Tablescape Thursday: Spring into France

One thing I’ve learned since I’ve started stalking following tablescaping blogs is that when I see a wonderful piece at a good price, I should grab it.

That was the case with this beautiful 60″ x 120″ Indian cotton tablecloth from April Cornell that I got at Home Goods for $24.99. The blue and green paisley with yellow accents was just the shot of spring I needed in my dining room — it’s unclear here in Chicagoland whether it’s winter or spring, so I voted for spring! The tablecloth has mitered corners with a sewn-in border and is stunning. Although it’s actually a traditional Indian paisley, to me it says country French and that was where I went with it.

I got to work gathering up pieces from around the house that would complement the colors of the bold tablecloth but not necessarily compete with it. I started with these very bold placemats. Nope. Too much.

I went back to my trusty pewter chargers from last week (sending a quick thank you to my mother-in-law’s memory) and layered my mom’s sweet china (Claridge from Four Crown China) with the World Market Indian cotton napkin. I like how the clear salad plate shows off the beautiful blue and grey stripes of the napkin.

Since every party at my house always starts with appetizers as people gather, I envisioned the dinner beginning with Basil – Lemon Sorbet as a palate cleanser. It would look beautiful in my inherited sorbet glasses. My mother-in-law loved these swirl dishes; does anyone know what the pattern is?

I grabbed the antique etched glass goblets and simple water glasses for beverages. The combination of complex and simple helps to balance the table.

For my centerpiece, I started with a crystal cake plate and put a large hurricane on it with the bright blue candle. Again, too much and too tall. Then I turned the cake plate upside down and put another of my glass plates as a candle bobeche. Perfect proportions.

As the pieces started to come together, I knew I didn’t even have to get fresh flowers for this table. The silk flowers and vines that I already had were perfect for the setting. The “white” flower ring from Partylite turned out to actually have a complementary yellow cast, and the ivy sets off the beauty of the Chinese and Delft teapots.

Finally, I knew that I had to have some pops of yellow to complement the yellow in the tablecloth, so I pulled out a few pieces of French Quimper pottery from my (mother-in-law’s) collection. They are not usable for eating as they are old and likely have lead in their glazes, but putting four small plates on stands completed the centerpiece.

After I arranged the fake ivy, I realized there was room for another set of candlesticks at each end, so on the table went more Quimper with votives set on top. (You’ve probably figured out by now that I hate getting wax on my tablecloths and almost always use bobeches and votives.)

If my table could talk, it would say, “Passez une bonne journée!”

I’m linked up today to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to stop by and see some other inspirational tablescapes!


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6 thoughts on “Tablescape Thursday: Spring into France

  1. Hey, Jennie!!! I don’t speak French, but I sure understand the language of French Country decor! 🙂 I love the colors in your beautifully patterned table linen! Bright, energetic, bold…colors that just make you happy! Your custom-crafted centerpiece is the perfect match for your place settings, too! Your mother-in-law would be proud and pleased!!! Have a beautiful weekend, and stay warm!

    • Joan loved country French and spent time collecting both in the United States and in France after she retired from teaching. I’m pretty sure she’s happy that I use and love her stuff. 🙂

  2. Jennie, you really scored nicely with that beautiful April Cornell tablecloth! Last spring, our JoAnn’s started carrying her line of fabric & I said I was going to make myself some tablecloths. To add a border all around PLUS mitering the corners would be lots of work. I’d gladly pay $25 instead!!!

    I use bobeches too, all the time. I remember one dinner party when a guest had too much to drink & she blew out my candles with a hearty gust & splattered hot wax all over both the tablecloth & the silk moire chair. I wanted to kill her! Thank goodness it was white wax & most of it came out with ice & a scraping with a butter knife, but still there is one little mark. I bet she never realized WHY she was never invited to our home again.

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  5. I love that tablecloth. Paisley is always great and in that color, it’s just perfect! I’ve recently been introduced to Quimper, although I don’t own any pieces. It’s beautiful! I’m adding it to my wish list!

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