This week's tablescape is done in the purple range. I am using the tablecloth I made of lavender taffeta and repeating the same stemware, sterling pattern, crystal knife rests and votive cups that I have used in a past tablescape. I am attempting to show how switching out the table elements with mix and match can extend your entertaining choices. This is very desirable when you have guests that are staying more than one day or when you are doing back-to-back dinner parties. As I have mentioned in prior posts, my style leans more toward Euro design, particularly Swedish where there is "less" rather than "more" on the table surface. You will see here that I am only using a floral arrangement in the center and four amethyst votive cups surrounding it. I am really opposed to using objects that cover the entire table top -- it is just too much stuff. I also find that guests are very uncomfortable with a lot of stuff on the table top. I would rather go to the minimalist side. I also find it difficult to create constantly something different for the center of the table. I have some floral training so doing a structured floral arrangement is not difficult for me. For the most part, though, I like large groups of all of the same kind of flower in a vase arrangement. Structured floral arrangements made in Oasis don't seem to last for more than a few days. What I personally enjoy seeing is an object other than flowers in the center of the table, such as an unusual antique with a lot of character like a statue or architectural fragment. However, I cannot accomplish that week after week. My goal is to find interesting things, but too often I fall back on using flowers.
Here I have used blue Hyacinths that I cut from my potted bulbs, lilac colored Stock, amethyst colored Tulips, lavender and purple Status, and Rice Flowers. Let me warn you about using Rice Flowers. This the lilac colored flower above that looks like Yarrow but has been dyed by the wholesale florist in different colors. You can get it in red, pink, yellow, green, dark purple, etc. Be very careful when handling these flowers as the dye they use gets on everything and the stains in fabric are very hard to get out. I just laid them out on my countertop while clipping the bottoms and the dye stained my countertop. Fortunately, SoftScrub took most of it out. I am not purchasing this flower again as I cannot risk permanent stains on things.
This scape starts with the Anna Weatherley chargers in their violet colorway. In some light they look more blue but they are really violet. This particular style has been discontinued and they now have a flatter less bowl-shape style with a different edge and in different colorways.
For the initial presentation place setting, I am using antique French Limoges fish plates again, this one hand painted by Muville in deeper murkier tones. All 12 plates are done in different colored fish.
I also use these for a light appetizer that won't scratch the hand painted scenes.
For the salad course, I am using some old turn of the century German lunch plates which are actually more magenta than purple but I like them and try to fit them in as often as I can. I think the gold trim is very unusual and the edges are ruffled. They are marked on the bottom "RS" but I don't think it is RS Prussia as the form is just like Richard Klemm's Dresden pattern, so they must have been made close to there. There is a Boston retailer mark also. I find that salad plates that come with china now at 8.0" or 8.5" are just too small for a nice sized salad. The old lunch plates that are no longer made in today's patterns seem to be a better size at over 9 inches.
The napkins are from Williams-Sonoma and are made of 100% hemp. I find them interesting to use and not too hard to care for.
Here is another view.
In a past post I talked about the first china pattern that I purchased in 1977 as a youngster, Wedgwood's Cuckoo, that I have emotionally moved on from. Here is an opportunity to give it another chance in this purple grouping. I still like the little bird but am not crazy about the flowers anymore. Wedgwood reproduced this pattern for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation where a broken one was found in an ash heap during excavation. Most likely the original was made in China and brought over to America on the clipper ships that traded in the Orient.
These chargers update the dinner plates.
And here is another view.
For the dessert plate, instead of using the Wedgwood Cuckoo, I am going to switch over to Royal Crown Derby's Olde Avesbury which has some purples in it. This, again, is a pattern that has been around many years and needs to mix with modern pieces to give it new life.
I still try to work all the purples in.
Hope you have enjoyed the purple tour.
I am in the process of writing up an outline to answer a viewer's questions about how I go about the process of creating tablescapes and how and why I purchase china. I will post that shortly.
I am participating in Tablescape Thursday this week on the blog Between Naps on the Porch.
To see all the entries, go here:
All the best to you,