Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mid Spring Table

If you know me, you know I love change. Every chance I get- I change the look of the table.

I (try to) keep the table dressed all day long and ready for meals. Some times it works, others, not so much. In reality, it's so much easier to just reset the table when I remove the dishes from the machine instead of having to put them in the cupboard. I'm lazy, but this time it pays off. It comes in waves. Lately, since about Christmas, I have been able to keep it up. There have been times in the past where it just sits, empty, or is stacked with all kinds of projects...that drives me nuts. So I try.

We have a fabric store in town that sells either over stocked or discontinued fabrics used strictly for home fashions, so I head there first. The first place I look is in their close out section where you can pick up a gorgeous fabric for as little as $2.00 per yard! We're talking fabric on rolls, at least 60 inches, most times wider. I made the table protector out of professional grade quilted fabric for $6.00, and I love it. My table is 3x5, so -usually- I only need 2 yards of fabric to make a generous cloth. I try to pick patterns that will compliment the house, but also bend to several different themes or dish sets. I think ahead and choose fabrics that can work for at least two seasons or events, most of the time they work several different ways. I like patterns* and geometrics*, and lately I have been in to textured fabrics. I also prefer cloth that doesn't say "Hi! I'm a table cloth!" I have cloth that has been used for drapes, sofas, outdoor furniture and who knows what! I but a test sample, write down the measurements to calculate shrinkage, wash it in HOT water with the same detergents I would use if someone spilled and if it comes out well, I go back and purchase it. Table clothes are easy, just measure, cut, hem- and you're done.

Now, although I have several choices when it comes to dish sets, if you have a set of plain white, or black (or any solid set) you can mix it up pretty easily. I collected dishes over the years, but my favourites always come back to the plain basics because they can morph into dozens of themes. Plus, a plain plate will show off the food better than darling flowers competing with the mashed potatoes. I let the table clothes and plate settings set the mood and the food be the star.

These photos are pretty lousy, but I have had these shell pepper and salt shakers for a couple of years so I thought I would build on them. I put a bunch of shells in a flower bowl, and added the deep blue glass over the white larger plates, using them as chargers. The cloth is chocolate with three shades of blue in small raised square dots. Tiny white shell rings for napkins and a (much too tall) tropical plant finish it.

*scroll to view table example.

add to sk*rt


Rynell said...

I love your table setting! Very lovely....

melissa c said...

I LOVE collecting dishes too. I don't always have a nice setting out because to be honest, I just haven't.

I have a nice dining room table but we eat usually at the kitchen table with the 5 kids!

On special occasions we will eat at the big table but it sits on carpet and my kids like to spill!

Anyway, I loved your ideas. I am definitely going to give your ideas a try.

S'mee said...

Thanks Rynell. Now that I look at it in a photo, the room looks really dark...not so much in real life, but hey! Thanks, I finally got around to working those shells!

Mel, This is the only table we have! Back in the day when I had the 5 kids, I still tried, although to be honest, it was about 25%! (It was more of an after-school book shelf)Yikes. I have never had "china" or anything that you couldn't get through Target/Big Lots, but hey, it's all good!

Maybe you could start out at the kitchen table with some everyday dishes, but set them up. Make it a job the kids "get" to design for a week or whatever. Give them some choices or ask them what they think would make a cool "theme". I think the kitchen can look great too! Nothing "fancy" just set and nice.

Sometimes I just set the dish with a fresh piece of fruit that will be used as part of the next meal. Or I have these decorated pony tail holders that have only been used as napkin rings (they have tiny shells on them and a bit of sparkle...can't imagine them in my hair -what we're they thinking?) Any who, the napkins in the photos are really just paper, so it can still look o.k.
I'll try to come up with other kid friendly ideas.