Shop ‘Til You Drop – Prepping for Black Friday

Alycia and “Better Kansas City” host Alexis del Cid, playing with dishes

Every tablescape blogger and those who read the blogs have at least one thing in common: WE LOVE TO SHOP!!! We chase after bargains, bright ideas, and innovative styling tips. Shopping can make a person awfully hungry and thirsty, and with Black Friday just over the horizon now, this super high-spirited 4-minute segment from the “Better Kansas City” show has tips on creating a fun and fanciful after-the-hunt tablescape. A few still photos of the tablescapes created on set follow, and at the end stick around for a super silly 60-second bonus clip from the show I think you’ll enjoy!

 

I created two separate tables for this segment: a colorful dining table for guests and a fun buffet table.

 

 

Bright pink/fuchsia 17″ poly napkins from LinenTablecloth.com are neatly stacked at the end of the buffet table. The fun metal figurine in the background depicts a carefree young woman out on a shopping spree and is one of 3 purchased at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago. The cake…well, you’ll learn more about that cake in the video clip at the end of the post!

 

When I saw this stainless steel stiletto heel cake server at Burlington a few years ago, I just couldn’t resist! This would be great for showers and wedding events, too. Such a fun, feminine way to serve up dessert!

 

Here’s another of those metal shopping figurines from Hobby Lobby. This chick is ready to shop ’til she drops come rain or shine! Next to her is a fabulous glittering stiletto heel vase overflowing with an array of colorful flowers and greenery.

 

 

 

This was one of my favorite parts of the whole buffet tablescape! The drink station is set up on a wooden Lazy Susan for easy access. The wine glasses with purses all over them are from the Dollar Tree and complement the shoe wine glasses on the dining table. The stiletto heel bottle stoppers were an impulse buy from a Michaels clearance bin a couple of years back that really add style and a little shimmer. We were really pressed for time, and I asked my genius friend, Barbara, to figure out something to do with the shot glasses on the table. She stacked them pyramid style for a look that is a real winner! A+!!!!! (She’s a retired teacher!)

 

 

When setting up a buffet table, I like to have various sizes, shapes, textures and anything else available to give the table “motion.” Setting the spoons on the diagonal seem to do just that. The bowls by Rosanna feature a stiletto heel motif. They were purchased at Tuesday Morning some time back.

 

A feminine dining tablescape for ladies who have had their fill of shopping for the day. (Wait…what does that actually feel like??!?!) I chose to go with very colorful place settings to complement the buffet table. Each place setting is grounded with a hot pink Bormioli Rocca “Inca” glass charger topped with a solid white plate. The pretty salad/dessert plates by Rosanna each have a fun shopping reference along with the stiletto heel motif. The flatware is J.A. Henckels Bellaserra.

 

The polyester LinenTablecloth.com napkins in “Caribbean” blue are folded lengthwise and placed with one end beneath the charger. Each napkin is cinched with a colorful beaded napkin ring rescued from the clearance bin at Bed Bath & Beyond 5+ years ago.

 

The fun stiletto heel glassware from Dollar Tree rounds out the place setting.

 

Each place setting had its own separate nosegay displayed in a bright pink fluted glass vase from Michaels. I like to do this for ladies luncheons and such. It’s such a personal gesture that guests really appreciate both during and after the event. All flowers for this segment were purchased at Aldi’s!

 

One of my favorite tricks for bringing color and depth to the table is to layer linens. Here I used a white 85″ square (to let the colors of the accessories on top really pop) over a hot pink/fuchsia 108″ round, both from LinenTablecloth.com.  (To see a couple of other examples of linen layering on this site check out Caribbean Queen: One Table, Three Looks, Queen of Hearts Card Partyand Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon. And if you’d like to see another post-Black Friday tablescape, check out Black Friday Luncheon from back in 2012. )

 

OK…post over, but here are a few bonus pics and a video you will get a kick out of from later in the show. The pic above is of co-host Rob in the kitchen with famed chef/author/restaurateur Lidia Bastianich who was also on the show that day. Yes…THAT Lidia!!!  I was too starstruck to ask for a selfie with her!

