Create an inviting table setting
Create the perfect table setting
MANY moons ago when I lived in New York, I was lucky enough to work in a Manhattan interiors store. Patronised by New York’s elite, including the stylish Jacqueline Kennedy, Wolfman & Gold was located in downtown Soho and specialised in fine dining accessories, tableware and décor pieces.
The owners of the iconic Prince Street store were Peri Wolfman, a stylist of note and her photographer husband, Charles Gold. The stylish couple published what was the definitive dining-setting book, titled, The Perfect Setting.this book was – and still is – regarded by many as the last word on beautiful table settings.
To say I learnt a thing or two about fabulous table setting techniques is an understatement. The knowledge that was generously passed on by the owners and my work colleagues, the in-store training and studying the book has translated in styling jobs and commercial table setting gigs, usually for special occasions such as weddings.
Limit your colour palette
To capture the Wolfman-gold look, I suggest you do as they did so well; limit your palette to certain chosen colours. The in-store style featured tableware that was strictly limited to the colours of white and creams. For highlights, green was frequently used and this combination created an easy to achieve, yet dramatically pleasing effect.
It’s an easy combination to replicate, limit your plates to a narrow range of colours and add greenery or flowers and candles for highlights. For instance, fresh cut greenery strewn down the centre of the table, combined with white tableware, silver crockery and interspersed with soft white candles in silver candle holders creates an overall visual effect of understated elegance.
Theming a table
Not all gatherings at the table come under the heading of understated elegance. Children’s birthday parties, outdoor barbecues and casual dining are more likely to represent our social gatherings. But the same rules apply, limit your colour palette and stick with a theme.
For children’s birthday party table settings, a palette of primary colours could be exhibited by the choice of colours for the paper napkins. Perhaps strew some lollies, such as jellybeans, Jaffas or Licorice All-sorts in the same colours as the napkins down the centre of the table. That colourful trick would create a pleasing effect for as long as they last and would look great in photos.
For an outdoors gathering, you could run with a rustic theme of nature and a harvest of abundance. Choose practical, natural colours such as greens and cream, which could tie in with the colours of your napkins and candles. For highlights, again, choose creative expressions of harvest, such as corncobs or some other edible vegetables such as pumpkins.
The thing to know when it comes to creating the perfect table setting, like most artistic expressions, your creativity is only limited only by your imagination.
3 1:: Vintage champagne glasses, from a range of vintage crystal at Vintage Interior Pieces, Park St, Brunswick Heads. 2:: Caviar Speckle Dinnerware from Maxwell & Williams available at Shoppe One-17, Keen St, Lismore. 3:: Aldo Drinks Trolley, $314, www.templeandwebster.com.au. 4:: Cher Blanc Dinnerware, available online from www.noritake.com.au.