The frigid winter temperatures are slowly giving way to longer days and the sound of birds chirping. It can only mean one thing: Spring is in the air! And what better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than creating a fresh and fun spring-inspired tablescape.

Recently we hosted several friends for an informal dinner party, and although the gathering wasn't fussy or fancy, I still wanted to make sure it felt like a special occasion. This meant taking a few extra steps to dress things up just a little and give that little extra attention to detail.

To add a bit of softness to the center of the table I picked up an inexpensive bunch of tulips from the grocery store, trimmed their stems, and placed them in a very simple round glass vase.

I feel like a floral display is one of the easiest and best ways to make any table decor or event look and feel just a little bit more refined and polished.

With the centerpiece established, I got to work pulling together items from my pre-owned stash of table decor. I keep all of my various dining accoutrements in the buffet in the dining room. I've worked very hard over many years to collect anything and everything that can be used in a general way to liven up any dinner party, and I'm always excited to use it. I started by covering the table in a simple white tablecloth and topped it with informal rattan circular place mats I purchased from Ikea several years ago. 

Atop the place mats I arranged our heavy silver chargers. These chargers are large and hefty ceramic chargers, not the more commonly seen resin or plastic. It took us quite a long time to find these chargers when I was on the hunt but I discovered them on sale at Pier 1 Imports about ten years ago. I really like the juxtaposition of the rough and natural place mat with the more formal charger. 

When I was ready to bring in the dishes, glasses, and flatware I had to decide between our formal items or the more informal option. I opted to use our everyday white ivy dishes from Pottery Barn, casual silverware, and selected informal bee water glasses and small white wine glasses. Aside from the wine glasses, all the dishes, flatware, and glasses can be easily run through the dishwasher at the end of the night for a speedy cleanup.

I also used our red Chinoiserie napkins, which happens to be the only full set of napkins I own, thanks to Alex inadvertently repurposing our set of white restaurant napkins as paint rags a year ago. I'm still not over it, and might even bring it up on occasion. Perhaps that's a hint that I need a new set of nice, white napkins?

But I digress. To change things up and to help the napkins go with my intended vibe I simply used the reverse side of the Chinoiserie napkins. This allowed me to feature a smaller, more subtle pattern that better worked with the color of the tulip centerpiece.

You might have noticed the absence of a dinner plate and knife. In this case they weren't needed, as the menu consisted of a green salad, followed by shrimp étouffée, capped off by a warm apple crumble topped with vanilla bean ice cream. 

All in all, thanks to owning nearly all of the items, I spent a whopping $4.99 putting this tablescape together. When our friends arrived, we finished off the table with white taper pillars in crystal candlesticks, and of course good food, ample wine, and lots of laughs. 

I feel my goal of the dinner party was achieved. Those attending felt comfortable enough to reminisce about old times, tell an off color joke or two (or 20), and clean their plates. In this case, creating a casual environment that allowed us to enjoy a Sunday night together before the start of a long work week was just what we needed. I'd even say we needed it almost as much as we need the warm Spring sun to bring us out of our long winter slumbers.

Are you ready for spring? Have you started to introduce decor into your home that marks the start of the new season? Do you have any creative ideas for setting a spring table? If so, I'd love to hear about it.

Comments 5


3/7/2013 at 2:42 PM
Wow, those Chinoiserie napkins are really pretty. I might eventually look for something similar. They're nice for several occasions, since the red works well for Christmas too. A Toile fabric (in red/dark pink) would also have looked great for spring.

I love tulips and fresh flowers, but I rarely get any for myself (and the house currently looks like a dump anyways, haha).

I hope Alex will get the hint and replace the white napkins. Perhaps part of a birthday gift?
Thanks, JC! I picked these napkins up in a gift shop in St. Michael's, MD years ago and I just love them. Since I do have a birthday coming up pretty soon, maybe white napkins are just the perfect gift? ;-)
3/8/2013 at 12:42 PM
I am getting ready for spring too. In fact, my kids are helping me decorate the house for spring. We are planning on being environment-friendly. We want to recycle as much as possible. My kids are planning to create a flower vase made of recycled materials and I get to choose the spring flowers to put in these vases. My husband is in charge of the menu. :)
What a great idea Maria! Thanks for sharing a fun and environmentally friendly idea. :-)
3/11/2013 at 11:53 PM
Beautiful! I'd eat at that table with your good company any day. :)
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