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!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring & Easter Around the House

Just sharing a few pics of Spring and Easter decor on the main floor of our home. I didn’t do a lot this year as I saved most of my energy to create the dining room tablescape. There’s just enough to let us know Winter is over and Spring is here for to stay awhile.

 

Easter bunny in wood lantern lavished with greenery & flowers

 

Foyer bunny collage

In the foyer by the front door is a wood stand upon which this weathered green hurricane lantern currently resides. I dressed the lantern with a variety of greenery, flowers, and bendable twig. Standing in the thicket is a scholarly-looking bunny once used in a tablescape 3 years ago called Easter in Pink & Grey.

 

Spring vignette on ivory wrought iron tiered stand. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

Bluebird in nest on tiered stand. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

Just around the corner in the dining room window is an ivory wrought iron 2-tiered stand with a bird permanently perched on top. (I used it for a Springtime buffet tablescape, “Taste of Wine Buffet“, when teaching a class back in 2012. I moved a vigorously-growing pothos from another room onto the top tier. The bottom tier has a Pottery Barn weathered wood chunky candlestick with a bluebird from Home Finishings that honors my brother’s memory resting in a nest. I put him somewhere each Spring to commemorate his passing in 1999. (His trucking handle was Bluebird. See that tablescape from 2013, “The Bluebird Special“.)

 

Foyer table for Spring/Easter. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

Weathered books and birch logs under glass cloche; wooden Easter bunny

Our foyer is narrow, so a small table there holds just a few things including a lamp and a clock. For the season I added a faux boxwood wreath on a stand (Home Finishings), a cute wooden bunny from Hobby Lobby, and a collection of weathered books and birch logs (Home Finishings) under a glass cloche.

 

Wooden bunny in nest of Spanish moss under glass cloche. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

Wooden bunny under glass cloche with Spanish moss nest. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

Just a little touch in the library on a side table: another glass cloche with a wooden bunny tending a Spanish moss nest with a singular speckled egg.

 

Living room bookshelves. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

White pierced ginger jar on stack of books with airy wreath at the base. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

The family room is slowly transitioning from Winter to Spring with white accessories and a few touches of greenery including these light and airy wreaths from Home Finishings. This is a great way to lighten, brighten, and freshen up existing accessories. (Ginger jar from Burlington, pierced jardiniere from Hobby Lobby, artichoke from Z Gallerie.)

 

Desk area in kitchen dressed up for Spring. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

Desk area shelf dressed for Spring. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

White bunnies with black & white gingham check neck bows in front of black & white transferware. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

The desk area in our kitchen went largely unused for the first 10 years or so after moving in. I have an office, so I never used this as a desk. I have since artfully arranged dishes in the glass front cupboards overhead and added decorative dishes to the shelf and desktop. For the Easter season, white bunnies get black & white gingham check neckties. (The black and white transferware is from TJ Maxx some years back and was featured in my posts “Black, White & Red All Over” in 2010 and “Wondrous Wheat!” in 2011). The black & white buffalo check dishes were purchased this past Christmas season at Home Goods, and I LOVE them!!! The small decorative wreath is from Michael’s this season.)

 

Breakfast nook. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

Breakfast nook dressed for Easter. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

3-tier galvanized stand outfitted for Easter with nests, bunnies, faux artichokes, grass & hyacinth. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

3-tier galvanized stand outfitted for Easter (back view) with faux hyacinth, cabbages and carrots, bunnies and birdhouse. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

Tiered stand on kitchen table collage. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

Our breakfast nook has a lot going on! I always enjoy decorating the 3-tiered galvanized stand that I bought a couple of years ago at Sam’s Club for just $19.99. (I have seen them again this year at that price, but only in colors.) At any rate, I enjoyed bring Spring to the breakfast nook by adding a few bunnies, those popular white bird salt & pepper shakers from Pier 1 perched atop a homemade nest, some faux greenery and veggies, a small wood bird nest, and a bowl of speckled eggs with feathers.

 

Side table dressed for Easter in breakfast nook. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

 

Bunny with nest collage. www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com

The side table in the breakfast nook holds a collection of white pitchers on the bottom shelf. For Easter I brought out a white bunny rabbit I found on clearance at TJ Maxx. A black & white gingham check bow tie and a basket filled with moss and eggs makes him look a bit fancier. Another bit of greenery from Home Finishings is tucked in behind him to add texture and separate the sea of white on the table. The whitewashed galvanized pitcher (used also as part of the centerpiece for my piece, “Spring Green” back in April of 2014) overflows with purple hyacinth. The faux cabbage in the clay pot is from Michael’s, and the oversized white tray in the backdrop (as are most of the pitchers on the lower shelf) is from Home Goods.

 

Stone bunny with glass cloche.

