la Brocanteuse

Jul 12, 2013

Setting the table for Top Billing

The brief from TOP BILLING  was: set two tables , using the same  elements for both with what is already available in your home.
One table had  to  be more formal, and the other less so, inspiring viewers  to work with what they have in their cupboards.  No big expenses on flowers and decorations, but rather pickings from the garden and there had to  be a DIY element incorporated, since July is National savings month.

So when Henrique Wilding Photography invited me to be involved in this challenge, I jumped at the opportunity  and we had 3 days to come up with ideas and setting it up.

A 5m table( just over 16 feet)  is part of our kitchen where we have spent many gatherings with family and friends at many occasions.. It was a easy decision to add more memories to " The Table"

-together we discussed, stacked, added, took away and discussed more...

The chairs upholstered in old German grain bags with black script was the starting point.
Pickings from the garden was olive branches

The choice for the first table  was old French Chanvre linens as table covering. a Collection of old French  pewter plates collected from markets and Brocantes,   were used as under plates , combined with  white dinner plates.

Old French monogrammed linen serviettes dyed in grey tones were perfect for this table setting. 
My first choice will always be original white linen as found.  As larger sets of serviettes  become more difficult to find, odd serviettes and those that has yellowed over years, is perfect for this way of adding a fun and cohesive element. Dyed in the same colour, they become a set.

two large candelabras with black candles added a "wow" factor

Little sprigs of olive branches from the garden were set at each place setting to  pick up on the dark moody colours of the pewter, grey toned serviettes and  black candles - 

 Gorgeous TOP BILLING presenter: Jeannie D

 Mismatched cutlery ,  collected on travels and loved because of their ornate monograms and decorations added to the style for both tables. Set out traditionally  at each setting for the more formal, and just piled in a pewter dish for the other.

The 2nd table or Harvest table as we called it, was a informal table meant to be for those gatherings where people can help themselves as they want.. 
The menu is written on a old black school board. 

ps- the bump on my back is the hidden microphone -transmitter contraption..

Old grain bags were opened up to use as table runners over the width of the table. Each one different but all with red stripes  in common, picking up on the old French white with red stripe dish towels used instead of formal serviettes. 

 Some of the  black candles were changed out for dark berry red ones.

The same mix of fluted style bazaar glasses and goblets were used for both settings.

As no French meal is ever served  without bread, it was an essential for both tables.
for the Harvest table we "broke" them for one of the takes..

a simple bunch of olive branches tied together with black and red ribbon.

even DD and Yentl got attention between takes  on a  day that was quite nerve racking!

many takes on a loooong day...and it was in the bag!
after the film crew left, we could relax with a 
apĂ©ritif in front of the last logs of the fire..
it is winter after all!

Colette XO

TOP BILLING is a lifestyle TV programme on SABC 3
         this programme was aired on 11 July 2013

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