Easter is the first big chance to entertain after Christmas, and is significantly less stressful than the festive season, so throw open the doors for friends and family with the Heal’s guide to hosting at home like a designer. From gorgeous dining tables to gather around, to covetable tableware to dress them with, plus those finishing touches to set the scene, we’ve got everything you need to put a spring in your step.
Choose a centrepiece
Some argue that a seasonal feast is the centrepiece of a spring gathering, but we beg to differ. To us, a dining table is the ultimate scene-setter, providing a focal point for any spectacular party. Luckily, we’ve got a style to suit every taste and space, from the newly-added Pelagus table by Fritz Hansen-owned Skagerak for outdoor dining, to the just-launched Sky-Natura table from Italian-based Riva 1920 for indoor soirées, both offering investment pieces in timeless designs. Alternatively, why not plump for a circular tabletop, accommodating guests in a more convivial formation, in the form of the classic Saarinen Tulip round dining table by Knoll? For those who are short on space, the Cross Extending dining table by British designer Matthew Hilton via Case offers superior flexibility, while a bespoke creation from our unique Designed by You collection allows you to tailor a table to your exact specifications in just five easy steps.
Pull up a chair
A chair that’s as comfortable as it is chic is conducive to the kind of long, leisurely lunches a bank holiday weekend simply begs for. After all, who wants to stay for another glass of Provence rosé if they’re not cradled in a cocoon of comfort? Good news, then, that our raft of dining chairs spans everything from upholstered to wooden and leather. Whether our Austen dining chair in on-trend bouclé, the cult-like CH24 Wishbone chair from Carl Hansen & Son or the 675 Chair via Case, peruse and choose from a range of materials, shapes and colours. Otherwise, the Stacking chair from L.Ercolani comprises outward-facing legs that enables it to be stacked when not in use, maximising space.
Top with treasure
Now, the fun bit: styling your table with tableware from our new-season collection. Natural shades, organic lines and tactile finishes combine in pieces that put a fresh spin on your Easter gathering. The Heal’s + L.F.Markey tablecloth – part of an exclusive collaboration with the independent fashion label from east London – certainly makes a statement with graphic prints, block colours and embroidered borders. Layer on even more colour with the 12 piece box set from the same range, comprising similarly impactful stoneware across plates and bowls. It’s like art you can lunch on. Alternatively, keep your base neutral with a simple linen tablecloth in cream, then go all-out with playful ceramics by Kent-based designer Harlie Brown – the Citron plate is this season’s must-have – and terrazzo speckled glassware from Late Afternoon. Finally, why not finish with a striking vase, such as Ada by Broste Copenhagen, filled with a selection of beautiful faux botanicals from Abigail Ahern?
Let there be light
Arguably, the biggest trend of the season is the rise of the portable table lamp, enabling you to shine a light on the subject without a plug socket. Perfect for outdoor dining, our new Orion portable LED outdoor table lamp features a dimmable function with a weighted base and chargeable light, all of which comes in the choice of an off-white or matt-black finish. For festooning your garden, our range of outdoor lights from Sirius is spot-on, adding twinkle and glow al fresco. What’s more, the flicker of a candle is always a welcome accompaniment to dining, whether indoors or outdoors, and these elegant, hand-poured candles in a range of vibrant colours from True Grace are just the thing.
3 more tips
1 You can never have too many glasses. Shop timeless styles from The Vintage List to stock-up, from champagne saucers to wine glasses and whisky tumblers.
2 Likewise, your cutlery drawer can never be too crowded, so treat yourself by adding a new style ahead of each season. Modernising traditional designs for contemporary dining, Charingworth cutlery creates beautiful sets.
3 There’s still a chill in the air come spring, so give you guests something to wrap up with from Brita Sweden, creating a range of stylish throws made from recycled cotton and wool.