Simplistic Design Meets Spring Bulbs
“Each time you entertain, what is one item you feel is overlooked each occasion?”
I asked a friend while chatting about her holiday woes. “How do they do it?!” She declared to me with a look of bewilderment. “How do people like you make it look easy?” My reply was simple, “It just looks that way.”
What she was feeling boiled down to lack of confidence making an appealing setting. The unknown as we all know is scary. The unknown factors of stylishly entertaining can cause night sweats and lost sleep… (jk) but seriously, who needs even mild anxiety over such a thing?
So my beautiful friend for you I created something simple (not as simple as a single centerpiece) that doesn’t take an expert level of design to pull together. As a matter of fact, the flowers used are bulb plants found seasonally at better markets and local flower shops.
The completed table uses my shop’s vessels. But I gave plenty of thought to recreating this look with some standard entertaining elements.
My approach came from the side of what could my friend use (or anyone) that could be gathered a few days ahead using basic table top items. I thought, pedestal dish/compote, stemware and votives are sort of the basics anyone should have in-house. Then I turned to the fresh merchandise. Small polished stones and delicate plants are most ideal. They’re easy to use and will spark a bit of intrigue. The above vessels would serve these items well.
My friend is celebrating Passover with a small group of 6. I thought this was a great time to do something special for her. This is purely an aesthetic design. I will note that the Seder Plate, Cups and other traditional items used during the Seder (forgive your loving gentile friend) are not present. But I did note the need for the items and left plenty of maneuverability and ideal edit options so those beloved items can take their rightful place.
Blue grape hyacinth (Muscari) plants were my immediate go-to plants. Possessing a delicate grace, Muscari is one of my absolute favorites for spring.
For each place setting, I selected a tiny bulb, gently washed it and peeled the outer layer, like an onion revealing it’s beautiful white flesh. Then rinsed again, dried and layed gently on crisp white linen napkins.
For the larger vessel, miniature green polished stones were chosen for their neutrality. Selecting a larger cluster of plants I gently reached into the soil and pulled the cluster out. Yes, very messy, so this is best done in an area well suited for this task. The cluster (now 2 inches deep) was pressed firmly, soil and all, into my cut large cut glass compote. Then surrounded with the green stones for stability and design. The bulbs were not peeled or washed this time. They were gently brushed and cleaned with a wet cotton swab. To me the dirt is needed, conveying the message of spring even further. The dirt was then accented with some tiny pods I had from another arrangement.
My absolute favorite part was using these tiny optic glass bud vases as pseudo bulb-forcing vessels. The bulbs were not forced but treated the same as the Muscari was treated for the napkin accent above. The root system was left on this time completing the illusion. Finally, preserved boxwood balls with silver tea lights and green cut glass votives added candlelight.
As you can see the table can be easily manipulated or edited without wounding the design scheme. Flexibility is always a great idea especially for a family dinner.
I hope this inspires you ( and for my friend, you know who you are) and feels easy enough to replicate. Give it a try for Passover or any spring gathering this year.
If you are celebrating Passover, I wish you Chag Pesach Sameach. May you, your family and friends find joy.
In love & style,
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