Recently my mom – Little Debbie, as we gangsta rappers like to call her – asked me about tablesetting with amber colored glassware.  I suggested turquoise but I think she probably already had that in mind.  Then last week I went over to her house.

Bada boom bada bang!

She had not one but two tables set with the glowing warm gold glassware and the fun blue color that made me oh-so-proud to call her Mum.  The best part was that both arrangements had very different feels, styles and set ups even though they shared a common color palette.  And because I am always prepared to snap photos…I snagged a few to share with you.     

The first tablesetting was in the dining room.  And since it was in the more formal space, it made perfect sense to create a more formal arrangement.  She used lots of deep browns to warm up the blues…and tied in those browns with the perfect accent plates.  Those accent plates (which sported different pictures of fruits with that washed-out blue background) were placed upon a stack of various sized plates.  The base plate, a coppery toned plate with a metallic feel, was placed on a round Easter placemat which was then placed on a turqouise square placemat.  Don’t you just love the layered placemats?  And I can’t get over how great the rugged masculine dinner plate pairs with the frilly pastels of the round placemat.  Can you imagine if she had only placed the placemats down?  It woulda looked plumb crazy.  But then adding the layers made it look cohesive and distinguished.

I also love the fact that she added LOADS of texture with the different elements.  See the rough but small texture of the woven placemat, then the soft and ruffly feel of the round placemat, followed by the smoothness of the brown plate, then even more interest with that glass plate that looks like cracked glass topped with a plate that has the texture literally painted on?  And that’s not mentioning the amber glass cup.     


Finally, she finished off the entire thing with a simple stacked centerpiece.  Yup.  That’s one glass cakestand with a turqouise plate on top for a punch of color followed by a generic glass vase filled with dead roses.  Yes…dead.  as. a. doornail.  Wait.  That’s not right…what is that saying again?  Dead as a doorknob?  Dead as a doorbell?  Whatever.  They were dead.  And on either side was a couple large glass candlesticks with turqouise hued candles. 

Pretty fabulous, right?  The way the warm colored roses accented the dishware was uber elegant, right?  And the fact that those roses didn’t require any upkeep meant a winning centerpiece in my book.  They are like the George Clooney of centerpieces….no commitment but always looks good :)  

Now on to numero dos in the turquoise and amber tablesettings.  This one is quite different. 

First off – it’s totally informal.  And island-inspired. 

The glasses and the placemats were the same as the previous tablesetting.  What was different?  Everything else. 

But the thing that made this tablesetting work was the way mom integrated the colors with the rest of the tableau.  Using a little wire and some fun beads, mother-dearest created some cheap napkin rings to bring in all the hues in the fun scarf that she draped in the middle of the table.  The napkins & the crafty napkin rings coordinated the glasses to the scarf but also the rest of the centerpiece.    

Speaking of the centerpiece, a silver hued tray was filled with a glass hurricane, a faux coral, and some glass accents.  I love that she worked in so many sea-inspired elements such as the sand nestled around the oversized candle, the turquoise coral, and the clear orbs that looked like bubbles.    

And of course, I can’t forget to mention the quirkiest centerpiece item – a walking stick.  with a head like a whale.  Jonah wouldn’t forget a thing like this :)   

Isn’t it great to see how a little challenge like “how do ya use amber glassware?” turns into two very different but still beautiful tablesettings?  I love it when people turn something a little old-fashioned into a chic design element…even if it is on the tabletop.  So all I have to say is good job ma!  Now go give yourself a couple thousand Bower Power points. 

So what do you guys think?  Double the pleasure?  Double the fun?  And how bout that crazy walkin stick?  I never would have thought to incorporate such a strange item into a tablesetting…would you?  Any other wacky items you’ve seen lately as a centerpiece?  Or maybe you are still gawking at those dead flowers…anyone else a bloom drier?  Or perhaps this is just a good reminder to get out your thinking caps when it comes to that old dishware?



  1. Amanda says

    Love it! That first table setting is just amazing, makes me want to completely copy & do my table the same. I love the color combo & the dead roses add such a vintagey feel. Love love love, good job ma is right!

  2. says

    Wow! I would eat whatever she’s fixin’ just to sit at that table (either one of them!). Simply beautiful- clearly good taste is in the genes. Well done.

  3. Julie says

    So rich and gorgeous! Was there a special occasion, or does your mom keep her home that beautiful all the time?

  4. says

    I love the amber glassware paired with the turquoise! I see amber glassware in antique stores all the time, but always felt the color looked dated. This setting looks modern and elegant. Thanks for the ideas!

  5. says

    The first was is BEAUTIFUL! Does your mom just set it up for looks or was it done for a special occassion? My table is always plain-just a table runner and centerpiece.

    • says

      Hi Christine B,
      My mom usually has at least one table set (no silverware though)…and since she has loads of special occassions in her calendar, they always get used and switched up for the next event.
      XO – Katie

  6. says

    Wow! Your mom did an awesome job. I love the way both table settings look. I definitely don’t have enough dinnerware or occasions to come up with something so grand, but now I wish I did!

  7. Liz says

    Great job to your mother on both. I can see where you get some of your talents.

    The saying is ‘dead as a doornail’. I only know of this from one of the many random facts I learned working at living history museum as a historical interpreter!

    It comes from settlers moving west in the US back in the 1800s. When families would move around and try to find a place to settle they wouldn’t bring wood to build their houses; they would use the trees they cut down to clear the land they would farm on for their house. They would just bring the nails and some of the basic tools such as an axe, hammer or saw. Well since nails cost money and sometimes families wouldn’t have enough money to buy more nails and use everything to the best of it’s ability. So when they would leave their current house to move they would burn down their log cabin that they were living in. (After all the furniture and kids and stuff is out and loaded of course!) After the fire had burned the house down and coals had cooled off the family would go through the ashes and pick up out the nails. It was easier than pulling the nails out of the wood and taking apart the house. Well they would gather all of the nails to reuse except the nails that made the door.

    The reason there being that when a door was constructed the planks of wood would be vertically laid out. Across the top and bottom of the door you would place a plank horizontally. Then another plank at a slant to make a letter Z across the existing planks. Once the nails had been nailed through the constructed door the pointy bit of the nail would stick out the other side. Therefore, after all the nails were hammered in, the nails would be hammered down so the tips would lay on top of the wood instead of sticking out. Well once those nails were bent into a door you wouldn’t be able to unbend them out and use them again. The nails would be completely dead and the settlers couldn’t reuse them.

    It actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it :)

  8. says

    That first tablesetting is gorgeous! Seriously, I really want some amber-colored glassware now. So pretty!

    I always keep the table set at our house too, but nothing nearly this fancy. And really we just do it to keep ourselves from piling mail and other junk on the table. :) I am inspired to step it up after seeing this though!

  9. Sue says

    Purely a beautifully creative setting. Aqua is so calming to me and I love it with the amber. Loved the history lesson, Liz!

  10. Wendy says

    Hi Katie,

    I don’t know if you have Publix near you, but Cran-Grape is buy one get one right now!! Yum!!!

  11. Melanie says

    Like mother like daughter. You ladies sure are talented!
    This topic is one of my favorite. I found your site a while ago after seeing the video that you and Sherry did on YHL about your table settings. I love seeing all of the different options that you come up with. Keep ‘em coming!!!

  12. says

    I don’t know if you follow Twitter much, but I tweeted about your table settings yesterday, and Turquoise Erin retweeted it – Incredible!! @crystalcattle RT Check out these great table settings!

    She has a huge following, and I hope you get lots of visits from her followers today. These table settings must be shared with the world!

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