Set the Table for an Elegant Sunday Brunch

You don't need a large dining room or 12 place settings of china to host brunch for friends. See how designer Caitlin McCarthy sets her table for an elegant brunch using the space, dishes and furniture she already has.
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If there's one thing I need more of in my life, it's definitely brunch. While hitting the town for some boozy beverages and carb-loaded comfort food is always a good time, sometimes it's nice to change things up by hosting your own brunch. I was looking for some tablescape inspiration (because like any true Southern gal who entertains, I take my table settings seriously), when I remembered a beautiful yet casual brunch setting created by the 2015 HGTV Fresh Faces of Design winner, Caitlin McCarthy.

The best part of this setup is that it’s elegant while managing to be casual and easy to pull together at the last minute. Let's take a look at how she does it!

Galley Kitchen With Pendant Lights and Exposed Brick

Galley Kitchen With Pendant Lights and Exposed Brick

This galley kitchen connects two ends of the apartment, and in doing so, remains flawlessly neutral and unadorned. A small patch of exposed brick adds character and texture to the small space.

Photo by: Jessie Webster

Jessie Webster

Caitlin's "dining area" is located in a pass-through between the kitchen and bedroom of her 725-square-foot loft, proving you can put a dining table just about anywhere! The loft is located in a 100-year-old former office building, and the dining spot was once a bathroom. (The original tile floor still in tact!)

Upcycled Dining Table With Mismatched Chairs

Upcycled Dining Table With Mismatched Chairs

Caitlin set a garden trellis on a table base and topped it with glass to create her dining table. Rather than opting for perfectly matched chairs, she collected a variety of chairs she loved in various styles and colors. This look can work whether the mismatched look is intentional or not, which means it’s easy to accommodate as many friends at brunch as you can given your space and number of chairs.

Spring Brunch Table Setting With Grapefruit

Spring Brunch Table Setting With Grapefruit

I absolutely love this table setting. It’s another example of how items don’t have to match one another, as long as they complement each other. The brassy flatwear adds a touch of bling to the setup.

Grapefruit Brunch Cocktail Drink Station

Grapefruit Brunch Cocktail Drink Station

Apart from the existing elements of the space, the decor for this brunch spread is simple: A few in-season blooms and carafes with colorful grapefruit cocktails that add a simple punch of spring-like color in addition to flavor.

Bar Cart With Cocktail Ingredients and Candy

Bar Cart With Cocktail Ingredients and Candy

Rather taking up space with a fully stocked bar, Caitlin keeps the makings of her favorite beverages and a dish with candies in colors that match the decor on a small bar cart near her entryway.

Antique Tea Set

Antique Tea Set

An antique silver tea service is sentimental and adds a touch of classic elegance, and you can use it to serve non-alcoholic options to your guests.

Grapefruit Brunch Cocktail

Grapefruit Brunch Cocktail

Who's ready for brunch? Cheers!

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Buffet Brunch

Brunch is a grown-up way to relax tradition and mix delicious foods that might not typically be served together. Start by setting up a buffet in your most light-filled room. Pick a favorite color scheme, like lilac, and lay out a pretty linen tablecloth, napkins, white dishes and juices, like orange and cranberry.

Creative Silverware Display

Serve up silverware in a festive container. Start with rectangular card-stock containers and cut scrapbook paper to fit around the holder. Adhere the paper with double-sided tape, and decorate with self-adhesive crystal embellishments. Use letter stickers to spell out fun sayings.

Simple Place Settings

Create pretty folded napkins with pockets to hold a flower blossom and place card. Start by folding the napkin in half from top to bottom, and then fold the bottom up to the top. Take the top layer and fold it down about an inch. Fold the napkin into thirds by folding each side under to create the pocket on top. Place the flower stem in the pocket.

Bellini Bar

Set up a Bellini bar with fresh fruits, champagne and bottles of fruit purees. Make your own purees or purchase them in the ice cream section of the grocery store. Fill one third of a glass with the puree; try orange, peach or raspberry. Add two thirds of chilled champagne or sparkling wine, and serve immediately.

One-Dish Meal

Frittata is the perfect one-dish meal and can be served warm or at room temperature. Serve it sliced on a platter or whole in a pretty pie plate.

Blueberry Scones

Homemade blueberry scones are always a crowd favorite. Display in a basket or casserole dish that's been lined with a linen in your chosen color.

Mini Fruit Tarts

With store-bought ingredients, mini fruit tarts are easy to make, but look like they came from a pastry chef. Start with mini pastry tart shells and fill with your favorite vanilla pudding. Cut up an assortment of fruit and arrange on top of each tart. Heat apricot jam in the microwave for a few seconds and use a pastry brush to brush the jam on top of the fruit.

Elegant Dessert

Cream puffs displayed in wineglasses make for a very tempting presentation. Use store-bought cream puffs and dip one cream puff per serving in chocolate. Place two or three cream puffs in each wine glass and then top with a chocolate-dipped one.

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