tips + tricks for an easy spring table {sale alert}

So we have this nerdy little tradition in our family, where I dress up the table for absolutely no reason at all. And everyone gets really excited.

I’d love to say I wrote this post because I was having a party, because I’m awesome like that …and this was a fabulous soirée at our house. But that would be a vicious lie, because I totally don’t have it together enough right now to have a partay. Earlier this week I wrote a bit about feeling normal and surviving a renovation… even the winter blues or spring fever. And I mentioned baking, but this probably should have been at number one. Dress up your table. Even if it’s “just” for your family. Sometimes we should celebrate the every day.

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I get it. Maybe aintnobodygottimeforthat. And everyone is different. But I’m here to confess because it’s just so much fun, and our kids absolutely adore it. Long ago, I left the idea of saving my fine china (which I don’t even own) for special occasions by the old school housewife wayside. We usually leave said table festivities a bit too long… ’til the chocolate milk is spilled and the flowers have lost their last petal. The table is usually littered with swords and Legos, but every few months I do it right because, well, I can. It’s become this dorky game where I see how long it takes the kids to notice and then they beg me to never take it down. (After all, it’s nice to have my weird habits appreciated.)

diyeasy_spring_tableUpdate: It’s probably old news when I tell you that I’m a total reformed rule follower. This past week our {amazing} La-Z-Boy sofa arrived… only it didn’t work in the living room. So to add to our clothes hanging on the mantel, and beercanmoldpocalypse’14, I decided to overhaul the home school room where our dining room table currently resided. Because it makes perfect sense when you’re already working on three spaces… to add one more to the mix. It’s musical furniture a-la If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, y’all. I can’t wait to show you guys what we’ve been up to, but short story long: the dining room table is now in our kitchen. Our old one was pretty much falling apart, and it’s the perfect fit. I feel like a total rebel because oh-my-goodness-no-dining-room-my-great-grandmother-is-rolling-over-in-her-grave {Read: we never really used it} And it’s so liberating to go all the way with the Mills Academy gig. Teaching has a whole new vibe, and for the first time in forever {cue ear worm} we’re truly using our home.

My point? I’ve often felt really limited with what I could do with our table. I worried over glasses being in the correct spot and all the silverware placed so properly that I realized it was stifling my fun. But news alert: My great grandmother wasn’t coming back from her resting place to chastise me… and no one really cares. I was afraid of breaking a few rules we still cling to from the fifties. So here’s a few tips and tricks I love to use when constructing a fun, easy, relaxed table… whatever the season. And not only for special occasions, but my family, too. Because sometimes we should celebrate… just because.

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Bring on the color

Long ago when searching for the perfect table cloth and finding all of them offensively pricey, I had a total ‘duh’ moment. Embrace the selvedge edge, and purchase some fabric for your table. (I fell in love with this Joel Dewberry Tartan fabric from Online Fabric Store.) When you tire of it for the season, turn it into something else. No need to hem because no one is really looking anyway, and if it gets dirty, you simply throw it in the wash. I cheat by ironing it under a bit after I fold it in half, and everyone is none the wiser. From runners to table cloths and even napkins, it’s a great, affordable way to bring color and festive fun to this spring table.

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Beyond the Expected 

For easy peasy napkin rings, I simply cut little strips of fabric, and placed them around the “napkin” {this time, dish towels from Ikea that lend a vintage feel to the setting} They corral the silverware, and you can join them with an easy dot of self adhesive velcro. It works with any piece of scrap fabric for a fun table. This yellow Braemore fabric (I have a bit of a Braemore obsession) was perfect for the little project. 

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It’s All About the Contrast

If you have lots of fun bright colors, bring in some rustic elements with unexpected touches of wood and baskets for darker tones to ground it all. If you have rustic elements, bring in a touch of metallic for a shimmery glint of fun and touch of sparkle. Think of the same principles with height and varied dish sizes as well. Keep it interesting and casual with simple finds for a one of a kind little gathering spot.

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Update Old Faithful

It doesn’t have to be pricey to be pretty. I’ve had the same plain off-white dishes a-la Walmart’s Better Home and Garden line for years. The glasses you see are also from Walmart. Probably once a year, I venture to Target and grab a few fun melamine updates with funky patterns and colors to brighten it up. So for a few extra dollars, I have a completely new look. Throw in the Izze sodas and everyone in the family is a fan.

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Nature is the Best Decorator 

And I usually grab it from the grocery store and our yard. {Who doesn’t love that excuse to freshen up the house with a few flowers, and pick a little jasmine?} And nothing like fresh fruit on your table  to bring a splash of color and fun. Our kids are currently obsessed with apples, so it’s a double win.

