Christmas luncheon tablescape with red and green transferware

Christmas is almost here! If you come by for lunch I promise we will use this pretty tablescape featuring sets of very very vintage (maybe almost antique!) red and green transferware! Oh friends, I struggled so much bringing this simple table together – but I’m happy to report it turned out just lovely.

Why the struggle? I knew I wanted to use the red and green together, but when I set the table by just alternating colors at each place setting, it looked very sparse. Pretty, but sparse. Once I brought out more pieces, though, and actually layered them, well that’s when it hit me: I’ve been spoiled by stacking! Meaning, I have now done so many tables with layered plates that suddenly single layers can seem like they are unfinished! LOL

I hope you will agree that the red and green are perfect for a small Christmas luncheon!

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Our plates come from two different sets: red “Shannondale” by Ridgways of England, and green “Roxbury” by Alfred Meakin, also of England.

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here is a better view of the Roxbury –

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

And the Shannondale dinner plate –

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

The tablecloth is a very light pink and was a garage sale find this year. I should have ironed it – I actually do not own a regular ironing board, and my present iron does not have a non-stick surface, so I was reluctant to try. I alternated napkins in a very light green and light cream color – they are by Pier 1. I would have liked to have done all green – alas, I only have two of those on hand, thus the need to bring in another color. The napkin rings were a flea market find; I love that they echo the red from the plates and evoke a bit of Christmas with the star motif. (They also sort of look like the drums used in a marching band – Fourth of July table, perhaps?)

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Flatware is genuine silverware via this past summer’s flea market trips, and drinkware is thrifted crystal (possibly Waterford? I’m not sure).

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Our centerpiece is very simple – a Shannondale bowl filled with silk tussy-mussies and a few Christmas baubles. There is also a different pattern used for the butter plate (with silver server) – it is stamped on the bottom, “English Ironstone England.” I love the home depicted in the center – it is quite charming! The plate itself is actually a saucer; I would love to find the teacup that goes with it.

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Here are a few more views –

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Finally, here is the “mood board” or put-away shot for this table. I love how pretty everything looks when gathered together like this!

Red and green transferware tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Are you serving up any special Christmas brunches or luncheons? Will you be hosting a Christmas dinner in your home? I’d love to know your plans!

I am sharing this sweet luncheon table for Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch.

Here is an image to Pin in case you would like to save this post for future inspiration!

Red and green transferware Christmas luncheon table | Vintage Floral Cottage

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My five favorite repurposing projects

I’ve always been a project-starter, since ancient grade-school times when I would get bored and decide to “make a magazine” or write a short story or even get out Dad’s circular saw and build a bookcase (age 16 – can’t believe I did that, today I’m kind of terrified of saws!). These days I love to take on repurposing projects – start with something old and turn it into something new and useful – that’s actually one of the cornerstones of cottage style!

Of course, Pinterest is a great source of ideas for this, but sometimes I can even come up with my own ideas. Here are a few of my favorite projects – although trust me, if a saw was involved, I probably had help!

Country style coffee table turned kids’ activity table – This was a quick and easy repurposing project that I completed in just a few hours. We picked this honey-pine coffee table off the curb and it was in fine shape, just out-dated. I used chalkboard paint for the center section and Fusion Mineral Paint (lightly distressed) for the rest of it, turning it into a playroom table that kids could draw on – “sidewalk chalk for rainy days”!

From coffee table to activity table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Sawhorse coffee table – This piece came about when I acquired a must-have white painted sawhorse and a right-sized barn door with perfect chippy patina. Two items you would not think belonged in the living room, but together they are perfect in front of my cottage sofa!

From sawhorse to coffee table | Vintage Floral Cottage

Kitchen uppers & vintage carsiding to custom dish storage – I freely and unashamedly admit it, I’m addicted to vintage dinnerware! And my kitchen cupboards (and homebuilt primitive hutch) were already full of my collected pieces, so I dreamed up a way to get additional storage for super-cheap: I sourced two matching kitchen upper cabinets in decent condition from the local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, and had Greg join them together with some scrap wood and some cool old carsiding for the top. It makes for a perfect storage piece without sticking too far out in to the room, and the top adds a bit of vintage character.

