[Today I have a very, very important guest writer for Foodie Fridays, my mother. I am very blessed to have such a caring, creative and brilliant mother that continues to amaze me each and every day. I thought we would do something a little different today because that’s what life is all about, right? So without further I do, I give you my mom, Geri.]

Guest Writer: Geri Wurth

In a kingdom a long, long time ago the Queen busied herself pulling out the gilded china, pouring wine into goblets, and heaping mounds of red and green grapes onto her etched silver platters. She fussed. She tasted the sauce. She ran one of her long, gloved fingers over the tabletop to check for dust. She sighed a happy sigh of approval. Then she had guests over for dinner!

Well….m-a-ybe the Queen had help from a dwarf or two, or an entirely serious butler.

If you’re like me, you love having people over for dinner, too, but you don’t have a dwarf handy or the Queen’s truffle-oil and fresh hydrangeas budget. Besides, it’s hard enough to cook (unless you use one of Lauren’s recipes) let along set a pretty table. Not to fear!

You can probably set any kind of table you want, pretty darn quickly, using only what you already have.  Using the following four-letter word formula for table assembly, you can coax a pretty, memorable table into being.

TROT….uh huh, TROT. Which mean “trot out anything you have.” The letters are your guide.

  • T – Tall: Make sure your table has something with height. 
  • R – Repeats: Try to have items, patterns or colors that repeat
  • O – Over the Top or Crazy: Try to insert a piece that seems ‘too much’ or is unusual
  • T – Texture: Vary the types of items on your table for contrast. This means include glass or crystal, ceramic, wood, wicker or bamboo, paper, metals (silver, gold, chrome), linens, crochet, lace, rusty stuff, or mirrors. And of course flowers or greenery if you wish

I kind of do this for a living. Not set tables, but I co-own a vintage store where we arrange, re-arrange and make usable items from rusty toolboxes, lampshades, old glass bottles, and scraps of vintage fabric. We work on the cheap with what we have!

Also, I didn’t have to “make” anything, like name cards or favors. And I didn’t purchase flowers. These tables arose after I trotted out what I had. Look around and see what you have!

Linens in the Jungle Table

This table is warm and serene. The colors are more muted, the green plates, green pot, brown pot, caramel-colored bamboo runner, wheat-colored place mats. The two small “jungle” tree houseplants are the TALL items. Their ceramic pots are different, but the type of plant is the same for a REPEAT.

The OVER the TOP items are the ceramic S&P, the green metal grasshopper, and the crocheted doilies. I trotted out the doilies on a whim, and almost nixed them, saying “doilies don’t belong in the jungle!” But I was wrong. The fancy doilies look entirely natural  on top of the linen napkins. They add that ‘English tea in Out of Africa’ look. I just wish I had an antique crystal pitcher and a faux snake to complete the look!

Up close we can see the mixing of TEXTURES with the slice of wood, bamboo placement, china plate, linen napkin, doily, and the two ceramic pots.

Don’t be afraid to mix in something that seems like it won’t go – you can always take it out. Above all, have FUN creating your table!

Best, Geri