We’ve all seen them: those impossibly lush tablescapes that seem to require their own budget and production department. But what if we told you that the keys to creating an inspiring spring fête are already in your possession?
“We are all collectors of something, and we use those elements to define who we are in our home décor," say Bryce Vann Brock and Kelly Revels, owners of the mixed use landscape design, event venue, and market space , on Georgia’s St. Simons Island. The table is no exception.
For a recent garden club luncheon, the duo turned to an unlikely source — their vast collection of coffee table books — to inform the theme, palette, and menu. “In our house, we have mostly garden books so we drew from all the greens on the covers,” says Vann Brock. Using the books themselves as a base, the duo built stacks of varying sizes to break up the table. “The height is great because different levels give interest and keep the overall design from looking flat,” says Revels.
White ceramic vessels add contrasting texture that subtly elevates the rustic wood table; they were arranged atop and around each stack and filled with monochromatic spring blooms, including ranunculus, roses, lisianthus, and orchids.
“We chose these flowers for the clean and fresh look they evoke—not too fussy, but elegant enough to impress the ladies who lunch,” says Revels. Greenery such as eucalyptus leaves, privet berries, and pieris relate to the virescent forms on each book cover.
But perhaps the most unexpected addition to the table is the bountiful display of fresh citrus — an element chosen for both its versatility and its economy. While the limes hew to the green palette, lemons, kumquats, and grapefruits open it up to more vibrant colors. Pink hues in the grapefruit rind in particular, invite the playful use of coral in the metal seating and in the subtle trim on the Dot and Army napkins. Whimsical woodland portraits on dishes by Au Bain Marie as well as flatware from Revels and Vann Brocks personal collections complete the polished yet approachable scene.
“Our vibe has always been more of a comfortable elegance so that really reads through our design,” says Revels. “I would never want a guest of mine to feel uncomfortable because of an overly formal table.” Adds Van Brock, “But that doesn't mean it can’t be beautiful at the same time. Incorporating personal touches and beautiful flowers will always be appreciated, no matter the setting.”
And the beauty of this one is that is can be customized and personalized in infinite ways. Adjust the fruit and floral palette for the season (gourds and pumpkin vines in fall, oranges, cedar, and cinnamon sticks in winter), swap in fashion for garden books, or riff on something you love. “For example, my husband collects antique duck decoys, and we used them on our table at Thanksgiving,” says Revels. “I totally forgot to bring home flowers so I cut greens from my yard, picked up a few pine cones, and added in the antique decoys. It was a total hit.”
And when all else fails, make sure you’ve got a fun takeaway for your guests. At the end of this luncheon, guests were invited to bring some of the low-key ambiance home with them thanks to small bouquets placed at each setting.