Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Tangerine Tablescape Thursday (With a Digression About Childhood and the Color Orange)


When I think of orange, a calm, cozy feeling washes over me, and my thoughts fin off into the past, drifting back to my parents' den in the late 1960s. My mother's colors were orange, yellow, and brown--not because she was following a fad; the room came together on its own.

Mother and her cousin, Freddie, made the draperies many years ago, back when we lived in New Orleans. I remember playing under the fabric with my cousins, Judy and Jeannie. We draped the panels over the dining room table, creating a secret room.
When the sun hit the fabric just right, the pattern would spring to life--the same hunt scene over and over, only we were seeing a mirror image.

The dominant colors melted into the bright, Louisiana light: cream and chocolate, with hints of lemon, paprika, and tangerine.

After we moved to Tennessee, our den just happened to have orange wall-to-wall. I thought our draperies were made for this new house. My mother went to a country fair and bought an afghan--cream wool shot through with orange, yellow, and brown--and our beloved color scheme took root in this new place, making us all feel warm and secure.

When we were building the farmhouse, my mother picked the dining room color, a rosy terra cotta,

and shades of that delightful color have spilled throughout the house.


Tangerine is a color with a built-in smile. It plays well with other colors, too. I specially love to see it paired with its opposite pal, cobalt, and with kissing cousins--yellows and reds. When green is added, orange just snaps and vibrates.


As I shopped the house, I found myself humming "Tangerine," that old Johnny Mercer song.

This darling piece is a sugar bowl, part of a whole tea set that I bought in a tiny shop near Leeds Castle, back in December 1999. We divided up the pieces, wrapped them in our dirty clothes, and stuffed them into our suitcases.

If I can get my act together, which seems doubtful, I'll take pictures of the whole set.
I've used these dishes for other Tablescape Thursdays. The pattern is "Sculpted Zinnia" by Metlox, and it was popular (along with "Sculpted Daisy") in the 60s. In our little town, you couldn't get married without picking a Metlox pottery pattern.
Each petal is intricate--and truly "sculpted."



Hosting a weekly event is a labor of love, and Susan does a marvelous job with Tablescape Thursday. For a delicious array of tablesettings, visit Between Naps on the Porch.

Tablescaping Notes:
Dishes -- "Sculpted Zinnia" by Metlox; green Depression salad plates (collected from many places).
Charger -- Bordallo Pinheiro
Napkins -- April Cornell
Flatware -- my grandmother's "Wild Rose" by International
Napkin rings -- antique booth, $1 each
Glassware -- Depression glass (collected over time)
Flowers -- mark-down at Publix
Vase & orange pitchers -- the pitchers were prizes; vase was bought at a local shop.
Thatched sugar bowl -- Burlington Ware, Made in England

53 comments:

  1. Very pretty! I love the different shades of orange! That fabric is lovely too!
    Have a nice day!
    Sandra

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  2. So pretty! Somehow I smell tangerines!

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  3. Beautiful tangerine table!!

    In the early 70's, my color scheme was orange, green and brown. I used those colors, when I lived in TN during the 60's, also. I suppose my style was pretty traditional then as it is now.

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  4. Michael, This is sooo pretty and took me back to my teenage years of orange, green and brown that were dappled through our home. We even had an orange hassock that I'm sure was purchased with S&H greenstamps. Boy, those were the days! Love your tablescape and I can't believe those flowers were a mark down. I'm coming down to PUBLIX!!!!!

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  5. The table was really pretty and I will have to try the tangerine and cobalt blue together. I really loved your Remembrances....

    Roberta Anne--The Raggedy Girl

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  6. Ohhh yes! The tangerine and green... so citrus-ey and inviting... I adore your little orange pitcher... you have the best plate collection I have ever seen! Yummy setting!

    HUGS
    ~Really Rainey~

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  7. Gollum, This tablescape speaks to me. I have been looking for orange dinnerware for a few months. I love all of the gold tones mixed with the orange. With a small taste of that beautiful green. You are the queen of tablescapes.
    Hugs, Terrie

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  8. * ORANGE is such a bright, happy, healthy fun, "UP", independent and vivacious color, and EVERYTHING here looks just soooo YUMMYLICIOUS! KUDOS, girlfriend...BIG ONES!!! XOXO, Linda *

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  9. What a pretty tablescape! I love the combination of tangerine and green.

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  10. Hey G - how's the book coming along? I know you are up to your eyeballs in writing, but I have missed you! I love your plates, and I agree - the orange and cobalt are yummy together. I sooo remember wrapping treasures in our dirty clothes and packing them for the trip home. I also remember leaving behind a pair of tennis shoes (or two) to make extra room. LOL

    Hope you and Mr G are well. Take care - and see you tomorrow for Foodie Friday! Hugs, Barb
    (ps - I am writing a cookbook thanks to the urging of some dear friends.) :-)

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  11. Our house had orange/brown/gold shag carpet when I was a small child. I can still remember it. The appliances were gold. Love your tablescape. The colors are so pretty. Love & blessings from NC!

