The Peacock Effect

INSPIRATION: The softened peacock-like colors and design in this Home Goods plate

INSPIRATION: The softened peacock-like colors and design in this Home Goods plate

With the nasty winter pretty much everyone here in the U.S. has suffered/is still suffering through, it’s good to be able to pull out color and style that bring cheer and hope for Spring. Valentine’s Day is now under our belts (or around our necks or on our fingers…am I right, ladies?!), and it’s time to look toward the celebration of Mardi Gras. Don’t care for the traditional Mardi Gras colors or just want to switch it up? Perhaps something like this would work for you!
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Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Full dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Full tabletop

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Full tabletop, lengthwiseThis beautifully-appointed table begins with a 90″ x 132″ soft silver tablecloth from

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Double place setting

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Single place settingThe place setting begins with a lavender charger from Michael’s. The lavish glass plate is from the Topkapi line often found at Home Goods, T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s. It is 100% food safe. The colors are from the softer side of those found in peacock feathers, and the flourish encircling the plate reminds me of how a peacock proudly unfurls his tail.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Flatware and rim shot

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Flatware & plate detail collageThe International Silver “Royal Danish” sterling is paired with the setting to complement the majestic plate design. Notice how they both sort of fan out.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Glitter & sequin peacock embellishmentI picked up these flashy glitter- and sequin-covered peacock ornaments at this year’s 75% off after-Christmas clearance sale at Pier 1. They are simply clipped onto the side of the charger as an added flourish to the place setting.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Fleur de lis napkin foldI didn’t want to hide any part of the plate design or interfere with the beauty of the peacock on the charger, so the 20″ silver napkins from are placed dead center at the top of the place setting. They are folded into a fleur de lis which is a great tie-in to Mardi Gras.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Z Gallerie stemwareI bought this wonderful and oh-so-delicate aubergine-tinted “Andre” stemware from Z Gallerie about 3 years ago, but this is the first time I’ve used it. It picks up yet another hue from the peacock feathers.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Centerpiece vase collageI do love a pretty centerpiece, and this one was several weeks in the making. I just couldn’t decide on the center vase! Finally – after selecting mercury glass votives for the table and buffet – I settled on this gourd-shaped silver mercury glass vase from Hobby Lobby. A scant few peacock feathers rise and drape from it.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Silver Revere bowl with turquoise agate and floating candle

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Floating candle and turquoise agateNow you’re just going to think I’m really anal, but here goes anyway: I chose the silver floating candles (Pier 1) because, again, looking at them reminded me of the peacock’s fanned out tail. The candles drift over a bed of turquoise agate from Michael’s.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Buffet collageThe buffet behind the dining table is decorated with two low florals of white, purple, and green-tinted hydrangea, viburnum, deep purple calla lilies and feathery soft dusty miller. Each arrangement is finished off with a peacock like the ones on the table. A mixture of silver and turquoise/purple mercury glass votive holders also carries over from the dining table. The reflection in the mirror if of the same two wreaths used in yesterday’s peacock post.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Tea cart collageTo balance out the room, the tea cart holds a 21″ silver mercury glass pilsner vase filled with peacock feathers. This, also, is a carryover from yesterday’s post, “Simply Peacock Garden”.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - The Peacock Effect: Feathered mask for Mardi GrasAdd a pot of gumbo and a few lavishly-feathered masks as party favors, and this dining atmosphere instantaneously becomes a Mardi Gras celebration!

So there you have it. This tablescape with a peacock effect can work with or without masks and King cake. Your choice!

Other tablescapes on this site using peacock feathers:
Simply Peacock Garden
Peacock Pizzazz
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Pheasants & Peacocks
Proud As a Peacock

Other tablescapes on this site for Mardi Gras:
Laissez Bon Temps Rouler!
Mardi Gras Mojo
Mardi Gras Lite
Mardi Gras Madness

I’m linking up with Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” again this week. If you’ve never joined in on this weekly blog party, this is your chance! There are so many talented tablescapers all over the world who share their creativity all in this one place. Join us, won’t you?