Then it just got loopy around there!

 

Rob and Alexis just had TOO much fun with that fake food!!!

 

Group hug! Me with co-hosts Hallie, Rob and Alexis with my buddy Barbara on the other end. Another show down!!

I will once again join Susan and the gang over at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. You can still catch cool ideas for your Thanksgiving tablescaping as well as the upcoming Christmas holidays!

Warm Colors of Fall

Fall is my favorite time of year, and I’ve had fun this year exploring some non-traditional colors and settings. I’d like to settle in here for a moment with a more traditional, “dressy casual” setting for a fall table that incorporates a lot of the time-honored, warmer colors of red, green, gold and chocolate brown.

 

This is the recreation of a tablescape I created for a recent presentation to a local women’s group. Here, and for that presentation, I started with a chocolate brown crinkle tablecloth. For a more casual look, however, no tablecloth necessary. I love a bare wood table! The place settings are lined up on the sides only to allow the runner pattern – an integral part of the table design – to fully show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The elements on this table are a wonderful mix of colors that represent the fall season: Gold square chargers from World Market are topped with a deep green Home Essentials & Beyond “Montclair Collection” square plate with a snazzy floral design from Home Goods and a chocolate brown oak leaf soup bowl from Pier 1 (also seen here).  (Detail Note: I used these plates – also seen here –  because the whimsical scroll mimicked the flair on the ends of the table runner.) Casually lounging in the bowl is a multi-hued cotton napkin from Pier 1 cinched with a Pier 1 amber and umber crystal napkin ring that adds just a touch of glitz. The stemware is an easy mix of an inexpensive green stem from Dollar Tree and fabulous amber goblet from Z Gallerie.

 

 

 

 

The tablescape was built around the colors of this fall runner I found a couple of years ago at TJ Maxx. To go with oak leaves and cattails for the centerpiece somehow seemed a bit prosaic, so instead the etched gold ceramic vases hold bunches of fiery red (faux) boxwood branches. To pick up on the other colors in the runner pattern, I added candle ring wreaths of gold, green and red to the base of the round outer vases. The taller, squared center vase includes flowing foliage and a couple of short curly willow branches for additional height.

 

 

A streamlined glitter gold tray on the buffet holds champagne glasses and a single gold mercury glass votive. When the table centerpiece is very busy, often best to keep the surroundings simple…unless you’re going for a really over-the-top look, of course!

Other traditional fall tablescapes for casual entertaining on this site include:
Dinner With Friends – Gumbo Dinner Party
September Wine
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Autumn Blues
Pears & Pine Cones
September Harvest Breakfast
Simply Bittersweet
Ap-pear-ently Autumn
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Italian Honeysuckle
Quick & Casual Fall Dinner
Autumn In Cactus Country
Sunflower Simple
Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Copper Zen
Serape High Style
Pheasants & Pumpkins

I’m joining Susan’s Tablescape Thursday bunch again this week. Slide on over there to see lots more ideas from a lot of talented tablescapers from all over the planet!

Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White

I recently did a “Better Kansas City” show segment on using unexpected colors and patterns for fall decorating. I’ll publish that clip next week. Meanwhile, here’s a taste of that decorating style that I have come to embrace with great enthusiasm: incorporating autumn touches into existing chinoiserie decor.

 

 

 

Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” dinner and salad plates rest upon a stark white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery.

 

 

I found these lovely cream soup bowls at Nell Hill’s in Parkville, Mo., about 40 minutes away from our home and only 5 minutes from my orthopedic surgeon’s office. (Best place to regroup after bad news!)  I LOVE that place!!! I never spend less than an hour when I visit. A crisp white cotton napkin is fashioned into a variation on the classic crown fold. A sprig of autumn berries brings color and additional texture to the place setting.

 

 

Faux bamboo flatware is perfect for this setting.

 

I bought scads of this sturdy cobalt blue stemware at Pier 1 some years ago, and it has served me well.

