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Think about lay­er­ing your ta­ble. Use a tex­tured charger, some­thing wo­ven such as sisal or raf­fia, to cre­ate height, then layer coloured fab­ric that is smaller than the charger but larger than the din­ner plate. Use a pat­terned nap­kin to bring in colour and de­sign to es­tab­lish the aes­thetic. Don’t for­get about up­dated flat­ware fin­ishes, such as mix­ing dif­fer­ent met­als or even matte black. Have fun, be cre­ative and al­low your cen­tre piece to work with your ta­ble set­ting.

– Nancy Fire, de­sign di­rec­tor HGTV Home

QI don’t like faux can­dles, but light­ing my out­door ta­ble with real can­dles is frus­trat­ing on a windy day. Do you have any ideas for my fam­ily and I?

AI use hur­ri­cane can­dle hold­ers on our out­door din­ing ta­ble and side ta­bles. They pre­vent the wind from blow­ing them out, and you can use a large can­dle for events that run long into the night. I also layer in colour with fruit or flow­ers on the bot­tom for a colour­ful touch to the ta­ble. Or forego the real thing with some bat­tery-op­er­ated “can­dles”– De­signer Marika Meyer

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