The art of tablescaping – artistically arranging one’s tableware – has taken hold of 2020, thanks to the dramatic increase in the meals we partake in at home, as well as our newfound desire to turn everyday occurrences into spirit-lifting, Insta-worthy occasions. Enter lavish lockdown lunches and decadent weekday dinners, as we delight in chromatic glassware, decorative plates and shapely pillar candles, and as ‘tablescape’ becomes the new homeware hashtag of choice.
Our go-to fashion brands and creatives have transferred their signature styles onto ceramics and table linens, as coordinating the tabletop becomes just as important as putting together an outfit. Whether you’re going for rainbow brights, dainty flowers or a clashing kaleidoscope, the scheme needs to tie together – decide on an overall theme first, or plan around the tablecloth, incorporating different materials, textures, shapes and heights. For a quick fix, new brands The Sette and Maison Margaux have pre-curated sets of individual table placements ready to buy – or rent – as one chic, Instagram-approved package, while queen of entertaining Alice Naylor-Leyland’s ‘Tablescapes in a Box’ for four have proved a sell-out for the socially distant.
We’ve selected key pieces from the brands creating the most delicious dinnertime dioramas, to give your tablescaping talents a head start.
Cabana magazine’s catalogue of tableware is varied and extensive, inspired by global design, and includes collaborations with Carolina Herrera, Aerin Lauder and Sensi Studio as well as one-off flea market finds. Hand crafted around the world, the collection comprises of glassware blown in Murano, woven Moroccan placemats, natural dyed Indian fabrics, hand sewn Egyptian embroidery and pieces from everywhere in between. Mix and match the vibrant tones and historic patterns in your next tablescape for a wonderfully audacious print clash and a symphony of colour.
La Double J
La Double J’s tableware is a cacophony of pattern. The exuberant motifs that dance across founder JJ Martin’s maximalist ready-to-wear also enliven plates, glassware, napkins and tablecloths, which are available as individual pieces as well as coordinating or clashing sets. Dinnerware is made in collaboration with fine porcelain maker Ancap in Verona, linens with historic Lombardy textile producer Mascioni and glassware created by heritage glass blower Salvaiati in Murano. For a truly eye-catching tablescape, layer as many designs as you dare.
With her prêt-à-porter a sea of pastel tones, tiny florals and gauzy fabrics, it’s no surprise that Sicilian fashion icon Luisa Beccaria’s foray into homeware is like floating through a dream. The latest collection is suffused in an ethereal palette of purples, blues and pinks, with colours fading in and out of each other across iridescent glassware, while plates and linens are covered in a smattering of exquisite, tiny cherry blossom. Invest in the Renaissance-like tablecloth and scatter matching blooms across it.
Designer Matilda Goad had created a fun-filled collection of curated tableware sets (which are also available individually) for Matches Fashion, with breakfast, lunch and dinnerware ornamented with her distinctive aesthetic of nostalgia infused with colour and charm. For breakfast, retro egg cups double as plates, while vibrant toast racks, teaspoons, knives and napkins promise that every morning will be a happy one. Lunch sees recycled plastic placemats team up with a scalloped planter and gold-glazed water jug and for supper it’s tortoiseshell cutlery, scalloped linen napkins and placemats, antique silver napkin rings and a ribbed beeswax candles. All that needs adding is the food and flowers.
Breakfast Set, £425, Lunch Set, £545, Dinner Set, £620
With her mother a gardener, Tory Burch grew up creating organic tablescapes, which in turn inspired the verdant tones and emblems of her SS20 homeware collection. Embossed fronds, leaves and buds sprawl along the scalloped edge of plates, painterly birds strut among vines across jugs, and glassware is coloured in the same lush green. Coordinating ceramics are hand painted in the 19th century spongeware technique creating a leaf-like pattern, and placemats are a contemporary circular raffia affair. Use the handkerchiefs, monogrammed in letters made up of leaves and flowers, as place name settings.
Crafted in Italy by ceramics house Richard Ginori, which has produced fine porcelain since 1735, Gucci’s whimsical Herbarium tableware collection is a modern take on a vintage Toile de Jouy fabric, printed with cherry branches, leaves and flowers and insects depicted in vibrant emerald. Slick black edges contrast with shapely handles, curved silhouettes and even a sculptural butterfly ready to take flight from the lid of a mug. Dress your tabletop with real flora and fauna for an enchanted garden feel.
Remy Renzullo X Carolina Irving & Daughters
United thanks to their mutual love of dining, textile designer Carolina Irving and her daughters, Olympia and Ariadne, teamed up with designer Remy Renzullo for their first tableware collection. Evolving from 18th century French and Spanish ceramics found in auction houses and museums, the charming flowery pieces are hand painted in a small factory in Portugal exclusively by women. Don’t stray from the palette of pink, blue and green for a pretty yet striking look.
B.F.A. by Benedetto Fasciana
Picking up his paintbrushes for the first time in 25 years, Milanese architect Benedetto Fasciana has adorned his first tableware collection, B.F.A, with the essence of the leafy Sicilian countryside. White ceramic dishes and pitchers are handmade by local craftspeople before being decorated with Fasciana’s 1960s-inspired botanicals and flowers, then subtly edged in gold. Take a tabletop trip to the Mediterranean and combine the pieces with oversized leaves and bold botanics, and serve only the finest Italian fare.
Dior’s Art de la Table collection, Cannage, sets the scene for the most sophisticated of suppers. Drawing influence from the caned, Napoleon III-style chairs guests were seated on at the brand’s first runway show in 1947, elegant porcelain plates, platters, cups and bowls are adorned with contemporary canework, a design represented traditionally as well as oversized and coloured. Glassware and cutlery is engraved with the pattern, linens embroidered. Combine with starched whites and foraged greenery for the most timeless of tabletops, or add further gold elements to increase the luxe factor.
Ann Demeulemeester for Serax
The dark, monochromatic glamour that defines Belgian fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester’s ready-to-wear makes its debut on the table in a collaboration with Belgium-based homeware brand Serax, which has been two years in the making. The debut collection, Dé features statement mouth-blown crystal glassware, pointed black cutlery and delicately hand painted porcelain dinnerware in contrasting matte and glossy, and pale and dark finishes, epitomising Demeulemeester’s signature aesthetic.