Design a table inspired by the beauty of a blue-skied day outdoors.
Whether you are celebrating Easter or simply another beautiful Spring Sunday morning, use the crisp day as inspiration to throw a casual gathering where the colors are the main event. Keeping things casual, this table, set at French General, a European-influenced accessories and craft shop in Los Angeles, California, is thrown together with no-fuss embellishments that get their frills from scallop-edged dishware and bright vivacious color. Owner Kaari Meng says that what’s important is the true joie de vivre theme—enjoying the colors of the season, the fresh natural elements and the people that will fill the table. “When setting your table think about what you already have, things tucked away at the back of your china cabinet. Pull them out and give them new life by using them for a simple meal. To craft your own setting, consider these tips:
Choose a few bold colors to carry out the theme without overwhelming the table. Here a rose red is perfectly paired with a heavenly blue recalling a field of red—roses or strawberries since they are coming into season. Creamy white balances the bold color and adds a delicate touch.
Since there aren’t many elements on the table, choose dishware with more intricate details. “I tend to pull lots of old ironstone, which blends with everything,” Kaari says. “Think about using special salad plates or platters to mix things up a bit. Have fun with your glassware—using elegant hand-blown glasses make everything look festive or a set of mismatched old water glasses can look very elegant.” Here, dinner, salad and dessert plates are layered to highlight their similar lacey edges. Each element on the table carries a scalloped detail, from the tulip dessert glasses that hold sweet treats to the cake plate and the antique Cameo Ware by Harker Pottery.
“I always begin by layering the table,” says Kaari. “Whether it’s new or old textiles, I start with a tablecloth and then add on from there. I like to add a colorful striped runner and some simple linen place mats as well as some old linen napkins–maybe even embroidered with an initial or two.” Here, a casual cotton tablecloth in a garden floral is offset by another tablecloth in pink on pink plaid folded to create a quick and easy runner. Don’t have a complete set of napkins on hand? No need to worry, a mix of linens adds to the casual feel. Here, a few pieces matching the tablecloth are mixed with antique grain sack linens in creamy white and red.
Flowers and Fruit:
A generously-sized arrangement of hydrangeas recalls a grouping of lush white clouds. Red roses punctuate the bouquet adding fun bright details. Apples arranged on a cake plate add more color for a quick and casual addition to the menu. Rose buds are added to the decadent cake to create a true piece de resistance to the meal.
For more information on French General and Kaari Meng, visit frenchgeneral.com.
By Jickie Torres
Photo by Mark Tanner
Styled by Jacqueline deMontravel and Hillary Black