A Step by Step Guide to Creating a Pinterest Worthy Tablescape
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…….. which means the pressure to have perfectly decorated homes to share on social media is upon us! The days of throwing a vase of flowers on the dining room table are long gone. We now welcome dinner guests with elaborate tablescapes, hand lettered place cards and creative party favors.
As HomeGoods “Style Expert,” I created a few tablescapes this season that were featured across various media outlets including this one on Good Morning America. In an effort to share my “formula” to creating gorgeous tables, I have put together a step by step guide AND a shopping list to assist in your quest for creating and sharing a Pinterest worthy tablescape.
Step by Step Guide
1. Choose a theme. Whether you’re going for a rustic glam table, a modern organic look or an over the top kids’ table, know what style you want before you shop.
2. Opt for a neutral table runner. Often bold prints or heavy floral runners can distract from the design so choose something a bit softer. You can still use patterns, just select something that will not over power your table.
3. Add elements of height. One of my favorite tricks is to turn small, wooden storage crates upside down and use those as risers for various parts of my tablescape. I also like using small sleds at Christmas as an alternative. Another great idea for year round tables is to use white cake stands, either on the table or on a riser, to display décor and freshly baked desserts. (I love Scrumptious and Meesh’s Bakery for my baked goodies AND my photo shoots in Nashville!)
4. Weave greenery amongst the crates and cake stands. I tend to use thinner sprigs of greenery so that I can lay over one another for depth and even place around or some of my risers. Try avoiding thick, heavy garland as I feel it can take away from the design and look overly fake.
5. Add light. Once the greenery is placed, shimmy in a few candlesticks or lanterns to add warmth to your table. I love using small lanterns on top of crates and shorter, wood candlesticks in my tablescapes. Battery operated, flicker flame candles, not the ones that just glow, are my preferred candle to use. The flame mimics the flicker of real candlelight and as a mother who often forgets to blow out candles and as one with toddlers, these are just a much safer alternative in our home. I also like lanterns that don’t come with florals in them so I can use them at different times of the year.
6. Place your “show pieces.” The visual appeal for my tables comes in the form of show pieces, unique focal points that add interest and a bit of whimsy to my display. Freshly baked cakes, breads and pies, placed on top of the white cake stands, not only advertise dessert, they also add texture and sweet smells to your dining area. Seasonal holiday décor, like garden rabbits for Easter, various turkeys on Thanksgiving or sparkly Moravian stars at Christmas, set the tone for the holiday meal.
7. Design your place setting. I always use textured placemats/chargers and white dinner plates as a foundation for any place setting. I recently purchased handmade, shiplap chargers from Etsy that I plan on using throughout the year. I then add an additional seasonal dinner plate topped with a festive salad plate and napkin to layer the look. To complete my place setting, I always add an engaging “topper,” that represents the holiday. For Thanksgiving, my children and I made mini pies that we placed at each place setting. My girls loved presenting the pies to our guests and delighted in sharing their homemade desserts. For Christmas, we used painted pieces of wood with the words “joy” or “merry” on them, however you could also personalize these farmhouse place cards with your guests’ names. Another great idea would be to add custom Christmas cookies to each setting…creative and tasty!
If you need a table refresh this season or if you’re looking for some decorating staples that you can use throughout the year, be sure to add a few of these to your shopping list.
1. Muted or neutral table runner either in soft colors or less bold prints.
2. For farmhouse tables, I love these extra-long, grain sack inspired runners from this shop on Etsy.
3. Wooden crates (I typically buy all of my crates from HomeGoods because they often sell nesting sets and I will use both on my table.)
4. Vintage, hobnail or wooden cake stands.
5. Lamb’s Ear springs or garland for year round use.
6. Olive branch garland for summer and fall
7. Fresh evergreen sprigs for winter.
8. Sea glass jugs (I use these year round as seen in many of these photos.)
9. Lanterns - I like 12-16 inch ones for tables.
10. Wooden candlesticks
11. Battery operated, flicker flamed candles
12. Birch candles for winter
13. Small to mid-sized cut wood chunks. (Use under candles, vases and décor.)
14. Textured placemats or these shiplap ones, handmade, from Etsy.
15. WHITE dishes. I particularly love Portugal’s hobnail brand sold at HomeGoods. They are always there!
16. Vintage, colored glass. No matter what style your décor is, colored glass always works!
17. Seasonal dinner and salad plates to layer over the charger and larger white dinner plate.
18. Show pieces….this can be anything from proportionately sized Santas or wool white trees for Christmas to freshly baked pies in the fall. Anth