Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Gone Fishin' ~ How to Design a Pretty & Elegant Coastal Blue & White, Fish-Themed Table Setting


At long last, the fever broke. 

It was a red-hot, sizzlin’ summer that wreaked havoc on my gardens.  

By the time relief came in September, I was already dreaming of a tablescape design that would capture the spirit of the season. 

And then, just like that, while gazing at the blue bay in front of me, I was tickled by the idiom, “Gone Fishing” ~ meaning we are taking a long break. And as Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong crooned in Gone Fishin': A way of getting away from the routine; taking time off; a vacation from the realities of life.    

I got super excited to create a tablescape with a fishing theme!


At the same time, I also got to dreaming and reflecting on women anglers. Fisher-women, if you will.  

I so respect and appreciate this sport yet know so little about its demands and training and lifestyle... I was curious to learn more.

In preparation for an upcoming Ladies Who Lunch Conversations (my monthly videocast on Facebook that features world-class, inspiring female women, I set about designing a tablescape to honor her, the exciting professional angler sport, and the season.

It was so much fun to create this look. I discovered vibrant colors, textures, and out-of-this- world accessories! 


I started with things I already had: navy blue chargers from Williams Sonoma, blue linen napkins from them and Pottery Barn and white, custom embroidered with shell motif and shell napkin holders, and lots of curious-looking accessories to create a visual delight for guests, including those whales with toothpicks in their blowhole; 

a decorative “snow fence,”  a nautical-looking light as centerpiece that my cousin’s mother made for her recent Bar Harbour wedding tables, 

shell dishes, blue glass shells, fish banks repurposed ~ (maybe I can plead for fishing funds! Ha). 

And the beautiful shell art.    

To hold the name tags/place cards, I used the mini gold and silver pineapples I got at a recent estate sale.   


If you don’t know, pineapples have been a sign of welcome since colonial times when the fishermen would return home and plunk a fresh pineapple on the fencepost to let all know he’d made it back safely and with spoils.  

pineapple on fence post | History Myths Debunked

The glassware on my fishing-themed table setting is the blue Italian wine glasses and Mikasa water glasses I had previously purchased for other table designs. Blue is a good investment ~ especially if you live near the water and/or appreciate that calming color...

For this fishing table setting, I found the perfect plates at Pottery Barn. Their Pescado Enamel Collection appealed to me for the look I was hoping to achieve: elegant but whimsical, functional ~ (and its moniker appealed to my Spanish language studies!)   

There are also small dip bowls in the collection that I immediately pictured with fresh shrimp cocktail hanging languidly on the bowls' steel rim.       


The blue and white coastal color is ideal for the fishing/water look, plus the collection is made of carbon steel with a porcelain coating; and it features a stainless steel rim, so it has that industrial look that is casual and apropos. 

And those fish look so stately and determined! 

Next stop was the bait and tackle shop.  I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for but that's the fun and excitement of the creative tablescape design process.  

I get inspired by a theme, a vision, and finally the ingredients or elements that go into the design on the table. 

There were scads of things in that fishing gear shop that I couldn’t have imagined. Don't you just love discovering things?!

I especially loved the rubbery, truly artful lures. 

And the gear itself. 

  I was ga-ga for these styled sports go-go boots! 

I think the store manager thought I was a bit daft after I tried to explain to him about a fishing table decor that I was creating. Especially when I described that I was looking for a teeny-tiny fishing pole that he said they didn’t have. 

But by the end of our shopping expedition, I daresay he was, how shall I say, “On Board” with the whole idea! Plus, I found the perfect little rods ~ much to his delight as well as mine.  He was even suggesting some unique fishing dazzlers by the end of our shopping hunt, er fishing expedition (wink). 

I’ve long had such great respect and admiration for industrial things ~ for their sheer beauty ~ and utility.  In that order.

I truly believe there's beauty everywhere ~ if we just look...

The bait and tackle shop was brimming with all manner of such wonders. I found a pallette of fishing hooks and weighters and couldn't help but love their integrity. A kind of noble look.  At the same time, they are very sharp ~ so care and safety figured in. 

I left the shop very energized to create a special ode to anglers and the fish they reel in.

Back at the table design, Bill contributed his creative McGiver talents and made me several wooden stands for some fishing hooks where I could “hook in” some of the pretty faux bait with fluffy tops that remind me of the Mummers Day parade.  

The wood also amplifies the wood and shell base of the gifted, Bar Harbour centerpiece. 

The wood of our antique dining table added to the table art with its suggestion of a boat’s teak wood construction. 

The table runner is a real fishing net! I placed the centerpiece along with weights and other things that I’m not quite sure what they do but sure look cool.


I’m convinced that fishing has the best accessories and stuff of any sport! 

I hope you enjoy this ode to anglers and the beauty of our friends of the waters. 

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish, beautiful fish.  

Here's my DIY/How-To video tour:

Just add salt water taffy and those chocolate shells and blue gummy fish! 


And all the "good" photos are credited to professional photographer extraordinaire Rachel Watkinson. The rest are mine :)

1 comment:

  1. Information is sure lightening. Your finds are so good. Inspiring to know more about fishing. The table beautiful.