Target invited me to create a spring gathering table using their new #TargetStyle collection, and I was beyond excited to discover the global beat of their new home decor and tableware collections: mediterranean inspired terra cotta dishes, handmade artisans ceramics from Vietnam or the Philippines, Polish recycled glassware and colorful yarn dyed or embroidered pillows.
Some random shots from our trip to Barcelona and the south of France last summer. These inspired me to create a spring gathering table with a mediterranean flair.
Being from France and Morocco, our family has strong ties to the mediterranean culture and way of life. In the south of France as well as in Morocco, we love to gather with friends, in a relaxed setting, enjoy good food and spend hours around a meal catching up, debating and exchanging. Meal time is not just about food, it’s about sharing and enjoying a slower pace together and socializing. When we visited Barcelona last summer, we were reminded of this way of life we left when we moved from Provence to the US and how important it is for us. Recreating such moments now that we live in San Francisco is important to us because it’s part of our roots and the values we want to pass on to our two daughters.
So here is my mediterranean table and a few tips for entertaining with a global beat:
Shown above: [left] Yarn dyed lumbar pink pillow and two-shade-yarn dyed texture black pillow. On the table, acacia wood white paddle board to present some Manchego cheese and charcuterie assortments.
Shown above: Embroidered multicolor striped pillow on my DIY daybed floor mattress.
We set up a low rolling table in our San Francisco backyard with floor cushions [remember, I showed you my tutorial to make your own mattress a few days ago], my thrifted Moroccan leather pouf and a few colorful pillows from Target. I chose some graphic appetizer plates and recycled glass tumblers for Sangria and water. I cooked some tapas so that I wouldn’t have to spend my entire time in the kitchen : chorizo infused in rosemary and red wine, patatas bravas, seafood salads served in recycled clam shells, some red peppers stuffed with goat cheese, some Manchego cheese and olives as well as “Pan con Tomate” [transl. grilled bread with tomato], a typical Catalan appetizer we really enjoyed while vacationing in Barcelona last summer.
Shown above : In a large round woven tray, white stripe terra cotta cereal bowls are used to present tapas dishes and a small terra cotta dip bowl for smaller sized bites. A garden herb marker with white pencil set is repurposed as a dish description tag for guests not familiar with tapas dishes.
I mixed and matched plates and bowls from the Target Threshold™ collection. The result is a table that is laid back, inviting without feeling too ‘sophisticated’ and over done. My theory is that if you want your guests to feel comfortable and ‘at home’, don’t overdo the table details and setting. If it feels natural and fuss-free, so will your guests sitting around your table.
To set the mediterranean mood and keep the travel/ escape vibe, I added some exotic plants around our patio area : a small potted palm tree, a banana leaf tree, some mediterranean plants in pots such as lavender or sage, and I also used a large glass vase with a cut out banana leaf. On the table, I potted some succulent plants in small and colorful dish bowls [who said you have to limit yourself with a dish purpose?]. I set up a big fabric triangle secured to surrounding trees that I sewed myself as a makeshift umbrella to create shade above the table area. Because our gathering was in the mid-afternoon, I added some heavy-duty drop string lights for the sunset time, so the tapas party could go on past day-light time.
We listened to Spanish influence music – I highly recommend Manu Chao for a tapas party – and our guests stayed long after sunset, a sign that everyone had a good time. What a nice way to get outdoors and celebrate spring, in good company, with a pretty, but oh-so-simple and relaxed #Targetstyle table!
Are you planning a spring outdoor gathering with friends? What type of table do you usually set up? Any easy tip – or easy recipe – for entertaining you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your take!
Happy spring gatherings, and Salud, friends! Xo, Si-
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