Tuscan Holiday

A neighbor asked me to help her with the design of a dinner tablescape for an Italian Christmas feast. She wanted to keep the look “very low key.” Further, she wanted the colors to be warm and not “overtly Italian.” My solution was to pair her white bowls with my mustard-color plates. We also used her existing flatware & stemware.

The long, lush centerpiece uses rustic wooden bowls as the foundation. (September Wine to see these wooden bowls & oversized hurricane sleeves used in a similar design on a long Tuscan-style table.) To this I added massive 24″H clear glass hurricane sleeves from Pottery Barn with an ivory pillar candle atop an oil-rubbed bronze candlestick. The outer edges of the bowl are filled with assorted seasonal fruits. To finish the look, fragrant evergreens cut fresh from the yard.
To finish each place setting, a bronzed charger and simple yellow apple serve as a subtle extension of the centerpiece. Rich chocolate linens convey the desired warmth and subtlety.
A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate the Season
Christmas in the Woods
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
Roman Holiday
Cardinal Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
March of the Penguins
Winter Cardinal
Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party
Christmas Fiesta
Over the River and Through the Woods
Black Friday Luncheon
Noel Progressive Dinner
Old-Fashioned Red & Green Christmas
Timberland Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Warm Metal Christmas
Let It Snow

“Let It Snow!”

Christmas Eve 2009 brought a thick blanket of snow to the Kansas City area. What better way to celebrate it than to bring a few snowflakes inside to the dining room tablescape?

 

 

 

Because I wanted to keep a little bit of a “woodland” look, I kept the table bare of linens to expose its grainy wood.

 

 

A shiny silver charger anchors platinum rimmed white Noritake “Spectrum” dinner plates, followed by a shimmering acrylic snowflake, and finally a white snowflake-laden salad plate from Pier 1. Mikasa‘s Jamestown Platinum stemware and heirloom silver flatware complete the setting. The centerpiece is made up of a large silver cake plateau topped with “snow-dusted” faux evergreens and lots of pillar candles.

 

Sometimes one napkin is simply not enough! Layering napkins – here a sheer silver organza from Pier 1 over crisp white cotton – gives a richer look. The rhinestone flecked napkin rings continue the snowflake trend.

 

I love these mirrored candlesticks from Pier 1 (2009 collection) used to elongate the centerpiece! Silver jingle bells rest on a mound of faux snow in modern crystal mini vases, and a 3-D glittery star work to complete the centerpiece.

 

 

 

The buffet decor mimics that of the dining table with snowy faux greenery, pine cones, more jingle bells, and lots of sparkle. The glass Parisian decanter is filled with “snow” and greenery, and a length of brown satin ribbon literally “ties” the dining room in with decor in the foyer.

A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate the Season
Christmas in the Woods
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
Roman Holiday
Cardinal Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
March of the Penguins
Winter Cardinal
Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party
Christmas Fiesta
Over the River and Through the Woods
Black Friday Luncheon
Noel Progressive Dinner
Old-Fashioned Red & Green Christmas
Timberland Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Warm Metal Christmas
Tuscan Holiday

 

 

 

 

Flashy Flamingos – Navy, White & Pink Tablescape

As evidenced by my 2012 post, “Flamingos in Paradise“, I was a big fan of flamingos before they became all the rage this summer. Something about those big, pink birds…maybe just because they’re my favorite color!

 

 

II love my country, but I’m about plumb tuckered out on the red, white and blue for a minute.  This refreshing respite of pink, white and navy blue is just what the tablescaping doctor ordered. The round table for 4 is layered with those very colors from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

My objective was to set off the bright pink and white against the deep blue. The Crate & Barrel charger for each setting has a bright pink ruffled edge. Plain white dinner plates are offset by navy blue square salad plates from Pier 1. The cotton napkins are from Bed Bath & Beyond, and the faux bamboo flatware is from JC Penney.

 

I just love these peppy pink flamingo-spattered glasses from Home Goods! They’re perfect for serving iced tea, lemonade, water, or – my personal favorite – a tropical cocktail! I paired them with clear water  glasses.

 

The inspiration for this tablescape came from this fun navy & white striped bucket peppered with flamingos from Home Goods. (I think its original intent is to be used as a flatware caddy, but what the heck…I march to the beat of my own twisted drum sometimes!) I filled it with sago palms and tucked in a metal flamingo for a quick, easy tablescape with tropical flair.

 

The other side of the deck is included in the party decor with a continuance of the color scheme.

