There is something eloquent in the simplicity of an all white table. If I was advising a new bride about selecting china, I would tell her to start with white. It seems like a non-choice but doing so has many advantages.
I remember when I was younger looking at all white rooms in design magazines, I thought the reason the homeowners chose white was because they were incapable of choosing a color they liked from too many colors available. Now, in my old age, I know different. To me, there is something relaxing about an all white room, especially if the fabrics are washable and there is a lot of textural detail in various shades of white. I find an all white room is so much easier to decorate when you layer all shades of creme and white. Then when you add just one color, the room becomes that color, and more importantly, you can then change that one color to a million different colors instantly. As I change out furnishings, I am moving toward an all white interior. And, I love Swedish furnishings with their whites, pale grays and pale aqua blue/greens. I keep saying, "in my next house I will accomplish that". But I do like a lot of colored china, so the room may be neutral, but the table will often show colors.
The white coral that I have collected for several years is the centerpiece. No candlesticks, tealights, or other elements. Just very simple.
I could have used a vase of white flowers instead - maybe for another table later. The coral is short enough for guests to see over for conversation. Have you ever had a guest reach over and take the centerpiece off the table and put it on the buffet because it interferred with their chatting across the table? Well, I have and it is maddening. So I look at that aspect each time I build a tablescape.
I am using this French boutis tablecloth from Williams-Sonoma. It is not as wide or long as my other white quilted cloth, so it doesn't touch the floor. I like the fact that it is washable and will fit in my washer.
I am using three crystal stems as they are colorless. I could also have used white custard glass or white opaline goblets to keep with the all white theme. Left to right: Tall Colleen by Waterford white wine, Flavia by William Yeoward water goblet, and the shorter first version of Colleen by Waterford red wine.
The 12" charger is from Pottery Barn's Great White series. It has depth to it so it doesn't lie flat thus a lot of dinner plates do not fit with it. Next for the dinner plate, I am using a 10" Grande bowl from Williams-Sonoma's Apilco line of French porcelain. The lion-head soup bowl is also Apilco and has a thin gold edge around the top. Williams-Sonoma came out with the gold edge on Apilco one year for Christmas/New Years holidays. The 27" square lapkin with my maiden name initial is probably from 1915-1930. For flatware, I am using mother of pearl-handled knives with Tiffany's 1870 pattern Saratoga. I only have mother of pearl knives. I am looking for forks and spoons as well. I am using the Saratoga pattern as a salute to my husband who did 4 [total of 9 cruises on various aircraft carriers] six-month deployments on the Navy's aircraft carrier Saratoga during his career as a Navy pilot in the Mediterranean Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Red Sea.
Below are shots of the table on an angle.
For dessert, to stay with the ocean theme, I am keeping all white and using Apilco's shell-shaped plate from their Ocean line.
I'm serving this white cake on an antique pedestal glass cake plate that I purchased in an antique mall probably 20 years ago.
I am participating in Tablescape Thursday this week on the blog Between Naps on the Porch.
To see all the entries after 9:00PM Eastern Wednesday evening, go here:
All the best to you,