Place Settings

Creative Ideas for Updating Your Place Settings

July 31, 2019, posted by Gina – My team members and I have been experimenting recently with different ways to create place settings with our china. Many of us registered for our china when we got married, others may have inherited a set from grandparents or you may not have china at all. Regardless, everyone has dinnerware and there will come a time when you would like to change up the look of your place settings.

In the shop, we’ve been having a China Challenge and it’s been a lot of fun. I asked team members to bring in their china or dinnerware and we came up with different looks using linens and accessories that we sell in the shop. It’s amazing just how different the same dishes can look simply by adding colorful linens, graphic napkins or a pretty charger. These transformations don’t have to cost a fortune and often just a small change can make a big difference. So, let’s have a look at what we’ve come up with and we hope these give you a few ideas for your place settings!

In the first photo above you see just the plate on its own. In the second photo we added one of our gold brushed chargers, a chartreuse green napkin and a set of golden figs. In the third photo we kept the gold brushed charger, added a burnt orange geometric napkin and a faux pear as an accent. In the fourth photo we went for a more casual look with the brown and white gingham charger, a two toned burlap placemat, a cream linen napkin, and a gold floral place card holder on top. 

In the first photo above is the Castle Garden pattern by Lenox brought in by a team member. In the second photo, we added an ornate gold charger, a heathered pink linen napkin and a wonderful French Majolica plate that coordinated perfectly. In the third photo we kept the same gold charger and pink linen napkin and simply added a green velvet pumpkin. 

The place settings above are a little different as they feature French blue & white plates that are for sale in the shop and not china belonging to a team member. We created two very different looks using linens and accessories that we have in the shop. Which is your favorite – the vibrant green and blue look or the more subtle look with fresh flowers? 

In the first photo above we have a wonderful Wedgewood blue pattern.  In the second photo we added a cream colored burlap table runner, a rattan charger a beautiful ceramic pumpkin with gold leaves and a striped napkin.  In the third photo we layered with a light purple placemat, a ruffle white napkin and a boxed LUX candle with a ribbon and flower to be used as a gift.

The cream colored plates pictured above are a blank canvas that can be changed up a million different ways. Here we used colorful placemats, napkins and chargers to create just a couple of different looks.

Check us out on Instagram or Facebook to see the rest of our China Challenge place settings and more of our table linens and tableware.

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The Great Pumpkin Tablescape 2 comments

October 9, 2017, posted by Gina – We absolutely LOVE Fall! From the rich colors to the cooler temperatures to the comfort foods. We try to celebrate this beautiful season every chance we get and we did just that last week. Gina hosted a luncheon and we are here to share all the details. We’ll begin with this tablescape that is an explosion of all things Fall. In the coming days we’ll also share some recipes from this luncheon.

Here we see an overhead view of the centerpiece. Filled with roses, tulips, hydrangeas and safflower it brings that Fall feeling to the table with intense color.

Below is a view of the centerpiece as the guests were able to enjoy it. It is low and long allowing for an unobstructed vis-à-vis.

Our place settings were composed of navy placemats, napkins by Kim Duease Designs,  wooden Rootworks chargers, Spode brown and white china, Wedgwood Majolica cabbage plates, Annieglass bowls, silver-plate, green crystal and Lenox crystal.

What says ‘Fall’ more than anything? Pumpkins, for sure! Beyond our mini pumpkins at each place setting, we placed a few odd shaped pumpkins and squash on either side of the floral arrangement.

We hope this table inspires you to create your own Fall tablescape for your guests.



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A Fresh Autumn Tablescape 1 comment


September 29, 2016, posted by Gina – This is a tablescape that I created for a luncheon I recently hosted in my home. I was very pleased with the way the colors and textures came together for this one. The blue and white ginger jar pattern on the orange napkins set off the Spode Blue Italian plates perfectly. The wicker chargers and black burlap table runner added a rustic feel which was pleasantly offset by the dramatic and elegant Italian platter under the centerpiece. We will post a tutorial soon that will demonstrate how to create this particular centerpiece, so check back with us! Also, checkout the list a little further down to find out a little more about the individual pieces on this table.



