Posted by: Alycia Nichols | April 16, 2012

Springtime In Paris Mother’s Day Buffet

Mother’s Day is inching ever closer, and I want to start now with ideas for a fresh and very flowery buffet table. This is yet another buffet tablescape I created for my Spring 2012 “Art of Tablescaping” class students. I wanted to demonstrate – among other things – how placing a “centerpiece” at the end could be just as effective as centering it and how extending the look across the back side of the table makes it all work.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

Wow…that’s a lot of stuff!!!!!! But it’s all very effective in illustrating the intended look of Springtime on the Champ de Mars in Paris where the Eiffel Tower shares ground with hundreds of fabulous blossoming cherry trees. This is one of those tables that is a loose interpretation of something rather than getting absolutely literal. (Ramon was NOT letting me bring actual cherry trees in this house!!!) In addition to Mother’s Day, this buffet setting would work well for a post-nuptial brunch or luncheon if the couple is honeymooning in Paris.  As with many tables, I started with a full-length white linen.

I love to present flatware and napkins in fun, different ways. Here a gallery tray holds a silver julep cup filled with forks. Surrounding the cup are soft pink napkins rolled tightly to resemble rosebuds…or cinnamon rolls…or however your imagination wants to interpret them! (Click HERE  and scroll down to Tip #33 for a tutorial on how to create these cute little gems!) You may prefer to place the flatware and napkins at the end of the buffet rather than the start.

Why just sit the plates on the table if you can elevate them to new heights with something like this silver beaded edge plateau? Crank your brain and use your full imagination to come up with plateau ideas from around your home like candle stands, hat boxes, teacups, books…whatever! Just be sure the plates cannot be easily knocked over!!! Porcelain “doily” plates here from Pier 1.

A tiered stand is ideal for displaying cookies or other two-bite treats. Don’t have a ready-made tiered stand? Create one using plates and glasses or candlesticks or teacups. Again, just be sure the structure is secure. Cling® or a similar non-permanent floral adhesive is a good choice to make sure everything stays in place. Be sure to hide your mechanics with a few flowers or by piling the food high. You don’t want that ugly stuff showing through!!!

Here I used 2 sizes of silver cake plateaus to display cheeses and dessert. The breads are brought to the table in an old-fashioned but still quite pretty and very functional silver wire bread basket. A small branch laden with ripe plums is casually placed across the top for color and interest.

It’s all the rage…and even if it wasn’t, it’s still a great way to serve tiny portions of your favorite foods. Everything from cold soups to granola to mixed fruit looks great when served up in tiny vessels with their own tiny spoons. Don’t bother spending a ton of money on the sets found at places like Pier 1 unless you can find a good sale or clearance price. (Sorry, Pier 1. You know I love you, but what you’re asking for those things is criminal!) Consider using things already in your inventory like clean votive holders, shot glasses, demitasse cups, or miniature ramekins or martini glasses. I found the little spoons at Bed Bath & Beyond for 79 cents each, but you may be able to score some less pricey.

 On to the centerpiece! You can probably find Eiffel Tower replicas at stores like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Gordmans which is where I bought mine several years ago. My guess is that you can probably find one at the CHRISTMAS TREE SHOP, too, because apparently – if  Cuisine Kathleen and The Tablescaper’s blogs are any indication – you can find just about EVERYTHING great there!!! (I just had to get that dig in to a couple of my blogger buddies because I’m so jealous they have CTS and we don’t! ;-))

Anyhoooooooo……I wanted to capture the feeling of all the lush florals on the Champ de Mars, so I grouped clear glass vases with petite rose bouquets beneath the tower and sort of let them “spill” over as roses naturally do. The fragile look of soft pink roses timidly peeking out from behind the austere lattice of “The Iron Lady” (La dame de fer) as the tower is nicknamed, is such a striking juxtaposition. (If your Mother, like mine, has a very strong personality, she might actually appreciate the irony of this symbol!) Pots of green grass represent the fertile grounds of the Champ de Mars, and a random flurry of butterflies across the table brings in another element of Spring. The “cherry blossoms” used here are flowered branches from Hobby Lobby, but if you have the real thing, by all means…go for it!!!

Not that any other sane human soul looking at the table would necessarily make this observation, but there was a specific reason I chose these gooseneck tower vases for the “cherry trees.” Notice how they resemble the trunk of a tree? And look there at the very bottom…doesn’t the foot of the vase look like the bumpy roots as they meet the ground? Do I need to cut back on the two martini lunches or what?!?!?!! :-)

Before my head completely explodes, let’s consider the beverage center set up near the buffet table. When you’re working within a small space, just about any surface will do. Here, a cut glass beverage decanter with the word “Paris” across the front sits on a simple silver tray. Lined up on either side are stemmed glasses decked out with fruit and ready for some fun, Springtime refreshment like the ultimate French elixir – champagne – infused with a spritz of strawberry schnapps.

