Monday, June 28, 2010

Thou Art More Lovely ...

It's Tablescape Thursday with Susan of Between Naps on the Porch! I'm joining Diane of A Picture Is Worth a 1,000 Words for 2nd Time Around Tuesdays (almost everything in this post has had a previous incarnation!). Since my table isn't really a traditional one for dining, I'm also participating in Marty's Tabletop Tuesday meme at A Stroll Thru Life.

The 4th of July is almost here. I considered setting an outdoor table in the traditional red, white, and blue. I wanted to. I really did!

But, after cutting the grass (with temperatures hovering perilously close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit), I decided I wanted to head back inside and enjoy the air conditioning! Before darting inside, I did notice that the crepe myrtle in front of the house was in full bloom, and I cut a handful of the flowering branches.

I sat at the desk in an upstairs bedroom waiting for inspiration to strike. I glanced up at the colorful rural scenes painted in watercolor by my friend, Mary. "OK," I thought, "I'll use lots of rich color." Then I thought of the crepe myrtles (some spell it crape) and their origins in South Asia. I decided to go for a slightly exotic, layered, textural, romantic look.

I also decided to keep it in this room, using objects around me (and in nearby storage closets).

I took large pillows from the bed and spread beaded throws at either end of the coffee table. Instead of a running commentary, I'm sharing a classic, one of the best-known and most romantic poems:

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May

And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm'd,

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or natures changing course untrimm'd:

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,

Nor shall death brag thou wandrest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest,

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

-William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Thank you for stopping by on this lovely summer's day.

China: Lenox Essex Maroon (1938 - 1978)
Silver: Gorham La Scala (1964-present)
Stemless wine glasses: Goodwill (new in box, made for Target)
Napkin rings: Goodwill (new in box)
Pink patterned candle holders: Goodwill
Angel container with lid: Goodwill
Fabric and throws: garage sales
Decanter, stemware, napkins, sterling salt & pepper shakers, silverplated trays used as chargers: various local estate sales
Additional candle holders: Hobby Lobby on clearance
Silverplated cocktail shaker: thrifted
Masks (new in packages): thrifted

We have a winner in the Affordable Accoutrements 1st anniversary giveaway! The gift, generously provided by Stan Williams of
The Elegant Thrifter, goes to Nana of Just Call Me Nana!

Thank you to everyone who entered (and left such generous comments)!

If you didn't win, but still want your Stan fix, you can get your very own copy of The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details by visiting
Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Powell's.

If you haven't stopped by
Just Call Me Nana!, you owe it to yourself to pay her a visit. Nana's a frequent Tablescape Thursday participant and, while she has several sets of dishes, she often limits herself to using thrifted white Johnson Brothers Snowhite Regency ironstone china in an amazing variety of ways. I have some of the same dishes I've used in a few tablescape posts, but Nana puts me to shame!

Most of Nana's English ironstone collection was purchased for her by her sweet sister, Tammy, who also happens to be a blogger. You can check out her blog, Domestic Diva at Work
HERE. Last Friday was Nana's birthday, so I thought it was a nice coincidence that she won the giveaway. I hope you'll all stop by and wish her well. Congratulations, Nana!

Please hurry over to see Susan of
Between Naps on the Porch. It's always an entertaining and enlightening experience!


  1. Oh, Bill! This is so,so romantic! The pillows, the throws! The setting of candles, lovely china, decanters, stemware! I can't say how much this setting has made my heart throb! lol What girl wouldn't love this! What a lovely place to come into after a hot day of cutting grass! So glad I was up when you posted this. I can go to bed now and dream a romantic setting will appear in my bedroom! Just lovely!

  2. This is a very intimate setting. I could go for this after a days work. Sigh.

  3. Dear Bill,
    first of all - your Tablescape is again fabulous. The crepe myrtle ist just phantastic and it seems to me like a gift of heaven that ther is enough to use it so generously. The pillows complements the myrtle so nice and a darker hue is in the plates decor again. The Lennox china is just gorgeous and so are the napkins. Especially the napkins look like a heirloom from Shakespeares ages. Not necessary to tell you how pretty the silver (flatware and charger and, and...) and the glassware are. And all is so well set in this charming room. Each photo is a dreamable stillife, especially the Venecian masks and the brocade fabrics give the whole sequence a flair, as if Shakespeare had used this room to write the poems for his sonnet.

    I am so glad, that Nana has won the book copy. I think she will be very happy with that and how nice that it happened around her birthday.
    Greetings, Johanna

  4. Hi Bill, I certainly cannot match Shakespeare's
    ( William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language)words or your tablescape!!! Just to say you have created a masterpiece with words, romance and art.

