I had a little Friendly Village table top inspiration
in December while shopping at T.J. Maxx.
These little houses and churches with their stone exteriors and snowy rooftops,
were two aisles over from Johnson Brothers Friendly Village School House plates.
I’ve always been drawn to the pattern’s English engravings of the snow-covered village and old school-house.
The pastoral scenes are framed with a leaf-and-branch pattern around the ironstone rims.
Sensing T.J. Maxx would frown upon a disruption in the bustling Christmas shopping
going on around me, my ‘inner merchandiser’ resisted the urge to rearrange
four shelves to move the little stone houses two aisles over,
and next to the dishes to become a complete snowy village.
I had a friend tell me,
‘You can take the girl out of retail,
but not the retail out of the girl’ :)
So I did the next best thing, I brought them home so they
could form a friendly village together on a table.
Glass blocks from Lowe’s give the houses a little elevation and
provide a surface for sprinkling rock salt for a snowy landscape.
A brown matelasse coverlet is layered with a jute runner for additional texture
and in an effort to make the rock salt/ice removal a little easier. :)
Woven grapevine chargers are layered with wreaths with icy branches,
found at Hobby Lobby on clearance in December. . .
adding some rustic and woodland countryside charm and texture.
And snowy goblets were purchased during a flurry of shopping from Kohl’s in December.
Friendly Village Details:
Johnson Brothers Friendly Village Dishes & Village houses/ T.J. Maxx
Jute runner, napkins, & woven chargers/ Pottery Barn
Icy wreath chargers/ Hobby Lobby
Brown matelasse coverlet/ Bed, Bath & Beyond
Snow is a rare occurrence in the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina,
but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for
a few real snowflakes this winter!
Maybe I’m caught up in the moment or the whimsy of the whole thing, but I think this might actually be my favorite table of yours EVER. There’s something about the way you put it all together with the little houses and all the snowy twig things. I really love it!
I would have snatched up those houses too, such a perfect pair… Again, twins ;-). I adore your natural snow scene, another excellent vignette~
Perfectly wonderful, Mary. Beautiful Winter table!
So beautiful. I would like to know and maybe see how you store your glassware, dishes, and the accessories. Thank you.
You can see some of my dish here:
Oh my goodness! I’m so glad that you were able to bring the houses and china together yourself in that amazing tablescape even if T.J. Maxx did not. Everything is just charming…thanks so much for sharing how you achieved such a wonderful look for your winter table.
This is wonderful! I love this china, and adding the houses and snow makes it all come together. I covet your creativity!
I love this. I’m going to have to visit your T.J. Maxx. Mine did not have the Friendly Village, but I did get my cabin there that I love. But I didn’t see the other pieces. I adore winter scenes — probably because it only gets cold here — no snow. A girl has to dream! :D :D Thanks, Mary! Another winner!
SO dreamy!! I love it, think I would be tempted to make it a permanent tablescape!
Wow, this is an amazing table. I love Johnson Bros. Friendly Village but have never seen the school house plate. I love the marrying of these plates with adorable stone houses and churches, the ice crystals wreaths, etc. to make a rustic winter wonderland. I worked in a card shop for years and whenever I’m card shopping I can’t help but straighten up the cards in the slots. Like your penchant to rearrange a store’s decor, old habits die hard. :) Blessings, Pamela
Hi, Mary. Beautiful, AGAIN :). It appears that yes, ever the merchandiser. I immediately noticed the glass blocks…I could’ve gone my whole life and never ever thought of that clever idea that is so perfect for an icy, snowy scene. The wreaths under the plates are perfect, and the houses are so, so cute! Tell me, where are you going to store these new dishes now? I saw your storage post…this one should be interesting! :) ~Zuni
Hi Mary, I love this table! It looks so peaceful and really reminds me of times spent in the far northern parts of Vermont. Those little houses are so cute! (In addition to my dish addiction I also have a weakness for little houses.) The reflection of the pine cones in the bottom of the glass is beautiful. Can you believe I don’t have ANY Friendly Village dishes? I may have to start with these. They are wonderful. Now I’m beginning to feel inspired to do my table for the Snow and Ice Party. I was having a bit of brain freeze but your cozy setting with the jute and plaid has warmed me up! Linda
Oh how gorgeous! You are so talented! Love..love…live this! But…talking about snow❄….be careful what you wish for…lol
I love everything that you do. I am working on a presentation for making a fairy garden and it is so much fun.
Is there a name/title for the stature that you feature with the book on fairy flowers? I received my copy of the book last week and love it. I have so much “child in me”.
Enchanting, Mary! I love the textures on this tables cape.
Thank you so much for sharing your creativity . I look forward to these virtual escapes , I may never own them, but a girl can dream!
