Mother's Day

4 Ways to Make Your Table Look Like a Fairy Tale

May  2, 2017

A beautiful, effective way to bring Spring indoors is to create a "nature table," full of the season's curiosities. Natural collections of found treasures, stems, and branches can be combined with color coordinated vases, glass, ceramics, and terracotta. To add an unexpected twist, incorporate fruits, vegetables, and objects. Aim to create interesting textures and subtle tonal pairings.

Feeling colorful? Opt for brightly-hued flowers:

Photo by Anna Potter

Here are a few handy tips for bringing nature and whimsy to your table:

  • Use small vases and jars for short, clustered stems of spring blooms, and longer, slim vessels (like bottles) for branches and single stems of flowers. Bulbs can survive in glass jars or vases without any soil; simply a little water to cover the roots will suffice. Watch as the flower gradually blooms during its time in the nature display!
Use books to help with height variation, and found objects (like shells and jam jars) because that's awesome.
  • Stacks of color-coordinated books help with the flow of color. They can also be used as stands for containers, creating varied heights and surfaces.
  • Clusters of fruits and vegetables dotted throughout the display provide an ambiance of old-fashioned feasting. To blur tradition, display your produce in vases, the way you might arrange flowers.
Can you spot the produce? Photo by Anna Potter
  • Complete the scene with smaller objects, figurines, candles, and/or sprigs of foliage. They tell stories of past adventures and evoke sentimental memories.

Spending Mother's Day at home? Tell us how you plan on decorating in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • mdelgatty
  • DMStenlake
  • Sandy Brown Jensen
    Sandy Brown Jensen
  • BerryBaby
  • Jane Katz
    Jane Katz
Founder of Swallows & Damsons


mdelgatty August 16, 2020
why would I want my table to look like a 'fairy tale'?
DMStenlake May 5, 2017
I buy bunches of garnishes, cilantro, parsley, etc at our farmers' market andafter washing place in jar or small vase with water and some ice on my kitchen countertop as bright natural green bouquets. Then just snip when you need some on dinner! Be sure to change the water regularly!
Sandy B. May 4, 2017
Gorgeous abs great ideas. How you managed such a tonally gray and darkish palatte whike still getting the colors to semi pop is a mystery to me. The whole grayed out aesthetic of Food 52 seems like a contradiction in values, but I understand it's supposed to be cool.😇
BerryBaby May 3, 2017
Beatiful ideas but on my table I keep it simple otherwise not enough room for the food.
Anna P. May 11, 2017
Yes definitely! Always make sure there's room for food!! :)
Jane K. May 3, 2017
the tips in this article are so helpful, and your instagram is just stunning!
Anna P. May 11, 2017
Thanks Jane, really appreciate your kind words :)