Savannah Style: A Man’s Table

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By Brandon Branch

You can imagine how thrilled I was to design and style a “Man’s Table”. Not that I don’t love every minute I spend designing linens, furniture and the like for Paula…it’s just sometimes…a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do!

I channeled my Dad and Pawpaw when putting everything together for this month’s tabletop inspiration. After all, June is all about Dads. I usually like to do a nice mix of old and new when I design anything, but this time, I chose to go all vintage to honor these two very important men in my life. It’s funny, when it was all said and done, I stood back and thought how new it all looked. I only wished my Dad and Pawpaw were there to pull up a chair and have lunch with me.

Here are the ingredients I used:

imageChina, Glassware and Flatware: The china is an exquisite set from the 1940’s. It has a delicate pine cone pattern and rims of 24kt gold. I borrowed it from my mail carrier, Jimmy Rahn. It was his mother’s pattern and I just love it. If you take away nothing else from me, my design team and Southerners in general…let it be to BORROW BORROW BORROW. (After all, it is an honor to have someone else love the things that we love.) The Art Deco Black Glass Stemware is my new favorite thing! It was a gift to me from my friend and colleague, Libbie Summers, on the completion of my latest stylebook, Paula Deen’s Savannah Style. The flatware is Paula’s own and the knives rest gracefully on the antique sterling knife rests that look like children’s jacks. You can just make out the handle of Paula’s own vintage tomato knives on the plates. The rich butterscotch colored Bakelite handles of the knives were the color inspiration for the centerpiece.

Flower Arrangement: I love this ice bucket turned vase. It’s a vintage pewter golf trophy from 1952! The perfect receptacle for this “man’s” centerpiece. I filled the trophy vase full of apricot and orange cymbidium orchids, yarrow, Star of Bethlehem and holly leaves.

Take Away Tip: My favorite part of these tabletop inspirations! This month, I used bow ties for my napkin rings! It’s just that simple. The key is to hand tie them. No cheating here….pre-tied ties just don’t evoke the same feel.

Extras: I repurposed a couple of old glass decanter bottles for tea on the table. One for sweet tea and one for unsweetened. Since my Dad and Pawpaw were big hunters in their day, I added two old brass bird dog figurines to dress the table. Lastly, I dropped a few orchid blooms here and there and added two old boxes I use for cuff links in my own home closet. Let’s Eat!

Brandon Branch is a playful Southern gentleman. His style is equal parts Yankee chic and Southern elegance all muddled together in a monogrammed mint julep cup. An invitation to one of his Savannah dinner parties is the equivalent to getting the golden ticket from Willy Wonka. Brandon holds the position of Design Director for Paula Deen Enterprises and serves as Paula Deen's Personal Assistant. He was featured on HGTV's seasonal special "Celebrity Holiday Homes" and looks forward to similar opportunities in the future. Pick up a copy of his New York Times best-selling book, Paula Deen's Savannah Style in our online store.
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Reader Comments:


Omgosh Brandon everything you touch turns into a delicious fabulous setting. I am such a fan of Savannah and Paula and of Course Cheryl Day hope to be in Savannah this fall

By Janice Dauksch on June 19, 2014


This one is my favorite so far! Lovely design Brandon!

By Layla Mayville on July 27, 2012


How much champagne and bottled beer would be need at a wedding for 125 guests? Love ya'll

By Anita Martin on June 29, 2011


To those who comment, please note that BRANDON writes most of these table setting articles.... so address Brandon when you comment. I'm sure he'd like that. Brandon, you're so clever! Mary from Tennessee.

By Mary on June 22, 2011


great idea"s with a very simple tone. love looking at your way of decorating as well as your recipes

By margaret on June 18, 2011


I couldn't pull up a whole picture of the table. I have kept a picture of an old worn out laceup leather work boots for years because it reminds me of my daddy. I was always in his shadow, even when he was mechanicing. He used to say all you could see were the whites of my eyes. Lol! I miss him so much some days.

By Deborah Beown on June 18, 2011


What your doing for your Dad is very special and I'm Jealous because my Dad passed away 25 years ago I never had enough time to spend with him so cherish every moment that you can tell your Dad that I said Happy Father's Day from me.

