Obviously a delicious and beautifully presented meal is crucial for hosting a truly memorable spring dinner party, but it also helps to have table decor that's just as thoughtful. That said, if you're not quite sure how to create a tablescape, this can feel like an intimidating task. Thankfully, you don't have to be an expert to create a setting that will be the talk of your next soirée — you just need a few tips from one.
Enter Jessica Latham, who co-founded curated decor delivery service Social Studies alongside partner Amy Griffin. According to the entertaining pro, setting the perfect table is a skill even the most novice party-throwers can totally master. Yes, it helps to enlist rental services like hers, but there are also a few key details anyone can add that will make it seem like you've been doing this for years, plus make your guests enjoy themselves so much more.
From the flower alternative you never saw coming to the secret weapon that will save you from splurging on a dinner set you'll only use a few times a year, Latham is chock full of tips and tricks. In fact, you'll likely be so impressed by her five best pieces of advice for creating a tablescape that will have your guests gushing that you'll probably start planning for your next bash ASAP. Now you'll just have to worry about what to serve.
Don’t Be Afraid To Try Something New
First things first. Start with an overall scheme, and in doing so, don't be afraid to switch things up from the standard spring cliches. "We all love a classic pastel table, but lately we’ve been mixing pastels and neutrals with bold prints and pops of color," says Latham. "The result is a modern, fresh take on spring."
Swap Flowers For Potted Plants
The aforementioned advice also goes for your centerpieces. "Mix up your traditional floral arrangements and replace or add mini potted plants and herbs," the entertaining expert suggests. "For spring, we’re loving potted blooming bulbs, which double as a take home gift for guests." Pretty genius, honestly.
Serve A Colorful Cocktail
A great tabletop photo isn't complete without a beverage that looks good enough to grab through the screen. "A pop of color in everyone’s glass always looks pretty," says Latham. In addition to the endless options for creative cocktails, wine can create a colorful statement too. "While we love rosé, we recommend trying an of-the-moment orange wine," the expert adds. "The golden hue will feel more modern than pink, and you, the host, will feel cool for knowing."
Incorporate Blankets & Throws
Especially when you're entertaining outdoors, having a throw or blanket as part of your table set-up won't just look chic, but will be something your guests will totally appreciate. "Spring weather is totally unpredictable," says Latham. "Add an assortment of throws to the back of each chair to add some dimension to the overall vibe."
And if all else fails — or if you just don't want to spend money on table decor you won't use more than a few times — don't hesitate to call in the pros. "Not everyone has a springtime china set for 15 handy, and that's okay — it's part of the reason I co-founded Social Studies," Latham explains. An additional perk? Less dishes for you to do, as they'll take care of the dirty work.