The big stone bunny finds his way all around the house throughout the year. He’s sort of a mascot! For the Easter season I have him on the breakfast bar holding a glass cloche over a nest of twigs and moss with a butterfly. He, too, has a snappy black & white checked bow tie as well as a cascading strand of wispy greenery from Home Finishings. My friends Liz (from over at Sit With Me In My Garden), Johanne (from French Gardener Dishes), and Athena (from Minerva’s Garden) will be relieved to see I’ve not (yet!) killed the orchid a sweet young friend and mentee, MacKenzie, at Pinpoint Event Planning gave me a few months ago.

I no longer have a comment section, but if you have questions about where to buy featured items or how I put something together, please email me at table21tablescapes@gmail.com.

I hope you enjoyed the Easter Home tour! If you’ve not yet seen it, please pop over to see the Easter tablescape in the dining room. Meanwhile, I wish you and your family a very blessed Easter week.

Cupcake Colors

Ever have one of those days? Mine was yesterday. I accidentally erased half the photos for this post off my camera before transferring them to my computer. So…..I’m just going to put on my big girl panties, dry my mascara-stained face, and hope you guys don’t fire me for posting it anyway!

INSPIRATION: Cupcake placemats from Pier 1 purchased several seasons ago.

INSPIRATION: Cupcake placemats from Pier 1 purchased several seasons ago.

It is rare that I create tablescapes suitable for children, but every once in a while I go there. This tablescape would be great for a birthday or any kid-friendly celebration.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Full deck

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Full tableThis children’s table for 6 starts with a 90″ x 132″ hot pink/fuchsia 100% polyester tablecloth from YourChairCovers.com. Because it’s polyester, any stains generally lift right out with a little presoak treatment. The easy-care white stretch chair covers are from LinenTablecloth.com.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Place settingEach place setting begins with two placemats. The first is a fun fringed and polka-dotted rectangular placemat from Pier 1 that drapes off the side of the table. The top placemat is the cupcake-shaped placemat made of heavy-duty felt, also purchased at Pier 1 and featuring a cherry on top. The lime green plates are from the Dollar Tree.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - napkin in paper cupcake baking cupSomething fun for kids young and old is the unique napkin fold. I rolled 20″ x 20″ hot pink/fuchsia napkins from LinenTablecloth.com into tight mounds that, when placed in a colorful paper cupcake cup, resemble frosted cupcakes! (Click HERE and scroll to Tip #33 for a step-by-step tutorial on how to create these napkins that are often referred to as the “rosebud fold.”) This can also be done with a sturdy paper napkin, but the results usually aren’t quite as pretty.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Flatware & stemwareThe hot pink-handled flatware is from T.J. Maxx, and the yellow-orange plastic stemware (lets the youngsters feel grown up!) is from Old Time Pottery. To add a little more flair and fun, I used one orange and one hot pink straw.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Centerpiece curling ribbonThe centerpiece is fun and colorful for kids, but very inexpensive to create. I used clear ginger jars (you know the kind you get when somebody sends your FTD flowers or that you can find in overabundance at thrift stores everywhere!) and just dumped in loads of curling ribbon in different colors. I allowed some of the ribbon to overflow from the ginger jar and onto the table. To add a little more height and a touch of whimsy, I added an oversized orange Gerbera daisy from Pier 1‘s summer clearance a couple of years ago. Very simple, and very budget-friendly at about $10 total for the entire centerpiece!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - View of buffet from dining table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Dessert buffet tableThe dessert buffet is covered with a 108″ round hot pink/fuchsia poly tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. I used two more of the polka-dotted placemats to carry part of the dining table decor to the buffet. (Note to my “Art of Tablescaping” students…this is another example of subtly but effectively carrying the theme throughout the room/space.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - ceramic cupcake holders with condiments

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Cupcake & Sundae toppings in ceramic cupcake holdersI found these cute ceramic cupcake holders at a local wholesale place. I think they’re meant to be floral vessels, but I thought they’d be great for holding various toppings for sundaes and cupcakes.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Candy collageA raging sugar high is the key to a successful kids’ party! The same type of clear ginger jar vases as used on the guest table are used here on the cupcake/candy bar to display Pixie Stix, Dum-Dums lollipops, Good ‘n’ Plenty licorice, and colorful gumballs. Just add a ladle for scooping!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Cupcake collageCupcakes are displayed on stacked glass cake stands from Hobby Lobby. (Sometimes it’s fun to just have the plain cupcakes and let the kids decorate them with whatever toppings they want…if you’re up to the inevitable mess!) I even found some candies that are actually called Cupcake Bites for this party!!! And notice the corner of a stack of cupcake napkins at the upper left. That’s one of those detail photos that was erased from my camera. Aaaaarrrggghhhhh!!!!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Buffet table collageOK, sorry again folks, but this is where it gets really bad. Since I lost those photos, I did what I could to crop and enhance some details for you. Not my best work, but hopefully you’ll get the gist. I found the oversized metal cupcake with the words “Sweet Treat” in the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby last year. Perfect! Drinks are dispensed from inexpensive plastic pitchers with color-coordinated lids. (Lemonade from the yellow, limeade from the green, and fruit punch from the pink.) You can just barely make it out that those are giant marshmallow lollipops displayed in yet another clear glass ginger jar in the lower right corner.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - Paper lanterns on curling ribbon