 

A very autumn-y pattern of plaid in the table runner with shades of russet, orange, amber, burgundy, cobalt and white is a perfect contrast to dishes. The riot of color contributes to and enhances the overall  boldness of the tablescape. The runner is from TJ Maxx.

 

 

 

 

Ginger jars from Nell Hill’s and temple jars from Home Goods make up the main part of the centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

The length of the centerpiece is punctuated with deep orange mini pumpkins, real and faux acorns, and a meandering garland of berries. Latticed white ceramic planters hold mounded arborvitae.

 

 

The buffet behind the dining table holds its fair share of chinoiserie pieces including a pitcher, an octagonal bowl filled with oversized acorns, and Victorian foot baths mixed with silver candlesticks. The white foo dogs are a nod to the chinoiserie style and add a little unexpected touch.

The bar cart in the corner extends the touches of chinoiserie including the bowls filled with acorns.

Other tablescapes integrating chinoiserie on this blog include:
Mandarin Bling
Mother’s Day Brunch
Blue & White Family Picnic
Blue & White 30th Birthday

Peony Power

I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her 471st Tablescape Thursday! I’m seeing lots of fall and Halloween tablescapes over there today, so drop on in to get inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

Honey Bee Tea

Switching gears from last week’s casual and blindingly colorful post

 

The deck is set for a ladies tea in lavender and white, starting with a full length round lavender tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

The inspiration for this tablescape came from these cool Mary Lake-Thompson flour sack towels I found at Home Finishings in Lee’s Summit, MO. I’ve often used towels as napkins, and these were perfect!

 

White lacy chargers from Michaels, lavender embossed lace dinner plates by Matceramica, and Pier 1 “Doily” salad plate are joined by “Royal Danish” sterling silver.

 

Each guest has a lovely take home favor of tea in a lavender organza bag with a an Austrian crystal-tipped silver spoon attached.

 

 

Austere white teacups and saucers are from Old Time Pottery. A decorated sugar cube and a splash of color from a lemon slice dress it up a bit.

 

 

 

 

A silver beaded edge 4-tier server filled with a variety of sweets and savories is the primary part of the centerpiece.

 

Plump, luscious blueberries in a lacy white jardiniere from Hobby Lobby. (Seems I like to use this jardiniere for blueberries. You can also see it used this way in “Blue & White Family Picnic“!)

 

 

To mimic the design of the napkins, a small pot of lavender sits atop a delicate lacy white doily. Honestly…when else are you going to use a doily???

 

 

The tea/bar cart from our dining room made its way out onto the deck. A cherry wood tea caddy from Bombay Company holds a variety of teabags on the lower shelf.

 

 

I stacked silver cake plateaus to display more sweets on the tea cart. Brownies on bottom, petit fours on top with another tiny pot of lavender.

 

 

 

Almost on cue, a tiny butterfly took a rest on top of the white teapot! Rock sugar stirrers are presented in a cream soup cup from Nell Hills. The bee skep honey pot is from Home Goods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conversation area is set up to encourage mingling while nibbling and sipping. The coffee table is topped with a vintage white cotton lace-edged runner. Another silver 4-tier dessert tower serves up desserts. It’s not often that I use paper napkins, but for this occasion I wrapped white doily-like paper cocktails napkins around lavender ones for a peekaboo effect.

 

 

 

The shabby chic side table between the settee and arm chairs is set up with crystal sherry service and a few more sweets served up on a silver pedestal.

Other teatime tablescapes on this site include:
Tea Roses
Coming Up Roses
Hello, Dahlia!
Tee Mit Hans Dresden

Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
Popsicle Party
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast

Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Grill It Up!
Italian Honeysuckle
Picnic Ants

Other lavender posts on this site include:
Clematis & Hyacinth – A Purple & Grey Tablescape
Purple & Pastel
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Luscious Layers of Lavender

Want to see some great tablescapes by talent from all around the world? Join me for Susan’s Tablescape Thursday!

 

 

 

 

 

Blue & White Family Picnic

What better to do on a warm August evening than gather with friends and family for an old-fashioned, fun picnic…with an elegant twist?  

Grandpa Ramon entertains the little ones while Grandma Alycia rushes to finalize details.