    I do hope sometime you will come and visit the UK and get a chance to visit Stratford upon Avon (his birthplace) or the Globe in London and see a few of his plays.

    Jackie in UK

  5. Really lovely, Bill, well done :o)

  6. What a lovely table but yours always are -- love the romantic touches and the colors -- so perfect with the Crepe Mrytle. You are truly a master at tables!

  7. Beautiful, Bill. Love the crepe myrtle. And of course the Essex Maroon is lovely. Another great tablescape.


  8. Ooo...OOO...OOOOOO! I am seriously in love with that china, Bill!!! It looks very similar to the cups you have for sale in your Etsy shop.

    I'm envious of all the wonderful spaces you have to create in & love seeing all the different rooms.

    Congratulations to Nana on winning Stan's book. I just picked it up from the library & am TOTALLY in love with the chair on pg. 51. Also, please tell him he needs to share the recipe for that drink "Dark & Stormy" LOL


  9. Wow! That was quite a visit! LOL! This is beautiful and sooo romantic! You did a wonderful job setting the whole scene! Beautiful pieces in a beautiful setting!

  10. What a lovely table! So romantic! Loved the idea of using silver trays as chargers! Then using Shakespeare poetry to round it all out! Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful post. Blessings my friend...

  11. Hooray for Nana! And I think that she is the perfect winner for that book, Bill! I'll be sure to drop by her place. :-)

    Love this romantic and exotic tablescape. You never, ever disappoint. It's only drawback for me is that I would need a crane these days to get me off the floor were I to attempt to lounge on those pillows. It just seems that, ahem, it's getting harder to get down that low. Alas, I can admire your tablescape and dream, can't I? ;-)

    Great job!



  12. Hi Bill,
    Every tablescape is a new inspiration! You are a true master of decor. The richness of these colours evoke a wonderful exotic feel to the tablesetting. The feathered mask adds a touch of whimsy. Thank you for sharing another room of your gracious home. I have the greatest respect for your artistic sensibility, flair for colour
    and eye for composition.
    I am honoured to have you as a guest at my tea party. You are always welcome. I have often visited your site for inspiration.
    Have a blessed week. Pam

  13. Bill, this is a most romantic and ethereal setting! Love, love, love the china pattern on the silver. Once again, you have mastered a tablescape!
    :-) Sue

  14. Absolutely lovely. I am so inspired and drawn into your work. It is truly a masterpiece.

  15. Your table, poem and photos have left me breathless. I will remember this one for quite awhile! Have a blessed week! Sandi

  16. Dear Bill,
    Thank you for using two of my favorites...Shakespeare and crape myrtles (especially the watermelon color!). They are such your tablescape shows. What a wonderfully inspiring way to begin my day!
    Thank you,
    Jane (artfully graced)

  17. You never fail to amaze me with your goodwill finds and how creative you can be!! This is the most incredibly romantic setting. I absolutely adore it!!

  18. Bill this is just an amazing setting. The lovely china, linens and silver glow! Shakespeare's words are a perfect compliment to this very romantic table. Perfection!
    Congrats to Nana and I'm on my way to visit her now.

  19. So beautiful. So romantic. So inspiring. As always I am not disappointed in your lovely tablescapes and settings. Thank you!!


  20. I love the cozy romantic table you have created. The beautiful china looks so nice on the silver charger plates. The crepe myrtle is just stunning.
    Congrats to Nana for being the recipient of your giveaway!

  21. Hi Bill- First off you did Shakespeare right- what a great Tablescape! So beautiful, so romantic! You must have still had Shakespeare in your head with the wonderful words you wrote about me (and my sister!)Thanks so much for your kindness (and others who have commented favorably on my behalf!)it will never be forgotten! Love, ~Nana~

  22. Bill it is always awesome to stop by and see what magic you have created...Your imagination turns to art work. Thanks for sharing, thanks for the mention. My sister, Nana, is so excited to receive the book and honored to be mentioned on your blog. Thanks!

