Arrangements created by professional floral designers can be relatively costly. If you want something very specific, you don't mind paying the price, and/or you're pressed for time, leaving it to the pros is always a viable option. I probably enjoy setting the table and assembling a centerpiece more than I enjoy preparing the meal (and far more than I like cleaning up afterward!).
Today, I'm taking a look back at tables I've set for Affordable Accoutrements over the past year and a half. I selected representative photographs from 50 tablescape posts. Some of the ones I included featured multiple tables, so this represents more than 50 tables I've set for readers. That seems to be a milestone of sorts, doesn't it?
Actually, what I'm "celebrating" is that I didn't set a table this week, and I wanted to participate in Tablescape Thursday with Susan of Between Naps on the Porch!
A few of the tables like THIS "melancholy" one below lacked a true centerpiece. It could probably be better described as a vignette.
THIS one had a family history theme. I incorporated copies of old family photographs, objects made by my brother using our grandfather's blacksmithing tools, and the family Bible (which went promptly back to its safe place as soon as I finished taking pictures).
THIS table featured vintage aluminum serving pieces and what might be considered a secondary center of interest (the fruit displayed on the corner of the table).
As I've often mentioned in past table posts, these settings tend to contain an element of fantasy. If the tables were being prepared for actual dinner parties, I wouldn't make the flower arrangements as tall as I sometimes do for tablescapes. It would make dinner conversation difficult, and guests would be made uncomfortable -- certainly not what the considerate host wants to do. A few of the tables I'm revisiting today actually were used for dinner parties. You can probably guess which ones, based on the fact that flower arrangements were below seated eye level.
The first two images come from the very first tablescape post I did. I called it "A Sentimental Setting" and used dishes and flatware that had been my mother's. I quickly assembled a casual arrangement of garden flowers. I almost left this one off my "résumé," but decided to let you see where I started (in terms of flower arranging and taking photos).
The post is HERE.
My next table was set for two on the deck. A single rose was accompanied by strawberries, sliced lemons, and shrimp cocktail appetizers. I think a complicated centerpiece would have been redundant. The post is HERE.
The centerpiece took over this table for two for "Christmas in July!" HERE's the post.
A handful of simple daisies decorate this table for two on the terrace HERE.
My first Pink Saturday post featured lots of pink and a crazy feather boa (what was I thinking?)! It's HERE.
HERE's the same table with a much simpler centerpiece -- three silverplated Pottery Barn vases (from Goodwill) contain colorful summer geraniums.
In the same post, I created cheerful mixed arrangements that included a variety of zinnas.
The centerpiece of the third table featured one really beautiful (and very large) dahlia!
Glowing candles show flowers, as well as guests, in a flattering light.
Sometimes I mix supermarket flowers with homegrown ones, as I did HERE.
Paintings can inspire centerpieces. I've been known to bring in artwork from other rooms of the house for a dinner party, as I did HERE.
I mixed inexpensive store bought spray roses with plumes from the zebra grass outside.
"Reduced for quick sale" yellow roses from the supermarket harmonize with a watercolor painting I did a few years ago (from a photo I had taken of daylilies). The post is HERE.
The dried hydrangeas BELOW came from arrangements I did back in the summer. You'll be seeing them again ...
Sometimes flowers aren't necessary (nor readily available). I like creating edible centerpieces composed of fruit and/or vegetables. In case you were wondering, the ones BELOW are faux. They only LOOK good enough to eat!
The dried hydrangeas are back, along with scattered dried roses for "'Tis the Last Rose of Summer," HERE.
Supermarket tulips, autumn leaves, a painting by my friend, Yvonne, and vintage Libbey "Golden Foliage" glassware were featured in the post BELOW. That was the week Affordable Accoutrements was named a Google "Blog of Note." I'm still not sure how or why the selection was made, but I felt honored.
A virtual bloggers' dinner party BELOW included a tiara for Susan of Between Naps on the Porch!
I recycled the roses from the "coronation" post by inserting them in a Christmas (Thanksgiving?) cactus HERE.
I don't always use fruit OR flowers. I filled a heavy glass compote with Christmas ornaments that resemble large pearls (and lit lots of candles) for the post BELOW.
What's easier, and more affordable, than holly, pine, and boxwood in the arrangements BELOW?
HERE, I recycled the container, bow, ornaments, and oasis from the Christmas arrangement above to create the dried centerpiece below (just add Hummels!).
A pillar candle (in a wire mesh candleholder) and a few tealights seemed sufficient to decorate the table BELOW.
Magnolia leaves, gumballs, Oregon-grape (Mahonia), and floating candles in silver punch cups comprise the arrangement BELOW. I quickly learned not to leave this one unattended -- the whole thing almost went up in smoke!
A lantern-shaped pillar candle from Goodwill, tealight candles, and tapers in thrifted ceramic candleholders provide warmth for a cold wintry evening BELOW.
A potted orchid (a gift for a neighbor) was pressed into temporary service as a simple centerpiece BELOW. Wrapping the clay pot in a cloth napkin softened the presentation.
Reduced supermarket roses with cuttings from the garden (Aucuba japonica 'Variegata') are arranged in thrifted milk glass containers BELOW.
The first daffodils of spring mix well with crocus blossoms and fern BELOW.
A week passed, and daffodils were plentiful, as evidenced HERE.
Forsythia branches provided a simple, but dramatic, centerpiece BELOW. This is the evening look that featured a reversible tablecloth and beaded napkin rings by April Cornell.
Here's the daytime version, with strawberry motif.
I wrote a short work of fiction to accompany the table below (or was it the other way 'round?). You can read about Mrs. Rivard's second chance for romance HERE. The flowering tree branches had an odd fragrance, but I loved the way they looked.
I challenged myself to set a table that cost a total of $100 HERE. I came very close; the biggest challege was keeping the candles from tilting (pretend you don't see the ones leaning in the photo below, OK?).
Sometimes simplicty is best. I used red and white azaleas for the "room service" table for two BELOW:
Lush, colorful May flowers were plentiful when I set THIS table:
And THIS one for a tour of an historic home in Bolivar, Tennessee.
THIS table for two on the deck featured roses, azaleas, hosta leaves, and native clematis.
Decoration Day memories and hand-painted dishes from Tennessee were featured BELOW:
A variety of beautiful blues appear BELOW:
I love sitting on the front porch on lazy summer evenings. Why not set a table like the one BELOW for a late night supper or a light breakfast?
THIS table for 4 in the sitting room featured a centerpiece that included plumes from purple fountain grass, jokingly described in Southern Living as being inducted into the gaudy plant hall of fame. I like everything about purple fountain grass, except the fact that it isn't cold hardy in this growing zone. It makes a great "thriller" in a mixed container garden -- as in a thriller (tall, dramatic plant in the center), filler (what it implies), and a spiller (flowing, trailing plant spilling over the sides of the container).
More crepe myrtles, daisies, fern fronds, and English ivy appear in the centerpiece BELOW:A handful of lantana in a bud vase seemed sufficient for the table BELOW. It featured items that might have been used by our mothers, aunts, and grandmothers for their "Sunday best" tables.
Please join Susan of Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and every week. You'll be very glad you did!
Speaking of centerpieces, our friend Pinky (a frequent Tablescape Thursday participant via RMS) has a brand new blog! It's Designs by Pinky and you can find it HERE. It's only two days old, but she's already posted two beautiful fall arrangements. Pinky's a professional floral designer, so we can look forward to lots of great centerpiece inspiration from her. Today is her 43rd wedding anniversary, so I hope you'll stop by and congratulate Pinky and her husband, Joe. I just signed up to follow ... hope you will too!