Quick and easy faded summer early fall tablescape

By now you know that while others are charging full steam ahead into Fall, I am hanging back here and simply enjoying my official self-proclaimed “fifth season,” Faded Summer. And you also know that one of my favorite ways to celebrate anything is by setting a pretty table! So in this post I thought I would share my 2018 Faded Summer tablescape. But don’t worry, you traditionalists have my permission to refer to it as an “early fall tablescape” if you wish!

In my last post I shared some silk flowers that showed the color palette of that brief time period between the summer brights and the fall bolds. This is the time when kids go back to school, oppressive heat has most likely broken (thought in my case the humidity is hanging in there!), and summer annuals are nearing the end of their life cycle. It’s those faded flowers that inspired this table for sure!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

I wanted to use some of my growing collection of antique Limoges china for my Faded Summer/Early Fall tablescape, but most floral Limoges is decidedly more “rosey” than would be suitable for this table – meaning, lots of tiny pink roses and soft greenery. But I did have a few pieces of a lovely pattern that I thought would work well.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Notice how the leaves are soft green but tipped in the faintest pinkish-brown; the blue is almost gray; the pink is a bit bright on the outer edges but is faded/lighter toward the center. My main problem with this set was simply that I only had a few pieces of it – three dinner plates, three salad plates, and a lot of cups/saucers. So I set it as a table for two, but needed some appropriate elements to put with it.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Chief among them, one of my perfectly faded silk floral bunches plopped down into a heavily patinaed silverplate teapot, and big beautiful floppy faded green peony napkin rings that I found at Pier 1!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Here are some views around the table:

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

My blush-pink tablecloth is a recent garage sale find – it was in a bundle of table linens all for $3. As this was only going to be a table for two, I used my third dinner plate off to the side as a serving platter. You can see above it that I also used a couple of the spare saucers as butter plates. All of our flatware is my treasured Oneida Chandelier, which was a gift many years ago from my great-Aunt Hazel.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Here is the overall place setting:

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

I also placed a little square nursery-themed dish at each seat, suitable for a knife rest.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Here are our faded summer flowers in the silverplate teapot again:

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

And a few additional silverplate pieces with beautiful patina.

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Now here’s where my ignorance – or at least, lack of refinery – lol – might show through… While I think the heavy patina on that serving piece is gorgeous, particularly in an early fall tablescape, my inclination would be to polish it up before using it to serve food. So I had to look it up – is it safe to eat off of genuine silver, even if it has patina? The short answer is yes, it is safe, especially Sterling silver and most antique/heirloom silver! But there are some foods, such as eggs, that are best not eaten off of silver because they will discolor it and infuse it with an unpleasant taste. You might find these links interesting regarding the food-safety of silverware.

Here’s a final birds-eye view of our pretty table!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

And, here is everything all gathered up, waiting to go back into the cupboards – the “put-away shot”!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

Here is an image to Pin if you would like, for future inspiration!

Faded Summer Early Fall Tablescape using antique Limoges china #fadedsummer #earlyfalltablescape #earlyfalldecorating #fadedfloraltable #tablescaping #prettytableideas

P.S. – I’ll be sharing for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch!

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Faded Summer 2018 seasonal decor

Some folks may call this time of year late summer, or even early Fall. But last year I officially named it Faded Summer – a Fifth Season… with a proclamation and everything, so you know it’s legit! ūüėČ

I’ve noticed especially in the home decor community on Instagram that people start putting out their Fall decor in mid-August. But I simply cannot with the pumpkins and sweaters – not yet! That’s why I created Faded Summer in the first place: to put a name to that time period in between the Summer “brights” and the Fall “bolds” of orange, yellow, and brown. Now make no mistake, I love traditional Fall colors. But I am just not ready for them and probably won’t be until the middle of October – so, Faded Summer it is!