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  12. Hi Michael Lee! I love your childhood memories attached to colors! My mom also decorated in shades of brown, cream and orange! My childhood bedroom was in those colors. I love your tablescape...especially the sculpted plates. I also lived in a small town where you chose your china patterns at the local jewelry store. Thanks for the reminders of some wonderful memories!!...hugs...Debbie

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  13. Beautiful tablescape. I thought the flowers were real until reading the end of your post. Of course, I am on my laptop and things, for some reason, are not as clear. I am so glad the "colors of old" are coming back in. They are truly soothing. Love the zinnia pattern on your dishes. Wonderful job!

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  14. Michael...I just love the secret room story! I can just picture you all hiding out under the table...what fun memories! Your Mom was a genius when she picked your dining room color...it is soooo perfect in that room and just glows with warmth! I love your Metlox china...I have the Sculptured Daisy pattern. I'd never even heard of Metlox until last summer when I stumbled on the daisy china...it really has that nostalgic feel to it, doesn't it? Thanks for you comments on my table tonight...made me smile! :-) I think there is about to be a run on Big Lots for "your" china!
    Susan

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  15. So pretty! I love those napkins and the sunny colors. Those pictures of the mirror, the centerpiece and the ceiling medallion were divine! Just divine! (Sorry, I love gilded mirrors and chandeliers!) Beautiful tablescape!

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  16. I'd never heard of Metlox either, but your pattern is certainly very pretty. In the late seventies my whole house was in a rusty orange and a french blue and I've changed colors several times since those days,but I have to say, I always love the way you put things together! I'm not participating in TT this week as I am very busy getting things completed so that I can start my new job on Monday.Anyways, happy TT.

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  17. Zinnia plates are adorable. The entire tablescape is wonderful and any guest at your table would SMILE!
    Joyce

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  18. HI G! Oh my goodness...these colors are right from my heart. My living room has 2 colors, both in this "tangerine" family. One is called Toasted Chestnut and the other is Sequoia Grove( more reddish). Oh how I love these colors! In our first apt. we had orange, brown, cream. Then I learned to mix in blue. I started collecting Chinese porcelains 25 years ago and they live happily in my orangy living room. I LOVE the combination! Your home is SOOOOO lovely, calming, happy, and even though it is big, it is so "homey", only because of your VERY SPECIAL touch!!!!! I love your plates! Never heard of that brand but will be looking for it now! Hugs, Pinky

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  19. Absolutely beautiful, M!!! Orange is seriously my new favorite decor color.

    Justine :o )

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  20. Thanks to you, Gollum, I will never view orange...or tangerine in the same way again...you have raised my level of appreciation for it...these vignettes are lovely!
    thank you!
    Happy TT!
    ;-D

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  21. I've never really been a big "orange" person until today. Love your story and your room. Now, a hard question for you. I'm a Big fan of Texas Longhorns burnt orange...do you like that orange or do you prefer a brighter more Tennessee shade????LOL Wonderful post. :)Nancy

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  22. Ah Yes! I grew up in the orange, yellow, brown and olive green home, too. Actually, Jacob still sits in Gramma's "tangerine" club chairs all the way downstairs in his game room. Anyway, I digress - I adore your Metlox sculpted zinnias. I am keeping my eyes open and hoping for the best on finding them or the sculpted daisies. I can't wait to see the rest of your cute little tea seat. ~ Robyn

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  23. Gollum this is so lovely. I like the tangerine with the green. Your table is so delightful. I don't think I have anything in the dish world that is tangerine. I've never heard of Metlox but the raised pattern is lovely. Happy T. T. to you!!

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  24. G- your table sings "Sunshine" and reminds me of summertime in Florida...

    I loved the "Sculpted Zinnia" the first time you showed them... and I think I love them more today!

    beautiful... Dixie

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  25. I love orange! Such a warm color. Love your plates, so pretty with the embossed orange flowers. Your tablescape, in fact, your whole dining room is so pretty, Gollum, it's always been my favorite...Christine

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  26. I love all your orange and tangerine! Those zinnia plates are amazing! I love them! I'm always amazed at everyones dishes: so many different styles out there!

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  27. So many great details it is hard to know what to say. First of all, I loved playing "tent" under the dining room table as a kid - great memory. The sugar bowl is adorable and I love the plates - they are just perfect. Orange - who woulda thunk it? Very, very nice.

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  28. I love it! I am afraid of orange (decor wise) but what you did was elegant.

