As I sit at my desk, we are being blanketed with a snowstorm. With luck, it’s the last of the season. The late winter months still conjure images of bleak lifeless landscapes and lackluster color palettes. However, the tranquility and neutrality of the weeks just before spring bursts can inspire a chic and sophisticated design scheme during this season of calm and repose.

We do love to have friends come for an intimate and uncomplicated dinner at home. It’s the perfect time for an informal Sunday supper of soup with a hearty steak salad.

Instead of fighting late winter drabness, look for its beauty to fashion a theme that’s chic and sophisticated.

To maintain an uncomplicated vibe, I chose to use a bold patterned tablecloth with a neutral but sophisticated brown-and-black ikat pattern. I love to layer patterns of varying scale, so an outdoor scene on plates from Juliska on top of wood chargers combines natural neutrals. Wood is an unexpected but warm material for a charger and works well on top of a fabric tablecloth.

Bamboo flatware and faux tortoise napkin rings bring additional materials to the mix. A moment of metallic occurs on the napkins that crisscross silver and gold. White tulips and hydrangeas fill a trio of vases: ironstone from the flea market and inexpensive but sculptural pottery. There’s no need to force vibrance into the situation with too many colorful flowers. After all, waiting for spring’s arrival makes its debut extra special. In the meantime, I bought these flowers at the grocery store, while shopping for the soup and salad ingredients, making this gathering easy with one-stop preparation.