Tuscany Table Setting!
I participated in a fund raiser for ACAP called Designing Women with a Cause, where 12 women set tables based on a country. I designed and decorated 3 Italian tables starting with Tuscany. If you know me, you know how much I love to set a beautiful table. I love the challenge of doing something that’s never been done before. Someone asked if I had spent hours looking at Pinterest for ideas. The answer is an emphatic NO! Everything I designed is an original Merri idea.
My inspiration for my Tuscany table setting was the beautiful Tuscan countryside where grapes grow and wine is made. The vintage dishes are English Staffordshire, Olde Avon Dale, by J & G Meakin, England. I made a mini grape arbor centerpiece complete with vines, grapes and twinkle lights. Underneath a dozen lanterns add ambiance to the rustic setting.
My place cards are little wood trays with a keyhole cut-out to hold your wine glass (a Goodwill bargain). I painted each with black chalkboard paint and propped them up on stands. Chalk is erasable so I can reuse them over and over.
Sparkly clusters of grapes, also from Goodwill (it’s amazing what I found there for my tables!) add color and texture to each place setting.
Each Tuscany setting started with a grape vine charger. I twisted a length of vine into a circle and held it together with a bit of wire. It adds wonderful texture and contrast, my favorite design elements! I folded brown and vintage lace napkins together and held them together with a lantern napkin ring. See a theme developing?
I also love to add unexpected and unusual touches. Like the brass pocket door pulls. They’re beautiful works of art and perfect for individual salt dishes. The little spoons are made from nails and were found in Eureka, California (where gold was discovered). I only bought 8. Nowadays I never purchase less than 12 of anything. You never know when you’ll have 9 or 10 or 12 people over for dinner.
Once I knew I wanted to illuminate the table with lanterns, I shopped Goodwill, looking for all shapes and sizes. The ones that weren’t bronze, got a quick coat of brown spray paint.
I was asked if I rented the chair covers. Oh no, I actually own them. They were a big bargain years ago that I couldn’t pass up. I knew they would come in handy someday! A burlap bow added color and and more texture.
Next up are my tables dedicated to Rome and Venice.