Something Old, Something New: Borrowing From a Master

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:

vignette design

Just gorgeous!!

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:

~~ 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.

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42 thoughts on “Something Old, Something New: Borrowing From a Master

  1. First, Congratulations, what wonderful news! Lots of exciting times ahead!
    Your table came out beautiful. Love every single detail, the linens, the mercury, and the snow in the background! We didn’t get any, or it melted right away! Love the holly sprig, you are brave to go out in the snow to find it! What we will do!
    Thanks so much for taking the challenge at Let’s dish!

  2. Gorgeous post — fabulous photos! And your table is really lovely, too. You did an excellent job of studying the elements in the inspiration table and replicating them, yet adding your own creative touches. Love the placesetting photo — just stunning!

  3. Linda,
    I am almost speechless…This is beyond beautiful. Your photographs in front of the window are perfect…I love all that you did.. This is a most romantic Christmas table…beautiful job…congratulations on the engagement..
    Love, Mona

  4. Linda, Your table is beautiful and the the blue hour you captured makes it even more special and romantic, especially in light of Charlotte’s exciting news! Your wintry landscape and view by the window makes it seem more even more cozy and magical. I know snow isn’t something you probably look forward to, but it’s such a rare commodity here, I’m sighing with envy as we get cold rain. Beautiful new linens and I love the light from the red mercury glass votives!

  5. Well, congrats to the engaged couple! What a romantic table you set! It definitely worked! Lol
    I love how you captured the candlelight in the ‘blue hour’…
    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

  6. You successfully transformed a gorgeous romantic Valentine table to a Christmas one so beautifully. It’s perfect, Linda. Good job! Congrats to the newly engaged!….Christine

  7. OH, I have chill bumps and tears. I was amazed at the beauty of your table and then to see the gorgeous winter wonderland as a backdrop yet trumped by your engagement story.

  8. Snow, you’ve got snow! I can see why your heart is tingling. You knocked your table right out of the park doing what it took to make it your very own. You also did a great job photographing. Total success for a new master!

  9. I enjoyed the way you put this together and told the story. It turned out just beautiful! Those white plates are gorgeous! Love it all! The photography is wonderful. Congrats to the newly engaged!


  10. You are a wonderfully creative person! I love how you transformed each piece of her table with so much thought! Your tablescape is fabulous! I love hers but your’s is really gorgeous! Congratulations! Your fiance is very fortunate to have a great young lady to love and create a beautiful home. Great Job!


  11. An exquisite table! And I loved the way you described its production from beginning to end. You more than captured the romance and festive mood both at the same time. Beautiful photography. Bravo!! Rosie
    PS Congratulations on such happy family news!!
    Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  12. Linda, Your table is beautiful, the dainty linens make a crisp and charming foundation to place your lovely china on. I love how the mercury glass casts a beautiful glow onto the wine glasses and china. Everything is so romantic! You definitely achieved your goal by reproducing the essence of romance in the original tablescape for each and every element. Congratulations on your daughters engagement.

  13. Awwww congratulations to the darling couple, Linda! They’ll be fun times ahead. I’m sure they enjoyed the romantic table that you so thoughtfully created. What a wonderful job you did on copying your inspiration table. Each itme chosen is just perfect! xo

  14. Oh Linda…please tell the happy couple that I said “Congrats & Best Wishes!!”. Lovely ring!!
    You captured the essence of Delores’ table beautifully & yet, put your own spin on it, too.
    Now turn around so I can kick your butt for passing up red goblets!!!!!!!!!!! LOL I scour my haunts for them & covet the gorgeous Waterford ones I see on her table.
    Yours is very pretty too!!
    Hope you’re enjoying this holiday season, without too much frazzle.
    Stay warm hugs,

  15. I very much enjoyed your writing on this post. It was fun to go along with you as you made your decisions. Your new linens are beautiful. I love your pics with the red candle holders and your blue hour photos. You did a great job. Congratulations to the newly engaged couple — gorgeous ring. Joni

  16. First of all, congratulations to the darling couple! How exciting! And thank you Linda for your compliments–I’m truly flattered. Your table inspires me! I love how you pulled together the elements from your inspiration and made a table that is your own–a romantic Christmas table for two! ~Delores

  17. Linda, kudos for an exceptional “copy” of Delores’ romantic table. Both of you ladies are masters! Each table is full of romance and beauty and heartfelt details. I love the way you told your story! Congratulations to the happy couple! ~ Sarah

  18. I really enjoyed how you walk your reader through you recreation of the inspiration tabs setting. Gives a feeling of being in the room as you put it together.

  19. Linda, you are so sneaky! Here you are lulling us with another beautiful table, getting our brains working trying to compare your version with the inspiration . . . And then you drop that little bomb at the end! How absolutely fabulous! Congratulations to your family! Oh, I can only imagine all the different feelings you are processing right now. I know when it happens to me, I’ll be a basket case – and mine are boys! I hope you’ll let us in on some of the events. It would be too cruel of you to go black until it’s all over. But going back to this table: Goal achieved. You got the romance, and used the inspiration table masterfully! I love your new dainty linens. What an adventure awaits you this coming year! My very best wishes!

  20. Best wishes to the happy couple! Linda, you did a fabulous job making the inspiration table yours. I just love poinsettias, but they die the minute I bring them into my house…I have no problems with other plants. I do love those beautiful salad plates and that gorgeous stemware.

  21. Congratulations on such wonderful news! Your tablescape is so very pretty and I love it set up in front of the wonderful view out your window. Lovely! Thank you for sharing at my HOME for the Holidays party.

    Christmas blessings,

  22. Oh wow Linda, your table setting is stunning! I love to visit Delores too, always finding inspiration there. You really did nail your challenge, both beautiful tablescapes. I love your substitutions and of course the beautiful white snow as a backdrop makes it so cozy and romantic. Fabulous!. And, oh my goodness what a wonderful surprise ending. Congratulations to the beautiful couple. I know you can’t wait to start planning!

    Merry Christmas,
    The French Hutch

  23. You created a beautiful and very romantic Christmas table. I loved seeing your inspiration and how you interpreted it and explained all your choices. Congratulations to your daughter and her fiancé…I know how excited everyone must be.

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