Table top design is one of my favorite parts of hosting an event (whether private or for my own family). A great table top is all about layering different textures to create a unique and one of a kind look. When I am designing a table top scheme – I use the following tips and tricks. I hope they will help you as you design your own spring tabletop.
Linens & Fabric: Think of table linens, fabrics, napkins and runners as the foundation of your table setting. If you have an amazing table with unique features – think twice before putting a table cloth on it. Opt for a runner instead. As a general rule, I only use a full length table cloth when (1) the table I’m using is a standard banquet table with folding legs etc. or (2) if I am trying to protect an otherwise beautiful table from a rowdy crowd of party goers (i.e., Kids! Well, and Super Bowl fans). By using a runner over a table, you create a layered look that honors the lovely exposed elements of the table (wood, marble etc.) – while also adding a pop of color or detail. If you do need to use a full length table cloth – consider layering a runner on as well. Again, it is all about contrast and creating an aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye.
Regarding napkins, I use napkins that compliment my table linens – but are not identical. In this year’s Easter design, I used a lovely brown and white checkered table runner. Rather than having “matchy matchy” napkins – I relied upon light brown linen napkins. Styled up with a festive Eater Egg Napkin Ring – the linens are a perfect complement to the dish ware described below.
Dishes, Glasses & Silverware: When styling dishes, the rule of thumb is complimentary – but not matching. For example, in my Easter tabletop – I layered distressed gold chargers, with pale green, white and gold polka dot dinner plates and a plain white salad plate. To “dress” up the setting, I placed a brown linen napkin with Easter Egg Napkin Ring on the top of the salad plate – giving the entire look a “festive” vibe. For the silverware, I found these adorable burlap stitched silverware holders from one of my favorite local boutiques (Royal Wren, Geneva) Again, the benefit of layering with natural elements is that everything looks complimentary – even if the shades are slightly different. Finally, I selected fun vintage pink glassware with raised eater bunnies to stay true to the whimsy of the season.
Floral Design: I do not like tall floral arrangements on dining tables. I find that they obstruct the guests’ view and burden conversation. Reserve “statement” arrangements for the bar area or at another place where they will not be intrusive. Or, opt for a statement wall arrangement like I did here with wooden angel wings (Cocoon, Geneva) and oversized roses (Paper Merchant, Geneva). For my Easter table, I used simple cream and pink roses and arranged them into squat mason jars with a natural twine element. I placed them around an incredible Jan Barboglio handblown wine decanter with iron cross decal (Artemisia, Geneva).