Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin' Thicke's black & white striped suit worn  during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton)

INSPIRATION: Singer Robin Thicke’s body-hugging black & white striped suit worn during his infamous performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. (shown here with wife Paula Patton) Source: US Magazine

Inspiration apparently comes from just about anywhere. Sometimes when you least expect it. Last year as I watched the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, Robin Thicke sashayed onto the stage in a suit that commanded my utmost attention. At first I couldn’t decide…

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Beetlejuice, Alice In Wonderland, Convicts collage

Convict? Tweedledum and Tweedledee from Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”? Michael Keaton in “Beetlejuice”???

Then, I thought of another image a little closer to my wheelhouse…

 

 

Sunflower Soiree by Carolyne Roehm

INSPIRATION: Another fabulous party designed by Carolyne Roehm. Source: The Party Dress

Ah, yes! This beautiful party designed by my beloved Carolyne Roehm. A few short months later I found just the thing to help me bring the spirit of these two very diverse yet equally inspiring ideas (I mean, c’mon…Robin Thicke is a cutie pie!!!) to life in my own way for an intimate summer dinner party.
(Click on any image, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full table

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Full tableThis semi-formal contemporary table for 12 was created by using two 6′ tables dressed in white stretch tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com. I’ve talked before about the ease of these tablecloths and how they require absolutely no ironing…my favorite feature of all! 🙂 (I don’t get paid to peddle LTC’s products or say nice things about them…I just know what I love!)

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single place settingKeeping with the linear look, sharply squared black chargers are topped with square white B. Smith plates.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - menuI created individual menus using black and white striped paper from Hobby Lobby. I chose to use a long decorative sheet underneath with a short top sheet to highlight the elongated aspect of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Flatware, Napkin, Stemware collageThe modern design of the J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware with its straight lines and squared off heels is perfect for this setting. The jet black napkin is simply folded and tucked beneath the charger to cascade off the side of the table. Again…going for the same long, lean look of the stripes.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - centerpiece flowers

 

 

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Calla lilies and candlesticks collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - single glass votiveTo keep with the posh, modern look, I opted to go with dramatic floral arrangements in bright hues of a singular bloom to offset the undeviating lines of the stripes. Scads of calla lilies – a decidedly contemporary flower – are displayed in chunky black glass vases. Long-stemmed tulips (faux here for demonstration purposes, but I encourage you to go fresh for an actual dinner party) arch gracefully from taller, curvier vessels. Graceful 15″ metal case candlesticks are set in simple glass holders. (Metal case candles never lose their shape, don’t pose the same dripping problems as wax candles, and pose a reduced safety hazard.) Those same glass holders are flipped upside down to accommodate a random scattering of votives down the table.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - line of chairs

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, Blurred Lines with Shades of Pink - Chair collageThe black and white striped stretch chair covers are from LinenTablecloth.com. When I first saw these on their website, I just about lost my mind with glee! As with all of their stretch chair covers, the front has an opening that allows guests to comfortably put their feet back. Like the tablecloth, these stretch chair covers are very easy care, require no ironing, and slip on in a matter of mere seconds to transform a banquet chair from blah to Wham-Bam-Don’t-I-Look-Absolutely-GLAM!!! To see these chair covers used in a completely different setting, check out “Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos Football Tablescape”.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: These chair covers are designed to fit standard banquet chairs only. See product description on LTC website. I bought my banquet chairs on Craig’s List, but you can also purchase them at Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, or through hotel/restaurant/clubhouse going-out-of-business sales, churches, etc.)

 

Other posts using black & white (some with touches of a bright accent color) on this site:
Shake, Rattle & Roll ‘Em!
Fete Noir et Gris
Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend
Little Black Dress
Black, White & Red All Over
A Little Pomp IS the Circumstance Graduation Buffet
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Hooray For Vodka!

I’ll be heading on over to Christine’s Rustic & Refined for the 13th installment of “Table It!” starting tonight (Sunday) and then to Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” later in the week. I hope you’ll join me as I check out tablescape genius from around the globe!

 

Sunflower Simple

Before my tablescape, the winner of the silver pedestal bowl giveaway is……….

 
Linda at A Toile Tale!!!

Congratulations, Linda! We all look forward to seeing how you use this beautiful piece in an upcoming tablescape! (Ramon pulled your name and – typical husband – had no idea how to pronounce the word “toile.” I just gleefully watched him struggle with it for a few seconds before I finally came to his rescue! 🙂

Thanks to everyone who entered, and don’t despair….there will be another chance to win another silver lovely in the near future. Watch for details! It’s going to be a biggie!!! Meanwhile…

I have finally given in to autumn with this simple, casual, budget-friendly fall tablescape. As the evenings get cooler, meals like chili, beef stew, soup, and corn chowder become the entrée du jour!