I too, owned my own store and loved merchandising, so I understand that need to make things perfect. You are an inspiration. I look forward to your posts.
Outstanding Mary!!! This is just the most fabulous,most creative table. I Love that you paired those charming houses with the dinner plates. OMG.. And the wreaths under the plates is also ingenious.. I am just in awe.. Love this.. xo marlis
Mary, Your settings are so inspiring! Love the stick trees, the little stick and stone houses, with the burlap and rock salt-very neutral coloration. But then putting these plates with the red, and the red plaid napkins-genius! You have a great eye! Can’t wait to get to our TJ Maxx today!
I think I might want to keep this table set all winter!!!!!!!!!!! It is so charming and cozy! The dishes are perfect and the HOUSES, I can’t even believe. You are a GENIUS at merchnadising. When I read this I laughed cause I am always rearranging flowers in stores, hotel bathrooms etc>:):) Whenever I am in a bathroom longer than normal my hubby says, you were arranging, huh? LOL! Have a GREAT week. XO, pinky
Beautiful. Where do you keep all your treasures once they’re put away?
Enchanting Winter Wonderland. As always … my very mos’ fave blog!!!! xo
And lucky for all of us that the retail is still in the girl. Your snowy village is charming with all the icy details. You think of everything, right down to the rock salt. Love the snowy stemware. So perfect for this table.
This is gorgeous! I love everything about it. Thank you for making my day happier.
Reading your blog and looking at your creations are so hazardous to my pocketbook! I always just want to run right out and find my own dishes and tablescapes. Thanks for so much inspiration!
Just STOP it, already! It’s all so perfectly lovely!!! I love your friend’s quote. But, aren’t we glad that you still have it in you? I am.
I just love this whole table setting – every icy detail and texture!
This is just gorgeous, a real winter wonderland! You have a great imagination and tons of creativity…I just love the houses and trees and snow everywhere. Yes, now let’s have some of the real stuff! ;-D
I absolutely love it since it reminds me of winters past, growing up in Ohio! I think I would leave this little village up all winter long & I also wish my TJ Maxx & Homegoods stores carried half the merchandise yours does! Wishing you snowy days ahead :)
Confession time….I had a retail kitchen and tabletop store (first in Orangeburg, SC and later in the Miami Lakes area of Dade County, FL) so I know all about the urges to do some rearranging of displays when visiting other stores. I wonder sometimes how their own ‘display arrangers’ miss obvious pairings and possible vignettes.
I too have used glass blocks in my own store displays ;-)
Your eye for detail is always spot on, Mary!
BTW, love the twig trees…did you make them?
I love the tiny little bell in the tower. I’ve just been reading about change ringing of church bells in England.
Your dinnerware perfectly complements the scene. So well-chosen
p.s. Do tiny little bell-ringers come out at midnight and pull the ropes?
Mary, you are just amazing! As a former teacher, I LOVE those plates! I didn’t even know that they made the ones with the schoolhouses on them. The little houses are so perfectly paired with them, and that was genius to elevate them with the glass blocks.
J-Bro, plaid and snow=heaven! Cute table Mary and I’m right there with you… While odd for Philly, I’m still hoping for a little snow this winter too:@)
Gorgeous school house plates and what a charming tablescape. I love love the attention to details like the rock salt and the glass block risers. Wow! I have never seen houses and churches like your stone and twig ones-so very pretty and unique.
Love your village the whole table scape was beautiful. Thanks for sharing
Your creative tablescapes are to my eyes what chocolate is to my soul. Thank you!
I was wondering if you ever return the dishes to the store after doing your tablescapes
Enchanting & Magically Wonderful! Thank you for the look & ideas!
So sweet and different!
– The Tablescaper
my mother–a faithful, but silent observer of your blog–made sure to draw my attention to this post. i have been a collector of friendly village for about 18 years now. i look forward to using it on our thanksgiving table and don’t stop until spring has sprung! i love the stone houses, but as i have a collection of leyk houses from our tours in germany, i may try to accent one of my settings with those instead. thanks for the inspiration!
Beautiful! How uplifting for a cold January day!
Just absolutely adorable! I want to step into that village and have a stroll around! Lovely!
I can just see you changing out the shelves and re-styling them…saying, “what are they thinking”!!…so gorgeous…from the cute houses on the glass blocks to the place settings of icy chargers…The plates and goblets are just so perfect for the tablescape….another stunning table Mary!
that is an amazing tablescape! It’s like a fairy village.
I just had to laugh reading your post as I too once owned and worked in retail design and always find myself rearranging things when I shop! :) Love your winter tablescape with all it’s icy details!
