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Tabletop Challenge...Part One

photo- weddingwire

Do you love before and afters? I do! I also love high end home decor re-created on a realistic budget for everyday folks. This month is Tabletop Challenge! I am going to re-create designer table scapes in several different decor themes. My challenge is to keep my "re-creations" budget friendly, but still have that WOW factor. Part One of the Tabletop Challenge I will introduce the first four Tabletop Challenges; Formal, Garden Party, Beach and Modern Table Scapes. The following week I will explain all of the DIY projects that will help make everything easy and affordable.

Week three will be Part Two of the Tabletop Challenge, four more challenges; Cottagecore, Farmhouse, French Country and a Surprise Tabletop. The fourth week, I will post the last four Tabletop Challenge DIY Part Two project how to's.

So stay tuned, every week will be a new adventure!

First Tabletop Challenge: Formal Eggplant & Mustard

inspo photo-

Ok, this is a little over the top, but oh my goodness...the colors, the texture, the flowers! This WOW table can be achieved on a lower scale and on a realistic budget. And I am going to accept the challenge for my first table scape! Note: A floral centerpiece this size created by a professional, would be well over $300.

Here is my downsized version!

This was a really fun table scape to start off the Tabletop Challenge! I re-created the basic color scheme with florals and succulents, but in a different way. I think it gives off the same vibe, "Formal". The base for this tabletop is the eggplant & mustard color combination. Finding a yellow tablecloth that wasn't too garish was my first goal, a yellow shade leaning on the gold side, more muted, rather than a neon. I settled on this damask poly tablecloth I think it drapes nicely and the price was good too. There are so many shades of purple, I chose blue/purple napkins and avoided the pink/purples.

Then I added layered white square plates, from my own cupboard. My plates are not the same color as the "inspo" photo, but the same sleek shape. I think they will do, they give a lighter look to the table scape. In hind sight, maybe I should have placed the napkins on top of the plates to bring in more of the purple tones. The purple goblets are fun, and add more eggplant shades to the table scape.

Michaels happened to be having their summer floral sale, 70% off, so I ran with it! Fresh flowers would have been way over my budget, so silk flowers it is. I studied the flower arrangement and tried to break it down into layers and found it a little more doable. I am not a floral designer, I envy those with the skills to create unique floral arrangements, but I enjoyed the process. You can too! I worked from the inside out, trimming and arranging. See step by step instructions on this arrangement in next week's DIY Blog. I added fresh, yellow alstroemerias from my grocery store to each side of the arrangement, then added faux succulents for filler, to mirror the original photo.

Finally, a party favor of a simple cupcake in a die cut cupcake paper, topped with a purple succulent. (party favor optional) I always feel there should be a party favor for a dinner party.

There you have it! It was intimidating at first, then I broke it down into steps.

Eggplant & Mustard Breakdown:

Table Cloth-$21.99 (AMZ)

Napkins-$10.99. (AMZ)

Floral & large succulents- $52.24 (Micheals)

Purple Goblets set/6- $28.00 (AMZ)

Square Plates- My cupboard- Target purchased years ago

Succulents in buckets- 4/$5.00 each Randi K. Collection

silverware - my cupboard, a Target purchase years ago

Total: $133.22

*Many times pre-made cloth napkin sets are less expensive than sewing napkins yourself.

Do your research first.

Second Tabletop Challenge: Garden Party

Yummy peaches and pinks!

This garden party says...

let's stay and catch up!

Note: This gorgeous Garden Party Table according to resources posted,

has a $800+ value including fresh

flowers & garland

inspo photo- camillestyles here


Giggle Juice


🥂🌺🌸🌷Recipe next week's DIY Blog

It is a full blown garden party

when the bubbly comes out!


