Let me show you what I mean. Here's Delores' original design:
Isn't this just beautiful? But, wait! Here's Linda's interpretation, inspired by Delores' design:
Fabulous, isn't it? Linda took Delores' romantic Valentine vision and adapted it for Christmas to celebrate her daughter's engagement and holiday homecoming. Ah, l'amour!
I owe a huge debt, not only to these two amazing designers, but to so many others who generously share their ideas and wisdom and inspire me with their amazing talent . . .
However, it's all well and good to want to copy a design . . . but then comes the hard work - and the challenges . . . like the red chargers . . . nope, no red chargers around here . . . a travesty, to be sure, one that needs to be remedied very soon, I think!
So, if red is not going to be the inspiration . . . perhaps then it has to come from the beautiful salad plate . . . I love these pink floral dishes - Chintz Rose by Johnson Brothers. Pink is probably my favorite color - at least, today it is . . .
I also have rattan chargers that match the napkin rings, and my everyday Traditions dinner plates from Williams-Sonoma are very similar to the ones Delores used . . .
Now for the linens . . . It so happens I have some lovely ones that I picked up at Horchow a while back . . .
I fell in love with the lacy pattern and its heart-shaped edging . . .
It looks so frothy . . . I can easily imagine Anne of Austria giving a handkerchief trimmed like this to the dashing Duke of Buckingham as a token of her love . . . Who knows? It might have been easier to replace it than the priceless diamond necklace she gave him instead, and which almost cost poor M. D'Artagnan his life . . . I'm referring, of course, to The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas . . .
If you haven't had a chance to read it and need a good novel filled with handsome musketeers, a queen in distress, and plenty of court intrigue, this is the book for you! It's also a wonderful study on the manners of the court of Louis XIII . . . And believe me, just because there are many, many movies adapted from his novel, none of them comes close to capturing its essence, the intricacies of its plot, the sense of humor of the author, its . . . je ne sais quoi . . .
Oh, my, I've digressed! Don't ever get me started on M. Dumas! I can become quite tedious! So, back to tablescaping. Linens . . . Check. Napkin rings . . . Check!
I have the same ones that Linda uses (although I'm lusting after Delores’) . . . I decided to leave the little button exposed, instead of tucking it underneath, like Linda did . . . Now for the flatware . . .
I love Linda's silver, and Monticello by Reed and Barton has a similar “feel” although it's stainless steel, not sterling. Still, it seemed like a good choice . . . I'm seeing hearts everywhere . . .
I remembered Delores’ words about roses and candlelight being absolutely essential . . . I needed delicate pink roses to match the salad plates, and I “needed” mercury glass vases, so I contacted Robert, of Robert's Floral Design Studio, in Chicago - my florist - I've known him since high school and he's been doing arrangements for me since our wedding, many, many moons ago . . .
For a quiet dinner at home, I'd normally go to my local grocery store to buy the roses, and then spend an enjoyable half hour arranging them, but I've been out of town attending my son's graduation from the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training in South Carolina . . . and I really needed to have the table ready today. So I sent Robert an SOS - Save Our Sanity - and he came to the rescue!
Fortunately, I had a stash of mercury glass votives . . .
Lastly . . . the glasses were an easy choice: My mother's beautiful crystal goblets . . .
Both, Delores and Linda, used a single goblet at each place setting, but I added champagne glasses as well . . .
Of course, I also needed to tuck a rose in each of the napkin rings . . .
Which was actually a very tight fit . . . See? I really need Delores’ napkin rings!
And now the table is set . . .
Ready for a summer romantic celebration . . .
What do you think . . . ? Does it pass muster . . . ?
When darkness arrived, we lit the candles . . . It was important that the mood be just right . . .
Roses scented the air . . .
Candlelight cast a soft glow to the table . . .
The champagne was poured . . .
“Unchained Melody” played in the background . . .