Simply Peacock Garden

INSPIRATION: 222 Fifth "Peacock Garden" plates from Home Goods

INSPIRATION: 222 Fifth “Peacock Garden” plates from Home Goods

True story: My Mom MADE me get these plates! Seriously! Stop laughing! She did!!! We were in Home Goods, and I was going to pass them up…but she insisted I get them and then ultimately bought them for me. STOP laughing! I’m telling the truth!!!

Have you composed yourself? Good. Then please enjoy my post using these beautiful 222 Fifth “Peacock Garden” dinner and salad plates. Then be sure to stop back tomorrow for another peacock tablescape that would sub nicely for a Mardi Gras setting!
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Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: Full dining tableI set up this 48″ table in our library as burly men with their butt cracks showing finished installing new windows in our dining room. This was my only diversion as they were here for way too long on a frigid day. Ice and snow as far as the eye could see. Yes…that meant the house was freezing cold, so I had to keep busy!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: layered linens in turquoise and whiteI used this linen layering technique again to pick up both the white background and the colorful foreground of the plates. A 108″ white round tablecloth is layered with an 85″ square turquoise cloth from, lending contrast and interest.


Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: Stack collageClockwise progression: The deep blue metal charger used at the bottom of the place setting was found on clearance at Pier 1. I was so lucky to get 8 of them! My sister gave me the beautiful gold- and silver-leafed glass chargers a few years ago, and I use them often. The deep turquoise poly-cotton napkin is from Z Gallerie, and you already have the 411 on the plates. That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it, people! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: Napkin & rim shotThe napkin is simply folded and placed between the top charger and the dinner plate. I placed it here to pick up the deep turquoise in the plates, while the top linen picks up the softer turquoise color in them. The bottom charger picks up the 3rd shade of blue, the gold charger picks up the gold, and the bottom white linen, of course, picks up the white in the plates. Like a peacock’s feather, this place setting is a dazzling array of hues that artfully work together.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: Flatware placementWacky? Yes. Unconventional? Yes. Fun? You betcha!!! It’s not a formal setting, so this is just another way to add interest to the tabletop and keep guests on their toes! 🙂 While the salad and dinner forks are in their traditional places, the dessert fork and coffee spoon decide to get jiggy with it!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: StemwareWanting once again to pick up the array of colors in the peacock plates, I teamed up an inexpensive cobalt blue goblet from Dollar Tree with a mid-priced deep turquoise goblet from Stein Mart, then finished it off with a 24-kt. gold-rimmed white vintage piece from my Mom. I love to mix glassware like this! (For more ideas on successfully mixing stemware, visit HEREHERE, HERE, and HERE.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: Full centerpiece

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: Centerpiece collageThe centerpiece is easy to create but packs a whallop. A beautiful pitcher is filled with peacock feathers at varying heights and then simply surrounded by a splash of gold mercury glass votives. All the girth is way up high, so the centerpiece can remain throughout the meal.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: Peacock wreath on side table

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, - Simply Peacock Garden: Peacock wreath on secretary doorOK, now I’m saying this so much that even I’m starting to think I’m lying: My Mom MADE me get these wreaths!!! We were checking out accessories in Home Decorator Collection when she suddenly summoned me to the back. She literally called me on my cell phone and told me to come back there. I’m an obedient daughter ( 😉 ), so I went. There, at 75% off in the after-Christmas section, were these beautiful and very full peacock wreaths. “They’re perfect for the plates,” she said. “You need to have those,” she said. “If you don’t buy them, I’ll just buy them for you,” she said. Honest!!!

I’m exhausted! All this explaining myself is really hard work! Please stop back by tomorrow for another peacock tablescape that is a nice respite from the “usual suspects” in Mardi Gras decorating. I’ll post it just before leaving the house to go shopping with my Mom! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Other tablescapes on this site inspired by peacocks:
The Peacock Effect
Peacock Pizzazz
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Pheasants & Peacocks
Proud As a Peacock!

Pumpkins & Peacocks

Here we are once again at the crazy transitional time that calls for us to walk that pencil-thin line between summer and autumn tablescapes. A September tablescape can be one of the most difficult as we teeter on the cusp of the bright colors of summer and the warm, deeper tones that come with the crunch of autumn leaves. This mix of a bright pumpkin color and the flickering jewel tones of peacock feathers is a tablescape that might satisfy the need to meet in the middle. And, as the peacock is the national bird of India, this might also make a fun table for the festival of Diwali which marks the end of the harvest season.
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The foundation of this colorful Fall tablescape is an attention-grabbing floor-length pumpkin-colored linen from

While the layers of the tabletop include more of the bright pumpkin hue, the deepness of the greens and purples ground it a bit more and bring it even closer into Fall.