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  29. Gollum, Everytime I view your posts, I'm amazed at your finished product! This tablescape and the stories and memories of growing up and loving the color tangerine/orange are precious. I love the way the "feel good" things from childhood help to mold us in our tastes and choices we make today in our homes. It's as if we're paying something forward from our ancestors, isn't it? ;) Happy Tablescape Tangerine Thursday! :) ~CC Catherine

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  30. Oh so beautiful, o' Queen of Everything...this table is delightful and while I am not an orange person, you, my dear, make it look magnificent...! I sure can see why Dr. Gollum loves you so much...you are awesome in so many ways.
    And I've been meaning to say I love the photo of your dad on the sidebar....I have some pics of my step=father that look so much like this...shirtless, buddies..WW 2...my dad was over in India in a hospital for more than a year..I need to get those photos out and put one on my side, too....

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  31. My mom and dad still have their tangerine colored sofa and chair sitting on the olive green wall to wall carpeting. Loved the post and I bet I'd love a piece of that cake with the strawberry and kiwi slices on top!

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  32. I like oranges although there are really none at Linderhof. But loved your table and those other touches of orange in your house.

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  33. I really enjoyed reading your table scape post, It took me back to the 60's when I was growing up, only our house was avacado colored decor with avacodo shag carpeting! Anyhoo, I digress, Your table setting is gorgeous! :O)

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  34. Michael, I'm in trouble now... Your table is just so gorgeous that I will have to show it to my hubby who loves orange and will make sure I find enough orange touches to use for his next birthday. If I'm lucky, I'll start to find some during summer time that I can use for winter!

    I love your table and the drapes and wall color are just a beautiful combination to set off your tablescape today!

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  35. When I grow up, I wanna be just like you Gollum ! So Posh !!! Just
    how big is your china storage ?
    Hugs ~ Kammy

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  36. Orange is such a friendly color!! I should use more. Maybe you can give some hints on how not to make it look like an episode of Romper Room.... :) I love the color!! Beautiful table settings!! You are such an inspiration!!

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  37. Absolutely gorgeous! I love the summery feel of these colors and the warmth they project. You've blended some beautiful pieces together to create a lovely tablescape. Thanks for the inspiration! ~Katy (Plucky)

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  38. Good Morning Gollum,

    Lovely table setting today, as usual. I don't know where you find the time every week.

    I've been up to my ears sewing for a graddaughter's bedroom. I have some new dinnerware that I've been dying to show off, but it will have to wait until my sewing is finished.

    Have a great day !!!!!

    Hugs
    'D'

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  39. Your table is simply stunning! Orange is one of my favorite colors to work with..not easy but so fun!

    Have a great day!

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  40. Dish storage. That's a problem. I have a sideboard that's crammed to the gills, and two shelves in my pantry for my Ironstone. Dishes are hidden behind draperies and even under the beds. I have been waiting for my schedule to clear so I can make a dish area in the basement.

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  41. Absolutely perfect...thanks for sharing...Pat H

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  42. I have always loved the combination of cobalt and tangerine. Love your Metlox too.

    Have a beautiful day.

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  43. I love the story of you creating a secret room by placing the drape panels over the dining room table.
    Tangerine truly is happy color!
    Nola
    Nashville, TN

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  44. Love the orange, really pops and brightens things up. We are all in need of that I think after a long winter.
    Linda Q

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  45. Isn't it funny how our childhood experiences can be such a strong inspiration for our decorating as adults. I know I have inherited my mother's love of dishes and flowers and antiques.

    I LOVE the colors you have used here -- so bright and cheerful! Your home is so beautiful, and your tables are always inspiring. :)

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  46. Oh, Dear Gollum! How beautiful! I love your table today and color lesson! Somehow orange sounds so wonderful the way you discribe it! Oh, those dishes! You'll have to show us some day where you stash them all! Well, I'm reading some are behind draperies and under the beds!! ;) You are truly a dishaholic! ;)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  47. It always amazes me when a certain color evokes a feeling or a memory that I didn't even know I had. it was fun to hear about how the orange evoked memories of your childhood and playing under the draperies. Those napkins and the way you made fans out of them look so pretty. laurie

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  48. How I love the dishes! Wonderful! The whole setting is as if I am breathing sunlight, yet it orange! The light coming in makes the setting, just beautiful. I love your childhood memory of orange. I found a store in South Carolnia, well the older man owns two general stores and he locks one to let you go across the street to shop in another one. It is as if you are shopping back in my Mother's time. Everything is NEW, but yet its old. I bought 30 plus years old punch bowl sets for my girls in old dusty boxes still new. I also found the same tea glasses we used as a child. I bought all of them. My girls have been toteing them off, I had to expain bring them back! lol I bought tons more! lol Such a wonderful place in a tiny town.

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  49. It's amazing what an impact color has on our memories, isn't it. Thank you for sharing yours.

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