Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Celebrating Centerpieces 2: The Journey Continues!

In Celebrating Centerpieces (HERE) I took a look back at the first 50 tables I set for Affordable Accoutrements. Perhaps it's time for an update.

I think a centerpiece provides the heart and soul of an eye-pleasing table setting. Naturally it's only one element of an overall design, but decorating the center of the table can require as much energy, imagination, and creativity as the rest of the table combined.

Flowers and candles are traditional favorites, but centerpieces can be as simple as a bowl of fruit, a plant, or a piece of three-dimensional artwork.

Below you'll see examples of tables I've set for you during the past year. Some were used for 'real life' dinner parties. Others represent pure fantasy. Here's a hint: if the flower arrangements are at eye level and the 'glow' of candlelight borders on bonfire intensity, it's probably not a place where guests enjoyed an evening meal!


If any of the tables below pique your interest, you can click the titles and see the original posts. I hope you enjoy Celebrating Centerpieces 2!


Ornamental Kale for Thanksgiving







Medici Table






It's Christmas (two tables set for holiday guests)












Tablescape with Velvet and Lace The "velvet" was widewale corduroy fabric. The table for four was set the same evening for an impromptu dinner party.












Unvalentine's Table with Roses & Hydrangeas












Rumpled Chic for Valentines












Lenox and Magnolias






Simply Vintage Table Setting






Carnivale









Listen My Children






Mikasa for Me















Unparalleled Versatility of Whiteness One large set of white thrifted dishes = two very different tables.















Thrift Meets Limoges with Bunnies









Joyous Garden






Mikasa Daylight Freshness of Spring









Informal Formality









Glads Make Me Happy Table









Tropical Table and a Tribute









Real Tables






If Dinnerware Could Dance




















In Respectful Memoriam












I'd welcome your feedback. If you were coming to dinner, and the tables above were set -- all of them at once (impossible of course), which would you choose? If you have a least favorite, I'd be interested to know that as well (be gentle!).






I'll do my best to respond to every comment. If you don't have a blog, please send your e-mail address to affordableaccoutrements@gmail.com, and I'll be in touch as soon as I can.






Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed your visit.



Please join Susan of Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursdays!




52 comments:

  1. Oh Bill....OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!!
    None better.

    God bless,
    d

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  2. Thanks for the walk through wonderland! I love having all of these in one spot...a beautiful and valuable resource. Cherry Kay

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  3. Hello Bill:
    What a truly inspirational post and one to which we are certain to return to glean and garnish ideas. But to choose one table setting centrepiece? An impossibility. You have such a very good eye for colour, texture and design and in each there is so much in the way of detail to be spied. Thank you so much for going to all the time and trouble which we know it takes to share these with us.

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  4. Hello!!...
    Fantastic Dear !!! Your arrangement is Excellent !!!

    I am new follower .. Spare few minutes to visit my Blog and Say a Hai !!

    Love
    Shoumi
    http://shoumiaslam.blogspot.com/

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  5. Hi Bill,
    the table is really your stage and the dishes and equipment are the actors. It is like a nutcracker suite but the dancers are flowers, cutlery and dishes. You create not only great center pieces. You create the perfect harmony between all ingredients. And I love your outstanding tableclothes. That makes your tables very special beside the wonderful china, silver and crystal. Thanks for your inspiring photos. I enjoyed every picture as a memory to a great tablescape.
    Best greetings, Johanna

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  7. I really love them all but the Glads really showed out to me.
    ~Jo

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  8. What a treat to see all these beautiful tables in one post!! I must say it is very difficult to pick a favorite because they are all just spectacular. I think, though, my favorite is the all white one with the dogwood centerpiece. I don't remember seeing that one. Gorgeous. Bill, you are a master at this and so inspiring for the rest of us. I know your guests must feel so special.

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  9. What a feast for the eyes! My favorites are Whiteness # 1, Joyous Garden, Christmas and Medici. They are all stunning and I thank you for sharing them with us. Pamela

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  10. Enjoyed seeing these beautiful table settings again - there were some I did not remember. Would not even attempt to pick a favorite.

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  11. Bill, If I could sit at any one of your tables I would think I were in heaven. Each one is such a beautiful composition by a master composer! I cannot choose. I love them all and am so glad you reposted them in this look back. xo marlis

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  12. just beautiful....you have quite a wonderful eye for tablescapes.. I really enjoyed looking at all of them..what an inspiration..

