Thursday, August 12, 2010

THURSDAY: Tablescape Thursday Tents

Firstly, thanks to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for letting me take part in this weeks Tablescape Thursday post! So excited for this one, even though my original plan failed. (Link for Susan's at the bottom too!)

My plan to have a great outdoor tablescape ready for all of you today was foiled by the weather here in WNY, rain rain rain. I'm not complaining though - after all, we needed it. So, it had my hands tied and I thought I'd share the tent parties again for all of you who might have missed them, and for those of you who simply want a second - or third - viewing.

It's funny, because I remember when I decided to have this party 2-years ago in September, the rain was relentless. After 14-hours of rain and gray sky, the sun came out just in time. At dusk, people started to arrive for appetizers in the dining room to be followed by a sunset dinner in the tent.

Looking back at these pictures, it's not just a reminder of the fun we had under the tent that evening, or the decor of the tent itself - but also the growth of my garden. Just take a look at this picture of nothing in the tent, and a view of my oh so youthful garden in it's first year:

Wow, a bit different, huh? Anyway - because of the rains, I didn't want to put any of the furniture or fabrics in the tent until it all lifted, i.e.: that afternoon around 3pm. Thankfully I had it all planned: I lengthened a dining room table we'd been storing in the garage with 4x8 particle board left over from a roofing project. The lines were just too harsh to leave as-is, so I had my dear friend "Margaret" sew a table cloth out of 4 black twin-sized flat sheets I got for $3/each at Wal-Mart.

The fit was beautiful. It draped the table perfectly, and just rested on the ground. The look was a little stark though - with just the black. So I cut 4 2-yard strips of 18" burlap to lay in sections atop the table.

See! Form and Function! Here you get a sneak peek at the food and the tent at evening. It was just lovely - didn't even feel like we were outside.

I couldn't figure out how to make it work the way that I wanted: scallops of sorts attached to the fabric of the tent with safety pins. The fabric on the tent was too tight, and the pins wouldn't go through. Thankfully - I have Scott for reason to my otherwise irrational thoughts. The way it was hung for tonight was all his idea - and quite a lovely one I do say!

I started off the morning looking for gladiolas. Ok - SEARCHING for gladiolas. I searched everywhere, which involved driving some 40 miles, only to find them waiting for me - yes, 4 blocks away. Thank you SAM's Club!

But that tent wasn't the only tent I've had in the yard. Remember the Bohemian tent I set up last spring?

I literally set this up in about 35 minutes. The idea of having a lovers dinner in the backyard filled my mind with a fury of ideas that I just had to get out or I thought I'd explode. I took bamboo that I had filling a vase in the sunroom and jute to make a nomadic tent-type structure. The drapes are from our dining room, used last fall. With a little effort, this was an easy project for one person to do. It helped that with a Bohemian theme, it didn't have to be perfect.

I purchased several yards of this medallion fabric to use for a Moroccan themed dinner party this summer. After hiding in the basement for a few months, I thought it a good time to introduce it to it's new surroundings. What do you think?

Seating consisted of a great Turkish kilim and two kilim covered floor cushions. I draped each with a Pashmina shawl in case it got a little chilly after dark. Candles and plants in mismatched planters and burlap rags filled the rest of the make-shift dining room. Even Earl showed up. He's a light eater.

The bamboo silverware made it's appearance again while the white ironstone took center stage atop the woven chargers. A sweet chardonnay and strawberries made the perfect appetizer for the lucky bohemians.

I purchased the Moroccan lantern a couple of years ago and it had found its way to a bathroom closet. (Odd - I know.) I happened to find it a few days ago, and thought - what a better time than now to use it? A tea light candle was all it took to have that warm amber glass fill the area with an ambient glow.

Brass candlesticks held thin white taper candles which helped to pull in the beauty of the white ironstone. The sage green linens worked so well with the garden greens surrounding the table, and I think that the astromeria tucked between the plate and the charger provided the perfect pop of color and scent before dinner.

A brass firewood bucket held purple salvia while antique brass balls found their way into the space between the wood and metal lanterns. A soft and romantic tablescape with a very bohemian feeling - I felt quite at home here - what about you?

Enjoy your Thursday, and make sure to check out the other beautiful Tablescapes at Susan's blog! And don't forget to take part in Friday Vignette's on Friday! The links will be up tonight by 10PM EST.


