Home / Decorating Ideas / Fabulous Feature: Michael Lee West “Romances the Plate” for Valentine’s

Fabulous Feature: Michael Lee West “Romances the Plate” for Valentine’s

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Michael Lee West feature

A romantic Valentine’s meal for two need not be by candlelight. Instead, it can be in the glow of an utterly charming tablescape, lovingly put together by…well, Michael Lee West! This lovely, multi-talented lady is an author, food enthusiast, and tablescaper extraordinaire. And ever since we discovered her fabulous blog Designs by Gollum, we’ve been totally smitten by her beautifully written and photographed posts.

Just take a look at this warm and welcoming tablescape she created for Valentine’s. Set for four with table ware and cutlery collected and treasured over the years, it could very well be for an intimate brunch with family or dear friends on this special day!

The Romantic Nuances

The table is set with Lenox dishes in an endearing pattern called “Chirp”. We love how the delicate rendering of the birds and branches mimics a Chinese brush painting. The layering of the dishes makes for wonderful visual interest as well. And the contrasting colors and varied designs (of the napkins as well) somehow complement beautifully. Trust an expert like Michael Lee to make this happen!

Valentine's romantic table setting

Red goblets (from her wedding, she reveals) make a striking statement alongside the delicately patterned china. While the flatware features a distinct twig design on the handles. Again, somehow so perfect for the birds-and-branches pattern on the dishes.

Echoing the red table accents, the centerpiece is a graceful arrangement of tulips in a fancy planter filled with moss. Each place setting is graced by mini white vases holding sweetheart roses, in red as well. Finally, fabric napkins in mismatched prints (another tip from her mother) only add to the tablescape’s charm!

And there you have it! An unexpected, yet so appealing, take on a Valentine tablescape—still with the requisite red. As Michael Lee explains: “Red is the perfect color when you are romancing the plate.”

Dainty Treats as Glamorous Desserts

As if a fabulous table wasn’t enough, she has a separate post where she recommends the “simple way” to serve equally amazing Valentine treats to match! We included the photos in the grouping above.

Michael Lee shows how frosted cupcakes (believe it or not, these are store-bought) can be all glammed up with fancy paper liners and sweetheart roses on top. Then, for the popular chocolate-dipped strawberries, she candidly suggests purchasing them from a grocery “if you’re in a rush.” Love that!

And for even more Valentine’s Day ideas, she has a 51-page ideabook downloadable for FREE on lulu.com.

Meet Michael Lee West

Michael Lee West bio

Michael Lee is the author of seven books: Crazy Ladies, She Flew the Coop, American Pie, Consuming Passions, Mad Girls in Love, and Gone with a Handsomer Man. The sequel to GWAHM, A Teeny Bit of Trouble, will arrive in bookstores in 2012.

With food as her other passion, she hosts the amazingly popular Foodie Friday link party (details for participating here) on Designs by Gollum. The blog itself also features her wonderful original recipes and food photos.


  1. Oh! I love the greenery mixed in; it hints at Spring so well! The twig utensils are adorable!

  2. Very beautiful! Thanks for passing on some great tips.

  3. Thanks for your sweet comments, HiLLjO and Janet! It’s actually the super-talented Michael Lee West whom we should all thank for this charming table!

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