We’re big fans of Maman, a collection of café/event and retail spaces here in New York City and Toronto. It’s hard to decide what’s better at Maman—the chocolate chip cookies or the vintage inspired decor. Grabbing brunch or a coffee there feels like you’re hanging out at your chicest friend’s home. The decor isn’t fussy—just natural, undone, and totally Instagrammable. Think pretty florals, exposed brick, rustic wood, and vintage dishware (some of which is now available for purchase at their SoHo outpost, Marché Maman). So as Easter approached, we asked Elisa Marshall, co-owner and the creative force behind Maman’s aesthetic (and this gorgeous party set up!), to help us create an inspiring but easy holiday table. As predicted, she totally knocked it out of the park. Here’s to hoping you’ll find some fresh holiday inspo here. We couldn’t get over how springy—and sophisticated—the table looked! Read on for Elisa’s best tips.
Use wreaths to jazz up simple dinnerware. No matchy-matchy, super fancy china for Easter? No problem! Elisa spruced up simple floral plates and cups at each setting with mini twig wreaths. The best part is you can add florals and fresh eucalyptus flourishes now to make them feel springy and change that out later for another holiday—faux berries for winter, for example. You can also hang them on the wall, in a window, or in a doorway for another occasion.
Make sure there’s a common thread uniting your tableware. If you love vintage, you sometimes run the risk of having too many patterns in the mix. Elisa’s advice? Find a unified theme—hers is light pink floral. “Stick with a common color/pattern and size when it comes to glassware, plates, and cutlery,” says Elisa. “It is okay for your pieces to all be a little different and unique, but this will keep your collection from looking too garage sale.”
Eggs make the best place cards. Instead of dealing with messy dyes, Elisa decorated white eggs with names and sayings then put them in vintage crystal sherry glasses gifted from her aunt. “They were not a perfect fit and a little too large,” says Elisa. “But adding some moss, florals, and greens helped turn them into the perfect ‘nest.’” Pro tip from Elisa: Hard boil your eggs, so the ink doesn’t run. If you also want eggs to remain consumable, use an edible marker and encourage guests to eat them right away when seated.
Have fun with florals. Flowers are an easy go-to centerpiece, but don’t be afraid to stray from traditional varieties and vases. “Create vessels from things in your home to add extra personality to your florals,” says Elisa. “Maybe grandma’s old tea pot that has a broken lid or those cute glass yogurt containers that are too pretty to toss. This creates height, dimension, and is much more cost effective than buying all new vases.” For spring vibes, Elisa loves adding fresh jasmine to her arrangements. “It adds flow and movement to the arrangements, can be twisted and wrapped in different shapes (like around the wreaths), and it also has flowers and are edible—for garnishing your meal adding some extra beautiful details to your salad.”
Don’t forget a few seasonal touches. You don’t have to go over-the-top Easter, but a festive touch here and there goes a long way. Elisa pulled out her favorite bunny vases for flowers and added a few hidden bunny mugs, which reveal a bunny inside once emptied.
Find new uses for old things. To create a dynamic tableau, repurpose like it’s your job. “Who says tea cups are just for tea?” says Elisa. “Cups and saucers double for serving fruit and dessert, and soup or salad bowls and tea pots are great dispensers for any hot liquid like soup.” Elisa also uses dessert plates as saucers to hold wine bottles.
Texture is your best friend. If you aren’t confident about pattern mixing, add a textured neutral to your table instead. “I have so many beautiful old handkerchiefs and vintage pieces of lace,” says Elisa. “I love using these as napkins, as they add texture and serve the same purpose as regular linens but with a little extra beauty.”
If you do even one of these things to your Easter table, it’s going to be double-tappable—we promise! Elisa’s dreamy mix is all the proof we need. I don’t know about you, but I already bought my bunny vase!