Kitchen uppers to custom dish storage | Vintage Floral Cottage

Pillowcase to cottage sink skirt – I wanted just a small touch of “cottage” in my rental house kitchen, so awhile back I took off the cabinet door under the sink and made a sink skirt. Then at the beginning of this year I decided it was time to change out the fabric, so I  used a standard pillow case with pretty details to make a new skirt. It’s stretched across the opening on a tension rod. One of the easiest repurposing projects I’ve ever done! 

Pillowcase to sink skirt | Vintage Floral Cottage

Old solid wood doors, pallet and trellis to outdoor garden structure – I really wanted to build a she-shed this year. But then I researched the cost and put the idea on the back burner. Then one night perusing my Pinterest board of garden junk, I saw that I had pinned something like this almost-shed. We had curb-picked some doors already, and bought a couple additional ones for $15 each… had a chunk of trellis already in my stash that we used for the roof, as well as curb-picked scrap lumber used to hold it together, and had all the décor already on-hand. We got the pallet floor for free from a local business. It’s my almost-shed, built for under $50, and just as much fun!

Old doors & pallet to garden structure | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

How about you – what is your favorite re-purposing project you’ve ever made? Do you do a lot of projects? Do you generally start them at 9 o’clock at night like I do? 🙂 I’d love to know!

Here’s a Pinnable image in case you’d like to save these projects for future ideas!

Five favorite repurposing projects | Vintage Floral Cottage

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Elegant Christmas tablescape in deep purple and gold

Last year I did two tablescapes for Christmas – one was a woodland theme using “Christmas Ribbon” by World Bazaar, and one was a golden splendor of a thing using some unmarked (but probably Homer Laughlin) dinner plates that had a very wide gold shoulder. (These were two of my absolute favorite tables, by the way – you can see them here and here!)

This year I have a cute new “woodsy” pattern that I would like to use, but I also wanted to do one that was again more elegant. While most of my tables start with either the dish pattern or maybe an element of the centerpiece, this time I started with a beautiful tablecloth that was (of course) a thrift-store score a few months ago. It is a deep purple shade, like eggplant, with a damask pattern and some deep red and gray striping for a border. It was hard to capture the actual color… my phone did a better job than my camera (go figure!). But while the camera brought out the reddish tones of the tablecloth, the phone pictures were  more “flat” in capturing the lighting. At any rate, it turned into a very pretty table!

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

The dinnerware for this table was also kind of challenging… simple gold-banded ivory plates by Franciscan China almost became the main plate, but I wanted something with a little more of a design to it. Enter the “Windsor Fruit” pattern by Johnson Brothers, with those gorgeous deep purple grapes, and I felt like the plates helped carry through the color scheme.

Here is the Franciscan, which became the charger at each place setting with the gold band peeking out from behind the Windsor Fruit:

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

And here is the Windsor Fruit placed on top. The gold band peeking out from underneath gives this plate the look of “elegant abundance” I was looking for!

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

The flatware also echoes the elegant abundance mantra… it is Americana Golden Heritage by International Silver. This photo also captures the pattern in the tablecloth very well.

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Also a challenge: napkins! I normally try to set tables with items already in my stash, but I literally had nothing that was both jewel-toned and elegant enough to go with this table. Who would be most likely to have deep purple napkins? Pier 1 of course! So off I went, and found a set of 6 dark purple buffet napkins in the clearance bin for $11.95!

After trying a couple of different napkin rings, I decided instead to do a Christmas Tree napkin fold. I then trimmed each tree with gold sparkly berries off of a Christmas floral pick. (I tried very hard not to break my arm patting myself on the back for this little stroke of genius… I mean seriously – decorated napkin trees? Brilliant! LOL)

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

The centerpiece for this table was also an exercise in being lucky. Back in the 90’s, when I was a young(-ish) woman trying on different decorating styles, I had fun one year acquiring paper mache deer from Michael’s and then painting them gold. I think I had two of them. In my mind I could clearly envision one of them as the perfect centerpiece for this table. Unfortunately, one of the things that simply does not survive a whole-house flood… is paper mache.