 

 

Sips and snacks are set up on a bamboo tray in the seating area. A sweet blog friend gave me these ceramic flamingo appetizer plates a few years ago, and I love them as much today as when I first got them. Thank you, Mona!

 

 

Pink lemonade is the perfect summer drink in these glasses. The plastic pitcher is from Target and the fun flamingo stir sticks from Tuesday Morning.

 

 

On the other end of the coffee table are a white ceramic vase overflowing with pink and white tulips and a stack of alternating pink & white cocktail napkins literally anchored to keep them from blowing away in the summer breeze.

 

 

The seating area’s side table is set up with a pot of summer flowers as the backdrop to a blue & white striped sailboat (to mirror the look of the centerpiece on the dining table) and guest favors in flamingo-flecked boxes.

 

 

 

You know how I love my paper lanterns, and for this setting I really loaded ’em up! Varying shades of pink mixed with white lanterns are embellished with navy blue ribbon streamers for additional color and movement.

Thanks so much for stopping in to check out the flashy flamingos!

Other tablescapes using paper lanterns on this site:
Cupcake Colors
Easter Brunch
Butterfly Kaleidoscope – Indoors & Outdoors
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Under A Paper Moon
Chinese Takeout

Other tablescapes with tropical settings on this site:
Hot Tropical
Caribbean Queen

Ocean Blue
Tropicana

Summer Breeze

 

 

 

Clematis & Hyacinth – A Purple & Grey Tablescape

Royal Stafford “Clematis” dinnerware. Sigh!!! When this design first hit the scene some years ago, it was all the rage. I promptly plucked up ten dinner plates and cereal bowls to add to my ever-growing collection. Hmmm…that was 5+ years ago. I’ve just recently been inspired to actually USE them!

 

This relatively quick and easy-to-assemble tablescape begins with a pewter-toned crushed poly full-length tablecloth that I absolutely love for both its color AND its versatility.

 

 

 

 

The smoky grey/pewter of the tablecloth and napkin – loosely knotted and draped over the lower edge of the plate – works so well with the purple hues of the dinnerware. I used 2 chargers for depth and color variation (a lavender acrylic and a silver beaded edge metal), a tablescape design trick I also used for “Simply Peacock Garden“, “French Poodle“, “Pumpkins & Peacocks“, “Copper Zen“, and “Hooray For Vodka!

 

Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware.

 

The water glasses are simple stock from Old Time Pottery. The plum-colored wine glasses are from Home Goods.

 

Now this is where it all gets a little sketchy. In my twisted little mind, clematis and flowering dogwood possess some similarities.  No, they don’t look just alike by any stretch of the imagination, but the blooms on dogwood branches were close enough for me to create dramatic height for this table! Flowering dogwood branches spring up from this trio of slender grey glass vases that make up the simple centerpiece.

Other posts on this site (other than Mardi Gras and Christmas!) that use a healthy pop of purple:
Purple & Pastel
Purple for Spring
Luscious Layers of Lavender
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Easter Floral
Purple + Green = Happy Birthday!
Planning in Purple

 

88 Years and 88 Keys

This is a 2-minute compilation video of the birthday celebration.
See still photos below.

 

My Mom very recently celebrated her 88th birthday. Here’s the thing, though: In no way does this woman personify the “typical” 88-year-old. Although she retired from the Missouri Senate about 6 years ago to care for my ailing Dad, she never really retired. She still has a seat on several boards, is active in her church and community, shops like a demon, and continues to pick up various civic awards. In fact, I had to postpone her annual birthday luncheon by 5 days so that she could attend an awards luncheon on her actual birthday! The Starr Women’s Hall of Fame Induction & Award Luncheon had an impressive guest list of about 1,000 and featured keynote speaker actor/activist/author Ashley Judd (so nice, so pretty, and a powerful speaker). It was a different but fun way to celebrate.

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (Ret.)

Mom entering the stage as she is introduced.

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Mom with her medal

 

Sen. Yvonne S. Wilson (ret.)

Proud moment for my husband and me to be there with my Mom!

 

L to R: my cousin Dee, me, my Mom, Ashley Judd, my Aunt Vivienne, my niece Yvonne, and my sister Berishia

 

How on earth could I possibly follow something as cool as that??!?!??!!? Answer: Don’t even try to compete! Just do what you do, or as the kids say, “Just do you.”

