Vintage Friendly Village Tablescape Idea
Create a beautiful rural vintage Christmas tablescape scene using this vintage Friendly Village transferware tablescape idea. I love English transferware as a reminder of the past and on this page we will be using brown English transferware to create our Christmas tablescape.
Nancy, from Nancy’s Daily Dish Blog created this tablescape for fall using brown vintage polychrome transferware which is getting harder and harder to find.
Friendly Village Polychrome Transferware
We will use Nancy’s idea to create a vintage Christmas tablescape using brown Friendly Village transferware which is easier to find as Johnson Brother’s still makes this transferware pattern. It was also a very popular pattern in the 50’s and 60’s so that finding vintage pieces at reasonable prices is still a likely possiblity.
Friendly Village 28-Piece Starter Set
Service for 4
by Johnson Brothers
A beautiful brown transferware pattern, with red and green scenery depicting winter scenes in England, is a classic that was first released in 1952 and will live on and on for many more years to come. I like mixing it with Johnson Brothers Old English Countryside pattern and The Old Mill pattern, both in brown.
Start your Friendly Village table setting with this fabulous Johnson Brothers starter set. The brown transferware is an ideal set with the perfect pattern to use when recreating your own brown vintage Christmas theme. Each piece shows a different English country scene some of which are Autumn Mists, Covered Bridge, Hay Field, Lily Pond, School House, Sugar Maples, and Village Green.
A complete starter set is an inexpensive way to begin your collection. This is a service for 4 and includes 4 dinner plates, 4 round salad plates, 4 bread and butter plates, 4 rim soup bowls, 4 round cereal bowls, 4 fruit saucers, and 4 mugs. Go here to find more pieces to complete this set and a small Completer Set can also be found below.
Once I have a set of any vintage china pattern, I like to keep my eye out for more pieces to add to my collections. I look for them at garage sales, auctions, estate sales, thrift shops, and antique shops. I have found many wonderful 19th-century English antique pieces of Staffordshire china transferware, over the years, from garage sales and thrift stores.
I can sometimes find china pieces at a reasonable price online at websites such as e-Bay, Etsy, One Kings Lane, Replacements.com, and of course, Amazon. The last couple of years, however, I have been finding the used pieces online are becoming more and more over-inflated in price.
Layering with green or red plates and bowls from other sets of china will really make the colors in this transferware pattern pop.
Majolica Green Cabbage Leaf Pottery
Green Majolica Pottery
Layering with different china patterns adds interest to the place settings and when I saw these green Majolica leaf plates I thought “these are wonderful plates to layer with the Friendly Village set.” They can will look stunning either layered as eating plates or used as serving plates!
Majolica Green Cabbage Leaf Pottery
Large Oval Platter
When using Majolica cabbage leaf ceramics to add interest to the Friendy Village place settings, add green Majolica serveware to the mix to serve your Christmas dinner. A lovely green to fit in with the red and green Christmas festivities.
Vintage 19th-Century English Majolica Pottery
Green Leaf Service Dishes
Red Christmas Accent Plates
A Christmas accent plate is another alternative as a colorful layer in a Christmas place setting. Use them as salad plates, appetizer plates, or set them on the table adjacent to the place setting as bread and butter plates.
Friendly Village 6-Piece Completer Set
This serveware completer set has the minimum needed as serveware for any sit-down Christmas dinner. It includes a large serving platter, a vegetable serving bowl, a gravy boat, a gravy boat tray, and a salt and pepper shaker pair. These newer pieces are no longer being manufactured in England.
Like just about everything else these days, they are made in China. It’s good to know this has not taken away from the quality of the pottery at all. Keep in mind that China was making porcelain long before England started producing pottery.
They are still reasonably priced to be used as everyday china and are dishwasher and microwave safe. If you find older pieces in your journey that do come from England, I would treat them with care and hand wash them. FYI, anything manufactured after 2003 is made in China.
Red & Green Holiday Placemats
Another option for setting this Friendly Village place settings is to use red or green placemats to keep with a festive Christmas theme. Both colors can be found in the Friendly Village china pattern and will liven up the table setting by adding a pop of color. If you like, mix the red and green placemats by alternating each seating with a different Christmas color.
