4.02.2013

IMPROVISING A SPRING TABLESCAPE

Easter treats give my beloved collections of silver, milkglass and blue & white china a whimsical touch.
     I hope you all had a lovely Easter with your families! While I'm not religious myself, my Cuban parents are very traditional, and the truth is nothing makes me happier than spending the day with my family. Hubs and I hosted Easter brunch this year, which we sort of decided on the fly (thank goodness Winn Dixie stayed open on Easter!). But I always say that no prep-time is no excuse. Every holiday deserves a little festive decor!  Read on for the details of my cleverly improvised spring-themed tablescape, featuring easy and affordable ideas you can use all spring long.



Mix-and-matched place settings lend a delightful ease to any party.
 
     With no time to coordinate a color-theme, I started with an all-white base. This worked out beautifully for a few reasons. First, I can't sing the praises of white plates enough! I find that they're easy to adapt to any seasonal decor, and they always look so classic. But white plates with a crisp white table cloth are particularly perfect for a spring tablescape, because they make all the wonderful colors of season seem that much more fresh and lively. Not to mention, the way sunshine bounces off of white this time of year is just dazzling!


Peep-a-boo!
     All my favorite flower shops were closed for the holiday, but I wouldn't have had time to go. After all, there was food to be made! In a pinch, I re-potted my herb-filled container garden into three of my vintage milk glass compotes. (Remember, displays in odd numbers always look best!) I then snipped a couple of blooms off the potted lily in the downstairs balcony and placed them in two of my beloved blue and white ginger jars. This aromatic mix worked out so well! Living in Miami, we get a wonderful ocean breeze that I love to let waft in through our balconies. The heady blend of lilies, basil, mint, and rosemary blowing through our home was just intoxicating on Easter Sunday.

My parents' silver teaset, gifted to me when I left for college, so that I could entertain my fellow collegiates with some panache. Thanks, Mommy! 

     Using fragrant potted herbs and flowers is definitely a tablescape trick worth repeating. The variety this time of year is outstanding, they're usually under $3 a pop, and you won't have to waste time arranging flowers--you can't beat that! I also absolutely love to use potted gardenias and jasmine (my favorites) because they instantly take me back to summers at my grandmother's house in The Keys and long, glorious hours playing in her beautiful garden. Scent can be such a powerful way of creating lasting memories.

Please excuse the unconventional place settings. Pictures were taken between brunch preparations, and well--any busy woman will tell you--things just don't work out perfectly while multi-tasking. Here's a reliable guide for place setting.

     But even with the herbs repotted, ginger jars in place, and scattered pops of yellow via Peeps playfully peeping out of antique silver cordials, something was missing. The tablescape needed some zest. Luckily, I always pick up any pretty patterned napkins I see, and happened to have these appropriately colored Robin's egg blue floral napkins on hand. Then I remembered I had lots of techinicolor props to play with--the left over flower heads from my Haute Hippie photoshoot (washed, of course)! Laying the faux florals on top of my napkins really make for such an unexpectedly vibrant visual display. It almost looked like they had bloomed from the napkins! (Although the perfectionist in me feels that a runner made of bright green moss was sorely missing.)

 

     Fake flowers are a quick and sure-fire way of quickly giving your usual dishes a stunning new, spring-themed identity. And there is no need to waste your hard-earned bucks on the fancy silk ones, either--splurge on good food and good wine, instead! Your local dollar store should have plenty to choose from, just look for the largest and brightest blossoms available. 
 
What are some of your fast and affordable tricks for tablescaping?

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