For the runner, I took inspiration from all of the bistros in town that top their white tablecloths with white paper. I topped my wood (all right, I'll tell the truth--it's 70s formica---unfortunately in such pristine condition that I can't convince Thomas to let me paint it) with brown kraft paper that I already had. In fact, brown kraft paper is one of my staples---it looks great for presents tied with anything from twine to silk ribbon, it can wrap cut flowers from the garden, it makes great dust covers for books with too colorful jackets...I could go on, but you get the point. If you don't have a roll, go buy one--trust me you'll be glad.
I used a mix and match collection of hefty, rustic plates, stainless, and wood handled flatwear.
I pulled the centerpiece from things I already had: a tray to unify the disparate elements and some paperwhites i bought at the beginning of the holiday season. I originally intended to cover the plastic pots with moss, but never got around to it. That's okay: my trusty kraft paper came to the rescue.
I tucked in some herbs I haven't planted yet, and later added some satsuma oranges for color.
I used a mix of glasswear--crystal bubbles for the red wine, and thick amber hued glass for water. I like the look of mixing, but honestly it's a necessity. 3 moves, 1 porcelian farm sink, two cats, 1 hurricane, and 1 fanatical glass washing partner later, my stemware collection contains lots of sets of 3, 5, and 2.
Finally, glowing warmly and ready for guests.
It was a dark and stormy night; alas too stormy. A torrential downpour on top of several days of rain produced flash flooding and overall horrible conditions. In fact, conditions were so bad that our dinner guests cancelled (their own street had flooded). Still, I was glad that I had a warm and cozy (and cleaned up for company) dining room to enjoy. I was also glad that I had not spent any money on the table. While I was disappointed that my friends couldn't come, once I realized how much further 2 bottles of wine would go split between 2 instead of 4, I cheered up. After all, my wine glass wasn't half-empty. It wasn't even half-full. I filled that sucker up to the rim.