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How to Design A Perfect Romantic Tablescape Inspired By Two Holidays~To Bring Hope & Love

I often joke that while we think of February as a “short month” it’s actually got more than its share of abundant holidays and celebrations. 

For me, I narrowed the list of possible tablescape inspirations from Superbowl (wasn’t that supposed to be January?!), Oscars, President’s Day, Black History Month, Random Acts of Kindness Day, and American Heart Month, to Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year. 

Why? Because ~ The Year of the Rabbit symbolizes Hope and Valentine’s is all about Love. 

I felt the hope and love themes would tell a glamorous, pretty story. Here’s how I layered the seasonal look to welcome and delight our guests.

Overall, I used a mix of spring and Easter bunnies and rabbits as part of the Lunar New Year Rabbit theme, along with hearts and other tokens of Valentine’s Day gifting love, including candy, flowers, and fragrance ~ here, I added some of the glorious perfume flacons I acquired for the August tablescape.

I slipped in a love note from my dear father, George who died in 2008. 

Years ago, he called my office to share his kind of “just thinking of you” greeting and my secretary wrote the message on a piece of paper torn from a press release (where was her message pad?!).  

I treasure it so much and wanted to include his loving sentiment as a very special part of the love theme.

It was serendipitous coordinating the colors for the table decor ~ I like that I could blend pink and red for Valentine’s Day and for Lunar New Year ~ red being a good luck color in most Asian cultures.

I used my bunny dishes on top of my pink blush Lenox dishes, layered on top of gold chargers; our gold cutlery, a pink linen table runner, that also serves as the art platform.


I used our red Italian wine glasses, our wedding crystal champagne glasses ~ there’s just no celebration without the bubbly ~ and our pink Williams Sonoma, pink etched glasses.

The Lunar New Year money envelopes in red and gold worked great ~ I put in a few coins for our guests’ good fortune 🙂


New here are the Hare napkin rings and the bunny place card holders from Pottery Barn and the bunny-framed name cards from Hester & Cook

I used my faux pink blossoms, along with the real ranunculus, pink and white carnations, real heart-shaped hoya plants (so cute), and faux box balls and topiaries.

Grab your popcorn ~ here’s a video tour of the Romantic Tablescape! 

You can see there are a myriad of elements in this table’s fashion that make the experience so charming and so darn pretty. Xoxo

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did in creating and sharing the look and its story.

Getting Started

I thought it might be helpful if I share my process in creating a tablescape. 

Overall, when I begin to think about my table design, I usually start with the season or holiday that we’re experiencing.  

Then I look to the history of the celebration or idea, as well as to other artful inspirations focused on the theme I’ve selected, including paintings, music, literature, current events and/or social media, and garden art.

DId I mention that I love research?

I usually find a wellspring of stimulating ideas from the available portfolio of arts to spark my creativity in good ways. Recently, I’ve been inspired by the god Janus for my birth month January, weather, the meaning of the month of March, and the history of fragrance.

This is also the interesting and educational element of designing an artful  tablescape to tell a unique and interesting story; making it more than “just pretty.”

Once I have my concept or theme, then I can start to assemble the design elements.

Being a garden designer, I follow the principles of good design as articulated by a hortie hero of mine, Darrel Morrison:    

  • Mystery
  • Complexity
  • Coherence  

Designing a tablescape with astonishing style incorporates these garden design principles. I think I’m so taken with the art of tablescape because of its affinity with garden and landscape design. Think about it…

At this point in my tablescaping, I have a nice inventory of dishes, glasses, cutlery, placemats, and accessories to choose from.  If you’re just starting out in the art of tablescaping, please use what you have, build your inventory as you like, and look to use things creatively that you already have in your home or garden.  

The Elements 

I use table runners and occasionally, tablecloths.  

I love our antique table so much that I prefer to use placemats and runners in order to see more of the rich table and its craftsmanship.

I sometimes purchase fabric, netting, and notions that I can customize as table runners.

I prefer linen runners and napkins. They boast a crisp look when ironed, and wash up nicely.

When it comes to accessories, I especially love repurposing items to use in an artful way on the tabletop that was not made for a table. 

For example, I was able to turn fishing elements ~ e.g. hooks, sinkers, and nets into some very glamorous accessories. Likewise, books, candy, perfume flacons, my updated Cinderella coach, jewelry, feathers, toys, potatoes (!), blackboards, mirrors, and jewelry boxes all can be whimsical, pretty additions to the look that will delight you and your guests.   