This table for four features complex layers that speak to the cooler autumn months but don’t abandon what’s left of summer. A double layer of square gold chargers from World Market hosts a French-inspired plate adorned with a gorgeous peacock, his iridescent plumage on full display. The lower right corner of the plate comes alive with brightly colored gloriosa lilies.

Gold-tone flatware complements the orange-y hue of the linens. Around the napkin is a showy purple “gemstone” napkin ring from Z Gallerie, usually reserved for Mardi Gras around here. (See it used HERE and HERE.) The purple in the napkin ring complements the jewel tones in the eye of the peacock feathers.

Inexpensive but nonetheless lovely green Dollar Tree stemware complements the green tones in the peacock feathers and offers another layer of color to the table’s palette.

I didn’t have a lot of gloriosa lilies, but I did have on hand enough of these faux orchid stems that were very close in both color and form. I chose to create a kind of wild, untamed, uncontrolled floral arrangement…much like the demeanor of peacocks! While a faux orchid floral arrangement is used for this demonstration, it would be REALLY cool if your budget allows for real ones!!!

Tiny pumpkin-colored tea light votives candles produce ambient light and extend the surface level girth of the centerpiece.

A simple straight line of votives across the fireplace mantel mimic those on the table.

To see more Fall tablescapes on this site, visit:
Autumn” page (has TEN different posts on one page!!!)
September Wine
Autumn Blues
Autumn White Wedding
Roses in October
Sunflower Simple
Serape High Style
Raining Orchids” (another great transitional table!)

Next week I’ll have photos of one of the four tables I have been laboring to set up for my “Fabulous Fall Tablescaping” class through Longview Community College’s Community Education department. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I get the requisite number of students so that the class isn’t cancelled. I know people are very busy and that the economy really sucks right now, but I have such great plans for this class!!! I hope it fills up! If you live in the Kansas City, MO area, you have until Friday the 14th to enroll, so give them a call at 816-604-2030. Classes start Tuesday, September 18th.

I am joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” starting Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. CDT. Also on Wednesday I will be joining The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“. Then on Thursday, please come along with me to Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday” starting at 9:00 a.m. CDT. I hope to see you then!

Peacock Pizzazz!

 Peacock feathers. There’s just something about them. They’ve just got that snappy, snazzy, razzle dazzle kiss-my-foot-and-call-me-Your-Highness pizzazz about them. This time of year a peacock feather centerpiece or side piece can really jazz up a tablescape as well as add texture, height, and implied motion.
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No table linen or placemat for this one. The natural wood of the dining table just felt right. What I did for this tablescape, however, was to mix colors and china patterns to mimic the pageantry of the peacock. A goldleafed glass charger is the foundation for an American Atelier “Florentine Gold Scroll” dinner plate topped with a 222 Fifth “Ornamental Scroll” salad plate. The white in the dinner plate helps to break up the heavy concentration of color in the place setting.

The deep teal poly-cotton napkins from Home Goods are cinched with a Pier 1 “Beaded Circle” napkin ring that reminded me of a male peacock’s tail feathers when I first saw them. (Would someone please explain to me how it is that the male peacock got to be the showier one??!?!?! What a rip off!!!)

This goldtone flatware really gets a workout around here in the fall and winter months!

A mix of teal blue stems from Stein Mart and Dollar Tree green stemware pulls from the colors of the male peacock’s plumage.

I found these jeweled peacock place card holders at Tuesday Morning many years ago. For this occasion, a faux gemstone, like those in the holder, is added to the place card.

The peacock feathers I have are 52″ in length and interfered with the light fixture above the dining table. I did, however, want to capture the colors of the feathers in the centerpiece, so I used a single teal glass cylinder with a floating candle centered between clusters of goldtone candlesticks. Like the dinner plate selection, white candles were my choice in order to break up the high concentration of deep hues.