 

When the weather is warm, cool colors for the outdoor tablescape are definitely in order! A classic blue & white checkered tablecloth anchors the setting and renders a true “picnic” feel.

 After a few family photos are taken…
…the food is set out, the champagne expertly poured, and it’s time for everyone to sit down, relax, and enjoy!
 Reflective silver chargers, icy clear dishes & stemware (Bed Bath & Beyond), and faux mother of pearl flatware (Target) were perfect for the occasion. White pillar candles, which bring one of three levels of candlelight, are protected from the breeze with standard clear glass hurricanes.
 Silver candelabra brimming with luscious grapes are outfitted with white candles to be lit after the sun leaves the sky. (Table linen and chairs from All Seasons Tent & Party Rental.)
 Silver julep cups are filled with pure white and citrus green carnations along with hosta leaves from the garden. (They were later transferred to faux silver juleps for the guests to take home.) Notice the votive candles in addition to the pillars under the hurricane shades and candelabra. I like the look offered by multiple levels and sources of candlelight that make any tablescape dance!
 Sweet bing cherries and plump, ripe blueberries are set out in beautiful white ceramic vessels from Hobby Lobby for guests to munch on before and after dinner. I love this white jardiniere…wish I had more!
 The dessert table is dressed up with a larger version of the carnation & hosta arrangements on the dining table.
 I like to think of new ways to present old favorites. On this day fresh strawberry lemonade was served from a clear glass apothecary jar (available at Target or Function Junction). A custom engraved silver tag strung with ribbon identifies the contents. (I had several of these tags made up for various beverage and candy displays.)
 
 Guests all dressed in blue & white raise a glass! To family!!!

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

 

Spring Into Easter

For the first time in two years my health is such that I could actually create an Easter tablescape to share with family and friends. This is a “souped up” version of what it will be using lots of greenery, wreaths and other accessories I bought at one of my favorite home accessories boutiques, Home Finishings, in Lee’s Summit, MO, where we live. (My buddy, Mary Beth, owns Home Finishings, and if you want to get lots of fabulous ideas for free, Like the Home Finishings Facebook page.) I was inspired this year by the remarkable vignettes Mary Beth created in her most recent Spring home tour (you can see those photos on her Facebook page or soon to come on the Home Finishings website) where each room was dressed to the nines!

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Spring Into Easter

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, "Spring Into Easter" tablescape

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

There is no scarcity of design elements on this table, that’s for sure! I appreciate the abundance that allows a little something for everyone. Remember, though, this is an “enhanced” or fantasy version of what is actually workable for guests to dine. You can edit, edit, edit at will!

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

Place settings such as these are obviously a part of the “fantasy” of the table; but if you want to impress your guests upon their arrival, leave it as is and then remove the wreaths with nests just before guests sit down to the first course. The lacy white doily-like metal chargers are from Michael’s and can be used throughout most of the year. (I’ve seen this same charger in a pastel pink at Michael’s this season!) They are topped with a small grapevine wreath filled with Spanish moss, enhanced with sprigs of forsythia, and crowned with a tiny moss nest from Home Finishings. I added the eggs and a couple of feathers for further effect.

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

 

Bird Song by Park Designs dish towel design

“Bird Song” by Park Designs fabric swatch

A plain white cotton napkin complements the white charger. The flatware is from Target. Notice the bit of fabric at the edge of the centerpiece beyond the place setting? That’s a “Bird Song” cotton dish towel by Park Designs that I received as a bonus with purchase after the last Home Finishings in-store event. The birds and twigs on it complement those on the table and around the room. So…there’s an idea for what to do with those pretty towels that don’t soak up much water in the kitchen: make ’em a part of your table design!

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

I chose melon green glassware with a raised pattern from Pier One to work with all the greenery on the table. White egg cups from World Market hold speckled eggs.

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

At each place setting is a tiny yellow ceramic chick.

