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Setting the table has always been one of my favorite rituals. A thoughtful tablescape sets the scene for the experience I hope to create around my table. From the texture of the linens, to the weight and design of the plates, to the glassware, each piece contributes to the overall story. I rarely have a specific design in mind. It’s the story—the intention—that drives my creativity.
Like most of my design practice, I focus on collecting pieces I love and then I play with how they best work together. Here’s what I know: if you love everything, it will always come together. Your intention will serve as your editor, helping you to stay focused on the experience you’re trying to create.
For this simple spring tablescape, I wanted to express a lightness and femininity. Inspired by nature, I was drawn to unique pieces, round lines, and soft textures. And you know how much I value simplicity. I’m not a fan of fussy tables (or fussy anything for that matter). If there’s too much going on, your intention will get lost.
I fell in love with the shape of these big, white plates from Crate and Barrel. They remind me of old English ironstone, but updated with clean lines. The tiny traces of distress on the edges feel rustic, so I’d call them “modern country”.
The glasses are gorgeous. Totally versatile—you could use them as water glasses, or keeping with the casual theme, they’d be perfect for wine. I love the color because it feels like spring. Made with 100% recycled glass, they catch the light beautifully. Because they’re handmade, each glass is unique.
I went with gold flatware because it adds a brightness to the table. Besides good linens, gold flatware is one of the best investments you can make because it instantly updates a more traditional table setting. For example, if you’re using heirloom pieces in your decor, gold flatware will modernize the overall feel of your tablescape.
The most formal aspect of this spring tablescape are the monogrammed napkins I bought at Porte de Vanves in Paris. Ironed and neatly folded to show off the beautiful lettering, the napkins add an important element to the story: meaning. Adding just one special piece to your table—an heirloom from your family or a treasure you found along the way—anchors the decor in a deep part of yourself.
Garden roses, ranunculus, and hellebore bring a femininity to the table. I love the long branches of eucalyptus sticking out here and there; they invoke the wild, random qualities of nature.
A sprig of eucalyptus on each plate pulls your eye to the flower arrangement and ties everything together. More importantly, it feels like a little offering to each of your guests.
I think a huge part (maybe the biggest) of creating a thoughtful table setting is that you enjoy with the process. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that if you feel stressed—if you put pressure on yourself to make something beautiful—the results will fall flat. Your intention won’t translate because, if you think about it, your intention was misdirected. When you focus on the results rather than the experience you’re trying to create, you’re efforts are wasted on the wrong goal. Pour yourself into it and let go of the end results. Most importantly, do it with love.