Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine's Table: Roses, Romance & Peacocks!

When it's time to set a table for a Valentine's Day dinner party, certain obvious symbols come to mind: hearts, flowers, candy, cards ...

Since this is a table for eight, rather than an intimate setting for two, I took a slightly different approach. There had to be flowers, of course -- preferably roses, the quintessential choice for Valentine's Day.





There are flowers on the vintage Theodore Haviland china, a recent local estate sale find (reduced on the final day of the sale to only $50 for eight place settings, including cups and saucers, creamer & sugar, platter, and vegetable bowl). The gold-colored glass chargers (a Goodwill purchase) visually separate the china from the cotton lace placemats and add "weight" to offset the tall centerpiece.

The stemware is one of my favorite patterns, "Marquis" by Towle. These are actually water glasses, but they work well for wine. Since they're larger, they don't have to be refilled as often during dinner.

So far, I've mentioned flowers and lace. Peacock feathers could be seen as another romantic symbol, at least for peafowl! The males display their colorful, iridescent "trains," during courtship rituals, lifting and fanning them out in an attempt to attract a harem. I found these in the floral department of a local Kroger supermarket (only $8.99 per dozen, and I can re-use them for future projects).

Rather than covering the table with a cloth, I decided it might be more interesting to drape a soft, cotton lace tablecloth down the center of the table as a runner. I ended up using three vintage Quaker Lace cloths, letting them "flow" down the center of the table, spilling off the ends of opposite diagonal corners.

The flowers are in a clear, crisp-edged, lucite container (actually a wine cooler, but it does double duty as a vase). The peacock plumes are in vintage Fostoria "American" footed vases. The pattern was intoduced in 1915, but I think of it as a modern design, with its sparkling, cubist motif.



I thought of using elegant silver candelebra, but went with two very different pairs of thrifted candleholders instead. Mixing patterns, styles, and colors in unexpected ways can be challenging, but the results (I think) can be vastly more interesting.



It's mid-afternoon, and the sun is beginning to flow into the room ...







Causing the Fostoria vases to take on a diamond-like effect ....






Two days before Valentine's, I certainly didn't expect to find fresh, long-stemmed roses at a bargain price. However ... these were at Dollar Tree. So, yes, only $1 per stem!






I love the dramatic shadows late afternoon sunlight creates, don't you?





Estate sales provided the napkins and napkin rings. I found 4 each of the napkin rings (new in their boxes) at two separate sales.













I use these tealight holders frequently. They're lead crystal, but quite inexpensive and easy to find at thrift stores.





Below, the sun "projects" the color of the faux wine. The candles are made by Patrician, and the color is "quince."




I added a few feathers to the bouquet of roses to visually connect the flowers to the vases of plumes on either side. I used curly sticks in all three containers. I'm sure they have a name, but I'm not sure what it is.





A few more afternoon shots -- different heights and various views:












I've never seen roses and feathers combined before, but I think I like the look. Why not challenge ourselves and do the unexpected, right?







































Time to, yes, light the candles!














































And have a fire to make things nice and cozy ...






I wasn't trying, but a couple of the shots were borderline "blue hour" images.














I hope you've enjoyed your visit.







And I hope that you and your loved ones have a very happy Valentine's Day!








Until next time.







Please join Susan of
Between Naps on the Porch this week and every week for Tablescape Thursdays!

I also accepted the kind invitation of Beverly of How Sweet the Sound to participate in Pink Saturday this week. Thank you, Beverly!




60 comments:

  1. Oh, my goodness! How beautiful. I love how the painting and the roses on the table play off each other. So glad to see you posting. Either you have been absent or I have missed some posts. Either way, glad to have you posting such gorgeous settings.
    Beckie in Brentwood, Tn

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  2. Awesome - totally awesome! So glad to see you again, Mr. Bill! The dishes are divine, the goblets gorgeous, lace table cloths are so romantic. What a wonderful candlelight Valentine's Day! All of your photos are as stunning as always, but the ones with the fireplace are my favorites. Your feathers and roses are lovely, too. I always enjoy your "dinner parties" so much!