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

The lush centerpiece is largely centered on a wicker basket for easy removal. The birdcage is filled with candles and a small gazing ball. It is wrapped in a generous length of bendable “twig” that cascades from the top and disappears into the greenery. The stone bunny holds a basket of flowers adorned with butterflies. The entire arrangement is surrounded with greenery bunches – most purchased at Home Finishings – that spill out over the basket onto the table.

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

A length of moss runner anchors the entire centerpiece. On each end I placed an evergreen topiary flanked by gazing balls that add something reflective to the vignette. The addition of the topiaries was part of the inspiration gleaned from Mary Beth’s luxurious creation in her own dining room.

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

I carried the yellow of the forsythia and baby chicks from the table over to the buffet.

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape

 

www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, “Spring Into Easter” tablescape - Tea Cart Collage

The tea/bar cart in the dining room corner is dressed up a bit for Spring and Easter with adorable wood bunnies from Hobby Lobby. For a bit more Springtime effect I added wreaths with speckled eggs in nests to the tiered server.

 

Additional  Easter tablescapes or
tablescapes adaptable to Easter on this blog:

Easter In Pink & Grey
Easter Floral – Purple, Pink & White
Easter Bloom
Barton’s Easter Brunch
Building a Better Brunch Buffet
All A’Bloom in Pink for Spring
The Bluebird Special
The Party She Deserves
Spring Green
Purple for Spring
Going Green for Spring
Spring Has Sprung

Note: With this new design, I no longer have a Comments section. If you have questions, please feel free to drop me an email. The address is on the sidebar.

Happy Spring, and best wishes for a safe and blessed Easter!

Over the River & Through the Woods – A Transitional Table For Thanksgiving Into Christmas

I conducted a Christmas-themed workshop in early November that forced us to drag out all of the Christmas bins WAY before their natural time. There was no way in the world we were going to put it all back for a couple of weeks, so we started Christmas decorating in time for the dinner we hosted on Thanksgiving Day. This called for a “transitional table” to avoid too much of a clash between the two and still enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas as separate holidays. I did the best I could. Maybe you can glean some ideas for future use!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Our home was already decorated for Christmas before the Thanksgiving Day dinner we hosted, so we took the opportunity to take a Christmas pic in front of the tree!

INSPIRATION: Our home was already decorated for Christmas before the Thanksgiving Day dinner we hosted, so we took the opportunity to take a Christmas pic in front of the tree with our Santa hats and antlers! My son is so tall you can barely see the tree back there! (I’m bent over with searing pain in my back and leg, but I was lovin’ my PINK Santa hat!)

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape for Thanksgiving when you've already decorated for Christmas: Full table

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Multiple place settings with wood slice chargers

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Single place setting with wood slice charger, brown & ivory transferware dinner plate

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Brown & ivory transferware dinner plate depicting woodsy/barnyard theme with peacock, pheasant and other game birds

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Brown & ivory transferware plate with peacock & pheasant designWe set the table into a “square” using 2-6ft. rectangular tables kissed side-by-side. Each was individually dressed in a full-length (90″ x 132″ linen for a 30″ x 72″ table) ivory tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com to disguise the unsightly legs of the folding tables. Each place setting was simple and in keeping with my woodsy/timberland/rustic theme with a wood slice charger. I used my brown and ivory transferware dishes that look so nice at Thanksgiving and were in step with the pheasants and pheasant feathers used throughout the house in the Christmas decorating. I decided on gold-tone flatware to add a bit of glitz to the table.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Whole centerpiece using birch bark-covered vases, resin reindeer, pumpkins, acorns, pine cones, whole spices, florals

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Resin reindeer front & back views, double runner, acorns, pumpkins & pine cones collage

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: birch bark-wrapped cylinder

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Birch planter, florals collage

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Pumpkin and acorn salt & pepper shakers, gold mercury glass votives with pheasant feathers collage

 

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Acorns, star anise, buckeyes and cinnamon sticks in bark-wrapped cylinders collageThe centerpiece is what I think turned out to be a successful marriage of Thanksgiving and Christmas: not too much of one or the other. The ivory tablecloths are covered down the center (to mask the line where they meet) with a triple layer of burlap fabric starting with the traditional wheat color topped with red from LinenTablecloth.com and then finished off with a length of Hobby Lobby burlap ribbon that is tied in a love knot on each end. (The Christmas tree in this room also has burlap ribbon tied off in love knots!) I LOVE that red LTC burlap, too! It really keeps its shape and lays down nice and flat! By tripling the runner fabrics, the table is afforded an extra warm and cozy look. TIP: I have also discovered that burlap is very easy to iron. Just spritz with a little water and go for it!

