Posts tagged anke illner
Beautiful Easter Cake + Easter Tabletop Decorations

Hello everyone, with Easter approaching fast, I will quickly show you my table decoration for this year a delicious cake that you’ll love. But first, hi, this is back with another column for everyone who loves to set a table (and eat!). Let’s get started, shall we?

Delicious Easter Cake + Easter Tabletop Decorations


I combined long birch branches with dried hydrangea from our garden. When my husband cut back the hydrangea bushes the other day, I saved some twigs as I like the tender and fragile look of the faded tiny flowers so much. It turned out they look beautiful in my floral wall hanging (scroll down for that). Also, you can see some white and greenish ranunculus mixed in on the table.

Delicious Easter Cake + Easter Tabletop Decorations


My white tableware teamed up with some pieces from thesuch as the tall vase, porcelain Easter eggs, platter and candle holder. In my opinion the delicate rhombe relief pattern suits perfectly on festive occasions like Easter and adds some elegance to your table.

Instead of a tablecloth. I used long sheets of transparent white paper on top of my white tabletop giving the overall style a look of lightness even on such a long table. White baking parchment is a good choice as it comes rolled up and you can cut it exactly the size needed. Also I like an irregular arrangement of the paper on the table, playing with the lengths.


Each linen napkin is decorated with a small birch twig and a tiny white blossom made of flower tissue paper. The blossoms are easily made by simply cutting round shapes out of the paper, forming a blossom and „turning“ a little stem between your fingers. So make some more paper flowers and spread them on the table!

Delicious Easter Cake + Easter Tabletop Decorations


Easter Sunday without a sweet treat? No way! I made a following a recipe by and I can highly recommend it! You will be rewarded with the most delicious, moist pistachio sponge. I enjoyed making this cake very much.

On top, I’ve decorated it with ground and chopped pistachios and chocolate Easter eggs. It may be nice to note that I did not use any food coloring but took the pistachios you find on the supermarket shelf with the baking ingredients because those are extremely green!

Delicious Easter Cake + Easter Tabletop Decorations
Delicious Easter Cake + Easter Tabletop Decorations


First I thought about making a classic wreath but decided upon imperfection instead. For a wall hanging like mine take one long branch, attach a string to both ends and tie twigs of different lengths onto the branch. Then attach Easter eggs or other pendants of your choice. Finally, add the voluminous pieces like ranunculus and dried hydrangea. I use raffia to tie.

Delicious Easter Cake + Easter Tabletop Decorations

I hope you like my Easter table 2019, maybe you found inspiration for your celebration next weekend. Many of the ideas shown can be realized almost last minute if you ask me.

HAPPY EASTER to all of you, dear cattledogs readers! Love,

(Photography/Text/Concept + Styling: )

March Dinner Party Inspiration in Blush Pink Linen + Fresh Flowers

SPRING IS IN THE AIR! (At least in Germany it is!) So let us welcome tender blossoms and sofa shades at home, what do you think? This is , back with a new tabletop column for you after a winter break. I hope you are well, dear readers! Are you ready to be inspired for your next dinner party?



The materials and props that I chose this time around are glass, vases and tealight holders, as it helps to create a light and fresh feeling, which is exactly what we want after dark winter months, right!? You will also see fine linen.

These beautiful blush pink linen napkins () are from (Germany, Switzerland and Austria) that is available only until 21 March, 2019 - and definitely my favorite styling item on the table. Besides the color, they are quite impressive with their wonderful texture.

Tiny three-footed pottery coasters () are on trend with a handmade look, also from the same collection, and hold coarse sea salt next to each guest’s plate.

And there is my white tableware of course, the perfect pieces which complement almost any tabletop theme.

March Dinner Party Inspiration With Pale Salmon + Fresh Flowers
March Dinner Party Inspiration With Pale Salmon + Fresh Flowers


A large glass vase is holding flowering quince while smaller vases are filled with Ranunculus, Tulips, Cloves and delicate blooming twigs.

