Are you hosting an Easter, Passover or other important celebration at home this spring?
Elegant and pretty touches in your centerpiece, china, glasses, napkins, tablecloths and dining table will delight your guests and present a fun and creative challenge for you and your family.
Can you imagine the fun of creating the lovely Easter centerpiece below, perhaps with help from one of your children or grandchildren?
An idea from Midwest Living magazine, here’s how to create this festive decoration: Place a tall drinking glass in the middle of a wide-mouthed jar. Carefully stack colored eggs in the space between the outside of the glass and the wall of the jar. Then fill the glass with water and your favorite spring flowers!
You might think bone china and porcelain are too fragile for family celebrations, but they’re actually stronger than ceramic, stoneware or earthenware. And if china does chip, it’s much less noticeable, so it looks nice a lot longer.
If your guest list exceeds your wedding china, dishes don’t have to match. You can mix pieces with solid colors, simple patterns and elaborate patterns to make up your unique place settings. All they need is a color ot two in common.
For example, my dinner service is Royal Worcester (thanks, Mom!) with a border of purple blackberries and celadon green leaves.
Antique soup bowls from my mother-in-law have a tiny sprigged floral border in soft green, violet and gold. Under the bowls I use a luncheon plate with a modern spray of flowers in celadon green and gold leaf. I have solid-color, quilted placemats in soft green and deep purple from some inexpensive online store.
If you run out of pieces, just alternate plate patterns from one place setting to the next. If one setting has a colorful dinner plate, use a plainer salad or dessert plate with it and vice versa so the tablescape is visually balanced.
You’ll get a lively look when you use colored glass goblets for water plus the expert-preferred clear glass for wine.
Placecards feel fancy, and kids love them. For Easter, I dye eggs each diner’s favorite color and then write his or her name on it in gold or silver metallic pen, and place them above each plate with a bit of faux Easter grass and a few colorful jellybeans.
If you hate to iron, good news: permanent-press tablecloths are usually cheaper. I like quilted cotton blend placemats best of all because you can switch them out if there’s a mishap.
Successful entertaining is a balance between fussing enough to let guests and family feel special, but not so much that the atmosphere is stressful. Plan as much as you can ahead of time, like what food will be served in what dish.
Dining rooms tend to be pretty wood-y, so create some fresh variety with pieces in a couple of different designs in different finishes.
If you don’t have room for a buffet and china cabinet arrangement, a server like this Sanctuary mirrored console gives you plenty of space to set up drinks, appetizers, dessert and coffee service, and it’s an artful design and real focal point.
Most important, take a moment during your holiday celebrations to enjoy your blessings, starting with family, friends and spring!