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  13. What always catches my eye in your tablescapes are the floral arrangements.....I always oooh and aaah over them. I can close my eyes and smell their sweet aroma! Love the informal arrangement in Unparalleled Versatility of Whitemess...Love how it just flows in every direction! Love the meaning, the sparkle and fluff of In Respectful Memorium! I am always in amazement with the use of lighting and reflection that you seem to capture! So jealous! Since you did ask....my least fav was If Dinnerware could Dance! Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

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  14. OK...I first must compose myself, mop up the leak on the floor, and stop laughing at the "[bordering] on bonfire intensity" remark!!! Ahem! OK...now I am ready to make straightforward, unemcumbered,....wait...I'm not done laughing...........................Oops! Another little leak!...............OK, this time I swear I'm ready. Tres magnifique!!!Each and every photo is stunning, and I think you already know I would want to be invited to every single one! (Aren't you relieved we don't live near each other? I'd be inviting myself over all the time!) If you're just going to stick a .45 to my temple over the matter, though, I think I'd choose Unparalleled Versatility of Whiteness....or Listen My Children...or Glads Make Me Happy. Hell, I don't know! It's like choosing your favorite child. (Although the parents actually DO choose a favorite right in front of the kids on that cable TV commercial. Hilarious!!!) You should have done this as a party, man, so we could all join in the fun with you!!! At any rate, you know you're rockin' it, Bill! And for the record, I totally agree with you: The centerpiece can so often make or break the tablescape. That's how we can get away with using the same dishes and flatware and stemware over and over again...it's all about the centerpiece! That's what I preach to the new bloggers who are worried they don't have "enough" dishes to showcase. It's about how creatively one displays his/her wares, not how much is in his/her coffers. Later, buddy!

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  15. Bill, I just fell off my chair as soon as opened your new post!! Now that I'm up, let us go on with the comment: "I THINK YOU SHOULD ADIT A TABLESCAPING BOOK BY BILL"!! I must confess I always go back to AA by Bill, just to inspire myself, see and enjoy your past tablescapes, as each one is a work of art! I think I spotted one I hadn't see before, it's, I believe one with a gorgeous centepiece, a runner with mellow brown designs on it, on top of a silvery beige table topper and the tablescape is with gold chargers, white and gold china. Thank you for sharing your master pieces all at once, I love tablescaping the best, so I really enjoyed your stunning tables so very much, it's being a delicious treat! Lots of hugs and keep well. FABBY

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  16. Your tablescaping book should be named: "THE ART OF TABLESCAPING by BILL"........or, "CENTERPIECES AND TABLESCAPINGS by BILL" What do you think?!
    Love,
    FABBY

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  17. Really?....We have to choose....one?.....just one? Now they're all just drop dead gorgeous....but.....if you MAKE me choose....I love the dogwood branches. Virginia's state flower and the flowering tree that seems to assure me that Winter is over. But....that's not to say I don't adore every other centerpiece you've posted before us....how about you....Which one is YOUR favorite?

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  18. Bill I view you as an artist and this is your pallete. Your centerpieces are always created with great color and shape. Your ability to mix textures and to create new ways of displaying the arrangements are an inspiration. One of my favs was the "Listen My Children" with the Revere Bowls. Ultimately though, the "Mikasa for Me" strikes the bell the most because of the romantic look you created with the table linens. The use of silver, crystal, and a classic china pattern made for the perfect elements. Adding in your beautiful floral arrangements finished this romantic table with the perfect touch! I enjoy all of your tablescapes and your centerpieces are always something to look forward to. You have a great body of work here and it's all commendable.

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  19. You are the king of the centerpiece (and tablescapes!)

    Being a Southern girl, I think my favorite is the Queen Anne's Lace centerpiece! Simple, but unique!

    I still think you should publish a book!

