At Last

I had the opportunity to set up early for Dining by Design so I rattled around in a mostly empty enormous exhibit hall unloading my stuff from rolling suit cases.

It all worked out beautifully as I was able to get everything finished, pick up the boys from school and have a normal dinner before I left for Chicago Friday morning.

It was great fun to watch the designers constructing their backdrops and creating their vignettes. Styrofoam looked like stone and store displays seemed like antiques as these incredible creative minds transformed stuff to fantasy.
My friend, Mrs. Kerr, whipped up a table cloth from remnants of Le Lac that I had from my living room curtains. The dinner plates are my china, Herend’s Golden Edge, topped by yellow fretwork dishes from World Market. Chinese medallion plates on loan from Linda Hancock Antiques are the icing on the cake and I do wish these were in my private collection.

Sharyn Blond generously loaned me ten black linen napkins and I have to saw when you feel high quality linen you realize that there is such a difference; it is worth every penny. While I used Tiffany Bamboo on my dream table two years ago, this flatware is from World Market as well. The bone handled knives are mine as is all of the glass ware. The glasses are a mix of crystal, bud vases that can be found at any big craft store and the red glasses that I scrounged from two different booths at the River Market Antique mall and Blackwell’s, a treasure trove of a thrift shop on 63rd.

When I realized that any lamp I own would look like doll house furniture in this space I made an emergency plea to AJ at Barbara Cosgrove Lamps. “I think the black glass pillars would be so sexy,” and she was right. They finished the space beautifully.
The table was pretty, while some were spectacular, but the best part of the evening was the people who were with us. As is always the case.
I did not take pictures of other tables (as my photography would not do them justice) but will post some as the become available. Fellow Kansas City blogger, David at Midwestern Malaise, snapped a few and you can see them here. Also, I believe the plates from World Market are at the tail end of their run; there are some in stores, but they are not on-line.
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40 thoughts on “At Last

  1. Beautiful, well done, Mrs. Blandings. Your carpet looks great.
    Your Dining by Design table is a winner.
    Are you ready for next year?

  2. I am in love with the table cloth.
    Feeling a little silly asking, but how does this event work? I don't believe we have this near me. I get the charity part but are only certain designers invited? Do you have a budget set by the organizers or is it all you? What happens to the stuff afterwards?

  3. Oh my!
    you did good, real real good.

    seriously, I am very impressed. those tablecloths! to.die.for.

    Congratulations!! You should be very proud!!! (I would be!) 😉

  4. Your table is beautiful – love the BC lamps and topiary frame as the centerpiece. Sharyn Blond is a great friend and client of ours!

  5. Patricia —

    Love, love how you mixed the Chinese medallion plates with your own and the World Market yellow fretwork. Apart from the Le Lac, I don't think I realized how many personal elements were going to be included. Its terrific! Didn't the red just make it?

    Your vignette has loads of graphic appeal but it is also inviting. Like the dreamhouse came to life at DbD. I'm going to enlarge the pictures now and enjoy all the details.

  6. Thank you, guys. It was really fun to pull it together and I am really lucky that I knew great vendors to help me out. And that Mr. Blandings is a complete and total saint.

    Kerry – this was my first year to participate, but generally the board reaches out to designers (of interiors, garden and product), retailers, architects, etc. and asks them to participate. It is not so exclusive as being "by invitation only." DIFFA provides a table, black or white cloths and napkins, hotel ballroom chairs and electrical access; the designers are responsible for everything else. Of course, many are underwritten by companies, but a lot are taken on at personal expense like mine.

    It is an amazing event. Certainly one of the most stunning in Kansas City.

  7. The table is beautiful – love the layering of the plates with the yellow fretwork peaking out from under the medallions. Lovely. Wish I was in KC to see it in living colour.

  8. I love how you combined things you had with borrowed things with new things. It's much more interesting that buying everything to match. The tablecoth fabric is amazing. I'd love to see your drapes!

  9. gorgeous!!! you did a fabulousb job! love the pops of black! and you can never go wrong w/ Herend.!

  10. Love the Rose Medallion and the great mix of high/low. And isn't amazing how a little red makes all the difference? As a former fundraiser/event planner I know how much work goes into things like this. As I will always be impressed by the generous hearts who make these things so very special.

  11. The magnificent floor adds the final (and perfect) touch–I love the table: simple, yet elegant. Bravo.

  12. Beautifully done, and a tremendous amount of work. I am envisioning this finding a home in the Blandings Dining room. I love the evening pictures with such ambiance. pgt

  13. I really am taken with all the hits of back…very elegant but not at all stuffy. The table cloth is just so fantastic!!! And, the floor cloth is such a wonderful addition.

  14. Mrs. Blandings! I first found your blog courtesy of Eddie Ross. I believe you were in attendance at his last workshop in KC too. Well, I was hoping to have met you this weekend. My table was next to yours! You did a great job. Sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you but perhaps we'll meet at another KC/DIFFA event!

  15. Your table is stunning. I love everything your incorporated into the design!! Congratualtions. The rug turned out great!!

    Art by Karena

  16. Really terrific! I love the Rose Medallion and the black pillar lamps, especially, but, best of all is how every detail works on its own and all together. You should be very proud!

  17. Your table setting is wonderful and the FLOOR PIECE came out fabulous, it anchored the whole scene beautifully! Congratulations…well done!

  18. I was wrong – I though the laminate rug would make this space and while its contribution was indeed huge, a closer look and I am hooked on the china. Herend and Cost Plus – genius. Table was great; event seemed terrific. Glad you had such a good time. I knew you'd pull it all off! Loved spending time with you in Chicago but next year, I want to be at this event!

  19. Your table setting looks wonderful, and your blog has been extremely therapeutic for me today. My morning started with my older son informing me that the shower was leaking through the ceiling into the family room. When I started the computer there was a message about the CPU overheating. Furniture had to be moved to allow for the plumbing repair today. The computer has been squared away and the furniture is back in place. I gave up smoking years ago, but I was thinking a tall glass of alcohol or a cigarette might be in order. Instead I chose to visit Mrs. Blandings, a healthier option I must say. I could relate to your furniture being arranged to protect your project and the house being in temporary disarray. I laughed at your wanting to paint without measuring and enjoyed hearing of your experiment with the bud vases. Your visit home reminded me of my Mom's good friend from Oklahoma who was an Indian Princess as a girl. We attended Pow Wow's as children and had a small taste of a different culture. I wandered all the way back to Hurricane Season which is the last chance I had to visit. I find many of your posts to be relevant to my interests and situations in life. At least half of my stress is gone!
    Thank You,

  20. I've looked at the picture of your table over and over this morning. Love it. So elegant, understated, and real, not fantasy. Can see this making a move to your home dining room. Its given me some inspiration for my dining room which has been half finished for over a year. Great job.

  21. Mrs. Blandings, my computer crashed yesterday before I got to comment — this is absolutely beautiful! Familiar elements and yet put together with such an original eye. Just terrific!

  22. Great to see your floorpiece in action!

    My wife and I have been reading your blog for some months, and we both felt a strong sense of suspense in the post wherein your dog surprises you during your painting project.

    *Raises glass to happy endings!*

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