Spring It On With a New-Meets-Old Table Setting

Kicky colors, mix-and-match vintage place settings and an abundance of blooms bring the beauty of spring to your dining table. 

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: Liz Gray

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

The More, the Merrier

With flowers so readily available in spring, a single centerpiece won't do. Brighten up the center of your table with a grouping of small vintage pieces, like a sugar bowl and creamer, old apothecary bottles or punch cups, filled with an abundance of sweet smelling blooms.  

Mix It Up

Mix-and-match place settings aren't just super trendy, they're also the easiest way to display your favorite hand-me-down pieces — especially if you only inherited a few dishes from a particular set. 

Pair Patterns Like a Pro

One rule to keep in mind when mixing disparate dishware patterns is to pair pieces with a consistent color or motif. For instance, this lovely place setting feels cohesive thanks to the pink palette and repeat of roses.

Secrets of a Savvy Shopper

Of course, if you weren't lucky enough to inherit a china cabinet-load of charming vintage dishes, you can always buy them. In my experience, estate sales are far and away the best place to score vintage dishware. Orphaned plates, glasses and teacups are especially good buys (often less than a dollar each) but complete sets are also a steal. Bonus: Many estate sale companies dramatically discount remaining items on the last day so, if you're a gambler, you may be able to pick up a complete set of the fine china you wish you'd inherited for a song.  

Place Setting 101

For most get-togethers, basic utensils (fork, spoon and knife) will suffice. One trick to keep in mind when placing the flatware: knife and spoon have 5 letters so they go on the right (also 5 letters), fork has 4 letters as does left. 

Bring On the Bubbly

What would a celebration be without a sparkling sip? Fill each guest's glass with a sparkling wine, like Champagne (French), Cava (Spanish) or Prosecco (Italian). Have a bottle of sparkling cider or juice handy so kids and non-drinkers can also enjoy a bit of the bubbly.

And, Bring On the Blooms

Top each place setting with a vintage teacup, punch cup or small bowl filled with a mini bouquet, or nosegay, of flowers and greenery. 

Nosegay, You Say?

Nosegay is just a fun name for a mini floral arrangement. Like a larger centerpiece, be sure to cut the plants' stems on an angle (to allow the stem to more easily draw up water), add floral preservative and remove all greenery below the water line to deter rot.    

Mix Glassware, Too

A spring dinner party is the perfect time to break out your favorite glassware. For our table setting, we used a mix of vintage silver-rimmed wine goblets and new Moroccan-inspired water glasses. 

Add Pattern With Pretty Paper

Wallpaper isn't just the trendiest thing to come along in wallcoverings, it's also a great way to add a pretty pattern to any table setting. No leftover rolls lying around? No worries — for a budget-friendly swap, sub in a roll of colorful wrapping paper. Just unroll it down the center of the table in place of a traditional fabric table runner. 

Pop In Some Citrus

Add a lemon slice to each water glass to for a bright pop of yellow and a clean, citrusy scent.

Help Guests Get Cozy

Ensure that guests can sit a spell by softening straightback dining chairs with a cozy pillow or throw. 

Add a Little Character

These porcelain songbird salt and pepper shakers may be more than 70 years old, but they're just as adorable now as they were when they graced their first dining table. 

And, a Sweet Finishing Touch

Cakes aren't just delicious, they're also an easy way to add a colorful touch to your tablesetting. Bonus: No fancy cake-decorating skills are necessary — easily dress up a homemade or storebought goodie with a few colorful citrus slices.  

Celebrate Spring In Style

Now that your table is oh-so beautifully set, invite friends and family to take a seat and toast spring in style.