    Katherine

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  20. Impossible to pick a favorite, it's like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. 'Love them ALL! But the standouts for me were Respectful Memoriam (for all the reasons I stated on that post), and I'm partial to Hydrangeas so of course I loved that 'Unvalentine's Table w/ Roses & Hydrangeas', I loved the coordination of the roses, the rose wine, and the fruit cups, so pretty. I also loved 'Whiteness' and 'Simply Vintage', and another standout was 'Velvet & Lace', so rich, and I loved the way the lace pooled on the floor.
    Oh, heck, it's all perfection!
    All the best,
    Eileen

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  21. You are the king of centerpieces, Bill. Every single one of your centerpieces is just stunning!..Christine

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  22. I cannot imagine how long it must have taken you to download all those pictures for this post. It is very hard to pick a favorite b/c I have favorite elements in all of them, although, the 9/11 tablescape was one of my most favorites. Love all the fresh flowers, especially the one w/ what I would call Queen Anne's Lace. The dishes are always gorgeous (really like the Mikasa floral plates, forgot the name) and the traditional dining room chairs. The rose? picture over the fireplace was stunning by candlelight, as well. Love all the windows and the view you have when you dine also, and how you mixed up the chairs in different tables. Probably forgot a thing or two, but just my take. Keep doing what you're doing!

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  23. p.s. Your 'bonfire' tickled me. ;o)

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  24. Hey, Big Bro! Lovely post today, what a treat to see all of your tablescapes. My favorite? I think the "Carnivale!" That one just really caught my eye and I love it. You don't have to respond to my comment... you have enough fans to whom you will have to write back! ;)
    Best,
    Gloria

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  25. Thank you for the trip down memory lane Mr. Bill. The one that caught my eye today was Carnivale - so vibrant - but if I were ever truly your guest (and I can only dream) - I would love to be a guest at your Informal Formality - by candlelight, of course!

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  26. Bill,

    I dont one to pick one table I want to pick all of them.

    All the tables are just amazingly beautiful.

    Bravo Bravo

    Karin Şen Cankan
    karinsfairytale.blogspot.com

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  27. This wasn't easy as I love them all! If I had to pick, and apparently I must, then I have to go with velvet and lace. So elegant! I think I better up my flower budget because you have set the bar unimaginagly high! This was so entertaining seeing them all together. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them! Thanks!

    Robin
    Robin Flies South

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  28. I am new at this, and so appreciate that you put your gorgeous centerpieces all in one place! My favorite, without a doubt, is the classic white dishes with the dogwood centerpiece. It takes my breath away!

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  29. Bill, I just lost my comment to you. Not sure what happened. Let's see if I can say it again. LOL!

    I so enjoyed seeing this post, and I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite 'scape because they are all wonderful. Seeing one of your tablescapes is like reading a beloved book, and I look forward to each new chapter just as I love to look back over them all.

    You do this with such panache, and you deserve three cheers. Here are mine: Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

    XO,

    Sheila

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  30. Wow ..that is a dream post...every table is perfection!! Each and every one is gorgeous, unique and inspiring!!

    Miss Bloomers

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  31. Bill, what a wonderful feast of eye candy! Each table is beautiful and I can honestly say there is not one that I don't like.

    However, your velvet and lace table setting was the very first of your blog posts that I read. It was then, and remains to this day, my absolute favorite of all the tables you've set. To say it's gorgeous would be an understatement.

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  32. Oh Bill, HOW can I choose a favorite??? I ahve several! Your centerpieces are always works of art to me. I am a floral designer and SO appreciate your beautiful creations! I would say that I do NOT like glads, never have. Just a personal thing. I sure wish I lived near you and could get some MORE tips from you. I remember almosr every one of these tables. XO, Pinky

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  33. Bill,I can't choose my favorite. Each is gorgeous, in it's own way, and perfect for the table setting. You definitely have the eye of an artist and plant lover.
    Just out of curiosity, Bill, do you have a favorite?
    Babs

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  34. Oh Bill, I love them all...especially the white with silver charger...it is amazing how you style has evolved from showing the beautiful dishes to creating fabulous tablescapes...bravo...I also love the cabbage table...

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  35. You are so creative!! Congrats my very talent friend!

    Big Hugs
    Charo

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  36. Bill, I've just come across your blog and what a sight to see..absolutely breathtaking tablescapes, each and every one! It would be hard to choose my favorite. They are all so unique and elegant. Do you have a book out on Tablescapes? If not, you should and I bet you could get all the fine china and crystal companies to fund it.
    Thanks for sharing all of these with us. I'm bookmarking your blogspot. I used to belong to a Dinner Party group but I'd say only one lady in the group would set her table like this!

