While in Seattle Saturday, September 8, I attended the tablescape event at Masins Furniture store in Bellevue HERE. If you have been a long-time blog reader, you know my love for creating tablescapes. I could not miss this. Check my archives under the category tablescapes. I moved from the Seattle area in 1998 before the store opened in Bellevue so I had not been in the store before. At the end of this post, I will show some vignettes in the store. Thanks to the Masin family for making this seminar open to the public to enjoy. Friday evening was the fundraiser at the store for DIFFA [Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS].
The event panel consisted of three women. First, Tobi Fairley, an interior designer from Little Rock [remember that I blogged about attending one of her first design camps in Arkansas]. I have been a long-time subscriber to her blog HERE. Second, Kathryn Greeley, interior designer and author from North Carolina - I have her book and follow her blog too HERE. Third, Mindy Lockard who I did not know about - blog HERE, who talked about table etiquette.
Tobi Fairley [who was as stunning, lovely and friendly as I remembered her] in addition to doing a tablescape also designed the entrance vignette to Masins store using the young David Masin family as her pseudo design client. I want to show you those photos first before discussing the other 12 tablescapes of the designers.
Tobi spoke about the design elements she used in this red, blue and white room.
Just ignore the price tags hanging off the furnishings. I apologize for the light reflections and quality of my indoor photos. I spy Tobi's design on the red lantern Rothesay sconce HERE.
I recognize the Hickory Chair Furniture Co. center table HERE. The framed labels attract close examination and conversation. The tabletop items on this table have great proportion and tie the blues and whites together.
Aren't those red Tulips dashing? They bring the entire room together. This striped rug is by Dash and Albert HERE. I am considering the purchase one of their rugs for under my dining table because it is in their indoor/outdoor collection which is easily cleanable. I thought it would be the perfect solution to food spills under a table. I'm a bit tired of my flat-weave Aubusson and looking for a change. I need a 9x12 rug which size they don't sell and Tobi gave the audience the perfect answer to my problem - sew two 6x9 rugs together. Thank you, Tobi for solving my design dilemma. The stripes are too casual for me, but I am thinking of the solid white one. Should look great with Swedish interiors.
Above you can see the red lantern and stripe fabric of the table runner from Tobi Fairley Home. The wall stripe paint is the same blue from the living room. I like the nine white plates on the wall. When I've hung plates, I paint the tips of the wires the color of the plates so they don't show. The white plates are simple but striking. I am also a fan of white dining chairs. Of course, I have a secret fabric that I use that is extremely durable and cleanable that I have used throughout our home. It is No Fear White. Discussing the centerpieces, Tobi inserted a glass cylinder into a larger one to create space to place red ribbon. I am going to steal that idea too, only use other items not ribbon -- just think of the possibilities. Tobi used the David Masin family's blue and white china. It looks like it could be the Blue Fluted Mega pattern by Royal Copenhagen. I see dark blue Kim Seybert capiz shell placemats [I have the aqua ones] underneath of some red spray-painted acrylic chargers. I liked Tobi's idea of spray painting inexpensive chargers different colors for various tablescapes you do. I sprayed some brass ones and the paint peeled off. I believe she said the napkins had an iron-on embroidered transfer -- I will have to look into doing that. Hopefully less expensive than having my monogram lady do my napkins if they stay on after being washed. Inside the napkin folds are Recipies For Life messages.
I struggle with getting my centerpieces low so people can see over them. I'm always looking for ideas to accomplish this. I will further discuss this later in the post in my thoughts on the other table designs.
I have mentioned before in my tablescape blogs my top five requirements for a successful tablescape. The first one is relevance. Tobi's table is a perfect example of my rule. The most successful design relates the elements of the table to the guest of honor or event of the dinner. Here you see Tobi used red ribbons and chargers for AIDS to salute the DIFFA fundraiser event and each placecard has the name of Me, Sister, Brother, Mom, i.e., people in a family who are affected when a family member has AIDS. The cards in the napkins also bring this message home.
