Our friend Athena Calderone is known to her thousands of Instagram followers simply as EyeSwoon. A former interior designer who quickly became fashion’s favorite food darling, she demystifies her effortless entertaining style in a new cookbook, “Cook Beautiful”—and shares 5 smart steps to an easy, less-is-more table with us here.
THE DIVINE VINE
Sometimes the best vase is no vase at all. Here, I laid delicate vines directly on the white linen tablecloth, weaving their leaves and tendrils between a row of simple, hand-glazed candlesticks.
THAT’S A WRAP
Even disposable cutlery can have style. Compared to plastic, bamboo flatware is easier on the environment, and on the eyes—especially when bundled with a linen napkin and tied with color-coordinated twine.
Inspiration can strike in the most unexpected places—in this case, at the garden center. While at the nursery to stock my herb garden, I came across these young broccoli plants. Simply potted and wrapped with cheesecloth and cooking twine, they serve as gorgeously sculptural table décor.
To keep a monochromatic palette from looking one-note, play with tone and texture. Here, varying shades of green adds visual depth to a place setting, as does the juxtaposition of rough, nubby linen and smooth ceramic.
One design rule you don’t want to break: Opposites attract. The tough spikes of baby purple artichokes are balanced by sweet and delicate dill blossoms. With produce this pretty, who needs flowers?
Read more in her new book of seasonal recipes, “Cook Beautiful.”
And follow her on Instagram at @eyeswoon.