(a re-post from September 2010)
(a re-post from September 2010)
I am all about the bright colors and melamine this summer! What a great selection there is out there, and the prices are so reasonable! For any casual summertime tablescape, melamine is a fun and inexpensive way to go, and if you go bright that just kicks it up a notch!
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There are so many juicy, bright colors in the plates & bowls (grounded with bits of black & white), and I wanted to pick up on as many of them as possible. A trio of round woven placemats in orange, aqua blue and yellow from Bed, Bath & Beyond anchor the place setting. The square melamine dishes have lots of fun stripes topped with images of watermelon, oranges, limes & lemons. That motif is repeated in the napkins gathered with a wooden watermelon slice napkin ring (both purchased eons ago at BB&B).
Orange acrylic flatware from Burlington is casually placed inside the salad bowl.
Aqua blue plastic tumblers from Old Time Pottery are easy care and the perfect match for the dishes. The lemon slice finger bowl blends with the theme.
The centerpiece is simple and fun, made up of a bowl of citrus fruits, playful watermelon wedge salt & pepper shakers and an iron tricycle found in the floral department at our local grocer’s. According to Wikipedia, the penny-farthing – also known as a high wheeler and a spinoff of the French “boneshaker” in the 1800s – was the first machine to be dubbed a “bicycle” and was a symbol of the late Victorian era.
I created a lounge area in one corner of the deck which is nice for enjoying pre-dinner cocktails or dessert. The side table is dressed in a 90″ round LinenTablecloth “Caribbean” blue tablecloth to complement the covering on the dining table. A distressed neon green finial piece from the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby is joined by another iron penny-farthing and potted geraniums.
Our Martha Stewart Living coffee table was purchased in pristine condition from our local Goodwill thrift store. A can of spray paint morphed it from black to white in just a couple of hours time. The rest of the deck furniture was spruced up, too, and then treated to seat cushions from Lowe’s and brightly colored toss pillows from Pier 1. A lime green metal tray from Target holds frosted glasses with a lemon & lime slice motif. The orange and lemon slice dessert plates were purchased at Hobby Lobby years ago. (See these plates used in another tablescape HERE.)
Along with lots of potted plants, a couple of cheery red metal lanterns from Pier 1 add a little extra punch to the surrounding decor and are great for lighting the way after the sun sets.
The old rusted wrought iron baker’s rack gets in on the act with a tricycle and more penny-farthings. I love the 3-D wood slab with the penny-farthing and names of fun summertime vacation destinations. I picked it up along with the planter tricycles at the grocery store floral department. Notice how nature yielded a shot of a kamikaze bumblebee zooming in toward the gazing ball! (Students, notice the 2nd green finial piece used here and recall our conversation about representing “like elements” throughout the space. The same goes for the use of the penny-farthings & tricycles in each key area of the entertainment space.)
There are lots more summertime tablescapes on this site. Here are links to a few of them:
Ants in My Pants Picnic
Lemonade From Bill
Hot Fun in the Summertime
Summer Orange Tablescape
All-American Seafood Boil
4th of July, Coastal Style
Flamingos in Paradise
Grill It Up!
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Ocean Blue Tablescape
Old Navy Seafood Cruise
and don’t forget the Summer page with TEN posts on it!
I’ll be partying again this week with Christine at Rustic & Refined for “Table It!” and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Swing on by both of these fun blog parties for lots of summertime entertaining ideas!
Today was the hottest day of the year so far with the mercury toeing the 100° line. The humidity was so stifling that, combined with the scorching heat, you could boil an egg just by tossing it in the air. But that’s summer in Kansas City for you, and we intend to suck it up and party on!
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Some readers may recall a tablescape (Ants In My Pants Picnic) I did on this same picnic table along the walking trail in our subdivision awhile back. (HUGE thanks to neighbors Lynn & Barbara for their help on this one!!!) Some of those same elements are used here, but in a different way. For starters, rather than covering the table with the red & white checkered fabric, it is folded and serves as a runner. (Note to my Art of Tablescaping Students…this is a great example of what we discussed about saving money by changing up the look without changing all the pieces.)
The main attraction is the Pied Piper-esque single-form line of metal ants down the center of the table. I bought the giant ones several summers ago at Hobby Lobby. The smaller ones were purchased at a wholesale place I frequent here in the Kansas City, Mo., area. As you will soon see, the parade of ants theme will carry out in other elements on the table. The checkered runner is topped with 3 watermelon slice placemats found in a clearance bin years ago.