Chargers – Pier 1

Plates – Blue Italian, Spode

Bowls – Annie Glass

Flatware – Southern Living at Home

Napkins – Patricia Spratt for the Home

Tortoise Stemware – Pier 1

Blue and Gold Stemware – Paul Michael

Table runner – At Home



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Thanksgiving Pumpkin Centerpieces 6 comments

November 19, 2015, posted by Gina – Last night I had the opportunity to present floral designs and tablescapes to a really fun group of ladies. A big thank you goes out to our lovely hostess who prepared some fabulous appetizers that were enjoyed by all, including me.  I presented how-tos for variety of different designs that would carry through the holiday season; a round centerpiece, a cornucopia, a long-lasting Christmas arrangement, two tablescapes (one with a pumpkin centerpiece and the other with a cornucopia centerpiece), a vertical arrangement and a cranberry filled vase.

Thanksgiving Arrangements and Tablescapes

A tip for the vertical arrangement is to start with a bit of tall greenery in the back and then step your flowers down. I added a lemon for a bit of fun. When working on a cranberry filled arrangement, first fill a vase with cranberries and then fill with water. You won’t need oasis or a tape grid as the cranberries secure the stems. How cool is that?

After my presentation, the ladies designed their own pumpkin arrangements and they did a fabulous job. When they first walked in and saw the pumpkins ready for them and thought they would be cutting and gutting the pumpkins. They were happily surprised to find that we would actually be using the stem to secure the foam instead of cutting the pumpkin. I must tell you that I had to use a saw to cut the stems in half on each pumpkin which was quite a site, but it got the job done. We all had a lot of fun and everyone was pleased with their pumpkin arrangements, which they took home with them. Voilà, the fruits of their labor…

Pumpkin Arrangements

Coming up….I plan on posting tutorials on how to make a cranberry filled arrangement and a long lasting Christmas arrangement in preparation for the holidays, so stay tuned and check our Tutorials Page in the coming days.

We like to hear from our readers, so if you’d like to leave comments or share your thoughts click on the title of this post and the comment form will appear at the bottom of the page.

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Setting the Scene for a Thanksgiving Luncheon

November 17, 2015, posted by Gina – A couple of weeks ago I had the wonderful pleasure of attending my cookbook club’s monthly luncheon. The theme for the day was Thanksgiving and it was a true bounty of the season’s best.

I was asked to design the flower arrangements using cream, green, brown and neutral colors. It was challenging and refreshing for me to work with this color palette for a Thanksgiving feast since it’s a departure from the traditional oranges, reds, and golds.

Birch Planters Magnolia SunflowerI found some great looking birch bark planters and chose Little Gem magnolia leaves as the backdrop because of their wonderful brown back coating. Hydrangeas, roses, hypericum berries, and white mums were the stars of the arrangements. To add interest, I removed the yellow petals from the sunflowers to create a brown and green flower.

My friend set her tables with beautiful white table linens and tied wheat to the napkins. It was a great touch and really set the mood for the harvest feast that followed.

Tablescape Thanksgiving Luncheon

CLICK HERE to go to our Recipe Page and read about all the dishes that were served.

How do you decorate your table for Thanksgiving? Do you look for new twists on the standard Thanksgiving decoration or do you like the traditional look? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you. Just click on the title of this post to and the comment form appear at the bottom of the page.


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Floral Demonstration at Farmer’s Table Cooking School

October 12, 2015, posted by Gina – Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of presenting floral designs at the beautiful Farmer’s Table Cooking School in Livingston, Mississippi. Livingston was the original County Seat for the area but as times changed so did the County Seat. This area is dotted with beautiful fields filled with trees, a few cows and gentle, rolling hills. Even though you are just minutes from the city, you feel as though you’ve stepped back to a time when the pace was a bit slower.

