If there is one activity I will continue after lockdown, it’s making my tablescapes. I found that when I decorated the table even just a little bit during quarantine, my family really enjoyed eating their meals at the table, and not only did the children stay seated a little longer, they loved to talk about the different decorations. I have always enjoyed decorating a table for a special occasion and look forward to entertaining once the restrictions have lifted, but during the lockdown, I found I was decorating the table quite often in order to bring some joy to the endless meals that I was cooking and some fun for the family. What exactly is a tablescape? It’s a term to describe an artistic arrangement of articles on a table. It combines your centerpiece and place settings to give your table a certain style or decoration. A tablescape is a way of making the table feel a bit more special. Tablescapes don’t have to be expensive, the smallest addition to a table can make it unique or give it some style such as fresh-picked flowers from the garden, some items around the house, or some pretty paper napkins.
Tablescapes can either take on a certain theme, or you can just mix and match different items, patterns, textures and colors to create a table that you enjoy. When I was younger, we used to have an international night once a week. Each Thursday, one of the children would choose a country that they wanted “to visit”. My mom would create a meal from that country and we would help my mom decorate the table to go along with the theme of the country. We would research different facts about the culture and try to recreate it on the table. Whether it was making our own pictures of the flags and gluing them onto straws and adding them to the center of the table, finding toys around the house that we could use as centerpieces or looking in the garden for different flowers or foliage to represent the country, it was so much fun and we didn’t even realize that we were creating a tablescape!
Image from @mrsalice
A tablescape can be created anywhere, on the dining room table, outside in the garden, on the front porch, in the park for a picnic, on your living room table, on a boat, really anywhere. Tablescapes can be created anytime, for a certain holiday, a special occasion, if you are having a few friends or family over or just because you want to make your table look a little nicer.
Images from Domino.com, Martha Stewart and Pizzazzerie.com
To create your tablescape, start by thinking of your theme and your vision. Think about the colors you want to use. Start at the bottom and decide if you want to use a tablecloth, placemats, or a picnic blanket? Think about your place settings, silverware, napkins, and glasses. Will you use paper or real for your centerpiece and place settings? Do you need flowers, plants, candles, fruit, shells, accessories? Can you find your items in your kitchen, around your house, in your garden, on the beach or do you need to purchase anything? Once you have your theme and vision as well as your items, start with laying out the basics first. Put down your table cloth, placemats, or whatever you decide that the place settings will rest on. Then add your place settings, the dishes, cutlery, glasses, and napkins. I would suggest putting these down first so that you can then see how much room you have for the decorations. You want to make sure once your guests sit down at the table, they have enough room to eat and drink comfortably. Now is the time to add your centerpieces and decorations. Place your chairs around your table and you have a tablescape. Enjoy the process and just have fun with it, there are a million ways to make a tablescape and summer is the perfect time to start.
Image from Elle Decor
I usually find a lot of inspiration from the following Instagram accounts @tablescapestyle and @mrsalice, but there are loads of websites with great ideas.