At the Table with Shells and Mikasa Aurora Grey Dinnerware


Our weather has swung like a pendulum this winter, with unusually mild temperatures in the 60s and 70s, followed by more normal temperatures with the mercury dipping to the low 20s.


Some welcome January sunshine and blue water views inspired my table this week, with lanterns filled with shells to join tropical flowers at the table, in contrast to a winter woodland table last week.


Gray geometric shapes provide a contemporary pattern and raised texture surface of the Gourmet Basics by Mikasa Aurora Grey dinnerware.


Rattan chargers with a gray wash add some additional texture and contrast to the patterned stoneware.


A Threshold Aztec tablecloth from Target provides some additional pattern and gray color for a foundation for the table and accent colors of aqua and navy.


Whelk shells found at the Outer Banks add a darker gray accent to the table, and provide vases for white alstroemeria blooms from the grocery store.


Gray lanterns filled with shells join an orchid on a tray for a centerpiece for the table. You can find orchids for as little as $15 at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s that will provide you with some welcome tropical blooms in January when the weather is gray and gloomy outside! I added some shell “mulch”  for a decorative accent to cover the roots and bark potting medium.


Orchids will bloom for three to four months using the ice cube method of watering. Just three ice cubes added to your orchid once a week is enough water for your orchid. When ice is fully melted, drain any excess water from the decorative outer pot so your orchid is not sitting in water that might have collected at the bottom or the pot. Place your orchid in a bright, well-lit location avoiding direct sunlight, and away from drafts.


I comb the aisles of HomeGoods regularly like a shell seeker :) where I found the gray tray for the table. The decorative edge of the tray reminds me of arches of Gothic windows and the pattern on the Aurora plates and mugs.


I added shell napkin rings to dress up plain glass votives for a decorative accent.


International Silver Capri Frost Flatware adds a frosted soft polished finish to the table with a scalloped tip handle.


Gourmet Basics by Mikasa Aurora Grey dinnerware is microwave and dishwasher safe.


Table Details:

*Dinnerware / Aurora Grey by Mikasa Gourmet Basics

*Flatware / International Silver Capri Frost

*Goblets / Stephanie Iced Beverage Glass, Mikasa

Rattan Chargers  / Target, several years ago

Threshold Aztec Tablecloth / Target

Napkins / Pier 1

Tray / HomeGoods, several years ago

Lanterns / Pottery Barn, several years ago, used here


*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.


Mikasa Aurora Grey and Shells Tablescape

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  34 comments for “At the Table with Shells and Mikasa Aurora Grey Dinnerware

  1. January 11, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Mary, I love this simple table scape, it’s so inviting!

  2. January 11, 2016 at 7:12 am

    who doesn’t love a seaish table :-) the pattern really lends itself to the sea. my cottage is back to quiet colors with a white orchid blooming a good 8-9 months of the year, i enjoy your tranquility~

  3. January 11, 2016 at 7:46 am

    The tablecloth matches the dishes perfectly Mary! Lovin’ the blue water and sunshine in the second and third pics-stay warm:@)

  4. Ellen Stillabower
    January 11, 2016 at 8:00 am

    What an eye!!! Beautiful table..soft and inviting..a good table to show off food colors!! Love the lanterns.. Thank you for sharing..🐚🐚🐚🐚

  5. Doreen Bednarski
    January 11, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I love all of your table settings but this one is ME! I live 10 miles from Lake Erie, close enough for coastal decor wouldn’t you say? Grey, blue, and white are my colors so this adds to the appeal. Love your lanterns as well. I just may have to order this dinnerware as I know I won’t be able to stop thinking about it until I do.

  6. January 11, 2016 at 9:45 am

    The welk shells look almost navy, as if you painted them, Mary, so pretty and perfect to accent this unusual gray dinnerware. The tray you found “beachcombing” is crazy cool and the tablecloth adding another layer of pattern and color really makes everything work. Thank you for the orchid tip, I did manage to keep one for months by basically ignoring it! My daughter, Miss gray and white everything, would love this dinnerware, I might have to get some for her…

  7. January 11, 2016 at 9:46 am

    You have such a wonderful eye, Mary…I never would have noticed the similarity of the tray’s pattern to the dishes!
    The white alstroemeria blooms are a much needed breath of Spring sunshine. I hate these dark, gloomy, cold days.

  8. January 11, 2016 at 10:08 am

    This is beautiful. So calming after the glitz and glam of Christmas. Thanks for the orchid tips too! I am going to go get one. LOVED how you added the napkin rings to the votives! Stealing that idea:):)

  9. January 11, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Such a pretty table for winter with the blues and grays. So creative, Mary!