Next week, a great companion table to this Mothers Day buffet, “Mothers Day Luncheon in Pink“. Meanwhile, other tablescapes on this site that would work well for a Mother’s Day celebration include:
Peonies and Pearls
Pink Plaid & Posies
Daisy Crazy
Mother’s Day Brunch” (just scroll down past Daisy Crazy)

Another post on this site using a Parisian theme with the Eiffel Tower as a centerpiece AND using this rosebud napkin fold:
Au Revoir!” (scroll down to the 9th entry on the page)

Please join me again this week for Tablescape Thursday at Susan’s Between Naps on the Porch and on BeBetsy.com! And if you get a chance, please stop by Beaux R’eves where my buddy, Cindy, posted the coolest “Under the Sea” tablescape for a local charity.


Responses

  1. Oh how nice! Boy you sure do know how to do it right! I like the background with the tall stemmed cherries and the grass…and how cool is that Eifel tower!
    I wanted to get that beverage dispenser so bad! It’s so pretty! I love to do buffets because my house is small and it just seems easier to have people get their food and then sit down. Those cute little glass vessels would be adorable with a pudding in them and a little graham cracker crust at the bottom! Love those plateaus too! It really is a pretty table and one that any mother would love!

  2. Your blog is like having a wonderful big coffee table book which demonstrates how to make wonderful parties. I think you should look into getting yourself published.

    This table is so beautiful, and you always offer such good ideas and information. Who made the dinner plates?

  3. Hi Alycia,

    It’s Deborah from Maryland. I must tell you, WOW! All of your ‘scapes’ are fabulous but this one bespokes elegance and grace. Girl, you’ve really outdone yourself. I’m just blessed to live vicariously through you to see all of your beautiful creations.

    Thanks for doing what you do so wonderfully!

  4. Like this one as well. It has a fresh spring quality. You can take the simplist items and make them grand !

  5. Oooo–la-la what a magnifique table!!!….You know, I read the comment above me and they are right…you must gather your tablescapes and create a book…you certainly have enough fabulous material for one and this is just one example of a superb creation….I love, love those napkins rolled into perfect flowers in that tray…presentation…over the top…your one amazing woman!!!….The flowers are incredibly beautiful, Alycia…

  6. Alycia, this has to be one of my favorites to add to the GORGEOUS list of your buffet sideboards and tablescapes. You know I love anything with a Parisian theme and your Eiffel tower and blossoms is over the moon. Love, love, love it. Great inspiration for the rest of us………….

  7. STUNNING!! Fabulous, elegant and awesome buffet table creation, with all the amazing elements you always use on your never ending unique and stunning creations! I also would buy your book on “THE ART OF TABLESCAPING” by Alycia Nichols, Master Tablescaper…right away!! I don’t think it’s a joke…we all mean it Alycia, you are too much! Have a great week.
    FABBY

  8. Alicia, this buffet is fabulous! The napkins folded like roses is so charming.
    I love buffets, you really knocked it out of the park on this
    The tiered server is lovely and I agree with you about the mini tasting glasses.
    They can also be found at Ross for about $7.00 a set.
    Love this! You should most definitely put everything in a book.

  9. Lovely as always! I love how you put the napkins and forks on the tray together. Just beautiful! And you used that beautiful sterling again…if I ever come for dinner and you use that silverware, check my pockets when I leave. :-) I like how you elevated the plates, too. You have such great ideas. I agree with the others, you should write a book. Of course, if you wrote that book, you would have to have a book signing where we could all come and have you personally sign a copy.
    I bought a set of those little tasting glasses last week at Tuesday Morning. Eight glasses and the little spoons for $5.00. Love a good deal! Don’t have a clue what I am going to do with them, but I am seeing so many good ideas out in blogland that I thought I needed to have a set! And I am with you on The Christmas Tree Shop envy…that and HomeGoods…I really think that I could financially support them if they would just come to town…or even close…I’m not picky, I’d drive…anyway, I’ll quit whining.

    Have a great week!
    Sandra

  10. Oh my, what do I say? I LOVE IT ALL! Alycia, you have done another fantastic layout! Love the napkin set up, beverage setup, tiny portion setup, well, like I said I LOVE IT ALL! And about the book, put me down for a copy! Blessings, Tammy

  11. Girl there is no end to your talents, go ahead and have that 3rd martini you deserve it, Lovely

  12. Hey She-ro! You did it again. This table is really nice. I am in total agreement with the comments above about you doing a book. Tabletwentyone is way better than all the books I read. You have skills and the willingness to teach. Tell Ms. Sherry she has to be the photographer. With the two of you it will be a BEST SELLER!

  13. So beaitiful! Love all the attention to detail. The food looks so yummy! Now I’m hungry! You’ve put me in the spring mood!

