February Its the time of year, for most of you, where the romance of winter has waned (hard), and the holidays are over. So whats next? Only the fantasy of spring, of course. Im from Oregon (rains from November to April), lived in New York for 10 years (freezing from November til March) so despite living in LA (I dont want to tell you what its like here), I still get it. This post is for those of you who:
A. Are ready to fantasize about your life in brighter, warmer days.
B. Are just realizing that the reason they call it a spring break is because if you dont go on vacation to somewhere that resembles spring soon, you are going to break down and light your puffy, once-cozy sleeping bag coat on fire hoping that it provides much-needed heat. Or maybe
C. Like easy styling hacks and entertaining tips, that involve (faux) flowers, wine, bright colors and a lot of affordable (and durable) Target pieces.
Or if you just like staring at pretty, inappropriately early seasonal photos, keep scrolling we are here for that, too. Whatever your reason, were gonna tackle all of the above:
Embrace the Pastels and Flowers
Its a simple theme that is highly effective at getting the message across. Just when I think Im too cool for pastels (January Emily), I remember that there is truly so much happiness provoked by blues and pinks. Color makes me happy, it just does and often when I try to go chic and too neutral I dont feel the same level of positive energy (but thats just me).
Lets also not forgot the years of my blue and blush craze because its at least temporarily back for spring. There is no shame in my blue and pink game, and we used these colors all over the table, including textiles, plates, flowers.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those melamine floral plates (yes, they are unbreakable!), and plan on snagging the small and large for backyard parties all spring and summer. Plus the contrast of the gingham patterned plates under them is almost too good.
Dont Be Afraid of the Faux Flowers
Heres my advice when it comes to choosing between real and faux flowers (plants or trees) Faux is ultimately less expensive, less mess and lasts longer Its like choosing engineered stone over marble. Sure, we all love the real deal more but real marble is vigilant upkeep. In the end, its a lifestyle choice.
I was hesitant before I saw these blossoms in person because I generally prefer real. I thought wed style them in the background, opting for real on the table. But when no one was looking I put them on the table and we were like oh shoooooot because they looked so pretty. So heres my case for them:
- Spring blossoms are hard to come by, even in March or April, in a lot of the country. We are lucky here in LA, but I realize not everyone wants to go to the flower market at 5am (and they can be really expensive). THESE ARE SO EASY (and look so real).
- They were tall which added drama without taking up much space, but the glass was simple and let table conversations easily happen, not blocking the eye-line.
- They looked really real, were in a soft pretty color palette and their shape was manipulatable. We shaped them into really pretty sculptures on the table.
Stylists are generally against faux anything, but after the ease of faux garland and tree up at the mountain house over the holidays (versus the mess and expense of real), Im going to the dark side when it makes sense for my lifestyle.
They also come on those wreaths, which we simply hung with command strips and made us look like we were professionals (fine we are, but it was easy).
Layering and Mixing Patterns is the Key to Life (and Style)
Most of you who are here are less interested in the fussy and formal, so assuming you are aligned here is what I like to do:
Start with your tablecloth or runner. And heres a good styling hack: We used what you might have thought is a too small tablecloth and put it on an angle, thus exposing the pretty wood underneath (adding texture, warmth, and depth), and showing off the pretty fringe of the tablecloth. I think this is a much more fresh, casual and daytime way to style a cloth and is one of my go-to moves.
Once you have the table cloth set, layer different patterned plates in the same color palette and theme. Or you can simply layer more spring plates on your basic whites for something easy that makes it feel special.
HOT TIP: Layer your napkin in between your plates and let it hang off the table. I realize that there are a million different ways to style the napkin but this is our favorite because it breaks up the line of the table, and doesnt take up more room on the surface.
For the maximum amount of texture and style, bring any pillows outside (or to your dining room table) and pepper them on the chairs. This adds so much warmth, interest, texture, pattern and says we are cozy, casual and fun people who arent afraid to rebel. They do NOT need to match (see below). Just have them be within a cohesive color palette. And dont be afraid to bring in a throw, too. We used square, rectangular, and round pillows and made sure that the patterns didnt compete too much (i.e. putting the large floral near the busier stripe is good).
