Thursday, August 25, 2011

Olde English Countryside Brown Transferware Tablescape ~ Book Inspired

Do you ever view the pages of a book, admiring its perfect photos, and dream about living in one of the places you are reading about and seeing?  I have a book, The Most Beautiful Villages of England, that I love to look through and do just that.  Dream.  Imagine.  Wish.  Hope.  I have resolved to never outgrow dreaming.   I cannot imagine not imagining.    

I am crazy for English cottages and buildings.  I am enamored with thatched roofs.  I love the wood details mixed with stucco and rock.  I love the informality of English gardens; the way the flowers appear to grow naturally.  And, I loveee my English transferware!  My dream of dream homes would be an old English Tudor styled cottage with a genuine thatched roof.   I described this place in one of my poems, Writing Abode, which is also the name of my other blog...which I have not given as much time to as I would like to...which I am still imagining I will do.  I hope.

This book is filled with such places that I dream of and the photographs contained within remind me ever so much of the transfer ware pattern by Johnson Brothers entitled Olde English Countryside. 
Do you see the similarity?

This set of dishes used to be our everyday dishes.  I suppose I grew tired of them and switched to something else.  I used Ridgway Woodland for awhile.  Now I've got a mix of red transferware plates.   I think I'm really missing these though! ;-)   

I really enjoyed creating this tablescape, though in the back of my mind I'd been thinking about it for awhile and wanted to include my cottage ware (teapot, sugar, creamer and a few other pieces shaped like cottages), but alas, they are currently not to be found.  A few things have yet to be unpacked from our recent move!

I have a long strip of burlap that I chose to use as a tablecloth/runner.  Rather than place mats I used some woven wooden, handled chargers.  I purchased these from World Market.  I love the look of them but they are not well made, unfortunately, and several of mine have began falling apart just from handling a few times.

Two napkins were placed at each setting.  The dark brown is a paisley jacquard pattern.  Around each of these I wrapped a linen luncheon napkin made with hand crochet accents.  I think these paired well.
I like the mix of textures: burlap, cotton/poly blend and linen.

I believe the flatware is by Hampton and the pattern is San Remo or something similarly named.  It has an ornate silver detail and ivory colored handles.  It was a Tuesday Morning find.  Additionally, I've seen it online at Horchow and it comes in eight or nine colors. It seems like it averaged a dollar or two per piece, so very inexpensive so far as flatware goes.  It's nice for occasional use.

The plates feature hand painted, subtle touches of gold, pink, green and blue.  This is referred to as polychrome or sometimes enameling where paint is applied within the confines of the transfer and then glazed over, thus making it permanent.  The plates depict a Mother and daughter outside of their cottage.  The village water pump can be seen in the foreground.
 The opposite side of the plate details a row of thatched, countryside cottages guarded by a tattered fence overgrown with an abundance of flowers.  Pure charm!
I'm ready to move.  Again. 
The pillar candles are from Zest candles.  They have a woven, basket weave texture to them which I further enhanced by wrapping them with a little hemp. 
The centerpiece, I feel, is perfect for the theme of the table, and the book to for that matter.  My sister gave me this light up English village some years back as part of my Christmas gift.  I placed a few faux moss covered stones around the base of it because it has endured a couple of owies through our house moves.

 (Yes, I am experimenting with paint colors in the background, and no, I am not going with what you see there.)
I think the village looks especially pretty at night, when lit.
 ...casting warmth of fragile glow....
(I just quoted my own that wrong?)
I have been waiting for the chance to show you these onyx wine glasses.  They are some of my favorites in a mix of brown, rust and green colors.  Each one is unique.  I found these on Ebay and they were only about $10 for a set of six!  I don't think anyone who's seen them at my house hasn't commented on them.   

I'll be quiet now and let you finish looking around...

Good's time to for me to dream my dreams, for "if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."  
 A Thoreau quote taught to Shawn by his parents when he was young, and since to me. 


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Kim at Savvy Southern Style

Susan at Tablescape Thursday
Sherry at No Minimalist Here

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chich Cottage

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Friday Inspiration At The Picket Fence

Stuff and Nonsense

Cindy at My Romantic Home
French Inspiration Thursday

Share the Love Wednesday
Southern Hospitality

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

DIY Showoff


  1. Very pretty! I love your dishes :)

  2. Love, love love your table! The transferware is gorgeous, but I really loved how you matched the plates with the pictures and the centerpiece. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Beautiful setting, Nancy. Love the bird's eye view. I'm with you on dreaming. I find myself lost in dreams when spending time with books like the one you have. ;-)
    Thanks for taking us to these thatched roof villages. ~ Sarah

  4. I absolutely LOVE your table setting! I have a couple of little villages with light too. Thanks for sharing. Mumzie

  5. Oh what a great book... one of the things that I adored while living in Great Britain were the quaint Villages and wealth of perfectly preserved Historic sites! Your collection of English Cottage Style Treasures is awesome!

