Hi there! So this is probably pretty obvious, but I'm just going to put it out there. I LOVE setting the table. First of all, the table is a very sacred space to me with a great deal of meaning behind it. The table is where we gather to share a meal with loved ones, clink glasses, laugh, talk life, dream of the future...it is a place where we create beautiful memories. So why not create a beautiful setting to set the tone of the memories that are to be made? Additionally, designing a table is one of my favorite ways to express my style, or a client's style. The bottom line is that there are endless design possibilities when it comes to setting the table, which makes it that much more fun! Yep, I am a total table nerd.
So, let's talk about what it takes to set the table. I'll teach you how to decide on the style, a breakdown of key elements, and where to shop for the goods. Ready? Let's go!
DECIDE ON THE AESTHETIC
- Choose your color palette - I went with a neutral palette with mixed metals of silver and gold for this setting
- What is the overall vibe of the setting? Is it for a specific occasion or do you want to go with a certain theme? - I had Valentine's Day in mind and wanted to create a non-traditional setting for the occasion that was cozy and casual
- Scour for inspiration to decide on materials, textures, patterns, etc. - My personal favorite way of doing this is to just start grabbing the elements around me - dishes, glassware, fabrics, and fun details pieces that could be used in interesting ways - But there are other ways as well, like Pinterest (of course) or flipping through your favorite design magazines and look for the elements that stand out to you
KEY ELEMENTS + RESOURCES
- DINNERWARE - This is an obvious one, but still worth mentioning. If you love to host dinner parties, then I highly recommend investing in a least one set of pretty plates and bowls (bonus if you mix & match colors / patterns!) | resources for items in photo: white dinner plate from Anthropologie, light gray salad plate from West Elm, small sauce dishes and spoons are from local boutiques - get to know your favorite boutiques for unique knick-knacks!
- ORGANIC ELEMENTS - The tendency is generally to go for flowers, but I suggest playing with the unexpected like cacti and air plants - or even better, mix the two with soft, feminine roses! | get to know your local indoor plant shops, succulent shops and nurseries for interesting botanical options
- PRETTY GLASSWARE - I am a bit obsessive about pretty glassware and believe 100% in their magic - you can take the simplest, bare bones table, add beautiful glassware and Bam! It immediately comes to life - trust me on this one, friends! Lucky for you, pretty glassware is easy to find in vintage shops, Etsy, local boutiques and Anthropologie
- INTERESTING DETAILS - This is where the fun really begins and where you have a chance to really get creative in finding new uses for everyday items. Here are some of the most important details to keep in mind and examples of what I used: a) PLACE SETTING DETAILS - These are generally the most focal pieces within the place settings and what your guests see when they sit down. I used festive gold flatware and classy gray cloth napkins, both from West Elm b) UNEXPECTED TOUCHES - Just that little something extra that is unexpected and unique, like using a beaded garland to wrap around the dinner napkins c) DIY DETAILS - I like to incorporate one DIY detail into my settings for the extra personal touch, like these gold tipped feathers (bonus! they are super easy to create as long as you have feathers, paint and a paintbrush!)
- UNIQUE VESSELS - Have fun with your vessels! Especially so because your pretty botanicals deserve pretty vessels! And go outside the ordinary for this one, too. For example, I loved using the little marble pinch pots on the wood tray, from Anthropologie, in a brand new way with the mini cacti
Additionally, table linens are key as well. Nice linens in solid white and other colors are a great place to start and then add some patterned styles into your collection as your designs call for them. Also, consider incorporating some unexpected items like a leather hide and sheepskin pelt as I have done for this setting.
So, that is the basic breakdown of the elements you need to create a beautiful table setting where your loved ones will gather for an evening of joyous times and memory making. Eat, drink & be merry, friends!