As my previous post indicated, I hosted a dinner party last night and am reeeeeally happy with how my table turned out. I actually get lots of compliments on my dining room table in general, I think because it's really long and can seat a lot of people. It's actually just an IKEA table I got about three or four years ago from their fancy "high end" Stockholm collection, and I have to say, I absolutely love it. With the leaf in, it's about 95" long, I love the medium brown wood color, and the legs have a slight taper to them, so there's a bit of a mid century profile happening. Plus, the quality is actually really terrific and the surface is super durable; no matter how much stuff I drop on it, it's never gotten a scratch or a mar or anything (I'm actually a huge advocate of IKEA, even though a lot of people poo-poo their quality. I think mixing in IKEA pieces with other vintage stuff is a great way to decorate, and to keep your budget down. But I digress). Anyway, because of the table length, it's often difficult to find tablecloths that are long enough to work, but I actually came up with a good solution that I will share with you, dear reader(s) (Priya! Kelly!). The table ended up looking EXACTLY how I wanted it to, and I was so pleased. I also probably dropped too much cash on getting it to look just right, but I figured the stuff I bought is an investment and I'll use it again and again.
So I was at World Market (incidentally, they've really been stepping up their game lately!) and saw these plates and this tablecloth, and immediately wanted to pair them together:
The colors in that tablecloth are gorgeous and the plates and so awesome, I don't know what to say. I actually ended up going back to World Market and bought the bread plates, too, so now I have a full set of dinner and bread plates in that design. I'm over the moon about that.
I was worried that the tablecloth would be too short, though (it was only 90" long and at that point, I wasn't sure exactly how long my table was, though I knew it was somewhere around 90" or so), so I bought two of the tablecloths and figured I would overlap them. I went home and tried to use my good friend Google to see if someone had a creative solution for how to deal with a too-short tablecloth, or at the very least, how to overlap two cloths attractively so that the seam wouldn't be so obvious. But when I googled "tablecloth is too short," I came up with results like "don't buy a tablecloth that's too short," or, "having a tablecloth that's too long is better than having one that's too short." Um, no shit! So I did some experimenting, and overlapped the cloths but staggered them - if that makes any sense - so that you could clearly see where they overlapped off-center on the table top. And it looked like shite. So once again, I donned my little thinking cap and tried to get creative. And I came up with a solution that worked like a charm! I folded each tablecloth in half width-wise, and then ironed each so that the fold was really flat. Then I lay each tablecloth on the table so that the fold was exactly at the mid point of the table. Meaning that the middle of the table looked like this:
So yes, you can kind of see the gap between the two cloths there, but I figured, once I put a runner down the center, and plates on either side of the runner, there would be no seam visible at all.
And there wasn't! Here's what the middle of the table looked like, once I had the runner and the plates down. No seam in sight! I think it helped that the pattern of the tablecloth itself was so busy.
But now let's get to the important stuff. I.e. centerpiecing.
I love me a nice dramatic centerpiece, but I've never been super good at putting them together. Usually I just put a few candles in the middle of the table, and call it a day. But I saw those two ceramic parakeets at Target (their new home collections are super cute) and felt like I could really do something fun with them. And then on my way through the candle aisle, I saw these two blue hurricane candle holders, which reminded me of that gorgeous turquoise French opaline glass I can never afford, and thought that the blue would contrast well with the bright red tablecloth, while also picking up the little blue accents in the pattern. So I scooped them up and brought them home. I also knew that I wanted a table runner, but wasn't sure what to use. I'm starting to amass a bit of a fabric collection here at home from my various sewing projects, and remembered that I had *just* ordered some cool black and white ikat in order to recover my dining room chairs. I was going to have a little left over, and it was the perfect size to use as a runner. In the end, the centerpiece was, at least to me, a great success:
Snapdragons! So pretty!
I already had the brass vase and the tortoise shell tealight holders. The other clear glass candleholders with the gold stripe are actually Turkish tea glasses I got in Berlin. I had never thought to use them as votive holders, but they worked perfectly. They have come in really handy in the past, though - I've used them to hold toothpicks, flowers, you name it. Strangely, I've never used them to drink tea, though.
And finally, here are a few photos of the table, all set and ready for guests! The gold tumblers were a purchase from eBay a few years ago, and the wine glasses are old, but from World Market. I already had those napkins and the vintage brass napkin rings. The plates look incredible with the pattern on the tablecloth, I think.
And yes, I did re-cover my dining room chairs. I had covered the seats in a navy blue toile that I kept trying to convince myself I liked, but which I never really did. So I ordered a few yards of this nice black and white ikat dot from fabric. com, and am so glad I did. I think the graphic pattern looks so great with the pink rug - before, the toile + the rug looked a little too sweet, but now there's a better balance. And since I'm still kind of in cozy mode, I picked up some extra sheepskins from IKEA and draped them over the backs of the chairs. So now they're comfy AND cozy.
Some last few shots of the chairs before I sign off:
Last but not least, I made a very tasty banana pudding for dessert, based on the recipe from Magnolia Bakery. I've made this a handful of times, and it's a no-brainer, tasty as hell, and turns out perfectly every time. People think it's difficult to make, but it's so totally simple, and doesn't even require baking. Highly recommended. Plus, anything in a trifle dish gets you instant brownie points for presentation:
Thanks for looking!