• Cait O'Malley

How to Style a Spring/Easter Tablescape

Growing up, we always had our holiday meals at the "good" table in the otherwise off-limits dining room. My mom would break out table linens, get the nice dinnerware out from the display hutch and polish the fancy silverware.

Now that I have my own house and family, I still love keeping that special occasion mentality when it comes to holiday meals. We don't have a separate dining room or a special occasions dinner table, so instead I love to dress up our everyday dining table, to give it an extra special feel on those celebration days. It feels extra important right now, in the middle of week... 4(?) of social distancing life that we take every excuse to celebrate, dress up and break out the good china.

I know most people don't have a stash of assorted dinnerware and table decor like I do. Normally I take a leisurely stroll through Homesense anytime I'm doing a new design but since that's not an option, I wanted to give you all some ideas on how to create a nice tablescape using things most people already have around the house.

1. Start with a blank canvas.

If you have table linens, now is the time to break them out - it will give an instant blank slate feel to your standard dinner and give you that feeling of something new or different. If you don't have linens at home, you could try the top sheet from a bed linen set. For a Spring table, lots of bright airy colours are essential and will totally boost your mood.

2. Opt for either a bright patterned table linen OR your table decor.

Decide which you want to be the focal piece and use the other to introduce neutrals and elements that are complimentary. If you have too much colour on your base and built up in your details it will end up feeling cluttered and overwhelm the line of sight.

3. Put everything on display.

Scour your cupboards for serving platters, trays and bowls to dish up and present your meal right on the table. Yes it's more work and more dishes but there is something so inviting about a meal being displayed out rather than everyone dishing up from the kitchen.

4. Bring the outdoors in.

A burst of flowers or even some greenery foraged on a trail walk adds such a fresh and rejuvenating vibe to a table. If you take an aerial view of your table, you'll notice the your dinner plates create your primary blocks of space. Imagine an invisible 6x6 grid running horizontally and vertically on your table with the plates marking your four outside blocks. Try to keep your arrangements within your middle horizontal grid. You could either do one low arrangement in the very middle grid (keep it low enough to not limit line of sight to the person sitting across from you), or consider making a few smaller arrangements, like bud vases, that are dispersed across the table using the middle horizontal grid line intersections as a guiding point for placement and then shifting them to be a bit more central and asymmetrical.

5. Get creative with the place settings.

If you have special occasion plates this is definitely the time for them. If not though, use your everyday plates and simply set them out on the table, stacked (dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl, etc.). If you have a couple sets of everyday plates, try doing a mix and match to jazz things up.

6. Go beyond the linear.

The key to a great tablescape is depth and dimension. This is achieved by building up and out. Place things across the table using a bit of a zig zag pattern, keeping that invisible grid in mind. Add height to your table with your central floral arrangement, or put some of your server-ware on raisers (use a cake platter or flip a bowl upside down as a base if you have to). Try to keep your tallest items in your central grids and dip lower as you work your way out. The end result should allow your eye to travel across, up and down, and side to side, seamlessly with even flow rather than being pulled to fixation points.

7. Think seasonally.

In addition to that spring colour palette, there are tons of decorative pieces that can be naturally incorporated to help give a nod to the holiday. Tulips, for example, are a classic flower that everyone associates with spring. For Easter we tend to think of dyed eggs, candies, bunnies and chicks. It could be as simple as scattering cadbury mini eggs down the table as a sort of table runner, or writing name on dyed eggs as a place-card for each place setting. Get creative with what you have on hand and try to think outside the box.

We've put together two different tables to help show you how you can use things you already have around your home to help transform your table. Table 1 features of mix of fresh and dried arrangements, with Easter inspired cookies adorning each place-setting. Meanwhile, table two uses two small, ikebana style arrangements with fresh ranunculus, giving way for the Easter cookie display to take the main focus. Each place setting is adorned with a nest inspired napkin and a dip-dyed easter egg. The cookie inspiration and recipe came from my friend, Nat Spencer, who is the cookie queen.

Table 1:


Table 2:

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