The invitations were the inspiration for the tablescape. My Mom has always loved piano music (she endured me tickling the ivories for years!), and so I came up with the idea to pair the 88 keys of the piano with the celebration of her 88 years. I bought 3-part invitations at Hobby Lobby, but decided to create the actual invitation insert myself on plain white cardstock. You’ll see what I did with the other part later.

 

We moved the keyboard upstairs from the basement level to the library for our featured pianist, 10-year-old music student Gabriella Howell, to regale the ladies as they arrived for cocktail hour. (This is Gabriella with her mother, my friend, Angelynn Howell.)

 

 

 

Each guest stopped in the foyer to greet Mom and have an individual photo taken with her. Guests included longtime friends and family. I asked guests to please wear black, white, or a combination of the two for the event so that Mom would stand out in her brilliant red outfit.

 

The dining table was, as almost always during inclement weather, set up in the living room. In keeping with our 88 Keys theme, I chose black & white striped stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve used these same chair covers in other diverse tablescapes including Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos and Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink. The invitation and menu had beautiful black & white damask, so I represented that in the table runner, also from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

The tablecloth used on each of the two 6-ft. tables is simply a white washable 90″ x 132″ poly from LinenTablecloth.com. I loosely tie the ends to keep guests from tripping over the generously proportioned cloth.

 

Nothing pops on black and white quite like red does, so I put together five arrangements of deep red regular size and spray roses along with fluffy, fragrant carnations in cut crystal rose bowls. Simple, but elegant.

 

Each place setting began with a black charger in a contemporary cut topped with a simple square cut B. Smith plate. Black “San Remo” flatware is paired with a cut crystal-handled luncheon knife. “Longchamps” stemware completes the setting.

 

Here is where I used the intended invitation insert…for the menu! I couldn’t get them to go through my computer, so I MacGyver’ed it and printed the menu onto plain white cardstock which was then cut to size and clipped to the backdrop with a tiny black clothespin from Michaels. The red grosgrain ribbon and rhinestone buckle were included with the invitations, so I used them to add a dash of color to the menu. The menus were placed atop a plain black napkin set on the luncheon plates.

 

After-luncheon coffee and dessert service was set up on the breakfast bar. Our kitchen is mercifully decorated in black & white, so everything worked well together through the semi-open space.

 

I found painted white wood numbers in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby.

 

The dollar store now has cool black & white striped paper napkins!!!

 

I made vanilla cupcakes with light buttercream frosting sprinkled with red & black sugar confetti. They are displayed on white Ralph Lauren “Pavillion” cake stands.

 

No one leaves our home after an event without some sort of favor in hand! I baked sugar cookies, some in musical note shapes and some stamped with musical notes using black gel dye. The black & white striped cardboard favor boxes from Michaels each got a splatter of notes, too. I stuffed them with black & white crinkled & shredded paper.

 

Happy 88th Birthday, Mom! You know I so enjoy being able to host you and your friends each year. Here’s wishing you many, many more!

If you’d like to see previous birthday celebrations for my Mom:
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”,
or the “Birthdays” tab above for more celebrations!
One more you might really like on this site:
“The Party She Deserves”

Happy April, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Tropical Tablescape

It reached a hot, humid 93 degrees yesterday in the Kansas City area. 93!!!! June JUST started!!! It feels like we’re in the tropics, but there are no banana trees, beach huts, or hot, shirtless cabana boys bringing me frosty cold fruit drinks with little umbrellas. Where’s the justice???!?!?!?

Since it’s feeling like the Seychelles outside, might as well enjoy a summertime meal with a casual, colorful tropical tablescape full of hot color! (But again, I have to ask….where are the hot cabana boys??!?!?!!)
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.) 

One of the most striking colors around for a tropical tablescape is sexy, sultry, steamy hot pink! A lap-length plain linen is finished off with a rush of color and pattern with this monstera leaf/bird of paradise/hot pink plumeria-laden fabric from Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores.

Place settings here are kept simple with clean lines that don’t duke it out with the linen. Hot pink melamine dinner plates (also used here) rimmed with a bit of orange are complemented with faux bamboo flatware. No salad plate is present even though a coconut laced fruit salad is on the menu. When dining outside in summer, consider chilling your salad plates or bowls to keep the contents crisper and cooler longer. Also consider presenting the salad fork to each guest in a bowl of ice (shown here or here, Tip #3). It looks cool, makes a grand presentation, and the cool fork won’t wilt your salad greens! (For a tropical setting like this, consider presenting the salad fork in a half shell coconut filled with ice and decorated with a tropical bloom!)

