(a re-post from September 2010)
Orange You Glad You Came to Dinner?
Hot Fun In the Summertime
Summer Orange Tablescape
Thank you for stopping by! This is a short and sweet post this week. (I know many of you are cheering and doing the happy dance! ) I’m getting ready for CHIEFS football tonight and a very busy week ahead!
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This casual table for 4 began with a LinenTablecloth.com 108″ round white tablecloth on a 48″ table for full-length coverage. The table was then topped with the pretty quilt in varying shades of purple on a white background. This tablescape would be perfect for an evening in with the girls to celebrate a birthday or any relaxed occasion.
The place setting begins with a grape-colored Bormioli Rocco glass charger. The dinner and salad plates are simple white Corelle. The crowning touch is a petal pink “Bread and Butter – Lola” bowl with softly curved and generously beaded edges found at Home Goods.
This Oneida flatware – my everyday service chosen way back in the 70s when I married my 1st husband – has floral detailing that mimics that of the tiny florets in some patches of the quilt. The napkin, like the bowl, is a soft petal pink and coordinates with the pink patches in the quilt.
The stemware is 2 different designs and in 2 slightly different hues, but they work well together. The taller stem is from Stein Mart and the shorter wine glass is a recent purchase from Home Goods. I was bummed they only had 6. I could have easily used 12-20 of these! (“Art of Tablescaping” students: Remember what we discussed about considering using pieces that complement rather than match.)
I like to occasionally do something a little dramatic in the center of the table. (Seriously? Who do I think I’m kidding??!?! For me, a day without drama on the table is like a day without sunshine! 🙂 ) In this case, it’s a large, curvy white glass vase filled with flowering branches. Note that the floret shape complements the flowers in the quilt and on the flatware. (Note: This part of the centerpiece is great for showcasing the table as guests arrive, but can be easily transferred to a side table once the meal is about to start.)
A trio of smaller white ceramic vases can be left on the table during the meal should you opt to remove the larger piece. This continues the look without compromising it and allows guests to freely converse across and around the table.
I found these beautiful purple glass disc votive holders at Hobby Lobby. At 50% off, they were just $1 each. Quite a bargain with a lot of impact when strategically scattered at the base of the centerpiece.
Why frogs you ask? Because I saw one out in the yard, had these white ceramic ones in my stash, and figured, “Why not?”. That’s the long and the short of it! Nothing too deep! 🙂 (“Art of Tablescaping” students: you may recall our discussion about bringing something unexpected to the table for whimsy.)
That’s all folks! I hope you have a wonderful week ahead, and I so appreciate your visit!
Other tablescapes on this site featuring quilt toppers or runners:
“Summer Luncheon for Two”
“Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape”
“My Sister’s Wedding China”
“Casual Fall Harvest Tablescape”
Other tablescapes on this site with purple:
“Purple & Pastel”
“Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas”
“Purple for Spring”
“Planning in Purple”
This week I’ll be joining Christine at Rustic & Refined for “Table It!” (goes live on Sunday evening) and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (goes live on Thursday morning).
Today was the hottest day of the year so far with the mercury toeing the 100° line. The humidity was so stifling that, combined with the scorching heat, you could boil an egg just by tossing it in the air. But that’s summer in Kansas City for you, and we intend to suck it up and party on!
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Some readers may recall a tablescape (Ants In My Pants Picnic) I did on this same picnic table along the walking trail in our subdivision awhile back. (HUGE thanks to neighbors Lynn & Barbara for their help on this one!!!) Some of those same elements are used here, but in a different way. For starters, rather than covering the table with the red & white checkered fabric, it is folded and serves as a runner. (Note to my Art of Tablescaping Students…this is a great example of what we discussed about saving money by changing up the look without changing all the pieces.)
