Want to create a lovely table setting that your guests will be talking about? Follow this elements of a lovely tablescape for perfection.
When you hear the term tablescape you might think of a centerpiece for a wedding or other fancy event; however, the term refers to ALL of the elements of a lovely tablescape from the plates, glasses, and utensils to the centerpieces and other decorations.
Tablescapes can be simple and straightforward with just a few basic elements, or they can be incredibly ornate. I tend to prefer something simple but a little elevated depending on the occasion. I love clean, less is more designs overall.
NOTE: This tablescape design was part of an editorial shoot I did with a photographer and florist and was featured on Magnolia Rouge.
Key Elements of Tablescapes
If you’re planning a dinner party, you’ll want to include the following key elements:
- A tablecloth, runner, placemats or leaving the table bare (which is fine too)
- Plates, bowls, and other necessary dinnerware
- A centerpiece (could be something other than flowers)
To take your tablescape to the next level and make it more sophisticated, include a few additional pieces, such as:
- Charger plates, which are large, non-functional plates that go underneath dinnerware as a decorative accent
- Place cards
- Candles and other decor
Depending on the event I might add all of the items listed above or 1-2 elements listed.
How to Create a Lovely Tablescape
There are certain design elements you need to take into account when designing a tablescape—otherwise, your spread may end up looking disjointed or unpolished.
1. Choose a Color Scheme
I begin by determining what my color scheme will be and then design around it. While you’ll want the pieces to complement each other, you don’t want them to match too perfectly.
One easy option is to use different shades of a color such as dark blue and light blue, on top of a neutral base color like white. Which is what I did during this styled shoot. You can apply this technique with any color you chose.
NOTE: Make sure to take into account the color of the room. If your room is yellow and you choose a red color scheme the walls may clash with the table setting.
2. Pay Attention to Scale
Your tablescape should be proportionate to the size of your table. Pay attention to centerpieces and other decorations, which can easily feel too big or too small.
If your display is too large, it can impede functionality, preventing people from being able to talk to each other, and if it’s too small, it may not feel substantial enough for the table, taking away from the overall aesthetic.
Adding little decor elements can provide just the right touch; be careful not to overdo. You want to offer guests visual interest but too much decor can make everything feel muddled.
3. Include Interesting Textures
Texture is an important design element that brings added complexity and interest to a tablescape. If your materials are all similar it can often feel one-dimensional.
Loving the touch of the lavender sprig; just a little more unexpected texture.
Look for wooden charger plates or a linen table runner, which will provide contrast from smooth plates and stemware. Alternatively, include branches or foliage as part of your centerpiece, which bring a natural element to the design. You want elements that feel real and touchable.
4. SELECTING ALL THE PIECES
PLATES/BOWLS: I love to use white plates; white is easy to design around and they don’t need to be fancy. Even the Dollar Store carries white plates.
Think about mixing styles and finishes too with plates/bowls, flatware and stemware.
Stemware does not need to be fancy, expensive nor does it have to match. I blended stemware I found at the thrift store for this tablescape.
PAPER PRODUCTS: I love menus and names cards at each place setting when appropriate for the event. These are added elements and not always necessary;
Menus can be hand calligraphy or you can create something on your own. Even printing a menu on card stock on your home computer is fine too.
LINENS: Whether or not you use a table linen, table runner or leave your table bare to expose the wood you will need some type of linen even if it is just a napkin.
Pull it all together
Once you have gathered all the elements now the fun part begins; setting the table. Once you spent time determining color, design, and every little piece; seeing it all come together is so rewarding.
With these guidelines, you’ll be able to create well-planned tablescapes that will set the stage for your upcoming dinner parties. Highlight the beauty of your home and give guests an aesthetically pleasing space to spend time as they socialize and eat.