“Let It Snow!”

Christmas Eve 2009 brought a thick blanket of snow to the Kansas City area. What better way to celebrate it than to bring a few snowflakes inside to the dining room tablescape?

 

 

 

Because I wanted to keep a little bit of a “woodland” look, I kept the table bare of linens to expose its grainy wood.

 

 

A shiny silver charger anchors platinum rimmed white Noritake “Spectrum” dinner plates, followed by a shimmering acrylic snowflake, and finally a white snowflake-laden salad plate from Pier 1. Mikasa‘s Jamestown Platinum stemware and heirloom silver flatware complete the setting. The centerpiece is made up of a large silver cake plateau topped with “snow-dusted” faux evergreens and lots of pillar candles.

 

Sometimes one napkin is simply not enough! Layering napkins – here a sheer silver organza from Pier 1 over crisp white cotton – gives a richer look. The rhinestone flecked napkin rings continue the snowflake trend.

 

I love these mirrored candlesticks from Pier 1 (2009 collection) used to elongate the centerpiece! Silver jingle bells rest on a mound of faux snow in modern crystal mini vases, and a 3-D glittery star work to complete the centerpiece.

 

 

 

The buffet decor mimics that of the dining table with snowy faux greenery, pine cones, more jingle bells, and lots of sparkle. The glass Parisian decanter is filled with “snow” and greenery, and a length of brown satin ribbon literally “ties” the dining room in with decor in the foyer.

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
Tuscan Holiday

 

 

 

 

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner

It’s the night before Christmas, and I’m late getting photos of our 2013 Christmas decor and annual cul-de-sac Progressive Dinner posted! Very little chit-chat tonight. I hope all your stockings are hung and that you are ready to just coast from here on out!
(Click on any photo and then click again to enhance/enlarge it and see details up close.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Cul-de-sac gangEvery Christmas season several of the households on our cul-de-sac get together for a progressive dinner. It’s a chance to get together one last time before the bitter cold of January chases us all indoors, to share good food, and to check out everyone’s holiday decor. I wanted my neighbors to really enjoy the ambience during the entree portion of the dinner at our house, so I got busy!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Front doorI didn’t do a lot with the front entry door this year, nor did we put lights up outside. Next year when I’ve fully recovered, we’ll go all out again! Still, guests were greeted with a cheery wreath with our monogram.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Entry & library

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Library tree collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Secretary collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Vitrine collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Decor 2013: Library desk, leather chair, side table collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Burlap wreath, wood slices, Swiss Army camping gearOur library, to the immediate right as you enter our home, took on a very rustic look this year. I started the look when teaching my “Art of Tablescaping” class in that room, so after taking the table down I just embellished the existing decor with even more natural elements like huge moss balls on the urns flanking the vitrine, wood slices, whittled pencils, burlap and twine. To see that “Woodland Christmas” tablescape and read more about the design elements, click HERE.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Orchid and pine greenery arrangement with uplightOn the chest at the top of the stairs is an arrangement I created in a mercury glass pilsner vase using faux greenery and orchids with an LED uplight to show it off. Really dramatic look when standing at the foot of the steps!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Entryway arrangement

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Hallway collageBack down the stairs and into the entryway is a decorated wreath over the mirror. Lots of LED candles grace the space beneath the wreath, proclaiming it all to be “Merry & Bright”. Notice the ivory “scrunchie” that covers the electric cord. Very clever way to hide it! (I invested in about a dozen of these in several colors at Hobby Lobby about 10 years ago.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining Room table collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Buffet in dining room

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Tea cartEvery room has a very different theme, and this one is full of bright, cheerful color! I used many of these same elements to create 3 very different tablescapes for my “Art of Tablescaping” class. You can check them out HERE, HERE and HERE. After clearing the tablescapes and adding a few more fun pieces, this room is declared the Fun Zone! I won the wreath at the base of the mirror at a White Elephant party a couple of weeks ago, and it fit right in!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Dining room tree and into hallwayThe brightly colored tree in the dining room has a Nativity scene beneath it. As we go back into the hallway, the table by the front door is decked out with a fun wreath and a huge LED candle. Let’s head to the living room…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: View of living room from kitchen

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner set upWe’ve moved furniture and made space in the living room for our Progressive Dinner tables. This year’s theme in this room is cardinals and reindeer. An additional theme of snowflakes was added for the dinner. The tables are covered with red full-length round tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. I recently purchased some ballroom chairs for events at home such as this, and they work out perfectly with cool white Spandex chair covers with contrasting red Spandex sashes, also from LinenTablecloth.com. (I LOVE these because they’re super affordable AND I don’t have to iron them!!!) This is a buffet dinner, so huge white acrylic snowflakes work as “chargers” at each place setting. LinenTablecloth.com red 20″ napkins are neatly folded into reindeer napkin rings purchased on clearance at Target last year. The centerpiece is a simple faux greenery wreath with meandering red ribbon, pine cones and red berries with a trio of LED candles (for safety!) in the center.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Kitchen & buffet collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Black table under breakfast bar collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Decor 2013: Kitchen wreath

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, Christmas Coffee: Regina Reindeer & kitchen Christmas tree collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas Progressive Dinner Decor: Candlestick arrangement in window at kitchen sinkI created this arrangement in the window behind the kitchen sink on a moment’s notice. I wanted something really dramatic for the window that could be seen from outside. I simply entwined a curvy wrought iron candlestick with faux greenery, red berry vine and red lights. I made sure to drape the vine across the countertop for a more dramatic look.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner guests, I

