ENTERTAINING, TABLETOP | February 27, 2008

My recipe to successfully design a tabletop

tabletop design guide : dinnerware : flatware : placematWith the death of packaged theme for home decor, the art of coordinating can scare some of you. Not everyone knows all to mix products into a tailored yet cohesive design.

Beginners who wish to mix styles can rely on a proven, simple method. Start by finding one thing (furniture, accessories, painting or plate) that you like and derive the rest from that element.

Practice with small projects like designing every week end a new tabletop. Why not reinstate the old-fashioned family dinner every Sunday? Use this occasion to also practice new recipes and food plating. Ask your family for help so everything runs smoother the next time you have guests over for dinner.

My 5-step guide to better design your tabletops

To teach you the basics, I developed a 5-step guide. More design rules are involved but these 5 steps will help develop your sensibility.

  1. Consider all the dinnerware and the home accessories that you have on your house.
  2. Examine them carefully individually and collectively.
  3. Pay attention to the shapes, colors, textures, finishes and emotions.
  4. Look for both similarities and contrasts.
  5. Let flow your creativity and explore compositions and concepts.

If you are new to this, practice often and you will see that it becomes easier. Remember that not everyone has the inner style to be a designer, so do not discourage if you have trouble successfully mixing stuff. Some people are great at sports, others at design.

New video series

Since I know that nothing beats seeing someone doing it, I hope to start publishing instructional videos on how to create tabletop after I planned a little recording studio.

My first video may feature the nature Asian inspired Chirp dinnerware set by Lenox. I will demonstrate several table linen options including the Birds ‘n Trees placemats by Modern-Twist that I bought at Lekker while I was visiting Boston.

Flatware as jewelry for your table

Just changing the flatware can totally change the look of your table. Think of it as jewelry. To get the right look, do not be afraid to rent flatware for your events. In fact, Sarah Dennis of Table and Toasts said the same thing on an interesting post yesterday about Trends in flatware rentals.

I displayed Beaded Antique flatware by Towle available at Cooking.com, several models by MEPRA available at Lekker and the fun colored Fantasia Millennium Flatware by MEPRA available at Plastica.

SOURCING:
+ Chirp Dinnerware by Lenox – price:$99.95 per 5-piece setting
+ Silicone placemats by Modern-Twist – price: $22 at Lekker
+ Beaded Antique by Towle – price: $49.95 per 5-piece setting
+ Natura ICE Five Piece Place Setting – price: $37 per 5-piece setting
+ Italia ICE Five Piece Place Setting – price: $44 per 5-piece setting
+ Levantina ICE Five Piece Place Setting – price: $47.50 per 5-piece setting
+ colored Fantasia Millennium Flatware by MEPRA – price: $50 per 5-piece setting

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