Chinoiserie Chic – Classic Blue & White for Spring or Summer

I’ve been floating the idea of bringing a blue & white chinoiserie motif into our dining room. The colors and pattern are classic, and I could work with them all year round. (See Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White from 2017 and Mandarin Bling from 2011.) This is my Spring and Summer take on it! (NOTE: Our dining room is currently undergoing redecorating. These pics were snapped before that arduous process kicked in.)

I kept the table bare to better showcase the contrast in colors.

Although I have several blue & white dish patterns, this Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” is my favorite. This time around it is paired up with Godinger “Chelsea” crystal and black faux bamboo flatware. The extra special touch…gorgeous cloches from Nell Hills in Kansas City, Mo.!!! I wasn’t so thrilled with the white wicker tray, but Liz (Home & Gardening With Liz) convinced me to not spray paint them…yet! Under each cloche is a starched white linen napkin and a beautiful porcelain elephant from Pier 1 Imports.  Small pink blossoms are added to break up the blue & white.

I like to add in lots of detail, color, texture, and varying heights for centerpieces. Silver candelabra with towering white metal case candles (for safety!) are surrounded by white Foo dogs, floating orchids, and greenery in white ceramic vases. The small floral branches alongside the bowls  help to elongate the centerpiece.

A small white foo dog with another Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” plate graces the sconces in the dining room.

The buffet behind the dining table is laden with various blue & white pieces I’ve collected over the years.  Some are filled with orchids, while others hold small cherry blossom branches and tulips. To further tie the florals on the buffet and dining table together, I added more vases of greenery.

Do you like classic patterns, or do you lean more toward contemporary styles?

If you’d like to see more tablescapes in blue & white on this site:
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Peony Power
Blue & White Family Picnic
Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells
Christmas In the Library 2020
Tall & Toile, Y’all!
Autumn Flourishes 2017
Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White
Candy Colored Autumn
Summer Blues…and Greens!
Mother’s Day Brunch

If you don’t already, I’d be delighted to have you follow me on Instagram! I’m slowly but surely learning how to use it!

Summer Blues… and Greens!

SUMMER BLUES…AND GREENS!
(a re-post from August 2010)

There is really nothing quite like the cooling, soothing look of cobalt blue in a summer tablescape! Mixed here with grassy greens and cloud-like white, it takes on a casually sophisticated look that is one with nature.

For each place setting, I started with a crisp, white cotton linen. The beautiful blue & white placemats are a vinyl reversible from Bed, Bath & Beyond that caught my eye. The stark white square dinner plates, also from BB&B, are from the B. Smith With Style collection. The deep blue salad plates and graceful finger bowls are from Pier 1 Imports. I like these bowls because they can be used in so many ways! I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of them in subsequent tablescapes. Simple Pfaltzgraff “Legacy” flatware and cobalt blue glass tumblers from Old Time Pottery finish the look.

I picked up this gorgeous green & blue glass compote several years ago, and I am always thrilled to get a chance to use it in a tablescape! Filled here with an abundance of juicy Granny Smith apples, succulent limes, and cymbidium orchids, it really stands out. Orchids are so pricey that I often can only afford a single stem or two. Plucking the blooms and floating them in water (or tucking the stem into a water tube as in the centerpiece) is a wonderful option with a lot of impact. The flames of white candles in the cobalt hurricanes dance when the sun goes down. The potted grass is just another way to pull in the color green and to add texture and interest to the overall centerpiece.

Another way to punctuate the tablescape’s look with a bit more green was to place individual bottles of refreshing Perrier at each guest’s setting.

Want to see a couple of other tablescapes using blue and green?:
Under A Paper Moon
Butterfly Kaleidoscope

          

 

Love & Orchids – Revisited for the 2013 Wedding Season

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I first posted this tablescape way back in September of 2010 when I first began blogging. It has been tucked deep within the “Wedding” page of my blog, and not readily accessible. As we approach the 2013 wedding season, I thought it might be a good idea to breathe a little new life into it as the decor is as current now as it was then. My hope is that this will be helpful to those planning a wedding, a special birthday, or any other event that calls for a polished, pretty look with a shot of brilliant color. Please pardon the less-than-great photography. I was just starting out! 🙂
(Click, then click again on any photo to enhance it and see details.)

