Setting the table has always been one of my favorite “chores”. Growing up, I went to the same summer camp every year as a kid, and we were always given a task to contribute to the community each day. When I was asked to set the table for a special camp dinner at age 7, I spent the afternoon in the woods, foraging and collecting twigs, colorful leaves, and flowers to create a decorative table scape. My camp counselor at the time laughed in shock, as she only intended for me to set out the plates and utensils, but there is something so special about turning any job into an art project. That has sort of turned into my subconscious mission throughout my entire life. Always creating. Always seeking the beauty.
Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite simple ways to turn an ordinary table into a cozy, elegant experience, whether you’re just having a girls night or throwing a big soirée. PLATES //
I have a low-key obsession with white plates — it’s true. They have such a minimalist sophistication, and a style that will go with anything and everything. My favorites have honestly come from IKEA and the 99 cent store, so keep an eye out for those simple bargains. NAPKINS //
Real napkins make a huge difference. They really do. There’s this whole new level of elegance and effort that shines through, and they’re reusable! My favorite thing to do is to go to my local fabric store and grab some linen. It has such a classic and natural look to it, and it’ll never go out of style. And an additional plus: it’s super affordable! Measure and cut as many as you like, and either hem the ends or just leave them be for a more effortless look (you know, for napkins that say “I woke up like this”). Tie your napkins on each plate with fresh twine and a fresh spring of rosemary. TABLE CLOTHS //
While we’re on the fabric note, I’m all about layering with table cloths as well. Grab some additional linen and get a little burlap to lay on top for a rustic runner. I’m all about layers and textures, but keeping the colors earthy and neutral keeps it from becoming overwhelming or hectic. CANDLES //
Candles have this amazing way of instantly creating a home. They are so warm, inviting, and cozy. Play around with heights and sizes, but try to keep them unscented to showcase aromas in your delicious food. No one wants a battle of the smells at the dinner table. FLORALS //
I strongly believe in letting the life take over. All things floral and green are a beautiful way to make a statement throughout your tablescape. Play with placing some greenery directly onto your table cloth, and scattering some various vases with pops of color as well. And while we’re on the plant note, I love giving small plants and succulents as party favors for dinner guests. It’s a fun surprise to let everyone take home a piece of the atmosphere.
Next time you have even just one or two friends over, have fun with your space! Whether it’s a coffee table or a dining room, all you need is a creative spirit to turn a surface into an experience. And don’t forget to comment below with your favorite center pieces and tablescape ideas!