2019 Update: As of January 2019, Vanco Farm mentioned in this posting is no longer operating its tulip retail outlet at their greenhouse operation in Mount Albion, PEI. Their fabulous tulips are still available, though, at various locations throughout PEI, including major supermarkets and florist shops.
Living in Atlantic Canada, it’s not unheard of to still have snow in April. That’s one reason why I like to use springtime elements in my tablesettings beginning as early as possible – if I can’t see spring outside, I can at least create a spring zone in my dining room which is what I’ve done with this tablesetting.
I love paying a visit to the retail outlet at Vanco Farm greenhouses in Mount Albion, PEI, a short drive from Charlottetown. They grow fabulous tulips all winter long in their big greenhouses. If you haven’t already read the story I wrote about Vanco’s tulip-growing operation, click here.
Sometimes, I have a particular color scheme in mind when I make the drive to Vanco’s. Other times, however, I go with an open mind in search of a color or type of tulip that will inspire my creativity in developing a tablescape. This is what occurred with this tablesetting.
When I arrived at the greenhouses, they had these spectacular double flowered tulips in a coral pink shade with a soft ivory/pale yellow edge. They resemble peonies because they are packed with layers of petals. They were too delightful to pass up so they became the focal point of this Easter tablesetting and inspired the color theme.
If you are a regular reader of my food blog, you will recall that I sometimes like to corral the elements of my tablescape into a container such as a basket or tray. This keeps the table clean and nondistracting. This is also a good choice if you plan on removing the centerpiece from the table during the meal and replacing it with a ham or turkey on a platter. It’s much easier to pick up one container off the table than several individual items.
What I have used today for the base of the centerpiece is actually a silver mirrored bathroom vanity tray — I’m a big fan of repurposing items I have around the house.
To keep the focus on the flowers, I have used a white milk glass vase. This conceals all the tulip stems so they are not competing for the eye’s attention and the colorful tulip blooms just pop above the white vase. The plain white vase also coordinates well with the dinnerware.
To add some interest to the centerpiece, I’ve also placed a bird’s nest on a small companion piece of white milk glass and added a small Easter figurine. Adding elements that connect and enhance each other is a trademark of effective tablescape creations.
The little bunnies, like the one in the photo below, are actually egg cups but I use them to hold decorative eggs, small chocolate bars, or even flowers in tablesettings other than those prepared for breakfast.
If desired, add some colorful Easter eggs casually strewn about the table to complete the seasonal tablescape.
If you can only afford one set of dinnerware, I recommend buying plain white in the best quality you can afford. White is so completely versatile. I maintain you can’t set a poor looking table if you go with white dishes! There are so many styles, shapes, textures, and colors of white dinnerware. There are blue whites, grey whites, beige whites, and brilliant whites. I have three sets of white dishes and none of them are the same shade or made of the same material. The ones in this tablesetting are made of porcelain and are a contemporary design.
With white dinnerware, it can be paired with solid or patterned colors for table linens and the look is easily changed completely, sometimes by simply switching up the charger plates. And, the best part of white dishes is that food looks really appetizing against the white background. In today’s setting, I have used basic pale pink/mauve charger plates to frame each placesetting and to give the air of a well set table.
For glassware, I have chosen some pieces of cut glass to add some sparkle to the table.
I rarely use paper napkins in a tablesetting. However, these matched perfectly so I used them for that reason and also because they are stiff enough to be able to stand in the design I have chosen for them. Cloth napkins, particularly my large dinner napkins, would have been unlikely to have had the same effect.
Because this is a casual tablesetting, I have opted to place the mugs atop the plates, allowing them to form a leaning post for the napkins. This gives a great pop of color to the white placesettings and also keeps each placesetting clean and simple. This is a casual tablesetting so it works. I would not, however, choose this arrangement if I was setting a very formal table.
The only table linen I have chosen to use in this setting is a short runner made of handmade Belgian lace that I brought home from a visit to Bruges. Using minimal linen on the table keeps the look airy and casual.
For other Easter and springtime tablescape inspiration, click on the links below:
Tulip Clusters Springtime Tablescape
Tip Toe Through the Tulips Easter Tablesetting
Springtime Yellow Tablescape
Peter Cottontail Tablesetting for Easter
A Casual Tablescape for Easter Brunch