Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Black Watch Tartan Plaid Holiday Tablescape

Welcome to my blog, Panoply, and my Christmas tablescape, Black Watch Tartan. Tablescaping is a fun hobby I've enjoyed over the years which complements my love of home decor, and it provides a means of satisfying my love of dishes. I am a vintage and antiques dealer, so tablescaping is also a way of styling things found. Let's dish, shall we? My complete source list is found near the end of this post.
It's no secret that I am a fan of plaid for fall and winter decor, and at Christmastime I pull out each and every piece I have. This year in our new home (a modern loft in a century old building), I wasn't sure how I'd use what I had, but knew I didn't want to buy a lot of new things after purging so much this past year. I also didn't want a major clash going in our new space. The Black Watch tartan lambswool throw became my inspiration to use for this table's base cloth.
Black Watch Tartan
Last year, right before the possibility of selling our home and downsizing, I purchased a set of Pendleton salad plates to add to my "mad for plaid" collection. That set had one Black Watch pattern, but I was leaning toward toning down all my red plaids on this table and in the loft, in general, since our sectional in the adjacent, main living space is a rust color leather. So, I bought more plates. 🤣
Maclean Hunting Tartan
I pulled from two sets of plates to get the overall look I wanted to achieve, and my everyday, workhorse dinner plates on my glass, ice-like chargers completed the plate stack I desired. I kept the rest of the table design fairly simple.
Macleod Hunting Tartan
A couple more subtle nods to plaid can be detected in the flatware and water glasses.
Unidentified Tartan - could it be MacDiarmid?
In addition to the dinner plates, creamy whites via the alstroemeria bouquet, napkins, angel wings and velvet scripted ornaments on the wine stems add needed lightness to the table. Tiny lights and silver napkin rings add a touch of brightness.
This look works as I'd hoped, blending my dining space decor together with the adjacent, open living space, and keeps the overall tone of the table winter-themed, versus an in-your-face Christmas clash. 
The corner vitrine in the dining space is filled with various collected silverplate and sterling serving pieces, and my napkin ring collection rests on top in two small curios. The concrete pillar next to the vitrine is part of the 1907 building's original architecture incorporated into our loft's modern design.
At a recent estate sale I picked up a map and book of Scottish tartans/clans, which is a nice reference guide. There are SO many clans and patterns, both ancient and modern. I tried, mostly in vain, to identify the tartans of my plates, adding to my trivia-filled rolodex of brain cells. It's what I like to do when I shop vintage / antique items, and suppose it's part of my overall curious nature. Starting from the first individual place setting listed earlier, I most closely identified the following tartans: Black Watch, Macleod Hunting, Maclean Hunting, and the last one (predominant green, with black, red and white, and also pictured at the top of the photo below) I could not identify. If you know it, please share in the comments!
A glimpse of more of my Christmas decor can be see in the photo below. 🎄 To keep the old and not want to buy new color scheme decorations to coordinate with our new home has been a test, but I'm one of those people who feels guilty not using my old things. As a result, my intention of remaining downsized has been working pretty well so far. 
Source List
Black Watch 'Coming Home' lambswool throw as tablecloth, Longchamps wine glasses - vintage
Glass chargers - Pier 1
Dinner Plates - Pfaltzgraff 'Filigree', eBay
Salad Plates - mix of Pendleton Home Collection, Nora Murphy Hunt Club and Certified International Plaids, Kohl's
Water Glasses - Ralph Lauren 'Glen Plaid' Highball, eBay
Flatware - Lucca 'Fortessa', Sur la Table
Napkins - Home and Hearth, Target
Napkins Rings - Ballard Designs
Crystal vase - Gift (Tiffany's)
Faux magnolia - Afloral
Alstroemeria flowers - Grocery
Velvet script, angel wing ornaments - unknown, years old
I'd like to invite you to visit all the bloggers listed below, who are sharing their Christmas table inspiration on the respective days noted. The links will be updated so you may find them here, all in one convenient location. A special thanks goes to Chloe Crabtree of the blog, Celebrate and Decorate, for organizing this group. It's a pleasure to be among them.




Thank you for visiting today. I appreciate each and every reader and comment. Let me know you stopped by so we might have the chance to get better acquainted. 


