15 MINUTE "FAMILY NIGHT BISTRO!"
It took me just 15 minutes to throw this tablescape together. An evening such as this is exactly why it is imperative to have certain staples when it comes to entertaining. I keep chargers in an array of colors, at least a dozen types of linen or cotton napkins in solids or patterns, a gold and silver set of flatware and usually a set with wooden or bamboo handles, plain white dishes to mix and match with anything and dishes with a gold rim, silver rim, and several sets with color or patterns. I keep a folding table in the basement and a custom fitted mirrored table topper for reflection and a touch of glamour. Glasses in colors that reflect every season or major holiday and a variety of table cloths. Everything can be arranged and rearranged, mixed and matched over and over again for a fresh take on any spur of the moment theme. And don't forget many sets of votives to add to the ambiance. I know it all sounds expensive, but it's not! Buy as you see sales throughout the year. If I love it and dream about it, I have to have it! I'm always thinking ahead of the season and holidays to come. I'm planning my color scheme in advance, finding something in my trails to inspire my tablescape. Now that I have all the staples, I'm set. It's a matter of creating a theme with brick-a-brack from there. I began collecting when I was single and continued throughout my 15 year marriage. I have no regrets, as I did it slowly and steadily.
The Perfect Elegant Family Style Italian Bistro Table Top:
This was 1 folding table from Target. I had a custom piece of mirror made to fit. Any mirror shop in your area can do it! (Alderfer Glass in Quakertown, PA)
First I placed a plaid tablecloth on top of my folding table, then carefully placed the mirror on top of the cloth. From there I began to set the table with the following must have accessories with their resources.
~red votive candles to line the center of the table (Dollar store, Christmas Tree Shop, Marshalls/Homegoods)
~Vino Jugs (wine) (Christmas Tree Shop) I filled one with wine and one with ice tea. There is a chalk board on the from which you can label accordingly.
~White ceramic gravy boat with tiny ladle for fresh parmesan cheese (Marshalls/Homegood's)
~Green lettuce leaf bowls with salt & pepper shakers (Crate & Barrel or Marshalls/Homegoods) I have found full table settings at both
Layer Your Place Settings:
~Red plastic chargers (Michael's Craft Store or Christmas Tree Shop)
~Plain white dinner plates (Christmas Tree Shop)
~Green lettuce leaf bowls
~Wooden Handled forks (Marshall's/Homegood's)
~Red and white large gingham check napkins placed under bowls (Napkins from Stein Mart)
~Red wine goblets (glasses) (old stock of mine, but you can find red glasses just about anywhere)