The definitive guide to tablescaping

How to style and accessorize your dining table to create a sense of occasion

Autumn tablescape

Styling a dining table is one of our favourite pastimes here at La Residence Interiors – and we’ve had plenty of practice in this art, having been creating inspiring lifestyle images featuring our luxury collection of dining tables for more than a decade.

Over the past couple of years, tablescaping – as it’s been tagged – has been appearing all over Instagram, with examples of setting the table on all sorts of wild and wonderful themes ranging from highly stylised to artfully effortless.

It’s a trend that has also been fuelled by the pandemic, which forced us to dine in and made us yearn to create the sense of occasion we missed when going to dinner parties and restaurants was strictly off the menu.

And now that lockdowns are (we hope) forever behind us, the enjoyment of setting the table and anticipating our guests’ appreciation of our efforts is even greater!

So here’s our guide to conjuring up atmosphere and conviviality while adding your own sense of style, panache and individuality to your dining table. Bon appetit!

The main elements

Centrepiece

This is the eye-catching central display that dominates and sets the tone of the table, the pièce de résistance if you like!

It could be a single floral or plant arrangement, a candelabra, a sculpture or ornament or a series or line-up of co-ordinating elements along the centre of the table, such as a row of vases, pots of greenery, or candle or tea light holders. 

Crockery

You don’t have to own an expensive dinnerware set to make the table look special but it’s more of a treat to serve food from plates and bowls that you don’t use every day.

Investing in crockery for special occasions means it’s more likely to last and stay pristine for longer and if you buy a few key luxury items, it can be fun to mix and match these with antique market finds or end-of-line bargains you might be able to source online or on the high street.

Glassware

Your choice of glasses can substantially add to the sense of occasion, with the number of glasses dictating how casual or formal the event is going to be.

For most dinner parties with friends and family, the norm is a water glass and a wine glass for each guest – but if you’re out to seriously impress and serve different wines with a several courses, you might have more! Tall-stemmed wine glasses help to create height and elegance, while rustic water tumblers bring things back down to earth.

Just remember that the water glass and wine glass should be placed to the right of the place setting just above the table knife. If serving both red and white wine, you could include a glass for each.

Linens

Of course you can use paper serviettes but there’s nothing quite like crisp white – or other coloured – linen napkins to elevate a table from ordinary to super-sophisticated.

It’s true that they require extra effort to launder but for a truly special occasion it may be worth it. The look and feel of a beautiful linen napkin are associated with an impeccable dining experience – think Michelin-starred restaurant… (and you can achieve this ambience with a table setting, even if it’s a stretch with the cooking!)

Placemats

Again, placemats are an intrinsic addition to setting a stylish table as well as having a practical purpose by protecting the surface, particularly if your table is made from pale wood and likely to be marked by hot plates or food debris. You can either choose a round placemat to sit under the plate only, or a larger rectangular one to use for the entire place setting. Mats in neutral tones and natural materials can be re-used to complement many different colour themes and types of celebration.

Cutlery

Is it worth forking out for dinner party cutlery – or should you use your everyday utensils? It probably depends on how often you entertain and what condition your kitchen drawer knives, forks and spoons are in. If they’re a bit tarnished from countless cycles in the dishwasher, it may be an investment you wish to make.

You certainly won’t struggle for choice… from good old-fashioned stainless steel to gold, copper and matt black – as well as enamelled, bejewelled or ergonomically designed handles – and you don’t have to have been born with a silver spoon to afford them!

One point to bear in mind if you’re purchasing a stainless steel cutlery set is that different grades of stainless steel denote its quality. For the best cutlery that feels heavy in your hand choose 18.10, which contains more nickel than 18.0 steel, so is shinier and more rust-resistant.

Decorative details

Those final flourishes that really personalise the table and welcome your guests can add to celebratory feel of any event. They’re fun to think up and execute too! It might be something as simple as place name or a menu card for each place setting to table gifts, personalised chocolates or trinkets or even a home-made treat. You can be as understated or extravagant as you like – it’s the thought that counts!

Changing with the seasons

Whether you have a celebratory theme or not, adding seasonal decorations to your table can add colour, freshness and vibrancy.

Make the most of seasonal flowers and foliage while taking inspiration from events that are important on your own calendar, whether that be Easter or Halloween, Eid-Ul-Adha or Diwali.

Here are a few ideas to inspire your seasonal tablescaping…

Spring

Spring tablescape

Blue hyacinths and white primulas and tulips add a breath of fresh air to this spring table.

 

Soft pastel colours and fresh light greens that evoke trees blossoming in spring can be put to good use at the table.

Use mini pots of narcissi along the centre of the table, a faux grass or natural linen runner and add some golden tea light holders.

Or fill a statement vase with multi-coloured tulips and source candleholders and/or water glasses in similar colours.

Summer

Summer tablescape

Summer roses, displayed in vases and as decorations for each place setting, create a simple but stunning tablescape.

 

Classic blues, sunny yellows, baby pinks and deep lush greens are great colours for summer while fresh white and greens and strawberry reds can also look striking.

Summer flowers like roses, peonies, sweet peas and hydrangeas can be used to great effect as floral centrepieces. Add some fresh green foliage such as eucalyptus or ivy to the table. You could even make your own mini floral bouquets for each place setting.

Autumn

Autumn tablescape

A dramatic seasonal arrangement of foliage, scatted leaves, apples on a wooden platter and tealight form the basis of this autumn tablescape.

 

Fiery reds and oranges, golds and russets… autumn provides a riot of warm colours and inspiration for tablescapers!