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  37. Hi, Bill! I've been hoping to see a post of yours and here you are--another magnificent one. I can't choose...that's all there is to it. I would just be soooooo happy to be there that any one of these beautiful tables would suit me just fine. I will tell you that I gasped a little when I saw the daytime picture with the dogwood centerpiece - WOW. I didn't want to read the other comments because I didn't want to be swayed, only to find that many others couldn't choose either. And as always, I, like Alycia, found your sense of humor ("bonfire intesity"). It's too bad we can't all meet--at your gorgeous house, of course! :) Thanks, Bill!

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  38. Hi, Bill! I've been hoping to see a post of yours and here you are--another magnificent one. I can't choose...that's all there is to it. I would just be soooooo happy to be there that any one of these beautiful tables would suit me just fine. I will tell you that I gasped a little when I saw the daytime picture with the dogwood centerpiece - WOW. I didn't want to read the other comments because I didn't want to be swayed, only to find that many others couldn't choose either. And as always, I, like Alycia, found your sense of humor ("bonfire intesity"). It's too bad we can't all meet--at your gorgeous house, of course! :) Thanks, Bill!

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  39. Hi Bill, I think I'd choose "real tables" and I think it's because of the pink/peachy roses. As much as I am drawn to dishes, I think the centerpiece pulls me in the most, and I prefer a simpler one such as these roses. And even though these are not low, I prefer not a very high centerpiece so you can see the person across the table from you. Just being practical. I enjoy all your table settings and constantly wonder where you store all those dishes! Maybe you do a table scape and then sell them!

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  40. As above, my first choice was the Queen Anne's Lace. While browsing thru again, I fell in love with the swans filled with the fluffy white boas!

    They are all so gorgeous, hard to decide!

    Good hearing from you! Have missed you!

    Katherine

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  41. really great work! I still love the carnivale one!

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  42. Hi Mr. Bill...love those tables butttt......where are my friends the cats...they are my buddies ya know...come for a visit and make sure you bring themmmm...I can be found on the sidebar of the sight below...you know me ...I', The one and only Tina.......TINA

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  43. Hi Bill.
    They are all Gorgeous as always !! You have a eye for Beauty and your tablescapes all show this.
    I hope you have a great week.
    OOX Diane

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  44. Your table are all beautiful! You are so good! Thanks for sharing your lovely tables.My husband name is William(Bill) but he can not set a salt shaker on the table Lol love him anyway.Joann

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  45. How could one pick!? So lovely, all of them. I really enjoy studying the different aspects from table linens, napkin rings, candles, so many components...but if I must I will narrow it down. I like both Christmas settings ands the Unvalentine with hydrangea...I guess I prefer the simpler settings with smaller florals...I'm so practical....if one were really serving dinner some of those lovely arrangements would have to be PUT somewhere! I have no aspirations to rival yours but you do make me think of the art of table setting and make me want to get out some of the things I have and put them to creative use! Thanks.....

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  46. I don't know how I missed this post. So glad I looked it up! As I was scrolling down the pictures I kept ooohing and aaaahing. Everyone of them were my favorite. But I guess the one that I had to go back to was the Carnivale one. So dramatic! What I would give to be a guest at one of your dinner parties. I bet they are so much fun and the food and drink delicious! I can see that they are beautiful! Take care!

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  47. Bill:

    You'e done so many beautiful tables. Each with such attention to detail. It's impossible to choose!

    - The Tablescaper

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  48. I just found your Blog through a referral, and I really enjoyed viewing your beautiful photos! Some of the vintage dishes took me back.
    Would you do a Tropical setting? I am in Florida now in my retirement house and after our remodel I will get back into Tablescaping. LOVE your Blog!

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  49. Great table-scapes. There is no better way to upgrade an elegant dining experience than to set a beautiful table. I recently posted on my blog about silver at the table. I'm linking to your post so my readers can enjoy your beautiful tables too! Thanks.

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  50. You are the avowed Tablescape King!

    XO,

    Sheila

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  51. Bill, I just wanted to touch base and see how you are doing. I miss you in blogworld. Bloggers always ask about you. Hope that all is well with you. Cherry Kay

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