How to set a (simple) Winter table

Art de la Table : dresser une table hivernale colorée

No matter where you live in the Northern Hemisphere, February is probably the dullest month of the year. There is usually not much to do in Paris (though we have had snow in the past few years which makes the city magical, and gives everyone a good excuse to go outside for a walk and see Paris in a different light). Likewise there is not much to do in the countryside either (apart from admiring snowdrops from your window). 

When I was a little girl, my mom would always bring a bouquet of mimosas home in February. And quite honestly, I really didn’t appreciate it. I disliked the color and the shape of the mimosa flower. But, recently I have come around to the mimosa and I’ve started buying them for myself. I have to say that this dash of yellow is very welcome in my home especially at this time of year. 


I crave color in February more than any month of the year. It is essential to lift up your spirits when everything is grey and cold outside. When I go to the market, I start looking again at florists’s shops to add a pop of color at home. But sometimes there are pretty limited options. In Paris, I am lucky to have a florist close to me who has great taste and style. Her boutique is really tiny but she has a lot of hard-to-get flowers you do not typically see elsewhere. She has an amazing (and outstanding) choice of « rustic » flowers such as Anemone and Wax which I love. But funnily not mimosas which I needed for this table setting. 


I chose mimosas as I really wanted to create a strong color contrast between the blue tablecloth I have chosen, and the mimosa centerpiece but also to enhance the unique plates.

My parents bought these plates from an artisan village in Poland thirty years ago. Each one is unique as each one is hand-painted. So the colors and the patterns change slightly from one plate to the other. I was not always convinced by the plates I’m using in this setting though. We brought them to the countryside because no one was using them in Paris. However, my father always insisted that we should take great care of them. 

I find it really amusing to see the guests’ expression when they see a colorful table in winter as they do not expect so much brightness when nature is asleep. It is a reminder that spring and warmer days are coming up!   


  1. Pick a bold color for your tablecloth and try to avoid any pattern (because of point 2)
  2. Choose your plates with a strong, rich pattern
  3. Choose a plain rustic type of glassware
  4. Make sure your napkins contrast with your tablecloth for another pop of color (but they should still match nicely) 
  5. Add seasonal flowers or branches (flowers are a better choice since you’ve probably used branches all Winter): Mimosa, Hellebore, Anemone, Daffodils… 

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