17 June 2009

TABLESCAPE THURSDAY: Alone with Books

 

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If it’s Thursday, it must be Tablescape Thursday, hosted by Between Naps on the Porch.  Be sure to visit (here) to enjoy all the other Tablescape Thursday tablescapes!

 

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If there was one room I could add onto my house – and I’ve said it before – it would be a dedicated library.   It would have bookcases, wrapping around the wall, high to the ceiling.   In the middle would be a huge old library table that would double as a desk or a dining table.  There would be two chairs with soft down filled cushions and ottomans for both and a fireplace that would blaze all winter and be filled with scented candles in the summer.   In the middle would hang a huge lantern, low from the ceiling,  to light the room just enough to glimpse the collections of antique globes and lacquered boxes.  If possible, the ceiling would be double height and there would a balcony around the second level to access the higher books with ease.  There would be, of course, a wonderful ladder – no library should be without one.   Alas, I don’t have  a library, just an area of bookshelves on the stair landing.   No room for an ottoman there, much less a chair or two.  The books are overflowing – they are stacked everywhere.  New ones, still unread, are in the garage – waiting their turn.  Ones recently read have found their way inside to the entry’s hall table.   The extras are now encroaching on the dining room, piled on chairs and the floor.   So, you see, I DO need a library.

If I could, I would turn my living room into the reading room and let it double as a part-time dining room – something I might still do one day.  The rarely used living room could be the perfect library – it just takes time and money – both of which are scarce these days.   So, for now, the dining room is my reading nook – a place where I can sit and thumb through design books in search of a picture to scan in for the blog, or a story to show a client.  I have some research to do today – so I think I’ll just eat a very late, leisurely lunch in the dining room while I’m working – a truly novel idea!

 

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Care to join me?  The table is all set and ready for one, but I could quickly add a plate if you stay!   It won’t match though, I only have one of those that I am using today!

 

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My dining room is small and open to the entry hall.  Instead of a proper table, I have an oval shaped one that is draped in a heavy silk plaid from J. Robert Scott – which I copied from a client!   Last year I starting turning my chairs outward for some reason and I like them that way.  They look like ladies primly sitting, patiently waiting to be asked to dance!

 

 

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The chandelier is an antique that I bought from a friend when she remodeled her house.  I told you all about it here, in case you missed it.    When we moved in our house 15 years ago – there was a short window here.   After a few months – we replaced it with French doors, much better, no?  The doors lead out to a small side garden – just 5’ wide and 40’ long – typical for the small town lots in West University, where we live. 

 

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Since I have a skirted table, whenever I have a dinner party – I first put down a waterproofed, special table cloth - cut to fit.  Then I layer a white cotton or linen cloth over it.  That way, if anyone spills red wine or coffee – the skirted tablecloth isn’t damaged.   After the meal, I toss the white tablecloth in the washing machine.    Today, since I am alone, I am just going to put down a cloth with fringe instead of lugging out the liner and the topper.  This is much easier and I’m not drinking any red wine anyway. 

 

 

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In setting the Tablescape Thursday, I tried to keep everything neutral and creamy.      The silver dome is something I have just started collecting – I’ve bought two and that is probably all I will buy:  they take up a lot of room, something I am short on!

 

 

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Do you recognize what book I am reading?  The author is a popular blogger – and that is a picture of her maison, in the south of France, in the middle of an olive grove:  My French Life, by Vicki Archer – available here.   

 

 

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The rose came from my yard, the white urn came from the famous Betty Rae.

 

 

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The drinking glass is from my favorite restaurant – Galatoires in New Orleans and the decanter was bought there too, on Magazine Street.

 

 

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The antique altar candlesticks came from Tara Shaw, of course, and the marble grapes are from Mona Dees at Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy, the same person who has sold me both my silver domes.  Thanks Mona!

 

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The reticulated creamware plates were won on Ebay from England.  They aren’t antique but they look it.   This is probably the only time they will be eaten off  - they are going to be hanging on the walls soon.   The antique fork is a style that I collect whenever I can find them.  Some of mine are monogrammed, but not with my initials. 

 

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And finally, look at this gorgeous napkin!   Imagine my utter shock and sheer joy to open up such a dear package containing 10 of these oversized French linen napkins.   They are a gift from Ruth Gay – of Chateau Domingue – whom I wrote about here and here.   I really can’t remember receiving anything so lovely before.   Can you read the monogram? 

 

Thanks for joining me at my late, leisurely lunch this afternoon.  I won’t tell you what I ate – it’s soooo disgusting.  OK, I will:   Whataburger Chicken Strips with Onion Rings instead of French Fries with a Diet Coke.  hehe.  It’s such a guilty pleasure. 

 

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And be sure to join Linda, Megan, and me on the Skirted Roundtable today with two brand new shows:  Blogging – what keeps up motivated from jumping the shark, AND Design – all about kitchens!!   

To listen, go here.