Do you ever get tabletop envy? The kind where you come across a perfectly set table on your feed, where the color, décor and the theme of tabletop somehow come together in one perfectly coordinated unison? And even though you know deep down that these decisions were made by a stylist who has the time and the expertise to get it right every time, you may have still tried to recreate the magic with little luck, because getting everything to coordinate is hard without a pre-envisioned picture of the results. In this week’s blog, we have compiled a “cheat sheet”, that will help you achieve the perfect tabletop every time, with specific tips on how to create the core essentials, after which you can focus on collecting the items that give the table a different theme. With this step by step guide, you will be able to recreate our most famous tabletop sets, to the awe and envy of your guests!
Some examples from our Instagram page, @scullyandscully:
The Bottom Line
It may come as little surprise that one of the first considerations to setting the table, is deciding the table that you would like to use. Most of us have dining and kitchen tables at home for such occasions but if you’re on the hunt for a new one, above all consider the quality of the wood, since all of the items that you would like to use will be sitting on the surface of the wood you choose. Tables with polished mahogany finishes and legs that are intricately designed (and equally sturdy!) will do the trick, and the guaranteed quality will mean that the table can be an everlasting reminder of all the wonderful soirees you’ve had.
After choosing the right table, you might want to immediately skip to choosing the table cover. However, a table cover has the potential to contribute to the theme of your table set, so unless you’re set on having a clean white base to the table, leave this choice until you know the china that you would like to use.
The Core Essentials
One very handy trick to know is that the entire decision process for having a themed tabletop should be based around your china set, especially if you have a stylistically “loud” set. This is because it will be harder to have the china go along with the décor, than the other way around. It is easier to make the dinner set that you use the essential, which can then decide the décor and the accents. For example, for the tabletop below, the theme is avian, and the china sets the tone for it. Everything else, including the accent color, accent theme (birds) and the décor is a continuation of the china, the central focus of the table.
If you are a china maven, you probably have a plethora of choices to choose from. This is handy, as you can mix and match. Additionally, as the owner of the more adventurous sets, you have the liberty to design very specific themed tabletops. For example:
However, if you are a minimalist and have quality china but with more understated designs, you can use the china as more of the background focus and bring out its uniqueness or central feature, with the décor and the accents. For example:
In conclusion, depending on the intricacy of your china design, you must be the judge of whether the décor and the accents serve the set, or vice versa. Either way, the easy way to build this service relationship is through color coordination or a continuation of a theme.
The Extra Touch
Now that you have chosen the china set and decided whether it’ll contribute or be supplemented by the décor, it’s time to choose the accents and all the other special touches that make the most difference in terms of a themed tabletop. As mentioned, here the decision will be a direct by product of the china design.
A useful tip to remember when really locking in the theme, is to choose items that have a function at the table and easily go along with the color theme. For such purposes, coasters and placemats are the easy choice.
Equally functional and classy is to have place card holders that fit the theme:
Additionally, flowers are an obvious and failproof choice as table décor.
And last, for themes that you see yourself returning to often, it might be a good investment to have décor that is longer lasting. For example, if you are a fan of the Kentucky Derby Tournament, having sterling silver horse statues might be the way to go:
Or these Herend Figurines, for every occasion:
Perhaps the most important but overlooked feature of a successful party with beautiful tabletops is the general attitude you possess when decorating. Whether you are preparing for a specific event or wish to experiment with tabletop designs for the future, the key is to be bold with your decisions, and find your specific style. And in the case that your preparing for guests, the truth is that you are a caring, attentive host with the commitment to create an enjoyable atmosphere, your intentions are bound to shine through brighter than any item you put on the table!