I thought you might like to learn how to create a tablescape design step-by-step with me, especially with the holidays fast approaching. A tablescape, or table setting, is simple the plates, cups, table runners, silverware, and overall decoration of your table. It is meant to elevate a dining experience. And it’s a unique way to show your guests, or maybe just your immediate family, that you care about them.
When would you want to create a tablescape?
- when you have guests
- special holidays
- to make an ordinary day extraordinary!
Look, there is nothing wrong with your everyday plates, or, even the occasional night with paper plates. It sure makes cleaning up easier. I even have a stack of “fancy” paper plates for guests. And don’t forget to check out how to make guests feel welcome in your home.
But every now and then it’s fun to set a fancier table setting. Also, you don’t have to break the bank to decorate your table. Use what you have. Most of what I bought for this table setting was relatively inexpensive or I already had.
Now let’s get started.
How to Create a Tablescape Design
(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here. )
1.) Find an inspiration piece.
I like to start with an inspiration piece to make sure everything else flows from it. That’s not to say everything has to be matchy-matchy, but every item should at least complement each other.
Your inspiration piece can be used as the centerpiece in your tablescape design, or just used to inspire the table. It can be a vase, a color, a pattern, or even a painting.
For my tablescape, Istarted with these blue and white buffalo check melamine plates. Also, they are melamine so they can go in the dishwasher and your toddler can’t break them! For more blue and white inspiration, be sure to check out my DIY blue & white pumpkins.
Find something that inspires you. It could be as simple as a fall-colored leaf or even a theme such as Peter Rabbit, that I used for my daughter’s second birthday.
2.) Create a base.
A base can be anything as simple as a tablecloth, runner, or even cloth placemats. It acts as the foundation of your setting and every good tablescape needs a few layers to feel complete.
Here are a few of my favorite tablecloths and runners:
- Flowers & teacups tablecloth
- Pink and White Buffalo check tablecloth
- Pioneer Woman blue + white round floral tablecloth
- black + white buffalo check runner
Kraft paper is fun for thanksgiving. It creates that fall look while also allowing people to “leave their mark” if they so wish. You can also write people’s names as place settings. Cute!
For the look I’m creating today, my “base” was simply the table. Since it’s made from old farmhouse boards it’s already warm and inviting and I wanted to show off its beauty.
3.) Add a centerpiece.
Now, in some cases, your “inspiration piece” may have doubled as your centerpiece, especially if you chose a vase of flowers. Feel free to get creative though. Here are some gorgeous ideas I found on Pinterest!
- Tropical balloon + fronts centerpiece
- Budget-friendly spring centerpieces
- DIY pumpkin topiary
- Farmhouse Christmas decoration
But don’t worry. If you’re short on time, or just prefer something simple, a beautiful vase of flowers will always do the trick. I chose a fall/farmhouse bouquet I put together from Whole Foods and my own backyard!
4.) Charges, Placemats, or More Centerpieces
Adding on to our layers, you should now set out your chargers, placemats, and/or extra centerpieces. I loveeeee paper placemats from Hester & Cook. They’re a little pricey but the quality is and look is heads above the rest. Here are a few of my favorite you can find on Amazon!
- Natural Farmer’s Market – (How cute would these be for stew night?!)
- Montera Leaf
- Wheat sheaves for Thanksgiving/Fall
- Peony Flower
- Giant Peppermint Candy
If you want to go even more budget-friendly, IKEA sells rattan plate chargers for $2 apiece. You can’t beat that.
Besides placemats, now would be the time to add in smaller centerpieces, candles, and smaller vases of flowers to add dimension. Make sure to check out Pinterest if you need more inspiration.
5. Set the table.
Now is the time to set out your plates, silverware, glassware, etc. Here is exactly how to set a table for any occasion.
Remember, it’s not all about the most expensive items either. You can use a pretty placemat and sturdy paper plates too, especially if the rest of the table is pretty elaborate. How pretty are these floral paper plates for spring?
6. Sprinkle in the finishing decor pieces.
Now is the time to put out your napkins, napkin holders, branches, or anything else you need to finish off the table. You don’t need to follow every step either. Simplicity can be beautiful in itself. Often, you can use what you already have. Be creative! If you need to purchase something make it a versatile item that can be used over and over or is inexpensive.
How do you create a tablescape design? Do you follow the same steps or do something different? I’d love to see your pretty table settings!