Decorative Red Beaded Placemats
Red Glass Beaded Hand Embroidered
Leaf Design Placemats
Set of 2
Handmade Red Crystal Bead 4-Piece
Napkin Ring Set
Handcrafted in India by skilled artisans, these red Indian beaded napkin rings will look lovely paired with any of these beaded placemats. Place them on creamy white or ivory napkins. The red against the creamy white of the napkin is a beautiful contrast in color.
Christmas Holiday Beaded
Poinsettia Flower Placemats
Red & Green Beaded Christmas Poinsettia Flower Shape Placemats – Set of 4Holiday Red & Green Poinsettia Detail Beadwork Placemats – Set of 2Red & White Beaded Christmas Poinsettia Placemats – Set of 4
Green Christmas Holiday Placemats
Creamy Ivory Decorative Placemats
Creamy white, ivory, ecrue, and natural oyster colors make a beautiful background setting for brown chargers, especially when set against a dark finish wood dining table. All shades of browns will contrast beautifully with creamy white colors.
Creamy Ivory Beaded Placemats
Brown Decorative Placemats
When setting a table it’s all about the layering to add depth, texture, and elegance to our tablescape. The first layer, the base layer, of the place setting is either a tablecloth, a placemat, or both.
Nancy chose to go with brown beaded placemats on top of a tablecloth. This is perfectly acceptable. Her tablecloth doesn’t quite cover the table so the placemats make sense for both decorative purposes and to protect the table finish. If this is the look you want to have on your own dining room table, I have found several options in decorative brown placemats for you to consider.
Brown Beaded Round Placemats
If using a tablecloth, I usually forgo the placemats and start with a charger plate. On a beautiful highly polished bare wood dining table, I like to use placemats to better see the color striations of the wood grains. On the other hand, if you don’t have a sideboard to hold and serve the hot food, a tablecloth will protect the beautiful wood from hot dishes and trays full of food.
Brown Felt Leaf Placemat
A decorative brown leaf-shaped placemat will be a fun addition to place under a decorative charger plate or a Friendly Village dinner plate. The laser-cut design will look fabulous when placed upon a contrasting sage green, light beige, or ecrue tablecloth. You can protect your table while adding a bit of whimsical décor to the place setting.
Round Brown Placemats
Decorative Brown Rectangular Placemats
Vintage Brown Leather Texture Placemat
A rustic cowboy style design is also well suited to pair with the brown Friendly Village transferware. The faux leather saddle look of the placemats will be a beautiful foundation for a casual rustic cowboy setting or a formal western ranch setting. In this scenario, sterling silver flatware and chargers are the perfect accent pieces to use. Large sterling silver trays and serving bowls are the ideal serveware to use with this type of table setting.
Decorative Charger Plates
To begin the layering of our Friendly Village place settings, a charger needs to be selected. Earlier, I featured brown placemats because that is the color scheme Nancy chose to use as the basic color for her tablescape.
Keeping with Nancy’s original color scheme of brown as the base, I have selected a few decorative brown chargers which will work beautifully with brown and cream, and a dash of green for an earthier country setting.
Brown Charger Plates
I advise against placing a dark brown charger on a dark brown placemat. It is just well, too dark! It is too dark, monotonous, and boring. I recommend using contrasting colors. For example a light color tablecloth with a dark charger. A dark placemat with a silver or gold metal charger. A dark placemat with a light brown, cream, or red charger. Contrasting layers bring the place settings to life rather than losing interest in a sea of dark brown.
Cream Charger Plates
Pulling from the colors in this Friendly Village transferware pattern, we have several options we can use when it comes to selecting the chargers which will be the first layer of our place setting. Brown, black, cream, green, and red are all colors in the pattern you can work with. Select any color or colors in the china pattern that you like and stay with your color selections for the placemats, napkins, stemware, and tablescape pieces to tie it all together.
Red Charger Plates
Red charger plates will draw out the red color in the transferware pattern and will make the place settings pop with a beautiful splash of color. And what isn’t more perfect than red at Christmas? Paired with green stemware these chargers will make a very festive Christmas themed tablescape.
