Naturally Art Nouveau Tablescape

Got My Reservations 25 Days of Christmas 2013 Medium Button14 Days until Christmas finds me back at the table creating a new tablescape. This week, we’re linking up to Cuisine Kathleen for a tablescaping challenge.

The Challenge from Cuisine Kathleen: You must show us your inspiration picture from a magazine or internet, and then show us how you copied it.

The Inspiration: from Veranda magazine (November-December 2013) — wait for it.

Veranda magazine cover November-December 2013

Veranda magazine cover November-December 2013

No, this is not the inspiration, although I absolutely love the centerpiece with the amaryllis blossoms.

This is my inspiration — statuary with natural elements, back-grounded by wintry snow and recreated on my table as the Naturally Art Nouveau Tablescape.

Photo of statuary decorated for Christmas from Veranda magazine, November-December 2013.

Photo of statuary decorated for Christmas from Veranda magazine, November-December 2013.

When I first saw this photo, I knew that I had elements of this look to create a beautiful tablescape for Kathleen’s challenge. The inspiration photo screamed Art Nouveau, and I had just the pieces to bring the naturalistic style to life. Art Nouveau is an international philosophy of design that was very popular from 1890 to 1910. It was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants, but also in curved lines. Designers created art that was intended to  harmonize with the natural environment.

To build the Naturally Art Nouveau inspiration tablescape, I started with the snowy ground by using all-white linens — Battenburg lace cloth, white lace overcloth, quilted placemats, and soft-as-silk linen napkins.

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Napkin Detail

I also knew that I wanted to use only white and crystal glass plates with gold and silver accents. My workhorse Pfaltzgraff Filigree paired nicely with accent plates and sherbet glasses in a swirly naturalistic motif.

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Plate Stack

The champagne glasses continue the natural theme with their spiral design, and the plain glasses give your eye somewhere to rest with all of the movement in the other pieces.

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Glasses

The garlands used to drape the inspiration statue had more southern greenery in them, but I decided to go Illinois wintery wonderland with my garlands. Full of evergreen needles and ice crystals, the garland just epitomizes what happens to nature during our icy winters.

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Garland

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about a pair of decorative columns that a friend lent me a couple of years ago. Every time I went back to sleep, I woke up with the same vision in my head — this tablescape with one of those columns in it. It seemed pretty clear that someone was telling me I was supposed to use that element, so I did.

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Pillar

I added gorgeous gold pillar candles embellished with pearls and crystals and placed them on asymmetrical gold candle holders from Partylite. I burned them to just the right amount so that they can then be filled with tealights, thus making them useful again and again. I learned this trick from a Partylite consultant and have employed it ever since (Tutorial on this coming up soon).

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Blinged Candle

Although I don’t have white amaryllis flowers to add to the mix, I found beautiful white poinsettias brushed with gold glitter at our local grocery store, Mariano’s. Using old silver teapots from my thrifted silver collection, I added the poinsettias to the mix along with some gold flair from the berry picks. I gave the silver pots a little gloss with my silver cloth, but polishing them to perfection was unnecessary and unnatural — who cares if they have a little tarnish on them?

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Silver and Poinsettia

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Silver and Poinsettia 2

Finally I added the pièce de résistance, the pair of Art Nouveau bronze candleholders that we fondly call “The Ladies.” Wrapped lightly in greenery, they bring home the Art Nouveau theme with a gentle beauty. Topped by votives, their elegant lines complete the naturalistic design.

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Bronze Candleholder Detail

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Bronze Candleholder


And now for the final reveal of the whole Naturally Art Nouveau Tablescape.

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Full Table 2

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Centerpiece

I wish I had put real votives in these candleholders; I find the fake tealights distracting, but you get the picture.

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau Full Table

GotMyReservations-Naturally Art Nouveau IntroI’m linking up today with the creative bloggers at The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict, We Call It Olde at We Call It Junkin’Centerpiece Wednesday at The Style Sisters,  Let’s Dish with Cuisine Kathleen Open House Party with No Minimalist Here,  and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch. Be sure to stop by and say, “Hello!”

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)




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18 thoughts on “Naturally Art Nouveau Tablescape

  1. Love your inspiration and your take on it. That’s a table that could take you right through to New Years!
    Thanks so much for taking the challenge at Let’s dish!

    • Kathleen, after I saw your tartan table redo, I was pretty sure you would kick me out for not following the rules. Thanks for your kind words!

  2. I love this beautiful, but simple centerpiece. I’m heading to my china cabinet to find my mother-in-law’s silverplate coffee and tea pitchers. I can do this! Kathleen is right. It’s perfect for New Years Eve as well as Christmas.

    • Denise, I’m the queen of the five-minute centerpiece. You should have seen me hunting for containers that were the right size for the poinsettias. I just took the dirt out of the pots and put them back in the foil, and then lowered the foil into the silver servers. They will be fine for a couple of weeks, and then I’ll wash them out well. Thanks for visiting!

  3. Jennie, I really enjoyed following your thought process as you put together all the pretty elements for your table. And I love that you, too, wake in the middle of the night with a tablescape idea! This table is really gorgeous. I love the wintry elements and the mood the table evokes.

    • Tricia, considering how cold and snowy it is here in Chicagoland, this tablescape just replicates what’s outside my windows. Thanks for visiting and for your kind words.

  4. Veranda is a very upscale magazine and great place for inspiration. I love your creation with the art nouveau touches and the candle holders! Your place settings have a winter feel with the white and crystal! Great creation!


  5. Truly beautiful…I am in love with those candle sticks. Art Nouveau is one of my favorite periods..You did a grand job with your tablescape..
    Love, Mona

  6. You are amazingly creative! I love the table you created from the inspiration of the garden statue, and your photography is magazine worthy. Great job!

    • Thank you, Sarah. My photography improved greatly when I bought my new close-up lens — and I’m learning to use it (and when not to).

  7. Jennie, The “ladies” are Art Nouveau perfection. You picked up on the essence of your inspiration piece to perfection. Beautiful touches for a beautiful holiday tablescape.


  8. Jennie, really, really beautiful! I just love your whole centerpiece, it could be in a magazine, seriously. I love the photo of the arrangement in the silver teapot. Reminds me of the pics in Southern Lady magazine. Thanks so much for sharing at the party. My link party is changing as of tomorrow to include anything home-related 🙂 Hope you are well – Dawn

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