Thursday, August 25, 2016

Let's Bee [Farm] Friends - Tablescape!

Playing with dishes in the sunroom again, I've corralled a few farm friends from my barnyard of a basement stash to create today's tablescape.
Bee-lieve it or not, this entire tablescape was inspired by two things: this cute little dip/spreader in a bee motif (clearance, Horchow)...
...and the items pictured below, particularly the dish towels, which I purchased from Williams Sonoma earlier in spring.
Detail on the towels has the same bee motif as the teaspoons.
Lemons are a staple in my house, so they became part of the table decor.
The place settings took on a life of their own, starting first with my chalkboard chargers, each having a different phrase written on them, as the base.
Each place setting was then layered with my Fiesta yellow square dinner plates, followed by salad plates from one of my newest sets (Castleton China's Independence), and a TJ Maxx set of bread and butter plates with a rooster motif.

The flatware was a recent vintage find, and the Williams Sonoma bee motif spoons were added into the mix.
Cups and saucers are also of the Castleton China, and lead crystal glasses are vintage.
Notice the additional splashes of silver on the table besides the bee dip/server: some sterling, some plated, all vintage and antique finds. The antique biscuit barrel has claw feet, hinged lid, and an etched fern design.
A service bell by the Queen Bee place setting is for a little bit of whimsy, ironically placed alongside the crumb brush for self-service.

A mix of high and low, plain and polished, is the way I like styling things, and none of these items are necessarily pedigreed, just estate and antique finds over the years. For me, the mix is just a visual metaphor for my lifestyle. I like things casual, but also like dressy things, both of which appeal to me. I try not to take myself too seriously, whether setting a table, or planning for guests for any event. A sense of whimsy, humor goes a long way in conveying a casual feeling and making guests feel comfortable, and that's how I prefer to live and entertain. Even a dressy dining table in my home will, more than likely, have buffet or self-service style for plating foods. I may use various serving pieces at the buffet for an appealing presentation, but it's always an overall casual feeling. It's how we live.

Speaking of high and low, I have had this huge serving platter for many years, waiting for its proper debut on the table. Here, it sits on top of my antique white ironstone cake pedestal as a centerpiece, adding the height dimension while freeing space on the table surface. There are no backstamps on the more than 16" diameter platter, nor any other clues to help me date it. There's no crazing, so I don't believe it to be very old, but it is very heavy, much like old transferware. The detail of the roosters, hens is what appealed to me originally, and it complements the little bread and butter plates nicely.
I placed the coffee service (Castleton coffepot, sterling cream and sugar) on the platter. Lo and behold, somebody left the barn door open, and the cow came out for the party! I guess she didn't want to be without the other farm friends. ;)
Thanks for joining me at the table today. What's your style for entertaining? Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Rita C. at Panoply

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Switcheroo

Just a few days ago, I posted on changes my sister and I made at the antique mall (you can view that post here). The washstand / sideboard pictured below was one of the large items we brought in.
If you noticed, I didn't mention where it was sourced. Does the photo below look familiar? That's taken from a post I did in the Summer of 2015 (you can view that post here).
Also, if you recall from one of our buying trips in July (refresh on that post, here), the stepback pictured below was an item I purchased.
I had every intention of placing it in our space at the antique mall, along with the purchases my sister made. But I didn't. On the weekend before we planned to remix our floor space at the antique mall, I asked sister M to measure the stepback (temporarily stored in her garage). Eureka!, the dimensions were perfect for the corner in my sunroom!
So, before we loaded our cars with all the furniture to take to the antique mall, we first loaded the stepback, brought it my house, unloaded it into my sunroom, and loaded up the washstand / sideboard for the store.
This is a nice change for me at home and, truthfully, I really didn't want to sell the stepback. It just didn't click for me to switch out the sideboard. The only option I was thinking prior to this switch was for the stepback to replace my baker's rack on the opposite end of the sunroom. However, the baker's rack was a gift from Mr. P. when I was single, plus it also provided good shelf space (four!), so I didn't want to replace it.
So now I have more space to display dishes, seasonally, and create vignettes. Fun! As a bonus, I have more storage space for dish rotation. Win-win. For now, I've just put the dishes from my alfresco dining table on them, plus a few things I use fairly regularly. I'll style it for fall soon. :)
Mr. P. didn't make much noise about the change, other than to say he liked the sideboard better (typical). Honestly, sometimes I think it's just change that's disliked. I even doubted myself for about five minutes after I made the swap. I thought I'd just leave the washstand in the car once we got to the antique mall (in case I changed my mind to bring it back home). But, as you can see from that last post, I was comfortable in my decision. Sometimes it just takes a while to get comfortable with a decision to change. Some longer than others. Either way, can you relate to the whole resistance to change thing? 