Precious metal chargers are another excellent alternative to a dark brown table setting. If using ornate sterling silver flatware, then ornate sterling silver chargers will be an elegant way to set this table. Take the table setting from elegant to regal by using gold chargers, gold-plated flatware, and gold-banded stemware.
When setting her table, Nancy used a stainless steel Woodland flatware set in her tablescape to coordinate with the rural polychrome transferware she used for her fall dinnerware place settings. (You might still be able to find this flatware set on eBay or at Replacement.com.)
Her flatware set was actually made by Spode to accompany the Spode Woodland Dinnerware which is the perfect vintage polychrome dinnerware to use when setting a fall or Thanksgiving tablescape, but since we are setting a vintage Christmas tablescape using the Johnson Brothers Friendly Village dinnerware, I prefer to use something else either unique, vintage, colorful, or Christmasy. (Nope, it’s not a real word. I just make them up as I go along. LOL)
Five generations in my family always brought out the sterling silverware for special occasions. In my younger years, I added one place setting at a time to my set because that was all I could afford to do.
These days sterling is such a commodity that if one was to buy a new high-quality sterling silver 12 place setting set, with serving pieces, it would cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
Instead of looking at pricey sterling silver, just because it is my family tradition, I found fun sets of flatware in a variety of colors that are all very affordable. They won’t last for future generations as heirlooms but they will last for several years. That is, as long as no one drops them down the garbage disposal. LOL.
The Laguioles Flatware Collection
Laguiole France Jean Neron 24-Pc Platine Stainless Steel Flatware Set Service of 6 in Wood BoxThe Laguioles Flatware Collection is from either the Jean Neron Cutlery, or the Jean Dubost Laguiole Company. The company is run by Jean Dubost’s family (for over three generations) in the Chabreloche dans le Puy-de-Dôme province, in the Laguiole region of the south of France.
The flatware and cutlery are exquisitely and painstakingly handcrafted from high-quality stainless steel with colored resin handles.
The Laguiole products carry the mark of its ancestors, a large bee engraved on all Laguiole products, which was originally part of Napoleon Bonaparte’s imperial seal.
Presently, there still is not a patent on the Laguiole cutlery name. Theoretically, any cutlery from the Laguiole, France region is “authentic” Laguiole, similar to the confusion over French Champagne. Only buy flatware and cutlery under the names of Jean Dubost or Jean Neron, and only if it is engraved “Made in France” or “France” with the engraved bee. Anything made in China is a cheap knock off and will seldom last very long. The poor-quality handles tend to break off rather quickly.
Copper and Gold-Plated
Stainless Steel Flatware
Unique Decorative Black Handle
Stainless Steel Flatware
Green Crystal Stemware and Glasses
Brilliant emerald green crystal glasses will add a sparkling festive touch to any dinner table. Crystal reflects the candlelight so beautifully it brings a touch of magic to a Christmas dining room setting.
Emerald Green Markham By Waterford Marquis Style Crystalline Wine Glasses
Either of these two gorgeous sets of emerald green lead-free crystalline Waterford wine glasses are perfect accompaniments to the Friendly Village transferware place settings.
Personally, I prefer to drink my wine from pure crystal stemware glasses, rather than the newly created crystalline stemware, but I am a bit of a purist. O-o-o-h! Does that make me a snobby crystal freak? Oh, well, it is what I prefer, but the newly created crystalline from Waterford is still awesome stemware, and it is more affordable, and it is truly beautiful.
IMHO (in my huble opinion) crystalline will never be as beautiful as a real hand cut crystal glass. Examples, such as the cut crystal Waterford Lismore pattern above, or the Waterford Lismore Christmas Snowflake Edition featured next. However, it does give a gorgeous, more affordable option when trying to stick to a tight Christmas budget!
Waterford Cut Crystal Snowflake Wishes
Emerald Green Glasses
Waterford Cut Crystal Snowflake Wishes for Courage Emerald Green Champagne FluteWaterford Cut Crystal Snowflake Wishes for Courage Emerald Green
DOF GlassWaterford Cut Crystal Snowflake Wishes for Joy Emerald Green Bottom Champagne Flute
Red Crystal Stemware and Glasses
When it comes to stemware use your best. Don’t let you nice things sit in a cupboard or closet. USE them… often! Enjoy what you have and let other’s enjoy them too!
