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Playing “dress-up” with your Table

May 14, 2009

Styling table tops is just plain fun. Digging through your belongings often leads to diamonds in the rough. Using treasures found in storage, under beds, boxed in the garage or borrowed can set the stage for a unique and inviting table. It is sort of like playing “dress-up” with your dining table.

Here are some ideas to stoke your creative process as you prepare a fast and fancy table top.

1. Using chargers as a frame for your china helps coordinate the room before everyone sits down to dinner. Try grapevine wreaths, large colorful plates from the dollar store, tiles from Lowes or Home DePot, leaves (washed first, of course).

2. Vary your table coverings. Old sheets, quilts, and duvet covers can double as tablecloths.

3. Long, elaborate scarves or shawls make beautiful table runners.

4. Colorful napkins make perfect placemats. Place a corner of the napkin toward the center of the table and allow the opposite napkin corner to fall down the side of the table toward the chair.

5. Antique crystal salt and pepper shakers, with thier tops removed make perfect bud vases. Tie a small bow around the neck of the shaker and place one at each table setting.

6. Freshness adds style. Fill a large glass bowl with limes, lemons, oranges, or shiny red apples. Tuck taper candles amongst the fruit for use as a centerpiece.

7. For a Christmas centerpiece, fill a clear glass bowl with brightly colored Christmas balls. Tie tiny red bows to tall grapevine branches and insert the branches into the cylinder.

8. For harvest time, fill a clear glass bowl with small fresh pumpkins, tiny green-striped gourds, and autumn leaves. Surround the bowl with English ivy.

9. Cover your table with an inexpensive white tablecloth. Using brightly colored fabric markers, write your guest’s name at the top of each place setting.

10. If the theme of your evening is tropical, cover your tabletop with palm leaves or large banana leave. Build a tropical fruit topiary in the center of the table for an edible centerpiece.

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