Southern Hospitality

“I wanted to create a very soothing environment,” designer Michelle Miller says. “I thought of a beautiful luncheon, with all the ladies gathered around the table.” Miller, with the help of Jeffrey Huber, both of Jenkins Baer Associates, began with a green and white gingham checked tablecloth to create a “quirky formality” for the table. The centerpiece, made with pale pink, fuchsia, cream and lilac-colored flowers as well as vibrant green fern, fashions a soft focal point for the table. Electric tea lights glow from within the arrangement, creating an inviting ambience. “I wanted it to feel like being outside, to bring the outside in,” Miller says. “Like dining in the garden.” Silver mint julep cups sit on each of the leaf-lined plates. Each cup contains a handmade moss ball created from sheet moss. A place card invites guests to take the cups home in a display of Southern gratitude. Wooden chairs with upholstered seats complete the table, where femininity and charm abound. —carrie cross [ Jenkins Baer Associates, 410-727-4100 ] 

Dragonfly’s Delight

“It’s a Dragonfly’s spring fling,” says Carole Langrall, owner of A Garden of Earthly Delights design studio, of her vivid andtextural creation. Shooting wild cherry branches and dangling hyacinths highlight the whimsical design. The vibrant color palette blooms with a rich arrangement of periwinkle muscari, orange French tulips, white ranunculus, ivory calla lilies and lime green orchids. Napkins of pale blue contrast with the cheerful floral centerpiece, while the chocolate brown tablecloth is dotted with dragonflies, the table’s lively inspiration. And though it may be full of color, this design is completely “green”— composed of flowers that are 100 percent recycled or organically home-grown. —Mary Murphy [ A Garden of Earthly Delights, 410-744-3810. Linens and napkins by Gala Cloths by Dulany, 888-747-1144. ]

Miss Manners

>>When considering this year’s Deep South theme, Jodie Miller of Union 3 Events looked to her South Carolina roots for some well-mannered inspiration. With the iconic Miss Emily Post as muse, Miller’s design puts a fresh spin on traditional Southern etiquette. “We wanted to put a modern twist on an old idea,” says Miller. “Something traditional but not stuffy.” Labeled cutlery and stemware guide guests to each item’s proper use, while each setting is completed with Post’s classic book, “Etiquette,” tucked neatly into place. Accenting the black-and-white floral tablecloth, napkins of wedgewood blue punctuate the elegant palette. Mint sprigs and fresh sugar cubes make up the fragrant centerpiece, lacing the table with the scent of a frosty mint julep. —Mary Murphy [ Union 3 Events, 410-800-6931.  Tablecloth by BBJ Linen, http://www.bbjlinen.com ]

Georgia Rules

>> It’s all flowers and sunshine at the Wicked Willow table, designed by owners Randy Woods and Tina Owens. “We wanted the table to be brightly colored, but still soft, like a Southern garden party on the grounds of an estate,” says Woods. An overflowing display of raspberry peonies, peach and yellow ranunculus and green amaranthus, sit upon tiered silver compotes to form a “fountain-like” centerpiece. At each place setting, crisp raspberry napkins lay upon peach plates, while single raspberry peonies spring from silver bud vases.  “We wanted to create a vibrant, ‘Georgia peach’ type of theme, with raspberry accents to make it more intense,” explains Woods. Silver candlesticks with beaded shades gleam across the raspberry, peach and lime tablecloth. Votive candles and blue bird eggs sit in delicate “bird’s nest” candleholders, creating an elegant finish, truly fit for a Georgian socialite. —carrie cross [ Wicked Willow, 410-925-7990, http://www.wickedwillow.com ]

Gone with the Wind

>> Scarlett O’Hara wouldn’t look a bit out of place at the Fern Hill Design table, created by owner Missy Connolly. Lush red roses and lime green carnation mums anchor a design that evokes the sumptuous look of “a relaxing summer in the Deep South,” says Connolly. “We wanted to achieve that same sultry feel.” A live oak tree dripping with Spanish moss serves as centerpiece, shading place settings that pop with lime green napkins held by tiny Adirondack chairs. Connolly balances the bright bursts of lime with the more subdued black-and-white floral print of the tablecloth.  Floating votive candles provide hushed lighting as they dangle lazily overhead. —Mary Murphy [ fern hill design, 410-472-0300. Tablecloth by Meadow Mill Draperies, 410-889-0156.  ]

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