The main attraction is the Pied Piper-esque single-form line of metal ants down the center of the table. I bought the giant ones several summers ago at Hobby Lobby. The smaller ones were purchased at a wholesale place I frequent here in the Kansas City, Mo., area. As you will soon see, the parade of ants theme will carry out in other elements on the table. The checkered runner is topped with 3 watermelon slice placemats found in a clearance bin years ago.
Part of the centerpiece is off-center on one end of the table which adds interest to the overall look. Centerpieces can be utilitarian like this one which includes the picnic basket (found in pristine condition at a local thrift store for just $7) filled with a tangle of red poppies, various vessels brimming with luscious summer fruits, a mound of peanut butter cookies on fun dessert plates, colorful condiment bottles, and a vintage Coleman lantern to light the area as afternoon fun rolls into evening. Notice another giant ant surveying the bowl of fruit. This detail visually connects the off-center part of the centerpiece to the elements in the center of the table, and this fun factor could possibly be the catalyst for kids choosing the healthier fruit option over the cookies. (Students…please recall our conversation about the importance of visual connectors.)
The place settings here are simple: a black dinner plate from Dollar Tree, a practically indestructible white Corelle salad plate, and a fun Pier 1 red & white checkered plate covered with ants to throw those rib bones on once they’re picked clean! (Kansas City is KNOWN for its fabulous barbeque, and no picnic is complete without a slab of meaty ribs!) Faux black bamboo flatware adds a touch of class to the setting, but fits right in with the natural vibe.
My Southern sisters will attest to the glory of sweet tea, and one of the easiest ways to sip it on a hot summer day is from an old-time Mason jar. Here the jars are dressed up a bit with a bit of earthy green raffia tied to place cards fashioned to complement the dessert plates, napkins and runner. Looks like my blog buddy Jamala from VivaLaVintage for Your Home has a seat at the table! If you’ve not visited Jamala’s blog, you really should check it out. She’s all about decorating with vintage & collectible items, and she has an uncanny knack for scouting unimaginably great bargains! Jamala waves her wand (very often that wand looks like a can of spray paint!) and turns the most practical items into fabulous!
Peeking out from behind the computer-generated place cards in a purely decorative capacity is a wooden watermelon slice napkin ring found at Bed, Bath & Beyond several years ago. (Students…remember our chat about unexpected elements…don’t be afraid to use things in unusual ways!)
My inspiration piece – a fun tea towel/napkin with vintage appeal from Tuesday Morning – really rounds out the place settings. The checkered design and trail of ants spelling out the word “Picnic” is an extension of the centerpiece runner and dessert plates. The slice of watermelon is a repeat of the runner, the Mason jar embellishment and summer’s signature fruit available in abundance for dessert.
Staying hydrated is an essential part of hot, hazy summer days in Kansas City. Make mine something a little special like ice-cold Pellegrino with a twist of lime!
Other posts on this site featuring off-center centerpieces:
Lemonade From Bill
Summer Luncheon for Two
Midsummer Shabby Chic Apple Tablescape
Planning In Purple
Hot Fun in the Summertime!
Black & White Barnyard Breakfast
Other posts on this site featuring a picnic setting:
Grill It Up!
Blue & White Family Picnic
Ants in My Pants Picnic
Other posts on this site using towels as napkins include:
“Black & White Barnyard Breakfast“
“Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast“
“Grill It Up!“
Other posts on this site featuring checkered elements:
Life Is Just a Chair of Bowlies
Checkered Christmas – A Snowman Theme
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Apple Green Luncheon
Blue & White Family Picnic
Grill It Up!
Ants in My Pants Picnic
If you want to see another REALLY cool picnic idea, pop over to my blog buddy Jenna’s site, The Painted Apron, to check out her “Portable Picnic for 2” post. I guarantee you’ll really like it! SO creative!
I am joining Christine over at Rustic & Refined again this week for “Table It” (live now) and Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (goes live at 9:00 a.m., CDT on Thursday). Join me, and I guarantee you’ll be able to find lots of summertime tablescaping inspiration!
