Isn’t it funny how a tidbit that you hear along life’s journey can stay with you for such a LONG time?  This happened to me many moons ago when I was at a corporate retreat for a former employer.  One of the enrichment seminars being offered was “Color Meanings and Messages.”  Right up my alley!  The woman who ran the session was labeled a “color expert” and -among other things- she cautioned against using blue in dining rooms, kitchens and on the tabletop as it suppresses appetitie.  Her analysis was that blue prompts the urge to drink (the reason why you see blue undertones used in many bars?) but it does not scream “dig in!” to your guests.  For a festive, cozy, appetite inducing vibe, she urged us to choose reds, browns and earthy tones for our dining spaces.  I remember thinking at the time:  but I love blue!  Why can’t it go everywhere?  The “color expert’s” words haunted me for a long time until my fab designer recently convinced me to paint and paper my dining room a dramatic, moody blue.  This became the back drop for a teacher appreciation luncheon that I hosted last week and I decided to throw further caution to the wind by using blue linens and blue place settings to really go all-in with the blue.  I had extra wine and champagne on hand in case the color expert’s analysis about blue triggering thirst proved to be correct.  Here, the dining room set for the teacher appreciation luncheon:


The place settings:



And a close up of the menus decked out in blue roses:


I also had a table set in my living room to accommodate our group.


Simple jasmine wreaths as the centerpieces:


And at each place, a peony set in a personalized cup as a favor/placecard.


The cups were hand painted by Jeanne van Etten…AKA “The Nantucket Mermaid”…which is possibly the best alias EVER!  Jeanne has a lovely little shop on Fair Street in Nantucket.  Last summer when we were staying with some friends I bought these two little cups for my children:


They are a happy memory of our vacation and the kids keep them in their bathroom as water cups.  I had been in touch with Jeanne because my son broke his and was devastated — leaving me to call and ask if she could please paint a new one.  Of course she did (complete with the date of our visit noted on the bottom) and this gave me the idea to ask if she could also whip up a personalized favor for the luncheon I planned to host.  Jeanne is a delight to work with and her shop is loaded with charm.  Be sure to pay her a visit if you are on-Island this summer.


For the linens, I used a Roberta Roller Rabbit tablecloth and one of their fabrics that I had fashioned into an overlay.  Robert Freymann always has such gorgeous textiles:


I just love the jolt of pattern that they lend to the table.


Roberta Roller Rabbit is now open in Greenwich and I stopped by the festive opening night party last week where Roberta herself was on hand greeting guests.


I’ll leave you with a few more shots from my luncheon and I am happy to report that -despite blue’s potential power as an appetite suppressant — the meal was well received!    Perhaps the Bellinis had some sort of offsetting effect?



Another angle on the scene in the dining room:


Bellinis to greet guests:


Drink set-up:

Bar \

Food prep:


My favorite course…Honey Lemon Panna Cotta for dessert:


Coffee with sugar sticks:


The candy man makes the rounds:



Dishes: Juliska Colette in blue and Bamboo

Additional Rentals: Smith’s

Caterer: Marcia Selden

Flowers: Terrain, Greenwich Orchids

Favors: Jeanne van Etten

Photos: CT, Roberta Freymann, Pinterest.