Friday, April 26, 2013

Looks Inviting

When we moved to Iowa after twenty-four years in South America we came without furniture at the same time our son and his wife were moving from a big house in a small town to a small apartment in a big city so he could continue his education. They had bought a reclining sofa and loveseat at a furniture store close-out for a really great deal. Did I mention they were moving to a small apartment?

Some favorite memories on the big brown sofa (left to right, top first): Our daughters and friend lounging; my granddaughter giving me a spontaneous hug on New Year's Day; My mother with her first great grandson (my first grandson); Jim with our granddaughter reading one of "Uncle Samuel's" old books.

Did I mention we had no furniture? So we were happy to babysit the sofa until they had a place where it would fit.  Four and three-quarters years later, they are reclaiming their sofa. That is why we have been in many furniture stores recently.

One thing I noticed is that stores have many beautiful things that you aren't looking for and the best stores set up mini rooms throughout the store to give you an idea of what it will look like and to whet your appetite (or incite covetousness). 

So I wandered through stores looking for a loveseat and chairs, but continuously stumbled across tables with gorgeous decorations on them. They looked like tables where I could sit for hours with friends, lingering over coffee and talking about deep and worthwhile subjects.  

I have to admit, I find a "dressed" table so attractive! And I love it when I succeed in dressing mine to the occasion even between meals. It shows something about the home.

While I realize that some tables have to do double or triple duty as homeschool station, sewing table, game table, or craft area, a table that is cleared of clutter and made attractive even between meals says,

  • "This is an important spot." 
  • "This table serves a pleasant and familial function and is not a catch-all for everyone's stuff." 
  • "We care about our family meals and keep a place ready for them."
I wish I were one of those women who walks into a second hand shop, sees a rusty watering can and thinks If I use a little Mod Podge, three paper clips, and a headband, I could hang this sideways on the wall for my extra grocery store bags. But alas, all I see is a rusty watering can. So when I wander around my house and look for different things to use to dress my table, and they work, I get very excited.

For example, here I took some tea cups I have stored in my decoration closet and a pashmina shawl my husband brought home from his last trip to India. The mums in the cups were left over from the bouquet my daughter brought me for Valentines.

Last week I paired my mother-in-law's now handed down Lenox bowl with my Flemington Glass factory bunnies I got as a child (seriously I bought them at the Flemington Glass factory in Flemington, New Jersey long before I ever heard of Jim Fleming!) and some colorful lemons and limes I bought for our water.

This week I have a wooden bowl from the Bahamas with apples and mangos (because they are the best fruit ever and were on sale at Aldi's) on a patch work table runner from Vietnam (and my faithful springtime bunnies).

I believe this makes my table more inviting and it's easy to set for a meal with solid color placemats. 

What can you do to make your table look inviting?

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Remember to like the Around the Table Facebook page to get a conversation starter for your dinner tonight!

Linking with these great blogs.


  1. Beautiful and inviting tables!

  2. "Around the Table" has been included in the Sites To See for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

  3. Very cute tablescape with the teacups! Love it! Hope you have a great weekend! Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

  4. Loved seeing your tables! Beautiful runners! I visited from Spiritual Sundays :)

  5. I love what you said about what a "ready" table says....I hadn't really ever thought about it, but it is so true, "This table serves a pleasant and familial function and is not a catch-all for everyone's stuff."

    And I adore your tea cups!!! :)

    I found you on Say it Saturday, and am now happy to be following you!

    Love, Joy @

    1. Thanks so much, Joy! It's just so calming to me to have a pretty and uncluttered table.

      My teacups are from my mother, my mother-in-law, and my husband's aunt.

  6. I think dressed tables are so pretty. I always enjoy going to dinner at my grandmother's house and wondering what the table is going to look like!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  7. I love your creativity! I'm not nearly so creative, but, I did make myself a promise shortly after I married that I've kept. A roommate, while our husbands were in Officer Candidate School, told me she always had candles for dinner because she decided early in their marriage she always wanted to dine my candlelight. I didn't think that tradition would survive children and would get expensive, but I liked the concept of making meals special. So, I decided we would always have cloth napkins, instead of the paper I'd grown up with. Now, I have tablecloths and placemats and enough cloth napkins to last until next week's laundry is done. One of my daughter-in-laws has adopted the practice. It's even green! But, I do it to make family meals special.

  8. Oh, my favorite is the tea cups and shawl. So different, so beautiful. I always have a tablecloth on my table and an iron dinner bell that hangs from an iron stand smack dab in the center. I ring the bell when no one seems to be responding to my "time for dinner" call.

    Thank you for sharing these special table displays in the GRAND Social! Great post!

  9. I love the tea cups, too! It may sound silly but I have gotten addicted to the fun and seasonal plastic table clothes they sell at places like Michael's and Joann's. They are inexpensive and they do last! I have a couple that I have used multiple years before throwing them away. (plus they are great for grandchildren doing crafts) PLUS I love to have flowers on the table. It doesn't always happen but like now when the calla lilies are blooming I have a vase on the table with them. Even Amara likes them.

  10. Oh I love all your little touches!

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

  11. Lovely touches to the table decor.Thanks for sharing @ & hope to see you again this week. Have a great weekend! Theresa

  12. I used to put homemade tablecloths on my table. I don't anymore unless it is Christmas or something special. I always have something in the middle but you motivate me to be more creative.

    Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home.

  13. I love the way you make meals an event by decorating your table. I used to do this when my daughters were children and it made mealtime even more fun. I wish I had thought of your "whose is this?" game at that time! We would have just roared our way through dinner because part of the basket would have included a cat toy or two!



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