Party Blues

By Karen Parr-Moody


I love a table set with a flurry of colors. But I also love the simplicity of a tonal tableau. When I was recently surveying GasLamp for entertaining ideas, I found an abundance of gorgeous blue items that ranged from the pale blue of the sky to the vivid blue of the Mediterranean.


This vintage Anchor Hocking Fire King deviled egg serving tray is crafted from a pleasing hue of blue milk glass (photo, right; $26 at Booth T-152). The color reminds me of the robin’s egg blue of those tiny eggs cradled in a humble nest. As a perfect counterpoint, the scalloped edge is trimmed in 22k gold.


Anchor Hocking Fire King is known for its array of inventive glassware, from its “Boopie” or “Berwick” glasses to its Old Colony pattern of milk glass compotes and bowls with “lace” edges. Milk glass, like that of this deviled egg tray, was popularized in the United States in the late 1830s and was later fashioned into colors beyond the white that mimicked porcelain. This blue plate, with its 12 egg slots, would certainly imbue any table with a spot of dreamy color.


Temptation is a dish best served in high style — as any delicious cake would be when presented on this stand from Neiman Marcus (photo, left; $80 at Booth T-152). The scalloped edges add to the elegance of the design and the vivid blue color, well, it certainly begs for a special dessert. I could see this at a bridal shower holding a white cake with tiny pink flowers. It would also look great for a birthday party with a pale lemon cake set on top of it.


One of my girlfriends has a kitchen painted black – yes, black – and she keeps in it a Formica table very much like one I found at GasLamp (photo, right; $425 at Booth B-106). Behind the table, she has a four-by-six canvas of abstract art done shades of pale blue. It is an unlikely, but winning, look, in large part due to the clean lines of the table.


Formica tables are card-carrying members of the Mid-Century Modern cannon of design. But what I love about the one currently offered at GasLamp is that it lacks the kitschy “diner” air of the versions with chrome legs. I don’t envision this one topped by shakes and hamburgers. Instead, the possibilities are wide because it retains a certain elegance due to its tapered white legs, mottled grey-and-white color and eye-catching blue upholstery.


If you love the simplicity of pottery and dinnerware of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, then look no further than pieces by Vernon Kilns of Vernon, California. These six tumblers in the photo, left, fall into that world – a world populated by other makers of a similar stripe ($58 at Booth B-106). Beyond the streamlined, fluted shape of these tumblers, I also love that they come in other pretty shades, including pink and yellow. Additionally, they could be mixed and matched with dinnerware by other makers of that era, including, but not limited to, the iconic pieces by Russel Wright.


If you are looking for the perfect party shade that imbues any event with a feeling of serenity, you will find it with blue. And what’s more, you can also blend it with other tones – particularly bright whites and luscious creams – for a shabby chic look that is the stuff of dreams.


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