March Dinner Party Inspiration With Pale Salmon + Fresh Flowers
March Dinner Party Inspiration With Pale Salmon + Fresh Flowers


Matching to the season, a delicious and eye-catching appetizer for guests is this Blood Orange and Fennel Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella, Pomegranate Seeds & Smoked Almonds. It is beautiful to arrange on a big plate and heavenly aromatic. I served fresh baguette with it.

March Dinner Party Inspiration With Pale Salmon + Fresh Flowers


As mentioned above I like the a lot. It made me think how I could possibly use them apart from their intended purpose. I tried with knotting them together to a linen garland and was quite happy with the result!

March Dinner Party Inspiration With Pale Salmon + Fresh Flowers

I hope one or other of my springlike tabletop ideas is inspiring for you and if so would love to know which one! Have a good and pleasant time, dear cattledogs readers!- Love, Anke

(Styling/Photography: Anke Illner, )

Table For Two: Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

Hi there, this is Anke with a new tabletop idea for you, dear cattledogs blog readers. “Think big” is a popular motto in this day and age and there’s nothing wrong with it, but sometimes it can be rela and quite inspiring to think in a smaller dimension. For instance, what if you celebrate the holidays with only your very small family or just one other person. Is it not worth a celebration when less are involved? Do we need to set a lovely table and make something nice only when many guests will join us? Of course not! Why not do something nice for just you and someone you love? That’s also a beautiful moment, but even more, a last memory.

That is why I would like you to enjoy my TABLE FOR TWO story today. Maybe this is something you can do with a single friend who may be lonely this time of year, or maybe your elderly neighbor who has no one during the holidays. Invite her by for cake and coffee and make things look special.

Table for two

The wall decoration

I can’t help decorating with paper. I know I’ve made a lot of leaf-shaped paper table decorations in the past, whether it was a garland or confetti-like sprinkled across the table. This time I cut out big leafs using recycling print paper. It is was easy!

I did not even make a template as it is rather nice when the leafs turn out unique and freestyle. Fold the paper sharply and cut it so that it results in a leaf when unfolding. Afterwards I arranged the leafs on the wall with masking tape on the reverse sides starting with the largest ones.


The flowers

I shopped for these flowers at the farmers’ market recently and I went home with sunflowers, dahlias, chrysanthemums, asters and straw flowers. And though the sunflowers and giant chrysanthemums are the eye catcher in the bouquet, especially from a distance, I do have a crush on the little luminous yellow straw flowers looking like little stars. I guess I am trying to hold onto Fall. And for Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving this month, this palette is still on your minds so it may inspire you a lot to see the lovely oranges and golds.

Cake recipe

The cake

This cake screams EAT ME! I loved it and my family did, too. Even the neighbors got a piece. It’s a and the recipe comes from Julie Gransee’s blog . The cake is moist and heavenly aromatic and simply soul food. Same with the cream cheese frosting. As an add-on I topped it with a crunch made of roasted seeds with maple syrup and coarse sea salt! Try it!

Roasted seeds

The colors & props

Warm earthy shades are beloved companions in fall/ autumn and rightly so. I ordered a beautiful beige colored tablecloth which sadly did not arrive on time for the shooting and picked my white linen one instead. At least the curry colored napkins looked particularly beautiful forming a contrast with the white surface. Besides my plain white tableware I decorated with a wooden cake plate, a  stone-grey ceramic candle holder and amber colored tiny jar.

I hope you like this slightly different column story of mine and see you again before Christmas, maybe back on the big table then!

With a glass of sparkling prosecco I am saying cheers to Holly celebrating her fantastic magazine news! I am looking forward to the first issue of in January so very much!


 (Text, Photography & Styling: )

4 Simple Ways To Decorate for a Garden Party at Home

Would you like to see 4 very easy and affordable ways to create an indoor garden dinner party for summer? Hello, this is Anke with another tabletop-column, cherishing the month of June and the color green! I love the rich green outside that come with summer season! Most of us like to spend as much time as possible outdoors during this time of the year, right? But as not all of us has a garden so thought about bringing the garden-party theme inside.

