How to style table decor 101

Perth stylist, Elizabeth Clarke talks about the essential elements to consider when designing your next table top.

The combination of an unexpected colour palette, creative ceramics, flowers, foliage, and thoughtful styling is not only the epitome of table chic. It is a conversation starter and draws family and friends around your dinner table.

Here are the essential elements to consider when designing your next table top, and the trends and inspirations to help take your next gathering up a notch.

Choose your colour scheme based on the occasion, season and the food you are serving.
- All white is always elegant and appropriate, so a safe option for the fearful or time-poor.
- If using colour, limit your palette to two or three hues to make coordinating easier and to 
   consolidate your theme. 
- This year rustic palettes, shades of green and grey and monochromatic themes are top trends 
   that are easy to execute.

Less is more
Always consider the size and scale of your table surface when selecting styling items. There is a limited amount of space so careful editing of your arrangement is important. You don’t want a cluttered surface.

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Fabulous flowers add flair, impact and are the cherry on the tablescape cake. Best of all, they need not cost a fortune. 
- Gather single flowers in the same colour palette and place in vases of varying heights. 
- For last minute WOW, opt for understated but interesting botanicals and branches that create 
   impact without overtaking the table. 
- Look for simple but wonderfully coloured greens like eucalyptus or magnolia leaves, or whatever 
   you find in your garden.
- Pluck blooms from your flower centerpiece, and place them in one-stem vessels along the table. 
  They provide an organic elegance. 
- Make sure your centerpieces are low so there is a clear view across the table. No straining to chat 
   to your guest opposite!

Height & Proportion
Consider the height, size and shape of the items you choose for your table.
- Always design your tablescape using staggered heights. 
- Add height without blocking the view with long slender candles, or an interesting arrangement of 
- Larger items are more dramatic than smaller ones. 
- If using smaller items, arrange them in groups to prevent cluttering your table. 
- When styling objects into groups, an odd number, (i.e.; 3, 6, 9) always looks more pleasing to the 
   eye than an even number.

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Think of lighting as an accessory and the perfect way to showcase your styling. 
- Dim overhead lights, but not so much that your guests can’t see what they are eating.
- Scatter tea light candles along the length of your table. The more the merrier!
- Never use scented candles - they interfere with the smell of the food.
- Candelabras are always stylish. Look for colourful candles but ensure you use long tapered, 
   non-drip versions. 
- For ambience, add metallic accents and coloured glassware that pick up candlelight and cast a 
   beautiful glow.

Personal touch
Adding a personal touch to your table is warm and welcoming.
- A thoughtful note, table gift, or hand written place cards adds dimension.
- The right music is pivotal. Check out Spotify or Apple Music for the appropriate playlist, or create 
   your own.

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