The centerpiece is a mix of white pumpkins, pine cones and acorns casually strewn about. A jumble of fresh, bright red poinsettia blooms, Dusty Miller from our own yard, and snippets of Christmas greenery are stuffed into two rectangular zinc-lined birch planters (with water tubes inside) that are placed zigzagged on the table. In front of each planter is a resting resin reindeer from Tuesday Morning. Birch-wrapped cylinders are filled with acorns, star anise, buckeyes, and cinnamon sticks and placed on the four corners. (Click HERE to see these spice-filled planters used on a recent demo table.) The centerpiece is finished off with gold mercury glass votives and a smattering of pheasant feathers to mimic the design on the dinner plates and the Christmas tree topper. Last, acorn (Pier 1) and pumpkin (Pottery Barn) salt & pepper shakers.

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Banquet chairs dressed in LinenTablecloth.com stretch ivory chair covers and burlap sashes

 

Alycia Nichols, Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, ”Over the River & Through the Woods – Transitional Tablescape: Stretch banquet chair cover with burlap sash, pillow collageOur banquet chairs were dressed in LinenTablecloth.com ivory stretch chair covers. I made the sashes from natural-colored burlap ribbon from Hobby Lobby. I have discovered that situating the sash down low on the chair helps with a more uniform look and keeps them from going all wonky when guests lean back. (Wonky? Really? My parents paid out all that college tuition for THAT??!??!! 🙂 )

If you missed our 2014 Christmas Home Tour, just click HERE to see how it all tied in with this tablescape!

This is my final post of 2014. I want to wish each and every one of you a blissful, blessed, and safe Christmas and New Year. I appreciate and look forward to your visits and comments each week, and I hope to hear from you again in 2015.
Merry Christmas, and be good to one another.

Other Christmas tablescapes on this site that offer some neat ideas:

Cardinal Christmas
Christmas in the Woods
Tartan on the Tee
Confectionery Christmas
Christmas Progressive Dinner

Black, White & Red All Over
Frosty the Snowman
Checkered Christmas
March of the Penguins
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Black Friday Luncheon Tablescape
Winter Dinner
Christmas Through the Red Door
Sugar High
Celebrate the Season
Roman Holiday
Winter Cardinal
Merry & Bright
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas – Squared
Get Me to The Church On Time
Noel Progressive Dinner
Christmas Fiesta
Warm Metal Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Winter Brunch
White Hot
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!
Tuscan Holiday

 

And if you’re looking for ideas to ring in the New Year with style:
Life is a Cabaret
Platinum New Year’s Eve
Ringing In the New Year

Hooray For Vodka!
White Hot

Linking up with:
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” at Between Naps on the Porch (Christmas Day)
Christine’s “Table It!” at Rustic & Refined (starting Sunday night)

Black, White & Red All Over Christmas Tablescape

I am all over the snowmen and glass cylinders this year! I pulled them out for “Winter Wonderland”  tablescaping class demonstrations and they never made it back into storage. Even after classes were over, they became a part of our Christmas 2012 decor.

Last week I posted “Checkered Christmas“, a table for four in the library in which I used a squatty clear glass cylinder to display a jaunty snowman for the centerpiece. This week, I am taking that concept a step further with another black, red & white tablescape that uses the same snowmen and lots of the different sized cylinders that are so versatile year round. Well, just take a look and see for yourself!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.
Photos by Sheri L. Grant and Alycia Nichols)

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IMG_9837WMThis black, white & red table starts with two 6-ft. oblong tables kissed together vertically to create a luxuriously long Tuscan-style table for 12. Cheery red floor-length tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com yield that instantaneous holiday vibe. Note how cool the place settings look all lined up like Christmas nutcrackers! Holiday tablescaping is about whimsy and fantasy, so think about incorporating artistic touches hat will convey the magic of the season.

