My sister loves to entertain and a few Thanksgivings ago she created a very simple and attractive table setting and seasonal decor for her home. The beauty of her holiday design lay in the fact that it was easy and affordable while still maintaining a level of classic, informal elegance.
She used a few basic decorating principles to create an interesting tablescape. There are three key factors that contribute to creating a visually interesting design. The first, is selecting a color scheme and palette. The second element, is to create contrast between textures, colors, visual lines and patterns. And the third, is to add one or more unique touches that insert your personality into the design.
Her color scheme for the serving table was inspired by the warm, fall colors of the floral arrangement pictured above. The autumnal color palette included burnt orange, ivory, yellow-green, chestnut and rusty red with accents of antiqued gold, burnished copper and dark brown.
The serving table was covered by several rough textured,antique white burlap sacks which created a visually interesting foundation for the palette of warm, golden fall colors and the smooth china and glass surfaces of the serving dishes. Autumn leaves ranging from golden yellow to burnt orange and rusty-red created visual boundaries for each of the serving dishes.
She cleverly used sturdy boxes (hidden by the burlap sack table cloth) to add height and depth to the serving table. Doing so created even more visual interest to the table, and, best of all it, provided greater functionality during the serving process. A simple, linear table would have been quite boring visually. Speaking of interesting, she added a touch of whimsy to the serving table by inserting a scarecrow in the nut dish – it quickly became a conversation piece.
The smooth surfaces of the ivory china plates, the antiqued gold charger plates with beaded edges and the crystal contrasted with the rougher textures of the green linen tablecloth and the dark wood of the baskets. The contrast in textures creates a visually pleasing setting. It’s also important to note that the dark table cloth creates a visual anchor – had she selected a lighter color then the overall effect would have been dramatically different – the table setting would have appeared washed out. A perfect example of using contrast in your design is illustrated by the dark colored table cloth and the light colored plates.
The dark table cloth guides the eyes up to the much lighter (in color) layered plates and makes you take notice of the beautiful beading on the gold chargers. Using repetitive and complimentary patterns is another essential ingredient in creating a visually interesting table setting design. The pattern on the ivory-toned china, the cross-hatch pattern on the crystal and the tone-on-tone linear pattern on the table cloth are all visually pleasing as they add both depth and visual texture to the table setting. As you can see, it really isn’t difficult to create a visually interesting table decoration this holiday season – as long as your remember to pick a color scheme that pleases you, use textures, colors, visual lines and patterns to create contrast and to make the design uniquely yours by inserting a little (or a lot) of your personality.