Informally Formal: Marrying modern and classic in your table setting

My 4-minute segment on yesterday’s “Better Kansas City” show on KCTV-5 was all about “informally formal” entertaining at home!

As mentioned in the video clip, our Easter dinner tablescape was, I think, a good example of informally formal design. We simultaneously celebrated my son’s 39th birthday, and I wanted both my son and the rest of the family to feel special – because they are! But this was a day I wanted to be able to relax a little, too, so instead of formal china and crystal, I pulled out some terrific Pier 1 plates to fill the bill. This tablescape, minus the obvious nods to Easter, would be perfect for any Springtime event including birthdays, Mother’s Day, ladies luncheons, bridal or baby showers, or even engagement parties.

 

 

 

 

I’ve not used these beautiful Pier 1 plates since 4 years ago when I posted a piece called “The Bluebird Special“. While certainly far from what might be construed as traditionally formal, they have a simultaneously staid/laid back look. The woven square chargers and faux bamboo flatware lend texture and an organic feel to the place setting.  The yellow undertones of the flatware complement the bird on the plate as well as the floral centerpieces. The lavender napkin is fashioned in a traditional pyramid fold, and the green goblets are from Dollar Tree.

 

I enjoy creating specialized menus on my computer for at-home events. This colorful one in shades of yellow, purple and white with a bright pink clip leans to the side of informality. The colors complement the florals.

 

 

 

 

 

I might have gone a little wild with all the florals this year, but they were all so pretty! Our generous across-the-street neighbors allowed me to snip from their lavishly blooming lilac bush to complete the springtime floral designs of pink & yellow tulips, Mardi gras Solidago, and alstroemeria in white vases. The florals extended down the length of a fresh moss runner dotted with moss bird nests from Home Finishings. (HINT: If the smell of moss wrinkles your nose, open it up and air it out for a couple of days before use.) For additional height, texture, a burst of color, and the pure drama of it all, I filled a white glass vase with forsythia branches and placed it at the very end of the table. Note that the full-length white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com is knotted at the end for safety as well as a cool contemporary look.

 

The alternating pink and lavender satin chair sashes almost didn’t make the cut. My husband thought the plain white stretch chair covers were sufficient. I, however, begged to differ. When he saw the chairs with the sashes, high fives and mea culpas were in order. (We agreed they made the chairs resemble Easter eggs!) Depending on the type of event you are hosting, chair sashes may or may not be appropriate. It’s up to you!

When planning your next Springtime event, keep in mind who your guests are, what feeling you’d like the space to evoke and, as always, just what level of formality is within your comfort zone! As alluded to in the video clip, formality may be circling the bowl, but it ain’t dead yet! 😉

For more photos of tablescapes seen in the video clip:
“Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink”
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
“My Sister’s Wedding China”

A few other Spring tablescapes on this blog you may enjoy include:
“Springtime In Paris”
“Patisserie de Paris”
“Easter Brunch”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
“All A’Bloom For Spring”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel”
“Peony Power”
“Tulips in the IHOP Hour”
“Float Like A Butterfly”
“Purple & Pastel”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Just as suddenly as I reappeared last week, I will disappear again after this week as I prepare to go under the knife on Friday. I am both terrified and relieved to have it finally happening. My shoulders have been the source of much pain and anguish for a long time now, and I’m ready to get the first one fixed. My understanding is that using my right arm will be all but impossible for at least 2 months, so I’ll be on the computer only when in the mood to hunt & peck with my left hand. I hope that you will once again forgive my spotty appearances as I go about the business of physical therapy on my way to recovery. I have several tablescapes that I created back in early Spring (including this one) in anticipation of this down time, and I will hopefully be able to post those before summer’s fast-approaching end.

INSPIRATION: The chic and quirky Holly Golightly enjoying a breakfast pastry and a cup of coffee outside the window of Tiffany's - new York

INSPIRATION: The chic and quirky Holly Golightly enjoying a breakfast pastry and a cup of coffee outside the window of Tiffany’s – New York. Source: Amazon.com

Yes, I know the Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme has been done and done and done again. I’m gonna take a pass at it, too, just for kicks. OK? I think it would make a really fun theme for a bridal shower, bridal luncheon, special ladies brunch, birthday brunch (especially a milestone birthday!), or even a mid-morning engagement party!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge it and see details up close!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - full dining roomThe table is draped in a sleek black 90″ x 132″ tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com for the sophisticated look of the proverbial little black dress.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany'sThis rectangular dining table is set for 6, but would look just as great set on a longer rectangular table for multiple guests or even a round table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's place settingI kept each place setting sleek and simple. The white chargers are rimmed in rhinestones. (I wonder if they come with real diamonds at Tiffany’s? 😉 ) The china is very simply adorned Noritake “Spectrum”.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Menu collageThe custom-created menus are white paper on black and Tiffany blue card stock embellished with a small gemstone. I included an image of a tiara to mimic the one worn by Holly Golightly in this famous poster. Also notice the print on the menu. I chose two print fonts that closely match those on the poster!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Flatware, napkin, rim shot, stemware collageMikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware and International Silver “Royal Danish” flatware work well with the place setting. (Get it? Royal Danish flatware? As in Holly Golightly eating a Danish pastry for her breakfast at Tiffany’s??? 🙂 ) A sleek black napkin is folded twice lengthwise and tucked around the charger beneath the dinner plate.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Breakfast Pastry, Croissant collageWhat else to serve but breakfast pastries? That was Holly’s breakfast of choice!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - centerpieceA blinged out breakfast or brunch calls for a very creative, upscale, but still lighthearted centerpiece.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Hand collage I

