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Sharing 5 steps to create the perfect simple table setting complete starting with dining table flowers, of course! And while flowers played a bit part in this table, they don’t have to in yours – adding another living element like some of those suggested below will give your table an equally fresh and lush feel.
Decorating a table for a party is one of my favourite things to do. I mean, I love it so much that I made it my job! Dining table flowers were one of the first things that inspired me to become a florist. But before I did this for work, I always took it upon myself to decorate our family table beautifully for each holiday or dinner too. To make a table feel complete, like the ones you see in magazines, comes down to the details and is about so much more than just the dining table flowers. Simple table setting can be broken down into these 5 things that I always consider when it comes to how to decorate the table for a party.
The feel is the overall experience you want to create for your guest. If you want your simple table setting to feel rustic and homemade use warm colours like yellows and oranges (think sunflowers and freshly picked wildflowers) and materials like twine, gingham, and tarnished silver. Maybe you are interested in a clean and modern look? Go for lots of greenery and white flowers (like simple hydrangeas in a bowl) with simple and refined materials such as gold, concrete, or ceramic in neutral tones (Also, if that is your vibe, see this blog post for inspiration!). If you’re looking for something fun and playful, consider colourful flowers, a pattern like a bold stripe and coloured glass. Is this painting a picture as to how the materials you choose can really drive the overall look and feel of your table? The goal is to decide on a feel and then select all your elements below that will best suit that overall feel. Your simple table setting will feel full and complete once you consider these 5 elements below!
Having a living element on your table will make it feel fresh. Of course, as I mentioned above I love dining table flowers but there are other options too. At this party we used traditional centrepieces but a simple option on a long table is to use greenery (like this post on a simple tablescape shows). Other ideas of a fresh living element could be a runner of pinecones at Christmas time or various sizes and colours of pumpkins at Thanksgiving.
There are three main elements to consider with your linens – table cloth, runner, and napkins. If you want to keep things simple you may opt for a table cloth and no runner. Or, if you have a beautiful table, a runner without a tablecloth may be appropriate. Choose different colours and textures that work well together. I like to keep the tablecloth and runner fairly neutral so that the other elements (plates, flowers, candles etc.) can stand out. At this event we layered textures all in white so that the flowers and candles could really pop. If you want to add a pattern to your table a printed napkin is a great place to start.
I love choosing plates and flatware. There are so many fun options! Keep it simple or go bold and colourful. Setting the table is all about give and take. You do not want things to feel too busy so you want to choose your areas of interest. If you want to have colourful and funky plates – use simple linens. If you want to have simple and neutral plates – maybe have a patterned napkin or use colour in your centrepiece.
Lighting helps set the atmosphere. On any tablescape candles are key. Taper candles in candle holders or tea lights in small votives are great. Mix and match styles, sizes, and materials. For this event we used vintage crystle candle holders with colourful taper candles that matched the flowers. If you aren’t a fan of real candles, LED candles in holders work well too. Love vintage candle sticks like I do? Scour your local thrift shops and before you know it you will have an impressive collection!
Need some candle inspiration? Read this post to make your own DIY Modern Candle Holders!
I love leaving a little something for each guest. A beautiful name tag, a personal flower arrangement, a mini wrapped gift (like this Christmas table design inspiration) – the ideas are endless! The personal touch is what takes your tablescape to the next level. Check out this post for 3 simple floral napkin rings to elevate your table – these are great personal accents.
These photos were taken from an intimate birthday party that we designed earlier this year. The party took place in a traditional room with lots of patterns and detailing so we kept everything very neutral with the linens and plates and really let the fun and colour come through with the flowers. Bright early summer tones of peach, coral, and yellow lit up the room along with matching candles. A lovely afternoon celebration!
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