  1. Rita, Your black watch tartan table works beautifully in your new loft living space. I love how it’s perfect the the winter season and is ‘manly’ too. As you know, I *deerly* love your napkin rings and your flatware and etched checked drinking glasses pair perfectly with your tartan table. As always it’s a treat to join you at the table and blog hop with you. ♥
    P.S. I fell down the tartan rabbit hole trying to identify your plaid. I couldn’t get a close enough look at your plate to see, but I found a site where you can do a reverse tartan search but entering the sequence of colors in your plaid at House of Tartan: https://www.houseoftartan.co.uk/house/reverse.asp

  2. Rita, how clever and creative you are! I love to hear how your mind works! It is amazing and amusing! You have opened up a rabbit hole in our thoughts. I'm wearing similar tartan pajamas at this moment!
    Now, I am intrigued to learn more about tartans but back to your tablescape. Your design sense using texture and color is delightful. I love the subtle plaid in your glasses and flatware. You are right on describing how beautifully the whites in the alstroemeria, napkins, napkin rings and ornaments add brightness and lightness. Equally, you incorporated your need to use your lovely older things that you love and blend these elements together with your open decor style in your new loft. You did a great job styling your table as well as sharing your way with words and your knowledge of fabrics and history.
    It is fun blog hopping with you!

  3. Rita, what a great way to honor tartan plaid. Your tablescape gives such a cozy and warm welcoming feeling, especially paired with your gorgeous tartan plates. A perfect couple. Your floral centerpiece with a hint of shimmering fairy lights adds to that feel of contentment and peacefulness that a long winter's night can bring. I love how you contrast that with your "ice" chargers. It is fascinating to learn the story behind the plaid. I hope you can find the final pattern. It is always a great joy to blog hop with you and I wish you a great holiday season.

  4. What a pretty table, Rita. I like the blue plaid with the lovely flowers. There is something about a tartan that makes me smile big. And the plates and those wonderful napkins! All perfect together. And seeing your cabinet with the silver reminds me I'd better get out my polishing cloth -- and soon!

  5. Beautiful, the lovely dark blues and greens make the white flowers and accents really shine. Love those chargers!!

  6. I think this is so pretty for winter and Christmas - and the plaid reminds me of a skirt I had when I was young (a pleated kilt that I wore with knee sox and a sweater!!) . So happy you are settled in your new place and enjoying it - this area looks perfect for a dinner party!

  7. Rita I am loving your Black Watch Tartan table. The plaid is so welcoming. I love the ice chargers, they perfectly frame the lovely plates. Sharing some history is always interesting. My family is Scottish and we are from the Macleod clan. The napkins are lovely with their cute Christmas tree. Even your glassware is etched in the perfect pattern to coordinate. The flowers are the icing on the cake. So glad you are settled in your lovely loft. Happy December.

  8. I’d love to be a guest at your Tartan Plaid tablescape, Rita! First of all, those icy chargers are wonderful, and the mix of plaid plaids on your throw is so interesting!!! The glasses and flatware go perfectly, and those napkins add such a fun touch. The table is a calming touch for the Christmas season. I love it!

  9. Rita, your Black Watch Tartan Table is gorgeous and you have done an amazing job using what you have in your new loft living! I am mad about plaid and this table has my heart a flutter. I have that same curiosity that sometimes leads into many hours of research. Our visit to Scotland a few years ago only heightened my love for plaid and history. The etched glassware, napkins, napkin rings, and flatware add to the overall theme of your table. This table can work well into the new year and that is an extra added bonus.

  10. What a wonderful choice for your new home Rita! I love the dark plaids and the plates are so unusual! You have successfully married traditional elements to your new modern decor and it feels very holiday festive! I too am struggling not to buy new things, but it's so hard isn't it!! This table can take you all through the winter months, keeping cozy with plaid!

  11. Gorgeous table! I am a big fan of black watch plaid as well and it's especially festive this time of year. I love the way you mixed in lighter accessories to give balance to the darker colors. Beautiful!

  12. Rita, Black Watch tartan is one of my most favorite and you have showcased it beautifully on your Christmas table. Those glasses etched in a plaid pattern or so unique. I haven't seen anything like those before. I also love the Christmas tree napkins, they pair perfectly with the tartan. What a festive, cozy table you have styled!

  13. Rita, I love the blue and green tartan and your lovely tablescape. As always, you have found the perfect accents from the salad plates to the glassware! Have a beautiful Christmas season! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  14. Wow Rita this is so different from the usual holiday color palette and it works beautifully. I am a fan of mixing textures and patterns and also of having one predominant theme. This table looks perfect for your new digs. One detail really stood out and it's the plaid design on your tumblers. I've seen these glasses many times and always overlooked the fact that the pattern on them is plaid. Go figure! It's always a pleasure to blog hop with you and I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  15. Rita, I love the plaid and the plates. What great texture and pattern. Very unique, but I love the tartans ~ reminds me of our annual Kirk 'n of the Tartans celebration. It has a deep, rich feel throughout. Happy Christmas.

