Thanksgiving 2017 In Gold & White

Thanksgiving is just 3 weeks away?!??!??!!? Let’s dive right into this quick clip from an appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show to discuss casual vs. formal Thanksgiving tablescapes.

With all that in mind, here’s an example of a more formal Thanksgiving tablescape that I created for a recent community presentation. It has all the trappings of a traditional formal setting with crystal and china and linen napkins, yet it’s pared down to better reflect modern times.

 

 

This tablescape begins with a luxurious shimmering gold crinkle taffeta tablecloth, a terrific reflective backdrop to the crystal and china.

 

 

 

 

I kept the place settings a stark white for the most part, starting with a snow white charger. The absence of color in the setting is briefly interrupted by the thin gold band on the rim of the dinner plate and subtle design on the Royal Scotland soup bowl. A capricious beaded wreath encircles a pristine white pumpkin just for show. I tucked a simple white napkin just underneath the charger to hang over the table’s edge and disrupt the expanse of gold in the tablecloth. Unadorned gold flatware and Cristal d’Arques “Longchamps” stemware complete each place setting.

 

 

 

 

The formality of the table is primarily conveyed by the pair of hefty gold-trimmed crystal epergnes in the centerpiece. (These epergnes were also used in “Thanksgiving 2010” and “Shake Your Tail Feather“.) I briefly agonized over what to place in the epergne bowls and ultimately decided to repeat the look at each place setting with the addition of a bit of feathery greenery and reindeer moss. The moss recurs in a trio of etched gold ceramic cylinders. The “gold leafed” wishbones are from Hobby Lobby.

 

 

 

 

 

The buffet behind the dining table is decked out in white pumpkins of varying size accented with creamy hydrangea, sprigs of white snowberry, deer sheds and bundled birch logs. The crystal votive holders amp up the setting and continue the formality of the table. Over on the bar cart, a bowl of acorns is surrounded by a snowberry wreath. A lone orange mini pumpkin adds a splash of color.

Other Thanksgiving tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate Me Home – Thanksgiving 2012
Thanksgiving 2010
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Shake Your Tail Feather
Over the River and Through the Woods

I’m joining Susan at “Between Naps on the Porch” again this week for her 475th Tablescape Thursday! I’m also joining the party at “Celebrate Your Story” for the first time. You won’t want to miss the fabulous tablescapes there!

 

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)

Wondrous Wheat!

I hope your Thanksgiving was one filled with love and laughter and lots of fabulous food! Ours certainly was, and I was thrilled to be surrounded by family and friends whose love I treasure.

With 28 tummies to fill, we had to set up in various locations around the house with a different theme in each area. The lower level had seating for the football enthusiasts, while the main level had a table for 10 in the living room and one for 6 in the dining room.  It is my understanding that wheat symbolizes prosperity and blessing. The dining room – with all the homemade breads and desserts on the buffet – seemed the perfect place to celebrate the fall harvest.

IMG_3130WMWhile black and creamy white may not be a traditional Thanksgiving decor combination, I decided to buck the system and go for it!

IMG_3171WMInspiration for this black and white tablescape came from my Royal Stafford “Herdsman” dinner plates. The rim is peppered with stems of wheat among the bounty of fruits and flowers. The braided rope rim of the charger imitates the design on the inner circle of the plate.

The black napkins are folded twice lengthwise then doubled over inside the silver napkin ring. I fanned out the bottom for a fuller look of this simple napkin fold.

IMG_3167WMKeeping with the very traditional look of the table – color scheme notwithstanding – I chose Mikasa’s “Jamestown Platinum” stemware. The name “Jamestown” just evokes thoughts of colonial Virginia! (Fun fact: Jamestown celebrated their first Thanksgiving 401 years ago in 1610.)

IMG_3132WMOf course, Hampton Silversmith “Patriot” flatware seemed absolutely right for this traditional Thanksgiving tablescape! (Hampton…yet another Virginia city!)

IMG_3127WMAn image of wheat on the menu furthers the theme. (Find recipes for the Drunken Peach Cobbler, Sweet Potato Pie, and Apple-Walnut Cake here or by clicking on “Recipes” tab above.)