Garden Tabletop Re-creation

I found this table setting so inviting! Maybe I have read too many Jane Austin novels, but garden parties and dining in garden retreats, has been a part of daily life and special occasions for centuries. Again, Michaels summer sale had silk flowers 70% off! Game changer! The silk blossoms are so realistic now! Fresh peonies and roses would have been way out of my budget, so I am loving this. Looking at the re-creation, it is simply beautiful! The fabric runner is made of mesh sold by the roll in the wedding isle at Michaels, I used just a portion of it, cut to fit my 6ft table and tasseled the ends. Check out next week's DIY Blog and learn how to make this table runner and luscious centerpiece.

Notice my stoneware is not Anthropologie or Williams-Sonoma, you don't have to go high end to accomplish a sophisticated look. I found these garden green plates at Lowes! My other choice were clear green, glass plates to add that pop of green for the place setting, but they were actually more expensive and these plates from Lowes are a much better match. They remind of Majolica Pottery. The napkins are from my own cupboard, classic white cotton. The peach champagne coupes are actually acrylic, Acrylic glassware is great for outdoor settings. I love how they add that pop of elegance.

Finally I added Rose shaped candies to the top of the napkins, to add a pop of pink as shown in the "inspo" photo. The rose shaped candies are Turkish gummy like treats, they taste like honey, and compliment the pink bubbly!🌺🥂

Garden Tabletop Breakdown:

DIY White Table runner- $3.00 (Michaels)

Champagne Coupe Glasses Set/8- $28.00 (AMZ)

Floral- $28.77 (Michaels)

Eucalyptus Runner-$16.99 (Michaels)

Green Garden Plates- set/6 $25.00 (Lowes)

Burlap Table Cloth- My cupboard

Votives- my cupboard

Total: $101.76

Party Favor Candy Rose Turkish Delights- $15.00 (AMZ) *optional

*you can use chargers for the plate color instead, or reverse your colors, white plates with garden green napkins, may save on your budget. Also there are some beautiful paper napkins available on the market today, perfect for garden tea time!

Third Tabletop Challenge: Beach

photo- RobynVanDykePhotography

Thalassophile here! (A beach lover!)

I love the aqua and pops of red color combination for this Beach themed table!

Of course my re-creation will be on a much smaller scale, but the goal is to have the same sophisticated Beachy feel!

The inspo photo is of a lovely Wedding created by an event plannner

sourcing expenditures was not available.

Here is my Beach Tabletop Re-creation!

Right away you notice my table shape is different than the inspiration, but I think it works! I added woven placemats for warmth, my dishes seemed to get lost in the photographs. I had napkins on hand with an aqua stripe, they reminded me of a beach cabana stripe. Instead of adding the color aqua with glass vases on the table scape, like the "inspo" photo, I brought in my "Shoreline Table Runner" in Aquatic Aqua, as color the base. I like how the napkin rings tie all the reds together. See next week in the Part One DIY Blog and see how easy it is to make these napkin rings and centerpiece. The branch centerpiece is so easy to make and has such a design impact for this table, and the red branches give a feeling of red coral!

Finally I experimented with a red plate option, I think it works as well. You can see the red plate option in the slide show above! 👆When creating a table setting, play around and see what appeals to you! I created mini collages comparing my tabletop to the "inspo" photos in the slide show above.

My re-creation tabletop is different in many ways, but has the same sophisticated

"beachy" feel!

Beach Table Challenge Breakdown:

Napkins- my cupboard

Bamboo Napkin rings- $9.99 (AMZ) or any unfinished napkin rings

Table Runner- r.k.c "Shoreline Aquatic Aqua Table Runner" $40 here

DIY Spray painted branches centerpiece - $5 for spray paint

Plates - my cupboard (IKEA purchased years ago)

Wine glasses- my cupboard (Homegoods prior purchase)

Seashells & votives- my cupboard

Red flowers- $10.00 (local Grocer)

Total: $65.00

woven placemats- r.k.c 4/$16.00 here *optional

*Not a shell collector? Seashells can be found at craft stores everywhere

Fourth Tabletop Challenge: Modern

Copper, gray and black is a challenge I am ready to have!

Simple, but warm.

