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Hi All!

Remember me? I haven’t blogged in ages.. but decided it’s time for me to share another passion I have with you all… setting an inviting table. If I have a style… I think is simple/casual elegance. I know… that is two contradicting words.. but I think it is my favorite look. Nothing stuffy… but also not looking thrown together without a thought. I definitely like to set a table that looks inviting… so my guests can’t wait to sit down and enjoy the ambience… in a very casual way.

Today I want to share a table scape that I put together rather quickly for our Sunday dinner this week. So let’s get started.

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I started with an old board that was salvaged from an old barn that I bought from my friend Nicole. It looks like nothing yet.. but it will add height, dimension and interest to the over all look. I left the top and bottom of the table open for place settings. If I didn’t need to set plates in those spots, I could use a longer board that would almost reach both ends of the table.

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I want to show you the branches I clipped off the tree in my front yard. I love these particular branches because they are somewhat delicate, pliable and I love the small leaves. I placed them in a bucket of water earlier in the day so they wouldn’t dry out and would be ready to go when I need them. Also in the bucket of water are some flowers I clipped off of another bush in my yard. I am often seen clipping branches off common areas in our neighborhood for my table scapes. I used to buy greenery for my tables until one day the light went off in my head when I saw all the beautiful trees and bushes in my yard and common areas. Free is definitely better than paying! I will still buy flowers on occasion for my tables, but I usually clip what I have in my yard.

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Lay them over the board with the leaves cascading off of each end of the board. A soft edge is always a nice look.

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Another trick I like to do is use cake pedestals to elevate some of the platters of food on my table. This way, you are able to fit more food on the table. In addition.. it really adds to the look of your table and spotlights some of the dishes. I sometimes place the cake pedestals on the board before I lay down the leaves. Instead of the other way around like I did here. Just make sure you drape the branches around the base of the pedestals to create a flowing, uniform look.

IMG_9213If I have a lot of platters and bowls, I also add more little, but sturdy bases to the center of the table such as these wooden bowls that I turned upside down.

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Next come the candlesticks. Varying sizes and styles. You don’t have to use candlesticks that all match. That is so 1960’s! I actually prefer a mish mash of styles and sometimes colors. I wanted to keep the look simple so I didn’t add anything else. Remember… the food itself will lend to the decor. They are after all… the star of the show!

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If you plan on using any chargers for your place setting… now is the time to set them out. I went for my natural woven chargers. Using chargers doesn’t always have to be for the fancy “La Tee Da” look! What they can do is create more interest to your table for added texture and dimension. You can find these at a lot of stores. Here is a link to ones that are similar and at a much better price!

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 Closer to dinner time, I will add the flowers. The reason why I wait is so they don’t wilt and shrivel up by the time we sit down for dinner. They add a pop of color…. just what I was looking for!

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Last but not least, I set the table. I decide what plates, flatware, cups and napkins I think will go best with the look. Dont’ be afraid to mix metals just like I mixed textures for this table. Pictured here I used the gold toned flatware, candles, and cups but I may add vintage silver water pitchers and serving ware to complete the look. Have fun with your tables. A little effort goes a long way and I know your guests will appreciate it.

I always love the reactions I see and hear when our guests approach the table. That my friends.. sets the tone for the meal and the evening. And guess what? It took very little time to throw this all together.. but that’s just between you and me. My guests probably think I slaved for hours over this look. Who has time for that when you’re cooking a meal? Because… you know… that’s where all my real time goes… in the kitchen… whipping up meals with lots and lots of love. I hope these tips help or inspire you  in any way. I will try to blog more of my tables scapes and gatherings. And if you ever have a questions for me.. I will do my best to answer them for you. Happy summer friends.. enjoy your gatherings… it’s the best time of the year for them!

XOXO,

Jenny