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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Family Supper A la French Country


Our family suppers are always an informal affair. We usually set up like this if at all. And you mustn't take "like this" literally.



Everything here is all at hand at close range all the time. The difference is a matter of composition. Or rather, composure. Because often we serve right off the stove, and everyone knows where to find a plate and fork, and if not, it's all in plain sight! (We're talking adults here. The parents prepare plates for the kids.)



This bit of flatware lives in this glass jar. The jar is a thrift store find--no lid. But how would a lid work for me here? Aside from the convenience of a jar of forks and spoons, I like that the arrangement says "welcome" to the drop in diner. Usually family. Always room for more.



The dignity of a table cover is the by-product of the practicality of not having to scrub a wood table after each use. But a nice by-product. Antique French linen is my favorite. It has an appealing simplicity and beauty on its own. And it comes closest to the classic French country table setting which I love.


The habit of a white tablecloth frees you from decisions of what goes with what when you want to set a nice table quickly for a meal. It often shows off what is on the table--food, dishware, glasses, centerpiece-- best. These napkins are from my Pottery Barn splurge this summer. They are really the star of this very basic table setting.


I wonder if any of you ever need this much focus on function. But I raised a large family and it's second nature to me now. Work smart, not hard! Life is short. As a blogging friend quoted recently, this is so you "don't run out of time to live".



Eighteenth century natural homespun linen and crochet towel. Soup/cereal bowls always in this basket.




My antique birdcage usually sits on the breakfast island.



A cachepot or vase with a dried bouquet is always nearby if not already on the table.



My Wedgewood dinner plates, flatware, creamware and ironstone bowls, are all vintage.













"In the middle of the room stood a long table of plain boards placed on trestles, with benches down each side. At one end of it, where an arm-chair stood pushed back, were spread the remains of the Badger's plain but ample supper. Rows of spotless plates winked from the shelves of the dresser at the far end of the room, and from the rafters overhead hung hams, bundles of dried herbs, nets of onions, and baskets of eggs. It seemed a place where weary harvesters could line up in scores along the table and keep their Harvest Home with mirth and song, or where two or three friends of simple tastes could sit about as they pleased and eat and smoke and talk in comfort and contentment."

Kenneth Graham, Mr. Badger chapter of The Wind in the Willows.


Thanks for stopping by to supper!
Ciao! for now! and Au Revoir!

Jacqueline

I'm linking up with The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
Vintage Thingie Thursday at The Coloradolady
Vignette Fridays at Color Outside the Lines
My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

46 comments:

Fatima -Scrapart said...

Wonderful! Your photos are specials. I like your pieces style.Hugs. Fatima-Scrapart.

Sandi said...

If this is how your house looks with no special set up for pix I am moving in with you!! Everything is just perfect and gorgeous! LOVE those napkins. Now I must go on a hunt for some. :)
Blessings~

Marydon said...

Absolutely awesome, warm, elegant table. Love the style you share ...

Have a great summer's eve ~
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

James said...

Your images are always so soothing, thank you.

Petite Michelle Louise said...

well that's just about THE loveliest "causal", "everyday" table setting i've ever seen. And I, for one, would LOVE to join you "pour le diner!!"

"Merci" for sharing!

Sally Annie Magundy said...

Wonderful post. Everything is so very lovely and I adore "The Wind in the Willows"!

Happy VTT,
Sally

Bella said...

Hi Jacqueline... You have show the perfect match of function meets beauty :-) Love the silverware jar! I don't remember the scriped napkins, very nice!! My favorite photo... (not just cause I like vintage aprons), but I think the apron hanging on the door gives a nice nod to the cook :-) Beautiful as always!
Bella

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Simple and beautiful.

Deborah said...

Love it all. It is so warm and welcoming just like the quote from the "Wind in the Willows". Thank you for sharing.

Faye said...

Everything is so pretty! Love the old birdcage!

Grammy said...

I was just reading about the Badger with my six year old granddaughter Monday evening! So many of your table elements are items I either have or display similar to you. Regarding the utensils in the jar, I keep a selection of vintage silver plate spoons near my coffee pot and select a different one each morning to stir my coffee. It makes me happy!

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

Love the silverware LIVING in the jar and the white on white dishes.

Allison Shops said...

Simply lovely!

Some news: We're staring a Giveaway Friday! link-up party this Fri. 8/27 plus we are giving away custom backsplash! Hope you'll join us.

Allison
Atticmag

Style Sisters said...

I love this...so simple and comfortable and yet elegant. I love how you keep your silverware in a thrift store glass jar.

Karin

P. said...

Very beautiful. I especially like the ironstone!

