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Never Too Young To Tablescape

Never Too Young to Tablescape


Twice a month on Saturday mornings, my 6-year-old great-granddaughter, Rylan, stays with me while her daddy joins other vibrant 30-year-olds for a 90-minute mindful yoga class. Spending time together creates a lovely bond that I treasure.

One of our favorite activities is scouring the internet looking for free downloadable coloring images from her favorite My Little Pony characters. Other times, she prefers mermaid images. She stands next to my desk and as I load up the images, she points to the ones she’d like to color telling me to scroll up or down, left, or right to capture just the one she wants. Other times we’ll work on some sort of craft or watch Netflix kiddie shows. But, for the most part, she loves grabbing sweet snacks from the “Grammy goodie bag” like mini Oreos® or fruit roll-ups.

Rylan with her two birds

That being said, what truly astonishes me about Rylan’s visits is her genuine enthusiasm for examining my latest designs. As she touches every item I’ve placed, it brings a wide grin to my face, reminding me that one is never too young to cultivate a fascination with tablescaping.

For spring, I’ve chosen to showcase items that symbolize new life and fresh beginnings. Springtime heralds the gradual increase in daylight, longer days, and the opportunity to stretch our legs and revel in pleasant outdoor activities.

Now, from every window in my home, I’m serenaded by the melodic chirping of various mother birds as they diligently tend to their first clutch of eggs. Along with the sounds of spring, there is the fragrance of new blossoms filling the air. These sights, sounds, and scents have inspired a fresh bird-themed tablescape, evoking the essence of spring.

Here’s how it all came together. First, I happened to see a set of bird salt and pepper shakers that grabbed my attention on the Hobby Lobby website. Having no idea how I would proceed, upon arrival, I set them on the dining room table and waited for inspiration to take over. While I waited, Rylan had fun playing with them so I knew this bird-themed table would meet her expectations.

Finding plates with a bird theme took quite a bit of online searching. With great relief, I found the perfect “Nature’s Song” salad plates from the Wayfair site. They also had a set of four matching canapé plates that I would use as bread plates. The white dinner plates and wood-themed chargers were mine from another tablescape and worked dreamily with the new plates. With the place settings finalized I felt like I had a very strong start and was excited and ready to spend time creating the centerpiece.

Attractive LED-lighted eucalyptus branches (also from Wayfair) served as the groundwork of my centerpiece. With their silvery-green leaves, crafted of fabric and realistic veining detail, they brought the look of nature to the table and served as the backdrop for my birdhouse.

Combing the internet for a birdhouse landed me at Home Depot. They had just the right look I wanted: Something nature-looking and tall enough to bring height to the centerpiece. However, once I placed the birdhouse on the table, it appeared a bit dwarfed. With a little more online searching I found a decorative rustic tray riser stand on Amazon. Now my vision for this bird-themed table was really coming together.

With the place settings done and the centerpiece finished it was time to add the final touches to meet my expectations. Small birds’ nests would be the footing for my flickering pillar candles. Artificial feathered birds were clipped onto the eucalyptus branches. The colorful assorted foam birds added brightness to the birdhouse, which of course, thrilled Rylan. All the LED pillar candles had timers (which I love).

One by one and bit by bit, the added final touch items brought the completion of this rite of spring table.

Spring weather being unpredictable, I set this tablescape both for indoor and outdoor dining. Setting the patio scene outdoors provided a backdrop of blue skies with puffy white clouds and patio umbrellas which lightened the table look. Setting the table for indoor dining, the use of flickering candles brings a cozy warmth. When the early spring evenings likely being a bit chilly, a feeling of warmth could be needed.

Serving colorful ratatouille seemed like a delicious choice for both the indoor & outdoor tables. It crossed my mind that chicken seemed a bit awkward and just not right for a bird-themed table. I found a wonderful recipe that seemed easy enough to prepare and looked lovely for a company or a special family celebration. Here is the link for the delicious recipe

With Rylan sharing her approval and fascination with my table scene, I am pretty sure she’ll probably be the one to follow in my tablescaping footsteps. It’s a good thing because I sure have plenty of themes and dish sets to pass on to family. You’re never too young to start, right? Happy spring!

Read more from Pat here


Pat Burns

About the author

Pat Burns is the co-founder of the Orange County Children's Book Festival, a celebrity journalist, film reviewer and a consultant for nonprofits

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