IMG_9817WMLast week’s table in the library featured round white chargers with black dinner plates. This week’s version flips the script with square black chargers and white dinner plates. The black against the expanse of red makes for a pretty dramatic look.

Napkin collageThe next bit of drama is introduced via the napkin. A simple black napkin is folded twice lengthwise and a length of wide red satin ribbon placed on top. I then looped a small red ornament onto a length of thin satin ribbon and tied it around the napkin to give it a cinched waist look. Tuck the ends beneath the plate and add a sprig of snow-frosted pine greenery to finish the look. The simple and inexpensive step of adding the holiday ornamentation and cinching the napkin kept the table from taking on a decidedly Asian-inspired look.

Flatware & menu collageLast week I liked the checkered pattern brought to the table via the linen and the snowmen’s scarves. This week, however, I kept the pattern a bit more subtle by creating a menu on my home computer with a black & white checkered backing. Using a ribbon hole punch that creates two evenly spaced vertical holes for threading, I tied it all together with a piece of thin red ribbon to complement the napkin treatment. Menus are a cost-effective (approximately 20¢ per menu including cost of colored ink) and easy way to not only let guests know what’s for dinner, but to give them something to take home as a memento of the evening. They are also a way to bring additional color and/or pattern to the table.

Sleek and simple Hampton Silversmith “Patriot – Mirror” flatware is used because of the squared off handle that works well with the square of the charger and dinner plate.

IMG_9517WMAs with last week’s tablescape, simple clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery is used. Stemware needn’t always be expensive to look good!

Centerpiece cylinder collageThe same squatty glass cylinder used on last week’s table appears here, and this time he’s brought his posse! 🙂 Two smaller, thinner cylinders and two tall, slender ones have snowmen inside on a cloud of snow. The amount of pine greenery in each depends on the cylinder size. The small ones have a mere sprig of greenery, while the squatty original still has a long branch curled around the base inside. The tall ones are outfitted with long, full branches in an upright position. All are brightened with a few size-appropriate red ornaments. Lots of votive holders in a shape similar to that of the cylinders dot the table.

Ornament and snowman collageNote the black & white checkered scarf that mimics the design of the menus. On each end of the table is yet another small, squatty cylinder filled simply with “snow” and a cluster of shiny red ornaments. These complement the snowman cylinders without matching them to the letter.

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Fireplace & mantel collageThis is how the mantel looked before I decked it all out with bling and greenery for our personal Christmas decor. More streamlined, simple. Oversized red Christmas balls are placed on each end atop short black wrought iron stands. Smaller ornaments on stands and on the mantel are placed in between with a few votives. On the hearth are two rustic Z Gallerie black hurricane lanterns filled with assorted sizes of red ornaments.

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Tree collageA stovepipe hat tree topper works perfectly with the snowmen on the table! This was just for my tablescaping class. I later added more ornaments and a few snowmen to the tree for our personal decor which will stay up until January.

So…there you have it! A variation on a snowman theme! Many of the elements for a round and intimate table for 4 tweaked to create a long and lush table for 12. Kinda like Burger King, y’all…have it your way! 🙂

For more Christmas tablescapes on this site:
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
plus NINE other tables on one page under the WINTER tab including “Frosty the Snowman” which demonstrates another fun way to use these snowmen!!!

If you would like to see another way to make glass cylinders really come to life on a table, check out the “Wedding” page. Scroll down to the 3rd post called “Love & Orchids“, and you’ll see how a variety of sizes are used.

I am happily skipping along to Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!” on Wednesday (anytime after 6:00 p.m. CST on Wednesday) and Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday). Join me! My blog buddies can really rock some holiday tablescapes!!!

Purple + Green = Happy Birthday!

