’t, it’s still a great way to serve tiny portions of your favorite foods. Everything from cold soups to granola to mixed fruit looks great when served up in tiny vessels with their own tiny spoons. Don’t bother spending a ton of money on the sets found at places like Pier 1 unless you can find a good sale or clearance price. (Sorry, Pier 1. You know I love you, but what you’re asking for those things is criminal!) Consider using things already in your inventory like clean votive holders, shot glasses, demitasse cups, or miniature ramekins or martini glasses. I found the little spoons at Bed Bath & Beyond for 79 cents each, but you may be able to score some less pricey.

 On to the centerpiece! You can probably find Eiffel Tower replicas at stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Gordmans which is where I bought mine several years ago. My guess is that you can probably find one at the CHRISTMAS TREE SHOP, too, because apparently – if  Cuisine Kathleen and The Tablescaper’s blogs are any indication – you can find just about EVERYTHING great there!!! (I just had to get that dig in to a couple of my blogger buddies because I’m so jealous they have CTS and we don’t! ;-))

Anyhoooooooo……I wanted to capture the feeling of all the lush florals on the Champ de Mars, so I grouped clear glass vases with petite rose bouquets beneath the tower and sort of let them “spill” over as roses naturally do. The fragile look of soft pink roses timidly peeking out from behind the austere lattice of “The Iron Lady” (La dame de fer) as the tower is nicknamed, is such a striking juxtaposition. (If your Mother, like mine, has a very strong personality, she might actually appreciate the irony of this symbol!) Pots of green grass represent the fertile grounds of the Champ de Mars, and a random flurry of butterflies across the table brings in another element of Spring. The “cherry blossoms” used here are flowered branches from Hobby Lobby, but if you have the real thing, by all means…go for it!!!

Not that any other sane human soul looking at the table would necessarily make this observation, but there was a specific reason I chose these gooseneck tower vases for the “cherry trees.” Notice how they resemble the trunk of a tree? And look there at the very bottom…doesn’t the foot of the vase look like the bumpy roots as they meet the ground? Do I need to cut back on the two martini lunches or what?!?!?!! 🙂

Before my head completely explodes, let’s consider the beverage center set up near the buffet table. When you’re working within a small space, just about any surface will do. Here, a cut glass beverage decanter with the word “Paris” across the front sits on a simple silver tray. Lined up on either side are stemmed glasses decked out with fruit and ready for some fun, Springtime refreshment like the ultimate French elixir – champagne – infused with a spritz of strawberry schnapps.

Next week, a great companion table to this Mothers Day buffet, “Mothers Day Luncheon in Pink“. Meanwhile, other tablescapes on this site that would work well for a Mother’s Day celebration include:
Peonies and Pearls
Pink Plaid & Posies
Daisy Crazy
Mother’s Day Brunch” (just scroll down past Daisy Crazy)

Another post on this site using a Parisian theme with the Eiffel Tower as a centerpiece AND using this rosebud napkin fold:
Au Revoir!” (scroll down to the 9th entry on the page)

Other tablescapes on this site with a “rosebud napkin fold”:
“Cupcake Colors”
“Au Revoir”
“Mother’s Day Luncheon In Pink”

Please join me again this week for Tablescape Thursday at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch and on BeBetsy.com! And if you get a chance, please stop by Beaux R’eves where my buddy, Cindy, posted the coolest “Under the Sea” tablescape for a local charity.

Carousel Colors

Easter is so close now. It just kind of snuck up on me!

This light & airy table, set up on our deck, would be perfect for an outdoor Easter breakfast or brunch. The happy melange of colors would work well for just about any casual Spring or Summer tablescape! It’s especially perfect to celebrate Liz’s (A Dish Here, A Glass There) March 24th birthday!!!
(Click on any photo to enlarge!)

A full-length white table linen is covered with two straw mat runners that extend across rather than a single one trailing the length of the dining table. The straw adds a textural element to the table while the pink cotton edging lends a tease of color.

I found these “Lyda” dolomite dishes with the wonderfully whimsical pattern at Pier 1 a couple of years ago. (I like to refer to them as my Alice in Wonderland dishes!) It truly was a battle of wills as I waited until they hit the clearance section at 75% off. I was so glad to be able to get enough for 8 place settings. When dishes have a range of colors like these, that’s my cue to mix and match accessories with abandon! (Note that the egg cups, vases, straw mats, and even the flowers pick up on the different colors.) The white ceramic chargers are from Old Time Pottery.

Pfaltzgraff “Legacy” stainless flatware is simple in shape and style so as to not compete with the wildly meandering pattern on the dishes.

These colorful egg cups came in a range of colors at Crate & Barrel. I bought them in citrus green, as pictured here, as well as bubble gum pink, luscious lavender and lemon yellow.

I am almost certain I bought this milky green stemware at Pier 1 about 15 years ago. (I had them in blue, too, and could just kick myself for selling them!) It’s fun and just a teensy bit decadent to sip your morning orange juice from a martini glass! (Although not as much fun as sipping your morning martini from an orange juice glass! 🙂 )

Three dollar clearance sale urns from K-Mart, spray-painted a brilliant sunshine yellow, are topped with mounded arborvitae and finished off with a dark wrought iron obelisk for height. (For an even more whimsical look, or for a May Day celebration, consider tying lengths of flowing ribbon to the top of the obelisks to gently flutter in the breeze.)

A colorful assortment of roses and hydrangea are assembled in various sizes of ceramic vases borrowed from our guest bedroom decor.

The beverage table is dressed in a poufy pink full-length cotton linen. The straw mat runner is trimmed in a seasonal green. Next to the table is my beloved wooden carousel horse, most often used around here for Kentucky Derby table settings. (Click HERE and scroll down to “Run For the Roses” to see the horse used for Derby Day. You can also click HERE to see him used on a Kentucky Derby buffet table!) The carousel colors on the dishes naturally made me think of him!

Pier 1’s “Lyda” teapot is great for serving any warm beverage. In hindsight, I should have bought more than one!

A repeat of the dining table florals is found playing peek-a-boo from a fanciful hatbox. Greenery vines lend more presence to the table.

I hope you’re just about ready for Easter! I still have eggs to dye and a coconut cake recipe to refine. From our house to yours, may you be blessed with a peaceful Easter weekend!

Other Easter tables on this site:
Easter Brunch
Barton’s Easter Brunch
Pinky Peter Cottontail

Please join me again this week for Tablescape Thursday! I guarantee my blogger buddies will have lots of great tablescapes to share with you!

Linked to BeBetsy.com!