Rita C. at Panoply

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Panoply Booths Remix

The last major remix my sister M and I did in our booth spaces was in late May, recaptured in my early June post, here.  We attempted something a little different, but were never really happy with it. Recently, we took a step back, and did another remix of most of our spaces. We incorporated many new items from our July buying trips, and I'm sharing those changes with you now. There are lots of photos, including before and after shots. We completed this remix right at the end of July.
Before and After, Late July 2016 Remix - Panoply Main Booth Space
In the space we call our main booth, we made the most significant changes, yet the overall look appears subtle. We liked the farmhouse look we originally created in January 2016, but steered away from it in May. With new pieces purchased in July, we were able to return to the original vibe. In the remix, we removed the drop leaf table from the center, and placed the showcase in front.
Before and After, Late July 2016 Remix - Left Side Panoply Main Booth
On the left side of the booth, we removed the settee, flipped the black stepback cabinet for the white corner cabinet from the opposite side, and brought in the painted tea cart. We also flipped the vintage hat display from the opposite side of the booth.
The tea cart is styled primarily with miniature ironstone, designed for child's play. The larger ironstone coffee pot is for needed height in the vignette.
On the right side of the main booth, you see the flip of the white corner cabinet for the black stepback cabinet which I mentioned above, and we removed the shutter and shelving unit. In its place, we brought in the industrial island/cart purchased in July. A painted room divider creates our wall behind the vignette.
Before and After, Late July 2016 Remix - Right Side Panoply Main Booth
We dressed our mannequin with two vintage aprons, layered one on the other, and outfitted the vignette with vintage kitchen wares including enamel and milk glass Pyrex, scales, and few other wood and metal  accessories.
Panoply Mantiques Booth, Late July 2016
On this remix of our spaces, we left most walls untouched, other than filling void space where items sold. The space we call Mantiques was left alone on this day (above photo).
Before and After, Late July 2016 - Panoply Aisle Space - Primitives
The space directly across the aisle from the Mantiques is another area that we remixed. Previously, we had a lot of garden items mixed among our mostly primitives, and felt the space looked cluttered as opposed to our intended open area, so we returned the shutter and shelving unit to divide the floor space into two, distinct areas.
The green stepladder on the aisle was removed, and the casual linens placed there. This has worked for us before, and now the casual vintage linens are caddy cornered from the dressier vintage linens rack. We also removed the garden display (a table and fence shelving unit) from the center space, where the shutter and shelves are once again.
This antique, marble top washstand (pictured above) was brought in and placed against the wall. The photo below shows the wall right above the washstand. We had changed that wall just a couple weeks prior to the remix, and it remains the same now (other than the linen rack moved). On the wall, we have two framed prints, both antique Cream of Wheat advertising lithographs, two Black Americana dolls, and other miscellaneous laundry items. The larger, framed lithograph on the right is one of a pair (the other is in the Mantiques area). These advertise for Mother's Oats ("Our Boy").

Before and After, Late July 2016 - Panoply Living Room Booth
The last area we worked on in the late July remix was the space we call the living room, just to the right of the shutter and shelving unit. In the comparison photo above, you can see the garden table & fence shelving unit previously against the wall at center. I mentioned we removed and replaced those with the shutter and shelving unit to divide the space.

With two distinct spaces again, this section is, once again, a more formal space. 

