Dear friends, it is my pleasure to share my blog today with my sweet friend Barbara from Mantel and Table. She sets an exquisite table and I know you will want to subscribe and follow her if you aren’t already. Her social’s are at the end of the post. Please give her a warm welcome and lots of comment love. She is sharing one of my favorite things… a gorgeous tablescape set with blue and white china. Barbara, thank you so much for being my guest today, Katherines Corner is yours! (smile)
Hi – I’m Barbara from Mantel and Table, and I’m so happy to be here on Katherine’s Corner! Easy Elegant Entertaining is what I do over at M&T, so I’m sharing some tablescape inspiration with you today.
If you want to set a beautiful formal tablescape, you can’t do much better than the elegant blue and white china I got at Williams Sonoma recently! This is the second of several tables I’ve already set with it. The first was the vibrant blue tablescape pictured below, which was a little bit of a departure for me. I’m suddenly loving pattern and color! (I know – my friends are all asking where the real Barbara went … !)
But where the previous table was bright and exciting, this one is calm and classic. Even with the same blue and white china on both tables, this one’s a whole different look.
Classic Blue and White China Place Settings
Blue and White China Charger Plates
The chargers are large and heavy and gorgeously smooth. They’re seriously elegant at the table.The Williams Sonoma pattern is called Bluebell, and it’s the beautiful star of the table. Against that white tablecloth, the color really pops. And it’s so interesting – artistic and different without being over the top.
Blue and White China Salad Plates
And aren’t these salad plates wonderful? Williams Sonoma has several salad plate patterns to go with these chargers, and when I was down there, I looked at all of them. But this slightly faded vintage-look one really spoke to me.
There are three other versions, one with the same Bluebell pattern as the chargers. That would have been gorgeous too, but I like the collected look of this complementary pattern.
Blue and White china Napkin Rings
And how perfect are these napkin rings?! They’re the elegant napkin-ring-equivalent of the beautiful chargers. They’re super solid and smooth and gorgeous.
Usually at our dinner parties, we all sit around the table talking long after the dessert is done. We always end up playing around with our napkin rings, so the “play factor” and how they feel in your hands is important to me when I’m choosing them.
These definitely made the grade. They’re as fun and satisfying as they are beautiful!
Ivory Dinner and Bread & Butter Plates
The dinner and bread and butter plates are from the set of china my husband brought to our household. Speaking of smooth, these are incredible. The pattern is Olympia by Royal Doulton. A creamy ivory background with gold trim and a beautiful greek key design around the border. They’re the epitome of classic elegance, and they pair with just about anything.
Here, the ivory stands out against the white, and picks up the creamier flowers too. The pattern’s not being produced anymore, but there’s lots available out there.
And ah, the silver! I have stainless that I use a lot, but when I want to be extra elegant, I pull out my sterling flatware. If you have a set that you’ve collected or inherited, you know how much fun it is to use it.
I actually use mine all the time, and I tell this story all the time too. My mom started the collection for me when I got a hope chest for my 15th birthday. She gave me more pieces for birthdays and Christmases, then when I left home, I continued to add to it whenever I could. The pattern is Rose Point by Wallace, and I’ve always loved it.
The price of silver fluctuates regularly, so I try to keep an eye on it and buy low! The overall price actually came down a little in 2023, and the sources I’ve read recently say the price is going to go back up in 2024, so I’m thinking now’s the time!
People ask me a lot about how I keep my silver clean, and the answer is that I use it – and wash it – a lot. Every couple washings I give it a quick wipe with Wright’s Silver Polish before I rinse. Then I store it in an anti-tarnish-lined silver chest.
Some people put their silver in the dishwasher and have no complaints. I tried it for a while, and wasn’t 100% sold. But if you’re curious, I’d suggest trying it and see what you think.
I have a couple different patterns of glassware, but I’m not as prolific a collector as – say – my SIL, so I use the same glasses for most of my table settings. They’re clear, and they go with everything. And the cut crystal always adds some sparkle. these are actually highball glasses, but I use them for water.
I’ve gone off many times about the Riedel wine glasses we use. Besides his china, my husband introduced his love of wine to our household when he moved in all those years ago. He had several different shapes of Riedel glasses, and swore that they brought out the best in different wines.
I wasn’t quite sure about that claim at first, but then I did a blind tasting test, and now I’m a convert.Plus, the glasses are beautiful and they look great on the table!
Candles and Flowers
And the crowning touch? Candles and flowers!
Whenever I’m trying to keep a tablescape neutral, like in this case to show off the blue and white china, I use cut glass. It adds light and sparkle, and doesn’t detract from whatever idea you’ve got going on.
I got these lovely taper candle holders to use as the bases for the DIY tiny cake plates I made for my Milestone Birthday Party. That’s a whole other story, but they work great for holding candles too!
A White Flower Centerpiece
I love fresh flowers. But sometimes you just don’t have any, and you want to set a lovely table, right? That’s when I turn to my faux flower collection. I’m old enough to remember when fake flowers were hideously plastic and looked ridiculous with a pretty table setting.
But thank goodness – now we have tons of beautiful faux flowers available. Sometimes I mix them with fresh flowers or greenery. But even when I use them all on their own, like this arrangement, my guests don’t realize they’re not fresh unless I tell them, or they try to stick their noses in to smell them!
In keeping with my plates-as-the-stars concept, the white flowers are beautiful without taking attention away from the blue and white. And same with that simple silver bowl as a vase. We get more elegant reflections with no interference.
A Blue and White China Table Setting for Any Season
I especially love this light bright open look on my table in the winter, when I’m done with the holidays and dreaming of spring!
It’s also perfect when spring finally gets here, or when summer’s in full swing. And guests always feel special at a beautiful formal table.
I hope you’ve found some ideas for your own beautiful tables! And I’d love to have you join us as a Mantel and Table subscriber! Come on over to MANTELandTABLE.com to sign up, and for lots of other home entertaining inspiration and resources!
Thank you so much to Katherine for her kind invitation to share with you – it’s been wonderful, and I hope to see you again soon!
Barbara what a beautiful table, truly elegant . Thank you so much for accepting my invitation. It’s been a pleasure having you as my guest today. I hope you’ll do it again in the future. Your tables are always so stunning your exquisite taste shows in everything you create. (smile)