“If you can’t cook, set a nice table.” Unknown
Happy Labor Day, dear friends! I hope that many of you are enjoying some R&R as we gear up for Fall & all that entails…namely, routine. Émilie, much to my chagrin, has already started school, and we have certainly fallen into a routine between homework, after-school activities, my work, Bert’s travel schedule, etc…etc. Let’s just say it’s been a little hectic around here.
Needless to say, I needed to write an easy blog. No new menus this week! No worries, though, as next week, I have the best “back-to-school” menu for you…but for now, I just wanted to write an “eye-candy” blog…just pretty pictures. No work involved, unless you want to order anything that I am sharing with you. If that is the case, simply click on the bold names & you will be taken directly to that particular website where you can buy all sorts of table setting stuff…
…that’s right, table setting everything….from beautiful plates to napkin rings to colorful flatware…it’s all here! And everything screams SUMMER! You are probably thinking, “Autumn is on its way. Why on earth do I need more summer stuff?”
Well, the answer is pretty simple. For me, I love color, and Summer is all about that. Color, in a variety of ways, surrounds our and enhances our senses during the Summer months. It makes us smile. So, when I am making new table setting purchases…which I obviously did the past few months…I prefer to buy items that, although are more “Summer” in appearance, will make anyone smile all year long! Color just makes me happy. Doesn’t a bright splash of “something” put a smile on your face? When January & February come along, it’s always fun to set a bright & cheery table! I cannot tell you how many times I have set a “Summer table setting” for a for a winter dinner party, only to have my guests thank me for getting them out of the “winter doldrums”. Trust me, it works! So, let me share with you my favorite summer table settings to make you smile all year long!
If you have followed me for any period of time, you know that I am obsessed with Oscar de la Renta! I adore his clothing. I keep asking the couture fairy to magically make something from his collection appear in my closet, but, sadly, I fear she has a hearing problem.
However, Oscar’s home collection is affordable…attention all you brides out there! I really like Oscar’s style for a table…& I went crazy this year when he introduced his collection for the New York Botanical Garden. Green is one of my favorite colors. When I first saw the various shades of lettuce, mixed with the variety of hexagonal & circular shapes, I knew I had to have these plates…& napkins! Happy Mother’s Day to me! Simply click here to peruse what you may need…there’s a lot more than you think…
I really do think I made a wise purchase…Bert made a wise purchase as well…guess what was on my Mother’s Day Wish List? I also love the napkins…the trellis pattern is très chic…and I think that using sunflowers, the quintessential flower of summer, is beautiful alongside the various shades of green…thanks, Chip, for bringing me such beautiful flowers! For an extra “pop” of color, I used these fabulous pink napkin rings I purchased from One Kings Lane about 2 years ago. I’ve had my sterling silver pattern, Repoussé, for years, & I use it every chance I get. Seriously, why have sterling silver flatware if it sits in a drawer all the time? I even put my silver in the dishwasher…I am just so naughty! It looks great, though, doesn’t it? No one would ever know.
Onto another summer table setting…this time, on the Vineyard. The beauty is, this could be a table setting anywhere, & that is why I love it so much…especially for those of you just starting to collect…one word of advice…
One Kings Lane and Crate & Barrel are my two favorites for white plates, as they have great selections and great prices. Always buy in sets of 12…trust me, you’ll use them. Add chargers that give contrast, & can also be used as additional plates for larger dinner parties, as well as serving platters…chargers give you a lot of versatility, especially when you’re limited to the amount of storage you have, as in apartment life.
As you know from my last two blogs…& my next blog as well…we like to entertain while on vacation, & the Vineyard is conducive for that. When we arrived this summer, there was a French linen sale being held in the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown…since I am also a francophile, I had to check out the sale. I mean, you never know what you may find, right? Well, luck was on my side, as I spotted these fab napkins…12 of them…I was in linen heaven. For the most part, rentals provide neutral everything, so we really enjoyed the “pop” of color intermixed with the simplicity of the other table items…plus, the color of the napkins tied in nicely with the zinnias that I bought at the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market!
The table was happy, which was great, as we certainly had a few days of gray, yucky rain, & a little color was greatly appreciated by our friends. I will use these napkins throughout the year, so a great purchase was made for a great price. Amelie Michel has a great selection of linens, and I certainly could have spent an eternity looking through everything. However, 12-year-olds are wonderful at grounding their parents, by saying, “It’s time to leave” which was the best thing for my credit card. Please go to their website…they have great prices, as well as fantastic sale items.
Onto to table setting #3…possibly my favorite! I cannot emphasize enough to you the importance of buying items that go with everything! The white bistro plates came from One Kings Lane about 2 years ago. The rattan chargers & turquoise water glasses came from Carolyn Todd’s here in Greensboro…Toddy will gladly ship anything to you.
What I love most about this summer table setting are the colorful “Napoleon” flatware from Horchow & the coordinating linen napkins I found in Past & Presents in Edgartown. The flatware was on sale in July, & is currently available with free shipping. Émilie & I stumbled upon the napkins, & when we returned from vacation, we couldn’t believe how well the napkins & flatware coordinated with each other! I do not like everything to “match”, but I love it when everything “coordinates” & mixes well on a table. I find that if you collect this way, you will not tire of your things as quickly.
The dahlias were bought at the Greensboro Farmers’ Market, & I love the Oscar de la Renta Dip Dye Fish Water Jug, which I use to serve wine, alongside the floral arrangement. The nifty white ceramic pitcher was a gift from one of my dearest friends, Anne, for my birthday…perfect for serving ice water!
The gardenia brass napkin rings are from Oscar’s home collection as well. I had been looking for a “neutral” napkin ring that can be used in a variety of table settings, from Holiday to an outdoor tablescape, & I really think that these are the most versatile…thank you, Bert & Émilie, for the perfect birthday present…
…& Rudy & Rosie, for these sweet fish…which are salt & pepper shakers! I love these! They also make a perfect wedding gift! Who designed them? Who else…Oscar!
While this summer table setting is great for an outdoor dinner party or afternoon al fresco soirée, can’t you see this table setting for a winter chili night? Or, how about a Caribbean dinner party to beat the winter doldrums in February? I may even set this table for Thanksgiving…boy, that would be a topic of discussion, wouldn’t it?
I hope these summer table settings made you smile. I also hope you can use some of my ideas in your home. This fall, I will mix it up some more…be on the lookout for more table setting ideas!
Please comment & share your ideas! I would love to learn & see what your ideas & preferences are! Enjoy the last few weeks of summer…bring a little summer to your table setting…I promise you will smile all year long! Cheers!