Indoor Garden Party Theme on cattledogs
Indoor Garden Party Theme on cattledogs

1/ Start with Flowers & Branches

First for this theme, I cut wild Mock Orange Bush (which is known under the name „Farmer ́s Jasmine“ in Germany because of its stunning citrus fragrance) and arranged the branches in a tall glass vase. The smaller vases on the table are filled with white Peonies, Nigellas, Grasses and Matthiola.

Indoor Garden Party Theme on cattledogs

2/ Simple Tableware & Linens

For a very natural look, I opted for plain white plates, small water glasses, and green linen napkins. Crystal glasses for the summery aperitif add a little nostalgic glamour. In addition, I decorated with just a few green accessories -- like a dark green little bowl with a floral decor and a rose-shaped candle holder.

Indoor Garden Party Theme on cattledogs

3/ Affordable & Pretty Wall Decoration

Another idea that is easy, quick and affordable is this wall decoration. I searched through all of my favorite magazines for green, garden, and countryside-themed pictures and attached them to the wall in my dining room using masking tape. The result is a big green mood board which beautifully emphasizes the theme of my indoor garden party.

Indoor Garden Party Theme on cattledogs

4/ A Signature Summer Drink/Aperitif

Next, how about a toast with a Peach, Thyme & Elderflower Cooler? You can pour some elderflower syrup in a carafe, then add just-sliced peaches, thyme twigs and fresh elderflowers. Top with sparkling wine and some sparkling water. Cheers to summer!

Indoor Garden Party Theme on cattledogs
Indoor Garden Party Theme on cattledogs

Let me wish you a beautiful summer season with many memorable moments with your loved ones outside in the garden, on the balcony, at the lake, by the sea or indoors in your dining room!

I will see you again here at deco8 in August when I return from our annual family vacation!


(Photography, Styling, Text: )

6 DIY Easter Tabletop Ideas and a Gorgeous Cake Recipe

Hi, dear cattledogs readers. This is Anke, would you like some Easter inspiration for your celebrations this weekend? Great, because I've prepared some easy DIY-ideas for your cherished moments with family and friends that will take you mere moments to pull together.

Easter Brunch Tabletop on cattledogs

1. Branches

A big bunch of branches makes a beautiful eyecatcher on your Easter table. You can decorate them with paper (ornament) hangers or, yes, of course, Easter eggs! Maybe you would like to opt for apple, cherry or peach-twigs. If so and you want them to bloom in time for Easter make sure to cut the ends and change the water every day. I chose velvety willow catkins I found on the farmers' market.

Easter Brunch Tabletop on cattledogs

2. Colored Eggs

The spectrum of possibilities to color eggs is huge. I actually like the natural method using vegetable juice very much and I saw beautiful results on pictures posted on the internet.
But I couldn't resist a tutorial with nail polish in Living At Home Magazine. To get the marbled look one basically drips the polish in a bowl filled with water and lets the blown out eggs turn on the surface. I combined my green-colored Easter eggs with natural brown ones as I find the rich brown color very pretty.

Easter Brunch Tabletop on cattledogs

3. Place Cards

Those of you who have read my column before know that I appreciate decoration ideas that do not consume a lot of time, money and nerves but still impress. This idea popped up in my mind when I was beating the eggs for my Easter cake. Just fill eggshells with paper shreds to kind of create small Easter nests. Print the names of your guests onto paper and cut into narrow strips. Arrange the strips in the nests and finally embellish with a tender twig or flower. Done!

Easter Brunch Tabletop on cattledogs

4. Cake + Recipe

Easter is just the perfect occasion for an opulent cake if you ask me! For my layer cake, I combined two different recipes. I took one from „Style Sweet CA“ for the and one from „Not Without Salt“ for the and I can highly recommend both!