“Best friends are those who, when you show up at their door with a dead body, say nothing, grab a shovel, and follow you.” –author unknown

I have been very fortunate to have the same best friend for nearly 50 years. Yes, yes, I know…I only look 25 (HA! :-)), but it’s true: Sheri and I have been friends since the 1st grade!!! We have seen each other through all of what life has flung at us, and we’ve had a rollicking good “Thelma & Louise” kind of time through it all. No two people could be more different, have more diverse interests, be as “day and night” as we are, but that has never seemed to matter. We’ve always remained the Yin to the other’s Yang. Like Felix and Oscar…with ovaries! 🙂

Sheri has a birthday coming up on Friday. While she prefers to keep things low-key these days, I can still at least imagine the party I would throw in her honor! This is a setting that would also work well for a bridal shower or, with grapes and pears added to the mix, a lovely summer vineyard wedding reception.
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

Varying shades of purple with bright lime green tempered with white would be a welcome sight for the birthday girl and her guests. The setting is simple with relatively clean lines, but it has lots of energetic color. The setting is anchored with a floor-length white table linen that, not unlike an artist’s canvas, shows off that color at its best.

Each place setting begins with an acrylic lavender charger from Michael’s, followed by a lime green dinner plate from Dollar Tree (a great place to really stretch a buck…everything in the place is just $1!!!) and a white Corelle salad plate. You don’t always have to use top of the line dishes and accessories to create a beautiful, tasteful, memorable tablescape!

White cotton hemstitch napkins are simply cinched with a length of lavender organza ribbon.

The flatware is also kept simple. The only embellishment on it echoes the ridges on the rim of the dinner plate.

Sheri and I both love to eat good food. She sometimes phones me to ask, “What do I feel like eating? I know I’m hungry, but I can’t figure out what I want to eat.” I ceremoniously smack my lips and wrack my brain for something tasty that I think will satisfy her taste buds. It actually works about 90% of the time! The menu for her birthday would include food that I know she loves. I created these menus on my home computer using specialty papers from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.

I have waited what seems like a lifetime to use this stemware!!! I love the sultry plum color! The goblets are from Stein Mart, and the fun pilsners are from T.J. Maxx.

Sheri has always loved flowers, and there would be no shortage of multi-bloom bouquets at her dinner party to perk up the room! Here, an assemblage of hydrangea, roses, Dutch tulips, acid-green viburnum, and Dutch lilac in simply-styled lime green ceramic vases mixes with a scattering of plums and green apples.

The buffet behind the dining table boasts the same colors for the florals and accessories but includes a bit more white.  The purple & green floral pots are actually lightweight and convenient-to-store Styrofoam™! I bought them at a wholesale place headquartered in a town just about 35 minutes away from our home. These will come in very handy for future Spring and Easter tablescapes!

Chunky pillar candles embellished with the same organza ribbon used to tie the napkins are set atop curvy white turned wood Z Gallerie candlesticks.

Ask guests to wrap gifts in colors that will complement the decor. Here, woven strips of lavender organza and lime green satin ribbon dress up a plain white gift box. The box is gussied up even further with a few blooms that match the decor.

A plain pitcher is made to look special by the deep, rich apple juice/plum juice/peach nectar beverage created just for this occasion. Slices of fruit always give a little more “oomph!” to beverage displays. The lime green acrylic appetizer plates are from Target.

I always like to add little touches throughout the room that complement the table decor. The china cabinet in the corner is treated to the same flower pots as the buffet but filled with chartreuse roses and raffia filler.

So what cocktail hour music would I choose? Songs about friends, of course, with Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend”, Sweet Baby James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend”, and Kenny Rogers’ “You Were a Good Friend” topping the list.  And as we’re both fast approaching our AARP years, what kind of friend and hostess would I be if I didn’t include the theme from “The Golden Girls”? 😉

Through thick and thin, good hairstyles and bad, for better or worse, from here to eternity…Sheri Lynn Grant will always be my best friend. She has to be…the girl knows way too much! 🙂
Happy Birthday, Sheri!

Other posts on this site using purple:
Purple & Pastel
Planning in Purple

I will be joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” this week along with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday“. C’mon by and take a peek at what all the tablescapers from around the globe are up to!