    Dawn... The Bohemian

  6. The brown transferware is stunning! Your table is perfect in every detail. Love the book and like you, I always think of place things have been and photographs pictures could tell. Thank you for sharing this lovely post!

    I need to make a decision, but everything is so lovely its hard to decide.

    Hope you will join me next week for the kick-off of Potpourri Friday!!

  7. A lovely table and beautiful dishes. And yes, they do look like the English countryside!!!! Love your two napkins -- that is such a clever idea! And you found the perfect centerpiece!

    Sigh -- it reminds me of our time in England!

  8. What a beautiful table! I would love to eat a meal here.

  9. Nancy, this is such a fun table. I love it that that beautiful book inspired you and the transferware does look like the homes. Love the chargers so sorry they aren't well made and I love the lit up village and the little moss covered stones. Thanks for a little peak into an English-stle village. Joni

  10. Nancy, to me your table is breathtaking...simple, lots of textures, ever so pleasant to the eye and gorgeous dishes. I love the centerpiece...visiting England is on my bucket list.
    Have a great weekend...

  11. Nancy, I'm loving your Olde English Countryside tablescape. The lighted village is so charming and the whole look gives such a cozy feeling. Your napkins are perfect and I like the way you layered them with the brown to show the detail. I'm checking out that gorgeous book. Well done.

  12. Those plates are so cool!!! That's a really neat departure from the transferware we most often see. Beautiful!

  13. Everything looks beautiful! The little village is beautiful with the lights on. I love those candles too! Lots of beautiful items ~


  14. Your tablescape is so beautiful, Nancy. I love the transferware. I have a few pieces but not a complete set of that pattern. I love English cottages too. Your napkins are gorgeous and I love your onyx goblets....Christine

  15. I am so in love with this china Nancy!

  16. What a beautiful post!!
    The book looks so interesting and filled with so many charming English cottages.
    And you did a wonderful job with the Tablescape!! You truly captured the theme and it looks lovely!!


  17. I love the brown transferware-perfect for fall and the centerpiece is perfect but my favorite detail is how you folded the two napkins together! The contrast is great and it looks like a little idea I will definitely steal!

  18. h my -- this is just so lovely. Like a tranquel countryside setting. Love your china and those wonderful wine glasses.

  19. I love this polychrome set of dishes.. so charming.. very english cottage and perfect pairing with the book. the cottages as centerpiece couldn't be better. Sorry your trays/chargers are falling apart.. I'll keep a watch on mine. Happy Saturday. xo marlis

  20. I too am enamored with the English countryside and dream of visiting. Your table is wonderful and invokes such amazing imagery.

    - The Tablescaper

  21. Beautiful table setting! I've been looking for the perfect inspiration for what I've wanted to do the last few months - thanks for giving me visual inspiration. Mine will just be with red and copper touches.

  22. What a beautiful pattern, Nancy! I love English cottages as you've shown, too! In fact, I love just about everything English {it's pretty close between French and English style}.

  23. Hi Nancy,
    what an enchanting tablescape, I just love it.
    those plates are so gorgeous and the details are amazing. Love your centerpc especially when it is all lit up. wowzers............I sure enjoyed my
    Blessings, Nellie

  24. I'm with you on the English countryside...I'm married to an Englishman and always wonder what it would be like if we had moved there instead of living here in the US...

    Anyway, your table is just so pretty. The dishes are fabulous and I LOVE your napkins and how they are placed. DREAM ON!! :-)

  25. What a lovely setting, Nancy. Brown transferware is my favorite. I totally love all of the textures you set out, especially those chargers (in spite of how they are wearing). Hugs, Kim

  26. Checking you out from Stuff and Nonsense. I dearly love brown transferware. You have a wonderful collection. The table is lovely, I esp. love your placemats and glasses. Thanks for sharing, lovely photos. Drop by for a visit. Kathy

  27. This is so nostalgic it makes me feel like weeping for days gone by. And for plates like that. I'm sure I've seen them, probably in my great grandmother's home a 'hundred years' ago. All that is gone now, but I wish......sigh. And I love those onyx wine glasses. They are marvelous.

  28. Those dishes look so wonderful and your table looks all ready for Fall! It's nice that you used them again as it is a beautiful set.

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. It was so lovely to read your sweet comment-thank you! Please do drop by again soon and I would love it if you could link up your husband's music!

    Best wishes,

  29. I love love love your table scape this time. I especially think the use of the burlap with the brown damask napkins works beautifully; the perfect mix of formal and rustic to lend interest. With the cold snap and little bit of snow we received, I am now in the mood for fall. Thanks for this nice post!

  30. Wonderful tablescape! I love it when fine, elegant things are mixed with more rustic elements and you did a great job with that here. Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your great feedback.


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