Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Party in a Garden

I am completely charmed by this article, "Party Tables Set Like Gardens", that was published in the May 1971 issue of House & Garden. As was written in the article, "Big explosions of flowers, one tiny blossom, fruit...china in the shapes and designs of cloths sprinkled with flowers-all to turn a table or room into a heavenly scented, gaily colored spring garden." Amen. I do a weakness for floral table linen and china (one of the few places in my house where floral prints make an appearance.) And if you don't have the luxury of having your own garden, why not create one in the dining room? The beauty of it is that the weather will never rain on your parade...nor your dinner parties and luncheons.

Image at top: A luncheon table set with a centerpiece of flowering quince, mimosa, carnations, and lilies on an embroidered organdy cloth. The interior design of the room was the handiwork of Richard Neas.

A Welcome to Spring Luncheon replete with sprays of lily of the valley in pink glasses and Porthault mats and napkins. Strawberry soup was served in crystal bowls placed on top of fern cuttings.

A spring lunch for two. A carnation print Porthault cloth was placed over an egg-yolk yellow table skirt. Wedgwood's "Chusan" dinner plates with their white quince pattern added to the abundance of flowers.

There is a gracious plenty of everything in this room: food, flatware, napkins, glassware, and pattern. The potted hyacinth, placed around a big bowl of strawberries on the cocktail table, is a nice touch. In case you're wondering, the chafing dish holds Seafood Newburg and rice. It photographed a little bland, but I bet it didn't taste that way.

The lilac colored apartment of designer Bebe Winkler. I covet that table (maybe by Bielecky Brothers?) The china was a collection of stackables called "Chromatics" by Block. I probably wouldn't serve wine in that colored glassware, but I do like that pinky/amber colored goblet.

A red lacquered dining room decorated by Joseph Braswell. The table was set with "Medici" flatware, "Chinoiserie" china, and "King Richard" crystal, all by Gorham. The centerpiece was made of plums and white and lavender freesia.


  1. Mary- I died over those chairs. They have pizzazz, as does that ceiling.

  2. Wow…Bebe Winkler's space is great. And we thought the vase filled with fruit was so 2004! The vase on top of the vase is interesting…I didn't remember until now what floral arrangements looked like in the 70's!

  3. Amy, my thoughts exactly!

  4. Mary- Something happened to your comment! I published it but now it's gone. So sorry!!!

  5. Love that last image, works until now! Absolutely stunning ceiling!
    I love to read through older issues as well. Great post!

  6. I wish it were possible to see more of the Richard Neas room. He did beautiful work and was a muralist more than decorator though worked at both. He had a beautiful house in France and a French-looking one on Long Island (I think).

    Joseph Braswell's room is typically gutsy and I love it. I can't decide which is my favourite - Brawell's or Neas'.

  7. Richard Neas was primarily known as a great decorative painter, but he beautifully decorated his own houses as well as others. He retired and moved to France, restoring a farmhouse, after the view from his lovely house in the Hamptons was spoiled by new construction.

  8. I just adore that classic Richard Neas dining room - looks like a trip to Paris (& I don't usually like things so "done" but it's just so pretty). And clearly you and Mary must be talking about those fabulous white Chinoiserie chairs, which are indeed wonderful!!