The peacock feathers, arranged in large Vidrios San Miguel green vases from TJ Maxx (also seen HERE), were moved from the dining table to the buffet behind it with a repeat of the teal glass cylinders and goldtone candlesticks. It took a total of 50 quills (25 each vase) to achieve this look. A feather, cylinder, and candlestick display similar to this would look great down the center of a reception buffet table, too!

As a side note, I wanted to demonstrate how this table could be easily transformed to a dramatic Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras look with the simple addition of a mask adorned with peacock feathers at each place setting. This would also make a kickin’ New Year’s Eve tablescape!!!

I hope your Mardi Gras celebration is a safe and fun one! When you finally wake up from your hurricane-soaked gumbo coma, please join me for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch!

Another tablescape on this site using peacock feathers:
Proud As A Peacock!

Proud As a Peacock!

Those of you who have visited this blog in the recent past know that I was recently selected as one of five designers to create a tablescape for the winter 2011 issue of EA Bride Magazine. All I had at the time the magazine hit the newsstands in December were some photocopied images straight from the magazine that I shared with you here. The kind folks at Phoenix Photography have since graciously provided me with scenes from the photo shoot which offer a much clearer view. (Or you can click HERE to go straight to the EA Bride magazine website to see the pages.)


Depicting a winter wedding table in these brilliantly bold hues was a bit of a challenge, but I certainly enjoyed it! When the creative director for EA Bride Magazine approached me for this Winter 2011 edition’s “Design Challenge” tablescape along with four other designers, it was a thrill to be considered.

Borrowed from Celebration Party Rental in Lee’s Summit, Mo., were the table, cool clear-seated silver-back chiavari chairs, ruby-red diamond pintuck table linen and matching napkin. From my personal collection I chose a square silver wooden charger from World Market, a fabulously intricate teal and silver charger from Home Goods, to-die-for rhinestone-studded silk napkins from Z Gallerie, and exquisite rhinestone-flecked snowflake napkin rings from Pier 1. I borrowed the snowflake from the creative director’s stash at the last-minute just before the shoot began. My Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware, International Silver “Royal Danish” sterling flatware, and intricately carved aperitif goblet. (Note: Yes, I know the champagne flute is on the “wrong” side, but aesthetically…it just looked so much better! To those of you who are purists on this matter, I humbly apologize! :-))

The 25″H mercury glass vase purchased from my friend Dana Nigro’s Village Gardens in Blue Springs, Mo., offered the perfect combination of vintage and modern. By slipping on a few borrowed crystal ornaments, the vessel was subtly transformed for our winter wedding. Arranging the 52″H peacock feathers from my own collection at staggered heights in the vase rendered a centerpiece that stood a total of 58″ tall!!! Perfect for rooms with tall ceilings!

Each of the 3 small arrangements surrounding the main centerpiece were created by Anne Kelly Acock of the Monarch Flower Company in Lee’s Summit, Mo. The diamond head centers remind us of both the occasion and the iciness of winter, while the peacock feathers bring the colors and texture of the peacock feathers towering overhead down to eye level.

After the photo shoot, we all paused for a few moments of relaxation and goofing around before going about the business of tearing down our very temporary creations. From left to right: Ashley Hotka of Good Earth Floral Design Studio, Heather Medley of Notting Hill Design Studio, Anne Kelly Acock of Monarch Flower Company, and li’l ol’ me. (Not pictured: Meghan Perlow of Poppy Floral.)

This was a really fun and educational experience for me. But seriously….I am out of the wedding business. I am retired! Seriously. 😉

Many, many, many special thanks to

EA Bride Magazine, Phoenix Photography, and Lone Summit Ranch

Magazine cover shot by Blixt Photography, Kansas City, MO

Photo by Phoenix Photography

The Winter 2011 issue of EA Bride is on sale now through March 15 at Barnes & Noble, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Hen House, Wal-Mart and several local hospital gift shops.

 Other tablescapes on this site with a peacock theme include:
The Peacock Effect
Simply Peacock Garden
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Peacock Pizzazz
Pheasants & Peacocks

I hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to also take a look at tablescapes from all over the world on Susan’s Tablescape Thursdays!!!