Mimi said...

Simply elegant. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photography talent.

Susy @ The Feathered Nest said...

So beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your tableware and linens.

Jacqueline said...

I felt transported to another place and time. What a beautiful French Family supper. I am glad I was invited. Your linens are beautiful and the way you displayed everything just charmed me. The napkins are killer!

Sarah said...

Well my friend, you've inspired me in two ways tonight! One, I need to start using tablecloths. Two, I need to read Wind in the Willows to my kids! :)

Have a wonderful day! Be sure to visit my blog for a great giveaway!

Sarah
***Visit my blog for a GIVEAWAY and new linking party!***
http://bloggingwhilewaiting.blogspot.com/2010/08/new-wednesday-party-link-up-giveway-too.html

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Beautiful table setting. Recognized the Wedgwood plates immediately.

Entertaining Women said...

The textures, the wonderful cream ware and white on white color choice, simply perfect. Thank you for sharing your charming design. Cherry Kay

Mary said...

This is so comfortable and casual~ it just says "Welcome" ~love the silverware in the jar!

Miss Gracie's House said...

That is function and beauty all in one! LOVE it!
Rene

Pat said...

You have given some ideas to set a welcoming table when my family is home for sunday dinner. I enjoyed your pics. Thx for sharng.

someplace in thyme said...

It was wonderful being a part of the family if even for a short while. I did very much enjoy the tour, just wish I could have smelled what was cooking. I bet it is magical. Char

Diann @ The Thrifty Groove said...

Everything looks just wonderful. Relaxed but with a touch of elegance!

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

So a sweet post!! I LOVE your family supper setting :)

Blessings!
Gail

Jeannine said...

Your simple French country table is wonderful. Ease and simplicity. Around here we will serve guests a drink the first time. After that they are considered family and can help themselves to whatever is in the fridge. I like the idea of making it simple and easy so you can spend more time in good company. And I love the napkins!

Pam said...

What lovely photos. My favorite is the apron hanging on the door. I'm going to steal your silverware jar - great idea.

AshTreeCottage said...

Everything is just as I love it ~ warm and welcoming!! I agree with you, life is short and meant to be spent enjoying family and friends, not slaving over decorating.

Love,
Susan and Bentley
xxoo

Lori Lucas said...

I almost did cream and rustic this week. Yours is absolutely lovely. I love the textures you put together for your tablescape. It is picture perfect. Lori L

Ann said...

Such an inviting table setting! It all looks great!
Fondly,
Ann
@
The Tattered Tassel

Kim said...

Adore. The napkins are amazing and the basket that holds your bowls..just perfect.

Cindy said...

Perfect! Your blog is a mini vacation for me every night after a long day at school!

Victorian1885 said...

What a beautiful tablescape..loved the old linens & silver holder.

Wanda

Atelier de Charo said...

Beautiful napkins!

Linda said...

This post sends me to a happy place. I hope your friends and family appreciate your warm and sophisticated touch.

Sue said...

Jacqueline, this table is simplicity at its best, but elegant, as well. Love those napkins and the use of the basket for your bowls. Beautiful dried arrangement too...
~ Sue

KathyB. said...

I love white, I love your blog!

Kathysue said...

Love all the white and the textures. I just did a post this week on Ina Gartens kitchen and one of the things I fell in love with was her spooner. I copied the idea and put my bakelite knives in the glass. Love the look for fall.If you want to take a peek go here:

http://goodlifeofdesign.blogspot.com/2010/08/ina-garten-taught-me-something.html

Love your blog!!

maría cecilia said...

Wonderful tablescape with lovely items!!! Everything you post is so charming and elegant and yet simple!!! I love it!!!!!!
cariños,
maria cecilia

niartist said...

I love absolutely everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING about this! Thank you for linking up to Color Outside the Lines Vignette Friday! I really appreciate it, and hope you'll continue to share your awesome skills and inspiration week after week! :) Artie

Alaina said...

I love the writting napkins. What a beautiful table setting. Great colors and textures.

Tricia Rose said...

You have such a gift for graceful, practical living - I will take note of several of your lovely touches. Great eye!

Amy Kinser said...

I absolutley love this table. You have made it look effortlessly beautiful. It appeals to me on so many levels. I would love to copy every inch of it. Thanks so much for sharing.

Stop by for a visit. Partying with you tonight.

Kate Dickerson, C'est si Bon! La Joie de Vivre! said...

My goodness, Jacqueline - I have just discovered your lovely blog, through Tablescape Thursday. I am your newest fan!! I have just put a link to your blog on my own blog sidebar. Come see mine - I think you'll enjoy it, too.!

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