Last year my Faded Summer consisted of setting a couple of pretty tables that explored the color palette, then sneaking off to Orlando for a visit to Disney World.¬†This year, I’m kicking off the season with a few silk floral arrangements around the house and another pretty table. Thought I would share those with you, in hopes of making Faded Summer an actual thing… even if I don’t get to go to Disney again, although in all fairness it should probably become an annual tradition. But I digress – where were we? Oh yes – Faded Summer floral arrangements!

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

The whole thing for me is about the faded versions of summer colors. This bowl is simply filled with silks in appropriate shades from Dollar Tree. The vignette includes my little gold-painted ceramic squirrel and milk glass lamp. I think this sort of burnished gold, and squirrels, and even milk glass should all become traditional elements of Faded Summer. Kind of like candy canes and Christmas!

 

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

Now this grouping technically has some traditional Fall yellow in the little painting, but that painting is like 2 x 3 inches so… it’s not much. And besides, the flowers are in a very pretty crazed crock and the little painting goes so well with it, I couldn’t leave it out.

 

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

I am always moving things around here in the dollhouse, but I have had the same Spring/Summer floral arrangement in this handmade wooden box since March because I loved it so much. It took a lot to convince myself it might be time for a change… fortunately I can still be bribed with chocolate so I bought a couple Peanut Butter Cups and I was good to go.

 

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

I always feel very fortunate to find silk flowers in this color palette – this is actually one pre-made bunch, in all the right colors, that I have had for a couple of years. It has lived in a variety of containers around my home!

 

Faded Summer floral arrangement for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

And, I recently found this little pip-berry wreath at Goodwill for $3.99 – that heather/purple is Faded Summer perfection!

When it starts getting really cool outside, I will throw the chenille bedspreads over the living room furniture which has the added bonus of keeping things “light and bright” as the days get really short. For now, the only other change I’ve made in the house is that I put a Faded Summer quilt on the bed and put my Shabby Chic quilt away for now. The denim pillow shams are a little dark, but they are currently all I have that looks good with this quilt.

Quilt in perfect faded summer colors for late summer. #Fadedsummer #driedflowercolorpalette #colorsoflatesummer

That’s it for me and seasonal decor right now… I am milking every last moment out of this beautiful time of year and won’t even BEGIN to call it Fall until at least late September. For now, how about joining me on the patio for the bright warm days and cool-ish nights of Faded Summer?

I’ll have a fifth season tablescape to show you in my next post! For now, here is an image to Pin if you would like to!

Early Fall Faded Summer color palette home decorating #earlyfall #falldecor #falldecorating #fadedsummer #fadedsummercolors #fadedsummerdecorating #fifthseason

 

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French Country Cottage – a beautiful new book by Courtney Allison

I’ve been a follower of Courtney Allison’s blog, French Country Cottage, for several years.¬†Have you? It’s the type of blog where the photos just make me sigh out of pure appreciation for their beauty. Of course, following Courtney’s blog also means I have followed her personal journey as a home-maker and photographer, and I was so excited and thrilled for her when I learned she was publishing a book – aptly named, French Country Cottage!

I just acquired my copy, and I wanted to share just a tiny bit of it with you in hopes that you would seek it out and likewise enjoy the beauty of Courtney’s home and stunning photographs.

French Country Cottage book by Courtney Allison, author of the French Country Cottage blog and editor of Romantic Homes magazine. #frenchcountrycottage #frenchcountry #frenchhomedecor #courtneyallison

Affiliate links are included in this post. This means that if you purchase a product via my link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. To read my full disclosure, click here. 

What’s most delightful about French Country Cottage, apart¬† from the sumptuous photos, is the fact that Courtney is not only the writer, she’s also the photographer. And if you know her backstory, you know that Courtney is a self-taught photographer whose goal at one time was simply to have her photos published in decorating magazines. Well, she has achieved all of that and more, as she is now the editor¬†of one of my favorite magazines, Romantic Homes!

