Four Steps to Your Most Stylish Tablescape Ever

September 30, 2021

Four Steps to Your Most Stylish Tablescape Ever

Have you ever sat down at a dinner party and been bowled over by the incredible tablescape? And suddenly felt that your own efforts pale in comparison? Don’t panic! Styling a table to an exceptional level is quite a lengthy process but we’re here to make it as easy as possible with our failsafe 4 step guide. Soon you’ll be able to wave goodbye to paper napkins and disappointing flowers and say hello to on-point colour coordination, stylish florals and chic styling.

1. Do a cupboard audit

First things first. Work out what you have and haven’t got. There’s nothing worse than realising on the morning of a dinner party that you don’t have enough wine glasses, or tumblers, or half your napkins have red wine stains on them. So go through everything and be brutal! If it’s chipped, marked or worn then relegate it to daily use. We aim for a set of 12 of everything which is a generous number to allow for and usually means that you’ve got spares of things for an average gathering.

Ideally you’ll need two tablecloths, two sets of napkins, two sets of placemats (or one set that goes with everything), a set of red and white wine glasses, a set of crockery and a decent set of tumblers. We find that very few occasions call for silver cutlery and prefer a smart but contemporary set that goes with everything and can be dressed up or down.

Choosing a mixture of linens is a great way to make sure that you can mix your looks up. Our Lemko napkins and placemats are our very first embroidered linens and are so chic. Combining them with block prints is very effective and they look just as strong on a bare table.

Finally invest in some candlesticks and a varied selection of vases. Two or three large ones and half a dozen bud vases will get you out of all sorts of muddles and can be mixed and matched in lots of different ways. We also like to use decorative objects on dining tables so keep your eyes peeled for interesting sculptures or ceramics at vintage fairs and markets.

Napkins, Linen and ceramics in the kitchen

2. Don’t forget to take a moment to assess your dining space before you splash out on lovely new things

That envious dining table you sat at probably worked on more than just a styling level and was more than likely in total harmony with the scheme of the room. Using the colours in your dining space as a starting point is a great way to ensure that everything looks balanced however you style it.

Consider tones in the wall colours, wallpaper, artwork and soft furnishings. It may be that your space would be transformed with the addition of a bold rug under the table or a couple of well chosen paintings. It’s these touches that help to take a room to a completely new level.

Round dining table with Bel tablecloth

3. Get set, go!

Getting your place settings right is crucial and provides the framework for all of your lovely accessories. We always lay a knife and fork with a spoon tucked in on the inside of the knife. Arrange your glasses at the top right corner of your placemats and fold napkins into quarters. Some people like to press napkins flat but we quite like to press them in half and then gently fold them over for a slightly softer look. Make sure your cutlery and linens are straight and level before moving on to the styling.

Laying each setting with crockery is a great way to add extra interest. We always stack a bowl and side plate on top of a dinner plate for a perfectly balanced trio. Decorative plates are a great way to elevate a look and can be used for casual and formal occasions. Our brand new Bel service has been designed specifically to bridge this gap - it’s stylish and elegant with a lovely naivety from the hand painted design.

Bel tableware place setting on tablescape

4. Decorate to elevate

The finishing touches can make or break a dining table. Too much and it starts looking like a magazine shoot and too little can look a bit bleak. Here’s our finishing touch tick list:
- Candles -
Style dinner candles in holders of different heights. Try our new twisted candles in coordinating tones for a quirky look that works from day to night.
- Flowers -
Always aim for seasonal. In the depths of winter branches and evergreen foliage can look so stylish. Try a single arrangement with loosely grouped stems or make use of your bud vases with a whole range of diminutive flowers. Bud vases can usually take a single flower which is a great way to get extra mileage out of just a few stems.
- Objects -
Found a great sculpture to use as a centrepiece? Place it fairly centrally (make sure your guests can see over it!) and then add flowers around it. Arrange vases in staggered groups rather than lines to give the illusion of fullness
The final step is to stand back and make sure that the setting looks as good from every angle. Does every setting look the same? Can each guest see around/over your flowers? If everything looks balanced and neat then you’re dining table is finished! 
Tablescape, dressed dining table with flowers

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