My Mom and I were out scouting after-Christmas bargains and ended up spending nearly an hour in the clearance section at one of our local Tuesday Morning stores. I saw these fun, modern “Queen of Hearts” dessert plates had been marked down 60%, so I scooped 2 sets right up. Imagine my surprise and sheer delight when I checked out and they were actually 90% off!!! I knew I had to do a fun and really different Valentine’s Day luncheon tablescape for my card shark pals. Yes…you people know who you are! (If you’re looking to buy some, I’ve seen them on Amazon.com for $13.99.)
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The rim of the otherwise pink, red & white dessert plates is chocolate brown. Valentine’s Day definitely = chocolate, so chocolate brown 85-in. tablecloth over a 108-in. round one it was!
The place setting begins with hot pink Bormioli Rocco Inca glass chargers purchased in a frenzied shopping spree a couple of years ago. Plain white Corelle plates for the entrée come next, topped off with the dessert plates in 3 of the 4 designs. A starched white cotton napkin drapes off the side of the table from beneath the stack. Simple stainless flatware and curvy Dollar Tree glassware completes the place setting.
Long story short: I found this standard card deck queen figurine on 80% off clearance at a nearby Hobby Lobby. Put her and a King in my basket, and then decided against them at the last minute. Slept on it, realized my huge mistake, got up at the crack of dawn and waited in the parking lot until the doors opened only to find out someone apparently much smarter than me already took them. Horrors!!! Drove to THREE other Hobby Lobby stores that day. Third time was a charm! Not only did I find the King & Queen, but also a Jack! Bent down, kissed the floor (not really…more like a Hollywood air kiss!), thanked the Lord, and hustled on home with my treasures. Interestingly, she was a Queen of Clubs, so I just used Hallmark heart stickers to give her crown and amulet a quickie makeover. Notice how staid she looks compared to the modern, curvy, sexy Queen on the plates. Still, both quite regal! (Seriously…these must have been created by some man with a Sophia Vergara fascination. Just look at “the girls” on that modern Queen!!! 😉 )
After lunch, the dishes and centerpiece will be cleared and IT IS ON like Donkey Kong as we used to say back in the day!!! (Back in what day?!?! I’m going to be chewed up and spit out. I have no idea how to play Hearts or any other card game!)
The vitrine holds plenty of sweet and salty snacks to munch on during the card playing portion of the afternoon.
The dessert plates do quote the 1782 poem that begins, “The Queen of Hearts, She made some tarts, All on a summer’s day…“, so what would this luncheon/card party be without a few tarts? (OK, those of you with randy little minds! Don’t go there!!! 😉 ) Faux tarts are used here for demonstration purposes, but I’ll be making some using mini phyllo dough shells for the luncheon.
I have created score cards for the occasion using my PC. From the looks of it, scoring is very complicated! A pretty red and pink cloisonné heart jewelry box serves as decoration for the side table.
So if you have no plans for Valentine’s Day or just want to do something fun with friends, a Queen of Hearts card party might be right up your alley!
More Valentine’s Day tablescapes on this site:
Should Have Put a Ring On It
Platinum & Pink Valentine
Diamonds Are a Material Girl’s Best Friend
Be Still My Heart
Peonies and Pearls
Days of Wine & Roses
I’m linking up with The Tablescaper for “Seasonal Sunday” this week and Laurie for her annual Valentine Blog Party. This Thursday I’ll be joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” once again. Check it out to see what I’m sure will be a bevy of wonderful tablescapes from talented bloggers all around the world who join these weekly blog parties!
♠ ♣ ♥ ♦ Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!!! ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦
I’m going to say it just this once, and then I’m going to leave it alone: dear, sweet, lovable husbands…get a clue!!!!!!!!! To be fair, this does not include all husbands, but I think the vast majority have no idea what kind of time, effort, and preparation goes into a dinner party. Even if it’s a casual dinner, there’s a measure of thought and toil necessary to pull it off. I’m not saying it was my husband who was the most recent offender…….but it was MY HUSBAND who was the most recent offender!!!
