PHOTOGRAPHY BY Christina Hussey
The season for outdoor entertaining is here, and the Spring Issue of Peachy the Magazine is oozing with inspiration for your next Pinterest-worthy tablescape.
We recently sat down with Cindy Smith, CIRCA owner and designer – and the architect of our magnificent spring spread – to ask her top tips for crafting the perfect table.
Here’s what she said:
This is a must for styling a show-stopping tablescape. Have a plan and make sure you have table essentials like glassware, utensils, napkins, and candlesticks cleaned, organized, and easily accessible so they’re ready when you need them.
Keep it simple
This starts with your menu. Not every course needs to be difficult to prepare or present. Pick one star of the show – Cindy recommends either the main course or dessert – to present with a bit of flare.
Let the season inspire you
Cindy used the mood and hues of spring to inspire our tablescape, which showed up in elements such as colorful glassware, gauzy linens, and peach and lavender flowers.
The season can even lend itself to a nontraditional centerpiece. For example, artfully arranged cheeses and seasonal fruits and vegetables make great focal points year-round.
Consider food presentation
Even takeout can present beautifully with a touch of special detail. Cindy says you can easily dress up store-bought ice cream, for example, by serving it in a beautiful bowl topped with a sprig of green or a flower.
And don’t be afraid to use function pieces to add a bit of personality and flare to your table. A large cutting board, for example, makes an excellent palette on which to present steak or chicken framed by herbs. Instead of a bowl, try a low platter to show off salads and greens.
If you’re passionate about entertaining, Cindy suggests investing in platters, pottery and bowls that complement each other so you can mix and match for a different presentation each time.
Plan your lighting
A chandelier on a dimmer is usually a given, but plan to complement overhead lighting with more flattering candlelight. If your table is round, sprinkle low votives across your tablescape. If you’re working with a table that’s rectangular, arrange your votives in a long, straight line. Then, add mid-level lighting with candlesticks or chunky candles of various sizes.
Play with levels
Lighting isn’t the only element of your tablescape where you can play with levels. Consider using a tiered serving piece as an eye-catching feature that doubles as a way to present foods such as cheeses or grapes.
Incorporate seasonal flowers
No Peachy table is complete without at least one arrangement of seasonal flowers. Head to your garden, farmers market, or grocery store for an assortment of textures and greens. Use a variety of glasses and mass colors of flowers like tulips or lilies together for greater impact.
A white plate can be beautiful – but it’s also basic, so think of it as your starting point. No matter what you’re serving, add at least a little pop of color with cutting boards, baskets or other table details that play to the occasion. These small gestures can stand out in a big way for guests.
Cindy says the biggest entertaining mistake you can make is forgetting to have fun. Be prepared. Start small. Keep it simple. Work with what’s in-season. And above all else, remember entertaining is about enjoying time together.
And that’s something we’re all looking forward to doing more of in 2021.
Want to shop the glassware, candles, and other items featured in the Entertaining tablescape in our Spring Issue? Visit CIRCA online or in-person in Charlotte, N.C., or Birmingham, Ala.