By Penny Ellis on June 18, 2011


Paula, your knack for decorating with simple decor just amazes me! I like these Father's Day ideas. Thanks for your cooking tips and recipes. Annette

By Annette Williams on June 09, 2011


Paula- You crack me up. Only you would know your mail carrier well enough to know he had his Mother's china! My parents have a china set almost identical to this so I am going to forward them the photo. Thanks for sharing. Long live butter. Colleen

By Colleen Kelly on June 02, 2011


Love everything Paula does, All the people including my family call me Paula because we look so much alike. I had my car fixed and the mechanic said you look like that lady that cooks, I laughed and said yea Paul Deen. Its a lot of fun really. Would love to meet Paula in person sometime.

By Joan Knuckles on January 25, 2011

I love that table. It is beautiful. I also like the wood that the table is made out of and I am dying to find a table like that somewhere for my own dining area.

By Heather on August 20, 2010

On page 107 in your Savannah Style book there are two club chairs that I adore.  Would you please tell me the name and make of the fabric on these two chairs.  I have two chairs to have reupholstered and I would love to use this fabric.  Thank you much! mperry

By margaret perry on July 25, 2010

How cute is ur tablescape !! o.k. need help…am having my son’s rehearsal dinner on a riverboat in tuscaloosa, ala, in october….any suggestions as to what centerpiece I can use…
My sister lived in Savannah for 30 years…she was mary jane chappell…her husband was chap chappell(insurance). I have dined @ ur first restaurant over 15 years or more ago…
I have all of ur books…great !!
the strawberry cake is delicious. made for daughters bday but it has stuck in the pan both times i have baked it…

By sallie c. alston on June 22, 2010

I love it all, but I want to know where you got that table? I love it.

By Sharon Shipley on June 18, 2010

Men don’t use napkins they use their sleeve!.....just kidding. That is a very cute idea thanks for sharing with us. Love your show and love your ideas. Many blessings to you paula

By Becky Grice on June 17, 2010

I want you to know that I love your show, I watch it time it is on. My youngest niece just went to see you in Little Rock Ar on the 12th of June, she told me that you was so awesome to see in person.We have cooking listen evry time we go to her house. Thanks for being on the food networth.

By Sandra Pennington on June 17, 2010

Love the table decor, inviting and cozy. Looks like it is calling to you to enjoy a meal and then sit at the table for a long while after the meal is over. What I love most is the actual table. It looks old and conveys the feeling that many pies were cut and served on that table, as well as many comfort food meals enjoyed by those who were lucky to sit around it in the great ladder back chairs. The oldness of the table gives it a life of its own with lots of memories. The items used to set this wonderful old table were really icing on the cake! Thanks for all of your great ideas!!

By Annie Bookser on June 16, 2010

bow ties! how smart and creative! i think its great you encourage borrowing. nowadays, its easier and more economical to ask around and borrow or barter with friends. i just would not have thought to ask the mail carrier! lol
Another great setting Brandon.

By Donna S on June 15, 2010

I loved the article and wish I could try it out this Father’s Day, but I am recovering from heart surgery, so my husband and sons will have to wait until next year when I can go all out for them.  I, too, miss my father very much especially at this time of the year. He was a wonderful man and even tho he has been gone 37 years, I have many happy memories of him that sustain me.

By Melanie Brandt on June 15, 2010

Hi Paula Thank u so much for sharing ur scrumptious recipes.  I love ALL of them.  We have been in Wash. State for 21 years but my husband and I were born and raised in Texas.  I watch u on TV alot and love ur Southern personality.  Thanks for the SMILES !!  gina wink

By gina on June 08, 2010

Like you I love to do Father’s Day Dinner or Brunch for my hubby of 51 years, and also my 4 son-in-laws, and all of the children and grandchildren.  We make it fun and delicious food for all of them.  My hubby, son-in-laws, and grandsons are all hunters too, so decorating is always easy to do for them.  We have lily’s blooming that time of year and they make beautiful table arrangements.  Love all of your ideas, food, and etc. 

Look forward to all of you magazines, and cookbooks.  Have my sister and daughters hooked on them too!

Your friends in Fulton, MO.

By Mrs. Mary L. Overkamp on June 08, 2010

What a wonderful table. I also love to use vintage items when setting the table.
This is a perfect tribute to your father and Papaw.

By David Gillaspy on June 08, 2010

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm