Elements of Style ~ Setting a Beautiful Table

Our little drum table set for tea a year ago at Easter…
For some reason,
I’ve always thought that everybody 
could decorate,
kinda like 
doesn’t EVERYONE collect 
home/shelter magazines?

Does this happen to you?

A January “Snowman Tea” I held at our house a few years ago.

Well, over the years I’ve learned that NO not
everyone can style a beautiful table

perhaps that’s why we have
those aforementioned
 shelter magazines!!!

Magazines like
Romantic Country Style, Romantic Homes,
French Country Style, Country Living and
[British] Country Living,

my old favorite introduced to me by my mother
when I was newly married,
help us “see” elements of good design.

Setting a beautiful table begins with 
bringing out your most beautiful china.
For someone who has just moved into their first apartment
that might mean using your parents’ hand-me-downs
and a few new pieces that you found at
while browsing with your mother.
For someone just married,
maybe you received a few place settings towards
your eventual goal of twelve.

Bring these out and try mixing and matching
with your usual kitchen china to start!
Begin slowly (like most things in life) and when you go out
with the girls to shop at thrift stores or flea markets,
see what interests you and buy a few pieces.
One never knows 
where our hearts will take us when it comes
to the pitter patter palpitations that finding 
a lovely
 old Haviland plate with tiny rose garlands
encircling the edges
or a Bavarian pre-WWII creamer & sugar bowl set
with the tiniest of lavender pansy bouquets on each side.
I don’t know about you
these lovelies make my heart swoon!

I know my china has evolved from my first set of
Villeroy & Boch 
called Botanic.
I still use this set as my everyday china
I tend to use my white china more often now.

See the white china here?  I found these at TJ Maxx several years ago. You can find
similar pieces at HomeGoods and other retail centers.
The next element of
setting a beautiful table
involves having a lovely tablecloth (or two or three!)
layered on your table.
It’s up to you if you like your tablecloth ironed or not.
like mine ironed, in truth, but I’m usually running around
trying to get the food finished on tea mornings,
Mine are usually not ironed and per Ms. Shabby Chic herself,
Rachel Ashwell,
rumpled is just as beautiful!
(Thank goodness!)

Spend some time at after-Christmas sales
gathering a small but mighty collection of linens.
When you go antique browsing, tag sailing (my pun on “sale-ing”, sorry!),
and to everyone’s favorite
look at the linen aisle and check out
potential diamonds in the rough!
Many stains can be washed out with a lemon juice soak
or with today’s oxygen removal detergents.
I love my OxyClean!
Most old linens can’t hold up to soaking in bleach.
Bleach tends to break down the already weakened fibers
that are just weakened with age and use.

I have had to soak some tablecloths up to a week
in a bucket or in
our former laundry room’s  laundry sink tub,
but that’s an amazing way to save a ton of money on table linens
o you don’t have to always buy new.

Lastly, set your table with the prettiest
in-season flowers from your yard or flower market.
Grocery stores and big box grocery places do carry good
flower bouquets,
and I know I will go to my local
and pick out what I want and just pay per stem.
I’ve done this for years and then I get exactly what I want
in my bouquets.

Please DO share your table-settings with me! I’d love to see them, your china
patterns, your bouquets! French Ethereal is on Instagram and Twitter
as well as my Facebook page:
@BFrenchethereal, #Frenchethereal, and just French Ethereal on FB.
Share your lovelies!!!
And, as always, feel free to share my posts with your friends.

Have a lovely day today 
and have fun dressing your table!
I’ll be creating a new Easter table-setting for you
later this week,
Blessings to you always,
Barb 🙂

p.s. I will be working on getting InLinks back up and running for you so 
we can share posts here! 

Will be sharing with ~
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
*Roses of Inspiration ~ The Enchanting Rose

*Just wanted to let you know, this will be Stephanie’s last linky party as she
needs to step down for a while. Do please visit her site and if she has been
an inspiration for God for you, let her know.  Thank you. 🙂

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