Layering a Table Setting

July 8, 2011

We had a send off dinner last eve for our beloved Nancy, who is moving to San Francisco with her husband who took a new job. The folks that work for me become part of our family, so we all gathered to send her off in proper Watson Kennedy fashion. It was a lovely evening of many stories, lots of laughs and a few final good-bye tears.

I wanted to set a creamy white table because I knew the last of the peonies are in bloom, and I wanted to scatter them about the table. Setting a table is much like getting dressed. You first choose what you want to wear and then layer the rest. In this case I knew I wanted to use white plates that I knew would play well off of the creamy white peonies.

I also thought clear stem ware would work well for the drinking glasses, as I knew the libation for the evening would be bubbly. I chose clear Juliska vessels for the peonies. Bone handled silver ware as well as horn napkin rings add an earthiness to the French fruitwood table which I most times like to leave exposed, without a tablecloth.

Then I start layering. The table needed something tall, so silver candlesticks were added with natural beeswax tapers.

Old watch faces from my collection were set about, as well as a few Limoges boxes (a champagne cork and a pocket watch) that tied in with the other things on the table. We pulled vintage game pieces with letters on them from the shop to use instead of place cards.

The candles were lit, the bubbly poured, a little Jazz was playing in the background–and we were all set for a festive farewell.