Easter is my favorite time of the year. It is not just the pastel colors and the egg hunts that remind me of my childhood, it is the energy and, dare I say, magic of Spring. Gone are the short, cold days of winter and here to stay are the bright, light-filled days of March, April and May. Everything around us is new and delicate; the beautiful lines of the tree branches that contrast with the newly sprouted lime green buds. And right around the corner is the first holiday of warmer weather, Easter.
Each year when the weather begins to warm up and the tulips and daffodils begin to bloom, I am inspired to rummage through my cedar chest for some beautiful linens and dig through the china hutch for an inspiring pattern I may have forgotten about.
Setting the table is always the highlight of a holiday for me. I know that this makes me weird but I see it as an excuse to use beautiful things I have inherited or I have collected. After all, what good is having beautiful things if you never use them? There is something unique about having a beautiful table for a holiday. In our society, where being casual is the norm, there is something elegant and almost unexpected about a formally a set table. Having the table prettily set for a holiday sends a clear, unspoken message to your guests that they are important. It also invites them to slow down and take note of the details that you have so thoughtfully incorporated.
Am I saying that you need a table set with expensive china, etched crystal and sterling flatware? No, not at all. I am simply encouraging you to take a little time before the holiday to relish and enjoy some of the beautiful things you have collected and to find a way to incorporate them into something unique and elegant. Here are four ways you can add a little beauty to your holiday, whether you are having a three course meal or potluck.
1. Make it fun.
Life is too short to not enjoy beauty. Delight in a few small details of your event. You do not have to do 25 special, little touches to make an event memorable. Just pick a few details to focus on, particularly ones that you enjoy doing and then make the rest simple. For example, you can make tiny flower arrangements for each setting or write out name cards. Always follow peace. If you are stressed out about your event your children and guests will be too. Give yourself enough time and grace to put together something that brings you delight. And once your event begins, give yourself the space to enjoy it.
2. Pick a color palette.
Have you ever noticed that certain colors just go together? Whether it is pure white and cobalt blue or dusty rose and grey; certain specific colors just seem to naturally look cohesive with other specific colors. When in doubt be inspired by nature and the colors of the season around you. An all-white palette with a glass container of daffodils can be understated and charming. Maybe pull out some colored glasses you have been saving for a special occasion and build your table around that color. Another rule of thumb when incorporating an heirloom china pattern is to pull one or two colors from the pattern and incorporate that in the flowers or linens you use on the table.
3. Mix and match.
One of the fun things about setting a table is choosing what textures to use to set the mood of the meal. Will you use that antique lace table cloth or some fun place mats you found at an estate sale? Juxtaposing textures, colors and patterns can add depth to any table. Juxtaposing is to create contrast by setting two things that are different from each other next to each other. An example of this could be adding delicate wildflowers or greenery to a more formal arrangement of roses. It could be having intricate, embroidered napkins with simple white dishes. The best way to highlight an element of your table is to let it shine by making the things around it more simple.
4. Incorporate your roots.
Whether you are Scottish using your family tartan or you are from the South offering your guests some sweet tea, find one or two things that you can incorporate into your holidays that are unique to you and your family. A lot of times we see what other people do and we try to copy their unique style or their heritage but it is so much more interesting when we know who we are and offer that to our guests. Peace and authenticity are at the heart of hospitality.
Hospitality is making things beautiful, making others feel welcomed and feel loved. Do things with purpose and care and give yourself permission to create something magical this Easter.
This blog post comes to you courtesy of Rebekah Stephenson from Tulsa China Hutch. Rebekah is a wonderful wife, loving mom of two boys and an amazing hostess. She makes any space feel so welcome and brings beauty to any occasion. Make sure to go follow Rebekah at @tulsachina on instagram!