Create Rustic Elegance With Old and New


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.


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.) 


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. 


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.


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.