With my table desperately in need of a gold-painted paper mache deer, preferably in a seated position, I again asked myself, “Who would be likely to have this?”  I tried a couple of thrift stores – they are just the kind of thing someone might donate during a home down-sizing project, I thought. But no luck. Then I thought of a consignment store not far from me called “Stuff, Etc.” There are a lot of quality items here, but they are often more expensive because it’s consignment rather than donated thrift. I stopped in on the off-chance, though, and voila! Exactly what I was looking for, and only $3.99! He even had a jewel-toned bow!  (Now that I think about it, perhaps I should have been buying lottery tickets instead of shopping for table elements…?)

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

I nestled him in a favorite glittery garland of ivy, and added a few jewel-toned baubles and rose-gold poinsettias. He was perfect!

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

One element that wasn’t a challenge for this table: glassware. I had two perfect sets, one with snowflakes and tiny gold deer, and one with a pretty gold double band.

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

One of the lovely things that happened while I was photographing this table was that the daylight (of course) began to change – it happens quickly during these shorter Winter days – and it created some interesting patterns across the table. Here are a few purely gratuitous shots of the light and shadows I encountered as I shot.

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

A couple more views around the table…

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

And the put-away shot, with everything gathered up. I like these shots because they serve as kind of an after-the-fact “mood board” for each table.

Elegant deep purple Christmas tablescape | Vintage Floral Cottage

What do you think – too much purple? LOL I flip-flopped a lot on that question as I was building this tablescape, but in the end I think it captured just what I was looking for – elegance and abundance without being too fussy, appropriate for Christmas but more subtle than a Santa centerpiece.

Not that there is anything wrong with a Santa centerpiece!

 

I’m sharing this table for Tablescape Thursday over at Susan’s lovely blog, Between Naps on the Porch.

Here is an image to pin in case you would like to save this tablescape for future ideas!

Elegant Christmas tablescape in purple and gold | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

 

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More super-simple Christmas decor cheats

In the spirit of adapting – rather than replacing – my Fall decor for Christmastime, here are a couple other spots around the house where I’ve simply “tucked in” Christmas elements. I feel only slightly guilty about this… I mean it’s a huge timesaver and updates these areas for the season quickly and easily.

I always keep a floral arrangement on my sawhorse coffee table using a handmade wooden box that Greg created for me a couple of years ago – here’s a past example of that:

Wooden box decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

And here’s how it looked most recently for Fall:

Wooden box decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

So in keeping with my super-simple Christmas decor strategy called “tucking in,” I just updated the above so it now looks like this:

Christmas decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

By simply adding a few sprigs of winter greenery and some Christmas baubles from my existing stash, it changes the look of a favorite arrangement just enough that I can continue to enjoy it through the remainder of the holiday season, without a ton of additional work and with zero additional expense. I think I might be on to something here! LOL

Here’s another example – I’ve had this vintage ceramic kitten sitting out for awhile with a Spring-like tussy-mussy plopped into his planter. You know what makes him look like the perfect centerpiece for my kitchen table? Yep, Christmas baubles!

Christmas decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Now fear not, there are some parts of the house where “tucking in” simply did not work – I put out my pink glitter village and my homemade window garlands again, and I finally found a faux “prim” or “feather” tree… you know the kind, sparse and a bit spindly, like the top of a noble fir… that is completely new to me. Also, I did not repeat the “teacup tree” from last year – I did use my pink flocked tree, but it’s got more glass baubles and only one teacup this year. I’ll show you all of that soon – it’s been very gray and overcast lately, and I’m having a hard time getting good photos!

 

 

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Christmas mantle decor

I guess I just wasn’t ready to give up my Fall “mantle” decor… so rather than take it all down and change out to something completely different for Christmas, I decided to do my Christmas mantle decor the super-simple way: I updated what I had for Fall by just adding a few Christmas elements. I think it worked out pretty well!

Christmas mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

The items I added include the large round gold plate and crystal violin at the back/center, the sparkly pinkish-gold poinsettia on the right, and the gold berries on the left. I also gave the duck a bit of bling around his neck.

Christmas mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

Christmas mantle decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

I’ve been very fortunate that the white pumpkins I bought in late September have not started to spoil – so as long as they’re still lovely, I will stick with the elegant colors of this display and simply adapt for Christmas. Cheating? Perhaps… 😉

Here is a Pinnable image in case you’d like to save these Christmas Mantle Decor ideas for future use!

Christmas Mantle Decor | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

 

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