Part of the centerpiece is off-center on one end of the table which adds interest to the overall look. Centerpieces can be utilitarian like this one which includes the picnic basket (found in pristine condition at a local thrift store for just $7) filled with a tangle of red poppies, various vessels brimming with luscious summer fruits, a mound of peanut butter cookies on fun dessert plates, colorful condiment bottles, and a vintage Coleman lantern to light the area as afternoon fun rolls into evening. Notice another giant ant surveying the bowl of fruit. This detail visually connects the off-center part of the centerpiece to the elements in the center of the table, and this fun factor could possibly be the catalyst for kids choosing the healthier fruit option over the cookies. (Students…please recall our conversation about the importance of visual connectors.)
The place settings here are simple: a black dinner plate from Dollar Tree, a practically indestructible white Corelle salad plate, and a fun Pier 1 red & white checkered plate covered with ants to throw those rib bones on once they’re picked clean! (Kansas City is KNOWN for its fabulous barbeque, and no picnic is complete without a slab of meaty ribs!) Faux black bamboo flatware adds a touch of class to the setting, but fits right in with the natural vibe.
My Southern sisters will attest to the glory of sweet tea, and one of the easiest ways to sip it on a hot summer day is from an old-time Mason jar. Here the jars are dressed up a bit with a bit of earthy green raffia tied to place cards fashioned to complement the dessert plates, napkins and runner. Looks like my blog buddy Jamala from VivaLaVintage for Your Home has a seat at the table! If you’ve not visited Jamala’s blog, you really should check it out. She’s all about decorating with vintage & collectible items, and she has an uncanny knack for scouting unimaginably great bargains! Jamala waves her wand (very often that wand looks like a can of spray paint!) and turns the most practical items into fabulous!
Peeking out from behind the computer-generated place cards in a purely decorative capacity is a wooden watermelon slice napkin ring found at Bed, Bath & Beyond several years ago. (Students…remember our chat about unexpected elements…don’t be afraid to use things in unusual ways!)
My inspiration piece – a fun tea towel/napkin with vintage appeal from Tuesday Morning – really rounds out the place settings. The checkered design and trail of ants spelling out the word “Picnic” is an extension of the centerpiece runner and dessert plates. The slice of watermelon is a repeat of the runner, the Mason jar embellishment and summer’s signature fruit available in abundance for dessert.
Other posts on this site featuring off-center centerpieces:
Lemonade From Bill
Summer Luncheon for Two
Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape
Planning In Purple
Hot Fun in the Summertime!
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast
Other posts on this site featuring checkered elements:
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Apple Green Luncheon
Blue & White Family Picnic
Grill It Up!
Ants in My Pants Picnic
If you want to see another REALLY cool picnic idea, pop over to my blog buddy Jenna’s site, The Painted Apron, to check out her “Portable Picnic for 2” post. I guarantee you’ll really like it! SO creative!
I am joining Christine over at Rustic & Refined again this week for “Table It” (live now) and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (goes live at 9:00 a.m., CDT on Thursday). Join me, and I guarantee you’ll be able to find lots of summertime tablescaping inspiration!
Here in the Midwest it’s hotter than a firecracker already! We’re enduring scorching sun rays and humidity that’s sure to make your hair droop. The winds have been on the high side, too, which makes it very difficult to tablescape outdoors. My solution: create a tablescape using a heavier quilted topper that won’t so easily blow across the prairie. 🙂
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This table for 4 on a 48″ round table starts with a 108″ round white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. It is topped with a pretty red & white damask quilted throw from Tuesday Morning. The reversible topper is red & white striped on the other side which makes it a great choice for 4th of July and other patriotic tablescapes.
This part table could come into service as a breakfast, brunch, or luncheon setting. The casual nature of the quilted throw and centerpiece items is easily coupled with the more formal china and silver at each place setting. The simplicity of Noritake “Spectrum” china makes it a good choice to work well with the bold design and strong colors of the topper.