Take inspiration from what’s coming into stock at the garden centre – winter-flowering heathers, for example, are widely available from autumn onwards, to plant as winter bedding in containers and borders. Cyclamen add gorgeous splashes of colour, too. You can make use of both plants to create dinner table centrepieces and then plant them out in the garden afterwards.

You can also forage in the garden or outdoors locally to find beautifully coloured autumn leaves that can be incorporated into a tablescape featuring pumpkins and gourds, apples, or other autumn favourites.

Golden or leaf-decorated candle holders will add a warm glow to proceedings.

Winter

Winter tablescape

A fir garland, fairy lights and candles create a winter scene. 

 

’Tis the season for holly, mistletoe, red berries, snow-whites and sparkles. Fir garlands look beautiful as runners, and needn’t be just for Christmas, while gold and silver pillar candles will add glamour to any occasion.

Olive branches, fir cones and walnuts also combine well with natural materials like wicker and rattan on a winter table.

Or for a centrepiece, collect five or six preserving jars and place a few evergreen pine branches in each, tie some rustic jute, hessian or string around the neck of each jar and line them up in a rustic wooden trough in the centre of the table.

We hope you find some of these ideas useful and the team here at LRI would love to see any of your tablescaping, especially on any of our tables! So do share on Instagram and tag us or upload your photos to our Customer Photo page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 01, 2021 by Mandy Lebentz
Older Post / Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

What our customers say

Read our independent reviews

13th May
"Amazing service, highly recommend"

"Amazing service, highly recommend. Very happy"

Claire
11th May
"Fantastic service, thank you"

"Fantastic service, thank you"

Meg
11th May
"Excellent Service"

"Excellent service. Many thanks."

Morag
3rd May
"Friendly and professional - thank you."

"Delivery and assembly services was friendly and professional - thank you."

Charles
27th April
"Very helpful and friendly"

"Very helpful and friendly"

Tracey
20th April
"Very satisfied by the goods."

"Very satisfied by the delivery and the goods."

Susan
14th April
"The most beautiful table!"

"The most beautiful table!"

Lisa
13th April
"Beautiful footstool"

"Beautiful footstool, delivered with plenty of advance warning and tracking by the courier company. Very happy with the product , service & delivery "

Anne
13th April
"Table is fantastic Delivery guys were excellent 👌 "

"Table is fantastic Delivery guys were excellent 👌 "

Gemma
9th April
"Excellent service again from laresidence interiors"

"Excellent
service again from laresidence interiors will reccomend them & two very polite guys who made the delivery a credit to their company ."

Diane
8th April
"Fantastic service"

"Fantastic service"

Karen
29th March
"Outstanding customer service."

"Outstanding
customer service. Delivery company are incredibly patient and careful."

Deborah
24th March
"Very professional service,"

"Very
professional service, such pleasant delivery chaps who took great care and
their time to explain everything. "

Diane
21st March
"Friendly, polite and efficient service! Top job!"

"Friendly, polite and efficient service! Top job!"

Tom
24th March
"Excellent service from start to finish "

"Excellent
service from start to finish & very good quality product. Highly
recommend! "

Deborah
22nd March
"Friendly, polite and efficient service! Top job!"

"Friendly,
polite and efficient service! Top job!"

Tom
21st March
"Delivery was very professional "

"Delivery
was very professional "

Bernadette
18th March
"First class delivery from very polite men…my table and chairs are just amazing x"

"First
class delivery from very polite men…my table and chairs are just amazing
x"

Karen
15th March
"Fabulous table the quality is just perfect "

"Fabulous
table the quality is just perfect "

Frances
15th March
"Brilliant tracking system"

"Brilliant
tracking system, efficient and friendly service from the team that
delivered."

Carole
9th March
"Excellent service and tracking "

"Excellent
service and tracking "

Angela
7th March
"Amazing to deal with."

"Amazing
to deal with. Fantastic operator including the delivery guys. Big shout out
to them as well"

Paul
7th March
"Great service and the furniture looks lovely"

"Great
service and the furniture looks lovely"

Jenny
7th March
"Very efficient and helpful staff"

"Very
efficient and helpful staff"

John
3rd March
"excellent service and very nice guys!"

"excellent service and very nice guys!"

Emily
3rd March 22
"Excellent customer care, delivery and item. Great table.

"Excellent
customer care, delivery and item. Great table. "

Julie
2nd March 22
"Excellent service from time of order to delivery."

"Excellent service from time of order to delivery."

Lyn
2nd March 22
"Thrilled with the quality of the furniture

"Thrilled with the quality of the furniture and the friendly, helpful and efficient service we received."

Carol
1st March 22
"I am delighted with the chairs and excellent delivery."

"I am delighted with the chairs and excellent delivery."

Jean
1st March 22
"From ordering to delivery - a superb experience

"From ordering to delivery - a superb experience and we LOVE our chairs - thank you! "

Alison
25th Feb 22
"One hundred percent from time of placing order to delivery ."

"One hundred percent from time of placing order to delivery ."

Roy
7th Feb 22
"You don't get service like this anymore!

"You don't get service like this anymore! Thank you guys "

Lewis
2nd Feb 22
"Very happy with the transaction and the beautiful piece of furniture delivered.

"Very happy with the transaction and the beautiful piece of furniture delivered. I had 2 helpful and pleasant conversations with Sue about the item and subsequent delivery. The item was exactly as described and had a very minor area of damage which had been fully described and images sent to me before ordering and for which a very generous discount was applied. Well deserved star rating."

Jackie

Reviews from our trusted delivery partners customer feedback system

x