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Hand collage IIThe centerpiece is created using two identical black rectangular mirrors with tiers of rhinestones from Hobby Lobby. (Also used HERE in the post “Happy Birthday, Barf!”) Just as a jewelry store like Tiffany’s might, I used these black hand display pieces (Michael’s) holding jewelry from my own collection including a Tiffany bracelet and necklace. (TIP: If you’re a bride who is gifting her bridesmaids with a little something-something from Tiffany’s to wear in the wedding, this would be a fun way to display it during brunch and then let them know they can pick theirs off the display afterwards!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Roses, mirrored vase collageWhile promotional posters showed a red rose on Holly’s table, I decided to go with clusters of petite white roses in sleek mirrored vases. The arrangements are festooned with big, clunky bursts of bling.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Votive, runner corner collageHere you can better see the tiered mirror’s edge. Simple votive candles demurely reflect on each mirror.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Goodie bagsWhat’s a bridesmaid’s brunch without goodie bags??? 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Goodie bag collageThese Breakfast At Tiffany’s nylon bags were found at Michael’s in the fun stuff aisle! Each bag is adorned with lots of “pearls” spilling out along the side.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Tiffany's boxes, pearl bracelets, tennis bracelet collage

The buffet behind the dining table holds the goodie bags and displays fun things from Tiffany's that Holly might wear including a fabulous tiara, black shades, pearls, and those famous opera gloves - Rings, gloves, Tiffany pouch collageThe buffet behind the dining table holds the goodie bags and displays fun things that Holly might wear including Tiffany’s jewelry, a fabulous tiara, black shades, pearls, and those famous opera gloves.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany'sA little something extra to brighten up the space and make it very girly is a bust form in a little black dress and flirty black feather boa. (Thanks to my friend, Barbara, for the boa and the rhinestone-flecked gloves shown here!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - floral head

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Floral head bling, tiara collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Necklace collageI created a fun centerpiece using a bust form for a Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon a couple of years ago. This is the same basic concept, but a little more playful. The floral head here has chunky bling shooting out of it and boasts another tiara. I created a replica of Holly’s famous pearl necklace using faux pearl strands from Hobby Lobby. I simply quadrupled them and tied them with a gossamer ribbon at the nape of the neck. I then added a huge brooch to the front of the necklace. Not exactly like Holly’s, but a fun play on it!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Candelabra, bobeche, Tiffany logo collageThe promotional poster used as my inspiration piece shows Holly gazing wistfully into the Tiffany’s display window. Hanging in the window are beautiful bling-laden candlelight chandeliers. The play on that here is this 5-lite silver candelabra with bling bobeches.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's tea cart

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Teacart spoons, cups, pastries collageCoffee and an assortment of breakfast pastries are served from the vintage tea cart in a corner of the room.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - Tea cart box, brooch, Tiffany's logo collageWhat girl doesn’t suck all the air out of the room when she sees this famous blue box? 😉

As a parting gift, I leave you with my original idea for the bust form. It’s silly, really, but I created it in a weak moment and thought you might get a good laugh out of it.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Breakfast at Tiffany's - "Bee hive hairdo" collageIt was going to represent the “beehive hairdo” Holly wore. Get it? Bee hive? Lame, I know. I just covered a beehive in wired pearls and bling. Don’t hate! 🙂

OK…so that’s it. I’m outta here! See you after the snip-snip!

For more “blinged out” tablescapes on this site:
“Platinum & Pink Valentine”
“Should Have Put a Ring On It”
“Princess Pink Birthday”
“Fairy Tale Wedding Shower – Princess & the Frog”
“Love’s Arrow”
“Peonies and Pearls”
“Fete Noir et Gris”
“Rhapsody in Blue”

I will be joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” starting Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., CDT. I’ll also join Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” starting Thursday at 9:00 a.m., CDT. Come along if you’d like to get inspired by some really talented tablescapers!!! You can also find me over at BeBetsy.com!

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!

Love & Orchids


Click here or on the “Wedding” tab above to see the all photos of this tablescape!

Yes, I know I said I have retired! But when a friend asks, you answer…with a gracious – if not cautious – yes!!!

I know autumn has settled upon us, but pictures from this late summer engagement party could not be ignored. I had such a wonderful time putting this together with a surprisingly almost total “hands off” approach from both families. In the end, they were pleased and I was relieved. No, I won’t be doing the wedding. I really have sworn off that part! You may see, however, a shower tablescape or two next spring as they near their June wedding date.

Click here or on the “Wedding” tab above to see the all photos of this tablescape!

Congratulations, Kelli & Christian!

Tablescape Inspiration, Click to View

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One is proud and pleased to participate once again in Tablescape Thursdays hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. You are welcome to peek in on the talents of lots of other tablescape enthusiasts!