I love challenges ~~ the anticipation of the delight in meeting a goal makes my insides tingle with excitement, and my insatiable need to learn more about everything and anything is fed as I gather information and formulate my game plan. And while success can be an ego boost, the path to that success provides plenty of opportunities to give my ego a reality check. The “masters” of any field, including tablescaping and homemaking, have achieved that title for a reason, and the mere mortals among us usually enjoy their efforts without thought as to the immense skill involved in creating the beautiful table or environment. We may not even see the numerous tiny details which all blend so seamlessly that the individual items disappear and the result seems as if it would be simple to achieve.
When I accepted Cuisine Kathleen’s challenge to “copy” a table, I knew I would find one from the many masters among you rather than from a magazine, and I began
stalking perusing your blogs. In a temporary overzealous fit I thought of doing several, but luckily that reality check hit and I realized that would be impossible. But how to decide? I loved so many.
Suddenly I needed a very romantic setting, and I immediately thought of a beautiful Valentine’s table I had long admired. Could I turn it into a Christmas table? It was created by master tablescaper Delores from Vignette Design.
***If there are any of you who have not discovered this most incredibly fabulous and lovely blog, you must go there. But not, say, when you have popped a sheet of cookies into the oven and have eleven minutes to spare. No. The cookies will burn. Bake the cookies, pour yourself something delicious, and settle in for a long, wonderful escape to Delores’ beautiful homes.***
This table is just one example of many I have admired on her blog. Prepare yourself for breathtaking beauty:
At first I thought the ideas on this table would be simple for me to borrow, as I had some floral plates, red chargers, and red goblets. I gathered the things I thought I would use. But my elements did not seem to give such a ~romantic~ air to the setting, and that above all was what I wanted. So I would have to adjust.
I closely examined each item on her table, and then chose an appropriate substitution:
The white lacy linens are so important to this table, but a quick look around my house verified that I had nothing lacy and pretty! So with this excuse I visited my favorite shop downtown for something new: dainty linen mats and napkins, in very bridal white.
Delores used a red charger, plain white underdish, and a gorgeous reticulated floral plate. My floral dish, which I purchased years ago in Austria, needed some softening around the edges ~~
(this surprised me, as I have always thought of them as very feminine), so I used one of my favorite nameless white dishes which I always call bridal veil.
They added just the right amount of softness!
Silverware and Napkin Rings
My wedding silver, Gorham Old French, is not very feminine and curvy, but it seems to be the only “real” silver in my house, and my Christmastime budget is definitely not allowing for a new pattern ~~ and I do love it. One of Delores’ many talents is the ability to combine rustic and elegant touches, and her choice of napkin ring is a perfect example. I would never have thought of using this woven one, but it is perfect for adding warmth and texture.
This summer when I foolishly convinced myself that I would stop adding dishes, glasses and anything table related to my collection, I passed up a set of six, perfect condition glasses, exactly like the ones on my inspiration table. So I tried my red goblets, but they were too chunky. These old crystals are some of my favorites and they are very delicate with pretty stems.
Their icy bowl makes the most musical “ding” for toasts!
When Delores posted her table she said, “The roses and candlelight are the stars here.” I do love roses, but to change this table from a Valentine setting to a Christmas setting I decided to change the roses and baby’s breath to
Upon closer examination I noticed the ferns Delores had included in the individual bouquets, and thinking of my ferns buried under the snow, I went out into the winter wonderland of my yard to search for some greenery.
(my pink tree and my old metal chair ~ in the snow!)
Luckily, I found these luscious holly berries and leaves.
I clipped some to bring in, but I could not bring myself to cut the paperwhites which had just opened. And the poinsettia did not quite have the same romantic flavor as the roses, so I added shooting star hydrangea blossoms for the perfect touch of white.
These blossoms also added a tiny touch of blue!
I haven’t yet hung my snowflakes in this window (like this) so
I added a poinsettia in a mercury pot with glistening “snow” balls. And then Mother Nature sent down her own huge, fluffy snowflakes for the background!
Mercury glass votives held all the candles on Delores’ table, and luckily my collection included both the silver and red needed.
Her silver votives have a pretty base, so I added a candle ring with the tiniest bit of diamond-like bling.
I finally had all my table elements gathered.
As I assembled my table I enjoyed the beauty of each piece and thought of the many different ways each could be used with different accessories.
My romantic Christmas table,
inspired by Vignette Design:
My romantic Christmas table,
inspired by Vignette Design:
~~ the place setting ~~
~~ the table ~~
It is really the way the pieces are combined that enhances the beauty of each and sets the desired mood.
I was very happy with
~~ the dainty linens ~~
~~ and pretty dishes ~~
~~ the flowers in mercury glass ~~
~~ all set on the table near the window ~~
and I just needed night to fall so I could light the candles ~~
~~ the magical finishing touch at a romantic Christmas table for two.
The warm glow of the candlelight is especially inviting as the snow falls outside.
Enjoy the beauty of the blue hour, candlelight, and real crystal!
Delores, thank you for all the ways you have inspired me! And thank you for letting me borrow your ideas to transform the table I would have set into a
beautiful, romantic one, with
something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Which I needed for two very special people.
Because The Boyfriend asked.
And Charlotte said Yes.