The Art of Tablescaping

The Art of Tablescaping

From event designers to Instagram influencers and even chefs, tablescaping has seen a rise in popularity of late, with even fashion retailers turning their attentions to tableware. The once-formal pastime is back as a super-stylish trend. Here are our experts' tips for recreating the perfect table setting at home…

More than a traditional centrepiece, a tablescape is an all-encompassing design that covers not only the table where food is served, but all elements of the space, to create a complete look and feel. Done right, a tablescape is both fun to create, effects the mood and a great conversation starter before your meal comes out to the table.

Consider The Décor

The key to setting a great table is balance; repeating scale and texture and sticking to a select colour palette. For a relaxed outdoor dinner think natural textures and neutral tones - a linen runner, glass hurricane lamps, and pots of rosemary scattered along a bare wooden table. Beyond the table, sheepskins thrown over chairs and round votives overhead enhance the look and encourage guests to linger.

Hosting a more upscale event? Don’t be afraid to go bold. Embrace deeper tones with napkins and tablecloths in rich hues: This work best combined with eye-catching metallics, so opt for gold chargers beneath plates, gold-etched glassware, and antique glass vases filled with single-blooms to reflect flickering candlelight.

Complement The Tableware

Whatever the occasion and your own style, remember that the best tablescapes always complement the food they accompany. For rich, Ottolenghi-style dishes of colourful roasted vegetables and bejewelled pomegranate seeds, more is more so ornate items work beautifully; whereas a pared-back lunch of citrus-roasted chicken and fresh leaves, is better-suited to sturdy white dishes and green water glasses, with just a pretty bowl piled-high with fresh limes, or leafy basil, as a centrepiece.

Create An Inviting Environment

Away from the table be sure to consider any areas that your guests will visit. Lower lighting light a scented candle in a bathroom and position a soft arrangement of freshly-picked blooms in a hallway to create a real welcome and pull the overall look together.

Add A Personal Touch

Unlike the precise and prim table-settings of the 1980s, tablescaping extends beyond formal hosting, as fresh way to showcase individual style besides the choice of food, so be sure to add a signature touch: A handwritten menu, sprig of fresh rosemary, or a leafy lemon at each place never fail to look elegant.

For Style Inspo

For special occasion tables floral designer Dominique Stylianou of A Riot of Colour (@a_riot_of_colour) advises “Odd numbers look best, so keep arrangements simple and grouped into threes. Combine with extra-tall tapered candles - pastel shades of sage green and peach are popular at the moment - positioned at varying heights. This creates interest down the table but allows space for serving dishes.”

Known as ‘matchimalism’, layers of chintzy florals are on-trend right now, with Fiona Dreesman (@FionaFindsLondon) of online boutique Fiona Finds affirming: "More is definitely more, so don’t be afraid to go print-on-print. I always like to include a hero-piece too, such as a fun ornament or bold side plates to provide interest."

Known for her stylish settings on Instagram Serena Fresson, recommends starting with fresh foliage: “Either herb or fern pots, or even faux lily of the valley works well. Choose a main colour - something natural like green and go from there. It’s all about layering and there is always lots of adding and removing, but that’s part of the fun!”
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