  1. Gorgeous - as usual. I guess this was all before I started reading your blog. Stunning, all of it.

  2. OH ARTIE!!!! It's lovely, so lovely. I bet everyone had a great time ... you must be the best host ever. Do you cook, too? If you do, I got a room waiting for you. :)

  3. I'm so glad you reposted that first tent set up. I have searched your blog numerous times trying to find it. I was so surprised to see it today - so thank you.

    It's simply wonderful. I'm planning to do something similar on my deck and your post timinng was perfect.

    Your yard is amazing!

  4. So gorgeous and very inspiring! Laughing about your search for gladiolas. I am the same way when I get something in my head. I am very interested in your tents. I want to do something like that here as a shade from the sun. I don't want it to be a permanent structure - just something when we need it. I will show my husband your photos and see what we can come up with. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I love your tented tables -- a wonderful idea! And of course, your tables are fantastic! As they always are!

  6. Hi Artie,
    You know how I feel about tents! I have one permanently set up in my back yard! I love both of your tents. That gladiola centerpiece with the rock base is genius!
    xo Delores

  7. I could never tire of looking at these tented masterpieces ....

  8. It's more than I can stand. How beautiful. I am impressed.
    Your friends must flip out at a party like that. Tents are just wonderful.I give my Party once a year the 1st week of October, outdoors. I have been lucky with the weather.


  9. GORGEOUS!! I'm totally loving the burlag runners - looks like a fab idea for the fall...

    :D Lynda

  10. Well...fellow WNY blogger...your tent is fab! Just loved it! I am truly impressed. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Gorgeous! Wonderful outdoor rooms - you are so creative. I envy you being able to be outside now. Looking forward to some cooler weather here so we can get back out!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  12. Love the Moroccan tent especially! It's all gorgeous as always!

  13. Oh these tent settings are just fabulous. Love the formal one. It is so dramatic and beautiful. My daughter and I put on a Bohemian personal shower for a friend of hers and we were safety pinning our lives away. It's amazing the amount of fabric you need to pull these lovely settings off. You've inspired me!

  14. Hi Artie, I hadn't seen the bohemian tent before and now I think it is my favorite! You have such a talent for creating a beautiful space...inside or out. I would love for you to drop by and enter my giveaway.
    Hugs, Sherry

  15. THANK YOU for stopping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment..because it led me back to YOUR BLOG..and I must say how absolutely GORGEOUS it is!! LOVE your tent ideas and cannot wait to puruse thru the rest of your blog for more wonderful ideas!!

  16. Hi Artie,
    The tents are "fabulous"... I especially love the Bohemian one and it's rich colorings...It's very romantic...

  17. Artie, I am SO happy you're back!! I LOVE your tables!! And great minds think alike- I've done the burlap strip runner thing several times- love it!
    xoxo Pattie

  18. WOW! Awesome set up! I love the way you used luxury and then burlap too.

  19. Just beautiful. Love the color in the Bohemian tent! Rich rich rich!

  20. Lovely-Oh! So! Lovely! You did a great job with your Bohemian "tent". Felt like I was on foreign soil gazing at the pictures. What did your better half say when he saw that? I hope you had a wonderful outdoor meal inside there! I adore outdoor parties. With our weather it is really hard to plan them..but I do on occassion. We have had thunderstorms come in off the bay and had to move everyone inside. Diana

  21. the bohemian tent blew me away.. It was wonderful. I also loved the burlap on the other table.. You are very creative.

  22. You have created a total environment to pamper your guests and make them each feel like the guest of honor. Sophisticated and gorgeous tablescapes. Thank you for sharing your charming designs. Cherry Kay

  23. They are both wonderful, but I am in love with your Bohemian one - you did an amazing job styling this one. It is magazine-worthy! I hope you do more tents in the future!

  24. Tents...what an absolutely wonderful idea and you make it seem so doable. Thanks!

  25. Beautiful...the tents are fabulous!

  26. ooohhh...ahhhhhh...gorgeous, and you make it sound effortless. A treat for the eyes!


  27. Just found your Blog and am LOVING LOVING LOVING the Bohemian Tent *swoon*.

    Dawn... The Bohemian