It’s that week in February when red hearts are on a rampage. They’re everywhere, screaming at us to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. So, if you think Valentine’s Day as Valentine’s Day is a bit cheesy then have a no-reason-in-particular celebration instead, and in this case, a picnic-inspired dinner party. Commemorate friendship, love, goodwill, with friends, neighbours, your anyones and everyones. And when you do, instead of sitting across a dining table, keep it picnicky-casual and create a cosy floor space right there in your living room. In the spirit of cookbook author Alison Roman, a nothing fancy, dining-in experience.
A quick trip to the flower market will sort you out for the evening. Guest stylist, art director and fantasy botanicals creator Priyanka Shah of Studio Lalala in Mumbai is our favourite when it comes to odd couplings of table settings. In December she created a series of Christmas-inspired and seasonal settings for beautifulhomes.com, which you can see here.
For this February dinner setting, she’s inspired by a more ethnic sensibility and our penchant for floor seating.
The white supari strands coming out of the beautifully carved box add a delicate unusual bit of romance.
Lotus leaves form a good base of fresh green. Everything you place on this will pop.
A roll of paan leaves are used as a vase for the anthurium to stand tall.
EVERYTHING TO GET THIS LOOK:
1. Start with a rug/dhurrie or just a chatai (an Indian mat).
2. Add a layer of lovely lotus leaves. It will form a good base of fresh green. Everything you place on this will pop.
3. For floral arrangements, you don’t necessarily need vases, you can also use jugs, a lota, steel pots, baskets, or bowls.
4. There is a variety of local flowers and leaves that are both economical and gorgeous: Sevantis (a type of chrysanthemum), sunflowers,
tuberose, eucalyptus leaves and many more.
5. We’ve have played with shades of pink and green for this setting. The magenta sevanti, the velvety ones (locally called kombda) and lotus are
a beautiful contrast to the lotus leaves.
6. A roll of paan leaves are used as a vase for the anthurium to stand tall.
7. Mixing fruits into a bouquet of flowers helps break the monotony and creates a playful setting.
8. To complete the experience, find a way to incorporate some jasmine in the setting to please your olfactory senses.
9. The white supari strands coming out of the beautifully carved box add a delicate unusual bit of romance.
10. Light a few candles, throw down a few pillows, and you have a warm, cosy, and easy-elegant setting. Enjoy!
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