Don’t be shy about including mementos, photos, and keepsakes. It’ll spark the conversation.  You see what my father’s love note added.  And the crystal bowl gifted to me by my dear friend, Roberta. The bowl was her mother’s!  How special is that?  I just added a faux box and rose petals  ~ and a glass bunny for good measure.


For me, a mix of real and faux flowers and plants works best.  Obviously, the faux extends the longevity of the design and is easy-sneezy in terms of maintenance. Plus, I don’t have to fret so much about the water getting on the antique tabletop.

At one time, I was a “real flower” snob and wouldn’t consider faux. However, the quality of the faux is now really good.  So now I’m a convert ~ a faux fan. I use with no guilt (smile.)

Guilt-Free Faux is A Way to Go! 

    (Two pink floral photos: Angie Lambert)     Ranunculus is one of my favorite real flowers ~ plays well with faux, too. 

My ardor for real flowers and greenery is boundless. My favorites include the ranunculus ~ which surprisingly lasts long, given their fragile, papery-looking blossoms, peonies, roses, and the workhorse carnations.  I also like freesia and tulips and… 

Anyway, I aim for flowers that would be in season locally as much as possible and not use ones that are too fragrant so as not to interfere with the food fragrance and wine “bouquet.”  I love foliage plants and use them frequently. 


Consider the holiday and season. Bear in mind that “hot,” excitable colors such as red, orange, and yellow stimulate your appetite (and your heart rate!); yellow boosts serotonin and ignites that happy mood, too. 

Blues, Pinks, Greens are soothing and help create a peaceful and calming experience. 

I usually choose the colors based on the month’s seasonal significance, my mood, and the story I’m telling. 


Besides our recessed lighting, which are on dimmers so we can create the “right” mood, there is the fireplace that makes every meal, in most every season, so warm and welcoming.

The lighting on the table is all faux ~ I don’t want to worry about burning the table or someone accidentally knocking into a flame. I use a combination of battery-powered string lights ~ some are store bought looks, including flowers and skulls and acorns; some are my embellished creations where I’ve wrapped ribbons around the strands.

I also include battery operated tea lights and candles and candelabras (!) as the design and my heart tells me to. 

Texture, Scale, and Elevations 

When I have all my elements, then I layer them in in such a way that I create a tableau that is striking; more than the sum of its parts.

Most often too, I adhere to that “rule” that the centerpieces shouldn’t block the guests’ line of sight to one another, thereby inhibiting conversation. 

And in our case, I want our guests to be able to see the incredible, sweeping view of the bay and the New York City skyline beyond.   

Otherwise, using tiered risers or displays, cake stands, and vases and glasses at different heights boosts the overall harmony. 

And I almost always include Poppers, or Crackers, as they are sometimes called. 

They are now available for almost every occasion or holiday.  I used these Caspari Independence Day/Hydrangeas and others from this maker. Nice quality. 

I usually encourage our guests to “pop” either right after the appetizer or before the dessert ~ it gives us a breather from eating and is a very fun way to get all the tablemates participating because the poppers have quizzes, jokes, or fun facts included with the crowns and toys.  

So Fun! 

Details, Details

Napkin rings help tell a story so sweetly. As do place card holders. And your guests will appreciate the thoughtful personalization.

I also create a pretty menu as a way to show our love to our guests, let them know what we’ll be dining on, and as an added bonus, they get to take the memento home as a keepsake from our happy time together.


The sky’s the limit. Let your imagination create a world of wonder. 

You can then enjoy hosting your guests in an elegant, glamorous way that says how much you care and love them before you toast the occasion and serve the first course.

Wishing you very glamorous, artful table designs that will make you happy.



  • Garden Glamour

    Wow! Thank you so much for your kind feedback. I really do hope that my posts about tablescapes help folks like you design a table to show your love to your family and friends. We all possess the creativity to design a tablescape that is meaningful and tells Your story… Please continue to visit Garden Glamour and provide your input. Cheers.

  • Anonymous

    So creative and beautiful. A table to enjoy sitting at and eating at. Thanks for all your help designing a table for every month and holiday.

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

Join me to celebrate a romantic, garden-infused, entertaining lifestyle filled with artful design, sparkling dinner parties, peerless martinis, and copious magnums of champagne!





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