Decor – Tea Table Displays

Several years ago on a trip to Asheville, NC I purchased a lovely antique tea table which is now placed in the corner of our formal dining room.  Our dining room was already furnished with a beautiful dining table with 8 chairs and matching china cabinet.  Also in the room was a tall cherry wood cabinet where I store silverware and table linens.  I had been searching for a long time to find a piece of furniture to complete the room’s furnishings and the addition of the antique tea table was the perfect piece.

So what does a person place on a tea table?  A china tea set of course!

The china tea set that I placed on the tea table was purchased several years ago when I worked in a small retail store that sold home decorative items and various collectibles.  The white china tea pot has pretty pink roses and ivy, on the front are printed the words “And the greatest of these is Love”.  The two teacups and saucers also feature pink roses and ivy, trimmed in gold.  The words, “Love, Faith and Hope” are printed on the front of each teacup.  I search and was able to find gold teaspoons that I placed on the saucers to match the gold trim.  The saying on the teapot has a very special meaning to my husband and me because at our wedding we had the 1 Corinthians 13:13 verse read during the ceremony.

China Teapot, cup & saucer set

Hanging above the tea table are two framed items that will continue the story of our wedding and complete the decorations in this area of our dining room.  The first is a framed print of the Marty Bell painting “Sweetheart’s Gate”.  I love the vivid colors of print and if you look closely there are hidden hearts which Marty Bell painted into many of her paintings.  Below that framed print is another framed item; it is the custom label from the wine served at our wedding.  Before we got married my husband and I took a wonderful trip to the Napa Valley and toured several of the wineries.  Knowing that we would be married in a few months we order several bottles of wine from a small winery in the area and had custom labels made with our names and the wedding date.  I had a few extra labels and I decided to mat and frame one of the labels to create a unique wedding keepsake.  (Décor Tip:  When decorating an area of the home, think about displaying related items that tell a special story, this is what I did in the corner of our dining room)

Artwork above tea table

As most of the readers to my blog know, I love to decorate for the different seasons throughout the year.  In this post, I will show how I have decorated the tea table with various seasonal items.

Spring/Easter –

Shown below is a photo of the seasonal decorations I used for Easter.  I keep the china tea set on the tea table and then placed a special holiday decoration.  The used a white feather tree and placed it in a cute cracked egg white vase that I found in my local craft store.  Then I decorated the feather tree with sparkle egg ornaments in pastel colors and for a little bit of whimsy I also added a few small white bunny wearing pastel colored tutus.  For another touch of merriment I place a small stuffed duck into one of the teacups.

Tea Table Easter 2013

Fall/Thanksgiving –

Shown below are two different seasonal decorations for fall.  The first photo shows a lovely floral arrangement of golden roses and greenery placed in a crystal vase, this arrangement usually sits on the dining room table.  To add an extra festive touch, I added several peasant feathers to the arrangement.  The second photo shows a unique decoration that I made especially for the year that we hosted Thanksgiving dinner for several family members and since the holiday season is a time of celebration and remembrance I wanted to create a special “Memory Tree”.  I used a small tabletop artificial pine tree which I decorated with family photo frame ornaments, golden feathers and bronze jingle bells.  (For complete instructions on creating a “Memory Tree” for your home, please click on the link)

 Tea Table Fall 2013    Tea Table Fall 2012

Christmas –

Shown below is the special Christmas decoration that I made.  Inspired by the cranberry topiary that I had seen in the Red Room on the HGTV White Christmas special a few years ago I decided to create one for the tea table in our dining room.  It was very easy to make and I used two different Styrofoam pieces, artificial pine, pinecones and artificial cranberries.  When I completed the decoration, I placed is on a silver pedestal to add height.  (For complete instructions on creating a Cranberry Topiary for your home, please click on the link).

Several years ago on one of our antique shopping adventures I came across old sheet music of “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”.  I thought that it would look wonderful framed to match the other two framed sheet music that hang on the wall on either side of the china cabinet.  So, for the Christmas season I remove and store the framed Marty Bell print and the framed wedding label that usually hang above the tea table.  Also to match the other two framed sheet music, I add artificial pine boughs and pine cones placed above the frame.

Tea Table Christmas 2012    2012 Christmas  Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer sheet music

Craft – Cranberry Topiary

Depending on the current First Lady’s Christmas theme and decorative style for the White House, some variation of a cranberry covered decoration is always in the Red Room. Some years it can be a cranberry wreath or another variation but I have long admired the cranberry topiary.  I always thought that it was one of those perfect decorations for Christmas with the red color of the cranberries and the green color of the pine.