  16. Rita, in addition to being a plate addict, I am mad for plaid and my Scottish Highland terrier! So, I especially loved your tablescape. Verra nice! When we took a vacation a few years ago throughout Scotland, I purposely left extra space in a suitcase for the cashmere, plaid scarves I bought as Christmas gifts for everyone. My oldest son's bedroom is decorated with red plaids and Scotties, including a throw, pillows, small tree and wreath. And, I always wrap gifts in plaid prints with Scottie gift tags and ribbons.

  17. this is gorgeous, Rita, and still looks like Christmas. I'm really in love with those amazing plates. Each year I think I'll have found a set of plaid plates, I'm going to have to be intentional at some point and start a collection. My older daughter had the same Ralph Lauren glassware on her bridal registry. I've always loved it!

  18. Beautiful table! I'm loving the dish stack you did. Those chargers are wonderful too. I need to get mine out soon. Your plaid dishes look like they were made at the same place the gorgeous plaid tablecloth was. Love it!

  19. Rita, your table is lovely all decked out in the Black Watch tartan. I do enjoy using our silver, especially during the holidays it just seems to add so much to a table or wherever it may land. And, my mom's silver tea service, sitting on our dining room buffet, is waiting patiently to be polished.
    A great post, Rita. One I much enjoyed.

  20. Hi Rita,
    Ok those napkin rings are the best!!!! How wonderful are those. I love the darker bolder colors for your Christmas table. Everything is so beautiful. Love it all.

  21. You always set the prettiest table, Rita! I feel so boring with my one set of plates....nothing fancy there!

  22. Rita, you know I, too, am a Mad for Plaid girl. I love plaids in most all color variations, but also like you, the blue/green combo is one of my fvorites. I also have some orange plaid dishes for fall that I use with different dishes. My reds come out in winter months for Christmas and Valentines and other times too. Tartan isn't just for Christmas around here.
    Your tablesetting is perfect for the new space. I love the bird's eye view you offered of your gorgeous tablescape. Every detail shines!

  23. Oh dear Rita, this tablescape speaks to my heart with the Black Watch plaid! One of my very favorites of the tartans. So much so my son wore this tartan along with his groomsmen, Black Watch vests under their jackets. I love the throw as a tablecloth, it really sets the mood and looks great in your new dining space. Love the RL, I have those and love using them. Everything is just perfect, you really knew exactly how to pull everything together in your new home. Beautiful! Happy December Rita.......

  24. Oh, I'm loving this tablescape! And, regarding your "unnamed plaid," I can only tell you that I'm following this comment section to find out, since it was the plaid of my Catholic school uniform! I'm not sure if plaid skirts were the choice of all Catholic schools, but in Pasadena, CA, where I grew up, they certainly were. Makes me wonder how many Scots/Irish families immigrated to Southern California to have that influence? Hah!

    1. Hi Maria! I noted what I think may be the name of that plaid after a little more research on the caption - MacDiarmid? My HS parochial tartan was similar to Macleod (I used to machine stitch the loose pleats into box style for a more tailored look, lol). Your wonder on the migration is interesting! Mine settled right into what was then your state of VA (Greenbrier), now WV. Thanks for joining the conversation, and Merry December!

  25. Hi Rita! I always look forward to your tables during these hops and this one was no exception. I love that you shopped your home, starting with your tartan throw as a table cover - it adds so much warmth to your table and is such an inspirational idea. I'm also in the boat of trying not to bring much more in to my home except for those things that I need and instead enjoy finding new uses for the things I already have. I love hearing about the research you did on the tartan patterns! I especially love that your table is one that could set throughout winter, but is still quintessentially "Christmas". Beautiful, fabulous job. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  26. Rita,
    I l o v e this black watch tartan plaid holiday tablescape!
    I'm using a green tartan plaid tablecloth for our Family Room Christmas Celebration!
    Those plates are stunning!
    Timeless Classic design!

  27. Your plaid themed table is fabulous, Rita! I love using plaid at Christmas and your blue based decor is so rich and warm, perfect in your new digs. I hope you enjoy your holidays in this new to you space! Thanks for joining in all of our hops this year! Merry Christmas!

  28. Oh so pretty! I too am mad for plaid! My over-worked brain cells could never keep those plaid patterns retained but I'm sure it was a fun read. Glad I'm not the only one who feels guilty for not using all of the old things we have accumulated but there are so many pretty new things out there too! Love your pretty blue plaids so much and it will work through winter, I agree. Happy Christmas Season!

  29. This is absolutely beautiful and so festive. Love love the dark plaid. Even your dishes are gorgeous. Love it!

  30. Oh my goodness this lovely tartan table certainly struck a happy bell for a lot of us. Just gorgeous! Pinned, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and it's been a pleasure to hop with you. Hugs

  31. Rita, thanks for sharing your charming plaid tablescape at Vintage Charm!