willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs


The table is set…

What to do with a dinner party where 37 people need to be seated for dinner?
 Why… move down two very large tables and as many chairs as I could from the barn after emptying out most of the furniture from the family room onto the back patio. (Good thing the family who added on the room in the late 1800’s felt they needed a bowling alley attached to the kitchen.)
 Conversation went something like this between husband and myself:
 “Honey can you help me move the big tables from the barn?”
“Move them where?”
“To the family room. “
“Because we need to have seating for everyone coming to the dinner.”
“Didn’t you rent tables?”
“Why would I rent tables and chairs when I have them in the barn?”
“Because when you rent tables, THEY bring them to you and take them away when you are done.”
“Hmmm…good point but I could not achieve the same effect from rented tables.”
“Does that matter?”
Can you imagine my reply?
One of my absolute favorite things to do in the whole wide world is to come up with a theme or design for a party, event, dinner or family gathering and put all the pieces together to bring it to fruition. Hopefully, the result will be what I had envisioned in my mind. It started with my children’s Birthday parties and morphed from there. I was fortunate enough to host a dinner this past weekend for one of our children’s schools. To thank a group of special people who give freely of their time and expertise to enable the school to perform at its best.
After looking through my house and the barn, I collected items that I thought would work together. The colors would also need to work with both a brown dining room and an orange family room. Yes, that is right, I did say orange…
In came the burlap. Love that humble material for it is inexpensive, you can buy a whole bolt of it and cut off what you need. No sewing involved, just pull off the edge strings and it frays.
Besides using the burlap I used a variety of some of my favorite materials.
I lined the tables with the burlap and then covered that with a layer of the Cutlery Table Runner from Cake Vintage. It is one of our favorite lines that we carry at our Barn Sales for they have beautiful print work and designs on paper place mats and table runners.
I topped the runner with a slate at each place that were taken off a very old house in our area. We carry these at our sales too and I love them for a variety of purposes…place mats, chalk boards, and cheese boards to name a few.
Produce Junction is a produce market in our area that has tremendously priced flowers, if not the freshest. You just have to be flexible with what they have when you go and buy them very close to when you actually need them.
Old spindles turned into candle holders. They too can have a multitude of purposes besides holding up a stair rail!
Here are some shots of the finished product. (Please note, photography is one of those skills on my list that I would like to perfect…a few more hours in the day would help that)
I had a leftover roll of boxwood from Christmas that I had kept outside so I added that here and there. Did you know that you can spritz it with water and it will stay green? If you do not, it turns that lovely shade of sage green.
I filled a hurricane styled candle holder with dried moss, added a candle and some more boxwood and this became the center of the coffee table located in between the two long rectangular tables.
Onto the table came the RENTED coffee pots,
and the cute little place card holders that I like to make from flower pots and old silver.
The dining room table got treated a little differently in that I have a very large ivory table cloth made out  of an old damask curtain. I switched the order of colors here and put the ivory underneath and the  burlap on top in the form of napkins.
It was a lovely evening and I hoped the guests had as much fun attending as I had putting it together!
Please share some of your favorite things when setting a table or planning a party!
Now, all we have to do is move it all back to the barn. It looks too pretty…does anyone want to come for dinner?
Enjoy your celebrations!


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  1. Karen S. says:

    Meg, you always make everything look so beautiful. I love the flower arrangements!

  2. Lifes Patina says:

    Thanks for your comment
    Karen!! I love doing flowers so I am glad that you liked them. Hope to see you soon!