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  3. Another masterpiece! Really like the roses and feathers together. Have you started a book yet? :D
    Hope the Winter Mix does not create to big of a problem in your area.
    Enjoy your evening.
    Glenda

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  4. I always love your tables -- so elegant and real!

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  5. Very beautiful, Bill. Lace cloth and placemats are so gorgeous as is all the lovely china, crystal and silverware. Love the roses and a nice surprise the peacock feathers!

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  6. HI Bill-
    Good to see you back! Very pretty table indeed! The dramatic peacock feathers make a showstopper table! Your flowers are beautiful and your pictures of them are fabulous! The new estate purchased dishes are beautiful- what a lucky buy! I like your humor about the water glasses being larger and not needing filling as often for the wine! I love those gold pillar like candle holders mixed with the crystal. The warm tones made for a beautiful glow and a romantic table anyone would enjoy! Happy Valentine's Day!

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  7. Hi Bill! So glad to see you again. I knew that I would be seeing a breathtaking tablescape as soon as I saw your post pop up. And, of course, I was right. Love the feathers and SUPER love that china! Best wishes for a wonderful Valentine's.

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  8. How pretty is that Bill. Wow. I envision someone getting draped across that table and kissed very passionately. Whew. Okay, okay. They will move all your valuable pieces first...but then look out.

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  9. Speechless....Big grin on my face...Thrilled that you're back with us! Cherry Kay

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  10. This is why I'm glad I have your blog on my sidebar...to be able to see a new post of yours ASAP! :) --I've missed your posts!! It's just beautiful, Bill. Every detail as usual, but that idea of the draped cloths, puddled on the floor, is just AWESOME! And I love the roses with the feathers--such a wonderful contrast. The pictures with the sunlight filtering in, and candlelight are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your awesome work, Bill! Happy Valentine's Day!!

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  11. Oh, love love love the feathers and roses! the lace puddled on the floor is wonderful, too ...it's all just so beautiful!

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  12. nice post. Now you can use this b2b solutions list to promote table linen import & export business.

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  13. Bill, what a delight to see a new table from you! This one is full of glamour and romance. I love the shadow shots ~ totally awesome. This may be one of my favorites to date. Simply gorgeous! ~ Sarah

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  14. absolutely beautiful and romantic..you always set the most wonderful tables...I just wish I could do half this good with mine..Happy Valentines Day...loved your table..
    Mona

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  15. Nice to see you back! Lovely table. Fabulous photography. You might want to check out my post which is a reprise of my Valentine's table with Limoges.

    - The Tablescaper

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  16. Hi Bill,
    I love the dramatic play of light and shadow on your table, the light reflexes in the crystal and on the silver. As always you created a wonderful table, worth to dream about it. Have a happy Valentine's day.
    Best greetings, Johanna

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  17. Bill, I was so happy to read your note! But I'm even more thrilled to visit your beautiful home again. What a magnificent tablescape! The Haviland was a once-in-a-lifetime find. I'm entranced by the beguiling light that spills over your china, crystal, and silver, sending a warm dazzle across the room. Then, you take us into the evening with candlelight, and suddenly the mood changes. What a gorgeous table!Beautiful!

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  18. Very beautiful dear Bill. I love the peacock feathers, it sure gives your table such elegance and drama with the pretty flower centerpiece and your new Haviland is gorgeous as well. The draped tablecloth also adds to the glamour and the romance! I want to wish you a wonderful VALENTINE'S DAY with your love.
    FABBY

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  19. Bill...SO glad you are back and charming us with your gorgeous tables. What a beautiful table and I love your "new" dishes! That silver pattern is beautiful and you are so right...what could be better for V-day but roses.

    Again...very happy to see you back!

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  20. The china pattern is lovely! And whether in the glow of the setting sun or your candles, the entire table is just so romantic!

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  21. Hi Bill, I'm so glad to see you posting again. You have been missed around my home. You always have such beautiful photos on your blog and the tablescapes are breathtaking. I love peacock feathers and have also called the floral fillers curly sticks also. Take care and I hope your Valentine Day was wonderful. Stella B.

