Long gone are the days of the perfectly matching dinner table. Traditionally it has been commonplace to buy full dinner sets where everything from the plates to the crockery matched. I can’t help but eye roll when I see that style. It just all feels a little too outdated, don’t get me started on napkin folding art! While that style may have had its time, these days ain’t nobody got space to store so much, I certainly don’t.
The trend of curating over collecting has found its place with home entertainers as the shift toward purchasing one-off special pieces has become more popular.
One of my favorite trends in table design is the mixing and matching of tableware. Clashing different patterns on your tabletop is a wonderful way to add a whimsical touch and vibrant mood. Many times contrasting colors and patterns complement each other to create a truly curated and eclectic feel. Some of the most unique dishes or servingware are found in a single piece while browsing an antique market. Most often people think what will I do with just one plate or two bowls? My advice: buy it. Oftentimes china and flatware are heirloom pieces passed down from one generation to the next and break or get lost along the way. Don’t fret over an incomplete set, instead learn how to mix and match different pieces.
The key is to draw out a common color or theme within your table and working your pieces around that theme. It could be a deep midnight blue and white palette, contrasting florals or a geometric pattern. Don’t over think it! It should be effortless & unique.
- go vintage: Antique shops and flea markets are full of vintage English china which are known for their dainty floral patterns. These go together wonderfully on a table setting even though the patterns may not be exactly similar. Play around with different color themes and floral designs to suit your gathering. Whenever you are purchasing antique pieces, ask the dealer if there is a story behind the item. It can be a wonderful conversation starter during a meal.
- style for the occasion: Are you hosting brunch or a formal dinner? The type of gathering you are holding will often determine the style of tableware you will want to use. Don’t use very formal gold-rimmed plates for a casual lunch while white enamel plates might not be best for a sit-down dinner.
- work with a color palette: Lay out all your tableware options and pick a color palette to work with. Deep blues work lovely with antique silver while more neutral colors such as beige or cream work best with brighter colors such as orange and pink.
- stay neutral with flatware: Keep your flatware within more neutral tones such as silver and gold as to not take away from the vibrancy of your place setting. Using bright colored cutlery can overwhelm your tablescape rather than complement it.
- play around with stemware: Using mix and match glasses and goblets at different heights help to create volume on your table which looks lovely in more dramatic settings. Play around with different glasses from champagne and wine to water and light plenty of candles as they reflect beautifully in the glass.
Don’t forget to express your own personal aesthetic onto your tabletop. Entertaining shouldn’t be a stressful fete and it should be reflective of your style. The mix and match approach allows you to bring in your own personal taste in varying colors, shapes and patterns so feel free to get crazy!
Styling by me.
Photography by: Tala Soubra. View her website here to see more beautiful work.