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Tablescape Tips with a Vintage Twist

June 12, 2023

Inspiration is everywhere. The scene we are sharing today was inspired by a vintage floral tablecloth found with friends & fellow shopkeepers during the Vintage Keepers retreat in Brimfield, MA. The moment we saw it, we knew what it would be used for: An elegant, whimsical, summery table. Here is the vision come to life, along with some practical and lighthearted tips for how to create a beautiful, welcoming & vintage inspired table.

Happy Tablescaping!

XO Melissa ( Farmette Finds)

1. DRESS YOUR TABLE: Whether you use a full size tablecloth, an overlay, or a simple runner, there are beautiful vintage linens waiting to be discovered to help you to create a well laid table. Linens from years ago are of wonderful quality & sometimes even hand embroidered. Choose a bold pattern to pair with simple plates, or a solid color to accent your decorated dishes. Add a placemat for both function & texture. Don’t forget napkins! Vintage cloth napkins add even more layers to your table plus visual interest. Display them with a simple fold or learn an eleborate design to delight your guests.

2. PLATES: One can never tire of the endless variety of vintage & antique dishes waiting to be given a new life. A single pattern can inspire an entire table. If you don’t wish to invest in a large set, mix it up by adding vintage salad plates, dessert plates, or bowls to your existing modern set. Another way to incorporate vintage is to use mismatched plates to set the scene! Stick with florals or coordinating colors and just have fun! You can also start a collection of special vintage holiday dishes that you look forward to displaying & using each year.

3. UTENSILS: No table is complete without utensils for eating & serving! Compared to the modern day flatware & serving utensils, vintage pieces add more interest to your table due to their highly detailed & decorative nature. It’s enjoyable to search for & collect ornately designed pieces for a unique and curated look. Many of the older pieces were also monogrammed or engraved. It’s fun to imagine who they belonged to! Thanks to the Victorians, there are an abundance of utensils for just about anything you can dream of serving….so keep your eyes peeled for a beautiful tomato spoon or set of asparagus tongs for your next gathering!

4. GLASSWARE: Keep your guests beautifully refreshed with a variety of vintage glassware. There are incredible options to be found for all of your beverage needs. From water goblets to wine glasses & everything in between, there is no shortage of vintage vessels to add beauty and functionality to your table. Keep it classic with a clear or crystal glass or be bold and choose colorful pieces that coordinate with the rest of your table. My personal favorite is glassware with an etched design which adds a touch of interest and elegance! A large water or iced tea pitcher makes a great statement and is a good place to start when collecting vintage vessels. Don’t forget decanters! How delightful to serve your spirits from a special vintage piece.

5. LIGHTING: Add ambiance with lighting to set the mood for your gathering. Candlelight will add that magical touch! There is an abundance of vintage candlesticks and candelabras to choose from. Depending on the look of your table, you can choose from brass or silver, polished or with patina! Crystal is another great option that will up the elegance & add some sparkle. Another fun option to look for is a whimsical style candle holder in a figural or floral design!

6. NATURAL ELEMENTS: Make space space on your table for fresh flowers but don’t limit your possibilities when it comes to adding natural elements. Consider simple greenery, especially if flowers are already present on your tablecloth or dishes. Fruit is another fun and trendy way to add color and creativity! Potted herbs are also a great option. If foraged & found interests you, simple branches from your own backyard can be both beautiful and useful! Think outside the box and create what speaks to you!

7. WHIMSY: They say beauty is in the details but so is the fun! Whimsical touches will make your table both memorable & special. Curate objects to add some final touches in the form of napkin rings, place card holders, figurines & curiosities. A dinner bell & candle snuffer are 2 suggestions that are easy to source vintage!

8. PEOPLE: Saving the best tip for last! Bring your loved ones togeather around the beautiful table you created from your heart. Use your things, connect over food, create memories. As they say, the best antiques are old friends so gather them togeather and enjoy! cheers!


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