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  22. Heavenly - how romantic....!! :)

    Happy Valentine's week...
    !

    xo Terri

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  23. I've missed you, Bill! I know you have a life outside of blogging, but it sure feels empty when you're not here! I just can't beleive the incredible bargains you get at Kroger's!!! Just $9 for a dozen feathers? That is a really, really great buy! I have about 4 dozen that I bought wholesale quite a few years back (that I will be using in my post next week, in fact), and I don't think they were that good of a bargain! I can't think of any grocery store here that could rival the bargains you find at Kroger's! The table is beautiful (SUCH pretty china at such a wonderful price...pays to hang in there 'til the end!), and I LOVE the shots you got of the sun shining through the lace draped down the side of the table! Oohhh...and the one of the roses with the sunlight behind them...gorgeous!!! Cool idea to use 2 different candlestick patterns, too. It really is very eye-catching! I hope you had a beautiful Valentine's Day and here's wishin' you a bawdy Fat Tuesday!!! :-)

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  24. Thank you for this lovely tabletop "Valentine" to your readers. Not sure whether I've missed the easy sophistication of your elegant tables, or your entertaining and personal prose, more. I was uncertain about the peacock bouquets but as the light changed the silvery-white spikes added to the magic of the evening look. Honestly, I love how the drama and romance builds with the increasing darkness in each picture and the sparkle of flame mirrored in crystal and silver. Well done.

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  25. I feel like I should be wearing an elegant gown, entering the DR on the arm of a properly dressed gentlemen, and served by footmen here. This is not just a tablescape, it is an experience. Thank you so much.

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  26. Lovely as always Bill!! What is your secret to finding such nice things at Goodwill, all my local Goodwill has is pure junk!
    Thanks for the eye candy you provide in your exquisite table settings.

    Mary L

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  27. Just beautiful. Your stemware is gorgeous and your photographs are breathtaking!

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  28. Bill, I like many others, have missed your posts. What a lovely surprise to see this beautiful table. I have said this before, what fun it would be to go to estate sales with you! The dishes are lovely, and it is so wonderful that they were purchased by someone who appreciates their beauty, and has now shared that beauty with all of us. Thank you. MM

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  29. You sure do have the WOW factor going on this table!! How beautiful..those peacock feathers take on such a wonderful look in the candlelight. They add such a special touch in the daylight as you can see all the colors reflected in them! I truly love how you have the lace puddled on the floor...this is simply gorgeous!! The candlelight photos are so romantic!! Hope your Valentine's Day was special!!
    Miss Bloomers

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  30. Not sure where to start! The lighting, the decorations, the place settings, the photo work--everything PERFECT. :)

    I would like to invite you over to my blog for New Recipe Sunday-my new blog party!

    Have a great day!

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  31. Bill!!! Wow, yet again! I was totally speechless! The night shots with the candles, superb! I bet everyone that saw it reacted the same way I did! The peacock feathers... totally a great choice! Wow!

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  32. so very beautiful- I really enjoyed this table.

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  33. wow! gorgeous table....love the lighting!
    Karin
    The Style Sisters

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  34. BILL, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!!! I have missed your beautiful tables and had began to worry that you had been ill or something. As usual, your table is georgus and elegant. Its easy to see the planning and forethought that you put into all your tables.

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  35. Your table is beautiful, and oh so elegant. I love the way you used three vintage lace tablecloths as a long runner. I especially like it right to the floor! Tucking this idea away in my head for future use! Thank you!

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  36. What a wonderful and romantic table! I hope your Valentine's Day was just as fabulous!

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  37. Beautiful, Bill! You do capture the candlelight wonderfully!

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  38. You take the best ever candle lite pictures...you must o a blog sometime on your technique...I have tried several times and it always looks like someone turned the lights off...lol...everything is simply beautiful...

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  39. As usual, you have knocked this one out of the park. The roses and peacock feathers worked out beautifully. Only you could take three lace cloths, crunch them down the table and create magic. Love the pics of the light filtering through the tablecloth. Thanks for sharing this lovely table.
    Have a great weekend, Ginger

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  40. Good Sunday afternoon, Bill. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. I have been away and am trying to catch up on my blog reading and visiting. ANOTHER spectacular table from you awaits me. ROSES at the Dollar Treee????? They are beautiful! Love the feathers to. Of course you continue to find amazing bargains at your estate sales and thrift stores. I need to move to Tn. evidently:):) AND, go shopping with you! I just set and photographed ONE of my St. Paddy's day tables that I plan to do. I thought I better get ahead of the game:) XO, Pinky

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  41. Oh, my gosh!!! Bill. This is over the moon divine. Feathers go beautifully with roses.

