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red geraniums, white mums and red, white and blue bow

Who ever thought a few months ago that we would be celebrating Memorial Day 2020 in the midst of a pandemic? Thus, we decided to have just one couple over for the holiday so as to respect social distancing. Fortunately for everyone involved, my table actually easily seats 10-12 people. The next challenge therefore, was how could I make the table cozy since just four people would be dining together? Here’s how I made my red, white and blue tablescape that would work for all three patriotic holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.


red and white gingham cloth, rattan placemats

My table measures 60 inches in width (and once seated we’re easily six feet from our guests. I went to JoAnn Fabrics to purchase this gingham vinyl fabric. I saw it on line and thought I would have to pick it up curbside, but when I called the salesperson said they had just actually opened! So, shopper that I am, I hopped in my car and headed over. I found the fabric quickly and went to purchase it. I remembered that it was on sale at $4.89 per yard. I bought five yards to be safe and was disappointed when I went to check out and was told the price was $6.99 per yard. I pulled out my trusty phone and showed them the on-line price. Good move for me because the cashier said that frequently the price on-line is lower. And of course, he said, they always honor that lower price if the customer is savvy enough to have checked on-line before shopping. I think this should be classified as a Savvy Shopper Tip, don’t you? The funny thing is, the reason I had gone on-line was because I thought it was my only option. Good to know, going forward.

Back to the tablescape. I cut the fabric long enough to cover the full length of the table and have about a foot drop on either end. I then pulled out some very versatile rattan placemats that I use in so many table settings. They give nice texture to the table and with the gingham, they look like a picnic.


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My next move was to try and make the space (big), feel cozy for the four of us. I popped a large planter of red silk geraniums crossways along the far end of the table. It fills some space on the table and it seems like a pseudo-divider, somewhat enclosing the space. The planter is usually on my dining room table (in the center of course!) in the lengthwise position, when I’m not entertaining. I also added some red pillar candles (Crate and Barrel) in my much beloved Pottery Barn hurricanes. I placed bright red cotton napkins on the placemats. I always prefer 100% cotton napkins, because they wash better, and because they’re so much softer than most of the polyester ones on the market.


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Here I used Crate and Barrel white plates, and flatware. The red goblets are so fun. They’re sturdy and hold up to the dishwasher and I’ve used them over the holidays, as well as at Valentine’s Day. Red napkins and glasses are remarkably versatile.


red glasses and napkins with white ramekins and a red and white striped bowl

Here I used some very old blue and white botanical plates which I’ll use for the salad. These were a Mother’s Day gift from my children many years ago. I love them and am so glad I’ve saved them. In my home in Chicago, they never went with the color schemes. But here the dining room is mostly cream and my drapes are red, so the blue and white plates work. (Here is a nice alternative.) I also place two red and white little condiment bowls as well as white ramekins on the table for various sauces we’ll be having. They’re all from Homegoods. Lastly, you can see the centerpiece is a bunch of white mums. I bought them at the grocery store, but they came as a potted plant. The problem with that is the plant is then too tall for easy dinner conversation. So I brought home the planter and promptly cut off the flowers and popped them in a rectangular clear vase (old) and then tied on a patriotic ribbon (JoAnn Fabrics).


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I think it all works. Here is a close-up of a table setting.


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And lastly here is another shot of the table.


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Have a safe and thoughtful Memorial Day! Thank you to all who have served or are currently serving our country. Without your valiant efforts, we would never be as safe and free as we are. Thank you so much!

XO,

Dr. Julie

*Please note referral and affiliate links in my posts may generate a small commission for me (at absolutely no extra cost to you) so thank you!

PS Here’s a blog post on red white and blue casual outfits you might enjoy.

PPS Here’s one on red, white and blue home decorations.

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