Setting a table for St. Patrick’s Day is the best way to kick off spring (or at least puts me in the right state of mind!). For the NoraMurphyCountryHouse.com spring issue (due out on-line early next week), we’ve been buzzing around in overdrive.

For photography, I set two distinct tables for spring entertaining – one, a brunch for ten, and the other as a more intimate gathering for four. The cozy gathering feels like St. Patrick’s Day to me. There’s nothing gimmicky about it. It’s all about honest parts, including Irish daffodils, and of course, a touch of green!

Here are some tips in creating your own springtime table:

  • Forgo the usual table linens. If you’ve got a wood table – show it off by using woven grass mats. There’s something very earthy about using these as your place setting’s foundation. I can never resist a stack of dishcloths that look like vintage cotton or linen towels! And when I find them with fringe or tassels – it’s a slam-dunk. I’ll keep digging until I’ve bought up all I can find!
  • Layer white dishes and bowls – varying sizes and forms. My larger plates (dinner and salad) are new finds from Home Goods, and the little ironstone cabbage bowls (perfect for a big ladle of soup) are estate sale treasures. Love them together!
  • Mix up the flatware. Here too, it’s all about mixing new with old. The wooden handled knives are French steak knives from Forge de Laguiole. The wooden handled forks are mid-late nineteenth century flea market finds (love the metal inlay).
  • Enhance each place setting by varying the glassware. French stemmed water glasses are by La Rochere, and the green-rimmed bubbled glasses are hand-blown in India.
  • Arrange and pot-up daffodils. By showcasing this simple flower in two distinct ways adds more interest to the table, as well as a springtime garden vibe. Small tin buckets from the dollar store are perfect for cut stems as well as a small plant.
  • Garnish the simple. Elevate a batch of scones on a footed cake plate and simply decorate with a long sprig of rosemary. Any herb will do!

Make a feast for the eyes an integral part of a special gathering…and enjoy!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Love, Nora

  • Beautiful, Nora! So fresh and pretty! St. Patrick’s Day was a complete debacle at our house, so I’m filing away your excellent tips for next year!

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