Villeroy & Boch’s Isabelle von Boch Talks Spring Entertaining

“I gew up with vegetable gardens, flowers, planting—as children we were used to planting trees and flowers and were connected to the land,” said Isabelle von Boch. “Villeroy & Boch’s Isabelle von BochMettlach headquarters are in the middle of the countryside and all around it are small towns featuring soft bucolic landscapes full of village gardens,” she went on to say.

Villeroy & Boch is well known for its floral and garden-inspired patterns. From the iconic French Garden to its latest patterns Amazonia and Quinsai Garden, flowers have played a big role in the tabletop company’s collections. Since the company’s founding, it has looked to other cultures for inspiration. “We’re consistently reinterpreting nature and using it as a vehicle to transport people to other cultures,” she explained. For Amazonia, one can see the influences of the Amazon in Latin America. And for Quinsai Garden, the company was inspired by Marco Polo’s travels through China.

In fact, von Boch believes flowers are an important decor element in a home. “I always have fresh flowers in the house. I need them desperately,” she said. “We are in a drought in California, so out of necessity I’ve had to bring florals in the house—and not just fresh flowers, but also in my dinnerware and decor,” she said.

And when entertaining, how you set the table is an integral part of the ambience she said. Von Boch offers some ideas on how to set the table using Villeroy & Boch’s collections. “For Amazonia, as the pattern is so strong, you don’t have to do a whole lot. Use natural textiles, rattan placemats and linen runners. For lighting, simple round votives. And rather than putting a colorful floral arrangement on the table (which will complete with the Amazonia pattern) lay out banana leaves, palm leaves or ferns to create a tropical ambience,” she explained. For added interest, use green accents, as well as blue and red.

Amazonia Villeroy & BochAmazonia is five years old this year. It was inspired by the Amazon in Latin America.

For Quinsai Garden, which has an Asian flair, the decor can be a bit calmer she explained. “Find flowers in the same color scheme—like camellias or peonies—and float them in a bowl in the middle of the table, rather than a huge, high floral arrangement. This collection also goes well with beige textiles—if you have beige paisley, that would work beautifully, but beyond that, keep the focus on solids,” she suggested. Because the pattern is so subtle, von Boch explains that anything with too much pattern will outshine it. “Quinsai Garden would look beautiful on a wooden table with natural elements running down the middle—be they moss, bonsai or bowls made of glass or crystal filled with the aforementioned floating flowers,” she said.

Quinsai Garden Villeroy & BochQuinsai Garden is inspired by Marco Polo’s travels through China.

These ideas can be translated to in-store displays with ease. Not only will the store look alive, but customers will be instantly drawn to the natural beauty of a spring tabletop setting.

Lastly, von Boch’s menu ideas for a spring table can be an added bonus: Throw a spring fling in-store for shoppers with a selection of healthy dishes. “On Amazonia, serve gazpacho, a tropical quinoa salad with bright mangoes, a colorful farmer’s market salad, grilled shrimp skewers or chickpea and avocado wraps with tahini sauce. With Quinsai Garden, try an arugula and pear salad, Asian lettuce wraps, sesame noodles or grilled or poached salmon, which goes so well with the color,” she offered.

Whatever menu you choose, customers will appreciate the effort and walk away with some ideas for their next spring gathering.

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