IMG_3144WMThe centerpiece was kept simple with a few silver candlesticks and blackbeard wheat in square vases. The very center of the table was reserved for a silver bread basket filled with cornbread muffins and my sister’s fabulous yeast rolls.

IMG_3152WMThe buffet piece is a blackbeard wheatsheaf adorned with a simple black bow. No one was more surprised than I that it turned out as nice as it did…and didn’t fall over! 🙂

Thanksgiving 2011…out!

 

 

Pheasants & Peacocks

After Sunday’s very unexpected and very unnerving decorating fiasco (click here if you missed out on the horror of it all), I have finally regrouped. I figure I haven’t time to wallow in it with all the cooking and cleaning left to do before guests start arriving on Wednesday night. (I have forgiven myself for being such a nitwit, but I will never forget!!! :-))

I spent minimal time on this new centerpiece, but I think it will suffice. Ramon helped me rearrange the tables into a square shape rather than the original 12-ft. long oblong. It seats 2 fewer guests, but we’re also seating in the dining room (click here for those photos) and on the lower level for football fanatics.

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A couple of full-length ivory linens drape the 6-ft. tables kissed lengthwise to create an “almost square” which will seat 10 of our 24 guests.

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A deep chocolate charger is foundation to the exquisitely detailed peacock china I bought a couple of years ago at a boutique called Home Finishings here in Lee’s Summit. I have an unnatual attachment to this china. It’s just so….cool! 🙂 I used it last year at my friend Jean’s house, too, in a post called Shake Your Tail Feather!

img_3092wm.jpgI chose complementary faux mother of pearl napkin rings (Old Time Pottery) and flatware (Target). The ivory Bed Bath & Beyond napkins are simply folded twice lengthwise, secured with the ring and draped vertically across the plates.

IMG_3091WMI like the height of Godinger’s “Chelsea” collection stemware.

Everyone should be pretty well fed!

The new centerpiece made up of various sizes of LEDs, faux cabbages, pumpkins, pinecones and a few pheasant feathers is set atop a 28″ silver beaded-edge cake plateau. The mantel decor complements the centerpiece with several of the same elements.

I certainly hope that you and yours enjoy a safe and loving Thanksgiving! After stuffing yourself with turkey and pie on Thursday, throw on your elastic waist pants and pop on over to join tablescapers from all over the globe for Susan’s Tablescape Thursday!

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!

Thanksgiving 2010

This time last year was difficult at best as my son struggled to recover from yet another major surgery precipitated by yet another bout with Crohn’s Disease. He was temporarily sprung from the hospital to enjoy the day with us, but he was unable to partake of the meal. Instead he received nourishment from the portable I.V. strapped on like a backpack. He took it like a champ. This year, although still not quite 100%, he is able to eat, eat, eat!!! I have prepared his favorite pecan pie just for him!

 

The “grownups” table for 12 set up in our living room has a little glitz and glam going for it. A seasonal rich chocolate brown table linen anchors the setting.
To offset the deep brown and add sparkle, I used lots of cut crystal that was sure to reflect the tiniest bit of light. Two crystal epergnes with gold trim are the crown jewels of the table. (Scroll further down this page to “Shake Your Tail Feather” to see this epergne used in a different tablescape, or click HERE to see it in a Christmas tablescape.)
The flowers in each of epergne include scads of seeded eucalyptus mixed with orange carnations and deep burgundy leucadendron. I opted for ivory metal case candles to avoid drips on the linens.
The smaller arrangements on this table are in cut crystal rose bowls with a pattern similar to that of the epergnes. Added to these arrangements are sprigs of russet-colored alstroemeria.
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A patterned gold charger and ivory dinner plate are topped with rich chocolate napkins in a traditional fold. I gilded a handful of leaves (Lord knows there are plenty around to pick up!) and added an ivory mini pumpkin to plop on top. The leaves and pumpkins are repeated at intervals down the length of the table.
Longchamps crystal stemware again mimics the pattern of the floral vessels. Faux mother-of-pearl handled flatware completes the place setting.
I scaled back a bit on the amount of food this year, but I don’t think the menu disappoints. There’s a little something for everyone! The quote on each menu is from a book my husband received as a gift called “Gratitude”.
 