The orientalist style on this table is delivered with the abundant white Orchids and Dahlias, metallic gold noodle bowls, chopsticks and black lacquer table. The stools which are probably drinks tables or garden-type stools rather than dining stools are an attractive color, but would be difficult to sit on through a three-hour dinner. Comfortable seating is rule number two on my tablescaping requirements.
It appears that the runner coordinates with the creme underplates to the bowls. The height of the vases was discussed at the seminar and it was agreed that they would need to be removed during the dinner. I think they would be perfect on the buffet or console table against the wall. I personally struggle with centerpiece heights in my tablescapes as it seems hard for me to be creative on low arrangements. You want the impact that these stunning arrangements have yet they are not practical. I feel bad when a guest gets up and removes my creation. I also struggle occasionally with just too much stuff in the center of the table. But I'm working on it.
On to the next exhibit.
I was very impressed by this purple table by designers Diane Summers and Deanna Dayment. I loved the shape of the leopard placemats for round tables. Nice mirrored chargers. Loved the tumbler and stemware. What was successful about this table was that it had a "real" factor that invited you to sit down by having the red and white wine already poured into the stems and water present in the tumbler.
Congratulations ladies on knocking that out of the ballpark.
Notice the metal screen with stars in front of the purple painted wall. Its see-through effect added just enough visual interest. I also give these designers points for my rule of tieing the table elements to the theme. Here they were designing for a restaurant named Purple. They also conquered the urge to overdo the center of the table with stuff.
Moving to the next tablescape by designers Sue Trudell and Kim Beauregard.
This tablescape had a pink and lime green garden theme. I don't know for sure, but I would guess that the pink and lime votive candleholders are Glassybaby products since that company is headquartered in Seattle HERE. People outside Seattle might not be familiar with their products and charitable mission.
Next is this table designed by Rich Holliday for The Hunt Club in an animal theme. The blue and white ceramic elephant centerpiece is an attention getter. Note the texture of the three runners that criss-cross the table for the six placesettings.
The opalescence of this platter is stunning. Maybe not something to eat off of but it is eye candy. You could serve some types of appetizer on it but its impact is really for a serivce plate before guests sit down. This table design was done by Christie Long for the restaurant Seastar.
I just LOVE the sea colors of blues and greens which hits the theme for Seastar right on target. Love the clear sparkley flatware and the color of the charger. I would have loved to see this on a much bigger table so there was room for the glass balls, seaglass and tealights. The centerpiece is a very tall glass sculptural vase that was too tall to get it in the photo.
The rattan table and chairs are fitting for this theme. Notice that the tabletop is covered with irridescent cellophane. I might use that idea sometime. About my tablescape rule number five to leave blank space on the tabletop, I want to mention here that the most memorable table I have ever seen was nothing more than a white plate with an old sterling fork on a white tablecloth with an orchid color napkin and clear crystal goblet in an all-white Swedish room that had a crystal chandelier. It was so simple but heavenly I have never forgotten it. No layering of chargers and a multitude of plates -- no stuff.
Store owner Bob Masin did this sportsman's table for Steelhead Diner. The mission style of the chairs and table are very fitting. Table elements include the fish theme plates with flies, runner and napkins, fly rods and reels across the tabletop and a fish net.
On to the next one, artist Kathe Fraga for the restaurant Rovers. The framed photo is of the chef in the straw hat, Chef Thierry Rautureau. Kathe also displayed a grouping of men's hats on a halltree.
Kathe was at the event and I had the pleasure of meeting her and talking to her about her art. Her miniature paintings were at the placesettings and a large canvas was behind the table. Her custom pillows were there as well as her greeting cards.
Masins Furniture is located in the Bellevue area of Seattle at 10708 Main Street, Bellevue, WA 98004 or call 425-450-9999.
Hope you enjoyed viewing the tables with me.