Have you ever been to a dinner party before where the visual elements just completely stunned you? While the company, music, menu, and drinks are all very important for a festive gathering, nothing takes the evening over the top quite like a well-designed tablescape. You don’t need to be a professional stylist or interior designer to pull it off, and it’s quite possible to make something your guests will appreciate with the items you have at home. After all, a tchotchke can kick off quite a conversation.
Whether you have an upcoming dinner party, holiday event, or just enjoy brainstorming, here are 5 principles for creating a truly effortless and beautiful tablescape!
1. Be Inspired By What You Already Have
Here’s what you’re going to do. Gather your favorite dinnerwae, a few pieces of your silverware, and any candle sticks, trays, or other trinkets you might have. Lay them out on the table and take note of any patterns you see, especially colors that may pop out at you!
Consider a few themes depending on what you have. Do you have the right items for an autumnal tablescape? What about something inspired by the ocean? Take into consideration what your planned menu is as well! Select a theme that your items you already own lean towards so you don’t end up buying things you’ll only use once!
2. Pull in Textiles
Experiment with table cloths, table runners, and napkins to create either a uniquely layered or simple look! If you decide to layer it up, make sure to choose textiles that vary in either color, pattern, or texture.
3. Use Visual Variation
An easy way to add drama to an otherwise effortless table setting, is to play with height and variation. Stack things with books, collect tall items like candlesticks and vases, and lower items like trays, salt and pepper shakers, etc. Consider making a “hub” (either at the center of the table, or at one end of the table) with more items stacked closely together, and then thin out your arrangement from that point.
Or, conversely, go the minimal route and evenly spread out each little touch with a single stem flower at each place setting, or one long strand of greenery down the center.
4. Bring in Organic Elements
We sure it will come as no surprise that our first tip here is to bring in some flowers! You are, of course, welcome to get fancy with it and splurge at a florist, but hand picked wildflowers can be lovely as well. You can also opt for sprigs of fresh herbs to add a nice aroma. You can also decorate with colorful salt, a jar of local honey, pinecones, painted sticks, potted plants, the possibilities are endless!
5. Create Paper Touches
Typing up a quick menu of your food you’ll be serving just makes a dinner party feel all the more official. Name cards are a perfect touch if you’d like to arrange where everyone is sitting, and can be made just with paper and pen or crafted in more imaginative ways like writing on rocks, sticking name cards in pinecones, using a chalk marker on glass, etc. We also love the idea of printed themed quotes (like lyrics to a holiday song, or quotes about love), or including a stack of ice breaker questions if you have new friends joining!
Now that you’ve turned your table into a museum-worthy masterpiece, you’re ready to set it and prep for the guests to arrive! Use this handy guide if you are worried about where to put the silverware and just how many plates are needed for the occasion. Turn on the tunes, finish the food, and relax, knowing that you are giving your guest a truly memorable event!