Russian Winter Tablescape

This week’s tablescape was inspired by these beautiful beaded napkin rings Daughter the Older recently made for me. Can anyone say VERSATILE? I love them!  My first thought was to do something with peacock feathers, but I’ll save that idea for another day.
Instead, I was reminded of Renaissance Man’s trip to St. Petersburg, Russia several years ago — and the pictures he took of beautifully colored buildings …

Is anybody besides me seeing circles?
… and gorgeous handpainted Russian nesting dolls (aka Matryoshka or Babushka dolls).


And then I remembered the gorgeous set he brought home for Yours Truly.  It’s a large set with 10 dolls that nest inside each other, each doll painted with a different Wintertime scene.


That’s when I decided to try my hand at a Russian Winter tablescape.


While my previous Winter tablescapes often include silver and crystal, this one seemed to call for a snowy-white damask tablecloth topped with the warmth of gold …



and fur … in the form of a man’s Russian ushanka and a woman’s wool stole with fox tails.

I couldn’t resist adding a few “icy” jewels laid atop a pair of warm leather gloves …


After several years, I’m glad I finally thought to use my Matryoshka dolls in a tablescape.  Thanks again, Renaissance Man!


Do you have a set of Russian nesting dolls … or a treasure you’ve had a for long time but never used in a tablescape? 
Leave a comment and tell us!
I’ll be joining:
Let’s Dish at Cuisine Kathleen
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch


  1. Sweet Mr. also spent some time in St. Petersburg and Moscow several years ago. He too, brought me a set of the Russian nesting dolls; mine are religious in nature..Jesus and all the saints. It’s a giant set, and I don’t take them out much any more. I’ve found it more fun to use the beautiful flow blue Russian pitchers that he brought me and the Russian wool scarves. I hope that he returns some day because I have every intention of going with him. Your table is beautiful. Dr. Zhivago & Laura would have enjoyed dining at your table, as would I. I would wear my ermine…as if I had an ermine! Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  2. I was thinking Dr. Zhivago too! You table really is like the set from a movie.

  3. This is gorgeous! Love all the details, especially the dolls.

  4. Good morning! I don’t have a set of nesting dolls, but I have a couple of friends who do. My Mom saw them during her travels to Russia, but I don’t think she brought any back. Who knows with that woman??!?!! She brought so much stuff back here from so many countries…she is single-handedly responsible for the escalation of many countries’ boosted economies! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Your nesting dolls are really pretty, and the Russian architecture is just some of the most intricate and beguiling around. Great choice to use the gold accents on your table as a nod to the gold often used in fine Russian architecture!

  5. In highschool, I got to visit St.Petersburg. So much fun. I have a couple of sets since my father is Ukrainian. One set he got me, similar to yours show the scenes, but they are from a fairy tale. Makes me wonder if yours are too. Great napkin rings. Omg.. I love the beauty of the beads. The dolls look great on a table! Great fun. xo marlis

  6. Oh, what delightful inspiration for a winter tablescape! First of all, those beaded napkins rings are GORGEOUS, and you are going to have fun with them on many future tables. I love the look of the placesetting, letting the napkins rings “star.” The touches of pink and aqua/turquoise are so pretty together!

  7. You did a wonderful job, Susan. Those dolls are beautiful. Would you believe I have a set that a friend bought me in Russia and they are handpainted nesting CATS! LOL- I think I will keep them off the table though! xo Diana

  8. Those beaded napkin rings are gorgeous…the dolls, beautiful, Susan.

  9. I do have a set of nesting dolls, but I don’t think they are the real deal. As for things I would like to use in a tablescape, I have SO MANY. This table is so beautiful and creative that you make me really, really want to find the time to do some tablescaping. I really miss it, but the time to create seems to have gotten away from me.

    Those napkin rings are wonderful. My sister and I were just commenting recently how much we would love some more beaded ones. They are versatile and always so pretty on the table. I loved this Russian winter scape.

  10. Beautiful post, Susan! I’ve sent you email!

  11. What a lovely and exquisite winter tablescape. The dolls and napkin rings really brighten up the table and add so much cheerful color. Very pretty.

  12. I have several sets of these dolls, acquired at various times, and I have been thinking of posting them, but I NVER thought of doing a tablescape! This is wonderful and your dolls are beautiful. Linda

  13. This is so pretty! I love these nesting dolls and how you used them in a tablescape.

  14. This is a beautiful post (as always). I love those wine glasses with the wintry etching on them. May I ask what kind they are or if there is a pattern name? Thank you.

  15. Wow! I LOVE color! So, so! pretty!

    Hope your week’s going well,

  16. I’m late getting around to all the tablescapes, but I really didn’t want to miss this one! Being half Russian, I was curious what your table would look like. I have to start out by saying those are the most beautiful nesting dolls I have ever seen! And, I think your wonderful table does them justice. I love how those pretty jeweled napkin rings pick up the colors of the dolls! Love that you used fur, giving it a real Doctor Zhivago feel! Thank you so much for sharing!

  17. Your tablescape with the Russian theme is gorgeous and the nesting dolls are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen…they have such pretty faces; I always wanted to have a set of those..hope some day I just go to Russia to get them. Your stems are stunning too. Thank you for your lovely visit. I don’t know what pieces in my dresser you mean, hon…please let me know exactly, so I can write you about them. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

  18. What a gorgeous wintery scape~! I have always loved those nesting dolls!

  19. Those are beautiful dolls! Your table is lovely, very inviting!
    Thank you so much for linking to Let’s Dish!

  20. I was in Russia last year.. Had such an amazing time.. I thought the world out there was so different.. it was eerie.. yet… mesmerizing..

    I love your blog.. and love what I see here.. so am following you now… Sure hope to see you popping into Colours dekor.. 🙂