Showstopping dinner tables are the entertaining trend right now. Love the idea of tablescaping but don’t know where to start? Then cheat! Interiors editor Nicole Gray shows you how…
Setting the table for dinner is a routine we are all familiar with. However, setting the table for guests and special occasions requires a different level of creativity. It calls for tablescaping.
Not familiar with the term? Put simply, tablescaping is the art of dressing your table for a dinner party or special occasion – in the same way you might put together an outfit for a night out. Starting with the tablecloth, you colour-coordinate and theme your way up to the napkins, plates, bowls, salt and pepper shakers and candles, finishing off with a vase of flowers or a bowl of fresh seasonal fruit.
The main difference between a laid table and a tablescape is the experience. The latter must be a visually elaborate, Instagram-worthy, beautifully styled spread. It is for those who want to entertain more gorgeously at home by elevating the humble tabletop to a thing of beauty. But what if you don’t know where to start? Or simply don’t have the time?
Bespoke tableware companies such as Maison Margaux, Lay London, Dress For Dinner and lifestyle writer and influencer Alice Naylor-Leyland can bring the glamour of dining out to your doorstep. ‘Rent, host, return’ is the mantra for Maison Margaux and Lay London, with each offering rentable, catwalk-inspired looks for the tabletop.
So how does it work? You select a dining table look, pick your date and party size (minimum orders average at four place settings), then also opt for the ‘lay-up’ service, where companies can style the table for you. Then, once the party is over, the tableware is collected. Easy.
‘People want to create and capture that perfect memory or Instagram moment, and tablescapes play a huge part in that,’ explains Louisa Preskett, co-founder of Maison Margaux which specialises in creating luxe looks for less. The company offers customers a treasure trove of china, glass, cutlery and linens from high-end designers to hire at a snip of the cost of the actual items.
Want something with more longevity? Dress For Dinner sells Treat Yourself boxes whereby a twinkling array of pastel tableware is gift-boxed and delivered to your door for you to keep. All boxes come with handy tips on how to lay out the desired spread.
Alice Naylor-Leyland offers a similar service, with colour-coordinated and seasonally themed tablescapes to buy in boxes packaged to your door. ‘My customers love that they no longer have to think about the table,’ says Alice. ‘They can just relax and enjoy the occasion.’
Win! A luxury table spread worth £650
We’ve teamed up with Maison Margaux to give one lucky reader the chance to win a ten-person English Meadow table setting for hire, worth £650, or a £650 voucher towards a future hire order with Maison Margaux. Simply visit you.co.uk/winmaisonmargaux and follow the steps to enter.