Monday, July 21, 2014

A Romantic Summer Table

When I needed inspiration for a romantic table for two, I didn't have to look further than the fabulously talented, Linda, of More Fun Less Laundry and herSomething Old, Something New: Borrowing from a Master table.  She, in turn, was inspired by another terrific designer and tablescaper, Delores, of Vignette Design and her “Romantic Candlelight Dinner.”  But, oh, my!  These ladies are so talented!  Am I being too presumptuous in trying to copy their beautiful designs?

Let me show you what I mean.  Here's Delores' original design:

Vignette Design
Isn't this just beautiful?  But, wait!  Here's Linda's interpretation, inspired by Delores' design:

More Fun Less Laundry
Fabulous, isn't it?  Linda took Delores' Valentine vision and gave it a Christmas twist to celebrate her daughter's engagement and holiday homecoming.  What a lovely way to celebrate such a romantic occassion!  Ah, love!

I owe a huge debt, not only to Linda and Delores, but to so many other wonderful tablescapers who generously share their ideas and wisdom and inspire me with their amazing talent . . .

However, it's all well and good to want to copy a design . . . but then comes the hard work - and the challenges . . . like the red chargers . . . I'm sad to say I don't have any . . . a travesty, to be sure, one that needs to be remedied very soon!

So, if red is not going to be the inspiration . . . perhaps then it has to come from the beautiful salad plate . . .  I love these pink floral dishes - Chintz Rose by Johnson Brothers . . .


I also have rattan chargers that match the napkin rings, and our everyday Traditions dinner plates from Williams-Sonoma are very similar to the ones Delores used . . .


It so happens that I have some lovely linens from Horchow that I've yet to use . . .


I fell in love with the lacy pattern and its heart-shaped edging . . .


It looks so frothy . . . One can easily imagine Anne of Austria giving a handkerchief trimmed like this to the dashing Duke of Buckingham as a token of her love . . . although it might have been more difficult to replace (after all, lacemaking takes so long!) than the diamond necklace she gave him instead, and which almost cost young M. D'Artagnan his life . . .I'm referring, of course, to The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas . . .


If you need a good novel filled with interesting characters, handsome musketeers, a queen in distress, and plenty of court intrigue, this book is for you!  It's also a wonderful study of the manners of the court of Louis XIII . . .  I've read it in both, English . . .


and Spanish . . .


I wish I was more fluent in French to be able to read it in its original language . . .

And, believe me, just because there are many movies adapted from this novel, it doesn't mean that any of them comes close to capturing its essence, the intricacies of its plot, the sense of humor of the author, its . . . je ne sais quoi . . . 

Oh, my, I've digressed!  Don't ever get me started on M. Dumas!  I can become quite tedious!  So, back to tablescaping.  Linens . . . Check . . .


Napkin rings . . . check!  I have the same ones that Linda uses . . . I decided to leave the little button exposed, instead of tucking it underneath, like Linda did . . .


Linda's silverware is just beautiful, but the Monticello by Reed and Barton has a similar “feel” although it's stainless steel, not sterling.  The thread pattern delightfully forms a heart shape at the heel . . .


Delores considered roses and candlelight as being absolutely essential to her design . . . This table needed delicate pink roses to match the salad plates, and mercury glass vases, so I contacted Robert, of Robert's Floral Design Studio in Chicago - my florist and friend - I've known him since high school and he's been doing arrangements for me since Lee and I got married . . .


For a quiet dinner at home, I'd normally go to my local grocery store to buy the roses, and then spend an enjoyable half hour arranging them myself, but I've been out of town attending my son's graduation from Basic Combat Training in South Carolina . . . and the table really needed to be ready today!  So Robert received an SOS - Save Our Sanity - and he came to the rescue!


Do you see the hearts in the vases?  Even the Galax Green leaves are heart-shaped!  This was totally Robert's doing, who uncannily seems to anticipate my every wish . . .


I pulled out the stash of mercury glass votives . . .


The glasses were an easy choice:  My mother's crystal goblets . . .


The table was set with both, water goblets and champagne glasses . . .


Of course, a rose was tucked into each of the napkin rings . . .


Which was actually a very tight fit . . . Delores’ napkin rings would have worked better!


