Spring is finally here, which means celebratory holiday meals. Whether you're hosting a lunch or dinner for Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day or no reason at all, a beautiful table will make the food taste even better. Creating a stunning tablescape doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and at Cisco Home we like to keep it eco-friendly. Susie Ahern is a LEED-certified interior designer at Cisco Home Pasadena and an entertaining superstar, so we asked her for some of her best advice on dressing up your dining table this season.
Start with textiles
A beautiful tablecloth adds color and pattern to the scene. “But it doesn’t have to be a proper tablecloth, any fun or beautiful fabric works and you can buy fabric by the yard to save money,” says Susie. Our new Cisco Prints collection is available by the yard and gives a tabletop a beautiful dose of global style. You can also just use fabric as a runner down the center of the table to leave the wood exposed.
Bring nature in
Celebrate the beauty of spring by making flowers and greenery the centerpiece. “Bring in blossoms and branches from your own backyard! You do not need to spend a fortune on a floral arrangement to make the table look put together,” says Susie. If you don't have flowers for a big arrangment, “place small groupings of flowers in a few simple glass vases or even reclaimed wood logs that have the centers hollowed out,” Susie adds. “Use what you already own—favorite pitchers, cake stands, bottles, or really anything that can hold a pretty little element on your table.”
Don’t be afraid to mix metals
Gold adds a touch of luxury to your setting, says Susie, and mixing metals is a trend in interiors and fashion, so it’s no problem if you don’t have a big matching set of flatware and serving utensils.
Vary heights to bring the table to life
Floral arrangements and candles of different sizes and heights bring impact to the center of the table. “A scene is more visually appealing when the eye has to travel up and down to take it in,” says Susie. The Walnut Wood Cutting Boards at Cisco Home offer another way to bring height and visual interest to the table when used to serve cheese, antipasti or finger-friendly desserts.
Place cards add instant elegance
“It may sound a bit formal but place cards make your guests feel special, and help to avoid that moment where everybody fumbles about wondering where to sit,” says Susie. You can create nature-inspired place cards by taking a marker or paint brush to pieces of bark or small stones, or to easter eggs.
Don't hold back on votives
You know that candles add ambiance to a dinner table, but most people stop at two or three--don't, says Susie. "Place six or more votives in glass candle holders around the table," she advises. Keep in mind that unscented candles made of beeswax or soy are better for indoor air and your health than standard paraffin wax ones are (paraffin is a petroleum byproduct).
Make dessert part of the décor
From colorful candy to bright fruit tarts, spring desserts are a visual feast, so don’t wait until the end of the meal to place sweets at the center of the table or along the sideboard. “You can use dessert as a centerpiece by placing it on a gorgeous pedestal,” says Susie. No cake plate? “Buy a candlestick and plate from the dollar store and hot glue the plate to the candlestick. Voila!”