Happy Monday, friends! We’re home from Los Angeles, safe and sound, and missing my sister and her family and the gorgeous hot weather. Although, Spring is establishing itself nicely already, and we had our first BBQ with family last night. Today we have the promise of temperatures in the high 70s. Cali, you ain’t got much on Northern Virginia.
With Easter around the corner, I wanted to share some simple tabletop details and tips. My brother in law painted our living room and dining room while the girls and I were in California, and this was our “new” dining room’s first photo shoot. I simply love the crisp white walls and the lack of the chair rail. I don’t usually mind chair rails, but since it was there, I always had a hard time photographing around it. My eyes always went to the chair rail instead of the subject of the photo. I’m grateful to have a clean, bright new space to decorate, entertain in, and photograph!
This tabletop includes the usual suspects: neutrals, subtle pop of nature, a few earthy tones and textures, and a simple menu. When it comes to gatherings, uncomplicated always wins….for the table settings, the menu, and each and every detail. I want to communicate a welcoming, inviting, comfortable table through each element I use. Uncomplicated doesn’t mean unintentional. In fact, I think it means just the opposite: simple, effortless, and intentional.
To create a beautiful, welcoming table, it’s important to start with a beautiful base layer: the table itself. Our table – one of my favorite finds ever – was purchased at auction for $20! Nobody wanted it because was seemingly an old work table with oil stains (gasp! they were my favorite part), and it’s turned into a staple piece. Joe sanded it a bit, and it has a gorgeous, natural patina. If you don’t have a table that you want to show off, simple cover yours with a linen tablecloth. This one from Williams Sonoma is gorgeous and so versatile. Or, for a more budget-friendly option, simply use a canvas drop cloth from the hardware store. I have a supply of these that I use at my workshops and dinners. They wash beautifully, and at $23 each, it’s not the end of the world if they’re ruined by a wine stain or wax.
After the able itself, I like to think about the next layers: the plates, flatware, and napkins. These white plates (from West Elm) are perfectly imperfect circles, and are a great size. I used linen tea towels from Terrain for the napkins. Another little secret of mine…I frequently use towels for napkins. I love a large napkin that covers your lap completely, they are *usually* more affordable, and at the very least, you have a larger selection to choose from.
I usually incorporate a few interesting textures and tones onto my table with the serving dishes. For this table, I focused on marble and wood. My dear friends at Hudson Workshop handmade this limited edition black walnut and ivory cheese board. I love the stunning handle details, and the wood itself is so rich and luscious!
Joe – ever so willingly (#blessed) – foraged these apple branches for me the evening before. These blooms are subtly pink on the outside and I love their dainty, round shape. I plucked a small sprig for each place setting, and then finished the look with these wooden eggs. I love how realistic these eggs are (I actually purchased them for the girls’ kitchen, but have used them a few times myself).
For the brunch menu, I kept things simple. Deviled eggs (Joy the Baker’s recipe; they are THE BEST), buttered radish tartines (this time I added arugula instead of kale), herbs de provence new potatoes, roasted asparagus, and scones with blackberry jam. I’ll be making these deviled eggs and radish tartines again this weekend when we’re celebrating Easter up in New Jersey with my family.
What are your favorite elements in laying the table? When you’re hosting a meal, what do you think about first: the food or the table? I always think about the table first, and how I’ll create a simple, welcoming space. The food comes next 😉 I’d love to hear more about your table setting and your plans for this Easter!
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