• Studio Kate

Creating tablescapes

Ask an expert: Creating beautiful tablescapes

Use your table as a canvas to create a picture of hospitality.

Your tabletop should always set the mood, from a romantic dinner to a family celebration.

Setting the table for an occasion doesn't require a certain shape of table or your best china any more. These days, it's easy to incorporate everyday objects into a beautiful table arrangement. Pick the mood (fresh, playful or serene) and palette (dark, earthy, bright or white), then layer plates, napery, cutlery and glassware to suit. Don't be afraid to mix and match, or think out side the box. Water jugs, jam jars and canisters make quirky impromptu vases. Try using palm leaves or wallpaper offcuts for unique placemats and a bowl of sculptural, seasonal fruits, herbs or vegetables (think quinces, artichokes, potted rosemary or thyme). For a fresh and personal touch, add a little sprig of greenery to each plate in lieu of formal place cards.

Pretty Beach House (above). Photograph by Julie Adams (above), Lisa Cohen (below left) & John Paul Urizar (below right). Styling by Kate Nixon.

Fresh ideas and easy updates

A swathe of unhemmed fabric or a canvas dropsheet make ingenious alternatives to a formal tablecloth.

Use lengths of ribbon or even kitchen string to tie sprigs of foliage around napkins or bread.

An oversized breadboard can do double duty as a centrepiece tray and a trivet for hot serving plates.

Cut flowers or foliage from the garden and arrange in a mix of vases. The height will give your table impact, while keeping sightlines clear for interactions between guests.

Look no further...

Zakkia Clean-lined wares in bold finishes such as terrazzo and brass; zekkia.com.au. Water Tiger Vintage and statement pieces;watertiger.com.au. Country Road Crisp, cool everyday essential; countryroad.com.au. Zara Home Chic napery in linen, cotton or paper; zarahome.com.au.

Horgans Handpainted ceramics, servingware and embossed glassware; horgans.com.au

Feature written for House & Garden magazine