The Cooking School is a very nice venue where Chef Matthew teaches classes on mastering culinary skills but the school also hosts other kinds events. So, I was thrilled to be invited to teach a floral design class.

Fern and Sedum in BasketSince it’s tailgate season, the first thing I showed was this very simple arrangement that’s super easy for a tailgate host or hostess to put together and a great way to dress up tailgate tables. I chose this oval basket as it is the perfect size for a table. I gathered plants in school colors and created a coordinating bow. Spanish moss covers the pots the plants are in and finishes off the basket. This took about 5 – 10 minutes to assemble and is really a great alternative to a fresh flower arrangement. Bonus: The handle on the basket makes it easy to carry to your tailgate area.

This round centerpiece  is one of the most practical arrangements to make. It sits low, allowing for conversation, and does not take up too much space ensuring you have plenty of room for food.


The pleasing mix of colors in this dough bowl arrangement can carry you through the season. Cover the bowl with some wood shred and then arrange coordinating colored spheres in the bowl. I added a touch of whimsy with an ornamental cabbage and an orange pomander ball.

I like to call this lean, vertical design the “welcome” arrangement because it looks so striking in an entry way. Use coordinating colors in centerpieces and arrangements throughout your home.


Coke Crate Mixed Garden

These Coca-Cola crates were so ubiquitous in my childhood that we would literally trip over them in the garage. You’d probably have to pay about $50 for one today. They are so much fun to use for arrangements on porches or patios. In this arrangement I placed in a few different objects creating a casual, retro vignette. You could also place a few bottles in this create and fill each one with a single stem.

Lush Fall Arrangment

I started assembling this pretty arrangement by creating a tape grid on the top of the vase. This enabled me to place stems right where I wanted while keeping them firmly in place. Lots of tall greenery and a bit of curly willow really set the stage for the colorful flowers.


Baby Boo

It’s all about the colors in this fall place setting. I used my Italian Spode as a backdrop to a simple tablescape. The pops of green from the napkin and orange from the pumpkin really make this inviting.

Bridget and Chef MatthewChef Matthew and Bridget from the cooking school were so much fun to work with and participants were treated to some great food, new recipes and floral design. This made for a very fun evening.

I look forward to presenting again at the cooking school. They have done a phenomenal job of creating an environment that seems to brings out the creativity in everyone.

What do you think about the arrangements? Would you be likely to try one of these yourself? Do you have any ideas for tailgate, dinner party or seasonal arrangements? Let us know! To leave a comment, click on the title of this blog post and the comment form will appear at the bottom of the page.

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Red Sunflower Tablescape

September 12, 2015, posted by Gina – For some reason I always seem to find red sunflowers this time of year. I absolutely love them and in fact they were the inspiration for this whole tablescape.

Red Sunflower, Spode Italian Collage
I was trying to create a natural, farm fresh vibe with this table and decided adding artichokes and arugula to this arrangement accomplished that look very well. The ceramic containers are a perfect fit for a regular brick of oasis. This makes creating arrangements in these containers so easy and I have used them many times for similar centerpieces. Also, the fact that they are low makes having a lovely conversation easy since you don’t have to peek over or around an arrangement.

To keep the natural, farm feel going I chose a great burlap table runner and combined it with red and white toile placemats, striped napkins, white wooden chargers, and Italian Spode china. Somehow, the pheasants just seemed to fit in with the theme so I placed a pair on each side of the table. If you run across some red sunflowers be sure to pick a few up as they will brighten up your table.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Click on the title of this post and the comment form will open at the end of the post.

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6 Essential Elements of Tablescape Design 2 comments

August 30, 2015, posted by Michelle – Want to take your so-so table setting to so-sophisticated? We’d like to share  our guidelines for decorating your table for a special gathering. These elements are naturally overlapping and if we had to use one word that all of these ultimately produce it would be *harmony*.