We live about 15 minutes from the border of Kansas, The Sunflower State. How could I own an umbrella like this and not do something that pays tribute to our next-door-neighbor? 🙂

These Maxcera “Terra Cotta Sunflower” dishes purchased from TJ Maxx a couple of years ago are very popular for an autumn tablescape, but I’ve only recently had a chance to use them. I like the ruffly edges, the fun design, and the bold color. An open-weave square Pier 1 placemat anchors the place setting. Off-centering the bowl lets the plate design show in full.

A bold mustard-colored napkin from Bed Bath & Beyond lies beneath the non-traditional placement of stainless flatware. You may have noticed that the dessert fork is placed off-center at the top of the plate.

I think I bought these dark green stems at Pier 1 several years ago. Hard to remember…my mind is failing me. Anyway, they nicely pick up the green in the dishes and keep the table from getting too monochromatic yellow. Whenever a beverage bottle is nice enough, like these S. Pellegrino classics, I like to make it a part of the tablescape.

Two towering centerpieces are made up of mustard yellow ceramic pots topped with garden obelisks from Hobby Lobby. Simple, slow-growing “Teddy Bear” arborvitae from the nursery are plopped in for color and texture. (Click HERE to see another tablescape using wrought iron obelisks.)

Although sunflowers would have been the obvious choice here, I often like to pull for the underdog which in this case is something smaller but complementary: simple yellow alstroemeria in tiny green glass vases.

Tiny yellow glass votive holders add a little atmospheric light.

A sunflower bowl from T.J. Maxx holds crackers for the evening meal.

Casual…simple…sunflowers!

Please join me and lots of very talented tablescapers from around the globe for Susan’s weekly blog party, Tablescape Thursday. Have a happy week, and congrats once again to Linda at A Toile Tale!

Lemonade From Bill

I NEED TO THROW A REAL DINNER PARTY!!! It has been so long! Even if all I serve is beans and weanies…I’m going through serious withdrawals here!!! I know it’s weird, but I can’t just dream up these tables without a target guest or group in mind. I was stumped a couple of weeks ago until I remembered something my friend Bill from Affordable Accoutrements said to me a few weeks ago. If you are not familiar with Bill’s blog, I encourage…no, I INSIST that you pop over there to bathe in his immeasurable talent. Anyway, I was all down in the mouth and Bill tossed out that old adage about turning lemons into lemonade. When he said it, I swore I could hear the theme music from “The Twilight Zone” in the background because I was drinking lemonade at that very moment! Coincidence? I don’t think so. Serendipity? Perhaps. Was Bill spying on me despite the fact he lives hundreds of miles away? I got up and pulled the shades just in case. 😉

So, Bill, I took your sage advice as I set out to create a casual, lemony summer tablescape!

IMG_1290WMAnother example of making lemonade out of lemons: These crazy standard outdoor tables are only 30″ wide. (I need to have a serious talk with the manufacturers!) The narrow dimensions would not allow for the placemats to set properly, so I zig-zagged the seating. I have done this before, and it actually works quite well in practice. You’d be surprised how much your guests appreciate the extra elbow room (think gnawing on ribs or cracking shellfish!) and are still able to chat comfortably with one another. This layout adds a little more visual interest, too!

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IMG_1312WMThe weather finally cooled enough to get out on the deck. Such a shame when we think the mid-90’s is “cooler.” Thankful for the opportunity, though, I took immediate advantage!

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I am so fond of the look a full-length table linen provides. It adds a touch of subtle formality to the most casual table. The base white table linens here are enlivened with lots of sunny, bright yellow. A dark woven placemat from Pier 1 is topped with lemon-laden “Lemon Orchard” dinner plates also from Pier 1. Simple yellow cotton napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond hang in a simple vertical fold off the plate.

Contemporary J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware complements the square plate.

IMG_1303WMAmber stemware with a yellow undertone is set European style at the head of the setting. The champagne flutes are from World Market, and the bubble glass water stems are from TJ Maxx.

Simple clear water carafes are dressed up a bit with a lemon slice.

Tiny bouquets of pale yellow sweetheart roses are placed between place settings.