A small orange glass vase from Hobby Lobby is filled with plumeria blooms and placed in the center of each plate. The fabric topper features images of plumeria, lilies, and bird of paradise, so any of those (or a combination!) works well.

 A black poly-cotton napkin from Bed Bath & Beyond is tucked into simple clear glass stemware. (There actually is a bird of paradise napkin fold that  – if you have the patience & skill to create it – would look great if you wanted to place the napkin on the plate.)

The centerpiece used here is one of my favorite parts of the tablescape with its dramatic size, bold color, and asymmetrical design. I have used this oversized ginger jar from Home Goods for a couple of different Oriental tablescapes in the past. It is equally at home here decked with highly textural painted orange bamboo. I decided to place a few of the bamboo sticks in a perpendicular fashion to balance the width with the height of the centerpiece and lend fun modern flair.

A trio of black iron candlesticks outfitted with sleek black tapers is placed on each side of the centerpiece to further extend the length of the centerpiece on the 6-ft. table. Using black tapers rather than pink or orange keeps a sleek, continuous line going.

It’s always a good idea to dress serving tables to complement – although they needn’t necessarily match – the dining table. Here I used a full-length hot pink linen on a round table to serve icy cold “adult beverages” with tropical flair. Notice the plumeria cascading from the fruit bowl to draw from the tiny bouquets at each guest setting.

That’s it for this week! Go slip into a sassy little sarong (or a thong if you can still rock that! ;-)), get something fruity fresh going in the blender, and stay cool! (If you find those cabana boys, though, you have my permission to go from cool & collected to all hot & bothered!!! Can I get an amen? ;-))

Visit more summertime tablescapes on this site by clicking on the “Summer tab and on these individual posts:
Lemonade From Bill
Under a Paper Moon
Tropicana
Oopsy Daisy
Purple & Pastel
Give Peace A Chance Retro Tablescape
“Old Navy Seafood Cruise”

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen this week for “Let’s Dish!” (anytime after 6:00 p.m. Central Time on Wednesday) and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. on Thursday).

Mardi Gras Lite

Fat Tuesday in celebration of Mardi Gras 2012 is just about a week away now!!! Problem is, the term “Fat Tuesday” probably has my photograph posted next to it on Wikipedia. I have been bad, bad, bad, bad, bad the last……oh, let’s say 10 years to be honest. I quit exercising every day but continued to shovel in the food and drink despite the ever-expanding hips, thighs, belly and “Oprah arms” waving back at me in the mirror.

This year, instead of the tower of fried catfish, vat of jambalaya, shrimp étouffé, hush puppies, King’s cake and hurricanes I’ve routinely enjoyed in the past, I’m pledging to lighten up. To that end, I have also created a Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras tablescape “lite”…an upscale, sophisticated, pared down version of the more decadent Mardi Gras style to which I am accustomed and hold so dear.

The traditional hues of purple, green, and gold will still be there in all their glory…just not as over-the top in their presentation. This table might work for those who want the essence of Mardi Gras without the whole “Swing from the balcony and show me your —-!!!” feel. 🙂 (In-laws, bosses or clergy invited for dinner might appreciate the less bawdy tone of it!)

I’ve never used a royal purple table linen for any occasion, but this year it lands on the table as the base of the tablescape. Dual chargers in a gold square and purple cobblestone round cradle a clear glass dinner plate and green glass salad plate, thus incorporating all the traditional colors.

A royal purple cotton napkin is cinched with a flirty bangle napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Goldtone flatware works well with the place setting.

I was so pleased to see that I had stemware of a similar shape in purple (TJ Maxx), green (Dollar Tree), and gold (World Market).

I’m going to give credit where it’s due. It was totally my husband’s -who fancies himself “The Tablescape Whisperer” – idea to include the long strands of beads. I resisted, thinking it would be way too cliché to have bundles of them down the center of the table. Plus, I whined, it will take away from the clean lines! We compromised, and I ended up arranging them in this quieter “grid” that frames each place setting as well as the centerpiece elements. Purple, green, and gold glass vases hold simply-arranged royal purple calla lilies. Finishing out the centerpiece are clusters of Mardi Gras “disco balls” that catch the light.


The buffet in back of the table is also relatively staid with a single, albeit oversized, royal purple Vidrios San Miguel recycled glass vase stuffed with an arrangement of graduated purple calla lilies. Using a single piece in a dramatic size and color negates the need for lots of little pieces all over the buffet top. Purple and gold glass votives dot the buffet’s edge and add to the overall ambiance in the room.

