Please bring them out of the china cabinets, breakfronts, hutches, buffets, and storage. Please! Free your china! Why wait for the great-granddaughter-in-law to inherit a mint condition complete china set, only to be rejected as out dated and stuffy? (Believe me I know these things. I see evidence all the time.) Why don’t we set our dining room tables and enjoy the beauty whether we dine there or not?

Today, I’ve dressed my dining table for you in two distinctly different (hmmm, that may be redundant) styles.  I had the forgotten meal, breakfast, in mind when I set these examples, but I’m sure the place setting police would acquiesce if we chose to serve lunch or dinner. We remained true to our style of mixing vintage and new with treasures and  thrift finds.

The first table I call  “Of Crepes and Crumpets”.  Along with crepes and crumpets, the lady of the house would likely serve Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce, Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes, and Ruby Grapefruit Supremes (no, not the faintest idea how to go about it! Remember, I’m not your cook–ask Linda or Linda of King Lane).

fancy table from top - double.jpg

What goes better with crumpets, than tea? What better to serve the tea than a silver tea set? You don’t have to be a millionaire to own a tea set! Once again, I see them (probably silver plated, beautiful none-the-less) in antique markets, flea markets, and estate sales (that dastardly great-granddaughter-in-law at it again).

Mine is one of the kindest gifts I’ve ever received. I shared my wish to own a silver tea set some day with my beautiful bonus mom, Mary Mooney Rowe. We talked about their beauty and all around fanciness. Some time passed between that conversation and Mary arriving at my home for dinner one evening with a box in tow. The box contained this silver tea set that she had dutifully stored away in her buffet. To this day, this is one of the most meaningful gifts I’ve ever received, an unforgettable expression of love (she chose to gift the set to me, a daughter-in-law–I am forever humbled).  I love her and think of her often as this set is found displayed somewhere in our home always!

silver tea set.jpg

 Candelabra!  Right? I have four (living room, dining room, master bath, and on the tea cart ((wherever that may be for the week–I did mention the furniture changes location at least monthly didn’t I?)).  Any of your spaces will be greatly improved with a regal candelabra!

fancy table candelabra.jpg

I love to give you floral options that don’t break the bank, like these sweet violets. These were on sale at my grocery store 2 for $5. Perfect! One for me and one for a friend. The trophy-like container purchased from retail on a sister’s trip to Atchison a few years back (yes the very sisters who harbor no ill will regarding the silver tea set) provides an ideal home for my unpretentious violet.

fancy table violets.jpg

May I mix china pieces? Yes you may! If you’ve tried before and felt unsure, how about this advice. Keep it simple by using china patterns that contain the same colors. Here I’ve mixed the Rowe family china , Royal Worcester from England (no, Mary did not bring the family china to me in a box–Tom the Great chose it fair and square–and the siblings are welcome to use it anytime they would like), with J.P. Limoges salad plates from France, and finally  Homer Laughlin USA fruit bowls (kind of the United Nation of table settings). What ties them all together is the blue and/or violet colors found on all three sets.

Look closely for the SAAWEEET butter pat plates! Details, friends, details!!

Victorian Tablescape

Beautiful vintage tablescape

Victorian Style Vintage Tablescape

Vintage china

Now, let’s  kick back and relax! The second breakfast table is fittingly titled “Come and Get It”. It’s likely that Mama had to ring the bell to summon Papa and Brother in from the barn, as they had already put in two hours of hard work having risen with melodious call of the rooster (I’m painting a picture for your mind’s eye. Can you see it?).

Remember, before we were rightly concerned with counting calories, a low-carb diet, and reducing animal fat. You know, when biscuits n’ gravy, (we’re talking roll out the dough and cut out the biscuits with a small glass dipped in flour), bacon and sausage, fried eggs,  pan-fried potatoes, sliced tomato, and home-made molasses were the fare for the morning.

So, maybe you just put out a spread like that one or two times a year (and your heart thanks you for it). Or, even if you never cook like that, but you love the look and feel of a farm-house type table setting. This one’s for you!

Simple Farmhouse Tablescape

Vintage China and Vintage Candlesticks make an easy tablescape

Who better to hold court at center stage than the proud and confident ruler of the barn yard, Mr. Rooster! If you’ve ever lived or visited a farm for a time, you figured out fairly quickly who was in charge of the barnyard! (I can tell you that not all roosters adhere to this thing we call southern hospitality).

I know this from personal experience. When I was 5 years old, my fairly citified family moved to the country … with barns… and animals… and dirt… and Ro Ho, the ruler of the barnyard (I’d bet the colloquialism ((or is it an idiom–anywhoo) “Rules the Roost” originated with His Majesty, Ro Ho)!

As the story goes my mom loved riding horses and really wanted one of her own. When  the cost of boarding her horse continued to rise, dad decided we might all benefit from the country/farm life. So, we packed up our city treasures (Mrs. Beasley for me), and headed to “Bluebird Road”! Boy howdy did we benefit! Horses, cows, dogs, chickens and of course a struttin’ rooster to oversee them all! I cherish the memories–four wonderful years that our family of six fondly recalls. There was, however,  a clear and concise learning curve for each of us!

Ro Ho provided one such  learning opportunity. He was a banty rooster . We learned the hard way, that banty roosters, although small in statue, have an aggressive “do you want to fight” attitude. My dad appreciated (okay, loooooved) that rooster. He may or may not have given Ole’ Ro Ho mouth to mouth resuscitation after my mom was a little to aggressive self protecting. And yes, Ro Ho lived to attack another day!

Suffice it to say, if you had to make a trip through the barnyard , you’d best  be quick and light of foot!

French Country Tablescape

Simple Tablescapes

These simple and humble vintage dishes, Homer Laughlin’s golden wheat,  take me back to those fun and formative years on the farm.

Vintage China for Easy Tablescape

Vintage China and glasses make a simple table setting

 This 1950s coffee carafe allows you to keep the reinforcements in close proximity!

Simple Vintage Decor Ideas

Simple Rose for Tablescape

I’ve long  admired anyone who can sew, weave, cross-stitch, knit, crochet or otherwise create beauty. This Yo-Yo runner was made by my Aunt Cathy’s grandmother. For years she made a living making beautiful handmade items and selling them on weekends at various craft shows. For years I admired one Cathy gave my mom, and  when I had the opportunity just a few years back,  I asked Cathy if I could purchase one of the treasures (her grandmother had long since passed away). She refused to let me buy one. Within weeks I got a package in the mail with the kindest note about how proud Cathy is of her grandmother’s work, and that she considers it an honor and privilege to gift me with this runner. I sure feel like I’m the one who was honored and privileged.

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You may recognize these darling salt and pepper shakers cleverly disguised as sheep. Why yes, they are the very one’s that were nestled in the manger with baby Jesus this past  Christmas! We cleaned them up and brought them to the breakfast table!

country table salt and pepper.jpg

If you follow my blogs, your accustomed to seeing my succulents! I love them on this farm table. After breakfast, they go back to the kitchen window where the get lots of morning sun and an occasional drink of water. I planted these in the cups almost one year ago and they are still alive!


I hope you enjoyed the breakfast tables and are inspired to get cooking and invite over the neighbors. Or, at least set your dining room table. Free the china for beauty’s sake! Enjoy Today!

Love y’all,

Lori Nell

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