Monday, June 14, 2010


Today, I thought I would share with you a number of wonderful books for all of us who enjoy tablescaping. I think you'll find lots of inspiration here!

These first two are published by the same people who publish "Southern Lady and "Victoria" magazines.

Entertaining doyenne Phyllis Hoffman shows how to prepare a stunning table for any occasion.

So many of the events of our lives, from the formal to the informal, are celebrated by gathering around a table. Whatever the occasion--whether it's a holiday dinner, Sunday brunch, or a casual lunch with friends--the table is the place where we relax and enjoy each other's company while savoring a great meal.

No one knows how to dress a table with elegance and flair better than Phyllis Hoffman, publisher of Southern Lady magazine, the quintessential resource for entertaining the gracious Southern way. Now, Hoffman draws upon her years of expertise to create Southern Lady Gracious Tables, the definitive guide to creating gorgeous "tablescapes" for every occasion.

Starting with the basics, Hoffman presents a series of breathtaking spreads for a whole range of occasions, from formal settings to casual get-togethers, and describes how to achieve each look, right down to the recipes--55 in total--for her mouthwatering specialties. Enjoy a lovely outdoor lunch of tasty Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and Green Chile Cream Sauce, or finish off a dinner party with delectable Praline Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce.

Hoffman then builds a "wardrobe for the table," navigating through the complex world of dinnerware, fine linens, and serving pieces. Each and every element of the table--from fruit saucer to lemon fork to water goblet--is covered in a friendly, helpful way.

Finally, there's advice on adding that all-important personal touch, with instructions on how to craft flowers, family heirlooms, collectibles, and other unexpected treasures into the perfect centerpiece, place marker, or accent. All along, her advice includes refreshingly simple techniques for presentation and encourages the reader's own creativity in playing with colors, patterns, and styles.

Complemented by lush photography and told in Hoffman's accessible, encouraging, and deliciously Southern voice, Southern Lady Gracious Tables is a must-have for every aspiring hostess, south or north of the Mason Dixon. The perfect gift for any woman who loves to entertain, it has all the tools, tips, and inspiration you need to elevate the ordinary to the unforgettable.


WILLIAM YEOWARD has a worldwide reputation for designing collections for the home, and is particularly known for his imaginative table settings, where he puts to good use his signature designs. He has shops in London and New York, lectures on design throughout the United States, and his work is featured in magazines such as Town and Country, Elle Decor (for whom he is a contributing editor). Vogue Living, and Vogue Entertaining.


We all know how to set tables, but do we know how to make them beautiful? With this book, you can realize the magic of table decor. With over 300 color illustrations and many practical and inventive solutions, this book covers the table, from soup to nuts or gardens to dining rooms, and many places in between. This book acquaints you with the charm of table dcor, whether it is traditional, romantic, modern, or simple. The decorators featured are both professional and gifted, from many diverse backgrounds, and working in dozens of styles. There are ideas for every occasion and taste. By keeping the focus on texture, color, simple containers, and lots of ordinary household items, you can turn a simple meal into something fabulous by varying the items you use together. Here you will find the inspiration to create table settings with style, using your own china and silverware. See how designers and decorators mix, experiment, and create table decor with modern accouterments or pair antiques with new, ornate, or simple.


Whether using heirloom china or a hot designer’s latest tableware collection–for an intimate dinner for two or a family feast for ten–set a table to impress.

Faced with thousands of inspiring choices for table settings and decorations to fit every occasion, hosts and hostesses have never been more enticed to turn out both a great meal and an equally appealing stage on which to serve it.

Author Caroline Clifton-Mogg knows that creating a table setting, no matter how simple or instinctive, is a form of interior decoration and design; so she has put together a masterful list of internationally acclaimed designers and decorators (such as John Saladino and Vicente Wolf), all of whom have showcased their signature styles for table settings. Set with Style offers an unprecedented cache of ideas that will ensure that entertaining your favorite guests is a pleasure instead of an overwhelming challenge; if your taste tends toward delicate crystal romance or even whimsical flea-market flair, you can achieve the most breathtaking visual treat on your tabletop.

Illustrated with more than 300 lavish photos, Set with Style highlights:
• The history of dining etiquette and traditions (from time-honored rituals to quirky customs)
• Table-setting styles (from contemporary style with Peri Wolfman and Reed Krakoff to retro style with Glen Senk and Keith Johnson of Anthropologie)
• Practical tips (from the creative use of accessories to what to look for when buying china, glass, flatware, and linen) from designers such as Sally Sirkin Lewis
• A resource guide (featuring a directory of china and glass suppliers and table-accessory manufacturers)
Whether you just want to spruce up an ordinary family supper or pull out all the stops for a high-class event, Set with Style will ensure that every occasion will be a beautiful one.

About the Author

CAROLINE CLIFTON-MOGG is the author of Decorating with China and Glass and A Passion for Collecting. She writes regularly for Harpers & Queen, Christie’s Magazine, and House & Garden.


  1. Wow...wonderful books. I would have a hard time picking which one to purchase first...

  2. That all sounds so much to learn! As for me, I just love to sit down to a table that I have been invited to, just knowing I didn't have to do any of the work of it and the meal would feel like Heaven to me! LOL There sure are a lot of pretty tablescapes here in blog land aren't there?! Come say hi :D

  3. WOW...what an informative post! What I love more than dishes is books! Thanks for recommending some great looking books :)


  4. I have the first 2 and just love much eye candy...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  5. I have a couple of these books, and yes, they are lovely. I will never be able to achieve anything like the tables they show, but I sure love to look. Over and over again!

  6. Tracy, thank you for sharing these titles. I have some of these, but will be looking to add a few more. Always enjoy a good table setting book.
    Thanks! ~ Sarah

  7. I'm ALWAYS looking to add to my library- thanks!
    xoxo Pattie

  8. great post, love to look at all the photos in those books

  9. Thank you so very much for all the great tips about theses books. It helps to narrow down my choices.

  10. Fabulous books. I don't have any of these and I love great decorating and accessorizing books and now you've given some great examples of table display books. Thanks. I will check these out. They all look wonderful. Thanks for joining the party. Hugs, Marty

  11. I have a pre planned blog post set for Thursday on a new book that you may like. Funny how we are both thinking of books this week and enjoy looking thru them for some ideas.



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