French Country Cottage book by Courtney Allison, author of the French Country Cottage blog and editor of Romantic Homes magazine. #frenchcountrycottage #frenchcountry #frenchhomedecor #courtneyallison

The book chronicles Courtney’s style, known as French Country Cottage, which is anchored by her judiciuous use of fresh flowers, rustic patina, and chrystal chandeliers. She has an eye for combining beautifully imperfect French-inspired pieces, armloads of fresh roses, ranunculus, and peonies, and rusty, chippy, faded¬† furniture and accessories.

French Country Cottage book by Courtney Allison, author of the French Country Cottage blog and editor of Romantic Homes magazine. #frenchcountrycottage #frenchcountry #frenchhomedecor #courtneyallison

Now please understand that this is not a how-to book… it doesn’t give you action steps, “life hacks,” or five easy ways to arrange a gallery wall. It’s a book to be enjoyed for its beauty, and for the enthusiasm exuded through its text. It is delightfully written, as Courtney takes you through the key moments of her childhood where her love of flowers, the imperfections found in time-worn objects, and dream-inspiring home interiors (and secret gardens) were born. She also speaks lovingly about the cottage home pictured throughout the book, which she and her husband purchased in California while their children were still young. She illustrates how they put their mark on it over time and how it came to be so much more than a home.

French Country Cottage book by Courtney Allison, author of the French Country Cottage blog and editor of Romantic Homes magazine. #frenchcountrycottage #frenchcountry #frenchhomedecor #courtneyallison

And all the while, on every page, those swoon-worthy photographs that I look forward to seeing on her blog. In fact, I think that’s what I love most about this book – I do enjoy the blog, but it is so hard to get lost in it because like any blog, you have to keep clicking from post to post and it just breaks up the experience into small chunks. But the book – oh the book is one to simply page through slowly! It’s like taking a tour through the house and having time to note of all the beautiful details, while understanding at last how it all fits together.

French Country Cottage book by Courtney Allison, author of the French Country Cottage blog and editor of Romantic Homes magazine. #frenchcountrycottage #frenchcountry #frenchhomedecor #courtneyallison

I can’t think of any other home style book quite like French Country Cottage – for the reader it is an experience to savor. And for the author, truly a labor of love and a long-held dream come true!

French Country Cottage book by Courtney Allison, author of the French Country Cottage blog and editor of Romantic Homes magazine. #frenchcountrycottage #frenchcountry #frenchhomedecor #courtneyallison

In case you don’t wish to purchase the book now, please Pin this image of French Country Cottage by Courtney Allison for later reference!

 

French Country Cottage book by Courtney Allison, author of the French Country Cottage blog and editor of Romantic Homes magazine. #frenchcountrycottage #frenchcountry #frenchhomedecor #courtneyallison

 

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How to bring thrift store finds together for a cohesive look

One of the biggest challenges in creating your cottage style (or any style!) with thrift store finds is achieving a cohesive result in your actual decorating. Acquiring items over time and from different sources probably means that nothing matches – and it seems that we are often led to believe that matching = successful decorating!

But quite honestly, “not matching” is a cornerstone of cottage style! When we look at our attempt to create a cottage-style room and we feel like it misses the mark, chances are what we’re really missing is cohesion – a sense that¬† everything belongs together despite being mis-matched.

I recently moved the furniture around in my tiny bedroom based on an inspiration picture I found online. I lost a couple inches of nightstand space on either side, but as a trade-off it created more space between the foot of the bed and the wall. I found I could pull my small bookcase out of its awkward corner and place it along the wall between my bedroom door and closet.

Thrift store finds | Vintage Floral Cottage

With the furniture switched around, I set about designing a wall grouping using some of my favorite thrift store finds:¬†“Sunday paintings,” which is the old-fashioned name for pictures created by people who took up painting as a hobby or weekend pursuit. In acquiring Sunday paintings, I gravitate toward floral arrangements and landscapes featuring old barns, houses, and other structures. I’ve been collecting them for a long time, so I had plenty of choices on-hand.

