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Oh my goodness!  Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  How did this happen?  It is just not in my nature to plan too far ahead.  If you are like me and just starting to plan your tablescape, maybe these Thanksgiving Tablescape tips, drawn from last year’s table, will get both of our creative juices flowing. Continue reading →

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Styling an Outdoor Event- Living With Color Designs Blog- Flowers in antique ball jars decorate tables.My daughter came to me several weeks ago with a request.  She wanted to honor a friend who was beginning a new life journey and she had envisioned a banquet of sorts which would be held outside.  She asked her dad and I if we would let her host this outdoor dinner in our back yard, with our help.  She felt it was the perfect place to create a magical night full of food, friends, farewells, and glowing lights. Continue reading →

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 A Garden Theme Tablescape Photo Shoot

Mercury glass gazing ball  Garden Tablescape - Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and BakeryI am excited today to be sharing my idea for a Garden Theme tablescape that has been rolling around in my head for some time.  I wanted to do a photo shoot.  I just love looking at beautiful tablescapes and figured a few of you might like them too.  With that in mind, I thought this time of year was perfect for a Garden Themed tablescape.  I have this one particular set of plates that I kept envisioning as the centerpiece of my design and it was the starting point of my inspiration.  To make things all the more fun and exciting, I decided to team up and collaborate with the abundantly creative and talented Dustie Gregson from The Table Farmhouse and Bakery.  I can’t think of a better combo then inspirational design and delicious thoughtfully crafted food.


Gather up all things garden: garden stools, gazing balls, wrought iron furniture, potting tables, plants and flowers.  Then add a surreal  color palette embracing the greens of the garden and the blues of the sky.

Garden Tablescape - Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakery

Garden Tablescape - Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakery

Garden Tablescape - Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakery

Garden Tablescape - Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakery

Garden Tablescape - Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakery

Garden Tablescape - Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakery

Garden Tablescape - Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakery

For this Garden Theme tablescape I mixed and matched plates, added shiny things to reflect the garden around us, used an antique table and chairs, and included pops of blue, to the otherwise green place setting, with a contrasting dinner plate and decorative napkin ring.  Tables for dinning, dessert, and buffet are nestled in the garden under the cool shade of a tree.

The Glorious Food

The Table is known for it’s gourmet coffee and tea, handmade artisan breads, pastries and desserts, and a seasonal menu of local fare.  It is a place to gather and linger with friends and family while enjoying exceptional food.  Our garden luncheon served up a custom tailored menu.  You can count on The Table for the perfect food for your outdoor entertaining.  Be prepared to drool over these pictures.

Spring Market Salad - Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakery

Spring Market Salad with fresh berries, spiced walnuts, Goat Lady Dairy crumbled goat cheese, Housemade red wine vinaigrette drizzled with Spring Vintage Wildflower Honey by Trubee.

Strawberry Crostini's -Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakery

Strawberry Crustini's -Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and BakeryCrostini’s –Our French baguettes sliced and topped with lightly sweetened Italian cream cheese, market strawberries drizzled with our Market’s Home Appetite White Balsamic Vinegar and fresh handpicked basil .

Turkey, tomato, and arugula, croissants -Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and BakeryHousemade Flaky European Croissants with thinly sliced preservative and hormone free smoked turkey, market tomatoes, arugula and pesto aioli.

antique seltzer  bottles with hydrangeas

Garden lunch- Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakerybuffet table for a garden luncheon -Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and Bakerypotting table converted to buffet table -Living With Color Designs & The Table Farmhouse and BakeryThe potting table used for the buffet table is styled with a floral fabric, antique seltzer bottles, and flowers from the garden.  Clear glass serving pieces were chosen to show off the beautiful food and let the floral tablecloth show through.  The limited-edition Heritage Collection green mason jars, used to hold fresh mint, are from Ball.  The Table does not offer a catering menu because they prefer to customize your special occasion to your individual needs.

A Little Dessert

It’s not a party if there is not a little dessert.   This party is no exception. Sure to be a crowd pleaser and Housemade by The Table’s pastry chefs is Ricotta Cheesecake with berries and cream.

Garden Tablescape 21.jpg


Living With Color Designs & The TableFrench Macarons - Living With Color Designs & The Table

French Blueberry Macarons-filled with vanilla buttercream and fresh blueberry jam were a perfect match for our color palette.

Desserts for a garden luncheon - Living With Color Design & The TableA simple arrangement was made using goose necks and black and blues from the yard.  A mercury glass candlestick adds some shimmer, glass cloches display macaroons, and twig balls add some earthy tones.

Garden bench-  Living With Color Designs

To encourage lingering and exploration of the garden, tuck addition seating here and there, adding a few cushions for color and comfort.