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You Never Know What You Have…

Until you give it a new home. Every time I have a fun table idea, whether it’s for an event or not, I love to mix it up with a little bit of everything. Candle holders for Christmas suddenly become the prettiest vases… and old milk jugs used for colored pencils in my office are the perfect home for a few flowers. I have an affinity for vintage-esque pitchers and they alone can make the coolest addition. You never know what you’ll salvage from perusing your bedrooms, closets and forgotten cabinets.

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Psssst Sale Alert: I’m posting this just in time to let you guys know that Online Fabric Store is having a fun one-day only sale to kick off spring this Tuesday 3.18.14! If you’ve got the itch like we do… now is the perfect time to check it out. {Hashtag likewhiteonrice.} Awesome selections, y’all! Check out all the details, here.

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place_setting_ideasDo you ever dress up the table just because? Or are we the only weirdos out there? You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have, gathered around the table with the family! It’s a tradition we intend to keep for years to come. The mantel may be our closet, and the bathtub is missing, but the table is pretty… and celebrating just for fun, is kind of our favorite.

Have an inspired day!


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15 Responses to tips + tricks for an easy spring table {sale alert}

  1. Adrienne says:

    *swoon* So need to do this! My kids are little, so I don’t usually think of dressing up the table (although we light candles every night with dinner). But I think we would really enjoy it! I love all the color, it makes my heart happy. Also, thanks for the tip about the fabric sale! Score!

    • Thanks Adrienne! Yes! The first time they begged me to keep it was a few years ago when I was actually doing it for a blog post – I thought it would get on their nerves. Now I do it for them, and sometimes snap some pics! They really do love it – it’s so funny. I LOVE that you light candles every night for dinner! The kids were asking me that just last night! I will add that to the list of must-tries. I guess that’s like icing on the fancy table cake. ;}

  2. Denise says:

    So cute and springy!! I love that fabric – does it have orange in it or is that red? I can’t quite tell from my computer screen. Have a great weekend!!

    • Hey Denise! The yellow you see is a bit more of a tangerine kind of tint, and the red is definitely red, but when they meet in the middle it gives an orange vibe. So this fabric has a little bit of everything. I’m in love! I’m thinking bow ties for the boys… and easter treats galore once we clear off the table ;}

  3. I LOVE your table decor posts! So perfect. I am obsessed with those candlesticks (where can I buy them??!? :D) and that wooden bowl- I have one but it can’t sit flat for some reason- now I’m inspired to go home and give it a good sanding!

    Did you stitch the edges of your napkin rings? I’m totally obsessed with them. I am coveting. So brilliant! :) That might be a sewing project even I can do…and I already totally have those vintage-y looking ikea napkins! :)

    • Hey Tania! I actually bought those candle sticks YEARS ago, one of my first real live grown up purchases for our first house. They were originally from pier one. It’s one of those pieces I will always love. I just grow fonder of them with age and I’ve probably owned them for ten years now. Sorry I’m not much help with that one!

      I did not stitch the edges of my napkin rings. Though you certainly could for an extra touch, I was lazy and figured it was good enough as is. ;} If I had guests over, I probably still wouldn’t do it. HA!

      Gotta love Ikea!

  4. stephany says:

    Fun tables!
    What I love the most about this post is how you decided to make your home work for you! I do the same thing…we don’t have an eat in kitchen, but we also don’t use a “formal” dining room…so our dining room has a cute little round table and I call it our un-dining room. It is open to what would normally be a “formal” living room, but it is our playroom/craft room.
    Nothing formal about our house!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    so cute! And is that a new bench on the side of your table? :) can’t wait to see how you are using your old dining area space too! Is it too early to decorate for spring if there’s still snow on the ground? :(

    • Hey Elizabeth! We’ve actually had that bench for a few years now! Maybe it’s just more obvious now that we switched out our table?? ;} I do like it more now!

      And no, it’s not too early. It’s getting me through the renovation over here, and I’m pretty sure renovations are equivalent to an overdose of snow. So I say go for it! ;}

  6. Brittany says:

    I love this! It’s so bright and springy :) Just wondering if you have had to replace any of your BHG dishes? I have the same ones and wasn’t sure if there was anywhere besides ebay I should look :)

  7. Catherine says:

    I do dress up our table occasionally and my son totally gets into it. He is the candlestick master! Really, he loves to have as many on there as he can fit (and I have quite a collection). He ends up taking over and has it looking great. I love that about him. We really have a blast with it. Even if we are just having pizza sometimes.

  8. Kathryn says:

    I love making a pretty table once in awhile. Our big thing is to light all the candles on the table and eat pancakes by candlelight. The kids love it!

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