Learn the fine art of table setting from the experts


“The past year has taught us to appreciate the small details and find joy in everyday life, such as setting the table for every occasion with beautiful pieces from LA Double J, Cabana and Tina Vaia or with brightly colored glassware from Reflections adding the finishing touches to Copenhagen and Campbell Rey, ”says Liane Wiggins, Head of Womenswear at Matchesfashion.

Matches carries more than 80 homeware brands and has increased its homeware range for Spring / Summer 2022 by 35 percent year over year, she says.

Another example of the colorful handiwork by Diana Sorensen, Creative Director of Sugokuii Events.

“We have worked closely on exclusive projects with artists and designers such as Saunders, Cawley Studio, Tina Vaia and The Elder Statesman, launched The Vampire’s House, Vampire’s Wife’s first homeware collection, and also added some great exclusive products, including Gergei Erdeis Zodiac placemats and table linen Once Milano. “

When the party season is just around the corner, London-based tablecaping queen Alice Naylor-Leyland, who is behind the housewares brand Mrs So, recommends you to style an outfit.

“Planning ahead is key,” advises Alice Naylor-Leyland from Alice.

“The key is not to stress yourself,” she says. “Planning ahead is key, and you can follow a formula. Pick a color theme – say brown and blue. Your blues could be hydrangeas and blue plates. Your brown could be chocolate placemats. Hold a glass to a plate to see if they work – it’s like determining if those heels go with those pants. “

As for your tablescaping no-nos? “Too much white looks good. That linear look that runs down the center of the table where things like candles and flowers sit in a straight line – it just looks corporate! Do not do it. And spending too much money on flowers is not advisable if you are on a budget. Dried hydrangeas look chic for months – peels with lemons are just as beautiful as pots with pine cones or pots with basil.

“Candles are another incredible and inexpensive way to raise a table and think carefully about the color. For example, a soft blue makes a table look fresh, while a dusty blue provides warmth. I especially love apple-green candles and make sure to combine them with the trimmings of an embroidered placemat. “

Still feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of delivering an elaborate Instagram-worthy tabletop? There is an option to have a curated look delivered to your home and picked up the next day so you just have to focus on the menu.

Designer table rentals with top labels are booming in the US (leader Social Studies even managed to lure high profile early investors Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon) and the trend has found its way here: take the recent local launch of Sydney’s ceiling Table.

Renting dishes allows customers to take creative risks more cheaply, says Sydney-based company Set The Table. Tablescape from Set The Table

Founders Zoë Stephens and Sarah Vick watched the world go crazy for tablescaping in 2020 as COVID-19 forced us all to stay at home, realizing a void in renting high-end designer tableware for intimate events ( “Up to 30 people”) and sat to curate looks and labels that they knew people would love.

Tablescaping should be about moving you to another location. People are looking for opulence and escape.

– Zoë Stephens, Setting the table

“We offer two options, the DIY set The Table, in which customers choose individual items to rent, and a full-service set the Table, in which we take care of everything, from themes and styling to stationery and Flowers, and even set your table during the day, ”says Vick.

“Brands to choose from include Mrs. Alice, Georgia Macmillan, In The Roundhouse, and Loveshackfancy, as well as others like Summerill & Bishop, Elizabeth Lake and Bordallo Pinheiro will be added shortly. “

A table setting that matches the view in Positano, Italy by Sugokuii Events.

“Table design should be about taking you somewhere else,” says Stephens. “People are looking for opulence and escape. People really want these luxury designer pieces but it adds up to thousands and the houses are not that big anymore so storing it all is a problem. Renting gives you the freedom to take more risks and have more fun since you aren’t making large investments.

“Our generation of grandparents and parents were given special crockery or crockery when they got married, which was displayed on special occasions, but social media has changed everything. It’s not that you can take millions of pictures of this one special heirloom. “

All experts agree on one thing: Better to be underdressed than overdressed.

“This feeling of ‘one cupmanship’ seems to exist in tablescaping at the moment,” complains event guru Robyn Catinella, known for her exquisitely styled tables and founder of Catinella, an international brand agency for luxury fashion. “A beautiful table can also be incredibly simple. It does not have to be processed to the nth degree. “

Former Fashion Style director Tory Collison, founder of online homeware store Victoria Collison, agrees. “Avoid being artificial. If it’s overworked and too tough, it’s unattractive, ”she says. “Don’t feel pressured to follow trends. Bring your personality there. An eclectic touch is everything. “

Perfect picture: blue hydrangeas with matching dishes and candles by Mrs. Alice.

Tablescaping trends for 2022

candle holder | “Glass candle shells or exaggerated tall, tapered candles are such an easy way to create drama,” says Vick. Catinella agrees. Your pick: “Reed Candlesticks from Roman and Williams Guild in New York: They add an industrial touch and a touch of modern craftsmanship to the old world style that I love.”

Shimmer | “People want to dress up again, so I think we’re moving to shimmery, shimmery, shiny materials,” says Sorensen. “I’m going to be doing a bunch of parties in St. Barts in a minute and it’s all about silver and gold metallic accents. Sure, it’s Christmas and you get that at this time of year, but that’s bigger than that. “

Go green | Call it the Bottega Veneta green effect – the characteristic color of the traditional brand has a massive influence on the fashion world – and now also on table landscapes. “Green is my favourite colour. Stronger green mixed with strong burgundy flowers is perfection, ”says Collison. “I’m a black and white girl – not a color – but I also love a touch of green,” agrees Catinella, who is a fan of Collison’s 19th century sea-green French linen tablecloths and the Ralph Lauren Garden Vine plates, the she buys from Sydney’s Palmer & Penn.

It’s all the little details that count. A Sugokuii Events style banquet table.

Exchange flowers for vegetables | “Last summer, on a rainy evening in Capri, we held a magical event where we presented bowls of vegetables as table decorations,” recalls Sorensen. “Plates of red chillies, bowls and baskets of various red tomatoes, huge green glass bowls of artichokes, green artichoke candle holders in between and long green candles all down the table. The effect was spectacular. “

Buy Dinosaur Designs | The popular resin homeware brand has captivated Australian stylists for years, and it seems their global counterparts are equally delighted with their bright colors and organic design. Almost everyone we interviewed nominated the local label as a timeless favorite purchase.

The rules of engagement

With the Delta variant still lurking and the omicrones advancing, the guidelines around entertainment have been rewritten. Sydney event mastermind Nikki Andrews, Managing Director of the marketing consultancy NAC Media, gets to the heart of the matter.

♦ An à la carte menu is definitely the right choice for summer 2021/22. If you choose to share plates, you should also provide non-shared utensils.

♦ Try to host outdoors if possible, but this temperamental weather requires an emergency plan whether you are hosting many or a few. The added stress is something that you have to deal with.

Mrs. Alice prepares the framework for a splendid outdoor event.

♦ Eight to 12 friends are ideal for me when talking at home. Mix it up so that the guest list is not the same. This keeps the conversation interesting and engaging. Adding an out-of-the-box lucky dip friend or couple is fun, though I do find that in troubling times like these, holding onto people who know each other well creates a greater sense of comfort.

♦ Vax Talk is not something I would want at a dining table. Think about what is making your guests uncomfortable or uncomfortable. Yes, it’s the focus right now, but a little respite is always welcome.

♦ Can you virtually include guests who for some reason are unable to attend? The hybrid of physical and virtual is real!

♦ Reduce the risk at any time. This is not the time to be overly carefree. Be aware of the new world order of coronavirus restrictions and, if you are planning a work-related event, be aware of your health and safety guidelines and your company’s COVID-19 guidelines. Detailed planning has never been more important.


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