When it comes to stemware use your best. If you have crystal hiding in a closet bring it out and use it! Don’t let your beautiful things sit in a cupboard or closet gathering dust.
USE them. Use them often!
Use them every time you set a table for any special occasion or no occasion at all! Let your guest and loved ones know how special they are to you. Enjoy what you have and let other’s enjoy them too!
Red Colored Wine Glasses
It is perfectly fine to mix clear crystal glasses with red and green glasses for a Christmas holiday tablescape. If you have clear crystal wine glasses stored away, get them out and set the table with red or green beverage glasses. Mix and match whatever looks best with the color scheme you have chosen for your Christmas table design.
Red Crystal Holiday Champagne Flutes
Waterford Crystal Lismore Essence Jewels Crimson Champagne Flute PairHandmade Russian Red Cut Crystal Old-Fashioned Goblets/Flutes – Set of 6Waterford Handcrafted Holiday Crystal Times Square 2014 Red Flute Pair
If you have chosen a red color scheme than use red wine glasses, but don’t be afraid to add in green water glasses to the place setting. If you already have clear crystal wine glasses, then why not add green or red water goblets or old fashion glasses for the cocktail drinkers? Mixing the red and green colors of Christmas will add vibrance to what could otherwise be a drab and boring brown table.
Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Snowflake Ruby Red
‘Wishes for Joy’ Holiday Edition Glassware
Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Snowflake Ruby Red Wishes for Joy Champagne Flute – Single GlassWaterford Lismore Cut Crystal Snowflake Ruby Red Wishes for Joy Holiday Champagne Flutes – Set of 6Waterford Lismore Cut Crystal Snowflake Ruby Red Wishes for Joy Holiday Double Old Fashioned Glass
Ruby Red Beverage Glasses
Serve your Chrristmas holiday guests their beverages in gorgeous ruby red glasses. Glasses have a variety of uses such as holiday egg nog, water, iced tea, wine, hot Christmas toddies, punch or cocktails.
Holiday Beverage Serving Pitchers
Make a pitcher of your signature cocktail punch and pour it for your guest into ruby red beverage glasses. It’s so much easier than making individual cocktails and your guest will appreciate your pampering.
Creating a Friendly Village Tablescape
If you have finally decided on getting that vintage English style dinner table before the family descends for the holidays, consider this gorgeous mahogany drop leaf table, that was recently hand-made in England from solid mahogany by a third-generation cabinetmaker.
Antique Style Mahogany Drop Leaf Dining Table
by English Classics
Using hand selected wood, this piece was hand planed and hand distressed using Old World methods of the highest quality construction that can be found in furniture making today. The sturdy legs are a classic round turned design with pad feet but can be ordered in a variety of types, including barley twist, square-tapered, French and twist.
This strong, hand made, drop leaf table is an heirloom quality piece that will last for centuries, continuing to grow more beautiful over the years. This one-of-a-kind table is a real investment in your families future!
So versatile, the table can be used as a dining table, or drop the leaves and turn it into a sideboard. Push it up against the wall, decorate it to complement the dining table Friendly Village tablescape, and fill the sideboard with beautiful Friendly Village dishes brimming with mouthwatering Christmas holiday food.
Shipping is free in the USA for curb side delivery. White glove delivery will be extra.
Elegant Formal Christmas Tablecloths
To brighten the room while adding a stunning contrast to the rich brown colors found in our vintage Friendly Village dinnerware, I have chosen beautiful formal tablecloths in light colors of creamy white, ivory and sage as the base foundation for our vintage Friendly Village tablescape.
High-Quality Rich Fabric Cream, Ivory & Sage Tablecloths
Elegant Formal Tablecloths:
- Christmas Damask Elegant Glacier Cream Tablecloth: A rich glacier cream damask tablecloth
- Classic Elegant Ivory Lace Edged Tablecloth: Luxurious florals & swirls tablecloth edged with delicate matching lace. Available in 3 sizes.
