The holidays are coming, and they are bringing barbecues, family gatherings, and the need to decorate your table with the perfect tablescape along with them. Even if you’re new to the “art” of tablescapes, they are fairly easy to put together. All that you need are some coordinating items and the following tips:
Find the right balance between fancy and casual.
While it’s tempting to go completely overboard with fancy glassware and lace tablecloths, put them away. Unless it’s a very special occasion (and few Memorial Day and Fourth of July parties are), you want to leave them in their drawers and cabinets. You also don’t want to go too casual – paper plates and plastic cups are easy to clean up, but don’t look as nice. Make it look as though you put some effort in!
Every good tablescape needs a centerpiece. When it comes to designing (or simply choosing one) there are a few things to think about – size and composition. Your centerpiece shouldn’t so large that your guests need to shout at each other over it. Instead, they should be able to see each other! Also, you can get away with using flowers for your patriotic themed one, as long as they are summery and not too formal (think carnations or daisies, not roses). You can also something whimsical in with your flowers, such as a child’s pinwheel, or a small American flag. Be creative!
Make sure everything coordinates.
It kind of goes without saying that everything on your table needs to match. However, this does need to be emphasized! No matter which patriotic colored cups, plates, napkins, and tablecloth that you choose, they should coordinate with each other. Look for similar shades of blue, red, and white (and yes, there are different shades of white, from cream to vanilla) and stick to one single pattern – although you can layer in a texture with a pattern, and have it not look overwhelming.
Use some vintage touches.
Nothing looks cooler on a table top than a mix of old and new. Whether your “something vintage” is a tablecloth, a cool vase that holds your centerpiece, or even a set of cream and sugar holders, they will add a little whimsy your table, as well as bring a casual vibe. Your vintage touches don’t need to be in the best condition, but they should match with everything else in your table setting. Consider scouring flea markets and antique stores for interesting bowls and other things that you can use for various occasions.
Patriotic tablescapes aren’t impossible to pull off. As long as you keep these four guidelines in mind – comfortable casualness, a centerpiece that fits, coordinating everything, and interesting vintage accents – then you’ll have no issues at all. Stick with classic shades of red, white, and blue, and you can’t go wrong.