Decorating Guides

Decorate With Intention: Tablescapes Rooms

June 8, 2019

Tablescapes give a room that finished look, improving your space and making the most of your belongings. Creating tablescapes, that are basically intentional arrangements of items on flat surfaces, is something all decorators listen to, but they can feel mystifying and out of reach to the rest of us. Here we examine what goes into great tablescapes, breaking it down so that it is easy to produce your own artful structures in your home.

Janell Beals – House of Fifty

First stop: the table. An rarely used dining table is a natural place for a tablescape. Why not set this up with an appealing scene to feast your eyes between meals? With this space, I recommend opting for large-scale pieces which won’t get swamped on a table. Try a classic birdcage, an interesting sculpture or bust, a large vase with cut flowers, stacks of art books or several chunky candlesticks.

If you’re using items of different heights, then arrange them from tallest to shortest for a change from the standard flowers-in-the-middle setup. Play with all the spacing between things until it seems right — sometimes it can help to transfer one smaller item out of this height order for a more lively feel.

Design Manifest

The TV stands alone … no longer! We may love curling up on the sofa to watch our favorite shows, but the TV doesn’t have to stick out like a sore thumb the remainder of the time. Heal the whole surface of your entertainment center and the wall over it as a style zone and also you can draw the eye out of your attention-hogging box.

A long, non amusement center works best, but on a smaller piece you can still flank the TV with a pair of sculptures, as shown here. Try a pair of urn lamps plus a heap of books in case you have room. In any event, a gallery-style art wall or floating shelf above the TV is a great diversion.

Lauren Liess Interiors

Follow the rule of three. Arrangements comprising an odd number of things look more natural than an even-numbered group, so keep your tablescapes edited to three or five things rather than four or six. Make it the rule of three, if you take one tip away.

Place it onto a tray. All of decorators do this, for the simple reason that it functions. Combine a tray with the rule of three for an arrangement which can’t miss. For example, place a small vase of flowers, a heap of books along with a bowl of candy on a tray in the living area; a dish for modification, a toast rack for letters and a box for stamps and envelopes may go on a tray near the door.

Read trays at the Products section

Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Seek visual equilibrium. Looking at your tablescape head-on, aim for a balance of visual weight from objects on the left and right sides. As an example, you might have a tall, narrow lamp on the right and a brief, thick pile of books on the left. This would be unbalanced by itself, but add a sculpture on top of the pile of books or a painting hung on the wall over them, and equilibrium is achieved.

For People design

Have a bird’s eye perspective. Some structures are best seen from above, like a background computer or a jewellery screen. You still might want to take a peek at it, even if your arrangement includes height. Are the items clustered a lot in 1 area? You might have to spread things out a bit. Is the arrangement too perfect and rigid? Play around, tweaking and adjusting until it seems right.

For People design

Create depth with a foreground, middle, and desktop. For structures on tables pushed upward against the wall, you can create more visual interest by organizing shorter objects in front and taller objects toward the back, with a few middle-height objects put in between. This is something many people do without thinking about it, but when your tablescape is feeling off and you can’t place your finger on the reason, check to be certain the heights of the items are in the appropriate order.

Thom Filicia Inc..

Study the job of designers you admire. Top designers’ portfolios are full of inspirational examples of tablescapes. This is the reason why they get paid the big bucks, so take the opportunity to really watch the looks you love. Break them down and think about how they were created and why they work.

For instance, in this area designer Thom Filicia used a thick potted plant to anchor an arrangement on a round table. The rule of three would include the plant, the tall sculpture along with the pile of books with ram’s head on top. But use your hands and block the curved tray on the ideal side — would it work as well without that? I really don’t think so, since the three main things are all really thick, and the flat round tray warms up things and repeats the round form of this table and pot, which then turn into their own group of three.

The best designers need to experiment with what looks best in a certain area, so cut yourself some slack and permit time for trial and error. Decorating should be fun!

Developing a Tablescape
Titillating Tablescapes

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