OK…enough bellyaching about something that is just as inherent on his end as it is incomprehensible on mine. Given only about 12 hours notice and already beyond knee-deep in other tasks, this is the quick & casual fall dinner tablescape
I pulled out of my… I created (and photographed just minutes before everyone arrived!).
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This is the way the table looked before I went into panic mode…my “regular centerpiece” just hangin’ out, mindin’ it’s own business, not hurtin’ anyone.
No time for ironing a table linen! No time for creating a fabulous centerpiece…use the one that’s already in there (you’ve been looking forward to pairing plaid with paisley anyway!), and just adjust it to make room for all the dishes.
Rust-colored metal chargers work well as the foundation to this beautiful 222 Fifth “Maharana” paisley patterned dinnerware. I used a plain white Corelle salad plate to break up the color a bit and work with the white of the bowl’s center. Using a bit of white or ivory helps to brighten your fall tablescape and prevent color saturation that can make darker tones seem to disappear into the table.
The burgundy brushed cotton napkins (Pier 1) are folded across the salad plate and “zhushed” on each side around the bowl just to make them look a bit more interesting.
Olive green stemware from Dollar Tree picks up on the olive tones in the centerpiece fabric and paisley dinnerware design.
A length of lightweight plaid fabric in fall shades of pumpkin, burgundy, olive and cream is carefully “zhushed” around a massive faux pumpkin. Faux bittersweet vine meanders around and across the pumpkin while a small smattering of votives provides ambient light.
The votive candles on the buffet behind the dining table were already assembled from my tablescaping class earlier in the week, so I just left them there and served everything from the kitchen. (If all else fails, just design your room with tons of candlelight. Everybody looks good in the glow of it, and it adds a lot of pizzazz without a lot of effort!!!) Pumpkins, also used in a classroom demonstration, are plopped down across the china cabinet and on the tea cart to add another touch of fall in the room.
Thank goodness for Costco!!! Dinner done, dining room decorated, dressed, and smiling like a Cheshire Cat for guests in under 12 hours. Feelin’ pretty good about myself right now. Hubby’s still wearing a steak over his eye! 😉
Check out more Fall tables on this site:
“Autumn” page (10 fabulous fall posts on this page!)
“Casual Fall Harvest Dinner“
“September Harvest Breakfast“
“Pumpkins & Peacocks“
“Pheasants & Peacocks“
“Best Laid Plans“
“Serape High Style“
You still have about a week to sign up for my “Tablescaping a Winter Wonderland” class through Longview Community College. Click HERE for more information, or contact the Community Education Department at 816-604-2030.
I am joining Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, the Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” staring Thursday morning at 9:00 CDT. If you want to get an eyeful of great fall tablescaping ideas, join me!
Thank you to all the new subscribers who have come on board in the last couple of weeks! I welcome you!!! And for those who have been around for a while, you know I thank you and appreciate your continued subscription!
I wanted to post what will be our Easter brunch table, but it’s too early for me to get started on it. I won’t start building it until Friday. I’ll post it next week, for sure! Click here if you missed the Easter brunch tablescape requested by a reader last week.
Meanwhile, I am so happy to be able to post a fun and colorful apple green luncheon tablescape. I apologize that I don’t have a person’s name to identify with this post request. The request came in about 2 months ago, and I am just getting around to sharing these ideas. I’m sorry it is coming so late, and I hope it is still useful!
If you’d like to see another tablescape using green, click here!
I have had lots of requests for pink & green tablescapes, but this is the first for an apple green & white tablescape. What better way to interpret that than with actual green apples!??!?!
