Tuscan Holiday

A neighbor asked me to help her with the design of a dinner tablescape for an Italian Christmas feast. She wanted to keep the look “very low key.” Further, she wanted the colors to be warm and not “overtly Italian.” My solution was to pair her white bowls with my mustard-color plates. We also used her existing flatware & stemware.

The long, lush centerpiece uses rustic wooden bowls as the foundation. (September Wine to see these wooden bowls & oversized hurricane sleeves used in a similar design on a long Tuscan-style table.) To this I added massive 24″H clear glass hurricane sleeves from Pottery Barn with an ivory pillar candle atop an oil-rubbed bronze candlestick. The outer edges of the bowl are filled with assorted seasonal fruits. To finish the look, fragrant evergreens cut fresh from the yard.
To finish each place setting, a bronzed charger and simple yellow apple serve as a subtle extension of the centerpiece. Rich chocolate linens convey the desired warmth and subtlety.
A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate the Season
Christmas in the Woods
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
Roman Holiday
Cardinal Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
March of the Penguins
Winter Cardinal
Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party
Christmas Fiesta
Over the River and Through the Woods
Black Friday Luncheon
Noel Progressive Dinner
Old-Fashioned Red & Green Christmas
Timberland Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Warm Metal Christmas
Let It Snow

September Wine

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.

Clear glass stemware for lots of wine tasting during dinner! Inexpensive all-purpose glassware can be purchased on sale at stores like Pier 1 or Old Time Pottery.

Lightweight and versatile faux mother of pearl flatware from Target.

Breadsticks are displayed in clear glass stemware.

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.

A side table dressed in a full-length ivory linen holds pre-dinner party sips & nibbles.

Flavorful cheeses are displayed under multi-sized cloches.

Wines are displayed on a wine barrel Lazy Susan from Pottery Barn.

 

I like to think of different ways to display simple things. Loaves of crusty bread take center stage in an ivory-napkin lined stone urn.

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!

Pears and Pine Cones

It was a dark and stormy night, and….wait. This isn’t a mystery novel. It’s a dinner party! Sure, it was dark and stormy, but inside all was cozy, a little bit casual, and a whole lot of fun…even with a power outage that hit right after I snapped the above photo.

 

Humble clear glass hurricanes take center stage enveloped in wreaths of grapevine and pinecones, spiked with fall berries. The pine cone theme is gently repeated in the salad plates.

 

This is one of my favorite salad plate patterns! With a motif that is suitable year-round, this pattern from Pier 1 is not just for the birds! Paired with unembellished white dinner plates, a mustard-colored napkin ties the suite together. A simple gold charger and Revere style flatware lends a stylish touch. A crunchy, sweet Bosc pear – one of autumn’s many gems – is tonight’s guest favor.

 

I am head over heels with these chunky amber goblets from Z Gallerie!!! They are perfect any time of year, but especially in fall as the leaves begin to turn a similar color! The clear stem on the goblets opens the door for the colorless wine glasses.

 

On the buffet behind the dining table are a pair of obelisk centerpieces I used again for the “Ap-Pear-ently Autumn” tablescape.

This is the first of many autumn tablescapes to come. This season will feature everything from soft and subdued (tonight), to haunting beauty (Halloween), to sheer elegance. The rich hues of the season allow for so many decorating opportunities, and I look forward to sharing a few of my interpretations with you! And just so you know, I’m not real big on Halloween, but this year I’m going to give it a try just the same!

Cheers, everyone, and best of the fall season to you and yours! And don’t forget to visit the new “Table Tips” section for lots of nifty ideas!