Designing the Table

ffwinterdinner-highres-110

The table. Where your people, food and thoughtful design will come together. In this post, I’ll go over a few guidelines to follow to create a simple, elegant table design every time. Let’s get started!

GUIDELINE No. 1

Simplicity is key. Choose no more than three elements to style your table, and use texture to add depth. Adding too much to the table can make it feel crowded and impersonal.

ffwinterdinner-highres-156

GUIDELINE No. 2

Let the meal be the focal point. Gathering around food is an ancient practice; it nourishes us in more ways than one. Use serveware of different heights to balance the eye.

ffwinterdinner-highres-138

GUIDELINE No. 3

Use an odd number of elements. Whether you choose florals, candles, or other simple pieces, always use an odd number of elements. Three, five, or seven candles will provide a more natural look. The symmetry of even numbers can feel forced and unrelaxed.

ffwinterdinner-highres-176

GUIDELINE No. 4

Set the table for each guest. Personal table settings let each guest know they have a place at the table. Add a fresh herb sprig like rosemary or thyme for a natural look.

ffwinterdinner-highres-21

GUIDELINE No. 5

Let yourself play with the table design. Place all your design elements on the table (candles, greenery, linens, plates, etc). Start with the focal point of the table and work your way out. Use empty serveware to visualize where the food will go. Approach the table from different sides and don’t be afraid to move things around.

ffwinterdinner-highres-32

I personally think tables never look more inviting than at the end of the meal. Guests lean back in their chairs, linen napkins rest crumpled on the table and candles burn low. Take joy in creating a welcoming place for your guests, but don’t let the pressure of perfection steal from the most precious element of gathering: relationship.


More from the journal

How to deal with disappointment

This is one of those times I would much rather sit across from you face to face. I’d rather you were able to hear the tone of my voice, that my facial expression could speak deeper and truer than just words. Because this topic feels so tender to me lately. Disappointment has been an unexpected guest in our house for the last couple months and I was tempted to feel isolated in it. But then I started talking it out. After a few different conversations I realized every single one of us is dealing with disappointment in some way or another.

What I learned about myself and my work during my 1st trimester

I’ve been mulling this post over and over in my mind for weeks now. Can I be honest with you right off the bat? I’m terrified to let my work self and my mom self collide. I’m terrified to offend you or discourage you, that you might think differently of my work, or judge me as a soon-to-be mother. The role of mom vs/and the role of career is one of the most tender topics women face.