1. Cohesion – Based on the theme of the event (birthday, holiday, bridal luncheon, graduation, anniversary, dinner for friends, etc.) decide what the overall look of the table will be. Traditional, modern, ethnic, rustic, seasonal, retro – whatever it is, think about how all the place settings, linens, flowers, accessories, etc. will work together to present a cohesive grouping.

2. Color – Once you’ve decided on the overall look, choosing a color scheme is important. Whether you have a matching set of dinner plates or a mix of patterns, keep the colors coordinating and pleasing. Choose a principal color and mix in analogous or complementary colors. Consult the color wheel for help. Sometimes small pops of color can make a big impact, so consider colors when choosing flower arrangements, candles, chargers, etc.

Color Wheel3. Coordinate – We’re not huge proponents of matchy-matchy yet all of the pieces on your table should coordinate well together. For example, a set of traditional vintage napkins may pair well with a set of funky retro place mats. You may have several glasses that are all different shapes but are all green glass. For small arrangements spaced out on a long table we once used a dozen vintage French tin cans of the same height but each had different designs and colors. The key is finding commonality among the different pieces for a harmonious design.

Green glasses4. Creative – It goes without saying that your table setting should reflect some personal creativity but isn’t that easier said than done? A simple exercise is to take one place setting and start trying out different table linens and stemware with it. Try using certain pieces in different ways. For example, instead of placing a table runner down the center of the table, why not use three runners – place one down the middle and the other two across the width of the table. The runners are now serving double duty as placemats. The possibilities are endless; just take some time to experiment and try out a variety of combinations.

TR5. Clash (just a little) – Add a little interest to the table by using  something a little unusual that clashes with the rest of the table. This is tricky but you can pull it off in surprising ways. I recently went to a dinner party and the whole table was done in very tasteful, understated creme, beige and silver. But the centerpiece was a geometric, matte purple rhinocerous planter with the most gorgeous purple roses and purple and green hydrangeas spilling out of it. The colors on their own would not have provided a clash against the neutral colors of the table but the super modern and unexpected rhinocerous planter, well, let me just say people talked about it for a least 15 minutes. It worked!

6. Convivial – The most important element of your table is intangible; it’s warmth. Your hospitality shows through everything you’ve done to receive your guests: the tablescape, flower arrangements, the food and all your special touches exhibit your desire to make your guests feel special and comfortable.

What do you think about our guidelines? How do you get your table ready for a special gathering? Do you have some fun, unusual ideas to share? We’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts. Please leave us a comment by clicking on the title of this post to open up the comment form.



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Lunch in Lyon 2 comments

May 27, 2015, posted by Michelle – Last week I hosted a lunch at my apartment for a few ladies. I wanted the table to be very colorful and fresh so I bought some hot pink place mats, an Emile Henry yellow-green table runner with an orange stripe and some super thick lime green paper napkins. I folded the napkins into flowers and every time I’ve done this people want me to show them how. Well, I learned from this guy’s video. For the centerpiece, I put some gorgeous pink peonies in a vase which I placed on a white tray with a few tangerines and … voilà… a simple, colorful table:spring table
The menu was onion tart, chicken piccata and fresh green peas sauteed with bacon. It’s the custom here to serve cheese before the dessert so I served an Etorki Basque cheese which everyone loved. I’ve never been a great dessert maker which is just as well since, this being France, you can’t walk a block without stumbling upon a pâtisserie full of luscious tarts and cakes. I happily stumbled into one and came out with this delicious and pretty lemon and white chocolate cake:
Lemon and white chocolate cake

Do you add special touches to your table? Do you like using bright colors or do you prefer more subtle tones? We’d like to hear your thoughts so please leave any comments you may have by clicking on the title of this post and a comment form will appear at the end of the post.

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