Dining Room

Mystery Box Challenge: Setting a Table for Four

I recently received fifteen brown paper packages tied up with string, filled with a few of Pottery Barn’s favorite things. Then, as part of their first-ever “Mystery Box Challenge,” I had to set a table for four with it all. I was free to use my own things too, so I got a little foxy.

And yes, that’s a punch bowl turned into an open terrarium. What else was I supposed to use it for? (Punch?)

Four other bloggers are participating in the challenge, and you can vote for your favorite tablescape. It was fun to take part and the blogger with the most votes will win a Pottery Barn gift card, but here’s the fun part for you: three lucky voters will receive their own Mystery Box package with all of the items we used in the challenge!

I incorporated white plates, linen napkins, candle holders and candles, a 3-tiered stand, a glass cake stand, two small glass bowls, three large serving bowls, a serving spoon and fork, and a punch bowl – all as part of the challenge. Then I mixed it with my silverware, placemats, glasses, vases and flowers, napkin rings, small bowls as candle holders, and a little wooden fox.

The items make for a very full table, with room for a lot of food. And a lot of desserts. My table had plenty of room for a feast.

You can see the other bloggers’ tables, vote for your favorite (hopefully it’s mine!), and enter to win at Pottery Barn’s Facebook page.

I was not paid to participate in the Mystery Box Challenge, but I did receive product on behalf of Pottery Barn.

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  • Rachel
    August 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Where is the little fox from? I love him, he makes the table!

  • Tara
    August 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Yours is definitely my favorite! I just voted… hoping we both win :)

  • casacaudill
    August 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    No doubt about it, yours is my absolute fave of the bunch.

  • Shelley
    August 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Punch bowl terrarium? You are a genius! Just voted–your table rocks!

  • Heather
    August 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    This looks fabulous! I’m also curious where you found the sweet little fox.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      I found him here.

      • Heather
        August 10, 2012 at 10:53 am

        Thanks Nicole! :)

  • jbhat
    August 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    It’s just stunning. Wow. Yours is my own personal favorite, and also others’ as well. You seem to be killing it in the votes tally thus far. Yay!


    • Making it Lovely
      August 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Aw, thanks. I’m ahead by just a little bit now. The other tables are beautiful too!

  • Giulia
    August 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    That fox is adorable and I also love your napkin rings.
    I notice that fuzzy green flower in your small vase. I love that type of carnation and just used it to decorate my sister’s wedding cake.

  • Brianna
    August 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Nicole your set up was definitely the best. I loved how subtle and elegant it was with the contrast of the fun little fox. I’d love to know where you got him.

    • Making it Lovely
      August 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks. The fox was from Uusi. They have other wooden animals too.

  • Chasity
    August 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I also would LOVE to know where you got that little fox, he is adorable!

  • Miss B.
    August 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Who can resist a punch bowl turned terrarium? Clever girl you! Wishing you tons of luck!

  • Megan (Honey We're Home)
    August 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Nicole, your table is gorgeous and your photographs are stunning! I love your blog- found it when I took the Decor8 “Blogging Your Way” class a year ago and she mentioned your blog. :)

    • Making it Lovely
      August 9, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Oh, that’s so sweet! I loved your table too – the zigzags and polka dots look fantastic.

  • Jenn
    August 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Yours is DEFINITELY my favorite! TEAM NICOLE all the way! lol

  • Nataya
    August 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    The terrarium really stands out! beautiful, the colors scheme makes a nice atmosphere.

  • Brianne Joy
    August 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I voted! Your decor is definitely phenomenal & I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to win a Pottery Barn gift card. After all, there are still things on my wedding registry that I’d love to own – several pieces I spy in your place setting for four. :) Good luck, friend!

  • Sarah
    August 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I love your terrarium planter ;)

  • Kelly
    August 9, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Your table scape is gorgeous, as are your photos! I voted for you!
    Question about the photography, did you use just one lens? Or did you vary your lens to get these great shots? Thanks!

    • Making it Lovely
      August 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      I used a couple of lenses. The really pretty ones are with my 50mm/1.4 (with the soft, blurred backgrounds). The overhead shot and maybe another were my wide angle (10-22mm), and then the rest were with my 28-70mm/2.8 Tamron. Those are all three of the lenses I own, and I switch them up pretty regularly within posts like these.

      • Kelly
        August 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

        Good to know! I have similar lenses, but don’t nearly play around with them as much. You’ve convinced me I need to! These shots create a beautiful story and I love the variation!

  • Allison F.
    August 9, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    What would you suggest to get height on a buffet table at a party? I am at a loss for my one year old’s red wagon themed birthday party.


  • Shelley
    August 10, 2012 at 12:49 am

    A Terrarium?! Sheesh, why didn’t I think of that?! ;) I put plain ole boring lemonade in mine. ;) What a gorgeous table. So many details are fabulous. Still can’t get over that terrarium. BRILLIANT!

  • Ariane
    August 10, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Yours is by far my favorite but I can’t vote since I don’t live in the US (I live in France). Good luck though !

  • Laura Trevey
    August 10, 2012 at 6:06 am

    Hi Nicole!

    Love your sweet fox!!! He brings it all together ~ awesome!

    So happy to have been in such great company as yourself. Happy Weekend to you :)

  • Kristina
    August 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I love the terrarium, and the little bits of whimsy (like the fox). Yours is definitely my favorite!


  • Julia at Home on 129 Acres
    August 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I love the punches of green and pink you added. The flowers and the terrarium just make everything pop. Love it!

  • Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet
    August 10, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Beautiful! The pink, gold and green are so wonderfully feminine without feeling like it’s a “ladies-only” table.

  • Barb
    August 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Beautiful table. Would love to vote for you but I refuse to do Facebook anywhere. Maybe next time they could give us semi-Luddites another choice.

  • Becky
    August 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Hi, great job, I always fall short at decorating thd table when ever I has a “dinner party” I think the setting would really make all the difference to the atmosphere of the night / lunch. Could you please tell me the name of the flowers you used,(close up 5th photo) I’ve had them once before but got them from a supermarket- not glitter, so have never been able to find out, such sweet blooms, and boy do thd keeps.

  • Elle B
    August 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Definitely my favorite…though that little fox has a bit to do with it. Putting one on my shopping list!

  • Jessie {My Mod Style}
    August 12, 2012 at 7:39 am

    It looks AMAZING. So pretty.

  • Kayleigh
    August 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Your tablescape is definitely my favorite!! Where did you get the small white vases from that the pink flowers are in? Super cute!!

  • how2home
    August 15, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Love this table setting, so soft, clean and cozy. Great set up!

  • laurie
    August 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Voted! (for yours, of course)

  • How to Make a Terrarium (Video) | Making it Lovely
    August 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

    […] 20 Bookmark or Share 0 comments I put together a quick little video, showing how I made my open terrarium our of a punch bowl.p.s. Today is the last day to vote for your favorite table setup in the Mystery Box […]

  • Sarah
    August 31, 2012 at 10:22 am

    ‘…so I got a little foxy.’ *rimshot* You’re a funny girl!