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Stemware. Flatware. Dishes. Chargers. Table linens. I love it all.

I’m a tabletop whore.

My affliction began as a child. I’d thumb through my mom’s magazines and ooh and ah at table settings. Although relegated to the children’s table, I’d always look forward to seeing the centerpiece on the adult table whenever my family was invited to other people’s homes for dinner.

My five-year stint at a well-known purveyor of kitchen accoutrements fed my addiction. I have a basement full of tabletop stuff. The holidays are the perfect occasion to dress a table.

Here’s a simple centerpiece from Thanksgiving dinner two years ago. Flowers from Trader Joe’s in gourd-shaped soup bowls. The narrow folding table didn’t allow for an elaborate centerpiece.

My intrepid CP Carrie Spencer told me about a holiday tablescape contest. I didn’t think I had time to enter because I was writing and revising like a mad woman, but I already had in mind what I wanted to do. 

I call it my “London Transport Holiday” tablescape.

There were more than 175 entries. I didn’t make the final cut, but I sure had a good time putting it together. I’m an Anglophile. I love the Routemaster buses.

My friend Jenifer sent me a Routemaster scroll for my birthday. That inspired me to think about a bus roll as a table runner. I jumped on eBay to check them out. There were several available, but I didn’t want to cut up an original to put on the table.

That’s when I found a bus scroll roller shade on Etsy. Adam and Laura are the proprietors of Apartment-B. They were able to make a bus roll roller shade to my specifications. As you can see, it’s really cool!

Apartment-B also has other designs available. I love their graphic Romeo and Juliet shade, which contains the complete script of Shakespeare’s play.  

http://www.apartment-b.com

This is one of last year’s tablescapes for a table I set up in the living room because we had a lot of guests. Woolly sheep (on sale at Crate and Barrel!) wearing thyme sprig wreaths leftover from my kitchen.

A vintage toy theme for the main table in the dining room.

I believe you can create a tablescape out of things you have around the house. Mismatched glassware filled with blooms, fruit and vegetables (every time I see the stalks of brussel sprouts at Trader Joe’s, I tell myself I should be able to make an interesting centerpiece with them), foilage from the yard, an old soda crate with bottles filled with flowers, succulents in small clay pots, a collection of cocktail shakers or even salt and pepper shakers, a tea set with blooms in teacups…the possibilities are endless.

If you’re interested, you can check out the winners of the holiday tablescape at: http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2011/12/homegoods-contest-winners/ 

Are you like me? A tabletop whore, unable to resist the lure of dishes and stemware? What’s going to be on your holiday table other than turkey and mashed potatoes?

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