Thrift store finds | Vintage Floral Cottage

This whole wall between my bedroom door and the bi-fold closet door was pulled together just by shopping my house – one of the five best ways to decorate on a budget! I’m loving how cohesive it looks, even though all the items are thrift store finds, purchased over time and from lots of different secondhand sources.

Let’s take a closer look.¬†This is the first Sunday painting I ever picked up – I found it at an antique mall about 25 years ago for around $5.

Sunday paintings | Vintage Floral Cottage

This is the first Sunday painting I bought that was not a floral arrangement; it was $2.99 at the Goodwill. It has different subject matter, but the gold in the frame ties it to the other painting.

Sunday paintings | Vintage Floral Cottage

And this one is also a favorite – I love the house itself, as well as the unusual angle. This was also a Goodwill find at $5.99. This one has the same subject matter as the previous picture, but no gold in the frame. It does have some purple flowers, which also appear in the first picture.

Sunday paintings | Vintage Floral Cottage

In general, I love combining floral and rustic elements – that combination is kind of a given here in my “vintage floral cottage.” I think these all work together well because they each use some of the same elements:
Picture #1: Gold frame, purple flowers, blue flowers
Picture #2: Gold-edged frame, blue sky, green grass, and a building
Picture #3: Blue sky, green grass, purple flowers, and a building.

I wanted a couple other elements in my grouping for texture and lovely visuals: plates and silk flowers. The two plates each reflect one of the two motifs: house and flowers.

Plate with manor house | Vintage Floral CottageFaux Limoges Plate | Vintage Floral cottage
Next I needed to tie the top shelf of the bookcase into the grouping. The flowers in the vase are tall to bridge the height gap from the top of the bookshelf to the bottom of the painting, and also to carry through the use of flowers as an accent motif.¬†But this left a small open space that seemed “off” somehow. So I hung my rusty letter “J” to fill the space while carrying through the rustic element of the picture frame.

Flowers in bedroom group | Vintage Floral Cottage

The other element I’ve used here is books. I’ve spent the past year being very particular about collecting some old books. I look for gold lettering, and/or titles that are befitting of my vintage floral cottage. Until my bedroom re-do, my little collection was tossed haphazardly on the bookcase. But now that the shelving unit is more visible, I decided to create a little display of them along the top of it. The gold lettering on some of the books helps to carry the gold accent color through the entire vignette.

Bookcase top shelf | Vintage Floral Cottage

I anchored the display on top of the bookshelf with a curtain panel that matches the valance on one of the windows. (Shhh… don’t tell anyone, but my two bedroom windows have mis-matched valances… and I love it that way!)

Bookcase top shelf | Vintage Floral Cottage

And speaking of rustic elements, the candle base is someone’s discarded pottery project – I have a collection of those too!

Pillar Candle holder | Vintage Floral Cottage

The rest of my bookcase is still a work in progress, design-wise. It contains a selection of design, garden, reference, and homemaking books as well as all my genealogy notebooks. (Fun side note: the little painting tucked in here is one that I personally did – on a Sunday – about 10 years ago.)

Bookshelf design | Vintage Floral Cottage

Bookshelf design | Vintage Floral Cottage

I like this arrangement because it brings together a whole bunch of disparate thrift store finds – books, paintings, plates, and flowers – that I’ve collected over time but that work together because of their colors, motifs, and details.

I think the secret to achieving a cohesive look with thrift store finds is to establish a few elements that will tie all the pieces in a grouping together. In this case, the pictures and their frames related to each other in a couple of ways and the gold edging or detailing in several of the elements was a key accent.

Thrift store finds | Vintage Floral Cottage

Another tip¬†is to keep your overall look in mind whenever – and wherever – you are shopping. This might be the look you’ve already established, or a look that’s still in progress. And ask yourself the tough question when you see something you want to purchase:¬† will this contribute to the look I’m going for? If it does, easy decision! If it doesn’t, you might consider whether altering it in some way might improve its odds… or whether it might still look great as “odd man out” in the design of a room or vignette.

