Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gilded French Embassy Red Tablescape~Tablescape Thursday


This week's tablescape is very special to me. This is the first china pattern I selected and is also my favorite. The pattern is, "French Embassy Red" by Mikasa. I selected this pattern in 1986, the year I got married. This was my formal china pattern and I selected another pattern that year for my every day china pattern. Many brides at that time, were selecting white patterns with silver or gold rims to them, although the metal was very thin and not as thick as the one on my pattern. I wanted a red and gold pattern for the holidays since I always decorate at least one tree with red and gold. (In the past, I had a Christmas tree in every room in the house.) It was also my first Christmas gift from my husband, the year we got married. I remember he purchased one of my china patterns, had it wrapped in a green foil wrapping paper with a shiny red ornament on the front and a red satin ribbon. The box was as beautiful as the china. To this day, I still love this china pattern. At the time, it was one of the more expensive patterns due to all of the gold edging.




The inspiration for this table was a gold tablecloth by Nieman Marcus called, "Venetian" (Update-As of 8/2009, NM has a different product named the Venetian than was referenced here.). I absolutely love this tablecloth and would purchase it except for one minor detail, it's very expensive. If I worked full time, I would buy it however I work part time to care for Dear Son so it would not technically be a "necessity".


I will pause a moment to let your heartbeat get back to normal after viewing that tablecloth. That's precisely what I need to do every time I view that. And then I'll give you another moment to imagine how perfect it would be with my tablescape. Sigh.


My depression over this tablecloth lasted several weeks until I spotted this overlay that you see in the pictures. It is gold with embroidery and scalloped edging, similar to the "Venetian". The foundation of the table is a white tablecloth with this gold embroidered tablecloth.


The centerpiece is a crystal vase of cream colored roses and cream colored taper candles.

I made the napkins. For each napkin, I pinched the top and secured each one with a Swarovski crystal pin for some added elegance.

I added a few more votive candles in cream and then two in red. I purchased the red votive candles with the hearts at Dominick's for $1 each the day after Valentine's Day. I love the way they repeat the color palette.

This picture showcases the embroidery on the tablecloth. I think the sheerness of the tablecloth is very sexy.

A close up of the napkin.
A close up of all of the napkins and the Swarovski pins.

A beautiful side view of the tablescape.


The crystal goblets are Lenox, "Monroe" pattern. I still love them today. I love the detail on them, the swirl of of the stem and the gold edging around the rim. I find elegance in their simplicity. I also chose these goblets at the same time I selected my wedding china.

A better view of the crystal goblet.

Here is a view of the pattern without the napkin. I love the shimmer of fine bone china. Note the detailed gold edging and pattern of the edging.

A view of the back.

Just a few years prior, in 1981, Lenox was commissioned to make a new service that would accomodate the ever-increasing size of the state dinners. (You can see the brochure below.) Nancy Reagan worked with Lenox to design a china pattern for the White House. It was reported that she chose red because of her fondness for the color and because red provided a bright accent to the white paneled walls and gilded accessories of the State Dining Room. The book states that she chose the final shade of "scarlet red" after viewing red samples in the State Dining Room by candlelight. Each piece was personally approved by Nancy Reagan after reviewing the sketches; she made the decision as to how the gold and red should be applied to each of the nineteen pieces of china that made up the service. I ordered a copy of the brochure on the White House china in the 80's and have kept it ever since. It's fascinating to see the patterns of the White House china. (Also, further proof, of my china addiction.)

I am showcasing it here since I thought you might be interested to see how similar the White House china was to my pattern. I am certain my French Embassy Red pattern may have been modeled after the White House China. Nancy had the Lenox pattern commissioned in 1981 and my china pattern debuted in 1984. I thought my china pattern looked exquisite in front of my gilded, Louis the XV mirror.

A view of my dinner plate. You can see the similarities between the patterns although mine does not have the, "Presidential Seal". I think Nancy would enjoy our Tablescape Thursday parties since she is a woman like us~she did not want to be caught without enough "matching" china!



My new teapot looks just perfect here. I think the cream coffee pot looks just right. A red and gold coffee pot might have been too much.


A full view of the table with the candles. It looks amazing by candlelight however I left the lights on for the photographs since it was too dark without the light for photos.

One final close up of the table.

I hope you have enjoyed my, "Gilded French Embassy Red" tablescape. For other spectacular tablescapes, please visit Susan's blog, "Between Naps on the Porch".
Note: I am a Professional Organizer and Home Stager. My business is called, "Dream Organizers" and my motto is, "Keep it simple. Get organized. Make it beautiful."

34 comments:

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Gorgeous table! I love the china. Everything about this table is so very elegant.

Lana G! said...

Oh my goodness - so elegant! Beautiful napkins - I love the way you placed them on the plates!

Really Rainey said...

Incredibly classy table... the red and gold is just... WOW... Beautiful table!

~Really Rainey~

Barb @ GritsandGlamour said...

This whole table is a "dreamscape."
its just lovely. The china is divine, and I heart those napkins and the pics. (plus the matching tablecloth, too) I loved it all. Thanks so much for sharing your wedding china and your lovely story. Blessings, Barb

Joyce said...

Very regal!
Joyce

Cynthia said...

I love everything about this table and it is the most elegant I have seen tonight! Your tablecloth is just as lovely, I think you have my dream job too~ Cindy

Linda/"Mom" said...