I found the collaborative process so interesting and rewarding.  I was a little nervous at first when she told me that there was not a catering menu for me to choose from and that we could talk about what I wanted.  I have food shortcomings you know.  After stammering a little bit, I went with the ‘what would you suggest for an intimate garden lunch with a small group of friends’ strategy.  (Always, the best approach is to just let the professionals do what they do best).   All nervousness faded as Dustie lyrically spoke about flavor parings, glazes that glistened, and food colors that would pop for our photography.  Minds started churning, photo’s and text’s were exchanged to coordinate design and food offerings, and plans were made for the big day.  I hope you are as thrilled with the results as we were.

Please comment and let us know what you like about our Garden Theme tablescape luncheon and please share this post with family and friends. Drop by sometime and visit Dustie at The Table and  come back here often to get more ideas from Living With Color Designs.   –  Marianne




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 Brown Peacock dinnerware with teapot and cup and saucer

The air is crisp.  The leaves have turned brilliant colors of orange, red, yellow, and brown.  You crave a cozy blanket and your favorite hot beverage.  This is the time of year when we start looking forward to all the up coming family functions and entertaining with friends.  Setting a beautiful table just enhances these moments and creates memories for a life time.

Fall tablescapes are enhanced with traditional motifs like pinecones and leaves.
Don’t hesitate to use natures bounty in arrangements.  Arrangements that include seasonal produce create a one of a kind lasting impression.  Also take a walk around your yard to see what treasures you may find to add to the table.  The simple addition of a twig, sprig of berries, or acorn cluster, to individual place setting shows the thought and care you have given to this special time together.

Large Brown Peacock Pitcher
Don’t be afraid to mix and match china that you have with a few new pieces. Most of us do not have storage for yet another complete set.  Coordinate some of the color in each of the patterns you are using.   Choose a few new pieces that will introduce the design to the table whether it is through a dinner plates, a soup bowl, or large serving pieces like the pitcher above.  
If you are interested in this pattern I have only found one source, Southern Style Home and Decor.  There may be others but this is where my research led.
Have fun decorating your  table and don’t be afraid to get creative.   – Marianne

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Red and white winter tables cape

Nature Inspired New Years Day Tablescape

OK, I’ll go ahead and tell you.  I’m not much of a planner.  My mother will start setting up the table for a gathering two months ahead and then work on it for weeks.  My younger sister plans every moment to perfection, nothing left to chance, and could be an event planner you could count on.  My older sister is enviously laid back but will start planning at least a week ahead.  I’m more of the decide what you are doing at the last minute kind of girl.  When my mother asks a pre question about what I am doing for or bringing to an upcoming family gathering I have been know to tell her that I will not even begin to think about it for at least two more days. (Which is usually a few days before the gathering but I never disappoint.)  


In typical fashion I decided New Year’s Eve that I would go ahead and cook a big traditional New Years meal and any of my family who was available would be welcome.  Surely they don’t have plans.  In hip fashion I texted my girls and in traditional fashion I called my mom to invite.  My oldest daughter and my beautiful grandchildren were already committed.  Bummer.  My younger daughter could come but my son-in-law would be in a deer stand or the woods somewhere.  My mom was available and of course my Sweet Thing was excited about a real meal.  Yea!


Since I had an intimate group of four I realized that I could pull a charming tablescape together and we could eat in the kitchen.  The pictures are the results of my very last minute pull together.


Deer, moss, and pinecone table decorations

On the Menu: pork chops, greens, black eyed peas with chow chow, carrot coins,  a little corn dip, and sweet tea.  Yum!

winter tablescape

Deer centerpieceI created a centerpiece with a resin deer and then I borrowed a few things from the nature craft item box we made after our walk the other day.  Of course I will be putting them back.  The bark, pinecones and lichen worked nicely.  I didn’t want it to be too fussy.  I repeated the pinecones at each place setting on top of the napkin.

Red and White Tablescape

I used a red and white color scheme and paired it with rustic materials.  Layering elements makes it more interesting.  I started with a twig placemat. On top of that I placed a red and white checkerboard placemat with snowflakes.  I just love this forged iron flatware. I have used it for many occasions.  I topped that with hand painted red and white leaf like plates.  I know mixing patterns can be challenging but I suggest you just play around with it.  You would be surprised what works.  Just have fun with it.

Rustic new year's day tables cape

This color scheme is great for winter gathering and brightening those short days of winter.  As you put away those Christmas decorations think red and hold back a few things that would speak to winter wonderlands.  Add some red mittens and little white skates or a snowman or two.  I’m hoping a few snow days and hot chocolate with peppermint are in my future.  


Red plaid place mats and red and white floral plates

Red and White Winter Tablescape


I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.  – Marianne


All photographs are property of Living With Color Designs.