Easter Brunch Tabletop on cattledogs
Easter Brunch Tabletop on cattledogs

5. Cake Top Decor

Though it may not surprise you that decorating the cake with flowers and chocolate Easter eggs was my favorite part. Make sure you only use flowers suitable for foods. I chose ranunculus.

6 Easter Tabletop Ideas

6. Flower Posies

I always love little flower posies scattered around on my tabletop and side tables. Here are simply pussy willows, tulips and ranunculus, but they definitely give a very Easter feeling, don't you think?

Easter Brunch Tabletop on cattledogs
6 DIY Easter Tabletop IDEAS and a gorgeous cake recipe

I am wishing you happy Easter holidays with your loved ones! Hopefully with sunny weather to go for a walk or an Easter egg hunt!



(Text, styling, photography: )


5 Easy Steps To Host a Lovely Little Party at Home

Hello dear cattledogs readers! If you are in the mood for a minimalist and bright table decoration with flowers that, yay!, announce spring... come along! This is Anke with a new column for the month of February where I want to show you how uncomplicated a little party at home can really be. In this column, I want to show you five (5) easy steps to a very nice party for your friends. It can be to celebrate anything, but also to celebrate nothing in particular except to have a nice excuse to host friends.


First, my table is laid in foundation white and grey colors this time giving the setting a very fresh look. Geometrical shaped vases as well as the ones with a concrete surface emphasize the clean and modern visual appearance. It's easy to go with tons of white because it's very easy to source, in fact most of us have white dinnerware and some white vases in our cabinet. You can mix and match shapes and textures very easily if everything is in the same tone of white.



Think of a little something small to give to your guests. In order to repeat the geometrical theme, I folded white paper Octahedron pendants for every guest to take home after the gathering and placed these on the cake plates. I used pink adhesive dots to add a little color. You will find a lot of different instructions/ templates for geometric shapes on the internet! I discovered the one I used on . In Germany, we like to hang little ornaments on branches to decorate our homes during Easter, so this gift gives my guests something they can use on their branch during Easter, for instance.



I always like to pick flowers that set the tone of the party, the color of the flowers create the palette for this tabletop since my vases and plates are white. You can do the same, let the flowers dictate the palette, makes it very easy! My heralds of spring are white Anemones, white Ranunculus, pale pink and white Hyacinths, slim white Tulips, Eucalyptus sprigs and huge Poppies. I simply arranged them loosely in different vases, without planning. Only for the wreath I proceeded with a little bit of a system.


Isn't the salmon colored Poppy an uncontested show stealer?!



I always like to make a little something for the wall nearby to the table to repeat the theme from the table to the wall somehow. You can try something similiar. The beautiful white wreath ring from danish manufacturer was a Christmas present of a dear friend of mine. It is such a toy for every decoration enthusiast and can be ordered in two sizes and different colors.

fantas-tisch-feb-18-11 copy.jpg


You don't have to lay out a roast that you spent a day preparing! Try to think smaller, but handmade and special. A simple cake will do with a pot of coffee or tea and some prosecco to make it a bit festive (we add prosecco to everything in Germany to give it a festive feeling - including brunch!). For my party, I made a moist Austrian Mohnkuchen Gugelhupf (Poppyseed Bundt Cake) I served with Lingonberry Whipped Cream, yum. If you google, look for "Austrian Mohnkuchen Gugelhupf" or "Poppyseed Bundt Cake".

So let's review. You have your tabletop planned with white ceramics, glassware and white vases, with loosely styled flowers in each vase. You've made a simple hostess gift for each guest out of paper. You've made a small wreath for your wall using the flowers from the table. You've added a nice homemade cake to the table with some sparkling wine. Now, you could add some tealights, a soothing playlist and great conversation and you have a perfect little party for your dear friends. That wasn't so hard, was it?

I hope to see you again in March to show you some ideas for Easter decoration. Honestly, I can hardly await the end of winter and the return of light and warmth! - Love,

(Text, Photography and Styling: )