Each place setting has a simply folded white cotton hemstitched napkin cinched with a silver-rimmed red metal napkin ring from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
For the fruit compote before the meal or dessert after, this graceful red martini glass from Pier 1 fits the bill. This style was chosen because the ball at the top of the stem mimics that in the water glass and the glass orb in the centerpiece. (Quick story about Pier 1…Ramon & I were in the store closest to our home last week buying a few clearance sale items. The young woman who checked us out asked, “Are you the Alycia Nichols who has the tablescape blog?” You can only imagine that my mouth hit the floor with that, but then she said to Ramon, “And are you Dr. Nichols?” You could have blown us over with a feather! It was nice to be recognized, especially by an employee of a store from which I buy a lot of items to use in my tablescapes! She told us that her Mom turned her onto my blog and that she’s also a Pinterest follower. So a shout out to Nikki at Pier 1 in Lee’s Summit, MO, and her Mom, Jan!)
Notice how the centerpiece is pushed off to one side of the table. This allows for greater ease in conversation across the smallish table. The galvanized oversized pitcher is whitewashed for a kind of country appeal and filled with apple tree branches. (I used faux here, but by all means if you have the real thing…go for it!!!) A simple white wicker basket is filled with a bounty of apples. (Add a few flags to the table and serve all-American apple pie for dessert, and this instantaneously becomes an overtly patriotic brunch tablescape for the 4th of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Flag Day!) The clear glass orb atop a white wooden pedestal works because of the coloring, the size and the shape.
Compared to last week’s post, this was a super mini!!! I hope you enjoyed it and that you were perhaps able to collect an idea or two for your next summer tablescape!
Other tablescapes on this site with a patriotic theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
4th of July Coastal Style
Stars & Stripes
Lauren in the Library
Show Me State Dinner
Red, White & Blueberries
American Royal Tablescape
I’ll be joining Christine at Rustic & Refined again on Monday for “Table It!“. I’ll also join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for another edition of “Tablescape Thursday”. If you come along for the parties, you’re sure to find plenty of inspiration and help with planning your next tablescape!
Not to take anything away from anyone else, but I honestly think I have the best neighbors in the world. They are kind-hearted, generous of spirit, supportive, talented, and an absolute hoot to boot. When I asked my next-door-neighbors to the east of us if I could borrow their tree-filled back yard for a photo shoot, they generously obliged and even helped out with the 7-hour process. The lady of the house pitched in with styling the table, and the neighbors behind us came over to help with breaking it all down. Such sweethearts!!!
After all that work, we deserved a good meal and a crisp, refreshing glass of September wine!
Given the sultry temps we continue to experience in the Midwest, it’s hard for me to break out the pumpkins just yet. This late summer/early autumn tablescape (what I like to call “summer adjacent”!) has rich, deep hues tempered by creamy ivory in the full-length underlay, background of the overlay (a 6-yard length of fabric purchased from a remnant table several years ago), candles and other tabletop elements.
No charger used here so as to allow more of the overlay design to show. Clear glass dinner and salad plates from Bed, Bath & Beyond are the perfect choice to do just that! Clear chargers – perhaps with a colored edge – would work great here if you have them.
Click here to see another fun way to use clear glass plates.
Two-tone cotton napkins from Pier 1 are folded to expose a generous portion of both colors thanks to my neighbor, Barbara, who also nailed the placement of the napkins on the plate. The menu is simply deep ivory lightweight cardstock embellished with grape clusters that pick up the pattern & color in the overlay. Leaves I plucked from Barbara’s sycamore tree resemble a grape leaf.
Lightweight and versatile faux mother of pearl flatware from Target.
The much-maligned clear glass hurricane sleeve is actually one of my best decorating friends. I have them in various sizes, and I find they can dress a table up in a heartbeat. Here a mix of 24″H and 17″H hurricanes from Pottery Barn create the desired high/low look. The 2 outside hurricanes are placed in huge metal-banded wooden bowls that are filled with fruits and a profusion of faux leaves that mimic the design in the fabric overlay. Centerpieces using fruit continue to be a favorite of mine for autumn tablescaping. (These black seedless grapes from Costco were inexpensive and SO tasty!!!) An ivory pillar candle elevated on a bronze candlestick provides a subtle glow.
Click here for “Simply Bittersweet”, another table using varied hurricane sizes.
Wines are displayed on a wine barrel Lazy Susan from Pottery Barn.
Suggested chairs for this table: dark wood chiavaris with an ivory pad.
Check out “Brilliant Italian” for another wine-inspired tablescape!
I’ll be joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for the 160th Tablescape Thursday, and I hope you will, too!