When in retail, things need to rotate and look different, even if they aren't so different. In this remix, we're returning to a look very similar to what we had in January and, when we finished, we felt accomplished. We added in a few new large items, along with many new smalls into the mix, and did a thorough job of housekeeping. It must've been effective, as we've since sold the faux fireplace in the main booth, as well as the side table and the Asian cabinet in the more formal booth space. :)

Already looking ahead toward fall and holiday changes, we'll be working to come up with something that catches customers' attention. We keep talking about needing to redo the Mantiques section, but it always gets put on the back burner. My argument is the guys know where to go and we shouldn't change it. ;)

If you want to read about more of the ways we've styled our spaces in the antique mall over time, you can check out more posts under the tab on the menu bar of my blog under Panoply Antiquing. Thanks for your visit today, and I love it when you leave a comment, letting me know you were here.

Rita C. at Panoply

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Where's My Tote? - Update - A Winner!

A big thanks to all who made a guess on the "Where's My Tote?"  post last week! 
As promised, one name with the correct guess was randomly selected from each of our blogs, to be thrown into the hat for the one winner, also randomly selected. The correct location for the answer on where my particular photo was taken was Covington, Kentucky (MainStrasse Village).
And the winner from all the correct entries from all the blogs is.........
Congratulations, Stacey, you will be contacted by a Traveling Tote member and will be receiving a MacKenzie-Childs gift box of French-milled soaps. 

Thank you, readers, for joining in the Traveling Totes' fun, and thank you, Patti @ Pandora's Box for organizing us and encouraging the fun! Be sure to check out our next installment of Traveling Totes on September 1.

(A special thanks to Jo at Anne's Attic Design's Share Your Cup #210 for featuring this post)!
Rita C. at Panoply

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Provence Garden Alfresco Dining Tablescape

Is there any season that says relax the way the summer does? I think not! Dining outside is not only one way we relax in summer, but it's also fun. Chloe Crabtree, of the blog Celebrate and Decoratehas assembled a group of bloggers from all over the map to share how we tablescape for dining alfresco, and I'm happy you're here today! We'll be dining casually in the courtyard today, just outside the sunroom, with the landscape garden just beyond.
We'll be seated on the patio within the courtyard, with a wall of lavender and roses facing the sun just beyond, where a patch of lawn and hot tub are also situated.
A simple, popup table is set beneath the 13' cantilevered umbrella, which ensures a wide brim of shade for dining. A teak bench with toss pillows serves as seating on one side, while two cushioned, wrought iron chairs are pulled from just inside the French doors of the sunroom for guest seating on the opposite side.

Container plantings flanking the sunroom doors give an illusion of a table centerpiece when viewed from the table, at a distance.
With a vintage quilt draped as the basis of today's tablescape, seating is for four. Using the wonderful set of Mikasa's Provence Garden (by Kim Parker) dishware I won from Mary's blog, Home is Where the Boat Is, the blooms on the dishware are as plentiful as those in the summer garden.
Place settings are distinguished with favors of seed packets for each guest as takeaways, set in miniature placeholder watering cans (Bunny Williams for Ballard Designs).
Pale yellow napkins are gathered with enameled rings (MacKenzie-Childs' Butterfly Garden). The flatware choice is one of my favorite vintage sets, with delicate roses on the handles (Nobility Plate, Royal Rose).
Glassware is vintage Blenko - crackled and dimpled glasses, with matching decanter. While the dishware also includes matching mugs in the set, I opted for the colorful Blenko to make the colors of the quilt pop against the setting.
Rocking chairs within the courtyard beckon guests to linger, long after dinner is over....
...while the gateway to the garden just beyond the courtyard wall beckons for guests to stroll through the landscape, lingering just a bit longer. It all still looks pretty much as it was in this recent post, very healthy and lush.
Whether sitting within the courtyard walls or strolling through the garden, alfresco dining promises an enjoyable atmosphere. You can almost feel transported to another place...perhaps a Provence garden?
Thank you for joining me on this very special blog hop of alfresco dining. A special thanks goes to Chloe Crabtree for the invitation. 

I encourage you to visit the other bloggers joining in this outdoor event by visiting their blogs, listed below. To those who are visiting my blog for the first time, welcome! I hope you'll stay and browse my topics, and return to visit regularly, if you like the subjects. I am not a revenue-producing blog, so I have no obligations to blog, just enjoyment. If you prefer, you can receive my posts through email subscription by signing up on the sidebar of my page.

Rita C. at Panoply

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