Yet another reason to close my shades is that Bill’s post last week featured an end centerpiece, too! I think we’re telepathically sucking each other’s brain! Either great minds think alike, or crazy loves company! 🙂

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I echo Bill’s sentiment that an end centerpiece is a great way to balance things out when you have more table than place settings on an oblong table. By placing the smaller arrangements down the center as I did with the sweetheart roses, the theme is repeated but in not such a dramatic fashion. Another advantage of an end centerpiece: Sometimes you have a tall centerpiece arrangement that would go great with your dishes but is better suited for a round table. No problem…put that bad boy on the end! Also great for centerpieces that would otherwise obstruct your guests’ view during dinner conversation.

IMG_1340WMI borrowed the tall yellow ceramic vase from our master suite. I had a massive matching bowl that was broken…check that…obliterated in the recent move. 😦

I bought the creamy yellow tureen from Pottery Barn a couple of years ago. It was marked all the way down to $12. I cradled it like the winning touchdown football at the Super Bowl until I was able to make my way to the check out counter to confirm the unbelievable price! The mix of yellow and cream-colored roses are displayed here in two clear ginger vases as well as clustered in bunches atop stacked cake stands. This is such a lush look and easy to achieve when you haven’t the time/energy/skill/inclination to fuss with an arrangement.

Lemonade out of lemons! Thanks, Bill! I made it through another week!

Both Bill and I will be joining Susan and all the other fabulous tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch this Thursday for Tablescape Thursday. I hope you’ll join us. There is an awful lot of talent out there! You can also find me at BeBetsy.com!

Thank you for stopping in!

Tropicana

Acclaimed Japanese writer Haruki Murakami wisely wrote, “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain: When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

That’s how I can best sum up my feelings about what happened when we recently packed up our lives and moved to Georgia, only to move back within the week. And while we are still weathering that storm, trying to make sense of it all, trying to learn from its harsh, hurtful, and very expensive lessons…I know that storms are a mere hiccup and that sunny days will prevail.

That being said, I want to celebrate my return to Blogland after a two-month absence with a bright, colorful, cheerful summer tablescape.IMG_3315WM

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We’re not quite completely settled back in yet and we probably won’t be entertaining guests for awhile, so I thought I’d share photos of a dinner party from last summer that I never published. (Believe me: In this record breaking heat, we would not be eating outside anyway!!!)

Summer is definitely a time for bright, tropical-flavored colors. This table for four started with a shockingly pink floor-length table linen from LinenTablecloth.com. (A word of caution about LinenTablecloth: In my experience, their customer service is just horrible at times, so choose wisely and read the fine print!) A pair of Pier 1 multi-colored matchstick table runners crisscross to anchor the setting.

A trio of paper parasols from Hobby Lobby extend the table colors across the deck.

These have got to be among my favorite summer dishes: ruffled melamine chargers in aqua (Crate & Barrel), topped with a simple white Corelle dinner plate to break up the color a little, finished off with a fun tropical-themed salad plate from Pier 1. The stainless “bamboo” flatware is from Target.

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Exotically swirled aqua in the Pier 1 stemware reminds me of the ocean. The butterfly-meets-flower straws are also from Pier 1.

I chose pure white cotton napkins to give the eye another little break from all the color. Each napkin, folded in a compact square, is topped with a seashell toting a fresh orchid bloom. (The great thing about fresh orchids – besides how insanely great they look – is that they can thrive without water for several hours!)

The towering white bamboo vase is from my favorite store….let’s all say it together….Z Gallerie! Mounds of seashells collected over the years add a little girth to the bottom of the centerpiece to balance it out with the top. Tucking a few orchid blooms and brightly hued cockscomb here and there amongst the seashells adds color and extends the floral theme. (I just love decorating with seashells!)

This lush profusion of fabulous orchids – courtesy of my dear friend Craig Sole of Craig Sole Designs – are arranged in an untamed fashion along with curly willow branches that lend height and texture.

I’ll end this post with one more quote (expletives redacted) from author Kelly Cutrone:  “This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a [$&!##%] year: Things will change. You won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache.” Amen, sister!

Other tablescapes on this site using paper parasols:
Daisy Crazy
Oopsy Daisy

More tablescapes on this site using seashells:
Summer Breeze
“Old Navy Seafood Cruise”

More tablescapes on this site using orchids:
Raining Orchids
Love & Orchids
Upscale Irish
Autumn Orchids
Happy Mother’s Day, Senator Mom
Happy Birthday, Barf

It’s great to be back! Thank you for stopping in, and please be sure to join me this Thursday for Tablescape Thursdays hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. You’ll be glad you did!