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!


Roman Holiday

The Christmas season is in full swing now, and even though I’ve been feeling a bit under weather, the Nichols household was rockin’ last weekend!

I love intimate dinner parties, and we had a chance to host one this past week for which I really enjoyed the preparation process. Rich, sultry shades of gold mixed with hues of ivory and white with a little jolt of red here and there…one of my favorite holiday palettes! After 5:30 cocktails (a little earlier start than usual), the six of us sat down to a 4-course feast. Lively conversation took us into the late night hours.

  Back into the cozy confines of our dining room for this intimate dinner for six, I decided to do the flip of last week’s dinner party and go all gold & white.


I bought this American Atelier “Florentine Gold Scroll” china years ago and have had only a couple of occasions to use it even though I love the design. (See this china used in a stunningly different tablescape HERE.) This table was set with the dinner plate and soup bowl only atop a gold braided-edge charger. (I took these photos late. The salad plates were chilling in the freezer!) All the brilliant gold had a chance to really shine against the solid white table linen. My favorite favor – boxes of Godiva chocolates – fit right in!

Keeping with the gold and scroll themes, I used goldplated flatware with a swirled design. The magnificent drinking glasses are part of a set my Mother purchased while on a trip to New York back in the 1970s. I always admired the set and am particularly drawn to the Roman soldiers on each. I have never set a table with these until now, but thought no others would do. The intricate gold design just seemed to demand its place on the table!

I am almost ashamed to admit how little I paid for these pretty napkin rings, especially since they are so closely hugging my gorgeous linen napkins. Truth be told: $1 each at Old Time Pottery. Shameful!!! 🙂 Again, their design elements just seemed the perfect match for this table.

I bought scads of these cool gold mercury glass votive holders at Village Gardens in Blue Springs, MO. They emit such a fabulous glow!

My centerpiece floral contains many of the same elements as last week’s post because I have TONS of this fresh seeded eucalyptus hanging out in my garage!!! The gold scrolled floral container is a perfect match for the china. A fat 3-wick candle perches atop another scrolled vase turned upside down.

Other gold elements on the table include elegantly embellished tree toppers in coordinating designs and these fanciful reindeer candleholders I purchased years ago at a wholesale outlet.

The sconces in the room got a holiday treatment of fresh greenery, berries and the same gold mercury glass votive holders.

The buffet was decked out in florals similar to the one on the table, reindeer, frosty white ornaments, and lots of candles in brass candlesticks.

The matching water pitcher! While it doesn’t hold a lot of liquid, it sure is pretty!

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
Tuscan Holiday

  I am thrilled to join Susan and all the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday! You’re invited to hop on over to check out other fabulous holiday designs!!!

Between Naps On The Porch

Tee Mit Hans Dresden (Tea With Hans Dresden)

This is the story of how a little girl’s curiosity (and hard-headedness!) got her into deep trouble, but  became a lasting memory. I want to thank my Mother for (1) letting me live after what I did on that fateful day some 46 years ago; (2) sharing with me the story of how she came to acquire this lovely tea set, and; (3) passing it on to me for a memory I will always cherish.

It isn’t often I get to share afternoon tea with friends, but when I do it is held near and dear to my heart. For this particular occasion, it was to celebrate recent accomplishments by each attendee. (An engagement, a retirement, and a new career. Hence the champagne & Godiva chocolates for all!!!)

My mother was gifted with this lovely Hans Dresden set back in the 1940s. My father’s nephew, who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, picked it up for her during his tour in Germany just before the city of Dresden was severely damaged by British & U.S. bombing. Little did anyone know of what great sentimental value this set would be some 65 years later.

I purchased these lovely embroidered cotton luncheon napkins years ago while on my honeymoon in New Orleans.

Let me explain/confess something. (Uh-oh…this takes me back about 45 years!) My mother had the entire set with coffee & tea pots, cups, saucers, dessert plates, and ashtrays! (Don’t give me that look! Smoking was perfectly acceptable…even encouraged…by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars “back in the day.”) As a child, much like now, I loved to play house. Despite many admonitions, I decided one day to play with Mom’s Dresden set. The result: the clumsy hands of a 6-year-old were no match for the delicate china. I irreparably broke several pieces of the set, and other pieces – like the pot above – were chipped. When my Mom gave me this fractured but nonetheless loved set a couple of years ago for my own collection, we had a good laugh…quite contrary to her reaction when I ruined it 46 years ago!!!

I did not prepare the sweets for this get-together, but I am grateful for the local pastilerias that did!

The centerpiece was composed of simple alstroemeria arranged in a tall, milky glass trumpet vase flanked by two smaller arrangements.

This was a wonderful afternoon spent with wonderful women – my mother included – who by all accounts forgive my past transgression of putting Hans in harm’s way.

Footnote: I saw this very set – in mint condition – on WorthPoint the other day. I was too afraid to look at how much it would be worth today had I not so tragically trashed it!

Other teatime tablescapes on this site include:
Tea Roses
Coming Up Roses
Hello, Dahlia!

This week for the first time ever, I am pleased to join Lady Katherine and all the fine ladies for Tea Time Tuesday. If you enjoy fine tea accoutrement, exquisitely set tea tables and ladies’ gatherings as much as I do, please check out other bloggers’ photos & stories on her site!