How to Create a Kyoto Garden-Inspired Tablescape in 3 Easy Steps

Create a Kyoto-Garden Chic Tablescape
Photo: Johnny Miller

A gorgeous tablescape has the uncanny ability to transform a standard Sunday lunch into a joyous springtime celebration. We're particularly fans of the sublimely minimalist Kyoto-garden chic aesthetic, but admit it can be tricky to put together—even though it looks effortless. Thankfully, Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, the unstoppable sister act behind the food and décor blog Hemsley + Hemsley, are here to help with three tips for pulling off the elegant and understated look. Read on for their wisdom.

1. Go with a Precise Palette

Inspired by vintage kimono fabrics, select a delicate color scheme of pale grays and pinks, like these porcelain plates by Jicon ($18 each; and linen napkins by Rebecca Atwood ($45; This serene canvas for bright green and citrus-colored fare won’t compete with your star ingredients.

2. Branch Out

Use flowering branches like quince (above) or cherry blossom, and strip away the bottom 6 inches of foliage. Place one in a large vase ($195; with a small opening to help the arrangement stay nicely clustered, then see how it naturally settles. One at a time, add in more branches to fill in any gaps.

3. Make Petals Feel Personal

Write each guest’s name on a little white tag (Wilton, $4/80; from an office-supply store. Tie each one around a tiny bud vase with a single blossom from the branches, and set it next to each place at the table.

For more spring décor ideas, pick up the April issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.

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