How To? Plan Your Tablescape

How To? Plan Your Tablescape

What is a tablescape?

It’s a general term for your table centerpiece, your place settings, and the decoration of your table. 

Why go to the trouble? 

A great tablescape can really elevate your dining experience and make the meal, and most importantly, your guests, feel special. 

What’s the occasion? 

There doesn’t need to be an occasion, however mostly people think more about their tablescapes on a seasonal basis, for a holiday like Diwali, Thanksgiving, Ramadan, a birthday, special occasion, a wedding, graduation, Christening. There are so many excuses throughout the year to have a party with family & friends. 

How to begin? Here’s my Step-By-Step Guide:

Find your inspiration. Chose a theme or a colour scheme, maybe something inspired by the season. 

Gather your materials. Plates, charger plates, placemats, napkins, tablecloth, candles, glasses, foliage, seasonal decorations. 

I like to start with an uncluttered base, a plain white tablecloth makes a good foundation, because you can add so much colour and interest on top. 

Lay your centerpiece and flowers first. Pumpkins for Halloween, wedding flowers, freshly cut foliage from the garden, fruit, whatever it is, make it the focal point. 

Vary your textures, you can use cotton, linen, rattan, glass, flowers, leaves, other props to add that depth of interest. 

The arrangement of three objects is the most visually appealing, so use that as your rule of thumb. 

I love to scatter votive candles to break up the symmetry if it’s looking a bit staged. 

Position your placemats next, these can be plain or pattered, simple or textured. 

Next put your plates on top, you can use a charger plate which is a larger base plate, for decoration, as well as a standard plate for serving the food, or just choose one or the other.  

Next, it’s the napkins and you can have fun with these! See my How to? Style your Napkins & Elevate your Tablescape to give you a few ideas. Or if you’re not feeling confident enough to fold an entire table of napkins, then just keep it simple and use napkin rings. This is an easy way to bring in added texture – I have a lovely jute set, which go with just about everything, but the options are endless.

Next you can personalise each place setting with a name card or favour. Use your best handwriting and a good quality pen to write your guests names on a small card that can be folded or placed on the napkin or propped against a glass. You can add a trinket, a chocolate, a keepsake, depending on the occasion. I love just adding a sprig of fresh Rosemary or Eucalyptus inside a napkin pocket. The added sensory element of fresh herbs or flowers, adds to the experience for your guest.  

If you invest in a good set of tableware and table linen, then you can just swap out the smaller items like the flowers, props and taper candles and create a totally new theme each time, using the same larger base pieces.  I have a lovely white, cotton tablecloth and white plates with a fun, scalloped edge, which go perfectly with any linen.  By having items you can use time and time again, you’re more likely to make fun tablescapes a regular thing with friends and family.   

So the possibilities are endless! Whether it’s a special dinner, party or just a fun every day gathering, your table is a great way to set the perfect atmosphere and get the conversation going. So try it and have fun! 



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