Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Must Go Down to the Sea Again….

John Masefield wrote, “I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky…”. I know what he meant. I am a land-locked beach bum at heart. The beach and ocean seep into to your soul and take up residence. I can’t get back to the beach for a while, so dreaming and tablescaping will have to suffice for now.


I am planning a dinner party with seafood as the main course. This table has been sneaking into my dreams for a while, so I thought I’d give it a test run and see how all the elements look together. The table is a mish mash of china patterns and absolutely nothing is new.


You may know by now that I love centerpieces. Quite often it is the “jumping off” point for a tablescape and everything else is built around it. For me, anything has possibilities as a vase or centerpiece container. Try looking at everyday items with a new perspective. This trifle dish works perfectly. The clear glass and depth allow the shells and starfish to take center stage.


All the colors of surf and sand are here—the sugar white and taupes of Gulf shore beaches mixed with the cool blue of the water. I mixed casual and formal pieces on a white matelasse“beach blanket”. The contrast of casual and formal seems to echo both the elegant beauty and the carefree fun of a day at the beach.


The DIY napkin rings are mixed with the crisp linen of hem-stitched napkins. Casual placemats are a backdrop for sterling silver.


The glow of tea lights flicker against crystal.


Layers of muted colors, patterns, and textures remind me of the ever-changing landscape at the beach.


Oh yes, I must go down to the sea again….


dinner plates-Nina Campbell exclusively for Steinmart

salad plates-Gibson at Big Lots

appetizer plates- T.J. Maxx


crystal-Lismore by Waterford

flatware-Burgundy by Reed and Barton

salt and pepper-Target

tea light holders-Dollar Tree

shells-the sunny beach :)

I'll be joining Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday. You can join the fun here!

Please Join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday by clicking on the button on my sidebar. Thank you for visiting. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for a delicious seafood appetizer—eggplant Josephine!


  1. wow! I'm learning a lot from your stunning 'scapes! Thanks for sharing-really incredible!

  2. Wow! So Pretty!! You really did good! Your guests will feel honored sitting at that table.
    Enjoy your evening.

  3. The starfish appetizer plates had me at hello!! I wonder if the Maxx still has them. I love that shade of blue, too! All the colors are pretty you said, colors of the beach. SO pretty. Love your centerpiece big time. Have a wonderful dinner party!


  4. Love those starfish plates. They would blend perfectly with my seaside dishes! I also love the transformation of the trifle dish. It looks fab!

    - The Tablescaper

  5. This table is lovely! I like the shades of white, cream and blue...just like the beach. So many touches that just make it beautiful and relaxing.

    The maltese blanket was the perfect tablecloth and those soft blue plates are wonderful!
    I love your centepiece, it's so creative and yes I want to go to the beach so bad!
    I don't want summer to end either!

  7. This is completely and totally amazing! It has caused me to give up my dream of a home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and, instead, want to purchase a beachfront property. O.K., it's just a dream! Kudos!


  8. Oh how pretty! Like a wonderful day spent at the beach. You've put all the elements together beautifully.

  9. How beautiful! I would love to sit at this table and have a meal with you!

  10. Love the colors of this table. I'd love to be a guest enjoying some of that seafood to come. ~ Sarah

  11. Just beautiful! I'm sure everyone enjoyed the time spent at this wonderful table!

  12. So exquisitely beautiful. The colors are what make this. I love the starfish plates (I have some too ;-)). Your trifle bowl worked so well as the center piece.

  13. What a serene tablescape. I loved everyminute of it! I hate to say goodbye to summer and leave all the light and airy colors for a while! Beautiful!

  14. This is my kind of table...all soft and beachy. Everything is so pretty and so tranquil.

  15. Hi Susan,

    I love your beautiful seaside table today ~ everything works so well together.
    The sand for your shells in the centerpiece is such a great idea and the colour of the starfish plates is so pretty. Isn't that so pretty when the candlelight glows and makes the crystal sparkle.

    Enjoy the rest of the week

  16. Very pretty - a silvery and blue beach - it seems like a very expensive island getaway! Everything is so elegant and just perfect.

  17. Love the blue starfish plates! The table is gorgeous!

  18. This is just beautiful, Susan! Love all the details...Christine

  19. Oh, I love the starfish plates, and the candle decoration, and the...
    I am landlocked too, and not likely to get back to the beach until next summer (husband only likes beaches when they're in sunshine. I'm the opposite). A dramatic rocky beach with the promise of sea glass - wonderful! xx

  20. I love the calming colors!

  21. I love a gal that puts Waterford and Big Lots on the same table! Aren't we lucky to have so many choices?? Your table is beautiful ... love the sandy colors for the beachscape! Thanks so much for sharing.

  22. I feel exactly the same about the beach. My post this week really echos what you say and the colors of the scape are so similar. Check it's number 65 this week at BNOTP. I'm all about feeling the sand between my toes! Your table takes me ther!

  23. Very, very, pretty. So soothing and tranquil. Nice!

  24. I love every single detail. The soft aqua with the textured whites is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your charming design. Cherry Kay

  25. I love the calmness your table is so pretty.

  26. I love this so much...I'd like to copy it exactly. The starfish plates came from TJ Maxx. If so...I'm headed there tomorrow. So beautiful.

  27. Beautiful setting! I am a beach bum myself! Our entire apartment is decorated like the beach :-)

  28. I'm a land locked ocean lover myself! Very beautiful!! Makes me long for the sea even more! The colour palette is just so beautiful! Awesome job!

  29. I finally got here, and it was worth it! It looks lovely! Love all the beachy elements, and the centerpiece is great! Of course, the colors are so soothing!
    We are waiting for Earl here. Yesterday at the ocean the water was already up to the dunes. Wonder what it is like today! It is pouring now!
    Haven't seen you in a while!

  30. Your table looks so pretty, and I saved a picture of your trifle bowl in my idea file for next year.

  31. I really love this! Your starfish plates are great and the trifle centerpiece is definitely an idea worth borrowing!!

  32. Lovely colors. The beach theme is one of my favorites and a great place for a holiday. I liked your intro quote.

  33. This is beautiful. I am hosting a 50 dollar CSN Giveaway on my blog. I would love for you to stop by. Thanks Anu!

  34. Hi love the blog. I enjoy it, I love the tablescape. I would like to make a setting like yours. could you look at ebay #390235681302 blue sky star fish plates and could you tell me if they are the same as your? Would you mind?

  35. Oh yes, I feel like I did just go down to the sea again! What a beautiful table. Love the sand and shells in the trifle dish, and those star fish plates are sooooo pretty! laurie

  36. Thanks for stopping by. I LOVE your sea inspired table. Those starfish plates are awesome and I love your idea of using a trifle bowl for your centerpiece!!!

  37. Simply loving this! These colors are amazing! I'm happy to be your newest follower of your delightful blog and would love to have you as a friend at Frou Frou Decor! I'd also like to invite you to link your wonderful creations up at my Fabulous Friday Finds party, each Friday! Hope to see you there!
    ~Terrell @ Frou Frou Decor~

  38. this is so pretty. i love the soft colors and mix and match of your plating, just wonderful!

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