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Cupcake Colors - multi-colored paper lanternsLast, but certainly not least, is the display of multi-colored paper lanterns in varying sizes. I used color-coordinated curling ribbon to hang the lanterns at varied heights for visual interest. Most of the lanterns here are from the new collection at LinenTablecloth.com. They come in 9 different colors, 3 sizes, and are super affordable! (Just be sure to hang ’em high enough that the boys can’t make piñatas out of them!)

So there you have it…a kids’ party that is in overdrive on color, texture and high-fructose desserts, but easy on the pocketbook!

Other kid-friendly posts on this site:
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Checkered Christmas
Kaleidoscope Christmas
Frosty the Snowman

Other posts on this site featuring the “rosebud” napkin fold:
Mother’s Day Luncheon in Pink
Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet
Au Revoir!

Other posts on this site featuring paper lanterns:
Under a Paper Moon
Butterfly Kaleidoscope
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Easter Brunch

I’ll once again be joining Christine at Rustic & Refined for the 14th installment of “Table It!“, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday”, and Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for “Pink Saturday”. I hope you’ll join me for more tablescaping ideas from talented bloggers the world over.

辛卯/Year of the Rabbit

It almost didn’t happen because of the 12″ of snow Mother Nature bestowed upon us, but this was the first year that a few friends and I celebrated Chinese New Year.  It meant a lot to us to try something new! Of course, Chinese food is always best from a restaurant (at least at my house it is!), and we had plenty of it!

One of the most exciting components of this luncheon table was the red and gold brocade table linen. Why? Because I made it!!! While nothing like the highly skilled sewing talents of many of my blogger friends, this was my very first attempt at sewing under the tutelage of my (exceedingly patient!) friend and neighbor, Barbara.  Like many women my age, I took sewing in “Home Ec” class back in high school. I got a big fat D in that class. It took an entire semester for me to make an apron that wasn’t fit for use. It was the only D grade I ever got, and I frankly did not care. The class was a nightmare, and I just wanted out. Recently, though, my sadistic niece who has an undergrad degree in Fashion Design & Product Development gave me a sewing machine. After me watching it and it watching me for about 2 months, I finally decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did!

My original thought was to use a beautiful fabric set given to me by dear friends from Shanghai. After much consideration, however, I decided that set is best suited for a summer gathering with its more muted tones. This Chinese New Year celebration called for lots of red and gold which respectively symbolizes happiness and wealth. Black seemed the perfect neutral to best show off those two bold and brilliant colors.

I bought these cool red favor boxes for each place setting at Pier 1 at the end of the 2010 Christmas season. They worked perfectly with this theme! Guests opened the box to find red & gold foil-covered chocolate coins.

This 24″H black ceramic ginger jar from Home Goods – adorned with a shimmery gold tassel – makes a simple but stately centerpiece.

The buffet is topped with a Pier 1 red, fuchsia and gold bamboo runner to tie all of the separate elements together. A gold tray, also from Pier 1, holds a World Market teapot and a bowl of fortune cookies. Tradition has it that parents gift their children with brightly colored envelopes with money. For my guests, however, the envelopes contained a gift certificate to World Market.

Firecrackers are a big part of the Chinese New Year celebration. Lee’s Summit city ordinance prohibits the use of firecrackers within city limits (AND it was WAY too cold out!), so these English crackers were a fine indoor substitute! I bought them at the end of the Christmas season at…where else?…Pier 1. The red & gold colors made them perfect for this event!

Fresh fiery red grevillea, embellished with a faux gem-encrusted butterfly, shoots from a black urn. (Hint: You can purchase colored grevillea from your florist, but be careful! The color easily transfers to clothing, skin, and anything else in its path! My kitchen sink still has the slightest pink tinge going on! 😦 )

I found this graceful young lady at TJ Maxx. Behind her to add depth and height to the vignette are a pair of oversized decorative chopsticks and a simple gold platter on a black stand.

My Mother brought these silk Chinese lanterns back from China when she visited in 2000. They symbolize the Chinese New Year Festival of Lanterns that is traditionally held on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar Year.

Other Asian-inspired tablescapes on this site:
Bringing the Zing to Chinese Takeout

Chinese Takeout
Float Like A Butterfly
Mandarin Bling
Peaceful Peonies
Copper Zen
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Zen Garden/Mum’s the Word

Mikasa Giveaway
Diwali My Way

I am once again joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.  After checking out my post, be sure to bop on over to see what the other tablescapers from around this great world of ours are up to this week!