  14. Love your Parisian buffet for Spring. You’ve nailed it especially with the rose buds and all the details. La Tour Eiffel is fabulous.
    Carolyn

  15. Fabulous, can I be a guest?. It really looks beautiful, and I will try to use some of your tips on my next buffet! And yes, I like the flatware at the end so they don’t drop it while trying to get the food. Love the elevated plate stand too . Great post, A.!

  16. Of course, I love it Alycia! Lots of inspiration for me to store away.

    Thanks so much for your email!:-)

  17. I will never be as elagant and creative as you but thanks for all the great ideas

  18. Gorgeous Dahling!! I love the soft feminine colors and all those delicious goodies well, I’m sure I gained 5lbs just from looking at them lol….

    I’m not sure yet what I am doing for my Mothers Day table this year I guess I better get cracking, it will be here before we know it!

    Have a beautiful day!!

    (hugs)
    Aledia

  19. Wow!!! This is spectacular….I love your homage to Champs de Mars! You gave me so many wonderful ideas for a small bridal shower I am hosting in July—just love the “rosebud” napkin fold and the beverage center idea and the creative ways to present the buffet with varying heights and visual interest. Well done!!!!
    Laura @ http://www.reddoortabledecor.com

  20. Alycia, oh my. What else can I say?? OH MY! This is delightful! I love what you did here. Each little detail is so well thought out and placed. I love the pink napkins, the vases, the silver, well just the entire presentation. I want this room filled with ladies in their spring floral dresses. :) Before I go, I also want to tell you that piece of art about your buffet is wonderful. I would never tire of looking at that.

  21. Alycia, another fantastic table with so many details! I love everything you’ve done. The rosebuds, the Eiffel tower, the elevated plates. Genius! You are the Best!
    XO Cindy
    ps, I’m sure Ramon wouldn’t mind a cherry tree inside….

  22. I really love seeing a buffet set up and this one is so special. Love the napkins, the plates on the stand and your drink dispenser is so elegant. Thanks for the comment about my dining room furniture. I did a post on it a while back. It’s from Craigslist, table, 6 armchairs, side table and a china cabniet for $750! I like it, don’t love it but I’m not complaining. When I use my palm dishes and go for a tropical look it’s perfect.

  23. Another fabulous tablescape! Your tables always make me feel I’m right there at the party, so if some food is missing… sorry, I couldn’t help myself!
    I’m just overwhelmed by all the beautiful things you have and how creative you are in displaying them.

  24. Oh, to be in Paris now that spring is here!! You have done “it”, again!! What a beautiful tablescape – love the theme and the pink “flower” napkins are adorable. Cherry trees are near and dear to my heart, so your stems certainly caught my eye. Beautiful job, as always!!

  25. The table is perfect with your special interpretation. I love the cherry blossoms with the Eiffel Tower. There is so many great ideas but my favorite is the cake pedestals used for cheese and dessert.
    Pam

  26. Alycia~ I always look forward to your posts~ I know that not only am I going to see something creative and wonderful, but will be treated to your delightful commentary :)

    I’m sure you dazzled your students with this buffet in particular! I love small bites~ MOST fun for appetizers and parties and those little glasses for serving are wonderful! I agree, I bit the bullet and bought one set from Pier 1 about two years ago, but now you can find them at World Market individually and I’ve seen them at HomeGoods & TJ Maxx in sets for around $1 or less for a glass/spoon! Fun, fun, fun~ wish I was close enough to you to enroll in your Summer Soirees….

  27. Oh Alycia, now I am really disappointed that I didn’t get to take your class. This is just devine, you have outdone your other masterpieces. It is kind of funny, when I was looking at Susan’s at BNOP display before I clicked on your link, I notice that the featured table in her post had the flowers at the end of the table instead of the traditional center, then I click on your post, and what do you say right off the bat, ” how placing a “centerpiece” at the end could be just as effective as centering it.” Ok, so I see great minds like yours and Susan’s do think alike. Your work is just fabulous on this table. Of course, I love all the silver used; the beverage center is oh so grand. You must be up all night with your creative juices flowing, to dream up your awesome combinations. Love it, love it!

  28. Hello dear lady A,
    What a wonderful tips for us! I so in love with all the details, flatwares, all silvers and specially the decanter. How I wish I could find one in Sweden.
    Can I ask where did you purchased this, Maam?
    My cousins live CA and they might find one for me. They use to send but not the glass things. I have friends who are flight stewardesses and they can carry that for me, if ever I know where to find.