For years now I’ve always keep a silver bowl of artificial cranberries in our dining room during the holiday season.  This year I wanted to do something different and decided that I was finally going to use those cranberries to make a topiary for our dining room.

Listed below are the materials and instructions to make a cranberry topiary.

Cranberry Topiary – supplies

  • 1     Styrofoam come
  • 1     Styrofoam circle, a couple of inches wider than the base of the Styrofoam cone
  • 1     Container, as wide as the bottom of the Styrofoam cone
  • Cranberries, artificial
  • Pine boughs or other type of greenery for base
  • Small Pinecones, several
  • Hot glue gun/ glue sticks
  • Sheet moss, to cover the Styrofoam cone (optional)
  • Foam adhesive spray, to attach the sheet moss to the Styrofoam cone (optional)
  • Hot glue gun /glue sticks

Cranberry Topiary – instructions

Center the Styrofoam cone on the Styrofoam circle; attach the cone securely to the circle with hot glue. This will create one piece that you can set a silver bowl or I used a silver pedestal base.

Option #1 – Use spray adhesive to attach sheet moss onto the Styrofoam, this covers any empty spaces left between the cranberries and gives a finished look.

Option #2 – Paint the Styrofoam cone a burgundy shade to match the cranberries so the empty spaces between are not noticeable.  (Even though it is not pictured, this is the option I used for my cranberry topiary)

  1. Insert the pine boughs or greenery into the Styrofoam circle at the base of the Styrofoam cone.
  2. Hot glue small pinecones at the base of the Styrofoam circle.  Be sure to save one for the top of the Styrofoam cone
  3. Using a small amount of hot glue, attach each individual cranberry to the cone.  Starting at the bottom, work in rows until the cone is completely filled to the top.  Try to leave as little space as possible between cranberries.
  4. Hot glue a small pinecone to the top of the Styrofoam cone to complete the topiary.



As you can see from the photo at the top of the post, the cranberry topiary looks wonderful on the tea cart in our dining room.  Additional ideas for places for a topiary: on a side table in the family room, placed into the corner of the kitchen counter or two topiaries on a buffet table for a Christmas luncheon.

Celebration – The White House Christmas

Decorating the White House can be a very challenging project.  It has 132 rooms, 28 fireplace mantels, 412 doors and 147 windows which all need to be decorated.  For example, in 2000 the White House was decorated with 1,120 feet of garland, 50,000 lights, 220 poinsettias and 34 Christmas trees.  This is the reason that planning for the White House Christmas decorations can start as early as July.  At that time, the First Lady will pick the theme for the upcoming Christmas.

Jackie Kennedy is considered to be the first person to decide on a specific theme to decorate the White House for the holiday season.  That theme was the “Nutcracker” and it has been used two additional times over the last 30 years – in 1990 by Nancy Reagan and 1996 by Hilary Clinton. For more details of the White House Christmas themes from 1961 to present, visit the White House Historical Association website at

The main focus of the decorations is the official White House Christmas tree and it holds a prominent place in the center of the Blue Room.  The tree usually stands nearly 20 feet tall and the crystal chandelier has to be removed.  The Chief Usher usually selects the tree and it is donated every year since 1966 by the National Christmas Tree Association.  Once the tree is delivered to the White House, the National Park service members will bring the tree into the Blue Room.  The White House Floral Department staff and season volunteers decorate the tree and the various rooms on the first floor of the White House.


Those other rooms include:  The East Colonnade which has a distinctive set of windows that are usually decorated with several wreaths or poinsettias.  The Grand Foyer and adjacent the Cross Hall are such a large space that it can be sometimes difficult to decorate because this area needs to remain open to accommodate the many holiday festivities.  This area usually has several Christmas trees and garlands decorated in the style to fit the theme for the year.  The Green Room’s color scheme is perfect for the holiday season.  It is usually decorated with topiaries, floral arrangements and pine garlands draped across the mantel and fall all the way to the floor.  The Red Room’s bold color makes it one of the easiest rooms to decorate for the holidays.  Traditionally this room will have a cranberry topiary.  The State Dining Room is used for various holiday special events such as elaborate luncheons and dinner parties.  It can hold any number of tables beautifully decorated with floral centerpieces, place cards and menu cards for the honored guests.

One of the things I like to do every year is watch the HGTV White House Christmas Special.  I love to see how the staff and volunteers decorate the various rooms.  There are always great ideas which inspire me to create something on a much smaller scale for my home.  This year I finally made the cranberry topiary for our dining room.  (Please see this week’s Craft post for photos and directions on how I made my own cranberry topiary – it’s so easy!)

Watch for the White House Christmas Special on HGTV –
check the HGTV website for your local television listing for the channel, date and time it will be on in your area.