- Elegant Formal Sage Spill-Proof Microfiber Tablecloth: Elegant, yet easy care microfiber is available in 6 colors and 5 sizes
Any one of these tablecloths will give a rich inviting warmth to the table setting on any special occasion through any holiday season setting. If you want you can use 2 of the tablecloths by scrunching one up and tucking it under, like Nancy did on her tablescape, for the center focal point of the table.
Nancy used a green organza curtain panel to tuck around her scrunched tablecloth. The fabric adds interest and dimension to what would be an otherwise boring table.
Pulling from the red color in the Friendly Village pottery scenes we will use red voile fabric instead of green to tuck and pouf around the cream tucked tablecloth. I found an inexpensive crimson red voile window panel scarf to replace it. The scarf is far less expensive than buying yards or a roll of organza fabric. Tuck the red scarf around the scrunched cream tablecloth and pouf it until you get the desired effect.
Solid Red Voile Window Panel Scarf
Tuck fresh evergreen boughs and pine cones around the fabric and the candles. I would also add a few red vintage ornaments and red feather cardinals into the boughs for additional bursts of color. You probably already have some vintage ornaments stored with your own collection of Christmas ornaments.
Before buying any red organza or the red voile scarf, check your closets to see what you may already have on hand and check your local thrift stores too. You may find something for just a couple of bucks. If you don’t have the time to hunt locally, then this curtain scarf is a good buy.
If you prefer, of course, it is alright to just cover the whole table with just one of the tablecloths. In that case, I would make a woodsy tablescape using all natural evergreens down the center of the table with candles and lanterns tucked into the boughs. I would pair the cream tablecloth with coordinating red, brown, and green accessories and perhaps add a vintage red runner under the greenery. Below is an example of how Debbie from Confessions of a Plate Addict Blog creates a similar idea.
Fabric Dinner Napkins
The table napkins you choose will depend on the color scheme you have chosen to use for your Friendly Village tablescape. I have selected a few high-quality napkins in neutral colors to help you set your table properly.
Cotton Fabric Dinner Napkins
In addition, I have chosen cream cloth napkins with beautiful red embroidered Christmas designs and a red and white snowflake pattern napkin set, all of which will coordinate with our red themed Friendly Village tablescape. Add red beaded napkin holders to the cream napkins and cream napkin holders to the red pattern napkin to really make the colors pop on the dinner table.
Christmas Fabric Dinner Napkins
When serving a Christmas dinner, or any special occasion dinner, please do not use paper napkins. I know they are convenient, and aside from the fact they are ecologically irresponsible, paper napkins diminish the special atmosphere you have created for your guest. The point of your special Christmas tablescape and table setting is to make your guest feel welcomed and special. Leave the paper napkins to the outside summer barbeque.
Mission Lantern Candle Décor
Nancy used a trio of brown pillar candles with leaf filigree cut outs where the candlelight shines through. She set them on a plate which is setting on a decorative wrought iron plant stand. I have come up with two different candle options. Either will look fabulous. Which one do you like the best? Let me know in the comments below.
Red Multi-Sized Mission-Style
Metal and Glass Pillar Candle Lanterns
Set of 3 by Melrose International
This red mission style lantern set fits right in with our vintage theme. The beautiful matte brick red color will look fabulous in the tablescape while they coordinate with the red hues found in the dinnerware. I think the matte red is perfect for this vintage Christmas tablescape. The lanterns are also available in brown, in case you have chosen to go with brown as the main color in your tablescape creation.
Antique Red Triple LED Candle Mission Lantern
For an intimate setting of two, depending on the size of the table, of course, the lantern grouping may be too large, but one lantern may work just fine as the focal point. Remember to surround it with other decorations by tucking in items such as pine cones, red feather faux cardinal ornaments, and vintage ornaments.
Decorative Candle Holders
If choosing to use pillar candles as the centerpiece rather than lanterns, these next decorative candle holders may be used as a grouping in the center of the tablescape like Nancy did on her autumn table. On a larger scale, when using lanterns in the center, they can be spread out down the center of a large dining table.
I have selected both red and brown pillar candle holders to use for either a red and green Christmas theme or a brown themed tablescape. Check them out and decide which ones you like the best.
