Thursday, June 24, 2010

Renoir and Friends

I wonder if you can get a sense of the intense light and heat from this shoot. Upper 90's here in Albuquerque. But because it's not humid, if you find a bit of shade you're okay.

I'm a native, and also born in summer. I grew up here without air conditioning. We had fans of course. But I can tolerate the heat, and I like hot weather.

I love neutrals for a table as well as white. This vintage tablecloth never made it to the shop. It's exactly what I want to offer customers, but after the launder and the press, and running my hands over the soft "hand" of pure linen, it just gets to me, and I know that NO ONE will EVER love it more than me!

Light colors are best for a mid-day summer soiree. They cool the eye, and reflect the light like nothing else can. I like to use a long cover beneath the main cloth to drape the table. It gives the whole scene an elegant, classic, and finished look.

I'm adding a little fancier crisp linen napkin (vintage) for this setting to balance out some of the more casual elements that I'm using for this layout. I have my everyday white no name plates that get tough use, and always get replaced with thrift store fill-ins because they get chipped, etc., over time.

I like the way Europeans sit and linger for mealtimes. Especially in the middle of the day when you most need it. I'm always poring over books to copy settings that I like, and I'm crazy about cafe life.

I'm big at "impromptu" lunches in novel places in the yard. Once while the two of us were lingering at the table after a wine lunch on our front porch, the mailman happened along to deliver mail, and seemed startled and embarrassed to have stumbled upon what he believed to be a special occasion. It was only lunch. And we don't do it everyday. But a carefully laid table is something many people here are unaccustomed to.

The centerpiece is a white vase of dried flowers (they last a long time :)) with an ironstone water pitcher and shells.

Renoir would never set a table with these gauche dipping bowls from Williams-Sonoma! But they have my favorite themes going, and liven up the neutral table. They would be perfect for a small salad or dessert after they set the mood for the table.

I did buy a set as a gift, but then had to have some for myself too! (Are you detecting a pattern here?) They're perfect for summer when travel is on everyone's mind. They're also great conversation starters.

A set of four doesn't set you back much, and brings something really fun and different to add to the table now and then. I also find it more interesting to introduce just a flavor of a stand-out table setting than to have the whole shebang worked up.

I'm offering inexpensive (REALLY inexpensive) vintage jelly jars at the lunch table. They're low risk all the way around for a meal on the lawn, but still charming.

Finally, I enjoy having my antique homespun towels tableside to drape an extra side table, for accidental spills, an extra napkin, ambiance, etc., etc., etc..

Stay cool! Ciao! for now! Thanks for stopping by!


I'm joining Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday!
Cindy's Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday


Bella said...

Hi Jacqueline.. Another table as lovely as always.. and as always I adore your linens!!
Thanks so much for sending some sunshine my way.. it arrived today..hurray!!

Annesphamily said...

Hi Jacqueline! I love those bowls! We were in the 90s too in Denver but with 100% humidity on Monday! Where that came from I will never know! I am a Colorado native and use to the heat but dislike it as I get older! You set a beautiful table for your impromptu lunches.

I wish you would join the postcard exchange over at my blog. Your state is my state's neighbor and the only neighbors I have are Wyoming and Oklahoma! Waiting on Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico! I hope you qill think about joining us!
I love the white pitcher in the summer time. White is a classic summer choice! Thank you so much for sharing with us today! Hugs Anne

Donna (Timeless Settings) said...

Such a pretty table setting! I love white and neutrals together!


All The Pretty Dishes said...

I love your tablescape. I also wouldn't have given up that tablecloth. Just lovely.

Kathryn @ Bonafide Southern said...

Such a beautiful table, especially that gorgeous tablecloth. Thanks for sharing and happy TT to you!

The Blackwood Cottage said...

You are making me rethink the things I love! I'm rather dark in my interiors, tablescapes and blogging but are making me consider picking up the love of white! I'm going to end up with split personality! Beautiful, cool, and the white.

Martha said...