My challenge was to create the same designer feel for less. The beautiful black dinnerware was not in my budget, so I had to be creative!

inspo photo- MrBowlCeramics here

Note: This beautiful, handmade, ceramic table setting alone is over $700.

Modern Tabletop Re-creation...

This color scheme is so warm, even though there is so much black, because of the metallic pieces added to the table scape. Right away I saw my Randi K. Mali Table Runner as a base for this table scape. I placed rose gold votives here and there along the center, then added rose gold goblets instead of candlesticks for height. Layering clear plates, onto the black chargers lets the black shine through giving the same effect as actual black dinnerware as seen in the original design. Black napkins with copper wire napkin rings add a pop of metallic to the place setting like shown in the "inspo" photo. Check out next weeks DIY Blog to learn how to make these easy Copper Napkin Rings.

Finally I added some simple grasses in the center.

Modern Table Breakdown:

Table Runner- r.k.c Mali Table Runner $40 here

Rose gold Votives-$10.99 (Efavormart)

Goblets set 6- $13.49 (Oriental Trading Co.)

Centerpiece Grasses- $15 (Michaels)

Black Chargers- my cupboard (Hobby Lobby purchase years ago $1.99 each)

DIY Napkin rings set/12- $6.99 Jewelry Wire (Michaels)

Black Napkins- $10 set/6 (AMZ)

Clear Glass Plates- my cupboard

Total: $96.18

*color selection and simplicity seem to be a basic "Modern" design rule. You can add a burlap or solid grey runner instead, or create one like in the Garden Tabletop Challenge runner shown above.

I had so much fun re-creating these beautiful table settings, I learned a lot along the way!

There was a common design strategy when creating these beautiful tabletops, LAYERS!

Just like home decor, a rich, expensive look can be achieved with layers. So the beginning of each table scape starts with a base color ie; tablecloth, runner or just a wooden surface. Your centerpiece is your focal point and sets the theme for your guests. Then add the layers of texture and color ie; placemats, dishes, stemware and napkins.

Whatever design style you love, you can be inspired by magazines and blogs to create your own table scape, and on a realistic budget. It might take a little research to find the right price points and quality, but that is part of the fun! I know working full time there is not a lot of time to run around from shop to shop, so go online! You can stop by stores and do curbside pick ups on your way home. Many websites offer free shipping, look for deals. Weekend farmer's markets can offer hand crafted birdhouses , pottery , etc.

When trying to recreate your table, note the color scheme first, then see what you already have on hand. I used a lot of my Randi K. Collection creations and show props because I had them on hand, it was fun to incorporate my products in these tabletop challenges. Check for the basics, do you already have the tablecloth? Don't have the same color dishes? Why not add a napkin in the desired colors instead? Napkin sets are affordable, and really do change the theme of any table. Second hand stores are a great source for glasses and dishes. It is so trendy to mix and match china patterns now, create your Farmhouse or Shabby Chic look and mix it up! Also fabric choices and colors can make a difference. I love to use natural fabrics like cotton and burlap instead of polyester when I can. But with that said, a polyester damask pattern tablecloth or napkin set, can pull off an expensive feel.

Have fun, color outside the box. Look for free shipping, seasonal sales, research and start planning ahead for your event. You will be surprised at what you can create on a budget!

Next week all of the DIY projects from these first four Tabletop Challenges!

Then look for Part Two Tabletop Challenge, four more challenges in week three!

Stay is gonna be a busy month!

Happy Decorating!


photos; Cover-Weddingwire, Eggplant-Secretwindowfloral, Garden-CamilleStyles, French-ToHaveToHost, Farmhouse-JessicaPursell, Cottagecore-Domino, Modern-MrBowlCeramics, Beach-RobynVanDukePhotography,TheProperSetting Event Planning, Recipes;GiggleJuice, KitchenFunWithMy3Sons, RosemaryBread-CupofSugarPinchofSalt, Quotes;Carol'sCountrySunshine, Products; Amazon, Michaels, Mercari, Efavormart, TableclothFactory, HomeGoods, Wayfair, Lowes,

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