    Happy pre-week-end, sweet friend of mine.

    x0x0,
    /CC

  29. Over the Tower with this one! Very pretty and fun. I feel like I’m in Paris!

  30. Hi lovely lady.
    Your buffet is Gorgeous! The napkins folded like roses is so charming.
    with your lovely buffets, you really know how to put a party together !!
    I also love the mini tasting glasses. I did see them at Pier one this week.
    Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my French Dinning. I hope you and your family are having a wonderful week.
    XXOO Diane

  31. This buffet is just gorgeous! Love you set up the whole thing, so pretty!

  32. Alycia, what a spectacular buffet. I just love the pink napkins done up like roses. That was so beautiful. Everything looks wonderful and yummy and then to place the table in that sun filled nook – just perfection – as always!

  33. Oh how lovely! I love the rose napkins — Springtime in Paris….now that would be a Mother’s day to remember! This is quite enchanting.

  34. Alycia…STUNNING!!!! Everything is so beautiful. Your plates are gorgeous and your serving pieces are amazing! Love the napkins and butterflies. And the food…need I say more???

  35. So lovely!
    Visiting from Tablescape Thursday

    Greetings from Australia
    ~Pernilla

  36. Alycia,
    You gave me some great ideas for a special event that is coming in my near future. I love the napkins, the decorations and how you put the extra touches on each vingette you decorated! You are my hero! Love all you do. Could I follow you around for a week. I do need help with my next project! Can I import you? lol I can’t share what I am up too but I will in about two weeks! It is a biggie for me! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful table! It is Springtime in Paris!
    Blessings My Friend,

  37. I always visit your site co’z I’ve seen so many great ideas from this blog especially on tablescaping. Anfd this time, this springtime-in-paris themed caught my attention. Every details were captured perfectly so I think this is one of the best table I’ve seen far this week.

    Anyway, am your newest follower. It’s so nice being here!

  38. Very beautiful dear Alycia, like everything you do, Miss Tablescaper, you! I love the silver tray and how you fixed it! Yep, Mom’s Day is knocking our doors, this year is running away from us, faster than ever!! I love all the details, like the pretty three tier with plates.. you are good!! I’m making a mom’s table for tomorrow night, for Let’s Dish at Kathleen’s…see you there! Hugs,
    FABBY

    • For tomorrow?!??!??!!!! I thought the Mothers Day challenge was set for May 9th!!!!!! I need to go back and look at her post to double-check the date. I have absolutely *nothing* ready for tomorrow for it! I like to do different ones for Tablescape Thursday and Let’s Dish.

      Thanks for stopping by! Take care! Alycia

  39. [...] candles and recreate this table because I really like it! This is more or less an extension of the Springtime In Paris Mothers Day Buffet table I posted last week. It uses some of the same decorative elements and is designed to either [...]

  40. [...] Day tablescapes on this site: “Mother’s Day Luncheon In Pink“ “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet“ “Mother’s Day Brunch“ “Peony Power“   I am linking up with [...]

  41. [...] Dinner“ “Pink Plaid & Posies“ “Showered in Pink“ “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet“ “Mother’s Day Luncheon“ “Tea Roses“ “Coming Up [...]

  42. [...] “Apple Green Luncheon” “Mum’s the Word” “Carousel Colors” “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Brunch” “Peony Power” “Daffodillyicious” “Taste of Wine Buffet” [...]

  43. [...] Party She Deserves” “Pinky Peter Cottontail” “Daffodillyicious” “Springtime in Paris” “Welcome Back, Joel” “Peony Power” “Spring” page – [...]

  44. [...] or Paris-themed tablescapes on this site: “Princess Pink Birthday Dinner“ “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet“ “Mother’s Day Luncheon in [...]

  45. [...] “Daffodillyicious” “Carousel Colors” “Going Green for Spring” “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Brunch” “Tulips in the iHop Hour” “Peachy Keen Breakfast” “Something Blue [...]

  46. I’d love to be the mother honored by this table…it is absolutely gorgeous! I adore the napkin rosettes. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Have a blessed Mother’s Day. Cherry Kay

  47. Alycia….Everytime I come here I think “oh that’s my favorite so far”. I know this is from last year but my first time seeing it. It’s just loaded with so many fabulous ideas! Love all the different plateaus and your ideas and the napkin rosebuds are outstanding! I hope your Mother’s Day was the sweetest! xo

  48. […] be seen through across the table. I have used this piece in different ways for two other posts, “Springtime in Paris Buffet” and “French Poodle”. Here is is lightly embellished with dainty pink silk flowers and a […]

  49. […] of Green” “Taste of Wine Buffet” “Goin’ Green for Spring” “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet” “Peony Power” “Moss & Manzanitas” “Daisy Crazy” […]

  50. I love what you did with the napkins here. Taking notes. ;)

  51. […] of Green” “Taste of Wine Buffet” “Goin’ Green for Spring” “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet” “Peony Power” “Moss & Manzanitas” “Daisy Crazy” […]

  52. […] of Green” “Taste of Wine Buffet” “Goin’ Green for Spring” “Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet” “Peony Power” “Moss & Manzanitas” “Daisy Crazy” […]


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