Un-set tablescape

I love an inviting tablescape. My goal, always, is to make guests feel comfortable sitting down at my table and staying a while. Moreover, I like them to feel comfortable moving things around the table and grabbing whatever it is they need. I think the key to this is to have everything feel a bit imperfect and soft, no matter what the theme is. I also like a functional table setting, or one that suits the meal and the people eating it (why I hate a huge, tall centerpiece).

I think I achieved the ultimate un-intimidating table setting, and it lies in the fact that it’s fairly un-set. And yet, the table doesn’t look any less pretty or festive when not arranged symmetrically and squarely, with everything in its respective place. In fact, throwing all the beautiful elements together in a relatively unorganized fashion helps elevate the relaxed vibe and maximize function: i.e. whatever you need, grab it, without feeling like you’re messing up a perfect still-life dinner table. Let’s be real, a set table very quickly becomes lived-in, anyway, so what’s wrong with starting the meal that way?

The biggest bonus is that it makes great use of an otherwise hodgepodge set of dishes. It looks like a scene out of Anthropologie, in all its lived-in, effortless glory, when in reality—you just don’t have six non-white plates that match or six matching cocktail glasses because you’ve acquired them from different thrift stores, antique stores, and retail places. This scene takes advantage of complimentary colors and textures, but spans wide enough that no one piece or element sticks out like a sore thumb. And don’t forget about the beautiful foods themselves to help set the scene (orange juice in a glass jug is so pretty!—and because it has a sealable lid, you can store it this way, too). I laid out much of what I had and realized that pinks, greens, whites, creams, and golds were creating the vibe. Truth be told, I already had the flowers which went along bizarrely well, but alternatively, you could always buy a few flowers or greenery after deciding on your tablescape to ensure they complement each other nicely.

I think this might be my new favorite way to “set” the table.


West Elm Fish’s Eddy gilded plates, thrifted plates, Moscow Mule mugs, HomeGoods tumblers, Anthropologie floral cloth napkins (similar), vintage flatware, Anthropologie hand towel, HomeGoods glass bottle

PS: my French farm tablescape for brunch, and my fresh and earthy Thanksgiving tablescape