Today, we have a treat for you. Our very first guest blog post! We have the pleasure to introduce to you Colleen Munyan, the owner of Unique Settings and Mismatched China & Tea Party Rentals which serves the Knoxville and East Tennessee area. Some of you may have briefly met her if you follow us on Facebook. With over 1,000 pieces of fine china, Colleen creates gorgeous table settings which range from whimsical to shabby chic to elegant. She has some great tips to share on creating tablescapes.
8 tips for styling the perfect table
When I begin to style a table, I have to remind myself of one thing: to keep it simple. It is so easy to clutter a table with extra items that ultimately make your setup look messy and confusing. With that said, I’ve included some tips I use to ensure my table setup will look great every time and my guests will always remember each and every stylish detail.
1. Start with a classic tablecloth. A tablecloth is your table-scape’s foundation; the bricks and mortar of your look. I suggest working with a classic pattern-even if the color is neon pink! Remember to stay simple on the pattern because you can build on it from there. **Tip: Damask or pinstripes are a great way to add texture without making your guests’ eyes spin.
2. Offset with a runner. A table runner is an easy way to start layering your color or theme. Lay either one runner down the entire length of the table, or if you prefer, two short runners the width of the table with equal space between them in order to create a natural division on the table for items such as a centerpiece or candleholders. **Tip: A simple way to keep your table runner from getting boring is to try to find one with creatively designed edges or one that’s made from a great material such as bamboo or cork.
3. Chargers OR placemats- not both. Chargers and placemats are both great ways to tie your look together with a pop of color. But, since they are boldly colored pieces, too much can overwhelm your tabletop and make it look cluttered. So, just pick one of the two and roll with it.
4. Mix up your dishes. Stylists from across the board recommend mixing classic pieces with modern or vintage with industrial to create a look that is smart and sophisticated. **Tip: Alternate the dishes by color or design to build eye-catching layers that will make your settings POP!
5. Shine your flatware. This is an easy one to overlook because we are so accustomed to our “everyday” flatware. But, if you just broke out great grandma’s silver flatware set for your party, and think you can get away without putting in the legwork of shining it up the day before, you’ll do more harm to your table’s look than good. Keep a great polish on hand and watch your guests’ eyes light up when they can see their reflection in your tablespoons. Trust me on this one.
6. Two glasses, no more. If your meal requires more than one type of wine or an aperitif, you may feel like you need to cram numerous glasses on your table, but this is the perfect time to keep it simple. Only one wine will be served at a time, and water will always be available, so adding additional glasses can overwhelm your guests. Instead, get creative! Take those extra glasses and set a small display on a buffet or side table to showcase the other wines being served or to invite your guests to join you for an aperitif or champagne toast before your meal. Poof! Problem solved, table de-cluttered.
7. Add the finishing touches last. I find myself struggling with this step the most (because the finishing touches are the most FUN part). However, if you treat your finishing touches like the cherry-on-top elements that they are, you can always rest assured knowing that the table is in full-on working order and ready to accommodate your guests, even if you didn’t get to tie those rosemary sprigs around the napkin ring like you had secretly hoped. Table setup first, trinkets & glitter last.
8. Enjoy your efforts. There is no shame in posting a picture of your table on your Instagram or your Facebook account. Let it be an easy and fun way to create excitement about your event or give your guests a little “pre-party” shout-out. #NailedTheTablescape #DidItAllForMyLadies
To learn more about Unique Settings-Mismatched China and Tea Party Rentals check out the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UniqueSettingsRentals!