When this Chicago homeowner was expecting out of town houseguests guests recently, she called us to help get her new dining room ready for action on short notice. We delivered! She is all set now with dining table pads on both her table and buffet.
Tablescapes: What is it that turns everyday table settings into tablescapes? I’d always wondered if I could somehow get that magazine photo look at home and soon realized that the art of tablescape design is part artistry and part theater.
Artistry of tablescapes
The artistry of tablescapes is in combining just the right colors, textures and shapes for a certain effect. I came across one striking look for a formal dinner involving the use of zebra striped table cloths highlighted by white plates on patterned gold chargers. I noticed that tall candles and bold flowers make plain tablescapes look exotic.
Theater of tablescapes
A touch of theater will grab guests’ attention to make it a memorable occasion. In my favorite example, song birds fly out from beneath the folded napkins of guests at a French royal wedding. Unusual presentation of an elaborate main dish is another old trick. Highly dramatic lighting effects are popular for modern banquet tablescapes. I even came across one table lit entirely by glow in the dark rings and sparklers.
Which of these effects should you try at home? It’s mostly a matter of personal style and taste. Start with changes that you feel you can carry off with confidence and ease. I may not be ready for glow ring lighting, but it may be just perfect for your event. Here are my favorites from this year’s trends:
- Textured tablecloths in bold colors
- Dramatic vases and flowers
- Colored glassware
- Combining chinaware patterns
- Tall candlesticks and candelabras
Current trends show a definite movement away from sparse, monochromatic table top design. The order of the day is bold colors, patterns, and sheer fun. Even though my research didn’t quite result in the design epiphany I’d hoped for, it did help me refresh my personal style. I’m looking forward to trying some new tablescapes at home.