A very pretty ta ble -- and I love dining al fresco.

once in a blue moon... said...

you have great style, love it all!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

What a beautifully set table!! A long relaxing summer lunch sounds wonderful!

Debra@Common Ground said...

Your last two posts on table settings have been just heavenly. The linen table topper you have would have stayed with me also! I admire your taking the time for impromptu lunches al fresco, just a lovely way to unwind and enjoy LIFE!

Tricia@The Dull and the Dutiful said...

Great post! I love your writing interspersed with the lovely photos! I think you are right that a lot of people no longer set a pretty table for "ordinary" meals. Gorgeous linens! I wish I could touch them!

Barbara said...

Oh, this is so pretty and restful. I think we desert dwellers look at things differently in the summer. The linen and the layering is so gorgeous. I love the white.

Johanna said...

Jacqueline, your table is gorgeous. The white of the tablelinnen really pops in my eyes with the natural colored linnen over it. I can see why you fell in love with thos embroderied tablecloth. Very beautifull and so is the napkin, too. I love this calm and cool look of white an naturals. Great tablescape.
Greetings, Johanna

Mimi said...

Beautiful table...the linens are lovely...the dipping bowls are adorable.

Brenda@Cozy Little House said...

You have such wonderful ideas for a lunch table! I too love Williams-Sonoma, but don't have one here. Still I shop from the catalog. I couldn't find an email address for you anywhere, so am sending you my message through a comment. I just wanted to let you know that you have been featured on my Welcome Wagon Friday's post for this week. The post has just been published. I do this every week to welcome new and newish blogs to the blogosphere. I shall be visiting!

Kay said...

Jacqueline, your post is making me so homesick for Albuquerque!! The linens and dishes and sunshine are so beautiful. I remember how on a hot day, getting in the shade provided sweet relief. I'm going to have to get that Renoir book. Last night at book club I put my pretty glasses on a round silver tray---and there's a picture of that idea in the book--I feel so cool! Ha!
Thanks for another inspiring, refreshing, and beautiful post. Also, who is the author of that book Country Homes you had in a recent post? Looked like another beautiful one I "need"!

Anonymous said...

Hi, what a lovely table! I love your ironstone pitchers, and your beautiful linens....Kathy

Sherry said...

Your table is just lovely! I love the tablecloth and napkins. Much loved I am sure. Such a pretty table with such a pleasing palate.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Very clever tablescape! I love what you did here. I like to think outside the box, and I think you did that with the jars. Love that. Have used it before, too. And I love your vintage linens and the celluloid (?) handle I spy in one spot.


Sheila :-)

Tracy F. said...

So glad we found each others blogs. I'm enjoying reading your previous posts. Love your cute plates and pretty linens featured today.I'm a new follower!

Olga said...

I love all your tablescapes. You are so talented in this matter. Your blog is one of my favorite because of all the wonderful ideas and beautiful things you share with us.
Oh, and I really like the tablecloth in this setting. It's gorgeous.

dee dee said...

Ahhhh, such an inviting table! I love the soft colors and the wonderful centerpiece!
Dee Dee

Bill said...

Hi Jacqueline,
I very much enjoyed seeing your tasteful, neutral, summery outdoor table. You photographed it perfectly, and your writing style is impresssive -- informative and interesting.

Hope you have an enjoyable weekend.

Lana said...

Just gorgeous! It seems so perfect to endure the summer heat, so soothing.

Wonderful attention to detail on this table vignette!!!


Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Your photos are so beautiful and inviting. You are inspiring me to use more white in my home, plus all the vintage linens I have put away for "safekeeping." Time to bring them out, I think.

marlis said...

I agree with HOT.. we were in Santa Fe last weekend and it was HOT. Your tablescape is wonderful. I envy your vintage finds and agree with you that it takes a special person to love them a much as you do!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Happy Friday! I am stopping by via the linky party.

Your outdoor vignette looks utterly charming!

Susan said...

I love your table scape!!

Kathy said...

This was a very serene setting! Just love tablescapes based upon artistic masters. I did one a couple weeks back on Monet!
Stay cool!

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