  23. Oh Bill, I always drool over every one of your gorgeous tablescapes. I love Crepe Myrtles, they are just so pretty, and they look fabulous sitting so tall in your vase. Your china and all the accessories are so pretty. Arranging your setting on the coffee table is such a wonderful idea and then all the pillows and other linens in the room just make it perfect. Thanks so much for linking to TTT. Love it. Hugs, Marty

  24. What an exotic table! Each little detail is fabulous, but absolutely love the china. I always enjoy the poetry you share, and am continually amazed at all the different areas in your home which make perfect backdrops for your stunning tables.
    Congratulations to Nana! ~ Sarah

  25. You always put so much thought and care into your posts. Thank you for another wonderful visit!

  26. Oh, man! Yet ANOTHER gorgeous room in your home! That's it, Bill, I'm moving in. You have so many beautiful rooms, you won't even notice me. Seriously, you put everything together so well, it is a gift. And your use of the sonnet... oh, so lovely. Also: LOVE those silver trays you said you used as chargers! Never would have thought of that. See what I mean? You have a gift!! :)

  27. How beautiful! I never fail to be amazed at the talent for decorating I find on blogs! Wow!!

  28. Love the Lenox china - it's exquisite. And the photo of the dim ambient light in the room, with the light coming in through the window to illuminate your table, is just plain wonderful. I love the masks, too.

  29. Oh, my goodness, I don't know whether I found those lovely pillows more inviting or the table itself! What a stunning scene you've set! Very lush!

  30. Hi Bill! Are you capable of creating a tablescape that is not elegant? I don;t think so. I love how casual this is and yet it looks so elegant. I just love those plate chargers, they are exquisite! Love your crape myrtles too. I do not know why mine only bloom on the very top and of course I can't reach them. I have at least 4 big trees and they are all doing the same. Your dragon fly pillows are very pretty and I love your bedroom, so spacious! Thanks for giving us a glimpse of it....Christine

  31. You have won my heart with beautiful words and an astonishing ambience.

  32. What a wonderful tablescape of color and textures you've combinet here. I love that china.

  33. Bill, this is so romantic and so perfect in each and every detail. I think I could pick your table out of all. You have such a distinctive style and an elegant touch. I cut some crepe myrtle today too. Not much else is blooming.

  34. Bill...This is just magnificent!! I think this may be my favorite of your china patterns and I love the sterling too. Your flowers are beautiful. You must be a great gardener on top of all of your other talents! Thank you!

  35. absolutelty fabulous, time to get lost in luxury...

  36. Well, Bill, after I viewed Susan's darling tablescape I headed straight to yours. Once again, I was not disappointed. (There's a reason I head to yours first!) This was a most intimate and romantic setting. Just perfect for a cozy dinner for two. That china is exquisite!

    Bill, I have a confession to make. I think I have a crush on you! Please don't tell my husband of 41 years. I don't think he would understand how I could have a crush on a postage stamp-sized picture on a blog! Oh dear! I do believe I am blushing! Every woman would dearly love her man to set a table for her just like this one! You are truly a romantic and a very creative one, at that!

    All kidding aside, I do so enjoy your wonderful tablescapes! Thanks for sharing with us.

  37. Bill, this is such an elegant, romantic table! The plates and silver chargers are just so. . . elegant. I love the whole thing. Thanks so much for sharing.

  38. Absolutely gorgeous! The silverplated trays are paired so well with the beautiful china ~ love, Love, LOVE. The setting at the coffee table is casual and romantic, but it is also very elegant at the same time.

    All the Best,


  39. Bill, so beautiful as always. The lighting on the plates was just wonderful. At first I thought they were all silver. You have such talent and such an eye. Thanks for sharing on Tablescapes Thursday.

  40. Oh! So romantic, love it!


  41. Gorgeous dishes and really beautiful photo's. You certainly do know how to put on a great display! I loved every minute of my visit. Lots to look at!

  42. This sure beats mowing the yard!!!
    Lovely table and great photos!!! Happy 4th!!!

  43. Oh Bill, how do you do it? Every week you astound me! This is magnificent, to say the LEAST! I am SOOOOO jealous of YOUR Goodwill! I have never seen anything like the TREASURES you find at your GW, I go to ours once a week and have only found one or two things:( I think I need a trip to Tn.!!!! My neice lives there and I could stop by to see YOU too:):) Have a wonderful 4th. You also gave me inspiration to do something similiar in our bedroom. We, too have a sofa and coffee table in there............. XO, Pinky

  44. I love your whole presentation. The plates , the flowers, the entire table is just beautiful!

  45. Beautiful touches~~
    Elegant feel:)) and as a Interior Designer I will add you can never have enough pillow!! of fluff~~~~right?!! :))
    Enjoy your weekend~~nice to meet you~~~
    Happy 4th to you too!!