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This engagement dinner party tablescape incorporates two of my favorite design elements: crisp white linens & dishware and fresh orchids!!! The color scheme is intentionally almost all white in an attempt to coax the brilliant fuchsia color of the orchids out a bit more.
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I love these 13″ silver chargers that are a full inch bigger than the standard size! The china is from my sister’s wedding collection, Noritake‘s “Whitebrook” design. The flatware is perhaps the favorite of my formal sets: International Silver’s “Royal Danish” sterling flatware.
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The menus snatched a bit of the orchid color to break up the flatness of the mostly white tablescape. Each menu item had an ingredient that is associated with love and fidelity. Guests were treated to a one-liner history lesson on the meaning of each. (This one about fertility rites was proffered by the anxious-to-be-a-grandmother-already mother of the groom! I laughed the whole time I was typing it up!!) The opposite side of the folded menu had fun trivia about the couple’s childhood experiences and courtship.
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White cotton napkins are folded into a prim little square and placed atop the bread plate with a tiny floral embellishment that brings the color from the floral arrangements down closer to the table.
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These fabulous orchids were generously provided by my friend, Craig Sole, of Craig Sole Designs in Overland Park, Kan. The great thing about orchids is that, with proper care, they can last for days on end!
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The 31″H clear glass cylinders (Marshalls) are anchored with acrylic “ice chips”, and the orchids are partially submerged. The 12″H cylinders are just a bit different sans ice chips and with just a bit of the flower stem peeking above the rim.
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Lots of votive candles add shimmer to the table. I used silver floating candles from Pier 1that I bought nearly 15 years ago (!!!) but never had occasion to use until now. I knew they’d come in handy some day!
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IMG_3293WMThese short, squatty glass cylinders were perfect for bringing color closer to the tabletop. The nearby votives illuminate the “ice chips” and water in which the orchids rest.
The sun set just around 7:20, which was perfect for the guests’  7:30 arrival!
This tablescape would work well for any wedding-related event (shower, engagement party, rehearsal dinner, reception), a special birthday, an anniversary dinner, and even to celebrate breast cancer awareness.

Moss & Manzanitas

We’re under a stupid winter storm watch here in the Midwest. Wednesday night into Thursday is supposed to get really ugly. Stock-up-on-supplies-and-pull-out-the-longjohns ugly. (Mine actually have a Dennis the Menace flap in the back! :-)) So as we brace ourselves for a less-than-pleasant end of the week, I’m getting more and more anxious for Spring to arrive.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

DSCN1448WMThe concept for this table for 8 started back in January when I made an appearance on a local morning show here in Kansas City. (Click HERE to see the post, “Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille” with video clip and start-to-finish photos.) I set up a buffet table that would work well for this weird in-between stage when the bareness of Winter is still painfully evident, but Spring is just a stone’s throw away. On that buffet, I used a lot of bling along with the moss and manzanitas that would have been great for a bridal luncheon or a 60th wedding anniversary, traditionally dubbed in the U.S. as the “diamond anniversary.” The post with that television appearance does include photos so you can compare that buffet setting to this sit-down one.

DSCN1395WMWhile diamonds are absolutely a girl’s best friend (well…diamonds and Spanx! :-)), for this more casual table I wanted to use “rocks” of a different kind. Hence the abundance of smooth river rock nestled around the manzanita “tree” centerpiece.

DSCN1387WMNothing says Spring like color, and this citrusy green dinner plate really grabs your attention! (Dollar Tree, folks! Dollar Tree!!! If you don’t have one in your area, petition the company to build one there!!!)

Flatware, napkin, menu collageA plain white cotton napkin is wrapped around a tri-color menu and topped with a single stone. The natural look of bamboo in the flatware further complements the setting.

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DSCN1428WMUnadorned clear glass stemware gets an upgrade with the addition of individual bottles of chilled wine. I like using these mini bottles from World Market to dress a casual table, but always have plenty of the big boys on hand as well. Some guests take the minis home as a souvenir, others drink it on the spot.

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IFThe centerpiece is made up of these cool manzanita branches I bought last year at Gordmans. When I first used them last Halloween I gave them a much more ghastly graveyard look. Here they take on a totally new role, dotted with white orchid blooms as if Spring is making its first appearance. With all the moss (the famous Moss Bridge, not to mention the mossy hillsides) and the stone (stone walls, the Blarney Stone), this would make a great table for St. Patrick’s Day!!!

IFI just love the color and texture and smell of reindeer moss! It’s so…woodsy! I tucked little sprigs of it among the branches as well as loading up on it at the base of the branch structure.

IFI found these fun-shaped ceramic vases at Home Goods about a year ago. They help extend the bright, invigorating color of the lime green plates and reindeer moss from the dining table to the buffet behind it.

Buffet cake, flatware, lg. floral collage

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I want to extend a HUGE thank you to The Home Girl for naming my blog as one of her “Five Fabulous Finds” and to Jenna at The Painted Apron for listing me among her picks for “Very Inspiring Blogger”! It’s always uplifting to receive recognition from fellow bloggers, and I appreciate it very much! These ladies both have an enviable array of weekly posts on tablescaping, recipes, home organization & decor…their talents abound! If you’ve not seen their blogs, I most certainly recommend that you treat yourself!

This week I’ll be joining Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly blog party, “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday“. Join me, and you’ll be able to see the work of talented tablescapers from all around the world. It’s really cool to see decor from places like Sweden (Chubby ‘N Chieque), India (Crystal Grandeur), Australia (Desire Empire), and, of course, right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.!

