DRESS UP FOR DINNER
No, not you, your table – with help from professionals.
Setting the table for dinner is a routine we are all familiar with. However, setting the table for guests and special occasions requires a different level of creativity. It calls for tablescaping. Not familiar with the term? Put simply, tablescaping is the art of dressing your table for a dinner party or special occasion – in the same way you might put together an outfit for a night out. Starting with the tablecloth, you colour-coordinate and theme your way up to the napkins, plates, bowls, salt and pepper shakers and candles, finishing off with a vase of flowers or a bowl of fresh seasonal fruit.
The main difference between a laid table and a tablescape is the experience. The latter must be a visually elaborate, Instagram-worthy, beautifully styled spread. It is for those who want to entertain more gorgeously at home by elevating the humble tabletop to a thing of beauty.
But what if you don’t know where to start? Or simply don’t have the time?
Bespoke tableware companies such as Maison Margaux, Dress For Dinner and lifestyle writer and influencer Alice Naylor-Leyland have been bringing the glamour of dining out to your doorstep in the UK for many years, and all deliver to Ireland too. But now an Irish company, Signature Rentals, has followed suit. .
So how does it work? You select a dining table look, pick your date and party size (minimum orders average at four place settings), then
the tableware is delivered to your door. You can also opt for the ‘lay-up’ service, where companies can style the table for you. Then, once the party is over, the tableware is collected. Easy.
With people entertaining at home more than ever due to pubs and some venues being closed, Maria Reidy’s Signature Rentals has come at just the right time.
‘Many wedding & events have been postponed to 2021,, so private entertaining is big right now,’ says Maria. This summer, there’s a few key table trends that are setting a very stylish tone, she explains, including bright glassware and candles, and printed linen.
‘The combination of eclectic glassware against crisp linen is gorgeous. And think ‘layered’ light bold coloured tapered dinner candles in delicate candleholders, in differing heights alongside tealights. As the sun goes down it can add a gorgeous glow to your table setting.
‘And while white crisp tablecloths are timeless, a dining table can be transformed with a bold patterned linen. Botanical prints are particularly good for outside gatherings,’ she suggests.
See signaturerentals.ie for bookings.
Maria Reidy of Signature Rentals with one of her fabulous tablescapes
Beautiful blush: coloured candles are a big trend this summer
Treat Yourself tablescape for four to keep, €153 (excluding cutlery, tablecloth and flowers), dressfordinner.co.uk
Raise your glass: coloured glassware at Signature Rentals
…and Nancy tablescape to keep, €400 for four, both alicenaylorleyland.com
Serena tablescape to keep, €375 for four (excluding cutlery and tablecloth)…
Classic Pink tablescape, €50 per person to rent (excluding flowers and tablecloths), maisonmargauxltd.com
Base instinct: don’t be afraid to steer from white tablecloths