    Kay Ellen

  46. A beautiful and romantic setting which you made fit perfectly with Shakespeare's lovely but sad sonnet. Well done! (LOVE the china)

  47. Oh Bill~~how romantic this is! You are so gifted. sigh...

  48. Bill, The chargers, the silver and the china are just fabulous. A lovely setting - very romantic, very intimate. The crepe myrtle is beautiful too. You always have nice flowers to add to your tables.
    Blessings, Beth

  49. Bill, you stun me with awe inspiring work every week. This is no exception. I love the drama of it all, the richness and that you incorporated so much from this space, not the dining room, etc....and then I scroll down and see that the masks (love 'em!!!) are thrifted and my smile is even bigger. You definitely know how to mix high and low end for a gleaming effect!!!!


  50. It sure doesn't look like 100 degrees. It's very soothing, comfortable and inviting. Everything, the china, the chargers, the carafe, oh, my, it's all a treat. Thanks so much for putting it together and posting it.

  51. Hi Bill, I agree, it is toooooooooo hot outside!! I have been oh so wanting to picnic, but upper 90's just does not cut it. We did get some showers the last few evenings and sometimes that will help with the temps. I like crepe myrtles, ours unfortunately are not really blooming! I can not figure this out. Down by the marina in town there is a double row of them that face each other next to the sidewalk. One side is in full bloom and the other side has nothing! I don't get it! I like it when you place your settings in different places in the home--this makes it quite fun.

  52. Hi Bill, what a wonderful twist on tablescaping! Everything is just beautiful, Love it!

  53. Like your "out of the box" tablescape and the crepe myrtle are gorgeous. I so enjoy them this time of the year and think how hearty they are to survive the intense heat here in the south when we can barely keep other flowers, etc. alive.

  54. You. Are. A. Master~ I love the way you use the light! Happy 4th :-)

  55. I do not know how you do it, but you continue to amaze with every post! I cannot even imagine what you could do with the Franciscan Ivy, but I'm sure I would never think of it, lol! Beautiful setting, and you tie everything in so well with the lovely photography and, of course, the master himself, Shakespeare. Just fabulous! Thank you so much for your comments on my Ivy table. I hope you have a wonderful 4th:-) Anita

  56. Beautiful post!

    Love all the layers -- and OH MY that crepe myrtle ... it doesn't grow in NJ, darn it. It is so beautiful.

    LOVE that china, and the La Scala silver is among my favorite patterns. The older I get the more elaborate my taste! When I was 25, I liked everything severe and plain ... now I go for frills.

    I have to ask ... is that desk ALWAYS so bare and neat? If so, I hang my head in shame ....

    Have a lovely happy 4th

  57. Dearest Bill, thou hath setteth the gloriousness of settings in the room where the suns smileth in golden sunbeams light the way for our most gorgeous eyes to peer the loveliness of your treasures...
    Oh, I just got carried away reading the sonnet! :)
    Again, so beautiful! You really have a gift, Bill, and it's a shame you don't get to use this talent in other ways. Well, the blogging community enjoys your tablescaping tremendously.
    Thank you so much for you visit.
    Be a sweetie and have a happy 4th,
    Shelia ;)

  58. lovely as always, I love the colors and specially the color on your walls. By the way, I'm spreading the word around for my new blog friend Cidy who's having a new linky party next Friday, please visit her when you have a chance.

  59. Just beautiful! You are so talented and artistic! I also want to say I think you are such a kind man, you always give such sweet and kind comments! Even though you have so many to do, you always sound so genuine. Thank you for that!


  60. Bill,
    Just having a ball reading all the comments!! LOL Well, I think you have all tablescapers swooning this week. Love the use of light through the window, on the plates, and shining through the wine decanter. Very inspirational.;)
    Have a great 4th!

  61. Bill, you are a genious! Your table scape is wonderful! I wish you a wonderful 4th of July!

  62. Bill,

    So, so beautiful..I look forward to using some of your ideas and beautiful words in place cards in the future...I will be back...Happy 4th to you!

  63. Wow I love your furniture and style!
    Happy Independence Day from Australia...

  64. Wanted to let you know just how thrilled my sister was with winning giveway of Stan's book. As soon as she got it she buzzed me - sooo excited! Thank you, Bill & Stan!

  65. Oh so exotic and fun!!!! I'm so glad it was too hot for red, white and blue outside!

    - The Tablescaper

  66. Oh, this is so elegant and gorgeous Bill!
    The crepe myrtle just make my heart pitter patter! We can't grow those here and I am so wishing we could! And the china and the silver just set everything off so completely!
    What a fabulous home you have too!!

  67. If only I could come home to a table like that every day! Fantastic! New follower and looking forward to seeing more.

  68. Hauntingly beautiful! Everything is just gorgeous!