This charming Charleston style darling creates a table that lifts the winter doldrums.
Photographer Lucy Cuneo’s images have the kind of natural, inviting feeling where you just want to step into the scene. It’s no wonder the Charleston-based style expert (she has a popular lifestyle blog in addition to her fine art and wedding photography business) sets a table with the same effortless, welcoming beauty.
“My entertaining style is very relaxed!” says Lucy. “I love to set a pretty scene with lots of flowers and candles so that guests feel welcome and appreciated.” Using the same principles that inspire her photography, she was game to set a table she dubs, “an ode to spring” at her home that is elegant and contemporary using color, texture, and natural beauty.
See how she brings it all together in this picture-perfect setting and steal her tips for creating a similar look with finds from our tabletop collection.
A Fine Foundation
The flowers—a mix of verdant green, pinks, yellows and white, inspired Lucy’s table palette. Naturally she wanted to keep the linens classic and neutral: A white oblong tablecloth, pale gray napkins, and placemats bordered with a hint of sky blue spoke to her immediately. “Honestly, they're my favorite colors and I love the way they sit together,” she says. “And just touching the tablecloth is amazing. It’s so spectacular and encourages everyone to rise to the festive occasion.”
In Full Bloom
Lucy quickly admits she is no flower expert (all evidence to the contrary). She relies on her friend Anne Bowen, owner/designer at Charleston Stems. “I love the spontaneity of selecting whatever I am drawn to,” says Lucy. “I’ll often pick one thing to start. Here, I loved the Queen Anne’s lace and daffodils. I laid them out together and thought they were sweet with the pink tulips, and of course the splash of color from the peonies was irresistible.”
Lucy’s clever balance of texture and old with new evoke a modern fancy, not fussy style. Marbleized plates from Juliska add subtle pattern and a nod to the here and now. “They’re a fun touch of winter to remind us that we’re not in the full swing of spring yet,” she says. To add some personal patina, she rounded out each setting with her everyday silver and glasses that belonged to her grandmother. “I think it’s lovely to use silver often rather than just on special occasions,” says Lucy. “It’s there to be enjoyed.”
Keeping It Light
Lucy is keen to set a relaxed and fun mood for guests. After dessert, she encourages everyone to linger by putting out bowls of chocolate and seasonal fruit to nibble on. “I learned that from Alice Waters and it really works,” she says. And she often adds something fun and unexpected to encourage frivolity. Crackers are great at the holidays, but you can jazz up an evening with a mask on everyone’s place or a Pass the Parcel game—both provide conversation and entertainment.”
In the end, Lucy says it’s ultimately about the company. “I like to put everyone at ease; if someone spills on the tablecloth, so be it!”
Entertaining Style: Lightning Round
Tablecloth, placemats or both? Placemats! But I love both.
Go to-to entertaining playlist? Van Morrison and Eric Clapton are wonderful and classic, and there might be some of ‘90s rap music in the early hours.
Buffet, family style or service? Buffet often but love family style.
Wine or cocktail? All about the wine… and lots of it.
Dress code or come as you are? We love to dress up for dinner.
A good party can never have too many…Hilarious stories! We don’t judge in this house; the best nights are spent laughing away…especially at oneself!