Honestly, the more the merrier because nothing gets you out of the winter blues faster than brunch food, wine, happy pillows, and throws. Thats why I also love having a seating area zone when I have a gathering. Its another place for your friends to relax instead of clumping in one area (usually the kitchen, am I right?). Plus its another great excuse to bring in more pattern and texture to your overall space. Can I also just give a shout out to those awesome lanterns?? They are so good and the dark color also helps to ground the flowery, pastel textiles.
Ground the Pastels with Wood and Gold
Listen, if everything were white, pink and blue on your table it might be too much (and just not necessary). Use your normal flatware (could be silver, dont worry), and cutting boards to bring in some wood to ground all the colors and pattern. Even a basket of bread would work, and would be more delicious.
Another great way to bring in some wood warmth is a bar cart (which also provides ample wine storage). Its visually awesome, contrasts with the pastel party, and is crazy functional.
As a hardcore fan of the outdoor bar cart, this one from Opalhouse is great and says spring with its woven rattan details. Also, (as I spoke about just a second ago) you want zones so people dont cluster in one area. This bar cart is a perfect zone for your friends to pour themselves a glass of wine. SO functional.
Add a Personalized Moment That Says I Care Even Though It Only Took 2 Minutes
Isnt this name card so cute? And trust me when I say it was so incredibly easy that even Birdie could do it. Except for the fact that her penmanship is terrible and not photoshoot acceptable. Also, this is a great close up of my new favorite plates. This year may be dubbed The Year Emily Henderson Used Floral Prints On Everything because I am into them hard. But back to our little, easy DIY
Heres how we made the name cards:
- We took the dried flowers from Target (yes, at many Targets they sell these!).
- We wrote the name on a real leaf with a white sharpie.
- Tied a flat and simple leaf from the yard to the flower with twine and thats it!
I really want to start doing things like this more when I have small parties because nothing (style-wise) puts a smile on my face faster than thoughtful little details. Plus with this little leaf DIY, it adds an additional texture and pop of color that livens it up even more. Win-win.
What is also a win is when your best friends dog comes over to crash your photoshoot because dogs are truly the best models and everyone loves dogs. Thanks, Boris.
So there you have it. Hopefully, this has taken you out of the winter slump and catapulted you right into spring planning. Cheers to warmer days, outdoor meals, and constant laughter about those freezing temperatures when your sleeping bag coat ruined any outfit you tried to put together. Target has once again nailed it with this spring line and seeing all of these amazing new products makes me a stupid amount of happy. So happy (almost) spring everyone. We are so close. xx
1. Cherry Blossom Wreath| 2. Ceramic Serving Bowl| 3. Oblong Serving Bowl| 4. Traditional White Wine Glasses (set of 4) | 5. Glass Clarte Tumblers (set of 4) | 6. Gingham Dinner Plate| 7. Floral Melamine Large Plate| 8. Globe String Lights| 9. Square Solid Pillow With Fringe| 10. Round Floral Pillow| 11. Compacta Pink Dry Stems| 12.5pc Stainless Steel Izon Mirror Flatware Set Gold| 13. Wood Round Serving Board| 14. 20 pc Unscented Candle Set| 15. Check Table Throw| 16. 11 Stoneware Floral Cake Stand| 17. Flower Petal Bowl| 18. 4pk Napkins Stripe Sour Cream Multi Stripe| 19. 4pk Hearth & Hand Cloth Napkins| 20. Mulberry 2pk Patio Chair| 21. Modern Wood Dining Table| 22. Modern Wood Dining Chair | 23. Cherry Blossom Arrangement| 24. Cylinder Glass Vase| 25. 6oz Porcelain Stripe Ramekin White| 26.Woven Stripe Pillow| 27. Outdoor Lumbar Pillow| 28. Chunky Knit Throw Blanket| 29. Floral Lumbar Pillow | 30. Floral Embroidered Square Pillow| 31. Faux Concrete Indoor/Outdoor Accent Table| 32.Britanna Patio Bar Cart Natural| 33. Small Metal Outdoor Lantern | 34.Metal Outdoor Lantern | 35. Fernhill Metal Patio Loveseat Linen
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