One of my cousins, Barbara Ellen, gave me the nickname “Fancy” years ago. In addition to being quite accurate to describe my taste and personality, through the years and especially after moving to Colorado (a much more casual environment compared to Dallas, where I grew up!), my lifestyle has morphed into a much more casual one. However, Valentine’s Day is such a perfect occasion to bring out my “fancy”!
I love this time of the year because I really enjoy utilizing some of my more glamorous serving pieces like my Waterford crystal, fine china, silverware and rose bowls (the most perfect container for roses, in my humble opinion). Roses seem to be the most obvious choice for the flowers to use for this type of table setting more than any other time of the year. I love using a variety of the crystal rose bowls not only for the formality it adds to the scene as a container for the spectacular roses, but also because of how they add a romantic lighting feature when used as a votive holder. For this table setting, I used a variety of sizes and designs which adds to the artistry of the ambiance.
One the main features of this table setting that I want to point out is my use of napkins used as placemats. This can be such a great way to dress a table that most people wouldn’t think about as an option. There are so many reasons to incorporate this into your thinking as you are planning a table setting. First, napkins are typically less expensive than place mats. Secondly, when you are using a lot of silverware and layers of plates, most place mats are not big enough. Most napkins are square and can be turned and placed at a diagonal (as shown here) to be able to handle all of the silverware (especially soup spoons that are typically placed above the plates). Lastly, there are so many more varieties of napkins rather than place mats, especially with regard to embellishments, fabrics and designs that are available out there. The silk napkins used here have a lovely metallic trim that really adds a bit more glamour to the table setting. BIG NOTE: When buying napkins, always buy at least one extra one in case one gets damaged by a guest…and YES…this has happened to me on several occasions!!
Prior to moving onto the next topic, please notice the napkin used here on top of the plate is also “embellished” with a gold trim (which could also be used as a place mat for future table settings). The napkin came recently from Pier One. One of the most important things that adds interest to a table is using a variety of plates and glassware. Your glassware or crystal stemware do not need to match!! Mix it up! Combine old with new, different colors, different heights…the more variety the better!! This adds texture and interest, plus it creates a more personal presentation.
Another thing to think about is choosing an accent color to work with to enhance your theme. My LENOX salad plates have red enamel dots on them so that is what dictated my color palate. I advise just using only one or two. For this evening, I obviously chose red, but you could easily use pink napkins and pink roses and totally change the feel of the table setting, depending on the plates you have to use.
Finally, a finishing touch is a must! Check out this jeweled heart ornament at Pier One for only $3.95 each and it totally sets the theme for the table setting. AND, you can also use them again at Christmas as an ornament on one of your Christmas trees…bonus!!
Valentine’s Day is such a unique occasion compared to the others during the year because it celebrates love! Of all times of the year, I think this is absolutely the time to pull out the stops and make it “FANCY”! Your loved ones deserve the best from you!!
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