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Progressive Dinner guests, IIGuests served themselves from a buffet in the kitchen. On the menu: a choice of Chicken Tortilla soup, Chicken & Wild Rice soup, or Chili along with nice, warm bread and iced tea. The fun red & white snowflake soup bowls and mugs are from Dollar Tree (yes…Dollar Tree!), and the snowy white ramekins – for those who preferred a “flight” of soups – are from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Fireplace

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Fireplace & mantel decorThe fireplace mantel is heavily decorated with faux greenery, holly, red berries, pine cones, glass ornaments and cardinals. Reindeer stocking holders (Pier 1 clearance) on each end hold ornate red & gold silk stockings. Small trees in black urns flank the fireplace hearth.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Mice on chair & small tree on hearth collageThese two lovey-dovey mice all dressed up in their Christmas finery are new. I saw them at T.J. Maxx and just fell in love with them. Their names? Ramon & Alycia, of course!!! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Sofa, reindeer on side table collageWe have lots of black elements in the living room, so I played that up with black velvet pillows behind red silk ones with gossamer gold ribbon. The luxuriously soft throw is from T.J. Maxx. My bold gold reindeer make another appearance this year in different areas of the living room. (To see these reindeer used in other Christmas settings, click HERE and HERE.) On the table behind the sofa, a large red ornament rests above lots of lighted greenery and pine cones.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Living room tree in red & gold

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Tree ornaments

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Wrapped giftsThis year’s main tree is dressed in lots of red & gold ornaments including cardinals, musical notes, poinsettias and stockings. The tree is flanked by the two larger gold reindeer wearing sparkling wreaths around their necks. Gifts beneath the tree are all wrapped in colors that reflect the room’s color scheme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: ArmoireThe television armoire across the room always gets a little treat, too. This year the decor mirrors that of the mantel with a huge red ornament (just like the one on the sofa table) rising up like a phoenix from behind.

All very different looks throughout the house. My mind was just going in a million different directions, and I just let the decorative chips fall where they may! 🙂

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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!!!

Frosty the Snowman

ME: “Hi. I’m Alycia”

GROUP: “Hi, Alycia!”

ME: “I’m a tablescaper for adults.” (Group collectively gasps in horror. OctoMom and Kate Gosselin both reach for their cells to dial 911.)

There you have it! The truth is finally out. When it comes to tablescaping with children in mind, I’m like a man in Victoria’s Secret at closing time on Valentine’s Day: I haven’t got a clue and I’m desperate at best! Yes, I have a child for whom I threw parties of all kinds when he was growing up, but I never felt quite comfortable with the whole process. Kids are fickle. What’s “fly” today is “whack” tomorrow. (Even those terms are probably “whack” by now!) Who knows what will make me the cool grandma?

This week I am challenged…and I do mean CHALLENGED…with creating a tablescape for a group of “tweeners.” (For those of you like me who would have to look that up, that means kids at that age somewhere between little kids and teenagers. Middle schoolers, I suppose.) These kids don’t want to be babied, but they’re not ready for a glass of wine with dinner, either. They don’t believe in Santa Claus, but they still have a bedtime curfew and have to be reminded to wash behind their ears. You get who I’m talking about. So…..

Here’s the result for a tweeners’ Christmas luncheon to be held here on Thursday! Pity these children, for I assure you…I know not what I do! 🙂

Frosty sits in his sleigh at the front door to welcome our young guests!

 

Cheery red, snow-white and chimney black are the predominant colors used for this “tweeners” Christmas luncheon.

 Each place setting consists of a black acrylic charger topped with a white plate, a frosted snowflake, and a cheerful red & white Hallmark salad plate in one of four designs. A happy little snowman with a sprig of seasonal greenery tops it all off.  White cotton napkins, everyday stemware, and simple white flatware complete the setting.

I used these same red buckets over the summer for a picnic. For these photos each is filled with faux snow, but we’re expecting frosty weather to move in so each will be filled with the real thing to keep the Coca-Cola icy and refreshing. Using foods or containers with coordinating hues (like the red, white & black of the Coca-Cola bottle) is a great way to add color to the table.

Shiny black buckets with tasty candy canes are decorated with faux snow and shimmering snowflakes that are smaller versions of the snowflakes at each place setting. The buckets are placed on opposite ends of the table.

The tablescape is filled with 2 sizes of decorated miniature trees, bright red lanterns from Pier 1 , and more snowmen all on a carpet of cottony “snow.”

Snowmen in the lanterns, clad in jaunty black & white gingham scarves, are surrounded by mounds of snow and other seasonal elements.

On the outside of each lantern are additional snowflakes that resemble falling snow. Styrofoam “snowballs” are scattered about the blanket of glistening snow.

I bought a dozen or so of these tabletop trees in 2 sizes a few years back. A couple of years ago I handwired in all of the red & gold ornaments which took several hours and a couple of tubes of arthritis cream! 🙂

The luncheon table is fun for the young people with all the red & white. The miniature trees decked in red & gold coordinate perfectly with the red & gold-laden lighted greenery on the buffet behind the table. After the luncheon, we adults can enjoy the buffet decor on into the evening with the help of warm multi-level candlelight.

A few other winter tablescapes on this site include:
“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
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas

I am once again this week pleased and proud to join Susan and tablescapers from all over the world for Tablescape Thursday. After you check out my photos, feel free to slide on over to get more great tablescaping ideas!