There are NINE individual posts on this page alone…PLUS
Scroll to the bottom for a list of fun and frosty elements
to consider when creating your next Winter tablescape!
To see other winter tablescapes on this site, click to go to post:
“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“
RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR!
I’m showing the table with lights on and candlelight only to demonstrate the effect of the mirror ball. (For some reason that effect is not visible in the photos with the lights turned down.) It was so cool to watch the shimmer on the table all evening when all the candles were lit!!! Kind of made me want to put on some Bee Gees and strut my stuff!
Once again here I’m showing the photos in both “lights on” and “dimmed light” mode so you get the idea of the effect. On a white cotton table linen, a shiny silver charger topped with Noritake’s “Spectrum” platinum-rimmed china dinner plate. The flatware is “Bellaserra” stainless by J.A. Henckels, and the stemware is Mikasa’s Jamestown Platinum.
To the left, a fun little noisemaker for the midnight revelry. (I intentionally chose these horns in silver and gold. I like to introduce a touch of surprise color into each tablescape when possible. Kicks it up a notch and keeps the tablescape from appearing boring! )
This had to be one of the most simple but stunning floral centerpieces I’ve ever used! This is plain ol’ everyday tree fern sprayed with silver paint and doused with a bit of shimmer. I picked it up from my local florist. Amazingly easy, inexpensive, and fun…a contemporary twist to a traditional celebration! (Please note that the tapers used were metal case Paradise candles that do not burn down. I suggest using these whenever placing candlesticks near a floral arrangement or other flammable objects to avoid near tragedies/disasters like this.)
The floral piece sat atop a 13″ round mirror to double back the sparkle and shine of the tree fern and the mercury glass votives. I’m not always a fan of mirrors unless they’re oversized like these or an unusual shape or design.
These 20mm ornaments were the perfect simulation of and substitute for the traditional mirror ball drop! I simply plopped them atop 5″H Revere candlesticks. (I considered hanging them from the ceiling, but they’re a bit heavy and the thought of them dropping onto the table and shattering glass everywhere – like in THIS Thanksgiving disaster – during dinner terrified me!) To see these mirror balls used in another New Year’s Eve tablescape, click HERE.
HAPPY 2011, y’all!!!
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS
Grownups want to have fun every once in awhile, too, so I wanted this tablescape to have some youthful features with an adult flair. Predominant colors of the evening: black, white and goldenrod (which is fancy talk for yellow!).
A snowy white cotton linen was the foundation for the table. A jolt of color was presented in the form of goldenrod placemats (Bed, Bath & Beyond) turned lengthwise for an elongated effect. A black acrylic charger, plain white dinner plate and solid black salad plate were then topped with a goldenrod napkin. Sophisticated black flatware and Godinger crystal rounded out the setting.
Using my computer and a pair of decorative edge scissors, I created a program for each guest so they’d know what was in store for the evening. The black bow ties were very inexpensive from a clearance rack at Hobby Lobby a couple of years back. I just glued them on to each program with a low-heat glue gun.
Glass cylinders are so great for all kinds of displays! I have them in heights varying from 3 to 31 inches!!! For this tablescape, I used an 11″ x 9″ in the center flanked by two 4″ x 8″. Each was placed atop a 14″ round mirror that gives the illusion of an icy pond. I filled them with a couple of inches of faux snow for a wintry effect, then dropped in penguins, pinecones, bottle brush trees, and shiny silver balls. (I always toss a little iridescent glitter in with the “snow” to give it a little more sizzle!) The taller cylinder was large enough for a white wicker sleigh with a penguin and his Christmas tree along for the ride. Having researched the yearly mating journey of penguins, I decided to mimic their colonies by using them in great numbers all over the table.
Tall glass candlesticks topped with shiny silver balls lend height and additional shimmer to the tablescape.
Of course the buffet had to get a little special treatment, too! There’s almost no such thing as “too much candlelight.” Grouping them en masse like this gives an unprecedented look to any tablescape. (They also flatter every skin tone and make everyone look fabulous!) These votives, lined up on 3 sides, softly illuminate the silver balls in the glass cylinders and all the lovely cut crystal on the after-dinner drink tray.
The supper club wants to meet here again next month. We’ll see!
FROSTY THE SNOWMAN
Frosty sits in his sleigh at the front door to welcome our young guests!
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.”
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.
NOEL PROGRESSIVE DINNER
Ahhhhh…the progressive dinner. What a wonderful way to enjoy the cheer of the season with friends, neighbors and family!
After popping delicious hors d’oeuvres for an hour or so, we all trudged next door to our house for salad (graciously and lovingly prepared by neighbor Mary Ellen!), assorted soups (gumbo, chicken noodle and vegetable beef made by yours truly), and melt-in-your-mouth, buttery good rolls brought by our round-the-corner friends Carla and Jim.
Some of you may recognize some of the decor used for this table. With back-to-back dinner parties hosting different guests, it seemed prudent to recycle some of the decor with a twist to make it special. This meal, served in the living room, is set up on two 6-ft. tables pushed together horizontally to create a square that can comfortably seat up to ten guests.
The “Noel” theme was carried from the fireplace mantel onto the table with the addition of this velvety red ribbon tucked around each charger. (I recently employed this same technique using plain red satin ribbon around silver chargers. See “Celebrating the Season” below.) Clear glass plates allow guests to see the ribbon before salad is served.
Also used in a previous post (“Roman Holiday“, see below) was this chunky candle on a gold scrolled riser. Last week it was presented with just the candle. For this occasion, however, I tucked in the same greenery and berries found in the floral arrangements and on the mantel. This is a great way to create an instant centerpiece without having to use a ton of flowers!!!