  10. January 11, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I so love your site and look forward to seeing just what you do and where you get all your beautiful things !i wish i could come up with wonderful things like this for my home but i do have you to see and try to copy if i can ,thank you so much for sharing all your ideals! we love them !

  11. Linda
    January 11, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I really love the shells filled with blooms. Such an inviting little touch.

  12. January 11, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Love this table! That dinnerware is stunning and I love how you found just the right accent pieces. Your tray with the coordinating design around the edge looks perfect! And what a find with your tablecloth. Love the blue accents. Just so very pretty. Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  13. Donna C
    January 11, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    What a beautiful tablescape. Coordinated to simple, elegant perfection!

  14. Patricia
    January 11, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Finally an ingenuous way to utilize those blue/gay whelks that I can’t resist from my beach scavenges! Filled with orchids and scattered amongst the geometric Mikasa with the navy and seafoam accents just speaks to my heart!

  15. Sherlie Magaret
    January 11, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Beautiful table setting, love the dishes, I can see the bowl filled with a seafood chowder with pink shrimp in it. thank you for sharing with us.

  16. handmade by amalia
    January 11, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    This is my first visit to your blog and I’m glad I found you. I’ve had a look around and it is all so very beautiful.

  17. January 11, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Such an unusual tableware pattern…and your knack for coordinating is spot on with this one..Once again, you hit it out of the ballpark!

  18. Morwenna
    January 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    I love the simplicity of this table!

  19. Linda
    January 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    I love your pretty table settings, your view of the lake is awesome, love your potting shed and your doggies are just way to sweet, but Iam kinda new with your blog but I don’t remember ever seeing your home. Iam sure it is lovely. Maybe someday some pictures ? Have a great day and stay warm !

  20. January 11, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Oh my Mary, what a soothing table, and the blue from the lake in the background is so pretty. I love how you found the tablecloth that picks up the pattern in the dishes. Those blue shells as a vase are the perfect touch for your table. Thanks for the orchid tips, too, Mary!

  21. BamaCarol
    January 11, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Two weeks of tables, two orders on my part. Oh dear, I may have to give these to my mom to hide at her house! Seriously, these will go with a lot of things I already have; yellow, green, navy, red, black and not to mention the white dishes. I was thinking of about 6 tablescapes I could do with the things I already have and these dishes. I just wish the tray was still available at Homegoods as it is just what I have been looking for this past year.

  22. sandy
    January 11, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Gray is my least favorite color, but you made an outstanding, inviting and beautiful tablescape. So clever and pretty.

  23. Melodie Strickland
    January 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    What a lovely and soothing tablescape with the Navy, gray and white. The lanterns make a nice touch.

  24. January 11, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    The perfect table to chase the winter blahs away….love the shells you found in the Outer Banks…such a perfect compliment to those gorgeous dishes…Love the navy, white and gray….Used that color scheme many years ago!…

  25. Pam
    January 11, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Needless to say I love the table setting. But most importantly I have always failed at growing orchids with your ice cube tip, I am going to try again. Thanks very much!!

  26. Cindy
    January 12, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Looks so charming!,!

  27. January 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Mary, your beautiful table with a great view helps to make this cold day bearable! Love the shells from the Outer Banks! As always, perfect! Pam @ Everyday Living

  28. Cynthia Raines
    January 12, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    So pretty – clean and crisp. Love the round nautical lantern, the shell napkin rings and the tray. Living only 12 miles from Lake Huron of the Great Lakes makes me love all things nautical! Thanks Mary for a touch of summer in the very dead of winter! Hope springs eternal! ha

  29. Donna Tullis
    January 14, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Absolutely NO ONE sets a table like you, they always leave me with such a sense of wonder. I would love to hang with you and watch you work your magic! Honestly you need to put a book together, I would be first inline for my signed copy!

  30. Bev
    January 14, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Beautiful…cool blue and white is perfect for a winter day! Love it…

  31. January 15, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Sharp table! Those big shells are so pretty- love their coloring. The dishes work so well with that tablecloth and of course I like the centerpiece!

  32. January 17, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    What a fabulous feast for the eyes. So relaxing and fresh. I adore the shells! The blue color is perfect for this table and what a clever use as vases. I love everything about this table. :)

  33. January 19, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Mary, the Mikasa is a pretty pattern with all that texture. Love the alstroemeria in the sea shells. You always know how to set the most uniquely beautiful tables.

  34. January 26, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I’m not sure how I missed this tablescape! I sure am glad Michael Lee featured it. It’s amazing how you found all the coordinating patterned elements – the tablecloth, the chargers, the china, and the patterns in the tray and lanterns. You really are a shell seeker in HG, aren’t you? I’d take that recipe of gray (especially with that water view) any winter day!

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