Spring luncheon tables are always so much fun to create! This one is great for a spring or summer luncheon, indoors or out. (It could also work well in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with a little tweaking!) I started with a crisp white cotton linen. Next comes a gorgeous Pier 1 apple green and white cotton placemat with a fabulous houndstooth pattern. Just for fun and a little added dimension, a clear acrylic square is set atop the placemat. Next comes a simple white ceramic charger, a clear luncheon plate, and finally a plain white salad plate from Corelle. An apple green cotton napkin from Bed, Bath & Beyond adds color to the dish arrangement. The stack is topped off with a Granny Smith apple under a miniature clear cloche bell jar from Hobby Lobby. Clear everyday stems for water and limeade along with contemporary J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” stainless complete the look.
The centerpiece consists of three separate elements. First, for height, is a pair of clear square floral cylinders filled with Granny Smith apples and fresh Bells of Ireland, topped with a puffy green-tinged hydrangea head. I have used faux hydrangea and apples here for demonstration purposes, but the real thing looks absolutely incredible! If you go all fresh (and I sure hope you do!), fill the container with water to totally submerge the apples and Bells of Ireland stem. Submerged fruit and floral arrangements are so cool!!!
The second and third components of the centerpiece are small clear square votive holders with clumps of cheery green viburnum and a densely packed white kalanchoe plant from the flower nursery.
On the buffet behind the table is the beverage and dessert. Limeade served from a fancy glass decanter such as this makes it look a little more special. I bought this one wholesale some years ago, but check out places like Pottery Barn, Costco or even K-Mart. Float lime slices, Granny Smith apple slices, or a combination of both.
If your luncheon includes gifts for an honored guest, ask your other guests to wrap them in colors that correspond with the luncheon colors. Add a few random florals throughout the gifts for more color and texture so they look to be a part of the overall look and tie in with the table florals.
If you can spring for white chairs to gather ’round the table (ladder back cane chairs or garden chairs), consider weaving a length or two of apple green ribbon through the back of each just for fun.
Well, there you have it. Again, I am so sorry not to be able to say who exactly requested this tablescape. Please step forward and remind this old head, will you? 🙂 It was my distinct pleasure to work this up for you, and I truly hope it lends some inspiration for your summer luncheon. Let me know how it goes!
I am gleefully joining my fellow tablescapers at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. Won’t you please join us anytime after 9:00 p.m. this evening?
Have a Happy Easter, everyone!
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:
“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”
“Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas”
“Sugar High Payback”
“Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat”
“Cranberry Christmas Squared”
“Get Me To the Church On Time”
“Christmas Progressive Dinner”
“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!
It was a dark and stormy night, and….wait. This isn’t a mystery novel. It’s a dinner party! Sure, it was dark and stormy, but inside all was cozy, a little bit casual, and a whole lot of fun…even with a power outage that hit right after I snapped the above photo.
Humble clear glass hurricanes take center stage enveloped in wreaths of grapevine and pinecones, spiked with fall berries. The pine cone theme is gently repeated in the salad plates.
This is one of my favorite salad plate patterns! With a motif that is suitable year-round, this pattern from Pier 1 is not just for the birds! Paired with unembellished white dinner plates, a mustard-colored napkin ties the suite together. A simple gold charger and Revere style flatware lends a stylish touch. A crunchy, sweet Bosc pear – one of autumn’s many gems – is tonight’s guest favor.
I am head over heels with these chunky amber goblets from Z Gallerie!!! They are perfect any time of year, but especially in fall as the leaves begin to turn a similar color! The clear stem on the goblets opens the door for the colorless wine glasses.
On the buffet behind the dining table are a pair of obelisk centerpieces I used again for the “Ap-Pear-ently Autumn” tablescape.
This is the first of many autumn tablescapes to come. This season will feature everything from soft and subdued (tonight), to haunting beauty (Halloween), to sheer elegance. The rich hues of the season allow for so many decorating opportunities, and I look forward to sharing a few of my interpretations with you! And just so you know, I’m not real big on Halloween, but this year I’m going to give it a try just the same!
Cheers, everyone, and best of the fall season to you and yours! And don’t forget to visit the new “Table Tips” section for lots of nifty ideas!