Noritake Carnivale New Year’s tablescape

The new year always seems to bring out thoughts (and images) of classic blue and white in the decorating world. Probably because that particular combination has a crisp and clean feel about it, unencumbered by the fullness and abundance so prolific in Christmas decor. I think it’s actually the white – or more accurately, the contrast with white – which creates the clean, crisp appearance, and that any color becomes a perfect New Year color when paired with white.

Case in point, I’ve had a collection of eight salad plates – “Carnivale” by Noritake – for quite some time now that I’ve never used. I set them for New Year’s to prove a point: that “purple and white,” “aqua and white,” even “green and white” … actually “anything and white” – can give the same fresh, clean feeling.

As you can see I have a hard time getting completely away from frou-frou, even when going for a “crisp and clean” new year’s vibe. My cutwork tablecloth is the closest I have to solid white, and my snow-white perching doves in the centerpiece seemed appropriate for January. (The perching crows were a simple craft I made myself, using thrift-store bud vases and Dollar Tree doves. Very easy to make!)

My own failings as a minimalist aside, it’s really the salad plates I wanted to share anyway. 🙂 These were an incredible bargain a couple of years ago directly from Noritake – as you know I rarely buy anything brand new, but these were so deeply discounted I couldn’t help myself. And I could NOT choose just one color, so I chose four! Carnivale has that beautiful stripe around the border, with just a bit of dotted detail. It reminds me of colorful awnings at a local fair. I love how it looks with my stitch-border solid white dinner plates – a Home Goods purchase about three years ago.

Flatware is my handed-down Oneida “Chandelier,” and glassware includes both Longchamps and snow-themed stemware.

Hard to capture in a photo, but the place setting also includes a footed crystal bowl in the middle for dessert.

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of things:

This table looked lovely in candlelight with all that sparkling crystal.

Here’s the put-away shot, everything gathered and ready to go back into the cupboards.

And an image to Pin in case you’d like to save it for future inspiration! Meanwhile, come join us over in the Thrifty Tablescapers Facebook group for more ideas that will inspire you to set lovely tables on a budget!

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Happy New Year!

Wishing you a happy, healthy new year!

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Tablescape round-up and farewell to 2020

It’s probably safe to say that most of us won’t be sorry to wave buh-bye to the year 2020, and that we have high hopes of 2021 being SO much better. (I myself plan to stay up til midnight New Year’s Eve just to make sure the old year does in fact leave!) As 2020 comes to a close, I thought I would post a quick look back at the tablescapes I shared on the blog throughout the year.

In January, I hosted two long-time friends for a ladies’ luncheon. I had hoped to host more luncheons throughout the year, but that plan was soon scuttled as COVID-19 settled in beginning in March.

My Valentine’s Day plans also evolved, such that I didn’t fix a meal to enjoy my table-for-two, but Greg and I enjoyed ourselves anyway.

I don’t really celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but I had collected the most perfect set of Limoges and couldn’t resist putting together a “Wild Irish Rose” table for that occasion. (No corned beef and cabbage though… yuck!)

Blue and yellow – colors I associate with the French country look and in particular, with the city of Provence – continue to be favorite tablescaping colors. I set my second Provence-inspired table featuring an unlikely hero: “La Cigale,” the cicada! (Anyone else set a table honoring a creepy-looking insect? No? Just me? Okay…)

Over the summer I acquired the most beautiful set of chargers, which I deemed fit for a princess. I shared my fairytale table in early September.

I couldn’t decide on a look for Thanksgiving, so I shared a few ideas. The first was a table set in jewel tones. I loved the centerpiece on this one!

My second Thanksgiving table was more a celebration of the bold Autumn colors.

And third, the table I actually used when I hosted my daughter and her beau for Thanksgiving lunch, featuring my handed-down Currier & Ives dinnerware.

In and amongst the Thanksgiving table ideas, I shared a simple setting for one to mark the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

I hosted another friend for dinner around Christmas time, where we enjoyed a new-to-me treat: Hasselback potatoes! I used my Debbie Mumm “Woodland Santa” plates for this simple but festive table!

And for Christmas, I shared a table set with my most beautiful pattern of all, Old Country Roses. This table featured a special napkin fold, for which I provided a tutorial elsewhere on the blog. (You can also check out my free PDF file, “5 Fun Easy Napkin Folds” for the Christmas Tree and other simple folds!)

For more tablescaping inspiration, I hope you’ll consider joining my Facebook group, Thrifty Tablescapers. We’ve enjoyed a full year of inspiration overload – the group is filled with budget-friendly ideas for setting fun, beautiful, and inviting tables on a budget. Come “play with the dishes” with us in the new year!

Here’s to more tablescaping fun in 2021!

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Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Friends, thank you so much for connecting with me this year – here on the blog, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… it’s through this technology that we are able to make the world just a bit smaller, a bit kinder, and a bit more inspiring. I appreciate these opportunities, and I appreciate you for being part of my journey! I wish you the happiest of holidays!

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Extra sparkle for a Christmas that really needs it

Early this Christmas season, I vowed to bring a little extra sparkle into my holiday decor. I knew I was going to need it – “keeping spirits bright,” and all that, in a year when even my normally bright spirits really needed a lift.

The biggest sparkle I brought to my decor this year was a new-to-me tree. Normally I would be using my pink flocked tree with its sweet Shabby chic vibe. But this year I knew I was going to need something less subdued, more gold, more glittery, and just… EXTRA! I got very lucky right around Thanksgiving because I found the perfect tree at my favorite consignment store at a great price. Brought him home and – voila! – instantly brighter spirits!

I didn’t even bother with a skirt because I liked the way the lights twinkled on the glass tabletop. It looks especially magical – as they all do – in the evening when the room is dimly lit, but truthfully, I’ve kept the tree lights on every waking moment this month.

All of my existing ornaments look amazing on this tree – I only added a couple things this year: sparkly gold clip-on poinsettias from Dollar Tree and a set of gold “box”-style ornaments (with gold dangly jewels!) from the same consignment store. Here are some close-ups that hopefully capture the especially bright spirit of my 2020 Christmas tree:

Vintage kissing angel ornament
My extra-special Old Country Roses teacup ornament by Royal Albert China Co., a gift from my thoughtful daughter.
My shabby-sweet pink St. Nicholas ornament from Hobby Lobby. He’s got that vintage German-glass look about him.
A shimmery silver peacock also from Hobby Lobby.
Set of 12 (oops – 10…!) spun-glass hearts found at a thrift store about 10 years ago.
New this year: glittery gold cubes with dangly jewels, consignment store finds.
Green beaded pears – thrift store treasures. I only have 3 of these.
Pretty satiny pink with gold-trimmed ribbon
Glittery gold clip-on poinsettias from Dollar Tree.
A little bit of a lot of things!

I know my gold tinsel-tree isn’t terribly traditional (then again, neither is the pink-flocked one I’ve been using!), but for me it has been a huge bright spot while the days have been getting shorter. I’m so glad I went all-in for Christmas sparkle this year!

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