Mother's Day lunch tabletop
Fresh flowers Flowers bring a tabletop to life, and often the simpler the arrangement, the better. A jug of seasonal flowers makes any table more inviting and 'dressed up'. If the flowers and scented, remove them before you sit down to eat, and keep displays low so guests can talk across the table.
Choose your own cutlery Help-yourself elements on a table create an easy atmosphere at a relaxed family lunch. Instead of laying out the cutlery/flatware at each place setting, stash it in a decorative jug or bowl, or pile it on napkins at the end of the table so that guests can help themselves to whatever they need.
Single blooms If you have any snapped-off flowerheads, use them as decoration. Just a single bloom wired to the bottom of a glass will make a perfect finishing touch.
Unique place holders Rather than sticking to standard place cards, think of innovative ways to indicate where guests should sit, such as a pretty ribbon and ornamental wired butterfly tied to the back of the chair with the guest's name on it.
Pretty presents Finish off a giftwrapped parcel with a leftover length of vintage braid or antique lace. Thoughtful finishing touches like this are always a nice surprise for Mom.
Mother's Day lunch essentials
Feminine details No matter the food you are serving for Mother's Day lunch, make the table girly. This occasion provides the perfect excuse for indulging in frills and femininity. Florals, butterflies and bows would all work here, so dust down your granny's scallop-edged china, bring out some shapely glassware and, above all, think pretty.
Simple background To prevent the overall effect from becoming too sweet, keep the background simple. Use a plain white cloth or leave the table bare or topped with a simple runner.
Neutral colour palette Keep the colour scheme light and bright. Whites, pale pastels and soft neutrals work well together and will not only make the tabletop look fresh and inviting, but provide the perfect backdrop for the decorative dinnerware and flowers.
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Excerpted from Table Style by Liz Belton & Rebecca Tanqueray, photography by Debi Treloar. Copyright 2010 by Ryland Peters and Small. Excerpted with permission by Ryland Peters and Small. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.