But now, do you want to know a secret? In preparing this blog post I thought maybe the rusty J looked a little lost in its space. So I swapped its position with the floral plate and added one more element. Now there are three paintings and three plates, plus the J for an odd number of elements.

Bedroom wall grouping | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

Here’s a pinnable image for this post!

Create a cohesive look for your gallery wall with thrift store finds and flea market style | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

 

 

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Small house living: furniture placement challenges

Living in a small house (625 square feet on the main floor) can be a challenge for a gal like me who loves to collect vintage and antique everything. Therefore,¬†I am constantly looking for ways to make the most of the available space. The fact that my rental house has an open floorplan is a big plus: when you walk in, the combined kitchen/dining/living room doesn’t feel as small as it really is (312 square feet).

In today’s post I really only set out to share my dining room table… I love setting it with pretty dishes, but I also really like the way it looks on a typical day. I also enjoy my collection of dining chairs – more on all of this in a moment!

Small house dining space | Vintage Floral Cottage

As I was taking pictures, it occurred to me that the placement of the table has helped to create two distinct spaces out of one larger one while still keeping that feeling of openness. So I want to talk about that too in case it’s helpful for others!

When placing the living room furniture, we started with the biggest piece – the sofa. We put it across the width of the room for a couple of reasons: one, it allowed for watching television while laying down. And two, it established the boundary of the living room in relation to the eat-in kitchen without creating an actual wall of any kind. This was essential – the space is small enough without being “cut up” visually by tall objects! Here’s the room in April of this year:

Small house furniture placement | Vintage Floral Cottage

With the dinner table placed directly behind the couch, it defines the dining space within the eat-in kitchen without blocking the view into the living room. And placing it here allows me to have a much bigger table than I could have if I had opted for a drop-leaf style over by the window.

Small house furniture placement | Vintage Floral Cottage

Now back to the actual table and chairs… they have evolved over the few years I’ve lived here! We started out like this, having found the whole set for free just prior to moving. This photo was taken right after I recovered a couple of the chairs.¬†The table sat four, but the top was only 30 inches by 40 inches – barely room for TWO people to eat, let alone four!

Dining table curb find | Vintage Floral Cottage

So when I asked Greg to make me a harvest-style top for the existing base, he made it much bigger: 36 x 60 inches. It now seats six people.

Small house furniture placement | Vintage Floral Cottage

My “inspiration chair” is this one from my great-aunt Hazel’s home – she painted it in this crazy color scheme decades ago, and I don’t have the heart to repaint it! I love its shape and style, and so I keep an eye out for these everywhere.

Farmhouse dining chair | Vintage Floral Cottage

I have found three others that I use inside, and two others that I have outside in the garden. The red one is the newest acquisition Рboth it and the green one are curb picks. The taupe one was a flea market find.

Farmhouse dining chair | Vintage Floral Cottage

Farmhouse dining chair | Vintage Floral Cottage

I don’t know if this exact style has a name – it may be a variation of the Windsor style – but I just call them Hazel chairs! I think they have a lot of cottage charm, especially in their different colors, and their smaller scale makes them perfect for a small house.

The other two chairs are a different style altogether with cane seats and pretty detailing across the backs. I found these on Facebook Marketplace and repainted them, plus painted and aged the detailing. I call these my storybook chairs because the detailing now looks like an illustration you might find in a fairytale book.

Cottage dining chairs | Vintage Floral Cottage

Overall I like the way the specific furniture pieces have evolved, and I think their placement contributes to (rather than hinders) the open feel of the room.

Small house dining space | Vintage Floral Cottage

What are your thoughts? What’s your biggest furniture placement issue at home? If you are also living in a small house, how do you make the most of the available space?

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Small house furniture placement | Vintage Floral Cottage

 

 

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