Other tablescapes on this site to help you prepare to entertain this Spring:
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel!”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Carousel Colors”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Brunch”
“Peony Power”
“Daffodillyicious”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Mikasa Daylight Giveaway”
“Daisy Crazy”

Bling Wedding – Lauren & Darren

Some may recall the horrendous Thanksgiving table construction disaster of 2011. I will never forget it. Ever. You’d think I had learned my lesson, but no-oooooo!!! My husband and I got up at the (pardon my French, ladies & gents) butt crack of dawn to create this table outdoors before the 100+° heat chased us back in. Ah! Great plan! Until…..I was so horrified this time that I couldn’t even take pictures of it. A sudden gust of wind swelled from out of nowhere, and…I think you can easily guess the rest! The sound was so deafening that…well…let’s just say I had to trash the shorts I was wearing! 😉

You’ve heard variations of the quote “God looks out for fools, drunks and old people”? As I would be defined as the trifecta where that’s concerned, I apparently received special dispensation on all 3 counts because, despite the 20-car pile-up look-alike on the table, nothing actually broke. Luckily, I had gotten quite a few shots off before the wind sneezed. I wasn’t going to take any further chances, though, and we promptly whisked everything back indoors. I reset the table and took the final shots in there. So if it looks like these photos were taken in 2 different places, it’s because they were!

Without further whining, here’s an all-white table that could be duplicated for a wedding reception or anniversary party. I dedicate it to my friend, Lauren, and her husband, Darren, who just celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. So please sign the guest book, come on in, and have a seat at…where else?…Table 21!!!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it!)

I love the look of an all-white wedding reception! It’s so clean and crisp and, well, wedding-y! 🙂 Lauren & Darren’s actual wedding colors 26 years ago were pink (or was that called “mauve” in the 80s?) and white, but this is what I would envision for their anniversary celebration if I could be there in ol’ St. Louis to do this for them.

White full-length linens are reminiscent of Lauren’s sweeping white gown in 1986. Silverplate chargers are the foundation for place settings created using my sister’s Noritake “Whitebrook” china.

I created menus that incorporate more “bling” via the wedding ring clip art and a teardrop-shaped faux gemstone brad at the top.

Estate silver from my personal collection accompanies Godinger “Chelsea” stemware with its diamond design (implied bling!) and starched white hemstitch napkins in a simple square fold atop each bread plate.

At the bride’s place setting, a trio of full-blown creamy white roses are nestled into a Baroque silver bouquet holder.

These teardrop pearl and rhinestone-studded frames hold place cards for each guest.

Lots and lots of flowers in shades of creamy white grace the center of the table. Besides the very prominent towers of cascading dendrobium orchids are six small rose and cymbidium orchid arrangements in 6″ glass goose neck vases and four all-rose arrangements in silver Revere bowls. Each rose has a rhinestone pin stuck in the center for a little extra bling. At two intervals, suites of 4 silver Revere candlesticks with 25″H white candles surround the smallest floral arrangements. Introducing the tall silver candlesticks breaks up the sea of glass at that level on the table created by the taller vases. Having 4 heights of floral arrangements creates drama at many different eye levels. (It’s 4 heights because the tower vases are a single 31″ in the center flanked by two 24″.)

These tall & graceful goose neck tower vases have enjoyed a long 30+ year run in the decorating world. It’s all about making the overall arrangement a little bit different to breathe new life into them. Here I used lots of green-tinged white dendrobium orchid stems. For this demonstration, the orchids are faux (just $1 each on sale at Hobby Lobby!!!), but a profusion of the real deal on a wedding table…heavenly!!! I used curly-Q ornament hangers to get the arrangement dripping with bling. Not satisfied to stop there, I visually (and literally!) strung together the tower vases using 6-ft. bling garland. Just hook the ends to the lip of each vase with the hangers! I bought all my bling at a wholesale place, but you can find something similar at places like Hobby Lobby or through your florist. Actually, the single teardrop bling for chandeliers can be purchased at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s in the lighting & fan department! If you’re really ambitious, string together your own unique combination of bling! (Hint based on my wind-blown experience: If you are planning an outdoor event, make sure that tall, top-heavy arrangements are either heavily weighted or have sufficient protection from wind gusts. Don’t try to fight Mother Nature…she always wins!)

So…did you follow the sort of theme going on here with the teardrop shape? In the menu card brads, the place card frames, the floral bling. It’s important to do that to instill continuity at the subconscious level of the brain where people kinda think, “I love it! It all just flows!” Well, yeah, it flows! It flows because you’re subtly repeating a theme. The same applies to the repeated elements down the center of the Tuscan-style table. It just…say it with me, everyone…flows!

Congratulations to Lauren & Darren! I wish you many more years of wedded bliss!

Other posts suited for weddings on this site:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Roses in October”
“Autumn White Wedding”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”
“Peonies & Pearls”
“White Hot”
“Get Me to the Church On Time”
“Showered in Pink”
“Blushing Bridal Shower”
Rhapsody In Blue

I’m joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday, and Susan for her 200th edition of “Tablescape Thursday” this week! You can also find me at BeBetsy.com!