So you said yes to hosting everyone for Easter but with just days to go, things aren’t looking like that Instagram image in your head. Fear not, we’ve asked London’s queens of tablescaping to share their tips for creating a visual masterpiece that will have all your guests in awe — even the kids.
The fancy family Easter
Designer: Issy Granger
“First things first: choose a colour scheme,” says London-based homeware designer Issy Granger. “Pastels are naturally popular for Easter but I love adding bright and bold hues. You can bring colours to your table through glassware, ceramics, candles and decoration.”
Then there’s the very serious business of table linen. “Start with a beautiful linen tablecloth that fits in with your theme, then add matching napkins for each place setting,” says Granger. Get the kids involved with painting eggs and arranging flowers.
Don’t forget a few touches like personalised napkins or bows at every place for extra brownie points. “Remember to enjoy it,” she adds. “It will all work out in the end!”
The Easter with friends
Designer: Kirthanaa Naidu
Celebrating Easter with friends shouldn’t mean a table filled with kitschy bunny-themed tat that you’ll never use again, says stylist and Malaysian supperclub chef Kirthanaa Naidu, whose pared-back tablescaping creations during lockdown amassed a big social media following. “Focus on what’s in season, you can stock up on affordable things like daffodils in different varieties. I’m a big fan of reusable flower frogs, you stick them in the bottom of a bowl and they help to create beautiful centrepieces really easily.”
While a fresh and light colour scheme is her go-to, Easter doesn’t mean we have to shy away from dark shades. “A brown tablecloth with a touch of pistachio green running through it and colourful and bright flowers can create a striking and beautiful contrast.” She’s big on organically-styled tables and suggests natural beeswax candles to accompany foraged blossom stems. “I think keeping it simple is key. A tablescape never has to be over the top, if you are just hosting some friends don’t stress too much. Use what you have, it will work.”
Her top tip for prepping is to get yourself organised. “Do your table the night before. It saves on-the-day stress so you can focus on the cooking.”
And don’t obsess over getting Insta-perfect pictures before everyone sits down. “Some of my favourite tablescaping shots are taken midway through a lunch or dinner or even after, it shows that someone has had a good meal and it captures something beautiful, even more special than a table that no one enjoyed.”
The all-girls Easter
Designer: Whinnie Williams and Kierra Campbell, founders at Poodle & Blonde
With all the girlfriends around for Easter lunch you’ll be manic so all the more reason to get thinking about your table now, says Whinnie.
“A centrepiece is a good place to start — it can be easy and fun to do, get creative and go wild,” says Whinnie. “I like to add spring flowers into a large low tray, add twigs from the garden, and a bag of straw to give it a messy rustic edge. Teamed with beautiful plates (like our Tottenham Dalmation set) and cutlery, you can make it feel chic,” she adds.
You don’t need to spend a lot. Look at your own garden or a local park and foraging fallen branches “pop in a vase to hang little decorations or ribbons on,” says Whinnie. If you want to jazz up your Easter decor game, look up ‘napkin rabbit ears’ and get your hands on some hessian sacks. “Use these as table runners or cut into tablemats and add raffia string to tie around cutlery.” If you’re feeling particularly creative, try egg blowing (aka emptying out the contents without breaking the shells so you can decorate) and then writing guests names on them to use as place cards. “Even dust sheets make a wonderful base for a tablecloth and you can even paint little easter motifs on,” says Whinnie.
The Easter for two
Designer: Alice and Jemima Herbert from Lay London
There might just be the two of you around the table this Easter but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it look like an Instagram sensation, according to Alice and Jemima Herbert, founders of event styling brand Lay London. “Invest in a wow-factor tablecloth. We love a bold print and always say: more is more. A joyful, patterned base such as a chintz or pastel stripes for a springtime table means you can’t go too wrong.”
Flowers are as important as the food. “The spring scents of narcissus and hyacinths are perfect. Potted herbs or lavender will also add a seasonal feel, presented in wicker baskets or terracotta pots for a natural, garden look,” suggests Jemima.
You’ll want some pastel candlesticks for height and feel free to “go mad for eggs,” Alice says. “You can buy pretty pale blue hen’s eggs in some supermarkets, speckled quail’s eggs too, and coloured foil chocolate eggs in all shops. Go for different colours and sizes.”
With Sunday’s weather looking like it might stay dry you could even go outside. “Play music, open some champagne or blend fresh peach bellinis to enjoy before you sit down,” adds Jemima.