Create Rustic Elegance With Old and New

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When having guests for dinner, how much thought do you give to the table? My mother used to putter long after midnight getting it just right for company. My mother-in-law is the same, spending hours making her table beautiful. But not everyone thinks that way. As much as I love a great centerpiece and candles and often put great effort into my decor,  I have to confess that sometimes I am so focused on the food that I sort of forget the table. Fortunately, I have a stash of stuff that I can pull out at a moments notice. 

I am not a hoarder, really. A linen junkie? Yes. Hoarder? No. I have an events closet, (in the spot next to the hot water heater.) Since my parents' 40th wedding anniversary in 1994, I have been collecting party paraphernalia. I have multiples of white table cloths (sheets), pots, vases, hurricanes, table toppers, table runners, candle holders, etc. Most were made, cheap, or free. I use them myself but also loan them out. I add to the stash periodically when I want something fresh and current. 

My most recent tablescape is a great example of combining new and used elements to create  a look of rustic elegance.

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We hosted 30 people for dinner, our semi-annual  gathering for Radooga, a Ukrainian ministry we hold dear. The Ukrainian flag is light blue and yellow and I often like to incorporate that. But it is also springtime and I wanted that to be reflected in the decor.

So I started the way I usually do with a white base.  Next I used polka dot table toppers my daughter sewed a couple of years ago, then layered on the light blue runners I made for a budget wedding reception awhile back.   (The Dollar Tree votive holders came from the same wedding.) 

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This year's addition to the events closet came in the form of these adorable buckets  from Walmart that my aunt introduced me to. I knew I wanted to use them to create rustic centerpieces but it was a matter of what to put in them. 

While perusing Kroger's floral department I found maidenhair ferns, so lush and delicate. The great thing about them is that they can be planted in a shady part of the yard when the party is over. So as much as I like cut flowers, I love the practicality of using plants. 

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To add the yellow of the flag, I dipped back into my stash and reused some artificial yellow tulips. Yes, artificial. I would much rather use real but sometimes you can get away with a good fake. Honestly, I think part of what makes faux look bad is the foliage. Notice, there is none on these flowers. When combined with real plants, they can look great.

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On the pots, I wrote different milestones of the ministry through the years. Everything on the tables had been used before and/or will be used again. It's all about frugal design because that's just the way I roll.