* Your china is just absolutely stunning, and that MIRROR?~~ WOW!!! (And they look sooooo good being close together, too! Just YUMMY!!!!)~ Thank you! Warmly, Linda *

Janie's World said...

The red china was an excellent choice! You can use it for so many things and it is very dramatic and eye catching! I love it. I've been looking for some myself! The table is very elegant.

Dixie said...

What a perfectly elegant table scape... that china is fabulous!

have a glorias thursday... blessings. Dixie

xinex said...

Vey elegant! I love your china,the red and gold are just so perfect together. The table cloth is also very pretty...Christine

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Absolutely gorgeous. The napkins are perfection - you are very talented. The china is beautiful and so elegant.

French-Kissed said...

Wow! Now that is an elegant table setting! I love that you were able to recreate the look of the tablecloth you fell in love with. I cannot imagine the NM one looking any better. The crystal pins on the napkins were such a lovely touch. I would love to sit at that table anytime.

Mary @Boogieboard Cottage said...

What an absolutely beautiful table setting, I love the napkins with the crystal pins! :O)

Kammy said...

Fancy and the history is really neat ! Thanks for sharing ~ Hugs, Kammy

Michelle said...

Elegant...simply elegant! And your napkins are GORGEOUS!

ellen b. said...

Oh I love your elegant table. The cloth and the napkins and the crystal napkin rings using the swarovski...just beautiful. Love that red and gold together. You set one mighty fine table!!

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Beautiful china!
Have a wonderful day! Marsha

Amy said...

Wow, I can totally see why you chose that china pattern. It is completely stunning...especially for the holidays. I really like the idea of adding pins to the sheer napkins. So elegant and fancy!

Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello today. Please stop by again anytime! Amy :)

Robin said...

Well, you may not be able to afford the Neman Marcus table cloth, but you created a lovely setting all the same.

Have a beautiful day.....

Linda said...

Gorgeous table! Love the china and the table linens!! But then red of any kind is my color.
Linda Q

My Crafty Little Page said...

If I could choose any of the settings I've seen today...this would be it. Your china is completely timeless - 100 years from now it will be just as beautiful. The sheer overlay is stunning. Loved it all! :)Nancy

Mary said...

Oh my goodness, your china is gorgeous! In fact, the whole table is just beautiful!!!

Pinky said...

I just LOVE this gorgeous table! So very pretty, classy and elegant! The red on your china is gorgeous. I never got to pick china when I got married 41 years ago but later did get it and still do love it. It is cream with a wide black border, trimmed in gold. I posted it on RMS in a Christmas tablescape. Thanks for sharing this beautiful table! Nancy would love it:):) Pinky

honeysuckle said...

I can see why you love your china. It is very regal. Too bad Nancy Reagan copied you! Very pretty table and good for you for making the tablecloth. Oftentimes genius is enabled out of necessity. Come visit today I have tables from Macy's SF store.

Carrie said...

What a beautiful table. Red is my favorite color.... love the dishes. The teapot is so elegant!!

Kathleen Ellis said...

WOW! Stunningly beautiful! even without the Venetian tablecloth! Your china is beautiful and you've put everything together so beautifully! Love it!
;-D

Anonymous said...

Hi, Loved your story! Mrs. Reagan was criticized by the media at the time for her adding the Lenox china for state dinners, when the money was donated for the china. Many state dinners have used this china and how fortunate the White House is to have it. How lovely your table is and I am sure that Mrs. Reagan would definitely enjoy dining with you.

Shelia said...

Such a gorgeous elegant table! You have beautiful dishes and I love the tablecloth and napkins!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

GORGEOUS!!! Breathtakingly gorgeous. Love your choice of China. *sigh*

Every tablescape you do is stunning, but this one really wows me! The tablecloth overlay adds just a fabulous layer of richness without making it look overdone.

Brava!! So beautiful, very nice job. xo~m.

DebraJ said...

Now that is a champagne, caviar, and cocktail attire table! Nancy would be so proud of you! The sheer overlay is a great idea and one that I'm planning to use in the future. I can see different designs and colors for other holidays. Love your dishes, red is my favorite color!

mishebe said...

hI i WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR YOU ENCOURAGING WORDS. i GUESS I LEFT OUT I AM a HAIRSTYLIST AND SALON OWNER. hAVE BEEN FOR 19 YEARS. iT IS SLOW THERE TOO SO I WAS LOOKING FOR A NIGHT TIME POSITION A COUPLE DAYS A WEEK TOO. sPECIALLY SINCE HUBBY IS LAID OFF. tHANKS FOR THE IDEAS AND I ADMIRE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. mISHELLE

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Wow...this is a GORGEOUS table! I love the wide gold band and the red is stunning! I love the napkins and the beautiful pins...it's all so regal and elegant! I would feel totallllllly spoiled at this table! :-)
About the feed...I goofed and I think I deleted it somehow. I am having some trouble trying to get it back onto the blog. I apologize for that. As soon as I can sit down and figure out what I did, I'll get it back on my sidebar up near the top. I was trying to change a setting and somehow deleted it instead. :-(
Susan

Berlin Deluxxe said...

I love the napkin idea :)

Anne Marie said...

WOW! I would have to wear my Sunday best at that table!! Love it!

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