And now the table is set . . .


Ready for a summer romantic celebration . . . such as an anniversary, perhaps . . .

 
What do you think . . . ?  Does it pass muster . . . ?
 

When darkness arrived, we lit the candles . . .  It was important that the mood be just right . . .


Roses scented the air . . .  Candlelight cast a soft glow on the table . . .


The champagne was poured . . .


“Unchained Melody” played in the background . . . 


 And my husband and I quietly - and romantically - celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary . . .

Joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.  Stop by for inspiration!

16 comments:

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Oh my my friend, you were really inspired by such talented ladies we have in blogland, but you did a gorgeous job and it looks unique to me! Beautiful dishes and stemware, along with the rattan chargers I have and love too...magnificent!
Congrats on your anniversary!
FABBY

Jennie @ Got My Reservations said...

Your setting is beautiful and I love how you have taken inspiration from others and made it your own. I wish I had my own personal florist...

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Maria!! I am soooo happy to have been a little bit of inspiration for you! Delores is so talented and she inspires me in so many ways...and you have also inspired me with your tea breads (you know I love limes :) ) and reading suggestions (I have been meaning to read Dumas and now I will definitely do so), your family stories, and your subtle humor (just my type!) ! Your table is beautiful. Those LINENS and those ROSES!! OH MY!!!!! The scent must have been wonderful. Happy, Happy Anniversary to you and your honey, and may you have many more! Linda :)

Alycia Nichols said...

Indeed it DOES pass muster and then some!!! Wow, Maria...you did a wonderful job here! I think the art of creating something based on an inspiration is much more difficult than merely copying a design. It means you have to reach into your own heart and your own soul and your own drawer of creativity to pull out the depths of how a design speaks to you. We don't always have the exact elements to recreate a look anyway, so it's important to know how to just create based on "feeling" and "thought" and "inspiration" that all come from deep within. You did a great job of that.

Congratulations on your 30th anniversary, and I wish you many, many more wonderful times together. Have a great weekend!

xinex said...

Your interpretation and copy are just as beautiful. Great job! what a romantic setting,....Christine

Candy S said...

Lovely and so romantic too! I loved Linda's interpretation of the original table at Vignette design. You have done an equally outstanding job of interpreting both tables into your own design. This is what makes tablescaping so much fun.

Beeutiful by Design said...

Love your linens it is romantic indeed!

Lady of the Manor said...

What a lovely and romantic setting - a true inspiration in itself!! Beautiful! (Happy anniversary!)

Wanda @weekendwanderlust.co said...

Remember imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. You did a great job. I love the flowers, my arrangements always look horrible, so my take away from your tablescape is to leave it to the professionals.

Elaine Cariglio said...

Maria, your table is beautiful! I love your dishes, linens and goblets. You have inspired me just like they inspired you! Keep it up girl! You set a gorgeous table!

Jacqueline said...

Congratulations! We just celebrated 35 this May! What a wonderful table and it truly is filled with romantic touches. I love your floral plates - they are perfect and your roses for the centerpiece and napkin are stunning! I am sure hubby was overwhelmed.
I was just browsing my Kindle and saw Three Musketeers that I had downloaded but not gotten around to! Now I will!

Delores Arabian said...

Hi Maria,
I'm so honored! Thank you for the mention and now I'm inspired too. It's been a while since I did a table cape, but you have inspired me! And to be in the same company as Linda too! Her tablescapes are amazing and I'm always in awe of her talent! Your table is just gorgeous and so romantic. Congratulations on your 30th. ~Delores

Diane Jordan said...

Hi lovely lady.
Your dishes are Gorgeous for this Tablescape...Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my Tablescape and hoping you and your family have a wonderful week God Bless.
~ Diane

Sandra Lee said...

There is no shortage of talented tablescapers that inspire all of us. I count you as one. Your tables are beautiful!

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

I am SOOOOO glad I didn't miss this post, Maria! I would never have forgiven myself for not commenting, especially in light of our upcoming visit. It is just.lovely. I love the hearts-everywhere detail, and that Robert, being a mind reader, is a keeper of a friend and florist! Happy belated anniversary to both of you! Can't wait for our visit! ~Zuni

Kathleen said...

Your table looks so beautiful, Maria!