    I hope you will pop by to help us bring 'angel love' for a young girl who is sick.

    Thank you.
    Have a beautiful PS weekend ~
    Marydon

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  42. Happy Pink Saturday!
    It is always nice to see what each lovely lady is up to...and the creativity that flows...I pray that you all have a blessed week !
    Please come by my blog anytime...I love having you!
    God Bless......Kandy

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  43. How romantic and lovely, Bill! Sorry, I haven't been by. I was away for almost 2 months for my daughter's deliveries, came home for a week and had to go out of town again because my BIL passed away. Anyway, I am glad I did not miss this. I cannot believe you got these gorgeous Haviland dishes for $50, lucky you!...Christine

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  44. I don't even know where to start, Bill... amazing tablescape. Stunning, wonderful, and every good thing. You are SO talented, and the photographs are such a treat!

    I'm so sorry I haven't been blogging. I've had computer issues and am on Mr. Magpie's work computer tonight. Don't know when I am going to have a chance to get a new one because I am up to my eyeballs in life stuff... Adelaide's husband had a triple bypass (unexpected), and another friend's husband is in the final days of pancreatic cancer. I have had no time to blog which I miss SO much.

    I hope to be back by the end of spring. I miss you and all of my blogging buddies.

    Take good care...

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  45. Beautiful! Your lighting and photos are just beautiful! Thanks for sharing Joann

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  46. Hi Bill.
    wow! This is a gorgeous tablescape as always....love the lighting! love it All!
    I hope you have a wonderful Easter with your family. I do miss your sweet comments.
    XXOO Diane

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  47. Just stopping by to say Hi..May you have the best week ever my friend..Hugs and smiles Gloria

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  48. Majestic as always. The candlelight shots are ethereal. Just dropping by to check on you. Hope that all is well in your world. Thanks for inviting us for a peak at inspiration. Cherry Kay

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  49. Hi Bill,
    I have been missing your beautiful tables and educational posts. Did I miss something, did you start another blog?
    I pray all is well with you,
    Love to you,
    Ginger

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  50. Hi Dear Bill! I miss you and hope you're doing okay!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  51. Hi Bill.
    Your table is beautiful, and oh so elegant. I love the way you used three vintage lace tablecloths as a long runner. I especially like it right to the floor! Tucking this idea away in my head for future use.
    It has been a long time you know~~ are you taking some time off from your Tablescapes?
    XXOO Diane

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  52. Bill, I just wanted to drop by and, like the others, tell you how much I miss your beautiful AND informative posts. I, too, hope all is well with you and look forward to you posting again.
    We miss you! Take care.

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  53. Hi Bill -- Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you. Hope all is well, you are certainly being missed in the blog neighborhood.

    Martha

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  54. Happy New Year..Many Blessings to you and your family in 2013..May all your dreams be fulfilled..From my mountain to yours, Hugs and smiles Gloria

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  55. Hi! I'm running through Blogland today and checking on some people that I haven't heard from in a while. It really has been a long time since you have posted...I hope all is well.

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  56. WELCOME BACK my dearest Bill!! My goodness, I was just thinking about you and that I should write you to find out how you are!! I can see by the stunning tablescape I have missed so much and the fabulous photography..that yes, you are in perfect shape, lol..Thank you for always informing us via your wonderful posts. Wishing you a terrific new year for you and yours and may all your wishes come tru! So happy to see you, my friend...the "Master of Tablescaping".
    FABBY

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  57. It's been a year now...isn't it time for you to come back? I've missed your posts!

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  58. Hi Bill.
    I miss all your Beautiful Tablescapes it has been a year now!! I hope you are doing well and your family.
    XXOO Diane

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  59. Hey, Bill, I was over at Susan's BNOTP looking at all the beautiful tablescapes and I had to come over here and let you know that there isn't a Tablescape Thursday that I don't think of and miss your beautiful and oh, so informative posts. I hope all is well with you. we miss you so much!! Take care!

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