Savannah Style: A Vintage and Vibrant Summertime Table

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By Brandon Branch, Design Director for Paula Deen

Everything is brighter in the summertime! All summer long, I’m inspired by the vibrant colors found in the objects that surround me…flowers in my cutting garden, fresh fruits at Davis’ produce stand and even my chic Paul Smith beach towel. When Paula asked me to design a table for a soup and sandwich luncheon she was hosting, I wanted to make it colorful, whimsical and scream summertime!

Here are the ingredients I used:

China, Glassware and Flatware: What I love best about this table was using everything Paula loves. Especially, her vintage glasses. If you have watched Paula’s Best Dishes recently, you might have noticed all the colorful mid century glasses Paula and her guests on the show are drinking from. One of her favorites are the multi-color striped iced tea glasses that are identical to a set her mother once had. It brings Paula great joy to drink from them so, of course, I had to use them. I paired them with her vintage ruby water glases. The china was a clean pallet of white, so I added marbles to the bowls for fun and color! A name card would be easy to tuck in the marbles if you were hosting a large group. For the flatware, I used the casual red handled pieces Paula likes to take on picnics.

Take Away Tip: My take away tip from this table is also my centerpiece! What’s more Paula than three colorful refrigerator dishes from her vintage pyrex collection filled with yellow cymbidium orchids and fresh strawberries. The tip is to use something you love to hold your centerpiece items. Maybe it’s a favorite glass or mixing bowl. The extra tip is to not always think about flowers for a centerpiece. Using the strawberries in the middle refrigerator dish instead of flowers is colorful and cost effective as well. As I always say, your centerpiece today could be your lunch tomorrow!

Linens: A strawberry patterned tablecloth from the 1950’s was a crisp and colorful base for my table setting. For napkins, the yellow and white polka dot pattern I used worked perfectly in juxtaposition with the soup bowls filled with marbles! Overall, the table setting set the mood for the fun summertime luncheon Paula was hosting. When Paula walked in and saw it, she started to giggle. At that point, I knew it was perfect!

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:

Please come out with a line o vintage linens. They were so beautiful back then and you would make them even better because they would be done by you ... A paula Deen vintage Line ..Wow !!

By Gina on August 03, 2010

I collect the same 1950’s Red Table Cloths and the Pyrex dishes.  I have so many at my cabin where it all started.  Some is from my Mothers home and some from my Grandmothers.  I even collect all the Cooking Tools they had.  Some of them I don’t know what they even do. ha
I was in Savannah in June and ate at your restaurant and I love those Collard Greens!

By Wanda Hand on July 27, 2010

You should have had a nice colorful bowl of
split pea soup with ham & carrots on the table and some flowers, looks like a kid designed it

By Joyce Glasnapp on July 15, 2010

Just hope no one tries to eat the marbles! lol

By Angie Evon on July 15, 2010

The table looked lovely; although I didn’t quite get the marbles in the soup bowls..maybe it would have made more sense to me had they not been sitting on top of the place settngs.

By Robin on July 15, 2010

Bought Savannah Style and loved it!I The table scape article was so much fun…being an avid flea market shopper,I have so many of the same fun finds and can’t wait to star creating!Look forward to your show!!!

By Kathy Young on July 14, 2010

I loved this article but it is so hard for me to read the lighter (orange) lettering.  Please keep it easy to read for us senior citizens.

By Patricia Dooley on July 13, 2010

Brandon, you are always such an inspiration with your table designs.  I too like the glasses which you chose.  My momma had the same ones and I think when you get to eat with or on something from the past, or that reminds you of a past memory, you keep that memory and your family times in your heart.

When I look at that table you designed for Paula, I see the same type of settings my grandma would have had, and of course the memories flood back.

If people take only one thing from you, it should be to mix the old with the new and create your own style.  This is what you do so well…keep up the good work, and best of luck with your new show.  We are all crossing our fingers for you.

By Greg Kantner on July 12, 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