Decorative Red Distressed Pillar Candle Holders
Set of 4
The distressed red color of these candlesticks will be a lovely addition of our friendly Village tablescape. They come in a set of 4 (two pairs). I would place a pair on each side of the lantern grouping if dining on a large dining table. If your table is is small, for a seating of 4 or less, I would use one or the other and not both.
In this case scenario, stick with the pillar candles grouping of 3 or just one. Remember to avoid using even numbers in your groupings. The 4th candle holder may be used elsewhere in the room, or in another room entirely.
Distressed Design Vintage Style
Wooden Candle Holder Set of 3
The ruddy brown distressed look of these pillar candle holders will look fabulous with any vintage or rustic table setting. They are perfect for the winter season indoors and the summer season outdoors.
Dark Brown Antique Style Resin Pillar Candle Holders
Set of 3
If setting a Friendly Village tablescape using brown as the main color theme, either of these these two sets (above and below) of dark brown antique-style pillar candle holders are ideal choices for the tablescape center piece.
Mahogany Pillar Candle Holders
Set of 3 by by Better Homes and Gardens
With a deep mahogany finish, this 3-piece candle holder will still work beautifully as a tablescape centerpiece for a Christmas dinner. Even though it is an affordable set, they have an expensive and classic vintage look. The Better Homes and Gardens Candle Holders not only look elegant, but will also create a warm welcoming atmosphere.
Once the tablescape is set the way you like it, stand back to have a look. Fill in the gaps with votive and tea light candle holders to add more light and sparkle to the vintage tablescape. Be sure to place at least one at each place setting too. I have selected several vintage styles in both red and brown to give you ideas on pieces to help accent the dining table.
Chocolate Mercury Glass Hurricane Candle Holders
Set of 3
A unique trio of chocolate brown vintage style mercury glass votive candle holders will look beautiful mixed in with the brown and red candle holders featured on this page while helping to create a welcoming warmth to the table design.
This stunning set of chocolate brown mercury glass features a brilliant crackle glass design with a fading ombre rust finish.
Red Diamond Pattern Mercury Glass Hurricane Candle Holders Set of 3Elegant Fusion Rouge Boudoir Red Hurricane Candle Holders Set of 3Red Crackle Mercury Glass Long Stem Hurricane Candle Holder Set of 3
I believe the more the merrier when it comes to candlelight for dinner settings, especially for special occasions like Christmas. Candlelight adds a welcoming warmth to the room and a feeling of magic in the air.
Placing a small votive or tealight candle next to each place setting is a nice additional touch each guest will appreciate. Be sure to place the candle to the top right of the place setting. We don’t want our guests elbows getting burned while they are eating now do we?
Christmas Red and Green Mercury Glass
Votive Tealight Candle Holders
Vintage Christmas Ornaments
I would tuck red, green, and either gold or silver Christmas ornaments into the evergreens, or nestle them into the voile scarf used to accent the tablescape. I would also place several ornaments around the base of the candles and randomly about the table for added interest. Mercury glass Christmas ornaments are ideal for a vintage Friendly Village tablescape and I have have found several different designs to choose from.
Vintage Green Mini Mercury Glass Ornaments
Vintage Silver Gold & Bronze Mercury Glass
Assorted Silver & Gold Mercury Glass Christmas Ornaments – Set of 9Silver Mercury Glass Diamond Cut Christmas Ornament – Set of 4Elegant Bronze & Pearl Mini Mercury Glass Christmas Ornaments – Set of 8
Assorted Vintage Mini Acorn
Traditional Glass Christmas Ornament
Set of 6
Vintage Style Mercury Glass Acorn Ornaments
Red Heart Mercury Glass Ornament Garland
Intertwined amongst the evergreens in the Friendly Village vintage tablescape, this red mercury glass garland will pop with color while adding extra sparkle to to the table design.
Vintage Style Guest Favor Memento Place Card Holders
As the final touch to this vintage Friendly Village tablescape
I would add to the last layer of china in our table setting one of these small bags
of ornaments as a party favor for my guest to take home when they leave.
It can double as a place card holder by attaching a name tag to the tie on the bag.
Each bag carries 36 green and red mini (1″) mercury glass Christmas ornaments
in 3 different styles.
Remember to Come Back Back to See More Christmas Tablescape Ideas.