I found this fun wine bottle decor at Pottery Barn a couple of weeks ago. Isn’t that typical? The lady is all dressed up in her finest diamonds and fur while the guy just kinda shows up in a casual holiday hat & scarf!
I bought this American Atelier “Florentine Gold Scroll” china years ago and have had only a couple of occasions to use it even though I love the design. (See this china used in a stunningly different tablescape HERE.) This table was set with the dinner plate and soup bowl only atop a gold braided-edge charger. (I took these photos late. The salad plates were chilling in the freezer!) All the brilliant gold had a chance to really shine against the solid white table linen. My favorite favor – boxes of Godiva chocolates – fit right in!
Keeping with the gold and scroll themes, I used goldplated flatware with a swirled design. The magnificent drinking glasses are part of a set my Mother purchased while on a trip to New York back in the 1970s. I always admired the set and am particularly drawn to the Roman soldiers on each. I have never set a table with these until now, but thought no others would do. The intricate gold design just seemed to demand its place on the table!
I am almost ashamed to admit how little I paid for these pretty napkin rings, especially since they are so closely hugging my gorgeous linen napkins. Truth be told: $1 each at Old Time Pottery. Shameful!!! Again, their design elements just seemed the perfect match for this table.
I bought scads of these cool gold mercury glass votive holders at Village Gardens in Blue Springs, MO. They emit such a fabulous glow!
My centerpiece floral contains many of the same elements as last week’s post because I have TONS of this fresh seeded eucalyptus hanging out in my garage!!! The gold scrolled floral container is a perfect match for the china. A fat 3-wick candle perches atop another scrolled vase turned upside down.
CELEBRATING THE SEASON
Muted silver square chargers (Old Time Pottery) with rounded edges anchor the place setting. A rounded-edge square B. Smith with Style plate in frosty white is then topped with a crisp white dinner napkin encircled with a red & silver ring to keep the napkin from disappearing into the plate. Godinger crystal stemware from the “Chelsea” collection and Hampton Silversmiths “Patriot” flatware round out the setting.
I wanted to add a bit more red and introduce something a little fun to the table. I settled on these beautiful Christmas cards from Pier 1.
Inside each card was the evening’s menu embellished with a similar design! I’ll probably use this tactic a lot this season. It’s a great way to use the cards that I’ll most likely never get around to sending out!
I have 3 of these lovely silver epergnes, and liked the way they looked like pretty soldiers lining the center of the table! I just find seeded eucalyptus to be one of the easiest greens in the world to work with at Christmas time, so you’ll see a lot of it in my arrangements throughout the season. It drapes so beautifully and is so graceful. The greenish-grey color is wonderful, too, and it stands up nicely against the darker evergreens. My favorite filler, leucadendron, makes another appearance here along with bright red berries.
The fireplace mantel is all decked in a variety of greenery dotted with red berries. (Fresh seeded eucalyptus and other greens will last the entire evening without water OR you can insert the ends into water tubes.) Reflective silver candlesticks topped with pillar candles and mercury balls dance through the foliage. The whole image is doubled back in the mirror which makes it look even more lush.
LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, 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.
A few fun accessories for creating winter tables that sizzle!
- ALL THE BLING YOU CAN GET YOUR HOT LITTLE HANDS ON!!!!!!!!!
- Glass vessels for showcasing elements like ornaments, branches, “snow”, figurines, Christmas candies, etc. (don’t forget about fun glass vessels like Mason jars and jelly jars!)
- Mercury glass
- Any and everything in silver, gold, copper or bronze!!!
- Branches (bare – you can get these from your yard or nearby wooded areas)
- Curly willow (adds a lot of character and dimension to arrangements or can be used bare or frosted)
- Berries (hypericum, viburnum, rose hips, snowberry)
- Rosemary (sprigs or topiaries)
- Flowers in seasonal colors (e.g., roses, carnations which can create a “snowball”, gypsophila and white astilbe because they look like snow when bunched up, magnolias jasmine, skimmia, cockscomb, amaryllis, amaranthus, paperwhites, poinsettias). Just about any flowers that don’t specifically scream spring (like daffodils or daisies) will work.
- Cotton on the branch
- Greenery (e.g., seeded eucalyptus, variety pine branches, bay leaf, magnolia leaves)
- Reindeer moss
- Pine cones
- Sweetgum balls
- Whole spices (especially cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaves and cloves)
- Nuts in the shell
- Popcorn (popped or unpopped)
- Coffee beans
- Fruits and vegetables (especially cranberries, apples, oranges, Clementines, kumquats, pears, persimmons, dates, figs, and limes because of the green color)
- Hedge apples (preserved; also known as Osage oranges, horse apples)
- Feathers (especially quail, pheasant, and peacock)
- White feather boas
- Animal pelts (faux or real)
- Fabric (e.g., tweed, flannel, fleece, felt, burlap, cable knit sweater)
- Popular winter patterns: tartan, houndstooth, herringbone, animal print)
- Ribbon and twine
- Candles, candles, and more candles!!!!!
- Candlesticks, chargers, and other tabletop items made of silver, gold or copper
- Flatware with handles made of wood, faux antler, or metal
- Figurines of woodland animals (e.g., squirrels, deer, geese, wild fowl)
- Figurines of winter- or Christmas-related animals (e.g., penguins, reindeer, polar bears)
- Figurines from popular Christmas tales (e.g., nutcrackers, mouse soldiers, snowmen, swans)
- Nativity scenes
- Ice skates
- Vintage snow shovels (they look great decorated!)
- Faux snow (sheets)
- Faux snow, loose (also remember that things like Epsom salts or flaked coconut make great snow!)
- Snow in a can (for frosting leaves and accessory pieces)
- Faux ice
- Spray paint for gilding everything from leaves to pinecones to….you name it!
- Mirrors for their icy, reflective properties