Express your creative side and arrange your accessories into a tablescape. A tablescape is an artfully arranged grouping of objects on a tabletop. The term was coined by interior designer and tablescape master, David Hicks. He showed that careful arrangement can bring a new meaning to your belongings and a new focus to your room. It’s a good way to show off cherished items, refresh your accessories, or decorate for the season. To make the most of your display, keep in mind some of these guidelines:
- Arrangements composed of an odd number of objects are more appealing to the eye. When grouping similar items, choose combinations of 3, 5, or 7. Visualize triangular boundaries formed by the objects, and use them as a reference for placing items.
- Start with the largest item. This will be the focal point and anchor for the arrangement. Large items lend the most impact to a setting, but smaller items are important to the design too. They can be grouped into smaller clusters around the large pieces.
- Varying the heights of the objects in your tablescape creates visual interest by keeping the eye moving. Emphasize the vertical axis with a tall vase or candlestick. If you need to raise an object higher, a stack of books makes an attractive pedestal.
- Give your arrangement dimension by taking care to place items in the foreground, middleground, and background. Like an artist arranging a still life, making use of space this way creates depth.
- Use pieces of different shapes and scales – add something flat, something tall, something rounded. Also consider the size of the table surface – if your table is small, smaller-scale items would be more fitting.
- Seasonal flowers or greenery are always a great choice. A branch of bittersweet or bright autumn leaves adds color and texture to your arrangement.
- You may want to experiment with contrasts – dark and light, curves and straight lines, matte or sparkly.
- Trust the design rule “less is more.” You don’t need to crowd every inch of the table; a few well-chosen pieces can make a big impact. Edit your selection, and save any left-overs for the next re-arrangement.
You can take your tablescaping to any room in the house. Add your personal touch to a coffee table, bookshelf, or mantelpiece in the living room. Arrange your latest antique market finds, vacation souvenirs, favorite books and artwork, or family photos. Create a welcoming, functional tablescape in your guest room with a lamp, fresh flowers, light reading material, and a bowl or tray for your visitor’s jewelry or other small items. A kid’s room tablescape might include his prized trophies, photos of his pet, or the latest art class masterpiece. A holiday-themed tablescape can serve as a party buffet, make a festive entryway, or even act as a centerpiece on the dining table itself. If your arrangement will be on the table, just be sure not to obscure the eyeline of your dinner guests with a too-tall centerpiece.
With a little bit of regrouping you can enrich your surroundings. The tips above will get you started, but what’s important is that your arrangements are meaningful and inspiring to you. Enjoy!