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Goodwill Home Décor Expert - Merri Cvetan

Merri Cvetan

My weekly column for Amazing Goodwill and my design blog, Design Coach, are about all things design, living a stylish life and entertaining (like setting a great table). I share DIY projects, decorating and design tips, as well as ideas and secrets.

If you have a specific question for Merri, feel free to email her at askmerri@goodwillsew.com.

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Seaside Dining

Posted by Jamie Klinger-Krebs on Apr 16, 2015 2:12:47 PM

Beach TableGoodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago recently entered the table-top design competition at the Wisconsin Restaurant Association’s annual convention in March. After we decided on a nautical theme for the table, I decided the style should be beachy-chic and elegant. 

We won the Most Viable Category and People’s Choice awards!

The facilities department at Goodwill made a fabulous table and two benches from old wood pallets. Each bench has a hinged top for ample storage. The set is perfect for the patio or deck. 

chairschairsI found a pair of dining room chairs at the local Goodwill and white-washed them to coordinate with the beach colors. Then I made comfy pillows for the seats to encourage lounging at the table long after dinner is done. 

One of the requirements for the competition was to set a table for eight. So, I lucked out when I found eight square dinner plates and matching bowls.

dishesSomeone must have been cleaning out their grandma’s kitchen because one of the stores had a dozen shell plates. They’re part of a 1960s luncheon set with the coffee cup indentation. Since the table needed some color, I covered each with netting from bath sponges!  

beach tablebeach table settingThe table legs were covered with heavy-duty rope, so to rope settingfollow suit, I made napkin rings from similar jute. Cut four loops and tie with wire.  

What would a nautical table be without a message in a bottle? I printed every guest’s name on parchment-looking paper and burned the edges to make it look old. Then I tucked it in a bottle and put a cork on it.  

Instead of the usual table runner, I used a drapery valance in seafoam green and laid a fish net on top. I love to layer the centerpiece with lots of decorative items: books for height, silver candle sticks with tapers, votive cups filled with sand and flameless candles, and lots of glass table confetti!  

Lastly, in keeping with the theme, I made a sail from netting and attached it to a pole in the center of the table. Then I scattered seashells around the table, and on each plate to complete the yacht-club look.

beach table beach table

beach table