Hosting a dinner party this weekend? Consider your table decorating inspiration covered. We asked interior stylist, and Belle magazine style director-at-large, Steve Cordony, to reveal his tips for creating a striking, welcoming tabletop.
Photography by Felix Forest
Words and styling by Steve Cordony
1. The style
Like you would design a room or space, decide what style or trend you want to create. This could be dictated by your dinnerware or the style of food you're making. If the cuisine is more rustic, you could style the table more loosely and relaxed than you would if it’s a more formal, fine dining menu.
2. The colour palette
Similarly, the season can also dictate the look and feel of your table. Moody, deeper tones work well for autumn/winter and cooler, crisper colours work best for spring/summer.
3. All about the details
The small details are often most cherished by your guests. A handwritten menu or name card, or having wrapping paper on hand at the end of the evening to wrap flowers from the table for your guests to take home is a lovely parting gift.
4. The lighting
Creating a sense of mood with lighting is so important and can make or break the evening. Think about dimming your lighting, always use candles, from a simple votive to chunky pillars. Also consider the warmth of lighting from fresh, crisp white light to warm amber hues.
5. Break the rules
Asymmetry can be more exciting that having everything in order. Placing items like flowers at the end of the table (as we have done above) or off-centre can add interest and excitement to the table and also avoids blocking the view of guests. As a general rule, centerpieces should be around 25-30cm high.
Flowers in abundance are always beautiful, but also consider using simple greenery or large-scale branches and foliage. They often last longer, are inexpensive and add a sense of calm to the table. Maple, camellia or Hawthorn branch (used in the Catalina vase) add drama and scale to the table. If you are using flowers, always keep it simple. If you want to mix up the types of flowers, choose no more than three different varieties and keep them in the same colour family. Think whites with neutrals, orange and yellow or red with purple and pink.