I don’t think they make gumbo-flavored rice cakes, so I’ll have to come up with something that will be healthy, filling and tasty without sending me into carb/fat/sodium/sugar overload. Yeah, I know…good luck with that! 🙂 New plan: Stick with the old eating plan, but eat it at the pared down table! Love it!

Please join me for Tablescape Thursday again this week to see how other tablescapers from around the globe are decorating for and celebrating Mardi Gras!
Laissez bon temps rouler, y‘all!!!

To see other Mardi Gras tablescapes on this site:
Laissez Bon Temps Rouler
Mardi Gras Mojo
Mardi Gras Madness
Celebrate Mardi Gras!

Peaceful Peonies

Chinese New Year is January 23, 2012. I love the colorful pageantry associated with this holiday! Last year I created a traditional Chinese New Year tablescape using lots of red and gold with black accents. (Click HERE and scroll down to “Year of the Rabbit” to see last year’s post.) This year, now tired of all the red used for Christmas decorating, I went rogue with a fiery hot pink.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

One of the great things about this particular tablescape design is that the Asian influence is somewhat understated, thus rendering it suitable for various contemporary-styled occasions such as rehearsal dinners or ladies luncheons (sans the candles, of course). The two-tone linen combo of sizzling hot pink over the more neutral black immediately draws the eye in.

To demonstrate how the same dishes can create an entirely different atmosphere depending on the accessories, compare this setting to that of “Let Them Eat Cake” from a post last year. (Click HERE and scroll down to “Let Them Eat Cake“.) A gold leafed glass charger and gold-rimmed white china from Pier 1 are topped with an F. Winkel & Co. “Jacobean” salad plate. The vivid coloring and busy pattern of the salad plate are just the right combination to accent the plainer underplates and bring in the black, gold, hot pink and white.

I had my eye on these Buddhas from the moment they hit the store shelves at Z Gallerie last year. I must have chewed half a pound of fingernails waiting for them to go on clearance, hoping there would be enough left over. Jackpot! Got all I needed at 75% off!!! Here they hold a gold mercury glass votive.

My “old reliable” goldtone flatware works well here with its subtle pattern.

I opted for crystal stemware with gold rims, but opaque black stemware like Mikasa’s “Elegance-Black” would work well, too.

I felt the need to break up that searing hot pink surface a bit more. I achieved this by folding the black poly-cotton napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond into a long chevron and placing them beneath each setting, allowing them to extend downward over the pink linen.

I almost always use either white or ivory candles, but I’m getting bolder in my old age! 😉 Long black tapers are set into a trio of 20″H goldtone candlesticks to add height and color down the table’s center.

Black powder-coated ginger jars hold a mix of pink peonies, white alstroemeria, and star blossoms. (Florals used here for demonstrative purposes are faux, but I encourage the use of natural flowers for actual entertaining. If, however, all natural flowers are out of your budgetary reach, try mixing realistic fauxs with fresh. The key there is realistic fauxs that blend well!)

Lined up on each side of the centerpiece are four gold mercury glass votives to add ambient light at the lowest level.

The notably restrained buffet decor is a giant black ginger jar flanked by a pair of the same F. Winkel & Co. plates as used on the table. Florals from the table are extended by simply plopping 3 peonies into a shallow black bowl.

2012 is the Year of the Dragon, so printed menus with the Chinese symbols for dragon – 龙年 – or a dragon watermark, or menus in the shape of a dragon would be another element to make this table special. Specialty stores may carry oversized ceramic dragons which would be a great addition, too! (Or go check out Grandma’s attic for them. These dragons, as well as panthers for some odd reason, were all the rage in contemporary 1960s homes.) A nice substitute for the peonies would be deep pink carnations, orchids or, depending on availability, pink plum blossom branches which symbolize luck. If your budget allows for it, rented bamboo chiavari chairs in black would be the crowning touch!

More tablescapes using hot pink on this site:
Daisy Crazy
Hello, Dahlia
Let Them Eat Cake
Hollywood Fright Night

Another tablescape using peonies:
Peonies & Pearls

Thank you for stopping in! I hope you’ll join me again this week at Susan’s place for Tablescape Thursday! You can also catch me at BeBetsy.com!

Winter Cardinal

Christmas is over and the new year is well underway, but I’m still diggin’ the spirit-lifting spurts of bright red around the house. Even though snow has mercifully dodged us thus far, it is January so the trees are bare and the feel of winter definitely abounds.

