Designer Melissa Haynes sets a graceful table for a luncheon at her Fayetteville home
“For me, the outside is just as important as the inside,”says Melissa Haynes, who owns the Johnson-based MH Design, Inc. Case in point, the courtyard of her Fayetteville home, where terraces spill over with blooming containers, defined gathering spaces provide plenty of room for dining or relaxation, and a fully functional vegetable garden awaits just outside her kitchen. The home’s well-appointed parterre garden leads to the dining area, where the scene is set for this warm-weather gathering.
“I like to keep things simple when I entertain,” Melissa says. “I let simple flowers and small details come together to create the look and feel.” For this get-together with friends, she went with a light palette of soft whites and creams accented with a blush pink and the garden’s abundant evergreen foliage. White basket-weave-patterned dinnerware pairs with rattan chargers and bamboo flatware for an unfussy, classic look. Blush water glasses, vintage gold-and-clear-glass salt and pepper shakers, and the setting’s pièce de résistance—a tablecloth made from Timothy Corrigan’s “Cap Ferrat” Schumacher fabric—all lend a feminine charm to the garden party. The fabric features a motif of pineapples and trelliswork, which Melissa had finished out with a caramel-colored border. “I wanted something along the edge that wouldn’t show dirt or a stain since it is being used in the garden,” she says of the practical touch. For lunch, guests dined on a spring split pea soup paired with a glass of rosé. “I like to keep the food manageable, so that it’s not a chore to entertain,” Melissa adds. It’s this laidback, yet seemingly carefully curated approach that make both the garden and the designer herself a pleasure to all who encounter them.
Pineapples: A Hospitable Motif
Melissa selected the “Cap Ferrat” fabric—which is from Timothy Corrigan’s line with Schumacher—for the tablecloth. The design features floral patterns, trelliswork, and perhaps most predominantly, pineapples. The tropical fruit, which had to be imported from the Carribean islands during colonial days, was a rare treat for early settlers. When guests dined at a home where pineapple was served, they knew their hosts had spared no expense. Thus, pineapples came to be known as a welcoming symbol of good cheer. Today, the tradition continues with pineapples showing up in home features including door knockers, pathway markers, and, of course, on dining tables.
Designer Melissa Haynes, MH Design Inc., Johnson, (479) 286-2244, melissahaynesdesign.com
Landscape architect Travis Brooks, Brooks Landscape Architecture, Fayetteville, (479) 387-1769
Fabric—tablecloth and napkins MH Design Inc., Johnson, (479) 286-2244, melissahaynesdesign.com
Floral Flora, Fayetteville, (479) 442-7010, floranwa.com
Tablecloth fabrication Mountjoy’s Custom Draperies, Mabelvale, (501) 455-2216