 
 The fireplace mantel receives a lightweight treatment of Longchamps crystal mini vases filled with the same flowers as I used on the table. An array of shiny gold-colored candlesticks with ivory candles (watching them like a hawk!!!) fills out the arrangement.
The children’s table is not so fancy. It’s mostly about utility here, with a shot of “ooh wee!” tossed in by way of the centerpiece. A simple ivory linen is topped with a fun runner.
Each child’s place setting consists of a pumpkin-colored melamine dinner plate topped with a colorful floral paper napkin. Everyday stemware and flatware round it out. (I want the kids to learn to use stemware as opposed to regular glasses. I don’t worry so much about breakage when I use these relatively inexpensive everyday stems.)
 
 
The centerpiece has all the same flowers as on the adults’ dining table presented in a wooden & metal planter. The floral arrangement is flanked by two metal treasure chests spilling over with apples and grapes. The framed menu is for the benefit of the lucky adult who draws the short straw and gets babysitting duty! 🙂

I wish for each of you a safe, happy, loving and warm Thanksgiving holiday!

Shake Your Tail Feather

I am head over heels delighted to have designed an autumn tablescape in the very tastefully appointed home of Bob & Jean Sloan! Jean, owner of Invitations by Jean, has long been a colleague and friend. I have looked to her for fine stationery – invitations, menus, escort cards and more – for numerous fine weddings over the years.  I fell absolutely in love the first time I laid eyes on her traditionally furnished dining room. Jean’s remarkably refined taste is already apparent in the space, and my job was just to put the cherry on top with this lush table for 6.

The formal nature of my friend Jean Sloan’s dining room dictated a decidedly staid autumn tablescape with a few not-so-serious twists.

 

The crystal teardrops of Jean’s dazzling chandelier are repeated across the table set for 6 with the centerpiece, stemware and candle holders.

 

Plump red grapes, dotted with stray alstroemeria blooms, cascade over the side of the crystal epergne. (My husband will be eating leftover grapes for weeks to come!)

 

Clusters of richly colored alstroemeria are arranged in cut crystal Godinger “Olympia” rose bowls. The reddish-brown color adds the “oomph” needed to rescue the tablescape from looking too monochromatic.

 

Pheasant feathers plopped into cut crystal bud vases create a stir at each end of the table. They not only complement the colors and theme of the dishware, but add texture to the tablescape.

 

Gorgeous cut crystal votive holders add shimmer close to the table surface.

 

The rich dark wood of Jean’s dining table was the perfect backdrop to the burnished gold chargers topped with brown transferware dinner and salad plates. The oak leaf-shaped soup bowl is from Pier 1. The flatware is Royal Danish sterling silver, a treasured gift from my Mom’s collection.

 

I found the beautiful dishware with this exquisite peacock motif at a boutique called Home Finishings here in Lee’s Summit. The price tag caused a little agony, but I finally caved and bought enough for 12. SO worth it!!! This close-up shows the intricate pastoral pattern that depicts the proud creature displaying his lush plumage as his less fortunate feathered friends look on. (See these beautiful dishes used again HERE.)

 

Another fun twist to an otherwise traditionally set table are these jumbo carved wood acorns atop each napkin. I picked these up at Pier 1 a couple of years ago.

 

I love the intricate diamond-shaped cutwork in the Cristal d’Arques Longchamps stemware. The stemware design mimics that of the centerpiece epergne and crystal bowls. Notice here, too, the pretty crystal knife rests. People don’t use those a lot anymore, but I find them both pretty and practical.

 

Many thanks to Jean Sloan for letting me fulfill a fantasy autumn tablescape!

A few other autumn tablescapes on this site include:
Italian Honeysuckle
Most Egg-cellent Breakfast
Copper Zen
Celebrating Longview Farm
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
September Harvest Breakfast
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Wondrous Wheat
Pheasants & Peacocks
Best Laid Plans
Serape High Style
Sunflower Simple
Raining Orchids
September Wine
Autumn Blues

This is my very first time participating in Tablescape Thursdays on the Between Naps on the Porch blog site. If you would like to see lots of other tablescapers’ creations, just click on the Between Naps on the Porch link to your right.