Everything you need to know about tablescaping

Who says a good-looking dinner table must be reserved for fancy occasions? 

Table settings look good at any time of the year, and can elevate a simple meal into a special dinner or bougie breakfast - and it doesn’t have to take much. 

Whether dining in or outside, a beautiful tablescape has the power to set the mood and bring a spread together. Here’s everything you need to know about the art of tablescaping. 

What is tablescaping?

Tablescaping is dressing up your eating space with decor, flowers, centrepieces, glassware, crockery etc. 

You can follow a style, theme, or occasion, and you can be as simple or as intricate as you like. A beautifully curated tablescape can set the perfect backdrop for gatherings with friends and family. 

How to tablescape

When creating a tablescape, it’s all about how the scene grows. Each part of the table is its own layer, all working together to create your desired look. 

The first thing to do when setting up a tablescape is to create a strong base. Having an idea of what you’d like your theme or colour palette to be can help when building on the foundation. 

A minimal tablescape could build on oatmeal, beige and camel-coloured items, or if you’re embracing your inner maximalist, go loud with colour and clashing patterns. 

A plain tablecloth or linen is the foundation for your tablescaping masterpiece, so start there. We recommend neutral or block colours that won’t clash with the rest of your dining table decor. You can even carry this colour over by draping a small blanket over the back of your dining chairs.

Next up is picking the centrepiece. A vase of flowers, candle votives - or, and we’re getting super duper luxe here, an ice sculpture will pull the main focus and emphasise the overall theme of the tablescape. 

Then it’s time to decorate with thoughtful touches like placemats, coasters, cutlery and crockery. Think about how each piece looks individually and how it contributes to the overall theme. 

What accessories should I use for setting the table?

They say the devil is in the details, but that’s where we have the most fun. 

Accessories are your way of adding a personal flair to a tablescape and introducing colour, pattern and playfulness. 

A strategically positioned placemat is a great base for a charging dish, plate and napkin to sit. Even better if they’re sustainably sourced. 

Speaking of which… TBCo’s placemats and coasters are made from 100% BCI cotton and are repurposed from the offcuts of our cushion covers. Who knew fine dining could be so good for the planet?

3 top tips for a thoughtful tablescape

Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to personalise your tablescape to your tastes. When designing your next table setting, think about:

  • Bespoke place settings for your guests if you’re entertaining. Place menus and name cards at each table setting - you could even make these yourself for a personalised touch. 
  • If a tablescape is made up of layers, then think about the height element too. Candlesticks, long-stem flowers and even glassware can help create depth. 
  • Lighting your tablescape, especially during darker evenings, will add ambience. Votives, funky candles and fairy lights provide soft lighting and aren’t invasive.