I was sick (yes, again!) last week and spent a lot of time staring out the window planning my escape. I saw the most beautiful cardinal perched on a low-hanging branch for what seemed like an eternity and a fleeting moment all in one. She was a striking creature in her shockingly red coat and heavy-handed eyeliner. She brightened an otherwise dreary winter’s day with her brilliant color and gave me inspiration for a winter tablescape.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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IMG_4055WMI bought these 222 Fifth “Winter Cardinal” dinner plates on clearance at TJ Maxx awhile back. The same thought that struck me while looking out the window is what attracted me to these plates. The tiny speck of red, while miniscule by comparison, is the star of the flat white plate with its silvery, sinewy, naked trees. (Click HERE to see another red, white & silver winter tablescape.) To add a little drama, I went with a double dose of contemporary square chargers in silver and red from World Market. Turning the top charger at a slight angle allows the red on bottom to just barely peek out…kind of like the cardinal in the tree. (Click HERE or HERE & scroll down to “Year of the Rabbit” to see other tablescapes using doubled square chargers.)

IMG_4040WMThe contemporary lines of J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless works well with the setting.

IMG_3983WMThe slender tube-like fold of a red cotton napkin is secured with a silver napkin ring.

Each place setting is punctuated with a square glass votive filled with waterlogged cranberries and topped with a fragrant white carnation. (For more tablescape ideas using cranberries, click HERE or HERE.)

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Another shot of red revs up the stark white linen via the TJ Maxx table runner. I double-folded the center part back to lend more of a 3-D look with just the decorated ends exposed. The barren silver trees on the runner are a nice companion to those on the plates, and it could just as easily find its way into a Christmas tablescape.

I love the look of pavéd carnations! This simple arrangement of easy-on-the-budget white carnations is anchored by acrylic “ice” chips for a wintry look and topped with cranberries for color. My husband said the square shape makes it look like a layer cake with whipped cream, which would make it perfect for a birthday party, shower, or anniversary! He’s right, but I think he just wanted cake! 🙂 (Click HERE to see another post using acrylic “ice.”)

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IMG_4045WMThe buffet behind the dining table gets an austere, yet somewhat theatrical treatment. A square glass floral container filled with more acrylic “ice” chips holds dramatically arched branches coated in silver paint. Peering from within is a lone cardinal. Another glass container is filled with fresh cranberries for the requisite shot of color. Votive candles dance the length of the buffet.

Champagne anyone?

I am thrilled to join my fellow tablescapers as we start this new year together at Susan’s Tablescape Thursday. Come along this Thursday, won’t you?

Best Laid Plans

I am still reeling from a decorating disaster that happened this morning. I had just gone into the kitchen to start my husband’s breakfast around 7:30 (NO idea why I was up that early on a Sunday morning!!) when I suddenly heard a deafening crash. I knew right away just what it was, and my heart sank.

I had worked for 2 days on the construction of a rather ambitious, over-the-top centerpiece for one of our Thanksgiving Day tables, but the entire thing – which was elevated about 28” – had slid to the floor! Glass and debris and pheasant feathers were EVERYWHERE!!! Huge shards, little slivers, chunks….you name it! So what started out as an elegant and decidedly contemporary Thanksgiving table that looked like this…

…quite unceremoniously became this:

Nearly every LED candle was damaged (and those things are NOT cheap!), and 2 of 4 huge glass candlesticks were obliterated. Luckily, only one crystal goblet was broken at the stem and one (very expensive!) salad plate was broken in two.

Lesson learned: ALWAYS use a floral adhesive you trust. I usually use Cling® which provides a monster grip, but I was trying to avoid the ugly green color of it showing through the glass. I used a see-through – but clearly not as effective – adhesive instead. My advice: Just figure out a way to hide your mechanics, and DON’T compromise the safety standards of the composition. I have SO learned the hard way!!! I’m just glad it didn’t happen in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner or while someone was standing nearby. I’m also very grateful I had not yet set all the stemware. The damage was relatively little considering everything in the path of the avalanche.

Now I need to take time that I didn’t have to spare to figure out what the heck I’m going to do for this table decor by Thursday. I always start setting up at least a week early so that I can tweak and play with the arrangement. This time it was a blessing and a curse. Sure was pretty while it lasted. 😦

Gotta take out the trash. Gosh…I sure hope I’m able to laugh about this someday.
Be safe, y’all!