You know what’s exciting about spring? It’s bright young leaves, colorful blossoms, an infusion of fresh market ingredients. It’s eating outside in the sunshine even if the air is still chilly. Or, finding ways to bring those vernal outdoor colors to your indoor table. Springtime begins an introduction to the infusion of color that carries through summer and into fall. On the dining table, there’s no better way to introduce the season’s verdant motif than with dinnerware in a delightful mix of colors, patterns and textures.
Visual Merchandising Director Tommy Tran is here to shore you up for spring. With his expert tips, you can mix and match each element of your setting into a central theme that brings the whole table together. Pair your dinnerware at home with a few new numbers from our brand-new collections—or go all-in on something new, because why not? Here’s Tommy’s strategy on how to pull it off:
1. Use Color as an Anchor
“Anchor your table setting with a color story that can extend to your linens,” says Tommy. “Pull the pattern, color and texture all the way through.” The soft pastel hues and floral theme of Famille Rose dinnerware are the central design threads that tie the different patterns and colors together on the table. Linens in corresponding pastels reinforce the color story.
These beautiful Michelle Kim plates are a study in blue floral print. Introduce a solid rustic melamine plate in a complimentary turquoise hue to the setting and color rather than pattern becomes the central theme.
2. Use Print to Pull it All Together
Alternatively, says Tommy, “use a print pattern as your anchor that has all the colors that tie it together.” Consider Sicily, shown here. Its quartet of red, yellow, blue and green “can help bring in a lot of other pieces,” says Tommy.
3. Try a Monochrome Mix
Love the look of monochrome? It can work, says Tommy, and it doesn’t all have to be from the same line! Consider one color in different textures, such as the different patterns of French white porcelain, or different hues of the same color. (“White and ivories can be especially pretty,” he says.) So consider solid-white French porcelain, which has “a crisp punch” or perhaps blue, such as Cyprus. You can also stay within the same tonal family, he suggests, for the most cohesive look on the table.
4. Bring in Texture
How to get texture on the table? Use an unusual charger, such as a black woven one, or a napkin ring. “Texture and natural materials can give a table setting a very organic feel,” says Tommy. “Try mixing Michelle Kim with rustic melamine,” for example,” and “bring an organic feel all the way through the charger.”
5. Consider the Occasion
“What’s the occasion?” asks Tommy. “Go light and bright during the daytime,” he suggests. “Famille Rose is perfect for a daytime tea and dessert or (of course!) for Easter. For an evening event, he suggests “dark and moody” and bringing in a metallic element in your choice of dinnerware pattern or flatware for a more elegant occasion. And if you’re outside, swap the porcelain for melamine and DuraClear® glassware.
6. Mix Up Your Glassware
Glassware is the ideal thing to not have all matchy-matchy, says Tommy. “Feel free to bring in a casual tumbler and mix it with your stemware. The angular shape of a tumbler can bring some modernity to your place setting.”
7. Dress Up or Dress Down with Flatware
“Use flatware to dress it up or dress it down,” says Tommy. “A mirrored finish or polished nickel will dress it up, while a matte finish in brass or black will bring in a contemporary feel.” Brass Fortessa Arezzo flatware elevates this Honeycomb place setting and complements the gold trim around the plates. Place the plate on a black wood charger with chrome or brushed black flatware and the setting takes on a more modern appeal.
With a little attention to detail, guests will feel like they’re dining at a favorite restaurant. That’s what great dinnerware can do for an occasion. Tommy loves combos like a white woven charger with rustic melamine and Michelle Kim, a scalloped blue charger with blue cyprus and printemps blue, or different colors of plates from the Famille Rose collection mixed up on the table.
Tweak to your own delight! It’s off to the races once you have a color scheme or favorite pattern. Now: go!