One of my all time favorite tablescapes. You really captured the idea of a village in the snow–with my favorite Johnson Bros. dishes. It reminds me of the village I used to set up when my kids were little at Christmas time. Never thought it could be incorporated in to a tablescape! I may have to copy you for my family Christmas table! ~Delores
Mary, I would love to know more about your retail experience. I know you cringe often wishing you could rearrange. Sometimes in our favorite stores things really get out of order.
The plaid napkins were a great choice and the goblets are perfect. You do the nicest designs and think of every possible clever detail.
Absolutely gorgeous, Mary. I love friendly village!
This is such a beautiful table! I love those friendly village plates and the plaid napkins! The glass blocks are also a great idea!!! Love it all! Thanks for sharing this! =D
What a great table you have put together. Love the Friendly Village theme with the snowy effects!
Your tablescape was begging me to come live in one of those little houses forever. I love this tablescape. It is such a creative use of the Friendly Village pattern. Your snowy white goblets are so perfect for the table, and I love the wreaths under the plates as well as the plaid napkins. Joni
Oh my goodness, Mary, that table is magical!! You certainly know how to use all your creativity by inspiring us. I hope to one day find some more Friendly Village, as I just love the look of it.
This is one of the most magical, awe-inspiring things I have ever seen! I feel like I am a little girl again, and I am dreaming a little dream…positively breathtaking!
Mary, your tablesetting is beautiful to look at. You have the best ideas. I so appreciate you and your blog. Your blog is a favorite of mine.
Julie H. from Michigan
Those little houses are SO CUTE!!! I didn’t see any here, but then again I wasn’t out doing very much shopping this past Christmas season. Too bad, because I’m sure they would have had to come home with me! I don’t think the TJ Maxx people would have minded you merchandising their stuff to sell to people whose creative depth isn’t enough to make the connection between the houses and the dishes. You would have been them a great service…for free!!! :-) ‘Tis true…once in retail you just can’t go back! It becomes 2nd nature to rearrange things! Your table, of course, is the absolute dead on image of perfection for the theme. Such pretty pieces, and the ice blocks…very creative! The stemware with the “falling snow” is cool, too! Have a great week, Mary, and dump that resistance to rearrange. A lot of stores NEED people like us to do their merchandise justice! ;-)
I love all the detail…textures and colors are so wintery! Your stemware is so pretty, too! Well done!
The quilted texture of the brown matelasse coverlet sets the stage for all of the other elements of this setting. You convinced me of two things — I should go back to Home Goods and buy the black and white plates I wanted last week and that I need to go to Lowe’s and buy a couple of glass blocks. What a great idea!
What a gorgeous tablescape! I adore your new winter village!
What a fantastic table! There are some really good ideas here, and I’m going to borrow a few of them sometime — especially the glass block (which I despise in architecture) and the rock salt. You’ve set an absolutely “warm and cozy” table that exudes Cabin in the Woods. Love it!
I love this! Looks like your friendly villiage dishes just came to life! Such great inspiration you always give us…..table after table.
Beautiful snow scene!! It certainly looks much nicer than the one outside my window!! We have snow but it isn’t that pretty.
You have outdone yourself, Mary! Your attention to detail is amazing…what a delight to visit your blog.
Fabulous, Mary, and the glass blocks are genius!
Once again, you’ve created a table that makes me ooh and aah. :) This is so perfect for wintertime and for Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish” challenge. I, too, love the “Friendly Village” dishes, but then, I love almost all Johnson Bros. transferware. Your plaid napkins and green-handled flatware coordinate so nicely, as do your chargers and your matelasse coverlet.
Believe it or not, I found that very same stone church (like your smaller one with the arched windows) a few years ago at Home Goods. I gave it to my sister that Christmas, as she collects bird houses. I wish now I had gotten one for myself — those are so cute!
Have a wonderful weekend, Mary!
Your winter village is just stunning, like a ski town in VT. I love all the textures, the stone houses are amazing, like you!
Thanks so much for taking the Winter Challenge at Let’s Dish!
I had to come see this again, it isone of my all time favorites. I adore those stick trees and those houses. You are the best for sure.
I can’t believe I missed this one last year, I think it is my favorite! I love love love any little houses and these have such unique details! And yes, they should have been displayed with the plates!
Love this, Mary!. Somehow I missed it when it was first posted. So glad for the year in review. You are so creative and obviously have a vision of how it will look on your table. I must get some matelasse coverlets to use on my table. They add such great texture. Happy New Year!
I love this table setting, Mary. It is so charming with the beautiful birdhouses. By the way. I have plenty of snow here…free for the taking!!!
WOW & WOW the entire table is wonderful!! We had snow yesterday with the cold hanging around. But it is to get in the 70 by the middle of the week……only in Texas right.
Best to you 2017!