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Monday, February 10, 2014

Victorian Valentine Tablescape

I recently spent an afternoon pulling out my best china, crystal and silverware. The tablecloth and napkins were freshly pressed. All of this was done with love in my heart and the desire to capture a bit of romance from days gone by.


Keep reading to see all the special touches.

The Victorian Era was the height of decorum and etiquette. A well schooled hostess would know the proper placement of a vast array of serving utensils, dishes, cutlery and glassware.


Electricity was not installed in the majority of American homes until around 1920. The abundant use of white linen, crystal and silver was prized not only for its beauty, but also for its reflective abilities of candlelight.


A lady often had a silver pattern that was easily distinguishable as “hers”. Family silver was talked about in hushed tones and kept under lock and key in wool flannel drawers to prevent tarnishing.


This layout would have been for a simple meal. A breakfast or lunch. Dinner might include additional plates, bowls, glassware and silverware.


Also known as an era of romance it was not uncommon for small books of poetry, individual nosegays, and chocolate to grace each place setting. Each would have been selected  based on the level of the relationship. Everything had meaning.

(You can find the Victorian Candy Cones HERE.)


A proper Victorian housewife would grow a beautiful garden filled with the flowers of her choice. It was an elegant pastime to cut and arrange flowers. Many books were written during the Victorian era on the language of flowers.

Red rose = romantic true love (selected for Mr. Décor)

Daisy = innocence (selected for the Fashionista as it is also the flower of April, her birth month)

Tulip= believe me (for Sweet Guy who always asks, “Are you sure?”)


The stars of this table would have to be the pair of antique cranberry glass candlesticks. They belonged to Mr. Décor’s great Aunt Mildred and were given to us by his mother. They are missing a few crystals but are still dazzling none the less.


What would your flowers say?


Linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, A Stroll Thru Life, Not Just A HousewifeA Bowl Full of Lemons, We Are That Family, Someday Crafts,The 36th Avenue, Ivy and Elephants, Katherine’s Corner, Posed Perfection, Craftberry Bush, Stonegable, Jennifer Rizzo, No Minimalist Here, Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest,Imparting Grace, My Romantic Home, Common Ground, The Charm of Home,Tatertots and Jello, Today’s Creative Blog


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Wow, this is totally stunning. I love it all. How beautiful and romantic. Hugs, Marty

Blackberry Lane said...

Hi Laura, Such a gorgeous tablescape. Aunt Mildred's candlesticks are so elegant. I love your choice of flowers; perhaps I would have a nosegay of lavender for love and devotion. Wishing you a nice Valentine's Day week.

chateau chic said...

Your table setting is absolutely gorgeous, Laura!! Drooling over the red and white transferware!
Mary Alice

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Beautiful table, and I love how you educate us about things from the period.



Auntie Em said...

Your table is so elegant and romantic. I love the sweet touch of having the flower bouquet with a message.
A very special meal for the whole family. :)

Rita C. said...

I love transferware, Laura, and your floral centerpiece is just what I would want, no changes - reminds me of one of the vintage cotton tablecloth combinations I love. Have a great week.

sandy said...

Beautiful! And I always learn a little history from your posts too.

Louise said...

Beautiful, to look at and the sentiment.

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

Love those candy cones! Coincidentally my silver pattern is the same as your knife in the picture. I really do think flowers make the table! Early Happy V-day!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!!!

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Beautiful! Great tablescape :)

Debbie said...

I am finally getting around to visiting Valentine tables tonight, and this is my favorite one I've seen so far. That says a lot because I have seen some beauties.

Christine Graves said...

Great Tablescape Laura, and the flowers are stunning!

Lorrie said...

An elegant and romantic table setting. Love the cranberry candle holders.
Beautiful flowers. I'll have to think about what mine might say.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

What a gorgeous way to say I love you to your family. They must be as special as you are to deserve all this!


Very pretty table!
I thought sweet peas were the flower for April...
Happy Valentine's Day!

Orange Blossom said...

Very pretty, love the tussie!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog Hop did a wonderful job!

Crystal Grandeur said...

Gorgeous creation.Love the beautiful flowers.Happy Valentines Day..Love sujstha..:):)

Deborah Montgomery said...

Beautiful table. Love those Victorians and their love for flowers and the meanings behind each one. Your candle holders are beautiful! Visiting from BNOTP. I am your newest follower.
Oh, and loved seeing the different silver patterns.

Patricia Hinkel said...

A very lovely table. Love those candle holders. Happy Valentines Day!

Tea in Texas said...

Elegance Wonderful Elegance! You have captured the feeling of Victorian tablescaping, Your candleholders with the red etching as just gorgeous. Love all the dishes and silver. Hope you will take a peek at my red and white tablescape! Have a grand 14th!


Rosie M. said...

Thank you so much for sharing such lovely photos, but also your expertise as well. I learned a great deal about the tables of the Victorian era. Your tablescape is exquisite: from the lovely tablecloth, to your candle holders (what treasures!), everything. Bravo! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

Bonnie said...

Every detail is beautiful, Laura. I love the cranberry glass candlesticks of Aunt Mildred's and your handmade vintage style nosegays that are so charming. Transferware, silverware, crystal and linens are elegant together. Thanks for the Victorian table and facts and etiquette of the era.

Miss Merry said...

Very elegant and I love all the small touches. When I was in high school, I was very well-versed on the meaning of flowers. I see I need to brush up on my studies! What a lovely, lovely table.

Christine Graves said...

Love your table....the pop of red is stunning, and after seeing your gorgeous flatware I am going to have to start collecting some too!